Wednesday Saints of this Day February  24 Sexto Kaléndas Mártii.  
Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас! (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)

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

Read some chapter of a devout book....It is very easy and most necessary, for just as you speak to God when at prayer, God speaks to you when you read. -- St. Vincent de Paul

Day 15 40 Days for Life Dear Readers

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

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here

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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

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

February 24 – Our Lady of Verdelais (France) – 8th apparition of Lourdes (1858)
‘‘I will go with you and guide your boat’’
In the Fiji Islands in the 19th century, a pagan woman of humble condition
told the following story to Father Bréhéret, a missionary priest:

"I live 60 miles from Ovalau (the main island of the archipelago of Fiji). This is where I was born. One day a beautiful woman came to me and said: ‘Take your boat and go to Ovalau right away’ – ‘But I do not know the way to that island,’ I answered. The Lady said to me: ‘I will go with you and guide your boat to Ovalau, do not be afraid. When you get there, go inside the first hut that you see. You will find a white man, and you will do what he tells you. Go now!’"

Father Bréhéret took her to visit the chapel set up inside a hut in Ovalau, where she saw a picture of the Virgin.
She instantly recognized the apparition, and soon asked to be baptized, taking the Christian name of Marie Rose.
Dom G. Lefebvre  In Mois de Marie mis en rapport avec la liturgie, Apostolat liturgique,
Abbey of Saint-André, Société liturgique, Paris, 1930

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, none other than the Father's eternal Son, the 2nd 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.

Leander of Seville Bishop monk consubstantiality 3 Persons of the Trinity 1st introduce Nicene Creed at Mass
also suggested Gregory write commentary on the
Book of Job called the Moralia.

February 24 – Our Lady of Verdelais (France) – 8th apparition of Lourdes (1858)  
Our Lady of Verdelais, Consoler of the Afflicted for the past 900 years  
Verdelais is a small village amidst the Bordeaux vineyards, near Langon, France. It has had a Marian shrine since 1112, when a knight named Gerald de Graves, who had participated in the First Crusade, became a hermit and settled in the local forest where he built a chapel to house a statue of the Virgin Mary he claimed to have brought back from the Holy Land.

At his death, a community of monks came to keep the devotion going and welcome pilgrims. Many miraculous graces attracted a growing number of faithful. The shrine of Verdelais has survived for nine centuries, witnessed wars and revolutions, and was successively run by Marist monks, Passionists, and since 2007, Marianists, sons of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.

From whichever direction pilgrims arrive at Verdelais, a golden statue of the Immaculate Virgin welcomes them, visible over the trees, perched atop the highest tower of the basilica dedicated to Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted. From the basilica, one can go up to the top of Mount Cussol through a monumental Stations of the Cross leading to a large cross.

People come here in pilgrimage from March to November, especially for Marian feasts, on August 15th and September 8th, the patronal feast.

  The_Second_Finding of Saint John the Baptist
     In Judæa natális sancti Matthíæ Apóstoli
       Hierosólymis prima Invéntio cápitis sancti Joánnis Baptístæ, Præcursóris
       Domini. {see second finding 452}
        Romæ sanctæ Primitívæ Mártyris.
        Rotómagi pássio sancti Prætextáti, Epíscopi et Mártyris.
304  Cæsaréæ, in Cappadócia, sancti Sérgii Mártyris, cujus gesta præclára
      Apud Stylum, in Calábria, sancti Joánnis, cognoménto Therísti,
       monásticæ vitæ laude, et sanctitáte insígnis.
        St. Alexander Martyr with Abundius & others
 360 Miracle of St Theodore the Recruit on the first Saturday of Great Lent
      and the boiled wheat to eat cooked wheat with honey (kolyva)
452 St John the Baptist celebrated as the Second Finding appears to
       Archimandrite Marcellus
 616  In Anglia sancti Edilbérti, Regis Cantiórum, quem sanctus Augustínus,
       Anglórum Epíscopus, ad Christi fidem convértit.
 918  St. Betto Benedictine bishop of Auxerre
1129 Tréviris sancti Modésti, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
1129 St. John Theristus slave of the Saracens escaped and became a monk
1137 St. Adela Benefactor and English princess famed for endowing churches and monastic institutions youngest
        daughter of William the Conqueror
1160 Saint Erasmus of the Kiev Caves monastic fathers Anthony and Theodosius have appeared; he  used everything
        he possessed for adornment of the monastery church donated many icons even now seen over the altar
1285 Blessed Luke Belludi nobleman talented, well-educated asked for the Franciscan habit St. Anthony recommended
         him to St. Francis;
gift of miracles
February 24 - The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady (Italy, 1879) - Paul Claudel (d.1955)
Thank You, Mother of Jesus Christ
"It's twelve noon. The door of the church is open. I must enter. Mother of Jesus Christ, I'm not coming to pray. I have nothing to offer and nothing to ask for. I come only to look at you, Mother. To look at you, cry out of happiness, knowing that I am your son and you are there. Just for a moment while everything stops. It's noon and I'm with you, Mary, in this place where you are. I say not a word; I just look at your face and let my heart sing its own language. I say not a word, but I only sing because my heart is so full. Like the swallow following his own idea in sudden melodies.

Because you are beautiful, because you are immaculate, the woman finally returned to grace, the creature in her prime honor and final flourish - just as she came out of God on the morning of her original splendor: ineffably intact because you are the mother of Jesus Christ, who is truth in your arms, and the only hope and fruit. Because you are the woman, the Garden of Eden of former tenderness forgotten, whose eyes look straight into my heart and cause all the accumulated tears to flow. Because you saved me, because you have saved France, because you thought of both France and myself, because at a time when the end was near, it was you who intervened. You saved France once again, because it's noon, because we are in this day and age, because you are there forever, just because you are Mary. Thank you simply because you exist, Mother of Jesus Christ."
Paul Claudel Converted to Catholicism in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary at Notre Dame of Paris (Christmas, 1886)
February 23 – Apparition of Mary, the Immaculate Mother of Victory 1938
 to Cäcilia Geyer
(Wangen/Wigratzbad, Germany, 1938), approved by the Church 
 ‘‘I will trample the head of the infernal serpent’’
Wigratzbad is a village close to Bavaria, Germany. It is an important place of pilgrimage, known mainly because of the Marian apparitions. There, Our Lady is venerated under the title of "The Immaculate Conception, Mother of Victory."

The apparitions began during the octave of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, on December 15, 1936, while Hitler was already at the head of Germany. The Virgin first appeared to Antonie Rädler, who was cured of the Spanish flu, and on February 22, 1938, to Cäcilia Geyer. The Virgin asked Cäcilia: "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 upon them a torrent of graces."

On June 17, 1938, the German government authorized the construction of the chapel dedicated to "Mary Mother of Victory." The inauguration was scheduled for December 8th, for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, but Antonie was arrested by the Nazis on November 21 ... However, during the night of December 7, 1938, the Virgin appeared to her and told her about her imminent release. Antonie was freed on December 18, 1938. As a result, Wigratzbad’s popularity increased.
Adapted from an article by Paulette Leblanc
Quote: Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Instruction on the Contemplative Life includes this passage:
 "To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1). 

Day 15 40 Days for Life Dear Readers
Every once in a while, we get to meet a baby saved from abortion at a 40 Days for Life vigil. It’s an occasion of almost unspeakable joy … realizing what might have happened to a happy young child if people had not been outside the abortion center, praying for mother and baby.
And now – we get to introduce one of those children to you!
Split, Croatia Meet Roko and his mother, Melita.  “Roko is the first saved baby during the 40 Days for Life campaign in Split,” said Ante, who brought 40 Days for Life’s first campaign to Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. 
 “Today,” he said, “Roko comes with his mother to pray for the other unborn children in Split to be rescued from abortion.”
When he visited Croatia last year, 40 Days for Life’s David Bereit had a chance to meet Roko and Melita. “And now they are actively participating in the local 40 Days for Life campaign that saved Roko’s life,” he said. “I love reports like this!”
Bucharest, Romania
The first 40 Days for Life campaign in Romania’s capital city features a display posted on a fence at the vigil site. It’s called “Look How They Grow” – a series of fetal development posters that certainly dispel any of the “clump of cells” arguments put forward by abortion proponents.
The vigil participants are also letting people know about a local organization that offers life-affirming guidance for those who are told that abortion will solve their problems.
The bishop in Bucharest posted a message of support for the campaign. He noted that abortion is the central point around which moral civilization will either stand or collapse.
Why now? And why Bucharest? The bishop’s statement says there’s never a better time than the present.
Birmingham, England
The Birmingham campaign has seen several encouraging signs thus far – starting on Day 1, when the abortion facility was closed.
Early the next day, vigil participants noticed a woman who was on her way in for an abortion appointment – crying. They offered her information about other options, but she refused.
A short time later, she came out … with a medical tag on her wrist.
 “She chatted to the counsellor for a long time,” said Isabel in Birmingham, “and eventually went home without having her scheduled abortion. She needs prayers, please, as she is struggling to look after her 10-month-old.”
Some days later, the team heard of another mother who’d chosen life for her baby. “Yet again,” Isabel said, “the couple had their abortion booked but changed their minds at the very last minute.”
With that good news as part of the invitation, she encouraged others to join the vigil. “Break out of your comfort zone and get involved!”
Here's today's devotional from Rev. Rob Schenck, president of Faith and Action.
Day 15 intention
May God's people awaken to the fact that we are our brothers' keepers.
Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground." — Genesis 4:8-10
Reflection from Rev. Rob Schenck 
"Methinks he doth protest too much ..."
The Bible is filled with passages that speak to our obligation to care for our fellow human beings. From the many commands in the books of Moses enjoining love of family, neighbors and even strangers, to Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, the injunction to care for others is inescapable.

In this account, the guilt-stricken Cain tries to shrug off his obligation to his own kin by dismissing it as an unreasonable duty. A la Shakespeare, though, "methinks he doth protest too much." Cain's objection doesn't stem from his sense of proper boundaries of responsibility, but from his own self-centered sense of self-preservation.

Christ said, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13). This is the standard of divine love. It required God to sacrifice what was most precious to Him for the temporal and eternal well being of all humankind (see John 3:16). Though on a much-reduced scale, he expects us to do the same.
Trying to duck our obligation to others is futile. We can't get away with simply dismissing others, especially the most vulnerable among us: the pre-born, the disabled, the sick and the aged. As with Cain, God sees and hears their suffering and will call us to account for what we do -- or do not do -- for them.
Father, help us to embrace the fact that we are our "brother's keeper." When, due to selfish motives, we try to cast off this responsibility please call to us to account. We would be pleasing to you and to our "brother." Through the help and grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
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In Judæa natális sancti Matthíæ Apóstoli, qui, post Ascensiónem Dómini ab Apóstolis in Judæ proditóris locum sorte eléctus, pro Evangélii prædicatióne martyrium passus est.
In Judea, birthday of St. Matthias the Apostle. 
After the Ascension of our Lord, the Apostles chose him, by lot, to fill the place of Judas the traitor, and he suffered martyrdom for the preaching of the Gospel.
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA says that according to tradition St Matthias was one of the seventy-two disciples whom our Lord had sent out, two by two, during His ministry, and this is also asserted by Eusebius and by St Jerome. We know from the Acts of the Apostles that he was constantly with the Saviour from the time of His baptism until His ascension. When St Peter soon after had declared that it was necessary to elect a twelfth apostle in place of Judas, two candidates were chosen as most worthy, Joseph called Barsabas and Matthias, After prayer to God that He would direct their choice, they proceeded to cast lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, who was accordingly numbered with the eleven and ranked among the apostles. He received the Holy Ghost with the rest soon after his election and applied himself with zeal to his mission. It is stated by Clement of Alexandria that he was remarkable for his insistence upon the necessity of mortifying the flesh to subdue the sensual appetites—a lesson he had leant from Christ and which he faithfully practised himself.

The first part of his ministry was spent, we are told, in Judaea, but he after­wards went to other lands. According to the Greeks, he planted the faith in Cappadocia and on the coasts of the Caspian Sea; he endured great persecution and ill-treatment from the savage people amongst whom he worked, and finally received the crown of martyrdom at Colchis. We know nothing for certain of the manner of his death, but the Greek Menaia and other legendary sources say that he was crucified. His body is stated to have been kept for a long time in Jerusalem and to have been translated from there to Rome by St Helen.

Apart from the short passage in the Acts of the Apostles we possess no reliable source of information concerning St Matthias, but there is a good deal of apocryphal literature connected with his name. In particular the “Acts of Andrew and Matthias in the city of the Cannibals” is a Greek fiction, dated by some as early as the second century, which had very wide currency. We have translations in Syria Armenian, Coptic, and even an adaptation in Anglo-Saxon. Further, Origen already knew in his time an apocryphal

“Gospel of Matthias”, and there has been much discussion as to whether this is identical with a document from which Clement of Alexandria quotes a sentence or two under the name of the “Traditions”  of Matthias. See, for example, Hennecke, Handbuch zu den Neutestamentlichen Apokryphen, pp. 90-91, 238, 544.
Hierosólymis prima Invéntio cápitis sancti Joánnis Baptístæ, Præcursóris Domini.
       At Jerusalem, the finding for the first time of the head of St. John the Baptist, Precursor of the Lord.
 Romæ sanctæ Primitívæ Mártyris.
       At Rome, St. Primitiva, martyr.
259  In Africa sanctórum Mártyrum Montáni, Lúcii, Juliáni, Victórici, Flaviáni et Sociórum, qui discípuli fuérunt sancti Cypriáni, et, sub Valeriáno Imperatóre, martyrium consummárunt.
       In Africa, the holy martyrs Montanus, Lucius, Julian, Victoricus, Flavian, and their companions.  They were disciples of St. Cyprian and suffered martyrdom under Emperor Valerian.
St. Montanus 259
Martyr with Flavian, Julian, Lucius, Victoricus, and five others at Carthage. They were disciples of St. Cyprian of Carthage. Victoricus was a priest. These martyrs were tortured and then beheaded.

259 SS. MONTANUS, LUCIUS, and THEIR Companions, Martyrs
THE persecution raised by Valerian had raged for two years, during which many received the crown of martyrdom, including St Cyprian in September, 258. The proconsul Galerius Maximus, who had pronounced sentence on him, died soon after, but the procurator Solon continued the persecution; an insurrection against him broke out in Carthage, and in it many were killed. Solon, instead of making search for the guilty, vented his fury upon the Christians and arrested eight of them, all disciples of St Cyprian and most of them clergy. The following graphic account of the proceedings is taken from the acta of these martyrs: "As soon as we were apprehended, we were given in custody to the officers of the quarter. When the governor's servants told us that we should be condemned to the flames, we prayed fervently to God to be delivered from that punishment, and He in whose hands are the hearts of men was pleased to grant our request. The governor modified his first intention and committed us to a very dark and incommodious prison where we found the priest Victor and some others: but we were not dismayed at the filth and darkness of the place, for our faith and joy in the Holy Ghost reconciled us to our sufferings, though these were such as cannot readily be described in words. However, the greater our trials the greater is He who overcomes them in us. In the meantime, our brother Renus had a vision in which he saw several of the prisoners going out, each preceded by a lighted lamp, whilst others, who had no such light, stayed behind. He identified us in the vision and assured us that we were of those who went forth with lamps. This gave us great joy, for we understood that the lamp represented Christ, the true light, and that we were to follow Him by martyrdom.
"The next day we were sent for by the governor to be examined. It was a triumph to us to be conducted as a spectacle through the market-place and the streets with our chains rattling. The soldiers, who did not know where the governor would hear the case, dragged us from place to place, until at length he ordered us to be brought into his closet. He put several questions to us: our answers were modest but firm. At length we were remanded to prison, and here we prepared ourselves for new conflicts. The sharpest trial we endured was hunger and thirst, the governor having commanded that we should be kept without meat and drink for several days, so that even water was refused us after our work yet Flavian, the deacon, added great voluntary austerities to these hardships, often bestowing on others that little refreshment which was most sparingly allowed us at the public charge. God was pleased to comfort us in this our extreme misery by a vision which He vouchsafed to the priest Victor, who suffered martyrdom a few days after.
"I saw last night," said he, "a child whose countenance was of a wonderful brightness enter the prison. He took us to all parts to find a way of release, but there was no exit. Then said he to me, "Thou art still concerned at being here, but be not discouraged for I am with thee : carry these tidings to thy companions and let them know that they shall have a more glorious crown." I asked him where Heaven was, and he replied, "Out of the world". 'Victor said, Show it to me'. The child answered, 'Where then would be thy faith?' Victor said, 'I cannot remember what thou commandest me: tell me a sign that I may give them'. He answered, 'Give them the sign of Jacob, that is, his mystical ladder reaching to the heavens'. Soon after this, Victor was put to death. This vision filled us all with joy.
God gave us, the night following, another assurance of His mercy by a vision to our sister Quartillosia, a fellow prisoner whose husband and son had suffered death for Christ three days before, and who followed them by martyrdom a few days after. 'I saw', said she, 'my son who suffered: he was in the prison, sitting on a vessel of water, and said to me, "God has seen your sufferings". Then entered a young man of wonderful stature, and he said, 'Be of good cheer, God hath remembered you.'"

The martyrs had received no nourishment the preceding day, nor had they any on the day that followed this vision; but at length Lucian (who was then a priest, but afterwards became bishop of Carthage), surmounting all obstacles, contrived to have food carried to them by the subdeacon Herennian and by Januarius, a catechumen. The acts say they brought the "never-failing food"-very possibly the Holy Eucharist is meant, but the matter is not clear. What is less open to question is the claim the martyrs make to have preserved fraternal charity in spite of difficulties. "We have all one and the same spirit", they write, "and this unites and cements us together in prayer, in mutual intercourse and in all our actions. These are those bonds of affection which put the Devil to flight, which are most pleasing to God, and which by supplication in common obtain from Him whatever is asked. These are the ties which link hearts together, and which make men the children of God. To be heirs of His kingdom we must be His children, and to be His children we must love one another. It is impossible for us to attain to the inheritance of His heavenly glory unless we keep that union and peace with our brethren which our heavenly Father has established amongst us. Nevertheless this union suffered some prejudice in our company, but the breach was soon repaired. It happened that Montanus had some words with Julian about a person who was not of our communion, but who had found his way into our company" (probably admitted by Julian). "Montanus, on this account, rebuked Julian, 
they for some time afterwards behaved with coldness, which was, as it were, a seed of discord. But God had pity on them both and, to unite them, admonished Montanus by a dream, which he related to us as follows: ‘It appeared to me that the centurions were come to us and that they led us through a long path into a spacious field, where we were met by Cyprian and Lucius. Then we came to a very luminous place where our garments became white, and our flesh even whiter than our garments, and so wonderfully transparent that there was nothing in our hearts that was not clearly exposed to view. Looking into myself, I discerned some dirty stain in my own bosom and, meeting Lucius, I told him what I had seen, adding that the filth I had observed within my breast denoted my coldness towards Julian. Wherefore, brethren, let us love and cherish union with all our might. Let us be of one mind here in imitation of what shall he hereafter. As we hope to share in the rewards promised to the just, and to avoid the punishments wherewith the wicked are threatened—as, in short, we desire to be and to reign with Christ— let us do those things which will lead us to Him and to His heavenly kingdom.’” Up to this joint apparently we have the words the martyrs wrote in prison, but the rest of the story was compiled by certain persons present, at the recommendation of Flavian, one of the martyrs.

After suffering extreme hunger and thirst, with other hardships, during an imprisonment of many months, the prisoners were brought before the president and made a glorious confession. Valerian’s decree condemned only bishops, priests and deacons to death. The well-meaning but mistaken friends of Flavian maintained before the judge that he was not a deacon and was therefore not included in the scope of the emperor’s decree. Consequently, although he declared himself to be one, he was not then condemned, but the others were sentenced to death. They walked cheerfully to the place of execution and each one gave exhortations to the people. Lucius, a man of mild and retiring nature, was weak on account of ill health and the hardships of the prison: he therefore went on before the rest, accompanied by few people lest he should collapse in the pressure of the crowd and so not have the honour of shedding his blood. Some cried out to him: “Remem­ber us!”—“Do you also remember me”, was his reply. Julian and Victorinus exhorted the brethren to peace, and recommended to their care the whole body of the clergy, especially those who had undergone the hardships of imprisonment. Montanus, who was endowed with great strength of body and mind, cried out many times, “He that sacrificeth to any but the true God shall be utterly destroyed”. He also denounced the pride and obstinacy of heretics, telling them that they might discern the true Church by the multitude of its martyrs. A true disciple of St Cyprian and a zealous lover of discipline, he exhorted those who had fallen not to be over-hasty, but faithfully to accomplish their penance. He exhorted the virgins to preserve their purity and to honour the bishops, whom he charged to remain in concord. When the executioner was ready to give the stroke, Montanus prayed aloud to God that Flavian, who had been reprieved at the people’s request, might follow them on the third day. To express his assurance that his prayer was heard, he rent in pieces the handkerchief with which his eyes were to be covered and ordered one half of it to be reserved for Flavian, desiring that a place might be kept for his grave that they might not be separated even in the tomb. Flavian, seeing his crown delayed, made it the object of his ardent desires and prayers.

To his mother, who kept close by his side and who longed to see him glorify God by martyrdom, he said, “You know, mother, how I have longed for the privilege of dying the death of a martyr” In one of the two nights during which he survived, he was favoured with the vision of one who said to him, “Why dost thou grieve? Thou hast twice been a confessor and thou shalt suffer martyrdom by the sword.” On the third day he was brought before the governor and, it was clearly to be seen what a favourite he was with the people, for they endeavoured by all means to save his life. They cried out to the judge that he was not a deacon, although he insisted that he was. A centurion presented a note which set forth that he was not. The judge accused him of lying to procure his own death. He answered, “Is it probable? Is it not more likely that they are guilty of untruth who maintain the contrary?” The crowd then demanded that he should be tortured, in the hope that he would recant on the rack, but the judge condemned him to be beheaded. The sentence filled him with joy, and he was led to the place of execution accompanied by a great multitude, including many priests. A shower dispersed the unbelievers, and the martyr was led to a house where he had an opportunity of taking leave of the faithful without the presence of pagan onlookers. He told them that in a vision he had asked St Cyprian whether the death stroke was painful, and that the martyr had answered, “The body feels no pain when the soul gives herself entirely to God”. At the place of execution he prayed for the peace of the Church and the unity of the brethren, and appears to have foretold to Lucian that he would be bishop of Carthage—a prophecy which was fulfilled soon after­wards. When he had finished speaking, he bound his eyes with that half of the handkerchief which Montanus had left him and, kneeling in prayer, received the last stroke.

The Acts of Montanus and Lucius may be found in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii, and also in Ruinart, Acta sincera but the best text is that edited from a collation of several new manuscripts by Pio Franchi de’ Cavalier, in a Supplementheft (No. 8) to the Romische Quartalschrift, 1898. Taken as a whole the document may be unhesitatingly commended as a reliable narrative of contemporary date, and this is the conclusion adhered to by such critical authorities as Pio Franchi himself (see his “Note Agiografiche” in Studi Testi, vol. xxii, pp. 1—32 and 111—114) and Delehaye (Les Passions des martyrs et les genres littéraires, 1921, pp. 72—78). At the same time certain difficulties cannot be ignored. It has been pointed out that the whole construction of the story bears a close resemblance to the famous acts of that other group of Carthaginian martyrs, Perpetua and Felicity. Rendel Harris and Gifford in their edition of the latter text (Acts of the Martyrdom of SS. Perpetua and Felicitas, 1890, p. 27) have in fact gone so far as to treat the history of Montanus and Lucius as a fiction or plagiarism, based upon the Perpetua document. Without going into detail, it must be sufficient to refer to the discussion of the subject by Pio Franchi and Delehaye. It is in every way probable that the compiler of the later acts, living at Carthage, would have been familiar with the written story of Perpetua and Felicity, and that he may justifiably have regarded the manner of treatment as a model to be followed. Adhémar d’Ales (in Recherches de Science religieuse, vol. ix, 1918, pp. 319—378) identifies the author of the Acts of Montanus and Lucius with the deacon Pontius, who wrote an account of the martyrdom of St Cyprian, but Delehaye (in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxix, 1921, p. 171) does not consider that a case has been satisfactorily made out.

304  Cæsaréæ, in Cappadócia, sancti Sérgii Mártyris, cujus gesta præclára habéntur.
At Caesarea in Cappadocia, St. Sergius, martyr, of whose life a beautiful account still exists.
304 St. Sergius  Martyred monk, He was a monk (priest) in Cappadocia, arrested put to death during persecutions of Diocletian.
360 Miracle of St Theodore the Recruit on the first Saturday of Great Lent and the boiled wheat to eat cooked wheat with honey (kolyva)
Today we remember the miracle of St Theodore and the boiled wheat.
Fifty years after the death of St Theodore, the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363), wanting to commit an outrage upon the Christians, commanded the city-commander of Constantinople during the first week of Great Lent to sprinkle all the food provisions in the marketplaces with the blood offered to idols. St Theodore appeared in a dream to Archbishop Eudoxius, ordering him to inform all the Christians that no one should buy anything at the marketplaces, but rather to eat cooked wheat with honey (kolyva).

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

The Troparion to St Theodore is quite similar to the Troparion for the Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Youths (December 17, Sunday Before Nativity). The Kontakion to St Theodore, who suffered martyrdom by fire, reminds us that he also had faith as his breastplate (see I Thessalonians 5:8).  Saint Theodore is also commemorated on February 17.

452 St John the Baptist celebrated as the Second Finding appears to Archimandrite Marcellus
After the Beheading of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John (August 29), his body was buried by disciples in the Samarian city of Sebaste, and his venerable head was hidden by Herodias in an unclean place. St Joanna (June 27), the wife of King Herod's steward Chuza (Luke 8:3), secretly took the holy head and placed it into a vessel and buried it on the Mount of Olives in one of Herod's properties.

After many years, this property passed into the possession of a government official who became a monk with the name of Innocent. He built a church and a cell there. When they started to dig the foundation, the vessel with the venerable head of John the Baptist was uncovered. Innocent recognized its great holiness from the signs of grace emanating from it. Thus occurred the First Finding of the Head. Innocent preserved it with great piety, but fearful that the holy relic might be abused by unbelievers, before his own death he again hid it in that same place, where it was found. Upon his death the church fell into ruin and was destroyed.

During the days of St Constantine the Great (May 21), when Christianity began to flourish, the holy Forerunner appeared twice to two monks journeying to Jerusalem on pilgrimage to the holy places, and he revealed the location of his venerable head.

The monks uncovered the holy relic and, placing it into a sack of camel-hair, they proceeded homewards. Along the way they encountered an unnamed potter and gave him the precious burden to carry. Not knowing what he was carrying, the potter continued on his way. But the holy Forerunner appeared to him and ordered him to flee from the careless and lazy monks, with what he held in his hands. The potter concealed himself from the monks and at home he preserved the venerable head with reverence. Before his death he placed it in a water jug and gave it to his sister.

From that time the venerable head was successively preserved by devout Christians, until the priest Eustathius (infected with the Arian heresy) came into possession of it. He beguiled a multitude of the infirm who had been healed by the holy head, ascribing their cures to the fact that it was in the possession of an Arian. When his blasphemy was uncovered, he was compelled to flee. After he buried the holy relic in a cave, near Emesa, the heretic intended to return later and use it for disseminating falsehood. God, however, did not permit this. Pious monks settled in the cave, and then a monastery arose at this place. In the year 452 St John the Baptist appeared to Archimandrite Marcellus of this monastery, and indicated where his head was hidden. This became celebrated as the Second Finding.
The holy relic was transferred to Emesa, and later to Constantinople.
489  Tréviris sancti Modésti, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
At Treves, St. Modestus, bishop and confessor.
489 St. Modestus:  Bishop of Trier during the period of Frankish rule over the area from 486. His relics are enshrined in St. Matthias, Trier. Modestus suffered much during that difficult era.
St. Alexander Martyr with Abundius & others unknown
Antigonus, and Fortunatus, probably in Rome.  Bede records the martyrdom in Thessaly.


 Rotómagi pássio sancti Prætextáti, Epíscopi et Mártyris.
       At Rouen, the passion of St. Praetextatus, bishop and martyr.
ST Praetextatus became bishop of Rouen in 549 and occupied that see for thirty-five years. During this long episcopate he suffered grievous difficulties, exile and in the end martyrdom due to the rivalry between King Clotaire I’s sons Chilperic and Sigebert, and the deadly feud of Chilperic’s mistress, Fredegund, with Sige­bert’s wife, Brunhilda, sister to the poisoned second wife of Chilperic. Fredegund contrived the murder of Sigebert in 575, and Chilperic threw Brunhilda into prison at Rouen, from whence she appealed for help to Meroveus, Chilperic’s son by his first wife. The young man dreaded the power of Fredegund, and was not unwilling to take up arms against his father. Furthermore, he fell in love with his step-aunt Brunhilda and married her, thus making common cause with her. Praetextatus found himself placed in a very awkward position. Meroveus had made Rouen his headquarters and expected or exacted contributions from the Church which it was difficult to refuse. The young man was the bishop’s spiritual son—that is to say, he had been baptized by him, and the tie was then considered a very close one. Chilperic was ready to believe accusations against Praetextatus and summoned him to appear before a council of bishops in Paris on the charges of having broken the canons by marrying Meroveus to his aunt and also of fomenting the rebellion by giving aid to the prince. With regard to the first of these charges there is some uncertainty. It is thought by some that the bishop, in order to prevent a grievous scandal, judged the case suitable for a dispensation and actually married them and acknowledged that he had done so, but Gregory of Tours, who was present and who is the authority for all that happened, says that Praetextatus denied having married them.

At first the bishop would plead guilty to neither charge, but he was afterwards prevailed upon by false friends to acknowledge that he had favoured and helped Meroveus. He was thereupon condemned and banished to a little island off Coutances. His powerful enemies spared no trouble to blast his reputation, but St Gregory of Tours never wavered in his support. Meroveus and his brothers were put to death by order of the savage Fredegund, who was also suspected of causing the death of her husband to clear the way to the throne for her own son, Clotaire II. On the death of Chilperic, Praetextatus returned to his see by order of King Gontran of Burgundy, but sorely against the wishes of Fredegund. At the Council of Macon he was formally reinstated, and he took a prominent part in the deliberations of that body. He frequently remonstrated with the wicked queen, who often resided at Rouen, and her hatred for him became greater than ever. In 586 she said to him, “The time is coming when thou shalt revisit the place of thine exile.”—“I was a bishop always, whether in exile or out of exile”, replied the saint, and a bishop I shall remain; but as for thee, thou shalt not always enjoy thy crown,” and he exhorted her to abandon her evil ways. On the following Sunday, soon after midnight, as he was saying Matins in Church, an assassin sent by Frede­gund stabbed him under the armpit. He was carried to his bed, where he died.

Gregory of Tours is our trustworthy authority for this story of Merovingian barbarity. See also Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. ii, p. 206.
616  In Anglia sancti Edilbérti, Regis Cantiórum, quem sanctus Augustínus, Anglórum Epíscopus, ad Christi fidem convértit.
In England, St. Ethelbert, ruler of Kent, converted to the faith of Christ by the English bishop, St. Augustine.
616 St. Ethelbert King of Kent; b. 552; d. 24 February, 616; son of Eormenric, through whom he was descended from Hengest.
He succeeded his father, in 560, as King of Kent and made an unsuccessful attempt to win from Ceawlin of Wessex the overlordship of Britain. His political importance was doubtless advanced by his marriage with Bertha, daughter of Charibert, King of the Franks (see BERTHA I). A noble disposition to fair dealing is argued by his giving her the old Roman church of St. Martin in his capital of Cantwaraburh (Canterbury) and affording her every opportunity for the exercise of her religion, although he himself had been reared, and remained, a worshipper of Odin. The same natural virtue, combined with a quaint spiritual caution and, on the other hand, a large instinct of hospitality, appears in his message to St. Augustine when, in 597, the Apostle of England landed on the Kentish coast (see AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY).

In the interval between Ethelbert's defeat by Ceawlin and the arrival of the Roman missionaries, the death of the Wessex king had left Ethelbert, at least virtually, supreme in southern Britain, and his baptism, which took place on Whitsunday next following the landing of Augustine (2 June, 597) had such an effect in deciding the minds of his wavering countrymen that as many as 10,000 are said to have followed his example within a few months.
Thenceforward Ethelbert became the watchful father of the infant Anglo-Saxon Church. He founded the church which in after-ages was to be the primatial cathedral of all England, besides other churches at Rochester and Canterbury. But, although he permitted, and even helped, Augustine to convert a heathen temple into the church of St. Pancras (Canterbury), he never compelled his heathen subjects to accept baptism. Moreover, as the lawgiver who issued their first written laws to the English people (the ninety "Dooms of Ethelbert", A.D. 604) he holds in English history a place thoroughly consistent with his character as the temporal founder of that see which did more than any other for the upbuilding of free and orderly political institutions in Christendom. When St. Mellitus had converted Sæbert, King of the East Saxons, whose capital was London, and it was proposed to make that see the metropolitan, Ethelbert, supported by Augustine, successfully resisted the attempt, and thus fixed for more than nine centuries the individual character of the English church. He left three children, of whom the only son, Eadbald, lived and died a pagan.
  Apud Stylum, in Calábria, sancti Joánnis, cognoménto Therísti, monásticæ vitæ laude, et sanctitáte insígnis.
        At Stylo in Calabria, St. John Therestus, noted for his sanctity, and his high regard for the monastic life.
918 St. Betto Benedictine bishop of Auxerre.
 He was a monk at Saint-Colombe Abbey in Sens, France, and was consecrated a bishop in 889.
1129 St. John Theristus slave of the Saracens escaped and became a monk.
Benedictine monk, called Theristus or “Harvester.” He was of Calabrian lineage, born in Sicily. His mother was a slave of the Saracens. John escaped at a young age and became a monk. 
1137 St. Adela Benefactor and English princess famed for endowing churches and monastic institutions youngest daughter of William the Conqueror
Adela was the youngest daughter of William the Conqueror. In 1080 she married Stephen of Blois.
Throughout her life, Adela had an active role in English politics, & famed for endowing churches and monastic institutions.
1160 Saint Erasmus of the Kiev Caves monastic fathers Anthony and Theodosius appeared; he  used everything he possessed for adornment of the monastery church, donating many icons even now seen over the altar
St Simon, Bishop of Vladimir (May 10), wrote about him to his friend St Polycarp (July 24): "At the Caves was Erasmus the black-robed. He acquired a legacy of fame because he used everything he possessed for the adornment of the monastery church. He donated many icons, which even now may be seen over the altar.

The saint experienced great temptations after he had given away his wealth. The Evil One began to suggest to him that he should have given the money to the poor, rather than spend it on the beautification of the church. St Erasmus did not understand such thoughts, so he fell into despondency and began to live in a careless manner.

Because of his former virtue the gracious and merciful God saved him. He sent him a grievous illness, and the monk lay near death.

In this sickness Erasmus lay for seven days, unable to see or speak, and hardly breathing. On the eighth day the brethren came to him and, seeing the difficulty of his approaching death, said,"Woe to the soul of this brother, for he lived in idleness and in sin. Now his soul beholds something and tarries, not having the strenght to leave the body."

Erasmus suddenly got up, as though he had not been ill, and said to the monks, "Fathers and brethren!
It is true that I am a sinner, and have not repented, as you said. Today, however, our monastic fathers Anthony and Theodosius have appeared to me, and said: 'We have prayed for you, and the Lord has given you time for repentance.' Then I saw the All-Pure Mother of God with Christ in Her arms, and She said to me, 'Erasmus, since you adorned My Church with icons, I will also adorn you and exalt you in the Kingdom of my Son! Arise, repent, take the angelic schema, and on the third day you will be taken from this life.'

Having said this, Erasmus began to confess his sins before all without shame, then went to church and was clothed in the schema, and on the third day he died." St Erasmus was buried in the Near Caves.
His memory is also celebrated on September 28 and on the second Sunday of Great Lent.
1285 Blessed Luke Belludi nobleman talented, well-educated asked for the Franciscan habit St. Anthony recommended him to St. Francis; gift of miracles
(1200-c. 1285)
In 1220, St. Anthony was preaching conversion to the inhabitants of Padua when a young nobleman, Luke Belludi, came up to him and humbly asked to receive the habit of the followers of St. Francis. Anthony liked the talented, well-educated Luke and personally recommended him to St. Francis, who then received him into the Franciscan Order.

Luke, then only 20, was to be Anthony's companion in his travels and in his preaching, tending to him in his last days and taking Anthony's place upon his death. He was appointed guardian of the Friars Minor in the city of Padua. In 1239 the city fell into the hands of its enemies. Nobles were put to death, the mayor and council were banished, the great university of Padua gradually closed and the church dedicated to St. Anthony was left unfinished. Luke himself was expelled from the city but secretly returned. At night he and the new guardian would visit the tomb of St. Anthony in the unfinished shrine to pray for his help. One night a voice came from the tomb assuring them that the city would soon be delivered from its evil tyrant.

After the fulfillment of the prophetic message, Luke was elected provincial minister and furthered the completion of the great basilica in honor of Anthony, his teacher. He founded many convents of the order and had, as Anthony, the gift of miracles. Upon his death he was laid to rest in the basilica that he had helped finish and has had a continual veneration up to the present time.
Comment:  The epistles refer several times to a man named Luke as Paul’s trusted companion on his missionary journeys. Perhaps every great preacher needs a Luke; Anthony surely did. Luke Belludi not only accompanied Anthony on his travels, he also cared for the great saint in his final illness and carried on Anthony’s mission after the saint’s death. Yes, every preacher needs a Luke, someone to offer support and reassurance—including those who minister to us. We don’t even have to change our names!

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

Day 6 40 Days for Life

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

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

Month by Month of Saintly Dedications

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

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

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

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.

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There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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

Called in the Gospel the Mother of Jesus, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as the Mother of my Lord (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son,  the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart ... From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to me, His unworthy slave, if I mistake not:
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment.
Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish the Holy Hour and to pray lying prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven till midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness.
He endured when abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony, and to receive holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the first great revelation, He made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Heart with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation.
He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the feast of the Sacred Heart; He called her the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart, and the heiress of all Its treasures. The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire which consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings. In her last illness she refused all alleviation, repeating frequently: What have I in heaven and what do I desire on earth, but Thee alone, O my God, and died pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus.
With regard to this promise it may be remarked: (1) that our Lord required Communion to be received on a particular day chosen by Him; (2) that the nine Fridays must be consecutive; (3) that they must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord; (4) that our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather He implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end; (5) that perseverance in receiving Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Firdays helps the faithful to acquire the habit of frequent Communion, which our Lord eagerly desires; and (6) that the practice of the nine Fridays is very pleasing to our Lord He promises such great reward, and all Catholics should endeavor to make nine Fridays.
How do I start the Five First Saturdays? by Fr. Tom O'Mahony.
On July 13,1917, Our Lady appeared for the third time to the three children of Fatima an showed them the vision of hell and made the now - famous thirteen prophecies. In this vision Our Lady said that 'GOD WISHES TO ESTABLISH IN THE WORLD DEVOTION to Her Immaculate Heart and that She would come TO ASK FOR THE COMMUNION OF REPARATION ON THE FIRST SATURDAYS...'  Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Our Lady did indeed come back. She appeared (with the Child Jesus) to Lucia in the convent of the Dorothean Sisters in Pontevedra.
The Child Jesus spoke first:


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

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

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

Patron_Saints.html  Widowed_Saints htmIndulgences The Catholic Church in China
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Popes mentioned in articles of todays Saints
Benedict VII -- 1011 St. Willigis Bishop missionaries to Scandinavia, founded churches chaplain to Emperor Otto II
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.

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

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

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

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

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

Quote: Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Instruction on the Contemplative Life includes this passage:  
 "To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).

"Christianity is not a moral code or a philosophy, but an encounter with a person" -- Benedict XVI

"To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).

731 Pope Gregory II, 89th Pope: educated at the Lateran  restore clerical discipline, fought heresies  helped restore and rebuild churches (including Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls), hospitals, and monasteries, including Monte Cassino under Petrona The outstanding concern of his pontificate was his difficulties with Emperor Leo III the Isaurian    (RM)

824 Pope St. Paschal elected as the 94th pope on the day Pope Stephen IV (V) died, January 25, 817 unsuccessful in attempts to end the iconoclast heresy of Emperor Leo V, encouraged SS. Nicephorous and Theodore Studites in Constantinople to resist iconoclasm, and gave refuge to the many Greek monks who fled to Rome to escape persecution from the iconoclasts.   Popes Html link here: 

731 Gregory II, 89th Pope educated at the Lateran  restore clerical discipline, fought heresies  helped restore and rebuild churches (including Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls), hospitals, and monasteries, including Monte Cassino under Petrona The outstanding concern of his pontificate was his difficulties with Emperor Leo III the Isaurian (RM)
824 St. Paschal elected as the 94th pope on the day Pope Stephen IV (V) died, January 25, 817
Pope Innocent III had experienced a similar vision. Without hesitation Innocent provided papal approval for the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives (the Trinitarians), with John of Matha as superior.
824 St. Paschal elected as the 94th pope on the day Pope Stephen IV (V) died, January 25, 817 unsuccessful in attempts to end the iconoclast heresy of Emperor Leo V, encouraged SS. Nicephorous and Theodore Studites in Constantinople to resist iconoclasm, and gave refuge to the many Greek monks who fled to Rome to escape persecution from the iconoclasts.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
1198 - 1216 Pope Innocent III;
One of the greatest popes of the Middle Ages;
a learned theologian; one of the greatest jurists of his time; held various ecclesiastical offices during short reigns of Lucius III, Urban III, Gregory VIII, and Clement III; re-established papal authority in Rome; scarcely a country in Europe over which Innocent III did not in some way or other assert supremacy he claimed for the papacy;
During his reign two great founders of the mendicant orders, St. Dominic and St. Francis, laid before him their scheme of reforming the world. Innocent was not blind to the vices of luxury and indolence which had infected many of the clergy and part of the laity.
In Dominic and Francis he recognized two mighty adversaries of these vices and he sanctioned their projects with words of encouragement.  He wrote "De quadripartita specie nuptiarum" (P. L., CCXVII, 923-968), an exposition of the fourfold marriage bond, namely, between man and wife, between Christ and the Church, between God and the just soul, between the Word and human nature - - entirely based on passages from Holy Scripture.  Popes Html link here: 

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
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.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
Clement IX 1667-1669: 1670 St. Charles of Sezze Franciscan Pope Clement IX called Charles to his bedside for a blessing;