Saturday Saints of this Day February  27 Tértio 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 18 40 Days for Life Dear Readers

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

February 27 - Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (d.1862)  
The world is no longer for you 
 
Brother Gabriel of the Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows) was the name in religion of Francis Possenti, a young resident of Spoleto (central Italy), after he entered the Passionist Order.
From the time he was a child, he had an ardent devotion to the Blessed Virgin. So it is not surprising that she herself intervened in the young man’s religious vocation. In 1856, Francis Possenti was following a Marian procession when he focused his eyes on the image of the Virgin—at that very moment he saw Our Lady looking at him with motherly tenderness, and he heard her say: "Francis, the world is no longer for you; you must enter religious life."

So, at age 18 he entered the Passionists. Because of his love for the Blessed Virgin, he chose the name of Brother Gabriel of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows. He lived a holy life there and died on February 27, 1862, in Isola del Gran Sasso, at the age of 24, after only six years of religious life.  He asked to make the vow of extending the reign of Mary and his superiors allowed him to make that apostolic vow. His dying days were simply a gentle ecstasy.   notredamedesneiges.over-blog.com

February 27 - Our Lady of the Route (Italy, 1617)
 – 10th Apparition of Lourdes (France, 1858)
- Blessed Mary of Jesus Deluil-Martiny,
Founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (d. 1884) 

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here

Acts of the Apostles

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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
Our Lady of the Road, Patroness of the Jesuits   
 Pietro Codacio had been ordained for seven years as a priest when he joined the newly formed Society of Jesus in 1539. Among the personal possessions he had to renounce on account of his vow of poverty was the Church of Santa Maria della Strada (Our Lady of the Road) and the income he derived from it.  At his request, Pope Paul III gave that small church and its revenues to the Society of Jesus. It was the first church to belong to the Jesuits, and they used it for their spiritual ministry.
When this church was demolished to be replaced by the large and sumptuous Church of Gesù, whose construction began in 1568, the image of Our Lady of the Road was transferred to a side chapel, to the left of the main sanctuary dedicated to the 'Most Holy Name of Jesus.'  Since that image was originally inside their first church in Rome, the Jesuits have always had a deep veneration for Our Lady of the Road, who became their patroness and whom they often still invoke during their travels.
 
Go down into the abyss, you evil appetites!
I will drown you lest I myself be drowned! -- St. Jerome

Marian Apparitions of the Past (III) 1879, KNOCK, County Mayo, Ireland
  During a pouring rain, the figures of Mary, Joseph, John the Apostle, and a lamb on a plain altar
appeared over the gable of the village chapel, enveloped in a bright light.
None of them spoke. At least 15 people, between the ages of 5 and 75, saw the apparition.
1879, KNOCK Marian Apparitions of the Past (III), County Mayo, Ireland
1917, FATIMA, Portugal - While tending sheep, Lucia de Santos (age 10) and her two cousins, Francisco (age 9) and Jacinta Marto (age 7), reported six apparitions of Mary, who identified herself as "Our Lady of the Rosary."
Mary urged people to pray the rosary, do penance for the conversion of sinners, and asked the Supreme Pontiff to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

1932-33, BEAURAING, Belgium Mary is believed to have come 33 times to the playground of a convent school to five children (ages 9-15), Andree and Gilberte Degeimbre, and Albert, Fernande and Gilberte Voisin. Identifying herself as "the Immaculate Virgin" and "Mother of God, Queen of Heaven", she called for prayer for the conversion of sinners.
1933, BANNEUX, Belgium - In a garden behind the Beco family's cottage, the Blessed Mother is said to have appeared to Mariette Beco (age 11) eight times. Calling herself the "Virgin of the Poor",
Mary promised to intercede for the poor, the sick and the suffering.
More recent apparitions include AKITA, Japan, in 1984;
CHONTALEU, Nicaragua, in 1987; KIBEHO, Rwanda, in 1988; and BETANIA, Venezuela.
Adapted from Father René Laurentin, Marian Spirituality In the Mystical Tradition,
International Marian Research Institute, Dayton: Marian Library, July 21-24, 1997.

Mary's Divine Motherhood
Called in the Gospel "the Mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the Mother of my Lord" (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
   Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Passionist (1838-1862) Special Devotion to Mary the Afflicted Mother Feb 27
       St. Julian, martyr.Alexandríæ pássio sancti Juliáni Mártyris
  250 SS. JULIAN, CRONION AND BESAS, MARTYRS St. Besas, a soldier rebuked those who insulted the martyrs
      just mentioned
        St. Alexander Martyr with Abundius & others
       Ss. Basil and Procopius, who fought courageously in behalf of the veneration of sacred images.
 450 St. Thalelaeus Hermit 60 yrs near Gabala (or Gala), modern Syria
  596 St. Leander of Seville Bishop monk consubstantiality 3 Persons of the Trinity 1st introduce Nicene Creed at Mass
 650 St. Baldomerus
a monk of Lyons Patron saint of locksmiths
  700 ST ALNOTH a man of singular simplicity and holiness. It is told in Goscelin’s Life of St Werburga
 975 St. John of Gorze  Benedictine abbot ambassador to Caliph Abd al-Rahman III of Cordoba
1600 Bl. Mark Barkworth Martyr of England first Benedictine to die at Tyburn
1601 St. Anne Line  English 1/40 martyr from Dunmow, Essex  Widow
1856 Bl. Augustus Chapdelaine Martyr of China Kwang-si
1862 Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows  patron saint of students (Possenti) CP
"All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him"
(Psalm 21:28)

Day 18 40 Days for Life Dear Readers
  It’s no secret that spiritual warfare can go on outside an abortion facility. Sometimes, it can be pretty obvious. But at other times, it can be a more subtle distraction.
  It can often come in the form of a quick shout from a passing driver. “Get a life!” and “Get a job!” and “Do something useful!” are commonly heard.
  Of course, you are doing something useful.
  So don’t worry about it! Just smile, brush it off … and keep on praying!
Manchester, New Hampshire
It was five below zero and windy as the two volunteers prayed in front of Planned Parenthood. The peaceful mood was broken when a woman slowed down her car, rolled down the window, and shouted, “Don’t you have something better to do?”
 “We didn’t have to think twice about the answer,” said Stephen in Manchester.
 
“During the first two weeks of our campaign, two mothers and their children have already been saved, and we have no idea how many hearts have been changed through our daily prayer and witness,” he said. “We don’t have something better to do.”
The mothers, babies and abortion workers all need your prayers, he said. “Can you please donate some of your time … and peacefully pray in front of Planned Parenthood?

Orlando, Florida
One of the counselors in front of Planned Parenthood was able to strike up a conversation with a young woman who accepted information about community resources.
The volunteer offered to take her to the pregnancy help center, but she said her mother could give her a ride. But first, she was going into Planned Parenthood.
As she turned to go in, the counselor suggested that she hide the list of resources she was given. Other women had reported that the center’s staff had yanked the paper from their hands, while telling them they didn’t need it.
The young woman’s mom tried her best to ignore the vigil participants. After quite some time, she went inside to get her daughter. When they came out, the daughter told the volunteers they were headed to the pregnancy help center – and that she was keeping her baby.

