Saint of the Day February 13  Idibus 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!)
Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  February
Elders.  That the Church and society may respect the wisdom
and experience of older people.

Collaboration in Evangelization. 
Priests, religious, and lay people work together with generosity.
Thursday, February 13, 2014 Weekday
  1 Kings 11:4-13 Psalm 106:3-4, 35-37, 40 Mark 7:24-30
If we wish to make any progress in the service of God we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves in the presence of God as much as possible and have no other view or end in all our actions but the divine honor. -- St. Charles Borromeo

Saint Rabia al-Adawiyya shows path to God
From her life and from the lives and teachings of all saints whether they be Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian or Jew,
one does not need to hurt others or set store by worldly possessions or rituals
  in order to reach God.

“Love God, love God” was his characteristic phrase as he gathered food for the friars sharing his bounty with poor—all the while consoling the troubled and urging everyone to repent.
The charity which he reflected on the streets of Naples was born in prayer and nurtured in the common life of the friars.
The people whom
St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph met on his begging rounds nicknamed him the “Consoler of Naples.”

“When we die, we will come to understand how close to us were the Savior, the Mother of God, and all of the Saints,
how they would be tolerant towards us in our weakness, and how they answered our prayers.” 
† 1950 Archbishop Seraphim of Bulgaria
The Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Last Sermon
1st v St. Agabus Jewish convert to the faith noted as a prophet Martyr 1 of 72 disciples mentioned
        by St. Luke
250 Fusca V and Maura MM (RM)
259 St. Polyeuctus  Roman martyr of Greek parentages put to death in Armenia His Acts are
       extant beauty and poignancy
303 St. Benignus Martyr of Todi, in Umbria
Louis Duchesne has proved that these "Acts" belong to a whole group of legends which arose in the early years of the sixth century and were intended to describe the beginnings of Christianity in the cities of that region (Besançon, Autun, Langres, Valence). They are all falsifications by the same hand and possess no historical value.
      St. Lezin French bishop member of the Frankish aristocracy
389 Castor First monk of Germany 
400 St. Martinian Hermit of Caesarea Palestine
512 Stephen of Lyons B (RM) Bishop 
550 St. Modomnoc Irish bishop bees followed him disciple of St. David of Wales
590 St Stephen of Rieti Abbot admirable sanctity despised all things for the love of heaven extreme
      poverty privation of all conveniences of life In his agony angels seen surrounding him conducting soul to bliss
616 ST LICINIUS, OR LESIN, BISHOP OF ANGERS by the example of his severe and holy life and by miracles which were wrought through him he succeeded in winning the hearts of the most hardened and in making daily conquests of souls for God.
 690 St. Huno  Monk priest of Ely, England
7th v. St. Dyfnog Welsh confessor of the Caradog family
703 Ermengild of Ely wholly devoted to God, OSB, Widow
790 Aimo of Meda founded the convent of Saint Victor
       St. Julian of Lyons Martyr of Lyons, France
801 Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya Sufi One of the most famous Islamic mystics
859 St. Gosbert Benedictine bishop friend of St. Angsar
1006 Fulcran of Lodève B (AC) Penitent bishop
1009 Gilbert of Meaux B Bishop of Meaux
1237 Blessed JORDAN of Saxony noted for his charity to the poor from an early age  brought Saint Albert the Great into the Order  Spiritual director of Blessed Diana d'Andalo
1309 Blessed Beatrix of d'Ornacieux mystical experiences
1327 AH Sufi Saint Hazrat Syed Malik Mohammed Alam 1327 AH (1907) Sain Gudri Shahi r.a. the blessings of the Friend [God] descended upon him with the words "come here" the teachings of Sain Gudri Shahi, [that is,] noble character, humility and social understanding were such that they affected everyone who came into contact with him
1458 Blessed Christina of Spoleto, Penitent
1469 BD EUSTOCHIUM OF PADUA, VIRGIN  Apparitions and many miracles are said to have followed and a celestial fragrance proceeded from the place of sepulture.
1494 Bl. Archangela Girlani Carmelite mystic ecstasies and levitation miracles
1589 St. Catherine de Ricci miracles the "Ecstacy of the Passion" she was mystically scourged & crowned with thorns
1812 St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph “Consoler of Naples.” served 53 years at St. Paschal’s Hospice in Naples various roles cook porter most often as official beggar for that community
1816 Bl. John Lantrua of Triora  Franciscan martyr of China
1818 Blessed Paul Lieou Chinese martyr
1859 Blessed Paul Loc Vietnam Martyr M (AC) Born in An-nhon Cochin-China
† 1950 Archbishop Seraphim of Bulgaria: endowed by God with a soul unusual for its sensitivity and love for others.

1327 AH Sufi Saint Hazrat Syed Malik Mohammed Alam 1327 AH (1907) Sain Gudri Shahi r.a. the blessings of the Friend [God] descended upon him with the words "come here" the teachings of Sain Gudri Shahi, [that is,] noble character, humility and social understanding were such that they affected everyone who came into contact with him

You may have heard it said that ''God can be found by searching for Him''.
After hearing a bit of the life and search of Hazrat Syed Malik Mohammed Alam, also known as Sain Gudri Shahi or Saeenji, you may learn that for a human being nothing is impossible.  In his search for God, Sufi Saint Hazrat Syed Malik Mohammed Alam (who was born in 1207 AH. 1788 AD. in Shahpura, Punjab; now Pakistan) spent sixty years of his life, barefooted, in the jungles of India, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Arabia. During this pilgrimage of sixty years, he performed Haj seven times and visited a multitude of holy places and shrines.

Eventually the blessings of the Friend [God] descended upon him with the words "come here".  It was at the suggestion of his Murshid, Hazrat Pir [shaykh] Mustufa of Baghdad that he go to Ajmer.
"Your spiritual share is in Ajmer at the shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Moin Uddin Hasan Chishti"
Saeenji came to Ajmer and spent the remaining sixty years of his life, wearing a long jute coat and a Gudri (Patched shawl) across his shoulder.  He became known as Gudri Shah, the King of Patches.
This is how the Gudri Shahi Sufi Order came into existence.
When Sain Gudri Shah received the spiritual blessings of Hazrat Khwaja Moin Uddin Hasan Chishti, he became so identified with the Great Saint that those with spiritual insight were unable to separate the two, unsure as to whose manifestation they were witnessing. He has a soul [spiritual] relation, with Hazrat Khwaja Moin Uddin Hasan Chishti. He obtained the Uwesia Nisbat (alliance) of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti, and is as expressed by Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah while referring to saints, in his work, Altaf Ul Qudus;
''They may be connected through their longing and anxiety or in the same spirit as Uways Ul Qarni''
The universality of the teachings of Sain Gudri Shahi, [that is,] noble character, humility and social understanding were such that they affected everyone who came into contact with him. Men and women from all walks of life joined his holy assembly and benefited from his spiritual blessings.
His concern for his mureeds [disciples] can be understood from the following story.
He was in the last few days of his long life and was surrounded by his mureeds, who were employed in different walks of life. He enquired, "what day is it today?" They replied ''Sir, it is Friday.'' He was so obviously thinking of the convenience of his mureeds, for whom Sunday was not a working day, when he said, in symbolic language, ''Not Friday. Let it be Sunday''.  So, on Sunday, the 10th of Ramzan, [Ramadan] in the year 1327 AH / 1907 AD, at the age of 120 years, he died, showing that even death cannot take away the lovers of God without their permission.
His practical teachings of love and the controlling of Nafs (Self) [ego] have warmed the heart and minds of people. He often said:
"Control your Nafs and see the manifestation of God."

He always consoled people and was always sensitive to their feelings and needs. At times, people offered him things. He would accept and after a period of time, when he saw a person in need, he would bestow that same gift on them.
He chose to be buried near the Chillah of Hazrat Khwaja Moin Uddin Hasan Chishti, overlooking Anasagar Lake, Ajmer. He had chosen this spot in his lifetime and now a beautiful white marble shrine marks the place of his eternal rest and his eternal relationship with Khwaja Sahib, in an area included within the premises of the Chillah Sharif of Khwaja Sahib.
His shrine is a place of pilgrimage and each year on the 9th & 10th of Ramadan. His Urs or anniversary of his death is celebrated according to the Chishti Tradition.
Meeting of the Saints  walis (saints of Allah)

Great men covet to embrace martyrdom for a cause and principle. So was the case with Hazrat Ali. He could have made a compromise with the evil forces of his time and, as a result, could have led a very comfortable, easy and luxurious life. But he was not a person who would succumb to such temptations.  His upbringing, his education and his training in the lap of the holy Prophet made him refuse such an offer.
An elderly Shia pointed out that during his pre-Partition childhood  it was quite common to find pictures and portraits of Shia icons in Imambaras across the country.
Baba Farid Sufi 1398 miracle, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki renowned Muslim Sufi saint scholar miracles 569 A.H. [1173 C.E.] hermit gave to poor, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti  greatest mystic of his time born 533 Hijri (1138-39 A.D.) , Hazrat Ghuas-e Azam, Hazrat Bu Ali Sharif, and Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia 1236-1325 welcomed people of all faiths from all walks of life Sufi Saint Hazrath Khwaja Syed Mohammed Badshah Quadri Chisty Yamani Quadeer (RA)
The Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Last Sermon
This sermon was delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul Hijjah 10 A.H. in the 'Uranah valley of Mount Arafat' (in Mecca).

After praising, and thanking Allah he said:
"O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that HE will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn 'Abd'al Muttalib (Prophet's uncle) shall henceforth be waived...

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship ALLAH, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, NO PROPHET OR APOSTLE WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the QURAN and my example, the SUNNAH and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O ALLAH, that I have conveyed your message to your people".
<"All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him"
(Psalm 21:28)
Mary Mother of GOD
15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary 
Mary's Divine Motherhood
Saint of the Day February 13  Idibus Februárii. 
The voice of the Father is heard, the Son enters the water, and the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove.
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart
From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
How do I start the Five First Saturdays?
  Decrees of Vatican's Saint Congregation
Testify to 10 Miracles; 10 Cases of Heroic Virtue; 1 Martyrdom

“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

BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR     FEBRUARY 2010
Scholars
General:  For all scholars and intellectuals, that by means of sincere search for the truth they may arrive at an understanding of the one true God.
The Church’s Missionary Identity
Missionary:  That the Church, aware of its own missionary identity, may strive to follow Christ faithfully and to proclaim His Gospel to all peoples.


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.


Join the Mary of Nazareth Project and help us build the International Marian Center of Nazareth.

Pope Benedict XVI to The Catholic Church In China {whole article here }
2000 years of the Catholic Church in China
The saints “a cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible. Patron_Saints.html

THE PSALTER OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY  PSALM 78
O Lady, the heathen have come into the inheritance of God: which thou hast established in Christ by thy merits.
Let thy speech be sweet before Him: and unite me to Him who hath redeemed me.
Stretch forth thine arm against the cruel enemy: and unfold to me his craft.
Thy voice is sweet above every melody: the angelic harmony cannot be compared with it.
Drop down on me the sweetness of thy graces: and the fragrance of thy heavenly gifts.
Glory be to the Father who created Heaven and earth; His only Son who lived and died for all of us;
and the Holy Spirit the Lord giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father and Son, with the Father and Son He is Worshiped and Glorified, and He has spoken through the prophets:  Amen.


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THE EUCHARIST, A MYSTERY TO BE BELIEVED POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
Morning Prayer and Hymn    Meditation of the Day    Prayer for Priests    Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here
The great psalm of the Passion, Chapter 22, whose first verse "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Jesus pronounced on the cross, ended with the vision: "All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him"
For kingship belongs to the LORD, the ruler over the nations.  All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage.  And I will live for the LORD; my descendants will serve you.  The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought.

Saint Frances Xavier Seelos  Practical Guide to Holiness
1. Go to Mass with deepest devotion. 2. Spend a half hour to reflect upon your main failing & make resolutions to avoid it.
3. Do daily spiritual reading for at least 15 minutes, if a half hour is not possible.  4. Say the rosary every day.
5. Also daily, if at all possible, visit the Blessed Sacrament;
and toward evening, meditate on the Passion of Christ for a half hour,
6.  Conclude the day with evening prayer & an examination of conscience over all the faults & sins of the day.
7.  Every month make a review of the month in confession.
8. Choose a special patron every month & imitate that patron in some special virtue.
9. Precede every great feast with a novena that is nine days of devotion.
10. Try to begin & end every activity with a Hail Mary

breviary.net/martyrology/mart02/mart0213 stlukeorthodox.com/html/saints/februry/ usccb.org  ewtn.com  Irondequoit .org Saints Alive
domcentral.org/life/martyrFebruary syriac   oca.org  glaubenszeugen.de/tage/February   Serbian   http://www.copticchurch.net  Melkite
Monthly Saints with pics here http://www.stfrancisenid.com/memorials.htm
 One Saint per day stthomasirondequoit.com/SaintsAlive/index.htm    stjohndc.org  God's Humourous Saints
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 since He promises such great reward, and that all Catholics should endeavor to make the 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 third of the full Rosary of 15 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 15 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.
Mary the Mother of Jesus Miracles_BLay Saints  Miraculous_IconMiraculous_Medal_Novena Patron Saints
Miracles by Century 100   200   300   400   500   600   700    800   900   1000    1100   1200   1300   1400  1500  1600  1700  1800  1900 2000
The POPES HTML
God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heaven.

"The answers to many of life's questions can be found by reading the Lives of the Saints. They teach us how to overcome obstacles and difficulties, how to stand firm in our faith, and how to struggle against evil and emerge victorious."  1913 Saint Barsanuphius of Optina
The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR benefit of others.
Non est inventus similis illis
731 Pope Gregory II, 89th Pope: educated at the Lateran  restore clerical discipline, fought heresies  helped restore and rebuild churches (including Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls), hospitals, and monasteries, including Monte Cassino under Petrona The outstanding concern of his pontificate was his difficulties with Emperor Leo III the Isaurian    (RM)
824 Pope St. Paschal elected as the 94th pope on the day Pope Stephen IV (V) died, January 25, 817 unsuccessful in attempts to end the iconoclast heresy of Emperor Leo V, encouraged SS. Nicephorous and Theodore Studites in Constantinople to resist iconoclasm, and gave refuge to the many Greek monks who fled to Rome to escape persecution from the iconoclasts.   Popes Html link here: 
Quote: Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Instruction on the Contemplative Life includes this passage:  
 "To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).

"Christianity is not a moral code or a philosophy, but an encounter with a person" -- Benedict XVI

"To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).

His Holiness Aram I, current (2008) Catholicos of Cilicia of Armenians, whose See is located in Lebanese town of Antelias.
  The Catholicosate was founded in Sis, capital of Cilicia, in the year 1441 following the move of the Catholicosate of All Armenians back to its original See of Etchmiadzin in Armenia.
The Catholicosate of Cilicia enjoyed local jurisdiction, though spiritually subject to the authority of Etchmiadzin.
In 1921 the See was transferred to Aleppo in Syria, and in 1930 to Antelias.
Its jurisdiction currently extends to Syria, Cyprus, Iran and Greece.
Christian priests from Edessa evangelized Eastern Mesopotamia and Persia, established the first Churches in the kingdom of the Sassanides.  Atillâtiâ, Bishop of Edessa, assisted at the Council of Nicæa (325). The "Peregrinatio Silviæ" (or Etheriæ) (ed. Gamurrini, Rome, 1887, 62 sqq.) gives an account of the many sanctuaries at Edessa about 388.

Although Hebrew had been the language of the ancient Israelite kingdom, after their return from Exile the Jews turned more and more to Aramaic, using it for parts of the books of Ezra and Daniel in the Bible. By the time of Jesus, Aramaic was the main language of Palestine, and quite a number of texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls are also written in Aramaic.  Aramaic continued to be an important language for Jews, alongside Hebrew, and parts of the Talmud are written in it. After Arab conquests of the seventh century, Arabic quickly replaced Aramaic as the main language of those who converted to Islam, although in out of the way places, Aramaic continued as a vernacular language of Muslims. Aramaic, however, enjoyed its greatest success in Christianity. Although the New Testament wins written in Greek, Christianity had come into existence in an Aramaic-speaking milieu, and it was the Aramaic dialect of Edessa, now known as Syriac, that became the literary language of a large number of Christians living in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire and in the Persian Empire, further east. Over the course of the centuries the influence of the Syriac Churches spread eastwards to China (in Xian, in western China, a Chinese-Syriac inscription dated 781 is still to be seen), to southern India where the state of Kerala can boast more Christians of Syriac liturgical tradition than anywhere else in the world.
Aramaic dialect of Edessa, now known as Syriac: The exact date of the introduction of Christianity into Edessa {Armenian Ourhaï in Arabic Er Roha, commonly Orfa or Urfa, its present name} is not known. It is certain, however, that the Christian community was at first made up from the Jewish population of the city. According to an ancient legend, King Abgar V, Ushana, was converted by Addai, who was one of the seventy-two disciples. In fact, however, the first King of Edessa to embrace the Christian Faith was Abgar IX (c. 206) becoming official kingdom religion.Christian council held at Edessa early as 197 (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., V,xxiii). In 201 the city was devastated by a great flood, and the Christian church was destroyed ("Chronicon Edessenum", ad. an. 201). In 232 the relics of the Apostle St. Thomas were brought from India, on which occasion his Syriac Acts were written. Under Roman domination martyrs suffered at Edessa: Sts. Scharbîl and Barsamya, under Decius; Sts. Gûrja, Schâmôna, Habib, and others under Diocletian.

680 Shiite saint Imam Hussein, grandson of Islam's Prophet Muhammad Known as Ashoura and observed by Shiites across the world, the 10th day of the lunar Muslim month of Muharram: the anniversary of the 7th century death in battle of one of Shiite Islam's most beloved saints.  Imam Hussein died in the 680 A.D. battle fought on the plains outside Karbala, a city in modern Iraq that's home to the saint's shrine.  The battle over a dispute about the leadership of the Muslim faith following Muhammad's death in 632 A.D. It is the defining event in Islam's split into Sunni and Shiite branches.  The occasion is the source of an enduring moral lesson. "He sacrificed his blood to teach us not to give in to corruption, coercion, or use of force and to seek honor and justice."  According to Shiite beliefs, Hussein and companions were denied water by enemies who controlled the nearby Euphrates.  Streets get partially covered with blood from slaughter of hundreds of cows and sheep. Volunteers cook the meat and feed it to the poor.  Hussein's martyrdom recounted through a rich body of prose, poetry and song remains an inspirational example of sacrifice to many Shiites, 10 percent of the world's estimated 1.3 billion Muslims.
Meeting of the Saints  walis (saints of Allah)
Great men covet to embrace martyrdom for a cause and principle.
So was the case with Hazrat Ali. He could have made a compromise with the evil forces of his time and, as a result, could have led a very comfortable, easy and luxurious life. But he was not a person who would succumb to such temptations. His upbringing, his education and his training in the lap of the holy Prophet made him refuse such an offer.
Rabia Al-Basri (717–801 C.E.) She was first to set forth the doctrine of mystical love and who is widely considered to be the most important of the early Sufi poets.
An elderly Shia pointed out that during his pre-Partition childhood it was quite common to find pictures and portraits of Shia icons in Imambaras across the country.
Shia Ali al-Hadi, died 868 and son Hassan al-Askari 874. These saints are the 10th and 11th of Shia's 12 most revered Imams.  Baba Farid Sufi 1398 miracle, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki renowned Muslim Sufi saint scholar miracles
569 A.H. [1173 C.E.] hermit gave to poor, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti  greatest mystic of his time born 533 Hijri (1138-39 A.D.) , Hazrat Ghuas-e AzamHazrat Bu Ali Sharif, and Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia 1236-1325 welcomed people of all faiths & all walks of life Sufi Saint Hazrath Khwaja Syed Mohammed Badshah Quadri Chisty Yamani Quadeer (RA)
801 Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya Sufi One of the most famous Islamic mystics
(b. 717). This 8th century saint was an early Sufi who had a profound influence on later Sufis, who in turn deeply influenced the European mystical love and troubadour traditions.  Rabi'a was a woman of Basra, a seaport in southern Iraq.  She was born around 717 and died in 801 (185-186).  Her biographer, the great medieval poet Attar, tells us that she was "on fire with love and longing" and that men accepted her "as a second spotless Mary" (186).  She was, he continues, “an unquestioned authority to her contemporaries" (218).
Rabi'a began her ascetic life in a small desert cell near Basra, where she lost herself in prayer and went straight to God for teaching.  As far as is known, she never studied under any master or spiritual director.  She was one of the first of the Sufis to teach that Love alone was the guide on the mystic path (222).  A later Sufi taught that there were two classes of "true believers": one class sought a master as an intermediary between them and God -- unless they could see the footsteps of the Prophet on the path before them, they would not accept the path as valid.  The second class “...did not look before them for the footprint of any of God's creatures, for they had removed all thought of what He had created from their hearts, and concerned themselves solely with God. (218)
Rabi'a was of this second kind.  She felt no reverence even for the House of God in Mecca:  "It is the Lord of the house Whom I need; what have I to do with the house?" (219) One lovely spring morning a friend asked her to come outside to see the works of God.  She replied, "Come you inside that you may behold their Maker.  Contemplation of the Maker has turned me aside from what He has made" (219).  During an illness, a friend asked this woman if she desired anything.
"...[H]ow can you ask me such a question as 'What do I desire?'  I swear by the glory of God that for twelve years I have desired fresh dates, and you know that in Basra dates are plentiful, and I have not yet tasted them.  I am a servant (of God), and what has a servant to do with desire?" (162)
When a male friend once suggested she should pray for relief from a debilitating illness, she said,
"O Sufyan, do you not know Who it is that wills this suffering for me?  Is it not God Who wills it?  When you know this, why do you bid me ask for what is contrary to His will?  It is not  well to oppose one's Beloved." (221)
She was an ascetic.  It was her custom to pray all night, sleep briefly just before dawn, and then rise again just as dawn "tinged the sky with gold" (187).  She lived in celibacy and poverty, having renounced the world.  A friend visited her in old age and found that all she owned were a reed mat, screen, a pottery jug, and a bed of felt which doubled as her prayer-rug (186), for where she prayed all night, she also slept briefly in the pre-dawn chill.  Once her friends offered to get her a servant; she replied,
"I should be ashamed to ask for the things of this world from Him to Whom the world belongs, and how should I ask for them from those to whom it does not belong?"  (186-7)
A wealthy merchant once wanted to give her a purse of gold.  She refused it, saying that God, who sustains even those who dishonor Him, would surely sustain her, "whose soul is overflowing with love" for Him.  And she added an ethical concern as well:
"...How should I take the wealth of someone of whom I do not know whether he acquired it lawfully or not?" (187)
She taught that repentance was a gift from God because no one could repent unless God had already accepted him and given him this gift of repentance.  She taught that sinners must fear the punishment they deserved for their sins, but she also offered such sinners far more hope of Paradise than most other ascetics did.  For herself, she held to a higher ideal, worshipping God neither from fear of Hell nor from hope of Paradise, for she saw such self-interest as unworthy of God's servants; emotions like fear and hope were like veils -- i.e., hindrances to the vision of God Himself.  The story is told that once a number of Sufis saw her hurrying on her way with water in one hand and a burning torch in the other.  When they asked her to explain, she said:
"I am going to light a fire in Paradise and to pour water on to Hell, so that both veils may vanish altogether from before the pilgrims and their purpose may be sure..." (187-188)
She was once asked where she came from.  "From that other world," she said.  "And where are you going?" she was asked.  "To that other world," she replied (219).  She taught that the spirit originated with God in "that other world" and had to return to Him in the end.  Yet if the soul were sufficiently purified, even on earth, it could look upon God unveiled in all His glory and unite with him in love.  In this quest, logic and reason were powerless.  Instead, she speaks of the "eye" of her heart which alone could apprehend Him and His mysteries (220).
Above all, she was a lover, a bhakti, like one of Krishna’s Goptis in the Hindu tradition.  Her hours of prayer were not so much devoted to intercession as to communion with her Beloved.  Through this communion, she could discover His will for her.  Many of her prayers have come down to us:
       "I have made Thee the Companion of my heart,
        But my body is available for those who seek its company,
        And my body is friendly towards its guests,
        But the Beloved of my heart is the Guest of my soul."  [224]

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Mother Angelica saving souls is this beautiful womans journey
Shrine_of_The_Most_Blessed_Sacrament
Colombia was among the countries Mother Angelica visited.  In Bogotá, a Salesian priest - Father Juan Pablo Rodriguez brought Mother and the nuns to the Sanctuary of the Divine Infant Jesus to attend Mass.  After Mass, Father Juan Pablo took them into a small Shrine which housed the miraculous statue of the Child Jesus. Mother Angelica stood praying at the side of the statue when suddenly the miraculous image came alive and turned towards her.  Then the Child Jesus spoke with the voice of a young boy: 
"Build Me a Temple and I will help those who help you." 
Thus began a great adventure that would eventually result in the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, a Temple dedicated to the Divine Child Jesus, a place of refuge for all. Use this link to read a remarkable story about
Father Reardon, Editor of The Catholic Bulletin for 20 years
Lover of the poor; "A very Holy Man of God"
Monsignor Reardon P.A.  BASILICA OF SAINT MARY Minneapolis MN
America's First Basilica
Largest Nave in the World
August 7, 1907-ground broke for the foundation by Archbishop Ireland-laying cornerstone 5/31/1908
James M. Reardon Publication History of Basilica of Saint Mary 1600-1932
James M. Reardon Publication  History of the Basilica of Saint Mary 1955 {update}
Brief History of our Beloved Holy Priest Here and his published books of Catholic History in North America

Reardon, J.M. Archbishop Ireland; Prelate, Patriot, Publicist,1838-1918.
A Memoir (St. Paul; 1919);
George Anthony Belcourt Pioneer Catholic Missionary of the Northwest 1803-1874 (1955);
The Catholic Church IN THE DIOCESE OF ST. PAUL from earliest origin to centennial achievement
1362-1950 (1952);

The Church of Saint Mary of Saint Paul 1875-1922;
  (1932)
The Vikings in the American Heartland;
The Catholic Total Abstinence Society in Minnesota;

James Michael Reardon B. 1872, Nova Scotia; Priest, ordained by Bishop Ireland; Member  St. Paul Seminary faculty
Litany of Loretto in Stained glass windows Here.  Nave Sacristy and Residence Here
Sanctuary
spaces filled
between with grilles of hand-forged wrought iron  Life of our Blessed Lady After the Crucifixon
Apostle statues Replicas of those in St John Lateran--Christendom's earliest Basilica. Ordered by Rome's first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great.  It became the Popes' own cathedral and official residence for the first millennium of Christian history. The only replicas ever made:  in order from west to east {1932}. Saints Simon (saw), Bartholomew (knife), James the Lesser (book), John (eagle),  Andrew (transverse cross), Peter (keys), Paul (sword), James the Greater (staff),
Thomas (carpenter's square), Philip (serpent), Matthew (book), and Jude (sword).
Every Christian must be a living book wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel
 
It Makes No Sense Not To Believe In GOD
The 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary ) Revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan)
1.    Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces. 2.    I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary. 3.    The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies. 4.    It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of people from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things.  Oh, that soul would sanctify them by this means.  5.    The soul that recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish. 6.    Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying themselves to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune.  God will not chastise them in His justice, they shall not perish by an unprovided death; if they be just, they shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life. 7.    Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church. 8.    Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the Saints in Paradise. 9.    I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary. 10.    The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.  11.    You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary. 12.    I shall aid all those who propagate the Holy Rosary in their necessities. 13.    I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death. 14.    All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ. 15.    Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Father John Corapi, SOLT

Among the most important titles we have in the Catholic Church for the Blessed Virgin Mary are Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary. These titles can be traced back to one of the most decisive times in the history of the world and Christendom. The Battle of Lepanto took place on October 7 (date of feast of Our Lady of Rosary), 1571. This proved to be the most crucial battle for the Christian forces against the radical Muslim navy of Turkey. Pope Pius V led a procession around St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City praying the Rosary. He showed true pastoral leadership in recognizing the danger posed to Christendom by the radical Muslim forces, and in using the means necessary to defeat it. Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons, and this more than anything was a battle that had its origins in the spiritual order—a true battle between good and evil.

Today we have a similar spiritual battle in progress—a battle between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, truth and lies, life and death. If we do not soon stop the genocide of abortion in the United States, we shall run the course of all those that prove by their actions that they are enemies of God—total collapse, economic, social, and national. The moral demise of a nation results in the ultimate demise of a nation. God is not a disinterested spectator to the affairs of man. Life begins at conception. This is an unalterable formal teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do not accept this you are a heretic in plain English. A single abortion is homicide. The more than 48,000,000 abortions since Roe v. Wade in the United States constitute genocide by definition. The group singled out for death—unwanted, unborn children.

No other issue, not all other issues taken together, can constitute a proportionate reason for voting for candidates that intend to preserve and defend this holocaust of innocent human life that is abortion.

THE BLESSED MOTHER AND ISLAM
As we watch the spectacle of the world seeming to self-destruct before our eyes, we can’t help but be saddened and even frightened by so much evil run rampant. Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia, North Korea—It is all a disaster of epic proportions displayed in living color on our television screens.  These are not ordinary times and this is not business as usual. We are at a crossroads in human history and the time for Catholics and all Christians to act is now. All evil can ultimately be traced to its origin, which is moral evil. All of the political action, peace talks, international peacekeeping forces, etc. will avail nothing if the underlying sickness is not addressed. This is sin. One person at a time hearts and minds must be moved from evil to good, from lies to truth, from violence to peace.

Islam, an Arabic word that has often been defined as “to make peace,” seems like a living contradiction today. Islam is a religion of peace.  As we celebrate the birthday of Our Lady, I am proposing that each one of us pray the Rosary for peace. Prayer is what must precede all other activity if that activity is to have any chance of success. Pray for peace, pray the Rosary every day without fail.  There is a great love for Mary among Muslim people. It is not a coincidence that a little village named Fatima is where God chose to have His Mother appear in the twentieth century. Our Lady’s name appears no less than thirty times in the Koran. No other woman’s name is mentioned, not even that of Mohammed’s daughter, Fatima.
In the Koran Our Lady is described as “Virgin, ever Virgin.”

Archbishop Fulton Sheen prophetically spoke of the resurgence of Islam in our day. He said it would be through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Islam would be converted. We must pray for this to happen quickly if we are to avert a horrible time of suffering for this poor, sinful world. Turn to our Mother in this time of great peril. Pray the Rosary every day. Then, and only then will there be peace, when the hearts and minds of men are changed from the inside.

Talk is weak. Prayer is strong. Pray!  God bless you,
Father John Corapi

DEC. 19, 2009 Decrees of Vatican's Saint Congregation Testify to 10 Miracles; 10 Cases of Heroic Virtue; 1 Martyrdom
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 19, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here are the 21 decrees of the Congregation for Saints' Causes approved today by Benedict XVI.  Five of the decrees are for miracles attributed to those who are beatified, and are now qualified for canonization. Five decrees are for miracles attributed to those who are venerable, and are now qualified for beatification.
One decree testifies to martyrdom, and another is a decree of the heroic virtue of a blessed. The nine remaining decrees testify to the heroic virtue of servants of God.
[Decrees of miracles for blesseds]
-- a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Stanislaw Soltys, called Kazimierczyk, professed priest of the Canons Regular of the Lateran, born Sept. 27, 1433 in Kazimierz (Poland) and died in the same place May 3, 1489;
-- a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed André Bessette (born Alfred), religious of the Congregation of the Holy Cross; born in Saint-Grégoire d'Iberville, Canada, Aug. 9, 1845, and died in Montreal, Canada, Jan. 6, 1937.
-- a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Mary MacKillop (born Mary Helen), founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart; born Jan. 15, 1842 in Fitzroy, Australia, and died Aug. 8, 1909, in Sydney, Australia;
-- a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Giulia Salzano, founder of the Congregation of the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart; born Oct. 13, 1846, in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Italy, and died May 17, 1929, in Casoria, Italy;
-- a miracle attributed to the intercession of Camilla Battista da Varano, sister of the Poor Clares and founder of the monastery of St. Clare in Camerino; born April 0, 1458, in Camerino, Italy, and died in the same city May 31, 1524;
[Decrees of miracles for venerables]
-- a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable José Tous y Soler, priest and professed of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and founder of the Congregation of the Capuchin Sisters of the Mother of the Divine Pastor; born March 21, 1811, in Igualada, Spain, and died Feb. 21, 1871, in Barcelona, Spain.
-- a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Leopoldo de Alpandeire Sánchez Márquez (born Francisco), a professed brother of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin; born July 24, 1866, in Alpandeire, Spain, and died Feb. 9, 1956, in Granada, Spain.
-- a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Manuel Lozano Garrido, a layman; born Aug. 9, 1920, in Linares, Spain, and died in the same city Nov. 3, 1971;
-- a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable  Teresa Manganiello, a laywoman, of the Third Order of St. Francis; born in Montefusco, Italy, Jan. 1, 1849, and died Nov. 4, 1876;
-- a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Chiara Badano, lay; born in Sassello, Italy, Oct. 29, 1971, and died Oct. 7, 1990;
[Decree recognizing marytrdom]
-- the martyrdom of the Servant of God Jerzy Popieluszko, diocesan priest; born Sept. 14, 1947, in Okopy Suchowola, Poland, and killed for hatred of the faith Oct. 20, 1984, near Wloclawek, Polond;
[Decree recognizing heroic virtue of a blessed]
-- the heroic virtue of Blessed Giacomo Illirico da Bitetto, a professed brother of the Order of the Friars Minor, born in 1400 in Zara, Dalmacia, and died around the year 1496 in Bitetto, Italy;
[Decrees recognizing heroic virtue for servants of God]
-- the heroic virtues of Servant of God Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli), supreme pontiff; born in Rome on March 2, 1876, and died in Castel Gandolfo on Oct. 9, 1958;
-- the heroic virtues of Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla), supreme pontiff; born May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland, and died in April 2, 2005, in Rome;
-- the heroic virtues of Servant of God Louis Brisson, priest and founder of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales; born June 23, 1817, in Plancy, France, and died n the same city Feb. 2, 1908;
-- the heroic virtues of Servant of God Giuseppe Quadrio, professed priest of the Salesians of St. John Bosco; born Nov. 28, 1921, in Vervio, Italy, and died in Turin, Italy, Oct. 23, 1963;
-- the heroic virtues of Servant of God Mary Ward, founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, born in Mulwith, England, Jan. 23, 1585, and died in Hewarth, England, Jan. 30, 1645;
Father Giuseppe Quadrio (1921-63), a Salesian.
Sister Mary Ward (1545-1615), an Englishwoman who founded the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters).
-- the heroic virtues of Servant of God Antonia Maria Verna, founder of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception of Ivrea; born in Pasquaro di Rivarolo, Italy, June 12, 1773, and died in the same city Dec. 25, 1838;
-- the heroic virtues of Servant of God Maria Chiara Serafina de Jesús Farolfi (born Francisca), founder of the Missionary Franciscan Clarists of the Blessed Sacrament; born Oct. 7, 1853, in Tossignano, Italy, and died June 18, 1917, in Badia di Bertinoro, Italia;
-- the heroic virtues of Servant of God Enrica Alfieri (born Maria Angela), professed religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Charity of St. Juana Antide Thouret; born Feb. 23, 1891, in Borgovercelli, Italy, and died in Milan, Italy, on Nov. 23, 1951;
-- the heroic virtues of Servant of God Giunio Tinarelli, layman, member of the Silent Workers of the Cross, born in Terni, Italy, May 27, 1912, and died in the same city Jan. 14, 1956.
DECREES OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS
VATICAN CITY, 17 JAN 2009 (VIS) - Today, during a private audience with Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pope authorised the congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
All Servants of God
MIRACLES:
- 1909 Ciriaco Maria Sancha y Hervas, Spanish cardinal archbishop of Toledo, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of
          Charity of Cardinal Sancha (1833-1909).
-
1956 Carlo Gnocchi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the "Pro Juventute" Foundation (1902-1956).
-
1735 Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos, Spanish professed priest of the Company of Jesus (1711-1735).
-
1919 Raphael Rafiringa (ne Louis), Madagascan professed religious of the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools
          (1856-1919).
-
1946 Eustachio Kugler, (ne Joseph), German professed religious of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God (1867-1946).
 
HEROIC VIRTUES
-
1659 Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, Spanish bishop of Osma (1600-1659).
-
1888 Robert Spiske, diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Hedwig (1821-1888).
- 1
932 Carolina Beltrami, Italian foundress of the Institute of "Immaculatine" Sisters of Alessandria (1869-1932).
-
1998 Mary of the Immaculate e Conception Salvat y Romerio (nee Maria Isabella), Spanish superior general of the Institute of
          Sisters of the Company of the Cross (1926-1998).
-
1842 Liberata Ferrarons y Vives, Spanish laywoman of the Third Order of Carmelites (1803-1842).
  In the course of a private audience with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. on 22 December 2008, the Pope authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate a decree regarding the heroic virtues of
1871 Jose Tous y Soler, Servant of God Spanish professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins and founder of the
        Capuchin sisters of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd (1811-1871).
CSS/DECREES/AMATO VIS 090119 (320)
RITES OF BEATIFICATION APPROVED BY THE HOLY FATHER VATICAN CITY, 8 SEP 2009 (VIS)
The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that the following rites of beatification,
approved by the Holy Father, will take place over the coming months:
- Servant of God Eustachio Kugler (ne Joseph), German professed religious of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God: at 2 p.m. on Sunday 4 October in the cathedral of Regensburg, Germany.
- Servant of God Ciriaco Maria Sancha y Hervas, Spanish cardinal and archbishop, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Cardinal Sancha, at 10 a.m. on Sunday 18 October in the cathedral of Toledo, Spain.
- Servant of God Carlo Gnocchi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the "Pro Juventute" Foundation: at 10 a.m. on Sunday 25 October in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, Italy.
- Servant of God Zoltan Lajos Meszlenyi, Hungarian bishop and martyr: at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday 31 October in the cathedral of Esztergom, Hungary.
- Servant of God Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas (nee Soultaneh Maria), co-foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem: at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday 22 November, Solemnity of Christ the King, in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel.
OCL/BEATIFICATIONS/... VIS 090908 (220)
Holy Land Christians Welcome Beatification Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas to Be Named Blessed in Nazareth  JERUSALEM, SEPT. 10, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Holy Land Christians are rejoicing over the forthcoming beatification, the first to take place in their country, of Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, which is planned for Nov. 22 in Nazareth.
 
Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, affirmed this Wednesday, the day after the Holy See publicized the place and date of the beatification. The Vatican communiqué reported that "Mother Ghattas," born Soultaneh Maria, co- founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, will be beatified on the solemnity of Christ the King in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Father Pizzaballa told the Italian agency Sir that this celebration will be "an important event, which will bring the Palestinian Christian community together again after Benedict XVI's visit."  He explained, "This beatification gives local Christians a symbol and spiritual example at a difficult time, in which their number is diminishing, with so many challenges such as secularization, formation and the political problems that continue unresolved."
 
Mother Ghattas' spiritual daughters, the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary, were very enthusiastic when the news was made public. Sister Ildefonsa, secretary general of the congregation, explained to Sir that not only her congregation but the whole Christian community, especially in Galilee have been preparing for a long time. She stated, "We have sent a letter from the congregation to all the convents spread across the Middle East, so that they will pray and fast faced to the beatification."
 
The beatification "will be, for our Christian communities, an invitation to courage, to stay despite the difficulties," the nun added. "On our part we intend to give them education and instruction." 
Daughter of Palestine 
Ghattas was born on October 4, 1843 in Jerusalem. She entered religious life at age 14, with the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition, taking the name Alfonsina. She had visions of the Virgin Mary, who requested that she found a congregation dedicated to the Holy Rosary. In 1880, together with Father Joseph Tannous, she initiated the new religious community, which soon spread all over the Holy Land. The Custos of the Holy Land stated that Mother Ghattas was "a daughter of Palestine who lived in the Holy Land and who understood the importance of instruction and formation to give Christian witness in this tormented region of the world."
HOLY FATHER TO CANONISE FIVE BLESSEDS ON 11 OCTOBER
VATICAN CITY, 1 OCT 2009 (VIS) - At 10 a.m. on Sunday 11 October the Holy Father will celebrate Mass in St. Peter's Square, during which he will canonise five blesseds, according to a communique released today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.
  The five future saints are: Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski (1822-1895), Polish former archbishop of Warsaw and founder of the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary; Francesc Coll y Guitart (1812-1875), Spanish professed priest of the Order of Friars Preachers and founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Jozef Damian de Veuster (1840-1889), Belgian professed priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar (PICPUS); Blessed Rafael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938), Spanish oblate friar of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, and Mary of the Cross Jugan (nee Jeanne) (1792-1879), French virgin and foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
OCL/CANONISATIONS/...                                                           VIS 091001 (190)
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 general and binds all the followers of Christ.
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1st v St. Agabus Jewish convert to the faith noted as a prophet Martyr 1 of 72 disciples mentioned by St. Luke
Antiochíæ natális sancti Agábi Prophétæ, de quo beátus Lucas in Actibus Apostólicis scribit.      
At Antioch, the birthday of St. Agabus, prophet, of whom mention is made by St. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles.

He was a Jewish convert to the faith, noted as a prophet. Agabus predicted a famine in the Roman Empire and probably Paul's imprisonment. Agabus was unable to dissuade Paul from going to Jerusalem.
The martyr died for the faith in the city of Antioch.

Agabus the Prophet (RM) 1st century Jewish-Christian prophet from Jerusalem came to Antioch and predicted a famine throughout the Roman Empire (Acts 11:28-29), which actually occurred in 49 AD during the reign of Emperor Claudius. He is probably the same Agabus who predicted Paul's imprisonment in Jerusalem (Acts 21:10ff). According to tradition, he died a martyr at Antioch.
A Carmelite legend has led to his being usually represented in art robed in the Carmelite habit and holding the model of a church (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
250 Fusca V and Maura MM (RM)
Rav
énnæ sanctárum Fuscæ Vírginis, ejúsque nutrícis Mauræ; quæ, Décio imperánte, multa sub Quinctiáno Præside perpéssæ, demum, gládio transfíxæ, martyrium consummárunt.
At Ravenna, in the time of Emperor Decius and the governor Quinctian, the Saints Fusca, virgin, and Maura, her nurse.  They endured many afflictions, but were finally transfixed with a sword, and thus ended their martyrdom.

Saint Fusca was a 15-year-old girl who was martyred with her nurse, Maura, at Ravenna under Decius (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art these saints are recognized as a young girl and her nurse each pierced with a sword. They are venerated in Ravenna, Italy (Roeder).

259 St. Polyeuctus  Roman martyr of Greek parentages put to death in Armenia His Acts are extant beauty and poignancy ( as recorded by Metaphrastes)
Melitínæ, in Arménia, sancti Polyéucti Mártyris, qui in persecutióne Décii multa passus, martyrii corónam adéptus est.      
At Meletine in Armenia, in the persecution of Decius, St. Polyeuctus, who, after many sufferings, obtained the crown of martyrdom.

259 ST POLYEUCTUS, MARTYR openly declared himself a Christian, and was apprehended and condemned to cruel tortures

THE city of Melitene in Armenia, which was a station of Roman troops, is illustrious for the large number of its martyrs. Of these the foremost in rank was Polyeuctus, a Roman officer of Greek parentage. White still a pagan he made friends with a zealous Christian named Nearchus who, when news of persecution reached Armenia, prepared himself to lay down his life for his faith. His only regret was that Polyeuctus was still a heathen, but he had the joy of winning him over to the truth and of inspiring him with an eager desire to die for the Christian religion. Polyeuctus openly declared himself a Christian, and was apprehended and condemned to cruel tortures. When the executioners were tired of tormenting him, they began to argue and persuade him to renounce Christ. The tears and entreaties of his wife Paulina, of his children and of his father-in-law might well have shaken a less resolute man. Polyeuctus, however, strengthened by God, only grew firmer and received the death sentence with joy. On the road to execution he exhorted the bystanders to renounce their idols, and spoke so eloquently that many were converted. He was beheaded during the persecution of Decius or Valerian.

There is good and indeed convincing evidence of the martyrdom of one St Polyeuctus at Melitene a church is known to have been dedicated to him there before 377. His name is entered on January 7, as suffering at Melitene in the Syriac Martyrology of the fourth century, and the same entry occurs on the same day in the “Hieronymianum”. At the same time, we can by no means trust the accuracy of the history assigned to the martyr in his “acts”. The elements of romance, utilized by Corneille in his tragedy Polyeucte, are unmistakable. The Greek text of the acts was first published entire by B. Aubé, Polyeucte dans l’histoire (1882). An Armenian version has been translated by F. C. Conybeare in his book, The Apology and Acts of Apollonius . . (1894).

An official in the Roman provincial govern­ment in the East, he was put to death in Armenia during the persecution launched by Emperor Valerian. His Acts are extant, as recorded by Metaphrastes, and are well known for their beauty and poignancy. Polyeuctus’ martyrdom was the subject of a play by Pierce Corneille in the seventeenth century.

Polyeuctus of Melitene M (RM)  Died January 10, c. 250-259. Saint Polyeuctus, a wealthy Roman officer, was martyred at Melitene, Armenia, under Valerian. His acta, as given by Metaphrastes, are as touching as any in early Christian literature. His friend Nearchus was so zealous in his desire to lay down his life for Christ when he heard the Christian persecution was to reach the outposts of the Empire, that Polyeuctus was converted to the faith and openly professed it. He was, of course, captured and condemned to be tortured. When his tormentors were weary, they turned to argumentation to persuade him to apostatize. Most men would have been moved by the distress of their families. But tears and protestations of his wife Paulina, his children, and his father-in-law Felix were insufficient move this new Christian. Finally the sentence of death was passed by the judge, which Polyeuctus greeted with such cheerfulness and joy that many were converted as he travelled to the place of his beheading.
The Christians buried him in Melitene. Nearchus gathered his blood in a cloth, and afterwards wrote his acta. The Greeks keep his festival very solemnly, and all the Latin martyrologies mention him. Saint Euthymius often prayed in a famous church of St. Polyeuctus at Melitene. The stately church bearing his name in Constantinople, under Justinian, the vault of which was covered with plates of gold, in which it was the custom for men to make their most solemn oaths, as is related by Saint Gregory of Tours. The same author informs us, in his history of the Franks, that the kings of France confirmed their treaties by the name of Polyeuctus.

Saint Jerome's Martyrology and the most ancient Armenian calendars place Polyeuctus's feast on January 7; while the Greeks celebrate in on January 9. Nevertheless, his feast is marked on February 13 in the ancient martyrology, which was sent from Rome to Aquileia in the eighth century, and which is copied by Ado, Usuard, and the Roman Martyrology. Corneille has used some elements of the martyr's story in his tragedy Polyeucte (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

303 St. Benignus Martyr of Todi, in Umbria
Italy. He was executed during the persecutions conducted by Emperor Diocletian.

At Todi in Umbria, St. Benignus, priest and martyr, who would not cease spreading the Christian faith.  In the reign of Emperors Diocletian and Maximian he was taken by the pagans, suffered various tortures, and finally reached the perfection of his priestly office with the honour of martyrdom.
Tudérti, in Umbria, sancti Benígni, Presbyteri et Mártyris; qui, Diocletiáni et Maximiáni Imperatórum témpore, cum fidem Christiánam verbo et exémplo propagáre non desísteret, ab idolórum cultóribus captus est, ac, váriis afféctus supplíciis, sacerdotále munus honóre martyrii cumulávit. http://www.breviary.net/martyrology/mart02/mart0213.htm

Saint Benignus of Dijon (3rd century) (in French, Saint Bénigne) was a martyr honored as the patron saint and first herald of Christianity of Dijon (Divio), an old city in the territory of the Gallic tribe of the Lingones (civitas Lingonum, Langres). It is an historical fact that Benignus suffered martyrdom in a persecution of the 3rd century and was publicly honored as a martyr. His feast falls on November 1; his name stands under this date in the so-called Martyrology of St. Jerome (ed. Rossi-Duchesne; cf. Acta SS., November, I1, 138).

Early in the 6th century no particulars concerning the person and life of Benignus were known at Dijon. He may have been a missionary priest from Lyon, martyred at Epagny under Aurelian, near Dijon, in the late 2nd century.[1]

According to Gregory of Tours the common people reverenced his grave; but Bishop Saint Gregory of Langres (507 or 507-539 or 540) wished to put an end to this veneration, because he believed the grave to belong to a heathen. Having learned in a vision at night that the burial spot (once a large Roman cemetery) was that of the holy martyr Benignus, he had the tomb in which the sarcophagus lay restored, and he build a basilica over it. A larger church was built by its abbot William of Volpiano for his Cluniac monastery at the site. Benignus' church and tomb have survived an earthquake in 1280 and the French Revolution. His sarcophagus can still be seen in the crypt under the cathedral at Dijon.

About this date there was a sudden appearance of Acts of the martyrdom of the saint, which were brought to Dijon by a pilgrim on the way to Italy (Gregor. Tur., De gloriâ martyrum, I, li; Migne P.L., LXXI, 752). These accounts have no historical basis; according to them St. Polycarp of Smyrna had sent Benignus as a missionary to Dijon, where he had labored as a priest and had finally died a martyr. For some unknown reason his death is placed in the persecution under Aurelian (270-275). The author had not noticed that the sending by Polycarp and the martyrdom under Aurelian are chronologically irreconcilable. Louis Duchesne has proved that these "Acts" belong to a whole group of legends which arose in the early years of the sixth century and were intended to describe the beginnings of Christianity in the cities of that region (Besançon, Autun, Langres, Valence). They are all falsifications by the same hand and possess no historical value.
St. Julian of Lyons Martyr of Lyons, France unknown
Some traditions report that he was martyred in Nicomedia.
Lugdúni, in Gállia, sancti Juliáni Mártyris.  At Lyons in France, St. Julian, martyr.

389 Castor First monk of Germany (Encyclopedia).
400 St. Martinian Hermit of Caesarea Palestine manifesting the gift of miracles; There is much reason to doubt the very existence of Martinian

ST MARTINIAN THE HERMIT
MARTINIAN was born at Caesarea in Palestine during the reign of Constantius. At eighteen he retired to a mountain called “The Place of the Ark”, where he lived for twenty-five years as a hermit. His so-called Life contains many stories of more than doubtful authenticity. According to them, a woman of Caesarea called Zoe, hearing his sanctity much extolled, undertook the part of temptress. She pretended that she was a poor woman wandering in the desert late at night, and nearly at death’s door. By this pretext she persuaded Martinian to let her remain that night in his cell. Towards morning, she threw aside her rags, showing her best clothes, and going in to Martinian told him that she was a lady of Caesarea and possessed large estates and a plentiful fortune which she offered him—together with herself. To induce him to abandon his solitary life, she quoted instances of Old Testament saints who were rich and married. He listened to her words and consented in his heart to her suggestion. However, as he was then expecting some visitors who were coming to receive his blessing, he told her that he would go to meet them on the road and dismiss them. He started out with that intention but, being touched with remorse, he speedily returned to his cell, where he made a great fire and thrust his feet into it. The pain was so intense that he could not help crying out, and the woman hearing the noise ran in and found him writhing in anguish on the ground with his feet half burnt. When he saw her, he exclaimed, “Ah, if I cannot bear this weak fire, how can I endure that of Hell?” This example brought Zoe to repentance, and she begged him to put her in the way of securing her salvation. He sent her to Bethlehem, to the convent of St Paula, in which she lived in penitence.

For seven months Martinian was unable to rise from the ground, hut as soon as his legs were healed he retired to a rock surrounded by water on every side, to be secure from danger and occasions of sin. Here he lived, exposed to all the winds of heaven, and without ever seeing any human being except a boatman who brought him twice a year biscuit, fresh water and twigs wherewith to make baskets. Six years he lived there, and then one day he saw a ship wrecked close to his island. All on board perished except one girl who, floating on a plank, cried out for help. Martinian went down and saved her life, but as he feared the danger of living on the same mountain with her, he resolved to leave her there with his provisions to await the boatman’s coming in two months’ time. She chose to spend the rest of her life on the rock in imitation of his penitential example and he, trusting himself to the waves and to God, swam to the mainland and travelled to Athens, where he made a happy end at the age of about fifty. Though not mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, St Martinian was greatly venerated in the East, particularly at Constantinople.

There is much reason to doubt the very existence of Martinian. The legend summarized above will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. ii. See also Rabbow, “Die Legende des Martinian” in Wiener Studien, vol. xvii (1895), pp. 253—293, who prints the Greek text; and cf. Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xv (1896), pp. 346—347. Rabbow has shows among other things that the Metaphrast’s revision of the legend has borrowed from the Buddhistic romance of Barlaam and Joasaph. A German translation of the story has been made by H. Lietzmann in his Byzantinische Legenden, pp. 53—62.

He started his life as a recluse on a site called the Place of the Ark at eighteen. Zoe, a woman of evil reputation, came upon him and tried to seduce him. Martinian not only resisted her advances by putting his feet in a fire, but converted her and counseled her to become a nun at Bethlehem.  Martinian was quite elderly when he went to Athens, where he died.
Martinian the Hermit (AC) (also known as Martinian of Caesarea).  Recluse near Caesarea, Palestine, who put his feet in the fire and another time jumped into the sea to escape from the so-called weaker sex. You may ask how this all came about.  Martinianus retired to the 'place of the Ark' near his hometown of Caesarea when he was about 18. He lived for 25 years among holy solitaries practicing penance and the virtues, and manifesting the gift of miracles.

The harlot Zoë, hearing of his sanctity and inspired by the devil, determined to pervert him. She pretended to be a poor woman, lost and helpless in the desert late at night, and prevailed upon Martinianus to allow her to spend the night with him in his cell. About dawn she tossed aside her beggar's rags and donned her city finery. Zoë told him that she offered herself and all her wealth and estates to him. She also appealed to the Old Testament saints who were wealthy and married, and urged him to abandon his purpose.

It seems that Martinianus may have assented in his heart for he did not send her away immediately. He was expecting certain people to call upon him for a blessing and instructions but told her to wait. He intended to dismiss his guests, but was touched with remorse. Returning speedily to his cell he built a fire and stuck his feet into it. Hearing his scream of pain, Zoë ran to him. "If I cannot bear this weak fire, how can I endure the fire of hell?"

This example excited Zoë to sentiments of grief and repentance. She asked Martinianus's help in finding the way to salvation. Thus, she entered the convent of Saint Paula in Bethlehem, where she lived in continual penance, lying on the floor and consuming only bread and water.

It took nearly 7 months for Martinianus's legs to heal. When he was able to rise from the ground, he retired to a rock surrounded by water on every side to be secure from the approach of danger and all occasion of sin. Here he lived exposed to the elements and seeing no one except a boatman who brought him supplies twice annually.

After six years on the rock, he one day spied a ship wrecked at the bottom of his rock. All on board had perished except for one girl, who cried out for help. He rescued her but, fearing temptation of living alone with her for two months until the boatman came again, resolved to leave her and his provisions. She freely chose to live out her days on the rock in imitation of Martinianus.

He threw himself into the sea to shun all danger of sin, swam to the mainland, and travelled through many deserts to reach Athens, where he lived out the rest of his life.  Martinianus's name does not appear in the R.M., but does occur in the Greek Menaea. Some have questioned whether this story is entirely fictitious (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth). 
Saint Martinian's emblem is a dolphin, standing on a rock in the sea (Roeder).  
400 St. Modomnoc Irish bishop bees followed him disciple of St. David of Wales.
6th v. ST Modomnoc One of his duties was to look after the bees, said by some to have become bishop of Ossory.
THE Irish martyrologies, and notably that of Oengus the Culdee (c. 804), are of great service in giving some idea of the nature of the popular appeal made by the saints they commemorate. The eulogium of St Modomnoc (“ Dominic”) takes this form:  “In a little boat, from the east, over the pure-coloured sea, my Domnoc brought—vigorous cry—the gifted race of Ireland’s bees.”
Modomnoc is said to have belonged to the Irish royal line of the O’Neils and to have left his native land for Wales with the object of perfecting himself in learning and acquiring greater religious fervour. Here he came under the direction of St David, who esteemed him highly. One of his duties was to look after the bees, and a picturesque but apocryphal legend states that when Modomnoc returned to Ireland the bees insisted on following him—swarming on the ship—and that he was thus the means of introducing bees into Ireland. In any case, with or without bees, St Modomnoc returned to his own country and settled at a place called Tipra-Fachtna, now called Tibraghny in County Kilkenny, near the river Suir. He is said by some to have become bishop of Ossory.
No formal ancient life of St Modomnoc in Latin or Irish is now known to exist, but references to him occur in the Life of St David and elsewhere. Plummer, Miscellanea Hagiograph. Hibern., p. 217, notes that an Oxford manuscript preserves a short account in Irish of the bringing of the bees, and the notes on the Félire tell us that the quantity he brought was “the full of his belt”. Giraldus Cambrensis also makes reference to the story. Cf. Wade-Evans, Life of St David (1923), p. 104.

Sometimes called Domnoc or Dominic, he was a member of the royal Irish family of O’Neil and ended his years as a hermit at Tibraghny in Kilkenny When Modomnoc returned to Wales after studying with St. David, swarms of bees left Scotland to follow him, thus supposedly being introduced to Ireland.

Modomnoc O'Neil B (AC) (also known as Domnoc, Dominic, Modomnock)  Died c. 550. The story goes that Modomnoc, descended of the Irish royal line of O'Neil, had to leave Ireland to train for the priesthood, since he was a student before the creation of the great Irish monasteries. He crossed the English Channel to be educated under the great Saint David at Mynyw (Menevia, now Saint David's) Monastery in Wales. All the pupils had to work in the fields, garden, or in building, in addition to attending to their studies.

Modomnoc was given charge of the bees and he loved it. And so did everyone else--they all loved honey, but few like taking charge of the hives. Modomnoc liked the bees almost more than he liked their honey. He cared for them tenderly, keeping them in straw skeps in a special sheltered corner of the garden, where he planted the kinds of flowers best loved by the bees.

Every time they swarmed, he captured the swarm very gently and lovingly and set up yet another hive. He talked to the bees as he worked among them and they buzzed around his head in clouds as if they were responding. And, of course, they never stung him.

At the end of summer, they gave him loads and loads of honey, so much that Modomnoc needed help carrying it all inside. The monks never seemed to run out of honey for their meals or making mead to drink. The good Modomnoc thanked God for his success, and he also thanked the bees.
He would walk among the skeps in the evening and talk to them, and the bees, for their part, would crowd out to meet him. All the other monks carefully avoided that corner of the monastery garden because they were afraid of being stung.

As well as thanking the bees, Modomnoc did everything he could to care for them in cold and storm. Soon his year's of study ended, and Modomnoc had to return to Ireland to begin his priestly ministry. While he was glad to be returning home, he knew he would be lonely for his bees. On the day of his departure, he said good- bye to David, the monks, and his fellow students. Then he went down to the garden to bid farewell to his bees.

They came out in the hundreds of thousands in answer to his voice and never was there such a buzzing and excitement among the rows and rows of hives. The monks stood at a distance watching the commotion in wonder, "You'd think the bees knew," they said. "You'd think they knew that Modomnoc was going away."

Modomnoc resolutely turned and went down to the shore and embarked the ship. When they were about three miles from the shore, Modomnoc saw what looked like a little black cloud in the sky in the direction of the Welsh coast. He watched it curiously and as it approached nearer, he saw to his amazement that it was a swarm of bees that came nearer and nearer until finally it settled on the edge of the boat near him. It was a gigantic swarm--all the bees from all the hives, in fact. The bees had followed him!

This time Modomnoc did not praise his friends. "How foolish of you," he scolded them, "you do not belong to me but to David's monastery! How do you suppose the monks can do without honey, or mead? Go back at once, you foolish creatures!" But if the bees understood what he said, they did not obey him. They settled down on the boat with a sleepy kind of murmur, and there they stayed. The sailors did not like it one bit and asked Modomnoc what he intended to do.

He told them to turn the boat back for Wales. It was already too far for the bees to fly back, even if they wanted to obey him. He could not allow his little friends to suffer for their foolishness. But the wind was blowing the boat to Ireland and when they turned back, the sail was useless. The sailors had to furl it and row back to the Welsh coast. They did it with very bad grace, but they were too much afraid of the bees to do anything else.

David and the monks were very surprised to see Modomnoc coming back and looking rather ashamed. He told them what had happened. The moment the boat had touched land again, he bees had made straight for their hives and settled down contentedly again. "Wait until tomorrow," advised the abbot, "but don't say farewell to the bees again. They will be over the parting by then."

Next morning, the boat was again in readiness for Modomnoc and this time he left hurriedly without any fuss of farewell. But when they were about three miles from the shore, he was dismayed to see again the familiar little black cloud rising up over the Welsh coast. Everyone recognized the situation and the sailors turned back to shore immediately.

Once more the shamefaced Modomnoc had to seek out David and tell his story. "What am I to do?" he pleaded. "I must go home. The bees won't let me go without them. I can't deprive you of them. They are so useful to the monastery."
David laughed and said, "Modomnoc, I give you the bees. Take them with my blessing. I am sure they would not thrive without you anyhow. Take them. We'll get other bees later on for the monastery."

The abbot went down to the boat and told the sailors the same story. "If the bees follow Modomnoc for the third time, take them to Ireland with him and my blessing." But it took a long time and a great deal of talking to get the sailors to agree to this. They did not care who had the bees as long as they weren't in their boat. Bees, they explained, were the kind of passengers they never wanted. If they gave trouble on the boat and no one could sail it, they might all be drowned. Anything but bees, they said. Wild animals, okay; bee, no.

The abbot assured the sailors that the bees would give no trouble as long as Modomnoc was around. The sailors asked, if that were so, why the bees did not obey Modomnoc's command to return to the monastery. After much back and forth, the sailors were finally persuaded into starting out again.

For the third time the boat set sail, Modomnoc praying hard that the bees would have the sense to stay in their pleasant garden rather than risking their lives at sea. For the third time he saw the dreaded little black cloud rising up in the distance, approaching nearer and nearer until he saw it was the same swarm of bees again. It settled on the boat once more. This time it did not turn back. Modomnoc coaxed his faithful friends into a sheltered corner of the boat, where they remained quietly throughout the journey, much to the sailors' relief.

When he landed in Ireland, he set up a church at a place called Bremore, near Balbriggan, in County Dublin, and here he established the bees in a happy garden just like the one they had in Wales. The place is known to this day as "the Church of the Beekeeper."
Some say that he became a hermit at Tibraghny in Kilkenny and later bishop (Benedictines, Curtayne).
512 Stephen of Lyons B (RM) Bishop
 Lugdúni, in Gállia, sancti Stéphani, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
At Lyons in France, St. Stephen, bishop and confessor.

Stephen of Lyons was active in converting the Arian Burgundians to the Catholic faith (Benedictines).
590 Stephen of Rieti, Abbot of admirable sanctity despised all things for the love of heaven  extreme poverty, and a privation of all the conveniences of life In his agony angels were seen surrounding him to conduct his happy soul to bliss (RM)
Lugdúni, in Gállia, sancti Stéphani, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
At Lyons in France, St. Stephen, bishop and confessor.

560 ST STEPHEN OF RIETI, ABBOT of a monastery near Rieti in Italy, and a man of wonderful piety eye­witnesses testified that they saw angels standing beside the saint on his death-bed

Pope St Gregory the Great in his writings speaks several times of this holy man “whose speech was so rude, but his life so cultured”, and he quotes an instance of his patience. Prompted by the Devil, a wicked man burnt down his barns with the corn that constituted the whole means of subsistence of the abbot and his household. “Alas,” cried the monks, “alas, for what has come upon you!” “Nay,” replied the abbot, “say rather, ‘Alas, for what has come upon him that did this deed’, for no harm has befallen me.” St Gregory also relates that eye­witnesses testified that they saw angels standing beside the saint on his death-bed,and that these angels afterwards carried his soul to bliss—whereupon the watchers were so awe-stricken that they could not remain beside his dead body. 

Beyond what St Gregory tells us in one of his homilies (Migne, PL., vol. lxxvi, cc. 1263— 1264) and in his Dialogues, iv, 19 (Migne, PL., vol. lxxvii, c. 352), we know practically nothing of St Stephen of Rieti..
Stephen was an abbot at Rieti whom Saint Gregory the Great in Dialogues, c. 19, describes as "rude of speech but of cultured life." He was a man of admirable sanctity, who despised all things for the love of heaven. He shunned all company to employ himself wholly in prayer. So wonderful was his patience, that he looked upon them as his greatest friends and benefactors, who did him the greatest injuries, and regarded insults as his greatest gain. He lived in extreme poverty, and a privation of all the conveniences of life. His barns, with all the corn in them, the whole subsistence of his family, were burned down by wicked men. He received the news with cheerfulness, grieving only for their sin by which God was offended.
In his agony angels were seen surrounding him to conduct his happy soul to bliss (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
St. Lezin French bishop member of the Frankish aristocracy 7th century.
he gave up worldly Concerns and entered the Church. Known for his sanctity, he later became bishop of Angers.

616 ST LICINIUS, OR LESIN, BISHOP OF ANGERS by the example of his severe and holy life and by miracles which were wrought through him he succeeded in winning the hearts of the most hardened and in making daily conquests of souls for God.

Licinius was born of a family closely allied to the French kings about the year 540. He grew up a handsome youth with charming manners and high principles, and when he was twenty his father took him to the court of his cousin, King Clotaire I. Here he signalized himself by his valour, by his chivalrous qualities and even more by his piety, for he fulfilled his Christian duties with exactitude and fervour. Fasting and prayer were constant practices with him and his heart was always upraised to God. King Chilperic was greatly attached to him and made him count of Anjou. Overruled by the wishes of his friends, he consented to take a wife, but his betrothed was seized with leprosy on the eve of the marriage. Licinius was so much affected by this that he resolved to carry out a design he had formerly entertained of entirely renouncing the world. This he did in 580; he became a priest and entered a religious community, where he led a very austere life.

When Audouin, Bishop of Angers, died, the people, remembering the equity and the clemency with which Licinius had ruled them when he was civil governor, clamoured to have him return as their pastor. The clergy seconded their appeal, and Licinius accepted, though unwillingly. Thereafter his time and his substance were devoted to feeding the hungry, comforting and releasing prisoners, and curing the souls and bodies of his people. Although he was careful to keep discipline in his diocese, he was more inclined to indulgence than to rigour, imitating the tenderness which our Lord Jesus Christ showed to sinners, By his strong and persuasive eloquence, by the example of his severe and holy life and by miracles which were wrought through him he succeeded in winning the hearts of the most hardened and in making daily conquests of souls for God. He renewed his own spirit of devotion by frequent periods of recollection and desired to lay down his bishopric so as to retire into solitude. The bishops of the province refused to listen to such a proposal, and Licinius therefore submitted to their will, spending the rest of his life in the service of his flock, although, in his later years, he suffered from continual infirmities.

The Life of St Licinius (BHL., n. 4957) cannot deserve confidence, for the author pretends to be almost a contemporary but it is certain that he did not write until more than a hundred years afterwards. The more favourable views expressed in-a paper by J. Demarteau in Mélanges Godefroid Kurth are criticized in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxviii (5909), p. 106. There is, however, no reason to doubt the existence of St Licinius or his episcopate or the reverence in which he was held. Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux (vol. ii, p. 354), while treating the life as a very suspicious document, points out that a letter was written to Licinius in 601 by Pope Gregory the Great and that he is also mentioned in the will of St Bertram, Bishop of Le Mans, which is dated March 27, 616.
7th v. St. Dyfnog Welsh confessor of the Caradog family
 He was venerated in Clwyd, Wales.
Dyfnog (AC) Dyfnog was a Welsh saint of the family of Caradog. He was formerly held in local veneration in Denbighshire (Benedictines).

690 St. Huno  Monk priest of Ely, England
who aided St. Aetheldreda. Attending her in her last hours, Huna became a hermit in the Fens.
Huna of Ely, OSB Monk (AC) Died c. 690. Saint Huna was a monk-priest of Ely under Saint Etheldreda, whom he assisted in her last moments and buried. Soon afterwards, he retired to a hermitage at Huneya in the Fens, where he died. His relics were translated to Thorney Abbey, where they were venerated from at least the 11th century (Benedictines, Farmer).

703 Ermengild of Ely wholly devoted to God, OSB, Widow (AC)
(also known as Ermenilda, Erminilda)
703 ST ERMENGILD, OR ERMENILDA, ABBESS OF ELY, WIDOW
ST ERMENGILD, or Ermenilda, was the daughter of King Ercombert of Kent and his wife, St Sexburga. She married Wulfhere, King of the Mercians, and by her zeal and piety did much to influence him to spread the Christian faith in his dominions. She was the mother of St Werburga and also of Coenred, who sub­sequently became a monk in Rome. When King Wulfhere died in 675, Ermengild went to join her mother, who was then building an abbey at Minster on Sheppey. She received the veil at the monastery of Milton to which the isle belonged and was under the rule of her mother until St Sexburga retired to Ely to be under her sister, St Etheldreda. Ermengild then became abbess of Minster, but after a few years she also resigned and retired to Ely, where her daughter St Werburga was a nun and where Sexburga had by now succeeded as abbess. Ermengild followed St Sexburga so that Ely had the distinction of being ruled in quick succession by three abbesses of royal race, closely related to each other and all of them saints. It is unlikely that St Werburga was ever abbess of Ely.
Bede, William of Malmesbury and Thomas of Ely contribute the principal materials for this rather complicated history, but there is also an Anglo-Saxon fragment, printed in Cockayne’s Anglo-Saxon Leechdoms, vol. iii, p. 430, which fills in certain details. See also Stanton’s Menology, pp. 67—68.

 The daughter of King Erconbert and Saint Sexburga, Erminilda was herself a queen, for she married Wulfhere, King of Mercia, and used her powerful influence to remove the remaining pockets of idolatry in a land which had been the last stronghold of Anglo-Saxon paganism. By her virtuous example and unwearied kindness she won the hearts of her subjects; she had great pity on all in distress, and throughout her life she bore her witness as a Christian queen.
Like her mother before her, the saintly Sexburga, the widowed Queen of Kent and abbess of Minster in Sheppey, she desired to be wholly devoted to God. On Wulfhere's death Erminilda joined her mother and succeeded her as abbess when her mother moved to Ely.

Later, Erminilda, too, migrated to the abbey of Ely, which was the center of a flourishing community, had the unusual distinction of having as its first abbesses a succession of three queens; for, before Sexburga, her sister, Queen Ethelreda had held the office. Erminilda was the mother of Saint Werburga, and so this royal succession of Christian witness was carried into the fourth generation.

In a primitive age these noble and saintly women by their selfless and devoted lives set before their people a high example of Christian service, and their gracious and ennobling influence had a far-reaching effect upon the period in which they lived. They are counted among the saints of England and take their place among the most faithful and distinguished followers of our Lord (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Gill).

790 Aimo of Meda founded the convent of Saint Victor (PC).
also known as Aimonius) Saint Aimo founded the convent of Saint Victor at Meda in the archdiocese of Milan, Italy (Benedictines).

859 St. Gosbert Benedictine bishop friend of St. Angsar
Gosbert was the bishop of Osnabruck, Germany.
Gosbert of Osnabruck, OSB B (AC) Died c. 859. Fourth bishop of Osnabruck and a disciple of Saint Ansgar. His was a particularly laborious episcopate (Benedictines).

Wiho von Osnabrück, Gosbert und Adolf Orthodoxe Kirche: 13. Februar - Wiho
Katholische Kirche: 13. Februar - Adolf, Gosbert und Wiho

Wiho wurde in Friesland geboren und in Utrecht (an der Schule Gregors) ausgebildet. Karl der Große setzte ihn als ersten Bischof in Osnabrück ein. Wiho starb wohl 804.

In Osnabrück wird seiner gemeinsam mit seinen Nachfolgern Gosbert und Adolf gedacht. Gosbert war Schwede, er wurde 832 von Ansgar und Ebbo von Reims zum Bischof für die schwedische Mission geweiht, mußte aber 845 aus Schweden fliehen und wurde Bischof von Osnabrück. Er starb am 13.2.874.

Adolf (Gedenktag 30.6.) wurde um 1185 in Tecklenburg geboren. Er war Zisterzienser und wurde 1216 zum Bischof von Osnabrück geweiht. Hier führte er mehrere Reformen durch. Er starb am 30.6.1224.
1006 Fulcran of Lodève B (AC) Penitent bishop
of Lodève, Languedoc, Fulcran was famous for his energetic rule. He was consecrated in 949 and ruled his diocese for more than a half century (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

1009 Gilbert of Meaux B Bishop of Meaux (Encyclopedia).
1237 JORDAN of Saxony [portrait of Blessed Jordan] noted for his charity to the poor from an early age
Also known as  Gordanus; Giordanus; Jordanus de Alamaia
Saxon noble. Received a pious upbringing, and was noted for his charity to the poor from an early age. Educated in Germany, and received his masters degree in theology at the University of Paris. Joined the Order of Preachers in 1220 under Saint Dominic himself. Prior-provincial of the Order in Lombardy in 1221. Succeeded Dominic as master-general of the Order in 1222. Under his administration, the Order spread throughout Germany, and into Denmark.

A noted and powerful preacher; one of his sermons brought Saint Albert the Great into the Order. Wrote a biography of Saint Dominic. His writings on Dominic and the early days of the Order are still considered a primary sources. Spiritual director of Blessed Diana d'Andalo.
Born c.1190 at Padberg Castle, diocese of Paderborn, Westphalia, old Saxony; rumoured to have been born in Palestine while his parents were on a pilgrimage, and named after the River Jordan, but this is apparently aprochryphal
drowned 1237 in a shipwreck off the coast of Syria while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Beatified 1825 (cultus confirmed) by Pope Leo XII

1309 Blessed Beatrix of d'Ornacieux mystical experiences, O. Cart. V (AC)
Died November 25; cultus confirmed 1869. Beatrix was one of the founders of the Carthusian Esmue convent. For many years she had remarkable mystical experiences as well as diabolical persecutions (Benedictines).

1309 BD BEATRICE OF ORNACIEU, VIRGIN
SOME rather unusual mystical experiences are recorded of this Carthusian nun. She was born at the castle of Ornacieu, in what is now the department of Isère in the Dauphiné, and seems to have entered the Carthusian convent of Parménie at an early age. There she led a life of extreme austerity, favoured by constant evidences of the special predilection of her heavenly Spouse. For a long time in the early years of her religious life she saw our Lord, we are told, constantly standing beside her in a visible form, and her heart was so touched with sensible devotion that she was in danger of injuring her sight from the abundance of tears which she shed. When it fell to her lot to act as cook and to have to tend the kitchen fire, she used to rake out the burning embers with her hands, and though the flesh was scorched she was so absorbed in God that she felt no pain. In particular she had an intense sympathy with our Lord in His passion, and this carried her to such lengths in her desire to share His sufferings that she was wont to drive a sharp nail through the skin into the palms of her hands. By some strange prodigy—so at least the seemingly contemporary account assures us—no flow of blood came from the wounds thus made, but only pure water, and, what is more, they healed at once, leaving no trace of any lesion. As we are accustomed to find in mystics who have many visions and other sensible communications with the unseen, Beatrice was tormented in almost equal measure by diabolic manifestations. Her biographer seems to insist—though it is difficult to feel quite certain on the point—that the devil assailed her physically with showers of stones and blazing darts. She felt herself struck, he tells us, but nevertheless these missiles inflicted no pain. Such an experience would be in curious accord with the poltergeist phenomena, both ancient and modern, of which we may read in chronicles of quite another character.

Beatrice’s devotion to the Holy Eucharist was also very great, and this not merely in receiving communion and in her rapt attention at Mass, but she also seems to have been one of the pioneers in realizing the treasure of graces which is opened to those who do honour to our Lord’s abiding presence in the tabernacle. Praying before the Blessed Sacrament for the release of her brother who had been taken prisoner, she had a wonderful vision of our Saviour bearing the glorious marks of the five wounds; which appears to be an early example of the Eucharistic Christ, so well known in the representation commonly called “the Mass of St Gregory”. Our Lord, she believed, assured her that her prayer was granted, and she learnt at a later date that at that precise moment her brother in a distant land had succeeded in making his escape. But Beatrice was afterwards sent with two other sisters to Eymeu, near Valence, to make a new foundation. This residence was eventually found unsuitable, and the community after a while returned to Parménie; but Bd Beatrice refused to give in to hardships and died there on November 25, 1309 (or 1303). Her remains were later brought to Parménie, not, it was believed, without many miraculous incidents attending the translation. In that neighbour­hood she seems always to have been venerated as a saint, and her cultus was con­firmed in 1869.

See C. Le Couteulx, Annales Ordinis Cartusiensis, vol. v, pp. 5—23. There are lives in French by Bellanger (1874) and Chapuis (1900); and see Histoire Littéraire de France, vol. xx, pp. 315—319.
1458 Blessed Christina of Spoleto, Penitent (AC)
Born near Lake Lugano, 1435; died in Spoleto, Italy, 1458; cultus confirmed 1834. Christina Camozzi (wrongly called Visconti by some) was the daughter of a physician. After a few years of frivolity, Christina embraced a life of extreme bodily mortification leading to her death at age 23 (Benedictines).
1458 BD CHRISTINA OF SPOLETO
CHRISTINA is supposed to have been a member of the Visconti family of Milan and was remarkable for her extraordinary religious precocity. When she was little more than five, she was already leading a life of prayer and mortification. When she was ten her parents began to speak about arranging a marriage for her: she opposed the idea because she wished to become a nun, but they persisted, as they desired heirs. The contention had lasted two years and she was just twelve when, realizing that she was about to be forced into the marriage, she escaped with a young servant girl. Christina assumed the habit of the Hermitesses of St Augustine, and the two girls wandered about for years, having no fixed abode and living on what they could. When she was about twenty Christina made a pilgrimage to Assisi, and passing by way of Spoleto she went to lodge with a holy woman called Galitia. After visiting Assisi she became separated from her friend, who had left the church after paying her devotions, whereas Christina had spent the whole night there in prayer. Next day, Christina hunted everywhere for her companion: she searched Assisi and all the neighbouring towns, but in vain. Returning to Spoleto, she joined the staff of a hospital and spent some months nursing the sick. All this time she never relaxed her rather sensational mortifications. Then she again met her former hostess and friend, Galitia, who persuaded her to stay with her for a little; while she was there Christina was taken with fever, of which she died at the age of twenty-two. Numerous miracles of healing were reported as having, taken place at her tomb and elsewhere by her intercession.

The story here epitomized is that which the Bollandists of the seventeenth century have taken over from the Augustinian historiographer, Cornelius Curtius, and have printed in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. ii. Later investigation, however, has shown that it is almost pure romance. There was undoubtedly a very holy penitent named Christina, who died at Spoleto on February 13, 1458, after spending three or four years in austerities the recital of which makes the modern reader shudder. But this Christina was in no way connected with the illustrious Visconti family. Her name was Augustina Camozzi, and she was the daughter of a worthy physician who lived near Lake Lugano. As a girl she led a rather disorderly and very tempestuous’ life in the world, but died at the age of twenty-three or so after making expiation by the austerest penance.

The facts have been cleared up by M. E. Motta in the Bolletino storico della Svizzera italiana, vol. xv (1873), pp. 85—93. Cf. also the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. Xiii (1894), p. 411, and xxxviii (1920), pp. 434—435.
1469 BD EUSTOCHIUM OF PADUA, VIRGIN Apparitions and many miracles are said to have followed and a celestial fragrance proceeded from the place of sepulture.
THERE are few stories in the records of hagiography more curious than that of Bd Eustochium. It should be said at the outset that her cultus seems never to have received the formal approbation of the Holy See, though her Life has more than once been written and she is to this day liturgically honoured at Padua. Her very birth forms a sad memorial of a period at which terrible scandals were rife in the cloister as well as in the outside world. She was the daughter of a nun who had been seduced by a profligate, and she was actually born within the convent in which she eventually died. The community which connived at such irregularities was afterwards dispersed by the bishop’s orders and was replaced by sisters from a more observant foundation. The little Lucrezia, to use the name by which she was christened, showed in her childhood signs of being beset by certain influences of a strongly poltergeist type, and she was believed to be possessed. She was, however, sent to school at San Prosdocimo, the convent in which she had been born, but her conduct was in every way edifying, and when she was somewhat older she sought to be received there as a novice. The majority of the new community were much opposed to her admission among them, for the story of her birth was well known. However, with the bishop’s approval, the habit was eventually given her, and she took the name of Eustochium. Hardly had her noviceship begun when the strangest symptoms manifested themselves. Normally she was the most gentle, obedient and kindly of beings, full of fervour and observant of every rule, but now at not infrequent intervals her character seemed to undergo a complete transforma­tion. She became stubborn, rude and subject to violent outbursts of temper. Whether this was due to one of those strange dissociations of personality with which modern psychological studies have made us familiar it would be difficult to say, but it was attributed then to diabolical possession.

In any case the treatment of the afflicted girl was probably not very judicious. It terminated in a blood-curdling scene in which the novice was seized with the most horrible convulsions, shrieking, howling and eventually snatching up a knife when an attempt was made to restrain her. She was treated as mad people were commonly treated in that age, and for several days she was kept tied up to a pillar. During these paroxysms, which recurred from time to time, she seems sometimes to have inflicted severe injuries upon herself which were said to have been caused by the devil which possessed her. Though a period of calm succeeded, Eustochium was still regarded with hostility and suspicion, and when the abbess fell ill of a malady for which the doctors were unable to account, Eustochium was believed to have poisoned her by diabolical or magical practices in revenge for having been kept tied up. The story of what was happening got abroad in the town, and a mob gathered round the convent who clamoured that she should be surrendered to them that they might burn her for a witch. The bishop decided that she must be kept prisoner in one of the cells and that she should be allowed nothing but bread and water, passing the alternate days without any food at all. This treatment seems to have continued for three months. Fortunately the abbess recovered, but in spite of the efforts of her confessor, who declared Eustochium to be perfectly inno­cent, the feeling of the community against her was so strong that she was treated as an outcast. No one would speak to her or have anything to do with her. Efforts were made to persuade her to leave the convent of her own accord, for she had as yet taken no vows. Friendly help was promised and a marriage portion offered if she would accept a husband, but Eustochium, when quite herself, believed that God had called her to serve Him in religion and refused to consent.

For a long time the paroxysms continued to return at intervals. Under their influence, to the horror of the sisters, Eustochium clambered or was transported to a beam high up in the roof where a false step would have meant instant destruc­tion; she was lifted into the air and then let fall like a stone she was found in her cell divested of all her garments, with marks of violence on her throat and on her limbs she took a knife and gashed herself with cuts from which she lost great quantities of blood; but none the less as soon as these spasms passed, she became the same gentle, obedient unresentful creature, ready to sacrifice herself in any work of charity for those who treated her so harshly. Eventually, at the end of four years, she was allowed to take her vows, and by degrees she gained the good will and in fact the reverence of all her fellow nuns. She spent her last days bedridden, in much physical suffering, and died at the age of twenty-six on February 13, 1469. In preparing the body for burial the name of Jesus was found cauterized, it would seem, upon her breast. Apparitions and many miracles are said to have followed and a celestial fragrance proceeded from the place of sepulture. Three and a half years later, by order of the very bishop who had been instrumental in her cruel imprisonment, her body was transferred to a more honourable resting-place. Though buried without a coffin, it was found perfectly incorrupt, as if it had just been borne to the grave.

Fantastic as this story may appear, it rests upon good contemporary evidence. A short sketch was compiled and made public by Peter Barozzi, who in 1487 became bishop of Padua, where Eustochium eighteen years earlier had ended her days. Fuller biographies were later on printed by G. M. Giberti (1672) and C. Salio (1734) but the most reliable is un­doubtedly that of the well-known Jesuit historian Giulio Cordara, which first appeared in 1765. Cordara explains that he based his whole narrative upon a manuscript relation, drawn up by the priest Jerome Salicario, who was confessor to the community during all the period of Eustochium’s residence as a nun and who had himself taken a leading part in the proceedings. This relation was still preserved at San Prosdocimo and was entrusted to Fr Cordara for the purpose of his biography. A somewhat fuller account than that here printed may be found in The Month for February, 1926, entitled A Cinderella of the Cloister by Fr Thurston.
1494 Bl. Archangela Girlani Carmelite mystic ecstasies and levitation miracles.
She was born in Trino, in northern Italy, in 1460, baptized Eleanor. Though planning to become a Benedictine nun, she was thwarted in her desire by her horse - the animal refused to carry her to the convent. She then became a Carmelite in Parma, Italy, taking the name Archangela, being professed in 1478. Named prioress of the convent, Archangela founded a new Carmel in Mantua. She was gifted with ecstasies and levitation and was reported to have performed miracles. Archangela died on January 25,1494, and her cult was confirmed in 1864.

Blessed Archangela Girlani, OC V (AC) Born in Trino, Monferrato, Italy, 1461; died 1494; cultus confirmed 1864. Archangela became a Carmelite in Parma and, at the request of the Gonzagas, was sent to found a new Carmel at Mantua. She was its first prioress, a living pattern of perfection (Benedictines).


1494 BD ARCHANGELA GIRLANI, VIRGIN
ELEANOR GIRLANI was born at Trino in northern Italy in the year 1460, and from earliest childhood showed herself intensely serious and devout. She went to the neighbouring Benedictine convent of Rocca delle Donne for her education, but found that her people came to see her too often and that the discipline observed by the nuns was not strict enough. Being bent on consecrating herself to God, and her father refusing his consent, she implored the intervention of the Marquess of Monferrato. In the end her father yielded, but only on condition that she took the veil in the Benedictine house already mentioned. We are told that every preparation had been made for celebrating her entry into religion there with great solemnity. The marquess himself was present in state, and the procession set out, but when the horse which Eleanor was riding had gone but a little way it stood stock still and nothing could make it advance further. In the end the company dispersed, and Eleanor returning home was met soon afterwards by a Carmelite friar who gave her a glowing account of the edifying life led by the nuns of his order at Parma. Taking Archangela as her name in religion, the girl entered there on her seventeenth birthday and took her vows a year later, in 1478.

It is strange to read that very shortly afterwards she was made prioress. How soon exactly we are not told, but since she was sent at the request of the Gonzagas to found a new Carmelite convent at Mantua, where she died, and had raised this new community to a state of great perfection before she was taken from them, the delay in advancing her to the office of superior cannot have been long. We prob­ably must attribute a great deal of this precipitancy to her social position. As appears plainly from the records of the religious houses of women in the early middle ages, a princess or great lady who took the veil and proved herself to be reasonably observant and virtuous was almost always elected abbess as soon as a vacancy occurred. This practice seems to have lingered on through later centuries. In Archangela’s case the deference paid to rank does not seem to have been mis­placed. She was the model of every religious virtue, most austere in her practice of penance, charitable to all and possessed of a marvellous spirit of prayer. Many times, we are told, she was found in her cell rapt in ecstasy and raised several yards from the ground. On one occasion an ecstasy in which she was com­pletely insensible to outward impressions lasted more than twenty-four hours. When, owing to inundations, the convent at Mantua was threatened with absolute starvation, she fell on her knees in prayer and straightway an unknown person came to the gate bringing an adequate supply of provisions.

Certain strange happenings were recorded after her death, which occurred on January 25, 1494, of which the most interesting perhaps is the pear tree tradition. Shortly after her arrival at Mantua Mother Archangela had planted a pear tree in the convent garden. Now it was believed that the tree always produced as many blossoms, and in due course as many pears, as there were sisters in the community. What is more, if a pear fell off, this was a certain indication that one of the community would die within the year. The prioress herself, as long as she was in charge, always, when a pear fell, exhorted her community to make a good preparation for death, seeing that they none of them knew for whom the warning was intended. It is also averred that the same marvel continued for many years, long after Bd Archangela’s death. Her cultus was confirmed in 1864.
It is difficult to form any idea of the value of the evidence upon which these and similar details connected with the life of Bd Archangela are based. They may be read in a tiny booklet written by the Abbe Albarei from notes supplied by a Piedmontese Dominican. It bears the Carmelite device of cross and stars, and is entitled Notice sup la Vie de la bse. Archangela Girt oni (Poitiers, 1865).
1589 St. Catherine de Ricci miracles the "Ecstacy of the Passion" she was mystically scourged and crowned with thorns.
St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her baptismal name was Alexandrina, but she took the name of Catherine upon entering religion. From her earliest infancy she manifested a great love of prayer, and in her sixth year, her father placed her in the convent of Monticelli in Florence, where her aunt, Louisa de Ricci, was a nun. After a brief return home, she entered the convent of the Dominican nuns at Prat in Tuscany, in her fourteenth year. While very young, she was chosen Mistress of Novices, then subprioress, and at twenty-five years of age she became perpetual prioress. The reputation of her sanctity drew to her side many illustrious personages, among whom three later sat in the chair of Peter, namely Cerveni, Alexander de Medicis, and Aldo Brandini, and afterward Marcellus II, Clement VIII, and Leo XI respectively.

She corresponded with St. Philip Neri and, while still living, she appeared to him in Rome in a miraculous manner.

She is famous for the "Ecstacy of the Passion" which she experienced every Thursday from noon until Friday at 4:00 p.m. for twelve years. After a long illness she passed away in 1589.

Catherine dei Ricci, OP V (RM)
Born in Florence, Italy, April 23, 1522; died in Prato (near Florence), February 2, 1590; beatified by Clement XII in 1732; canonized in 1747 by Benedict XIV; feast day formerly February 2.
Alexandrina dei Ricci was born of a patrician family, but Catharine Bonza died leaving her motherless in her infancy. She was trained in virtue by a very pious godmother. The little girl took Our Lady as her mother and had for her a tender devotion. The child held familiar conversations with her guardian angel, who taught her a special manner of saying the rosary and assisted her in the practice of virtue.

As soon as Alexandrina was old enough to go away from home (age 6 or 7), she was sent to the convent school of Monticelli, where her aunt, Louisa dei Ricci, was the abbess. Besides learning her lessons for which she was sent, the little girl developed a great devotion to the Passion. She prayed often before a certain picture of Our Lord, and at the foot of a crucifix, which is still treasured as "Alexandrina's crucifix." Returning from the monastery when her education was completed according to the norm for girls, she turned her attention to her vocation.

In her plans to enter a monastery of strict observance, she met with great opposition from her father Peter. She loved the community life that had allowed her to serve God without impediment or distraction. She continued her usual exercises at home as much as she was able, but the interruptions and dissipations that were inseparable from her station, made her uneasy.

Finally, Peter allowed her to visit St. Vincent's convent in Prato, Tuscany, which had been founded by nine Third Order Dominicans who were great admirers of Savonarola. Alexandrina begged to remain with them; however, her father took her away, promising to let her return. He did not keep his promise, and the girl fell so ill that everyone despaired of her life. Frightened into agreement, her father gave his consent; Alexandrina, soon recovering, entered the convent of Saint Vincent.

In May 1535, Alexandrina received the habit from her uncle, Fr. Timothy dei Ricci, who was confessor to the convent. She was given the name Catherine in religion, and she very happily set about imitating her beloved patron. Lost in celestial visions, she was quite unaware that the sisters had begun to wonder about her qualifications for the religious life: for in her ecstasies she seemed merely sleepy, and at times extremely stupid. Some thought her insane. Her companions did not suspect her of ecstasy when she dozed at community exercises, spilled food, or broke dishes.

Neither did it occur to Sister Catherine that other people were not, like herself, rapt in ecstasy. She was about to be dismissed from the community when she became aware of the heavenly favors she had received. From then on there was no question of dismissing the young novice, but fresh trials moved in upon her in the form of agonizing pain from a complication of diseases that remedies seemed only to aggravate. She endured her sufferings patiently by constantly meditating on the passion of Christ, until she was suddenly healed. After her recovery, she was left in frail health.

Like Saint John of Egypt and Saint Antony, Catherine met Philip Neri in a vision while he was still alive and in Rome. They had corresponded for a long time and wanted to meet each other but were unable to arrange it. Catherine appeared to Philip in a vision and they conversed for a long time. Saint Philip, who was also cautious in giving credence to or publishing visions, confirmed this. This blessed ability to bilocate, like Padre Pio, was confirmed by the oaths of five witnesses. Also like those desert fathers, Antony and John, she fasted two or three times weekly on only bread and water, and sometimes passed an entire day without taking any nourishment.

Like Saint Catherine of Siena, she is said to have received a ring from the Lord as a sign of her espousal to him--a mysterious ring made of gold set with a diamond, invisible to all except the mystic. Others saw only a red lozenge and a circlet around her finder.

Sister Catherine was 20 when she began a 12-year cycle of weekly ecstasies of the Passion from noon each Thursday until 4:00 p.m. each Friday. The first time, during Lent 1542, she meditated so heart-rendingly on the crucifixion of Jesus that she became seriously ill, until a vision of the Risen Lord talking with Mary Magdalene restored her to health on Holy Saturday.

She received the sacred stigmata, which remained with her always. In addition to the five wounds, she received, in the course of her Thursday-Friday ecstasies, many of the other wounds which our Lord suffered. Watching her face and body, the sisters could follow the course of the Passion, as she was mystically scourged and crowned with thorns. When the ecstasy was finished, she would be covered with wounds and her shoulder remained deeply indented where the Cross had been laid.

Soon all Italy was attentive and crowds came to see her. Skeptics and the indifferent, sinners and unbelievers, were transformed at the sight of her. Soon there was no day nor hour at which people did not come, people in need and in sin, people full of doubt and tribulation, who sought her help, and, of course, the merely curious. Because of the publicity that these favors attracted, she and her entire community asked our Lord to make the wounds less visible, and He did in 1554.

Her patience and healing impressed her sisters. While still very young, Catherine was chosen to serve the community as novice- mistress, then sub-prioress, and, at age 30, she was appointed prioress in perpetuity, despite her intense mystical life of prayer and penance. She managed the material details of running a large household were well, and became known as a kind and considerate superior. Catherine was particularly gentle with the sick. Troubled people, both within the convent and in the town, came to her for advice and prayer, and her participation in the Passion exerted a great influence for good among all who saw it. Three future popes (Cardinals Cervini later known as Pope Marcellus II, Alexander de Medici (Pope Leo XI), and Aldobrandini (Pope Clement VIII)) were among the thousands who flocked to the convent to beseech her intercession.

Of the cloister that Catherine directed, a widow who had entered it observed: "If the world only knew how blessed is life in this cloister, the doors would not suffice and the thronging people would clamber in over all the walls."

A contemporary painting of Catherine attributed to Nardini (at the Pinacoteca of Montepulciano) shows a not unattractive, though relatively plain woman. Her eyes protrude a bit too much and her nose is too flared to account her a classic beauty, but she possessed high cheekbones, dark hair, widely spaced eyes, and full lips. Her mein is that of a sensitive woman who has experience pain and now has compassion.

Catherine's influence was not confined within the walls of her convent. She was greatly preoccupied by the need for reform in the Church, as is apparent from her letters, many of them addressed to highly-placed persons. This accounts, too, for her reverence for the memory of Savonarola, who had defied the evil-living Pope Alexander VI and been hanged in Florence in 1498. Saint Catherine was in touch with such contemporary, highly-orthodox reformers as Saint Charles Borromeo and Saint Pius V.

After Catherine's long and painful death in 1589, many miracles were performed at her tomb. Her cultus soon spread from Prato throughout the whole of Italy and thence to the whole world. The future Pope Benedict XIV, the "devil's advocate" in Catherine's cause for canonization, critically examined all relevant claims. As in the case of her younger contemporary, Saint Mary Magdalene de'Pazzi, canonization was not granted because of the extraordinary phenomenon surrounding her life, but for heroic virtue and complete union with Christ (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Dorcy, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Schamoni, Walsh).
1590 ST CATHERINE DEI RICCI, VIRGIN
THIS saint was born in 1522
into a well-known Florentine family, and at her bap­tism was called Alexandrina. She took the name of Catherine at her religious clothing, when she was thirteen, in the Dominican convent of St Vincent at Prato, of which her uncle, Father Timothy dei Ricci, was director. Here for two years she suffered agonizing pain from a complication of diseases which remedies seemed only to aggravate; but she sanctified her sufferings by her exemplary patience, which she derived in great part from constant meditation on the passion of Christ. Catherine while still very young was chosen novice-mistress, then sub-prioress, and in her thirtieth year was appointed prioress in perpetuity. The reputation of her holiness and wisdom brought her visits from many lay people and clergy, including three cardinals, each of whom afterwards became pope.

Something similar to what is related by St Augustine about St John of Egypt happened to St Philip Neri and St Catherine dei Ricci. They had exchanged a number of letters, and although they never met in the body she appeared to him and talked with him in Rome— without ever having left her convent at Prato. This was expressly stated by St Philip Neri, who was always most cautious in giving credence to or publishing visions, and it was confirmed by the oaths of five witnesses.

Catherine is famous, even in a greater degree than other mystics who have been similarly privileged, for her extraordinary series of ecstasies in which she beheld and enacted in their order the scenes which preceded our Saviour’s crucifixion. These ecstasies seem always to have followed the same course. They began when she was twenty years old in February 1542, and they were renewed every week for twelve years continuously. Naturally they occasioned much talk, crowds of devout or curious people sought to visit the convent. The recollection of the community was interfered with, and the inconveniences resulting were only the more acutely felt when in 1552 she was herself elected prioress. Earnest supplication was made by all the nuns at her request that these manifestations might cease, and in 1554 they came to a end. While they lasted they exhibited several features which are unusual in such cases. Catherine uniformly lost consciousness at midday every Thursday and only came to herself twenty-eight hours afterwards, at four o’clock on the Friday afternoon. One interruption, however, occurred in this state of rapture. Holy communion was regularly brought to her in the morning, and she became sufficiently conscious of the outer world to receive it with intense devotion, but almost immediately afterwards she again became entranced, resuming her con­templation of the scenes of the Passion at exactly the point where she had left off. Catherine had ecstasies at other times, and during these she usually remained quite passive, her eyes fixed on heaven. But in her weekly Passion-ecstasy her body moved in conformity with our Lord’s own gestures and movements as she witnessed them in contemplation. For instance, when He was arrested in the garden she held out her hands as if to be bound, she stood majestically upright to represent His fastening to the pillar for the scourging, she bent her head as though to receive the crown of thorns, and so on. What is an even more unusual feature in such experiences, she would often take occasion from the particular sufferings of Jesus Christ to address exhortations in the midst of her ecstasy to the sisters who were standing around, which she did, says one of her biographers, “with a knowledge, loftiness of thought and eloquence not to be expected from a woman, and especially from a woman neither learned nor literary.

That Catherine was favoured with the stigmata, the wounds in hands, feet and side, as well as~the crown of thorns, was also commonly asserted, and depositions to this effect submitted in the process of beatification. Strangely enough the impression made upon those who professed to have seen the stigmata seems in each case to have been different. Some beheld the hands pierced right through and bleeding, others saw the wound-marks shining with so brilliant a light that it dazzled them, others again perceived only “ healedrup wounds, red and swollen, with a black spot in the centre, round which the blood seemed to circulate “. This remarkable diversity in the accounts of the witnesses is if possible still more pro­nounced in the descriptions given of that mystical phenomenon for which St Catherine is more especially famous, the ring, said to have been given her by Christ in token of His spiritual espousals with this His handmaid. On Easter day 1542 our Saviour, we are told, appeared to her radiant with light, and then drawing from His own finger a gleaming ring He placed it upon the forefinger of her left hand, saying, “My daughter, receive this ring as pledge and proof that thou dost now, and ever shalt, belong to me.”

In the Positio super Virtutibus, a printed summary of evidence issued, as is always now done in such cases, for the convenience of the consultors who have to pronounce upon the question of the heroic virtue of any candidate for beatification, the statements made concerning Catherine’s mystic espousals occupy a great deal of space. The promoter of the faith (popularly known as “the Devil’s Advocate”) at the time when the cause was brought before the Congregation of Rites was the famous Prosper Lambertini, even better known afterwards as Pope Benedict XIV. The question of St Catherine’s ring attracted his particular attention, and he made several criticisms which were replied to in detail by the postulator of the cause. St Catherine, as we have seen, was born in 1522 and died in 1590; unfortunately it was only in 1614 that the first juridical examination of witnesses took place in connection with the cause of beatification. As the ring had originally become manifest in April 1542, it was practically impossible that any of the nuns who had formed part of the community when this wonder first occurred could be living to give evidence in 1614, seventy-two years afterwards. But the phenomenon showed itself at least intermittently throughout Catherine’s life and, apart from written and second-hand testimony, some few witnesses were able to give an account of what they themselves had seen. Their evidence gives the impression of being somewhat conflicting.

Perhaps the most valuable testimonies produced in the beatification process were two written documents, one a letter of the Dominican Father Neri, dated 1549, that is seven years after the mystic espousals, the other a few notes made by Catherine’s special friend and nurse in her illness, Sister Mary Magdalen Strozzi. The former recounts the apparition of our Lord on Easter Sunday and remarks particularly that the ring was placed on the index finger of her left hand. After which he goes on:

Within a fortnight of Easter, the true ring, that is to say the ring of gold with its diamond, was seen by three very holy sisters at different times, each of them being over forty-five years of age. One was Sister Potentiana of Florence, the second Sister Mary Magdalen of Prato [this was Mary Magdalen Strozzi, who left the manuscript account of her beloved Mother Catherine], the third Sister Aurelia of Florence, so the superiors of our province have ascertained.

A command was laid upon [Catherine] by her superior to ask a favour of Jesus Christ and by Him the favour was granted that all the sisters saw the ring, or at least a counterfeit presentment of it, in this sense, that for three days continuously, i.e. the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Easter week, all the sisters beheld on the finger beside the long finger of the left hand, and in the place where she said the ring was, a red lozenge (quadretto) to represent the stone or diamond, and similarly they saw a red circlet around the finger in place of the ring, which lozenge and circlet Catherine averred she had never seen in the same way as the sisters, because she always beheld the ring of gold and enamel with its diamond. Also the ring was seen in this way as a redden­ing of the flesh throughout the whole of Ascension day 1542, and also on the day of Corpus Christi, when it was accompanied by a most wonderful perfume which was perceived by all.* [* Positio super Virtutibus Summarium, p. 352. Cf. Responsio ad animadversiones, p. 79.]

Father Neri also goes on to remark that this reddening of the finger could not have been due to any paint or dye, for on Corpus Christi day, as he relates, Catherine was brought into the church that the governor of the city might see this red circlet. But all traces of it disappeared in his presence, though immediately afterwards it showed itself again to the nuns.

Regarding Father Neri’s statement that three of the elder nuns were privileged to see the real ring of gold and red enamel, it is curious that no confirmation of this seems to be found in Sister Mary Magdalen Strozzi’s own notes, though she is one of the three sisters mentioned. What she does make perfectly clear is that for three days after Easter there was a red circle round Catherine’s finger, which she describes as a ring “ between skin and skin “, corresponding closely to what Dr Imbert-Gourbeyre tells of Marie-Julie Jahenny that her finger looked as if a red coral ring had been buried in the flesh. Again, Sister Mary Magdalen’s notes give a curiously touching impression of her solicitude lest Catherine had become the dupe of some wile of the Devil. She went to the confessor about it, and together they made experiments with cinnabar and other pigments, but they found they could produce nothing in the least like the reddening on Catherine’s finger. Then Sister Mary Magdalen went to Catherine herself, and seems frankly to have told her doubts and scruples. These abnormal manifestations, she urged, were con­trary to the spirit and traditions of the convent and were very dangerous to humility and to that desire for self-effacement which was so important in the religious life. Catherine agreed, and was delighted to let her do anything she pleased in order to get rid of the mark. She only blamed herself, and begged pardon for being the cause of so much trouble and disquiet of mind among the rest of the community. So Sister Mary Magdalen put the finger into her mouth to find if the red mark had any taste, and also left it to steep in water, and then tried to wash out the mark with soap—all, of course, without any effect. On the other hand, Catherine declared quite simply that she saw on her finger a gold ring set with a pointed diamond, and could see nothing else. “I have to take it on faith”, she said to her friend, “when you tell me that you perceive simply a red mark.” The fact that St Catherine continually saw the ring and its stone with her bodily eyes, and could not see the circle of red is also definitely mentioned in the. letter of Father Neri in 1549.

The facts are very puzzling. There is apparently overwhelming evidence that at certain times the marks of a red circle and lozenge showed themselves on Catherine’s finger in a way that could be perceived by all. It also appears to be certain that she always with her bodily eyes saw on that finger a gold ring set with a diamond, but one cannot feel satisfied that the testimony recorded is sufficient to establish the fact that the gold ring was really seen by any others beside herself. There are so many well-attested instances of a radiance shining from the faces, hands and garments of mystics when rapt in ecstasy that we may readily agree that this is likely to have happened in the case of Catherine’s finger. If so, casual witnesses may very well have persuaded themselves that in the midst of this radiance they discerned the gold ring and the diamond of which they had previously heard mention. One nun expressly said that such a bright light came from the finger that she could not see what kind of ring encircled it.

St Catherine dei Ricci died after a long illness at the age of sixty-eight on February 2, 1590. The extraordinary phenomena of which some account has just been given have tended to distract attention from other features of her life. She was distinguished by “a magnificent psychological and moral healthiness” and like so many other contemplative saints she was a good administrator in carrying out the duties of her house and office, who was never happier than when looking after the sick, and exercised an influence well beyond the walls of her convent and her city. Net the least interesting of her characteristics was her reverence for the memory of Jerome Savonarola, to whose heavenly intercession she attributed the recovery of her health in 1540. St Catherine was canonized in 1747.

It will be sufficient to refer the English reader to the Life of St Catherine de’ Ricci, by F. M. Capes (1905). The most authentic sources of information are, of course, the deposi­tions of the witnesses in the process of beatification a copy of the Summarium de Virtutibus is in the British Museum. Several selections from the saint’s lively letters have been published in Italian and French. “Tokens of espousal” are studied in Fr Thurston’s collected papers, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism (1952).

1812 St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph “Consoler of Naples.” served 53 years at St. Paschal’s Hospice in Naples various roles cook porter most often as official beggar for that community
b. 1729  
In the same year that a power-hungry Napoleon Bonaparte led his army into Russia, Giles Mary of St. Joseph ended a life of humble service to his Franciscan community and to the citizens of Naples.  Francesco was born in Taranto to very poor parents. His father’s death left the 18-year-old Francesco to care for the family. Having secured their future, he entered the Friars Minor at Galatone in 1754. For 53 years he served at St. Paschal’s Hospice in Naples in various roles, such as cook, porter or most often as official beggar for that community.

“Love God, love God” was his characteristic phrase as he gathered food for the friars and shared some of his bounty with the poor—all the while consoling the troubled and urging everyone to repent. The charity which he reflected on the streets of Naples was born in prayer and nurtured in the common life of the friars. The people whom Giles met on his begging rounds nicknamed him the “Consoler of Naples.” He was canonized in 1996.

Comment:  People often become arrogant and power hungry when they try to live a lie, for example, when they forget their own sinfulness and ignore the gifts God has given to other people. Giles had a healthy sense of his own sinfulness—not paralyzing but not superficial either. He invited men and women to recognize their own gifts and to live out their dignity as people made in God’s divine image. Knowing someone like Giles can help us on our own spiritual journey.
Quote:  In his homily at the canonization of Giles, Pope John Paul II said that the spiritual journey of Giles reflected “the humility of the Incarnation and the gratuitousness of the Eucharist” (L'Osservatore Romano 1996, volume 23, number 1).

1818 Blessed Paul Lieou martyr M (AC).
beatified in 1900. A Chinese layman, Paul was martyred by strangulation for his faith (Benedictines).

1816 Bl. John Lantrua of Triora  Franciscan martyr of China
He was born at Triora, in Liguria, Italy, in 1760, and became a Franciscan at the age of seventeen. John volunteered for the Chinese missions. After working in China with great success from 1798, he was arrested, imprisoned, and strangled on February 7. John was beatified in 1900

Blessed John Lantrua, OFM M (AC) Born in Triora, Liguria, Italy, 1760; died in China, 1816; beatified in 1900. John joined the Franciscans when he was 17. He could have continued to live a happy little life as the guardian of Velletri near Rome, but instead he volunteered for the Chinese missions though he knew a fierce persecution was raging. He arrived in China in 1799 and worked with success in spite of many obstacles. Eventually, he was seized and martyred by strangulation at Ch'angsha Fu (Benedictines).

1859 Blessed Paul Loc Vietnam Martyr M (AC) Born in An-nhon Cochin-China
in 1831; died in Saigon, 1859; beatified 1909. Shortly after his ordination to the priesthood, Paul was beheaded for the faith (Benedictines).

† 1950 Archbishop Seraphim of Bulgaria He was endowed by God with a soul unusual for its sensitivity and love for others.
13/26 February

The glorification of Vladyka Seraphim (Sobolev), which took place in the Cathedral Church of the Dormition of the Most-holy Theotokos in Sofia, Bulgaria, was celebrated by His Grace Photius, Bishop of Triaditsa, leader of the Bulgarian Old-calendar Orthodox Church, on 12/25 and 13/26 February, 2002, the anniversary of the righteous Archpastor’s repose († 1950). The following is a slightly abridged account of the saint’s life.

Archbishop Seraphim, in the world Nikolai Borisovitch Sobolev, was born in Ryazan.  His mother Maria Nikolaevna was a deeply religious person given to fervent prayer.  She bore eleven children, most of whom died at an early age.  She especially loved her little daughter Vera, an Angel from Heaven. Vera was unlike her peers, and from infancy showed remarkable spiritual potential: she loved God, often prayed, and showed remarkable kindness toward everyone. When she was three years old, her older brother Vasya contracted a fatal disease.  Hearing the news, everyone in the family was grief-stricken. Suddenly and unexpectedly, little Vera said “Mama, give me a little tea to drink.”  After drinking her tea, she turned the little cup over on its saucer and solemnly announced, “Mama, Vasya will get well, but I shall catch the disease and die.”   That is exactly what happened.  When the dying Vera saw her relatives weeping bitterly over her, the little three-year-old gently comforted them, saying, “Why should you be crying?  You should be praying to God.”  Then, like an Angel, she peacefully departed to the Lord.  Her mother grief was boundless. She fervently implored God to comfort her with another child that would remind her of Vera. And lo, three years later, in 1881, little Kolya was born.  He was endowed by God with a soul unusual for its sensitivity and love for others.

[Like Vera,] Kolya was different from his peers.  Affectionate and sympathetic toward others’ pain, the little boy had a nature serious beyond his years.  After graduating from the religious school in 1900, he enrolled in the Ryazan Seminary; thereafter he continued his religious studies at
the St. Petersburg Theological Academy (1904-1908).  Here in 1907, his final year, he was tonsured a monk taking the name Seraphim in honor of the great miracle worker of Sarov.

Fervent, grace-filled love for the Savior animated and inspired the young Nikolai Sobolev from his earliest years, profoundly permeating his being and becoming the moving force for his entire life. Later, Vladyka was to write in his homilies, “The entire purpose of and joy in our life rests in our love for God, in our love for Christ [as shown] by our keeping His Divine Commandments.”

Even before monastic tonsure, Nikolai Sobolev, ever faithful to that love for Christ, strove to avoid giving any manner of offense to the Savior, Who had shed His precious Blood for us. Setting out on his monastic path, the young monk Seraphim intensified his spiritual struggle, [subjecting himself to] strict fasting, and striving in ceaseless prayer.  The Savior’s words “…for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me…” (John 14: 30), profoundly touched his soul, and became the foundation for his constant internal activity. He carefully protected his heart from any sin, no matter how tiny, and daily prayed
the words of the Psalmist, “Create in me a clean heart, O God." (Ps: 50:12 [KJV 51:10]); in that spiritual struggle, he would always sense God’s grace-filled help.
Vladyka Seraphim greatly valued the instructions and good examples provided to him by his contemporaries, luminaries of piety of the great Russian land.
Before he had accepted monastic tonsure, he visited the famous pastor of Kronstadt, Archpriest Fr. John Sergiev, several times.
Especially significant was his visit in the Spring of 1907, when he and a friend were present while Fr. John served in the St. Andrew Cathedral in Kronstadt.  He had already said goodbye to Fr. John, and was walking past the High Place in the principal Altar, when the great righteous one, hurrying from a side-chapel toward him like one moved by some special, grace-filled inspiration, stopped him and, putting his hands cross-wise on the head of the future Vladyka, stated, “May God’s blessing rest upon you.” 
At those words, it was as if a fiery spark moved through Nikolai’s body, and his entire being was filled with a great incomparable joy that remained with him for the entire day.

Later, after he was assigned assistant inspector of the religious school in Kaluga, he would often go to Optina Hermitage, where he confessed before Elders Joseph and Barsanophius, and where Fr. Anatoly (Potapov), who nourished particular love for him, became his spiritual director.

 From his earliest years of education at the seminary, reading of patristic literature and the lives of the saints of God became his favorite activity.  He would call the lives of the saints grace-filled rain that refreshes, encourages, and brings joy to the soul. Vladyka would say, “Reading the lives of the saints, it was as if I found myself in Heaven.”

 Eleven times over the course of his life, he read, with undiminished zeal and compunction of heart, the entire 12-volume collection of the Lives of the Saints compiled by Holy Hierarch St. Dimitry of Rostov. Cultivating in the depths of his soul fervent love for the holy saints of God, he would constantly call upon them in prayer.  In his teachings and homilies, he would often cite shining examples from their holy and God-pleasing lives. Vladyka would say to his spiritual children,
“When we die, we will come to understand how close to us were the Savior, the Mother of God, and all of the Saints, how they would be tolerant towards us in our weakness, and how they answered our prayers.”

 Vladyka Seraphim especially loved the Most-pure Mother of God. He loved to reflect on her exalted virtues, emphasizing that they were all the fruits of Divine grace, poured out abundantly upon her on account of her great spiritual struggles.  He would speak animatedly about the profound humility of the Mother of God, who had marvelously served the Divine order and who had made possible the Incarnation of the Son of God. Vladyka fervently prayed to her daily, asking for her prayerful intercession.

 Scattered about his manuscripts one may find a multitude of short prayers to the Lord, to the Heavenly Queen, and to the worthy ones of God.  “O Lord, help!” “O Mother of God, my joy, bless me to successfully begin [this] work. Cause me to rejoice,” “O my Savior, do not abandon me!: Vladyka loved to say “The Lord is near; if you let Him, He will immediately respond.”

While still a young hieromonk, the Lord made Vladyka, who was always of such a prayerful disposition, worthy to have grace-filled spiritual gifts, something that became evident to those around him.  Thus, in 1909, when Fr. Seraphim was appointed to teach at the Pastoral Theological School in the city of Zhitomir, the school’s director, Archimandrite Gavriil (Voyevodin) – someone later to become a neomartyr – perceived the grace-filled fruits of spiritual struggle possessed by the young monk, and affectionately called him “Avvotchka” [an affectionate diminutive for Abba, Father – Ed.].

 From early childhood, Vladyka had possessed unusual humility. One of the top students in school, and distinguished in the Seminary and the Academy for his excellent compositions, he always manifested exceptional modesty. Subsequently, his spiritual life developed and improved in him that fundamental Christian virtue. In all his works and endeavors, and with a profound sense of personal unworthiness, he sought God’s help, and he sincerely ascribed all of his successes to God alone.

 Thus in the very beginning of the manuscript of his most important work, written to oppose the heresy of Sophianism, a work displaying the full depth of his Theological erudition, is Vladyka’s handwritten note, “O Lord, O Mother of God, O My Guardian Angel, O St. Nicholas the Worthy One, O St. Seraphim of Sarov, I do not place my hope in my own powers; I feel that I am a dull-witted person. Help me to thoroughly criticize the teachings of Fr. Bulgakov.  O Lord, fulfill in me Thy words, “My strength is made perfect in weaknesses…”  (II Corinthians 12: 9).

Vladyka loved to talk most of all about humility – in his homilies, his religious talks and in his instructions. He taught, «Humility is the anchor of salvation, the foundation of all Christian virtues.”  When Vladyka would talk in Church about the spiritual life, it was as if his words would lift his listeners up to Heaven, and would light within their hearts the flame of Divine grace.  Once, during a Divine Service at which he was serving, a certain little girl exclaimed, “Vladyka, you smell of Paradise!”  Thus, through the lips of a babe was uttered that which is so difficult to express in words.  And more than once, after his homily on Forgiveness Sunday, before the eyes of the amazed flock, people who had been fighting for years would embrace, and with contrite hearts would ask forgiveness of one another.

 What gave this unusual spiritual power to Vladyka’s homily was that it was the fruit of his personal religious experience, based on ascetic works, which Archbishop Seraphim knew so remarkably well.

 Vladyka was someone of a gentle, meek disposition. According to his own words, what would distress him most were the distressing words he said to his neighbor, even if they absolutely had to be said.  That good shepherd possessed unusual love for his neighbor.  The most amazing thing was that the more sorrows he had, the greater love he showed forth to others.  That true and sincere love poured forth from his grace-filled heart without any coercion.  He would say to his spiritual children:

“You have to see in your brother an Angel, and you have to look upon his sin as a sickness.”  “You need to distinguish the sinner from the sin.  You can hate the sin, but we must love and take pity on the person.”  “According to the Psalmist, the only ones we can hate are the enemies of God.” (See Psalm 138: 21-22 [KJV Ps. 139: 21-22]).

  Archbishop Seraphim poured out his love on everyone equally. He sincerely loved Tsar Boris, the last Tsar of Bulgaria.  Whenever they met, Vladyka would not only bless him, but also would embrace and kiss him.  However, it was with the same love and sincere compassion that he would also kiss the poor before the church, generously sharing with them his extremely meager funds.

And what loftiness of soul he would manifest toward his enemies! After all, despite Vladyka’s angelic manner of life, many bore him ill will. He always replied to their evil toward him with fervent prayer for them and, on commemorating them at the Proskomedia, would take out three particles for each of them.  Even on his deathbed, when Vladyka regained consciousness and saw someone who had pained him all his life, he mustered all of his strength to embrace him, and then again lapsed into unconsciousness. It was something so natural and sincere, that it amazed all who were present.

 Vladyka Seraphim’s simple candor would rise up to grace-filled heights. He would teach, “To maintain artlessness, to maintain candor, means to not allow yourself any artificiality in anything, to comport yourself before others as you do before God … To become artless: in that rests a changed life.  That is the ‘change…wrought by the right hand of the Most High…’(Psalm 76: 11). Then you will not perish, for simple artlessness is humility, and God rests His grace upon the humble, as [He does] upon the Altar Table.”  Vladyka often repeated St. John of Kronstadt’s words, “Less complicated philosophizing, and more simple candor.”

 Archbishop Seraphim was not avaricious in any way. He lived primarily on kind people’s offerings.  Until the end of his life, he rented a little, spare, apartment bereft of the most elemental conveniences. He did not have any attachment to material things, and when one of the poor would ask for some clothing, he would give away everything he had at hand.  He would say, “I am burdened by material things; they weigh upon my soul.”

Vladyka often amazed people by his prescience and perspicacity, but he would keep [that gift] hidden except when necessary for the good of his neighbors’ souls.  Sometimes while confessing members of his flock, he would lead them toward repentance by reminding them of sins they had forgotten.  Frequently, Vladyka answered questions that were on the minds of people with whom he was talking. When they would express their amazement, he would smile and say, “It was a coincidence.”

 A year before his end, he often spoke about it, and before his death he accurately foretold the day of his departure into eternity.  Already gravely ill and confined to his bed, before the opening of his Holy Protection Monastery, he would give out instructions about how it was to be set up, describing the exact location of each room.  And when the surprised nuns asked Vladyka how he knew everything without ever having been there, he replied with a smile, “Oh, really?”

  Vladyka Seraphim’s grace-filled, radiant person was truly angelic in appearance.  He would always bring in with him unusual peace and quiet.  More than one, his spiritual children saw him bathed in light not of this world.  That was the manner in which he also appeared after his death to one of his spiritual children, a monk who was weeping over him.  Vladyka said to him, “Why are you weeping? After all, I have not died, I am alive!”

 Living a life of spiritual struggle, Vladyka had already, at a young age, achieved angelic chastity and purity.  From his youth, he strove after them: he imposed upon himself a strict fast, eating but once a day, and strictly obeyed all of the patristic rules of spiritual struggle in the battle with nascent thoughts of physical passions.

While still in Russia, living in unceasing spiritual struggle, and showing restraint in all things, Vladyka contracted tuberculosis, which worsened markedly after his transfer to Bulgaria. Upon learning that his condition was almost hopeless and that he might be near death, his only regret was that he was departing this life without having achieved the dispassion he so desired.  However, in answer to his spiritual struggle, the Lord granted to His chosen one both help and consolation. Once, with child-like frankness, Vladyka poured out his sorrow before the Lord: “O Lord, Jesus Christ, You are already calling me to Yourself, while I have not yet cleansed myself of the passions!” Then he wept bitterly.  Suddenly, he heard an internal voice, as if from Christ Himself, saying “You will never fall away from Me; you will always be faithful to Me.”  After those words, an inexpressible heavenly blessedness filled his entire being. From that moment, he freed himself of the passions, and grew even more firmly strengthened in grace.

Because of his angelic chastity, Vladyka Seraphim was endowed by the Lord with the gift of spiritual sight, the ability to penetrate into the depths of God-revealed truths.  Vladyka would often say, “Orthodox theology is directly proportional to chastity.”  All of his theological works were the fruit of his grace-endowed sight.

Vladyka was the last bishop abroad to have been consecrated in Russia, on the eve of the White Army’s departure from Crimea.   His consecration to the episcopate took place on the day of the Protection of the Most-holy Theotokos, 1/14 October 1920, in the Cathedral church in Simferopol. The consecration was performed by Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), who had known Fr. Seraphim as a student in the Theological Academy and who greatly valued his zealous service to the Church.  It was a source of great comfort to the young bishop that by the unfathomable will of God, a great Russian Holy Icon was present in the church during his consecration: the Miraculous Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, the “Icon of the Sign” that was later to become the Indicator of the Path for the Russian Diaspora.

In assuming the hierarchical rank, Vladyka Seraphim was profoundly aware of the full responsibility attendant to serving as a bishop, and the archpastor’s duty “to be a grace-filled light for the world and a firm bulwark for all Orthodox Christians.” [Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev). Homilies, Sofia, 1944, p. 3.].  Throughout his life, he was ruled by that sense of duty and responsibility before the Holy Church. Aware of the prevalent apostasy of our times that threatened the Orthodox Faith, he labored a great deal in the field of hierarchical service to preserve the Orthodox Faith in all its purity. Following the dictates of his archpastoral conscience, he unstintingly and without compromise denounced any deviation from Orthodox truth, any transgression in the realm of dogma and Church canons. Thus, his priceless theological works appeared.  Through them, he would answer troubling questions that affected in one way or another not only the Russian Diaspora, but the entire Catholic [Soborny/Conciliar] Orthodox Church.

Having dedicated his entire life to Christ and the defense of the purity of Holy Orthodox, Vladyka Seraphim was always steadfast, straightforward, and courageous. While yet a student of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, during student assemblies he alone protested against revolutionary resolutions made by the students. In Sofia, Vladyka waged a courageous battle with Russian émigré Masonic organizations, whose active members brought him much grief and troubles through their actions and slander.

At a Conference of Russian scholars held in Sofia in 1930, he publicly condemned those scholars who considered it unnecessary to maintain the Orthodox Faith as the foundation of their scholarly opinions.

In 1935, in his major Theological work The New Teaching About Sophia, the Holy Wisdom of God, he zealously served the Holy Orthodox Church by denouncing the Sophianist Heresy, held by Fr. S. Bulgakov and Fr. Pavel Florensky.  In it, he showed himself to possess great knowledge and understanding of patristic teachings and Orthodox tradition. [Publication of Archbishop Seraphim’s books was financed by Stoyan Velichkov, a manufacturer who on more than one occasion had personally experienced the righteous Vladyka’s prayerful assistance.] At a clergy-laity Sobor of the Russian Church Abroad held in 1938, he gave several brilliant talks in defense of Holy Orthodoxy, including one directed against the ecumenical movement.  Attending the Sobor was the young Bishop John of Shanghai, now glorified by the Holy Church; he voted in support of Vladyka’s lecture with both hands.

 (…) In 1943, scrupulously watching for the slightest deviation from Orthodox patristic theology, he published his work Distortion of Orthodox Truth in Russian Theological Thought.  In 1944, for the some of Vladyka’s homilies were published for the first time.

Vladyka Seraphim also showed his zealous dedication to and unwillingness to compromise in the defense of, Orthodox truth, at a Moscow Conference in 1948. Taking to heart all of the questions troubling the Holy Church, he prepared three lectures from among the four topics offered for consideration: against the ecumenical movement, about the new and old calendars, and about the Anglican hierarchy. Vladyka Seraphim considered the Conference resolution with respect to the new calendar unsatisfactory, and he expressed his dissatisfaction in a “special opinion”  (which unfortunately was not mentioned in the Conference Proceedings). In his talk in opposition to ecumenism, he emphasized the idea that the presence of Orthodox representatives at ecumenical conferences even as observers was a deviation from Holy Orthodoxy.

 And like awarding a crown for his uncompromising service to the Holy Orthodox Church, the Lord made Archbishop Seraphim worthy of a righteous repose on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, 13/26 February, 1950.

Over 50 years have passed since the death of the worthy hierarch, and an unending stream of people continues to come to his grave in the Russian Church of St. Nicholas in Sofia.  In faith, they ask his help, and they receive it.  Thus the words of the Lord have been fulfilled in him, “Them that honor me I will honor.” (I Kings 2: 30 [KJV I Samuel 2: 30]).