Monday Saints of this Day February  22 Octávo Kaléndas Mártii.  

Day 13 of 40 Days for Life
Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас! (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)


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


February 22 – Blessed Isabella of France (d.1270), foundress of a convent dedicated to the "Humility of Our Lady"  
 
After 500 years of prayer 
 Isabella, sister of Saint Louis, King of France, had a deep love for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Alongside her mother, Blanche of Castile, she held her rank at the royal palace, but also spent much of her time in prayer and serving the poor. She succeeded in never marrying the son of the Emperor of Germany.

After the death of Blanche of Castile, Isabella decided to retire from the world and to spend the rest of her life in a small house near the convent of Longchamp that she had built in Paris in 1256, for Poor Clare nuns. A convent she dedicated to "Our Lady of Humility." She lived a life of austerity and prayer, without ever pronouncing any religious vows.

After 500 years of contemplative life in the humility of Mary, the Poor Clares of Longchamp were expelled by the French Revolution that wanted to eradicate the Catholic faith by expelling all the religious orders from the country. Their convent was destroyed stone by stone in 1792. Yet, it was precisely at Longchamp that 200 years later, Saint John Paul II, the Pope of the 'Totus tuus' to Mary, drew close to a million young people from around the world to pray with him, during the World Youth Days!  The Mary of Nazareth Team

 
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

Feb 22 Our Lady of Help (Rennes, France) According to Saint Padre Pio, Mary is the Echo of God
She is the "echo", the echo of God who faithfully follows the Master's will. Thus all graces go through the hands of the One who carried out those wishes herself, in full. Saint Pio called her: "Abyss of Grace, Incomparable Masterpiece, and Woman Clothed in Light." The Light of God flows into her and she - reflecting like a mirror - sends it back out onto humanity.

"O Mary, Mother and salvation of the infirm, support, protect and console the sick; make hospitals bloom with flowers and give this ravaged world true peace, and the Catholic Church the triumph of your Son."
Excerpt from PADRE PIO Image vivante de Jésus (Padre Pio, Living Image of Jesus), Parvis Ed. 1996, p. 116.

Whoever gives himself to work for Christ cannot expect to have a free moment,
for even to rest is not to do nothing:
 it is to relax with activities that require less effort. -- St. Jose Maria Escriva

The Chair of St. Peter at Antioch, where the disciples were first called Christians.
1st v St. Aristion Martyr disciple one of the original seventy-two sent out into the world
967 St. Raynerius Benedictine monk served at Beaulieu near Limoges France
1297 St. Margaret of Cortona penitent direct contact with Jesus frequent ecstacies


February 22 – Blessed Isabella of France (d. 1270), foundress of a convent dedicated to the Humility of Our Lady  
 
Why Mary deserves to be exalted above all creatures
 
"Humility," says Saint Bernard, "is the foundation and guardian of virtues;" and with reason, for without it no other virtue can exist in a soul. Should she possess all virtues, all will depart when humility is gone.

But, on the other hand, as Saint Francis de Sales wrote to Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, "God so loves humility, that whenever He sees it, He is immediately drawn thither." This beautiful and so necessary virtue was unknown in the world; but the Son of God Himself came on earth to teach it by His Own example, and willed that in that virtue in particular we should endeavor to imitate Him: “Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart.” (Mt 11:29)

Mary, being the first and most perfect disciple of Jesus Christ in the practice of all virtues, was the first also in that of humility, and by it merited to be exalted above all creatures.  It was revealed to Saint Matilda that the first virtue in which the Blessed Mother particularly exercised herself, from her very childhood, was that of humility.
 
From: THE GLORIES OF MARY, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
www.catholictradition.org


Mary's Divine Motherhood
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.

Antiochíæ Cáthedra sancti Petri Apóstoli, ubi primum discípuli cognomináti sunt Christiáni.
 The Chair of St. Peter at Antioch, where the disciples were first called Christians.

"I have made you a mirror for sinners. From you will the most hardened learn how willingly
I am merciful to them, in order to save them.
You are a ladder for sinners, that they may come to me through your example.
My daughter, I have set you as a light in the darkness, as a new star that I give to the world,
to bring light to the blind, to guide back again those who have lost the way,
and to raise up those who are broken down under their sins.
You are the way of the despairing, the voice of mercy."
1297 St. Margaret of Cortona
1st v St. Aristion Martyr disciple one of the original seventy-two sent out into the world
Alexandríæ sancti Abílii Epíscopi, qui, secúndus post beátum Marcum
130 St. Papias  Bishop of Hieropolis in Phrygia, Asia Minor
4th v Martyrs of Arabia Christians who died for the faith
305 Saint Maurice military commander of Syrian Apamea seventy soldiers & son
312  Paschasius of Vienne its 11th bishop was eloquent B (RM)
460 St. Baradates Hermit of Cyrrhus, Syria a counselor of Byzantine Emperor Leo I
5th v St. Thalassius & Limuneus Two hermits who lived near Cyrrhus (modern Syria)
5th v Saint Thalassius of Syria near village of Targala 38 years monastic deeds no shelter gift of wonderworking and healing the sick
556 St. Maximian of Ravenna Bishop of Ravenna erected St. Vitalis Basilica, which was dedicated in the presence of Emperor Justinian and his wife, Theodora
6th v St. Elwin Companion of St. Breaca from Ireland to Cornwall
818 St. Athanasius Abbot who suffered in the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Leo V the Armenian
895 Bl. John the Saxon Monk martyr
967 St. Raynerius Benedictine monk served at Beaulieu near Limoges France
1297 St. Margaret of Cortona penitent direct contact with Jesus frequent ecstacies

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). 

Day 13 of 40 Days for Life
Dear Readers
Happy Monday! As the work week begins, here are some nuggets of good news to show you what God is doing in response to your prayer and fasting. So far during this campaign, our local leaders report that …121 babies have been saved from abortion (that we know of)!
 
That may seem like just a number. But each number represents a living human being, each of whom is now part of a story about the impact of prayer …. and God’s inspiration.
 
Pomona, California
A woman walked up to a couple of the people praying outside the Planned Parenthood abortion center and told an amazing story. “I just want to tell you that what you’re doing is not in vain,” she said.
 
The 40 Days for Life vigil was in progress when she arrived for her abortion appointment. She’s married and has five children – the youngest is a one-year-old. Her husband was totally against the abortion … but she refused to consider calling it off. He eventually gave in … and accompanied her to Planned Parenthood. She went on to tell the volunteers that she was being prepped for the abortion … and the staff had already started an IV. It was at that moment she decided she could not go through with it!
  “When the couple was leaving, the husband was all smiles and waving,” said one of the vigil leaders. “What an uplifting story! Praise the Lord!”
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Volunteers in Philadelphia called it “a blessing in a blizzard.” Well, it wasn’t so much a blizzard as it was an unexpected snowfall in the early morning hours. But it was enough to delay a young woman on her way to the abortion center. Vigil participants, a pastor and a friend had encouraged her to reject abortion. But she got up that morning and headed to the appointment. With the snow covering the roads, however, traffic was at a standstill. “That pause gave her a chance to digest and choose to turn around and return home,” Monique, the local leader, said. “That was when she decided to keep the baby.” She said it was an example of “divine intervention in this crazy, out-of-the-blue, one-hour, completely unexpected snowstorm. And that beautiful girl and her child have been so blessed! Thank you for your prayers, my friends. Every single moment of prayer makes such a difference!”
 