Mexico City, Mexico
The campaign in Mexico City’s Roma area began with a group of more than 50 … and strong encouragement from a local pastor that they work as missionaries of the Gospel of Life.  Lourdes, the Mexico City leader, said that in spite of cooler-than-usual weather, they continue to stand in front of the Marie Stopes abortion center, “praying and showing the mercy of God.”
The volunteers have seen a number of couples arrive … stop for a time right in front of the abortion business … and leave. “We hope those will be lives saved from abortion,” she said.
Media reports are accusing the vigil participants of harassment … which of course is simply not true. Lourdes said it is obvious that the pro-abortion side does not want them outside Marie Stopes. “They know prayer is powerful.”

Here's today's devotional from Randolph Sly of the National Pro-life Religious Council.
Day 18 intention
We pray for a flowering of the joy of parenthood.
Scripture
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate. — Psalm 127:3-5
Reflection from Randolph Sly
I still vividly remember the day my first child was born. As she came into the world I gazed upon the most beautiful little baby I'd ever seen.
Later I was driving home from the hospital for a shower and a fresh change of clothes when a song came on the radio, "The Men in My Little Girl's Life" -- a ballad about being a father as he watches his daughter grow through childhood to womanhood.
I wept as I listened, knowing those years would go by very fast... and they did.
Being a father, whenever I read the Psalm quoted above I'm always captivated by one word - "heritage." It basically means "something passed down from a preceding generation."
That little girl I watched being born and wept for is not mine to give to God like a product of our fertility, but rather His, which he has entrusted to us. So are all her siblings.
My wife and I share a great treasure: precious lives, which are placed in our lineage that His life with us might be perpetuated.
To the psalmist, this was a blessing from the Lawgiver, God Himself, who blessed Israel with another generation intended to continue their covenantal promise.
For us in Christ, it is his gift of succeeding generations for His Church and her families.
These days I'm looking upon my grandchildren, and rejoicing that my children and their spouses will pass on the greatness of Christ's gospel to them and thus will continue the work of God in the world. What a blessing. What a heritage!
 
Prayer
Heavenly Father, please keep me from taking for granted the gift of children. Help us to remember this heritage that you have given us. Make us faithful stewards of these precious lives, that each generation might be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
 
Printable devotional
To download today's devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:
http://40daysforlife.com/media/day18.pdf 

St. Alexander Martyr with Abundius & others.
Romæ natális sanctórum Mártyrum Alexándri, Abúndii, Antígoni et Fortunáti.
      At Rome, the birthday of the holy martyrs, Alexander, Abundius, Antigonus, and Fortunatus.

Antigonus, and Fortunatus, probably in Rome. Bede records the martyrdom in Thessaly.

Alexandríæ pássio sancti Juliáni Mártyris, qui, cum ita pódagra constríctus esset, ut neque incédere neque stare posset, una cum duóbus fámulis, qui eum in sella gestábant, Júdici offértur; quorum alter fidem negávit, alter, nómine Eunus, cum dómino suo perdurávit in confessióne Christi.  Ipse porro Juliánus et Eunus, camélis impósiti, per totam urbem circumdúci jubéntur, et flagris laniári, ac tandem, incénso rogo, hinc inde spectánte pópulo, combúri.
       At Alexandria, the passion of St. Julian, martyr.  Although he was so afflicted with gout that he could neither walk nor stand, he was taken before the judge with two servants, who carried him in a chair.  One of these denied his faith, but the other, named Eunus, persevered with Julian in confessing Christ.  Both were set on camels, led through the whole city, scourged, and then burned alive in the presence of all the people.

250 SS. JULIAN, CRONION AND BESAS, MARTYRS Ibídem sancti Besæ mílitis, qui, cum insultántes in prædíctos Mártyres cohibéret, delátus est ad Júdicem, et, pro fide constánter agens, cápite truncátus.
       In the same city, St. Besas, a soldier.  He had rebuked those who insulted the martyrs just mentioned, and so was denounced before the judge.  Because he continued to proclaim his attachment to the faith he was beheaded.

DURING the persecution of Christians under Decius many of the citizens of Alex­andria, especially amongst the rich and those who held public office, apostatized and sacrificed to idols under stress of fear. St Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, who records and deplores this in a letter to Fabian, adds: “Others, firm and blessed pillars of the Lord, confirmed by the Lord Himself and receiving of Him strength suited to the measure of their faith, proved themselves noble witnesses of His kingdom. Foremost of these was a man afflicted with gout and unable to walk or to stand, Julian by name, who was apprehended together with his two bearers. One of these immediately denied his faith, but the other, Cronion, surnamed Eunus, and the aged Julian himself, after having confessed the Lord, were carried on camels through the whole city, a very large one, as you know, and ‘Were scourged and at length consumed in an immense fire in the midst of a crowd of spectators. A soldier named Besas, who was standing by and who opposed the insolence of the multitude while these martyrs were on their way to execution, was assailed by them with loud shouts, and this brave soldier of God, after he had shown his heroism in the great conflict of piety, was beheaded.”

The Roman Martyrology mentions on December 7 a certain soldier, martyred at Alexandria under Decius, whom it calls Agatho. He was set to guard the dead bodies of some martyrs, and resolutely refused to allow the crowd to come near in order to insult and  mutilate them. The angry mob therefore denounced him to the magistrate, and upon his confessing Christ he was sentenced to death and beheaded. Dom Quentin has shown that this martyr is really the same as St Besas, just mentioned. Rufinus in translating the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius omitted the name of the soldier, and it was supplied as Agatho by the martyrologist Ado out of his own head.

The letter of St Dionysius here referred to is quoted in Eusebius, Eccles. Hist., bk vi, cli. 41. See Feltoe’s edition of Dionysius of Alexandria, pp. 11—52. Dom Quentin explains the confusion about Besas in his Martyrologes historiques, pp. 449, 462, 611, 658.

450 St. Thalelaeus Hermit 60 yrs near Gabala (or Gala), modern Syria
also known as Epiklautos , "weeping much," owing to his habit of crying and weeping with such frequency. Born in Cilicia (modern Turkey), he took up the life of a hermit near Gabala (or Gala), modern Syria, and lived near a pagan temple which attracted pagan pilgrims. He converted many of them to Christianity through his zeal. It is reported that he spent many years living in a barrel. Thalelacus was a hermit for sixty years.

