Wednesday Saints February  17 Tertiodécimo 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!)


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

Weeping Tikhvin Icon of Mt. Athos
found behind the altar in the Prophet Elias Skete




Day 8 40 Days for Life Dear Readers
40 Days for Life  11,000+ saved lives in 2015
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
40 days for Life Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director www.40daysforlife.com
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here

Acts of the Apostles

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

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

Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
 
"Servants of Mary, bless all laypeople on their spiritual journey.
Help us look to Mary for examples of faith, service, and humility.
Help us remember that God calls us to love him in his children and our neighbors.
Remind us that it is more important to live for eternity than to die to time. Amen."  Servites

It is necessary, too, that we shun the occasions which have been the cause of sin.
We must have recourse to fervent prayer, receive frequently and worthily the sacraments.
He who does this will be sure to persevere.  -- St John Vianney


Seven Florentine merchants 
February 17 – The seven saints and founders of the Servants of Mary (Servites)
The seven founding saints of the Servite Order were seven Florentine merchants who freed themselves from the constraints of their trade to live in service of the Church, imitating the Mother of God in both prayer and apostolates.

These close friends, between 30 and 35 years of age, chose to retire to a life of silence. They built wooden huts in the forest for themselves, and devoted their time to prayer and manual work. Each one in turn would go out begging to identify with the poorest class and experience humiliation. They had never thought of founding a religious order, but Rome asked them to do so. It was their devotion to the Holy Mother of God that earned them the name of "Servites" or the "Servants of Mary."

Since a bond of true brotherhood had united the seven men during their life, posterity embraced them in the same veneration. In 1888, Pope Leo XIII collectively canonized them. Their names were: Bonfils, Bienvenu, Manet, Amadeus, Hugh, Sosthenes and Alexis. Their bodies are buried at Mount Senario in the same tomb, so that the same shrine encloses the remains of those whose fraternal life in the service of the Virgin Mary kept united
.

February 17 – The arrest of Father Maximilian Kolbe, transferred to Auschwitz on May 28, 1941  
 
If she finds faithful servants, docile to her command…
 
In 1917, Freemasonry celebrated the 200th anniversary of its founding, in Rome. Flags and banners were posted in the city, representing the Archangel Michael defeated by Lucifer. This slogan was shouted on Saint Peter’s Square: "Satan will rule the Vatican, the Pope will be part of the Swiss Guard!"
 
In reaction to these marches that issued threats for the Church, Brother Maximilian Maria Kolbe, then a theology student, asked this question: "Should we do nothing while our enemies are working so hard to dominate us?
Don’t we have more powerful weapons than theirs in the Immaculate and our Lord Jesus Christ? "

Having studied and pondered the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, Brother Maximilian Kolbe came to this conclusion: "The undefiled Virgin, victorious over all heresies, will not give way to her enemy if she finds faithful servants that are obedient to her command.
She will win victories, larger than we could imagine ..."
 laportelatine.org


1st v  Righteous Mariamne "The Apostolic Virgin" sister of the holy Apostle Philip
102    Saint Auxibius encountered holy Apostle /Evangelist Mark who established Auxibius as bishop in the city of Soli
          miracles and the signs worked
          Commemorateion All the righteous and God-bearing Fathers and Mothers, both known and unknown, who shone forth in asceticism

310    Miracle of the boiled wheat performed by the holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit
720   Silvin of Auchy 40 yrs indefatigable preaching Christian truths essential obligations ransomed slaves  held in great honour, not only on account of his charity and holiness, but also for the gift of healing
1233 7 Founders of the Order of Servites On the Feast of the Assumption the 7 single vision to withdraw from world forming new society within the Church devoted to prayer and solitude
1285 Blessed Luke Belludi received the Franciscan habit from Saint Francis himself at Padua worked a great miracle at Luke’s urgent request by restoring a dying child to health.
1362 Saint Theodosius the Bulgarian and disciple Romanus zealous defender of Orthodoxy translated Greek writings into Slavonic founded a monastery Trnovo later called Theodosiev
1820 Blessed Francis Regis Clet Chinese Martyr

February 17- Our Lady of Constantinople (Turkey, 566)                 
The Mother of God Asks for Our Collaboration
Modern times will be dominated by Satan and the future will be even more so.
The combat against Hell cannot be carried out by men and women alone, even the most intelligent ones.
Only the Immaculate has received the Promise of the Victory over the Demon from God.
However, since she was raised to Heaven, the Mother of God asks for our collaboration.
She seeks souls that will be devoted entirely to her and become efficient and sure instruments between her hands,
to inflict Satan’s defeat and establish God’s reign on this earth.               Saint Maximilian Kolbe
February 17 - The Seven Founding Saints of the Servants of Mary 
 By Meditating on the Passion of the Son and the Compassion of the Mother  
 
Is it possible then, that Bethlehem was calling out to Calvary from the beginning! Both at the foot of the cross as in Ephrata, we find the Mother of Divine Grace. Later, the Virgin Mary would give birth in tears to the brothers and sisters of her firstborn, whose birth was perfectly gentle. Since we have tasted her joys, let us also accept to cry and suffer with her.
The seven blessed souls we celebrate today should become models for us. They spent their lives contemplating the sorrows of Our Lady—the mission of the Order they established was to spread the devotion of those unspeakable sorrows.
The founding of the Servants of Mary took place shortly after Saint Francis of Assisi had proudly displayed the sign of the divine Crucified to an indifferent world. Of course, in continuing his redeeming work, just as on the great Good Friday, Jesus could not come to earth without the Virgin Mary. The Servants of Mary completed the work of Francis of Assisi, so to speak, and the disoriented human race regained confidence by meditating on the Passion of the Son and the compassion of the Mother.  Dom Gueranger www.abbaye-saint-benoit.ch 
February 17 - Our Lady of Constantinople - Arrest of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe (1941)
She Offered Me Two Crowns
Father Maximilian Kolbe, born in Poland in a very poor but devout family, was quite a turbulent child until the day his mother cried out, "My poor child, what will become of you?" This question completely overwhelmed Maximilian.

A turning point in Maximilian's life followed that he confessed to his mother: "I prayed so hard and asked the Holy Mother of God to tell me what I would become. Then she appeared to me, holding two crowns, one white and one red. She looked at me with love and offered them both to me. The white one represented that I would always be pure and the red one that I would be a martyr. I accepted both of them!"
On February 17, 1941, the Gestapo arrested Father Maximilian Kolbe and four other brothers, and took them first to the Pawiak prison in Warsaw. The priest was severely beaten as a religious and a priest. He wrote to his congregation left in Niepokalanow: "The loving Immaculate Mother was always with us with her tenderness and will always watch over us. Let her guide us, more and more perfectly wherever she wants us to go and according to her good desire, fulfilling our duties until the end, so that we may save all souls out of love."
A few days later, Father Kolbe was transferred to Auschwitz.

1st v  Righteous Mariamne "The Apostolic Virgin" sister of the holy Apostle Philip
102    Saint Auxibius encountered holy Apostle /Evangelist Mark who established Auxibius as bishop in the city of Soli miracles and the signs worked Commemorateion All the righteous and God-bearing Fathers and Mothers, both known and unknown, who shone forth in asceticism
250    St. Polychronius Martyred bishop of Babylon
304    St. Donatus Martyr with eighty-six companions near Venice
          St. Faustinus & Companions Forty-five martyrs
306    The Holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit (Tyro)
309    Theodulus and Julian of Caesarea, gave God thanks for the honor of martyr
309    St. Julian of Martyr of Caesarea
309    St. Theodulus household member of Palestine governor Martyr crucified at Caesarea begged God would be pleased to accept of his life as a voluntary sacrifice
310    Miracle of the boiled wheat performed by the holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit
313    The Holy Martyr Menas Kallikelados (Well Speaking), an Athenian, died as a martyr with Sts Hermogenes and Eugraphus
450    St. Loman Bishop of Trim, in Meath, Ireland
500   St. Habet Deus martyred Bishop of Luna by Arabian heretics Tuscany Italy
603   St. Fintan Abbot 
6th v.
St. Fortchern Bishop of Trim, Ireland Saint  Guevrock, Abbot (AC)
661   Finan of Iona spirit of zeal, erudition, and prudence
6th v. Saint  Guevrock, Abbot (AC)
720   Silvin of Auchy 40 yrs indefatigable preaching Christian truths essential obligations ransomed slaves  held in great honour, not only on account of his charity and holiness, but also for the gift of healing with which he was credited.
1112 St. Benedict of Cagliari Benedictine monk bishop of Dolia
1124 St. Constabilis Benedictine abbot student of St. Leo at Cava Monastery near Salerno
1233 7 Founders of the Order of Servites On the Feast of the Assumption the 7 single vision to withdraw from world forming new society within the Church devoted to prayer and solitude
1165 Blessed Frowin of Bellevaux abbot-founder
1178 Evermod of Ratzeburg evangelized the Wends
1220 BD REGINALD OF ORLEANS taught canon law in Paris 6 years; his tomb was venerated from the beginning as that of a saint, and on this ground his cultus was confirmed in 1875
1282 St. Hugh dei Lippi Uggucioni 1of 7 Servite Order founders
1285 Blessed Luke Belludi received the Franciscan habit from Saint Francis himself at Padua
worked a great miracle at Luke’s urgent request by restoring a dying child to health.
1302 BD ANDREW OF ANAGNI was held in great veneration both in life and after death for the miracles he was believed to work
1310 St. Alexis Falconieri Founder mystic 1233 on the Feast of the Assumption group experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary
         Saint Theodore the Silent of the Caves
1362 Saint Theodosius the Bulgarian and disciple Romanus zealous defender of Orthodoxy translated Greek writings into Slavonic founded a monastery Trnovo later called Theodosiev
1603 Blessed William Richardson martyred for his priesthood
1612
Hermogenes Hieromartyr Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus stood up against traitors /enemies of the nation who
 wanted to spread Uniatism and Western Catholicism throughout Russia and to wipe out Orthodoxy, while
enslaving the Russian nation
1795
Theodore The Holy New Martyr apotasized then returned to Christianity tortured hanged by Turks
1819 Saint Joseph monk of Dionysiou Monastery on Mt. Athos iconographer he shone forth with the virtues of monastic life.
1820 Blessed Francis Regis Clet Chinese Martyr
"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)


Day 8 40 Days for Life Dear Readers
40 Days for Life’s headquarters is in the place where the first-ever campaign took place – the former Planned Parenthood abortion center in Bryan, Texas.
We also share the facility with Hope Pregnancy Center. This shows what God can do at the local level ... ... and He continues to do it! 
This time it’s in Creston, Iowa ... where the LC Clinic now operates in a former Planned Parenthood facility which once offered the controversial “webcam” abortions – and yes, it’s also a place where faithful Christians prayed outside during a 40 Days for Life campaign!
 “This was all on the tail end of a 40 Days for Life campaign where a local pastor remembered joking with friends about the possibility of converting the Planned Parenthood building into a pro-life outpost,” wrote reporter Jay Hobbs in Pregnancy Help News.  
It was after that campaign that Planned Parenthood shut down; they failed to attract enough customers to remain in business.
 “We had no intentions of ever moving into that Planned Parenthood building,” said the pregnancy center’s Ruth Fennessey. “Obviously, it’s 100 percent God. There is no human way possible that this could ever have worked out.”
This is what can happen when people pray! Will your town be next?
Augusta, Maine
Does standing in the bitter cold and praying in front of the abortion facility really matter? 
The question can cross your mind, said one of the volunteers in Augusta. “Does anyone look at those signs stuck in snow banks? Does anybody care? Does anybody notice? The answer is a resounding yes!”
This was a day when this business does nothing but abortions – there’s no other reason for a client to show up.
It was against this backdrop that three people stood in the cold, shivered and prayed. As they did, they saw a small car approach the building and slow down. A man and woman were inside ... and the volunteers knew why they were arriving. “My heart sank,” one of them said.
But as they watched, the man who was driving turned the steering wheel. In time, they continued past the building and out to the main road.
For whatever reason, there would be no abortion that day. One of the women praying almost jumped for joy. “We stood in amazement at this outpouring of God’s grace,” a volunteer said. “Please say a prayer for the couple that they will love and cherish this baby in her womb. Keep fighting the good fight.”
Sacramento, California
Sacramento leaders say this 40 Days for Life campaign thus far has been “a beautiful mingling of new faces and returning faces, all filled with enthusiasm for saving lives. The sidewalk is a site of hope because of these wonderful people.”
The team is encouraged by seeing more young people getting involved. “I can't tell you how refreshing those young faces are … the glory of God shines on into the future!”
Sacramento volunteers were also thankful for a parish priest who had brought a group from his church, which is in a city that is some distance away from the vigil site. Their dedication was certainly noticed!

Here's today's devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.
Day 8 intention
May the spirit and example of the Good Samaritan fill the hearts and minds of all our citizens.
Scripture
Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So, too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side."
"But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'"
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." —Luke 10:30-37
Reflection
Here Jesus commands us to show mercy to the victims of the culture of violence and death.
But why did the priest and Levite fail to show mercy? Perhaps they feared that the robbers were hiding just around the next corner to attack them. They asked themselves, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"
The Samaritan, however, reversed the question, and asked, "If I don't stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
In working to save the unborn, let's not worry about what will happen to us if we act; let's worry about what will happen to the unborn if we don't.
Prayer
Father, we are moved by the lesson of the Good Samaritan, who allowed compassion to influence him more than fear. Give us the same heart.
Grant that we may never count the cost of standing up and speaking out for the unborn. We pray through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Printable devotional
To download today's devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:
http://40daysforlife.com/media/day08.pdf
1st v Righteous Mariamne "The Apostolic Virgin" sister of the holy Apostle Philip (November 14)
Made a vow of virginity and became the companion of her brother Philip and the holy Apostle Bartholomew (June 11), actively assisting them in their apostolic work.

The Church historian Nicephorus Callistus describes their successful preaching in the Phrygian city of Hieropolis, where they were arrested and locked up in prison.
They put the Apostle Philip to death on a cross, but St Mariamne and St Bartholomew were set free.
St Bartholomew went to preach the Gospel in India.
St Mariamne, after burying the body of St Philip, preached the Gospel at Lykaonia (Asia Minor). She died there in peace.

All the righteous and God-bearing Fathers and Mothers, both known and unknown, who shone forth in asceticism
On this day, we commemorate all the righteous and God-bearing Fathers and Mothers, both known and unknown, who shone forth in asceticism. With these two weeks of Meatfare and Cheesefare, the Church gradually eases us into the full fasting which begins on Monday.

The holy acetics are virtuous men and women who contended against the devil and their own passions. By examining their lives and their struggles against the Enemy, we take courage from the victory they have achieved, and are inspired to imitate their God-pleasing conduct. They also teach us that fasting is not merely abstinence from food, but involves refraining from inappropriate speech and unseemly actions.

Since these holy ascetics share the same human nature that we have, their example is an encouragement to us as we embark on our own spiritual struggles Their lives are a model for us to follow as we seek to acquire and practice the various virtues and to turn away from everything evil. If we undertake these same struggles of prayer, fasting, and good works, we shall receive from God the same reward they did.

Most of the holy ascetics commemorated today have their own separate Feast Day during the year, while some are remembered only on this day.
102 Saint Auxibius encountered holy Apostle /Evangelist Mark who established Auxibius as bishop in the city of Soli miracles and the signs worked
Born at Rome in a rich family he was raised with his brother Tempstagoras, and from an early age he displayed remarkable talents. In the schools of Rome he easily learned the secular sciences. His parents wanted their son to marry. Learning of this, the youth secretly left Rome and journeyed to the East.

Arriving upon the island of Cyprus, he settled in the environs of Limnitis, not far from the city of Soli. By God's dispensation, he encountered the holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark (September 27, October 30, January 4, April 25), preaching the Word of God at Cyprus. St Mark established Auxibius as bishop in the city of Soli, and himself went to preach at Alexandria.

St Auxibius went toward the western gates of the city and settled near the pagan temple of Zeus. Gradually he converted the local pagan priest and other idol-worshippers to Christianity. Once, St Heraklides (September 17) came to St Auxibius. He had been made a bishop in Cyprus earlier by St Mark, and he consulted with St Auxibius to preach the Gospel of Christ

One day, St Auxibius arrived at the marketplace and began to preach to the people about Christ. Many, seeing the miracles and the signs worked by the saint, believed in Christ. Among the converted were many people from the surrounding villages. One man, by the name of Auxinios, remained with St Auxibius and assisted him until the end of his days.

After a certain while Tempstagoras, the brother of St Auxibius, came from Rome. He was baptized with his wife, became a priest, and served in one of the churches. St Auxibius guided his diocese for fifty years and died peacefully in the year 102, leaving his disciple Auxinios upon the cathedra.

313 The Holy Martyr Menas Kallikelados (Well Speaking), an Athenian, died as a martyr with Sts Hermogenes and Eugraphus
in about the year 313 (December 10).

During the reign of Emperor Basil the Macedonian (867-886), the military commander Marcian discovered the saint's relics after St Menas appeared to a certain pious man in a dream to reveal where they were.

1233 7 Founders of the Order of Servites On the Feast of the Assumption the 7 had a single inspiration or vision to withdraw from the world to form a new society within the Church devoted to prayer and solitude.
alexis_falconieri
Can you imagine seven prominent men of Boston or Denver banding together, leaving their homes and professions, and going into solitude for a life directly given to God? That is what happened in the cultured and prosperous city of Florence in the middle of the thirteenth century. The city was torn with political strife as well as the heresy of the Cathari. Morals were low and religion seemed meaningless.

In 1240 seven noblemen of Florence mutually decided to withdraw from the city to a solitary place for prayer and direct service of God. Their initial difficulty was providing for their dependents, since two were still married and two were widowers.  Their aim was to lead a life of penance and prayer, but they soon found themselves disturbed by constant visitors from Florence. They next withdrew to the deserted slopes of Monte Senario.
In 1244, under the direction of St. Peter of Verona, O.P., this small group adopted a religious habit similar to the Dominican habit, choosing to live under the Rule of St. Augustine and adopting the name of the Servants of Mary. The new Order took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the older monastic Orders.
Members of the community came to the United States from Austria in 1852 and settled in New York and later in Philadelphia.

The two American provinces developed from the foundation made by Father Austin Morini in 1870 in Wisconsin.  Community members combined monastic life and active ministry. In the monastery, they led a life of prayer, work and silence while in the active apostolate they engaged in parochial work, teaching, preaching and other ministerial activities.

Comment: The time in which the seven Servite founders lived is very easily comparable to the situation in which we find ourselves today. It is “the best of times and the worst of times,” as Dickens said. Some, perhaps many, feel called to a countercultural life, even in religion. All of us are faced in a new and urgent way with the challenge to make our lives decisively centered in Christ.
Quote: “Let all religious therefore spread throughout the whole world the good news of Christ by the integrity of their faith, their love for God and neighbor, their devotion to the Cross and their hope of future glory.... Thus, too, with the prayerful aid of that most loving Virgin Mary, God’s Mother, ‘Whose life is a rule of life for all,’ religious communities will experience a daily growth in number, and will yield a richer harvest of fruits that bring salvation” (Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life, 25).
Seven Founders of the Order of Servites (RM) 13th century; canonized in 1887 by Pope Leo XIII.
In 1233 seven wealthy councilors of the city of Florence, who had previously joined the Laudesi (Praisers), gave up the pleasures of this world in order to devote themselves to God through particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their previous lives had been by no means lax or undisciplined, even though Florence was then a city filled with factions and immorality, and infected by the Cathar heresy (the belief that the body was evil and we are the souls of angels inserted by Satan into human bodies). Under the direction of James of Poggibonsi, who was the chaplain of the Laudesi and a man of great holiness and spiritual insight, they came to recognize the call to renunciation.
On the Feast of the Assumption, 1233, the seven had a single inspiration or vision to withdraw from the world to form a new society within the Church devoted to prayer and solitude.

Of course, there were difficulties: Four of the men had been married, although two were widowers and the other three celibate. Each of them made provision for their dependents, and with the approval of their bishop withdrew from the world 23 days after the Assumption.
At first they lived just outside the city gates at La Camarzia, humbly obeying the dictates of the bishop of Florence.

As their fame spread the seven moved further away to the wilder hills around Monte Sennario, where they built a church and a hermitage. For seven years they lived there, eating little, fasting and praying and allowing no new recruits to their company. But in 1240 Bishop Ardingo of Florence and Cardinal Castiglione visited them after hearing about the sanctity of the seven. The cardinal was suitably impressed but had one criticism, "You treat yourselves in a manner bordering on barbarity: and you seem more desirous of dying to time than of living for eternity.
Take heed: the enemy of souls often hides himself under the appearance of an angel of light. . . . Hearken to the counsels of your superiors."

Bishop Ardingo went on to explain a vision that they had had of a vine that blossomed with green leaves and fruit in the middle of a cold March day. He told them that this was God's way of leading them to branch out into the world. The prelates insisted that the seven must welcome others who wished to follow so rigorous a life, and gave them rules for their order based on Saint Augustine and the Dominican Constitutions. They were to adopt the black habit of Augustinian monks and to live as mendicant friars.

As always, the hermits prayed for light, and again Our Lady appeared to them. On Good Friday, April 13, 1240, their mission was further defined in what they believed to be a vision of the Blessed Virgin, who they understood to say, "You will found a new order and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary. This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: The Black scapular, in memory of my sufferings." She held in her hand the black habit, while an angel bore a scroll inscribed with the title "Servants of Mary."
From that time they became known as Servites (or 'the Servants of Mary') because they meditated especially on the sorrows in the life of the mother of God.

They were clothed in the habit by their bishop, took new names in religion, and all except Saint Alexis, who in his humility begged to be excused, were ordained as priests. So many joined the Servites that new groups were set up in neighboring Tuscan cities, such as Siena, Pistoia, Arezzo, Carfaggio, and Lucca. In 1250, to commemorate the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, the seven founders built the superb church of Santissima Annunziata in Florence, which is still served by their order.
The Servites were recognized in 1259 by the papal legate Raniero Cardinal Capocci and solemnly approved by Blessed Benedict XI in 1304.

It has since spread into many parts of the world and continues to attract men and women, devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Many of their houses are dedicated to the education of children and the care of the poor and sick. The Servites fostered the devotion known as the Seven Sorrows of Mary, a development of the late medieval devotion to Our Lady of Pity, which offers a counterpart to the older one of the Seven Joys of Mary.

