Thursday Saints of this Day February  25 Quinto 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.

Day 16 40 Days For Life

Day 16 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.
40 days for Life Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

Pope Authorizes 12 14 2015 Promulgation of Decrees Concerning 17 Causes,
Including Servant of God William Gagnon
November 23 2014 Six to Be Canonized on Feast of Christ the King

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List
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 .

Commemorate the "Triumph of Orthodoxy," restoration of the holy icons Triumph_of_Orthodoxy

1st v. St. Ananias II Missionary martyr patron of St. Paul
369 St. Caesarius of Nazianzus Brother of St. Gregory Nazianzus son of St. Gregory the Elder
616 Ethelbert of Kent, King Not since conversions of Constantine and Clovis had Christendom known an event so  momentous
779 St. Walburga Abbess of the double monastery at Heidenheim
1481 Bl. Constantius a boy of extraordinary goodness gift of prophecy or second sight miracles
1624 Bl. Didacus Carvalho martyr of Japan 
1828 Bl. Dominic Lentini 
called the Son and Servant of the Cross

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

The two Popes who glorified Bl. Dominic Lentini, Pius XI for his Heroic Virtues (27/1/35) and John Paul for his Beatification (12/10/97), will exalt the greatness of his Priesthood:
Sacerdote sine adiunctis!
(a Priest without equal) Rich only in his Priesthood!

Marian Apparitions of the Past (I)
February 25 - Our Lady of Great Power (Canada, 1673) - 9th apparition in Lourdes
Marian apparitions cover three prominent phases of Church History: the Patristic age, Middle Ages, the Renaissance.
The time periods denote not the occurrences of apparitions, but dates recorded by historians and Church officials.

The Patristic Age: There is no recorded literature about apparitions for the early centuries of the Church. The first attestations of Marian apparitions are from the fourth century. For example, Gregory of Nyssa, who lived in the fourth century, recorded that Gregory the Wonder worker (213-270 A.D.) was the first beneficiary of a Marian apparition.
The Middle Ages: Fr. Laurentin notes that "we do not know much" about cases of Marian apparitions recorded from the Middle Ages. The two most interesting cases from the Middle Ages are the seers at the Cistercian Monastery of Helfta (13th century) and the visions of St Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373).
The Renaissance: During the sixteenth century, a new kind of apparitions began. These apparitions had a public character and Fr. Laurentin notes that these were intended to "renew the faith and to surmount the world's crises." The most significant case is Guadalupe (1531) which gave birth to a New Church in the Americas.
Adapted from Father René Laurentin, Marian Spirituality In the Mystical Tradition,
International Marian Research Institute, Dayton: Marian Library, July 21-24, 1997.

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.

Commemorate the "Triumph of Orthodoxy," restoration of the holy icons Triumph_of_Orthodoxy
1st v. St. Ananias II Missionary martyr patron of St. Paul
 249 St. Donatus Martyr with Herena, Justus, and 50 companions in Africa
 284 St. Victorinus Martyr with companions at Diospolis
 298 St. Ananias III converted a man named Peter  7 guards all martyred
 369 St. Caesarius of Nazianzus Brother of St. Gregory Nazianzus son of St.
      Gregory the Elder
 616 Ethelbert of Kent, King Not since conversions of Constantine and Clovis had
       Christendom known an event so  momentous
 696 Aldetrudis of Maubeuge abbess  very holy family OSB Abbess (AC)
 779 St. Walburga Abbess of the double monastery at Heidenheim
 806 St. Tarasius saintly Bishop charity to poor no indigent person overlooked
 995 Blessed Victor of Saint Gall recluse in the Vosges OSB (AC) 
1104 Gerland of Girgenti continually saddened by the sight of the world 
1131 Blessed Adelelmus of Engelberg monk OSB Abbess (PC)
1380 St. Aventanus Carmelite mystic lay brother gift of ecstasies, miracles visions 
1481 Bl. Constantius a boy of extraordinary goodness gift of prophecy or second
        sight miracles
1600 Blessed Sebastian Aparicio Franciscan lay brother at Puebla de los Angeles
        26 years OFM (AC)
1624 Bl. Didacus Carvalho martyr of Japan 
1828 Bl. Dominic Lentini 
called the Son and Servant of the Cross

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 16 40 Days For Life
Dear Readers 
Abortion businesses often require payment in advance … and they sure don’t like to give refunds! Please understand that abortion is a business. If there are no customers, they can’t keep their doors open. Some of the most recent closings have taken place for just that reason – there was no longer enough money coming in to cover expenses.
It’s a particular blessing when a mother decides against abortion and goes home. And it’s always especially encouraging when she is confident enough to walk back in and demand that they return her payment.
Greenville, South Carolina
Ingrid, one of the 40 Days for Life leaders in Greenville, said her prayer time ended and she was just getting ready to leave – but she noticed a car turning into the abortion center’s driveway.  “I waved for her to stop, and she did,” she said. “I asked if she had come for an abortion.”
"No,” the young woman answered. “I was going to have one … but I came to get my money back." 
Just to be sure of what she’d heard, Ingrid asked if she’d planned to have an abortion but changed her mind.
 “Yes,” she said. “Babies are a blessing." 
 “I told her she was absolutely right,” Ingrid said. “We hugged and she went inside to get her money.”
No one had spoken to this woman prior to her original abortion appointment. “The prayers and fasting are doing the work,” Ingrid said. “I was blessed to be there to hear her decision and pass it on to you.”
Cincinnati, Ohio
Mary, the leader in Cincinnati, thanked all of the faithful volunteers who braved the extreme cold and kept their scheduled prayer times at Planned Parenthood.
 “Your presence and prayer support are having an effect,” she said.”
One of the counselors spoke to a mother and daughter who were on their way into Planned Parenthood. The abortion was the mother’s idea. The daughter didn’t really seem willing.
A short time later, the girl’s aunt arrived, spoke to a counselor – and went inside to get her niece. When the aunt left Planned Parenthood, the girl was with her. “She was not going to have the abortion!”
Memphis, Tennessee
“What an amazing campaign!” said Kathy in Memphis, thankful for the faithful volunteers who pray outside the Planned Parenthood abortion center as part of the 40 Days for Life vigil.
Vigil participants spotted a young woman who got off the bus and headed towards Planned Parenthood for an abortion appointment. One of them spoke to her – she seemed scared – and offered words of hope, love and help.
 “The young mom listened,” Kathy said, “and the two walked next door to our local pregnancy center.”
Two hours later, the previously abortion-minded woman learned she was teen weeks into her pregnancy … and was now making adoption plans. “We hugged her, gave her encouragement and told her of our continuing prayers,” Kathy said.
Today's devotional is from Rev. John Ensor of PassionLife.
Day 16 intention
Pray for the mothers going into pregnancy help centers. The personal care, the free ultrasound, the ongoing practical help is designed to deliver them from those who profit in shedding innocent blood.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. — Matthew 11:28
Reflection from Rev. John Ensor
“You have twins. That will be another $350.” She did not speak English. But she finally understood that they were telling her to go get more money and return for her abortion.
She had already given them her rent money. But they were not about to give her a two-for-one deal. They told her to get dressed and return with more cash.
A couple, who was praying outside, comforted her. They brought her to their local pregnancy help center.
The staff quickly saw that her personal circumstances were so desperate, and immediate, that they would need direct and ongoing help from local Christians and churches. They started making calls.
Then they did the ultrasound. It showed there was only one baby, not two. This abandoned, immigrant, powerless mother was being exploited. She would do whatever she was told. Who would know? Who would care?

God calls us to “Rescue the weak and the needy; and deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:4).
When you provide an alternative to abortion you are not only rescuing innocent babies, you are delivering mothers from the wicked: those who profit in the shedding of innocent blood. Pray for those who rescue and deliver daily at your local pregnancy help center.
Father, hear our prayer! Snatch desperate mothers from the fire. Bring them out of our abortion businesses and into our pregnancy help centers. Deliver them from evil. Use us to help them chose life and see your hand of provision.
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Commemorate the "Triumph of Orthodoxy," restoration of the holy icons
Originally, the Prophets Moses, Aaron, and Samuel were commemorated on this Sunday. The Alleluia verses appointed for today's Liturgy reflect this older usage.  Today we commemorate the "Triumph of Orthodoxy," the restoration of the holy icons in the reign of the holy Empress Theodora (February 11).
1st v St. Ananias II Missionary martyr patron of St. Paul
A Christian in the city of Damascus, Ananias was commanded by Christ in a vision to seek out Saul, the future Paul, who had staggered his way into the city following his dramatic encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus. Finding Saul blind, Ananias cured him and baptized him. After seeing Paul start his missionary work, Ananias went to Eleutheropolis, where he was martyred for the faith.

1st v St. Ananias II the birthday of Jan 25th; Missionary; martyr Feb 25 feast day; patron of St. Paul;
 Apud Damáscum natális sancti Ananíæ, qui fuit discípulus Dómini, et eúndem Paulum Apóstolum baptizávit.  Ipse autem, cum Damásci, et Eleutherópoli, alibíque Evangélium prædicásset, tandem, sub Licínio Júdice, nervis cæsus et laniátus, ac lapídibus oppréssus, martyrium consummávit.
       At Damascus, the birthday of St. Ananias, who was a disciple of our Lord, and baptized the apostle Paul.  After he had preached the Gospel at Damascus, Eleutheropolis, and elsewhere, he was scourged under the judge Licinius, had his flesh torn, and lastly being overwhelmed with stones, ended his martyrdom. 

249 St. Donatus Martyr with Herena, Justus, and 50 companions who suffered in Africa
 In Africa sanctórum Mártyrum Donáti, Justi, Herénæ et Sociórum.
       In Africa, the holy martyrs Donatus, Justus, Herenas, and their companions.
They were martyred in Africa under Emperor Decius {249}. Donatus, Justus, Herena & Comp. MM (RM) 3rd century. A band of 50 martyrs who suffered in Africa under Decius (Benedictines).

284 St. Victorinus Martyr with companions at Diospolis
 In Ægypto natális sanctórum Mártyrum Victoríni, Victóris, Nicéphori, Claudiáni, Dióscori, Serapiónis et Pápiæ, sub Numeriáno Imperatóre.  Horum duo primi, pro confessióne fídei, exquisíta suppliciórum génera constánter passi, cápite plectúntur; Nicéphorus, post cratículas candéntes ignésque superátos, minutátim concísus est; Claudiánus et Dióscorus flammis incénsi; Serápion vero et Pápias gládio cæsi sunt.
       In Egypt, under Emperor Numerian, the birthday of the holy martyrs Victorinus, Victor, Nicephorus, Claudian, Dioscorus, Serapion, and Papias.  After patiently enduring extreme tortures, the first two were beheaded for the confession of the faith, Nicephorus was laid on a heated gridiron, placed over the fire, then thoroughly hacked with a knife; Claudian and Dioscorus were burned at the stake; Serapion and Papias were slain with the sword.
A citizen of Corinth, Greece, he was exiled with a group of fellow Christians to Egypt during the persecutions under Emperor Numerian. Victor and the others had been exiled in 249 and lived in Egypt. Under Governor Sabinus they were arrested again, brutally tortured, and finally executed at Diospolis.

VICTORINUS, Victor, Nicephorus, Claudian, Dioscorus, Serapion and Papias were citizens of Corinth who had made a good confession of their faith in their own country before Tertius the proconsul in 249, at the beginning of the reign of Decius. After being tortured, they passed into Egypt, but whether they were banished thither or went into voluntary banishment is not stated. They completed their martyrdom at Diospolis, the capital of the Thebaid, under the governor Sabinus in the reign of Numerian. After the governor had tried the constancy of the martyrs with the rack and scourge, he caused Victorinus to be thrown into a great marble mortar. The executioners began by pounding his feet and legs, saying to him at every stroke, “Save thyself Thou canst escape this death by renouncing thy new god.” But as he continued constant, the governor became impatient and ordered that his head should be battered to pieces. When Victor was threatened with the same death, his only wish was that his execution should be hastened, and pointing to the mortar he said, “Salvation and happiness await me there!” He was immediately cast into it and pounded to death. Nicephorus, the third martyr, leaped of his own accord into this engine of destruction. The judge, angry at his boldness, commanded several executioners to beat him at the same time. Sabinus caused Claudian, the fourth martyr, to be hacked to pieces.

He expired after his feet, hands, arms, legs and thighs had been cut off. The governor, pointing to his mangled limbs and scattered bones, said to the other three, “It rests with you to avoid this punishment: I do not compel you to suffer.” They answered with one voice, “We would rather ask thee to inflict on us any still more excruciating torment that thou canst devise. We will never violate the fidelity we owe to God or deny Jesus Christ our Saviour, for He is our God from whom we have our being and to whom alone we aspire.” The tyrant then com­manded that Dioscorus should be burnt alive and Serapion hung up by the heels and then beheaded. Papias was cast into the sea with a stone attached to his neck and drowned. This happened on February 25, the day allotted to these saints in the Western martyrologies, but the Greeks honour them on January 21, said to be the date of their confession at Corinth.

The Syriac text of the acts of these martyrs was published for the first time by Stephen E. Assemani in the eighteenth century with a Latin translation. In modern times the Syriac has been re-edited from fresh manuscript sources by Paul Bedjan. A French trans­lation of the same acts, by F. Lagrange, was printed in 1852. The substance of the account is probably reliable, though we may suspect a certain amount of embroidery in the details.

Victorinus and Companions MM (RM) Victorinus, Victor, Nicephorus, Claudian, Dioscorus, Serapion and Papias were Corinthian who were exiled to Egypt after confessing their faith before the Proconsul Tertius. They were martyred at Diospolis in the Thebaid during the reign of Decius (Numerian?), under the governor Sabinus, for their Christian faith.
After various tortures, Victorinus was thrown into a great mortar (according to the Greeks, of marble.) Then the executioners began by pounding his feet and legs, saying to him at every stroke: "Spare yourself, wretch. It depends upon you to escape this death, if you will only renounce your new God." The prefect grew furious at his constancy, and at length commanded his head to be beat to pieces. The sight of the atrocities committed against Victorinus heightened the fervor of his fellows, rather than tempering it as the governor had intended.

When the tyrant threatened Victor with the same death as Victorinus, he only desired him to hasten the execution; and, pointing to the mortar, said: "In that is salvation and true felicity prepared for me!" He was immediately cast into it and beaten to death. Nicephorus, the third martyr, was impatient of delay, and leaped of his own accord into the bloody mortar. The judge, enraged at his boldness, commanded not one, but many executioners at once to pound him in the same manner. He caused Claudian, the fourth, to be chopped in pieces, and his bleeding joints to be thrown at the feet of those that were yet living. He expired after his feet, hands, arms, legs, and thighs were cut off.

At one point in the proceedings, after Victorinus, Victor, Nicephorus, and Claudian had already been executed, the governor tried to reason with the remaining prisoners to abjure their faith. "We would rather ask you to inflict on us any still more excruciating torment than you can devise," they replied in unison. "We will never violate the fidelity we owe our God or deny Jesus Christ our Savior, for He is our God from whom we have our being and to whom alone we aspire."

The enraged tyrant commanded Diodorus to be burned alive, Serapion to be beheaded, and Papias to be drowned. These martyrs are named in the Roman and other western martyrologies on February 25; however, the Greek Menaea, and the Menology of the emperor Basil Porphyrogenitus honor them on January 21, the day of their confession at Corinth (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

298 St. Ananias III converted a man named Peter  7 guards all martyred
Martyr priest of Phoenicia, modern Lebanon. In prison, Ananias converted a man named Peter and seven guards. They shared his martyrdom. Ananias and Companions MM (AC) Saint Ananias was a priest of Phoenicia who was martyred under Diocletian. He was thrown into prison, converted his jailer (Peter) and seven other soldiers of the guard. All were put to death together (Benedictines).

369 St. Caesarius of Nazianzus Brother of St. Gregory Nazianzus son of St. Gregory the Elder
 Naziánzi, in Cappadócia, sancti Cæsárii, qui beátæ Nonnæ fílius ac beatórum Gregórii Theólogi et Gorgóniæ fuit frater, et quem idem Gregórius inter ágmina beatórum se vidísse testátur.
       At Nazianzus, St. Caesarius, who was the son of blessed Nonna, and whom his brother, blessed Gregory the Theologian, says he saw among the hosts of the blessed.
Caesarius studied medicine and philosophy at Alexandria, Egypt, and in Constantinople. Famous as a physician, Caesarius was appointed to the court of Emperor Julian the Apostate, who tried repeatedly to get him to renounce the Christian faith. Caesarius was only a catechumen, a Christian in training, but he resigned from the court rather than deny Christ. He served Emperor Jovian as physician and was the treasurer for Emperor Valens. In 468, after a harrowing experience during an earthquake at Nicaca, in Bithynia, Caesarius was baptized. His brother gave the details of Caesarius' life while conducting his funeral.
CAESARIUS was the brother of St Gregory Nazianzen, and his father was bishop of that city. Both boys received an excellent education, but whilst Gregory went to study at Caesarea in Palestine, Caesarius repaired to Alexandria, where he dis­tinguished himself in every branch of knowledge, specializing in oratory, philosophy and more particularly in medicine. He perfected his medical studies in Constan­tinople and became the foremost physician of his age, but he refused to settle there, although the city and the Emperor Constantius begged him to do so. He was afterwards recalled there and greatly honoured by Julian the Apostate, who nomin­ated him his first physician and excepted him from several edicts which he published against the Christians.
Caesarius resisted all the efforts of that prince to make him abjure his faith, and was persuaded by his father and brother to resign his post at court in spite of Julian’s solicitations. Jovian restored him to his former post and Valens made him also treasurer of his private purse with control of the finances in Bithynia. A narrow escape in an earthquake at Nicea in Bithynia in 368 made such an impression upon his mind that he renounced the world, and when he died shortly after he left all he possessed to the poor. His funeral oration was preached by his brother St Gregory.

It is from St Gregory’s panegyric that most of our information is derived. In virtue of this sermon Caesarius has been honoured as a saint and is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology. Nevertheless it seems certain that it was only after the earthquake at Nicea and consequently only a few months before his death that Caesarius received baptism. For the best part of the forty years he lived on earth he by his own choice was no more than a catechumen, and was consequently debarred from participating in the sacred mysteries.
616 Ethelbert of Kent, King Not since conversions of Constantine and Clovis had Christendom known an event so thrillingly momentous.
(also known as Ædilberct, Æthelberht, Aibert, Edilbertus) Born c. 560; died at Canterbury on February 24,  feast day formerly February 24. In the days of the Saxons, Ethelbert, great-grandson of Hengist, the first Saxon conqueror of Britain, reigned for 36 years over Kent beginning about 560, the oldest of the kingdoms. Although he had been defeated by Ceawlin of Wessex at the battle of Wimbledon in 568, Ethelbert became the third bretwalda of England, exercising supremacy over all other Saxon kings and princes south of the Humber. Under his rule Kent was the most cultured of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms; it was closely associated with the Frankish Rhineland.

ETHELBERT, King of Kent, married a Christian princess, Bertha, only child of Charibert, King of Paris. She had full liberty to practise her religion, and she brought with her a French prelate, Bishop Liudhard, who officiated in an ancient church, which he dedicated to God in honour of St Martin, at Canterbury.

Tradi­tion speaks of the piety and amiable qualities of Queen Bertha, and these no doubt made a great impression on her husband, but his conversion did not take place until the coming of St Augustine and his companions. These missionaries, sent by St Gregory the Great, first landed in Thanet, from whence they sent a message to the king announcing their arrival and explaining the reason of their coming. Ethelbert bade them remain in the island, and after some days he himself came to Thanet to hear what they had to say. His first conference with them took place in the open air, as he was afraid they might use spells or some form of magic, which were held to be powerless out of doors. Ethelbert, sitting under an oak, received them well and, after listening to them, told them that they might freely preach to the people and convert whom they could. As for himself, he could not immediately abandon all that he had held sacred, but he would undertake that the missionaries should be well treated and should have the means to live. Bede tells us that he gave them the church of St Martin in which  “to sing psalms, to pray, to offer Mass, to preach and to baptize”. Conversions took place, and it was not long before Ethelbert and many of his nobles were convinced. They received baptism on Whitsunday, 597; and the king’s conversion was followed by that of thousands of his subjects.

He told Augustine and his followers that they might rebuild the ancient British churches and build others but, eager as he was for the spread of God’s kingdom, he would constrain no man to change his religion, for, as Bede informs us, he had learnt from his teachers that the service of Christ must be voluntary and not compulsory. He treated all alike, although he felt a special affection for those who had become Christian. In the government of his kingdom his thoughts were set on increasing the welfare of his people, for whom he enacted laws which were held in high esteem in England in succeeding ages. Buildings and land at Canterbury he gave up for the use of the archbishop, who founded in the city the cathedral called Christ Church and built, outside the walls, the abbey and church of St Peter and St Paul (afterwards called St Augustine’s). In his own dominions Ethelbert established a second bishopric, that of Rochester, where he founded the church of St Andrew; whilst in London, in the territory of the king of the East Saxons, he built the first cathedral of St Paul. He was the means of winning over to Chris­tianity Sabert, King of the East Saxons, and Redwald, King of the East Angles, although the latter subsequently relapsed into semi-idolatry. Ethelbert reigned fifty-six years, dying in 616, and was buried in the church of St Peter and St Paul where the bodies of Queen Bertha and of St Liudhard already rested. Up to the days of Henry VIII, a light was always kept lighted before his tomb. His feast is now kept in the dioceses of Westminster, Southwark and North­ampton, with a commemoration in Nottingham, and he is named in the Roman Martyrology.

We see in King Ethelbert a very noble type of convert. His reception of the missionaries and his willingness to give them a fair hearing must strike all those who read his history. After his conversion, whilst he was eager to win others, he would constrain no one, and thus aided instead of hindering the labours of the missionaries. The use of force has always been a real enemy to the progress of the faith—even when it appears for the moment to be successful—for it is opposed to the spirit of our Lord and to the essence of Christianity. The evangelization of the world will be brought about by prayer, by teaching and by example, but never by force of arms, by persecution or by compulsion of any kind.

Bede’s Ecclesiastical History is, practically speaking, our sole authority for the life of Ethelbert (he spells the name Aedilberct). Gregory of Tours twice over alludes to the mar­riage of Bertha to a prince of Kent, but does not name him. The “Dooms” of Ethelbert should be consulted in the text of Liebermann, Gesetze der Angelsachsen, with its ample notes and glossary. Among general works, see F. M. Stenton’s Anglo-Saxon England (1943). According to Dom S. Brechter’s views, Ethelbert was not baptized till 601.
He married a Christian princess, Bertha, granddaughter of King Clovis of the Franks and sister of Chilperic's brother Charibert, king of Paris. Bertha brought with her to England her own chaplain, Bishop Saint Liudhard of Senlis, and in a church built in Roman times in Canterbury that was dedicated to Saint Martin, he preached the Gospel in a heathen land.

Bertha herself was lovable and gentle, and though we know little of her life, her memory remains as a bright light shining in the darkness of those ancient days. Bertha was a zealous and pious Christian princess, who by the articles of her marriage had free liberty to exercise her religion. To Ethelbert and his people she brought the pattern and example of a Christian life and prepared the way for the coming of Augustine (Austin). Although in one place Saint Gregory the Great compares her piety and zeal to that of Saint Helen, as late as 601, he reproached her for not having converted her husband.

Although Ethelbert was a very courteous man, he was himself not yet a Christian. When Augustine and his missionaries, sent from Rome by Gregory the Great, landed on the isle of Thanet and requested Ethelbert's permission to preach, he ordered them to remain where they were and arranged for them to be well tended until he had reached a decision.

Ethelbert feared that the missionaries might be magicians, so he would not receive them indoors, in case he needed to retreat quickly from their sorcery. In that time they believed at that time, an evil spell would be ineffective outdoors. So the king arranged to meet them in the open air on Thanet Island under a great oak.

They came in the bright morning light, the emissaries of Rome, bearing before them a great silver cross and a picture of our Lord painted on a large wooden panel, and chanting Gregorian strains. At their head marched Augustine, whose tall figure and patrician features were the center of attention. it was a moving sight, and who could have foretold all that the day held in store for England! As the paraded forwarded they prayed for their salvation and that of the English.

The king, surrounded by a great company of courtiers, invited the visitors to be seated, and after listening carefully to what Augustine had to say, gave a generous answer: "You make fair speeches and promises, but all this is to me new and uncertain. I cannot all at once put faith in what you tell me, and abandon all that I, with my whole nation, have for so long a time held sacred. But since you have come from so far away to impart to us what you yourselves, by what I see, believe to be the truth and the supreme good, we shall do you no hurt, but, on the contrary, shall show you all hospitality, and shall take care to furnish you with the means of living. We shall not hinder you from preaching your religion, and you may convert whom you can."

He accommodated them in the royal city of Canterbury and before the year was over there were 10,000 converts according to a letter from Saint Gregory to Patriarch Eulogius of Alexandria. On Whit Sunday 597 (traditionally, though it is more likely to have occurred in 601), King Ethelbert himself was baptized by Saint Augustine. In 601, Gregory wrote an encouraging letter to Ethelbert, congratulating him on becoming a Christian. Not since the conversions of Constantine and Clovis had Christendom known an event so thrillingly momentous.

From that time, Ethelbert was changed into another man. His only ambition during the last 20 years of his life was to establish the perfect reign of Christ in his own soul and in the hearts of his subjects. His ardor in penitential exercises and devotion never abated. It must have been difficult to master his will in the while wielding temporal power and wealth, but Ethelbert continuously advanced in the path of perfection.

In the government of his kingdom, his thoughts were completely turned upon the best means of promoting the welfare of his people. He enacted wholesome laws, abolished the worship of idols, and turned pagan temples into churches. While he granted religious freedom to his subjects, believing conversion by conviction was the only true conversion, thousands of them also became Christians. His code of laws for Kent is the earliest known legal document written in a Germanic language. The first law decreed that any person who stole from the church or clergy must make immediate reparation.

Ethelbert gave his royal palace of Canterbury to Saint Augustine for his use, founded a cathedral there, and built the abbey of Saints Peter and Paul (later called Saint Austin's) just outside the city walls. He also laid the foundations for Saint Andrew's in Rochester and many other churches. King Ethelbert was instrumental in bringing King Sebert (Sabert) of the East Saxons and King Redwald of the East Angles to faith in Christ. He built the cathedral of Saint Paul's in London in the territory of King Sebert.

Saint Gregory the Great, delighted with the progress made in the English mission field, sent a number of presents to King Ethelbert. The pope wrote that "by means of the good gifts that God has granted to you, I know He blesses your people as well." He urged King Ethelbert to destroy the shrines of idols and to raise the moral standards of his subjects by his own good example.

Upon his death, Ethelbert was buried beside his first wife Bertha in the porticus (side-chapel) of St. Martin in the Abbey Church of SS. Peter and Paul. Later his relics were deposited under the high altar of that same church, then called Saint Austin's. Polydore Virgil reports that a vigil light was kept before the tomb of Saint Ethelbert, and was sometimes an instrument of miracles even in the days of King Henry VIII. There seems to have been an unofficial cultus at Canterbury from early times, but his feast is found in calendars only from the 13th century, and generally on February 25 or 26, because Saint Matthias occupied February 24. He is commemorated in both the Roman and British Martyrologies (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth).
696 Aldetrudis of Maubeuge abbess  very holy family OSB Abbess (AC) (also known as Adeltrudis)
Born into another very holy family, Saint Aldetrudis was the grand-daughter of Saints Walbert and Bertilia, daughter of Saints Vincent Madelgarus and Waldetrudis (Waudru), niece of Saint Aldegund of Maubeuge, and sister of Saints Landric, Dentelin, and Madelberte. She had no choice but to be a saint. Having been confided to the care of her Aunt Aldegund at Maubeuge, she eventually succeeded her as its second abbess (Benedictines).
779 St. Walburga Abbess of the double monastery at Heidenheim
 In monastério Heidenhémii, diœcésis Eistetténsis, in Germánia, sanctæ Walbúrgæ Vírginis, quæ fuit fília sancti Richárdi, Anglórum Regis, et soror sancti Willebáldi, Eistetténsis Epíscopi.
       In the monastery of Heidenheim, in the Eichstadt diocese in Germany, St. Walburga, virgin.  She was the daughter of St. Richard, king of England, and sister of St. Willebald, bishop of Eichstadt.
St. Walburga, Virgin  invoked against coughs, dog bite (rabies), plague, and for good harvests

ST WALBURGA (Waldburg) is honoured in various parts of France under the names of Vaubourg, Gauburge and Falbourg, and in Germany and the Netherlands as Wilburga, Warpurg and Walpurgis. She was in fact an Englishwoman, the sister of St Willibald and St Winebald, and was educated at the monastery of Wimborne in Dorset, where she afterwards took the veil.

When St Boniface set out on his great mission to preach Christianity to the German people, he was joined by St Walburga’s brothers, and when St Tatta was asked by Boniface to send some nuns to found a convent in the newly evangelized districts, St Walburga was one of the religious who crossed to the continent under the care of St Lioba. For two years she lived at Bischofsheim, but as soon as her brother Winebald founded the double monastery of Heidenheim she was called upon to rule over the nunnery whilst he directed the monks. At his death she was appointed abbess of both houses by her other brother, Willibald, then bishop of Eichstätt, and she retained this office of superior over men and women until her death. She is said to have studied and practised medicine.

St Walburga was present in 776 at the translation of the body of St Winebald to Eichstätt, and her own body, interred at first at Heidenheim, was afterward placed beside that of her brother in the church of the Holy Cross. Although the greater part of her remains still rest there, fragments are distributed all over Europe—notably at Brussels, Antwerp, Thielt, Zutphen and Groningen. Her fame has been spread from very early times by the so-called miraculous oil—an aromatic watery fluid, perhaps possessed of natural medicinal properties, which flows through an opening in the rock on which rest her relics. Great cures have been ascribed to it even down to the present day. In art, she is represented sometimes holding three ears of corn, with which she is said to have cured a girl afflicted with a voracious appetite. On the night of one of her festivals, Walpurgisnacht, May 1, the witches were supposed to hold their revels at Blocksberg in the Hartz Mountains: a highly incongruous association, as Professor Stenton remarks. Some of the cultus with which she was formerly honoured—including her attribute of corn—may possibly have been transferred to her from the old heathen goddess Walborg or Mother Earth. St Walburga’s feast is kept in the diocese of Plymouth as well as in Germany.

The three or four medieval Latin lives are all of relatively late date, and no great trust can be placed in the details they record. But the “Hodoeporicon” of her brother St Willibald, compiled by a nun in St Walburga’s OWO Convent of Heidenheim, is a reliable document, and the Life of St Willibald, incorrectly ascribed to Bishop Reginold of Eichstätt, is also of some value. A rather uncritical narrative (Life of St Walburge), derived from these materials, was written by Fr T. Meyrick. A translation of the “Hodoeporicon” has been published by C. H. Talbot, Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany (1954). The best edition of the Latin texts is that edited by Holder-Egger in MGH., Scriptores, vol. xv, Pt I, pp. 86—106. Fuller materials are printed in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii. See also Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xlix (1931), Pp. 353 seq.
Walburga was born in Devonshire England, around 710. She was the daughter of a West Saxon chieftain and the sister of St. Willibald and Winebald. Walburga was educated at Wimborne Monastery in Dorset, where she became a nun. In 748, she was sent with St. Lioba to Germany to help St. Boniface in his missionary work. She spent two years at Bishofsheim, after which she became Abbess of the double monastery at Heidenheim founded by her brother Winebald. At the death of Winebald, St. Walburga was appointed Abbess of both monasteries by her brother Willibald, who was then Bishop of Eichstadt. She remained superior of both men and women until her death in 779. She was buried first at Heidenheim, but later her body was interred next to that of her brother, St. Winebald, at Eichstadt.

Walburga, OSB Abbess (RM) (also known as Bugga, Gaudurge, Vaubourg, Walpurga, Walpurgis)
Born in Devonshire, Wessex, England; died at Heidenheim, Swabia, Germany, February 25, 779; feasts of her translation are celebrated May 1, October 12 (to Eichstätt), and September 24 (to Zutphen).
When Saint Boniface evangelized the Germans, he took with him as fellow apostles his two nephews, Willibald and Winebald, who were the sons of Saint Richard, king of the West Saxons. So successful was their enterprise that fresh reinforcements of missionaries were requested and the monasteries of England were stirred by the news of their progress. Indeed, it was hardly possible to restrain the ardent faith and enthusiasm of those who wanted to join them, and there sailed boat after boat of eager volunteers.

Nor in that stirring hour were the womenfolk unmoved in their wish to follow, and Boniface asked for a colony of nuns to be sent out. Among them was his own niece, Walburga, a nun of Wimborne under Saint Tatta and sister of Willibald and Winebald, for she, too, had heard the call and had immediately followed Saint Lioba to Germany.

Walburga had been educated at the double monastery of Wimbourne in Dorset and decided there to consecrate her life to God by becoming a nun. When she answered the call to Germany, she spent two years evangelizing in Bischofsheim, impressing the pagans with her medical skills.

Winebald founded a double monastery at Heidenheim, where she was appointed abbess and Winebald ruled the men. She must have been a remarkable woman, for so great was her influence that on his death the bishop of Eichstätt appointed Walburga in his place and gave her charge over both the men's and women's congregations. Walburga died as abbess of Heidenheim, whence her relics were translated to Eichstätt.

This English woman had the curious destiny of attaining a place in German folklore. The night of May 1 (the date of the transfer of her relics to Eichstätt in 870) became known as Walpurgisnacht. May 1 had been a pagan festival marking the beginning of summer and the revels of witches, hence the traditions of Walpurgisnacht, which have no intrinsic connection with the saint. Nevertheless, her name became associated with witchcraft and other superstitions (cf. Goethe's Faust, pt. i, Walpurgis night in the Hartz mountains). It is possible, however, that the protection of crops ascribed to her, represented by the three ears of corn in her icons, may have been transferred to her from Mother Earth (Walborg).

Her shrine was an important pilgrimage site because of the 'miraculous oil' that exudes from the rock on which her shrine is placed. A fine collection of 16th- to 20th-century phials for its distribution is kept at Eichstätt. In 893, Walburga's relics were inspected and diffused, some to the Rhineland, others to Flanders and France, which spread her cultus to other countries. One important center was Attigny, where Charles the Simple established a shrine in his palace chapel and named her patron of his kingdom. Today she lies peacefully in the vault of the 17th- century Baroque church bearing her name--a symbol not of witchcraft, but of Christian healing and mission (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill).
In art, Saint Walburga is generally portrayed as a royal abbess with a small flask of oil on a book. At times (1) she may have three ears of corn in her hand; (2) angels hold a crown over her; (3) she is shown in a family tree of the Kings of England; (4) she is shown together with her saintly brothers; or (5) miracles are taking place because of the oil extruding from her tomb (Roeder). She is venerated at Eichstätt (Roeder). Walburga has been portrayed by artists from the 11th until the 19th centuries. Especially noteworthy is a 15th-century tapestry cycle of her life.
A modern abbess of Eichstätt was sufficiently important to be selected to negotiate the surrender of the town to the Americans at the end of the Second World War.
Saint Walburga is invoked against coughs, dog bite (rabies), plague, and for good harvests (Roeder).
806 St. Tarasius saintly Bishop charity to poor no indigent person overlooked 1st secretary to Emperor Constantine
 Constantinópoli sancti Tharásii Epíscopi, eruditióne et pietáte insígnis; ad quem exstat Hadriáni Papæ Primi epístola pro defensióne sanctárum Imáginum.
       At Constantinople, St. Tharasius, bishop, a man of great learning and piety.  There exists a letter defending sacred images, written to him by Pope Hadrian I.

ST TARASIUS, although a layman and chief secretary to the young Emperor Con­stantine VI and his mother Irene, was chosen patriarch of Constantinople by the court, clergy and people after having been nominated by his predecessor Paul IV, who had retired into a monastery. Tarasius came of a patrician family, had had a good upbringing, and in the midst of the court, though surrounded by all that could flatter pride or gratify the senses, he had led a life of almost monastic severity. He was most loath to accept the dignity which had been conferred upon him, partly because he felt that a priest should have been chosen, but also on account of the position created by the succession of emperors, beginning with Leo III in 726, whose policy it was for various reasons to abolish the veneration of sacred images and banish eikons from the churches.* [* The use of sacred images had become general throughout the Church and had been encouraged by the authorities when, all danger of idolatry being over, it became necessary to impress on men’s minds that God had actually become man and had been born of a human mother. For this purpose, and as a means of reviving the memory of the saints and of lifting up the soul to God, pictures and other images were introduced into the churches.]

Tarasius was called to be patriarch at a time when the Empress Irene had the imperial power in her hands as regent for her son, Constantine VI, then only ten years old. She was an ambitious, artful and heartlessly cruel woman, but she was opposed to Iconoclasm. When there­fore Tarasius had been consecrated on Christmas day 784, on the understanding that a council should be held to restore the unity of the churches disrupted by the campaign against images, the way was clear for such a gathering. This, the seventh oecumenical council, eventually assembled at Nicaea in 787, under the presidency of the legates of Pope Adrian I. After due discussion it was declared to be the sense of the Church to allow to holy pictures and other images a relative honour, but not of course that worship which is due to God alone. He who reveres the image, it was emphasized, reveres the person it represents.

Tarasius, in obedience to the decision of the synod, restored holy images throughout his patriarchate. He also laboured zealously to abolish simony, and his life was a model of disinterestedness to his clergy and people. At his table and in his residence he allowed himself nothing of the magnificence of some of his predecessors. Intent on serving others, he would scarcely allow his servants to do anything for him. He permitted himself but little sleep, and all his leisure was devoted to prayer and reading. He banished the use of fine clothes from amongst his clergy, and was particularly severe against theatrical entertainments. He often took dishes from his table to distribute with his own hands to the poor, and that none might be over looked, he visited all the charitable institutions and hospitals in Constantinople.

Some years later the emperor became enamoured of Theodota, a maid of honour to his wife, the Empress Mary, whom he had been forced to marry by his mother and whom he now resolved to divorce. To further his purpose he tried to gain over the patriarch, and sent an officer to inform him that the empress was plotting to poison him. Tarasius answered the messenger sternly, “Tell him I will suffer death rather than consent to his design”. The emperor, hoping to win him by flattery, sent for the patriarch and said to him, “I can conceal nothing from you whom I regard as my father. No one can deny that I may divorce one who has attempted my life. The Empress Mary deserves death or perpetual penance.” He then produced a vessel full of poison which he pretended she had prepared for him. The patriarch, perceiving this to be an attempt to hoodwink him, replied that he was only too sure that Constantine’s passion for Theodota was at the bottom of all his complaints against the empress; he also warned him that even if she were really guilty of the crime, a second marriage during her lifetime would be adulterous. The monk John who was present also spoke so resolutely to the emperor that in his fury he drove them both from his presence. Then he turned Mary out of the palace and forced her to take the veil. As Tarasius persisted in his refusal to marry him to Theodota, it was done by Abbot Joseph, an official of the church of Constantinople. Tarasius had to face the resentment of Constantine, who persecuted him during the remainder of his reign.* [* On the other hand, there were those who judged that Tarasius had been too complaisant about the imperial divorce. They were led by the abbot St Plato (April 4) and by St Theodore, afterwards the Studite (November 11), who were imprisoned by Constantine.]

We are told that spies were set to watch the patriarch’s comings and goings, that none was suffered to associate with him without leave, and many of his relations and servants were banished. In the mean­time, however, the Dowager Empress Irene, dissatisfied at being no longer at the head of the government, gained over the principal officers of the court and army, and having made her son prisoner caused his eyes to be put out. Irene reigned for five years, but was deposed by Nicephorus, who usurped the empire and banished her to the isle of Lesbos.

Under the reign of Nicephorus, Tarasius persevered peaceably in the functions of his pastoral office. In his last sickness, as long as he was able to move, he continued to offer the Holy Sacrifice. Shortly before his death he fell into a trance, as his biographer, who was present, relates, and he seemed to be disputing with a number of accusers who were busily scrutinizing all the actions of his life and making accusations. He appeared to be in great agitation as he defended him­self against their charges. This filled all present with fear—knowing how worthy his life had been. But a wonderful serenity succeeded, and the holy man gave up his soul to God in great peace after he had ruled his patriarchal see for twenty-one years.

For the ascetical side of St Tarasius’s activities our chief authority is the biography by Ignatius the deacon. The Greek text has been edited by A. Heikel in the Proceedings of  the Helsingfors Academy. The Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii, only supplies a Latin translation. An excellent account of the Iconoclast controversy is provided in Hefele-Leclercq, Histoire des Conciles, vol. iii, Pt 2 (1910), pp. 741 seq.; and there is a summary in N. H. Baynes and H. L. B. Moss, Byzantium (1948), pp. 15-17, 105-108. See also Krumbacher, Geschichte der Byzantinischen Literatur, 2nd ed., p. 73; Hergenröther, Photius, vol. i, pp. 264-361; and Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 1909, pp. 57 seq.
St. Tarasius was subject of the Byzantine Empire. He was raised to the highest honors in the Empire as Consul, and later became first secretary to the Emperor Constantine and his mother, Irene. When being elected Patriarch of Constantinople, he consented to accept the dignity offered to him only on condition that a General Council should be summoned to resolve the disputes concerning the veneration of sacred images, for Constantinople had been separated from the Holy See on account of the war between the Emperors. The Council was held in the Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople in 786; it met again the following year at Nice and its decrees were approved by the Pope.
The holy Patriarch incurred the enmity of the Emperor by his persistent refusal to sanction his divorce from his lawful wife. He witnessed the death of Constantine, which was occasioned by his own mother; he beheld the reign and the downfall of Irene and usurpation of Nicephorus.
St. Tarasius' whole life in the Episcopacy was one of penance and prayer, and of hard labor to reform his clergy and people. He occupied the See of Constantinople twenty-one years and two months. His charity toward the poor was one of the characteristic virtues of his life. He visited in person, all the houses and hospitals in Constantinople, so that no indigent person might be overlooked in the distribution of alms.
This saintly Bishop was called to his eternal reward in the year 806.
Tarasius of Constantinople B (RM) (also known as Tharasius)  Tarasius's father, George, was a judge held in high esteem for his even-handed justice, and his mother, Eucratia, no less celebrated for her piety. (He was the uncle or great-uncle of Saint Photius.) He was raised in the practice of virtue and taught to choose his friends wisely.
As a layman, he was secretary of state to the ten-year-old Constantine VI. In the midst of the court and all its honors, surrounded by all that could flatter pride or gratify sensuality, Tarasius led a life like that of a professed religious.

Empress Irene, regent for her son, privately a Catholic during her husband's lifetime, schemed to gain power over the whole government to end the persecution of the Catholics by the Iconoclasts. She was an ambitious, artful, and heartlessly cruel women, but she was opposed to Iconoclasm. At the same time, Paul VI, patriarch of Constantinople, resigned his see in repentance for conforming to the heresy of the deceased Emperor Leo. As soon as Irene learned that he had taken the religious habit of Florus Monastery, she visited him and tried to dissuade him. Paul's resolution was unalterable for he wished to repair the scandal he had given. He suggested Tarasius as a worthy replacement.

And so Irene named the layman Tarasius, patriarch of Constantinople. There was unanimous consent by the court, clergy, and people. Tarasius objected, in part because he felt a priest should be chosen, but primarily because he could not in conscience accept the government of a see that had been cut off from Catholic communion. Finally, he accepted the position upon condition that a general council should be called to settle the dispute over the use of images. He was consecrated on Christmas Day, 784.

Soon after his consecration he wrote letters to Pope Adrian I (as did Irene) and the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem requesting their attendance or that of their legates at the seventh ecumenical council. The Holy Father sent legates with letters to the emperor, empress, and patriarch that, in the presence of his legates, the false council of the Iconoclasts should first be condemned and efforts made to re-establish holy images throughout the empire. (His legates, who assumed the presidency of the council, were Peter, archpriest of the Roman church, and Peter, priest and abbot of Saint Sabas in Rome.)

The Eastern patriarchs, being under the yoke of the Islamics, could not come for fear of offending their overlords, but they sent their deputies. The council opened at Constantinople August 1, 786, but was disturbed by the violence of Iconoclasts; therefore, the empress dispersed the council until the following year.

The Second Council of Nicaea at the Church of Hagia Sophia was attended by the pope's legates, Tarasius, John (priest and monk representing the patriarchs of Antioch and Jerusalem), Thomas (for the patriarch of Alexandria), and 350 bishops, plus many abbots and other holy priests and confessors. The assembled agreed that it was the sense of the Church to allow holy pictures and other images a relative honor, but not, of course, that worship that is due to God alone. He who revers the image, it was emphasized, reveres the person it represents. Once the council was ended, synodal letters were sent to all churches and, in particular, to the pope for his approval of the council, which was forthcoming.

In keeping with the resolutions of the General Council of Nicaea in 787, Tarasius restored statues and images to the churches and worked to eliminate simony.
He also forbade the use of gold and scarlet among his clergy.
The life of Tarasius was a model of perfection to his clergy and people. He lived austerely, slept little, and became known for his acts of charity. He would take the meat from his table to distribute among the poor with his own hands and assigned them a large, fixed revenue. To ensure hat no one would be overlooked, he visited all the houses and hospitals in Constantinople. Reading and prayer filled all his leisure hours. It was his pleasure, in imitation of our Lord, to serve others rather than being served by them. He powerfully exhorted universal mortification of the senses, and was particularly severe against all theatrical entertainments.
Constantine turned against him in 795 when Tarasius refused to sanction his divorce from Empress Mary, whom his mother had pressured him to marry. Constantine even tried to coerce his support by deceit saying that Mary had plotted to poison the bishop. Tarasius remained firm, replying, "Tell him I will suffer death rather than consent to his design."
   Next Constantine tried flattery. He said: "I can conceal nothing from you whom I regard as my father. No one can deny that I may divorce one who has attempted to take my life. The Empress Mary deserves death or perpetual penance." He produced a vial of poison that he pretended she had prepared for him. The patriarch, convinced that Constantine was trying to hoodwink him, responded that although Mary's crime was horrid, his second marriage during her lifetime would still be contrary to the law of God.
Constantine wished to marry Theodota, one of Mary's maids, and forced his wife into a convent. But Tarasius still refused to perform the marriage ceremony. This scandalous example led to several governors and other powerful men divorcing their wives or entering bigamous relationships, and gave encouragement to public lewdness. Saints Plato and Theodorus separated themselves from the emperor's communion to show their abhorrence of his crime. Tarasius did not think it was prudent to excommunicate the emperor who might restore iconoclasm in a resultant rage.
Tarasius was persecuted by Constantine thereafter. No one could speak to the patriarch without the permission of the emperor. Spies watched his every move. Tarasius's servants and relatives were banished. This semi-confinement gave Tarasius more free time for contemplation.
While being persecuted for his orthodoxy by the emperor, Saint Theodore and his monks of Studium accused Tarasius of being too lenient. Some days you just can't win!

Irene won over the elite, seized power and had Constantine imprisoned and blinded (such gentle folks, eh?) with so much violence that he died in 797.
During her five-year reign, she recalled all those who had been banished. After Nicephorus seized the throne in 802, Irene was exiled to Lesbos. Tarasius completed his 21-year reign under Nicephorus tending to his flock and saying Mass daily. Shortly before his death, Tarasius fell into a trance, as his biographer, who was present, relates, and he seemed to be disputing with a number of accusers who were busily scrutinizing all the actions of his life and making accusations. The saint appeared to be in great agitation as he defended himself against their charges.
But a wonderful serenity succeeded, and the holy man gave up his soul to God in peace.

God honored the memory of Tarasius with miracles, some of which are related by the author of his vita. His feast was first celebrated by his successor. Fourteen years after Tarasius's death, the iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian dreamed just before his own death that he saw Saint Tarasius highly incensed against him, and heard him command one named Michael to stab him. Leo, thinking this Michael to be a monk in the saint's monastery, ordered him to be brought before him and even tortured some of the religious to hand him over, but there was no Michael among them.
Leo was killed six days later by Michael Balbus (Benedictines, Husenbeth, Walsh, White)
In art, Saint Tarasius is an Eastern bishop with a picture of saints by him. He may also be shown at the time the emperor visited him on his death bed; or serving the poor at table (Roeder, White).
Saint Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople was of illustrious lineage. He was born and raised in Constantinople, where he received a fine education. He was rapidly promoted at the court of the emperor Constantine VI Porphyrogenitos (780-797) and Constantine's mother, the holy Empress Irene (August 7), and the saint attained the rank of senator.

During these times the Church was agitated by the turmoil of the Iconoclast disturbances. The holy Patriarch Paul (August 30) although he had formerly supported Iconoclasm, later repented and resigned his office. He withdrew to a monastery, where he took the schema. When the holy Empress Irene and her son the emperor came to him, St Paul told them that the most worthy successor to him would be St Tarasius (who at this time was still a layman).  Tarasius refused for a long time, not considering himself worthy of such high office, but he then gave in to the common accord on the condition, that an Ecumenical Council be convened to address the Iconoclast heresy.

Proceeding through all the clerical ranks in a short while, St Tarasius was elevated to the patriarchal throne in the year 784. In the year 787 the Seventh Ecumenical Council was convened in the city of Nicea, with Patriarch Tarasius presiding, and 367 bishops attending. The veneration of holy icons was confirmed at the council. Those bishops who repented of their iconoclasm, were again received by the Church.
St Tarasius wisely governed the Church for twenty-two years. He led a strict ascetic life. He spent all his money on God-pleasing ends, feeding and giving comfort to the aged, to the impoverished, to widows and orphans, and on Holy Pascha he set out a meal for them, and he served them himself.
The holy Patriarch fearlessly denounced the emperor Constantine Porphyrigenitos when he slandered his spouse, the empress Maria, the granddaughter of St Philaretos the Merciful (December 1), so that he could send Maria to a monastery, thus freeing him to marry his own kinswoman. St Tarasius resolutely refused to dissolve the marriage of the emperor, for which the saint fell into disgrace. Soon, however, Constantine was deposed by his own mother, the Empress Irene.
St Tarasius died in the year 806. Before his death, devils examined his life from the time of his youth, and they tried to get the saint to admit to sins that he had not committed. "I am innocent of that of which you accuse me," replied the saint, "and you falsely slander me. You have no power over me at all."
Mourned by the Church, the saint was buried in a monastery he built on the Bosphorus. Many miracles took place at his tomb.
995 Blessed Victor of Saint Gall recluse in the Vosges OSB (AC)
Victor was a Benedictine monk of Saint Gall in Switzerland who became a recluse in the Vosges, where he died (Benedictines).

1104 Gerland of Girgenti continually saddened by the sight of the world B (AC)
Born in Besançon, France. Saint Gerland is said to have been related to the Norman conqueror of Sicily, Robert Guiscard. He was consecrated bishop of Girgenti by Urban II, and labored for the restoration of Christianity in Sicily after the expulsion of the Saracens. It is said that Gerland was continually saddened by the sight of the world (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

GERLAND was bishop of Girgenti in Sicily, the cathedral of which city was placed under his patronage, but beyond this fact nothing definite can be stated about him except that he was born at Besançon. From various sources and traditions his life has been reconstructed conjecturally. It is supposed that he was closely related to the two Norman counts, Robert Guiscard and Roger, who in the eleventh century set out to conquer Sicily from the Arabs; they succeeded in their efforts, and their kinsman Gerland was entrusted with various ecclesiastical offices. He was, however, so scandalized at the dissolute conduct of those with whom he was brought in contact that he returned to his native Burgundy with the intention of leading a solitary life. Count Roger recalled him to Sicily to appoint him bishop of Girgenti, and he was consecrated by Bd Urban II. He found much to do in a land where the Moslems had ruled for so long. He re-established the cathedral, which had been reduced to ruins, built an episcopal residence, and obtained a charter of his jurisdiction. He sought out Jews and Saracens, had private interviews with them besides public conferences, and converted many, baptizing them himself. His success has been described as marvellous. Gerland died soon after returning from a visit to Rome, having apparently foreseen his approaching end.

See the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii ; Lauricella, S. Gerlando . . . di Girgenti (1893) and Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lvii (1939), pp. 105—108. 
1131 Blessed Adelelmus of Engelberg monk OSB Abbess (PC)
(also known as Adelhelm) Saint Adelelmus, a monk of Saint Blasien in the Black Forest of Germany, was sent to found the Engelberg Monastery in Switzerland, of which he became prior and subsequently abbot (Benedictines).

ROBERT OF ARBRISSEL is commonly called Blessed, but the title is a courtesy one attempts to bring about his beatification in the seventeenth century and again in the nineteenth came to nothing.
He was a doctor of the University of Paris, and as vicar of the bishop of Rennes the vigour of his reforming zeal was ill-received, and in 1093 he had to leave his native Brittany. After a short association with St Bernard of Tiron, Bd Vitalis of Savigny and other ascetics, he in 1099 made a monastic settlement on the borders of Poitou and Anjou that developed into the famous congregation of Fontevrault.
 A characteristic of this congregation was that men and women religious lived in adjacent establishments, under the authority of an abbess. Such double monasteries were not entirely new and there were to be more of them; but the arrangement was the occasion of difficulties which aggravated the adverse criticism to which Robert of Arbrissel was subjected. He was a man of much ability and enthusiasm, but clearly lacked discretion, though the extreme eccentricities attri­buted to him were probably only gossip. He brought about many notable con­versions, the best known being that of Bertrada, daughter of Simon de Montfort, who had left her husband, Fulk of Anjou, for King Philip I of France. She eventually became a nun of Fontevrault, which remained one of the most famous monasteries of France until the Revolution. Robert of Arbrissel died at the priory of Orsan, probably in 1117.
The most valuable study of Robert of Arbrissel is that of J. von Walter, Die ersten Wanderprediger Frankreichs (1903), vol. i. The principal sources are printed in Acta Sanc­torum, February, vol. iii, but it can no longer be maintained that the letters of Bishop Marbod of Rennes and Abbot Geoffrey of Verdun, which severely criticize Robert, are not authentic: it is very probable that Geoffrey was misled by vague popular rumour. See also Poncelet in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxiii (1904), PP. 375—377, and G. Niderst, Robert d’Arbrissel et les origines de . . . Fontevrault (1952).
1380 St. Aventanus Carmelite mystic lay brother gift of ecstasies, miracles, and visions
A native of Limoges, France, he joined the Carmelites as a lay brother. With another Carmelite, Romaeus, Aventanus started on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Crossing the Alps they encountered many difficulties, including an outbreak of plague. Aventanus, who had a gift of ecstasies, miracles, and visions, succumbed to the plague near Lucca, Italy. His cult was approved by Pope Gregory XVI.

LIMOGES was the birthplace of Avertanus, a holy lay-brother of the Carmelite Order. As soon as he could speak he would prattle about God and talk to Him. He was never naughty, nor did he want to play like other children, but he would pray and often appeared rapt in contemplation. Very early he began to long to join a religious order, and one night he had a vision of an angel, who enjoined him to enter the Carmelite Order. Overjoyed, he laid the matter before his parents. Although they were pious people, they were greatly distressed at the idea of losing the hope and prop of their old age; but Avertanus persuaded them that it was the will of God and that in his cell he would not be so far away, so that in the end they yielded and dismissed him with their blessing. The prior of the Carmelite monastery of Limoges admitted him, and the brethren seem soon to have realized that the newcomer was a youth of singular holiness. They recorded that, when he received the habit, angelic voices mingled with their own chants and that the Blessed Virgin herself was seen with her hand extended in blessing above the head of the humble lay-brother. When not at prayer, it was his delight to perform the most menial tasks in the convent; he was often found in his cell entirely rapt in ecstasy, and it was with the greatest difficulty that he could be recalled to ordinary life. At night he was wont to get up from his bed and creep on hands and knees to the top of one of the rocky hills near the monastery, where with his arms outstretched, he would pray till daybreak. He had such a horror of money that he would not touch it or speak of it or even see a coin if he could help it.
At length Avertanus was inspired with a great wish to visit the Holy Places and, with the prior’s consent, he started off for Rome with a companion called Romaeus. As his biographer remarks, theirs was not the sort of pilgrimage which combines pleasure and comfort with religion. They made their way painfully over the Alps in winter, and when they reached Italy they found that the plague was raging and that the gates of the cities were closed against all strangers and tramps who might spread the disease. It was in the cities that pilgrims were usually accommodated, but the two men made their way as best they could till they reached, in the suburbs of Lucca, the hospital of St Peter, where they were taken in. The next morning Avertanus attempted to enter the city, but the gatekeepers refused to admit the gaunt and ragged pair. No doubt they were justified, for by the time Avertanus had returned to the hospital he was in a high fever, having apparently contracted the dread disease. He grew rapidly worse and, warned that his last hour was approaching, he uttered three prophecies, viz, that a great schism would be healed through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, that the city of Lucca which had rejected him in life would honour him after his death, and that the hospital of St Peter would pass into the care of the Carmelites. He received the last sacraments
and died happily in the midst of a vision of Christ and the angels. Romaeus did not long survive him. Stricken with the complaint and sad at the loss of his friend, he hourly grew weaker until the eighth day, when he passed away to rejoin Avertanus whom his dying eyes had beheld in glory. The cultus of Bd Romaeus was confirmed by Pope Gregory XVI.

See Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii. The biography given in Grossi, Viridarium Carmelitanum, from which the above account is mainly derived, cannot be considered a very reliable source. Avertanus is called Saint in his order. The very jejune second-nocturn lessons in the Carmelite Breviary supplement on March 4 are an indication of the slender information we possess regarding the life of Bd Romaeus.

1481 Bl. Constantius a boy of extraordinary goodness gift of prophecy or second sight miracles

1481 BD CONSTANTIUS OF FABRIANO has the gift of prophecy or second sight was also credited with the power of working miracles
EARLY in the fifteenth century, there lived at Fabriano a boy of such extraordinary goodness that even his parents would sometimes wonder whether he were not rather an angel than a human child. Once, when his little sister was suffering from a disease which the doctors pronounced incurable, Constantius Bernocchi asked his father and mother to join him in prayer by her bedside that she might recover. They did so, and she was immediately cured. At the age of fifteen he was admitted to the Dominican convent of Santa Lucia and he seems to have received the habit from the hands of Bd Laurence of Ripafratta, at that time prior of this house of strict observance. Constantius was one of those concerned with the reform of San Marco in Florence, and it was whilst he was teaching in that city that it was dis­covered that he had the gift of prophecy or second sight. Among other examples, the death of St Antoninus was made known to him at the moment that it took place, and this is mentioned by Pope Clement VII in his bull for the canonization of that saint. He was also credited with the power of working miracles, and besides the cares of his office he acted as peacemaker outside the convent and quelled popular tumults.

The joyous spirit conspicuous in many saints of his order was denied him. Con­stantius was usually sad, and when some one asked him why he so seldom laughed, he answered, “Because I do not know if my actions are pleasing to God”. He used to say the office of the dead every day and often the whole psalter, which he knew by heart. He urged this devotion on others, and said that when he desired any favour and recited the psalter for that intention, he never failed to obtain his petition. With the assistance of the municipal council, he rebuilt the friary of Ascoli and lived and died there, in spite of the entreaties of the people of Fabriano that he should spend his last years amongst them. He was esteemed so holy that it was reckoned a great favour to speak to him or even to touch his habit. Upon the news of his decease, the senate and council assembled, “considering his death a public calamity “, and resolved to defray the cost of a public funeral. The cultus of Bd Constantius was confirmed in i 821.

The most reliable source of information concerning Constantius is Mortier’s Maitres Généraux O.P., in which he lays much stress upon the holy friar’s theological attainments and the influence he exercised, after the example of Bd Raymund of Capua, in promoting the reform of the order. See also Procter, Lives of the Dominican Saints.
Early in the fifteenth century, there lived at Fabriano a boy of such extraordinary goodness that even his parents would sometimes wonder whether he were not rather an angel than a human child. Once, when his little sister was suffering from a disease which the doctors pronounced incurable, Constantius Bernocchi asked his father and mother to join him in prayer by her bedside that she might recover. They did so, and she was immediately cured. At the age of fifteen he was admitted to the Dominican convent of Santa Lucia and he seemed to have received the habit from the hands of Blessed Laurence of Ripafratta, at that time prior of this house of strict observance. Constantius was one of those concerned with the reform of San Marco in Florence, and it was while he was teaching in that city that it was discovered that he had the gift of prophecy or second sight.

Among other examples, the death of St. Antoninus was made known to him at the moment it took place, and this is mentioned by Pope Clement VII in his Bull for the canonization of that saint.
He was also credited with the power of working miracles, and besides the care of his office, he acted as peacemaker outside the convent and quelled popular tumults. He was esteemed so holy that it was reckoned a great favor to speak to him or even to touch his habit. Upon the news of his death, the senate and council assembled, "considering his death a public calamity", and resolved to defray the cost of a public funeral. The cultus of Blessed Constantius was confirmed in 1821.

Blessed Constantius of Fabriano, OP (AC) Born in Fabriano, Marches of Ancona, Italy, 1410; died at Ascoli, Italy, 1481; equivalently beatified in 1821 (or 1811). Constantius Bernocchi is as close to a 'sad saint' as it's possible for a Dominican to get; he is said to have had the gift of tears. However, that is not his only claim to fame.  Constantius had an remarkable childhood, not only for the usual signs of precocious piety, but also for a miracle that he worked when he was a little boy. Constantius had a sister who had been bedridden most of her nine years of life. One day, the little boy brought his parents in to her bedside and made them pray with him. The little girl rose up, cured, and she remained well for a long and happy life. Naturally, the parents were amazed, and they were quite sure it had not been their prayers that effected the cure, but those of their little son.

Constantius entered the Dominicans at age 15, and had as his masters Blessed Conradin and Saint Antoninus. He did well in his studies and wrote a commentary on Aristotle. His special forte was Scripture, and he studied it avidly. After his ordination, he was sent to teach in various schools in Italy, arriving eventually at the convent of San Marco in Florence, which had been erected as a house of strict observance. Constantius was eventually appointed prior of this friary that was a leading light in the reform movement. This was a work dear to his heart, and he himself became closely identified with the movement.

Several miracles and prophecies are related about Constantius during his stay in Florence. He one day told a student not to go swimming, because he would surely drown if he did. The student, of course, dismissed the warning and drowned. One day, Constantius came upon a man lying in the middle of the road. The man had been thrown by his horse and was badly injured; he had a broken leg and a broken arm. All he asked was to be taken to some place where care could be given him, but Constantius did better than that--he cured the man and left him, healed and astonished.

Constantius was made prior of Perugia, where he lived a strictly penitential life. Perhaps the things that he saw in visions were responsible for his perpetual sadness, for he foresaw many of the terrible things that would befall Italy in the next few years. He predicted the sack of Fabriano, which occurred in 1517. At the death of Saint Antoninus, he saw the saint going up to heaven, a vision which was recounted in the canonization process.

Blessed Constantius is said to have recited the Office of the Dead every day, and often the whole 150 Psalms, which he knew by heart, and used for examples on every occasion. He also said that he had never been refused any favor for which he had recited the whole psalter. He wrote a number of books; these, for the most part, were sermon material, and some were the lives of the blesseds of the order.

On the day of Constantius's death, little children of the town ran through the streets crying out, "The holy prior is dead! The holy prior is dead!" On hearing of his death, the city council met and stated that it was a public calamity.  The relics of Blessed Constantius have suffered from war and invasion. After the Dominicans were driven from the convent where he was buried, his tomb was all but forgotten for a long time. Then one of the fathers put the relics in the keeping of Camaldolese monks in a nearby monastery, where they still remain (Benedictines, Dorcy, Encyclopedia).
1600 Blessed Sebastian Aparicio Franciscan lay brother at Puebla de los Angeles 26 years OFM (AC)
Born in Galicia, Spain; beatified in 1787. Sebestian was a farm laborer and then valet to a gentleman of Salamanca. He emigrated to Mexico, where he was engaged by the government in building roads and in conducting the postal service between Mexico and Zacateca. After the death of his second wife, he became a Franciscan lay brother at Puebla de los Angeles. He lived there for another 26 years begging alms for the community (Benedictines).

THE son of poor parents, Sebastian Aparicio was sent out into the fields as a child to mind the sheep. At the age of fifteen, he went as servant to a widow at Sala­manca, but as he found he was exposed to temptation he left her suddenly and became valet to a wealthy man. After a year he returned to more congenial work as servant to two farmers at San Lucar. He could combine his work in the fields with prayer and contemplation, and he remained there for eight years, during which period he earned enough to give marriage portions to his sisters. At the close of that time, being once more assailed by temptation, he saved himself by running away, and was moved to cut himself off completely from his native land and to go to America.

He settled in Mexico at Puebla de Los Angeles, and began by doing agricultural work. Soon he found a better opening and started a carrying business—conveying merchandise from Zacatecas to Mexico City and running a sort of post. He then undertook the construction of roads, and through his enterprise and industry became a rich man. The money he made he gave away freely in charity, providing dowries, feeding the poor, and lending to farmers without asking for repayment. Sebastian’s authority and prestige amongst Spaniards and Indians became immense:  his judgement was accepted in the settlement of any dispute. In the midst of his wealth, he practised great austerity, sleeping only on a mat and eating the poorest food. In 1552 he retired from his business and bought a property near Mexico City, where he could live a quieter life, and for twenty years he developed the soil and bred cattle. He was often urged to marry, and, at the age of sixty, he married a poor girl at the entreaty of her relations. Upon her death he married again, but in both cases the marriage, by mutual consent, was never consummated. After the death of his second wife, when he was seventy years of age, he con­tracted so dangerous an illness that his life was despaired of. However, he recovered, and regarding it as a warning and call from Heaven, he made over everything he possessed to the Poor Clares and received the habit of the third order of St Francis.

At first he gave his services to the Poor Clares, but he soon felt drawn to the monastic life and entered the convent of the Friars Minor of the Observance in Mexico City. Old as he was, Sebastian was full of fervour and proved an exemplary novice, deeply humble and perfectly obedient. He was transferred first to Tecali and then to Puebla to join a community of over a hundred friars, where he spent the last twenty-six years of his life in the wearisome and humble role of begging brother. It was said that angels were seen to accompany the aged man on his long and arduous journeys and to guide him when he did not know the way. He had a wonderful power over beasts, and could instantly tame mules and even wild animals. To obtain food for the large community he used to have to take carts, drawn by oxen, across great tracts of country to carry the corn and other food given by charitable people, but he never had the least trouble with the animals, which obeyed the slightest movement of his lips. Bd Sebastian lived to the great age of ninety-eight, and his one sorrow at the last was that, because he was not able to retain what he swallowed, he could not receive the Blessed Sacrament. But it was carried into his cell that he might adore it, and he was so overcome with joy that he caused himself to be placed on the bare ground and poured out his soul in an ecstasy of thanksgiving to God. He was beatified in 1787.

See M. Cuevas, Historia de la Iglesia en Mexico, vol. i; Leon, L’Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 313—319

 February 25, 2010 Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio (1502-1600) 
Sebastian’s roads and bridges connected many distant places. His final bridge-building was to help men and women recognize their God-given dignity and destiny.  Sebastian’s parents were Spanish peasants. At the age of 31 he sailed to Mexico, where he began working in the fields. Eventually he built roads to facilitate agricultural trading and other commerce. His 466-mile road from Mexico City to Zacatecas took 10 years to build and required careful negotiations with the indigenous peoples along the way.
In time Sebastian was a wealthy farmer and rancher. At the age of 60 he entered a virginal marriage. His wife’s motivation may have been a large inheritance; his was to provide a respectable life for a girl without even a modest marriage dowry. When his first wife died, he entered another virginal marriage for the same reason; his second wife also died young.

At the age of 72 Sebastian distributed his goods among the poor and entered the Franciscans as a brother. Assigned to the large (100-member) friary at Puebla de los Angeles south of Mexico City, Sebastian went out collecting alms for the friars for the next 25 years. His charity to all earned him the nickname "Angel of Mexico."

Sebastian was beatified in 1787 and is known as a patron of travelers.

Comment: According to the Rule of St. Francis, the friars were to work for their daily bread. Sometimes, however, their work would not provide for their needs; for example, working with people suffering from leprosy brought little or no pay. In cases such as these, the friars were allowed to beg, always keeping in mind the admonition of Francis to let their good example commend them to the people. The life of the prayerful Sebastian, still hard at work in his 90's, certainly drew many closer to God. 
Quote:  St. Francis once told his followers: "There is a contract between the world and the friars. The friars must give the world a good example; the world must provide for their needs. When they break faith and withdraw their good example, the world will withdraw its hand in a just censure" (2 Celano, #70).

1624 Bl. Didacus Carvalho martyr of Japan
A native of Coimbra, Portugal, he became a Jesuit in 1594 and was ordained in India in 1600. In 1609, he was sent to Japan. There he worked until 1623, when he was arrested and taken to Sendai, where he and other Japanese Christians were executed. He was beatified in 1867. 1624 Blessed James Carvalho and Companions, SJ M (AC) beatified in 1867. James was a Portuguese Jesuit who labored as a missionary in the Far East. Together with 60 other Christians he was slowly martyred by exposure to cold at Sendai in Japan (Benedictines).

1828 Bl. Dominic Lentini  called the Son and Servant of the Cross
Blessed Dominic Lentini was born in Lauria and always lived there. Life for him stopped there. This already says a great deal: people can and ought to become saints in their own space of life and work. He moved from Lauria on account of his studies to the Seminary of Policastro and also as a Priest on account of his preaching in the surrounding towns. The towns he preached in were within the confines of the Noce Valley, the Gulf of Policastro and of Mercure. (N.B. These territories are all situated further south than Naples).

These were not great historical centers, but rather they had luminous traces of Faith and of Saints such as St.Telesphorus of Thurio, St.Nilo of Rossano, St.Francis of Paola. They are places of Ikons, Santuaries, Degrees and Grottos, where myriads of hermits, like St.Saba, have lived and taught about the search for God.

To these lands of faith, there comes from Paris the earthquake or the Revolution of the Luminaries. We shall see these in details in the section: His times. Chosen on account of the Man of Paris.
God permits us to be laymen even against his Laws because he has respect for the liberty given to men.  But the Paris of the Luminaries goes further: even beyond the prodigal son, who, in his mistakes, knows that he has a Father who loves him, weeps and waits for him. Whereas at Paris there is born what the Gospel calls the son of perdition.
Before God he is lost whoever is without God.
This man, without God and without a Father, is born at Paris. And he is solemnly born on the day of Pentecost on the 8th of June 1794, when Robespierre elevated on the square the statue to the Godess Reason as the only symbol and cult of modern man.

On that same day - faraway from Lauria, because the diocese of Policastro was then without a Bishop - the Deacon don Dominic Lentini goes through the Sirino mountains to town of Marsico Nuovo to receive his Priestly Ordination from Mons. Bernardo Maria Latorre.

Someone will say: these are casual dates.
Whoever does not believe can say so. But in God everything is computerised in his Great Book. Time is his and his means to confound the Great are little and poor ones.
Well then, the little Fr Dominic from Lauria was chosen by God as a voice that cries out and expiates for this son of Perdition who from Paris, with his false laymanship and rationalism, has entered - and continues even more so today - into every corner and sector of the world and of the Church itself. Nowadays there is not a window which has not the flag of No to God , of a total atheism, be it scientific or practical.

In the section He still speaks, Lentini is called the Son and Servant of the Cross to indicate that God has chosen him for this design of His - of love and forgiveness - also this our history of children of perdition. Lentini was the Son of the Cross in his humble earthly life and he was so with a priestly sanctity which will be told about in the section Solely Spiritual: solely life of the Spirit. As the Saint and Servant of the Cross, he knew how to be Servant of the Cross among his people, among the young with the Spirit Congregations, in his preaching, and with his little ones: This was a sort of Sodality of 30 persons who throughout the whole month took turns to console his dear and weeping Mother of Sorrows.

Brief tracts of his life A saint in a simple but holy family At the shoulders of the Armo mountain, on the righthand bank of the Cafaro river the Lentini married couple lived: Macario Lentini and Rosaly Vitarella (= his mother's maiden name). The Lentini clan were originally of Silician origin. They appear in the documents of notaries around 1500. At the time of our future Blessed they were, moreover well-off and others less so.
Macario, the shoe-maker, was among the latter and with five children: Dominique, Rose, Nicholas, Antoinette and Dominic, who was the last to be born on 20 November in 1770. His first two sisters married early on.
Antoinette remains close to the future Priest Don Dominic (as his housekeeper) and follows him to heaven on 28.8.1830. Nicholas, was called Samson, and he too marries and moves to the town of Fardella, but while he was in Lauria he was the samson of the Lentini house and of the neighbouring district.

The Cafaro zone (where the Lentinis lived) is the true historical center of the Upper Quarter of Lauria and it is full of tiny churches: St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Veneranda, St. Lucy with St. Paschal and higher up the Sanctuary of the Assumption: which is the most evocative and frequented. It was here that his saintly mother consecrates him to the Heavenly Mother and asking Her: I want My Dominic to be holy and old. Such was the religious spirit that Rosaly had learned in her family that her own brother was a Priest: Don Dominic Vitarella. Poor Rosaly nevertheless would soon leave little Dominic as an orphan. Towards the Priesthood Little Dominic, though not being like his brother Nicholas, was also vivacious and raids the trees in search of birds. For such a childish prank he later wants to make reparation as an adult. The turning-point comes when he starts to go to cathechism in the church of St. Nicholas. His fellow students were Nicholas Giordano, the surgeon (see: the section on Sacrifices) and Joseph Ielpo, with whom he decided to enter the Seminary. Joseph turns out to be the preferred confessor of Don Dominic quotes Pisani, his biographer: and the joy of administering Extreme Unction to Lentini on 22.2.1828, falls to him. Joseph was the first to go to the Seminary of Policastro. Dominic followed him, at 14 years of age, the following year. He remained there only for two years because at the request of the Noblemen of Lauria and in consideration for the economic difficulties of his father Macario, don Dominic continues his studies at Lauria in the Parish and he opens a school in his house for the youth.

His father's joy When his father Macario knew about his son's desire to enter the seminary, he not only did not oppose it, but like St. Joseph of Nazareth, he put himself at the disposition of his son's future mission. There was not the money to allow him to study. There was, nonetheless, his modest house and he pawned it to allow his son to enter the Seminary. What an example of self-sacrifice! Later on it falls to don Dominic to redeem it from its debts. His father Macario's joy was great when his son Dominic was ordained Priest on 8 June 1794 at Marsico by Mons. La Torre.

Like old Simeon, he too could recite his nunc dimittis of joy and thanksgiving to the Lord and about two years later he rejoins his dear Rosaly in heaven leaving his chosen son Dominic to travel the holy and mysterious roads of his Priesthood on his own. Rich only in his Priesthood Fr Dominic, full of joy for having attained his goal, does not ask for - nor want anything else: he will be only, always and in everything a Priest!
A Priest to praise the Most High. A Priest to make Jesus known and loved. A Priest to celebrate worthily the Living Mystery of the Cross. A Priest to make reparation and to sacrifice himself for sinners. A Priest to console the Mother of Sorrows. A Priest to cry out like Elijah against those times of spreading perdition for the faith and on account of the customs coming from the luminaries: the strong spirits, as he calls them. A Priest for men, for the peace of the region and in families. A Priest for youth. A Priest for the sick. A Priest for the poor. A Priest who makes of his poor house the bread house for whoever knocks there.

A house, which is its littleness, becomes even a college for anyone faraway, who wants to frequent his school.
Of the Martyrs it is said: Praedicavi martirem, praedicavi satis! (I have preached martyrdom, I have preached enough!)
Such being the case it will be beautiful for the Church, when it will be able to be said of the Priest of Christ: I have spoken about a Priest of Christ, I have said everything!

This utopia for the Church, Lentini has realized and ratified with a martyr's death on the evening of 24 February 1828 at about 20.30.

The two Popes who glorified Bl. Dominic Lentini, Pius XI for his Heroic Virtues (27/1/35) and John Paul for his Beatification (12/10/97), will exalt the greatness of his Priesthood: Sacerdote sine adiunctis! (a Priest without equal) Rich only in his Priesthood!

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!)

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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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

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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).