450 ST THALELAEUS THE HERMIT

FOR our knowledge of the holy recluse Thalelaeus we are chiefly indebted to Theodoret, who says that he was personally acquainted with him. He was a native of Cilicia, and for some time he lived in a hut beside a heathen shrine near Gabala, to which people used to go to sacrifice. The evil spirits or the pagan priests tried to scare him away by fearful apparitions and hideous noises, but the holy man stood his ground and converted many of those who had come to worship in the temple. Theodoret says that he himself conversed with some of these converts, Afterwards St Thalelaeus contrived for himself a soft of penitential cage. He made two wheels and joined them by bars into a kind of barrel, but open between the bars. He shut himself up in this, and it was so small and cramped that his chin rested on his knees. He had been in it ten years when Theodoret saw him and asked him why he had chosen so strange an abode. The penitent answered, “I punish my criminal body that God, seeing my affliction for my sins, may be moved to forgive them and to deliver me from the torments of the world to come, or at least mitigate their severity”. John Moschus, in the Spiritual Meadow, relates that Thalelaeus the Cilician spent sixty years in the ascetic life, weeping almost without intermission; and that he used to say to those that came to him, “Time is allowed us by the divine mercy for repentance and satisfaction, and woe be to us if we neglect it”. He was surnamed Epiklautos, “weeping much”.

See the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii, where the passage from Theodoret’s Philotheus is quoted, and cf. DCB., vol. iv, p. 882.
596 St. Leander of Seville Bishop monk consubstantiality 3 Persons of the Trinity 1st introduce Nicene Creed at Mass
 Híspali, in Hispánia, natális sancti Leándri, ejúsdem civitátis Epíscopi, qui, sanctórum Isidóri Epíscopi ac Florentínæ Vírginis frater, sua prædicatióne et indústria gentem Visigothórum, adjuvánte Reccarédo, eórum Rege, ab Ariána impietáte ad cathólicam fidem convértit.
       At Seville in Spain, the birthday of St. Leander, bishop of that city, and of St. Florentina, virgin.  By his preaching and zeal the Visigoths, with the help of King Recared, were converted from the Arian heresy to the Catholic faith.
Leander was born at Cartagena, Spain, of Severianus and Theodora, illustrious for their virtue. St. Isidore and Fulgentius, both bishops were his brothers, and his sister, Florentina, is also numbered among the saints. He became a monk at Seville and then the bishop of the See.

He was instrumental in converting the two sons Hermenegild and Reccared of the Arian Visigothic King Leovigild. This action earned him the kings's wrath and exile to Constantinople, where he met and became close friends of the Papal Legate, the future Pope Gregory the Great. It was Leander who suggested that Gregory write the famous commentary on the Book of Job called the Moralia.

Once back home, under King Reccared, St. Leander began his life work of propagating Christian orthodoxy against the Arians in Spain. The third local Council of Toledo (over which he presided in 589) decreed the consubstantiality of the three Persons of the Trinity and brought about moral reforms.
Leander's unerring wisdom and unflagging dedication let the Visigoths and the Suevi back to the true Faith and obtained the gratitude of Gregory the Great.

The saintly bishop also composed an influential Rule for nuns and was the first to introduce the Nicene Creed at Mass. Worn out by his many activities in the cause of Christ, Leander died around 600 and was succeeded in the See of Seville by his brother Isidore. The Spanish Church honors Leander as the Doctor of the Faith.
596 ST LEANDER, BISHOP OF SEVILLE
IT was mainly through St Leander’s efforts that the Western Goths or Visigoths, who had ruled in Spain for a hundred years, were converted from the errors of Arianism. His father was Severian, Duke of Cartagena, at which place the saint was born, and his mother was the daughter of the Ostrogothic King Theodoric. His brothers were St Fulgentius, Bishop of Ecija, and St Isidore, who succeeded him in the see of Seville. He had a sister, St Florentina, and according to tradition a second sister who married King Leovigild. This, however, is not certain; if true it must have added enormously to his difficulties, for Leovigild was a deter­mined Arian.

Even as a boy, Leander was remarkable for his eloquence and fascinating personality; while still quite young he took the monastic habit at Seville, where he gave himself for three years to devotion and study. Upon the death of the bishop of Seville he was unanimously chosen to succeed him, but his change of condition made little, or no alteration in his mode of living. He immediately set to work to fight against the prevalent heresy of Arianism, and through his prayers and his eloquence caused many conversions, including that of Hermenegild, the eldest son of King Leovigild.

In 583 St Leander went to Constantinople on an embassy to the emperor, and there he became acquainted with St Gregory the Great, who had been sent there as legate by Pope Pelagius II. The two men formed a close and lasting friendship, and it was at the suggestion of Leander that Gregory wrote his Morals on the Book of Job.

Upon his return, he continued his fight for the true faith, but in 586 Leovigild caused his son St Hermenegild to be put to death for refusing to receive communion from the hands of an Arian bishop, and he banished several Catholic prelates, including St Leander and his brother St Fulgentius. Even in exile the bishop continued his fight, writing two works against Arianism and a third to meet the objections that had been raised against his arguments. Before long, however, Leovigild recalled the exiles, and when he found that he was on his death-bed he sent for St Leander and entrusted to him his son and successor Reccared to be instructed in the Catholic faith. Nevertheless, through fear of his people, St Gregory tells us, Leovigild himself died unreconciled to the Church. Reccared, under the guidance of St Leander, became an ardent and well-instructed Catholic. Leander spoke with so much wisdom on the controverted points to the Arian bishops that, by force of his reasoning rather than by his authority, he brought them over to the truth and thus converted the whole nation of the Visigoths. He was equally successful with the Suevi, a people of Spain whom Leovigild had perverted. No one rejoiced more than did St Gregory the Great at the wonderful blessings bestowed by Almighty God on the labours of the holy bishop, and he wrote him to an affectionate letter in which he congratulated him warmly and also sent him the pallium.

In 589 St Leander presided over the third Council of Toledo, at which a solemn declaration of the consubstantiality of the Three Persons of the Trinity was drawn up, and twenty-three canons were passed relating to discipline, for the holy prelate was no less zealous in the reformation of manners and morals than in restoring the purity of the faith. The following year another synod was held at Seville to com­plete, establish and seal the conversion of the nation to the true faith. St Leander was deeply sensible of the importance of prayer, and he laboured to encourage true devotion in all, but especially in those who were consecrated to God under a religious rule. His letter to his sister Florentina, usually called his Rule of a Monastic Life, turns chiefly on the contempt of this world and on prayer. A very important work of his was his reform of the Spanish liturgy. In this liturgy and in the third Council of Toledo, in conformity with the practice of the Eastern churches, the Nicene Creed was appointed to be said at Mass in repudiation of the Arian heresy. Other Western churches, and eventually Rome itself, adopted this practice later.

St Leander was tried by frequent illness, particularly by the gout, and St Gregory, who was afflicted with the same complaint, alludes to it in one of his letters. According to an old Spanish tradition, the famous picture of our Lady of Guadalupe was a present from the pope to his friend Leander. Of the bishop’s many writings none have come down to us except his Rule of a Monastic Life, and a homily in thanksgiving for the conversion of the Goths. He died in 596, and his relics are now in a chapel of Seville Cathedral. In Spain St Leander is honoured liturgically as a doctor of the Church.

See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii; Gams, Kirchengeschichte von Spanien, vol. ii, Pt 2, pp. 37 seq. and 66 seq. DTC., vol. ix, P. 95. There is also an excellent article on St Leander by Mrs Humphry Ward in DCB., vol. iii, pp. 637—640; and cf. F. H. B. Daniell’s article on Reccared, vol. iv, pp. 536—538.
 Constantinópoli sanctórum Confessórum Basilíi et Procópii, qui, témpore Leónis Imperatóris, pro cultu sanctárum Imáginum strénue decertárunt.
       At Constantinople, in the time of Emperor Leo, the holy confessors Basil and Procopius, who fought courageously in behalf of the veneration of sacred images.

650 St. Baldomerus Patron saint of locksmiths, a monk of Lyons
 Lugdúni, in Gállia, sancti Baldoméri Subdiáconi, viri Deo devóti, cujus sepúlcrum crebris miráculis illustrátur.
      At Lyons, St. Baldomer, subdeacon and man of God, whose tomb is graced by many miracles.
France. Baldomerus was a locksmith until he entered the monastery of St. Justus. He is depicted in liturgical art as carrying blacksmith tools and pincers.
660 ST BALDOMERUS, OR GALMIER
St Galmier was a locksmith in Lyons who lived in great poverty and austerity, spending all his leisure moments in holy reading and prayer. He gave his earnings—and sometimes even his tools—to the poor, and to everyone he met he used to say, “In the name of the Lord, let us always give thanks to God”. Viventius, abbot of Saint Justus, came upon him when he was at prayer, and was greatly struck by the fervour .of his devotion, but he was still more impressed when he entered into conversation with him. The abbot offered him a cell in his monastery, and here he devoted himself almost entirely to contemplation. His biographer says that as a mark of God’s special favour the wild birds of the air whom no man had ever caught or tamed used to come at the hour of his meal and eat out of his hands, whilst he would say to them, “Take your refreshment and always bless the Lord of Heaven”. Bishop Gundry ordained him subdeacon, in spite of his reluctance. He was sometimes venerated as the patron of locksmiths, and is represented in art with pincers and other implements of his trade.
St Baldomerus is commemorated under this name in the Roman Martyrology, but we, have no reliable materials for his history. See the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii Detzel, Christliche Ikonographie, vol. ii, p. 179.
700 ST ALNOTH a man of singular simplicity and holiness. It is told in Goscelin’s Life of St Werburga
AT Weedon in Northamptonshire there stood a house which was presented by Wulfhere, King of Mercia, to his daughter St Werburga and was converted by her into a monastery. On the estate lived a cowherd called Alnoth, a man of singular simplicity and holiness. It is told in Goscelin’s Life of St Werburga that she one day saw her steward cruelly belabouring the poor serf for some fancied fault. Although she might well have used her authority to command the bailiff to stop, the saint in her humility cast herself at his feet and besought him to spare the good cowherd, who, she felt sure, was more acceptable to God than any of themselves. Later on, Alnoth became a hermit, and lived in the woods at Stowe near Bugbrooke. He was murdered by robbers—for what reason is not clear, as he possessed nothing that they could plunder. He was buried at Stowe and his memory was long venerated in the neighbourhood, a festival being kept in his honour.
See the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii. There seems to be no mention of St Alnoth in any of the early English calendars.
975 St. John of Gorze  Benedictine abbot ambassador to Caliph Abd al-Rahman III of Cordoba.
sent as an ambassador to Caliph Abd al-Rahman III of Cordoba by Emperor Otto I. Born at Vandieres, France, he became a Benedictine at Gorze after renouncing his wealth and making a pilgrimage to Rome. After his two years in Cordoba, John was elected abbot of Gorze in 960.
974 ST JOHN OF GORZE, ABBOT
THE father of John of Gorze was well on in years when his son was born at Vandières near Pont-à-Mousson, and, though he lived long enough to have him well educated at Metz and at Saint-Mihiel, he died before John attained to manhood. The youth was called upon to look after the family property, and was thus brought into touch with leading men in church and state. The benefices of Vandières and of Saint-Laurent in the village of Fontenoy were vested in him, and he did much to adorn and beautify these churches, especially Saint-Laurent, where he would sometimes spend several days in prayer when he was free from secular business. Although the world still had attractions for him, he was greatly influenced by an old priest who had a special devotion to the Divine Office and by a holy deacon named Bernier. The church and monastery on his estate were dependent on the nunnery of St Peter at Metz, and he used often to go there to serve at Mass. The accidental discovery of the austerity practised by the nuns and those who were under their care brought home to him the ease and luxury in which he was living. From that moment he turned his mind entirely to spiritual matters. He is credited with having learnt the Bible by heart, and is said to have acquired an extraordinary knowledge of the Comes, the Penitentials, the canons of ecclesiastical law, the homilies of the fathers, and the lives of the saints, so that he could recite them as though he were reading from a book.

A pilgrimage to Rome brought John into touch with various holy persons who helped him to advance in the spiritual life, and he visited Monte Gargano, Monte Cassino—and Vesuvius. Upon his return to Lorraine, he formed a great friendship with Archdeacon Einhold of Toul, whom he persuaded to give away his possessions and to join him on another pilgrimage to Rome. However, Adelborn, Bishop of Metz, interposed, and the two then betook themselves to the almost deserted abbey of Gorze in 933. They soon instilled new life into the monastery, and Einhold became abbot, with John as his prior; so severe were the austerities which he undertook that his superior felt obliged to moderate them. The Emperor Otto I having asked for two monks to go as his ambassadors to the court of the Caliph Abdur-Rahman of Cordova, John was chosen as the chief spokesman, and he fulfilled his mission with so much courage and wisdom that he won the admiration of the Mussulman chief. On his return in 960 he was elected abbot of Gorze, and he proceeded to introduce reforms which spread to other Benedictine monasteries in Upper Lorraine; the reform, like that of the contemporary St Gerard of Brogne, was marked by its physical severity. It seems rather uncertain whether John should be styled “Saint”, or “Blessed”: the Bollandists give the latter description, but he is popularly spoken of as St John of Gorze.

A full and historically important biography of John of Gorze was written in 980 by his friend John, abbot of St Arnulf at Metz, but the only manuscript we possess is unfortunately incomplete. The text has been edited by the Bollandists (Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii), by Mabillon, and in the MGH., Scriptores, vol. iv, whence it has been reprinted in Migne, PL., vol. 137, cc. 241—310. See also Mathieu, De Joannis Abbatis Gorziensis Vita (1879), and Sackur, Die Cluniacenser, vol. i.
1600 Bl. Mark Barkworth Martyr of England first Benedictine to die at Tyburn
Born in Lincoinshire, he was a Protestant educated at Oxford. While in Europe, Mark visited Douai, France, and became a Catholic. He was ordained in Valladolid, Spain, in 1599, and became a Benedictine in Navarre while on his return to England. Mark was arrested soon after his return to his homeland, and three apostates testified against him. With Father Richard Filcock he was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tybum on February 27 — the first English Benedictine martyr.
1601 BD MARK BARKWORTH, MARTYR
MARK BARKWORTH (alias Lambert) was born in Lincolnshire in 1572, and brought up a Protestant. He was a graduate of the University of Oxford, and while travelling on the continent visited the seminary at Douay, where he was shortly afterwards received into the Church. He began studying for the priesthood there, and concluded his course at Valladolid, where he was ordained in 1599. At this time there was a movement towards the Order of St Benedict among the students in the English college at Valladolid, and of this movement Mr Barkworth seems to have been the leader; it was viewed with strong disfavour by the Jesuit fathers who conducted the college, and when Barkworth left Spain for the English mission in the year of his ordination, and in company with Bd Thomas Garnet, he was still a secular priest. So on his way through Navarre he visited the abbey of Hirache and was there accepted as a Benedictine novice, with the privilege of making his profession at the hour of death, if there were no opportunity for him to do so before.

Within a few months of his arrival in England Father Mark was arrested, and it was while in prison that he told a Genoese soldier, Hortensio Spinola, of a vision of St Benedict from whom he had learned that he would die a martyr and a monk. It is said that for this reason he would not make use of opportunities for escape; and in February 1601 he was brought to trial at the Old Bailey, together with the Venerable Roger Filcock. The jury included three men who were not only apos­tates but probably former fellow students of Father Mark, and so with antecedent knowledge that he was a priest. His answers to questions caused several demon­strations in court, and he was sentenced without any witnesses having been called.

The day of his execution was very cold and it was snowing heavily. By some means Father Mark got hold of a Benedictine habit, which he put on, and had his head shaved in the monastic form of tonsure. When he and Father Roger Filcock arrived at Tyburn the dead body of Bd Anne Line (see below) was hanging from the gallows: he kissed the edge of her dress and her hand, saying, “Thou hast got the start of us, sister, but we will follow thee as quickly as we may”. He addressed the people, reminding them that Pope St Gregory had sent monks of St Benedict to preach the gospel to their heathen ancestors, “And I come here to die”, he said, “as a Catholic, a priest and a religious of the same order”. He had made his profession in two senses. Then as he was about to be turned off the cart he sang “in manner and form following: Haec est dies Domini, gaudeamus, gaudeamus, gaudeamus in ea”—“This is the day of the Lord; let us rejoice, rejoice, rejoice in it.” The contemporary account of the subsequent butchery is one of the most horrible in the records of the English martyrs; but Father Filcock was allowed to hang till he was dead. While the martyrs were being quartered it was noticed that Father Mark’s knees were calloused by constant kneeling. A young man picked up one of his legs and showed it to the attendant Protestant ministers, asking “Which of you gospellers can show such a knee?” Bd Mark Barkworth died on February 27, 1601, the first English Benedictine martyr.

There is a complete account of this beatus in Camm’s Nine Martyr Monks (1932). The principal sources are MMP., pp. 253—256, wherein is used a manuscript provided by the English monks of Douay; Raissius in his Catalogue Christi Sacerdotum...; Blackfan, Annales Collegii Sti Albani in oppido Valesoleti, and the usual Benedictine authorities.
1601 St. Anne Line  English 1/40 martyr from Dunmow, Essex Widow.
The daughter of William Heigham, she was disowned by him when she married a Catholic, Roger Line.
Roger was imprisoned for being a Catholic and was exiled and died in 1594 in Flanders, Belgium. Anne stayed in England where she hid Catholic priests in a London safe house. In this endeavor she aided Jesuit Father John Gerard until her arrest. Anne was hanged in Tyburn on February 27, 1601.  Pope Paul VI canonized Anne Line in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
1601 BD ANNE LINE, MARTYRED WIDOW
This Anne was daughter to William Heigham, a gentleman of Dunmow in Essex and a strong Protestant, who disinherited his son and daughter when they became Catholics. Anne married Roger Line, of Ringwood, in the New Forest of Hamp­shire. Shortly afterwards Mr Line was imprisoned for recusancy and then allowed to go abroad, to Flanders, where he died in 1594. His widow, who suffered from extreme ill-health, then devoted the rest of her life to the service of her hunted co-religionists. When the Jesuit, Father John Gerard, organized a house of refuge for clergy in London, Mrs Line was put in charge of it; but after Father Gerard’s escape from the Tower in 1597 she began to come under suspicion of the authorities, and had to find a new residence. But this also was tracked down, and on Candlemas day 1601 the pursuivants broke in just as Father Francis Page, s.j., had vested for Mass. He managed to remove his vestments and escape detection, but Mrs Line, Mrs Gage and others were taken.

A friend at court brought about the release of Mrs Gage, but Anne Line was brought before Lord Chief Justice Popham at the Old Bailey, charged with having harboured a priest from overseas. She was so ill at the time that she had to be carried into court in a chair. When asked if she were guilty of the charge, she replied in a loud voice for all to hear, “My lords, nothing grieves me more but that I could not receive a thousand more.” The prosecution, which had only one witness, signally failed to prove its case; the jury nevertheless, at the judge’s direction, found a verdict of guilty, and Anne was sentenced to death. She spent her last days and hours with composure and spiritual comfort, and when brought to Tyburn to be hanged she kissed the gallows and knelt in prayer up to the last moment. There suffered with her Roger Filcock, a Jesuit, who had long been Mrs Line’s friend and confessor, and Bd Mark Barkworth. Father Filcock’s cause is among those still under consideration.

See MMP., pp. 257—259; John Gerard’s autobiography (tr. P. Caraman, 1951), pp. 82—86; and Gillow, Biog. Dict.
1862 Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows  patron saint of students (Possenti), CP
 Insulæ, in Aprútio, sancti Gabriélis a Vírgine Perdolénte, Clérici Congregatiónis a Cruce et Passióne Dómini nuncupátæ, et Confessóris; qui, magnis intra breve vitæ spátium méritis et post mortem miráculis clarus, a Benedícto Papa Décimo quinto in Sanctórum cánonem relátus est.
      At Isola, in the province of Abruzzi, St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, confessor and cleric of the Passionist Congregation.  Having been known  for his merits during his short life, and after death renowned for miracles, Pope Benedict XV enrolled him in the canon of the saints.
Born in Assisi, Italy, March 1, 1838; died on Isola di Gran Sasso, Abruzzi, Italy, on February 27, 1862; canonized in 1920.
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Passionist (1838-1862) Special Devotion to Mary the Afflicted Mother February 27
 