Of the seven founders, four became priors-general, two founded monasteries in France and Germany, and Alexis, who outlived the others, remained a lay brother his entire life. Short biographies of the seven founders are given for today. Note that some accounts give other names to the founders.
Alexis (Alessio) Falconieri (Born c. 1200; died at Monte Sennario on February 17, 1310).
Son of Bernard Falconieri, a wealthy Florentine merchant and a Guelph, joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin in Florence about 1225. They were all ordained except Alexis, who felt he was not worthy enough to be a priest and devoted himself to the material needs of the community and helped build the Servite church at Cafaggio. He was the only one of the seven still alive when the order was approved by Pope Benedict XI.  
Floréntiæ natális sancti Aléxii Falconérii Confessóris, e septem Fundatóribus Ordinis Servórum beátæ Maríæ Vírginis; qui, décimo supra centésimum vitæ suæ anno, Christi Jesu et Angelórum præséntia recreátus, beáto fine quiévit.  Ipsíus tamen ac Sociórum festum prídie Idus Februárii celebrátur.
       In Florence, the birthday of St. Alexis Falconieri, confessor, one of the seven founders of the Order of the Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In the one hundred and tenth year of his age, he ended his blessed career in the consoling presence of Christ Jesus and the angels.  His feast, with that of his companions, is kept on the 12th of February.
Bartholomew (Bartholomes, Amadeus) degli Amidei.
Amadeus governed the important convent of Carfaggio, but returned to Monte Sennario to die.
Benedict (Manettus, Manetius, Manetto) dell'Antella (Died August 20, 1268.)
In 1246, he attended the Council of Lyons. When the order was divided into two provinces in 1260, Manettus governed Tuscany. He later introduced the order into France at the invitation of King Saint Louis When Manettus became the fourth prior general, he sent missionaries to Asia. He retired in deference to Saint Philip Benizi, on whose breast he died.
St. Manettus One of the founders of the Servite Order, called Benedict dell’ Antella. He is also listed as Manetto and Manetius. He became general of the Order and in 1246 attended the council of lyons, France. Manettus introduced the Servites into France at the request of King St. Louis IX. He resigned the generalate to St. Philip Benizi and retired to Mount Senario, Italy.
Buonfiglio (Bonfilio) Monaldi (Monaldo) (Died January 1, 1261.) Bonfilio, the eldest of the seven, was the first superior of the Servites, serving until 1256
Gherardino (Gerardino, Sostenes) Sostegni (Sostegno). While Manettus governed the Tuscan province after 1260, Sostenes ruled that of Umbria. He later carried the order into Germany.
John Buonagiunta (Bonaiuncta). The youngest of the seven
 Buonagiunta was elected in 1256 as the second prior general of the Servites. Soon after his election he died in the chapel while listening to the Gospel account of the Passion.
Ricovero (Hugh) dei Lippi-Ugoccioni (Uguccione) (Died at Monte Sennario, Italy, May 3, 1282).
Hugh accompanied Saint Philip Benizi to France and Germany and was vicar-general of the order in the latter for eight years. Hugh and Sosthenes were recalled from foreign lands (France and Germany) in 1276, and died of illness on the same night (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Walsh).
unattributed prayer for their intercession:
"Servants of Mary, bless all laypeople on their spiritual journey. Help us look to Mary for examples of faith, service, and humility. And help us to remember that God calls us to love him in his children and our neighbors. Remind us that it is more important to live for eternity than to die to time. Amen." 
250 St. Polychronius Martyred bishop of Babylon
 In Pérside natális beáti Polychrónii, Epíscopi Babylónis, qui, in persecutióne Décii, ore lapídibus cæso, mánibus exténsis, ad cælum óculos élevans, emísit spíritum.
       In Persia, during the persecution of Decius, the birthday of blessed Polychronius, bishop of Babylon, who, being struck in the mouth with stones, died with hands outstretched and eyes lifted towards heaven.
He was traditionally thought to have been put to death at Babylon at the order of Emperor Trajanus Decius. This poses certain historical problems as Decius never fought in the East, being other wise occupied with the Goths on the Danube. There is a possibility that he may be the same person as Polychronius the feast for this Polychronius is the result of the translation of the saint’s relics.

Polychronius BM (RM)  Saint Polychronius was a bishop and martyr at Babylon. The Roman Martyrology says that he was put to death by Decius, but that emperor never made an expedition against the Persians. As Saint Polychronius of December 6 had also a feast on February 17, it is suggested that this feast masked the translation of his relics, and there was only one person (Benedictines).

304 St. Donatus Martyr with eighty-six companions near Venice
 Concórdiæ, in Venetórum fínibus, sanctórum Mártyrum Donáti, Secundiáni et Rómuli, cum áliis octogínta sex, ejúsdem corónæ consórtibus.
       At Concordia, the holy martyrs Donatus, Secundian, and Romulus, with eighty-six others, partakers of the same crown.
Romulus, Secundian, and eighty-six companions. They were put to death at Porto Guarro, near Venice, Italy.

St. Faustinus & Companions Forty-five martyrs unknown
Romæ pássio sancti Faustíni, quem álii quadragínta quátuor secúti sunt ad corónam.
       At Rome, the passion of St. Faustinus, whom forty-four others followed to receive the crown of martyrdom.
Forty-five martyrs believed to have been martyred in Rome. No details are extant.

306 The Holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit (Tyro)
A soldier in the city of Alasium of the Pontine district (northeast province of Asia Minor, stretching along the coast of the Euxine, i.e. the Black Sea), under the command of a certain Brincus. They commanded him to offer sacrifice to idols. St Theodore firmly confessed his faith in Christ the Savior in a loud voice. The commander gave him several days to think it over, during which time St Theodore prayed.

They charged him with setting a pagan temple on fire, and threw him into prison to be starved to death. The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him there, comforting and encouraging him. Brought to the governor, St Theodore boldly and fearlessly confessed his faith, for which he was subjected to new torments and condemned to burning. The martyr Theodore climbed onto the fire without hesitation, and with prayer and gave up his holy soul to God.
This occurred in about the year 306 under the Romanus emperor Galerius (305-311). Unharmed by the fire, the body of St Theodore was buried in the city of Euchaita, not far from Amasium. His relics were afterwards transferred to Constantinople, to a church dedicated to him. His head is in Italy, in the city of Gaeto.

Later on, fifty years after the death of St Theodore, the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363), wanting to commit an outrage upon the Christians, commanded the city-commander of Constantinople during the first week of Great Lent to sprinkle all the food provisions in the marketplaces with the blood offered to idols. St Theodore appeared in a dream to Archbishop Eudoxius, ordering him to inform all the Christians that no one should buy anything at the marketplaces, but rather to eat cooked wheat with honey (kolyva).
In memory of this occurrence, the Orthodox Church annually celebrates the holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit on the first Saturday of Great Lent.
On Friday evening, at the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts following the prayer at the ambo, the Canon to the holy Great Martyr Theodore, composed by St John of Damascus, is sung. After this, kolyva is blessed and distributed to the faithful. The celebration of the Great Martyr Theodore on the first Saturday of Great Lent was set by the Patriarch Nectarius of Constantinople (381-397).

The Troparion to St Theodore is quite similar to the Troparion for the Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Youths (December 17, Sunday Before Nativity). The Kontakion to St Theodore, who suffered martyrdom by fire, reminds us that he also had faith as his breastplate (see I Thessalonians 5:8).
We pray to St Theodore for the recovery of stolen articles.
309 Theodulus and Julian of Caesarea , gave God thanks for the honor of martyr MM (RM)
 Cæsaréæ, in Palæstína, sancti Theodúli senis, qui, cum esset ex família Prǽsidis Firmiliáni, et, Mártyrum excitátus exémplo, Christum constánter confiterétur, martyrii palmam, cruci affíxus, nóbili triúmpho proméruit.
       At Caesarea in Palestine, the death of St. Theodulus, in the service of the governor Firmilian, at a great age.  Prompted by the example of the martyrs, he confessed Christ with constancy, and was nailed to a cross.  By this noble victory he merited the palm of martyrdom.

309 SS. THEODULUS AND JULIAN, MARTYRS
ST THEODULUS and St Julian suffered at Caesarea in Palestine im­mediately after the five Egyptians commemorated on the 16th, but they are mentioned under this date in the Roman Martyrology. Theodulus, a wise and pious old man, occupied one of the most honourable positions in the household of Firmilian, the governor of Palestine, who held him in great esteem. After witnessing the fortitude and patience of the five saints, he visited the prison and held the martyrs up as examples to encourage the other confessors and to prepare them for a similar ordeal. Firmilian was so furious at this action on the part of his old servant that he sent for him, reproached him sternly for his ingratitude and, without hearing his defence, condemned him to be crucified. Theodulus received the sentence gladly, and went joyfully to a form of death which so closely resembled that of his Saviour and by means of which he would speedily be united with Him.
<>Julian, who shared his triumph, was only a catechumen, held in great honour by the faithful on account of his exemplary character. He had been absent from Caesarea and had scarcely arrived back when he was informed of the sufferings and of the execution of the martyrs which had just been taking place. At once he ran to the spot, and finding that all was over he expressed his veneration by kissing and embracing the bodies of the saints. The guards apprehended him and took him to the governor, who, perceiving that he was as determined as the rest, wasted no time in useless cross-examination but immediately ordered him to be burnt. Julian thanked God for the honour, and asked Him to accept his life as a voluntary sacrifice. His cheerfulness whilst he was being tortured by slow fire amazed his executioners and the spectators.
As in the case of SS. Elias and his companions, so our knowledge of SS. Theodulus and Julian depends entirely upon Eusebius.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).
309 St. Julian of Martyr of Caesarea
Ibidem sancti Juliáni Cappádocis, qui, exosculátus necatórum Mártyrum córpora, et ídeo ut Christiánus delátus et ad Prǽsidem ductus, lento igne jussus est combúri.
In the same place, St. Julian the Cappadocian, who, because he had kissed the relics of martyrs, was denounced as a Christian.  Being taken to the governor, he was ordered to be burned to death over a slow fire.
He volunteered to join St. Pamphilus and ten companions being martyred in Caesarea in Palestine. Arrested by Roman officials, he was roasted to death.
310 Miracle of the boiled wheat performed by the holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit
Today we remember the miracle of the boiled wheat performed by the holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit (February 17).
Fifty years after the death of St Theodore, the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363), wanting to commit an outrage upon the Christians, commanded the city-commander of Constantinople to sprinkle all the food provisions in the marketplaces with the blood offered to idols during the first week of Great Lent. St Theodore, having appeared in a dream to Archbishop Eudoxius, ordered him to inform all the Christians that no one should buy anything at the marketplaces, but rather to eat cooked wheat with honey (kolyva).

In memory of this occurrence, the Orthodox Church annually celebrates the holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit on the first Saturday of Great Lent. On Friday evening, at the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts following the prayer at the ambo, the Canon to the holy Great Martyr Theodore, composed by St John of Damascus, is sung. After this, kolyva is blessed and distributed to the faithful. The celebration of the Great Martyr Theodore on the first Saturday of Great Lent was set by the Patriarch Nectarius of Constantinople (381-397).

450 St. Loman Bishop of Trim, in Meath, Ireland son of Tigris, the sister of St. Patrick. He accompanied St. Patrick to Ireland and converted a local chieftain.
450? ST LOMAN, BISHOP
ACCORDING to Jocelin’s Life of St Patrick, Loman was the son of Patrick’s sister Tigris, and was one of those disciples who accompanied him to Ireland. The story runs that when St Patrick landed to go to Tara, he left St Loman to look after the boat and to navigate it up the Boyne. Fortchern, the son of the chieftain of Trim, heard him singing psalms and chants in the boat, and was so attracted that he came down to the water’s edge to listen. St Loman entered into conversation with him and taught him from the little ship and they began to sing together. Presently they were joined by Fortchern’s mother, a British or Scottish princess, who, being herself a Christian, was overjoyed at the news that the gospel of Christ was being brought to Ireland. Soon Fortchern’s father, Fedelmid, came under instruction and was baptized with all his household. He gave St Patrick land at Trim for a church, of which St Loman was consecrated bishop. In the course of time Fortchern also became a saint and a bishop, apparently succeeding St Loman at Trim.

It has been much contested whether St Loman actually belonged to the times of St Patrick or whether, as there seems some reason to believe, he should rather be identified with a certain Bishop Loman of Trim who is known to have lived in the seventh century.

The account given above seems to be ultimately founded on the Tripartite Life of St Patrick (Rolls Series, vol. i, pp. 66—69), though nothing is there said of “singing psalms” but the writer speaks only of reading the gospel. No great reliance, of course, can be placed upon any of the Celtic legends of this period. Colgan and the Bollandists have connected this commemoration with February 17, which is the common feast of Loman (Lommán) and the other saints of Trim; October 11 is his proper day. See Fr P. Grosjean’s essay in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. i, no. 2 (1950), pp. 164—1 66.
500 St. Habet Deus martyred Bishop of Luna by Arabian heretics Tuscany Italy
He was martyred by Arabian heretics. Habet Deus is venerated in Sarzana.
Habet-Deus BM (AC) Bishop Habet-Deus governed the diocese of Luna in Tuscany, Italy--a town that is now in ruins. He was probably martyred by the Arian Vandals. Habet-Deus is venerated at Sarzana (Benedictines).

603 St. Fintan Abbot (St. Columba disciple) clairvoyance prophecies miracles very austere penances
In monastério Cluain-ednechénsi, in Hibérnia, sancti Fintáni, Presbyteri et Abbátis.
In the monastery of Cluainedhech in Ireland, St. Fintan, abbot.
Fintan was a hermit in Clonenagh, Leix, Ireland. When disciples gathered around his hermitage he became their abbot.
A wonder worker, Fintan was known for clairvoyance, prophecies, and miracles. He also performed very austere penances.