Charleston, South Carolina
One of the counselors outside the abortion facility was able to catch a young woman as she and a companion were driving out. The volunteer asked them to pull across the street – first of all, they didn’t want to block the driveway. But they also wanted to avoid the abortion center’s staff member, who started yelling at them. The woman said she was advised to have an abortion because of medical issues. The counselor listened with concern, but also told her about life-affirming medical assistance that could help her and her baby through the pregnancy.
 
That eased her mind considerably, as she was both relieved and excited to receive the information.
“All glory to God!” said one of the Charleston team members. “Another precious baby’s life was saved!”

Here's today's devotional from Randolph Sly of the National Pro-life Religious Council.
Day 13 intention
For all fathers who are terrified of being fathers.
 
Scripture
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. — Psalm 68:5
 
Reflection from Randolph Sly
I had a friend many years ago who confided in me that he was terrified of being a father. He and his wife already had two children when this revelation came forth. "I never knew my father," he explained, "and I have no idea what a father is supposed to do." We continued to share about this, as well as pray together. He began to see he had a father's heart for his children. His biggest problem was not a limitation on love but not knowing how to act out this love.

One day we talked about the verse quoted at the top of this page. I shared that he did know his Father... not his biological father but his Heavenly Father, who had rescued him from a life of destruction not many years before.

"How did your Heavenly Father guide you?" I asked. He talked about the ways he had seen God's love offered to him and the way the Lord had used circumstances and the Scriptures to mold him and mature him. "Well, the Lord wants to do the same thing through you for your children. Be available to His love and available to your kids. You'll do fine."

How wonderful it is to know that God takes a personal interest in each of us, many times using His faithful people -- the Church -- as channels of this love. No one is fatherless who lives in the Lord. His fatherly care begins at the moment of our conception, as it is written, "you knit me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:12), and continues to be poured upon us throughout our lives.
 
Prayer
Heavenly Father, we thank you for caring about each of us so deeply. Help us to see and know you as our Father in heaven each and every day of our lives. Your loving hand also rests on every child today carried in its mother's womb. May they be born into this world and come to know fully and personally your endless love. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
 
Printable devotional
To download today's devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:
http://40daysforlife.com/media/day13.pdf
Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
 Antiochíæ Cáthedra sancti Petri Apóstoli, ubi primum discípuli cognomináti sunt Christiáni.
       The Chair of St. Peter at Antioch, where the disciples were first called Christians.

ST PETER’S CHAIR
WE are accustomed to use such phrases as the power of the “throne”, the heir to the “throne”, the prerogative of the “crown:, etc., substituting the concrete insignia of dignity for the office itself. The same metonomy is familiar in ecclesiastical matters. The “Holy See” is no more than the Sancta Sedes, the holy chair, for the word “see” is simply sedes, which has come to us through the Old French sied. But the Romans had another name, which they borrowed from the Greeks, for the seat occupied by a teacher or anyone who spoke with authority. This was cathedra, and its use in this sense can not only be traced back to the early Christian centuries, but it survives to this day, notably in the phrase “an ex cathedra decision”, that is to say a pronouncement in which the pope speaks as teacher of the Universal Church.

The question has been raised whether the commemoration of “St Peter’s Chair” has arisen out of the honour paid to some material object venerated as a memorial and a relic, or whether the purpose of the feast was not from the first to glorify the pontifical office conferred on St Peter and his successors at their conse­cration. Reference has previously been made, under January 28, to the ancient sedia gestatoria, known as St Peter’s chair, now enshrined in the apse of Rome’s great basilica. De Rossi contended that this was honoured in the feast kept on February 22, but he has also given prominence to a mention by St Gregory the Great of “oil from the chair upon which Saint Peter first sat in Rome”, which seems to mean oil from the lamps which burned before a stone seat cut out of the tufa in the so-called “coemiterium Ostrianum” where St Peter used to baptize. This seat the great archaeologist associated with the feast of January 18. It may be that the two feasts originated in some such tradition, but the arguments vigor­ously urged by Mgr Duchesne, Marucchi, and others against the identification of the liturgical “chair of St Peter” with any material object seem to have won the day. Of the chair, ancient though it may be, now honoured at the Vatican, there is no mention, says Duchesne, before 1217. “Peter Mallius, writing of the basilica of St Peter (1159—1181) does not allude to it, and considering how constantly he enlarges on the relics therein, his silence shows that no chair of St Peter was venerated then.” And when we look at the earliest collects, lessons, etc., provided for the liturgical celebration, these seem to indicate that the dominating note of the feast was the glorification of St Peter’s office.

It has already been stated in connection with the feast of St Peter’s Chair on January 18 that there was originally only one chair feast and that this was kept on February 22, having no reference to Antioch, but presumably to the beginning of St Peter’s episcopate in Rome. What we know for certain is that the Philocalian calendar, which gives a list of the Roman liturgical celebrations in A.D. 354, or possibly as early as 336, contains on February 22 the entry natale Petri de cathedra, i.e. “Peter’s chair feast”, for natale by this time, from its primitive meaning of birthday, had come to denote any kind of anniversary. We may thus be quite sure that in .the middle of the fourth century, within a very few years of the death of the Emperor Constantine, the Roman church honoured St Peter by a festival which was in some way associated with his consecration to the pastoral office. That this commemoration had anything consciously to do with Antioch is highly unlikely. Not until several centuries later do we find in the calendar of St Willibrord (c. A.D. 704) the entry Cathedra Petri in Antiochia, and this is probably the earliest mention of the sort preserved to us. On the other hand it appears that in the Auxerrois “Hieronymianum” of the sixth century the entry Cathedra Petri in Roma must already have been attached to January 18; but the Gallican liturgies for the most part adhere to February 22, without any mention of Antioch.

The most important element in the case is undoubtedly the fact that on or about February 22 according to pagan usage occurred the annual commemoration of dead relatives, called the Feralia or Parentalia (when food was brought to the graves). It does not seem possible to determine a precise day, for though Ovid in his Fasti speaks of the Feralia under the heading February 18, still by using the phrase parentales dies he clearly implies that the celebration continued for more than twenty-four hours, and there are other ancient authorities who in the same con­nection give prominence to February 21. As Kellner points out, during the Parentalia “no marriages were celebrated, the temples remained closed, and the magistrates laid aside the external insignia of their office. Upon the commemora­tion of the departed followed immediately, on February 22, the festival of surviving relatives, named in consequence Charistia or Cara cognatio. This celebration had no recognized place among the functions of the official worship of the state nevertheless it was a very popular feast and struck its roots deeper into the life of the people than any of the official festivals”. This affords good reason for sup­posing that the very early institution of the feast of St Peter’s Chair was simply an effort to provide a Christian substitute for the pagan rites practised at this season (cf. January 1 in reference to the New Year celebration, and Candlemas as regards the Robigalia and Lupercalia). Several clear testimonies point to the same con­clusion. For example, in the calendar of Polemius Silvius, compiled in Gaul about the year 448, we have under February 22 the entry “the Deposition of SS. Peter and Paul; the dear ties of blood’ (cara cognatio) so styled, because though there might be feuds among living relatives, they would be laid aside at the season of death”. This plainly suggests that a Peter and Paul feast had been introduced on this day as a substitute for the pagan celebration of the Charistia.  Probably the Christian festival was of much the same character liturgically whether it was called

“St Peter’s Chair at Rome” or “the Deposition of SS. Peter and Paul”; it would in either case have amounted to a celebration of the special prerogatives of the Holy See.

What is perhaps most surprising as an illustration of the vitality of superstitious abuses is the fact that as late as the middle of the twelfth century, the February feast was still called “St Peter’s banquet day”. * [*Yet is it so surprising when we reflect what can be seen even now no farther away than the Abbots Bromley horn-dance and the so-called hobby-horse at Padstow on May 1]

Beleth the liturgist, to whom we owe this information, is said to have been an Englishman, but he lived a good deal in France and it is perhaps the latter country to which he is referring. After men­tioning that both the feasts of St Peter’s Chair were separated by no great interval from Septuagesima, he tells us that the Antioch or February celebration was the more solemn of the two and that it was called festum beati Petri epularum, probably the equivalent of a homely phrase which might be rendered “St Peter’s beano For”, he goes on, “the pagans of old were accustomed every year on a certain day in the month of February to set out a good meal beside the graves of their relatives, which the demons made away with in the night-time, though it was believed not less untruly than absurdly that the souls of the dead were refreshed therewith. For men thought that these provisions were consumed by the souls that wandered about the graves. However, this custom and this false persuasion could hardly be eradicated, Christians though they were. Accordingly when certain holy men realized the difficulty and were anxious to suppress the custom altogether, they instituted the feast of St Peter’s Chair, both of the Roman chair and the chair at Antioch, assigning it to the day on which these pagan abominations took place, in order that this evil practice might be utterly abolished. Hence it is that from the spread of good food then laid out the feast acquired the name of ‘St Peter’s banquet day’”.

It is clear that these allusions to the offerings made at the graveside must all have reference to the February feast, and this only makes it harder to understand how the feast came to be duplicated. Various suggestions have been offered, of which the most plausible seems to be that of Mgr Duchesne, that as the original celebration on February 22 often occurred in Lent it could not be regularly kept. So “in countries observing the Gallican rite, where Lenten observance was con­sidered incompatible with the honouring of saints, the difficulty may have been avoided by holding the festival on an earlier date.” For the selection of January 18 we may perhaps find a reason in the fact that this day is the earliest possible date on which Septuagesima can occur. No doubt if January 17 had been chosen this would have placed the Chair feast altogether beyond the possibility of any concur­rence, but there may easily have been some little miscalculation in the matter. Although Septuagesima can fall on January 18, this happens very rarely. It has not occurred since 1818, and will not occur again until the year 2285. Further, it seems highly probable that a feast of the Blessed Virgin is entered in the “Hiero­nymianum” on January 18 for precisely the same reason, and the conjecture suggests itself that the feast now known to us as “the Conversion of St Paul” was originally a sort of octave of the Chair feast of St Peter. Polemius Silvius, it will be remembered, seemed to regard the latter as concerned with both apostles and called it Depositio SS Petri et Pauli.

A puzzling feature in the problem is the fact that though our feast was celebrated at so early a date in Rome, it seems at a later period to have disappeared from the Roman calendar altogether. It is not in the Gelasian or Gregorian Sacramentaries in their original form, nor in the primitive Roman Antiphonarium. It was never adopted in Africa or in the East, and we cannot trace it at Monte Cassino or in Naples. It may be that the pagan celebration of the Parentalia and the Charistia in Rome itself died out before the sixth century, though they lingered on in Gaul. In that case, since the feast of the Chair had effected its purpose and was now apt to interfere with the reorganized Lenten stations, it may have been suppressed at Rome in favour of this Lenten scheme. In Gaul, however, the feast was retained. In some places it was transferred to January 18, but in many calendars it kept its old position on February 22. To explain the duplication someone hit upon the idea that if the former celebration commemorated the beginning of St Peter’s Roman episcopate, the latter must be referred to Antioch, for through the Clemen­tine Recognitions the close connection of St Peter with Antioch was widely credited in the fourth and fifth centuries. Eventually both feasts were adopted pretty well everywhere in Gaul, and from thence it would seem Rome eventually readopted them both, just as Gaul gave to Rome the Rogation days and a good many other liturgical features.

See Abbot Cabrol in DAC., vol. iii, pp. 76—90 Duchesne, Origines du culte chrétien (Eng. trans.), pp. 279—280 Refiner, Heortology (1908), pp. 301—308 De Rossi in Bullettino di archeologia cristiana, 1867, p. 38. See also Belethus, Rationale div. off., in Migne, PL., vol. ccii, cc. 9 seq. pseudo-Augustine in Migne, PL., vol. xxxix, c. 2102 C. Morin in Revue bénédictins, vol. xlii, pp. 343—346 CMH., p. 109.
An ancient western custom celebrates the festival of the consecration of a bishop. As the bishop of Rome and head of the universal Church, Saint Peter's feast is celebrated by Christians in a special way. As to the fact: few archaeologists now doubt what the Church has always affirmed, that Saint Peter resumed his work at Rome after his founding of the see of Antioch (as attested by Eusebius, Origen, Jerome, and many others).
Peter served as bishop of Antioch for seven years according to Saint Gregory the Great.
Together with Saint Paul, Peter founded a Church at Rome, where he worked for 25 years and where the two were crowned with martyrdom. It was at Rome that Peter took his permanent seat of authority. It was appropriate that Rome should (Encyclopedia).The feast of Natale Petri de Cathedra was included in the calendar of Pope Liberius (c. 354), Gregory's sacramentary, and all martyrologies. We can see that it was celebrated in 6th-century France by its appearance at the Council of Tours.
According to Husenbeth, early Christians, especially in the East, recalled their baptism on its anniversary.
On their spiritual birthday, they would renew baptismal vows and render God special thanksgiving for heavenly adoption. That bishops similarly recalled the anniversary of their consecration can be seen in four sermons by Saint Leo and the liturgical celebration of that day for several saints. Today we should thank God for the establishment of His Church, through which we learn of His love and by which we are fed daily on the Bread of Heaven and the word of God. Let us also pray for unity within the Body of Christ (Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

 February 22, 2010 Chair of Peter the Apostle  
This feast commemorates Christ’s choosing Peter to sit in his place as the servant-authority of the whole Church (see June 29).

After the “lost weekend” of pain, doubt and self-torment, Peter hears the Good News. Angels at the tomb say to Magdalene, “The Lord has risen! Go, tell his disciples and Peter.” John relates that when he and Peter ran to the tomb, the younger outraced the older, then waited for him. Peter entered, saw the wrappings on the ground, the headpiece rolled up in a place by itself. John saw and believed. But he adds a reminder: “..[T]hey did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead” (John 20:9). They went home. There the slowly exploding, impossible idea became reality. Jesus appeared to them as they waited fearfully behind locked doors. “Peace be with you,” he said (John 20:21b), and they rejoiced.

The Pentecost event completed Peter’s experience of the risen Christ. [T]hey were all filled with the holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4a) and began to express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclamation as the Spirit prompted them.

Only then can Peter fulfill the task Jesus had given him: “... [O]nce you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). He at once becomes the spokesman for the Twelve about their experience of the Holy Spirit—before the civil authorities who wished to quash their preaching, before the council of Jerusalem, for the community in the problem of Ananias and Sapphira. He is the first to preach the Good News to the Gentiles. The healing power of Jesus in him is well attested: the raising of Tabitha from the dead, the cure of the crippled beggar. People carry the sick into the streets so that when Peter passed his shadow might fall on them.

Even a saint experiences difficulty in Christian living. When Peter stopped eating with Gentile converts because he did not want to wound the sensibilities of Jewish Christians, Paul says, “...I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.... [T]hey were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel...” (Galatians 2:11b, 14a).

At the end of John’s Gospel, Jesus says to Peter, “Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go” (John 21:18). What Jesus said indicated the sort of death by which Peter was to glorify God. On Vatican Hill, in Rome, during the reign of Nero, Peter did glorify his Lord with a martyr’s death, probably in the company of many Christians.
Comment: Like the committee chair, this chair refers to the occupant, not the furniture. Its first occupant stumbled a bit, denying Jesus three times and hesitating to welcome gentiles into the new Church. Some of its later occupants have also stumbled a bit, sometimes even failed scandalously. As individuals, we may sometimes think a particular pope has let us down. Still, the office endures as a sign of the long tradition we cherish and as a focus for the universal Church.
Quote: Peter described our Christian calling in the opening of his First Letter, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...” (1 Peter 1:3a).
Alexandríæ sancti Abílii Epíscopi, qui, secúndus post beátum Marcum, factus ejúsdem civitátis Epíscopus, sacerdótium virtúte conspícuus ministrávit.
       At Alexandria, St. Abilias, bishop, who was the second shepherd of that city after St. Mark, and who administered his charge with eminent piety.

1st v St. Aristion Martyr disciple one of the original seventy-two sent out into the world
Salamínæ, in Cypro, sancti Aristiónis, qui (ut mox memorándus Pápias testátur) fuit unus de septuagínta duóbus Christi discípulis.
At Salamis in Cyprus, St. Aristio, who (says Papias, the next to be mentioned) was one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ.
Aristion preached on Cyprus and is listed as a martyr in Salamis. Other traditions list his martyrdom at Alexandria, Egypt.
Aristion of Salamis M (RM) 1st century. Saint Aristion is said to have been one of the 72 followers commissioned by Jesus to preach the Good News. His field of evangelization was Salamis, Cyprus. Some say he died there; others say he was martyred at Alexandria (Benedictines).
In art, Saint Aristion is shown burning on a pyre (Roeder).
During the persecutions against Christians the relics of the holy martyrs were usually buried by believers in hidden places.
So at Constantinople, near the gates and tower in the Eugenius quarter, the bodies of several martyrs were found.
Their names remain unknown by the Church.
When miracles of healing began to occur at this spot, the relics of the saints were discovered and transferred to a church with great honor. It was revealed to a certain pious clergyman, Nicholas Kalligraphos, that among the relics discovered at Eugenius were the relics of the holy Apostle Andronicus of the Seventy and his helper Junia (May 17), whom the Apostle Paul mentions in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom 16:7)
In the twelfth century, a great domed church was built on the spot where the relics of the holy martyrs were discovered.
This work was undertaken by the emperor Andronicus (1183-1185), whose patron saint was the holy Apostle Andronicus.
130 St. Papias  Bishop of Hieropolis in Phrygia, Asia Minor
Hierápoli, in Phrygia, beáti Pápiæ, ejúsdem civitátis Epíscopi, qui sancti Joánnis Senióris audítor, Polycárpi autem sodális fuit.

     At Hierapolis in Phrygia, blessed Papias, bishop of that city, who was a companion of Polycarp and a disciple of St. John.
Little is known about him beyond the fragments of his own writings and the statements of St. Irenaeus that he was a companion of St. Polycarp and “a man of long ago.”
His own work, Expositions on the Oracles of the Lord, is preserved only through quotations found in Irenaeus and Eusebius of Caesarea.
Papias of Hierapolis B (RM) Died c. 120. Bishop Papias of Hierapolis, who had spoken with those who had known the Apostles, including Saint Polycarp, recorded the information he gleaned from them, but only a few fragments have been preserved (Benedictines, Gill).
305 Saint Maurice military commander of Syrian Apamea seventy soldiers & son
Suffered in the year 305 under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311) together with his son Photinus and seventy soldiers under his command (only two of the soldiers' names are known, Theodore and Philip).
During a persecution, pagan priests reported to the emperor that St Maurice was spreading the faith in Christ. Brought to trial, St Maurice, his son and his soldiers firmly confessed their faith and they yielded neither to entreaties nor to threats. They were then beaten without mercy, burned with fire and raked with iron hooks. Young Photinus, having endured the tortures, was beheaded by the sword before the very eyes of his father. But this cruel torment did not break St Maurice, who was happy that his son had been vouchsafed the martyr's crown.

They then devised even more subtle tortures for the martyrs: they led them to a swampy place full of mosquitoes, wasps and gnats, and they tied them to trees, having smeared their bodies with honey. The insects fiercely stung and bit the martyrs, who were weakened by hunger and thirst.

The saints endured these torments for ten days, but they did not cease praying and glorifying God until finally the Lord put an end to their sufferings. The wicked torturer gave orders to behead them and leave their bodies exposed without burial, but Christians secretly buried the venerable relics of the holy martyrs by night at the place of their horrible execution.

4th v Martyrs of Arabia Christians who died for the faith in the lands east of the Jordan River and in the mountains south of the Dead Sea.
In Arábia commemorátio plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum, qui, sub Galério Maximiáno Imperatóre, sævíssime cæsi sunt.
In Arabia, the commemoration of many holy martyrs who were barbarously put to death under Emperor Galerius Maximian.
Most were martyred in the reign of Emperor Galerius {303-311} and were commemorated in the Roman Martyrology
The "Great Persecution" and Galerius' role in it is discussed by Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 17ff, Wm Ensslin, RE 7, col.2484.47ff,
and B.J. Kidd, A History of the Church to A.D. 461,(Oxford, 1922), 1.515ff

312  Paschasius of Vienne its 11th bishop was eloquent B (RM)
 Viénnæ, in Gállia, sancti Paschásii Epíscopi, eruditióne et morum sanctitáte præclári.
       At Vienne in France, St. Paschasius, bishop, celebrated for his learning and holy life.
At the siege of Vienne (Dauphine), its 11th bishop, Paschasius, was eloquent (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
460 St. Baradates Hermit of Cyrrhus, Syria a counselor of Byzantine Emperor Leo I
Baradates lived a solitary existence of penance and austerity. He was consulted by Emperor Leo I concerning the Council of Chalcedon.
Saint Baradates the Syrian began to live as a desert-dweller in a hut near Antioch. He then built a stone cell upon a hill, so cramped and low that the ascetic could stand in it only in a stooped position.
It had neither window nor door, and the wind, rain and cold came in through the cracks, and in summer he was not protected from the heat.
After many years Patriarch Theodoretos of Alexandria urged the monk to leave the cramped hut. Then the saint withdrew into a new seclusion: covered in leather from head to foot with a small opening for his nose and mouth, he prayed standing with hands upraised to heaven. The grace of God strengthened him in his works and purified his heart from passions. People began to flock to him for spiritual counsel, and St Baradates with deep humility guided them.
Having acquired many spiritual gifts, St Baradates departed to the Lord in peace in 460.
460 ST BARADATES
ST BARADATES was another anchoret who lived in the diocese of Cyrrhus in Syria and of whom Bishop Theodoret makes mention in his Philotheus. He had such a great reputation that the Emperor Leo wrote specially to him as well as to St Simeon Stylites and St James of Syria when he wished to ascertain the verdict of the Eastern church upon the Council of Chalcedon. Theodoret, who calls him “the admirable Baradates”, says that he was always devising fresh methods of self-discipline. He lived exposed to all weathers in a tiny hut made of trellis work, so small that he could not stand upright in it. Here he remained for a long time, but when the patriarch of Antioch desired him to leave it, he gave proof of his humility by immediate obedience. He was clothed in a leather garment which covered him so completely that only his mouth and nose could be seen. It was his practice to spend long hours in prayer with his hands upraised, and, though he was of a weakly constitution, the fervour of his spirit triumphed over the infirmity of the body. He was also a man of learning, well versed in theology. His answer to the Emperor’s letter is still extant.

Theodoret in his Philotheus is again our most reliable authority. See also the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii.
5th v Saint Thalassius of Syria near village of Targala 38 years monastic deeds; no shelter; gift of wonderworking and healing the sick
Lived during the fifth century. At a young age he withdrew to a hill near the village of Targala and passed 38 years there in monastic deeds, having neither a roof over his head, nor any cell nor shelter.

For his simple disposition, gentleness and humility he was granted by the Lord the gift of wonderworking and healing the sick. Many wanted to live under his guidance, and the saint did not refuse those coming to him. He himself built cells for them. He died peacefully, granted rest from his labors.

450 SS. THALASSIUS an ascetic of wonderful simplicity and meekness, who outshone all his contemporaries in holiness AND LIMNAEUS was widely famed for his healing powers

WE read of the holy hermits Thalassius and Limnaeus in the Philotheus of Theo­doret, Bishop of Cyrrhus, who wrote of them from personal knowledge. He describes Thalassius as an ascetic of wonderful simplicity and meekness, who outshone all his contemporaries in holiness. “I often visited the man”, he says, “and had sweet converse with him.” Thalassius had taken up his abode in a cave on a hillside south of the town of Tillima in Syria, and Limnaeus, who was much younger than he, came to live with him as his disciple. To control too free a tongue, Limnaeus kept complete silence for a long period, and, by similar practices, obtained complete mastery over himself. Later on Limnaeus left Thalassius to attach himself to another solitary—the famous St Maro—under whom he completed his training. He then went to live alone on a neighbouring mountain peak, where he built himself a rough stone enclosure without mortar and without a root It had a little window through which he could communicate with the outside world, and a door which was usually cemented up and only opened to admit Theodoret, his bishop. The anchoret was widely famed for his healing powers: sick people and those afflicted with evil spirits used to come to his window and he healed them in the name of Jesus by making over them the sign of the cross. Once he trod on a snake and it bit the sole of his foot, and when he tried to remove it, it bit his hands also he suffered great pain, but was healed by prayer. He had a special affection for blind people, and used to gather them together and teach them to sing hymns. He also built two houses for them near his cell and did all he could to help them. Theodoret says that Limnaeus had lived thirty-eight years in this way in the open air at the time he was writing his history.

The Philotheus of Theodoret is our main authority, but these saints also have a detailed notice in the Greek synaxaries.
5th v St. Thalassius & Limuneus Two hermits who lived near Cyrrhus (modern Syria) miracle workers
Two hermits who lived for many years in a cave near Cyrrhus (modern Syria). Limnaeus also spent time with St. Maro. He built two houses for the blind and was a noted healer.
Knowledge of them comes from the historian and bishop of Cyrrhus,Theodoret (d.c. 466).

5th v Thalassius and Limnaeus, Hermits (AC). Bishop Theodoret of Cyr (Syria) also records information about his contemporaries Thalassius and Limnaeus in his Philotheus (c. 22).
Saint Thalassius lived in obscurity in a cave near Cyr and was endowed with extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit.
His disciple Saint Limnaeus was famous for miraculous cures of the sick, while he himself bore patiently the sharpest colics and other distempers without any human succor.
He opened his enclosure only to Theodoret, his bishop, but spoke to others through a window (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Saint Limnaeus began his efforts under the guidance of St Thalassius and dwelt with him for a sufficient time to acquire the virtues of his teacher: simplicity of manner, gentleness and humility. Then St Limnaeus joined St Maron (February 14).   On a hill he built a small stone enclosure without a roof, and through a small aperture, he conversed with those who came to see him. His heart was full of compassion for people. Wanting to help all the destitute, he built a wanderers' home on the hillside with the help of his admirers, a dwelling for the poor and the crippled, and he fed them with what pious people brought him.
The holy ascetic even sacrificed his own quiet and solitude for these poor brethren, and took upon himself the responsibility for for their spiritual nourishment, inducing them to pray and glorify the Lord.
For his holy life he was granted the gift of wonderworking. He once cured himself of a snakebite through prayer.
556 St. Maximian of Ravenna Humble Bishop erected St. Vitalis Basilica dedicated in presence of Emperor Justinian wife Theodora
 Ravénnæ sancti Maximiáni, Epíscopi et Confessóris.       At Ravenna, St. Maximian, bishop and confessor.
Ordained by Pope Vigilius in 546. Maximian erected St. Vitalis Basilica, which was dedicated in the presence of Emperor Justinian and his wife, Theodora.
Maximianus of Ravenna B (RM) Born in Pola, Italy, 499; died February 22, 556; feast day formerly February 21. Maximianus was consecrated bishop of Ravenna in 546 by Pope Vigilius. His flock refused his leadership for a long time because he was too humble. He completed the basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, the dedication of which was attended by Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora. He also built San Apollinare in Classe and several other churches.
Maximianus devoted himself to the revision of liturgical books and to the emendation of the Latin text of the Bible, and commissioned a large number of illuminated manuscripts.

For the high altar in Ravenna he had a hanging made of the most costly cloth, which was embroidered with a portrayal of the entire life of Jesus. In another hanging he had portraits of all his predecessors embroidered on gold ground (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Schamoni).
In a 6th century mosaic at Ravenna, Saint Maximianus is in attendance upon Emperor Justinian. The saint holds a cross and wears a chasuble and stole. His name is over his head (Roeder).
6th v St. Elwin Companion of St. Breaca from Ireland to Cornwall.
England, also called Elvis or Allen.
818 St. Athanasius abbot of Paulopetian Monastery near Nicomedia suffered in reign of Byzantine Emperor Leo V the Armenian
Athanasius was abbot of Paulopetian Monastery near Nicomedia. The iconoclast controversy put him at odds with the Byzantine Emperor, who apparently persecuted him.
821 Saint Athanasius the Confessor torture for venerating icons

Born in Constantinople of rich and pious parents. From his childhood he dreamed of devoting himself entirely to God, and having reached maturity, he settled in one of the Nicomedia monasteries, called the Pavlopetrios (i.e., in the names of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul), and became a monk there.  The loftiness of his ascetic life became known at the imperial court. During the reign of the iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820), St Athanasius was subjected to torture for venerating icons, and then underwent exile, grief and suffering.
Confessing the Orthodox Faith until the very end of his life, St Athanasius died peacefully in the year 821.
895 Bl. John the Saxon Monk martyr assist in restoration of Christian faith after destructive invasions by Danes
A monk in a monastery in France, he was invited to go to England by King Alfred the Great and to assist in the restoration of the Christian faith in the wake of the severe and destructive invasions by the Danes. Appointed abbot of Athelingay by Alfred, John served with vigor and distinction until his murder one night by two French monks under his care.

Blessed John the Saxon, OSB Monk (AC) Born in Old Saxony. The French monk John was invited to England by King Alfred to restore monastic learning and discipline after the devastation of the Danish invaders. He was appointed abbot of Athelingay. John worked zealously to attain the goals of the king. He is considered a martyr because two French monks of his own community murdered him one night (Benedictines).

967 St. Raynerius Benedictine monk served at Beaulieu near Limoges France.
1297 St. Margaret of Cortona Penitent direct contact with Jesus frequent ecstacies (began 1277)
 Cortónæ, in Túscia, sanctæ Margarítæ, ex tértio Ordine sancti Francísci; quæ admirábili pæniténtia et ubérrimis lácrimis máculas anteáctæ vitæ indesinénter abstérsit.  Ipsíus corpus, mirabíliter incorrúptum, suávem spirans odórem et crebris miráculis clarum, ibídem magno cum honóre cólitur.
      At Cortona in Tuscany, St. Margaret of the Third Order of St. Francis.  By means of commendable penance and fruitful tears, she wiped away the stains of her previous life. 
Her body miraculously remained incorrupt for more than four centuries, giving forth a sweet odour, and producing frequent miracles.  It is honoured in that place with great devotion.
1297 ST MARGARET OF CORTONA
IN the antiphon to the “Benedictus” in the office of St Margaret of Cortona she is described as “the Magdalen of the Seraphic Order”, and, in one of our Lord’s colloquies with the saint, He is recorded to have said, “Thou art the third light granted to the order of my beloved Francis: He was the first, among the Friars Minor: Clare was the second, among the nuns: thou shalt be the third, in the Order of Penance.”

She was the daughter of a small farmer of Laviano in Tuscany. She had the misfortune to lose a good mother when she was only seven years old, and the stepmother whom her father brought home two years later was a hard and masterful woman who had little sympathy with the high-spirited, pleasure-loving child. Attractive in appearance and thirsting for the affection which was denied her in her home, it is not wonderful that Margaret fell an easy prey to a young cavalier from Montepulciano, who induced her to elope with him one night to his castle among the hills. Besides holding out a prospect of love and luxury he appears to have promised to marry her, but he never did so, and for nine years she lived openly as his mistress and caused much scandal, especially when she rode through the streets of Montepulciano on a superb horse and splendidly attired. Neverthe­less she does not seem to have been in any sense the abandoned woman she after­wards considered herself to have been. She was faithful to her lover, whom she often entreated to marry her and to whom she bore one son, and, in spite of her apparent levity, there were times when she realized bitterly the sinfulness of her life. One day the young man went out to visit one of his estates and failed to return. All one night and the next day Margaret watched with growing anxiety, until at length she saw the dog that had accompanied him running back alone. He plucked at her dress and she followed him through a wood to the foot of an oak tree, where he began to scratch, and soon she perceived with horror the mangled body of her lover, who had been assassinated and then thrown into a pit and covered with leaves.

A sudden revulsion came as she recognized in this the judgement of God. As soon as she possibly could she left Montepulciano, after having given up to the relations of the dead man all that was at her disposal (except a few ornaments which she sold for the benefit of the poor); and, clad in a robe of penitence and holding her little son by the hand, she returned to her father’s house to ask forgiveness and admittance. Urged by her stepmother, her father refused to receive her, and Margaret was almost reduced to despair, when she was suddenly inspired to go to Cortona to seek the aid of the Friars Minor, of whose gentleness with sinners she seems to have heard. When she reached the town she did not know where to go and her evident misery attracted the attention of two ladies, Marinana and Raneria by name, who spoke to her and asked if they could help her. She told them her story and why she had come to Cortona, and they at once took her and her boy to their own home. Afterwards they introduced her to the Franciscans, who soon became her fathers in Christ. For three years Margaret had a hard struggle against temptation, for the flesh was not yet subdued to the spirit, and she found her chief earthly support in the counsel of two friars, John da Castiglione and Giunta Bevegnati, who was her ordinary confessor and who afterwards wrote her “legend”. They guided her carefully through periods of alternate exaltation and despair, checking and encouraging her as the occasion required. In the early days of her conversion, she went one Sunday to Laviano, her birthplace, during Mass, and with a cord round her neck asked pardon for her past scandals. She had intended also to have herself led like a criminal through the streets of Montepulciano with a rope round her neck, but Fra Giunta forbade it as unseemly in a young woman and conducive to spiritual pride, though he subsequently allowed her to go to the church there one Sunday and ask pardon of the congregation. He also restrained her when she sought to mutilate her face, and from time to time he tried to moderate her excessive austerities. “Father,” she replied, on one of these occasions, “do not ask me to come to terms with this body of mine, for I cannot afford it. Between me and my body there must needs be a struggle till death.”

Margaret started to earn her living by nursing the ladies of the city, but she gave this up in order to devote herself to prayer and to looking after the sick poor. She left the home of the ladies who had befriended her, and took up her quarters in a small cottage in a more secluded part, where she began to subsist upon alms. Any unbroken food that was bestowed upon her she gave to the poor, and only what was left of the broken food did she use for herself and her child. Her lack of tenderness to her boy seems singular in one who showed such tenderness to other people, but it may well be that it was part of her self-mortification. At the end of three years her earlier struggles were over, and she reached a higher plane of spirituality when she began to realize by experience the love of Christ for her soul. She had long desired to become a member of the third order of St Francis, and the friars, who had waited until they were satisfied of her sincerity, at length consented to give her the habit. Soon afterwards her son was sent to school at Arezzo, where he remained until he entered the Franciscan Order. From the time she became a tertiary, St Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was drawn into very direct communion with her Saviour. Her intercourse with God became marked with frequent ecstasies and Christ became the dominating theme of her life. Fra Giunta has recorded a few of her colloquies with our Lord and has described some of her visions, though he acknowledges that even to him she spoke of them with reluctance and only when divinely ordered to do so or through fear of becoming the victim of delusion.

The communications she received did not all relate to herself. In one case she was told to send a message to Bishop William of Arezzo, warning him to amend his ways and to desist from fighting with the people of his diocese and Cortona in particular. Though he was a turbulent and worldly prelate he appears to have been impressed, for he made peace with Cortona soon afterwards and this was generally attributed to Margaret’s mediation. In 1289 she strove to avert war when Bishop William was again at strife with the Guelfs. Margaret went to him in person but this time he would not listen, and ten days later he was slain in battle. The bishop had, however, done one good turn to Margaret and to Cortona, for in 1286 he had granted a charter which enabled her to start putting her work for the sick poor on a permanent basis. At first she seems to have nursed them by herself in her own cottage, but after a time she was joined by several women, one of whom, Diabella, gave her a house for the purpose. She enlisted the sympathy of Uguccio Casali, the leading citizen of Cortona, and he induced the city council to assist her in starting a hospital called the Spedale di Santa Maria della Misericordia, the nursing sisters of which were Franciscan tertiaries whom Margaret formed into a congregation with special statutes; they were called the Poverelle. She also founded the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy, pledged to support the hospital and to search out and assist the poor.

As Margaret advanced in life, so did she advance in the way of expiation. Her nights she spent, almost without sleep, in prayer and contemplation, and when she did lie down to rest, her bed was the bare ground. For food she took only a little bread and raw vegetables, with water to drink; she wore rough hair-cloth next her skin and disciplined her body to blood for her own sins and those of mankind. In spite of the wonderful graces which she received Margaret had to endure fierce trials throughout her life. One of them came upon her unexpectedly some eight years before her death. From the first there had been certain people in Cortona who doubted her sincerity, and they continued to do so even after she had so evi­dently proved the reality of her conversion. At last they began to cast aspersions on her relations with the friars, especially with Fra Giunta, and managed to stir up such suspicions that the veneration in which she was held was temporarily turned to contempt and she was spurned as a madwoman and hypocrite. Even the friars were moved by the general indignation restrictions were laid on Fra Giunta’s seeing her, and in 1289 he was transferred to Siena, only returning shortly before her death. This trial was intensified by the withdrawal of the sense of sweetness in prayer. There had been further misunderstandings with the friars when she had retired the previous year by divine command to a more retired cottage at some distance from the friars’ church. According to Fra Giunta, they realized that her health was broken and feared lest they might lose the custody of her body after her death. All these trials she bore quietly and meekly and gave herself more and more to prayer. Thus she was led on ever higher.

Towards the latter part of her life, our Lord said to St Margaret, “Show now that thou art converted; call others to repentance. . . . The graces I have be­stowed on thee are not meant for thee alone.” Obedient to the call, she set about attacking vice and converting sinners with the greatest eagerness and with wonderful success. The lapsed returned to the sacraments, wrongdoers were brought to repentance and private feuds and quarrels ceased. Fra Giunta says that the fame of these conversions soon spread, and hardened sinners flocked to Cortona to listen to the saint’s exhortations, not only from all parts of Italy, but even from France and Spain. Great miracles of healing too were wrought at her intercession, and the people of Cortona, who had long forgotten their temporary suspicions, turned to her in all their troubles and difficulties. At length it became evident that her strength was failing, and she was divinely warned of the day and hour of her death. She received the last rites from Fra Giunta and passed away at the age of fifty, after having spent twenty-nine years in penance. On the day of her death she was publicly acclaimed as a saint, and the citizens of Cortona in the same year began to build a church in her honour. Though she was not formally canonized until 1728, her festival had been by permission celebrated for two centuries in the diocese of Cortona and by the Franciscan Order. Of the original church built by Nicholas and John Pisano nothing remains but a window; the present tasteless building, however, contains St Margaret’s body under the high altar and a statue of the saint and her dog by John Pisano.

The main historical source for the life of St Margaret is the “legend” of Giunta Beveg­nati; it seems probable that in MS. 61 of the convent of St Margaret at Cortona we have a copy of this corrected by the hand of the author himself. The text is in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii; but it has been re-edited in more modern times by Ludovic da Pelago (1793) and E. Cirvelli (1897). See also Father Cuthbert, A Tuscan Penitent (1907); Leopold de Chérancé, Marguerite de Cortone (1927); M. Nuti, Margherita da Cortona: la sua leggenda e Ia storia (1923); F. Mauriac, Margaret of Cortona (1948); and another life in French by R. M. Pierazzi (1947).

    Margaret of Cortona, penitent, was born in Loviana in Tuscany in 1247. Her father was a small farmer. Margaret's mother died when she was seven years old. Her stepmother had little care for her high-spirited daughter. Rejected at home, Margaret eloped with a youth from Montepulciano and bore him a son out of wedlock. After nine years, her lover was murdered without warning. Margaret left Montpulciano and returned as a penitent to her father's house. When her father refused to accept her and her son, she went to the Friars Minor at Cortona where she received asylum. Yet Maragaret had difficulty overcoming temptations of the flesh. One Sunday she returned to Loviana with a cord around her neck. At Mass, she asked pardon for her past scandal. She attempted to mutilate her face, but was restrained by Friar Giunta.
Margaret earned a living by nursing sick ladies. Later she gave this up to serve the sick poor without recompense, subsisting only on alms. Evenually, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, and her son also joined the Franciscans a few years later. Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was said to be in direct contact with Jesus, as exemplified by frequent ecstacies. Friar Giunta recorded some of the messages she received from God. Not all related to herself, and she courageously presented messages to others.
In 1286, Margaret was granted a charter allowing her to work for the sick poor on a permanent basis. Others joined with personal help, and some with financial assistance. Margaret formed her group into tertiaries, and later they were given special status as a congregation which was called The Poverelle ("Poor Ones"). She also founded a hospital at Cortona and the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy. Some in Cortona turned on Margaret, even accusing her of illicit relations with Friar Giunta. All the while, Margaret continued to preach against vice and many, through her, returned to the sacraments. She also showed extraordinary love for the mysteries of the Eucharist and the Passion of Jesus Christ.
Divinely warned of the day and hour of her death, she died on February 22, 1297, having spent twenty-nine years performing acts of penance. She was canonized in 1728.

Margaret of Cortona, OFM Tert. (RM) Born in Laviano (Alviano?), Tuscany, Italy, 1247; died in Cortona, Italy, February 22, 1297; canonized by Benedict XIII in 1728.

Margaret of Cortona was raised in a poor farm family by her cold stepmother after her own mother died when she was seven. The harshness of her stepmother, combined with beautiful Margaret's indulged propensity to seek pleasure, led her into seduction by nobleman of Montepulciano when she was 18. She followed him to his castle and became his mistress for nine years, always hoping that he would make good his promise to marry her.
She would ride arrogantly out of his castle, dressed in fine silks and despising the poor. She longed to marry the young man, but he refused, even when she bore him a son. One day he failed to return to the castle. Two days later his dog returned alone. He plucked at her dress until Margaret followed him through a wood to the foot of an oak tree, where he began to scratch.
To her horror, she found the disfigured, decaying body of her lover in the leaf- covered pit where his murderers had thrown him.

The sight of this rotting carcass, who had been her gallant, struck her with such terror of the divine judgment and the treachery of this world that she became a perfect penitent. When he died, she was evicted from his castle, and gave back all his gifts.
In despair she publicly confessed her sins, dressed herself as a penitent, and then tried to atone for her sins by infinite goodness to the poor and prayer.

Unsure of her next step, she returned to her father's home with her son. She threw herself at his feet bathing them in tears to beg his pardon for her contempt of his authority and fatherly admonitions. She spent days and nights in tears. She also attempted to repair the scandal she had caused by going to the parish church with a rope around her neck and asking public pardon.
Her father wished to take her back, but her stepmother refused to have such a public sinner under the same roof.

Driven away in shame, she was tempted to give up her good resolves, but she prayed, and an inner voice bade her go at once to Cortona and to confide the care of her soul to the Franciscans. On the way she met two ladies, Marinana and Raneria Moscari, who listened to her story. Moved with pity, they took the mother and her son into their home and care. Later they introduced her to the Franciscans, who soon became her fathers in Christ and they arranged for her son's education at Arezzo (he later became a Franciscan). For three years Margaret struggled diligently against temptation.
She was supported in her task by the counsel of two friars, John da Castiglione and Giunta Bevegnati, who was her confessor and later her biographer.

Now, under the severest mortifications, Margaret began her mystical ascent. The wise Franciscans tried to make the distraught woman modify her extreme grief and penances that disfigured her body.
Eventually Margaret's peace of mind returned. She began to experience the love of Jesus and to believe that her sins had been forgiven.

Margaret earned her living by nursing the ladies of Cortona, but later gave this up in order to devote herself more fully to prayer and to the corporal work of mercy of caring for the sick poor in her own small cottage. She lived in seclusion on the alms of others. Any unbroken food that she received, she gave to the poor. For herself and her son, Margaret kept only the scraps.

She wanted to become a tertiary of the Friars Minor, but they made her wait for three years before giving her the Franciscan habit.

From the time she became a tertiary, Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was drawn into very direct communion with her God.
Thus, her ecstatic life began in 1277. Christ set her up as an example to sinners and her influence was amazing--many flocked to her for counsel.

She received from Christ these words: "I have made you a mirror for sinners. From you will the most hardened learn how willingly I am merciful to them, in order to save them. You are a ladder for sinners, that they may come to me through your example. My daughter, I have set you as a light in the darkness, as a new star that I give to the world, to bring light to the blind, to guide back again those who have lost the way, and to raise up those who are broken down under their sins. You are the way of the despairing, the voice of mercy."

From near and far came sin-plagued folk to hear from Margaret a word of comfort and counsel. Margaret sent them to the Franciscans and particularly to her confessor, who was later her biographer. When he complained that there were so many of these people, Margaret heard the words: "Your confessor has forbidden you to send him so many men and women who have been converted through your words and tears. He said to you that he could not clean so many stables in one day. Say to him that when he hears confession he does not clean stables, he prepares for me a dwelling in the souls of the penitent."

Not only did the living come to her, so did the dead. The illustrious penitent Margaret distinguished herself by her charity to the suffering souls in Purgatory. They appeared to her in great numbers to ask her assistance. One day she saw before her two travellers, who begged her help to repair injustices they had committed: "We are two merchants, who have been assassinated on the road by brigands. We could not go to confession or receive absolution; but by the mercy of our Divine Savior and His Holy Mother, we had the time to make an act of perfect contrition, and we have been saved. But our torments in Purgatory are terrible, because in the exercise of our profession we have committed many acts of injustice. Until these acts are repaired we can have no repose nor alleviation. This is why we beseech you, servant of God, to go and find such and such of our relatives and heirs, to warn them to make restitution as soon as possible of all the money which we have unjustly acquired." They gave the holy penitent the necessary information and disappeared.

The communications Margaret received did not all relate to herself. In one case she was told to send a message to Bishop William of Arezzo, warning him to amend his ways and to stop fighting with the people of his diocese and living like a worldly prince and soldier rather than a shepherd of souls. Often Margaret was able to mediate in factional disputes and make peace. In 1289, she strove to avert war when Bishop William was again at strife with the Guelfs. Margaret went to him in person but he would not listen. Ten days later he was killed in battle.

She established an association of women to act as nurses and men to finance hospitals for the poor. In 1286, Bishop William of Arezzo gave permission for a whole community of women (whom she called the 'Poverelle') to develop her initiative on a permanent basis. At first Margaret nursed the poor in her own home. Then a lady named Diabella proved a house. The town councilors, at the urging of Uguccio Casali, gave money with which Margaret founded a hospital, Spedale di Santa Maria della Misericordia, for the poor dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy.

About 1289, false and vicious rumors were spread about her relations to the friars. Father Giunta was transferred to Siena, but it was later proven that the rumors were the evil work of gossips, and the holiness of her life became apparent to all. Not only did people come to her for counsel, but also for healing.

The more advanced Margaret became spiritually, the greater were her self-imposed penances. By the end of her life she slept very little and only on the bare ground; ate only bread and raw vegetables with water to drink; wore a rough hair-shirt next to her skin, and used the scourge freely on herself.

It is recorded that at the time of her death at age 50, Margaret saw the many souls that she assisted out of Purgatory form a procession to escort her to Heaven. God revealed this favor granted the Saint Margaret through a holy person of Castello. This servant of God, rapt in ecstasy at the moment of Margaret's death, saw her soul in the midst of this brilliant cortège, and on recovering from her rapture, related the vision to her friends.

On the day of her death, after 29 years of doing penance, she was publicly proclaimed a saint. That same year the citizens of Cortona began to build a church in her honor. All that is left of this original church built by Nicholas and John Pisano is a window.

When the holy penitent died, her corpse was embalmed and solemnly entombed. But people wished to see and venerate the body more closely. Therefore, in 1456, it was taken out of its old shrine, freed of all dust that could have seeped in, newly dressed, and placed so that it was possible to take it out easily and expose it for veneration. Her body is still preserved under the high altar of a new church of which she is the titular patron. The edifice also contains a statue of her and her dog by John Pisano (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Cuthbert, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Martindale--Queen's Daughters, Mauriac, Schamoni, Schouppe, Walsh, White).

In art, Saint Margaret has a dog pulling at her dress and a skull or corpse at her feet. Sometimes she may be shown (1) in a checkered habit, black cloak, and white veil; (2) with a cross and scourge; (3) in an ecstasy with Christ appearing to her (Roeder); or in ecstasy with angels supporting her (White).
She is the patroness of penitent women (Roeder).


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


Day 6 40 Days for Life


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

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

 
Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patron_Saints.html  Widowed_Saints htmIndulgences The Catholic Church in China
LINKS: Marian Shrines  
India Marian Shrine Lourdes of the East   Lourdes 1858  China Marian shrines 1995
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Pius IX 1846--1878 • Leo XIII 1878-1903 • Pius X 1903-1914• Benedict XV 1914-1922 • Pius XI 1922-1939 • Pius XII 1939-1958 • John XXIII 1958-1963 • Paul VI 1963 to 1978 • John Paul • John Paul II 10/16/1975-4/2/2005
 Benedict XVI (2005 - 2013) Francis (2013

Popes mentioned in articles of todays Saints
Ordained by Pope Vigilius in 546.  556 St. Maximian of Ravenna Bishop of Ravenna erected St. Vitalis Basilica, which was dedicated in the presence of Emperor Justinian and his wife, Theodora Maximianus of Ravenna B (RM) Born in Pola, Italy, 499; died February 22, 556; feast day formerly February 21. Maximianus was consecrated bishop of Ravenna in 546 by Pope Vigilius.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
Pope Julius II died on this day in 1513.  During his reign as pope he laid the cornerstone for St. Peter's Basilica.  
He also commissioned Michelangelo Buonarotti to paint the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chaper.


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: