Thursday Saints of this Day February  04 Pridie Nonas Februárii.  

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!)
2nd_day_Afterfeast of Meeting of the Lord
The Keystone 
The knowledge of the true Catholic doctrine on the Blessed Virgin Mary constitutes a
keystone to an unmistaken understanding of the mystery of Christ and the Church. 
Pope Paul VI February 4 - Our Lady of Fire (Forli, Italy)
 


Mary Did Her Part (II)  "Let it happen to me as you have said" (Lk 1:38).  We should note that these words are in perfect agreement with those our Lord wants us to have always on our lips and in our hearts: "Your will be done" (Mt 6:10). It is true that what was demanded of Mary at this great moment was something most glorious, but all this splendor would have meant nothing to her unless she had wanted to yield to the will of God. It was this will which governed all she did and thought.
No matter what her jobs were - ordinary, commonplace, or seemingly more important ones - they revealed to her, sometimes quite clearly, sometimes obscurely, the activity of the Almighty and were an opportunity for her to praise God. Filled with joy, she regarded everything she had to do or suffer at any moment of her life as a gift from Him who showers delights upon those who hunger and thirst only for Him and not for the things of the world. 
Excerpt from Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751),  Abandonment to Divine Providence, Doubleday, 1975, p. 22

What prayer could be more true before God the Father than that which the Son,
who is Truth, uttered with His own lips? -- St. John Chrysostom


Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  February 2016
Universal:    
That we man take good care of creation, A gift freely given.  Clutivating and protecting it for future generations.

Evangelization: That opportunities may incrfease for dialogue and encounter between the Christian faith and the peoples of Asia.

 February 4 - Our Lady of Fire (Forli, Italy)  February 4 - Our Lady of the Pillar (Spain) 
The Preservation of the Image of Guadalupe is Inexplicable for Science

The mystery of the image of Mary thickened again in 1936, when Dr. Richard Kuhn, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, said that the fibers of the tilma contain no known dye, neither mineral, nor plant, nor animal, nor, obviously, synthetic.
The colors form a united surface, resembling a photograph, as though the fabric had behaved like a photographic film, directly receiving the image and the color on each strand of thread by a mysterious projection
 (a totally unique and inexplicable phenomenon).
See http://www.maryofnazareth.com

February 4 - St Joan of Valois, Founder of the Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary
What the Virgin Mary taught Saint Joan of Valois

Saint Joan of Valois (1464-1505) was the second daughter of King Louis XI, King of France, and Charlotte of Savoy. At the age of 12, she was married to Louis, the Duke of Orleans, who never accepted this forced union.
When he acceded to the throne in 1498, he asked Rome to annul his marriage.

Free from her conjugal obligations, Joan founded the Order of the Virgin Mary in Bourges.
The Virgin Mary taught Joan three things to help her advance on the road of pleasing God and achieving union with Christ: listening to God's Word, meditating on the Passion of Christ, and loving the Eucharist.

Joan's confessor reported that the Virgin also asked Joan to be a peacemaker where she lived;
to be her advocate through her words and conversations;
to seek to establish peace among the people who lived close to her;
to not say anything else than words of peace;
to be concerned for the salvation of souls;
not to listen to gossip or slander;
to forgive always;
and to always excuse others.
Doing all this would lead her on the road to Life.
Sister Marie Emmanuel Monastery of the Annonciade

Saint Joseph of Leonissa Capuchin (1556-1612)
‘Clearly you are a letter of Christ which I have delivered, a letter written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God,  Not on tablets of stone but On tablets of flesh in the heart’ (2 Corinthians 3:3).
St Isidore devoted himself primarily to Christian preaching, that "practical wisdom" which, in his own words, is both "the foundation of the edifice and the edifice itself", while logic is "its embellishment, and contemplation its crown."
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
2nd day of the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord
250 Saint Jadorus suffered martyrdom with St Isidore (not Isidore of Pelusium)
Abraham Bishop of Arbilia suffered during persecution Persia under Sapor II
 Romæ sancti Eutychii Mártyris, qui illústre martyrium consummávit, ac sepúltus est in cœmetério Callísti; ejúsque sepúlcrum póstea sanctus Dámasus Papa vérsibus exornávit.  At Rome, St. Eutychius, who endured a glorious martyrdom and was buried in the cemetery of Callistus.  Pope St. Damasus wrote an epitaph in verse for his tomb.
 Thumi, in Ægypto, pássio beáti Philéæ, ejúsdem civitátis Epíscopi, et Philorómi, Tribúni mílitum; qui, in persecutióne Diocletiáni, cum a cognátis et amícis suadéri non possunt ut sibi párcerent, ambo, datis cervícibus, palmas a Dómino meruérunt.  Cum ipsis innúmera étiam multitúdo fidélium ex eádem urbe, pastóris sui vestígia sequens, martyrio coronáta est.
      
At Thumis in Egypt, in the persecution of Diocletian, the passion of blessed Philaeus, bishop of that city, and of Philoromus, military tribune, who rejected the exhortations of their relatives and friends to save themselves, offered themselves to death, and so merited immortal palms from God.  With them was crowned with martyrdom a numberless multitude of the faithful of the same place, who followed the example of their pastor.
 
Foro Semprónii sanctórum Mártyrum Aquilíni, Gémini, Gelásii, Magni et Donáti.
      At Fossombrone, the holy martyrs Aquilinus, Geminus, Gelasius, Magnus, and Donatus.
436 Saint Isidore of Pelusium Alexandria native raised among pious Christians relative of Theophilus Alexandria Archbishop & St Cyril
520 St. Aventinus of Chartres Bishop brother of St. Solemnis
522 St. Modan Abbot a Christian grows in holiness by spending time with God
538 St. Theophilus the Penitent legend for the Faust theme
546 St. Vincent of Troyes Bishop of Trayes
600 St. Aldate Bishop leader of Gloucester celebrated for his patriotism
640 St. Liephard English
bishop martyred
760 St. Vulgis
bishop Benedictine abbot
784-856 Blessed Maurus Magnentius Rabanus; monk; celebrated theological and pedagogical writer Wrote Veni, Creator Spiritus
845 St. Nithard Benedictine monk and martyr companion of St. Ansgar
860 St. Nicholas Studites Abbot A native of Sydonia, Crete
868 Saint Nicholas the Confessor Igumen of the Studion Monastery venerated holy icons gift of healing continued even after his repose
888 St. Rembert Benedictine bishop missionary Scandinavia
and succeeded him as bishop of Hamburg Bremen, Germany, in 865, with jurisdiction over Denmark, Sweden, and parts of Germany
12th v. St. Gilbert, priest and confessor founded a religious order at Sempringham.
1204 St. Obitius Benedictine monk penitent glimpse of hell 
1238 Holy Great Prince George Battle fought at River Sita Mongol Horde of Batu destroyed the small valiant company of the Great Prince

1373 St. Andrew Corsini Carmelite gifts of prophecy, miracles papal legate Apostle of Florence miracles at  death
1492 Saints Abraham and Coprius of Pechenga
1505 St. Joan of Valois Order of the Annunciation that she founded holiness and spiritual testament
1532 Saint Cyril of New Lake fond of solitude and prayer healing through his prayers Lord granted gift of foresight
1538 St. John Stone Augustinian 1/40 Forty Martyrs of England and Wales
1594 Bl. John Speed English martyr for befriending Catholic priests
1612 St. Joseph of Leonissa Capuchin Franciscan missionary
1693 St. John de Britto Jesuit martyr in India

Joseph of Leonissa avoided the safe compromises by which people sometimes undercut the gospel.
Born at Leonissa in the Kingdom of Naples, Joseph joined the Capuchins in his hometown in 1573. Denying himself hearty meals and comfortable quarters, he prepared for ordination and a life of preaching.  In 1587 he went to Constantinople to take care of the Christian galley slaves working under Turkish masters.  Imprisoned for this work, he was warned not to resume it on his release. He did and was again imprisoned and then condemned to death. Miraculously freed, he returned to Italy where he preached to the poor and reconciled feuding families as well as warring cities which had been at odds for years. He was canonized in 1746.
Comment:  Saints often jar us because they challenge our ideas about what we need for "the good life." "I’ll be happy when. . . ," we may say, wasting an incredible amount of time on the periphery of life.
People like Joseph of Leonissa challenge us to face life courageously and get to the heart of it: life with God. 
Joseph was a compelling preacher because his life was as convincing as his words.
Quote:  In one of his sermons, Joseph says: "Every Christian must be a living book wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel.  This is what St. Paul says to the Corinthians, ‘Clearly you are a letter of Christ which I have delivered, a letter written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh in the heart’ (2 Corinthians 3:3).
Our heart is the parchment; through my ministry the Holy Spirit is the writer because
‘my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe’ (Psalm 45:1)."
1266 Baba Sheikh Farid Ji -- Sufi Saint



 Sancti Andréæ Corsíni, ex Ordine Carmelitárum, Epíscopi Fæsuláni et Confessóris; cujus dies
natális ágitur octávo Idus Januárii.
       St. Andrew Corsini, Carmelite bishop of Fiesole, confessor, whose birthday is the 6th of January.
1373 St. Andrew Corsini  regarded as a prophet and a thaumaturgus  miracles were so multiplied at his death that Eugenius IV permitted a public cult immediately His feast is kept on 4 February.
 Floréntiæ natális sancti Andréæ Corsíni, civis Florentíni, ex Ordine Carmelitárum, Epíscopi Fæsuláni et Confessóris; quem, miráculis clarum, Urbánus Papa Octávus in Sanctórum númerum rétulit.  Ejus autem festívitas recólitur prídie nonas Februárii.
       At Florence, St. Andrew Corsini, a Florentine Carmelite and bishop of Fiesole.  Being celebrated for miracles, he was ranked among the saints by Urban VIII.  His festival is kept on the 4th of February.