1802 ST GABRIEL POSSENTI Passionist name in religion of Brother Gabriel-of-our-Lady-of-Sorrows; he renewed his promise to a relic of the Jesuit martyr St Andrew Bobola, recently beatified; cured, miraculously; life of continual self-surrender, cheerfulness with which the offering was made.
THIS young saint was the son of a distinguished advocate who held a succession of official appointments under the government of the States of the Church. There were thirteen children in the family of Sante Possenti, of whom the future saint, born in 1838 and christened Francis, was the eleventh. Several died in infancy and their delicate mother was herself taken from them in 1842, when Francis was only four years old. Mr Possenti had just then become “grand assessor”, let us say registrar, of Spoleto, and it was in the Jesuit college of that city that Francis received most of his education. After a surfeit of the dubious marvels which meet us in the legendary story of so many aspirants for canonization, it is a distinct relief to find that the childhood of Francis Possenti, like that of Teresa Martin, was perfectly normal. It is not recorded that he had visions at the age of four, or that he had devised extraordinary forms of self-torture before he was eight. On the contrary he seems by nature to have possessed a warm temper, which was not always under perfect control, and to have been fastidious about his dress and personal appearance. As a youth he read novels, he was fond of gaiety and of the theatre, though seemingly the plays he frequented were innocent enough, and on account of his cheerfulness and good looks he was a universal favourite. Though there is not the least reason to believe that he ever lost his innocence or seriously broke the law of God, he, from the shelter of the cloister, looked back upon these years with evident alarm.

Dear Philip, [he afterwards wrote to a friend] If you truly love your soul, shun bad companions; shun the theatre. I know by experience how very difficult it is when entering such places in the state of grace to come away without having lost it, or at least exposed it to great danger. Avoid pleasure-parties and avoid evil books. I assure you that if I had remained in the world, it seems certain to me that I should not have saved my soul. Tell me, could any one have indulged in more amusements than !? Well, and what is the result? — nothing but bitterness and fear. Dear Philip, do not despise me, for I speak from my heart. I ask your pardon for all the scandal that I may have given you and I protest that whatever evil I may have spoken about anyone, I now retract it and beg of you to forget it all, and to pray for me that God may forgive me likewise.

Probably much of this self-accusatory tone was due to the sensitiveness of conscience which developed in the noviceship, but there must have been a certain relative frivolity in the years which preceded, and his friends, we are told, used in playful exaggeration to call him il damerino, “the ladies’ man
. As a consequence the call of God does not seem to have been at once attended to even when it was clearly heard. Before his very promising career as a student was completed he fell dangerously ill, and he promised if he recovered to enter religion; but when he was restored to health he took no immediate step to carry his purpose into effect. After the lapse of a year or two he was again brought to death’s door by an attack of laryngitis, or possibly quinsy, and he renewed his promise, having recourse in this extremity to a relic of the Jesuit martyr St Andrew Bobola, just then beatified. Once more he was cured, miraculously as he believed, and he made application to enter the Society of Jesus. But though he was accepted, he still delayed—after all, he was not yet seventeen—possibly because he doubted whether God was not calling him to a more penitential life than that of the Society. Then his favourite sister died during an outbreak of cholera, and so, stricken with a sense of the precarious nature of all earthly ties, he at last, with the full approval of his Jesuit confessor, made choice of the Passionists.
Thus in September 1856 he entered their noviceship at Morrovalle, where he was given the name in religion of Brother Gabriel-of-our-Lady-of-Sorrows.

The rest of Gabriel’s career is simply a record of an extraordinary effort to attain perfection in small things.
His brightness, his spirit of prayer, his charity to the poor, his consideration for others, his exact observance of every rule, his desire (constantly checked by wise superiors) to adopt forms of bodily mortification which were beyond his strength, his absolute submission in all matters in which he could practise obedience evidently made an ineffaceable impression upon all who lived with him.
Their testimony in the process of his beatification is most con­vincing.
It was a life of continual self-surrender, but the most charming feature of the whole was the cheerfulness with which the offering was made. Naturally there is not much to chronicle in such an existence. But as an illustration of the simple means—simple except for the weariness of the endless renewal of such acts of self-repression—by which heroic sanctity may be reached, the following may be quoted from one of his biographies: 
He was always eager to do more bodily penance, and for a long time, to take a single example, he asked permission to wear a chain set with sharp points. Leave was refused, but he still begged for it with modest persistence. His director replied, “You want to wear the little chain!? I tell you what you really ought to have is a chain on your will—yes, that is what you need. Go away, don’t speak to me about it.” And he retired deeply mortified. Another time when he was asking leave for the same thing, “Well, yes,” I said, “wear it by all means; but you must wear it outside your habit and in public, too, that all may see what a man of great mortification you are.” Though stung to the quick, he wore it as I directed besides, to satisfy his thirst for penances, I made fun of him before his companions but he accepted all in silence, and did not even ask to be dispensed from thus becoming a laughing stock.

After only four years spent in religion, in the course of which Brother Gabriel had given rise to the expectation of great and fruitful work for souls once the priesthood had been attained, symptoms of tuberculous disease manifested them­selves so unmistakably that from henceforth he had to be exempted, very much against his will, from all the more arduous duties of community observance. Patience under weakness and bodily suffering, and a ready submission to the restrictions imposed by superiors upon his ardent nature, became the keynote of his effort after perfection. Young and old were indescribably impressed by the example which he gave, but he himself shrank from any soft of favourable notice, and not long before his death he succeeded in securing the destruction of all his private notes of the spiritual favours which God had bestowed upon him. He passed away in great peace in the early morning of February 27, 1862, at Isola di Gran Sasso in the Abruzzi. St Gabriel-of-our-Lady-of-Sorrows was canonized in 1920.

See N. Ward, Life of Gabriel of our Lady of Sorrows (1904) ; Anselmi de Ia Dolorosa, Vida de San Gabriel de la Virgen Dolorosa (1920); Lettere & San Gabriele della Addolorasa (1920) and C. Hollobough, St Gabriel, Passionist (1923).
O angelic young Gabriel, who, by your ardent love for Jesus Crucified and your compassion for Our Lady of Sorrows, were on earth a mirror of innocence and an example of every virtue; we turn to you full of confidence to implore your aid. Oh! How many evil things and afflictions, O how many dangers, assail our young people from every side, seeking to make them lose the faith. You, who lived always a life of faith, who amongst the temptations of the world maintained purity and virginity; turn your eyes to us, cast us a compassionate and pitying glance! Help us obtain the grace to persevere in faith; we invoke your name; we cannot doubt the efficaciousness of your patronage!
Confident of your help, we pray, O Sweet Saint, to obtain this particular grace for the greater glory of God and for the good of souls (here mention your request). Finally, obtain for us from Jesus Christ Crucified, through Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, resignation and peace so that we might always live the Christian life, throughout all the times of this present life, so that we might one day be happy with you in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Amen 
Adapted from www.geocities.com/saintgabrielpassionist/prayers

