Peter Damian wrote unceasingly from his cell, on purgatory, the Eucharist, other theological and ascetical topics, and poetry.
His Latin verse is among the very best of the Middle Ages, especially that in honor of Pope Saint Gregory,
which begins "Anglorum iam Apostolus."
Peter never considered his learning something of which to boast. He said what counted was worship God, not write about Him.
What use was it to construct a grammatically correct sentence containing the word 'God,' if you could not pray to him properly.
 Sunday Saints of Day February  21 Nono 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!)



Day 12 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
Day_ 4_40DaysforLife!

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

He causes his prayers to be of more avail to himself, who offers them also for others.
-- Pope St. Gregory the Great


The Kozelshchansk Icon of the Mother of God

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.
Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here

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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

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

February 21 – St Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church (d. 1072)
– 6th Apparition of Lourdes (France)  
Even if you have sold your soul to the devil, you will be converted if…  
If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins "you shall receive a never fading crown of glory."  
Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in Hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers who practice black magic do, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and save your soul, if—and mark well what I say—if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.   Saint Louis de Montfort  In The Secret of the Rosary - Red Rose, For Sinners

February 21 - 6th Apparition in Lourdes (France, 1858)  Saint Bernadette's Silence (IV)
In fact the crowd was larger than the day before, despite an early morning start. One hundred people filled the area between grotto and the river Gave. As Bernadette returned, a group of women accosted her and said that the priest Father Pene wanted to see her.
After the office of Vespers, the field guard Callet grabbed Bernadette by the hood and told her to follow him. Bernadette replied, "Yes sir, wherever you want."
In the Commissioner's office she was asked a lot of vivid, direct, and often unexpected questions. Bernadette responded clearly, briefly, never exceeding the question at hand, completely unemotional, sometimes answering after a slight hesitation for thought, but always replying with confidence. She spoke even more clearly since she was talking about the essential: the apparition.
Adapted from Father René Laurentin, Bernadette vous parle (Bernadette Speaks), Mediaspaul, 1972, p. 59
  79 Irene Spanish Sister of Pope Saint Damasus
2nd v St. Felix of Metz Third bishop of Metz, France
In Sicília natális sanctórum Mártyrum septuagínta novem, qui sub Diocletiáno, per divérsa torménta, confessiónis suæ corónam percípere meruérunt.
337 Saint Eustathius Archbishop of Antioch (323-331) learned theologian struggled zealously for Orthodox Faith purity
344 Daniel and Verda tortured in Persia MM (AC) 
434 St. Verulus and Companions in North Africa by Arian Vandals
452 St. Severian Bishop martyr of Scythopolis in Galilee orthodox Christian
606 St. Paterius monk from Rome bishop of Brescia prolific writer on Biblical subjects
633 Saint Zacharias Patriarch of Jerusalem Chosroes looted Jerusalem exiled and returned from captivity
640 Bl. Pepin of Landen Frankish mayor of the palace, duke of Brabant, and the chief political figure
676 St. Gundebert Frankish Benedictine bishop of Sens, France
677 Germanus & Randoald, OSB MM (AC)
689 St. Avitus II of Clermont Bishop and defender of the Church 
695 St. Valerius Abbot of the Isidorian revival
743 St. Peter the Scribe Martyr Christian scribe in Palestine
795 Saint Timothy of Symbola Italian  gift of healing sick casting out unclean spirits
805 George of Amastris B (AC) Born at Kromna near Amastris on the Black Sea
1072 Peter Damian brilliant teacher writer  transcribing manuscripts , B Doctor (RM)
1210 Blessed Nicholas of Vangadizza great helper to holy souls, OSB Cam. (AC)
1562 Robert Southwell 1/40 martyrs of England and Wales SJ M (RM)
1794 Blessed Noel Pinot continued to minister to his flock.M (AC)

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).


February 21 – 6th apparition of Lourdes (France) - Saint Peter Damian  
 
"Pray for sinners and for this very troubled world"
 On that first Sunday of Lent of 1858, around 6 am, the area around the Grotto of Lourdes was filled with hundreds of onlookers. Among them was a medical doctor named Dr. Dozous.

The doctor closely observed Bernadette Soubirous, the young visionary of Lourdes, during a thirty-minute ecstasy, but could not detect any "nervous excitement." He said: "After I let go of her arm, Bernadette took a few steps towards the upper side of the grotto, and then I saw her face, which until that moment had shown the most perfect bliss, turn sad. Two tears fell from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks... when she had finished her prayers, I asked her what had happened during that long vision.
She replied:

"The Lady’s eyes left me and turned to a distant point above my head. When her eyes turned back to me, she said: ‘Pray for sinners and for this very troubled world.’ I was quickly reassured by the expression of goodness and serenity that came back to her face, and immediately after that she left."
This was the Virgin Mary’s main intention on that first Sunday of Lent—to pray and to have others pray for sinners.  dieu-sauve.chez-alice.fr
Day 12 40 Days for Life Dear Readers 
Many moms turn around and choose life at an abortion facility ... but many more do not.
 
The reality is that your prayerful presence is the last sign of hope for the baby before the abortion ...  and your presence is also the first sign of mercy to the woman after the abortion.   40 Days for Life is a campaign of love and mercy. In fact, typically 25% of all campaigns are led by women who have an abortion in their past.
While the baby’s life is in urgent need of saving, it can’t be forgotten that abortion has lifelong, negative effects on mothers, fathers and extended families.
 
In this short video Robert Colquhoun, our international campaign director, notes, “You could be the person leading somebody to the very first step of healing through your listening, through your support and through your encouragement.”
 
You can see this quick video going to:  
https://40daysforlife.com/2016/02/21/day-12-sign-of-mercy/
Cardiff, Wales
A 40 Days for Life campaign can indeed be a vehicle of forgiveness and healing.
  Vigil participants in Cardiff say a man showed up to say he was sorry … for being one of the protesters who harassed prayer volunteers at an earlier vigil a couple of years ago.
  He said he now realizes he’d been wrong … and is now trying to find his way to God.
The man said three of his children have been aborted, and his aggressive behavior was a reaction to the hurt he felt over those abortions.
He has since returned to the vigil site … stopping to speak to the current group of pro-abortion protesters. He is still in close contact with one of the women who comes to protest and shout abuse at the prayer volunteers, but was trying to dissuade her from coming.
 “This is a conversion story and an answer to prayer,” said one of the Cardiff volunteers. “We have directed him towards post-abortion counselling services. May God bless him and give him the courage to persevere down this road.”
St. Louis, Missouri
Two were people praying at the 40 Days for Life vigil in St. Louis when a middle-aged man pulled up at the adjacent stop light and rolled down his window. 
In a grateful voice, he called out, “Thank you for what you’re doing! God bless you!” The two thanked him for the kind words, but he had more to say.
 “I brought a woman here once many years ago. It is one of the greatest regrets of my entire life.”
As he was about to drive away, the volunteers reminded him of God’s abundant mercy. The man thanked them again and drove away, a peaceful smile resting on his face.
“God’s mercy is new every day,” said Brian, the local 40 Days for Life coordinator in St. Louis, “and it is a mercy that is bigger than any of our hurts, worries or regrets. It is a mercy bigger, even, than the devastation of abortion. May our presence on the sidewalk continue to be an outward sign of the hopeful promise that unites us all in the Heart and mercy of God.”
Here's today's devotional from Kevin Burke, executive director of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries.
Day 12 intention
May the King of the Universe, who entered this world as a helpless infant, give us the humility to be healed.
Scripture
My power is made perfect in weakness. —2 Corinthians 12:9
Reflection from Kevin Burke
The great mystery of the Humility of God is very near and dear to the mission of those serving in pro life and in a special way, post abortion ministries across this nation.
For those wounded by their participation in abortion, the door to healing often feels like crossing an abyss of great fear: fear of judgment, fear of being torn apart by the pain, by self hatred and rage at those who hurt and abandoned you, and manipulated you in your time of temptation.
For men in particular, entering the unknown waters of emotional vulnerability, so necessary to healing calls for a different kind of courage that feels deceptively like weakness.
The door to healing is humility. It is born in the inability to no longer control the pain, to live with the consequences of that tragic decision to reject life. The hearts cries out, "I have committed a grave offense against my Creator and I am consumed by regret, grief and sorrow!"
During these forty days let us pray for all who have participated in abortion and with love call them to healing and reconciliation. With healing these women and men can become as John Paul II proclaimed in the Gospel of Life, "the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life."
Jesus proclaimed, "I am the Vine, you are the branches" (John 15:5). To bear the greatest fruit, the branches must be pruned. Each level of pruning of the vine requires a deeper level of humility so that we can abandon ourselves to His will.
This is not a lofty theological concept as much as it is an earthy experience of pulling weeds, tilling rocky soil, pruning and healing the vines. "If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and begin to follow in my footsteps" (Matthew 16:24).
Prayer
Lord, during these forty days, we ask that with each day of this sacred vigil, everything in us that separates us from your perfect will would be pruned from our hearts and souls.
In this blessed freedom may we experience a powerful anointing of your Holy Spirit. Filled with confidence and trust may we proclaim with the mother of Jesus, "Let it be done to me, according to your Word."
Printable devotional
To download today's devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends: 
http://40daysforlife.com/media/day12.pdf
The Kozelshchansk Icon of the Mother of God
glorified in the late nineteenth century, though older than that. This icon is of Italian origin and was brought to Russia by one of Empress Elizabeth's (1741-1761) maids of honor, who was Italian. The owner of the icon married a records clerk of the Zaporozhsky-Cossack army, Siromakh. So, the icon went to the Ukraine with them.