He was born in Florence on November 30, 1302, a member of the powerful Corsini family. Wild in his youth, Andrew was converted to a holy life by his mother and became a Carmelite monk. He studied in Paris and Avignon, France, returning to his birthplace. There he became known as the Apostle of Florence. He was called a prophet and miracle worker. Named as the bishop of Fiesole in 1349, Andrew fled the honor but was forced to accept the office, which he held for twelve years. He was sent by Pope Urban V to Bologna to settle disputes between the nobles and commoners, a mission he performed well. Andrew died in Fiesole on January 6, 1373. So many miracles took place at his death that Pope Eugenius IV permitted the immediate opening of his cause.
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
The Sunday after the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee is the. This parable of God's forgiveness calls us to come to ourselves" as did the prodigal son, to see ourselves as being "in a far country" far from the Father's house, and to make the journey of return to God. We are given every assurance by the Master that our heavenly Father will receive us with joy and gladness.

We must only "arise and go," confessing our self-inflicted and sinful separation from that "home" where we truly belong (Luke 15:11-24).
After the Polyeleion at Matins, we first hear the lenten hymn "By the Waters of Babylon." It will be sung for the next two Sundays before Lent begins, and serves to reinforce the theme of exile in today's Gospel.
The second day of the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord falls on February 4.
250 Saint Jadorus suffered martyrdom with St Isidore (not Isidore of Pelusium) in the reign of Decius (249-251).
Hieromartyr Abraham Bishop of Arbilia suffered during persecution Persia under the emperor Sapor II

When they demanded that the saint renounce Christ and worship the sun, he answered,
"How foolish to forsake the Creator and instead worship creatures! Isn't the sun just a creation of my God?"
After this, they fiercely beat and tortured him. St Abraham prayed during torture, echoing the words of the Savior:
"Lord, do not count this sin against us, for they know not what they do!"
The hieromartyr was beheaded by the sword in the village of Felman.
436 Saint Isidore of Pelusium Alexandria native raised among pious Christians relative of Theophilus Alexandria Archbishop & successor St Cyril
 Pelúsii, in Ægypto, sancti Isidóri, Presbyteri et Mónachi, méritis et doctrína conspícui.       At Pelusium in Egypt, St. Isidore, a monk renowned for merit and learning.

Lived during the fourth-fifth centuries. He was a native of Alexandria, raised among pious Christians: relative of Theophilus, Archbishop of Alexandria, and of his successor, St Cyril (January 18).

While still a youth he quit the world and withdrew to Egypt to Mount Pelusium, which became the site of his monastic efforts.

St Isidore's spiritual wisdom and strict asceticism, combined with his broad learning and innate knowledge of the human soul, enabled him to win the respect and love of his fellow monks in a short time. They chose him as their head and had him ordained a priest (The earliest sources for his life, however, say nothing of him being an igumen).

Following the example of St John Chrysostom, whom he had managed to see and hear during a trip to Constantinople, St Isidore devoted himself primarily to Christian preaching, that "practical wisdom" which, in his own words, is both "the foundation of the edifice and the edifice itself", while logic is "its embellishment, and contemplation its crown."

He was a teacher and a willingly provided counsel for anyone who turned to him for spiritual encouragement, whether it was a simple man, a dignitary, a bishop, the Patriarch of Alexandria, or even the emperor. He left behind about 10,000 letters, of which 2,090 have survived. A large portion of these letters reveal profound theological thought and contain morally edifying interpretations of Holy Scripture. St Photius (February 6) calls Isidore a model of priestly and ascetical life, and also a master of style.

St Isidore's love for St John Chrysostom resulted in his support of St John when he was persecuted by the empress Eudoxia and Archbishop Theophilus. After the death of St John, St Isidore persuaded Theophilus' successor St Cyril to inscribe the name of St John Chrysostom into the Church diptychs as a confessor. Through the initiative of St Isidore the Third Ecumenical Council was convened at Ephesus (431), at which the false teaching of Nestorius concerning the person of Jesus Christ was condemned.

St Isidore lived into old age and died around the year 436. The Church historian Evagrius (sixth century) writes of St Isidore, "his life seemed to everyone the life of an angel upon the earth." Another historian, Nicephorus Callistus (ninth century), praises St Isidore thus, "He was a vital and inspired pillar of monastic rules and divine vision, and as such he presented a very lofty image of most fervent example and spiritual teaching."

520 St. Aventinus of Chartres Bishop brother of St. Solemnis
 Trecis, in Gállia, sancti Aventíni, Presbyteri et Confessóris.
 At Troyes in France, St. Aventin, priest and confessor.
 Aventinus succeeded Solemnis as bishop of Chaitres, France, where he was revered.

522 St. Modan Abbot a Christian grows in holiness only by spending time with God
son of Irish chieftain.  He labored in Scotland, preaching at Stirling and Falkirk, until elected against his will as abbot of a monastery. Eventually, he resigned and became a hermit, dying near Dumbarton.

Modan, Abbot (AC) 6th century (?). About 522, Modan, son of an Irish chieftain, professed himself at Dryburgh Abbey near Mailros, Scotland.

Being persuaded that a Christian grows in holiness only by spending time with God, he gave six or seven hours daily to prayer and meditation and seasoned all his other activities with more prayer. A spirit of prayer is founded in the purity of the affections, the fruit of self-denial, humility, and obedience. Therefore, Modan practiced austerity to crucify his flesh and senses. He practiced humility by subjecting his will so swiftly and cheerfully to that of his superiors that they unanimously declared they never saw any one so perfectly divested of all self-will as was Modan.

He became abbot of Dryburgh and proved the maxim that no man can govern others well unless his masters the art of obedience himself.
He was inflexible in maintaining discipline, but did so with winning sweetness and charity.
His prudence in providing instruction or reproof gave pleasure, gained hearts, inspired love, and communicated the spirit of every duty.

He also preached the faith at Stirling and other places near Forth, especially, Falkirk, but frequently interrupted his apostolic employments to retire among the craggy mountains of Dumbarton, where he usually spent 30-40 days at once in contemplation. He died at Alcluid (later called Dunbritton, now Dumbarton) where he is venerated (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

538 St. Theophilus the Penitent legend for the Faust theme

Theophilus the Penitent (sixth century) + Archdeacon and diocesan administrator in Adana, Cilicia (modern Turkey), who was offered the bishopric but declined out of humility. When the appointed bishop unfairly deposed him from his post, he grew so angry that he made a pact with the devil. Repenting of his sin, he prayed to the Virgin Mary and awoke the next morning to find upon his chest the devilish pact. He immediately made a public confession, performed sincere penance, and had the bishop burn the contract before the assembled congregation. While this legend is fanciful, Theophilus is an historical figure, quite popular during the Middle Ages. The legend served as the basis for the later Faust theme so brilliantly developed by Christopher Marlowe and Goethe.
Theophilus the Penitent (PC) Died c. 538. Likely to be a legendary figure. A 10th c. Latin play by Hrosvitha of Gandesheim depicts Theophilus as administrator (or archdeacon) of Adana, Cilicia, who declined a bishopric because of his humility. He was deposed of his office in the Church by the man who became bishop and was so furious that he made a pact with Satan, who had him restored to his position. He later repented, appealed to Our Lady, found the pact he had signed with satan on his chest when he awoke on morning, did penance for his deed, made a public confession of his sin, and had the bishop burn the pact before the congregation. This story, of course, is the basis of Goethe's Faust (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
In art Saint Theophilus is an archdeacon making a pact with the devil from which he is rescued by the Virgin; sometimes she is shown handing him back the contract. There is an interesting representation of this on the Romanesque portal at Souillac, Languedoc, France (Roeder).

546 St. Vincent of Troyes Bishop of Trayes.
France, from about 536. He succeeded St. Aemilian as bishop and worked to evangelize the entire area.

600 St. Aldate Bishop leader of Gloucester celebrated for his patriotism
England. Aldate's life is not detailed historically. He is reported to have served as bishop of the region and to have roused the countryside to resist pagan invasion forces.
Aldate (Eldate) (AC) 5th century. Saint Aldate was a Briton who lived in western England and became celebrated for his patriotism. He roused his countrymen to resist the heathen invaders. In some legends he is bishop of Gloucester. Many churches have his patronage, but there are no trustworthy accounts of his life (Benedictines).

640 St. Liephard English martyred bishop
companion of King Caedwalla on a pilgrimage to Rome. Liephard was slain near Cambrai, France, and is revered as a martyr.
Liephard BM (AC) Died 649. An Englishman by birth, Saint Liephard may have been a bishop. He accompanied King Cadwalla on a pilgrimage to Rome. Liephard was killed near Cambrai on his return to England (Benedictines).

760 St. Vulgis Benedictine abbot bishop
He served as abbot of a monastery in Hainault, Belgium, and also governed the surrounding regions.
Vulgis of Lobbes, OSB B (AC) Died c. 760. Vulgis was regionary bishop (chorepiscopus) and abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Lobbes in Hainault (Benedictines).

784 Blessed Maurus Magnentius Rabanus; monk; celebrated theological and pedagogical writer
(Also Hrabanus, Reabanus).

Veni, Creator Spiritus
Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest

One of the most widely used hymns in the Church, Veni, Creator Spiritus, is attributed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It is used at Vespers, Pentecost, Dedication of a Church, Confirmation, and Holy Orders and whenever the Holy Spirit is solemnly invoked. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it.
A plenary indulgence is granted if it is recited on January 1st or on the feast of Pentecost.

 

VENI, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.

COME, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.

O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.

Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.

Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.

Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.

Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.

Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula.
Amen.

Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven.
Amen.

On Rabanus Maurus “A Truly Extraordinary Personality of the Latin West
VATICAN CITY, JUNE 3, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today at the general audience in St. Peter's Square, part of a catechetical series he is giving about great writers of the Church in the Middle Ages.

Rabanus Maurus: Exegete, Philosopher, Poet and Pastor
At his general audience this morning, Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis to Rabanus Maurus, abbot of the monastery of Fulda, archbishop of Mainz and "praeceptor Germaniae". The audience, held in St. Peter's Square, was attended by more than 17,000 people.

  Rabanus, born in the city of Mainz about the year 780, entered a Benedictine monastery at an early age where,
with his exceptional capacity for work, he contributed perhaps more than others to keeping alive, and in part also to developing with his own gifts, that theological, exegetical and spiritual culture from which succeeding centuries would draw.
  Thanks to his
extraordinary culture, he was an advisor to princes. And despite being elected as abbot of Fulda and later as archbishop of Mainz, he was able to continue his studies, demonstrating with the example of his own life that it is possible to be ... at the service of others without depriving oneself of time for reflection, study and meditation. Thus was Rabanus Maurus an exegete, philosopher, poet, pastor and man of God.
 
His works fill fully six volumes of Migne's Latin Patrology. In all probability one of the most beautiful and well-known hymns of the Latin Church is due to him: 'Veni Creator Spiritus', an extraordinary summary of Christian pneumatology.
  One of Rabanus' most important texts is the
De laudibus Sanctae Crucis in which he uses poetry as well as pictorial forms within the manuscript itself. ... This method, ... which comes from the East, touched unequalled heights in the illuminated manuscripts of the Bible and in other works of faith and art that flowered in Europe until the invention of printing, and even afterwards.

  In Rabanus Maurus we see an extraordinary awareness of the need to involve not only the mind and heart in the experience of faith, but also the senses. This he accomplished by using other aspects such as aesthetic taste and human sensitivity which bring man to benefit from the truth with all of himself: 'spirit, soul and body. This is very important because faith is not just thought, faith comprehends our entire being, said the Holy Father.

  Author also of the Carmina which he intended should be used in the liturgy, Rabanus did not dedicate himself to poetry as an end in itself, ... rather he employed art, and all other forms of knowledge, for a deeper understanding of the Word of God. Thus he was concerned with introducing his contemporaries, above all ministers (bishops, priests and deacons), to an understanding of the profoundly theological and spiritual significance of all elements of liturgical celebration. And, given that the Word of God is an integral part of the liturgy, throughout his life Rabanus Maurus produced appropriate exegesis for nearly all the books of the Old and New Testaments, with clearly pastoral aims.
  This pastoral side of his character is also highlighted by his
Penitentiaries in which, in keeping with the sensibility his time, he listed sins and their corresponding punishments using, as far as possible, motivations drawn from the Bible, from the decisions of the Councils and from papal decrees. Other of his pastoral works include De disciplina ecclesiastica and De institutione clericorum, in which he explained the fundamental elements of Christian faith to the common people and clergy of his diocese.

  I believe that Rabanus Maurus also speaks to us today. Whether immersed in the frenetic rhythms of work or on holiday, we must reserve time for God. ... We must not forget Sunday as the day of the Lord and the day of the liturgy, in order to see - in the beauty of our churches, of sacred music, and of the Word of God - the beauty of God Himself, and allow it to enter our own being. Thus our lives become great, they become true life.

  Having completed his catechesis the Pope greeted Polish faithful, recalling how the Church in Poland is currently celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of John Paul II's pilgrimage to his homeland. I join the thanksgiving for everything that, thanks to that visit, was achieved in Poland and in Europe.  AG/RABANUS MAURUS/...  VIS 090603 (710)

Dear brothers and sisters:
Today I would like to speak about a truly extraordinary personality of the Latin West: the monk Rabanus Maurus. Together with men such as Isidore of Seville, the Venerable Bede and Ambrose Auperto, of whom I have already spoken in previous catechesis, [Rabanus Maurus] knew how to stay in contact with the great culture of the ancient scholars and the Christian fathers during the centuries of the High Middle Ages. Often remembered as “praeceptor Germaniae,” Rabanus Maurus was extraordinarily productive. With his entirely exceptional capacity for work, he was perhaps the person who most contributed to maintaining alive the theological, exegetical and spiritual culture to which successive centuries would pay recourse. Great personalities from the world of the monks, such as Peter Damian, Peter the Venerable and Bernard Clairvaux, make reference to him, as do an ever more consistent number of
clerics of the secular clergy, who in the 12th and 13th centuries gave life to one of the most beautiful and fruitful flourishing of human thought.

Born in Mainz around the year 780, Rabanus entered the monastery when he was still very young: the name Maurus was given him precisely in reference to the young Maurus who, according to the second book of St. Gregory the Great's “Dialogues,” had been given at a very young age to the abbot Benedict of Nursia by his own parents, who w ere Roman nobles. This precocious introduction of Rabanus as “puer oblatus” in the Benedictine monastic world, and the fruits that it gave for his human, cultural and spiritual growth, opened up very interesting possibilities not only for the life of the monks, but also for the whole of society of his time, normally referred to as
Carolingian.” Speaking of them, or perhaps of himself, Rabanus Maurus writes:
“There are some who have had the fortune of having been introduced in the knowledge of Scripture from a very young age ('a cunabulis suis') and have been nourished so well by the food that the holy Church has offered them that they can be promoted, with an adequate education, to the most elevated sacred orders” (PL 107, col 419BC).
The extraordinary culture that distinguished Rabanus Maurus very quickly brought the attention of the greats of his time. He became a counselor of princes. He committed himself to guaranteeing the unity of t he empire, and on a wider cultural level, he never denied one who asked for a well-thought-out answer, preferentially inspired in the Bible and in the texts of the holy fathers. Despite the fact that he was first elected abbot of the famous monastery of Fulda, and afterward archbishop of his native city of Mainz, he did not leave aside his studies, demonstrating with the example of his life that one can be at the same time available for others without neglecting because of this an adequate time of reflection, study and meditation.

In this way, Rabanus Maurus became an exegete, philosopher, poet, pastor and man of God. The dioceses of Fulda, Mainz, Limburgo and Breslau venerate him as a saint or blessed. His works fill six volumes of the "Patrologia Latina" of Migne. He probably composed one of the most beautiful and well-known hymns of the Latin Church, the “Veni Creator Spiritus,” an extraordinary synthesis of Christian pneumatology. The first theological commitment of Rabanus is expressed, in fact, in the form of poetry and had as a theme the mystery of the holy cross in a work titled, “De Laudibus Sanctae Crucis,” conceived to propose not only conceptual content, but also exquisitely artistic motivations using both the poetic form and the pictorial form within the same manuscript codex. Iconographically proposing between the lines of his writing the image of the crucified Christ, he writes: "This is the image of the Savior who, with the position of his members, makes sacred for us the most sweet and dear form of the cross so that, believing in his name and obeying his commandments, we might obtain eternal life thanks to his passion. Because of this, each time that we raise our eyes to the cross, we remember him who suffered for us to sever us from the power of darkness, accepting death to make us heirs of eternal life (Lib. 1, Fig. 1, PL 107 col 151 C).

This method of harmonizing all the arts, the intelligence, the heart and the sentiment, which came from the East, would be highly developed in the West, reaching unreachable heights in the miniate codices of the Bible and in other works of faith and of art, which flourished in Europe until the invention of the press and even afterward. In any case, it shows that Rabanus Maurus had an extraordinary awareness of the need to involve in the experience of faith, not only the mind and the heart, but also the sentiments through these other elements of aesthetic taste and the human sensitivity that brings man to enjoy truth with all of his being, “spirit, soul and body.” This is important: The faith is not only thought; it touches the whole being. Given that God made man with flesh and blood and entered into the tangible world, we have to try to encounter God with all the dimensions of our being. In this way, the reality of God, through faith, penetrates in our being and transforms it.

For this reason, Rabanus Maurus concentrated his attention above all on the liturgy, as the synthesis of all the dimension of our perception of reality. This intuition of Rabanus Maurus makes him extraordinarily relevant to our times. He also left the famous “Carmina” proposals to be used above all in liturgical celebrations. In fact, Rabanus' interest for the liturgy can be entirely taken for granted given that before all, he was a monk. Nevertheless, he did not dedicate himself to the art of poetry as an end in itself, but rather he used art and whatever other type of knowledge to go deeper in the Word of God. Because of this, he tried with all his might and rigor to introduce to his contemporaries, but above all to the ministers (bishops, priests and deacons), to the understanding of the profound theological and spiritual significance of all the elements of the liturgical celebration.

In this way, he tried to understand and present to the others the theological meanings hidden in the rites, paying recourse to the Bible and the tradition of the fathers. He did not hesitate to cite, out of honesty and also to give greater weight to his explanations, the patristic sources to which he owed his knowledge. He made use of them freely and with attentive discernment, continuing the development of the patristic thought. At the end of the “First Letter,” addressed to a chorbishop of the Diocese of Mainz, for example, after having responded to requests to clarify the behavior that should be had in the carrying out of pastoral responsibility, he writes: “We have written you all of this just as we have deduced it from the sacred Scriptures and from the canons of the fathers. Now then, you, most holy man, make your decisions as seems best to you, case by case, trying to moderate your evaluation in such a way that discretion is guaranteed in everything, since she is the mother of all virtues” (“Epistulae”, I, PL 112, col 1510 C). In this way is seen the continuity of the Christian faith, which has its beginnings in the Word of God: It is, nevertheless, always alive, it develops and is expressed in new ways, always in harmony with the entire construction, the whole edifice of the faith.

Given that the word of God is an integral part of the liturgical celebration, Rabanus Maurus dedicated himself to the latter with the greatest effort during his entire existence. He wrote exegetical explanations for almost all of the biblical books of the Old and New Testaments with a clearly pastoral objective, which he justified with words such as this: “I have written this, ... synthesizing explanations and proposals of many others, to offer a service to the poor reader who doesn't have many books at his disposal, but also to help those who haven't yet completely understood the meanings discovered by the fathers” (“Commentariorum in Matthaeum praefatio,” PL 107, col. 727D). In fact, in commenting on the biblical texts he resorts quite often to the ancient fathers, with a special predilection for Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great.

His sharp pastoral sensibility carried him afterward to confront one of the problems that most interested the faithful and sacred ministers of his time: that of penance. He compiled “Penitentials” -- that's what he called them -- in which, according to the sensibilities of the age, he enumerated the sins and their corresponding penance, using, in the measure possible, motivations taken from the Bible, of the decisions of the councils, and of the decrees of the popes. Of these texts the “Carolingians” are also useful in his intention to reform the Church and society. Works such as “De disciplina ecclesiastica” and “De institutione clericorum” respond to this pastoral objective. In these, citing above all Augustine, Rabanus explained to simple people and to the clergy of his own diocese the fundamental elements of Christian faith: They were a type of small catechisms.

I would like to conclude the presentation of this great “man of the Church” citing some of his words that reflect his deep conviction: “He who neglects contemplation is deprived of the vision of the light of God; he who is carried away with worry and allows his thoughts to be crushed by the tumult of the things of the world is condemned to the absolute impossibility of penetrating the secrets of the invisible God” (Lib. I, PL 112, col. 1263A). I believe that Rabanus Maurus addressed these words to us today: while at work, with its frenetic rhythms, and during vacation, we have to reserve moments for God. [We have to] open our lives up to him, directing a thought to him, a reflection, a brief prayer. And above all, we mustn't forget that Sunday is the day of Our Lord, the day of the liturgy, [the day] to perceive in the beauty of our churches, in the sacred music and in the Word of God, the same beauty of our God, allowing him to enter into our being. Only in this way is our life made great; it is truly made a life.
[Translation by ZENIT] [At the end of the audience, the Pope greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In English, he said:]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Our catechesis today deals with another great monastic figure of the High Middle Ages, Rabanus Maurus. Rabanus entered monastic life at a young age as an oblate, was trained in the liberal arts and received a broad formation in the Christian tradition.  As the Abbot of Fulda and then as Archbishop of Mainz, he contributed through his vast learning and pastoral zeal to the unity of the Empire and the transmission of a Christian culture deeply nourished by the Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church. From his youth he wrote poetry, and he is probably the author of the famous hymn Veni Creator Spiritus.

Indeed, his first theological work was a poem on the Holy Cross, in which the poetry was accompanied by an illuminated representation of the Crucified Christ. This medieval method of joining poetry to pictorial art sought to lift the whole person -- mind, heart and senses -- to the contemplation of the truth contained in God’s word. In the same spirit Rabanus sought to transmit the richness of the Christian cultural tradition through his prolific commentaries on the Scriptures, his explanations of the liturgy and his pastoral writings. This great man of the Church continues to inspire us by his example of an active ministry nourished by study, profound contemplation and constant prayer.
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Audience, especially those from England, Ireland, the Philippines and the United States. My particular greeting goes to the Sisters of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart. I also greet the many student groups p resent. Upon all of you I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace! © Copyright 2009 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Abbot of Fulda, Archbishop of Mainz, celebrated theological and pedagogical writer of the ninth century, born at Mainz about 776 (784?); died at Winkel (Vinicellum) near Mainz on 4 February, 856. He took vows at an early age in the Benedictine monastery of Fulda, and was ordained deacon in 801 {799?}. A year later he went to Tours to study theology and the liberal arts, under Alcuin. He endeared himself to his aged master, and received from him the surname of Maurus in memory of the favourite disciple of St. Benedict. After a year of study he was recalled by his abbot, became teacher and, later, head-master of the monastic school of Fulda. His fame as teacher spread over Europe, and Fulda became the most celebrated seat of learning in the Frankish Empire. In 814 he was ordained priest. Unfortunately, Abbot Ratgar's mania for building temporarily impeded the progress of the school, but under Abbot Eigil (818-82) Rabanus was once more able to devote himself entirely to his vocation of teaching and writing (see CAROLINGIAN SCHOOLS; DIOCESE OF FULDA).
   In 822 Rabanus was elected abbot, and during his reign the monastery enjoyed its greatest prosperity. He completed the new buildings that had been begun by his predecessor; erected more than thirty churches and oratories; enriched the abbey church with artistic mosaics, tapestry, baldachina, reliquaries, and other costly ornaments; provided for the instruction of the laity by preaching and by increasing the number of priests in country towns; procured numerous books for the library, and in many other ways advanced the spiritual, intellectual and temporal welfare of Fulda and its dependencies. In the political disturbances of the times he sided with Louis the Pious against his rebellious sons, and after the emperor's death he supported Lothair, the eldest son. When the latter was conquered by Louis the German, Rabanus fled from home in 840, probably to evade taking the oath of allegiance. In 841 he returned and resigned his abbacy early in 842, compelled, it is believed, by Louis. He retired to the neighbouring Petersberg, where he devoted himself entirely to prayer and literary labours. In 845 he was reconciled with the king and in 847 succeeded Otgar as Archbishop of Mainz. His consecration took place on 26 June.

He held three provincial synods. The 31 canons enacted at the first, in the monastery of St. Alban in October, 847, are chiefly on matters of ecclesiastical discipline (Acts in Mansi,
Conc. Coll. Ampl., XIV, 899-912). At the second synod, held in October, 848, in connection with a diet, the monk Gottschalk of Orbais and his doctrine on predestination were condemned. The third synod, held in 852 (851?), occupied itself with the rights and discipline of the Church. Rabanus was distinguished for his charity towards the poor. It is said in the Annales Fuldenses that, during the famine of 850, he daily fed more than 300 persons. Mabillon and the Bollandists style him Blessed, and his feast is celebrated in the dioceses of Fulda, Mainz, and Limburg on 4 February. He was buried in the monastery of St. Alban at Mainz, but his relics were transferred to Halle by Archbishop Albrecht of Brandenburg.
   Rabanus was probably the most learned man of his age. In Scriptural and patristic knowledge he had no equal, and was thoroughly conversant with canon law and liturgy. His literary activity extended over the entire field of sacred and profane learning as then understood. Still, he cannot be called a pioneer, either as an educator or a writer, for he followed in the beaten track of his learned predecessors. A complete edition of his numerous writings is still wanting. Most of them have been edited by Colvenerius (Cologne, 1627). This uncritical edition is reprinted with some additions in PL 107-112. His poems were edited by Dümmler in
Mon. Germ. Poetae lat. aevi Carol., II, 154-244. He was a skillful versifier, but a mediocre poet. His epistles are printed in Mon. Germ. Epist., V, 379 sq. Most of his works are exegetical. His commentaries, which include nearly all the books of the Old Testament, as well as the Gospel of St. Matthew and the Pauline Epistles -- a commentary on St. John is probably spurious -- are based chiefly on the exegetical writings of St. Jerome, St. Augustine, St. Gregory the Great, St. Isidore of Seville, Origen, St. Ambrose, and St. Bede. His chief pedagogical works are: De universo, a sort of encyclopedia in 22 books, based on the Etymologies of Isidore; De computo, a treatise on reckoning; Excerptio de arte grammatica Prisciani, a treatise on grammar, etc. Other important works are: De ecclesiastics discipline; sermons, treatises, a martyrology, and a penitential.
845 St. Nithard Benedictine monk and martyr companion of St. Ansgar
Originally a monk at Corbie, Saxony, in modern Germany, he became a companion of St. Ansgar and followed in his footsteps, preaching among the pagans of Scandinavia. He was martyred by the Swedes.

860 St. Nicholas Studites Abbot A native of Sydonia, Crete
he studied at the Studius Monastery in Constantinople, modern Istanbul, Turkey, and became a monk there at the age of eighteen. An opponent of Iconoclasticism, he assisted the monks who were subjected to persecution by the imperial government, continuing his opposition to Iconoclasts after his own election as abbot. In 858, Emperor Michael III exiled St. Ignatius and installed Photius as patriarch of Constantinople. Nicholas refused to acknowledge Photius and voluntarily went into exile until the accession of the new emperor, Basil I. As Nicholas considered himself too old to serve, he gave himself to the life of a monk until his death. He was brought back to his monastery and imprisoned there just before he died.

868 Saint Nicholas the Confessor Igumen of the Studion Monastery venerated holy icons gift of healing continued even after his repose
 lived during the ninth century. He was born on the island of Crete in the village of Kedonia into a Christian family.

When he was ten, his parents sent him to Constantinople to his uncle, St Theophanes (October 11), who was a monk at the Studion monastery. With the approval of St Theodore (November 11), the head of the Studion monastery, the boy was enrolled in the monastery school. When he finished school at sixteen years of age, he was tonsured a monk. After several years, he was ordained a priest.

During this time there was a fierce persecution, initiated by the Byzantine emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820), against those who venerated the holy icons. St Nicholas and St Theodore the Studite were repeatedly locked up in prison, tortured in various ways, and humiliated. However, they zealously continued to defend Orthodoxy.

Under the holy Empress Theodora (February 11), who ruled the realm while her son Michael was still a minor, icon veneration was restored, and a time of relative peace followed. St Nicholas returned to the Studite monastery and was chosen its head. But this calm did not last very long.  The Empress Theodora was removed from the throne, and the emperor's uncle, Bardas, a man who defiled himself by open cohabitation with his son's wife, came to power.
Attempts of Patriarch Ignatius (October 23) to restrain the impiety of Bardas proved unsuccessful. On the contrary, he was deposed from the patriarchal throne and sent into exile.

Unwilling to witness the triumph of iniquity, St Nicholas left Constantinople. He spent seven years at various monasteries. Later on, he returned as a prisoner to the Studite monastery, where he spent two years imprisoned, until the death of the emperor Michael (855-867) and Bardas. When emperor Basil I the Macedonian (867-886) ascended the throne, St Nicholas was set free, and again became igumen on the orders of the emperor.
Because of his life as a confessor and ascetic he received from God the gift of healing, which continued even after his repose in the year 868.
888 St. Rembert Benedictine bishop missionary Scandinavia
Bremæ Commemorátio sancti Rembérti, qui, sancti Anschárii discípulus, in ipsíus locum, hac die, óbitum magístri sui próxime subsequénti, olim Hamburgénsis simul ac Breménsis Epíscopus eléctus est.
   At Bremen, the commemoration of St. Rembert, who was a disciple of St. Ansgar, and on this day took his place as bishop of Hamburg and Bremen, the day after the death of his master.
Born near Bruges, Flanders, Belgium, he entered the monastery of Turholt. Rembert assisted St. Ansgar in his missionary labors in Scandinavia, and succeeded him as bishop of Hamburg Bremen, Germany, in 865, with jurisdiction over Denmark, Sweden, and parts of Germany. Rembert devoted himself to evangelizing the Slaves and ransoming Christian captives. Aside from his notable missionary efforts among the Scandinavians, he wrote a remarkable biography of St. Ansgar.

Rembert of Bremen B (RM) Born near Bruges, Flanders; died June 11, 888. Saint Rembert entered religious life as a monk of Turholt. He shared an apostolate to Scandinavia with and succeeded his friend Saint Ansgar as bishop of Hamburg-Bremen in 865. This feast day commemorates his episcopal consecration. He wrote an excellent biography of Saint Ansgar (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

12th v. St. Gilbert, priest and confessor founded a religious order at Sempringham.
 Sempringhámiæ, in Anglia, sancti Gilbérti, Presbyteri et Confessóris; qui Ordinis Sempringhamiénsis fuit Institútor.       At Sempringham in England, St. Gilbert, priest and confessor, who founded a religious order at Sempringham.

Founded by St. Gilbert, about the year 1130, at Sempringham, Gilbert's native place, where he was then parish priest. His wish originally had been to found a monastery, but finding this impossible, he gave a rule of life to the seven young women whom as children he had taught at Sempringham, and built for them a convent and cloister to the north of his parish church. He received the support of his bishop, Alexander of Lincoln, and in a year's time the seven virgins of Sempringham made their profession. Gilbert seems to have been determined to copy the Cistercians as much as possible. At the suggestion of William, Abbot of Rievaulx, he instituted lay sisters to attend to the daily wants of the nuns, and soon added a company of lay brothers to do the rougher work in the farms and fields. These he recruited from among the poorest serfs of his parish and estates. For eight years the little community at Sempringham continued to flourish, and it was not till about 1139 that the infant order was increased by another foundation. Alexander of Lincoln gave to the nuns of Sempringham the island of Haverholm, near Sleaford, in Lincolnshire, the site of one of his castles destroyed in the contest between King Stephen and his barons. Alexander's deed of gift makes it clear that the nuns had by this time adopted the Cistercian rule "as far as the weakness of their sex allowed". The fame of Sempringham soon spread far and wide through that part of England, and the convent sent out several colonies to people new foundations. In 1148 Gilbert travelled to Cîteaux in burgundy to ask the Cistercian abbots there assembled in chapter to take charge of his order. This they refused to do, declining to undertake the government of women, and so Gilbert returned to England, determined to add to each of his convents a community of canons regular, who were to act as chaplains and spiritual directors to the nuns. To these he gave the Rule of St. Augustine. Each Gilbertine house now practically consisted of four communities, one of nuns, one of canons, one of lay sisters, and one of lay brothers. The popularity of the order was considerable, and for two years after Gilbert's return from France he was continually founding new houses on lands granted him by the nobles and prelates. These houses, with the exception of Watton and Malton, which were in Yorkshire, were situated in Lincolnshire, in the low-lying country of the fens. Thirteen houses were founded in St. Gilbert's life, four of which were for men only.

The habit of the Gilbertine canons consisted of a black tunic reaching to the ankles, covered with a white cloak and hood, which were lined with lamb's wool. The nuns were in white, and during the winter months were allowed to wear in choir a tippet of sheepskin and a black cap lined with white wool. The scapular was worn both by the canons and the nuns. The whole order was ruled by the "master", or prior general, who was not Prior of Sempringham, but was called "Prior of All". His authority was absolute, and the year formed for him a continual round of visitations to the various houses. He appointed to the chief offices, received the profession of novices, affixed his seal to all charters, etc. and gave or withheld his consent regarding sales, transfers, and the like. He was to be chosen by the general chapter, which could depose him if necessary. This general chapter assembled once a year, at Sempringham, on the rogation days, and was attended by the prior, cellarer, and prioress of each house.

St. Gilbert, soon finding the work of visitations too arduous, ordained that certain canons and nuns should assist him. These also appeared at the general chapter. A "priest of confession" was chosen to visit each house and to act as confessor extraordinary. A Gilbertine monastery had only one church: this was divided unevenly by a wall, the main part of the building being for the nuns, the lesser part, to the south, for the canons. These had access to the nuns' part only for the celebration of Mass. The nunnery lay to the north, the dwellings of the canons were usually to the south. At Sempingham itself, and at Watton, we find them at some distance to the north-east. The number of canons to be attached to each nunnery was fixed by St. Gilbert at seven. The chief difficulty Gilbert experienced was the government of the lay brothers. They were mostly rough and untamed spirits who needed the control and guidance of a firm man, and it would have been surprising had there been no cases of insubordination and scandal among them. Two instances especially claim our attention. The first is related by St. Ælred, Abbot of Rievaulx, and gives us an unpleasant story of a girl at Watton Priory who had been sent there to be brought up by the nuns; the second was an open revolt, for a time successful, of some of the lay brothers at Sempringham.

From their foundation till the dissolution of the monasteries the Crown showed great favour to the Gilbertines. They were the only purely English order and owed allegiance to no foreign superiors as did the Cluniacs and Cistercians. All the Gilbertine houses were situated in England, except two which were in Westmeath, Ireland. Notwithstanding the liberal charters granted by Henry II and his successors, the order had fallen into great poverty by the end of the fifteenth century. Henry VI exempted all its houses from payments of every kind — an exemption which could not and did not bind his successors. Heavy sums had occasionally to be paid to the Roman Curia, and expenses were incurred in suits against the real or pretended encroachments of the bishops. By the time of the Dissolution there were twenty-six houses. They fared no better than the other monasteries, and no resistance whatever was made by the last Master of Sempringham, Robert Holgate, Bishop of Llandaff, a great favourite at court, who was promoted in 1545 to the Archbishopric of York. The Gilbertines are described as surrendering "of their own free will", each of the nuns and canons receiving "a reasonable yearly pension". Only four of their houses were ranked among the greater monasteries as having an income above £200 a year, and as the order appears to have preserved to the end the plainness and simplicity in church plate and vestments enjoined by St. Gilbert, the Crown did not reap a rich harvest by its suppression.

1204 St. Obitius Benedictine monk penitent glimpse of hell
A one-time knight from Brescia, Italy, he underwent a profound personal conversion after narrowly escaping death by drowning and beholding a harrowing glimpse of hell. He entered the Benedictines and gave himself to a life of severe penances and labor on behalf of a convent of Benedictine nuns in his home town.

Obitius of Brescia, OSB (AC) Died c. 1204; cultus approved in 1900. Saint Obitius, a knight of Brescia, narrowly escaped drowning. Terrified by a vision of hell during the incident, he gave himself up to a life of austere penance as a Benedictine layman in the service of the Benedictine nuns of Saint Julia at Brescia (Benedictines).

1238 Holy Great Prince George the Battle fought at River Sita Mongol) Horde of Batu destroyed the small valiant company of the Great Prince
Son of Great Prince Vsevolod nicknamed "Big Nest."

He was born in the year 1189, and he assumed the great princely throne of Vladimir in 1212. He was distinguished for his military valor and his piety.

In the year 1237 the Tatar (Mongol) Horde of Batu descended upon the Russian land. St George was compelled to leave the capital city in charge of his sons, and went north to meet up with the other princes.
On March 4, 1238 the Battle at the River Sita was fought, in which the Tatars destroyed the small but valiant company of the Great Prince. The saint himself fell in this fight, and Bishop Cyril buried his body at the Rostov cathedral.
Two years later, it was transferred to Vladimir's Dormition cathedral with great solemnity.
The Church glorification of the saint occurred in 1645.

1373 St. Andrew Corsini Carmelite gifts of prophecy & miracles papal legate Apostle of Florence many miracles at his death
He was born in Florence on November 30, 1302, a member of the powerful Corsini family. Wild in his youth, Andrew was converted to a holy life by his mother and became a Carmelite monk. He studied in Paris and Avignon, France, returning to his birthplace. There he became known as the Apostle of Florence. He was called a prophet and miracle worker. Named as the bishop of Fiesole in 1349, Andrew fled the honor but was forced to accept the office, which he held for twelve years. He was sent by Pope Urban V to Bologna to settle disputes between the nobles and commoners, a mission he performed well. Andrew died in Fiesole on January 6, 1373. So many miracles took place at his death that Pope Eugenius IV permitted the immediate opening of his cause.

1373 ST ANDREW CORSINI, BISHOP OF FIESOLE
THIS saint was called Andrew after the apostle of that name, upon whose festival he was born in Florence in 1302. He came of the distinguished family of the Corsini, and we are told that his parents dedicated him to God before his birth; but in spite of all their care the first part of his youth was spent in vice and extravagance, amongst bad companions.
   His mother never ceased praying for his conversion, and one day in the bitterness of her grief she said, “I see you are indeed the wolf I saw in my sleep,” and explained that before he was born she dreamt she had given birth to a wolf which ran into a church and was changed into a lamb. She added that she and his father had devoted him to the service of God under the protection of the Blessed Virgin, and that they expected of him a very different sort of life from that which he was leading.
   These rebukes made a very deep impression. Overwhelmed with shame, Andrew next day went to the church of the Carmelite friars, and after having prayed fervently before the altar of our Lady he was so touched by God’s grace that he resolved to embrace the religious life in that convent. All the artifices of his former companions, and the solicitations of an uncle who tried to draw him back into the world, were powerless to change his purpose: he never fell away from the first fervour of his conversion.

In the year 1328 Andrew was ordained; but to escape the feasting and music which his family had prepared according to custom for the day on which he should celebrate his first Mass, he withdrew to a little convent seven miles out of the town, and there, unknown and with wonderful devotion, he offered to Almighty God the first fruits of his priesthood.
After some time employed in preaching in Florence he was sent to Paris, where he attended the schools for three years. He continued his studies for a while at Avignon with his uncle, Cardinal Corsini, and in 1332, when he returned to Florence, he was chosen prior of his convent.

God honoured his virtue with the gift of prophecy, and miracles of healing were also ascribed to him. Amongst miracles in the moral order and conquests of hardened souls, the conversion of his cousin John Corsini, a confirmed gambler, was especially remarkable.
When the bishop of Fiesole died in 1349 the chapter unanimously chose Andrew Corsini to fill the vacant see. As soon, however, as he was informed of what was going on, he hid himself with the Carthusians at Enna: the canons, despairing of finding him, were about to proceed to a second election when his hiding-place was revealed by a child.
After his consecration as bishop he redoubled his former austerities. Daily he gave himself a severe discipline whilst he recited the litany, and his bed was of vine branches strewed on the floor. Meditation and reading the Holy Scriptures he called recreation from his labours. He avoided talking with women as much as possible, and refused to listen to flatterers or informers. His tenderness and care for the poor were extreme, and he was particularly solicitous in seeking out those who were ashamed to make known their distress: these he helped
with all possible secrecy. St Andrew had, too, a talent for appeasing quarrels, and he was often successful in restoring order where popular disturbances had broken out. For this reason Bd Urban V sent him to Bologna, where the nobility and the people were miserably divided. He pacified them after suffering much humiliation, and they remained at peace during the rest of his life. Every Thursday he used to wash the feet of the poor, and never turned any beggar away without alms.

St Andrew was taken ill whilst singing Mass on Christmas night in 1373 and died on the following Epiphany at the age of seventy-one. He was immediately proclaimed a saint by the voice of the people, and Pope Urban VIII formally canonized him in 1629. Andrew was buried in the Carmelite church at Florence; and Pope Clement XII, who belonged to the Corsini family, built and endowed a chapel in honour of his kinsman in the Lateran basilica. The architect of this chapel, in which Clement himself was buried, was Alexander Galilei, who lived for some years in England. The same pope added St Andrew Corsini to the general calendar of the Western church, in 1737.  

The two principal Latin lives of St Andrew are printed in the Acta Sanctorum, January, vol. ii. See also S. Mattei, Vita di S. Andrea Corsini (1872), and the biography by P. Caioli (1929), who makes use of certain unpublished Florentine documents.  

Andrew Corsini, OC B (RM) Born in Florence, Italy, 1301; died January 6, 1373; canonized 1629 by Pope Urban VI. The devout, Florentine Corsini family gave life to a wayward, bad- tempered youth, Andrew, though he was the fruit of his parents' prayers and was consecrated by vow to God before his birth. He spent his money on vice and carousing with evil friends.

One day his grieving mother, Peregrina, told Andrew of her deepest fears. Just before his birth, she had dreamed that she was giving birth to a wolf and Andrew realized that he was indeed living like a wild animal. She also revealed that he was dedicated to God's service under the protection of the Blessed Virgin while he was still in her womb. He hurried to a church to pray--and became a new man while praying at Our Lady's altar. He was so touched by God that he resolved never to return to his father's house but rather to embrace the religious life.

Andrew decided to join the Carmelites of Fiesole near Florence in 1318. He became utterly devoted to his new life and never departed from the first fervor of his conversion. He strenuously labored to subdue his passions by extreme humiliations, obedience to even the last person in the house, by silence and prayer. His superiors employed him in the meanest offices, often in washing the dishes in the scullery.

The progress he made in his studies, particularly in the holy scriptures and in theology, was great. In 1328 he was ordained a priest; but to prevent the music and feast, which his family had prepared according to custom, for the day on which he was to say his first Mass, he privately withdrew to a little hermitage seven miles away, where he secretly offered his first fruits to God with wonderful recollection and devotion.

After preaching and ministering for a time in Florence, he studied at Paris for three years and completed his studies under the direction of his uncle, a cardinal, at Avignon. In 1332, Father Corsini was chosen prior of his own monastery in Florence, whose church, situated in the artisan area of the town, was subsequently enriched by the Masaccio's paintings of the life of Saint Peter. God honored his extraordinary virtue with the gifts of prophecy and miracles, including the conversion of his cousin, John Corsini, an infamous gambler, by the cure of an ulcer in his neck.

The former ruffian was elected bishop of Fiesole in 1349. Believing himself unworthy of this office, Corsini ran away and hid in the charterhouse of Enna, but he was discovered by a child about the time they were ready to give up and elect another. He was forced to accept the bishopric to which he was consecrated in 1360.

As bishop he demonstrated a special talent for reconciling opponents. For this reason Pope Urban V sent him to Bologna, where the nobility and the common people were quarrelling violently. Although both sides initially insulted Corsini, in the end he won them over and restored peace. As a Corsini, he was linked with the nobility; while his life of poverty as a friar made him acceptable to the common folk.

As bishop he added to his extraordinary penances and set the example of a prelate of a most noble house living according to the austerity of the religious rule he had professed. To his hair shirt he added an iron girdle. Daily he prayed the seven penitential Psalms and the litany of the saints while using the discipline upon himself. His bed was vine-branches strewn on the floor.

Additionally, he was a father of the poor. His tenderness with the poor was incredible, and he had a particular regard for the bashful among them--those who were ashamed to make their needs known. These he sought out diligently and assisted them with all possible secrecy. He kept a list of the poor and furnished them all with allowances.

Because Andrew had been born into a rich family, he felt that it was a good practice to wash the feet of poor men every Thursday in memory of Our Lord's action at the Last Supper. When one man tried to excuse himself because his feet were covered with ulcers, the saint insisted upon washing them anyway and they were immediately healed.

Andrew became ill with a high fever while singing the high Mass on Christmas Eve in 1372. A few days later the 71-year-old died and was immediately declared a saint by the people of Florence. His tomb in the Franciscan friars' church in Florence was the site of miracles. In 1737 a chapel was built in his honor in Saint John Lateran at Rome by Pope Clement XII, who was a member of the Corsini family (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).
1492 Saints Abraham and Coprius of Pechenga
founded the Savior wilderness monastery at the River Pechenga, in Gryazovetsk district, 21 versts from Vologda.
It required great work to bring in the necessities to the wilderness spot, in order to build the monastery and set everything in proper order.
The blessed toilers did not spare themselves, zealously living in asceticism until their death
1505 St. Joan of Valois Order of the Annunciation that she founded holiness and spiritual testament
 Bitúrcis, in Aquitánia, sanctæ Joánnæ de Valois, Gálliæ Regínæ, Ordinis sanctíssimæ Annuntiatiónis beátæ Maríæ Vírginis Fundatrícis, pietáte et singulári Crucis participatióne illústris, a Pio Papa Duodécimo Sanctárum fastis adscríptæ.
    At Bourges in Aquitaine, St. Jane de Valois, Queen of France, foundress of the Order of Sisters of the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary, renowned for her piety and singular devotion to the Cross, whom Pope Pius XII added to the catalogue of saints.
Joan of Valois, 1464 - 1505, was the second daughter of Louis X1,  King of France, and Charlotte of Savoy, She was born on April 23, 1464. At age two months she was betrothed to Louis, Duke of Orleans, and the marriage took place in 1476. There is no doubt  that it was invalid, for Louis of Orleans married her in fear of his life if he did not comply with the king's orders to do so. Joan was by  no means a prepossessing figure: she was hunch-backed, lame and pock-marked. On her husband's succession to the throne he obtained a declaration that the marriage was invalid. Joan, therefore, was not to be queen of France; she was given instread the title of Duchess of Berry. If so it is to be, praised be the Lord, was her remark on this occasion.  And there, really is the basis of her holiness and the spiritual testament that she left in the Order of the Annunciation that she founded; by her choice of name for her nuns she emphasised the parallel between our Lady's *Be it done to me and her own If so it is to be. All her life she met with oppostion and countrered it with such gentle words these. There were difficulties without number. The pope seemed unwilling to give his approval, though Louis X11 approved readily enough, thinking perhaps that Joan, bound by vows, would be less likely to upset the verdict given in the suit of nullity; his fears were groundless, and in any case directly after the verdict he had married Anne of Brittany. There were difficulties arising from Joan's character; she was inclined to be autocratic with her nuns, impatient at their slow progress. The foundation was made at Bouges, and the remains of the house may still be seen there Joan died at the age of 41 on February 4, 1505. St. Joan was canonised in 1950. Her feast day is February 4 the day on which she died.

Joan of Valois, Queen Widow Foundress (also known as Jane, Jeanne, Joanna of France)
Born 1464; died at Bourges, 1505; beatified in 1738; canonized 1950.
Saint Joan was the hunch-backed, pock-marked, deformed daughter of King Louis XI and Charlotte of Savoy. At age 9 (1476), she was married to the future King Louis XII (then Duke Louis of Orléans). The marriage was forced upon Louis and never consummated.

Joan saved her husband's life when her brother, King Charles VIII determined to execute him for rebellion. When the duke ascended to the throne in 1498 and wanted to marry Ann of Brittany, he had Pope Alexander VI declare his marriage to Joan null. Joan offered no objections and accepted the situation with the patience that marked her entire life.

She retired to the duchy of Berry given her by Louis and lived a secluded life of prayer and good works in its capital of Bourges. In 1501, with the help of a Franciscan friar, Blessed Gabriel Mary (Gilbert Nicholas; August 27) Nicolas, Joan founded Les Annonciades of Bourges, a contemplative order of nuns to pray and work for reconciliation of enemies. She herself was professed in 1504. Joan suffered much throughout her life for her physical deformities, which she accepted with great patience and equanimity (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Forster).

In art, Joan is a crowned abbess in the habit of the Annunciation sisters with a crucifix and rosary. Sometimes she may be shown (1) holding the Christ-child by the hand with a basket on His arm (not to be confused with Saint Dorothy who is never a nun); (2) with a cup of wine and basket of bread; (3) as the Christ-child places a ring on her finger; or (4) with Blessed Gabriel Mary, OFM, who co-founded the Annunciations (Roeder). She is venerated in Bourges (Roeder).

1532 Saint Cyril of New Lake fond of solitude and prayer healing through his prayers Lord also granted the gift of foresight
born into a pious family. The Lord marked him as one of the chosen even before he was born. Cyril's mother was praying in church during the Divine Liturgy, and the infant in her womb cried out, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth!"


From the time of his childhood the saint was fond of solitude and prayer, and he dreamt of monastic life. At fifteen years of age Cyril secretly left his parental home, intending to enter the Pskov Caves monastery. He did not know the way to the monastery, and took nothing from home for the journey. He went his way, putting all his trust in the Lord and His All-Pure Mother. Twenty versts from the city the youth met a magnificent monastic Elder, who led him to the monastery. As he left, he blessed him with the words, "May God bless you, my child, and grant you the angelic schema, and may you be a chosen vessel of the Divine Spirit."
Having said this, the Elder became invisible. The boy realized that this had been a messenger from God, and he gave thanks to the Lord.

The igumen St Cornelius (February 20) saw with his clairvoyant eye the grace manifest in the young man. He provided him with much guidance and tonsured him into the monastic schema with the name Cyril. The fifteen-year-old monk astonished the brethren with his efforts. He emaciated the flesh through fasting and prayer, and zealously fulfilled obediences. Day and night he was ready to study the Word of God. Even then he thought to end his days in solitude in the wilderness.

The boy's parents mourned him as one dead, but once an Elder of the monastery of St Cornelius came to them and told them about their son and his life at the monastery.

The joyful news confirmed in Cyril's mother her love for God. She spoke with her husband about leaving to the monastery her portion of the inheritance, then left the world and became a nun with the name Elena (Helen). She died in peace a short time later.  The saint's father came to the monastery, and Igumen Cornelius told Cyril to meet with him. The saint was troubled, but not daring to disobey the igumen, he fell down at his father's feet, imploring forgiveness for secretly leaving home.
The father forgave his son, and he himself remained at the monastery. St Cornelius tonsured him into monasticism with the name Barsanuphius, and gave him to his son for instruction.

Three years later, he peacefully fell asleep in the Lord. His son continued to toil more fervently for the Lord, disdaining his own will, and in was obedient not only to the igumen, but also to the brethren.
He thirsted to go about all the Russian land, venerating its holy shrines and to find for himself a wilderness place for a life of silence.

With the blessing of St Cornelius, St Cyril left the monastery in which he had grown strong spiritually, and he went to the coastal regions, roaming through the forests and the wild places, eating tree roots and berries. The saint spent about twenty years in this difficult exploit of wanderer, and he went to the outskirts of Moscow, Novgorod and Pskov, but he never entered any house nor did he accept alms.
He wandered about during the day, and spent his nights at prayer on church porches, and he attended the church services.

Once while at prayer, St Cyril saw a heavenly light indicating the direction where he should found a monastery. He set off on his way at once, and having reached the Tikhvin monastery, he spent three days and three nights there in ceaseless prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos. The Mother of God appeared to him in a dream. Showing Her approval of him, S
he said, "My servant Cyril, pleaser of the Most Holy Trinity, go to the Eastern region of White Lake, and the Lord My Son will show you the place of rest for your old age."

The saint proceeded to White Lake, weeping copious tears at the miraculous vision. On the lake he saw a small island, from which a pillar of fire rose up to the sky. There, beneath a centuries old spruce tree, St Cyril built a hut, and then set up two cells: one for himself, the other for future brethren. The hermit also constructed two small churches, one in honor of the Resurrection of Christ and the other in honor of the Mother of God Hodigitria. He underwent many temptations from invisible enemies, and from idlers roving about, but he overcame everything by brave endurance and constant prayer.
News of his holy life spread everywhere, and brethren gathered around him.
There were many instances of healing through his prayers, and the Lord also granted His saint the gift of foresight. Sensing his impending end, St Cyril summoned the brethren. With tears of humility the saint instructed his spiritual children one last time, until his voice gave out. For a long time then he was silent, but suddenly he cried out with loud sobbing, "I go to the Lord into life eternal, but I entrust you to God the Word and His Grace, bestowing an inheritance and sanctification upon all. May it help you. But I beseech you, do not become lax in fasting and prayers, guard yourself from the snares of the Enemy, and the Lord in His ineffable mercy will not condemn your humility."
Having said this, the saint gave a final kiss to the brethren, received the Holy Mysteries, signed himself with the Sign of the Cross, and with the words "Glory to God for everything!" he gave up his pure soul to the Lord on February 4, 1532.
1538 St. John Stone Augustinian 1/40 Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
John Stone (d. 1538) + Augustinian martyr, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was a friar at Canterbury who denied the Supremacy Act of King Henry VIII (r. 1509-1547) and was arrested and executed by being hanged, drawn, and quartered at Canterbury.

1594 Bl. John Speed English martyr for befriending Catholic priests.
he was a layman sometimes called Spence. He was executed at Durham for befriending Catholic priests. John was beatified in 1929 as one of the Durham Martyrs.

1612 St. Joseph of Leonissa Capuchin Franciscan missionary
 In oppido Amatrícis, in Aprútio, deposítio sancti Joséphi a Leoníssa, Sacerdótis ex Ordine Minórum Capuccinórum et Confessóris; quem, ob fídei prædicatiónem a Mahumetánis dira perpéssum, labóribus apostólicis et miráculis clarum, Benedíctus Décimus quartus, Póntifex Máximus, in Sanctórum cánonem rétulit.
      In the town of Amatrice, in the diocese of Rieti, the death of St. Joseph of Leonissa, a Capuchin priest who suffered greatly from the Mohammedans.  As he was celebrated for his apostolic labours and miracles, he was placed on the list of holy confessors by the Sovereign Pontiff, Benedict XIV.

Served as a missionary to Christian galley slaves in Constantinople. Born in Leonissa, Italy, he became a Capuchin at age eighteen. In 1587 he started his mission and was arrested, released, and then imprisoned and tortured by the Turks. Eventually set free, he returned to Italy and died there of cancer.
Joseph of Leonissa, OFM Cap. (RM) Born in Leonissa near Otricoli in 1556; died in Italy in February 4, 1612; beatified in 1737 by Clement XII; canonized by Benedict XIV in 1745.

At age 18, Eufranius professed himself as a Capuchin and took the name Joseph. He was always mild, humble, chaste, charitable, obedient, patient, and penitential to a heroic degree. With the utmost fervor and on the most perfect motive he endeavored to glorify God in all his actions.  Three days each week he fasted on bread and water and passed entire Lenten seasons in the same manner. His bed was hard boards, with the trunk of a vine as his pillow. He found joy in chastisement and humiliations, identifying himself with the sufferings of Jesus. He looked upon himself as the basest of sinners, and said that God indeed, by His infinite mercy, had preserved him from grievous crimes, but that by his sloth, ingratitude, and infidelity to the divine grace, he deserved to have been abandoned by God. The sufferings of Christ were his favorite meditations.
He usually preached with a crucifix in his hands and the fire of the Holy Spirit in his words.
In 1587, he was sent to Turkey as a missioner, primarily to tend to the Christian galley-slaves. He contracted the pestilence but recovered. He converted many apostates, one of whom was a pasha. By preaching the faith to the Islamics, he incurred the wrath of the Turkish law and was twice imprisoned and tortured.
The second time he was condemned to death. He did not die, so he was banished instead.
Upon his return to Italy, he continued to preach. To complete his sacrifice, he suffered much at the end of his life from a painful cancer. He underwent two operations (without anesthesia) without the least groan or complaint, except the repetition of, "Holy Mary, pray for us miserable, afflicted sinners." When someone said before the operation that he ought to be restrained, he pointed to the crucifix in his hand and said, "This is the strongest band; this will hold me unmoved better than any cords could do." The operation was unsuccessful and he died at age 58.
Many miracles were reported in the acts of his beatification (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Joseph is always shown with Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, OFM Cap. Both are old Capuchins who were canonized on the same day. Saint Fidelis tramples on Heresy and an angel carries the palm of martyrdom (Roeder).
1693 St. John de Britto Jesuit martyr in India
 In regno Maravénsi apud Indos Orientáles, sancti Joánnis de Britto, Sacerdótis e Societáte Jesu, qui cum multos infidéles ad fidem convertísset, glorióso martyrio coronátus est.
      In Marava Kingdom in India, St. John de Britto, priest of the Society of Jesus, who having converted many infidels to the faith, was gloriously crowned with martyrdom.
He was a native of Lisbon, Portugal, was dedicated at birth to St. Francis Xavier, and was a noble friend of King Pedro. He entered the Jesuits at the age of fifteen. In his effort to promote conversions among the native Indian people as a missionary to Goa, he wandered through Malabar and other regions and even adopted the customs and dress of the Brahmin caste which gave him access to the noble classes. In 1683, John had to leave India but returned in 1691. Arrested, tortured, and commanded to leave India, he refused and was put to death. Pope Pius XII canonized him in 1947.

John de Britto, SJ M (RM) Born in Lisbon, Portugal, March 1647; died in India, February 4, 1693; beatified in 1853; canonized in 1947.
When John de Britto fell gravely ill as a child, his mother, a lady of noble birth and connected with the court of Lisbon, invoked the aid of Saint Francis Xavier and dedicated her son to him. Perhaps this is the source of John's calling. He was the favorite companion of the Infante Don Pedro, who later became king of Portugal. John, however, aspired only to wear the habit of the great missionary to whom he was dedicated and to follow in the footsteps of Saint Francis.

At age 15 (1662), John joined the Society of Jesus in spite of opposition from his family and friends. His success in his studies was so remarkable that great efforts were made to keep him in Portugal after his ordination. But John was determined to take the Gospel to the Far East. In 1673, he set sail for Goa (southern India) with 16 other Jesuits to begin a life of incredible hardships, including frequent fevers, and many obstacles to success.

He worked in Malabar, Tanjore, Marava, and Madura, India, where he was given charge of the Madura mission. He travelled on foot throughout the vast region, which is only 10 degrees north of the equator. Those who worked with him reported in their letters home of John's courage, devotion, austerity, and harvest of souls that were the fruit of his labors.

Like Father de Nobili before him, Father de Britto adapted himself so far as possible to the manners, dress, and customs of the indigenous people among whom he lived, even to becoming a member of the Brahmin caste in an endeavor to reach the nobility. His methods were unconventional in many other respects, but the success of his mission eventually led to his death.

Many times Father de Britto and his Indian catechists were subjected to brutality. One time in 1686, after preaching in the Marava area, he and a handful of devoted Indians were seized, and upon their refusal to pay homage to the god Siva, were subjected for several days in succession to excruciating tortures. They were hung up by chains from trees, and at another time by means of a rope attached to an arm or foot and passing over a pulley, were dipped repeatedly into stagnant water, with other indescribable outrages.

Father de Britto's recovery was deemed miraculous. Not long after his emancipation, he was summoned back to Lisbon. His old friend, now King Pedro II and the papal nuncio made great efforts to keep him in Europe, but Father de Britto begged to be allowed to return to the mission fields. Back in Madura he had three more years of labor ahead of him.

A former polygamist convert to Christianity in the Marava country, put aside his many wives. One of them complained about this to her uncle, Raja Raghunatha of Marava, and placed the blame on Father de Britto. The raja thereupon began a persecution of the Christians. John de Britto was captured, tortured, and ordered to leave the country; but he refused. Therefore, he was beheaded at Oriur for subverting the religion of the country, but only after a delay caused by the nervousness of the local prince about taking de Britto's life.

A moving letter he wrote to his fellow missionaries on the eve of his execution still exists. Another letter was addressed to the father superior. In it he writes: "I await death and I await it with impatience. It has always been the object of my prayers. It forms today the most precious reward of my labors and my sufferings."

When news reached Lisbon, King Pedro ordered a solemn service of thanksgiving; and the martyr's mother came, not dressed in mourning but in a festal gown to celebrate her son's new life (Attwater, Benedictines, Walsh).




On Death and Life
"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!
   (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)


Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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

God loves variety. He doesn't mass-produce his saints. Every saint is unique, for each is the result of a new idea.  As the liturgy says: Non est inventus similis illis--there are no two exactly alike. It is we with our lack of imagination, who paint the same haloes on all the saints. Dear Lord, grant us a spirit that is not bound by our own ideas and preferences.  Grant that we may be able to appreciate in others what we lack in ourselves. O Lord, grant that we may understand that every saint must be a unique praise of Your glory. Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives.  Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts.   God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heavenonly saints are allowed into heaven. The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR the benefit of others.
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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Popes mentioned in articles of Saints today

Gregory IV (827-44) # 102
Elected near the end of 827; died January, 844. When Gregory was born is not known, but he was a Roman and the son of John. Before his election to the papacy he was the Cardinal-Priest of the Basilica of St. Mark, which he adorned with mosaics yet visible. For his piety and learning he was ordained priest by Paschal I. This man, of distinguished appearance and high birth, was raised to the chair of Peter, despite his protestations of unfitness, mainly buy the instrumentality of the secular nobility of Rome who were then securing a preponderating influence in papal elections. But the representatives in Rome of the Emperor Louis the Pious would not allow him to be consecrated until his election had been approved by their master. This interference caused such delay that it was not, seemingly, till about March, 828, that he began to govern the Church.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
Clement IX 1667-1669: 1670 St. Charles of Sezze Franciscan Pope Clement IX called Charles to his bedside for a blessing;

Pope Pius XI -- 1888 ST JOHN BOSCO, FOUNDER OF THE SALESIANS OF DON Bosco
“IN his life the supernatural almost became the natural and the extraordinary ordinary.” These were the words of Pope Pius XI in speaking of that great lover of children, Don Bosco.


At Paris St. Thomas was honored with the friendship of the King, St. Louis, with whom he frequently dined. In 1261, Urban IV called him to Rome where he was appointed to teach, but he positively declined to accept any ecclesiastical dignity. St. Thomas not only wrote (his writings filled twenty hefty tomes characterized by brilliance of thought and lucidity of language), but he preached often and with greatest fruit. Clement IV offered him the archbishopric of Naples which he also refused. He left the great monument of his learning, the "Summa Theologica", unfinished, for on his way to the second Council of Lyons, ordered there by Gregory X, he fell sick and died at the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova in 1274.
St. Thomas declared Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius V.

Romæ sancti Vitaliáni Papæ.       At Rome, St. Vitalian, pope.

Whereas in the Lord's Prayer, we are bidden to ask for 'our daily bread,' the Holy Fathers of the Church all but unanimously teach that by these words must be understood, not so much that material bread which is the support of the body, as the Eucharistic bread, which ought to be our daily food. -- Pope St. Pius X





Then in 1525, since it was a Holy Year of Jubilee, Angela Merici went as a pilgrim to Rome to gain the great jubilee indulgence. When she had an audience with the Pope Clement VII, he tried to persuade her to stay at Rome and head a congregation of nursing sisters. But she was still convinced of her calling to education work. In fact, years before, she had experienced a vision in which she saw a group of young women ascending to heaven on a ladder of light. A voice had then said:
“Take heed, Angela; before you die you will found at Brescia a company of maidens similar to those you have just seen.
     It was April 1533 that she made this prophecy come true. The Ursalines

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
Pope Gregory IX 1227-1241 , having called St Raymund to Rome in 1230, nominated him to various offices and took him likewise for his confessor, in which capacity Raymund enjoined the pope, for a penance, to receive, hear and expedite im­mediately all petitions presented by the poor. Gregory also ordered the saint to gather into one body all the scattered decrees of popes and councils since the collection made by Gratian in 1150. In three years Raymund completed his task, and the five books of the “Decretals” were confirmed by the same Pope Gregory in 1234. Down to the publication of the new Codex Juris Canonici in 1917 this compilation of St Raymund was looked upon as the best arranged part of the body of canon law, on which account the canonists usually chose it for the text of their commentaries.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints

250 St. Fabian layperson dove descended this stranger was elected Pope able built Church of Rome
Pope ST FABIAN succeeded St Antherus in the pontificate about the year 236. Eusebius relates that in an assembly of the people and clergy held to elect the new pope, a dove flew in and settled on the head of St Fabian.

Pope Paschal II 1086 St. Canute IV Martyred king of Denmark -- authorized the veneration of St Canute, though it is not easy to see upon what his claim to martyrdom rests. Aelnoth adds that the first preachers of Christianity in Denmark and Scandinavia were Englishmen, and that the Swedes were the most difficult to convert.

Pope Leo XIII 1924 Saint Joseph Sebastian Pelczar; Bishop of Przemysl in 1900 until his death in 1924. He made frequent visits to the parishes, supported the religious orders, conducted three synods, and worked for the education and religious formation of his priests.
He worked for the implentation of the social doctrine described in the writings of Pope Leo XIII.

The Church without Mary is an orphanage
 Pope Francis:
“It is very different to try and grow in the faith without Mary's help. It is something else. It is like growing in the faith, yes, but in a Church that is an orphanage. A Church without Mary is an orphanage. With Mary—she educates us, she makes us grow, she accompanies us, she touches consciences. She knows how to touch consciences, for repentance.”
Pope Francis Speech of October 25, 2014, to the Schönstatt Apostolic Movement on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its founding

Pope Clement IX --  1670 St. Charles of Sezze Franciscan Pope Clement IX called Charles to his bedside for a blessing.
Pope Paul V -- St. Joan de Lestonnac The congregation was affiliated with the Benedictines, but its rule and constitutions were founded on those of Saint Ignatius Loyola. Her scheme was approved by Pope Paul V in 1607. The following year the sisters received the habit from the cardinal and, in 1610, Joan became the mother superior on the first house in Bordeaux of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
Pope St. Stephen.  -- 155? SS. SPEUSIPPUS, ELEUSIPPUS AND MELEUSIPPUS, MARTYRS
 Romæ Invéntio sanctórum Mártyrum Diodóri Presbyteri, Mariáni Diáconi, et Sociórum; qui, sancto Stéphano Papa Ecclésiam Dei regénte, martyrium Kaléndis Decémbris sunt assecúti.
At Rome, the finding of the holy martyrs Diodorus, priest, and Marian, deacon, and their companions.  They suffered martyrdom on the 1st of December during the pontificate of Pope St. Stephen.


308-309 Pope St. Marcellus I
Romæ, via Salária, natális sancti Marcélli Primi, Papæ et Mártyris; qui, ob cathólicæ fídei confessiónem, jubénte Maxéntio tyránno, primo cæsus est fústibus, deínde ad servítium animálium cum custódia pública deputátus, et ibídem, serviéndo indútus amíctu cilícino, defúnctus est.
       At Rome, on the Salarian Way, the birthday of Pope St. Marcellus I, a martyr for the confession of the Catholic faith.  By command of the tyrant Maxentius he was beaten with clubs, then sent to take care of animals, with a guard to watch him.  In this servile office, dressed in haircloth, he departed this life.