Mary Mother of GOD
Fatima and the Last Times Remedies
     Thursday  Saints of this Day February  23 Séptimo Kaléndas Mártii.  


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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!)

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here

Institutes of Consecrated Life Rediscover the Missionary Dimension
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

Pope Benedict XVI to The Catholic Church In China {whole article here }
The saints “a cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.
Vigília sancti Matthíæ Apóstoli. The Vigil of St. Matthias the Apostle.

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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.

       Prayer to Mary for Our Families - Our Lady of the Rocks (Spain, 434)
O Mary, our holy Virgin, intercede for us,  We pray for our families. May they be made up of people rich in faith, eager to serve others, who acknowledge the worth of all those dedicated to education.



156 Saint Polycarp a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist
Polycarp was, as was his friend St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the most important intermediary links between the apostolic and the patristic eras in the Church, especially in Christian Asia Minor.
430 St. Alexander Akimetes Hermit founder of religious houses Sleepless Ones (akoimetoi)
1072 St. Peter Damian stern figure recall men in lax age from error of ways  declared doctor of the Church in 1828.
1473 St. John Cantius patron saint of Poland and Lithuania "Fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love.  Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause."
1771 St. Marguerite d'Youville allowed no obstacle of her helping others canonized December 9, 1990.

We ask you to beg the Father to spread the Holy Spirit among our young people, so that they may be attracted to the contemplation of Jesus and walk with him, and experience the joy of a freedom that is an offering of obedience and zeal for the faith of our brethren.
We pray to you to turn toward your Son so he spreads the Holy Spirit in all of us, so that we can be stronger and more intelligent in the struggle against the temptations of our time.
May we persevere along the path of goodness, to fulfil the completion of our mission and achieve the eternal and perfect joy God is preparing for his beloved children.

Poor human reason, when it trusts in itself, substitutes the strangest absurdities for the highest divine concepts.
-- St. John Chrysostom



Polycarp was, as was his friend St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the most important intermediary links
between the apostolic and the patristic eras in the Church, especially in Christian Asia Minor.
"To change your mind from good to bad is the height of absurdity.
True goodness changes from evil to righteousness."

"I thank God that I am being allowed my share in the sufferings of his martyrs.
He who gives me strength to endure fire will enable me to stand unmoved to the end."

"God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, increase us in faith and truth and gentleness, and grant us part and lot among His saints."--Prayer of Saint Polycarp
(d. ca. 155), bishop and martyr.

"Fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love.  Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause."   1473 St. John Cantius patron saint of Poland and Lithuania

Jesus, Saint John and His Mother February 23 - Our Lady of the Rocks (near Salamanca, Spain) -
"Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, 'Woman, this is your son.' Then to the disciple he said, 'This is your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed and,
so that the Scriptures should be completely fulfilled, he said: I am thirsty.
A jar full of sour wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a hyssop stick,
they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the wine he said,
'It is fulfilled'; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit" (John 19: 25-30).

Saint Polycarp was a disciple of John the Apostle and Evangelist. It is possible that he also knew the Blessed Virgin as she lived with Saint John. Polycarp became bishop of Smyrna (in present-day Turkey) ca. 107 and one of the most important Christian leaders in all of Roman Asia. He also had a great influence
over Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (d. ca. 200), through whom the faith was transmitted to much of Western Europe.
See: Robert Bennett, Four Witnesses: The Early Church in Her Own Words, Ignatius Press, 2002.
February 23 - Apparition of Mary the Immaculate Mother of Victory to Caecilia Geyer
(Wangen-Wigratzbad, Germany, 1938), a devotion approved by the Church  
 
"Build a chapel for me here and I will trample the head of the infernal serpent"
 
At Wigratzbad in Swabia (southern Germany), on February 22, 1938, around 6:30 am, the Virgin appeared to Caecilia Geyer and said:
"Build a chapel for me here and I will trample the head of the infernal serpent. People will come here in droves, and I will pour torrents of graces upon them … Go now, before the Blessed Sacrament to worship my Divine Son."
"Where should I go? At this time, the Blessed Sacrament is nowhere exposed," I answered… Then, before my astonished eyes a chapel appeared at the place that had been designated. Inside, on the altar, Jesus was enthroned in a magnificent monstrance which projected marvelous rays of dazzling light from all sides."

Wigratzbad had already received a visit from the Virgin Mary in 1936, when she appeared to a sick woman, Antonie Radler, who was miraculously cured in the octave of the Immaculate Conception, on December 15, 1936.
Since then, Our Lady has been venerated under the title of The Immaculate Conception, Mother of Victory.
 nouvl.evangelisation.free.fr
 
A version of Polycarp's prayer of martyrdom:
"Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creation and of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you, for having made me worthy of this day and hour, I bless you, because I may have a part, along with the martyrs, in the chalice of your Christ, to resurrection in eternal life, resurrection both of soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit.

For this and for all benefits I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be to you with him and the Holy Spirit glory, now and for all the ages to come. Amen."

February 23 - Our Lady of the Rocks (Spain, 434)
Seat of Wisdom (I)  Maurice Zundel (1897-1975)
Before the Annunciation, Mary had already given herself entirely to God.
She is an offering, giving herself completely, she is poor, and she waits.
But she is still unaware to what extent the words of the Song of Songs will be carried out: "I belong to my love, and his desire is for me” (Sg 7:11).

She undoubtedly knew the Scriptures by heart; she understood their secret meaning, the Christocentric orientation of each word, where the burning breath of the Spirit consumes all the impure dross of humanity to which the gestures of God are entrusted. She seeks a Presence and she finds a Person, in whom all hope is contained. Her heart beats only in this call, "The young woman is with child and will give birth to a son" (Is 7:14).
She never thought that there would be any question of her. His glance had only one direction in which He never renounced. Her glance was simple never looked at herself.
 156 Saint Polycarp a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist
3rd v  St. Cerneuf Serenus, the Gardener martyr refused to sacrifice to pagan gods
       Birthday of seventy-two holy martyrs, who suffered martyrdom in the same city and who took possession of the
       everlasting kingdom

252 St. Martha Virgin martyr Spain led holy life in dens/caves, glorious miracles baptized by Pope St. Sylvester
324 St. Romana  Roman virgin
372 Saint Gorgonia sister of St Gregory the Theologian distinguished for great virtue, piety, meekness, sagacity, toil
430 St. Alexander Akimetes Hermit founder of religious houses Sleepless Ones (akoimetoi)
430 Saint Alexander, Founder of the Monastery of the "Unsleeping Ones," monastery of 400 monks
485 St. Florentius martyred in Seville, Spain
5th v. 5th v. SS John, Antiochus and Antoninus lived in asceticism disciple of St Limnaeus (Feb 22), lived in Syria
5th v  St. Zebinus Syrian hermit  trained Saint Maro Polychronius, and others who lived in Syria
5th v. St Moses lived in Syria Iimitating St John the very model of an austere ascetical life
5th v. St Zebinas lived in Syria lived an ascetical life on the same mountain as St Moses
5th v. Saint Polychronius lived in Syria disciple of St Zebinas and imitated the life of his Elder
5th v. Saint Damian lived in Syria withdrew to a monastery named Ieros
530 St. Dositheus Convert monk at Gaza, Israel cared for the sick
7th v  St. Jurmin Prince a confessor of East Anglia, England
650 St. Felix of Brescia Bishop of Brescia Itlay opponent of the Lombard Arians
661 St. Boswell Abbot of Melrose, England gift of prophecy
715 St. Milburga Benedictine abbess veil from St. Theodore of Canterbury miracles performed gift of levitation
850 St. Medrald Benedictine abbott
867 St. Lazarus Zographos Monk painter of Constantinople
1011 St. Willigis Bishop missionaries to Scandinavia, founded churches chaplain to Emperor Otto II
1066 St. Ordonius  Benedictine bishop monk in Sahagiin, Leon
1072 St. Peter Damian stern figure recall men in lax age from error of ways  declared doctor of the Church in 1828.
1456 Blessed Nicholas of Prussia novice-master and prior, OSB (PC)
1473 St. John Cantius patron saint of Poland and Lithuania
1568 Saint Damian of Philotheou was a disciple of St Dometius (August 7) preacher martyr by Turks
1771 St. Marguerite d'Youville allowed no obstacle in the way of her helping others canonized December 9, 1990.

69-155 St. Polycarp of Smyrna Bishop of Smyrna
  Smyrnæ natális sancti Polycárpi, qui, beáti Joánnis Apóstoli discípulus, et ab eo ejúsdem civitátis Epíscopus ordinátus, totíus Asiæ Princeps fuit.  Póstea, sub Marco Antoníno et Lúcio Aurélio Cómmodo, sedénte Procónsule et univérso pópulo in theátro advérsus eum personánte, igni tráditus est; et, cum ab igne mínime læderétur, martyrii corónam, gládio confóssus, accépit.  Cum illo étiam álii duódecim, qui ex Philadelphía vénerant, in eádem Smyrnénsi urbe, martyrio consummáti sunt.  Ipsíus tamen Polycárpi festum séptimo Kaléndas Februárii celebrátur.
      At Smyrna, the birthday of St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John the Apostle, by whom he was consecrated bishop of that city, and appointed primate of all Asia.  Under Marcus Antonius and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, when the proconsul and all those assembled in the amphitheatre cried out against him, he was delivered to the fire, but since it did not harm him, he received the crown of martyrdom by the sword.  With him, twelve others who came from Philadelphia met their death by martyrdom in the same city.  The feast of St. Polycarp is kept on the 26th of January.
Martyr, and one of the foremost leaders of the Church in the second century. Few details of his life are extant with any reliability beyond his famous martyrdom, which was recounted in the Martyrium Polycarpi.

It is believed, however, that he was converted to the faith by St. John the Evangelist about 80 A.D. and became bishop of Smyrna about 96 A.D.

He was, as was his friend St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the most important intermediary links between the apostolic and the patristic eras in the Church, especially in Christian Asia Minor. A defender of orthodoxy, he opposed such heretical groups as the Marcionites and Valentinians. He also authored a surviving epistle to the Philippians, exhorting them to remain strong in the faith. The letter is of great interest to scholars because it demonstrates the existence of New Testament texts, with quotes from Matthew and Luke, the Acts of the Apostles, and the first letters of Peter and John. When Ignatius was being taken to Rome to be put to death, he wrote of Polycarp being clothed “with the garment of grace."
Polycarp was himself arrested by Roman officials in Smyrna soon after returning from a trip to Rome to discuss the date for Easter. He refused to abjure the faith, telling his captain that he had served Christ for eighty six years. The Romans burned him alive with twelve companions. The year of his death has been put at 155 or 156, although Eusebius of Caesarea places the year at 167 or 168, meaning it would have fallen in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. If so, changes in the year of his birth would be necessary. The most detailed account of his death was the Martyrium Polycarpi.

Polycarp, and the presbyters with him, to the Church of God sojourning at Philippi: Mercy to you, and peace from God Almighty, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, be multiplied.

CHAPTER I.--PRAISE OF THE PHILIPPIANS.
I have greatly rejoiced with you in our Lord Jesus Christ, because ye have followed the example of true love [as displayed by God], and have accompanied, as became you, those who were bound in chains, the fitting ornaments of saints, and which are indeed the diadems of the true elect of God and our Lord; and because the strong root of your faith, spoken of in days long gone by, endureth even until now, and bringeth forth fruit to our Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sins suffered even unto death, [but] "whom God raised froth the dead, having loosed the bands of the grave." "In whom, though now ye see Him not, ye believe, and believing, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; " into which joy many desire to enter, knowing that "by grace ye are saved, not of works," but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.

CHAPTER II.--AN EXHORTATION TO VIRTUE.
"Wherefore, girding up your loins," "serve the Lord in fear" and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and "believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory," and a throne at His right hand. To Him all things" in heaven and on earth are subject. Him every spirit serves. He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him. But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, falsewitness; "not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing," or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching: "Judge not, that ye be not judged; forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you; be merciful, that ye may obtain mercy; with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again; and once more, "Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God."

CHAPTER III.--EXPRESSIONS OR PERSONAL UNWORTHINESS.
These things, brethren, I write to you concerning righteousness, not because I take anything upon myself, but because ye have invited me to do so. For neither I, nor any other such one, can come up to the wisdom" of the blessed and glorified Paul. He, when among you, accurately and stedfastly taught the word of truth in the presence of those who were then alive. And when absent from you, he wrote you a letter, which, if you carefully study, you will find to be the means of building you up in that faith which has been given you, and which, being followed by hope, and preceded by love towards God, and Christ, and our neighbour, "is the mother of us all." For if any one be inwardly possessed of these graces, he hath fulfilled the command of righteousness, since he that hath love is far from all sin.

CHAPTER IV.--VARIOUS EXHORTATIONS.
"But the love of money is the root of all evils." Knowing, therefore, that "as we brought nothing into the world, so we can carry nothing out," let us arm ourselves with the armour of righteousness; and let us teach, first of all, ourselves to walk in the commandments of the Lord. Next, [teach] your wives [to walk] in the faith given to them, and in love and purity tenderly loving their own husbands in all truth, and loving all [others] equally in all chastity; and to train up their children in the knowledge and fear of God. Teach the widows to be discreet as respects the faith of the Lord, praying continually for all, being far from all slandering, evil-speaking, false-witnessing, love of money, and every kind of evil; knowing that they are the altar s of God, that He clearly perceives all things, and that nothing is hid from Him, neither reasonings, nor reflections, nor any one of the secret things of the heart.

CHAPTER V.--THE DUTIES OF DEACONS, YOUTHS, AND VIRGINS.
Knowing, then, that "God is not mocked," we ought to walk worthy of His commandment and glory. In like manner should the deacons be blameless before the face of His righteousness, as being the servants of God and Christ, and not of men. They must not be slanderers, double-tongued, or lovers of money, but temperate in all things, compassionate, industrious, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who was the servant of all. If we please Him in this present world, we shall receive also the future world, according as He has promised to us that He will raise us again from the dead, and that if we live worthily of Him, "we shall also reign together with Him," provided only we believe. In like manner, let the young men also be blameless in all things, being especially careful to preserve purity, and keeping themselves in, as with a bridle, from every kind of evil. For it is well that they should be cut off from the lusts that are in the world, since "every lust warreth against the spirit; " and "neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, shall inherit the kingdom of God," nor those who do things inconsistent and unbecoming. Wherefore, it is needful to abstain from all these things, being subject to the presbyters and deacons, as unto God and Christ. The virgins also must walk in a blameless and pure conscience.

CHAPTER VI.--THE DUTIES OF PRESBYTERS AND OTHERS.
And let the presbyters be compassionate and merciful to all, bringing back those that wander, visiting all the sick, and not neglecting the widow, the orphan, or the poor, but always "providing for that which is becoming in the sight of God and man ; " abstaining from all wrath, respect of persons, and unjust judgment; keeping far off from . all covetousness, not quickly crediting [an evil re port] against any one, not severe in judgment, as knowing that we are all under a debt of sin. If then we entreat the Lord to forgive us, we ought also ourselves to forgive; for we are before the eyes of our Lord and God, and "we must all appear at the judgment-seat of Christ, and must every one give an account of himself." Let us then serve Him in fear, and with all reverence, even as He Himself has commanded us, and as the apostles who preached the Gospel unto us, and the prophets who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Lord [have alike taught us]. Let us be zealous in the pursuit of that which is good, keeping ourselves from causes of offence, from false brethren, and from those who in hypocrisy bear the name of the Lord, and draw away vain men into error.

CHAPTER VII.--AVOID THE DOCETAE, AND PERSEVERE IN FASTING AND PRAYER.
"For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist;" and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, is of the devil; and whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan. Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from the beginning; "watching unto prayer," and persevering in fasting; beseeching in our supplications the all-seeing God "not to lead us into temptation," as the Lord has said: "The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak."

CHAPTER VIII.--PERSEVERE IN HOPE AND PATIENCE.
Let us then continually persevere in our hope, and the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ, "who bore our sins in His own body on the tree," "who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth," but endured all things for us, that we might live in Him. Let us then be imitators of His patience; and if we suffer for His name's sake, let us glorify Him. For He has set us this example s in Himself, and we have believed that such is the case.

CHAPTER IX.--PATIENCE INCULCATED.
I exhort you all, therefore, to yield obedience to the word of righteousness, and to exercise all patience, such as ye have seen [set] before your eyes, not only in the case of the blessed Ignatius, and Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others among yourselves, and in Paul himself, and the rest of the apostles. [This do] in the assurance that all these have not run in vain, but in faith and righteousness, and that they are [now] in their due place in the presence of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not this present world, but Him who died for us, and for our sakes was raised again by God from the dead.

CHAPTER X.--EXHORTATION TO THE PRACTICE OF VIRTUE.
Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood, and being attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord in your intercourse with one another, and despising no one. When you can do good, defer it not, because "alms delivers from death."" Be all of you subject one to another? having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles," that ye may both receive praise for your good works, and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But woe to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed! Teach, therefore, sobriety to all, and manifest it also in your own conduct.

CHAPTER XI.--EXPRESSION OF GRIEF ON ACCOUNT OF VALENS.
I am greatly grieved for Valens, who was once a presbyter among you, because he so little understands the place that was given him [in the Church]. I exhort you, therefore, that ye abstain from covetousness, and that ye be chaste and truthful. "Abstain from every form of evil." For if a man cannot govern himself in such matters, how shall he enjoin them on others ? If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, he shall be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the heathen. But who of us are ignorant of the judgment of the Lord ? "Do we not know that the saints shall judge the world ?" as Paul teaches. But I have neither seen nor heard of any such thing among you, in the midst of whom the blessed Paul laboured, and who are commended in the beginning of his Epistle. For he boasts of you in all those Churches which alone then knew the Lord; but we [of Smyrna] had not yet known Him. I am deeply grieved, therefore, brethren, for him (Valens) and his wife; to whom may the Lord grant true repentance! And be ye then moderate in regard to this matter, and "do not count such as enemies," but call them back as suffering and straying members, that ye may save your whole body. For by so acting ye shall edify yourselves.

CHAPTER XII.--EXHORTATION TO VARIOUS GRACES.
For I trust that ye are well versed in the Sacred Scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you; but to me this privilege is not yet granted. It is declared then in these Scriptures, "Be ye angry, and sin not," and, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Happy is he who remembers this, which I believe to be the case with you. But may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Son of God, and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity; and may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who "raised Him from the dead. Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings, and potentates, and princes, and for those that persecute and hate you, and for the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest to all, and that ye may be perfect in Him.

CHAPTER XIII.--CONCERNING THE TRANSMISSION OF EPISTLES.
Both you and Ignatius wrote to me, that if any one went [from this] into Syria, he should carry your letter with him; which request I will attend to if I find a fitting opportunity, either personally, or through some other acting for me, that your desire may be fulfilled. The Epistles of Ignatius written by him to us, and all the rest [of his Epistles] which we have by us, we have sent to you, as you requested. They are subjoined to this Epistle, and by them ye may be greatly profited; for they treat of faith and patience, and all things that tend to edification in our Lord. Any more certain information you may have obtained respecting both Ignatius himself, and those that were with him, have the goodness to make known to us.

CHAPTER XIV.--CONCLUSION.
These things I have written to you by Crescens, whom up to the present time I have recommended unto you, and do now recommend. For he has acted blamelessly among us, and I believe also among you. Moreover, ye will hold his sister in esteem when she comes to you. Be ye safe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with you all. Amen. 
156 Saint Polycarp a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist
 Smyrnæ natális sancti Polycárpi, qui, beáti Joánnis Apóstoli discípulus, et ab eo ejúsdem civitátis Epíscopus ordinátus, totíus Asiæ Princeps fuit.  Póstea, sub Marco Antoníno et Lúcio Aurélio Cómmodo, sedénte Procónsule et univérso pópulo in theátro advérsus eum personánte, igni tráditus est; et, cum ab igne mínime læderétur, martyrii corónam, gládio confóssus, accépit.  Cum illo étiam álii duódecim, qui ex Philadelphía vénerant, in eádem Smyrnénsi urbe, martyrio consummáti sunt.  Ipsíus tamen Polycárpi festum séptimo Kaléndas Februárii celebrátur.
       At Smyrna, the birthday of St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John the Apostle, by whom he was consecrated bishop of that city, and appointed primate of all Asia.  Under Marcus Antonius and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, when the proconsul and all those assembled in the amphitheatre cried out against him, he was delivered to the fire, but since it did not harm him, he received the crown of martyrdom by the sword.  With him, twelve others who came from Philadelphia met their death by martyrdom in the same city.  The feast of St. Polycarp is kept on the 26th of January.
Imagine being able to sit at the feet of the apostles and hear their stories of life with Jesus from their own lips. Imagine walking with those who had walked with Jesus, seen him, and touched him. That was what Polycarp was able to do as a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist.  Being part of the second generation of Church leaders had challenges the first generation could not teach about. What did you do when those eyewitnesses were gone? How do you carry on the correct teachings of Jesus? How do you answer new questions that never came up before?
With the apostles gone, heresies sprang up pretending to be true teaching, persecution was strong, and controversies arose over how to celebrate liturgy that Jesus never laid down rules for.

Polycarp, as a holy man and bishop of Smyrna, found there was only one answer -- to be true to the life of Jesus and imitate that life. Saint Ignatius of Antioch told Polycarp "your mind is grounded in God as on an immovable rock."
When faced with heresy, he showed the "candid face" that Ignatius admired and that imitated Jesus' response to the Pharisees. Marcion, the leader of the Marcionites who followed a dualistic heresy, confronted Polycarp and demanded respect by saying, "Recognize us, Polycarp." Polycarp responded, "I recognize you, yes, I recognize the son of Satan."
On the other hand when faced with Christian disagreements he was all forgiveness and respect. One of the controversies of the time came over the celebration of Easter.

The East, where Polycarp was from, celebrated the Passover as the Passion of Christ followed by a Eucharist on the following day. The West celebrated Easter on the Sunday of the week following Passover.
When Polycarp went to Rome to discuss the difference with Pope Anicetus, they could not agree on this issue. But they found no difference in their Christian beliefs.
Anicetus asked Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in his own papal chapel.

Polycarp faced persecution the way Christ did. His own church admired him for following the "gospel model" -- not chasing after martyrdom as some did, but avoiding it until it was God's will as Jesus did. They considered it "a sign of love to desire not to save oneself alone, but to save also all the Christian brothers and sisters."
One day, during a bloody martyrdom when Christians were attacked by wild animals in the arena, the crowd became so mad that they demanded more blood by crying, "Down with the atheists; let Polycarp be found." (They considered Christians "atheists" because they didn't believe in their pantheon of gods.) Since Polycarp was not only known as a leader but as someone holy "even before his grey hair appeared", this was a horrible demand. Polycarp was calm but others persuaded him to leave the city and hide at a nearby farm. He spent his time in prayer for people he knew and for the Church. During his prayer he saw a vision of his pillow turned to fire and announced to his friends that the dream meant he would be burned alive.
As the search closed in, he moved to another farm, but the police discovered he was there by torturing two boys. He had a little warning since he was upstairs in the house but he decided to stay, saying, "God's will be done."
Then he went downstairs, talked to his captors and fed them a meal. All he asked of them was that they give him an hour to pray. He spent two hours praying for everyone he had every known and for the Church, "remembering all who had at any time come his way -- small folk and great folk, distinguished and undistinguished, and the whole Catholic Church throughout the world."
Many of his captors started to wonder why they were arresting this holy, eighty-six-year-old bishop.  But that didn't stop them from taking him into the arena on the Sabbath. As he entered the arena, the crowd roared like the animals they cheered. Those around Polycarp heard a voice from heaven above the crowd, "Be brave, Polycarp, and act like a man."
The proconsul begged the eighty-six-year-old bishop to give in because of his age. "Say 'Away with the atheists'" the proconsul urged. Polycarp calmly turned to the face the crowd, looked straight at them, and said, "Away with the atheists." The proconsul continued to plead with him. When he asked Polycarp to swear by Caesar to save himself, Polycarp answered, "If you imagine that I will swear by Caesar, you do not know who I am. Let me tell you plainly, I am a Christian." Finally, when all else failed the proconsul reminded Polycarp that he would be thrown to the wild animals unless he changed his mind. Polycarp answered, "Change of mind from better to worse is not a change allowed to us."
Because of Polycarp's lack of fear, the proconsul told him he would be burned alive but Polycarp knew that the fire that burned for an hour was better than eternal fire.
When he was tied up to be burned, Polycarp prayed, "Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creation and of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you, for having made me worthy of this day and hour, I bless you, because I may have a part, along with the martyrs, in the chalice of your Christ, to resurrection in eternal life, resurrection both of soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. May I be received today, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, among those who are in you presence, as you have prepared and foretold and fulfilled, God who is faithful and true. For this and for all benefits I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be to you with him and the Holy Spirit glory, now and for all the ages to come. Amen."
The fire was lit as Polycarp said Amen and then the eyewitnesses who reported said they saw a miracle. The fire burst up in an arch around Polycarp, the flames surrounding him like sails, and instead of being burned he seemed to glow like bread baking, or gold being melted in a furnace. When the captors saw he wasn't being burned, they stabbed him. The blood that flowed put the fire out.
The proconsul wouldn't let the Christians have the body because he was afraid they would worship Polycarp. The witnesses reported this with scorn for the lack of understanding of Christian faith: "They did not know that we can never abandon the innocent Christ who suffered on behalf of sinners for the salvation of those in this world." After the body was burned, they stole the bones in order to celebrate the memory of his martyrdom and prepare others for persecution. The date was about February 23, 156.
In His Footsteps:  When faced with challenges to your Christian life, try a version of Polycarp's prayer of martyrdom: "Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creation and of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you, for having made me worthy of this day and hour, I bless you, because I may have a part, along with the martyrs, in the chalice of your Christ, to resurrection in eternal life, resurrection both of soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. For this and for all benefits I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be to you with him and the Holy Spirit glory, now and for all the ages to come. Amen."
Prayer:  Saint Polycarp, sometimes Christ seems so far away from us. Centuries have passed since he and the apostles walk the earth. Help us to see that he is close to us always and that we can keep him near by imitating his life as you did. Amen

Polycarp of Smyrna BM (RM) Died 2:00 p.m., February 23, c. 156; feast day formerly January 26.
"To change your mind from good to bad is the height of absurdity. True goodness changes from evil to righteousness."    --Saint Polycarp
"I thank God that I am being allowed my share in the sufferings of his martyrs. He who gives me strength to endure fire will enable me to stand unmoved to the end." --Saint Polycarp
"God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, increase us in faith and truth and gentleness, and grant us part and lot among His saints."    --Prayer of Saint Polycarp.

The earliest record of Christian martyrdom outside the Bible is that of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna. It speaks of the sufferings of the Christians: "Who can fail to admire their nobleness of mind, and their patience, with that love towards their Lord which they displayed?-- who when they were so torn with scourges, that the frame of their bodies, even to the very inward veins and arteries, was laid open, still patiently endured, while even those that stood by pitied and bewailed them."
Polycarp had known those who had known Jesus and was a disciple of the beloved Apostle John the Divine, who had converted him about 80 AD. He taught, says his own pupil Irenaeus of Lyons, the things that he learned from the Apostles, which the Church hands down, which are true.
Irenaeus, who as a young boy knew Polycarp, praised his gravity, holiness, and majesty of countenance.

He kissed the chains of Saint Ignatius of Antioch on his way to martyrdom in Rome. Saint Ignatius wrote a special letter to encourage Polycarp when he was a young bishop and asked him to watch over his church at Antioch and to write in his name to the churches of Asia that he could not attend himself. Polycarp was probably the leading Christian in Roman Asia in the second century and an important link between the apostolic age and the great Christian writers of the second century.
He had lived near Jerusalem and was proud of his early associations with the Apostles. "I can tell," he wrote, "the very place in which the blessed Saint Paul used to sit when he discoursed, and his goings out and his comings in, and the stamp of his life, and his bodily appearance, and the discourses which he held towards the congregation, and how he would describe his intercourse with those who had seen the Lord, and how he would relate their words."
Polycarp became bishop of Smyrna c. 96 and ruled the see for 70 years. He was a staunch defender of orthodoxy and an energetic opponent of heresy, especially Marcionism and Valentinianism (the most influential of the Gnostic sects). A letter to him from Saint John has survived, as has his Epistle to the Philippians, in which he quotes from 1 John 4:3 and warns the Philippians against the false teachings of Marcion, whom he once called "the first-born of Satan," and which was so esteemed that it was widely read in Asian churches even during Saint Jerome's lifetime, but was not included in the canon of Scripture.
Toward the end of his life he visited Pope Saint Anicetus in Rome, and when they could not agree on a date for Easter decided each would observe his own date. To testify his respect and ensure that the bonds of charity were unbroken, Anicetus invited Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in the papal chapel on this occasion.
Soon after he returned to Smyrna, a youth called Germanicus was killed at a pagan festival.

The crowd cried out: "Away with the atheists [meaning the Christians who refused to worship the state gods]. Fetch Polycarp." And so, at age 90 (or 80 according to Eusebius), when the persecution under Marcus Aurelius was at its height and men marvelled at the incredible resistance of the Christians, he suffered grievously, despite his great age and feebleness, at the hands of the mob. He had refused to sacrifice to the gods and acknowledge the emperor's divinity.
He had been warned that they would arrest him, and had been persuaded to retire to a farm outside the city, where he was betrayed by one of his own household, who had been threatened with torture. The police came armed as against a robber, and when they saw him marvelled at his age and calmness. "Was so much effort needed," they said, "to capture such a venerable man?" It was the evening and Polycarp had retired to rest, but he came down and, with great courtesy and hospitality, offered them food and wine.
He then asked leave that he might pray, and stood and prayed for all whom he had known and for the whole Church throughout the world.

Seating him on an ass, they brought him to Smyrna, where the governor, on meeting him, took him into his own chariot, begging him to recant, and on his refusal cast him out upon the road so that he dislocated his leg. Lame and exhausted, he was dragged to the crowded arena and was met by the deafening tumult of the spectators, who, seeing before them the most eminent of the Christians, called upon him to blaspheme.
To this he replied: "For eighty and six years I have served Christ and he has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior now! If you require of me to swear by the genius of Caesar, as you call it, hear my free confession: I am a Christian; if you wish to learn the Christian doctrine, choose a day and hear me." The proconsul said, "Persuade the people." To which Polycarp joyfully and confidently answered, "I address myself to you; for we are taught to give due honor to princes, so far as it is consistent with religion. But before these people I cannot justify myself."

The proconsul admired his courage, but already the herald had thrice proclaimed in the stadium: "Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian," and the crowd called for him to be thrown to the lions, but the time of the games was already over. The Roman proconsul threatened to throw him into a fire. To which Polycarp responded, "You threaten me with a fire that will certainly die out. You know nothing of the eternal fire that is reserved for the wicked." So, as he had already foretold, Polycarp was ordered to be burned alive. He uttered a prayer of praise and glory to God, and offered up himself.
In 155 AD the Christians of Smyrna described the attempted execution of Saint Polycarp by burning. The funeral pyre was made ready, the multitude gathering wood and faggots, and the aged father of the Christians laid aside his garments; but when they were about to nail him to the stake he said: "It is unnecessary. He who gives me strength to endure in the flame will enable me to stand firm," and as the fire reached him he broke into praise and prayer.
Initially the fires failed to harm the bishop and witnesses later described how 'the flames made a sort of arch, like a ship's sail filled with the wind, and they were like a wall round the martyr's body; and he looked, not like burning flesh, but like bread in the oven or gold and silver being refined in a furnace.' They watched Polycarp surrounded by flames but unharmed and perceived 'such a fragrant smell, as if it were the wafted odor of frankincense or some other precious spice.
In the end the bishop was dispatched by an executioner with a dagger. It is said that a dove came forth as well as enough blood to quench the fire. His body was burned to ashes to prevent the Christians from taking it.
The Martyrium Polycarpi, written in the name of the church of Smyrna, addressed to the church of Philomelius in Pisidia, and evidently from eyewitness accounts of his arrest, trial, and martyrdom, is the oldest authentic example of the acta of a martyr (introductory note to the epistle). Twelve others of his flock were martyred with Polycarp. The translated narrative of his martyrdom can be found in Ancient Christian Writers series, no. 6 (1957). The date of his death is debated; it may have been 166 or 177; but the earlier date seems more likely.
The account of his martyrdom is precious evidence for the cultus of saints as early as the 2nd century; and his vita of the variation in the dates of Easter from an early period (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Farmer, Gill, Harrison, Walsh, White).
In art, Saint Polycarp is represented as a bishop roasted inside a brazen bull. At times he may be shown refusing to sacrifice to an idol or roasted in an oven (Roeder). He may also be depicted trampling on a pagan; with a funeral pyre near him; stabbed and burned to death; or being burned in various ways (White). Polycarp is invoked against earache (Roeder).

St. Polycarp (d. 156) February 23, 2010
Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey), disciple of St. John the Apostle and friend of St. Ignatius of Antioch was a revered Christian leader during the first half of the second century.  St. Ignatius, on his way to Rome to be martyred, visited Polycarp at Smyrna, and later at Troas wrote him a personal letter. The Asia Minor Churches recognized Polycarp’s leadership by choosing him as a representative to discuss with Pope Anicetus the date of the Easter celebration in Rome—quite a controversy in the early Church.
Only one of the many letters written by Polycarp has been preserved, the one he wrote to the Church of Philippi, Macedonia.
At 86, Polycarp was led into the crowded Smyrna stadium to be burned alive. The flames did not harm him and he was finally killed by a dagger. The centurion ordered the saint’s body burned. The “Acts” of Polycarp’s martyrdom are the earliest preserved, fully reliable account of a Christian m artyr’s death. He died in 156.

Comment:  Polycarp was recognized as a Christian leader by all Asia Minor Christians—a strong fortress of faith and loyalty to Jesus Christ. His own strength emerged from his trust in God, even when events contradicted this trust. Living among pagans and under a government opposed to the new religion, he led and fed his flock. Like the Good Shepherd, he laid down his life for his sheep and kept them from more persecution in Smyrna. He summarized his trust in God just before he died: “Father... I bless Thee, for having made me worthy of the day and the hour...” (Martyrdom, Chapter 14).
Quote: “Stand fast, therefore, in this conduct and follow the example of the Lord, ‘firm and unchangeable in faith, lovers of the brotherhood, loving each other, united in truth,’ helping each other with the mildness of the Lord, despising no man” (Polycarp, Letter to the Philippians).
252 St. Martha Virgin martyr of Spain
 In civitáte Asturicénsi, in Hispánia, sanctæ Marthæ, Vírginis et Mártyris, quæ, sub Décio Imperatóre et Patérno Procónsule, dire ob Christi fidem est cruciáta et gládio tandem occísa.
       In the city of Astorga in Spain, St. Martha, virgin and martyr, under Emperor Decius and the proconsul Paternus.  She was cruelly tortured for the faith of Christ and was finally slain by the sword.
She was beheaded at Astorga, Spain, and her relics were enshrined in the abbey of Ribas de Sil and at Ters.

Martha of Astorga VM (RM) Beautiful Spanish virgin and a true Christian, Saint Martha was beheaded for the faith in Astorga under Decius. Her relics are enshrined in the old Benedictine abbey of Ribas de Sil and at Ters, diocese of Astorga (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
3rd v St. Cerneuf Serenus, the Gardener martyr refused to sacrifice to pagan gods
 Apud Sírmium beáti Siréni, Mónachi et Mártyris, qui, jubénte Maximiáno Imperatóre, reténtus est, et, cum se Christiánum esse confiterétur, cápite obtruncátus.
      At Sirmio, blessed Sirenus, monk and martyr.  He was arrested by order of Emperor Maximian and beheaded for confessing that he was a Christian.
Also known as Cerneuf, according to his probably fictious legend, but possibly based on some historic foundation.

302 St Serenus The Gardener, Martyr
St Serenus
is also known as St Cerneuf at Billom in Auvergne, where some of his relics are said preserved. A Greek by birth, he left all that he had to serve God in the ascetic life of celibacy, penance and prayer. Coming with this intention to Sirmium in what is now Yugoslavia (its present name is Mitrovica), he bought a garden, which he cultivated, living on the fruit and vegetables it pro­duced. When a persecution broke out against the Christians, he hid for several months, but afterwards returned to his garden. One day he found a woman walking about in it, and he asked her gravely what she was doing there within the enclosure of an ascetic. “I particularly enjoy walking in this garden”, she replied. “A lady of your position ought not to be wandering about here at an unbecoming time”, retorted the saint, and he would not allow her to stay. It was the hour of siesta, when it was not usual for persons of quality to be abroad, and Serenus suspected that she had come with no good intention. The lady, however, was furious at the rebuke, and immediately wrote to her husband, who belonged to the guards of the Emperor Maximian, and complained that she had been insulted by Serenus.

Her husband went to the emperor to demand justice, and said, “Whilst we are waiting on your Majesty’s person, our wives in distant lands are insulted”. Where­upon the emperor gave him a letter to the governor of the province to enable him to obtain satisfaction. With this letter he set out for Sirmium, and, presenting it to the governor, charged him to avenge the affront offered. “And who is the insolent man who has dared to insult the wife of such a gentleman as yourself?” inquired the magistrate. “A vulgar fellow—a gardener called Serenus.” The governor at once sent for him and asked him his name. “Serenus”, was the reply.

Thy occupation?”—“I am a gardener”. The governor said, “How then hast thou the insolence to affront this officer’s wife in your garden?” Serenus an­swered, “I have never, to my knowledge, insulted a woman in all my life. But I do remember a lady coming to my garden some time ago at an unseemly hour. She said she had come to take a walk, and I own that I told her it was improper for one of her sex and quality to be wandering abroad at such an hour.”

This defence caused the officer to look at the matter from another point of view: it seemed that it was his wife who was in fault and he therefore withdrew, dropping the prosecution.

The governor, however, had had his suspicions aroused: he thought that so scrupulous a man must of necessity be a Christian. Consequently he proceeded to cross-examine him on that point, and asked him what his religion was. “I am a Christian”, was the unhesitating reply. The governor asked him where he had been lurking that he had not offered sacrifice to the gods. “It has pleased God to reserve me for this time,” replied Serenus. “It seemed for a while that he had rejected me as being a stone unfit for His building, but now that He calls me to be placed in it I am ready to suffer that I may have a part in His Kingdom with His saints.” The governor exclaimed, “Since thou hast sought by flight to elude the emperor’s decrees and hast refused to offer sacrifice to the gods, I condemn thee to suffer death by decapitation”. The sentence was immediately carried out.

The so-called Acts of Serenus have been printed by the Bollandists (Feb., vol. iii). Although Ruinart includes them in his Acta Sincera, the details of the story are quite unre­liable Delehaye (Légendes hagiographiques, p. 115) classifies them as fictitious, but possibly based on some historic foundation.

He imigrated to Sirmium (Metrovica, Yugoslavia), and was known for his gardening. He went into hiding for a time to escape a persecution of Christians that had just begun, and on his return, rebuked a lady for walking in his garden at an unseemly time. She reported to her husband that he had insulted her, and the husband, a member of the imperial guards, reported the matter to Emperor Maximian. Upon orders from the Emperor the governor investigated the matter, found Serenus innocent of insulting the woman, but while examining him, found that he was a Christian.
When Serenus refused to sacrifice to pagan gods, he was beheaded.
 Ibídem natális sanctórum septuagínta duórum Mártyrum, qui, martyrii certámen in præfáta urbe consummántes, mansúra percepérunt regna.       In the same place, the birthday of seventy-two holy martyrs, who suffered martyrdom in the same city and who took possession of the everlasting kingdom.
324 St. Romana  Roman virgin led holy life in dens/caves, wrought glorious miracles baptized by Pope St. Sylvester
 Tudérti, in Umbria, sanctæ Románæ Vírginis, quæ, a sancto Silvéstro Papa baptizáta, in antris et spelúncis cæléstem vitam duxit, et miraculórum glória cláruit.
       At Todi in Umbria, St. Romana, virgin, who was baptized by Pope St. Sylvester, led a life of holiness in dens and caves, and wrought glorious miracles.
Almost certainly a legendary figure, she supposedly lived as a hermitess in a cave on the banks of the river Tiber in Rome. She figures in the doubtful life of Pope St. Sylvester.
Romana of Todi V (RM) Died 324. A spurious legend reports that the virgin Saint Romana was baptized by Pope Saint Sylvester. She died at the age of 18 while living in seclusion in a cave on the banks of the Tiber (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). Sometimes Saint Romana is painted together with Pope Saint Sylvester (Roeder).
372 Saint Gorgonia sister of St Gregory the Theologian distinguished for her great virtue, piety, meekness, sagacity, and toil
Her house was a haven for the poor. The mother of five children, she died around the year 372 at the age of thirty-nine. Her last words were, "In peace I will both lie down and sleep" (Psalm 4:8).

430 St. Alexander Akimetes Hermit founder of religious houses Sleepless Ones (akoimetoi).
430 St Alexander Akimetes
Although the name of Alexander, who was a restless and somewhat turbulent archimandrite, has never found a place in the Roman Martyrology, he is honoured in certain Eastern provinces, and his biography is given on January 15 in the Acta Sanctorum. Alexander was born in Asia, but in early manhood he studied in Constantinople, where he was converted through his earnest reading of the gospels, and then retired to Syria to practise asceticism. After eleven years’ experience of the religious life, both as a cenobite and as an anchoret, he devoted himself to a missionary career in Mesopotamia, and is said to have converted the famous Rabulas, afterwards bishop of Edessa. After this he founded a large monastery beside the Euphrates, but before long he was on the move again, taking with him a large company of his monks. He settled for a while in Antioch, where his visit caused great disturbances, but finally established a new monastery at Constantin­ople. There, once more, violent animosities were aroused, and his enemies procured his banishment. After crossing the Hellespont, Alexander was mobbed and severely maltreated, but by the help of some powerful protector he managed to build another monastery at Gomon, on the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus, where he eventually died in 430.

The fame of Alexander is mainly due to his institution of a form of choral service, the execution of which was carried on night and day without interruption, the monks being divided into relays for the purpose. They were hence called sleepless ones, and it is now recognized that this type of cursus, which Alexander created, has had a considerable indirect influence upon the divine office in the Western church. So far as there was any liturgical cultus of St Alexander in the East, his feast seems to have been kept either on February 23 or July 3.

See the excellent article of J. Pargoire in DAC., vol. i, cc. 307—321 and also the Revue des questions historiques, January, 1899. A Latin version of the life is printed in the Acta Sanctorum for January 15 the Greek text was edited by E. De Stoop in 1911 in the Patrologia Orientalis, vol. vi, part 5. cf. also S. Vailhé in DHG., vol. i, cc. 274—282. For the laus perennis, cf. herein St Sigismund, May 5.

He was born in Asia Minor and studied in Constantinople. There he became a convert to Christianity and began a life of retreat and prayer. Alexander remained a hermit for eleven years in Syria and then started missionary work. He founded a monastery in Mesopotamia and another one in Constantinople. He visited Antioch but found opposition there, which forced him to leave Constantinople and go to Gomon, where he founded a monastery. Alexander is believed to have converted Rabulas, who became the bishop of Edessa. Alexander is also credited with initiating the liturgical service in which his four-hundred monks sang the Divine Office continuously day and night. He died in Gomon.
Alexander Akimetes, Abbot (AC) Died 430; feast day formerly on January 15.  The story of Alexander is that of a Greek army officer who, moved by Christ's words to the rich young ruler, sold his possessions and became a monk. But he was too energetic for a solitary life. After seven years, in a fit of enthusiasm he left his retreat and set fire to a pagan temple. For this he was imprisoned, but, like Saint Paul, succeeded in converting the governor, who was baptized with all his household.
Securing his freedom, Alexander returned to the desert and fell in with a band of robbers. The result was remarkable, for under his influence they also accepted the Christian faith, and when their leader died, Alexander turned them into a band of monks and their robber's den into a monastery. Appointing one of them as abbot, he went on his way, this time to Mesopotamia, where he established a monastery on the Euphrates.
Alexander was a somewhat restless archimandrite, fond of new places and faces. So, he formed a travelling monastery. With 150 monks he journeyed from place to place, until his followers numbered 300. These he divided into six choirs, to sing in turn the divine office and thus maintain, day and night, unceasing praise, and hence came their name of the Sleepless Ones (akoimetoi). One of these houses he established at Constantinople (Benedictines, Gill).

430 Saint Alexander, Founder of the Monastery of the "Unsleeping Ones," monastery of 400 monks
Born in Asia and received his education at Constantinople. He spent some time in military service but, sensing a calling to other service, he left the world and receivedmonastic tonsure in one of the desert monasteries near Antioch under the guidance of Igumen Elias.

Having advanced through all the degrees of monastic obedience, he received a blessing from the igumen to dwell in the wilderness. The saint lived an ascetical life in the wilderness, taking only the Holy Gospel with him. Afterwards, the Lord summoned him to preach to pagans. He converted to the faith the local city-head Rabbul, who afterwards prospered in the service of the Church, attaining the rank of bishop and for thirty years he occupied the bishop's cathedra in the city of Edessa.

Finally, St Alexander settled not far from the Euphrates River. Monks gathered around him, attracted by the loftiness of his prayerful asceticism and spiritual experience. A monastery of 400 monks eventually sprang up there.

Then the holy igumen in his prayerful zeal decided to offer never-ceasing praise to the Lord at the monastery both by day and by night. For three years the holy abba prayed that God might reveal to him whether it was pleasing to Him to establish such a monastic rule. He received an answer by divine revelation. All the monks were divided into twenty-four watches of prayer. Changing shifts each hour, two choirs sang the holy Psalms both day and night, except when divine services were celebrated in church. Hence the name "Monastery of Unsleeping Ones," since the ascetics offered unceasing praise to God.

St Alexander guided the monastery on the Euphrates for twelve years. Thereafter, having left the experienced Elder Trophimus as igumen, he set off with some chosen brethren through the cities bordering on Persia, to preach the Gospel. Having arrived at Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire, he also established a monastery there with his Rule of unceasing praise. The abba died at a great old age after fifty years of monastic struggles. His death occurred in the year 430.
St Alexander is also commemorated on July 3.
5th v. SS John, Sts Antiochus and Antoninus also lived in asceticism  disciple of St Limnaeus (February 22), lived in Syria
Chose for himself the ascetic struggle of "a shelterless life." He settled on a hill, sheltered from the wind on all sides, and lived there for twenty-five years. He ate only bread and salt, and he exhausted his body under heavy chains. When one of the nearby ascetics planted an almond tree on the hill so that St John could enjoy its shade and get out of the vicious heat, the saint told him to cut it down. This he did in order to deny his body any respite.
Sts Antiochus and Antoninus also lived in asceticism with St John. They continued their ascetical struggles until they reached an advanced age, offering an example of spiritual strength, and overcoming every obstacle.
5th v. St Moses lived in Syria Iimitating St John the very model of an austere ascetical life
he settled on a high mountain near the village of Rama. He was a disciple of St Polychronius, and lived with him. Emulating his Elder in everything, St Moses was the very model of an austere ascetical life.
5th v. St Zebinas lived in Syria lived an ascetical life on the same mountain as St Moses
He never sat down during his Rule of prayer, but sometimes he leaned on his staff. The neighboring inhabitants venerated St Zebinas, and they received great help in their sorrows and needs through his prayers.  He reached a great old age, then departed to the Lord.

5th v. Saint Polychronius lived in Syria disciple of St Zebinas and imitated the life of his Elder
Spending both day and night in fasting and vigil. St Polychronius had no chains, but he dug up a heavy oaken root from the earth and carried it on his shoulders when he prayed.
St Polychronius asked God to send rain during a drought, and he filled up a stone vessel with oil for the needy.
5th v. Saint Damian lived in Syria withdrew to a monastery named Ieros
Lived there in asceticism. In his cell he had only a small box of lentils from which he ate.

485 St. Florentius Saint martyred in Seville, Spain.
Florentius of Seville (RM) Died c. 485. Saint of Seville who is much venerated there and nearby (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
530 St. Dositheus Convert monk at Gaza, Israel cared for the sick with incomparable vigilance, charity, and sweetness
He was a wealthy young man who visited Jerusalem, where he was baptized as a Christian. After becoming a monk, Dositheus cared for the sick until his poor health took its toll

530 St Dositheus
Dositheus was brought up a
pagan, entirely ignorant of the doctrines of Christian­ity, but he used to hear much talk about Jerusalem, and was induced, out of curiosity, to visit it. He went to see the chief sights of the city including Geth­semane, where he was impressed by a painting representing the lost being tormented in Hell. He did not understand what he saw until a stranger, an elderly lady, explained the picture and told him about the last judgement, Heaven and Hell. Greatly impressed, he asked what he should do to avoid the terrible punishment and she replied that he must fast and pray. He set about following her advice, but his friends laughed at him and told him that he had better become a monk; so making his way to the monastery at Gaza ruled by the Abbot Seridos he asked to be admitted. At first the abbot hesitated on account of his youthful appearance, but the young man’s earnestness was reassuring and he accordingly accepted him with the approval of St Barsanuphius, committing him to the care of one of his monks called Dorotheus. This experienced ascetic, aware of the difficulty of passing from one extreme to another, and seeing that Dositheus was not robust, left him pretty much to his own devices at first, so far as the external practices of asceticism were concerned, but he taught him to discipline his tongue and to conquer irregular impulses. He impressed upon him the necessity of a perfect renunciation of his own will in everything, great or small, and then, as he found his strength would permit, he daily diminished his supply of food till the quantity of six pounds of bread a day, with which he had begun, became reduced to eight ounces.

After a time Dositheus was entrusted with the care of the sick—an office that he discharged to the satisfaction of all: he was so kind and cheerful that the sick loved his presence. At first, when they were unreasonable, he would sometimes lose patience and speak crossly. Then, overcome with remorse, he would run to his cell and throw himself on the ground weeping bitterly until his master came to comfort him and to assure him of God’s forgiveness. After a time physical symptoms seem to have developed, and he suffered constant haemorrhages from the lungs, but he continued to the last to deny his own will. Unable to do anything but pray, he continually asked the direction of his master and followed it in all that he attempted. Dorotheus said, “Be instant in prayer—lose not hold of that”, and Dositheus replied, “Master, it is well—pray for me”. When he grew weaker he murmured, “Forgive me, master, but I cannot continue”. “Give up the effort, then, my son but keep God in mind as ever present beside thee.” He asked Dorotheus to pray that God would soon take him, and was assured that the end was near: “Depart in peace; thou shalt appear in joy before the Holy Trinity, and there pray for us”.

Some of the other monks murmured at Dorotheus for promising Dositheus Heaven, and for asking the intercession of one who had done nothing in the way of fasting and had moreover performed no miracles, but Dorotheus replied, “He did not fast, it is true, but he completely surrendered his own will”.

Shortly after the death of Dositheus, there came to the monastery a very holy old man who greatly desired that God would show him those departed monks of the house who had entered into glory. His wish was granted, and he saw in a vision a number of aged saints forming a choir and amongst them there was one quite young man. Relating the vision afterwards he asked who the young man could be, and described him so exactly that none could doubt that it was Dositheus. He has been described as a forerunner of St John Berchmans and St Stanislaus Kostka.

See the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii. Dositheus has never been officially recognized as a saint in either the East or the West, but there is a seemingly contemporary life that the Bollandists have translated and he is spoken of by Dorotheus the Archimandrite in the first of his “Twenty-four Discourses”. See also P. M. Brun, “La vie de St Dosithée”, in Orientalia Christiana, vol. xxvi (1932), pp. 89—523, text and translation.

Dositheus of Gaza, Monk (AC) Dositheus, who had spent his youth in worldly pursuits and gross ignorance of spiritual matters, went to Jerusalem out of curiosity because he had heard it mentioned so often in discourse. In Jerusalem he became so strongly affected by the sight of a picture representing hell, and by the exposition given to him about it, that he immediately forsook the world and entered a monastery at Gaza.  The abbot Seridon gave him the monastic habit and commended him to the care of a monk named Dorotheus, an experienced director. Dorotheus understood the difficulty of extreme swings of fervor and left Dositheus to his own devices regarding food, but was careful to instill in him the necessity of perfect renunciation of his own will in all things great and small.
Dositheus went from eating six pounds of bread daily to eight ounces. Thus Dorotheus proceeded with his pupil in other monastic duties and by a constant and unreserved denial of his own will, and a perfect submission to his director, he surpassed in virtue the greatest fasters of the monastery. All his actions seemed to have nothing of choice, nothing of his own will in any circumstances; the will of God alone reigned in his heart.
At the end of five years he was entrusted with the care of the sick, an office he discharged with incomparable vigilance, charity, and sweetness.

The sick were comforted by the very sight of him. Dositheus himself became sick with a lung disease (spitting up blood, possibly consumption), but continued to the end to deny his own will and was extremely vigilant to prevent any of its suggestions taking place in his heart, unlike most of us who when sick think we should be allowed everything.

Dositheus's poor health prevented him from fasting, and moreover he did not work any miracles; these facts scandalized his fellow monks. Nevertheless, his abbot considered him a saint, since he had completely given up his own will. Unable to do anything but pray, he asked continually, and followed, in all his devotions, the directions of his master; and when he could no longer perform his long exercises of prayer, he declared this with his ordinary simplicity to Saint Dorotheus, who said to him, "Be not uneasy, only have Jesus Christ always present in your heart."

Dositheus begged Dorotheus to pray for an early release from his sufferings. Dorotheus answered, "Have a little patience. God's mercy is near." Soon after he said to him, "Depart in peace and appear in joy before the blessed Trinity, and pray for us." After Dositheus's death, Dorotheus declared that he had surpassed the rest in virtue without the practice of any extraordinary austerity (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
5th v St. Zebinus hermit  trained Saint Maro Polychronius, and others who lived in Syria
Zebinus of Syria, Hermit (AC) 5th century. As a hermit in Syria, Saint Zebinus trained Saint Maro, Saint Polychronius, and others in the monastic life (Benedictines).

7th v St. Jurmin Prince a confessor of East Anglia, England
A relative of King Anna . He is honored as a confessor, and his relics were enshrined at Bury St. Edmunds.
Jurmin (AC) 7th century. Saint Jurmin was an east Anglian prince--either the son or nephew of King Anna. It is more likely that he was a nephew because modern historians doubt the Anna had any sons. He may have been the son of Æthelhere, the brother and successor of Anna. His relics were laid at Blythburgh in Suffolk before being enshrined at Bury Saint Edmunds in 1095. William of Malmesbury mentions his tomb at Bury (with Botulf's) but reports that he could learn nothing more about him than that he was a brother of Saint Etheldreda (Benedictines, Farmer).
650 St. Felix of Brescia Bishop of Brescia Itlay opponent of the Lombard Arians
 Bríxiæ sancti Felícis Epíscopi.       At Brescia, St. Felix, bishop.
He governed Brescia for more than forty years.
Felix of Brescia B (RM). The 20th bishop of Brescia, Saint Felix governed the diocese for over 40 eventful years during which he was occupied in combatting Lombard Arians and other heretics (Benedictines).
661 St. Boswell Abbot of Melrose, England  sublime virtues gift of prophecy
Also called Boisil. Boswell trained as a monk under St. Aidan. As abbot, Boswell served as a biblical scholar. He was given a gift of prophecy and was known for his preaching, and he trained Sts. Cuthbert and Eghert. Boswell died of the plague.

664 St Boisil, Or Boswell, Abbot of Melrose
The
famous abbey of Melrose, which at first followed the Rule of St Columba but afterwards the Cistercian, was situated on the river Tweed in a great forest which, in the seventh century, was included in the kingdom of Northumbria. Boisil, who would appear to have been trained in his youth by St Aidan, was a priest and monk of Melrose under St Eata, whom he succeeded as abbot there.
Bede says that he was a man of sublime virtue richly endowed with the prophetic spirit, and his contemporaries were greatly impressed with his powers of prevision, as well as by his profound knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. His fame determined St Cuthbert to go to Melrose rather than to Lindisfarne to be trained, and in later years Cuthbert often confessed how much he owed to the teaching and example of his spiritual master. When Cuthbert first arrived at Melrose and was dismounting from his horse, Boisil said to the bystanders, “Behold a servant of God”, and Cuthbert afterwards declared that the holy abbot had foretold to him the chief events of his after life. He loved to repeat the names of the Blessed Trinity, and had a special veneration for the holy name of Jesus, which he pronounced with such devotion as moved the hearts of all who heard him. Boisil made frequent excursions into the villages to preach to the poor and to bring back erring souls to the paths of truth and light.

Three years beforehand he foretold the great pestilence of 664, adding that he himself would die of the Yellow Plague, but that Eata would survive it. St Cuthbert first contracted the malady, and no sooner had he recovered than Boisil said to him, “You see, brother, that God has delivered you from this illness, and you will not get it again, nor will you die at present, but since my own death is at hand learn of me as long as I shall be able to teach you—which will not be more than seven days.”— “And what will be best for me to read that may be finished in seven days?” asked St Cuthbert. “The Gospel of St John. I have a copy in ten sheets which we will finish in that time”—for they were only seeking to read it devotionally, Bede tells us, and not to treat of profound questions. It came to pass as he foretold that at the end of seven days Boisil was taken ill and passed away in great jubilation on account of his earnest wish to be with Christ. He had always had a great love for the Gospel of St John, reading from it every day, for which purpose he divided it into seven portions. St Cuthbert inherited this devotion from him, and a Latin copy of St John’s Gospel, now preserved at Stonyhurst College, was found in his tomb. After his death St Boisil appeared to a follower of St Egbert and told him that it was not God’s will that Egbert should go as a missionary to Germany, but that he was to labour amongst the children of Columba in Iona. In the eleventh century the relics of St Boisil were translated to Durham.

Our chief authority is Bede, who speaks of St Boisil both in his Ecclesiastical History and in his Life of St Cuthbert. Saint Boswell’s, Roxburghshire, takes its name from him and a church at Lessuden in the same county is dedicated to him. See also the Acta Sanctorum, January, vol. iii. It is by no means clear why Butler notices St Boisil on this day. The Bollandists treat of him on January 23 and March 20. From certain late Durham calendars he would seem to have been commemorated there on July 7 or 8, as Stanton, Menology, points out, pp. 318, 658, and September 9 is also said to have been his date.  
Boisil (Boswell) of Melrose, Abbot (AC) Died c. 664. Saint Boisil was the prior of the famous abbey of Melrose (Mailross), situated on the Tweed River in a great forest in Northumberland, while Saint Eata was abbot. Both were English youths trained in monasticism by Saint Aidan.
Saint Bede says that Boisil was a man of sublime virtues, imbued with a prophetic spirit. His eminent sanctity drew Saint Cuthbert to Melrose rather than to Lindisfarne in his youth. It was from Boisil that Cuthbert learned the sacred scriptures and virtue.

Saint Boisil had the holy names of the adorable Trinity ever on his lips. He repeated the name Jesus Christ with a wonderful sentiment of devotion, and often with such an abundance of tears that others would weep with him. With tender affection he would frequently say, "How good a Jesus we have!" At the first sight of Saint Cuthbert, Boisil said to bystanders, "Behold a servant of God!"

Bede produces the testimony of Saint Cuthbert, who declared that Boisil foretold to him the chief things that afterwards happened to him. Three years beforehand he foretold of the great pestilence of 664, and that he himself should die of it, but that Eata the abbot should survive.

In addition to continually instructing his brothers in religion, Boisil made frequent excursions into the villages to preach to the poor, and to bring straying souls on to the paths of truth and life. He was also known for his aid to the poor.

Again, Boisil told Cuthbert, recovering from the plague, "You see, brother, that God has delivered you from this disease, nor shall you ever feel it again, nor die at this time; but my death being at hand, neglect not to learn something from me so long as I shall be able to teach you, which will be no more than seven days." So Cuthbert asked, "And what will be best for me to read which may be finished in seven days." To which Boisil replied, "The Gospel of Saint John, which we may in that time read over, and confer upon as much as shall be necessary."

Having accomplished the reading in seven days, the man of God, Boisil, became ill and died in extraordinary jubilation of soul, out of his earnest desire to be with Christ.

During his life he repeatedly instructed his brothers, "That they would never cease giving thanks to God for the gift of their religious vocation; that they would always watch over themselves against self-love and all attachment to their own will and private judgment, as against their capital enemy; that they would converse assiduously with God by interior prayer, and labor continually to attain to the most perfect purity of heart, this being the true and short road to the perfection of Christian virtue."

Bede relates that Saint Boisil continued after his death to interest himself particularly in obtaining divine mercy and grace for his country and his friends. He appeared twice to one of his disciples, giving him a charge to assure Saint Egbert, who had been hindered from preaching the Gospel in Germany, that God commanded him to repair the monasteries of Saint Columba on Iona and in the Orkneys, and to instruct them in the right manner of celebrating Easter.

The relics of Boisil were translated to Durham, and deposited near those of his disciple, Saint Cuthbert, in 1030 (Benedictines, Delaney, Husenbeth).

715 St. Milburga Benedictine abbess veil from St. Theodore of Canterbury miracles performed gift of levitation
 In Anglia sanctæ Milbúrgis Vírginis, fíliæ Regis Merciórum.
       In England, St. Milburga, virgin, the daughter of the king of Mercia.

700 St Milburga, Abbess of Wenlock, Virgin
St Milburga
was St Mildred’s elder sister, and she founded the nunnery of Wen­lock in Shropshire—now known as Much Wenlock. Her father Merewald and her uncle Wulfhere, King of Mercia, assisted her greatly and endowed the house. Archbishop St Theodore consecrated her abbess and the monastery is said to have flourished like a paradise under her rule. She was remarkable for her humility, but the more she humbled herself the more did God favour her with wonderful graces. She was endowed with the gift of healing, and is said to have restored sight to the blind. She had also great spiritual power and brought numerous sinners to repentance by her exhortations.

Many stories are told of her: one tells how one night she remained so long in prayer that she fell asleep and did not awake until next morning when the rays of the sun roused her. She started up so quickly that her veil fell from her head, but before it could touch the ground it was caught by a sunbeam which kept it poised in the air until she could compose herself and resume it. On another occasion we are told that a widow came to her, bringing a dead child whom she entreated the saint to restore to life. Although Milburga reproved her, the woman refused to go. Then Milburga threw herself down in prayer beside the child, and was immediately surrounded by fire from Heaven. One of the sisters who entered the room at that moment cried out to her to fly, but even as she spoke the fire disap­peared, and the saint, rising from the ground, gave the child alive into its mother’s arms. After a life of holiness and good works, St Milburga was attacked by a painful and lingering disease that she bore with complete serenity. Her last words were, “Blessed are the pure in heart: blessed are the peacemakers”.

Her tomb was long venerated, but the Danes destroyed the abbey, and it was almost forgotten till the Norman conquest when Cluniac monks built a monastery on the spot. Whilst the building was going on, two boys at play there found themselves sinking into the ground, and when the monks started excavation they discovered the bones of St Milburga. The beautiful ruins at Much Wenlock are those of the later house. St Milburga was credited with having power over the birds of the air, and was invoked for the protection of the crops against their ravages. Her feast is still observed in the diocese of Shrewsbury. Of the third sister of this family, St Mildgytha, all that is recorded is that she was a nun, at whose tomb in Northumbria “miraculous powers were often exhibited”.

What we know of St Milburga comes to us mainly through the not very satisfactory channels of John of Tynemouth, Capgrave, William of Malmesbury and William Thorn. It is curious, however, that while many native saints of more historical importance are little noticed in our English calendars, Milburga’s name appears in quite a number of them, beginning with the Bosworth Psalter, written c. 950. See also the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii and Stanton, Menology, pp. 81—82.

She was the daughter of a king of Mercia and sister of Sts. Mildred of Thanet and Mildgytha. Milburga was abbess of Wenlock Abbey in Salop, Shropshire, England. Her father and her uncle, King Wulfhere, provided funds for the abbey. Among the remarkable abilities she evidenced were levitation and power over birds.
Milburga of Wenlock, OSB Abbess (RM)
(also known as Milburgh)
Died c. 700 or 722; feast of the translation of her relics, June 25. The ruins of Wenlock Abbey in Shropshire, dating from the 11th century, remind us of Saint Milburga, whose name still lingers in that area. She was one of a family of eminent saints and belonged to the royal house of Mercia.

How often a good mother is blessed in her children! Her mother Domneva (Domna Ebba or Ermenburga), princess of Kent, had three daughters: Milburga, Mildred, and Mildgytha, each of whom grew up to follow the pattern of her mother's faith, and each, after a life wholly devoted to Christ, was canonized as a saint.

Those were the days when the daughters of kings were proud and eager to dedicate their wealth and talents in Christian leadership and to pour out their youth and strength in the service of the Church. They founded and ruled great abbeys, taught the young, cared for the sick, and relieved the poor.

Milburga, like her mother before her, surrendered her high estate, forsook the luxury and comfort of her home, and counted it her highest privilege to serve God in a consecrated Christian life. Helped by her father, Merewald, an Anglian chieftain, and her uncle Wulfhere, king of Mercia, she founded the monastery of Wenlock, which was placed under the direction of Saint Botulf of East Anglia. Its first abbess was Liobsynde, a French nun from Chelles. Its second was Milburga, who was consecrated abbess by Archbishop Saint Theodore. It was no ordinary monastery; everything about it reflected the grace and fragrance of her own pure spirit. The gardens were full of the choicest flowers, the orchards bore the sweetest fruits, and within its walls was found, we are told, the very peace of heaven.

By her sheer goodness Milburga converted many to the Christian faith, and this in a dark and primitive age when, outside the monastery walls, the countryside was wild and remote, and full of unknown dangers. One day, for example, on one of her errands of mercy, she was terrified by a neighboring princeling who, wishing to marry her, intercepted her with a band of soldiers, but she providentially escaped. In her flight she crossed a small stream called the Corve, and he, following, found when he reached it that the waters had risen and his plan was thwarted. The place where it happened it called to this day Stoke Saint Milburgh.

She loved flowers, birds (over which she had a mysterious power), country life, and country people, to sit and work in the sun and tend the herbs in her garden, and to visit in the villages around. People came to her with their troubles and ailments and even ascribed to her miraculous cures. Milburga was venerated for her humility, holiness, the miracles she performed, and for the gift of levitation she is said to have possessed.

According to Boniface, the famous Vision of the Monk of Wenlock occurred during Milburga's abbacy. Goscelin also preserved her testament, which is a long, apparently authentic list of lands that belonged to her at her death.

When she was on her deathbed, she said to her followers, "I have been mother to you. I have watched over you like a mother, with pious care. And in mercy, I go the way of all flesh. A higher call invites me." One by one they said farewell, gave her the sacraments, and after her death buried her body near the altar of the abbey.

Her tomb was long venerated but its site was unknown when the Cluniac monks from La-Charité-sur-Loire refounded Wenlock in 1079. The church had a silver casket that contained her relics and documents describing the site of her grave, near an altar then unknown. Apparently, the church was destroyed by the Danes.

After consulting Saint Anselm, the monks excavated an old, disused church. Thus, centuries later, two boys who were playing among its ruins fell through the pavement by the broken altar, as a result of which her tomb was rediscovered. When opened, according to legend, there came from it a heavenly sweetness, and the lost garden of the monastery seemed filled again with the fragrance of the flowers she had planted. Details of this discovery and of cures in 1101 were described by Cardinal-Bishop Otto of Ostia the following year.

Among the miracles documented were the healing of lepers and the blinds, and, the vomiting of a worm that had caused a wasting disease. The approval of so distinguished a personage, ensured the revival of Milburga's cultus. Goscelin wrote her vita in the late 11th century. Her feast was common in English calendars from the Bosworth Psalter (c. 1000) onwards (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth).

In art, Saint Milburgh holds the abbey of Wenlock. There may be geese near her. She is venerated at Stoke (Roeder).
850 St. Medrald Benedictine abbot
Medrald of Vendôme, OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as Mérald, Méraut) Died c. 850. Saint Medrald was a monk of Saint-Evroult (Ebrulfus) of Ouche. He later became abbot of Vendôme (Benedictines) also called Merald and Merault. He was abbot of Vendome, France.

867 St. Lazarus Zographos Monk painter of Constantinople
 Constantinópoli sancti Lázari Mónachi, qui, cum sacras Imágines píngeret, idcírco, Imperatóris Iconoclástæ Theóphili jussu, diris suppliciis excruciátur, et ei manus candénti ferro combúritur; sed, Dei virtúte sanátus, abrásas Imágines sanctas pingéndo restítuit, ac demum in pace quiévit.
       At Constantinople, St. Lazarus, monk.  The Iconoclast emperor Theophilus commanded him to be tortured with severe punishments because he had painted some sacred pictures.  His hand was burned with a hot iron, but it was healed by the power of God, after which he repainted the holy pictures that had been destroyed.  He ended his life in peace.
 He defended sacred images against the Iconoclasts.
Lazarus the Painter (RM) (also known as Lazarus Zographos) Saint Lazarus was a monk of Constantinople, and a skilled painter, who in the time of Theophilus (829-842), one of the iconoclast emperors, busied himself in restoring the sacred images defaced by the heretics. For this he was cruelly tormented by the emperor. Later he was restored to honor and sent as ambassador to Rome (Benedictines). In art, Saint Lazarus is shown with his hands burned but still painting for churches and/or restoring damaged paintings (Roeder).
1011 St. Willigis Bishop missionaries to Scandinavia, founded churches chaplain to Emperor Otto II (r. 973-983)
Born at Schoningen, Germany, he was the son of a wheelwright. After studying and receiving ordination, he was named a canon at Hildesheim and then received appointment as a chaplain to Emperor Otto II. The ruler made Willigis chancellor of Germany in 971 and then archbishop of Mainz in 973. About the same time, Pope Benedict VII  (r. 974-983) named him vicar apostolic for Germany. In 983, he crowned the infant emperor Otto III (r. 996-1002) at Aachen and was one of the chief figures in the regency with Otto's mother, Empress Theophano (d. 991) and then Empress Adelaide (d. 999). Following Otto's death in 1002, Willigis was instrumental in securing the election of Henry (r. king, 1002-1024, emperor, 1014-1024) of Bavaria, whom he consecrated as Henry II. A brilliant statesman, he always strove first to a be Church man. He sent missionaries to Scandinavia, founded churches, was careful in the prelates that he appointed to the sees of Germany, and rebuilt the cathedral of Mainz.

1011 St Willigis, Archbishop Of Mainz
St Willigis a great statesman and one of the most eminent churchmen of his age, was born of humble parents in the little town of Schöningen. Quite early he showed remarkable ability and was educated for the priesthood. He was a canon of Hildesheim when the Emperor Otto II appointed him first of all his chaplain-in-chief and then chancellor of Germany in 971. His outstanding qualities caused Otto to nominate him archbishop of Mainz and chancellor, as just mentioned, in spite of great opposition from those who resented his humble origin. Willigis was indefatigable in his energy. It was to him that Otto III, a minor, owed the crown which the archbishop placed on his head at Aachen in 983, and it was he who, after the death of the Empress Theophano, carried on the government with the Empress Adelaide. When the promising young emperor died without issue at the age of twenty-one, it was Willigis who contrived to get his cousin Henry of Bavaria elected as his successor—a most judicious choice, for Henry is numbered among the saints. These early emperors protected Germany from the anarchy that prevailed elsewhere in central Europe: as heads of the Holy Roman Empire they represented the unity of western Christendom, and much of their success they owed directly to St Willigis.

Absorbed as he might seem to be in politics, the saint never lost sight of his ecclesiastical duties. He helped on the spread of Christianity in Schleswig, Holstein, Denmark and Sweden, and at all times he was careful that none but worthy men should be appointed bishops. He consecrated the great church of Halberstadt, established the collegiate churches of St Stephen and St Victor and entirely rebuilt the cathedral in Mainz; when it was burnt down on the very day of consecration, he patiently accepted the trial and immediately set about re-erecting it, though it was not completed until the reign of his successor.

Several great bishops were consecrated by him—notably St Adalbert of Prague, Rathgar of Paderborn, St Bernward of Hildesheim, Bd Burchard of Worms, and Eberhard, first bishop of Bamberg. In the midst of worldly cares and successes, Willigis maintained a simple and childlike fear of God and an extraordinary humility. A contemporary and one who knew him wrote: “His countenance remained ever unruffled, but even more remarkable was his inward peace. He spoke little, but his few words carried more weight than many oaths from other people.” All he did was performed punctually and carefully. He so arranged his recital of the offices that they occupied him until noon, after which he transacted business, and if any time of leisure were left over he would spend it happily in studying the Holy

Scriptures. Every day his steward had to provide food and drink for thirty poor persons and thirteen others were fed from his own table and given a present in money.

The only unedifying episode in the life of St Willigis was a dispute he had with the bishop of Hildesheim, St Bernward, over the nunnery and church of Ganders­heim which stood on the boundary between their dioceses. The contention, which was caused by the mischief-making of a nun called Sophia, a sister of the emperor, caused grave scandal, and was eventually settled in favour of Hildesheim. At once the archbishop withdrew his claim, and did not hesitate to do so openly. “Brother and fellow bishop”, he said, “I resign all pretensions regarding the church and I hand over to you this staff as a token that neither I myself nor any of my successors will ever revive the claim.”

That he spoke and acted in good faith can be seen from the words of his opponent’s biographer, who, speaking of the death of Willigis, remarks that he passed to the Lord full of years and of good works. He was honoured as a saint immediately after his death, and in the church of St Stephen a special Mass is offered on the anniversary of his death. Some of his Mass vestments are preserved, but the so-called chalice of St Willigis which was formerly used on his feast does not date from his time. The saint is chiefly known in England through the old tradition which the Rev. S. Baring-Gould popularized in his poem, “The Arms of Mayence”. It describes how the archbishop at his investment and enthronization, perceiving the empty escutcheon for his arms and having none of his own, asked that he might be allowed to choose a wheel—as a reminder of his father’s trade—and it goes on to relate how the burgesses, who had sneered at him for his plebeian origin, decided after his death to adopt a wheel as the emblem of the city in thanksgiving for his peaceful and glorious reign. But the story is quite anachronistic.

No ancient biography of St Willigis is known to exist, although a brief summary of his life, corresponding to what may usually be found in the Breviary lessons, has been printed by G. Waitz in MGH., Scriptores, vol. xv, pp. 743—745. Abundant material concerning him may, however, be found in the chroniclers of the time, all which F. Falk has turned to good account in a series of articles in the periodical Der Katholik of Mainz for 1869, 1871 and 1881. There are modern biographies by H. Böhmer (1895) and J. Schmidt, the latter of which appeared as articles in Der Katholik for 1911 and 1952, and deals particularly with the attitude of St Willigis to the Holy See. See also H. K. Mann, Lives of the Popes, vols. iv and v.

Willigis of Mainz B (AC) Born at Schöningen, Brunswick; died at Mainz, Germany, in 1011. Saint Willigis was a man of humble origin, son of a wheelwright, who by 975 was imperial chancellor to Otto II, and archbishop of Mainz. As a canon of Hildesheim (near Hanover), Willigis attracted the attention of Otto II through Otto's precentor Wolkold, who became archbishop of Meissen in 969. Willigis also served Otto III as chaplain and chancellor, and left his mark as a capable and conscientious ecclesiastical statesman.

Through his efforts Christianity increased in Schleswig-Holstein and southern Scandinavia; he consecrated a succession of excellent bishops, provided for the building of several great churches and other public works, and established or restored collegiate churches in Mainz and Halberstadt. His personal life included daily study of the Scriptures and the organized relief of the poor. Willigis was a notable patron of the arts; his motto was "by art to the knowledge and service of God."

On the death of Otto, Willigis became one of the most important and influential people in the empire.
Confirmed by Benedict VII in the right to coronate emperors, Willigis crowned Otto III and later influenced him in favor of abandoning Italy and concentrating his resources north of the Alps. Otto III died young in 1002. The succession was disputed but ended with Willigis crowning Saint Henry II and his wife Saint Cunegund at Paderborn. He then served his third monarch faithfully.


Unhappily Willigis had a long disagreement with Saint Bernward of Hildesheim about jurisdiction over the convent of Gandersheim, a quarrel apparently provoked by one of the nuns, a sister of Otto III. At long last Willigis admitted he was in the wrong and gracefully withdrew his claims. This seems to have been the only blot on a vigorous and beneficent episcopate.

After he died of old age, Willigis's body was buried in St. Stephen's Church in Mainz. His cultus arose immediately and spontaneously. It is claimed that some of his Mass vestments have survived (Attwater, Benedictines, Farmer).

Saint Willigis is represented in art as a bishop with a wheel, which he chose as his insignia to symbolize his father's trade (Roeder). He is the patron of carters and wheelwrights, who is venerated at Hildesheim and Schoeningen (Roeder). 
1066 St. Ordonius  Benedictine bishop monk in Sahagiin, Leon
He served as a monk in Sahagiin, Leon, Spain, before receiving elevation to the office of bishop of Astorga in 1062.

1072 St. Peter Damian stern figure to recall men in a lax age from the error of their ways
Favéntiæ, in Æmília, natális sancti Petri Damiáni, Cardinális atque Epíscopi Ostiénsis et Confessóris, ex Ordine Camaldulénsi, doctrína et sanctitáte célebris, quem Leo Papa Duodécimus Doctórem universális Ecclésiæ declarávit.  Ipsíus autem festum sequénti die celebrátur.
 Sancti Petri Damiáni, ex Ordine Camaldulénsi, Cardinális et Epíscopi  Ostiénsis, Confessóris et Ecclésiæ Doctóris, qui evolávit in cælum prídie hujus diéi.       St. Peter Damian, a Camaldolese monk, cardinal bishop of Ostia, confessor and doctor of the Church, who died on the 22nd of February.

ST PETER DAMIAN, CARDINAL-BISHOP OF Ostia, Doctor OF THE CHURCH (A D. 1072)
ST PETER DAMIAN is one of those stern figures who seem specially raised up, like St John Baptist, to recall men in a lax age from the error of their ways and to bring them back into the narrow path of virtue. He was born at Ravenna and, having lost his parents when very young, he was left in the charge of a brother in whose house he was treated more like a slave than a kinsman. As soon as he was old enough he was sent to tend swine. Another brother, who was archpriest of Ravenna, took pity on the neglected lad and undertook to have him educated. Having found a father in this brother, Peter appears to have adopted from him the surname of Damian. Damian sent the boy to school, first at Faenza and then at Parma. He proved an apt pupil and became in time a master and a professor of great ability. He had early begun to inure himself to fasting, watching and prayer, and wore a hair shirt under his clothes to arm himself against the allurements of pleasure and the wiles of the Devil. Not only did he give away much in alms, but he was seldom without some poor persons at his table, and took pleasure in serving them with his own hands.
St. Peter Damian: Monk And Church Reformer Vatican City, 9 Sep 2009 (VIS) - Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI dedicated the catechesis of his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, to St. Peter Damian (1007-1072), "a monk, lover of solitude and, overall, an intrepid man of the Church who played a leading role in the reforms undertaken by the Popes of his time".
  Peter Damian, who lost both his parents while still very young and was raised by his siblings, received a superlative education in jurisprudence and Greek and Latin culture. As a young man he dedicated himself to teaching and authored a number of literary works, but he soon felt the call to become a monk and entered the monastery of Fonte Avellana.
  The monastery "was dedicated to the Holy Cross, and of all the Christian mysteries the Cross would be the one that most fascinated Peter Damian", explained Pope Benedict, expressing the hope that the saint's example "may encourage us too always to look to the Cross as God's supreme act of love towards man".
  As an aid to monastic life Peter Damian "wrote a Rule in which he placed great emphasis upon the 'rigour of the hermitage'. ... For him hermitic life is the apex of Christian life. It is 'the highest state of life' because the monk, free from the ties of the world and of his own self, receives 'the pledge of the Holy Spirit and his soul felicitously unites with the heavenly Bridegroom'. Today too, even if we are not monks, it is important to know how to create silence within ourselves in order to listen to the voice of God. ... Learning the Word of God in prayer and meditation is the path of life".
  For this saint, who was also an accomplished theologian, "communion with Christ creates a unity of love among Christians. ... Peter Damian developed a profound theology of the Church as communion. ... Thus, service to the individual becomes an 'expression of universality'.
  "Yet nonetheless", the Holy Father added, "this ideal image of the 'holy Church' as illustrated by Peter Damian did not, as he knew, correspond to the reality of his own time. And he was not afraid to denounce the state of corruption that existed in the monasteries and among the clergy, the result, above all, of the practice of the civil authorities conferring investiture to ecclesiastical office".
  In order to combat this situation, in 1057 he left the monastery to accept appointment as a cardinal. "Thus he came to collaborate fully with Popes in the difficult task of reforming the Church", in which context "he courageously undertook many journeys and missions". Ten years later he returned to monastic life, but continued to serve the papacy. He died in 1072 on his return from a mission to re-establish peace with the archbishop of Ravenna.
  Peter Damian, the Holy Father concluded, "was a monk par excellence, practising forms of austerity which today we might even find excessive. Yet in this way he made monastic life an eloquent witness of God's primacy and a call to everyone to progress towards sanctity, free from any kind of worldly compromise. He expended himself with great coherence and severity for the reform of the Church of his time, and dedicated all his spiritual and physical energy to Christ and to the Church".  AG/PETER DAMIAN/..VIS 090909 (570)

After a time Peter resolved to leave the world entirely and embrace a monastic life away from his own country. Whilst his mind was full of these thoughts, two religious of St Benedict, belonging to Fonte Avellana of the reform of St Romuald, happened to call at the house where he lived, and he was able to learn much from them about their rule and mode of life. This decided him, and he joined their hermitage, which was then in the greatest repute. The hermits, who dwelt in pairs in separate cells, occupied themselves chiefly in prayer and reading, and lived a life of great austerity. Peter’s excessive watchings brought on a severe insomnia which was cured with difficulty, but which taught him to use more discretion. Acting upon this experience, he now devoted considerable time to sacred studies, and became as well versed in the Holy Scriptures as he formerly had been in profane literature. By the unanimous consent of the hermits he was ordered to take upon himself the government of the community in the event of the superior’s death. Peter’s extreme reluctance obliged the abbot to make it a matter of obedience. Accordingly after the abbot’s decease about the year 1043, Peter assumed the direction of that holy family, which he governed with great wisdom and piety. He also founded five other hermitages in which he placed priors under his own general direction. His chief care was to foster in his disciples the spirit of solitude, charity and humility. Many of them became great lights of the Church, including St Dominic Loricatus, and St John of Lodi, his successor in the priory of the Holy Cross, who wrote St Peter’s life and at the end of his days became bishop of Gubbio. For years Peter Damian was much employed in the service of the Church by successive popes, and in 1057 Stephen IX prevailed upon him to quit his desert and made him cardinal-bishop of Ostia. Peter constantly solicited Nicholas II to grant him leave to resign his bishopric and return to his solitude, but the pope had always refused.

His successor, Alexander II, out of affection for the holy man, was prevailed upon with difficulty to consent, but reserved the power to employ him in church matters of importance, as he might hereafter have need of his help. The saint from that time considered himself dispensed not only from the responsibility of governing his see, but from the supervision of the various religious settlements he had controlled, and reduced himself to the condition of a simple monk.

In this retirement he edified the Church by his humility, penance and com­punction, and laboured in his writings to enforce the observance of morality and discipline. His style is vehement, and his strictness appears in all his works— especially when he treats of the duties of the clergy and of monks. He severely rebuked the bishop of Florence for playing a game of chess. That prelate acknowledged his amusement to be unworthy, and received the holy man’s reproof meekly, submitting to do penance by reciting the psalter three times and by washing the feet of twelve poor men and giving them each a piece of money.

Peter wrote a treatise to the bishop of Besançon in which he inveighed against the custom by which the canons of that church sang the Divine Office seated in choir, though he allowed all to sit for the lessons. He recommended the use of the discipline as a substitute for long penitential fasts. He wrote most severely on the obligations of monks and protested against their wandering abroad, seeing that the spirit of retirement is an essential condition of their state. He complained bitterly of certain evasions whereby many palliated real infractions of their vow of poverty. He justly observed, “We can never restore primitive discipline when once it is decayed; and if we, by negligence, suffer any diminution in what remains established, future ages will never be able to repair the breach. Let us not draw upon ourselves so foul a reproach; but let us faithfully transmit to posterity the example of virtue which we have received from our forefathers.”

St Peter Damian fought simony with very great vigour, and equally vigorously upheld clerical celibacy; and as he supported a severely ascetical, semi-eremitical life for monks, so he was an encour­ager of common life for the secular clergy. He was a man of great vehemence in all he said and did; it has been said of him, “his genius was to exhort and impel to the heroic, to praise striking achievements and to record edifying examples an extraordinary moral force burns in all that he wrote”.

In spite of his severity, St Peter Damian could treat penitents with mildness and indulgence where charity and prudence required it. Henry IV, the young king of Germany, had married Bertha, daughter of Otto, Marquis of the Marches of Italy, but two years later he sought a divorce under the pretence that the marriage had never been consummated. By promises and threats he won over the arch­bishop of Mainz, who summoned a council for the purpose of sanctioning the annulment of the marriage; but Pope Alexander II forbade him to consent to such an injustice and chose Peter Damian as his legate to preside over the synod. The aged legate met the king and bishops at Frankfurt, laid before them the order and instructions of the Holy See, and entreated the king to pay due regard to the law of God, the canons of the Church and his own reputation, and also to reflect seriously on the public scandal which so pernicious an example would give. The nobles likewise entreated the monarch not to stain his honour by conduct so un­worthy. Henry, unable to resist this strong opposition, dropped his project of a divorce, but remained the same at heart, only hating the queen more bitterly than ever.

Peter hastened back to his desert of Fonte Avellana. Whatever austerities he prescribed for others, he practised himself, remitting none of them even in his old age. He used to make wooden spoons and other little useful things that his hands might not be idle during the time he was not at work or at prayer. When Henry, Archbishop of Ravenna, had been excommunicated for grievous enormities, Peter was again sent by Alexander II as legate to settle the troubles. Upon his arrival at Ravenna he found that the prelate had just died, but he brought the accomplices of his crimes to a sense of their guilt and imposed on them suitable penance. This was Damian’s last undertaking for the Church. As he was returning towards Rome he was arrested by an acute attack of fever in a monastery outside Faenza, and died on the eighth day of this illness, whilst the monks were reciting Matins round about him, on February 22, 1072.

St Peter Damian was one of the chief forerunners of the Hildebrandine reform in the Church. His preaching was most eloquent and his writing voluminous, and he was declared a doctor of the Church in 1828.

Although the biography by his disciple John (who is almost certainly John of Lodi, later bishop of Gubbio) supplies a connected account of the life of St Peter Damian, still his history is very largely written in the chronicles of the times as well as in his own letters and diatribes. John’s biography is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii, as well as in Mabillon. See also the excellent study of R. Biron, St Pierre Damien in the series “Les Saints”, and Capecelatro, Storia di San Pier Damiano. For English readers Mgr Mann’s Lives of the Pope’s, vols. v and vi, provide much collateral information. cf. 0. J. Blum’s St Peter Damian (1947), in which his teaching is examined and D. Knowles, The Monastic Order in England (1949), pp. 193—197, with the references there given. There is a study in German by F. Dressier (1954).
At Faenza in Emília, the birthday of St. Peter Damian, cardinal bishop of Ostia and confessor.  He was a Camaldolese monk, famous for his learning and sanctity, whom Pope Leo XII declared a doctor of the universal Church. St. Peter Damian is one of those stern figures who seem specially raised up, like St. John Baptist, to recall men in a lax age from the error of their ways and to bring them back into the narrow path of virtue.
He was born at Ravenna and, having lost his parents when very young, he was left in the charge of a brother in whose house he was treated more like a slave than a kinsman. As soon as he was old enough he was sent to tend swine. Another brother, who was archpriest of Ravenna, took pity on the neglected lad and undertook to have him educated. Having found a father in this brother, Peter appears to have adopted from him the surname of Damian. Damian sent the boy to school, first at Faenza and then at Parma. He proved an apt pupil and became in time a master and a professor of great ability. He had early begun to inure himself to fasting, watching and prayer, and wore a hairshirt under his clothes to arm himself against the alurements of pleasure and the wiles of the devil. Not only did he give away much in alms, but he was seldom without some poor persons at his table, and took pleasure in serving them with his own hands.
After a time Peter resolved to leave the world entirely and embrace a monastic life away from his own country.

While his mind was full of these thoughts, two religious of St. Benedict, belonging to Fonte Avellana of the Reform of St. Romuald, happened to call at the house where he lived, and he was able to learn much from them about their Rule and mode of life. This decided him and he joined their hermitage, which was then in the greatest repute. The hermits, who dwelled in pairs in separate cells, occupied themselves chiefly in prayer and reading, and lived a life of great austerity. Peter's excessive watchings brought on a severe insomnia which was cured with difficulty, but which taught him to use more discretion. Acting upon this experience, he now devoted considerable time to Sacred studies, and became as well versed in the Holy Scriptures as he formerly had been in profane literature. By the unanimous consent of the hermits he was ordered to take upon himself the government of the Community in the event of the superior's death. Peter's extreme reluctance obliged the abbot to make it a matter of obedience.
Accordingly after the abbot's decease about the year 1043, Peter assumed the direction of that holy family, which he governed with great wisdom and piety.

He also founded five other hermitages in which he place Priors under his own general direction. His chief care was to foster in his disciples the spirit of solitude, charity, and humility. Many of them became great lights of the Church, including St. Dominic Loricatus, and St. John of Lodi, his successor in the priory of the Holy Cross, who wrote St. Peter's life and at the end of his days became Bishop of Gubbio.

For years Peter Damian was much employed in the service of the Church by successive Popes, and in 1057 Stephen IX prevailed upon him to quit his desert and made him Cardinal-bishop of Ostia. Peter constantly solicited Nicholas II to grant him leave to resign his bishopric and return to the solitude, but the Pope had always refused. His successor, Alexander II, out of affection for the holy man, was prevailed upon with difficulty to consent, but reserved the power to employ him in Church matters of importance, as he might hereafter have need of his help.

The saint from that time considered himself dispensed not only from the responsibility of governing his See, but from the supervision of the various religious settlements he had controlled, and reduced himself to the condition of a simple monk. In this retirement he edified the Church by his humility, penance and compunction, and labored in his writings to enforce the observance of morality and discipline.
His style is vehement, and his strictness appears in all his works - especially when he treats of the duties of the clergy and of monks.

He severely rebuked the Bishop of Florence for playing a game of chess. That prelate acknowledged his amusement to be unworthy, and received the holy man's reproof meekly, submitting to do penance by reciting the psalter three times and by washing the feet of twelve poor men and giving them each a piece of money.
Peter wrote a treatise to the Bishop of Besancon in which he inveighed against the custom by which the Canons of that Church sang the Divine Office seated in choir, though he allowed all to sit for the lessons. He recommended the use of the discipline as a substitute for long penitential fasts. He wrote most severely on the obligation of monks and protested against their wandering abroad, seeing that the spirit of retirement is an essential condition of their state. He complained bitterly of certain evasions whereby many palliated real infractions of their vow of poverty. He justly observed, "We can never restore primitive discipline when once it is decayed; and if we, by negligence, suffer any diminution in what remains established, future ages will never be able to repair the breach. Let us not draw upon ourselves so foul a reproach; but let us faithfully transmit to posterity the example of virtue which we have received from our forefathers."
St. Peter Damian fought simony with great vigor, and equally vigorously upheld clerical celibacy; and as he supported a severely ascetical, semi-eremitical life for monks, so he was an encourager of common life for the secular clergy. He was a man of great vehemence in all he said and did; it has been said of him that "his genius was to exhort and impel to the heroic, to praise striking achievements and to record edifying examples...an extraordinary force burns in all that he wrote". 
In spite of his severity, St. Peter Damian could treat penitents with mildness and indulgence where charity and prudence required it.

Henry IV, the young king of Germany, had married Bertha, daughter of Otto, Marquee of the Marches of Italy, but two years later he sought a divorce under the pretense that the marriage had never been consummated. By promises and threats he won over the archbishop of Mainz, who summoned a council for the purpose of sanctioning the annulment of the marriage; but Pope Alexander II forbade him to consent to such an injustice and chose Peter Damian as his legate to preside over the synod. The aged legate met the king and bishops at Frankfurt, laid before them the order and instructions of the Holy See, and entreated the king to pay due regard to the law of God, the Canons of the Church and his own reputation, and also to reflect seriously on the public scandal which so pernicious an example would give. The nobles likewise entreated the monarch not to stain his honor by conduct so unworthy. Henry, unable to resist this strong opposition, dropped his project of a divorce, but remained the same at heart, only hating the queen more bitterly than ever.

Peter hastened back to his desert of Fonte Avellana. Whatever austerities he prescribed for others, he practiced himself, remitting none of them even in his old age. He use to make wooden spoons and other little useful things that his hands might not be idle during the time he was not at work or at prayer. When Henry, Archbishop of Ravenna, had been excommunicated for grievous enormities, Peter was again sent by Alexander II as legate to settle the troubles. Upon his arrival at Ravenna he found that the prelate had just died, but he brought the accomplices of his crimes to a sense of their guilt and imposed on them suitable penance. This was Damian's last undertaking for the Church.
As he was returning towards Rome he was arrested by an acute attack of fever in a monastery outside Faenza, and died on the eighth day of this illness, while the monks were reciting Matins round about him, on February 22, 1072. St. Peter was one of the chief forerunners of the Hildebrandine reform in the Church.
His preaching was most eloquent and his writing voluminous, and he was declared a doctor of the Church in 1828.
1771 St. Marguerite d'Youville Catholic Canadians long honored as a saint this native daughter who allowed no obstacle to stand in the way of her helping others.
Marie-Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais, born near Montreal in 1701, came from a notable French-Canadian family.  After two years of convent schooling, she returned home to help her widowed mother raise the five younger children.  At 20, Marguerite married François d'Youville, a confidential agent of the Governor.  She bore him six children.  But it was a sad marriage.  Four of the children died young.  Furthermore, her husband treated her with cool indifference.  Meanwhile, he was incurring the hatred of French-Canadians and Indians by his unethical business practices.  He died young, but Marguerite fell heir only to his debts.  She had to open a small shop to earn enough money to discharge the debts and to educate her two surviving sons who were eventually ordained priests.
Mme. d'Youville's own poverty only sharpened her natural sympathy for the poor.

As a widow she devoted ever more time to the corporal works of mercy.  She gave alms to the poor but of her own meager funds, and mended their threadbare clothing.  She visited the sick and jailed, and begged money for the burial of criminals.  Three other laywomen, impressed by her good deeds, asked to join her in this labor of love.  In 1737 all four made a profession to serve the needy.  A year later they began to live together, and welcomed several homeless persons as permanent guests.  But they remained laypersons. At the outset, these "ladies of charity" were unpopular, mostly because the avarice of François d'Youville was all too well remembered and his innocent wife was considered tarred by his misdeeds.  They were shouted at and stoned in the streets, and sometimes priests even denied them Holy Communion.  But the Widow d'Youville would not let her companions grow discouraged.
By 1749, the Montreal authorities, finally recognizing Marguerite's goodwill and talents, begged her to take over the management of the faltering General Hospital. 

King Louis XV confirmed the appointment.  Her duty involved paying off the whole great debt of the institution, and this she achieved.  Then she opened the hospital not only to whites and Indians but to epileptics, the mentally ill, lepers, the blind, the victims of contagious diseases, foundlings and the aged. In 1766, fire destroyed the hospital and all she had made it, but she accepted the disaster with resignation to God's will, and instead of complaining, led her associates in the recitation of a Te Deum in praise of God.  Then they started all over again.
In 1754, Mme. d'Youville took the now inevitable step of forming her women auxiliaries into a new religious order.
Their official title was "The Sisters of Charity of the General Hospital." For their religious habit she chose a grey material.  One reason for the choice was rather witty.  In their early years their enemies had sometimes called these women "les soeurs grises," which meant, "the drunken sisters." But it can also mean "the grey sisters." So ever since its foundation, Mother d'Youville's large congregation, today divided into several distinct communities, has been called by the nickname she adopted, the "Grey Sisters."
They rapidly expanded throughout Canada, always welcome because they were ready to undertake not only all the corporal works of mercy but also the spiritual works of mercy, including school teaching at all levels.  This comprehensive order eventually branched out into both Americas, Africa, and the Far East. (They made a foundation in Buffalo in 1857.  Out of this came D'Youville College.) From the start, the Grey Nuns were mission-minded.  In 1755, when the Indians of the Quebec Province were suffering a severe smallpox epidemic, Mother d'Youville and all 12 of her sisters volunteered to go nurse the Indian victims, willing to risk their own lives by so doing.  The Indians were touched by this devotion.
     These same Native Americans had earlier complained to the Governor about François d'Youville, who was disobediently selling them liquor.  "We cannot pray God because d'Youville made us drink every day.  If you don't expel him from this island, we don't want to go there again." Thus did Mother d'Youville make reparation for the sins of her husband.  Her nuns continued this restitution by becoming pioneer missionaries among the natives of Canada's West and Northwest. One cannot know St. Marguerite d'Youville without admiring her.  She was one of the most remarkable Catholic women in the history of the Western Hemisphere.   --Father Robert F. McNamara
1456 Blessed Nicholas of Prussia novice-master and prior, OSB (PC)
Born in Prussia in 1379; Nicholas was one of the original members of the reformed abbey of Saint Justina of Padua under the Venerable Ludovico Barbo, founder of the Benedictine Cassinese congregation. He lived successively at Padua, Venice, Padolirone, and finally at the abbey of San Niccolo del Boschetto near Genoa, where he was novice-master and prior. His cultus has not yet officially been approved (Benedictines).

1473 St. John Cantius patron saint of Poland and Lithuania "Fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love.  Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause."
Born 1390 in the village of Kanti near Auschwitz   His parents, Stanislaus and Anne Wacenga, finding their son extremely bright, saw to it that he attended the University of Krakow.  There he won many academic degrees, culminating in Master of Theology.  Except for a brief period in which he served as parish priest in Olkusz, Father John spent the major portion of his long career as a professor in  the University of Krakow
     John was a conscientious teacher, but he was more remembered for his holiness than for the originality of his scholarship.  A man of sweet and winning disposition, he became noted for his acts of self-denial and his care for the needy.  The two characteristics tied in with each other.  What he denied himself, he gave to the poor.  He slept on the floor, never ate meat, and when he made pilgrimages to Rome, he backpacked it all the way on foot.
     During his 83 years, Professor Kanti became a living legend at the University.  A story is told that once when he was dining in the university refectory, a hungry beggar passed by the door.  John at once jumped up and took all his own meal to the hungry man.  When he returned to his seat, he found his plate full again, miraculously.  It is said that in commemoration of this event, the university set aside each day a meal for a poor man.  When dinner was ready, the vice president would cry out in Latin:  "A poor man is coming."  The president would respond, "Jesus Christ is coming," and the hungry guest would then be served.
     Because of his reputation as a teacher, after his death St. John's doctoral gown was used to vest each candidate for the doctorate at later commencements.
     Another story about his clothes refers to his cassocks.  He was a welcome guest at the tables of the nobility, but once a nobleman's servants refused to admit him because he was wearing his usual threadbare cassock.  John simply went home, put on a new cassock that he had, and returned to the dinner.  During the meal somebody spilled food on the new cassock.  The even-tempered professor wittily replied, "No matter.  My clothes deserve some dinner because to them I owe the pleasure of being here at all."
     University life is and must be a peaceful life, far removed from politics and warfare.  But even an academic community can become a field for bitter intellectual battles.  St. John Cantius showed himself an ideal Christian scholar when he warned his students, as he did constantly, of the need of charity even when one is fighting against erroneous ideas.  "Fight all false opinions," he would say, "but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love.  Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause."
     Today we Catholics are engaged in battling many false ideas.  Conflict often tempts one to do and say violent things, to offend against charity by showing disrespect for the human dignity of those who hold the false opinions.  May we heed the advice of this Polish professor-saint, and defend the truth only by "patience, sweetness and love."
     --Father Robert F. McNamara
1568 Saint Damian of Philotheou was a disciple of St Dometius (August 7) preacher martyr by Turks
He was from the village of Richovon (Merichovon) near Agrapha. He went to Mt. Athos when he was quite young, and received the monastic tonsure at Philotheou Monastery. After spending some time there, he withdrew to a hermitage under the guidance of an Elder named Dometius.
After three years, he heard a voice telling him to go forth and teach. He obeyed these instructions, preaching in many areas of Greece. He urged his fellow Christians to repent of their sins, to abstain from all vices, to obey God's commandments, and to devote themselves to God-pleasing works.
As he was on his way to a village, St Damian was arrested by the Turks and thrown into prison. After fifteen days of torture, he was hanged and then thrown into a fire.
St Damian received the crown of martyrdom on February 23, 1568.

Mary's Divine Motherhood
   Thursday  Saints of this Day February  23 Séptimo Kaléndas Mártii.  
Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  February 2017
Comfort for the Afflicted
That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees,
and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.
ABORTION IS A MORAL OUTRAGE
Marian spirituality: all are invited.

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016
ewtnmissionaries.com

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

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

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

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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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.
Saints of February 01 mention with Popes
865 St. Ansgar (b. 801) The “apostle of the north” (Scandinavia) had enough frustrations to become a saint—and he did. He became a Benedictine at Corbie, France, where he had been educated. Three years later, when the king of Denmark became a convert, Ansgar went to that country for three years of missionary work, without noticeable success. Sweden asked for Christian missionaries, and he went there, suffering capture by pirates and other hardships on the way. Less than two years later he was recalled, to become abbot of New Corbie (Corvey) and bishop of Hamburg. The pope made him legate for the Scandinavian missions. Funds for the northern apostolate stopped with Emperor Louis’s death. After 13 years’ work in Hamburg, Ansgar saw it burned to the ground by invading Northmen; Sweden and Denmark returned to paganism.
He directed new apostolic activities in the North, traveling to Denmark and being instrumental in the conversion of another king. By the strange device of casting lots, the king of Sweden allowed the Christian missionaries to return.  Ansgar’s biographers remark that he was an extraordinary preacher, a humble and ascetical priest. He was devoted to the poor and the sick, imitating the Lord in washing their feet and waiting on them at table. He died peacefully at Bremen, Germany, without achieving his wish to be a martyr.
Sweden became pagan again after his death, and remained so until the coming of missionaries two centuries later.

1645 St Henry Morse Jesuit fought off the plague returned several times to England ministering.  Born in Broome, Suffolk, England, in 1595; died at Tyburn, England, February 1, 1645; beatified in 1929; canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
Saint Henry, like so many saints of his period in the British Isles, was a convert to Catholicism. He was a member of the country gentry, who studied at Cambridge then finished his study of law at Barnard's Inn, London. In 1614, he professed the Catholic faith at Douai. When he returned to England to settle an inheritance, he was arrested for his faith and spent the next four years in New Prison in Southwark. He was released in 1618 when a general amnesty was proclaimed by King James.

Saints of February 02 mention with Popes
  St. Cornelius sent for Peter First bishop of Caesarea.  1st century. Palestine, who was originally a centurion in the Italica cohort of the Roman legion in the area. Cornelius had a vision instructing him to send for St. Peter, who came to his home and baptized him, as described in Acts, chapter ten.
619 St. Lawrence of Canterbury Benedictine Archbishop scourged by St. Peter physical scars.  England, sent there by Pope St. Gregory I the Great. A Benedictine, Lawrence accompanied St. Augustine to Canterbury in 597 and succeeded him as archbishop in 604.  When the Britons lapsed into pagan customs, Lawrence planned to return to France, but in a dream he was rebuked by St. Peter for abandoning his flock. He remained in his see and converted the local ruler King Edbald to the faith. He died in Canterbury on February 2. Lawrence is commemorated in the Irish Stowe Missal and is reported to have been scourged by St. Peter in his dream, carrying the physical scars on his back.
1365 Blessed Peter Cambiano Dominican martyr.   Born in Chieri, Piedmont, Italy, in 1320; died February 2, 1365; beatified in 1856.
Peter Cambiano's father was a city councillor and his mother was of nobility. They were virtuous and careful parents, and they gave their little son a good education, especially in religion. Peter responded to all their care and became a fine student, as well as a pious and likeable child.
Peter was drawn to the Dominicans by devotion to the rosary. Our Lady of the Rosary was the special patroness of the Piedmont region, and he had a personal devotion to her. At 16, therefore, he presented himself at the convent in Piedmont and asked for the habit.       The inquisition had been set up to deal with these people in Lombardy before the death of Peter Martyr, a century before. So well did young Peter of Ruffia carryout the work of preaching among them that the order sent him to Rome to obtain higher degrees. The pope, impressed both by his talent and his family name, appointed him inquisitor-general of the Piedmont. This was a coveted appointment; to a Dominican it meant practically sure martyrdom and a carrying on of a proud tradition.
1640 St. Joan de Lestonnac Foundress many miracles different kinds occurred at her tomb.   After her children were raised, she entered the Cistercian monastery at Toulouse. Joan was forced to leave the Cistercians when she became afflicted with poor health.
She returned to Bordeaux with the idea of forming a new congregation, and several young girls joined her as novices. They ministered to victims of a plague that struck Bordeaux, and they were determined to counteract the evils of heresy promulgated by Calvinism. Thus was formed the Congregation of the Religious of Notre Dame of Bordeaux. In 1608, Joan and her companions received the religious habit from the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Joan was elected superior in 1610, and many miracles occurred at her tomb. She was canonized in 1949 by Pope Pius XII.

Saints of February 03 mention with Popes
Gregory IV (827-44) # 102
Elected near the end of 827; died January, 844. When Gregory was born is not known, but he was a Roman and the son of John. Before his election to the papacy he was the Cardinal-Priest of the Basilica of St. Mark, which he adorned with mosaics yet visible. For his piety and learning he was ordained priest by Paschal I. This man, of distinguished appearance and high birth, was raised to the chair of Peter, despite his protestations of unfitness, mainly buy the instrumentality of the secular nobility of Rome who were then securing a preponderating influence in papal elections. But the representatives in Rome of the Emperor Louis the Pious would not allow him to be consecrated until his election had been approved by their master. This interference caused such delay that it was not, seemingly, till about March, 828, that he began to govern the Church.
576 St. Lawrence of Spoleto Bishop “the Illuminator.” miracle worker  of Spoleto, Italy, also called “the Illuminator.” He was a Syrian, forced to leave his homeland in 514 because of Arian persecution. He went to Rome and was ordained by Pope St. Hormisdas. He then preached in Umbria and founded a monastery in Spoleto. Named bishop of Spoleto, Lawrence was rejected as a foreigner until the city’s gates miraculously opened for his entrance.
He is called “the Illuminator” because of his ability to cure physical and spiritual blindness. After two decades, Lawrence resigned to found the Farfa Abbey near Rome.
865 St. Ansgar 1st Archbishop of Hamburg & Bremen missionary first Christian church in Sweden Patron of Scandinavia  At Bremen, St. Ansgar, bishop of Hamburg and later of Bremen, who converted the Swedes and the Danes to the faith of Christ.  He was appointed Apostolic Delegate of all the North by Pope Gregory IV.
Ansgar was born of a noble family near Amiens. He became a monk at Old Corbie monastery in Picardy and later at New Corbie in Westphalia. He accompanied King Harold to Denmark when the exiled King returned to his native land and engaged in missionary work there. Ansgar's success caused King Bjorn of Sweden to invite him to that country, and he built the first Christian Church in Sweden. He became Abbot of New Corbie and first Archbishop of Hamburg about 831, and Pope Gregory IV appointed him Legate to the Scandinavian countries. He labored at his missionary works for the next fourteen years but saw all he had accomplished destroyed when invading pagan Northmen in 845 destroyed Hamburg and overran the Scandinavian countries, which lapsed into paganism.
1331 Bl. Odoric of Pordenone Franciscan missionary to Mongol Great Khan in Peking miracles performed . Born Odoric Mattiussi at Villanova, near Pordenone, Italy, he entered the Franciscans in 1300 and became a hermit. After several years, he took to preaching in the region of Udine, northern Italy, attracting huge crowds through his eloquence. In 1316 he set out for the Far East, journeying through China and finally reaching the court of the Mongol Great Khan in Peking. From 1322 to 1328 he wandered throughout China and Tibet, finally returning to the West in 1330 where he made a report to the pope at Avignon and dictated an account of his travels. He died before he could find missionaries to return with him to the East. His cult was approved in 1755 owing to the reports of miracles he performed while preaching among the Chinese.
1450 Blessed Matthew of Girgenti .  Matthew became a Conventual Franciscan in his hometown. Then he turned to the Observants and worked zealously under Saint Bernardino of Siena, with whom he became close friends as they travelled together on Bernardino's preaching missions. He himself gained a reputation as a great preacher. Pope Eugene IV forced him to accept the bishopric of Girgenti. Once he accepted it as God's will, he set about reforming the see. As a result of the opposition the changes raised, he resigned the see. Then he was refused admittance to the friary he himself had founded because he was deemed to be too much of a firebrand. Matthew died in a Franciscan friary at Palermo (Attwater2, Benedictines).

Saints of February 04 mention with Popes
1373 St. Andrew Corsini Carmelite gifts of prophecy, miracles papal legate Apostle of Florence miracles at  death.  He was born in Florence on November 30, 1302, a member of the powerful Corsini family. Wild in his youth, Andrew was converted to a holy life by his mother and became a Carmelite monk. He studied in Paris and Avignon, France, returning to his birthplace. There he became known as the Apostle of Florence. He was called a prophet and miracle worker. Named as the bishop of Fiesole in 1349, Andrew fled the honor but was forced to accept the office, which he held for twelve years. He was sent by Pope Urban V to Bologna to settle disputes between the nobles and commoners, a mission he performed well. Andrew died in Fiesole on January 6, 1373. So many miracles took place at his death that Pope Eugenius IV permitted the immediate opening of his cause.
On Rabanus Maurus “A Truly Extraordinary Personality of the Latin West
784-856 Blessed Maurus Magnentius Rabanus; monk; celebrated theological and pedagogical writer Wrote Veni, Creator Spiritus.  A truly extraordinary personality of the Latin West: the monk Rabanus Maurus. Together with men such as Isidore of Seville, the Venerable Bede and Ambrose Auperto, already spoken in previous catechesis, [Rabanus Maurus] knew how to stay in contact with the great culture of the ancient scholars and the Christian fathers during the centuries of the High Middle Ages.
For this reason, Rabanus Maurus concentrated his attention above all on the liturgy, as the synthesis of all the dimension of our perception of reality. This intuition of Rabanus Maurus makes him extraordinarily relevant to our times. He also left the famous “Carmina” proposals to be used above all in liturgical celebrations. In fact, Rabanus' interest for the liturgy can be entirely taken for granted given that before all, he was a monk. Nevertheless, he did not dedicate himself to the art of poetry as an end in itself, but rather he used art and whatever other type of knowledge to go deeper in the Word of God. Because of this, he tried with all his might and rigor to introduce to his contemporaries, but above all to the ministers (bishops, priests and deacons), to the understanding of the profound theological and spiritual significance of all the elements of the liturgical celebration.

1505 St. Joan of Valois Order of the Annunciation that she founded holiness and spiritual testament.  At Bourges in Aquitaine, St. Jane de Valois, Queen of France, foundress of the Order of Sisters of the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary, renowned for her piety and singular devotion to the Cross, whom Pope Pius XII added to the catalogue of saints.
1693 St. John de Britto Jesuit martyr in India. In Marava Kingdom in India, St. John de Britto, priest of the Society of Jesus, who having converted many infidels to the faith, was gloriously crowned with martyrdom.
He was a native of Lisbon, Portugal, was dedicated at birth to St. Francis Xavier, and was a noble friend of King Pedro. He entered the Jesuits at the age of fifteen. In his effort to promote conversions among the native Indian people as a missionary to Goa, he wandered through Malabar and other regions and even adopted the customs and dress of the Brahmin caste which gave him access to the noble classes. In 1683, John had to leave India but returned in 1691. Arrested, tortured, and commanded to leave India, he refused and was put to death. Pope Pius XII canonized him in 1947.

Saints of February 05 mention with Popes
1005 Saint Fingen of Metz Abbot restoring old abbeys.  Saint Fingen, a celebrated Irish abbot, migrated to the kingdom of Lothaire, where he acquired a reputation for restoring old abbeys. One of them, Saint Symphorien's, was given over to him about 991 by Bishop Saint Adalbero and an Irish community. At the insistence of the dowager Empress Saint Adelaide, Pope John XVII issued a charter that declared that only Irish monks would administer the abbey as long as they could be found. She obtained a similar charter from Otto III in 992.
1597 St. Leo Karasuma Martyr of Japan Korean Franciscan tertiary.  At Nagasaki in Japan, the passion of twenty-six martyrs.  Three priests, one cleric, and two lay brothers were members of the Order of Friars Minor; one cleric was of the Society of Jesus, and seventeen belonged to the Third Order of St. Francis.  All of them, placed upon crosses for the Catholic faith, and pierced with lances, gloriously died in praising God and preaching that same faith.  Their names were added to the roll of saints by Pope Pius IX.
who served the Franciscan mission, Louis was crucified at Nagasaki, Japan, with twenty-five companions. He was canonized in 1867.

Saints of February 06 mention with Popes
891 Saint Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, "the Church's far-gleaming beacon," The Synod of 861 was called to end the unrest, at which the deposition of Ignatius and the installation of Photius as patriarch were confirmed. Pope Nicholas I, whose envoys were present at this council, hoped that by recognizing Photius as patriarch he could subordinate him to his power. When the new patriarch proved unsubmissive, Nicholas anathematized Photius at a Roman council.
Until the end of his life St Photius was a firm opponent of papal intrigues and designs upon the Orthodox Church of the East.
In 864, Bulgaria voluntarily converted to Christianity. The Bulgarian prince Boris was baptized by Patriarch Photius himself. Later, St Photius sent an archbishop and priests to baptize the Bulgarian people. In 865, Sts Cyril and Methodius were sent to preach Christ in the Slavonic language.  lived during the ninth century, and came from a family of zealous Christians.   His father Sergius died as a martyr in defense of holy icons.
1597 Philip of Jesus martyred in Japan patron of Mexico City  Born in Mexico City, Mexico, May 1, 1571; died in Nagasaki, Japan, 1597; beatified by Pope Urban VIII; canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1862; feast day formerly February 5. The life of Saint Philip points again to the importance of the domestic church--the family. Early in life Saint Philip ignored the pious teachings of his immigrant Spanish family, but eventually he entered the Reformed Franciscan Convent of Santa Barbara at Puebla, Mexico--and soon exited the novitiate in 1589. Grieved at the inconstancy of his son, Philip's father sent him on a business trip to the Philippines.

Saints of February 07 mention with Popes
ST THEODORE OF HERACLEA, MARTYR (No DATE?).  The differentiation of two separate Theodores seems to have occurred somewhat earlier than Father Delehaye supposes. An Armenian homily which F. C. Conybeare believes to be of the fourth century already regards them as distinct and Mgr Wilpert has reproduced a mosaic which Pope Felix IV (526—530) set up in the church of St Theodore on the Palatine, in which our Saviour is represented seated, while St Peter on one side presents to Him one St Theodore and St Paul on the other side presents another.


550 St. Tressan Irish missionary spread the faith in Gaul.   Tressan worked there as a swineherd, but he was ordained to the priesthood by Saint Remigius, who provided the siblings with suitable retreats from which they could spread the faith. Tressan became curate of Mareuil-sur-Marne, and the patron saint of Avenay in Champagne. His cultus is strong and has been continuous in the area of Rheims. More than 1,000 years after his death, Pope Clement VIII and Archbishop Philip of Rheims authorized the publishing of an Office for his feast (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Encyclopedia, Fitzpatrick, Kenney, Montague, O'Hanlon).
1027 ST ROMUALD, ABBOT FOUNDER OF THE CAMALDOLESE BENEDICTINES.    Romuald seems to have spent the next thirty years wandering about Italy, founding hermitages and monasteries. He stayed three years in a cell near that house which he had founded at Parenzo. Here he labored for a time under great spiritual dryness, but suddenly, one day, as he was reciting the words of the Psalmist, I will give thee understanding and will instruct thee “, he was visited by God with an extraordinary light and a spirit of compunction which from that time never left him.
He wrote an exposition of the Psalms full of admirable thoughts, he often foretold things to come, and he gave counsel inspired by heavenly wisdom to all who came to consult him. He had always longed for martyrdom, and at last obtained the pope’s licence to preach the gospel in Hungary; but he was stricken with a grievous illness as soon as he set foot in the country, and as the malady returned each time he attempted to proceed, he concluded it was a plain indication of God’s will in the matter and he accordingly returned to Italy, though some of his associates went on and preached the faith to the Magyars.
1447 St. Colette Poor Clare 17 established monasteries  .   After four years of prayer and penance in this cell, she left it. With the approval and encouragement of the pope, she joined the Poor Clares and reintroduced the primitive Rule of St. Clare in the 17 monasteries she established. Her sisters were known for their poverty—they rejected any fixed income—and for their perpetual fast. Colette’s reform movement spread to other countries and is still thriving today. Colette was canonized in 1807.

Saints of February 08 mention with Popes
485 Martyrs of Constantinople community of monks of Saint Dius  .  At Constantinople, the birthday of the holy martyrs, monks of the monastery of Dius.  While bringing the letter of Pope St. Felix against Acacius, they were barbarously killed for their defence of the Catholic faith.
The community of monks of Saint Dius martyred at the time of the Acacian schism ( first significant break between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Western Catholic Church) for their fidelity to the Holy See (Benedictines).  Monophysites believed that Christ had only one nature: divine. But orthodox belief held that Christ had two natures: both divine and human expressed at the Council of Chalcedon, an ecumenical council held in 451.

1124 Stephen (Etienne) of Grandmont (of Muret) God give Stephen ability read hearts: deacon austere life little food/sleep for 46 years conversions many obstinate sinners.  At Muret, near Limoges, the birthday of the abbot St. Stephen, founder of the order of Grandmont, celebrated for his virtues and miracles.,
Born in Thiers, Auvergne, France, 1046; died 1124; canonized by Pope Clement III in 1189 at the request of King Henry II of England.
1213 John of Matha hermit first Mass celebrated: vision of angel clothed in white with a red and blue cross on his breast. The angel placed his hands on the heads of two slaves, who knelt beside him.   Pope Innocent III had experienced a similar vision Redemption of Captives (the Trinitarians).     St. John of Matha, priest and confessor, founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the redemption of captives, who went to repose in the Lord on the 17th of December. (RM) Born in Fauçon, Provence, France, June 23, 1160 (or June 24, 1169, according to Husenbeth, or 1154 per Tabor); died in Rome, Italy, December 17, 1213; cultus approved in 1655 and 1694.
1213 ST JOHN OF MATHA, Co-FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF THE MOST HOLY  TRINITY
1270 Jacoba de Settesoli She joined the third order of Saint Francis buried in same crypt.  Jacqueline, friend of Saint Francis of Assisi, was born into a noble Italian family descended from the Norman knights who invaded Sicily. She married well to Gratien Frangipani, a family renowned for its charity.  When Jacqueline was about 22 (1212), Saint Francis came to Rome for an audience with the pope. While there, he preached so well that he became famous. When Jacqueline heard Francis praise poverty that opens wide the doors of the Kingdom of Heaven, she realized that charity is not dealt with as one would deal with a servant, and that charity is not a fact, but a state. The next day, Jacqueline sought Francis's direction.   Francis told her to return home, she could not abandon her family. "A perfect life can be lived anywhere. Poverty is everywhere. Charity is everywhere. It is where you are that counts. You have a husband and two children. That is a beautiful frame for a holy life."
And, so, Jacqueline joined the third order of Saint Francis; and because she was masculine and energetic she was nicknamed "Brother Jacoba."
1537 St. Jerome Emiliani devoted himself to poor and suffering special call to help orphans founded orphanages shelter for prostitutes.      At Somascha, in the district of Bergamo, the birthday of St. Jerome Emilian, confessor, who was the founder of the Congregation of Somascha.  Illustrious both during his life and after death for many miracles, he was inscribed in the roll of the saints by Pope Clement XIII.  Pope Pius XI chose and declared him to be the heavenly patron of orphans and abandoned children.  His feast is celebrated on the 20th of July.  b: 1481
Jerome Emiliani lay chained in the dark dirty dungeon. Only a short time before he had been a military commander for Venice in charge of a fortress. He didn't care much about God because he didn't need him -- he had his own strength and the strength of his soldiers and weapons. When Venice's enemies, the League of Cambrai, captured the fortress, he was dragged off and imprisoned. There in the dungeon, Jerome decided to get rid of the chains that bound him. He let go of his worldly attachments and embraced God.
1947 St. Josephine Bakhita slave her spirit was always free c. 1868 .  During his homily at her canonization Mass in St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II said that in St. Josephine Bakhita, "We find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation. The history of her life inspires not passive acceptance but the firm resolve to work effectively to free girls and women from oppression and violence, and to return them to their dignity in the full exercise of their rights."

Saints of February 09 mention with Popes
444 ST CYRIL, ARCHBISHOP OF ALEXANDRIA DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH.  ST CYRIL has been called the Doctor of the Incarnation, as St Augustine was styled the Doctor of Divine Grace in the great intercession of the Syrian and Maronite Mass he is commemorated as “a tower of truth and interpreter of the Word of God made flesh”. He was declared a doctor of the Universal Church in 1882  and at the fifteenth centenary of his death in 1944 Pope Pius XII issued an encyclical letter, “Orientalis ecclesiae”, on “this light of Christian wisdom and valiant hero of the apostolate.
    The great devotion of this saint to the Blessed Sacrament is manifest from the frequency with which he emphasizes the effects it produces upon those who receive it worthily. Indeed, he says that by holy communion we are made concorporeal with Christ. And it must surely be difficult for those who profess to hold the same faith as that defined in the first six general councils to shut their eyes to the vigour and conviction with which St Cyril before the year 431 affirmed his Eucharistic doctrine. In a letter to Nestorius, which received the general and formal assent of the fathers at Ephesus, he had written:  Proclaiming the death according to the flesh of the only begotten Son of
            God, that is, Jesus Christ, and confessing His resurrection from the dead and
            ascent into Heaven, we celebrate the bloodless sacrifice in our churches and
            thus approach the mystic blessings, and are sanctified by partaking of the holy
            flesh and the precious blood of Christ the Saviour of us all. And we receive
            it, not as common flesh (God forbid), nor as the flesh of a man sanctified and
            associated with the Word according to the unity of merit, or as having a divine
            indwelling, but as really the life-giving and very flesh of the Word Himself
            (Migne, PG., lxxvii, xii).
            And he wrote to Calosyrius, Bishop of Arsinoë:
              I hear that they say that the sacramental consecration does not avail for
            hallowing if a portion of it be kept to another day. In saying so they are crazy.
            For Christ is not altered, nor will His holy body be changed; but the power
            of the consecration and the life-giving grace still remain in it (Migne, PG.,
            lxxvi, 1073).
           Our knowledge of St Cyril is derived principally from his own writings and from the church historians Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret. The view of his life and work presented by Butler is the traditional view, and we are not here directly concerned with the discussions which, owing mainly to the discovery of the work known as The Bazaar of Heracleides, have since been devoted to the character of Nestorius and his teaching.
566 Bishop Sabinus of Canosa (Canusium) in Apulia   .  At Canossa in Apulia, St. Sabinus, bishop and confessor.  Blessed Pope Gregory tells that he was endowed with the spirit of prophecy and the power of miracles.  After he had become blind, when a cup of poison was offered to him by a servant who was bribed, he knew it by divine instinct.  He, however, declared that God would punish the one who had bribed the servant, and, making the sign of the cross, he drank the poison without anxiety and without harmful effect.
Bishop Sabinus of the now-destroyed city of Canosa (Canusium) in Apulia was a friend of Saint Benedict. Pope Saint Agapitus I entrusted him with an embassy to Emperor Justinian (535-536). He is the patron saint of Bari, where his relics are now enshrined (Benedictines).
1088 Blessed Marianus Scotus extraordinarily gifted at producing manuscripts.   In 1078, he founded and became the abbot of the abbey of Saint Peter in Regensburg. Having successfully taken charge of the church and abbey attached to it for the task of copying manuscripts, other Irish monks were attracted to the mission. The abbey expanded to the point that, within 10 years, plans were made for another such monastery. In this way, Muirdach originated the congregation of 12 "Scottish," that is, Irish monasteries in southern Germany. (The reason for the term "Scottish" is that it was used from the time of the Romans for the Irish. Even 200 years after the establishment of the Scottish monarchy, the term was commonly used for things Irish. Although Scottish monks pressured Pope Leo XIII, who did permit them in 1515 to take possession of Saint James in Regensburg and the abbeys at Constanz and Erfurt. In Germany, the 12 are still known as the Schottenklöster. )
1430 Bl. Alvarez of Córdoba Dominican Confessor preacher born in Cordoba.  
When the antipope Benedict XIII came on the scene in 1394-1423, Alvarez opposed him successfully. Alvarez died about 1430. Blessed Alvarez is probably best remembered as a builder of churches and convents, an activity which was symbolic of the work he did in the souls of those among whom he preached. He founded, in one place, a convent to shelter a famous image of Our Lady, which had been discovered in a miraculous manner. Near Cordova he built the famous convent of Scala Coeli, a haven of regular observance. It had great influence for many years. His building enterprises were often aided by the angels, who, during the night, carried wood and stones to spots convenient for the workmen.The austerities of Alvarez were all the more remarkable in that they were not performed by a hermit, but by a man of action. He spent the night in prayer, as Saint Dominic had done; he wore a hairshirt and a penitential chain; and he begged alms in the streets of Cordova for the building of his churches, despite the fact that he had great favor at court and could have obtained all the money he needed from the queen. He had a deep devotion to the Passion, and had scenes of the Lord's sufferings made into small oratories in the garden of Scala Coeli.
1537 St. Jerome Emiliani b. 1481? in 1928 Pius Xl named him the patron of orphans and abandoned children.        At Somascha, in the district of Bergamo, the birthday of St. Jerome Emilian, confessor, who was the founder of the Congregation of Somascha.  Illustrious both during his life and after death for many miracles, he was inscribed in the roll of the saints by Pope Clement XIII.  Pope Pius XI chose and declared him to be the heavenly patron of orphans and abandoned children.  His feast is celebrated on the 20th of July.  b: 1481. Around 1532 Jerome and two other priests established a congregation dedicated to the care of orphans and the education of youth. Jerome died in 1537 from a disease he caugh t while tending the sick. He was canonized in 1767.
1910 St. Michael Cordero Ecuadorian de La Salle Brother first native vocation there.  Michael of Ecuador (RM) (also known as Miguel of Ecuador and Miguel or Francisco Febres Cordero Muñoz)
Born at Cuenca, Ecuador, on November 7, 1854; died near Barcelona, Spain, on February 9, 1910; beatified with fellow Christian Brother Mutien-Marie by Pope Paul VI on October 30, 1977; canonized by Pope John Paul II on April 7, 1984 (the feast of the order's founder).
  "The heart is rich when it is content, and it is always content when its desires are set upon God." --Saint Miguel of Ecuador.

Saints of February 10 mention with Popes
304 Soteris of Rome the Aureli family martyred for Jesus   . Also at Rome, on the Appian Way, St. Soter, virgin and martyr, descended of a noble family, but as St. Ambrose mentions, for the love of Christ she set at naught the consular and other dignitaries of her people.  Upon her refusal to sacrifice to the gods, she was for a long time cruelly scourged.  She overcame these and various other torments, then was struck with the sword; and joyfully went to her heavenly spouse. Two passages of St Ambrose for our knowledge of this martyr. He speaks of her In his De virginibus, iii, 7, and in his Exhortatio virginis, c. 12. At the same time we know from the Hieronymianum” that she was
         originally buried at Rome on the Via Appia. One of the catacombs, the location of which
         it is difficult to determine, afterwards bore her name. Her body was later on translated by
         Pope Sergius II to the church of San Martino di Monti. See the Acta Sanctorum, February,
         vol. ii, and the
mische Quartalschrift, 1905, pp. 50—63 and 105—133.
1157 St. William of Maleval Hermit licentious military life conversion of heart  gift of working miracles and  prophecy In Stábulo Rhodis, in territorio Senénsi, sancti Guiliélmi Eremítæ.  At Malavalle, near Siena, St. William, hermit.  A native of France, he led a dissolute early and maritial life but underwent a conversion through a pilgrimage to Rome, where he was forced to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land (at the command of Pope Eugenius Ill, r. 1145-1153). Upon his return, he lived as a hermit and then became head of a monastery near Pisa. As he failed to bring about serious reforms among the monks there or on Monte Pruno (Bruno), he departed and once more took up the life of a hermit near Siena. Attracting a group of followers, the hermits received papal sanction. They later developed into the Hermits of St. William (the Gulielmites) until absorbed into the Augustinian Canons. In his later years, William was noted for his gifts of prophecy and miracles.
William of Maleval, OSB Hermit (RM) (also known as William of Malval or Malvalla) Born in France; died at Maleval, Italy, February 10, 1157; canonized by Innocent III in 1202. After carefree years of licentious military life, William experienced a conversion of heart of which we are told nothing. The first real piece of information we have is that the penitent Frenchman made a pilgrimage to the tombs of the apostles at Rome. Here he begged Pope Eugenius III for pardon and to set him on a course of penance for his sins. Eugenius enjoined him to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1145. William followed his counsel and spent eight years on the journey, returning to Italy a changed man.
1960 Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, Cardinal demonstrating the importance of faith, charity and virtue.   (also known as Louis or Alojzije of Zagreb) Born at Brezaric near Krasic, Croatia, on May 8, 1898; died at Krasic, on February 10, 1960; beatified on October 3, 1998, by Pope John Paul II at the Marian shrine of Marija Bistrica.  Aloysius Stepinac, the eighth of 12 children of a peasant family, was always the special object of his mother's prayers to he might be ordained. In 1916, he was conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian army and fought on the Italian front until he was taken prisoner. Upon his return to civilian life in 1919, Stepinac entered the University of Zagreb to study agriculture, but soon recognized his call to the priesthood. In 1924, he was sent to Rome for his seminary studies leading to his ordination on October 26, 1930.
He returned to Zagreb in July 1931 with doctorates in theology and philosophy.
Soon afterwards, Stepinac was chosen to become secretary to Archbishop Antun Bauer. On June 24, 1934, he was nominated as coadjutor to the Archbishop of Zagreb. After this nomination, Stepinac stated: "I love my Croatian people and for their benefit I am ready to give everything, as well as I am ready to give everything for the Catholic Church." After Bauer's death on December 7, 1937, Stepinac became the Archbishop of Zagreb. He took as his motto, "In You, O Lord, I take refuge!" (Psalm 31:1), which was the inspiration for his service to the Church.
During the Second World War, Stepinac never turned his back on the refugees, or the persecuted.


Saints of February 11 mention with Popes
350 St. Lucius Martyred bishop of Adrianople opposed Arianism.  Lucius BM and Companions MM (RM) Died 350. Lucius, who succeeded Eutropius as bishop of Adrianople, was driven from his see to Gaul for having opposed Arianism. He played a leading role in the Council of Sardica in 347. Under the protection of Pope Saint Julius I, he returned to Adrianople, but refused to be in communion with the Arian bishops condemned at Sardica. On this account he was arrested and died in prison. A group of his faithful Catholics, who had been siezed with him, were beheaded by order of the Emperor Constantius (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson).
6th v Saint Gobnata (meaning Honey Bee) of Ballyvourney the angels spoke of 9 deer gift of healing, and there is a story of how she kept the plague from Ballyvourney.  The round stone associated with her is still preserved. Several leading families of Munster have a traditional devotion to this best-known and revered local saint. The devotion of the O'Sullivan Beare family may have been the reason that Pope Clement VIII honored Gobnata in 1601 by indulgencing a pilgrimage to her shrine and, in 1602, by authorizing a Proper Mass on her feast. About that time the chieftains of Ireland were making a final struggle for independence and the entire clan migrated to the North having dedicated their fortunes to Gobnata in a mass pilgrimage that included O'Sullivan Beare, his fighting men, and their women, children, and servants (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Farmer, Montague, Neeson, O'Hanlon, Sullivan).
608 St. Desiderius martyred Bishop of Vienne  France, murdered by the Frankish queen Brunhildis and her followers, and is revered as a martyr. Born at Autun, he is also called Didier. As bishop, he attacked Queen Brunhildis for immorality. She accused him of paganism, but he was cleared by Pope St. Gregory the Great. Desiderius was then banished from his see. He was slain upon his return four years later at Saint-Didier-sur-Chalaronne.
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).   Born in Rome, Italy; sometimes celebrated also on February 13. The 89th pope, Saint Gregory, became involved in church affairs in his youth, was educated at the Lateran, became a subdeacon under Pope Saint Sergius, served as treasurer and librarian of the Church under four popes, and became widely known for his learning and wisdom.
In 710, now a deacon, he distinguished himself in his replies to Emperor Justinian when he accompanied Pope Constantine to Constantinople to oppose the Council of Trullo canon that had declared the patriarchate of Constantinople independent of Rome and helped to secure Justinian's acknowledgment of papal supremacy.
On May 19, 715, Gregory was elected pope to succeed Constantine, put into effect a program to restore clerical discipline, fought heresies, began to rebuild the walls around Rome as a defense against the Saracens, and helped restore and rebuild churches (including Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls), hospitals, and monasteries, including Monte Cassino under Petronax, which had been destroyed by Lombards about 150 years previously.
 He sent missionaries into Germany, among them Saint Corbinian and Saint Boniface in 719, whom he consecrated bishop.
824 St. Paschal elected as the 94th pope on the day Pope Stephen IV (V) died, January 25, 817.  Paschal was the son of Bonosus, a Roman. He studied at the Lateran, was named head of St. Stephen's monastery, which housed pilgrims to Rome, and was elected Pope to succeed Pope Stephen IV (V) on the day Stephen died, January 25, 817. Emperor Louis the Pious agreed to respect papal jurisdiction, but when Louis' son Lothair I came to Rome in 823 to be consecrated king, he broke the pact by presiding at a trial involving a group of nobles opposing the Pope. When the two papal officials who had testified for the nobles were found blinded and murdered, Paschal was accused of the crime. He denied any complicity but refused to surrender the murderers, who were members of his household, declaring that the two dead officials were traitors and the secular authorities had no jurisdiction in the case. The result was the Constitution of Lothair, severely restricting papal judicial and police powers in Italy.
Paschal was 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.
Paschal built and redecorated many churches in Rome and transferred many relics from the catacombs to churches in the city. Although listed in the Roman Martyrology, he has never been formally canonized.


Saints of February 12 mention with Popes
381 St. Meletius of Antioch Patriarch of Antioch presided Great Council of Constantinople, in 381 .  In 374, the situation was further complicated when Pope Damasus recognized Paulinus as archbishop, appointed him papal legate in the East, and Saint Jerome allowed himself to be ordained a priest by Paulinus. In 378, the death of the avidly pro-Arian Valens led to the restoration of the banished bishops by Emperor Gratian, and Meletius was reinstated. He was unable to reach an agreement with Paulinus before his death in Constantinople in May while presiding at the third General Council of Constantinople. His funeral was attended by all the fathers of the council and the faithful of the city.
Saint Gregory of Nyssa delivered his funeral panegyric (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Walsh).
Saint Meletius, Archbishop of Antioch, was Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia (ca. 357), and afterwards he was summoned to Antioch by the emperor Constantius to help combat the Arian heresy, and was appointed to that See.
St Meletius struggled zealously against the Arian error, but through the intrigues of the heretics he was thrice deposed from his cathedra. Constantius had become surrounded by the Arians and had accepted their position. In all this St Meletius was distinguished by an extraordinary gentleness, and he constantly led his flock by the example of his own virtue and kindly disposition, supposing that the seeds of the true teaching sprout more readily on such soil.
St Meletius was the one who ordained the future hierarch St Basil the Great as deacon. St Meletius also baptized and encouraged another of the greatest luminaries of Orthodoxy, St John Chrysostom, who later eulogized his former archpastor.
After Constantius, the throne was occupied by Julian the Apostate, and the saint again was expelled, having to hide himself in secret places for his safety. Returning under the emperor Jovian in the year 363, St Meletius wrote his theological treatise, "Exposition of the Faith," which facilitated the conversion of many of the Arians to Orthodoxy.
900 St. Benedict Revelli Benedictine bishop monk of Santa Maria dei Fonte .  Benedict Revelli, OSB B (AC) Died c. 900; cultus confirmed by Pope Gregory XVI. Benedict is said to have been a Benedictine monk of Santa Maria dei Fonti, and then a hermit on the island of Gallinaria in the Gulf of Genoa. In 870, he was chosen bishop of Albenga towards the western end of the Ligurian Riviera (Benedictines).

1584 Bl. Thomas Hemerford English martyr priest native of Dorsetshire .   IT was the name of Thomas Hemerford, with his companions, that distinguished and identified the cause of all the second group of English and Welsh martyrs (beatified in 1929) while that cause was under consideration in Rome. But actually, of the four secular priests who suffered at Tyburn on February 12, 1584, he is the one of whom least is known.  He was born somewhere in Dorsetshire and was educated at St John’s College and Hart Hall in the University of Oxford, where he took the degree of bachelor of law in 1575. He went abroad to Rheims, and thence to the English College at Rome, being ordained priest in 1583 by Bishop GoIdwell of St Asaph, the last bishop of the old hierarchy. A few weeks later he left Rome for the English mission, but shortly after landing he was arrested, tried for his priesthood and sentenced to death. For six days before execution he lay loaded with fetters in Newgate jail, and then met the savagery of hanging, drawing and quartering with calm fortitude. Bd Thomas was a man “of moderate stature, a blackish beard, stern countenance, and yet of a playful temper, most amiable in conversation, and in every respect exemplary”. There suffered with him BD. JAMES FENN, JOHN NUTTER and JOHN MUNDEN, and GEORGE HAYDOCK.These four martyrs, together with the Venerable George Haydock, were all condemned and put to death ostensibly for high treason. What contemporaries thought is shown by the chronicler Stow, when he writes that their treason con­sisted “in being made priests beyond the seas and by the pope’s authority”. And that was the view that the Church took when she beatified them among the other English martyrs in 1929.
1584 St. James Feun, Blessed  English Martyr in Born in Somerset
1584 Bl. John Nutter & John Munden English martyrs 

Saints of February 13 mention with Popes

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

616 ST LICINIUS, OR LESIN, BISHOP OF ANGERS by the example of his severe and holy life and by miracles which were wrought through him he succeeded in winning the hearts of the most hardened and in making daily conquests of souls for God.. There is, however, no reason to doubt the existence of St Licinius or his episcopate or the reverence in which he was held. Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux (vol. ii, p. 354), while treating the life as a very suspicious document, points out that a letter was written to Licinius in 601 by Pope Gregory the Great and that he is also mentioned in the will of St Bertram, Bishop of Le Mans, which is dated March 27, 616.
1237 Blessed JORDAN of Saxony noted for his charity to the poor from an early age  brought Saint Albert the Great into the Order  Spiritual director of Blessed Diana d'Andalo.   A noted and powerful preacher; one of his sermons brought Saint Albert the Great into the Order. Wrote a biography of Saint Dominic. His writings on Dominic and the early days of the Order are still considered a primary sources. Spiritual director of Blessed Diana d'Andalo.
Born c.1190 at Padberg Castle, diocese of Paderborn, Westphalia, old Saxony; rumoured to have been born in Palestine while his parents were on a pilgrimage, and named after the River Jordan, but this is apparently aprochryphal
drowned 1237 in a shipwreck off the coast of Syria while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Beatified 1825 (cultus confirmed) by Pope Leo XII

1589 St. Catherine de Ricci miracles the "Ecstacy of the Passion" she was mystically scourged & crowned with thorns.  Her patience and healing impressed her sisters. While still very young, Catherine was chosen to serve the community as novice- mistress, then sub-prioress, and, at age 30, she was appointed prioress in perpetuity, despite her intense mystical life of prayer and penance. She managed the material details of running a large household were well, and became known as a kind and considerate superior. Catherine was particularly gentle with the sick. Troubled people, both within the convent and in the town, came to her for advice and prayer, and her participation in the Passion exerted a great influence for good among all who saw it. Three future popes (Cardinals Cervini later known as Pope Marcellus II, Alexander de Medici (Pope Leo XI), and Aldobrandini (Pope Clement VIII)) were among the thousands who flocked to the convent to beseech her intercession.
1812 St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph “Consoler of Naples.” served 53 years at St. Paschal’s Hospice in Naples various roles cook porter most often as official beggar for that community.  People often become arrogant and power hungry when they try to live a lie, for example, when they forget their own sinfulness and ignore the gifts God has given to other people. Giles had a healthy sense of his own sinfulness—not paralyzing but not superficial either. He invited men and women to recognize their own gifts and to live out their dignity as people made in God’s divine image. Knowing someone like Giles can help us on our own spiritual journey.
Quote:  In his homily at the canonization of Giles, Pope John Paul II said that the spiritual journey of Giles reflected “the humility of the Incarnation and the gratuitousness of the Eucharist” (L'Osservatore Romano 1996, volume 23, number 1).


Saints of February 14 mention with Popes
269 Valentine of Terni Valentine patron of beekeepers engaged couples travellers youth.  Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was appre­hended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commanded him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270. Pope Julius I is said to have built a church near Ponte Mole to his memory, which for a long time gave name to the gate now called Porta del Popolo, formerly Porta Valentini. The greatest part of his relics are now in the church of St Praxedes His name is celebrated as that of an illustrious martyr in the sacramentary of St Gregory, the Roman Missal of Thomasius, in the calendar of F. Fronto and that of Allatius, in Bede, Usuard, Ado, Notker and all other martyrologies on this day. To abolish the heathen’s lewd superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of girls, in honour of their goddess Februata Juno, on the 15th of this month, several zealous pastors substituted the names of saints in billets given on this day.
869 Sts. Cyril and Methodius.  The holy brothers were then summoned to Rome at the invitation of the Roman Pope. Pope Adrian received them with great honor, since they brought with them the relics of the Hieromartyr Clement. Sickly by nature and in poor health, St Cyril soon fell ill from his many labors, and after taking the schema, he died in the year 869 at the age of forty-two. Before his death, he expressed his wish for his brother to continue the Christian enlightenment of the Slavs. St Cyril was buried in the Roman church of St Clement, whose own relics also rest there, brought to Italy from Cherson by the Enlighteners of the Slavs.
1325 Blessed Angelus of Gualdo Camaldolese lay-brother lived 40 years a hermit walled up in his cell OSB Cam. (AC).  In early life he made many pilgrimages, travelling in particular barefoot from Italy to St James of Compostela in Spain. On his return he offered himself as a lay-brother to the Camaldolese monks, but after a very short time received permission to lead a solitary life according to his desire. In this vocation he faithfully persisted for nearly forty years. When he died on January 25, 1325 it is said that the church bells in the neighbouring district rang of themselves: the people scoured the country to discover the cause, and coming to his little cell they found him dead, kneeling in the attitude of prayer. The miracles wrought at his tomb brought many to do him honour, and Pope Leo XII approved the cultus in 1825.

Saints of February 15 mention with Popes
695 St. Decorosus 30 years Bishop of Capua, Italy Council of Rome in 680 .  He attended the Council of Rome in 680 in the reign of Pope St. Agatho.. (The council, attended in the beginning by 100 bishops, later by 174, was opened 7 Nov., 680, in a domed hall (trullus) of the imperial palace and was presided over by the (three) papal legates who brought to the council a long dogmatic letter of Pope Agatho and another of similar import from a Roman synod held in the spring of 680. )
1045 ST SIGFRID, BISHOP OF Växjö: a spring bore Sigfrid’s name was the channel of many miracles.  After a time, St Sigfrid entrusted the care of his diocese to these three and set off to carry the light of the gospel into more distant provinces. During his absence, a troop, partly out of hatred for Christianity and partly for booty, plundered the church of VaxjO and murdered Unaman and his brothers, burying their bodies in a forest and placing their heads in a box which they sank in a pond. The heads were duly recovered and placed in a shrine, on which occasion, we are told, the three heads spoke. The king resolved to put the murderers to death, but St Sigfrid induced him to spare their lives. Olaf compelled them, however, to pay a heavy fine which he wished to bestow on the saint, who refused to accept a farthing of it, notwithstanding his extreme poverty and the difficulties with which he had to contend in rebuilding his church. He had inherited in an heroic degree the spirit of the apostles, and preached the gospel also in Denmark. Sigfrid is said, but doubtfully, to have been canonized by Pope Adrian IV, the Englishman who had himself laboured zealously for the propagation of the faith in the North over one hundred years after St Sigfrid. The Swedes honour St Sigfrid as their apostle.
1237 Bl. Jordan of Saxony thousand novices to the Dominicans established new foundations Germany and Switzerland
        
It was a sermon of Jordan’s that decided Albertus Magnus to enter the order.  Blessed Jordan of Saxony, OP (AC) Born in Germany, 1190; died 1237; cultus confirmed in 1828.
Men prayed for strength to resist Jordan's burning eloquence, and mothers hid their sons when Master Jordan came to town. Students and masters warned each other of the fatal magnetism of his sermons. The sweetness of his character and the holiness of his life shone through his most casual words in a flame that drew youth irresistibly to the ideal to which he had dedicated his own life. In his 16 years of preaching, Jordan is said to have drawn more than a thousand novices to the Dominican Order, among whom were two future popes, two canonized saints (e.g., Albert the Great), numerous beati, and countless intellectual lights of his dazzling century.
1682 St. Claude la Colombière special day for the Jesuits spiritual companion, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. This is a special day for the Jesuits, who claim today’s saint as one of their own. It’s also a special day for people who have a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus—a devotion Claude la Colombière promoted, along with his friend and spiritual companion, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. The emphasis on God’s love for all was an antidote to the rigorous moralism of the Jansenists, who were popular at the time.
     Claude showed remarkable preaching skills long before his ordination in 1675. Two months later he was made superior of a small Jesuit residence in Burgundy. It was there he first encountered Margaret Mary Alacoque. For many years after he served as her confessor.
     He was next sent to England to serve as confessor to the Duchess of York. He preached by both words and by the example of his holy life, converting a number of Protestants. Tensions arose against Catholics and Claude, rumored to be part of a plot against the king, was imprisoned. He was ultimately banished, but by then his health had been ruined. He died in 1682.
Pope John Paul the Second canonized Claude la Colombière in 1992.

Saints of February 16 mention with Popes
305 St. Juliana of Cumae Christian virgin martyred for the faith refused Roman prefect marriage.   Only after Juliana's death, thanks to the renewed efforts of Bl.  Eva, was the feastday of Corpus Christi accepted by the Latin Rite of the Church.  The pope who authorized the festival was none other than James Pantaleon, now Pope Urban IV, who had earlier confirmed Juliana's inquiry whether such a feast was feasible.  Urban commissioned St. Thomas Aquinas to compose the office of the feastday.  Aquinas's beautiful composition included those ever-popular Eucharistic hymns: the "Lauda Sion", the "Pange Lingua", the "O Salutaris", and the "Tantum Ergo." This feast was long a holy day of obligation.
When miracles were reported in connection with Juliana's tomb, she came to be venerated as a saint.  A local feast in her honor was allowed by Pius IX in 1869, but her feastday has not yet been extended to the whole church.
Thanks to St. Juliana's reverence for the Holy Eucharist, the dark line on the moon of her vision was eliminated.
May we imitate her in our love--and respect--for the real Eucharistic presence of Christ in our tabernacles.
--Father Robert F. McNamara
1189 St. Gilbert of Sempringham priest shared wealth with the poor miracles wrought at his tomb built 13 monasteries (9 were double).  ST GILBERT was born at Sempringham in Lincolnshire, and in due course was ordained priest. For some time he taught in a free school, but the advowson of the parsonages of Sempringham and Terrington being in the gift of his father, he was presented by him to the united livings in 1123. He gave the revenues of them to the poor, reserving only a small sum for bare necessaries. By his care, his parishioners were led to sanctity of life, and he drew up a rule for seven young women who lived in strict enclosure in a house adjoining the parish church of St Andrew at Sempringham. This foundation grew, and Gilbert found it necessary to add first lay-sisters and then lay-brothers to work the nuns’ land. In 1147 he went to Citeaux to ask the abbot to take over the foundation. This the Cistercians were unable to do, and Gilbert was encouraged by Pope Eugenius III to carry on the work himself. Finally Gilbert added a fourth element, of canons regular, as chaplains to the nuns.
1468 BD EUSTOCHIUM OF MESSINA, VIRGIN authority of her virtues was increased by fame of her miracles—the sick being healed even by the kerchief which had been bathed by her tears of penitence. She died at the age of thirty-five.  After eleven years spent at Basico, Bd Eustochium felt that she desired a stricter rule, and Pope Callistus III allowed her to found another convent to follow the first rule of St Francis under the Observants. In 1458—1459 her mother and sister built the convent which was called Maidens’ Hill (Monte Vergine). There she received, amongst others, her sister and her niece Paula, who was only eleven years of age. The foundation passed through many trials during its early years. When Eustochium became thirty—the legal age—she was elected abbess and gathered around her crowds of fervent souls. The authority of her virtues was increased by the fame of her miracles—the sick being healed even by the kerchief which had been bathed by her tears of penitence. She died at the age of thirty-five, her cultus being subsequently approved in 1782.
1940 St. Philip Siphong 7 Thai Catholics martyred for the faith "white-robed army of martyrs."    On October 22, 1989, Pope John Paul II formally beatified the seven Thai Catholics.  Deeply touched by their fidelity, the pope said that Blessed Philip ("the great tree" as he was called at Songkhon) exemplified the missionary zeal that is incumbent upon all of us by virtue of our baptism.  He quoted Sister Agnes' letter to the policeman: "We rejoice in giving back to God the life that He has given us.... We beseech you to open to us the doors of heaven… You are acting according to the orders of men, but we act according to the commandments of God." Sentiments like these, said John Paul II, resembled those of the Christian martyrs of antiquity.  Indeed, their very names were those of ancient saints: Agnes, Lucy, Agatha, Cecilia, Bibiana....
The Blessed Martyrs of Thailand, in "giving back to God the life that He had given them", were therefore contemporary soldiers in the age-old "white-robed army of martyrs." - -Father Robert R McNamara

Saints of February 17 mention with Popes
603   St. Fintan Abbot  .  In the monastery of Cluainedhech in Ireland, St. Fintan, abbot.
Fintan was a hermit in Clonenagh, Leix, Ireland. When disciples gathered around his hermitage he became their abbot.
A wonder worker, Fintan was known for clairvoyance, prophecies, and miracles. He also performed very austere penances.
603 ST FINTAN OF CLONEENAGH, ABBOT even in his boyhood he possessed the gift of prophecy and of a knowledge of distant events.  
IN a tractate preserved in the Book of Leinster St Fintan is presented as an Irish counterpart of St Benedict, and there can be no question as to the high repute in which his monastery of Cloneenagh in Leix was held by his contemporaries. An early litany speaks of “the monks of Fintan, descendant of Eochaid, who ate nothing but herbs of the earth and water; there is not room to enumerate them by reason of their multitude”. Quite in accord with this is a gloss in the Félire of Oengus: “Generous Fintan never consumed during his time aught save the bread of woody barley and muddy water of clay.” The Latin life bears out this description of extreme asceticism, which indeed St Canice of Aghaboe thought excessive and protested against.

Seven Founders of the Order of Servites (RM) 13th century; canonized in 1887 by Pope Leo XIII.
1233 7 Founders of the Order of Servites On the Feast of the Assumption the 7 single vision to withdraw from world forming new society within the Church devoted to prayer and solitudeIn 1233 seven wealthy councilors of the city of Florence, who had previously joined the Laudesi (Praisers), gave up the pleasures of this world in order to devote themselves to God through particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their previous lives had been by no means lax or undisciplined, even though Florence was then a city filled with factions and immorality, and infected by the Cathar heresy (the belief that the body was evil and we are the souls of angels inserted by Satan into human bodies). Under the direction of James of Poggibonsi, who was the chaplain of the Laudesi and a man of great holiness and spiritual insight, they came to recognize the call to renunciation.
On the Feast of the Assumption, 1233, the seven had a single inspiration or vision to withdraw from the world to form a new society within the Church devoted to prayer and solitude.
1302 BD ANDREW OF ANAGNI was held in great veneration both in life and after death for the miracles he was believed to work.   IN the Franciscan supplement to the Roman Martyrology this servant of God is described as “Beatus Andreas de Comitibus”; but it would seem that the more accurate form of his name is Andrea dei Conti di Segni (Andrew of the Counts of Segni). In Mazzara he is called Andrea d’Anagni, from his birthplace. As we learn from these designations he was of noble family, nephew of the Roland Conti who became Pope Alexander IV and a near kinsman of another native of Anagni, Benedict Gaetani, Pope Boniface VIII.

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

Saints of February 18 mention with Popes
107 St. Simon or Simeon father was Cleophas St. Joseph's brother. Mother was our Lady's sister 8 yrs older than Jesus.  At Jerusalem, the birthday of St. Simeon, bishop and martyr, who is said to have been the son of Cleophas, and a relative of the Saviour according to the flesh.  He was consecrated bishop of Jerusalem after St. James, the cousin of our Lord.  In the persecution of Trajan, after having endured many torments, his martyrdom was completed.  All who were present, even the judge himself, were astonished that a man one hundred and twenty years of age could bear the torment of crucifixion with such fortitude and constancy.
In St. Matthew's Gospel, we read of St. Simon or Simeon who is described as one of our Lord's brethren or kinsmen.
449 St. Flavian of Constantinople martyr Patriarch succeeding St. Proclus cum fidem cathólicam Ephesi propugnáret.    At Constantinople, St. Flavian, bishop, who, for having defended the Catholic faith at Ephesus, was attacked with slaps and kicks by the faction of the impious Dioscorus, and then driven into exile where he died within three days. The abbot, in his excessive zeal against Nestorius’s heresy of two distinct persons in Christ, had rushed to the other extreme and, denying that our Lord had two distinct natures after the Incarnation, was the protagonist of the monophysite heresy. In a synod held by St Flavian in 448, Eutyches was accused of this error by Eusebius of Dorylaeum, and the opinion was there condemned as heretical, Eutyches being cited to appear before the council to give an account of his faith. He eventually did so, and was deposed and excommunicated. Whereupon he declared that he appealed to the bishops of Rome, Egypt and Jerusalem; and he addressed a letter to St Leo I in which he complained of the way he had been treated and stated his case. But the pope was not misled. In a carefully-worded letter to Flavian, famous in ecclesiastical history as his “Tome” or “Dogmatic Letter”, Leo set out the orthodox faith upon the principal points in dispute.
1455 Blessed John of Fiesole patron of Christian artists  .   The patron of Christian artists was born around 1400 in a village overlooking Florence. He took up painting as a young boy and studied under the watchful eye of a local painting master. He joined the Dominicans at about age 20, taking the name Fra Giovanni. He eventually came to be known as Fra Angelico, perhaps a tribute to his own angelic qualities or maybe the devotional tone of his works.
1594 Bl. William Harrington priest Martyr of England.  Blessed William Harrington M (AC) Born at Mount Saint John, Felixkirk, Yorkshire, England; died at Tyburn, 1594; beatified in 1929. William was educated and ordained in 1592 at Rheims. He was only 27 when he was hanged, drawn, and quartered for his priesthood (Benedictines).
1601 Bl. John Pibush English martyr solely for his priesthood .   born in Thirsk, Yorkshire. He went to Reims and was ordained in 1587. Returning to England in 1589, John was arrested at Gloucestershire in 1593 and kept in prison in London. He escaped but was recaptured and then tried and condemned. He was executed at Southwark. His beatification took place in 1929.
        Bl. Martin Martyr of China native
        Blessed Agnes De martyred native cradle Christian VM (AC)
1855 Blessed Andrew Nam-Thung native catechist of Cochin-China M (AC)
1858 St. Agatha Lin Chinese martyr
1862 Blessed John Peter French missionary priest & Martin native catechist MM (AC)


Saints of February 19 mention with Popes
295 Gabinus of Rome Pope Caius brother father of Saint Suzanne M (RM) .  Saint Gabinus was a Roman Christian, brother of Pope Caius and father of the beautiful Saint Suzanne. He also seems to have been related to Emperor Diocletian. Gabinus was ordained a priest and died as a martyr of starvation under Diocletian.
682 St. Barbatus Bishop Benevento innocence, simplicity, and purity of heart .  In 680, Barbatus assisted in a council called by Pope Agatho at Rome and the following year attended the Sixth General Council held at Constantinople against the Monothelites. He died shortly after the council about age 70. He is honored as one of the chief patrons of Benevento (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
1350 St. Conrad of Piacenza reputation for holiness.  Conrad of Piacenza, OFM Tert. (AC) Born in 1290; died 1351 or 1354; cultus approved with the title of saint by Paul III. One day while hunting he ordered attendants to set fire to some brush in order to flush out the game. The fire spread to nearby fields and to a large forest. Conrad fled. An innocent peasant was imprisoned, tortured to confess and condemned to death. Conrad confessed his guilt, saved the man’s life and paid for the damaged property. Soon after this event, Conrad and his wife agreed to separate: she to a Poor Clare monastery and he to a group of hermits following the Third Order Rule. His reputation for holiness, however, spread quickly. Since his many visitors destroyed his solitude, Conrad went to a more remote spot in Sicily where he lived 36 years as a hermit, praying for himself and for the rest of the world.  Prayer and penance were his answer to the temptations that beset him. Conrad died kneeling before a crucifix. He was canonized in 1625.
1400 + St. Alvarez confessor Queen Catherine adviser tutor King John II teaching preaching asceticism holiness The Bishop of Syracuse himself visited him, and it was told afterwards that while his attendants were preparing to unpack the provisions they had brought, the bishop had asked St Conrad with a smile whether he had nothing to offer his visitors. The holy man replied that he would go and look in his cell, from which he emerged carrying became a favourite shrine at which many miraculous cures took place. He is more particularly invoked for ruptures on account of the large number of people who owed their recovery from hernia to his intercession. The cultus of St Conrad has been approved by three popes.
He became known for his preaching prowess in Spain and Italy, was confessor and adviser of Queen Catherine, John of Gaunt's daughter, and tutor of King John II in his youth.
He reformed the court, and then left the court to found a monastery near Cordova. There the Escalaceli (ladder of heaven) that he built became a center of religious devotion. He successfully led the opposition to antipope Benedict XII (Peter de Luna), and by the time of his death was famous all over Spain for his teaching, preaching, asceticism, and holiness. His cult was confirmed in 1741.

1862  Bl. Lucy Martyr of China Catholic schoolteacher She was a Catholic schoolteacher in China, where she was beheaded. Lucy was beatified in 1909.

Saints of February 20 mention with Popes
1920 Blessed Jacinta & Francisco Marto Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three children, Portuguese shepherds The Church is always very cautious about endorsing alleged apparitions, but it has seen benefits from people changing their lives because of the message of Our Lady of Fatima. Prayer for sinners, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and praying the rosary—all these reinforce the Good News Jesus came to preach.
Quote:  In his homily at their beatification, Pope John Paul II recalled that shortly before Francisco died, Jacinta said to him, “Give my greetings to Our Lord and to Our Lady and tell them that I am enduring everything they want for the conversion of sinners.”

Saints of February 21 mention with Popes
379 Irene Spanish Sister of Pope Saint Damasus ;  Irene was the sister of Pope Saint Damasus I (c. 304-384). She and her devout mother Laurentia are said to have often spent whole nights in the catacombs of Rome.
606 St. Paterius monk from Rome bishop of Brescia prolific writer on Biblical subjects.  Paterius of Brescia B (RM)  Paterius, a Roman monk, was a disciple and friend of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. He was a notary in the Roman Church, who was raised to the see of Brescia, Lombardy. Paterius was a prolific writer on Biblical subjects (Benedictines).
1072 Peter Damian brilliant teacher writer  transcribing manuscripts , B Doctor (RM).  Saint Peter Damian (born 1007, Ravenna—died Feb. 22, 1072, Faenze; feast day February 21) Italian cardinal and Doctor of the Church. He was prior of Fonte Avellana in the Apennines before being named a cardinal in 1057. A leading monastic reformer and ascetic, he played an important role in the promotion of apostolic poverty and in support of papal reformers who sought to enforce clerical celibacy and abolish simony. He defended Pope Alexander II against the antipope Honorius II and reconciled Alexander with the city of Ravenna. He was also sent as a papal legate to resolve disputes in Milan and Cluny, Burgundy, and he played a key role in the formulation of the papal election decree of 1059. In 1828 he was declared a Doctor of the Church.
1562 Robert Southwell 1/40 martyrs of England and Wales SJ M (RM) .  Born at Horsham Saint Faith's, Norfolk, England, in 1561 or 1562; died at Tyburn, London, England, February 21, 1595; beatified in 1929; canonized on October 25, 1970, by Pope Paul VI as one of the 40 representative martyrs of England and Wales.
1794 Blessed Noel Pinot continued to minister to his flock.M (AC).  During the twelve days he was kept in prison, he was very roughly treated, and upon his reiterated refusal to take the oath he was sentenced off-hand to the guillotine. On February 21, 1794, he was led out to death still wearing the priestly vestments in which he had been arrested, and on the way to offer his final sacrifice he is said to have repeated aloud the words which the priest recites at the foot of the altar in beginning Mass Introibo ad altare Dei\...“I will enter unto the altar of God, to God who giveth joy to my youth.” Bd Noel Pinot was beatified in 1926 -- Pius XI 1922-1939.

Saints of February 22 mention with Popes
Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle.   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.
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.  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.


Saints of February 23 mention with Popes
156 Saint Polycarp a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist
Polycarp was, as was his friend St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the most important intermediary links between the apostolic and the patristic eras in the Church, especially in Christian Asia Minor.The East, where Polycarp was from, celebrated the Passover as the Passion of Christ followed by a Eucharist on the following day. The West celebrated Easter on the Sunday of the week following Passover. When Polycarp went to Rome to discuss the difference with Pope Anicetus, they could not agree on this issue. But they found no difference in their Christian beliefs.
Anicetus asked Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in his own papal chapel.  
Polycarp faced persecution the way Christ did. His own church admired him for following the "gospel model" -- not chasing after martyrdom as some did, but avoiding it until it was God's will as Jesus did. They considered it "a sign of love to desire not to save oneself alone, but to save also all the Christian brothers and sisters."
324 St. Romana  Roman virgin.  At Todi in Umbria, St. Romana, virgin, who was baptized by Pope St. Sylvester, led a life of holiness in dens and caves, and wrought glorious miracles.  Almost certainly a legendary figure, she supposedly lived as a hermitess in a cave on the banks of the river Tiber in Rome. She figures in the doubtful life of Pope St. Sylvester.
372 Saint Gorgonia sister of St Gregory the Theologian distinguished for great virtue, piety, meekness, sagacity, toil.   Her house was a haven for the poor. The mother of five children, she died around the year 372 at the age of thirty-nine. Her last words were, "In peace I will both lie down and sleep" (Psalm 4:8).
1011 St. Willigis Bishop missionaries to Scandinavia, founded churches chaplain to Emperor Otto II.  Born at Schoningen, Germany, he was the son of a wheelwright. After studying and receiving ordination, he was named a canon at Hildesheim and then received appointment as a chaplain to Emperor Otto II. The ruler made Willigis chancellor of Germany in 971 and then archbishop of Mainz in 973. About the same time, Pope Benedict VII  (r. 974-983) named him vicar apostolic for Germany. In 983, he crowned the infant emperor Otto III (r. 996-1002) at Aachen and was one of the chief figures in the regency with Otto's mother, Empress Theophano (d. 991) and then Empress Adelaide (d. 999). Following Otto's death in 1002, Willigis was instrumental in securing the election of Henry (r. king, 1002-1024, emperor, 1014-1024) of Bavaria, whom he consecrated as Henry II. A brilliant statesman, he always strove first to a be Church man. He sent missionaries to Scandinavia, founded churches, was careful in the prelates that he appointed to the sees of Germany, and rebuilt the cathedral of Mainz.
St. Peter Damian: Monk And Church Reformer Vatican City, 9 Sep 2009 (VIS) - Benedict XVI
1072 St. Peter Damian stern figure recall men in lax age from error of ways  declared doctor of the Church in 1828.  Pope Benedict XVI dedicated the catechesis of his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, to St. Peter Damian (1007-1072), "a monk, lover of solitude and, overall, an intrepid man of the Church who played a leading role in the reforms undertaken by the Popes of his time".
  Peter Damian, who lost both his parents while still very young and was raised by his siblings, received a superlative education in jurisprudence and Greek and Latin culture. As a young man he dedicated himself to teaching and authored a number of literary works, but he soon felt the call to become a monk and entered the monastery of Fonte Avellana.
  The monastery "was dedicated to the Holy Cross, and of all the Christian mysteries the Cross would be the one that most fascinated Peter Damian", explained Pope Benedict, expressing the hope that the saint's example "may encourage us too always to look to the Cross as God's supreme act of love towards man".

1771 St. Marguerite d'Youville allowed no obstacle in the way of her helping others canonized December 9, 1990..  In 1754, Mme. d'Youville took the now inevitable step of forming her women auxiliaries into a new religious order.
Their official title was "The Sisters of Charity of the General Hospital." For their religious habit she chose a grey material.  One reason for the choice was rather witty.  In their early years their enemies had sometimes called these women "les soeurs grises," which meant, "the drunken sisters." But it can also mean "the grey sisters." So ever since its foundation, Mother d'Youville's large congregation, today divided into several distinct communities, has been called by the nickname she adopted, the "Grey Sisters."
They rapidly expanded throughout Canada, always welcome because they were ready to undertake not only all the corporal works of mercy but also the spiritual works of mercy, including school teaching at all levels.  This comprehensive order eventually branched out into both Americas, Africa, and the Far East. (They made a foundation in Buffalo in 1857.  Out of this came D'Youville College.) From the start, the Grey Nuns were mission-minded.  In 1755, when the Indians of the Quebec Province were suffering a severe smallpox epidemic, Mother d'Youville and all 12 of her sisters volunteered to go nurse the Indian victims, willing to risk their own lives by so doing.  The Indians were touched by this devotion.
     These same Native Americans had earlier complained to the Governor about François d'Youville, who was disobediently selling them liquor.  "We cannot pray God because d'Youville made us drink every day.  If you don't expel him from this island, we don't want to go there again." Thus did Mother d'Youville make reparation for the sins of her husband.  Her nuns continued this restitution by becoming pioneer missionaries among the natives of Canada's West and Northwest. One cannot know St. Marguerite d'Youville without admiring her.  She was one of the most remarkable Catholic women in the history of the Western Hemisphere.   --Father Robert F. McNamara

Saints of February 24 mention with Popes


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There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
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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.