During the nineteenth century it belonged to the family of Count Vladimir Kapnist, and was one of their sacred possessions. The icon was in the village of Kozelschina, Poltava governance. During Cheesefare Week in the year 1880, Maria, the daughter of V. I. Kapnist, dislocated some bones in her foot. The local doctor said the problem was not serious. Dr. Grube, a noted surgeon in Kharkov, agreed with the diagnosis, and he applied a plaster cast to Maria's foot. He also prescribed hot baths and iron supplements. To lessen the discomfort of the foot while walking, a special shoe was made with metal bands that went around the girl's leg. Lent passed, but the girl did not feel any relief.

After Pascha, Maria's other foot became twisted. Then both shoulders and her left hip became dislocated, and she developed pain in her spine. The doctor advised Count Kapnist to take his daughter immediately to the Caucasus for the curative mineral waters and mountain air. The journey to the Caucasus and the curative treatments caused even greater affliction. The girl lost all feeling in her hands and feet, and did not even feel pinches.

Because of the advanced degree of the illness, and since therapy was not helping, they were compelled to return home.  In the month of October, the father journeyed with his sick daughter to Moscow. Here he consulted specialists, who declared that they could do nothing for Maria.
The parents and the sick girl began to despair. However, an unexpected opportunity for help from a foreign professor presented itself. Since it would be some while before his arrival in Moscow, the sick girl asked to return home. The Count sent her back to the village, and his wife promised to bring their daughter back to Moscow when he received news of the the professor's arrival. On February 21, 1881, they received a telegram saying that the professor had arrived in Moscow.

On the day before the appointment, Maria's mother suggested that she pray before the family icon of the Mother of God. She said to her daughter, "Masha [a diminutive form of Maria], tomorrow we go to Moscow. Take the icon, let us clean its cover and pray to the Most Holy Theotokos that your infirmity be cured."

The girl, who had no confidence in earthly physicians, placed all her hope in God. This icon had long been known as wonderworking. According to Tradition, young women would pray before it to have a happy family. It was also the custom to clean the cover of the icon, and the one praying would wipe it with cotton or linen.

Pressing the holy icon to her bosom, the sick girl, with the help of her mother, cleaned it and poured out all her sorrow and despair of soul to the Mother of God. All at once, she felt the strength return to her body and she cried out loudly, "Mama! Mama! I can feel my legs! I can feel my hands!" She tore off the metal braces and bandages and began to walk about the room, while continuing to hold the icon of the Mother of God in her hands.

The parish priest was summoned at once and celebrated a service of Thanksgiving before the icon. The joyous event quickly became known throughout all the surrounding villages. The Countess and Maria went to Moscow and took with them the holy icon of the Mother of God. News of the healing quickly spread about Moscow and people began to throng to the hotel, and then to the church, where they had brought the icon.

The icon continued to work several more healings. When the family returned home to Kozelschina, people had already heard about the miracles of the Kozelschansk icon of the Mother of God in Moscow, and many came to venerate the icon. It was no longer possible to keep the icon at home, so by the order of Archbishop John of Poltava, the icon was transferred to a temporary chapel on April 23, 1881. Every day from early morning, services of Thanksgiving and Akathists were served before the icon.

In 1882 a chapel was built on the grounds of the estate, and then a church. decision of the Holy Synod on March 1, 1885 a women's monastery was established, and on February 17, 1891 it was dedicated to the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos.

At present, the Kozelschansk Icon is in the Krasnogorsk Protection women's monastery (Kiev diocese). In the lower left corner of the icon is a table with a cup and a spoon. It is believed that this symbolizes the Mother of God as a "bowl for mixing the wine of joy" (Akathist, Ikos 11). A Service and an Akathist have been composed for the Kozelschansk Icon.
79 Irene Spanish Sister of Pope Saint Damasus (Encyclopedia).
2nd v  St. Felix of Metz Third bishop of Metz, France
Metis, in Gállia, sancti Felícis Epíscopi.  At Metz in France, St. Felix, bishop.
He is believed to have ruled that see for more than four decades.
Saint Felix is described as the third bishop of Metz.
He is said to have occupied that cathedra for over 40 years in the immediate post-Apostolic age (Benedictines).

In Sicília natális sanctórum Mártyrum septuagínta novem, qui sub Diocletiáno, per divérsa torménta, confessiónis suæ corónam percípere meruérunt.
In Sicily, in the reign of Diocletian, the birthday of 79 holy martyrs, who, by reason of various tortures for their confession of faith, deserved to receive an immortal crown

337 Saint Eustathius, Archbishop of Antioch (323-331); learned theologian, struggled zealously for Orthodox Faith purity
Born in Side, Pamphylia 324 Bishop of Beroea (modern Aleppo), and enjoyed the love and esteem of the people, and at the request of his flock he was elevated by the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council (325) to the See of Antioch.
St Eustathius was a learned theologian, and was also distinguished by his broad knowledge in secular sciences. When the heresy of Arius began to spread in the East (Arianism denied the consubstantiality of the Son of God with the Father), St Eustathius struggled zealously for the purity of the Orthodox Faith through his words and his writings.
The First Ecumenical Council was convened in the year 325 by the holy God-crowned Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337). The first to preside over this Council was St Eustathius.

The Council condemned the heretical teachings of Arius and incorporated the Orthodox confession into the Symbol of Faith (the Nicene Creed).

But the mad Arius, as St Eustathius called him, refused to renounce his errors. He and those who shared his opinion were excommunicated from the Church by the Council.
Among bishops who signed the Nicene Symbol of Faith were some who sympathized with the heresy of Arius, but signed the Acts of the Council through fear of excommunication.


After the Council, his enemies plotted against St Eustathius. With great cunning they gained his consent to convene a local Council at Antioch. Having bribed a certain profligate woman, they persuaded her to appear at the Council with an infant at her breast, and falsely declare that St Eustathius was the father of the infant.  The Arians declared St Eustathius deposed, violating the Apostolic Rule that accusations against the clergy must be substantiated by two witnesses. Without a trial he was sent off into exile in Thrace. But the lie was soon unmasked: the woman repented after falling grievously ill. She summoned the clergy, and in the presence of many people, she confessed her sin.

St Constantine the Great died around this time, and his son Constantius (337-361), who shared the heretical views of Arius and favored the Arian bishops, succeeded his father on the throne.
Even in exile, St Eustathius struggled for Orthodoxy with the same zeal. He died in exile, in the city of Philippi or Trajanopolis, in the year 337.

Convened in the year 381 at Constaninople, the Second Ecumenical Council confirmed the Orthodox Symbol of Faith, which St Eustathius had so vigorously defended. The Arian heresy was once again anthematized.
In the year 482 the relics of St Eustathius were reverently transferred from Philippi to Antioch, to the great joy of the Antioch people, who had not ceased to honor and love their patriarch.
St Eustathius was esteemed by the great hierarchs of the fourth century, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Athanasius of Alexandria, Epiphanius of Cyprus, Anastasius of Sinai, and Jerome of Stridonia.
The renowned church historian Bishop Theodoret of Cyrrhus calls St Eustathius a pillar of the Church and a man of piety, of equal stature with St Athanasius of Alexandria and the other bishops at the forefront of the struggle for Orthodoxy.

344 Daniel and Verda tortured in Persia MM (AC)
Daniel was a priest; Verda a woman. The two were arrested and tortured in Persia during the persecution of King Shapur II. They are highly venerated in the East (Benedictines, Encyclopedia)
.
434 St. Verulus and Companions in North Africa by Arian Vandals
 Adruméti, in Africa, sanctórum Mártyrum Véruli, Secundíni, Sirícii, Felícis, Sérvuli, Saturníni, Fortunáti et aliórum séxdecim, qui in persecutióne Wandálica, ob cathólicæ fídei confessiónem, martyrio coronáti sunt.
       At Adrumetum in Africa, during the persecution of the Vandals, the holy martyrs, Verulus, Secundinus, Siricius, Felix, Servulus, Saturninus, Fortunatus, and sixteen others, who were crowned with martyrdom for professing the Catholic faith.
According to the pre-1970 Roman Martyrology, a group of martyrs in North Africa who were probably executed for their orthodoxy by the Arian Vandals, who were then in control of the region. Hadrumetum was the most likely place of their executions, and the number of martyrs may have been twenty-six.
Verulus, Secundinus, and Companions (RM). Verulus, Secundinus, Siricius, Felix, Servulus, Saturninus, Fortunatus, and 19 companions were martyred in northern Africa at Hadrumetum. The Roman Martyrology lists them as suffering during the Vandal persecution but it is unclear that this is true (Benedictines).

452-453 St. Severian Bishop martyr of Scythopolis in Galilee orthodox Christian
 Scythópoli, in Palæstína, sancti Severiáni, Epíscopi et Mártyris, qui, Eutychiánis acérrime se oppónens, gládio perémptus est.
At Scythopolis in Palestine, St. Severian, bishop and martyr, who was beheaded by the Eutychians because he opposed them so zealously.

453 ST SEVERIAN, BISHOP OF SCYTHOPOLIS, MARTYR
IN the year 451 the fourth general council was called at Chalcedon to pronounce upon the Eutychian or monophysite heresy which was spreading very rapidly in the Eastern portion of the Church.
Dioceses were being split into factions which, in some cases, elected rival bishops and refused communion to their opponents. The decision of the council, which totally condemned the heresy, was accepted at once by a great proportion of the Palestinian monks, but there were many exceptions. At the head of these was Theodosius, a violent and unscrupulous man who obtained sufficient following to enable him to expel Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, and to gain possession of the see for himself. He then raised so cruel a persecution in Jerusalem that he filled the city with blood, as we learn from a letter of the Emperor Marcian. At the head of a band of soldiers he then proceeded to carry desolation over the country, although in certain places he met with oppo­nents who had the courage to stand firm in their orthodoxy. Of these no one showed more determination than Severian, Bishop of Scythopolis, who received as his reward the crown of martyrdom. The soldiers seized him, dragged him out of the city, and then put him to death.
See the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii and Hefele-Leclercq, Conciles, vol. ii. In the course of a paragraph on the Holy Land, Butler refers to the dissensions and jealousies there of those who call themselves Christians, and adds “We have ceased to think that it is the will of God that we should win back the Holy Land by the sword, but we may well pray earnestly that its inhabitants may be united to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and that peace and goodwill may prevail amongst those to whom is committed the custody of the Holy Places.”
He attended the Council of Chalcedon (451) and took part in the complete triumph of the orthodox Christian cause against the heretics of the era.
On his return home he was assassinated by a group of heretics at the command of Emperor Theodosius II.

Severian of Scythopolis BM (RM) bishop of Scythiopolis in Galilee who, on his return from the Council of Chalcedon, which condemned the Eutychian heresy, was murdered by the Eutychian heretics with the connivance of Empress Eudoxia.
While the decrees of the council had been accepted by most of the monks of Palestine, the Eutychian monk Theodosius, a man with an explosive temper, did not. With the help of Eudoxia, Theodosius and his monks managed to have Patriarch Juvenal of Jerusalem exiled and himself consecrated as bishop. Thereafter, Theodosius began to persecute the orthodox Christians. Saint Severianus, like many other Christians before him and at that time, resisted Juvenal and received the crown of martyrdom. He was seized by soldiers, dragged from the city, and murdered.
His vita was written by a monk named Cyril the monk (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
606 St. Paterius monk from Rome bishop of Brescia prolific writer on Biblical subjects
Bríxiæ sancti Patérii Epíscopi.   A
t Brescia, St. Paterius, bishop.
in Lombardy, Italy. He was reputedly a good friend of Pope St. Gregory I the Great and was the author of numerous works on the Bible.

Paterius of Brescia B (RM) Died 606. Paterius, a Roman monk, was a disciple and friend of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. He was a notary in the Roman Church, who was raised to the see of Brescia, Lombardy. Paterius was a prolific writer on Biblical subjects (Benedictines).

633 St Zachariah Patriarch of Jerusalem
Commemorated on February 21
Saint Zacharias, Patriarch of Jerusalem, lived from the end of the sixth to the early seventh centuries. He became Patriarch of Jerusalem in 609. In the year 614 the Persian emperor Chosroes fell upon Jerusalem, looted it, and led many Christians into captivity, including St Zacharias.
Chosroes also captured the Life-Creating Cross of Christ. During the invasion, as many as 90,000 Christians perished.
 Afterwards Chosroes was compelled to sue for peace with the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (610-641). The Cross of the Lord was returned to Jerusalem. The Christian captives who remained alive also were returned, among them Patriarch Zacharias, who died peacefully in the year 633.

640 Bl. Pepin of Landen Frankish mayor of the palace, duke of Brabant, and the chief political figure
during the reigns of the Frankish kings Clotaire II, Dagobert I, and Sigebert TI .

The husband of Blessed Itta; he was a close ally of Bishop Arnulf of Metz with whom he overthrew Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia. He was soon appointed mayor of the palace for his role. Following an incident in which he reprimanded King Dagobert I for his adulterous life, he was exiled from the court and went into retirement near Aquitaine. Recalled to serve as tutor to Dagobert’s three year old son, Pepin once more became the chief figure of the kingdom until his death. Pepin earned a reputation for defending the interests of the Church, promoting the spread of Christianity, and working to have only truly worthy bishops appointed to Frankish sees. While never canonized, he is listed as a saint in some old martyrologies.
He was an ancestor of Charlemagne; his grandson, Pepin of Heristal, founded the Carolingian dynasty.
646 BD PEPIN OF LANDEN
PEPIN OF LANDEN was never canonized, although his name appears as a saint in some of the old martyrologies. The wisest statesman of his time, he was mayor of the palace to Kings Clotaire II, Dagobert I and Sigebert III, and was prac­tically ruler of their dominions. He was the grandfather of Pepin of Herstal, great-grandfather of Charles Martel, and the ancestor of the Carolingian dynasty. He has been well described as a “lover of peace, the constant defender of truth and justice, a true friend to all the servants of God, the terror of the wicked, the father of his country, the zealous and humble defender of religion”. He associated with himself as counsellors two wise and holy bishops, St Arnulf of Metz and St Cunibert of Cologne, and though a most faithful minister to the king, he considered himself equally the servant of the people.

First and foremost he always placed his duty to the King of kings, and when King Dagobert, forgetful of the principles which had been instilled into him in his youth, gave himself up to a vicious life, Pepin boldly rebuked him and never ceased to show his disapproval until he became sincerely penitent. Dagobert, before his death in 638, had appointed Pepin tutor to his three-year-old son Sigebert, who under his guidance became himself a saint and one of the most blessed amongst the French kings. Pepin protected the Christian communities of the north against the invasions of the Slays, worked hard for the spread of the Christian faith, and chose only virtuous and learned men to fill the bishoprics.

His wife was Bd Itta, or Iduberga, by whom he had one son, Grimoald, and two daughters, St Gertrude and St Begga. Pepin died in 646 and was buried at Landen, but his body was translated to Nivelles, where it lies in the same tomb as that of his wife and close to the altar of St Gertrude. For many centuries their relics were carried every year in the Rogationtide processions at Nivelles.

There is a eulogistic ninth-century Life of Pepin which has been printed in large part by the Bollandists, Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii, and there are many references to him in the lives of St Gertrude of Nivelles. See also DCB., vol. iv, pp. 398—399.
Blessed Pepin of Landen (AC) (also known as Pippin) Died February 21, c. 646. Pepin was, perhaps, the most important, powerful person in the empire during his age. As duke of Brabant and mayor of the palace (first minister) of kings Clotaire II, Dagobert I, and Sigebert III, he determined much of the policy of the Franks. Pepin, the ancestor of the Carolingian dynasty of French kings, was the husband of Blessed Itta and father Grimoald, of Saint Gertrude of Nivelles and Saint Begga. He is described as "a lover of peace and the constant defender of truth and justice," though it may not seem that way at first glance.

Pepin and Bishop Arnulf of Metz aided King Clotaire II of Neustria in overthrowing Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia in 613. In recognition of the important roles they played, Clotaire appointed them mayors of the palace to rule Austrasia for Clotaire's son Dagobert I from 623. When Pepin rebuked Dagobert (who had succeeded his father about 629) for his licentious life, Dagobert discharged him and he retired to Aquitaine. Dagobert still respected him enough to appoint him tutor of his three-year-old son Sigebert before his death in 638, and Pepin returned and ruled the kingdom until his own death the following year.

Pepin worked to spread the faith throughout the kingdom, defended Christian towns from Slavic invaders, and chose responsible men to fill vacant sees. The marriage of his daughter, Begga, and Bishop Arnulf's son, Segislius, produced Pepin of Herstal, the first of the Carolingian dynasty in France. Pepin of Landen was buried at Landen, but his relics were later translated to Nivelle, where they are now enshrined with those of his wife and daughter Gertrude. Here is feast is kept. Pepin was never canonized but is listed as a saint in some of the old Belgic martyrologies and a litany published by the authority of the archbishop of Mechlin (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

676 St. Gundebert Frankish Benedictine bishop of Sens, France
and founder of the abbey of Senores. He is also called Gondelbert or Gumbert.
Gundebert of Senones, OSB B (AC) (also known as Gombert, Gumbert, Gondelbert).
The Frankish Bishop Saint Gundebert abandoned the episcopacy of Sens for a more perfect life as a hermit in the Vosges, where he founded the abbey of Senones c. 660 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

677 Germanus & Randoald, OSB MM (AC) (also known as Germain & Rancald or Randaut)
Born in Trier (Tregraveves), Palatinate, Germany. Germanus, son of a rich senator, was an orphan raised by Bishop Modoard. At age 17, Germanus disposed of his property and entered Saint Romaric's monastery governed by Saint Arnulf of Metz at Romberg in the Vosges Mountains (Remiremont). Arnulf encouraged the young man to grow in holiness, and he did. Germanus, in turn, encouraged his younger brother Numerian to forsake the world and enter the double monastery, too.