1862 St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows  (1838-1862 ) 
Born in Italy into a large family and baptized Francis, he lost his mother when he was only four years old. He was educated by the Jesuits and, having been cured twice of serious illnesses, came to believe that God was calling him to the religious life. Young Francis wished to join the Jesuits but was turned down, probably because of his age, not yet 17. Following the death of a sister to cholera, his resolve to enter religious life became even stronger and he was accepted by the Passionists.
Upon entering the novitiate he was given the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Ever popular and cheerful, Gabriel quickly was successful in his effort to be faithful in little things. His spirit of prayer, love for the poor, consideration of the feelings of others, exact observance of the Passionist Rule as well as his bodily penances—always subject to the will of his wise superiors— made a deep impression on everyone.
   His superiors had great expectations of Gabriel as he prepared for the priesthood, but after only four years of religious life symptoms of tuberculosis appeared. Ever obedient, he patiently bore the painful effects of the disease and the restrictions it required, seeking no special notice. He died peacefully on February 27, 1862, at age 24, having been an example to both young and old.

Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was canonized in 1920.
Comment:    When we think of achieving great holiness by doing little things with love and grace, Therese of Lisieux comes first to mind. Like her, Gabriel died painfully from tuberculosis. Together they urge us to tend to the small details of daily life, to be considerate of others’ feelings every day. Our path to sanctity, like theirs, probably lies not in heroic doings but in performing small acts of kindness every day.

Francis Possenti, the 11th of thirteen children of the lawyer Sante Possenti, was raised in a wealthy family that was both pious and cultured. His mother died when he was only four years old, and his father had just been appointed the registrar of Spoleto.
He was so inordinately vain and innocently, but passionately, devoted to worldly pleasures, that his friends referred to him as il damerino ('the ladies' man'). Before he finished school at the Jesuit college at Spoleto, he fell dangerously ill, and he promised that if he recovered, he would enter religious life. Upon his recovery, however, he did not act immediately upon his promise. Sure, he joined the Jesuits at age 17 but delayed entering the novitiate.

A year or two later, when he fell ill again, he renewed his promise. Once again he recovered. This time he fulfilled his vow and astonished everyone when he announced that he was entering the Passionist Order at Morovalle near Macerata immediately upon his graduation in 1856.
    St. Gabriel Possenti Image of Saint Gabriel Possenti courtesy of the Passionists
His religious life was one of love throughout--joyous love made all the sweeter by the penances prescribed by his rule, which he fulfilled to the letter. There was nothing extraordinary about him except his fidelity to prayer, his love of mortification, and his joyfulness of spirit.

He was ordained, but, at the age of 23, just after finishing his studies, he was stricken with tuberculosis and died at age 24. Through his intercession it is believed that Saint Gemma Galgani was cured of spinal tuberculosis (Attwater, Benedictines, Butler, Delaney, Encyclopedia, White).

Gabriel is the patron saint of students, particularly those in colleges and seminaries (acting as a model to them), of the clergy, and of young people involved in Catholic Action in Italy (White).

1856 Bl. Augustus Chapdelaine Martyr of China Kwang-si
Born in 1814, in France, Augustus was ordained to the priesthood in the Paris Society of the Foreign Missions. He was sent to China after a brief period of parish work, going to Kwang-si. There he was taken prisoner during the persecution of the Church and was put to death brutally. He was beatified in 1900.

Also known as:  Father Ma; Papa Chapdelaine; Augustus Chapdelaine  Memorial:  27 February; 28 September
Profile:  Youngest of nine children born to Nicolas Chapdelaine and Madeleine Dodeman. Following grammar school, Auguste dropped out to work on the family farm. He early felt a call to the priesthood, but his family opposed it, needing his help on the farm. However, the sudden death of two of his brothers caused them to re-think forcing him to ignore his life's vocation, and they finally approved. He entered the minor seminary at Mortain on 1 October 1834, studying with boys half his age. It led to his being nicknamed Papa Chapdelaine, which stuck with him the rest of his life.

Ordained on 10 June 1843 at age 29. Associate pastor in Bouncy for seven years beginning on 23 February 1844. In 1851 he finally obtained permission from his bishop to enter the foreign missions, and was accepted by French Foreign Missions; he was two years past their age limit, but his zeal for the missions made them approve him anyway. He stayed long enough to say a final Mass, bury his sister, and say good-bye to his family, warning them that he would never see them again. Left Paris for the Chinese missions on 30 April 1852, landing in Singapore on 5 September 1852.

Due to being robbed on the road by bandits, Auguste lost everything he had, and had to fall back and regroup before making his way to his missionary assignment. He reached Kwang-si province in 1854, and was arrested in Su-Lik-Hien ten days later. He spent two to three weeks in prison, but was released, and ministered to the locals for two years, converting hundreds. Arrested on 26 February 1856 during a government crackdown, he was returned to Su-Lik-Hien and sentenced to death for his work. Tortured with and died with Saint Lawrence Pe-Man and Saint Agnes Tsau Kouy. One of the Martyrs of China

Born:  6 January 1814 at La Rochelle-Normande, France  Died:  beheaded on 29 February 1856 in Su-Lik-Hien, Kwang-Si province, China  Beatified:  27 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII  Canonized:  1 October 2000 by Pope John Paul II



St. Alexander Martyr with Abundius & others.
Romæ natális sanctórum Mártyrum Alexándri, Abúndii, Antígoni et Fortunáti.
      At Rome, the birthday of the holy martyrs, Alexander, Abundius, Antigonus, and Fortunatus.

Antigonus, and Fortunatus, probably in Rome. Bede records the martyrdom in Thessaly.

Alexandríæ pássio sancti Juliáni Mártyris, qui, cum ita pódagra constríctus esset, ut neque incédere neque stare posset, una cum duóbus fámulis, qui eum in sella gestábant, Júdici offértur; quorum alter fidem negávit, alter, nómine Eunus, cum dómino suo perdurávit in confessióne Christi.  Ipse porro Juliánus et Eunus, camélis impósiti, per totam urbem circumdúci jubéntur, et flagris laniári, ac tandem, incénso rogo, hinc inde spectánte pópulo, combúri.
       At Alexandria, the passion of St. Julian, martyr.  Although he was so afflicted with gout that he could neither walk nor stand, he was taken before the judge with two servants, who carried him in a chair.  One of these denied his faith, but the other, named Eunus, persevered with Julian in confessing Christ.  Both were set on camels, led through the whole city, scourged, and then burned alive in the presence of all the people.

250 SS. JULIAN, CRONION AND BESAS, MARTYRS Ibídem sancti Besæ mílitis, qui, cum insultántes in prædíctos Mártyres cohibéret, delátus est ad Júdicem, et, pro fide constánter agens, cápite truncátus.
       In the same city, St. Besas, a soldier.  He had rebuked those who insulted the martyrs just mentioned, and so was denounced before the judge.  Because he continued to proclaim his attachment to the faith he was beheaded.