603 ST FINTAN OF CLONEENAGH, ABBOT even in his boyhood he possessed the gift of prophecy and of a knowledge of distant events
IN a tractate preserved in the Book of Leinster St Fintan is presented as an Irish counterpart of St Benedict, and there can be no question as to the high repute in which his monastery of Cloneenagh in Leix was held by his contemporaries. An early litany speaks of “the monks of Fintan, descendant of Eochaid, who ate nothing but herbs of the earth and water; there is not room to enumerate them by reason of their multitude”. Quite in accord with this is a gloss in the Félire of Oengus: “Generous Fintan never consumed during his time aught save the bread of woody barley and muddy water of clay.” The Latin life bears out this description of extreme asceticism, which indeed St Canice of Aghaboe thought excessive and protested against. It tells us how the saint’s future holiness was foretold to his mother by an angel before his birth, how even in his boyhood he possessed the gift of prophecy and of a knowledge of distant events, how he was trained by St Columba of Tir da Glas, and how in accord with this master’s direc­tion he settled in Cloneenagh, leading an eremitical life of great austerity, but gathering round him eventually a multitude of disciples. Apart from this we have little more than a catalogue of miracles, though the miracles are not so extravagant as those often found in Irish hagiographical documents. The account leaves the impression that Fintan, while extraordinarily severe to himself, was gentle and compassionate in his treatment of others. When the monks of neighbouring com­munities protested that his rule was too austere for human endurance, he consented to allow some mitigation for the benefit of his subjects, but would make no change in his own practice. Not a few characteristic traits of early Irish monasticism are revealed in the narrative. For example, we read of a section of the brethren at Cloneenagh who “ burning with an over-great love of a pilgrim’s like (the Irish peregrini were famous throughout Europe) and unwilling to live in their own native land departed from the monastery without the permission of their holy abbot”, and went to Bennchor and to Britain. Fintan does not seem to have taken a very stern view of their offence, and he even accorded a warm welcome to one at least of the fugitives who subsequently asked to be taken back. Again the lawlessness and violence of those rude times are brought home to us in a story which illustrates his respect for the dead. A band of marauders after making a successful raid against some neighbouring clan returned in triumph, bringing with them the gory heads of the enemies they had slain. They left the heads near the monastery, and St Fintan had them buried in the cemetery of the monks. When asked why he did this, Fintan replied, “We trust in the Lord that at doomsday these men will not suffer torment, in virtue of the merits and the glory of all the saints of this holy spot who themselves will lie here interred and who will pray in their lifetime for the souls of those to be buried in their company. Since the principal part of their bodies reposes here, we hope that they will find mercy.” Whatever theological misconceptions may be detected in this answer, the keen desire to be buried in close proximity to those who were thought to be sure of rising in glory was widely prevalent from the days of the catacombs to the close of the middle ages. Of the triumphant raiders just referred to, one afterwards became a monk at Cloneenagh. St Fintan, it is said, when praying in a lonely spot was surrounded by such a radiance of light that a brother who had followed him out of curiosity to observe what he did was almost blinded by the effulgence which dazzled him. We are also told that every Sunday night St Columba from his island home at Iona beheld in a vision St Fintan standing among the angels before the judgement seat of Christ. Columba told a disciple to seek out the abbot in Ireland, and described him as a man saint-like and comely, with a ruddy face and gleaming eyes, whose hair was flecked with white. The feast of St Fintan is kept throughout Ireland.
See VSH., vol. ii, pp. 96—106 (cf. vol. i, pp. lxx—lxxi), and Colgan, Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae, pp. 349—353. The Bollandist text in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii, pp. 17—21, presents a conflation of two different recensions of the same original. Cf. 3. Ryan, Irish Monasticism (1931), pp. 127—118 and passim.
Fintan of Clonenagh, Abbot (RM) Born in Leinster; died 603. A disciple of Saint Columba (or according to Montague, Saint David), Fintan led the life of a hermit at Clonenagh in Leix. Soon numerous disciples, including Saint Comgal, attached themselves to him, and he became their abbot.
Such was the austerity of the life led at Clonenagh that neighboring monasteries protested. Fintan himself was reputed to live on a diet of barley bread and clayey water; however, he established a less strict rule for some neighboring monks.
One day some soldiers brought the severed heads of their enemies to the monastery. Fintan had these buried in the monks cemetery hoping that by the Judgment Day they would have benefitted from the prayers of generations of monks: "since the principal part of their bodies rest here, we hope they will find mercy."
Fintan's feast is celebrated throughout Ireland (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth, Montague).
6th v.St. Fortchern Bishop of Trim, Ireland
He was converted by St. Loman. Fortchern became a hermit in Meath, retiring from his see after a few years.
Fortchern of Trim (AC) (also known as Forkernus) 6th century. Saint Fortchern is said to have been converted to the faith by Saint Loman, whom he succeeded as bishop of Trim, Ireland, before becoming a hermit (Benedictines).
In art, St. Fortchern pictured as a bishop among bell-founders of whom he is the patron (Roeder).
6th v. Saint  Guevrock, Abbot (AC) (also known as Gueroc, Kerric)
Saint Guevrock was a Briton who followed Saint Tadwal to Brittany and succeeded him as abbot of Loc-Kirec.
He helped Saint Paul of León in the rule of the diocese (Benedictines).

661 Finan of Iona spirit of zeal, erudition, and prudence B (AC)

661  ST FINAN, Bishop OF LINDISFARNE
FINAN, an Irishman by birth and then a monk of Iona, succeeded St Aidan at Lindisfarne, of which he became the second bishop. His huge diocese comprised the whole of the modern counties of Northumberland, Durham and York, but he was a man of strong character as well as of most saintly life, and he appears to have exerted a firm and unquestioned sway over his half-civilized, widely-scattered and somewhat unruly flock.
He was a strenuous upholder of the Celtic tradition in which he had been reared, and opposed the modern innovations introduced from the south of England by the successors of Augustine, who kept in closer touch with Rome. St Finan’s ten years’ rule was a peaceful one, and he lived on terms of friendship with King Oswy of Northumbria. He had the joy of baptizing Peada, prince of the Middle English, at whose request he sent St Cedd and other missionaries to preach to the Mercians. Their labours were crowned
with success, and numbers of souls were converted to Christianity. After a time another royal penitent came to Finan to ask for baptism this was Sigebert, King of the East Saxons, who had been converted through the efforts of King Oswy. Sigebert also asked for missionaries, particularly for St Cedd of whom he had heard much from Oswy. Eventually St Finan consecrated St Cedd bishop of the East Saxons and Diuma, a Scot, bishop of the Middle English. On Holy Island St Finan built a cathedral: it was of wood, after the Celtic fashion, and the roof was covered with a thatch of bent or sea-grass which is so plentiful along the North­umbrian coast. His feast is observed in the dioceses of Lancaster and Argyll 

Our principal authority is Bede, Hist. Eccles., bk iii, chs. 17, 21, 22, 25.
An Irish monk of Iona, who succeeded Saint Aidan in the governance of the Northumbrian church. He also bore Aidan's spirit of zeal, erudition, and prudence. Finan opposed Saint Ronan's introduction of the Roman liturgical practices in place of the Celtic ones, yet agreed to Saint Wilfrid's going from Lindisfarne to Rome. Attended by Saint Cedd and other missionaries, he evangelized parts of southern England. He became a friend of King Oswy of Northumbria, and baptized King Penda of the Middle Angles and later King Saint Sigebert of the East Saxons, who had been converted to Christianity by King Oswy (Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer).
720 Silvin of Auchy 40 yrs indefatigable preaching Christian truths essential obligations ransomed slaves, held in great honour, not only on account of his charity and holiness, but also for the gift of healing with which he was credited. OSB B (RM) (also known as Silvinus)
 In pago Tarvanénsi, in Gállia, sancti Silvíni, Epíscopi Tolosáni.
 In the territory of Terouanne in France, St. Silvinus, bishop of Toulouse.
720 ST SILVIN, Bishop held in great honour, not only on account of his charity and holiness, but also for the gift of healing with which he was credited.
NOTHING is definitely known of the parentage of St Silvin. His early manhood was spent at the court of Kings Childeric II and Thierry III. He was betrothed and was about to be married when he felt the call to abandon the world and to follow Christ in the path of poverty and celibacy, and he accordingly retired from the court. He received holy orders in Rome and afterwards became a bishop. Some accounts say that his diocese was Toulouse, others give it as Thérouanne, but as his name is not found in any register of either of these churches it seems more likely that he was ordained a regionary bishop to preach the gospel to the heathen.

Silvin worked zealously in the north of France, spending most of his time in the region of Thérouanne, which was then full of pagans or of nominal Christians who were not much better than heathens. He was indefatigable in preaching to them and he gained a considerable harvest of souls by his teaching and example.

Much of his private fortune was expended in ransoming slaves from the barbarians, and he devoted the rest to charity and to the building of churches. Although he was endowed with good looks and a courtly address he wore the meanest clothes and practised great austerities; it was remarked that in his humble house he received every stranger as though he were Christ Himself. St Silvin’s biographer says that for forty years he ate no bread, but lived on potherbs and fruit, and the only possession he retained for himself was a horse which he rode when he became too weak to walk. His great wish was to live the life of a hermit, but his bodily in­firmities would have precluded it even had he obtained release from his episcopal duties. He appears to have died at Auchy-les-Moines near Arms, and was cer­tainly buried in that monastery. Even in his lifetime he was held in great honour, not only on account of his charity and holiness, but also for the gift of healing with which he was credited.

There is a Latin life of St Silvin by Bishop Antenor, who must have been a contemporary, but it has undergone revision and amplification at a later date. The text will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii, and in Mabillon. Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. iii, p. 534, thinks that Silvin was probably a “Scot”, and points out that Folcuin makes it clear that he was still living at the time of the battle of Vincy (717).
Born at Toulouse (?), France; died February 15, c. 718-720. Silvinus, a courtier of Childeric II and Theodoric III, gave up his worldly life and became a penitential pilgrim to Jerusalem and other holy sites.
In Rome, he was ordained, then consecrated regional bishop and evangelized in the area around Thérouanne and Toulouse. He was indefatigable in preaching Christian truths and essential obligations; and taught pagans to despise and renounce pleasures of this life, by appearing on all occasions a strong lesson of self-denial and mortification. Thus, instructing them both by words and actions, he gathered a large harvest in a wild and uncultivated field. After some 40 years of missionary activity, which included the ransoming of many slaves, he retired to the Benedictine abbey of Auchy-les-Moines, where he died worn out by evangelizing.
He is commemorated in Usuard, the Belgic, and Roman martyrologies, on February 17, the day of his burial, and at Auchy on February 15. Most of his relics reside now in Saint-Bertin's Church at Saint- Omer, to which they were translated in 951, for fear of the Normans. 
His original vita, which was ascribed to Antenor, a disciple of the saint, is lost; the one that remains was compiled in the ninth century (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
1112 St. Benedict of Cagliari Benedictine monk bishop of Dolia
Sardinia. He was a monk at the abbey of St. Saturninus in that city when he was made bishop in 1107. Serving for five years, Benedict retired to the basilica abbey.
Benedict of Cagliari, OSB B (AC) Died after 1112. Saint Benedict was a monk in Saint Saturninus Basilica monastery at Cagliari, Sardinia, and bishop of Dolia, Sardinia, from 1107 to 1112. In his old age he retired to the abbey, where he died (Benedictines).

1124 St. Constabilis Benedictine abbot student of St. Leo at Cava Monastery near Salerno
Italy. He was born in 1060 in Lucania. In 1122, Constabilis was named the abbot, and he built the town of Castelabte, where he is venerated.

Constabilis of Cava, OSB, Abbot (AC) Born in Lucania, Italy, 1060; died 1124; canonized in 1893. Saint Constabilis was a monk under Saint Leo at La Cava Abbey near Naples, and in 1122, he was chosen as its fourth abbot. Constabilis built the town of Castelabbate, where he is now venerated as patron (Benedictines).

1165 Blessed Frowin of Bellevaux abbot-founder, OSB Cist. Abbot (PC)
Blessed Frowin was a Cistercian at Bellevaux, Savoy, and abbot-founder of Salom in the diocese of Constanz. He was a champion of Saint Bernard when the latter was preaching his crusade (Benedictines).

1178 Evermod of Ratzeburg evangelized the Wends.
O. Praem. B (AC) Saint Evermod a priest under Saint Norbert, who evangelized the Wends eventually chosen abbot of Gottesgnaden, then abbot of Magdeburg, and finally bishop of Ratzeburg (Benedictines).

1178 ST EVERMOD, BISHOP OF RATZEBURG His apostolic energy won the admiration of all, and he is known to posterity as an apostle of the Wends.

WHEN St Norbert was preaching at Cambrai in 1120 his eloquence made a deep impression upon a young man named Evermod, who thereupon forsook the world and joined the Premonstratensian canons under St Norbert’s rule. He accom­panied his beloved superior to Antwerp, where he laboured strenuously to repair the mischief done by the heretical teacher and firebrand, Tanchelm.
In 1134 Evermod succeeded St Norbert as superior of the monastery of Gottesgnaden; but in 1138 the urgent recommendation of Wigger, Bishop of Brandenburg, put him in charge of the abbey dedicated in honour of the Blessed Virgin at Magdeburg. Sixteen years later he was consecrated first bishop of Ratzeburg, on the confines of what is now Schleswig-Holstein, an office which he retained until his death. His apostolic energy won the admiration of all, and he is known to posterity as an apostle of the Wends.

No formal biography of St Evermod seems to have been preserved to us, but an account of his life is furnished from miscellaneous sources in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii. See also C. Hugo, Sancti Ordinis Praemonstratensis Annales, vol. i, p. 766 and vol. ii, pp. 172 and 599 seq
1220 RD REGINALD OF ORLEANS taught canon law in Paris 6 years; his tomb was venerated from the beginning as that of a saint, and on this ground his cultus was confirmed in 1875
Of the sons of St Dominic who have been proposed for the veneration of the faithful, Bd Reginald was the first to pass out of this world. He wore the habit for a very short time, but tradition holds that it was to him, and not to the founder himself, that our Lady appeared and made known her wish that the linen rochet which the saint’s companions had hitherto worn as canons should be exchanged for the white woollen scapular of the friars.

Reginald, who was born in 1183 at Saint­-Gilles in Languedoc, not far from Arles, seems to have been a young man of singular promise. He had taught canon law in the University of Paris from 1206 to 1211, before he was appointed in 1212 dean of the collegiate chapter of Saint­-Aignan at Orleans. In the course of a pilgrimage he came to Rome in 1218, and there met St Dominic, whom he recognized as the spiritual guide who had already been shown to him by our Lady in a time of dangerous illness. He offered himself as a disciple, and Dominic had so much confidence in him that he made him vicar of his rapidly growing religious family during the time that he himself was absent in Spain. Reginald, being bidden in that same year 1218 to betake himself to Bologna, laid the foundations of a great Dominican house in connection with the university there. Both there and at Paris, whither he was sent the next year, he had immense success both in preaching and in gaining recruits for the order. But he was already ripe for Heaven, and dying in Paris, February 1, 1220, he was buried in Notre-Dame-des-Champs. It is said that his tomb was venerated from the beginning as that of a saint, and on this ground his cultus was confirmed in 1875.

Our information about him is derived from the early chronicles of the Dominican Order, such, for instance, as Gerard de Frachet’s Vitae Fratrum and Bartholomew of Trent’s LiberEpilogorum. Memoirs have also been compiled in modern times by E. C. Bayonne, T. A. Karr and A. Gardeil. See also Mortier, Maîtres Généraux O.P., vol. i, pp. 96—100 and 118— 119, and Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiographicus OP., p. 8.
1282 St. Hugh dei Lippi Uggucioni 1282 1of 7 Servite Order founders.
He accompanied St. Philip Benizi to France and Germany, serving as vicar general of the Servites in Germany.
 February 17, 2010 Seven Founders of the Order of Servites (13th century)

Can you imagine seven prominent men of Boston or Denver banding together, leaving their homes and professions, and going into solitude for a life directly given to God? That is what happened in the cultured and prosperous city of Florence in the middle of the thirteenth century. The city was torn with political strife as well as the heresy of the Cathari. Morals were low and religion seemed meaningless.
In 1240 seven noblemen of Florence mutually decided to withdraw from the city to a solitary place for prayer and direct service of God. Their initial difficulty was providing for their dependents, since two were still married and two were widowers.  Their aim was to lead a life of penance and prayer, but they soon found themselves disturbed by constant visitors from Florence. They next withdrew to the deserted slopes of Monte Senario.

In 1244, under the direction of St. Peter of Verona, O.P., this small group adopted a religious habit similar to the Dominican habit , choosing to live under the Rule of St. Augustine and adopting the name of the Servants of Mary. The new Order took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the older monastic Orders.  Members of the community came to the United States from Austria in 1852 and settled in New York and later in Philadelphia. The two American provinces developed from the foundation made by Father Austin Morini in 1870 in Wisconsin.

Community members combined monastic life and active ministry. In the monastery, they led a life of prayer, work and silence while in the active apostolate they engaged in parochial work, teaching, preaching and other ministerial activities.
Comment:  The time in which the seven Servite founders lived is very easily comparable to the situation in which we find ourselves today. It is “the best of times and the worst of times,” as Dickens said. Some, perhaps many, feel called to a countercultural life, even in religion. All of us are faced in a new and urgent way with the challenge to make our lives decisively centered in Christ.
Quote:  “Let all religious therefore spread throughout the whole world the good news of Christ by the integrity of their faith, their love for God and neighbor, their devotion to the Cross and their hope of future glory.... Thus, too, with the prayerful aid of that most loving Virgin Mary, God’s Mother, ‘Whose life is a rule of life for all,’ religious communities will experience a daily growth in number, and will yield a richer harvest of fruits that bring salvation” (Dec ree on the Renewal of Religious Life, 25).
1285 Blessed Luke Belludi received the Franciscan habit from Saint Francis himself at Padua, worked a great miracle at Luke’s urgent request by restoring a dying child to health.OFM (AC)
Born in 1200; died 1285; cultus confirmed in 1927. Blessed Luke received the Franciscan habit from Saint Francis himself at Padua, Italy, and became the intimate friend of Saint Antony of Padua, at whose death he assisted. On his own death, he was laid in the empty tomb from which the body of Saint Antony had been taken (Benedictines).
1285 BD LUKE BELLUDI
THE devotion to St Antony of Padua is so widespread and of such early date that we cannot be surprised if those more intimately associated with him have been irradiated with his glory. Luke Belludi, born in the year 1200  of an opulent family near Padua, received the habit and cord of the Friars Minor in that city when he was twenty years old at the hands of St Francis himself. There also a little later
he became the companion and intimate friend of St Antony, who, as an ancient chronicle attests, worked a great miracle at Luke’s urgent request by restoring a dying child to health.
When St Antony himself in 1231 passed away at Padua in the Franciscan house known as the Aracoeli or “Arcella”, Bd Luke was one of the two friars who tended him in his last moments. Finally it was Luke who, as provincial minister of the order, was mainly instrumental in erecting the magnificent basilica which enshrines the remains of his beloved friend and which perpetuates to this day the glory of the tender-hearted Franciscan. We know little more of Luke beyond the fact that he was active in preaching and good works. When he died in 1285, he was interred in the empty marble tomb which the body of St Antony had first occupied, and the slab which covered it was, it appears, used as an altar upon which Mass was celebrated. In virtue of these and similar facts attesting the honour in which Luke has always been held in Padua, his cultus was confirmed in 1927.

See the decree of confirmation in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xix (1927), pp. 213—216; B. Marinangeli, Cenni sulla vita del b. Luca Belludi (1929) ; and cf. Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano, vol. i, pp. 235—236.
1302 BD ANDREW OF ANAGNI was held in great veneration both in life and after death for the miracles he was believed to work
IN the Franciscan supplement to the Roman Martyrology this servant of God is described as “Beatus Andreas de Comitibus”; but it would seem that the more accurate form of his name is Andrea dei Conti di Segni (Andrew of the Counts of Segni). In Mazzara he is called Andrea d’Anagni, from his birthplace. As we learn from these designations he was of noble family, nephew of the Roland Conti who became Pope Alexander IV and a near kinsman of another native of Anagni, Benedict Gaetani, Pope Boniface VIII.

Laying aside all thought of worldly advancement he gave himself to the Order of Friars Minor, in which he remained a simple brother, not even aspiring to the priesthood.

His reputation for holiness was great, and it is probably true that a cardinalate was at some time offered him, and that he definitely declined to be so honoured. Our sources of information, however, do not seem very trustworthy. One is consequently a little disposed to be sceptical about some incidents recounted in the legend of Bd Andrew. For example “Wadding relates that one day when he was ill and unable to take his ordinary food, a friend brought him some roasted birds. The saint, touched with pity at the sight of the innocent creatures, would not eat, but, making the sign of the cross over them, commanded them to resume their feathers and fly away. He was instantly obeyed, and the little birds, restored to life, took flight with chirps of joy” (Leon, i, 134). There is no doubt that Andrew was held in great veneration both in life and after death for the miracles he was believed to work. He breathed his last on February 1, 1302, and his cult us was formally approved in 1724.

See Léon, L’Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano (1676), vol. i, pp. 155-156.
1304 BD PETER OF TREIA After a long life of labour, adorned by miracles and the gift of prophecy
THIS Peter was one of the early Franciscans and received the habit from St Francis himself.
He was born at Montecchio, near Treia, of poor parents, and he entered the order when still quite young. He received holy orders, after which he was most devoted in carrying out the duties of the sacred ministry. He preached boldly against licentiousness and converted many sinners. It is related that once, when he was praying in the church of the convent of Ancona, his superiors saw him rapt in ecstasy and lifted from the ground; our Lady, St John the Evangelist and St Francis all manifested themselves to him in visions. He had a particular veneration for the Archangel St Michael, who appeared to him on the last day of the special Lent which he used to keep in his honour and talked with him a long time, promising him the remission of his sins.

He was united by a great bond of friendship to Bd Conrad of Offida, who lived with him for some years in the convent of Torano which St Francis had founded. They worked and preached together and roused each other in noble emulation to higher and higher stages of sanctity, until the fame of their holiness shed a glow of distinction over their simple little community on the feast of the Purification one year Peter had a wonderful vision in which he saw our Lady place her Son in the arms of Bd Conrad. After a long life of labour, adorned by miracles and the gift of prophecy, Bd Peter died at the convent of Sirolo in the Marches. Popular devotion, which had gathered about him from the hour of his death, was sanctioned in the year 1793.

There is a pronounced atmosphere of legend in the accounts given of Bd Peter by Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano, vol. i, pp. 245—246, and the L’Auréole Séraphique of Fr Leon (Eng. trans.), vol. i. They all derive from Wadding, and Wadding used, without discrimination, almost any materials that came to hand. Cf. also A. Canaletti Gaudenti, Il b. Pietro da Treja (1937).
1310 St. Alexis Falconieri Founder mystic 1233 on the Feast of the Assumption group experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary
 Floréntiæ natális sancti Aléxii Falconérii Confessóris, e septem Fundatóribus Ordinis Servórum beátæ Maríæ Vírginis; qui, décimo supra centésimum vitæ suæ anno, Christi Jesu et Angelórum præséntia recreátus, beáto fine quiévit.  Ipsíus tamen ac Sociórum festum prídie Idus Februárii celebrátur.
       In Florence, the birthday of St. Alexis Falconieri, confessor, one of the seven founders of the Order of the Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In the one hundred and tenth year of his age, he ended his blessed career in the consoling presence of Christ Jesus and the angels.  His feast, with that of his companions, is kept on the 12th of February.
One of the first Servants of Mary or Servites. The son of a wealthy merchant in Florence, Italy, Alexis and six companions joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin in Florence in 1225.

Gathered together on the Feast of the Assumption in 1233, the group experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary which inspired them to found a new religious community dedicated to prayer. They founded such a group at La Camarzia, near Florence, moving eventually to Monte Senario, on the outskirts of the city.

Another vision inspired Alexis and his companions to form the Servites, or the Servants of Mary. All in the group were ordained priests, except for Alexis, who believed he was not worthy of such an honor. He helped build the Servite church at Cafaggio, and he managed the day-to-day temporal affairs of the congregation. The Servites received papal approval from Pope Benedict XI in 1304. Alexis was the only founding member still alive. He died at Monte Senario on February 17, 1310, recorded as 110 years old. Alexis and his companions are called the Seven Holy Founders. They were canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1888.

1310 7 Gründer, Alexius Falconieri Gründer des Servitenordens 1888 wurden die sieben Servitengründer, Bonfilius, Bonajuncta, Manettus, Amideus, Hugo, Sosteneus und Alexius, "als ob sie eine Person wären", von Leo XIII. heiliggesprochen
Katholische Kirche: 17. Februar
Sieben befreundete Kaufleute in Florenz, die einer marianischen Bruderschaft angehörten, beschlossen 1233 ein gemeinsames Leben im Dienst der Armen und Kranken zu führen. Sie versorgten ihre Familien, verschenkten ihre Habe und lebten in einem einfachen Haus am Rande der Stadt Florenz. Sie wurden allgemein Diener Mariens - Servi Mariae - genannt.

1241 gründeten die sieben ein Kloster auf dem Monte Senario nahe Florenz. Sie beschlossen, hier nach der Regel Augustins zu leben und ein schwarzes Ordensgewand zu tragen. Der Orden fand großen Zulauf. 1299 gab es in Deutschland bereits vier Klöster. 1304 wurde der Orden von Papst Benedikt XI. bestätigt. Im Bestätigungsschreiben heißt es: "Ihr pflegt eine besondere Hingabe an die glorreiche und selige Jungfrau Maria; von ihr nahmt ihr euren Namen, indem ihr euch demütig ihre Diener nanntet."

Bei der Anerkennung des Ordens lebte nur noch einer der sieben Gründer, Alexius Falconieri, der am 17. Februar 1310 im Alter von 110 Jahren starb. 1888 wurden die sieben Servitengründer, Bonfilius, Bonajuncta, Manettus, Amideus, Hugo, Sosteneus und Alexius, "als ob sie eine Person wären", von Leo XIII. heiliggesprochen. Diese Heiligsprechung ist ein - bisher - einmaliger Vorgang in der Kirchengeschichte.

1362 Saint Theodosius the Bulgarian and disciple Romanus zealous defender of Orthodoxy translated Greek writings into Slavonic founded a monastery Trnovo later called Theodosiev
St Theodosius began his exploit in the city of Viddino, at the Nikolaev monastery. After the death of the igumen Job he settled near Trnovo, then the capital city of Bulgaria, at the Holy Mountain monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos in search of a spiritual guide.  He left the Holy Mountain monastery and for a long time went from monastery to monastery.
Finally, he learned about the desert monastery called "Concealed" where in pursuit of asceticism St Gregory of Sinai (August 8) had moved from Athos.

St Theodosius found in him an experienced guide of the contemplative life. St Gregory taught, "Before death we lay in Hades; whoever does not recognize sincerely that he is a sinner, and that the beasts and cattle are more pure, is more wicked than the demons, having become their obedient slave."

The wilderness monastery of St Gregory of Sinai suffered often from robbers. The abbot sent St Theodosius to the emperor Alexander with a request to defend the monastery. The pious Bulgarian Tsar, at the request of the ascetic, provided him with the means to surround the monastery with strong walls with towers, and made the monastery secure with land and cattle.
During his final journey to Trnovo on an errand for the abbot to the Tsar, a nobleman asked St Theodosius to take him along to the monastery.
The holy ascetic brought him to St Gregory of Sinai. This was Romanus, who became the sincere and beloved disciple of St Theodosius.

After the death of St Gregory of Sinai (November 27, 1347), St Theodosius refused to become head of the monastery, and he left the monastery with his disciple Romanus for solitary struggles. They founded a monastery on a hill near Trnovo, afterwards called Theodosiev.
St Theodosius was famous as a zealous defender of Orthodoxy against many heresies, especially the Bogomils, Judaizers and Messalians. Their false teachings were especially pernicious. The Patriarch and the Tsar rendered great help to St Theodosius in the struggle with the heretics. In addition to this, the holy ascetic translated Greek writings into Slavonic.

In 1360, he became grievously ill. Wishing to see his friend St Callistus once more, he went to him at Constantinople, entrusting the direction of the monastery to his disciple Romanus.
St Theodosius died at Constantinople on February 17, 1362. His disciple St Romanus became head of the monastery.
1603 Blessed William Richardson martyred for his priesthood M (AC)
Born in Wales near Sheffield; died at Tyburn, England, in 1603; beatified in 1929. William Richardson, also known as William Anderson, was educated for the priesthood at Valladolid and Seville, where he was ordained in 1594. He was martyred for his priesthood (Benedictines).

1603 BD WILLIAM RICHARDSON, MARTYR
THIS priest was the last martyr to suffer death for his religion during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He apparently belonged to a Lancashire family but was born at Wales, near Sheffield. He went to the college at Valladolid in 1592, and from thence to Seville, where he was ordained. It is not known how long he ministered in England (under the name of Anderson); but in February 1603 he was arrested in London, having been betrayed by one whom he had trusted. His trial and condemnation for being a seminary priest were hurried through, and he was executed at Tyburn on the 17th of the same month.

Information about this martyr is very slight. See MMP., p. 269, and Gillow’s Biog. Dict., vol. v, p. 414. There are references in Calendar of State Papers Domestic, 1601—1603, pages 292-302.
1612 Hieromartyr Hermogenes Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus stood up against traitors /enemies of the nation who wanted to spread Uniatism and Western Catholicism throughout Russia and to wipe out Orthodoxy, while enslaving the Russian nation
Born in Kazan around 1530 descended from the Don Cossacks. According to the Patriarch's own testimony, he served as priest in Kazan in a church dedicated to St Nicholas (December 6 and May 9), near the Kazan bazaar. Soon he became a monk, and from 1582 was archimandrite of the Savior-Transfiguration monastery at Kazan.
On May 13, 1589 he was consecrated bishop and became the first Metropolitan of Kazan.

While he was the priest at St Nicholas, the wonderworking Kazan Icon of the Mother of God (July 8) was discovered in Kazan in 1579. With the blessing of Archbishop Jeremiah of Kazan, he carried the newly-appeared icon from the place of its discovery to the Church of St Nicholas. Having remarkable literary talent, the saint in 1594 compiled an account describing the appearance of the wonderworking icon and the miracles accomplished through it.
In 1591 the saint gathered newly-baptized Tatars into the cathedral church and for several days he instructed them in the Faith.

The relics of St Germanus, the second archbishop of Kazan (September 25, November 6, and June 23), who died at Moscow on November 6, 1567 during a plague, were transfered and buried in St Nicholas Church in 1592.
With the blessing of Patriarch Job (1589-1605), St Hermogenes reburied the relics at the Sviyazhsk Dormition monastery.

On January 9, 1592 St Hermogenes addressed a letter to Patriarch Job, in which he asked for permission to commemorate in his See of Kazan those Orthodox soldiers who gave their lives for the Faith and the nation in a battle against the Tatars.
In the past, it was customary to enter into the diptychs the names of all Orthodox warriors who had fallen in battle, and to commemorate them.

At the same time he mentioned three martyrs who had suffered at Kazan for their faith in Christ, one of whom was a Russian named John (January 24) born at Nizhny Novgorod and captured by the Tatars.
The other two, Stephen and Peter (March 24), were newly-converted Tatars.

The saint expressed regret that these martyrs were not inserted into the diptychs read on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and that "Memory Eternal" was not sung for them. In answer to St Hermogenes, the Patriarch issued a decree on February 25, which said: " to celebrate at Kazan and throughout all the Kazan metropolitanate a panikhida for all the Orthodox soldiers killed at Kazan and the environs of Kazan, on the Saturday following the Feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos (October 1), and to inscribe them in the great Synodikon read on the Sunday of Orthodoxy," and also ordered that the three Kazan martyrs be inscribed in the Synodikon, leaving it to St Hermogenes to set the day of their memory. St Hermogenes circulated the Patriarchal decree throughout his diocese, and required all the churches and monasteries to serve Liturgies, Panikhidas and Lityas for the three Kazan martyrs on January 24.
St Hermogenes displayed zeal in the faith and firmness in the observance of Church traditions, and he devoted himself to the enlightenment of Kazan Tatars with the faith of Christ.

In 1595, with the active participation of the St Hermogenes, the relics of the Kazan Wonderworkers St Gurias, the first archbishop of Kazan (October 4, December 5, June 20), and St Barsanuphius bishop of Tver (October 4, April 11) were discovered and uncovered.
Tsar Theodore Ioannovich (1584-1598) had given orders to erect at the Kazan Savior-Transfiguration monastery a new stone church on the site of the first one, where the saints were buried.

When the graves of the saints were discovered, St Hermogenes came with a gathering of clergy. He commanded the graves to be opened and, when he saw the incorrupt relics and clothing of the saints, he notified the Patriarch and the Tsar. With the blessing of Patriarch Job and by order of the Tsar, the relics of the newly-appeared wonderworkers were placed in the new church.
St Hermogenes himself compiled the lives of hierarchs Gurias and Barsanuphius.

Having been found worthy of the patriarchal throne, Metropolitan Hermogenes was elected to the primatial See, and on July 3, 1606 he was installed as Patriarch by the assembly of the holy hierarchs at Moscow's Dormition cathedral. Metropolitan Isidore handed the Patriarch the staff of the holy hierarch Peter, Moscow Wonderworker (October 5, December 21, August 24), and the Tsar gave as a gift to the new Patriarch a panagia, embellished with precious stones, a white klobuk and staff.
In the ancient manner, Patriarch Hermogenes made his entrance riding upon a donkey.

The activity of Patriarch Hermogenes coincided with a difficult period for the Russian state: the appearance of the false Tsarevich Demetrius and the Polish king Sigismund III. The first hierarch devoted all his powers to the service of the Church and the nation.
Patriarch Hermogenes was not alone in this exploit: his self-sacrificing fellow-countrymen followed his example and assisted him. With special inspiration His Holiness the Patriarch stood up against the traitors and enemies of the nation, who wanted to spread Uniatism and Western Catholicism throughout Russia and to wipe out Orthodoxy, while enslaving the Russian nation.

When the imposter arrived at Moscow and settled himself at Tushino, Patriarch Hermogenes sent two letters to the Russian traitors. In one of them he wrote: "...You have forgotten the vows of our Orthodox Faith, in which we are born, baptized, nourished and raised. You have violated your oath and the kissing of the Cross to stand to the death for the house of the Most Holy Theotokos and for the Moscow realm, but have fallen for your false would-be Tsarevich ... My soul aches, my heart is sickened, all within me agonizes, and all my frame shudders; I weep and with sobbing I lament: Have mercy, have mercy, brethren and children, on your own souls and your parents departed and living ... Consider, how our nation is devastated and plundered by foreigners, who offer insult to the holy icons and churches, and how innocent blood is spilled, crying out to God. Think! Against whom do you take up arms: is it not against God, Who has created you? Is it not against your own brothers? Do you not devastate your own country?... I adjure you in the name of God, give up your undertaking, there is yet time, so that you do not perish in the end." In the second document the saint appeals: "For the sake of God, come to your senses and turn around, gladden your parents, your wives and children; and we stand to pray God for you..."

Soon the righteous judgment of God fell upon the "Brigand of Tushino: he was killed by his own close associates on December 11, 1610. But Moscow continued to remain in peril, since the Poles and traitors, loyal to Sigismund III remained in the city. The documents sent by Patriarch Hermogenes throughout the cities and villages, exhorted the Russian nation to liberate Moscow from the enemies and to choose a lawful Russian Tsar.
The Muscovites rose up in rebellion, and the Poles burned the city, shutting themselves up in the Kremlin.
Together with Russian traitors they forcefully seized Patriarch Hermogenes from the patriarchal throne and imprisoned him in the Chudov monastery.

On Bright Monday in 1611, the Russian militia approached Moscow and began the seige of the Kremlin, which continued for several months. Besieged within the Kremlin, the Poles often sent messengers to the Patriarch with the demand that he order the Russian militia to leave the city, threatening him with execution if he refused.
The saint firmly replied, "What are your threats to me? I fear only God. If all our enemies leave Moscow, I shall bless the Russian militia to withdraw from Moscow; but if you remain here, I shall bless all to stand against you and to die for the Orthodox Faith."
While still in prison, the hieromartyr Hermogenes sent a final epistle to the Russian nation, blessing the liberating army to fight the invaders. The Russian commanders could not come to an agreement over a way to take the Kremlin and free the Patriarch. He languished more than nine months in dreadful confinement, and on February 17, 1612 he died a martyr's death from starvation.
The liberation of Russia, for which St Hermogenes stood with such indestructible valor, was successfully achieved. The body of the hieromartyr Hermogenes was buried in the Chudov monastery, but in 1654 was transferred to the Moscow Dormition cathedral. Glorification of Patriarch Hermogenes as a saint occurred on May 12, 1913.
Saint Theodore the Silent of the Caves
chose the exploit of silence, in order to dwell constantly in remembrance of God, and to safeguard himself from temptation even by a word.
He was glorified by the Lord with the gift of wonderworking.
His memory is celebrated also on August 28.

1795 The Holy New Martyr Theodore apotasized then returned to Christianity tortured hanged by Turks
Born of pious parents in Neochorion near Constantinople in 1774. He worked in the palace of the Sultan, where he converted to Islam.
When a plague broke out in Constantinople, he realized the gravity of his sin and returned to Christianity. He went to Chios and then to Mytilene, where he confessed Christ before the Moslem authorities.
He was imprisoned, tortured, then hanged by the Turks in 1795.
1819 Saint Joseph monk of Dionysiou Monastery on Mt. Athos iconographer he shone forth with the virtues of monastic life.
He was an iconographer, and he painted the icon of the holy Archangels on the iconostasis of Dionysiou's main church.
In obedience to the instructions of Igumen Stephen, St Joseph traveled to Constantinople with Eudocimus, who had apostasized from Orthodoxy to become a Moslem. Eudocimus repented, and wished to wipe out his sin through martyrdom.
hen faced with torture and death, however, the unfortunate Eudocimus denied Christ again, blaming Joseph for turning him from Islam.
St Joseph was arrested and threatened with death. In spite of many tortures, he refused to convert to Islam. This holy martyr of Christ was hanged on February 17, 1819, and so he obtained an incorruptible crown of glory.
Some sources list his commemoration on February 17, while others list him on September 14 or October 26.

19th v. THE MARTYRS OF CHINA, I first preached in China in the seventh century, then in its heretical Nestorian form. The first mission from the Catholic West was established in 1294 at Khanbaliq (Peiping, Peking) by a Franciscan friar, John of Monte Corvino

So far as is known, Christianity was first preached in China in the seventh century, and then in its heretical Nestorian form. The first mission from the Catholic West was established in 1294 at Khanbaliq (Peiping, Peking) by a Franciscan friar, John of Monte Corvino; the first permanent settlement was made, by the Jesuits, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; in 1631 they were followed by the Dominicans, two years later by the Franciscans again, in 1680 by the Augustinian friars, and by priests of the Paris Foreign Missions in 1683. This settlement has survived all persecution and other difficulties down to our own time.

In 1900 and 1909 a number of martyrs of the Chinese missions were beatified, of whom two outstanding ones suffered during this month of February. There is something so splendidly heroic in his life, crowned by a cruel martyrdom when seventy-two years old, that BD FRANCIS-REGIS CLET claims some special notice, however brief and inadequate. He was born at Grenoble in 1748, and joined the Congregation of the Mission (Lazarists) at the age of twenty-one. After a brief period during which he acted as professor of theology at Annecy, he was appointed novice-master at Saint-Lazare, Paris, in 1788. During this troubled revolutionary period it was often difficult to maintain the despatch of a regular succession of missionaries to the Far East. An opportunity of securing a passage for two or three to China occurred in 1791, but as one of the priests appointed was accidentally detained, Father Clet offered to supply his place. He reached Macao, and thence, after tedious delays, made his way into the interior of the empire.

It would be difficult to do justice to the arduousness of the life he led there for nearly thirty years. Apart from the language which, beginning as he did when he was over forty, he never was able to learn well, he came into a district in which the existence of much disaffection and even open rebellion had created an atmosphere of suspicion. The officials, at least intermittently, scrutinized all who came and went. His life for long periods was like that described in the Epistle to the Hebrews: “they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being in want, distressed, afflicted.” The few priests who were in that vast province, then called Hukwang, died or fell into the hands of the persecutors. For three years he carried on his work absolutely alone. Communications were most difficult. Many of his letters both to Europe and to his superiors at Peking went astray, and his health, tried by the climate and the hardships to which he was exposed, constantly broke down. None the less he was beloved, and he often had the consolation of witnessing the most astounding steadfastness, in the face of indescribable torments and brutality, among the converts he had gained.

In 1818 began a period of excep­tional persecution. A strange and inexplicable darkness occurred one morning at Peking. The emperor was frightened and, though he had hitherto been tolerant of Christian teachers, it was put into his head that the local deities were offended and that all foreign religions must be suppressed. He issued a decree of which the effects were widespread. Father Clet for a long time evaded capture, but owing to the malice of a pagan against a Christian convert, and afterwards to the treachery of another convert who betrayed the priest to gain the reward of 1000 taels (nearly £300) which had been offered for his apprehension, the missionary was captured and then had to endure scourgings, cruel confinement and other forms of torment which it is terrible to read of as inflicted on a man of his venerable age. The firmness of his replies only provoked his judges. They ordered him to be repeatedly struck in the face, and in the end he was sentenced to be strangled. This was not the simple punishment which we might suppose but, according to their barbarous custom, after the victim had been rendered unconscious by tightening the noose, the pressure was relaxed until he came to. This was twice repeated, and it was only on the third application of the torture that Father Clet was finally despatched. He suffered at Wuchangfu, just opposite Hankow, the capital of Hupeh. It was February 17, 1820.

Bd Louis GABRIEL TAURIN Dufresse, martyred in 1815 and among those beatified in 1900, was one of the most effective missionaries ever sent out by the Paris Society of Foreign Missions. He went to China as a priest at the age of twenty-six, and worked for seven years in the province of Szechwan, till in 1785 he was denounced and went into hiding. He successfully eluded capture for several months, but being afraid that the search for him would lead to the finding of some of his confréres he gave himself up and was imprisoned at Peking. He was released with other prisoners and deported to Manila, where he remained for four years till he accompanied the vicar apostolic, Mgr de Saint-Martin, back to Szechwan. In 1800 M. Dufresse was consecrated titular bishop of Tabraca as his auxiliary, and in the following year succeeded to the vicariate. For a time perse­cution was lessened and Mgr Dufresse administered his district with great vigour. Forty thousand heathen had been converted and the mission required a complete organization, which was taken in hand by a synod held in 1803. In 1811 a decree was issued ordering a search for foreign preachers. Only seven were found at Peking, three of whom were officials in charge of the observatory (European skill in astronomy and mathematics provided a lever at the imperial court of which missionaries took full advantage). But the inquisition was extended to the pro­vinces and persecution began again in Szechwan worse than ever. On May 28, 1815, Mgr Dufresse was betrayed and taken to Chintai, the capital of the province.

It is satisfactory to be able to record that the venerable bishop, now sixty-four years old, was treated without barbarity and indeed with consideration by the local mandarins. His books were returned to him and he was allowed to speak freely in court, a permission that he availed himself of with such effect that many of his auditors were deeply moved by his passionate plea for Christianity. The several interrogations to which he was submitted were conducted without bullying and the bishop’s replies were courteously listened to: his known character and works were such that his judges were somewhat prejudiced in his favour. On September 14 he was brought before the governor, who sentenced him to death by beheading. According to the law this sentence required the imperial confirmation before it could be carried out, but the governor disregarded this and ordered the execution on the spot, in order, as he hoped, to terrify and weaken the other captive Christians, who were sent for to be present. But the bearing and words of Bd Louis Gabriel had the contrary effect, and as he gave them his last blessing they affirmed aloud that they too would die for Jesus Christ, as in fact many of them did. The head of the martyr was put on a pole and with his trunk was publicly displayed for a week as a warning, guarded day and night by Christians, who when they were allowed gave them decent burial,

For those who are not experts, the map of China is a very bewildering study, and when one learns from one authority that BD JOHN LANTRUA suffered at Shiar-Sa, which is said also to be in the province of Hupé, from another that the scene of his martyrdom was Tchang Cha, the capital of Hou Nan, and from the Franciscan supplement to the martyrology that he was strangled at Chansai, one is inclined to give up in despair any attempt to identify the locality. It appears, however, that the most authorized spelling is Changsha, and that this stands for a town of 500,000 inhabitants in the very centre of the country and south of the great Tungting lake—in fact Hunan, the province of which it is the capital, means nothing but “south of the lake”. Here it was that Father John ended at last by a comparatively merciful death his career of many labours and much suffering.

He was born in 1760 at Triora in Liguria, became a Franciscan at the age of seventeen, taught theology at Corneto in 1784, and was appointed guardian at Velletri in 1785, but after some years of strenuous labour he obtained leave to devote the rest of his life to the foreign missions. He left Italy in 1798, but a year’s delay occurred at Lisbon before he could obtain a passage to Macao. Thence he proceeded into the interior of China, facing many dangers and hardships, for it was a period of almost unremitting persecution, but he brought encouragement to many Christians who were wavering in their faith and himself gained a rich harvest of converts. In the provinces of Hupeh and Hunan he was at that time labouring almost alone. In the end he was delated to the authorities, his little chapel was burnt to the ground, and all his effects seized. To the questions put to him he made answer with all the boldness and resolution of the ancient martyrs. Being then sent in chains a long and weary journey to a court of higher jurisdiction, he got for those who were arrested with him the privilege of being carried in a litter. Finally he was transferred to Changsha, where for six months he was kept in durance under the most intolerable conditions, his neck, feet and hands being secured with fetters. He was dragged by force over the crucifix that it might be said that he had trampled it under foot, but he at once protested, in tones which compelled the attention of all, that this had happened against his will. There remained no alter­native for his judges but to sentence him to death. In the last scene he prayed fervently in public and by giving a bribe to the executioners he saved himself from being stripped naked. Then he was strangled and his body exposed to infamy. He suffered on February 7, 1816. 

Among the later martyrs—he suffered on February 27, 1856—was Bd AUGUSTUS CHAPDELAINE, who was born near Coutances in 1814. His family, mainly by their own labour—he was the ninth child—farmed an estate of many hectares. He was a generous and pious lad, and when he turned his hand to field-work it is recorded of him that he toiled like a galley-slave—il faisait de its besogne pour quatre. Death, however, visited their homestead. Two of the more vigorous sons were taken. The labour of the rest no longer sufficed, and the farm had to be broken up. This set Augustus free to gratify the desire he had long entertained of studying for the priesthood, In due course he was ordained, and became in 1844 curate of a parish in which his zeal worked marvels. However, in 1851 he felt a higher call to the foreign missions, and after a short period of training at the house of the Missions Étrangères he left Paris for China. It was only after many hardships that he eventually reached the destination assigned him. In December 1854 he was denounced to the mandarin governor by the jealous relative of a Christian convert. He was arrested, and for some days spent a most anxious time, but the mandarin proved friendly and no harm befell him. He laboured strenuously, and in spite of his imperfect knowledge of the language made many converts.

Later on, however, another mandarin was appointed to this district. A new denunciation was followed by the apprehension of M. Chapdelaine with a number of his Christians. His brave answers provoked the judge and he was ordered three hundred blows with a rattan, which left him half dead. No cry of pain or word of complaint was heard from him, and in a day or two he seemed to be miraculously restored to health. The mandarin believed that some spell had been employed, and a dog was accordingly killed and its warm blood thrown over him to dispel the magic. At a second hearing of the case the missionary was sentenced to receive three hundred blows in the face with a heavy leather shoe-sole. Many of his teeth were knocked out and his jaw fractured. In the end he was given to understand that he might be released for a payment of 1000 taels, afterwards reduced to 300, but no such sum could be raised. Sentence of death was therefore passed, and he was subjected to slow martyrdom by the torture of the cage. When life was extinct his head was struck off, and we are told that three jets of blood spouted heavenwards and deeply impressed the spectators that something extraordinary had taken place.

Among the others beatified in 1900 and 1909 were the laymen PETER LIEU, strangled after encouraging his sons in prison (1834), PAUL LIEU (1818) and John-BAPTIST Lo (1861); the lay catechist JEROME Lu (1858) and the seminarist JOSEPH SHANG (1861); JOHN PETER NÉEL, a French priest who was beheaded in 1862, together with his Chinese catechist, MARTIN; AGNES SAO KUY, a young maiden killed by torture at Kwangsi (1856); and the school-teacher AGATHA LIN, beheaded at Maoken in 1958.

For other martyrs in China see BB. Francis de Capillas (January 15), Peter Sanz and his companions (May 26), Gregory Grassi and his companions (July 9) and John Perboyre (September 11).

An excellent biography of Clet will be found in an anonymous work called Le disciple de Jésus, first published in 1853. There is another life in French by G. Guitton (1942), and one in English by A. S. Foley (1941). The French life of John of Triora by A. du Lys has been translated into German. See also A. Launay’s works on the Chinese missions, such as Les 52 serviteurs de Dieu… vol. ii, pp. 287—304, and his Salle des martyrs du Séminaire des Missions; H. Leclercq, Les martyrs, vol. x H. Walter, Leben, Wirken und Leiden der 77 sel. Martyrer ton Annam tied China (1903) B. Wolferstan, The Catholic Church in China (c. 1910); and Kempf, The Holiness of the Church in the Nineteenth Century (1916), pp. 304—306. For the early history of the Church in China, Moule’s Christians in China before the year 1550 (1930) is invaluable.

1820 Blessed Francis Regis Clet Chinese Martyr, C.M. M (AC)
Born in Grenoble, France, 1748; died at Hankow, China, 1820; beatified in 1900. Blessed Francis joined the Lazarists and was sent to China in 1791. There he labored in the mission fields for 30 years in the face of many difficulties. At the age of 72, he was captured, tortured, and strangled for the faith (Benedictines).

The Weeping Tikhvin Icon of Mt. Athos is to be found behind the altar in the Prophet Elias Skete
On February 17, 1877 (Thursday of the Second Week of Lent) seven monks remained in the church after the Hours had been read. They were astonished to see tears flowing from the right eye of the icon, and collecting on the frame. Then a single large tear came from the left eye.

The monks wiped the tears from the icon's face, then left the church and locked the doors behind them. Three hours later, they returned for Vespers and saw traces of tears on the icon, and a single tear in the left eye. Again they wiped the tears from the icon, but they did not reappear.

Regarding this manifestation of tears as a sign of mercy from the Mother of God, the monks established an annual commemoration of the icon on February 17.
The weeping Tikhvin Icon of Mt. Athos is not to be confused with the original wonderworking Tikhvin Icon (June 26).


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!)


Day 6 40 Days for Life


40 Days for Life  11,000+ saved lives in 2015

We are the defenders of true freedom.
May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.

 
Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Join Mary of Nazareth Project help us build the International Marian Center of Nazareth
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THE EUCHARIST, A MYSTERY TO BE BELIEVED POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

Miracles by Century 100   200   300   400   500   600   700    800   900   1000    1100   1200   1300   1400  1500  1600  1700  1800   1900  Miracles_BLay Saints
Morning Prayer and Hymn    Meditation of the Day    Prayer for Priests    Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here
We are called upon with the whole Church militant on earth to join in praising and thanking God for the grace and glory he has bestowed on his saints. At the same time we earnestly implore Him to exert His almighty power and mercy in raising us from our miseries and sins, healing the disorders of our souls and leading us by the path of repentance to the company of His saints, to which He has called us.
   They were once what we are now, travellers on earth they had the same weaknesses, which we have. We have difficulties to encounter so had the saints, and many of them far greater than we can meet with; obstacles from kings and whole nations, sometimes from the prisons, racks and swords of persecutors. Yet they surmounted these difficulties, which they made the very means of their virtue and victories. It was by the strength they received from above, not by their own, that they triumphed. But the blood of Christ was shed for us as it was for them and the grace of our Redeemer is not wanting to us; if we fail, the failure is in ourselves.
   THE saints and just, from the beginning of time and throughout the world, who have been made perfect, everlasting monuments of God’s infinite power and clemency, praise His goodness without ceasing; casting their crowns before His throne they give to Him all the glory of their triumphs: “His gifts alone in us He crowns.”
“The saints must be honored as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God, as John the theologian and evangelist says: ‘But as many as received him, he gave them the power to be made the sons of God....’ Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory” Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

Called in the Gospel the Mother of Jesus, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as the Mother of my Lord (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son,  the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart ... From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to me, His unworthy slave, if I mistake not:
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment.
Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish the Holy Hour and to pray lying prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven till midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness.
He endured when abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony, and to receive holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the first great revelation, He made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Heart with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation.
He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the feast of the Sacred Heart; He called her the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart, and the heiress of all Its treasures. The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire which consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings. In her last illness she refused all alleviation, repeating frequently: What have I in heaven and what do I desire on earth, but Thee alone, O my God, and died pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus.
With regard to this promise it may be remarked: (1) that our Lord required Communion to be received on a particular day chosen by Him; (2) that the nine Fridays must be consecutive; (3) that they must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord; (4) that our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather He implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end; (5) that perseverance in receiving Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Firdays helps the faithful to acquire the habit of frequent Communion, which our Lord eagerly desires; and (6) that the practice of the nine Fridays is very pleasing to our Lord He promises such great reward, and all Catholics should endeavor to make nine Fridays.
How do I start the Five First Saturdays? by Fr. Tom O'Mahony.
On July 13,1917, Our Lady appeared for the third time to the three children of Fatima an showed them the vision of hell and made the now - famous thirteen prophecies. In this vision Our Lady said that 'GOD WISHES TO ESTABLISH IN THE WORLD DEVOTION to Her Immaculate Heart and that She would come TO ASK FOR THE COMMUNION OF REPARATION ON THE FIRST SATURDAYS...'  Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Our Lady did indeed come back. She appeared (with the Child Jesus) to Lucia in the convent of the Dorothean Sisters in Pontevedra.
The Child Jesus spoke first:
'HAVE COMPASSION ON THE HEART OF YOUR MOST HOLY MOTHER WHICH IS COVERED WITH THORNS WITH WHICH UNGRATEFUL MEN PIERCE IT AT EVERY MOMENT, WHILE THERE IS NO ONE TO REMOVE THEM WITH AN ACT OF REPARATION.'

THE GREAT PROMISE
Our Lady then said: 'MY DAUGHTER LOOK AT MY HEART SURROUNDED WITH THORNS WITH WHICH UNGRATEFUL MEN PIERCE IT AT EVERY MOMENT BY THEIR BLASPHEMIES AND INGRATITUDE. YOU, AT LEAST, TRY TO CONSOLE ME, AND SAY THAT I PROMISE TO ASSIST AT THE HOUR OF DEATH WITH ALL THE GRACES NECESSARY FOR SALVATION, ALL THOSE WHO, ON THE FIRST SATURDAY OF FIVE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS GO TO CONFESSION AND RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION, RECITE FIVE DECADES OF THE ROSARY AND KEEP ME COMPANY FOR A QUARTER OF AN HOUR WHILE MEDITATING ON MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY, WITH THE INTENTION OF MAKING REPARATION TO ME.'

The Five Reasons
Lucia once asked this question of Our Lord and received as an answer: 'MY DAUGHTER, THE MOTIVE IS SIMPLE, THERE ARE FIVE KINDS OF OFFENCES AND BLASPHEMIES UTTERED AGAINST THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY: (1) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: (2) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HER VIRGINITY: (3) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HER DIVINE MATERNITY: (4) BLASPHEMIES OF THOSE WHO OPENLY SEEK TO FOSTER IN THE HEARTS OF CHILDREN INDIFFERENCE OR EVEN HATRED FOR THIS IMMACULATE MOTHER: (5) THE OFFENCES OF THOSE WHO DIRECTLY OUTRAGE HER IN HOLY IMAGES.'
From the above, it is easy to see that each of the Five Saturdays can correspond to a specific offence. By offering the graces received during each First Saturday as reparation for the offence being prayed for, the participant can hope to help remove the thorns from Our Lady's Heart.
What Do I Have To Do?
The devotion of First Saturdays, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, carries with it the assurance of salvation. However, to derive profit from such a great promise of Our Lady, the devotion must be properly understood and duly performed.
The requirements as stipulated by Our Lady are as follows:
(1) CONFESSION, (2) COMMUNION, (3) FIVE DECADES OF THE ROSARY, (4) MEDITATION ON ONE OR MORE OF THE ROSARY MYSTERIES FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES, (5) TO DO ALL THESE THINGS IN THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, and (6) TO OBSERVE ALL THESE PRACTICES ON THE FIRST SATURDAY OF FIVE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS.
(1) CONFESSION: A reparative confession means that the confession should not only be good (valid and licit), but also be offered in the spirit of reparation, in this case, to Mary's Immaculate Heart. This confession may be made on the First Saturday itself or some days before or after the First Saturday within the preceding octave would suffice.
(2) COMMUNION: The communion of reparation must be sacramental duly received with the intention of making reparation. This offering, like the confession, is an interior act and so no external action to express the intention is needed.
(3) THE ROSARY: The Rosary mentioned here was indicated by the Portuguese word 'terco' which is commonly employed to denote a Rosary of five decades, since it forms a fourth of the full Rosary of 20 decades. This too must recited in a spirit of reparation.
(4) MEDITATION FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES: Here the meditation on one mystery or more is to be made without simultaneous recitation of the Rosary decade. As indicated, the meditation may be either on one mystery alone for 15 minutes, or on all 20 mysteries, spending about one minute on each mystery, or again, on two or more mysteries during the period. This can also be made before each decade spending three minutes or more in considering the mystery of the particular decade. This meditation has likewise to be made in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart.
(5) THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION: All these acts, as said above, have to be done with the intention of offering reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the offences committed against Her. Everyone who offends Her commits, so to speak, a two-fold offence, for these sins also offend her Divine Son, Christ, and so endanger our salvation. They give bad example to others and weaken the strength of society to withstand immoral onslaughts. Such devotions therefore make us consider not only the enormity of the offence against God, but also the effect of sins on human society as well as the need for undoing these social effects even when the offender repents and is converted. Further, this reparation emphasises our responsibility towards sinners who, themselves, will not pray and make reparation for their sins.
(6) FIVE CONSECUTIVE FIRST SATURDAYS: The idea of the Five First Saturdays is obviously to make us persevere in the devotional acts for these Saturdays and overcome initial difficulties. Once this is done, Our Lady knows that the person would become devoted to Her immaculate Heart and persist in practising such devotion on all First Saturdays, working thereby for personal self-reform and for the salvation of others.

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

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

Patron_Saints.html  Widowed_Saints htmIndulgences The Catholic Church in China
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 Benedict XVI (2005 - 2013) Francis (2013

Popes mentioned in articles of todays Saints
Pope Leo XIII.  1233 7 Founders of the Order of Servites On the Feast of the Assumption ; canonized in 1887 by Pope Leo XIII.

Clement VII in 1533 approved The cultus of Bd Verdiana who appears in the habit of a Vallombrosan nun, carrying a basket with two snakes in it. It seems certain she was associated with the Vallombrosan Order, but her connection with the Franciscan third order is by no means so clearly established.

Pope Callistus III allowed BD EUSTOCHIUM OF MESSINA, VIRGIN to found another convent to follow the first rule of St Francis under the Observants. 

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).

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: 

731 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 St. Paschal elected as the 94th pope on the day Pope Stephen IV (V) died, January 25, 817
Pope Innocent III had experienced a similar vision. Without hesitation Innocent provided papal approval for the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives (the Trinitarians), with John of Matha as superior.
824 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 mentioned in articles of Saints
1198 - 1216 Pope Innocent III;
One of the greatest popes of the Middle Ages;
a learned theologian; one of the greatest jurists of his time; held various ecclesiastical offices during short reigns of Lucius III, Urban III, Gregory VIII, and Clement III; re-established papal authority in Rome; scarcely a country in Europe over which Innocent III did not in some way or other assert supremacy he claimed for the papacy;
During his reign two great founders of the mendicant orders, St. Dominic and St. Francis, laid before him their scheme of reforming the world. Innocent was not blind to the vices of luxury and indolence which had infected many of the clergy and part of the laity.
In Dominic and Francis he recognized two mighty adversaries of these vices and he sanctioned their projects with words of encouragement.  He wrote "De quadripartita specie nuptiarum" (P. L., CCXVII, 923-968), an exposition of the fourfold marriage bond, namely, between man and wife, between Christ and the Church, between God and the just soul, between the Word and human nature - - entirely based on passages from Holy Scripture.  Popes Html link here: