Friday  Saints of this Day February  16 Quartodécimo Kaléndas Mártii  
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!)
RDeo grátias. R.  Thanks be to God.
February MONTH of the PASSION of OUR LORD
Day 3 THROUGH MARCH 25 Lives Saved Since 2007 13,998

The saints are a “cloud of witnesses over our head”,
showing us that a life of Christian perfection is not impossible.

We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
40 days for Life Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

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

1400 Our Lady of the Thorn (Châlons, France) Our Lady and the Burning Bush

     90 St. Onesimus  Martyr former slave mentioned in St. Paul’s Letter to Philemon
422 Saint Maruthas Bishop of Tagrith (Martyropolis) famed for knowledge piety works in Syrian "Commentary on the Gospel," "Verses of Maruthas," "Liturgy of Maruthas" and "The 73 Canons of the Ecumenical Council at Nicea" (325) with an account of the acts of the Council
1189 St. Gilbert of Sempringham priest shared wealth with the poor miracles wrought at his tomb built 13
     monasteries (9 were double)

1940 St. Philip Siphong 7 Thai Catholics martyred for the faith "white-robed army of martyrs."
Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here

Acts of the Apostles
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

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

Saint Joan of Arc visited in 1429
February 16 - Our Lady of the Thorn (France, 19th C.) Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
Blessed, most pure Virgin, you chose to manifest yourself shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes.  To the child, Saint Bernadette, you revealed yourself, "I am the Immaculate Conception."
And now, Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Healer of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy.
By your apparitions in the Grotto of Lourdes, it became a privileged shrine from which you dispense your favors.
Many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical.
I come, therefore, with confidence in your maternal intercession.
Obtain for me, O loving Mother, this special request. Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, pray for me.
Obtain from your Divine Son my special request if it be God's will.    Amen.

February 16 - Our Lady of the Pact of Mercy (Ethiopia) 
A sigh in the direction of the Tabernacle and a glance at Mary at the foot of the cross  
 May my grand-children, to whom I gave the best of myself, have a long and happy life.
If one day illness or the loss of a loved one fills them with sorrow, may they never forget that a sigh in the direction of the Tabernacle, where the greatest and most venerable of all martyrs is kept, and a glance at Mary at the foot of the cross, can make a drop of healing balm fall on the deepest and most painful wounds.

Pope Francis’ grandmother, in I fioretti di papa Francesco, by Andrea Tornielli

February 16 – Our Lady of the pact of Mercy (Abyssinia) 
This pact of mercy is the name of Our Lady   
The Copts are deeply convinced of the mediating mission of Mary. They stress that she is the intermediary between Christ and creatures worthy of divine grace.
According to the texts of the Coptic tradition, which are quoted below, Jesus and Mary allegedly made a pact that Jesus would release from their trials anyone who would invoke the name of Mary and celebrate her memory:

"This pact of mercy is the name of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mother of God. When the pact is invoked, the firmament of the heavens and the bowels of the earth tremble, down to the foundations of Sheol. The wings of angels shake with fear like leaves in the wind.

When that name is invoked, not only are the creatures afraid, but our Lord and Savior, her Son, who holds omnipotence, after he removes the sinner from his sight to decide on the punitive judgement, when he hears the name of the Virgin written in the pact’s color on the forehead of sinners, leaves the room with leniency of judgment and abandons the sentence."
Lecture given by Msgr Georges Gharib at the Marianum Pontifical Theological Institute in Rome 2000-2001, and G. Gharib, “Oriente Cristiano,” Nuovo dizionario di Mariologia, edizione Paoline, Milano, 1986


  90 St. Onesimus  Martyr former slave mentioned in St. Paul’s Letter to Philemon
270 St. Honestus Martyr disciple of St. Saturninus native of Nimes
305 St. Juliana of Cumae Christian virgin martyred for the faith refused Roman prefect marriage
309 St. Daniel comforted condemned in  mines of Cilicia martyred with 6 others
      St. Julian of Egypt Martyr with companions
381 Faustinus of Brescia bishop  invoked against plague

422 Saint Maruthas Bishop of Tagrith (Martyropolis) famed for knowledge piety works in Syrian "Commentary on the
    Gospel," "Verses of Maruthas," "Liturgy of Maruthas" and "The 73 Canons of the Ecumenical Council at Nicea"
    (325) with an account of the acts of the Council

1100 St. Aganus Benedictine abbot of St. Gabriel's in Campania Italy
1189 St. Gilbert of Sempringham priest shared wealth with the poor miracles wrought at his tomb built 13 monasteries (9 were double)
1236 Blessed Philippa Mareria, Poor Clare foundress (AC)
1240 BD VERDIANA, VIRGIN Wonderful miracles were ascribed lived for thirty-four years in her cell, and all the communication she had with the outside world was through a little window which opened into St Antony’s oratory.
1468 BD EUSTOCHIUM OF MESSINA, VIRGIN authority of her virtues was increased by fame of her miracles—the sick being healed even by the kerchief which had been bathed by her tears of penitence. She died at the age of thirty-five
1486 Blessed Bernard Scammacca  gift of prophecy miracles spend his time in work of the confessional OP (AC)
1940 St. Philip Siphong 7 Thai Catholics martyred for the faith "white-robed army of martyrs."

1400 Our Lady of the Thorn (Châlons, France) Our Lady and the Burning Bush  Saint Joan of Arc visited the shrine in 1429
The night of the Annunciation of the year 1400, some shepherds were attracted by a bright light coming from the nearby Chapel of Saint John the Baptist. As they approached the light they saw a thorn bush engulfed in flames, and they discovered a statue of the Blessed Virgin in the midst of the flames. The miracle continued all that night and into the next day, and news of the miracle spread quickly.

The Bishop of Châlons, Charles de Poitiers, also witnessed the burning bush and the miraculous statue - both unaffected by the fire. When the flames died down, the bishop reverently took the statue and carried it in his own hands to the nearby Oratory of Saint John. On the very site of the miracle, construction of a church was begun for the enshrinement of the miraculous statue.
Since the church was built so rapidly - in a little over 24 years - that a charming local legend claims that angels continued the work at night after the laborers had left for home.

Our Lady of the Thorn became a place of pilgrimage very rapidly. Today, a minor basilica, the shrine proved to be so beautiful that the people considered it worthy place to venerate the Blessed Virgin. The flamboyant Gothic church boasts majestic great doors, a splendid rosette decorating the principle entrance and two chiseled stone spires, rises high and imposing on the plain in Champagne. It is a place of grandeur where Christian souls can expand in adoration of the Son of God, and many are the pilgrims of all descriptions who have visited the shrine over the years, including Saint Joan of Arc in 1429.
Adapted from
90 St. Onesimus  Martyr former slave mentioned in St. Paul’s Letter to Philemon
 Romæ beáti Onésimi, de quo sanctus Paulus Apóstolus ad Philémonem scribit; quem étiam, post sanctum Timótheum, Ephesiórum Epíscopum ordinávit, prædicationísque verbum illi commisit.  Ipse autem Onésimus, vinctus Romam perdúctus ac pro fide Christi lapidátus, primo ibídem sepúltus fuit; inde ad locum ubi Epíscopus fúerat ordinátus, corpus ejus delátum est.
At Rome, blessed Onesimus, concerning whom the apostle St. Paul wrote to Philemon.  He made him bishop of Ephesus after St. Timothy, and committed to him the office of preaching.  Being led a prisoner to Rome, and stoned to death for the faith of Christ, he was first buried there, but his body was afterwards taken to the place where he had been bishop.

ONESIMUS was a slave of Philemon, a person of note of the city of Colossae in Phrygia who had been converted to the faith by St Paul. Having robbed his master, and being obliged to fly, he met with St Paul, then a prisoner for the faith at Rome, who converted and baptized him, and entrusted him with his canonical letter of recommendation to Philemon. By him, it seems, Onesimus was pardoned, set at liberty and sent back to his spiritual father, whom he afterwards faithfully served, for apparently St Paul made him, with Tychicus, the bearer of his epistle to the Colossians, and after­wards, as St Jerome and other fathers witness, a preacher of the gospel and a bishop. Baronius and others confound him with St Onesimus, the bishop of Ephesus some time after St Timothy, who showed great respect and charity to St Ignatius when on his journey to Rome in 107, and is highly commended by him.

The Roman Martyrology devotes a notice to Onesimus, identifying him with this bishop of Ephesus, consecrated to that see by St Paul (!) after the episcopate of St Timothy, and stating further that he was brought in chains to Rome, was there stoned to death, and that his remains were afterwards taken back to Ephesus. The so-called “Apostolic Constitutions”, an apocryphal document of the end of the fourth century (bk vii, c. 46), describes Onesimus as bishop of Beroea in Macedonia, and affirms at the same time that his former master Philemon became bishop of Colossae. Nothing of this clearly is any more worthy of credit than the fantastic story which represents him as being the companion in Spain of the supposed martyrs Xanthippe and Polyxena and as being the compiler of the “acts” of their martyrdom. The fact is that Onesimus was a very common name, especially for those of servile condition, and that anyone bearing such a name who became prominent was likely to be identified with the Onesimus of the New Testament.

Nothing is known of Onesimus except what can be gleaned from the Epistle to Philemon and the possible reference in Colossians IV 7—9.

As the slave of Philemon in Colossae, Phrygia, who ran away. Paul met Onesimus while the former was in a Roman prison, and Paul baptized the slave and came to consider him his own son. Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon with the epistle, asking Philemon to accept him “no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man in the Lord. So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me. And if he has done you any injustice or owes you anything, charge it to me”. In Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, Onesimus is again mentioned as accompanying Tychicus, the bearer of the letter.

The pre-1970 Roman Martyrology incorrectly identifies Onesimus with the bishop of Ephesus who followed St. Timothy as bishop of Ephesus and who was stoned to death in Rome.

Onesimus M (RM) Died c. 90. Onesimus, meaning 'helpful' or 'profitable,' was a run-away slave who is the subject of Saint Paul's shortest letter. Onesimus had been in the service of Philemon, to whom Paul addresses the missive. Philemon, a leading citizen of Colossae, Phrygia, was an intimate friend of Paul; indeed, the letter could only have been written to one with whom he was on the closest terms of friendship. Probably he was one of Saint Paul's converts. He was obviously a rich man, of high and generous character and given to hospitality, for Saint Paul asks him to prepare a lodging for him, and he had a church in his home.
Behind the letter lies a painful story. Onesimus had run away from Philemon and over a matter of money. We can only conjecture that he had been dishonest or had been under suspicion, for Saint Paul says: "If he has wronged you at all or owes you anything, put that to my account. I, Paul, write it with my own hand. I will repay it" (Philemon 1:18-19).

Whatever it was, Onesimus had been in disgrace and had run away. He had then come under the influence of Saint Paul, now an old man, and had served him in his imprisonment. He had confessed his fault and been converted, for Saint Paul says he begat him in Christ, and he had become a true son of the Gospel. Indeed, he had found him so profitable and helpful that he would like to keep him permanently with him, but was constrained by a sense of duty, and by his regard for Philemon, to return him. Saint Paul was thus faced with the difficult task of writing this delicate letter.

He makes no attempt to condone the fault; on the contrary, he lays open the whole matter. "Perhaps this is why he was away from * you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man and in the Lord. So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me" (vv. 15- 17).

  Onesimus went back to Philemon and, no longer in disgrace, was accepted as a brother, because in Colossians (4:7-9) Paul mentions Onesimus with Tychichus as the bearer of the epistle to the Colossians.

The further story of Onesimus is unknown, though Saint Jerome said that Onesimus became a preacher of the Word and later a bishop, though probably not the Bishop Onesimus of Ephesus who was the third successor to Timothy, showed hospitality to Saint Ignatius of Antioch, and was stoned to death in Rome, as stated in the Roman Martyrology.
The Apostolic Constitutions account Onesimus as bishop of Berea in Macedonia, and his former master Philemon, bishop of Colossae.
Some sources say Onesimus preached in Spain and suffered martyrdom (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Gill, Husenbeth, White). Saint Onesimus is pictured at the time of his martyrdom: He is a bishop being stoned to death (Roeder, White).
Saint Onesimus, Apostle of the Seventy in his youth was a servant of Philemon, a Christian of distinguished lineage, living in the city of Colossae, Phrygia. Guilty of an offense against his master and fearing punishment, St Onesimus fled to Rome, but as a runaway slave he wound up in prison. In prison he encountered the Apostle Paul, was enlightened by him, and was baptized.

In prison St Onesimus served the Apostle Paul like a son. St Paul was personally acquainted with Philemon, and wrote him a letter filled with love, asking him to forgive the runaway slave and to accept him like a brother. He sent St Onesimus with this letter to his master, depriving himself of help, of which he was very much in need.

After he received the letter, St Philemon not only forgave Onesimus, but also sent him back to Rome to the apostle. St Philemon was afterwards consecrated bishop of the city of Gaza (January 4, February 19, and November 22).

After the death of the Apostle Paul, St Onesimus served the apostles until their end, and he was made a bishop. After the death of the holy apostles he preached the Gospel in many lands and cities: in Spain, Carpetania, Colossae, Patras. In his old age, St Onesimus occupied the bishop's throne at Ephesus, after the Apostle Timothy. When they took St Ignatius the God-Bearer (December 20) to Rome for execution, Bishop Onesimus came to meet with him with other Christians, as St Ignatius mentions in his Epistle to the Ephesians.

During the reign of the emperor Trajan (89-117), St Onesimus was arrested and brought to trial before the eparch Tertillus. He held the saint in prison for eighteen days, and then sent him to prison in the city of Puteoli. After a certain while, the eparch sent for the prisoner and, convincing himself that St Onesimus maintained his faith in Christ, had him stoned, after which they beheaded the saint with a sword.
A certain illustrious woman took the body of the martyr and placed it in a silver coffin. This took place in the year 109.
270 St. Honestus Martyr disciple of St. Saturninus native of Nimes
France, he was sent to Spain, where he was slain in Pampeluna.
Honestus of Nîmes M (AC) Died 270. Saint Honestus, an ordained priest, left his hometown of Nîmes under the sign of Jesus with Saint Saturninus to preach the Good News in Spain. After a fruitful ministry, he appears to have been martyred at Pamplona, Spain (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
THE Roman Martyrology under this date commemorates at Cumae in Campania the translation of St Juliana, virgin and martyr, “who first was grievously scourged at Nicomedia by her father Africanus under the Emperor Maximian, and then tortured in divers ways by the prefect Evilasius whom she had refused to marry. Afterwards she was cast into prison where she openly fought with the Devil and then overcoming flames of fire and a boiling cauldron she consummated her martyrdom by having her head stricken off.” The story of St Juliana was popular in the middle ages, as is attested by the fact that a long section is devoted to her in the
Golden Legend of James of Voragine. It is at the same time quite unhistorical, brought him before the governor, though our best manuscripts of the “Hieronymianum” point to some veneration of a St Juliana in the neighbourhood of Cumae and Naples. We also find St Gregory the Great writing to Fortunatus, Bishop of Naples, to ask him for sanctuaria (substitutional relics) of this saint which might serve for the consecration of an oratory which a lady had erected on her estate in honour of St Juliana and St Severinus. The martyrologies seem to have tried to reconcile the conflicting data which they found in their sources by the suggestion of a translation of the martyr’s remains from Nicomedia to Pozzuoli or Cumae. A prominent feature in the “acts” is a wordy contest between Juliana and the Devil, who, transforming himself into an angel of light, endeavours to persuade Juliana to comply with the wishes of her father and her suitor. From this she is often represented in medieval art as preparing to bind a winged devil with a chain or rope.

See Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. ii, and BHL., nn. 4522—4524. cf. Delehaye, Les Origines du culte des martyrs (1933), pp. 301—302 Detzel, Christliche Ikonographie, vol. ii,
305 St. Juliana of Cumae Christian virgin martyred for the faith refused Roman prefect marriage
Nicomedíæ sanctæ Juliánæ, Vírginis et Mártyris; quæ, sub Maximiáno Imperatóre, primum a patre suo Africáno gráviter cæsa, deínde ab Evilásio Præfécto, cui núbere recusáverat, várie cruciáta, et póstmodum in cárcerem detrúsa, ubi palam cum diábolo conflíxit, demum, cum flammas ígnium et ollam fervéntem superásset, cápitis decollatióne martyrium consummávit.  Ipsíus autem corpus póstea Cumas, in Campánia translátum est.
At Nicomedia, St. Juliana, virgin and martyr.  Under Emperor Maximian, she was first severely scourged by her own father, Africanus, and then made to suffer many torments by the prefect Evilasius, whom she had refused to marry.  Later thrown into prison, she encountered the evil spirit in a visible manner.  Finally, because the fiery furnace and a caldron of boiling oil could do her no injury, her martyrdom was fulfilled by beheading.  Her body was later transferred to Cumi in Campania.
Cumae, Italy, martyred for the faith when she refused to marry a Roman prefect. She suffered terrible ordeals and was finally beheaded. One tradition reports that Juliana actually suffered martyrdom at Nicomedia and that her relics were transferred to Cumae. She is depicted in liturgical art as surrounded by flames, or binding the devil.

Juliana of Nicomedia VM (RM) Died at Cumae or Naples, 305. Juliana's struggle with the devil was one of the favorite stories of the medieval Church. What still fascinates is its deep psychological meaning: for the devil is said to have appeared to the saint as an angel of light. His aim was to persuade her that what she had renounced in this world was in fact good. On the face of it, the devil was right, for Juliana had turned against both her father and her suitor, a Roman prefect named Evilasius.
Her father, Africanus, an ambitious functionary in the Roman legions, despised her simply because she had become a Christian. When her suitor realized that she would not become his wife, he decided that she should be no one's bride. Her calling left her without a family of her own. Both men, failing to get their own way with this determined saint, treated her brutally: Juliana's father scourged and tortured her. Evilasius flung her into jail where she was seen to be fighting with the disguised devil, finally binding him and throwing him to the ground.

Juliana died a martyr's death. First she was partially burned in flames; then she was plunged into a boiling cauldron of oil; finally the long-suffering saint was freed from the torments of this world by the mercifully instantaneous act of beheading.

The Roman Martyrology describes Juliana's suffering at Nicomedia in Asia Minor, but it is more probable that she died in Naples, perhaps Cumae, where her relics are said to be enshrined. Some of them are now in Brussels, Belgium, in the church of Our Lady of Sablon. Though her story was the source of many romantic tales, Juliana is clearly an historical figure as attested by Saint Gregory the Great, who requested relics of her from Bishop Fortunatus of Naples for an oratory that a lady had built on her estate in Juliana's honor, and others. Her cultus in England dates back to Bede's martyrology, and her feast was on the Sarum Calendar (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).

In art, Saint Juliana is hung up naked by her hair. Sometimes she may be shown in a cauldron, leading the devil in chains, or crowned wearing a cross on her breast. She is invoked against infectious diseases (Roeder). In the paintings and stained glass of the Middle Ages, Saint Juliana is frequently shown battling with a winged devil; usually she carries a chain in order to bind him (Bentley). She may also be seen with a dragon at her feet (as in stained glass at Martham and on screens at Hampstead and North Elmham, Norfolk) (Farmer).

The establishment of the feast of Corpus Christi ("Body of Christ," now called the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ) was the particular achievement of one Belgian woman, St. Juliana of Liege.  As is so often the case, the saint, to achieve her purpose, had to suffer much.
Juliana, orphaned at age five, was sent to be raised in the Augustinian monastery of Mount Cornillon.  The monastery conducted a hospital, particularly for lepers (of whom there were many in Europe in those unhygienic days).  To preserve her from possible infection, the nuns sent her to live on a farm of theirs.  Educated here by a Sister Sapientia, she grew up a highly intelligent young woman, feasting on the writings of the great saints shelved in the monastic library.  At the same time she became most devoted to the Blessed Sacrament.
When she was 16, Juliana was haunted night and day by the strange appearance of a bright moon with a dark band running across it.  At first she feared this was a diabolical illusion.  Then our Lord appeared to her in a vision or a dream and explained the symbol.  The moon, He said, represented the cycle of feasts in the church calendar.  The dark band meant that there was still one important feast missing from the annual calendar: one in honor of the Blessed Sacrament.
Juliana eventually became a nun of Mount Cornillon.  For some time she was in no position to do anything about the institution of a Eucharistic feast.  However, when elected prioress in 1225, she began to undertake the project, enlisting first the support of two holy women, Bl.  Eva, a recluse, and Sister Isabel, one of her nuns.  With their encouragement she now asked some church authorities whether such a feast would be appropriate. 
Several theologians, including James Pantaleon, said that they saw no objections.  The clergy of St. Martin's church, Liege., to which Bl. Eva was attached, even began celebrating such a feast.
Then came the fireworks.
A priest named Roger was installed as prior of the monastery (by bribery, it is said).  He immediately launched an attack on Juliana, whose piety he disliked, charging her with embezzlement of the monastery funds and of promoting a devotion "which nobody wanted." He so stirred up the local citizens that they demanded that the prioress leave town.  When the bishop investigated Roger's charges, he found them groundless, and in 1248 he proclaimed the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi in the diocese of Liege.
After the bishop died, however, Roger returned, still gunning for Juliana.  Exiled with three other sisters, she was finally given shelter by the abbess of Salzinnes at Namur.  Then Henry II of Luxembourg laid siege to Namur, and this abbey was burned down.  Juliana fled.  She escaped to Fosses, where she remained until her death in 1258, living as a recluse in poverty and ill health.  Interestingly, she had foretold these various setbacks that had befallen her.
Only after Juliana's death, thanks to the renewed efforts of Bl.  Eva, was the feastday of Corpus Christi accepted by the Latin Rite of the Church.  The pope who authorized the festival was none other than James Pantaleon, now Pope Urban IV, who had earlier confirmed Juliana's inquiry whether such a feast was feasible.  Urban commissioned St. Thomas Aquinas to compose the office of the feastday.  Aquinas's beautiful composition included those ever-popular Eucharistic hymns: the "Lauda Sion", the "Pange Lingua", the "O Salutaris", and the "Tantum Ergo." This feast was long a holy day of obligation.
When miracles were reported in connection with Juliana's tomb, she came to be venerated as a saint.  A local feast in her honor was allowed by Pius IX in 1869, but her feastday has not yet been extended to the whole church.
Thanks to St. Juliana's reverence for the Holy Eucharist, the dark line on the moon of her vision was eliminated.
May we imitate her in our love--and respect--for the real Eucharistic presence of Christ in our tabernacles.
--Father Robert F. McNamara
309 St. Daniel comforted Christians condemned in  mines of Cilicia martyred with 6 others
Cæsaréæ, in Palæstína, sanctórum Mártyrum Ægyptiórum Elíæ, Jeremíæ, Isaíæ, Samuélis et Daniélis; qui, cum spontánee ministrássent Confessóribus in Cilícia ad metálla damnátis, et inde reverteréntur, sunt comprehénsi, et a Firmiliáno Præside, sub Galério Maximiáno Imperatóre, sævíssime torti, gládio demum percússi sunt.  Post eos sanctus Porphyrius, Pámphili Mártyris fámulus, et sanctus Seléucus Cáppadox, qui iterátis certamínibus sæpe vícerant, rursus cruciáti sunt, atque alter incéndio, gládio alter corónam martyrii accepérunt.
At Caesarea, in Palestine, the holy martyrs Elias, Jeremias, Isaias, Samuel, and Daniel.  These Egyptians of their own accord ministered to the confessors condemned to labour in the mines of Cilicia, but were arrested upon their return, and after being cruelly tortured by the governor Firmilian, under Emperor Galerius Maximian, were put to the sword.  After them, St. Porphyry, servant of the martyr Pamphilus, and St. Seleucus the Cappadocian, who had been triumphant in several previous tests, being again tortured, now won the crown of martyrdom, the one by fire, the other by the sword.

IN the year 309, when the Emperors Galerius Maximian and Maximus were continuing the persecution begun by Diocletian, five Egyptians went to visit the confessors condemned to the mines in Cilicia, and on their return journey were stopped by the guards of the gates of Caesarea in Palestine. They readily declared themselves to be Christians and acknowledged the motive of their journey. There­upon they were arrested, and on the following day, together with St Pamphilus and others, were brought before Firmilian the governor. The judge, as was his custom, ordered the five Egyptians to be stretched on the rack before beginning his examination. After they had suffered all manner of torture, he addressed the one who appeared to be their chief and asked him his name and his country. The martyr, using the names which they had taken upon their conversion, said that he was called Elias and that his companions were Jeremy, Isaias, Samuel and Daniel. Firmilian asked him their country, and Elias answered that it was Jerusalem— meaning the heavenly Jerusalem, the true country of all Christians. Elias was then tortured again, his body being scourged whilst his hands were tied behind him, and his feet squeezed into wooden stocks. The judge then com­manded that they should be beheaded, and his order was immediately carried out.

Porphyry, a youth who was a servant of St Pamphilus and who heard the sen­tence passed, exclaimed that they ought not to be denied burial. Firmilian, angry at this boldness, ordered him to be apprehended, and, finding that he was a Christian and that he refused to sacrifice, ordered his sides to be so cruelly torn that his very bones and bowels were exposed. He underwent this without a sigh or a groan. The tyrant then gave orders that a great fire should be kindled with a vacant space in the middle in which the martyr should be placed when removed from the rack. This was accordingly done, and he lay there a considerable time, surrounded by the flames, singing the praises of God and invoking the name of Jesus until at length he achieved a slow but glorious martyrdom. Seleucus, an eyewitness of this victory, was heard by the soldiers applauding the martyr’s constancy. They who without more ado ordered his head to be struck off.

This story is one of overwhelming interest for all who are concerned with Christian hagiography, for it is the account given by Eusebius, the father of Church history, who was not only living in Caesarea at the time, but was the intimate friend of the St Pamphilus here named, the principal martyr who suffered on the same occasion. To mark his devotion to his friend, the historian loved to call himself “Eusebius (the disciple) of Pamphilus”. St Pamphilus, however, is commemorated separately on June 1, and will come before us again on that date. The Greek text of Eusebius, with a French translation en face, may conveni­ently be consulted in the edition of E. Grapin (vol. iii, pp. 259—283), forming part of the series of Textes et documents pour l’étude historique die Christianisme. It forms the eleventh chapter of the Book on the Martyrs of Palestine, of which there is an English version, with the Ecclesiastical History, by H. J. Lawlor and J. E. L. Oulton (1929).
He and four companions, Elias, Isaias, Jeremy and Samuel were Egyptians who visited Christians condemned to work in the mines of Cilicia during Galerius Maximinus persecution, to comfort them. Apprehended at the gates of Caesarea, Palestine, they were brought before the governor, Firmilian and accused of being Christinas. They were all tortured and then beheaded. When Porphyry, a servant of St. PamphilusSeleucus witnessed his death and applauded his constancy in the face of his terrible death; whereupon he was arrested by the soldiers involved in the execution, borught before the governor and was beheaded at Firmilian's order.

Elias, Jeremy, Isaias, Samuel, and Daniel MM (RM)  Born in Egypt; died at Caesarea Maritima in 309. The church historian Eusebius, who was living in Caesarea at the time, recorded the acta of these saints. Out of Christian kindness these five Egyptians visited and brought succor to some of their brethren who were condemned to work in the mines of Cilicia during the reign of Galerius Maximinus. On their return home Elias and his four companions were stopped at the gates of Caesarea, Palestine, and questioned. They gave as their names those of the prophets and their city as Jerusalem (meaning the heavenly city). They were brought before the governor, Firmilian, in an effort to extract more precise information. They remained mute, were accused of being Christian, tortured, then beheaded. demanded that the bodies be buried, he was tortured and then burned to death when it was found he was a Christian.

St. Jeremy Elias and four companions, Daniel, Isaias, Jeremy, and Samuel were Egyptians who visited Christians condemned to work in the mines of Cilicia during Maximus' persecution, to comfort them. Apprehended at the gates of Caesarea, Palestine, they were brought before the governor Firmilian, and accused of being Christians. They were all tortured and then beheaded. When Porphyry, a servant of St. Pamphilus, demanded that the bodies be buried, he was tortured and then burned to death when it was found that he was a Christian. Seleucus witnessed his death and applauded his constancy in the face of this terrible death; whereupon he was arrested by the soldiers involved in the execution, brought before the governor, and was beheaded at Firmilian's order.
The Holy Martyrs Pamphilius the Presbyter, Valens the Deacon, Paul, Porphyrius, Seleucius, Theodulus, Julian, Samuel, Elias, Daniel, Jeremiah and Isaiah
suffered during the persecution against Christians, initiated by the emperor Diocletian in the years 308-309 at Caesarea in Palestine.

The holy martyr Pamphilius, a native of the city of Beirut, was educated at Alexandria, after which he was made a priest at Caesarea. He devoted much labor to collating manuscripts and correcting copyist errors in the texts of the New Testament. The corrected texts of St Pamphilius were copied and distributed to anyone who wanted them. Many pagans were converted to Christ through them.
His works and concerned matters at Caesarea were gathered up into the extensive library of spiritual books available for the enlightening of Christians. St Jerome (4th-5th century) deeply respected St Pamphilius and considered himself fortunate to have located and acquired several of his manuscripts.  Actively assisting St Pamphilius in proclaiming the faith in Christ were St Valens, deacon of the church at Eleia, a man stooped with age and well-versed in the Holy Scriptures, and St Paul, ardent in faith and love for Christ the Savior. All three were imprisoned for two years by Urban, the governor of Palestinian Caesarea.

During the rule of his successor Firmilian, 130 Christians were sentenced in Egypt and sent to Cilicia (Asia Minor) to work in the gold mines. Five young brothers accompanied them to the place of exile. On their return to Egypt they were detained at Caesarea and thrown into prison for confessing Christ. 
The youths appeared before Firmilian, together with those imprisoned earlier: Sts Pamphilius, Valens and Paul. The five Egyptian youths took the names of Old Testament prophets, Elias, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Samuel and Daniel. Asked where they were from, the youths said that they were citizens of Jerusalem, meaning the heavenly Jerusalem. Firmilian knew nothing of such a city, since Jerusalem had been razed to the ground by the emperor Titus in the year 70. The emperor Hadrian (117-138) built a new city on the site, which was called Aelia Capitolina.

Firmilian tortured the youths for a long time. He sought to learn the location of the unknown city, and he sought to persuade the youths to apostatize. But nothing was accomplished, and the governor ordered them to be beheaded by the sword with Pamphilius, Valens and Paul
Before this occurred, a servant of Pamphilius endured suffering. This was the eighteen-year-old youth Porphyrius, meek and humble. He had heard the sentence of death for the condemned martyrs, and asked the governor's permission to bury the bodies after their execution. For this he was sentenced to death, and thrown into a fire.

A witness of this execution, the pious Christian Seleucius, a former soldier, in saluting the deeds of the sufferers, went to Pamphilius and told him about the martyric death of St Porphyrius. He was seized by soldiers and, on Firmilian's orders, was beheaded by the sword together with the condemned. 
One of the governor's servants, Theodulus, a man of venerable age and a secret Christian, met the martyrs being led to execution, embraced them and asked them to pray for him. He was taken by soldiers to Firmilian, on whose orders he was crucified.
The young Julian, a native of Cappadocia who had come to Caesarea, saw the bodies of the saints which had been thrown to wild beasts without burial. Julian went down on his knees and venerated the bodies of the sufferers. Soldiers standing by at the wall seized him and took him to the governor, who condemned him to burning. The bodies of all twelve martyrs remained unburied for four days, but neither beasts nor birds would touch them. 
Embarrassed by this situation, the pagans permitted Christians to take the bodies of the martyrs and bury them.
381 Faustinus of Brescia bishop  invoked against plague B (RM) 
  Bríxiæ sancti Faustíni, Epíscopi et Confessóris.       At Brescia, St. Faustinus, bishop and confessor.
Saint Faustinus succeeded Saint Ursicinus about 360 as bishop of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy. He is said to have been a collateral descendant of Saints Faustinus and Jovita and to have compiled their acts (Benedictines). In art, Saint Faustinus is represented as a bishop holding a bunch of arrows. He might also be shown interceding for Brescia with Saints Faustinus and Jovita. Invoked against plague (Roeder).
4th v Saint Flavian Archbishop of Antioch attempted pardon for citizens of Antioch from emperor Theodosius (379-395)
A contemporary of St John Chrysostom. He attempted to obtain from the emperor Theodosius (379-395) a pardon for the citizens of Antioch, who had angered the emperor by destroying his statue.
St Flavian's death was peaceful and without illness. He is also commemorated on September 27.
St. Julian of Egypt Martyr with companions
 In Ægypto sancti Juliáni Mártyris, cum áliis quinque míllibusIn Egypt, St. Julian, martyr, with five thousand other Christians.
Martyr of Egypt, reportedly with five thousand companions, most likely during the persecutions by the Roman Empire. The traditional number of martyrs may be a mistranslation: the original account may denote five soldiers , instead of five thousand.
Julian of Egypt and Companions MM (RM) Date unknown. It is said that this Saint Julian was the leader of 5,000 martyrs who suffered in Egypt. Nothing, however, is known of him and his fellow-sufferers. One text substitutes militibus for millibus, i.e., five soldiers for five thousand persons (Benedictines).
422 Saint Maruthas Bishop of Tagrith (Martyropolis) famed for knowledge piety works in Syrian "Commentary on the Gospel," "Verses of Maruthas," "Liturgy of Maruthas" and "The 73 Canons of the Ecumenical Council at Nicea" (325) with an account of the acts of the Council

Martyropolis - A city which he founded between the Byzantine Empire and Persia. He was famed for his knowledge and his piety, he wrote about the martyrs, and he suffered for his faith in Christ under the Persian emperor Sapor. He also left behind other works in the Syrian language, among which the most famous are: "Commentary on the Gospel," "Verses of Maruthas," "Liturgy of Maruthas" and "The 73 Canons of the Ecumenical Council at Nicea" (325) with an account of the acts of the Council.
In 381 St Maruthas participated in the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople, convened against the heresy of Macedonius: 383, attended the Council of Antioch against the Messalians.

During the years 403-404 St Maruthas set off to Constantinople to plead with the emperor Arcadius to protect Persian Christians.  He was twice sent by the emperor Theodosius the Younger to the Shah Izdegerd to secure the peace between the Empire and Persia.

In the year 414 St Maruthas, having done his duty as envoy to the court of Izdegerd, persuaded the Shah to a favorable disposition towards Christians, and he assisted greatly in the freedom of Christians in Persia. He rebuilt Christian churches razed during the persecution by the Persian ruler Sapor. He also located relics of saints who had suffered martyrdom and transferred them to Martyropolis.  He died there in 422. The relics of St Maruthas were later transferred to Egypt and placed in a skete monastery of the Mother of God.
1100 St. Aganus Benedictine abbot of St. Gabriel's in Campania Italy
Aganus of Airola, OSB Abbot (PC) Born c. 1050; Aganus was abbot of Saint Gabriel's monastery at Airola, Campania, Italy, in the diocese of Saint Agatha dei Goti (Benedictines).
1189 St. Gilbert of Sempringham a priest chose to share his wealth with the poor miracles wrought at his tomb were examined and approved  built 13 monasteries (9 were double)
Born 1083  Despite rigors of such a life he died at well over age 100

ST GILBERT was born at Sempringham in Lincolnshire, and in due course was ordained priest. For some time he taught in a free school, but the advowson of the parsonages of Sempringham and Terrington being in the gift of his father, he was presented by him to the united livings in 1123. He gave the revenues of them to the poor, reserving only a small sum for bare necessaries. By his care, his parishioners were led to sanctity of life, and he drew up a rule for seven young women who lived in strict enclosure in a house adjoining the parish church of St Andrew at Sempringham. This foundation grew, and Gilbert found it necessary to add first lay-sisters and then lay-brothers to work the nuns’ land. In 1147 he went to Citeaux to ask the abbot to take over the foundation. This the Cistercians were unable to do, and Gilbert was encouraged by Pope Eugenius III to carry on the work himself. Finally Gilbert added a fourth element, of canons regular, as chaplains to the nuns.

Thus the Gilbertines came into being, the only medieval religious order of English origin.

Except for one house in Scotland, it never spread outside this country and became extinct at the dissolution, when there were twenty-six monas­teries. The nuns had the Rule of St Benedict and the canons St Augustine’s. The houses were double, but it was mainly a women’s order, though at its head was a canon, the master general. The discipline of the order was severe and strongly influenced by Citeaux and the insistence on simplicity in church-fur­nishing and worship went to the extent of celebrating the choir office “in monotone in a spirit of humility, rather than to pervert the minds of the weak like the daughter of Herodias.”

Eventually St Gilbert himself assumed the office of master general of the order, but resigned the direction of it some time before his death, when the loss of his sight rendered adequate supervision impossible. So abstemious was he that others wondered how life could be supported on such slender fare. He always had at his table a dish which he called “the plate of the Lord Jesus”, into which he put all that was best of what was served up, and this was for the poor. He wore a hair-shirt, took his short rest sitting, and spent a great part of the night in prayer. During the exile of St Thomas of Canterbury, he and other superiors of his order were accused of having sent him assistance. The charge was untrue; yet the saint chose to suffer imprisonment and to run the risk of the suppression of his order rather than deny the accusation, lest he should seem to condemn what would have been good and just. When nearly ninety he suffered from the slanders of some of the lay brothers, who were in revolt.

St Gilbert died in 1189 at the age of 106, and was canonized in 1202. His relics are said to have been taken by King Louis VIII to Toulouse, where what purports to be them are still kept in the church of St Sernin. His feast is kept in the dioceses of Northampton and Nottingham today, and by the Canons Regular of the Lateran on February 4, the day on which he is named in the Roman Martyrology.

Most of the materials for a biography of St Gilbert have been printed in the 1830 edition of Dugdale’s Monasticon, vol. vi, Pt 2. See also BHL., nn. 3524—3568. Much useful information regarding him and his order may be found in the work of Rose Graham, St Gilbert of Sempringham and the Gilbertines (1901). See also R. Foreville, Le Livre de St Gilbert de Sempringham (1943) Capgrave’s Life of St Gilbert has been edited by J. J. Munro for the E.E.T.S. Cf. D. Knowles, The Monastic Order in England (1949), pp. 204-207, and references there given.

Gilbert was born in Sempringham, England, into a wealthy family, but he followed a path quite different from that expected of him as the son of a Norman knight. Sent to France for his higher education, he decided to pursue seminary studies.  He returned to England not yet ordained a priest, and inherited several estates from his father. But Gilbert avoided the easy life he could have led under the circumstances.

Instead he lived a simple life at a parish, sharing as much as possible with the poor. Following his ordination to the priesthood he served as parish priest at Sempringham.

Among the congregation were seven young women who had expressed to him their desire to live in religious life.
In response, Gilbert had a house built for them adjacent to the Church. There they lived an austere life, but one which attracted ever more numbers; eventually lay sisters and lay brothers were added to work the land. The religious order formed eventually became known as the Gilbertines, though Gilbert had hoped the Cistercians or some other existing order would take on the responsibility of establishing a rule of life for the new order.
The Gilbertines, the only religious order of English origin founded during the Middle Ages, continued to thrive. But the order came to an end when King Henry VIII suppressed all Catholic monasteries.

Over the years a special custom grew up in the houses of the order called "the plate of the Lord Jesus." The best portions of the dinner were put on a special plate and shared with the poor, reflecting Gilbert's lifelong concern for less fortunate people.
Throughout his life Gilbert lived simply, consumed little food and spent a good portion of many nights in prayer. Despite the rigors of such a life he died at well over age 100.

Comment:   When he came into his father’s wealth, Gilbert could have lived a life of luxury, as many of his fellow priests did at the time. Instead, he chose to share his wealth with the poor. The charming habit of filling “the plate of the Lord Jesus” in the monasteries he established reflected his concern.
Today’s Operation Rice Bowl echoes that habit: eating a simpler meal and letting the difference in the grocery bill help feed the hungry.

St. Gilbert of Sempringham Gilbert was born at Sempringham, England, son of Jocelin, a wealthy Norman knight. He was sent to France to study and returned to England to receive the benefices of Sempringham and Tirington from his father. He became a clerk in the household of Bishop Robert Bloet of Lincoln and was ordained by Robert's successor, Alexander. He returned to Sempringham as Lord on the death of his father in 1131. In the same year he began acting as adviser for a group of seven young women living in enclosure with lay sisters and brothers and decided the community should be incorporated into an established religious order. After several new foundations were established, Gilbert went to Citeaux in 1148 to ask the Cistercians to take over the Community. When the Cistercians declined to take on the governing of a group of women, Gilbert, with the approval of Pope Eugene III, continued the Community with the addition of Canons Regular for its spiritual directors and Gilbert as Master General. The Community became known as the Gilbertine Order, the only English religious order originating in the medieval period; it eventually had twenty-six monasteries which continued in existence until King Henry VIII suppressed monasteries in England. Gilbert imposed a strict rule on his Order and became noted for his own austerities and concern for the poor. He was imprisoned in 1165 on a false charge of aiding Thomas of Canterbury during the latter's exile but was exonerated of the charge. He was faced with a revolt of some of his lay brothers when he was ninety, but was sustained by Pope Alexander III. Gilbert resigned his office late in life because of blindness and died at Sempringham. He was canonized in 1202.

Gilbert of Sempringham, Founder (RM) Born at Sempringham, Lincolnshire, England, c. 1083-85; died there, February 4, 1189; canonized 1202 by Pope Innocent III at Anagni; feast day formerly on February 4. Saint Gilbert, son of Jocelin, a wealthy Norman knight, and his Anglo-Saxon wife, was regarded as unfit for ordinary feudal life because of some kind of physical deformity. For this reason, he was sent to France to study and took a master's degree.
Upon his return to England, Gilbert started a school for both boys and girls. From his father, he received the hereditary benefices of Sempringham and Torrington in Lincolnshire, but he gave all the revenues from them to the poor, except a small sum for bare necessities. As he was not yet ordained, he appointed a vicar for the liturgies and lived in poverty in the vicarage.

In 1122, Gilbert became a clerk in the household of Bishop Robert Bloet of Lincoln and was ordained by Robert's successor Alexander, and was offered, but refused, a rich archdeaconry. Instead, upon the death of his father in 1131, Gilbert returned to Sempringham as lord of the manor and parson. By his care his parishioners seemed to lead the lives of religious men and, wherever they went, were known to be of his flock by their conversation.
That same year of 1131, he organized a group of seven young women of the parish into a community under the Benedictine rule. They lived in strict enclosure in a house adjoining Sempringham's parish church of Saint Andrew. As the foundation grew, Gilbert added laysisters and, on the advice of the Cistercian Abbot William of Rievaulx, lay brothers to work the land. A second house was soon founded.

In 1148, Gilbert went to the general chapter at Cîteaux to ask the Cistercians to take on the governance of the community. When the Cistercians declined because women were included, Gilbert provided chaplains for his nuns by establishing a body of canons following the Augustinian rule with the approval of Pope Eugene III, who was present at the chapter. Saint Bernard helped Gilbert draw up the Institutes of the Order of Sempringham, of which Eugenius made him the master. Thus, the canons followed the Augustinian Rule and the lay brothers and sisters that of Cîteaux. Women formed the majority of the order; the men both governed them and ministered to their needs, temporal and spiritual. The Gilbertines are the only specifically English order, and except for one foundation in Scotland, never spread beyond its border.

This order grew rapidly to 13 foundations, including men's and women's houses side by side and also monasteries solely for canons. They also ran leper hospitals and orphanages. Gilbert imposed a strict rule on his order. An illustration of the enforced simplicity of life was the fact that the choir office was celebrated without fanfare.

As master general of the order, Saint Gilbert set an admirable example of abstemious and devoted living and concern for the poor. Gilbert's diet consisted primarily of roots and pulse in small amounts. He always set a place at the table for Jesus, in which he put all the best of what was served up, and this was for the poor. He wore a hair-shirt, took his short rest in a sitting position, and spent most of each night in prayer.
And, he was never idle. He travelled frequently from house to house (primarily in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire), forever active in copying manuscripts, making furniture, and building.

The later years of his long life were seriously disturbed. When he was about 80, he was arrested and charged with assisting Saint Thomas á Becket, who had taken refuge abroad from King Henry II after the council at Northampton (1163). (Thomas, dressed as a Sempringham lay brother, was said to have fled north to their houses in the Lincolnshire Fens before doubling back on his tracks south to Kent.) Though he was not guilty of this kindness, the saint chose to suffer rather than seem to condemn that which would have been good and just. Eventually the charge was dropped, although Gilbert still refused to deny it on oath.

Later still there was a revolt among his laybrothers, who grievously slandered the 90-year-old man, saying that there was too much work and not enough food. The rebellion was led by two skilled craftsmen who slandered Gilbert, obtained funds and support from magnates in the church and state, and took the case to Rome. There Pope Alexander III decided in Gilbert's favor, but the living conditions were improved.
Saint Gilbert lived to be 106 and passed his last years nearly blind, as a simple member of the order he had founded and governed.
He had built 13 monasteries (of which nine were double) and four dedicated solely to canons encompassing about 1,500 religious. Contemporary chroniclers highly praised both Gilbert and his nuns. His cultus was spontaneous and immediate. Miracles wrought at his tomb were examined and approved by Archbishop Hubert Walter of Canterbury (who ordered the English bishops to celebrate Gilbert's feast) and the commissioners of Pope Innocent III in 1201, leading to his canonization the following year. His name was added to the calendar on the wall of the Roman church of the Four Crowned Martyrs soon after his canonization. His relics are said to have been taken by King Louis VIII to Toulouse, France, where they are kept in the Church of Saint Sernin.

Because the Gilbertine Order was contained within the borders of England, it came to an end when its 26 houses were suppressed by King Henry VIII (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Graham, Husenbeth, Walsh, White).
1236 Blessed Philippa Mareria, Poor Clare foundress (AC)
Born in Cicoli, Abruzzi, Italy; died at Rieti, Italy, 1236. Born into a wealthy family, Philippa met Saint Francis of Assisi in her parents' home. She decided to become a hermit on a mountain above Mareria. Eventually, she founded and ruled as first abbess a Franciscan convent at Rieti under the direction of Blessed Roger of Todi (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

WONDERFUL things, of which one would like to have better evidence, are reported as heralding the entrance into this world of Philippa Mareri. Wonderful things also are told of her beauty of feature, her preternatural gravity and precocious learning in childhood. She was born towards the close of the twelfth century at Cicoli in the diocese of Rieti, and the family to which she belonged were the prin­cipal landowners in that district of the Abruzzi.

Her father and mother were devout Christians, and St Francis of Assisi, we are told, was more than once received in their house when he was preaching in the neighbourhood. From him Philippa imbibed a desire to aim at complete union with the suffering life of Christ our Lord. When her parents were anxious to arrange a marriage for her, she resisted the proposal with all her might, cut her hair short, wore the most unattrac­tive clothes, and shut herself up in a corner of the house where she was hidden from the eyes of all. Her brother Thomas was furious at this conduct and did his best to break down her resolution; but the only result of his importunity was that she finally ran away from home, and with a few companions whom she had gained over to the same way of thinking set out to lead the life of an anchoress upon Mount Marerio. There, we are told—but the evidence for all this seems far from satis­factory—they managed to get a walled enclosure built with a few huts inside and gave themselves up entirely to religious devotion and penance.

The determination thus shown had the best effect upon her brother Thomas. Touched by grace he now came to ask his sister’s forgiveness. What was more, he offered her a more suitable place of retirement close to a church on an estate belonging to him. A deserted religious house was repaired and adapted to suit their needs, while a friar who had recently become a disciple of St Francis and who is now venerated as Bd Roger of Todi, was charged with the spiritual direction of the community. Other fervent souls joined them, a rule similar to that of St Clare was adopted, and Philippa was chosen abbess. The strictest poverty was main­tained, and more than once the sisters seemed in danger of starving if it had not been for some supernatural intervention kindred to our Saviour’s multiplication of the loaves and fishes. God’s favour was also shown by other miraculous incidents; but the nuns were not left long to enjoy the company of their foundress.  In 1236 she was seized with a painful illness, and knowing that the time of her departure was at hand, she gathered her spiritual children around her and bade them a most touching farewell, exhorting them before all else to maintain peace among themselves. She passed away on February 13, 1236. Bd Roger preached at her funeral and made no secret of his conviction that her soul was already in bliss.

See Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano (1676), vol. i, pp. 233—235 Leon, L’Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i and Constantini, Vita e miracoli della b. Philippa Mareri
1240 BD VERDIANA, VIRGIN Wonderful miracles were ascribed  lived for thirty-four years in her cell, and all the communication she had with the outside world was through a little window which opened into St Antony’s oratory.

VERDIANA, whose name is variously written Viridiana and Veridiana, was born at Castelfiorentino in Tuscany of a noble family which had fallen from its high estate. When she was twelve years old, a well-to-do relation took her as a companion for his wife, who made her housekeeper. Even at that time she had a reputation for sanctity, and when she obtained permission to join a pilgrimage to St James of Compostela she had first to promise that she would come back to Castelfiorentino. Upon her return, her fellow pilgrims gave such an account of her holiness that the people begged her to stay permanently amongst them. This she consented to do if they would allow her to live the life of a recluse and would build her a hermitage. They erected one near the river Elsa, adjoining a little oratory it is reputed to have measured ten feet by four and to have been furnished only with a narrow stone ledge to serve as a seat. She lived for thirty-four years in her cell, and all the communication she had with the outside world was through a little window which opened into St Antony’s oratory.* [* Just such a window or hatchway can be seen at the site of an anchorhold at Lewes in Sussex, giving on to the church of St Anne.]

 She ate once a day, mainly bread and water with, occasionally, a few vegetables. She slept on the bare earth except in winter when she used a plank. She had a very great love for the poor, to whom she gave nearly everything which the piety of visitors brought to her, and she only cared to receive the poor and the afflicted.

Wonderful miracles were ascribed to Bd Verdiana. It was commonly reported that two serpents had entered her cell through the tiny window and that they remained with her for years, being allowed to torment her and even eating from her plate but that the saint kept their presence a secret, as she did not wish her sufferings to be known. She had a visit from St Francis of Assisi himself in 1221, The two saints talked together of heavenly things and he admitted her, it was said, into his third order.

She was divinely warned of her approaching death, and she closed her window and was heard reciting the penitential psalms. Tradition tells that her passing was miraculously announced by the sudden pealing of the bells of Castelfiorentino. In Florentine art Bd Verdiana appears in the habit of a Vallombrosan nun, carrying a basket with two snakes in it. It seems certain that she was associated with the Vallombrosan Order, but her connection with the Franciscan third order is by no means so clearly established. The cultus was approved by Clement VII in 1533.

0. Pogni, Vita di S. Verdiana (1936), published a Latin text written soon after her death. A later one, translated back from an Italian version, is in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. i. Canon Pogni also published Canon M. Cioni’s account of the beata and her church and hospital at Castelfiorentino (1932—34). See also Gonnelli, Vita di S. Verdiana (1613). There is a notice in Leon, Aureole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i.
1468 BD EUSTOCHIUM OF MESSINA, VIRGIN authority of her virtues was increased by the fame of her miracles—the sick being healed even by the kerchief which had been bathed by her tears of penitence. She died at the age of thirty-five

WHEN St Matthew of Girgenti was preaching in Messina, the young Countess Matilda of Calafato came under his direction and joined the Franciscan third order, giving herself up to good works. She was for some time childless, but a daughter was vouchsafed to her in answer to her prayers. Shortly before the child’s birth a stranger told the countess that she could only be delivered in a stable, so she was taken to one, and there in 1432 she gave birth to an infant who, because of her beauty, was named Smaragda.

Deeply pious from her earliest years, the child vowed herself to a life of virginity, although her father signed a marriage contract with a suitor, who died before the nuptials could be celebrated. After her father’s death in 1446 Smaragda took the habit of St Clare in the convent of Basico, where the second rule was followed under the direction of the Franciscan Conventuals, and she then assumed the name of Eustochium. She was distinguished for her love of poverty, her spirit of penitence and for her devotion to the passion of our Lord. After reading an itinerary of the Holy Land, she worked out for herself a system whereby she could visit all the Holy Places in spirit and could visualize the scenes in the life of our Lord and of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She regularly tended the sick and devoted herself especially to nursing them when the plague visited Messina.

After eleven years spent at Basico, Bd Eustochium felt that she desired a stricter rule, and Pope Callistus III allowed her to found another convent to follow the first rule of St Francis under the Observants. In 1458—1459 her mother and sister built the convent which was called Maidens’ Hill (Monte Vergine). There she received, amongst others, her sister and her niece Paula, who was only eleven years of age. The foundation passed through many trials during its early years. When Eustochium became thirty—the legal age—she was elected abbess and gathered around her crowds of fervent souls. The authority of her virtues was increased by the fame of her miracles—the sick being healed even by the kerchief which had been bathed by her tears of penitence. She died at the age of thirty-five, her cultus being subsequently approved in 1782.

The most reliable account of Eustochium is to be found in a narrative written by her first disciple, Jacopa Pollicino. It has been printed by G. Macri in the Archivio storico Messinese, vols. iii and iv (1903), under the title of La leggenda della b. Eustochia da Messina. See also Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i.
1486 Blessed Bernard Scammacca  gift of prophecy miracles spend his time in work of the confessional OP (AC)
Born in Catania, Sicily; cultus approved 1825. Born of wealthy and pious parents, Bernard was given a good education. In spite of this good training, he spent a careless youth. Only after he was badly injured in a duel was he brought back to his senses.

IT is unfortunate that in regard to those servants of God who are publicly venerated in virtue of a confirmation of cult, reliable details are so often lacking which would give us any real insight into their lives. Of Bernard we are told that he was born of a noble family at Catania in Sicily, that he led a wild life as a young man, that his leg was seriously injured in a brawl, and that in the course of the illness and long convalescence thus occasioned he turned to God and determined to enter the Dominican Order. He is believed to have set a great example of obedience and humility and to have expiated the sins of his youth by severe penance. But for the embellishments added to this account we have no guarantee. It was said that the birds perched on his arms and sang to him, that he prophesied the future, that he was seen raised from the ground in prayer, and on another occasion that his cell
<>was irradiated with brilliant light which came from a torch held by a child of heavenly beauty who stood beside him. After his death on February 9, 1486 other marvels were reported. After lying in the grave for fifteen years he appeared to the prior and bade him remove his body to a more honourable resting-place. This was done his remains were found incorrupt, and during the translation the church bells rang of their own accord. Still later a nobleman organized a raid with the object of carrying off the body to his own castle. But Ed Bernard had no intention of allowing his relics to be kidnapped. Before the raiders could reach the church he knocked at the door of every cell, and when the sleeping friars were rather tardy in responding to this unexpected summons he rang the great bell, which proved an effective tocsin. The good Dominicans rushed to the church “where they found the tomb empty and the sacred body lying at the door, sur­rounded by armed men who were vainly endeavouring to raise it from the ground. It had miraculously become so heavy that the robbers were unable to move it.” So the raiders took to flight, and the saint without difficulty was restored to his shrine. The cultus of Ed Bernard was confirmed in ‘825.
<>  See Procter, Short Lives of the Dominican Saints, pp. 21—23 Mortier, Maitres Généraux OP., vol. iv, p. 648 M. Coniglioni, Vita del b. Bernardo Scammacca (1926) Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiographicus O.P., pp. 4546.
His long convalescence gave him plenty of time to think, and once he was able to go out of the house, he went to the Dominican convent of Catania and begged to be admitted to the order.

Bernard, as a religious, was the exact opposite of what he had been as a young man. Now he made no effort to obtain the things he had valued all his life, but spent his time in prayer, solitude, and continual penance. There is little recorded of his life, except that he kept the rule meticulously, and that he was particularly kind to sinners in the confessional. Apparently, he did not attain fame as a preacher, but was content to spend his time in the work of the confessional and the private direction of souls.

One legend pictures Bernard as having great power over birds and animals. When he walked outside in the gardens, praying, the birds would flutter down around him, singing; but as soon as he went into ecstasy, they kept still, for fear they would disturb him. Once, the porter was sent to Bernard's room to call him, and saw a bright light shining under the door. Peeking through the keyhole, he saw a beautiful child shining with light and holding a book, from which Bernard was reading. He hurried to get the prior to see the marvel.

Bernard had the gift of prophecy, which he used on several occasions to try warning people to amend their lives. He prophesied his own death. Fifteen years after his death, he appeared to the prior, telling his to transfer his remains to the Rosary chapel. During this translation, a man was cured of paralysis by touching the relics (Benedictines, Dorcy).

1940 St. Philip Siphong seven Thai Catholics martyred for the faith "white-robed army of martyrs."
     Thailand (Siam) is the sole nation in southeast Asia not to have been the colony of another power.  From 1940 to 1944 the Thais were at war with their Indo-China neighbors.  To achieve unity on the home front, this officially Buddhist country expelled foreign missionaries and sought to pressure its Catholics into apostasy.
     The persecution was especially strong at Songkhon. When the Catholic priests were ousted, they left the Songkhon mission parish in the charge of Philip Siphong.  Philip, a married man with five children, was a teacher in the parish school and a topnotch catechist. Because he was so obviously a leader, the government authorities decided to frighten the other parishioners into submission by executing him.  On December 16, 1940, they took him outside the village and shot him. 
     Philip's death strengthened rather than weakened the faith of the parishioners.  The sisters who taught in the school now took over the leadership.
     On Christmas, 1940, the local policeman ordered the Catholics to assemble in front of the church.  He told them that he had been commanded to suppress Christianity; therefore he gave them a choice -between apostasy or death.  At that, Cecilia Butsi, a 16-year-old, spoke out, declaring that she was ready to accept death.The policeman did not seem to hear her.
     That same night, Sister Agnes Phila (1909-1940) wrote a letter in her own name and the name of all who resided in the convent, declaring that they would die rather than abandon their faith.  In the note she prayed, "We ask to be your witnesses, O Lord, our God." Sister Agnes gave the letter to Cecilia to deliver to the policeman.
     On December 26, this officer called at the convent and addressed the sisters and layfolk present.  All reiterated their resolution not to apostatize.  He therefore had all six of them escorted to the cemetery and shot to death.  Two of the six were nuns: Sister Agnes Phila and Sister Lucy Khambang (1917-1940).  Four were laypersons: Agatha Phutta (a pious elderly woman converted at 37 in 1918, and now the convent cook); Cecilia; Bibiana Khamphai (a devout 15-year-old who often visited the convent) and Maria Phon, aged only 14. 
     After the execution, the chief of the village somehow got hold of Sister Agnes' Christmas letter, an important testimonial to the true martyrdom of the six.  When priests were readmitted to Thailand in 1943, the letter was handed over to Father Cassetta, the first of them to return.  A church investigation was quickly started, and on the basis of this document and the other evidence, the Holy See issued a decree on September 1, 1988, declaring that Philip Sihong and the six women had indeed been murdered out of hatred of their faith.
     On October 22, 1989, Pope John Paul II formally beatified the seven Thai Catholics.  Deeply touched by their fidelity, the pope said that Blessed Philip ("the great tree" as he was called at Songkhon) exemplified the missionary zeal that is incumbent upon all of us by virtue of our baptism.  He quoted Sister Agnes' letter to the policeman: "We rejoice in giving back to God the life that He has given us.... We beseech you to open to us the doors of heaven… You are acting according to the orders of men, but we act according to the commandments of God." Sentiments like these, said John Paul II, resembled those of the Christian martyrs of antiquity.  Indeed, their very names were those of ancient saints: Agnes, Lucy, Agatha, Cecilia, Bibiana....
The Blessed Martyrs of Thailand, in "giving back to God the life that He had given them", were therefore contemporary soldiers in the age-old "white-robed army of martyrs." - -Father Robert R McNamara

Mary's Divine Motherhood
   Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  February 2018
Say "No" to Corruption
That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption
Marian spirituality: all are invited.

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016

On Death and Life
"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!    (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
  Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

It is a great poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish -- Mother Teresa
 Saving babies, healing moms and dads, 'The Gospel of Life'

"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
It Makes No Sense Not To Believe In GOD 
Every Christian must be a living book
wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel

Jesus brings us many Blessings
The more we pray, the more we wish to pray. Like a fish which at first swims on the surface of the water, and afterwards plunges down, and is always going deeper; the soul plunges, dives, and loses itself in the sweetness of conversing with God. -- St. John Vianney

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications

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

May 9 – Our Lady of the Wood (Italy, 1607) 
Months of Dedication
January is the month of the Holy Name of Jesus since 1902;
February MONTH of the PASSION of OUR LORD

March is the month of Saint Joseph since 1855;
May, the month of Mary, is the oldest and most well-known Marian month, officially since 1724;
June is the month of the Sacred Heart since 1873;
July is the month of the Precious Blood since 1850;
August is the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary;
September is the month of Our Lady of Sorrows since 1857;
October is the month of the Rosary since 1868;
November is the month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory since 1888;
December is the month of the Immaculate Conception.

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

Pray that the witness of 40 Days for Life bears abundant fruit, and that we begin again each day
to storm the gates of hell until God welcomes us into the gates of heaven.

If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways:
either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid.
Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently, because when he suffered he did not threaten;
he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth.-- St. Thomas Aquinas

                    We begin our day by seeing Christ in the consecrated bread, and throughout the day we continue to see Him in the torn bodies of our poor. We pray, that is, through our work, performing it with Jesus, for Jesus and upon Jesus.
The poor are our prayer. They carry God in them. Prayer means praying everything, praying the work.
We meet the Lord who hungers and thirsts, in the poor.....and the poor could be you or I or any person kind enough to show us his or her love and to come to our place.
Because we cannot see Christ, we cannot express our love to Him in person.
But our neighbor we can see, and we can do for him or her what we would love to do for Jesus if He were visible.
-- Mother Teresa
My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee.  I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not love Thee.  O most Holy trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly.
 I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the Tabernacles of the world,  in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended,
and by the infite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

I beg the conversion of poor sinners,  Amen Fatima Prayer, Angel of Peace
Mary's Divine Motherhood
Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI { 2013 } Catholic Church In China { article here}
1648 to1930 St. Augustine Zhao Rong and 120 Companions Christianity arrived in China by way of Syria -- 600s.
        Depending on China's relations with outside world,
Christianity for centuries was free to grow or forced to operate secretly.

How do I start the Five First Saturdays? 
Called in the Gospel “the Mother of Jesus,” Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the Mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos). 
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
“The Blessed Virgin was eternally predestined, in conjunction with the incarnation of the divine Word, to be the Mother of God. By decree of divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving mother of the divine Redeemer, an associate of unique nobility, and the Lord's humble handmaid. She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ.”
The voice of the Father is heard, the Son enters the water, and the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove.
   THE spirit and example of the world imperceptibly instil the error into the minds of many that there is a kind of middle way of going to Heaven; and so, because the world does not live up to the gospel, they bring the gospel down to the level of the world. It is not by this example that we are to measure the Christian rule, but words and life of Christ. All His followers are commanded to labour to become perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect, and to bear His image in our hearts that we may be His children. We are obliged by the gospel to die to ourselves by fighting self-love in our hearts, by the mastery of our passions, by taking on the spirit of our Lord.
   These are the conditions under which Christ makes His promises and numbers us among His children, as is manifest from His words which the apostles have left us in their inspired writings. Here is no distinction made or foreseen between the apostles or clergy or religious and secular persons. The former, indeed, take upon themselves certain stricter obligations, as a means of accomplishing these ends more perfectly; but the law of holiness and of disengagement of the heart from the world is general and binds all the followers of Christ.