From Remiremont he migrated to Luxeuil under its third abbot Saint Waldebert, who introduced the Benedictine Rule into the abbey. He later became abbot of the Granfel (Münsterthal) Monastery in the Val Moutier, which had been founded by Duke Gondo of Alsace.
Germanus became a pioneer in reconstruction, road-building, dedication to the poor and under- privileged.
This last was his downfall.

Gondo's successor, Boniface (Catihe), daily oppressed both the monks and poor inhabitants. The holy abbot, while bearing private injuries silently, often pleaded the cause of the poor. The duke laid waste to their lands, destroyed their harvests, and took away the means needed to eke out their poor subsistence. Germanus went out to meet Boniface as he was ravaging their lands and plundering their houses at the head of a troop of soldiers. Germanus begged Boniface to spare a distressed and innocent people. The duke promised to stop, but his soldiers took up the killing, burning, and plundering again while the saint prayed in the church of St. Maurice.
The soldiers had long awaited an opportunity to expunge the inconvenient abbot who often denounced their ravaging of the poor. When Germanus and Randoald, his prior, were on their way back to Granfel, the soldiers captured, stripped, and pierced them with swords as the martyrs prayed. Their relics were deposited at Granfel, and were exposed in a rich shrine till the Reformation, when they were translated to Telsberg, or Delmont. Their acta were written by a contemporary priest, Babolen (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

Germanus is pictured as a Benedictine abbot holding a lance. Sometimes Randoald, his prior, is with him. Germanus may also be shown with a poor man at his feet (because he was murdered by the duke for interceding for the poor) or with a book, palm, and crozier. Germanus is venerated in Trier, Remiremont, Luxeuil, and Granfel (Roeder).

677 ST GERMANUS OF GRANFEL, MARTYR
ST GERMANUS was brought up almost from the cradle by Modoard, Bishop of Trier. At the age of seventeen he asked permission to retire from the world, but Modoard hesitated, telling him that, as his parents were dead, he ought to obtain the king’s consent. The young man, however, decided the matter for himself, and, after giving away all his possessions to the poor, started off with three other youths to seek St Arnulf, whose example had fired them: that holy man had resigned the bishopric of Metz to live as a hermit. Arnulf received them affectionately and, after keeping them with him for some time, suggested that they should enter the monastery which he and St Romaric had founded at Romberg. Germanus first sent two of his companions to fetch his brother Numerian, who was a mere child, and together they entered the monastery which was situated in the Vosges Moun­tains and was afterwards known as Remiremont.

St Germanus subsequently passed on with his brother and other monks to the abbey of Luxeuil, then governed by St Walbert. When Duke Gondo was founding the monastery of Granfel in what is now the Val Moutier, Walbert, to whom he applied for an abbot, could find none worthier than Germanus, who was accordingly appointed.
     The Münsterthal, or Val Moutier, is a grand mountain pass through which runs the old Roman road, but at that time it was blocked by fallen rocks and could not be used. St, Germanus cleared it and widened the entrance to the valley. Afterwards two other monasteries were also placed under his charge, those of St Ursitz and of St Paul Zu-Werd, but he continued to live chiefly at Granfel. Duke Cathic, or Boniface, who succeeded Gondo, inherited no share of his kindly religious spirit, and oppressed the monks and the poor inhabitants with violence and extortion. One day when he was plundering their houses at the head of a band of soldiers, Germanus went out to plead for the poor sufferers. The duke listened to him and promised to desist: but, while the abbot was praying in the church of St Maurice, the soldiers began again to burn and to destroy. St Germanus, finding that remonstrance was useless, started back for the monastery with his prior Randoald, but they were overtaken by the soldiers, who stripped and killed them.

The facts are recorded in a contemporary life by the monk Bobolenus,. which is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii, and by Mabillon.
689 St. Avitus II of Clermont Bishop defender of the Church
He was appointed bishop of Clermont, France, in 676.
Avitus II of Clermont B (AC). Bishop of Clermont, Auvergne, France, from 676 until his death, Avitus was succeeded by his younger brother, Saint Bonet.
Avitus was one of the great bishops of his age in the development of ecclesiastic training (Benedictines).
695 St. Valerius Abbot of the Isidorian revival
Born in Astorga, Spain, he entered the monastery of San Pedro de Montes and eventually became abbot there. He was the author of several ascetical works and was the last of the great educational champions following the ideals of St. Isidore of Seville.
Valerius of Astorga, OSB Abbot (AC) Born in Astorga, Spain. Saint Valerius, monk and later abbot of San Pedro del Montes monastery, is the representative of the revival wrought by Saint Isidore. Several of his ascetical writings have survived (Benedictines).

743 St. Peter the Scribe Martyr Christian scribe in Palestine
 Damásci sancti Petri Maviméni, qui, cum díceret Arábibus quibúsdam, ad se ægrótum veniéntibus: « Omnis qui fidem Christiánam cathólicam non ampléctitur, damnátus est, sicut et Máhumet, pseudoprophéta vester », ab illis est necatus.
       At Damascus, St. Peter Mavimenus, who was killed by some Arabs who visited him in his sickness, because he said to them: "Whoever does not embrace the Christian and Catholic faith is lost, like your false prophet Mohammed."
Peter was caught in the Islamic invasion of the region and was ultimately murdered by the Arab conquerors from Damascus.
Peter the Scribe M (RM) (also known as Peter Mavimenus). Saint Peter was a scribe (chartularius) in Majuma, Palestine, where he was executed for his faith by the Arab sheik of Damascus (Benedictines).
795 Saint Timothy of Symbola Italian  gift of healing sick casting out unclean spirits
He became a monk at a young age and pursued asceticism at a monastery called "Symbola," in Asia Minor near Mount Olympus. At that time Theoctistus was the archimandrite of the monastery. St Timothy was the disciple of Theoctistus and also of St Platon of the Studion Monastery (April 5).

Attaining a high degree of spiritual perfection, he received from God the gift of healing the sick and casting out unclean spirits. He spent many years as a hermit, roaming the wilderness, the mountains and forests, both day and night offering up prayer to the Lord God. He died at a great old age, in the year 795.
805 George of Amastris B (AC) Born at Kromna near Amastris on the Black Sea
 Saint George was a hermit on Mount Sirik, then a monk of Bonyssa, and finally bishop of Amastris.
He successfully defended his episcopal city during the Saracen attacks (Benedictines).
825 ST GEORGE, BISHOP OF AMASTRIS
EARLY in the ninth century there lived at Cromna, near Amastris on the Black Sea, a couple, Theodosius and Megetho, who had long been childless, but upon whom in answer to prayer God bestowed a son, whom they named George. They nearly lost him when he was three years old, as he fell into the fire whilst at play and was very severely burnt. He recovered, however—miraculously as it was believed— although both hands and one foot remained permanently scarred. He grew up a youth of such singular goodness that he was the wonder of all who knew him. In due time he studied for the priesthood and his ordination was attended by crowds who had watched him grow up or who knew him by reputation. He soon decided that he must aim at complete detachment from the world and retired into the desert of Mount Sirik, where he met with an aged anchorite who undertook to train him for the hermitical life. They remained together until the old man was at the point of death, when he advised George not to remain there alone, but to go to the monastery of Bonyssa. When George presented himself he was at once accepted, although a complete stranger, and the monks received him like an old friend. They had no reason to regret it, for George soon showed himself to be remarkable even among that company of saints.

In the meantime the people of Amastris had not forgotten him, and when their bishop died they elected George to fill his place and sent to the monastery to tell him of their decision. George, however, refused to accept the office, and the deputation then carried him off by force to Constantinople to the patriarch St Tarasius, who at once recognized him. Years before, on the eve of his consecration, George had taken part in the solemn singing of the night office. It was usual at the close of such services for the choir to be given a small fee, but George had steadfastly refused to accept anything, and this had greatly impressed Tarasius, who now declared himself ready to consecrate him. The emperor, on the other hand, had a candidate of his own, but St Tarasius said that George had been properly elected and he would only yield so far as to nominate the two candidates and to tell the clergy and people of Amastris to proceed to a new election. Their choice again fell on George, who was duly consecrated and was received by his people with acclamation. He proved himself a true father to his people and as wise as he was pious. It was a time when the country was subject to attacks from the Saracens. On the eve of one of these, the farmers and country folk were advised to take refuge within the city walls, but they could not be convinced of their danger nor would they quit their homes. St George accordingly went round in person from farm to farm explaining the matter and urging the people to seek a safe refuge. They listened to him and obeyed. When the enemy came, they found the city strongly garrisoned, and, recognizing that their own numbers were insufficient to take it by storm, they abandoned the attack and retired.

See the I Sanctorum, February, vol. iii but the complete Greek text has been pub­lished in modern times by V. Vasilievsky in Analecta byzantinorussica, vol. iii, 1893, pp. 1—73, where he discusses the whole history of the saint in a valuable introduction.
Saint George, Bishop of Amastris, was from the city of Kromna, near the city of Amastris close to the Black Sea. His pious and illustrious parents Theodore and Migethusa gave him a fine spiritual and secular education. St George withdrew to the mountains of Syriki in Asia Minor, where he embraced monasticism and began to lead a strict ascetic life under the guidance of a hermit.

After the death of his Elder, St George moved to a monastery in Bonissa, and there continued with his efforts. After the death of the bishop of the city of Amastris, St George was chosen bishop by the clergy and the people, and he was consecrated at Constantinople by Patriarch Tarasius (February 25). Arriving in Amastris, St George instructed his flock, he adorned several churches, was a defender of widows and orphans, fed the poor, and in everything he gave example of a God-pleasing life.

By the power of his prayer he repelled the Saracens who were ravaging the countryside from the city of Amastris. He also delivered from death Amastrian merchants wrongfully condemned in the city of Trebizon.

St George died peacefully in the midst of his flock on March 3, 805 during the reign of the emperor Nicephorus I (802-811).

1072 Peter Damian brilliant teacher writer  transcribing manuscripts , B Doctor (RM)
Born in Ravenna, Italy, 1001; died at Faenza, Italy, February 22, 1072; declared Doctor of the Church in 1828.
"Here they live in endless being: Passingness hath passed away: Here they bloom, they thrive, they flourish, For decayed is all decay."
    --Saint Peter Damian from his Hymn on the Glory of Paradise.

Saint Peter Damian (born 1007, Ravenna—died Feb. 22, 1072, Faenze; feast day February 21) Italian cardinal and Doctor of the Church. He was prior of Fonte Avellana in the Apennines before being named a cardinal in 1057. A leading monastic reformer and ascetic, he played an important role in the promotion of apostolic poverty and in support of papal reformers who sought to enforce clerical celibacy and abolish simony. He defended Pope Alexander II against the antipope Honorius II and reconciled Alexander with the city of Ravenna. He was also sent as a papal legate to resolve disputes in Milan and Cluny, Burgundy, and he played a key role in the formulation of the papal election decree of 1059.

The parents of this brilliant teacher and writer died shortly after his birth. Peter's elder brother used the young lad as an unpaid servant until another brother, Damian, found Peter tending pigs and rescued him, sending him to be educated at Faenza and Parma. This brother was a priest and Peter took his Christian name--Damian--as his own surname.
Peter Damian responded readily to his teachers and became proficient enough in grammar, rhetoric, and law that he later taught at Ravenna.

 He began to practice austerities by himself, gave liberal alms, seldom went without some poor persons at his table, and took pleasure in serving them with his own hands. But he longed to do more for his Lord. The Lord answered his prayer by sending two religious of Fonte Avellana to visit his home. They told him much about their way of life. So, at age 34 (1035) he became a Benedictine monk at Fonte Avellana, a monastery founded 20 years earlier by Blessed Rudolph.
The brothers of Fonte Avellana lived as hermits in bare cells, utterly disciplined and given to constant study of the Bible. Their regimen was so austere that, for a time, Peter's health broke down. Nevertheless, Peter became a model monk who occupied himself by studying Scripture and patristic theology, and transcribing manuscripts. He was elected prior of this small, poor community in 1043. Others were attracted to imitate his life, and Peter founded five more religious houses for them.
He became famous for his uncompromising attitude toward worldliness and denunciations of simony and clerical marriage.

In 1057, Peter was named cardinal-bishop of Ostia by Pope Stephen IX. His fame spread as he took a leading role in the Gregorian Reform. In 1059, he participated in the Lateran synod that proclaimed the right of the cardinals alone to elect future bishops of Rome. After a brief time as bishop, with the permission of Pope Alexander II (which previously had been denied by Nicholas II) and under the condition that he continue to serve the Holy See as needed, Peter returned to his cell. There he wrote unceasingly, on purgatory, the Eucharist, and other theological and ascetical topics, but he also wrote poetry. While his Latin verse is among the very best of the Middle Ages, especially that in honor of Pope Saint Gregory, which begins "Anglorum iam Apostolus," Peter Damian never considered his learning something of which to boast. What counted, he said, was to worship God, not to write about Him. What use was it to construct a grammatically correct sentence containing the word 'God,' if you could not pray to him properly.

In his ideas about monasticism, the saint always looked back to the example of the early desert monks. Although he regarded the monastic life as inferior to eremitic life, he advocated regular canoical life for cathedral clergy, and was a precursor of the devotional development to the Passion of Christ. In some respects he was not unlike the highly-critical Saint Jerome in character, fervor, and impatience. Although he was kind to his monks and indulgent to penitents, his writings reveal his severity. It may seem odd to us that Peter Damian reproved the bishop of Florence for playing a single game of chess, or objected strenuously to monks seating themselves as they chanted the Divine Office. His onslaught on clerical misconduct is called The Gomorrah Book. But the austerities he prescribed for others, he practiced himself. When not employed in prayer or work, he made wooden spoons and other utensils to get his hands from idleness.

Peter also continued the work of ecclesiastical reform. He opposed the antipopes, especially Honorius II. And he went on missions for the pope--once even managing to persuade the king of Germany not to divorce his wife, Bertha. When Henry, archbishop of Ravenna, had been excommunicated for grievous enormities, Peter was sent by Alexander II as legate to settle the troubles. When he arrived at Ravenna, he found the bishop had died and brought his accomplices to repentance. Peter died at Faenza on route back to from Ravenna, which he had just reconciled with the Holy See. His vita was written by his disciple John of Lodi. Although he was never formally canonized, local cults arose at his death, and, in 1828, Pope Leo XII extended his feast to the Universal Church (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Blum, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Walsh, White).

 February 21, 2010 St. Peter Damian 1007-1072  
Maybe because he was orphaned and had been treated shabbily by one of his brothers, Peter Damian was very good to the poor. It was the ordinary thing for him to have a poor person or two with him at table and he liked to minister personally to their needs.  Peter escaped poverty and the neglect of his own brother when his other brother, who was archpriest of Ravenna, took him under his wing. His brother sent him to good schools and Peter became a professor.
Already in those days Peter was very strict with himself. He wore a hair shirt under his clothes, fasted rigorously and spent many hours in prayer. Soon, he decided to leave his teaching and give himself completely to prayer with the Benedictines of the reform of St. Romuald at Fonte Avellana. They lived two monks to a hermitage. Peter was so eager to pray and slept so little that he soon suffered from severe insomnia. He found he had to use some prudence in taking care of himself. When he was not praying, he stu died the Bible.
The abbot commanded that when he died Peter should succeed him. Abbot Peter founded five other hermitages. He encouraged his brothers in a life of prayer and solitude and wanted nothing more for himself. The Holy See periodically called on him, however, to be a peacemaker or troubleshooter, between two abbeys in dispute or a cleric or government official in some disagreement with Rome.

Finally, Pope Stephen IX made Peter the cardinal-bishop of Ostia. He worked hard to wipe out simony, and encouraged his priests to observe celibacy and urged even the diocesan clergy to live together and maintain scheduled prayer and religious observance. He wished to restore primitive discipline among religious and priests, warning against needless travel, violations of poverty and too comfortable living. He even wrote to the bishop of Besancon, complaining that the canons there sat down when they were singing the psalms in the Divine Office.
He wrote many letters. Some 170 are extant. We also have 53 of his sermons and seven lives, or biographies, that he wrote. He preferred examples and stories rather than theory in his writings. The liturgical offices he wrote are evidence of his talent as a stylist in Latin.
He asked often to be allowed to retire as cardinal-bishop of Ostia, and finally Alexander II consented. Peter was happy to become once again just a monk, but he was still called to serve as a papal legate. When returning from such an assignment in Ravenna, he was overcome by a fever. With the monks gathered around him saying the Divine Office, he died on February 22, 1072.
In 1828 he was declared a Doctor of the Church.
Comment:  Peter was a reformer and if he were alive today would no doubt encourage the renewal started by Vatican II. He would also applaud the greater emphasis on prayer that is shown by the growing number of priests, religious and laypersons who gather regularly for prayer, as well as the special houses of prayer recently established by many religious communities.
Quote:  “...Let us faithfully transmit to posterity the example of virtue which we have received from our forefathers” (St. Peter Damian).
In art, Saint Peter is portrayed as a cardinal archbishop holding a birch and a book. Sometimes he may be shown (1) as a bishop with the cardinal's hat above his head or by his side, (2) as an old hermit, dead in a cave, lying on a stone slab with a crucifix on his breast; books, miter, cardinal's hat, and angels near him (Roeder), or (3) praying before a cross with a miter and cardinal's hat on the ground (White).
1210 Blessed Nicholas of Vangadizza great helper to holy souls, OSB Cam. (AC). --
Nicholas, a Camaldolese monk and priest at Vangadizza abbey, was a great helper to holy souls (Benedictines).

1562 Robert Southwell 1/40 martyrs of England and Wales SJ M (RM)
Born at Horsham Saint Faith's, Norfolk, England, in 1561 or 1562; died at Tyburn, London, England, February 21, 1595; beatified in 1929; canonized on October 25, 1970, by Pope Paul VI as one of the 40 representative martyrs of England and Wales.
1595 BD ROBERT SOUTHWELL, MARTYR
IT is a commonly received dogma of literary criticism that a poet should be studied in relation to his times, occupation and general background. It is nevertheless usually possible, and rewarding, to consider a given writer in the light of his writings, rather than vice versa. But Robert Southwell is one of the exceptions: he was not first and foremost a poet; he was first and foremost a man, a priest, a missionary and a martyr.

He was born in or about 1561 at Horsham Saint Faith in Norfolk, being related through his mother with the Sussex Shelleys, so that there was a remote connection between the two poets, Shelley and Southwell. He was sent to school at Douay, where he was a pupil of the famous Leonard Lessius, and so made his first contact with the Society of Jesus. He then studied in Paris, under Thomas Darbyshire, who had been archdeacon of Essex in Queen Mary’s time, and when he was hardly seventeen decided that he wanted to be a Jesuit himself. At first he was refused on account of his youth, and his grief at this refusal prompted the earliest of his writing that has come down to us. However, in the autumn of 1578 he was admitted to the novitiate in Rome. He eventually was made prefect of studies in the Venerable English College, and was ordained priest in 1584. Two years later, with Father Henry Garnet, he was sent on the English mission.

Father Southwell’s active career as a missionary lasted for six years. In 1587 he became chaplain at the London house of Anne, Countess of Arundel, and so became acquainted with her husband, Ed Philip Howard, who was then in the Tower.* [* It was to console him on the death of his half-sister, Lady Margaret Sackville, that Southwell wrote his Triumphs over Death]

In spite of the necessary secrecy of his movements, Southwell became well-known, and was effective in his work particularly on account of his gentle, quiet disposition; he held aloof from all political and ecclesiastical intrigue and controversy and was concerned solely with the carrying out of his priestly duties. In 1592 he was arrested by the infamous Topcliffe at Uxenden Hall, Harrow: he had been betrayed by a daughter of the house.

In a vain attempt to elicit information about his fellow Catholics, Bd Robert was examined under terrible torture at least nine times in the house of Topcliffe himself (who had boasted to the queen, “I never did take so weighty a man, if he be rightly used”), and other times elsewhere. After nearly three years in the Gatehouse and the Tower he appealed to Cecil that he should be either tried or given at least some liberty. The appeal was successful. He was brought to trial, and condemned for his priesthood. On February 21, 1595 he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, the awed bystanders insisting that he should not be cut down until he was dead. Bd Robert Southwell was only thirty-three years old.

This is, in brief outline, what is known of Southwell’s life. But we may go a little further and fill in some of the gaps, concerning both himself and his circum­stances, by a short consideration of his writings. As mentioned above, the first thing that we have is a prose lament when he was refused admittance to the Society of Jesus. Foley, in his Records of the English Province, S.J., says that Bd Robert wavered for a time between the Jesuits and the Carthusians—an enlightening fact when we consider the difference of life offered by these alternatives. When he had finally decided to become a Jesuit and was refused—temporarily—he wrote:

“Alas where am I, and where shall I be? A wanderer in a dry and parched land...These favours are not communicated to aliens, they are the privileges of souls admitted to the inner chamber of the King now feeding on the spiritual delights of Paradise, then nesting upon the couch of love they take a repose that transcendeth all delights.”
We possess many of his writings from the period of his novitiate, and they show he had a clear idea of the pains, duties and joys of a member of the Society of Jesus:
“Thou also, delighting in its possession [of the Jesuit life], how inflamed should not be thy love of God How grateful for so high a favour . . . How great a perfection is required in a religious of the Society, who should ever be ready at a moment’s notice for any part of the world and for any kind of people, be they heretics, Turks, pagans or barbarians... Hence we should reflect upon the virtues necessary for a life among the Indians...Like­wise for him who may be cast by the heretics into chains, macerated by hunger and thirst, tempted by a thousand solicitations, tortured by the rack and various tor­ments. These should always live with the enemy, keep him ever in sight, engage in continual combat, yet never yield or be overcome.”

There could hardly be a better expression of the attitude of mind necessary in the Jesuit missionary. And Southwell learnt well the lesson of obedience, he took it into his mind and made it part of himself, passing it on to others by example and in his writing he had learnt true humility. “Remembering that the rule enjoins thee to esteem all in thy heart as thy superior, striving to acknowledge God in each one, as in His image.”

Bd Robert seems to have felt from the beginning that his part would be that of the martyr. He knew very well the conditions in which his fellow Jesuits lived and worked, in England and elsewhere; at Rome he would hear many reports of those trials and sufferings. He heard of the execution of Bd Edmund Campion, the first English Jesuit martyr, and presumably read the eye-witness account, a sufficiently disturbing document if one is aware that oneself may soon be running the danger of a similar death. But Southwell’s letter on the subject to Father Persons carries (under its disguise of a merchant’s business communication) a note rather of exultation: “He [Campion] has had the start of you in loading his vessel with English wares and has successfully returned to the desired port. Day by day we are looking forward to something similar of you.” His letter from Calais to the father general of his order, Father Aquaviva, written before setting out for England in 1586, expresses his desire for the martyr’s crown, and gives a glimpse of the writer’s sensitiveness and normal human frailty: Nor do I so much dread the tortures as look forward to the crown. The flesh indeed is weak and profiteth nothing. Yea, while pondering these things it even recoils.” He was no thick­ skinned adventurer embarking on an exciting and profitable expedition, any more than he was a story-book saint saved from human suffering by angelic helpers; rather was he a man of deep feeling, moved by his love to give up all to God, even his life: not without moments of fear and disturbance, but those powerless to move him permanently because of the strength of his will, which relied not on itself but on God’s grace.

For the life of a Jesuit missionary in England in the late sixteenth century we have Father John Gerard’s autobiography, telling of toil and struggle, journeyings in disguise and secret meetings, hair-breadth escapes, final capture and imprison­ment, often torture and sometimes escape.* [*Gerard mentions Southwell several times once in connection with a secret conference of missionaries in Warwickshire, which was very nearly followed by capture another time, as learning from him [Gerard] the sporting jargon needed for easy conversation with the gentry. See Father Philip Caraman’s edition of the autobiography, John Gerard (1951).]

After a period of this restless life Father Southwell became chaplain to Lady Arundel, and it was then that he pro­duced his two important prose works, Mary Magdalen’s Funeral Tears and the Epistle of Comfort, both directed to the comfort and encouragement of his fellow Catholics. We have no evidence of the date of any of his poems: he had a certain amount of spare time then, and a great deal more during the years of imprisonment, and we may assume that he was composing during either, or more probably both, of these periods.

If the poet comes a long way behind the priest and the missionary, this does not mean that Bd Robert’s poetry is apart from his life : quite the contrary. His short carefully-constructed lyrics in their intensity and fervour are an expression, in a small compass and sometimes a stumbling manner, of his qualities of mind and soul; and these qualities are best realized by an examination of that life which both conditioned and expressed them. The mixture of courage and sensitiveness; the lyrical faith in God and love of the beauty of His works, in the midst of the worser brutalities of the age; the strange contrast of the holy and peace-loving man evading the law by means of dark hiding-places and cunning disguises, as if he were a dangerous criminal: these are reflected vividly in the poetry. We find also the stern asceticism and devotion to a “military” discipline necessary for the work he was called to do; the renunciation of all worldly pleasures inspired, not by a morbid desire to choke the natural feelings, but by an irresistible impulse to give up all things for the sake of one, “the pearl of great price”:  the eternal Christian paradox of “having nothing yet possessing all things”. The essential paradox in the fundamental truths of Christianity is the source and inspiration of Southwell’s poetry. “New Prince, New Pomp”, as its name implies, reveals the contradictory values brought into the world by the new Prince whose court is a stable. In the “Lauda Sion Salvatorem” he translates—with conspicuous success in a difficult verse-form——St Thomas Aquinas’s great hymn, with all its emphasis on the seeming contradiction between faith and sense, reason and revelation. The apparent simplicity of dogma, possessing on closer study this apparent contradiction, which again reveals such depths of meaning, richness of interpretation, such complementary truths, was admirably suited to Southwell’s genius.

It was natural that Bd Robert should write in the popular manner of his day (whatever other reasons he might have had for doing so), and the particular “con­ceited’ style of the late sixteenth century was well suited to the emphasis he placed on the paradoxical aspect of his faith and the feelings aroused by it within himself:

I live, but such a life as ever dies
I die, but such a death as never ends;
My death to end my dying life denies,
And life my living death no whit amends.
He has been compared to Sir Philip Sidney, both for his fondness of the conceit and his general style, and we may remember that Sidney had a great influence on the young poets of his time. But the comparison has also been made for their common intensity, warmth and personal feeling. This is true so far as it goes yet it is the more interesting for the differences it reveals. Sidney was the perfect example of the ideal gentleman of his day—and Southwell was not that: he was a hunted and hated Jesuit, suspect of treason. Nevertheless Sidney would probably have got on well with Southwell, for they were both men of cultured intellect, lively, sweet-tempered and of great personal integrity: in Father Garnet’s words, “Our dear Father Southwell ... being at once prudent, pious, meek, and exceedingly winning”; and again, “What a famous man and how much beloved was Father Southwell.”

Bd Robert’s poetry tends to be short, compact and intensely expressed. Carefully designed and made indeed, but never polished—nothing so urbane as that— intellect from turning lyrical beauty into the bitterness of loveless fanaticism, yet with many felicitous phrases, among many a maze of words and ideas. These more complicated tangles are not found in the very best of his lyrics the famous “Burning Babe” has conceits enough, but the reader is never lost in them. The most moving of all his poems, “The Virgin Mary to Christ on the Cross”, is simple and direct, with very little conceit, and that not too startling.

Robert Southwell was the poet of the lyric his fire, energy and passion, com­bined with a severe discipline imposed not only by his vocation but also by his own will, found its best expression in a few lines heavily laden with meaning and emotion, carefully controlled by the power and acuteness of his understanding. His two long works are a less rewarding study, the “Fourfold Meditation on the Four Last Things” (a doubt has been cast on its authorship) and “St Peter’s Complaint”.

But whatever their quality, these poems show again in what their writer was most deeply interested: in the hard facts of the four last things in the life of every man in the way that man’s sin has wounded the love of God, the repentance He wishes to draw from the hearts of men, and in what happens if man does not repent. In the preface to his poems we find Southwell bewailing that the great gift of poetry is being put to such an unworthy use in the profane writings of so many of his contemporaries. He states his purpose of using the popular poetic style for his own—that is, for the divine—purpose “to weave a new web in their own loom”.

We can look back to the years when, as study-master at the English College in Rome, he applied himself to the study of his own tongue; ultimately it was for this, to be able to fight the enemy with his own weapons. And this style was an excellent weapon, for whereas in profane poetry words would be twisted and turned to make strange meanings for the sake of wit or cleverness, in the sacred, without losing any of the intellectual dexterity, the conceit could be seen to carry with it the most profound religious teaching, partly because of the nature of the doctrine, partly because of Southwell’s own skill.

The poems achieved an almost immediate popularity, for the manner, if nothing else, appealed to the general public to his fellow Catholics they were precious “spiritual reading” cast in a form familiar and easy to them. He knew and expressed for them how they were feeling, for whom life was indeed—

A wandering course to doubtful rest…a maze of countless straying ways. 

They were experiencing the frailty of present happiness and the worthlessness of worldly pleasures of which Southwell wrote; and they needed the comfort he brought in his triumphal acclamation of the Christian’s salvation, of the mercy and love of God, the words of spiritual joy uttered in the midst of suffering, and not least in translations of the songs of the Church’s worship and meditations upon the life of her Lord. The omission from these last of any meditation on the Resurrection shows how he had fixed his attention on Christ’s life, suffering and death, seeing and feeling all too acutely the parallel between that Passion and the lives of himself and his fellow Catholics.

“Love is not ruled with reason, but with love. It neither regardeth what can be nor what shall be done, but only what itself desireth to do. No difficulty can stay it, no impossibility appal it” (Mary Magdalen’s Funeral Tears). It was with this outlook that Bd Robert Southwell lived worked and died; it is this that permeates his poetry, preventing the fierceness of his faith and the acuteness of hisand does not forbid us to seek flowers; but he tells us to seek them in Heaven.

The fullest and standard work on Bd Robert Southwell, who shares the literary laurels of the English Jesuit province with Gerard Manley Hopkins, is Janelle’s Robert Southwell the Writer (1935) a third of the book is devoted to his life and there is a full bibliography. The best edition of his works is still that of Grosart (1872). There are articles by Father Thurston in The Month for February and March 1895, September 1905, and others, and in the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. xiv, pp. 164—165. Challoner in MMP. describes the scene on the scaffold, and gives the text of two letters from Southwell to a friend in Rome, as well as a translation of a manuscript account of his trial kept at Saint-Omer. See also Lee in DNB. Foley’s REPSJ., vol. i Catholic Record Society’s publications, vol. v Child in the Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. iv and Hood’s The Book of Robert Southwell (1926). Trotman’s edition of the Triumphs over Death, with the Epistle to His Father and two other letters (1914) includes a sketch of the martyr’s life, and some notes and speculations of which Janelle says they “are partly inaccurate and sometimes absurd”. Bd Robert’s feast is observed by the Society of Jesus. For R. C. Bald’s edition of the Humble Supplication to Her Majesty (1953), see Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxxii (1952), p. 301. A new study of Southwell by Fr Christopher Devlin is announced (1955).

The Church has been built on the blood of martyrs--the living stones. Before there were cathedrals, there were the catacombs; since then objects of value have been piled about our altars, but the most precious is contained beneath each altar in the mandatory "tomb"--the shrine with the relics of a martyr--and upon the tomb the chalice with the precious Blood of Christ. We would do well to recall the many previous Masses that were celebrated in haste and secrecy--for us, like the martyrs, each Mass might be the viaticum. Receive the Source of Life with joy, attention, and thanksgiving.

When King Henry VIII could not induce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, to allow their marriage to be declared invalid because she was his brother's widow, Henry declared himself head of the Church in England. He persuaded the Parliament to declare that it was high treason for anyone to deny Henry's right to this title. On this account monasteries were closed and Church property confiscated--both real and monetary, including the innumerable foundations designed to maintain schools for the people, who were largely illiterate. A long procession of saints and beati were executed under Henry VIII.

(Of course, we should always remember that Roman Catholics are not alone in being persecuted. While the English kings and queens hanged and quartered Catholics, Protestants were burned in France and Spain. There was the difference that Protestants in Spain and France were trying to destroy the ancient traditions of the people, while Catholicism in England did not show itself incompatible with the order of society.)

Robert Southwell's lineage included most of the country gentry of Suffolk and Norfolk, but his father Richard was born on the wrong side of the sheets though his grandfather, also Richard, did eventually marry Robert's grandmother, a poor relation of his first wife.

Richard Southwell, Sr., had been a courtier to Henry VIII and received his share of the booty from the pillaging of monasteries, including the ancient Benedictine priory of Horsham Saint Faith. Richard changed his political and religious affiliations a few times during the reigns of Edward and Mary of Scotland. The saint's father had married Queen Elizabeth's governess; thus, Richard Senior's grandson Robert was born in the old Benedictine priory.

Robert is the mystic among the English martyrs, though circumstances made him a man of action and bold adventure. Fire, sweetness, purity, and gentleness were features of Robert Southwell's nature.

Once as a child, he was stolen by gypsies, who were numerous in the great woods surrounding Saint Faith's. His nurse found him again. Robert referred to this misadventure often. "What had I remained with the gipsy? How abject, how void of all knowledge and reverence of God! In what shameful vices, in how great danger of infamy, in how certain danger of an unhappy death and eternal punishment!" On his return to England as a missionary, the first person he visited was his old nurse, whom he tried to lead back to the Roman Catholic Church.

His father sent him to Douai to be educated by the Jesuits, either because he was a Catholic at that time or because of the reputation of the order's schools. There Robert met John Cotton, who later operated a safehouse in London.

Robert was inspired with intense enthusiasm for the Society of Jesus and begged entry at once, though he was too young. He was bitterly disappointed, but on the feast of Saint Faith (fortuitously on October 17, 1578) he was received into the order in Rome as a novice. He spent his novitiate in Tournai, but took his vows and, in 1584, was ordained to the priesthood in Rome, where for a time he was prefect in the English College.

At this time he began to attract a good deal of attention by his poems. He corresponded with Mr. Parsons, the leader of the Jesuit mission in England. He was worried that many who had been faithful Catholics were now sliding into the Church of England to avoid the fine for every service from which they absented themselves. Many families held out until they were financially ruined; then they would attempt to make their way to the continent and live on alms.

Though Robert Southwell knew how his journey to England would end, with Father Henry Garnet, he returned in 1586 to serve among those Catholics who were still willing to venture life and welfare by hearing a Mass and receiving the Sacraments. Before his departure he wrote to the general of hte Jesuits, Claudius Acquaviva, "I address you, my Father, from the threshold of death, imploring the aid of your prayers . . . that I may either escape the death of the body for further use, or endure it with courage."

Most of the remaining Catholics were to be found in the countryside. Most were content to long for better days and hope that a priest could be smuggled into their sickroom before their deaths. On the other hand, among the actively militant there was a wonderful cohesion and a mutual helpfulness and affection that recalled the days of the primitive Church. But thes little congregations that assembled before dawn in a secret room of some remote manor house never knew if a traitor might be in their midst.

Southwell rode about the countryside in disguise, saying Mass, hearing confessions, celebrating marriages, baptizing, re-admitting apostates, giving the Sacraments to the dying. He even managed to visit Catholics in prison and say Mass there. Time after time he miraculously managed to elude his pursuers.

Much of Southwell's correspondence during this period has been preserved and provides many insights into the events and attitudes of hte period. These were hard times. In one letter he requests permission to consecrate chalices and altar slabs (usually reserved to the bishop)--so much had been taken away in the constant searching of the homes of Catholics that such things were becoming scarce.

His letters home also reveal Robert's anxiety about the salvation of his father and one of his brothers, Thomas. The soul of the poet is evident when he writes his brother: "Shrine not any longer a dead soul in a living body: bail reason out of senses' prison, that after so long a bondage in sin, you may enjoy your former liberty in God's Church, and free your thought from servile awe of uncertain perils. . . . Weigh with yourself at how easy a price you rate God, Whom you are content to sell for hte use of your substance. . . . Look if you can upon a crucifix without blushing; do not but count the five wounds of Christ once over without a bleeding conscience."

Thomas was won back to the faith and died in exile in the Netherlands. His father died in prison after Robert's martyrdom, but it is unknown whether he, too, suffered for the faith.

As chronicled in Robert's letters, the persecution intensified after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Captured Catholics used their trials in defense of the faith. Robert tried to remain at large for as long as possible by adopting disguises and using the alias of Mr. Cotton--a poor, unkempt, and socially awkward young man.

Robert was a priest in London from 1584 to 1592. About 1590, Robert Southwell became chaplain to Anne, countess of Arundel, wife of the imprisoned Saint Philip Howard, who was being told lies about her now-faithful husband. To Southwell, Earl Philip wrote from prison that his greatest sorrow was that he would never see his wife again. "I call Our Lord to witness that as no sin grieves me so much as my offenses to that party [Anne], so no worldly things makes me loather to depart hence than that I cannot live to make that party satisfaction, according to my most ardent and affectionate desire. Afflictio dat intellectum (affliction gives understanding)."

During the time that Fr. Southwell was concealed in Arundel House in London, he corresponded with Philip Howard because of their mutual affection for Anne Dacre and because of their shared faith and shared interest in poetry. Southwell holds a place in English literature as a religious poet. Ben Jonson remarked to Drummond that "Southwell was hanged, yet so he [Jonson] had written that piece of his 'The Burning Babe' he would have been content to destroy many of his." Many of Southwell's poems, apologetic tracts, and devotional books were published on a private printing press installed at Arundel House.

At Arundel House, the soon-to-be martyr also found himself often lost in mystical experiences that are later revealed in his poetry. There is an unforgettable power in his poetic image of Christ as the unwearied God throughout eternity supporting the earth on His fingertip and enclosing all creation in the hollow of His hand, but Who, in His humanity, breaks down and falls beneath the weight of a single person's sin.

Robert Southwell was betrayed by Anne Bellamy. After giving her absolution during her confinement with a family in Holborn, he told her that he would offer Mass in the secret room in her father Richard's home in Harrow on June 20, 1592. She reported this to Richard Topcliffe, one of the most notorious for hunting down priests. Robert Southwell was arrested while still wearing his vestments. Southwell was immediately tortured upon arrival at Topcliffe's Westminster home--for two days he was hung up by the wrists against a wall, so that he could barely touch the floor with the tips of his toes.

When he was at the point of death, his tormentors revived him, hung him up again, and prodded him to reveal the names of other priests and for information to condemn Lady Arundel. All he would confess was that he was a Jesuit priest. He gave no information, not even the color of the horse on which he had riden, that would allow them to find other Catholics. Southwell's steadfastness led several of the witnesses, including the Treasurer Sir Robert Cecil, to whisper that he must indeed be a saint.

He was taken from Topcliffe's house to a filthy cell in the Gatehouse and left for a month. His father, seeing him covered with lice, begged the queen to treat his son as the gentleman he was. She obliged by having Southwell moved to a cleaner cell and permitting his father to send him clean clothes and other necessities, including a Bible and the writings of Saint Bernard.

Robert Southwell was moved to the Tower of London, where he was imprisoned for three years and tortured 13 times (according to Cecil). Many of his poems on death, including "Saint Peter's Complaint," were written in the Tower. Not once was he given the opportunity to confess his sins or say Mass.

He was allowed only one visit--from his sister. Communication with Saint Philip Howard was limited to notes smuggled between their cells. Because Arundel's dog would sometimes follow the warder into Southwell's cell, the lieutenant of the Tower mocked that he supposed the dog had gone to get the priest's blessing. Howard replied, "Marry! it is no news for irrational creatures to seek blessings at the hands of holy men. Saint Jerome writes how those lions which had digged with their paws Saint Paul the Hermit's grave stood after waiting with their eyes upon Saint Antony expecting his blessing."

Finally, Southwell entreated Cecil to bring him to trial or permit him visitors. To which Cecil answered, "if he was in so much haste to be hanged, he should quickly have his desire." Shortly thereafter he was taken to Newgate Prison and placed in the underground dungeon called Limbo before being brought to trial at Westminster on February 20, 1595. He was condemned for being a priest. When the Lord Chief Justice Popham offered the services of an Anglican priest to prepare him for death, he declined saying that the grace ofGod would be more than sufficient for him.

Like many martyrs before him, Southwell drew the admiration of the crowds because he walked as though he whole being were filled with happiness at the prospect of being executed the next day. On the morrow, the tall, slight man of light brown hair and beard was taken to the "Tyburn Tree," a gallows, where the custom was for the condemned to be drive underneath the gallows in a cart, a rope secured around his neck, and the cart driven from under him. According to the sentence, the culprit would hang until he was dead or cut down before reaching that point.

Standing in the cart, Father Southwell began preaching on Romans 14: "Whether we live, we live unto the Lord: or whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. . . . I am brought hither to perform the last act of this miserable life, and . . . I do most humbly desire at the hands of Almighty God for our Savior Jesus' sake, that He would vouchsafe to pardon and forgive all my sins. . . ." He acknowledged that he was a Catholic priest and declared that he never intended harm or evil against the queen, but always prayed for her. He end with "In manus tuas, Domine (into Your hands, Lord), I commend my spirit." Contrary to the sentence, he was dead before he was cut down and quartered (Benedictines, Delaney, Undset).
1794 Blessed Noel Pinot continued to minister to his flock. M (AC) also known as Natalis)
Born at Angers, France, in 1747; beatified in 1926. Noel was ordained a priest in 1771 and labored as a parish priest in Louroux-Béconnais until the outbreak of the French Revolution. When he refused to take the oath recognizing the civil constitution of the clergy, he was ousted from his parish, but continued to minister to his flock. At first he was secretive about this ministry. Then he grew bolder. In 1794, he was captured when vested for Mass and guillotined--still wearing his priestly vestments (Benedictines).
1794 BD NOEL PINOT, MARTYR
THE fact that the cause of Bd Noel was introduced by itself and dealt with inde­pendently of the other martyrs of the French Revolution gives him a certain distinction amongst those who suffered for their faith during the Reign of Terror. He was a simple parish-priest who had been born at Angers in 1747, and had made only the ordinary studies of the secular clergy. After serving as vicaire in one or two churches, and distinguishing himself by his devotion to the sick when in charge of an hospital for incurables, he was in 1788 appointed curé in the little town of Louroux-Béconnais, where his zeal and devotion were attended by abundant fruit in the moral reformation of his parishioners.

In 1790 the Constituent Assembly forced upon King Louis XVI the measure known as the “Civil Constitution of the Clergy”, which struck at the fundamental principles of Catholic Church government and which required every priest to take an unlawful oath denounced by the Holy See. Like many other good priests, the Abbé Pinot refused to take this oath. He was arrested, and by a tribunal at Angers was sentenced to be deprived of his cure for two years. This, however, did not deter him from exercising his ministry in secret, and he was energetic in bringing back to better dispositions many priests who had not shown the same firmness as himself. When the revolt in Vendée gained some temporary success, he openly took possession of his parish again to the great joy of his flock, and even when the arms of the Republic prevailed in that region he continued his pastoral work in defiance of civil and military authority. For some time he was successful in evading the attempts persistently made to effect his capture, but at last he was betrayed by a man to whom he had shown great kindness. He was seized when actually vested for Mass and was dragged in his chasuble through the streets amid the jeers of the rabble and the soldiery. During the twelve days he was kept in prison, he was very roughly treated, and upon his reiterated refusal to take the oath he was sentenced off-hand to the guillotine. On February 21, 1794, he was led out to death still wearing the priestly vestments in which he had been arrested, and on the way to offer his final sacrifice he is said to have repeated aloud the words which the priest recites at the foot of the altar in beginning Mass Introibo ad altare Dei\...“I will enter unto the altar of God, to God who giveth joy to my youth.” Bd Noel Pinot was beatified in 1926.

All the essential facts will be found rehearsed in the decrees published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xi (1959), pp. 86—88, and vol. xviii (1926), pp. 425—428. See also A. Crosnier, Le b. Noel Pinot (1926).


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
http://www.worldpriest.com/
THE EUCHARIST, A MYSTERY TO BE BELIEVED POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Popes mentioned in articles of todays Saints

Popes mentioned in articles of 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: