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!)

On the day after the Nativity of Christ we celebrate the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos, and come together to give her glory and praise.
This is the second day of the three day Winter Pascha.

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here

Acts of the Apostles

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

Second_Day_Nativity_.jpg

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

O blessed penance which has earned for me such great glory! --
St Peter of Alcantara in a vision to St. Teresa


Our Lady of Acheropita (Rossano, Italy, 1140) The Blessed Virgin Became the Mother of God (II)
You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others;
for there is no blemish in you, nor any stains upon your Mother.
Who of my children can compare to the beauty of these?

Excerpt from Ephraim of Nisibis, Nisbene Hymns 27, no. 8, in FEF I: 313, no. 719.

December 26 – Mary weeps over Saint Stephen (Jerusalem) – Synaxis of the Mother of God (Byzantine Church)  
 
We should pay tribute to the Most Holy Virgin Mary
On December 25th, after offering our adoration to God made man, born a Child to save us, with the angels, the Magi and the shepherds, we should also pay tribute to his Mother, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. The Church presents her to us with her Child in the grotto, as both the instrument chosen and prepared by God from the beginning of time for the fulfillment of the great mystery of His Incarnation and as the "New Eve," the first and most prominent representative of the renewed human race.

The Synaxis (a festive gathering in the Orthodox Church) of the Mother of God is probably the oldest Marian feast (5th century). It later became the model for other synaxes
(September 9: Sts Joachim and Anne; January 7: St John the Baptist, February 3: St Simeon, etc.).


It is likely that this feast of the Mother of God was introduced to confound the Nestorians, who had refused her the title of Theotokos, arguing that she had given birth to a mere man anointed (christ) with God’s grace like the other prophets and holy men.
St Gregory the Theologian (Gregory of Nazianzus) In Discourse 38 On the Nativity
 
POPE FRANCIS'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  DECEMBER 
Please pray for those who have no one to pray for them.
December 26, 2016
Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59Psalms 31:3-4, 6, 8, 17;  Matthew 10:17-22;
On the day after the Nativity of Christ we celebrate the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos, and come together to give her glory and praise.
This is the second day of the three day Winter Pascha.
December 26 - St Stephen, the First Martyr  God needs a totally free “Yes”

Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos
   36 St. Stephen 1st Christian Martyr
   36 St. Stephen who's  name means "crown,"  Patron of Stonemasons
 268 St. Dionysius Pope a Greek 259-268 rebuilt the Church at Rome, on the Appian Way, the death of Pope St. Denis, who sustained many labours for the Church, and was renowned for his doctrinal writings.
 417 St. Zosimus Pope A Greek 417-418 St. Zosimus Pope from  he succeeded Pope St. Innocent I (r. 401-417) on March 18, 417.
401-417) on March 18, 417.
He wrote  Episiola Thactaria, condemning Pelagianism.
1938 Saint Isaac II (Bobrikov) died as a martyr on December 26
The Moscow Patriarchate authorized local veneration of the Optina Elders on June 13, 1996, glorifying them for universal veneration on August 7, 2000.
December 26 - St Stephen, the First Martyr
  God needs a totally free “Yes”

In order for Jesus’ salvation to become the salvation of mankind, he himself needed to be recognized as true man. Saint Irenaeus rightly posits the distinction of being human in the fact of human generation: “If he had not received from a human being the substance of his flesh, he would not have become man, or son of man.”

Therefore, to God's will to become man, the world's will to give him human flesh had to correspond. Indeed God could not give himself to the world if the world had not agreed to the gift that was being offered. It is mankind's responsibility, as a free being, to give this agreement. Somewhere in the history of mankind, a human will to possess God had to be in total agreement with God's will to possess man to the point of becoming himself “part” of humanity.

God needs a totally free “Yes” from the world. Mary is the woman whose fullness of freedom enabled her to match God's wish (...). She is the figure of humanity restored in the unity of his will, as a result of the call that she received to receive in her the humanity of the Word.

Mankind cannot give God anything beyond its own humanity, but in doing so it gives to God what he could not give to himself. For God cannot enter the world and still remain faithful to the gift of freedom he gave man except by entering through the door of this human freedom.

Father Hubert Le Bouquin
A l'aube des commencements, l'Immaculée Conception (At the Very Beginning, the Immaculate Conception)
www.freres-capucins.fr/A-l-aube-des-commencements-l.html


  December 26 - Synaxis of the Mother of God or Feast of Mary's Motherhood (Byzantine Church)
Synaxis of Our Queen, the Holy Mother of God
The Synaxis of the Mother of God is probably one of the oldest Marian feast days (5th century).
It celebrates Mary as Spiritual Paradise of the "Second Adam," Temple of Divinity, Bridge Between Earth and Heaven, Ladder by which God comes down to Earth and man goes up to Heaven, Mother-of-God who became worthier than the Cherubim, the Seraphim and all the other forces of Heaven; she became "vaster than Heaven" by sheltering Christ in her womb, and therefore becoming the Throne of God.
Because of the Blessed Virgin, mankind has been raised higher than the Angels and the body shines with Divine glory. The human spirit becomes giddy faced with such a mystery, preferring to bow down faithfully and prostrate in silence, "because where God desires, the order of nature is overcome."
Joseph, the Silent One, lit up by the awesome light that shone in the darkness of the grotto,
contemplated the radiant All Holy One seated peacefully near the Child whom she had herself wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in the manger.
A new way of life opened up for the human nature; because just as God chose virginity to be born into this world, in the same way, he wants virginity to appear and grow in a spiritual way in the heart of each Christian who tries to imitate the model of the Mother of God in his or her own life.
According to St Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church  Discourse #38 on the Nativity
       Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos
   36 St. Stephen 1st Christian Martyr
 268 St.
Dionysius Pope a Greek 259-268 rebuilt the Church
 278 St. Archelaus Bishop in Kashkar Mesopotamia
        St. Marinus Martyr of Rome
 400 St. Zeno (d.c. 400) + Bishop of Gaza Israel
 417 St. Zosimus Pope A Greek
6th v. St. Amaethlu Founder and hermit
6th century St. Theodore the Sacrist in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome
6th v. St. Tathal   hermit Wales
7th v. Our Holy Father Constantine of Synnada; famed for his fasting and for his many miracles;
9th v. Euthymius, Bishop of SardisThe Hieromartyr; martyred denounced the Iconoclast heresy
10th v. St. Luke the Stylite Commemoration of the Departure of and the Relocation of His Holy Relics.
1649 St. Neol Chabanel Priest one of North American Martyrs
1896 St. Vincentia Maria Lopez Y Vicuna Virgin
1938 Saint Isaac II (Bobrikov) died as a martyr on December 26
268 St. Dionysius Pope a Greek 259-268 rebuilt the Church after the persecution conducted by  Emperor Valerian.
 Ibídem, via Appia, deposítio sancti Dionysii Papæ, qui, multis pro Ecclésia impénsis labóribus, fídei documéntis clarus effúlsit.
       Likewise at Rome, on the Appian Way, the death of Pope St. Denis, who sustained many labours for the Church, and was renowned for his doctrinal writings.

The Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos: On the second day of the feast, the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos is celebrated. Combining the hymns of the Nativity with those celebrating the Mother of God, the Church points to Mary as the one through whom the Incarnation was made possible. His humanity - concretely and historically - is the humanity He received from Mary. His body is, first of all, her body. His life is her life. This feast, the assembly in honor of the Theotokos, is probably the most ancient feast of Mary in the Christian tradition, the very beginning of her veneration by the Church.

Six days of post-feast bring the Christmas season to a close on December 31. At the services of all these days, the Church repeats the hymns and songs glorifying Christ's Incarnation, reminding us that the source and foundation of our salvation is only to be found in the One who, as God before the ages, came into this world and for our sake was "born as a little Child."

Father Alexander Schmemann, The Services of Christmas (1981)
36 St. Stephen who's  name means "crown,"  Patron of Stonemasons
 Hierosólymis natális sancti Stéphani Protomártyris, qui a Judæis, non longe post Ascensiónem Dómini, lapidátus est.       At Jerusalem, the birthday of St. Stephen, the first martyr, who was stoned to death by the Jews shortly after the Ascension of our Lord.

34 ST STEPHEN, THE FIRST MARTYR
THAT St Stephen was a Jew is unquestionable, and he probably was a Hellenist of the Dispersion, who spoke Greek. The name Stephen is Greek, Stephanos, and signifies crown. The circumstances of his conversion to Christianity are not known. St Epiphanius says he was one of the seventy disciples of our Lord, but this is unlikely. We are told of him in the book of the Acts of the Apostles when, there being numerous converts, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews, complaining that their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. The Apostles assembled the faithful and told them that they could not relinquish the duties of preaching and prayer to attend to the care of tables; and recommended them to choose seven men of good character, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, who might superintend that business. The sug­gestion was approved, and the people chose Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost”, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas a proselyte of Antioch. These seven were presented to the Apostles, who praying, imposed hands upon them, and so ordained them the first deacons.

“And the word of the Lord increased, and the number of the disciples was multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly a great number also of the priests obeyed the faith. And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people.” He spoke with such wisdom and spirit that his hearers were unable to resist him, and a plot was laid by the elders of certain synagogues in Jerusalem. At first they undertook to dispute with Stephen; but finding them­selves unequal to the task they suborned false witnesses to charge him with blas­phemy against Moses and against God. The indictment was laid in the Sanhedrin, and he was dragged thither. The main point urged against him was that he affirmed that the temple would be destroyed, that the Mosaic traditions were but shadows and types no longer acceptable to God, Jesus of Nazareth having put an end to them. “And all that sat in the council, looking on him, saw his face as if it had been the face of an angel.” Then leave was given him to speak, and in a long defence, set out in Acts vii 2-53, he showed that Abraham, the father and founder of their nation, was justified and received the greatest favours of God in a foreign land; that Moses was commanded to set up a tabernacle, but foretold a new law and the Messias; that Solomon built the Temple, but it was not to be imagined that God was confined in houses made by hands: the temple and the Mosaic law were temporary, and were to give place when God introduced more excellent institutions by sending the Messias himself. He ended with a stinging rebuke

You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do you also. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them who foretold of the coming of the Just One, of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”

The whole assembly raged at Stephen, but he, being full of the Holy Ghost and looking up steadfastly to the heavens, saw them opened and beheld the glory of God and the Saviour standing at the right hand of the Father. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God”. “And they, crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears and with one accord ran violently upon him. And, casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit ‘. And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Lord, lay not this sin to their charge’. And when he had said this he fell asleep in the Lord.”

The reference to the witnesses required by the law of Moses, and the whole circumstances, suggest that this was not an act of mob violence, but a judicial execution. And of those that were “consenting to his death” one, Saul, the future apostle of the Gentiles, was the first and greatest fruit of the seed of the blood of the first martyr of Christ. “Devout men took order for Stephen’s funeral, and made great mourning over him”; the finding of his relics by the priest Lucian in the fifth century is referred to herein under August 3.

We have, of course, no knowledge of the life of St Stephen outside the pages of the New Testament. But with regard to the festival and the cultus of the protomartyr the reader may consult with advantage the CMH., and Duchesne’s Christian Worship, pp. 265—268. From before the close of the fourth century both in the East (as the Apostolic Constitutions, viii, 33, show even for Syria) and in the West, St Stephen was commemorated on December 26. There seems to be nothing to tell us why at so early a period this particular day should have been picked upon. The early cultus of Stephen in Jerusalem has been discussed very fully by Cardinal Rampolla, S. Melania Giuniore, pp. 271—280. On the representations of St Stephen in art, and on popular beliefs and practices associated with his day, see Künstle, Ikonographie, vol. ii, pp. 544—547 ; Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, vol. ix, cc. 796—799; and Leclercq in DAC., vol. v, cc. 624—671.

Stephen found in Acts of the Apostles, chapters six and seven. Stephen's name means "crown," and he was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown. Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church. The apostles had found that they needed helpers to look after the care of the widows and the poor. So they ordained seven deacons, and Stephen is the most famous of these.

God worked many miracles through St. Stephen and he spoke with such wisdom and grace that many of his hearers became followers of Jesus. The enemies of the Church of Jesus were furious to see how successful Stephen's preaching was. At last, they laid a plot for him. They could not answer his wise argument, so they got men to lie about him, saying that he had spoken sinfully against God. St. Stephen faced that great assembly of enemies without fear. In fact, the Holy Bible says that his face looked like the face of an angel.

The saint spoke about Jesus, showing that He is the Savior, God had promised to send. He scolded his enemies for not having believed in Jesus. At that, they rose up in great anger and shouted at him. But Stephen looked up to Heaven and said that he saw the heavens opening and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

His hearers plugged their ears and refused to listen to another word. They dragged St. Stephen outside the city of Jerusalem and stoned him to death. The saint prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" Then he fell to his knees and begged God not to punish his enemies for killing him.

After such an expression of love, the holy martyr went to his heavenly reward. His feast day is December 26th.
At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenist (Greek-speaking) Christians complained about the Hebrew-speaking Christians, saying that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit.... (Acts 6:1-5)

Acts says that Stephen was a man filled with grace and power, who worked great wonders among the people. Certain Jews, members of the Synagogue of Roman Freedmen, debated with Stephen but proved no match for the wisdom and spirit with which he spoke. They persuaded others to make the charge of blasphemy against him. He was seized and carried before the Sanhedrin.
In his speech, Stephen recalled God’s guidance through Israel’s history, as well as Israel’s idolatry and disobedience. He then claimed that his persecutors were showing this same spirit. “[Y]ou always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors” (Acts 7:51b).

His speech brought anger from the crowd. “But [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God....’ They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him....As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit....Lord, do not hold this sin against them’” (Acts 7:55-56, 58a, 59, 60b).
Comment:  Stephen died as Jesus did: falsely accused, brought to unjust condemnation because he spoke the truth fearlessly. He died with his eyes trustfully fixed on God, and with a prayer of forgiveness on his lips. A “happy” death is one that finds us in the same spirit, whether our dying is as quiet as Joseph’s or as violent as Stephen’s: dying with courage, total trust and forgiving love.
268 St. Dionysius Pope a Greek 259-268 rebuilt the Church after the persecution conducted by Emperor Valerian.
 Ibídem, via Appia, deposítio sancti Dionysii Papæ, qui, multis pro Ecclésia impénsis labóribus, fídei documéntis clarus effúlsit.
       Likewise at Rome, on the Appian Way, the death of Pope St. Denis, who sustained many labours for the Church, and was renowned for his doctrinal writings.
269 ST DIONYSIUS, POPE
BECAUSE of persecution the Roman see was vacant for nearly a year after the martyrdom of St Sixtus II. It was then filled in the person of the presbyter Dionysius—perhaps a Greek—who was described by his namesake of Alexandria as an admirable and learned man. By a synod convened by the pope this same St Dionysius in Egypt was required to give an account of views expressed by him when writing against Sabellianism, which he did at considerable length. Like Stephen I and others of his predecessors, Pope St Dionysius sent alms to Christians in distant lands, especially to the church of Caesarea in Cappadocia, which had been ravaged by the Goths. The edict of tolerance of the Emperor Gallienus enabled Dionysius to restore order in ecclesiastical administration and forward the works of religion after a period of persecution though not the first pope to die in peace, he is the first to whom the title of martyr is not accorded liturgically.

As in the case of all the early popes, there is nothing corresponding to a biography. We depend upon a few sentences in the Liber Pontificalis (Duchesne, vol. i, p. 157) and upon scattered references to his activities in Eusebius (bk vii, chs. 7 and 30) and in St Athanasius, St Basil, etc. See K Caspar, Geschichte des Papsttums, vol. (1930), pp. 92 seq. F. X. Seppelt, Der Aufstieg des Papsttums Leclercq in DAC., vol. xiii, cc. 1186-1188. It is astonishing to find that Pope St Dionysius is venerated as a member of the Carmelite Order—a claim which it would be difficult to substantiate.

Dionysius was a Greek who served as a priest in Rome. He was elected pope on July 22, 259, after a year’s delay caused by the persecution. In 260, Dionysius defended the doctrine of the Holy Trinity against the heresy of Sabellianism. He also condemned Paul of Samosata for heretical teaching. Dionysius sent large sums of money to Cappadocia, which had been ravaged by the Goths. He rebuilt many areas after Emperor Gallienus issued an edict of toleration of Christians.
Dionysius died in Rome, was the first pope not listed as a martyr, and was buried in the cemetery of Callistus.
St. Marinus Martyr of Rome.
 Romæ sancti Maríni, ex órdine Senatório viri, qui, sub Numeriáno Imperatóre et Marciáno Præfécto, Christiánæ religiónis causa comprehénsus, equúleo et úngulis servíli more punítus, in sartáginem deínde conjéctus, sed, igne in rorem convérso, liberátus, objéctus quoque feris et ab illis nullátenus læsus; tandem, ad aram íterum ductus, et, cum idóla oratióne ejus corruíssent, percússus gládio, martyrii triúmphum adéptus est.
      At Rome, St. Marinus, a man of senatorial rank.  In the time of Emperor Numerian and the prefect Marcian, he was arrested for the Christian religion, racked and torn with iron claws like a slave, then thrown into a boiling cauldron; but being delivered because the fire became like a dew, he was exposed to the beasts without being injured by them, and finally being led to the altar, the idols of which toppled over at his prayer, he was struck with the sword, and thus obtained the triumph of martyrs.
He was reportedly the son of a senator, tortured before his martyrdom.
278 St. Archelaus Bishop in Kashkar Mesopotamia
 In Mesopotámia sancti Archelái Epíscopi, doctrína et sanctitáte célebris.
       In Mesopotamia, St. Archelaus, bishop, famous for learning and holiness.

ST ARCHELAUS, Bishop of KASHKAR
THE Roman Martyrology signalizes the death on this day in Mesopotamia of St Archelaus the bishop, famous for his learning and holiness. St Jerome says in his De viris illustribus that,
“Archelaus, a Mesopotamian bishop, composed a book in Syriac about the discussion that he had carried on with Manes, who came from Persia. This book has been translated into Greek and is known to many. Archelaus lived in the time of the Emperor Probus, the successor of Aurelian and of Tacitus.”
The story is that a Syrian named Marcellus had brought about the release of a number of Christian slaves, and was congratulated on his charitable action by the heresiarch Manes, who took the opportunity to inculcate his teaching. Marcellus reported the matter to his bishop, Archelaus, who undertook disputations with Manes. These “acts” are an interesting document in the history of Manichaeism, but it was not written in Syriac or by Archelaus. Photius, in recommending his brother to read the book against the manichaeans of Heraclian of Chalcedon (whose style, he says, combines atticism with ordinary language, like a schoolmaster entering into a contest of superatticism”), quotes Heraclian as saying that the disputation of Archelaus was written by one Hegemonius. Research has shown that the disputation was only a literary device, and that it was composed years after Manes was dead. It therefore seems that St Archelaus, of whom nothing else is recorded, was as fictitious as his dispute, invented for the occasion by Hegemonius.

The whole matter of the Acta Archelai is very obscure but see Bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchilchen Literatur, vol. iii, pp. 265—269 DCB., vol. i, pp. 152—153 and P. Alfaric, Les écritures manichéenes (1918), pp. 55 seq.

Archelaus was a foe of the heresy of Manichaeism and is believed to have debated the movement's founder, Manes, personally. An ancient bishop of the Christian church, from Kashkar, in Mesopotamia. It should be noted, however, that there is some dispute over his place of origin, too long to relate in depth here. His feast day is December 26.
St. Archelaus is most well known for his Disputation with Mani - Manes in the Latin - founder of Manicheism, which occurred in 277 AD. He is thus best known for fighting the Manicheist heresy of the time.
Αρχελαος 
St. Zeno 400 Zeno (d.c. 400) + Bishop of Gaza Israel
 Majúmæ, in Palæstína, sancti Zenónis Epíscopi.       At Majuma, in Palestine, St. Zeno, bishop.
He was a cousin to the martyrs Eusebius, Nestabus, and Zeno (f.d. September 8) and managed to survive the persecutions of the Church under Emperor Julian the Apostate (r. 361-363) to become a bishop
417-418 St. Zosimus Pope from  A Greek he succeeded Pope St. Innocent I (r. 401-417) on March 18, 417.
418 ST ZOSIMUS, POPE
ST Zosimus is said by the Liber Pontificalis to have been a Greek by birth, son of the presbyter Abram, and he succeeded Pope St Innocent I. Nothing is known of his previous career or personal life, but his pontificate of under two years was a busy one, chiefly due to the appeal of the Pelagian Caelestius from his condemna­tion by the bishops of Africa. Zosimus was constrained to modify his first judgement in this matter; and he had further difficult relations with the African bishops, arising out of an irregular appeal to Rome made by a priest and the erroneous ascription by the pope of a canon, quoted in justification of the priest, to the Council of Nicaea. During his last illness St Zosimus had several cataleptic seizures which so much resembled death that he was several times supposed to be dead before he was. He died on December 26, 418.

The notice of Pope Zosimus in the second edition of the Liber Pontificalis (Duchesne, vol. i, p. 225), differs somewhat from the first. See also E. Caspar, Geschichte des Papsttums, vol. i, pp. 344 seq. Seppelt, Der Aufstieg des Papsttums, pp. 1-8 seq. DAC., vol. xiii, c. 1263.
He devoted most of his brief reign to advancing the cause of papal supremacy. While personally blameless in his private life, Zosimus did have a tactless and hasty personality, so much so that he found himself embroiled in various clashes with prelates throughout the Church. In fact he died while preparing to excommunicate a group of troublesome clerics.
Zosimus wrote Episiola Thactaria, condemning Pelagianism.

6th v. St. Amaethlu Founder and hermit.
Amaethlu also called Maethlu, lived in Wales. A church in Anglesey is named after him as the founder.
6th v. St. Tathal  A hermit Wales
also listed asTathan, Athan, and Athaeus. Of Celtic descent, he became a hermit in Glamorgan, Wales, eventually establishing a school and St. Athan's Monastery in Gwent.

6th century St. Theodore the Sacrist in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
 Romæ sancti Theodóri, qui Mansionárius Ecclésiæ sancti Petri fuit, cujus et méminit beátus Gregórius Papa.
       At Rome, St. Theodore, sacristan of the church of St. Peter, who is mentioned by blessed Pope Gregory.
A sacrist in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He is known almost entirely through the writings of Pope St. Gregory I the Great (r. 590-604) who was a contemporary.

7th v. Our Holy Father Constantine of Synnada; famed for his fasting and for his many miracles; Commemorated December 26 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion From the Prologue.
 He was a Jew who came to the Christian faith. When the Cross was made on his head at his baptism, it remained visible there till his death in Constantinople in the seventh century. He is famed for his fasting and for his many miracles. For seven years before his death, he foretold the day of it.
St. Constantine, is honoured by the Greek Church 26 December.
Synnada
Titular metropolis in Phrygia Salutaris. Synnada is said to have been founded by Acamas who went to Phrygia after the Trojan war and took some Macedonian colonists. The consul Manlius Vulso passed through that city on his expeditions against the Galatians. It was situated in the south-eastern part of Eastern Phrygia, or Parorea, thus named because it extended to the foot of the mountains of Pisidia. After having belonged to the kingdom of the Attali, it became the capital of a district of the province of Asia, except on two occasions during the last century of the Republic when it was temporarily attached to Cilicia. Under these two regimes Synnada was the centre of an important conventus juridicus, or judicial centre; it was to preside at this assembly that Cicero stopped at Synnada on his way from Ephesus to Cilicia and on his return. Although small, the city was celebrated throughout the empire on account of the trade in marble which came from the quarries of the neighbouring city of Dacimium. Under Diocletian at the time of the creation of Phrygia Pacatiana, Synnada, at the intersection of two great roads, became the metropolis. On its coins, which disappear after the reign of Gallienus, its inhabitants call themselves Dorians and Ionians.
Today it is the city of Schifout Kassaba, situated five hours south of Afoun Kara Hissar, vilayet of Broussa.
9th v. Euthymius, Bishop of Sardis
The Hieromartyr; martyred
denounced the Iconoclast heresy
During the period of the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos (780-797) and the empress Irene (797-802), was chosen Bishop of Sardis because of his virtuous life. He was also present at the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787), at which he denounced the Iconoclast heresy.

When the Iconoclast emperor Nicephorus I (802-811) came to rule, St Euthymius and other Orthodox hierarchs were banished to the island of Patalareia, where they languished for a long time. Recalled from exile by the emperor Leo V (813-820), the bishop boldly denunced the Iconoclast heresy, and they sent him into exile to the city of Assia. The next emperor, Michael II the Stammerer (820-829), attempted to make him renounce icon-veneration, but without success.

Then the holy martyr was flogged and banished to the island of Crete. Michael was succeeded on the throne by the Iconoclast emperor Theophilus (829-842), on whose order St Euthymius was subjected to cruel tortures: they stretched him on four poles and beat him with ox thongs. St Euthymius fell asleep in the Lord several days after the torture.
St Euthymius is also commemorated on March 8.

10th v. St. Luke the Stylite Commemoration of the Departure of and the Relocation of His Holy Relics.

On this day we commemorate the departure of St. Luke, the Stylite, and the relocation of his holy relics. He was born in Persia, to Christian parents. He became a soldier and was promoted until he became a centurion (an officer over a hundred soldiers).

Later in his life, he wanted to live a solitary life. He left the world and all its vainglory and became a monk in one of the monasteries of the east. When his virtues were known, he was ordained a priest for that monastery.

From this time on, he devoted himself to the ascetic life in continual prayers and fasting. He used to fast six days at a time and then break his fast on the seventh day after Mass, by eating a "Korbana" and some green pulses (beans). Then he lived on the top of a high rock for 3 years. One day, he heard the voice of an angel calling him by his name to go down. When he went down, the angel showed him a cross of light. He followed the voice and the cross went before him until he came to some mountains. There he stayed for some time, teaching his visitors the way of salvation.

He was inspired by God to go near Constantinople. He went and dwelt in a village nearby, on the top of a rock, in the shape of a pillar, for 45 years fighting the spiritual fight. God granted him the gift of prophecy and the gift of performing miracles. He healed everyone who went to him.

When he completed his holy course, he departed on the 15th day of Kiahk. His disciple went and told the Patriarch about his departure. The Patriarch went with the priests, crosses and censors and came to where the body of the saint was. They carried him to Constantinople on the third day of his departure, with hymns and prayers, and they placed him in the sanctuary and that was on the 17th day of Kiahk. After they prayed on him the third day prayer and the believers present received the blessing of his pure body, they put him in a marble sarcophagus next to the bodies of the saints. God revealed many signs and miracles from his body.
His prayers be with us all and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

1649 St. Neol Chabanel Father one of North American Martyrs
The murder of the missionaries and the havoc wrought amongst the Hurons, far from satisfying the ferocious Iroquois, only whetted their thirst for blood.
Before the end of the year 1649, they had penetrated as far as the Tobacco Nation, where Father Garnier had founded a mission in 1641 and where the Jesuits now had two stations. The inhabitants of the village of Saint-Jean, hearing that the enemy was approaching, sent out their men to meet the attackers, who, however, having illicited from fugitives information of the defenseless condition of the settlement, took a round about way and arrived at the gates unexpectedly. An orgy of incredible cruelty followed, in the midst of which Garnier, the only priest in the mission, hastened from place to place, giving absolution to the Christians and baptizing the children and catechumens, totally unmindful of his own fate. While thus employed he was shot down by the muskets of an Iroquois. He strove to reach a dying man whom he thought he could help, but after three attempts, he collapsed, and subsequently received his death-blow from a hatchet which penetrated to the brain. Some of his Indian converts buried him on the spot where the Church had stood.
Father Noel Chabanel, the missionary companion of Garnier, was immediately recalled. He had started on his way back with some Christian Hurons when they heard the cries of the Iroquois returning from Saint-Jean. The Father urged his followers to escape, but was too much exhausted to keep up with them. His fate was long uncertain, but a Huron apostate eventually admitted having killed the holy man out of hatred of the Christian Faith.

Chabanel was not the least heroic of the martyrs.
He possessed none of the adaptability of the rest, nor could he ever learn the language of the savages, the sight of whom, their food-everything about them-was revolting to him. Moreover he was tried by spiritual dryness during the whole of his stay in Canada. Yet in order to bind himself more inviolably to the work which his nature abhorred, he made a solemn vow, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, to remain till death in this mission to the Indians.

Little did these noble martyrs who saw such scanty results accruing from their labors foresee that within a short time after their death, the truth they proclaimed would be embraced by their very executioners, and that their own successors would visit and Christianize almost every tribe withwhich the martyrs had been in contact. These martyrs of North American, Ss. John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues, Antony Daniel, Gabrial Lalemant, Charles Garnier, Noel Chabanel, Rene Goupil and John Lalande, were canonized in 1930. Their feast is observed throughout the United States and Canada and on December 26th, and on March 16th by the Society of Jesus.
1896 St. Vincentia Maria Lopez Y Vicuna Virgin.
1890 BD VINCENTIA LOPEZ Y VICUNA, VIRGIN, FOUNDRESS OF THE  DAUGHTERS OF MARY IMMACULATE 

THIS beata was born in 1847, daughter of a well-to-do lawyer at Cascante in Navarre, and from her earliest years her father gave careful attention to her religious up­bringing. The decisive point of her life was when she went to Madrid in order to go to school there, and came under the strict but beneficent influence of an aunt who had founded a home for orphans and domestic servants. At the age of nineteen Vincentia made a vow of celibacy, and was soon convinced that she had a call to the religious life, though not to an enclosed congregation.
In particular she was concerned about what would happen to the work for girls when her aunt was no longer alive. In her uncertainty she received no help from her parents who, since she rejected both marriage and a Visitation convent, could see no alternative to her going on living at home. However, an illness of their daughter alarmed them, and she was allowed to return to her aunt, Doña Eulalia, in Madrid.

Here, under the supervision of Father Hidalgo, s.j., plans were drawn up to form the staff of the servants’ home into a religious community, and in 1876 Vincentia and two others were clothed in the religious habit by Bishop Sancha of Madrid.
       Mother Vincentia’s intense spiritual life was combined with a very practical and far-seeing charity she did not make the mistake of expecting too much from people borne down by the difficulty of keeping body and soul together, and her work at the home bore good fruit.
Vocations were plentiful, half a dozen similar establishments were opened in other cities, and in 1888 the Holy See issued the decree of praise of the institute of Daughters of Mary Immaculate for the Protection of Working Girls. Mother Vincentia refused to finance the work by conducting schools instead she chose the hard way of begging, and insisted to her nuns that those who would help the poor must be prepared to be poor them­selves. Doña Eulalia, who had learned the practical needs of such an undertaking, gave herself and her whole fortune to it and homes, hostels, technical-training schools, canteens and the like for domestic and other workers were brought within the orbit of the congregation’s activities. It was soon realized how true is the proverb that “The Devil finds work for idle hands to do”, and that religion is bound up with social questions, “politics” it became a sort of slogan with Mother Vincentia’s daughters that Steady employment is the safeguard of virtue.

At her clothing Bd Vincentia declared that the work she was undertaking “so completely satisfies my heart’s desire that, should it cost me suffering or death, I here and now offer God that sacrifice. I count myself happier in the service of these my sisters than the great ones of this world in the service of their lords and kings. May our Lord give me grace to fulfil my undertaking”. That grace she received abundantly and used abundantly; and in the event the sacrifice of death was early called for. She was not yet forty-four when she died on December 26, 1890. Afterwards her congregation spread to South Africa and other lands (including England), and the foundress was solemnly beatified in 1950.

Among Bd Vincentia’s works was the formation of a “triple alliance” between the houses of her congregation and the convents of Carmel and the Visitation in Spain to make reparation for the indifference shown by so many to the love of the Sacred Heart and especially for the carelessness and tepidity of some of those vowed to perfection in the religious life.

See J. Artero, Vida de la V. Madre Vicenta Maria A. Romano, La Beata Vincenza M. Lopez Vicuña (1950). A C.T.S. pamphlet seems to be the only item in English.

Vincentia was born at Cascante, Spain, in 1847. While being educated in Madrid, she lived with her aunt who had founded a home for domestic servants. That form of charity impressed Vincentia. Accordingly, she took a vow of chastity and, in concert with her aunt, organized a group of ladies who were interested in ministering to working girls.
Between 1871 and 1876, she developed a written rule for her group, and in 1878, with three others, she took the vows of religion. Out of this grew the institute of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate for Domestic Service. The congregation, having spread throughout Spain, other sections of Europe, and Latin America, was given papal approbation in 1888. On December 26, 1896, Vincentia died at Madrid, and she was canonized in 1975 by Pope Paul VI. The dedication of one's life to the service of others reflects the depths of devotion and care that Joseph and Mary exemplified at Bethlehem.
St. Vincentia reminds us that reaching out to others allows us to do God's will.
1938 Saint Isaac II (Bobrikov) died as a martyr on December 26
The Moscow Patriarchate authorized local veneration of the Optina Elders on June 13,1996, glorifying them for universal veneration on August 7, 2000.



 Monday  Saints of Dec  26 Séptimo 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 on human society as well as the need for undoing these social effects even when the offender repents and is converted. Further, this reparation emphasises our responsibility towards sinners who, themselves, will not pray and make reparation for their sins.
(6) FIVE CONSECUTIVE FIRST SATURDAYS: The idea of the Five First Saturdays is obviously to make us persevere in the devotional acts for these Saturdays and overcome initial difficulties. Once this is done, Our Lady knows that the person would become devoted to Her immaculate Heart and persist in practising such devotion on all First Saturdays, working thereby for personal self-reform and for the salvation of others.

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