DURING the persecution of Christians under Decius many of the citizens of Alex­andria, especially amongst the rich and those who held public office, apostatized and sacrificed to idols under stress of fear. St Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, who records and deplores this in a letter to Fabian, adds: “Others, firm and blessed pillars of the Lord, confirmed by the Lord Himself and receiving of Him strength suited to the measure of their faith, proved themselves noble witnesses of His kingdom. Foremost of these was a man afflicted with gout and unable to walk or to stand, Julian by name, who was apprehended together with his two bearers. One of these immediately denied his faith, but the other, Cronion, surnamed Eunus, and the aged Julian himself, after having confessed the Lord, were carried on camels through the whole city, a very large one, as you know, and ‘Were scourged and at length consumed in an immense fire in the midst of a crowd of spectators. A soldier named Besas, who was standing by and who opposed the insolence of the multitude while these martyrs were on their way to execution, was assailed by them with loud shouts, and this brave soldier of God, after he had shown his heroism in the great conflict of piety, was beheaded.”

The Roman Martyrology mentions on December 7 a certain soldier, martyred at Alexandria under Decius, whom it calls Agatho. He was set to guard the dead bodies of some martyrs, and resolutely refused to allow the crowd to come near in order to insult and  mutilate them. The angry mob therefore denounced him to the magistrate, and upon his confessing Christ he was sentenced to death and beheaded. Dom Quentin has shown that this martyr is really the same as St Besas, just mentioned. Rufinus in translating the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius omitted the name of the soldier, and it was supplied as Agatho by the martyrologist Ado out of his own head.

The letter of St Dionysius here referred to is quoted in Eusebius, Eccles. Hist., bk vi, cli. 41. See Feltoe’s edition of Dionysius of Alexandria, pp. 11—52. Dom Quentin explains the confusion about Besas in his Martyrologes historiques, pp. 449, 462, 611, 658.

261 MARTYRS IN THE PLAGUE OF ALEXANDRIA
 Ibídem commemorátio sanctórum Presbyterórum, Diaconórum  et aliórum plurimórum; qui, témpore Valeriáni Imperatóris, cum pestis sævíssima grassarétur, morbo laborántibus ministrántes, libentíssime mortem oppetiére, et quos velut Mártyres religiósa piórum fides venerári consuévit.
       In the same city, in the reign of Emperor Valerian, the commemoration of the holy priests, deacons, and many others.  When a most deadly epidemic was raging, they willingly met their death by ministering to the sick.  The religious sentiment of the pious faithful has generally venerated them as martyrs.
PESTILENCE raged throughout the greater part of the Roman empire during the years from 249 to 263. In Rome, five thousand persons are said to have died in one day and Alexandria in particular suffered severely: St Dionysius of Alexandria tells us that his city had already been afflicted with famine,
and this was followed by tumults and violence so uncontrolled that it was safer to travel from one extremity of the known world to the, other than to go from one street of Alexandria to the next.
  To these scourges succeeded the plague, which raged until there was not one house in that great city that escaped or which had not some death to mourn. Corpses lay unburied, and the air was laden with infection, mingled with pestilential vapours from the Nile. The living appeared wild with terror, and the fear of death rendered the pagan citizens cruel to their nearest relations; as soon as anyone was known to have caught the infection, his friends fled from him: the bodies of those not yet dead were thrown into the streets and abandoned.

At this juncture, the Christians of Alexandria came forward and displayed a great example of charity. During the persecutions of Decius, Gallus and Valerian they had been obliged to remain hidden, and had held their assemblies in secret or in ships that put out to sea or in pestilential prisons. Now, however, they came forth, regardless of danger, and set to work to tend the sick and to comfort the dying. They closed the eyes of the plague-stricken and carried them when dead upon their shoulders, washing their bodies and decently burying them, although they knew they were likely to share the same fate. In the words of the bishop:

“Many who had healed others fell victims themselves. The best of our brethren have been taken from us in this manner: some were priests, others deacons and some laity of great worth. This death, with the faith which accompanied it, appears to be little inferior to martyrdom itself.”

The Roman Martyrology, recognizing the force of these words of St Dionysius, in fact honours those loving Christians as martyrs. Their charity in thus relieving their persecutors when attacked by sickness may well make us ask ourselves what our attitude is to the sick poor, who are not our enemies but who are, in most cases, our fellow Christians.

Our knowledge of the charity of the Christians of Alexandria is derived from Eusebius, who in bk vii, ch. 22, of his Ecclesiastical History inserts a long quotation from the letter of St Dionysius referred to above. The Greek text may be conveniently consulted in Feltoe’s edition of The Letters and other Remains of Dionysius of Alexandria, pp. 79—84.
450 St. Thalelaeus Hermit 60 yrs near Gabala (or Gala), modern Syria
also known as Epiklautos , "weeping much," owing to his habit of crying and weeping with such frequency. Born in Cilicia (modern Turkey), he took up the life of a hermit near Gabala (or Gala), modern Syria, and lived near a pagan temple which attracted pagan pilgrims. He converted many of them to Christianity through his zeal. It is reported that he spent many years living in a barrel. Thalelacus was a hermit for sixty years.

450 ST THALELAEUS THE HERMIT

FOR our knowledge of the holy recluse Thalelaeus we are chiefly indebted to Theodoret, who says that he was personally acquainted with him. He was a native of Cilicia, and for some time he lived in a hut beside a heathen shrine near Gabala, to which people used to go to sacrifice. The evil spirits or the pagan priests tried to scare him away by fearful apparitions and hideous noises, but the holy man stood his ground and converted many of those who had come to worship in the temple. Theodoret says that he himself conversed with some of these converts, Afterwards St Thalelaeus contrived for himself a soft of penitential cage. He made two wheels and joined them by bars into a kind of barrel, but open between the bars. He shut himself up in this, and it was so small and cramped that his chin rested on his knees. He had been in it ten years when Theodoret saw him and asked him why he had chosen so strange an abode. The penitent answered, “I punish my criminal body that God, seeing my affliction for my sins, may be moved to forgive them and to deliver me from the torments of the world to come, or at least mitigate their severity”. John Moschus, in the Spiritual Meadow, relates that Thalelaeus the Cilician spent sixty years in the ascetic life, weeping almost without intermission; and that he used to say to those that came to him, “Time is allowed us by the divine mercy for repentance and satisfaction, and woe be to us if we neglect it”. He was surnamed Epiklautos, “weeping much”.

See the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii, where the passage from Theodoret’s Philotheus is quoted, and cf. DCB., vol. iv, p. 882.
596 St. Leander of Seville Bishop monk consubstantiality 3 Persons of the Trinity 1st introduce Nicene Creed at Mass
 Híspali, in Hispánia, natális sancti Leándri, ejúsdem civitátis Epíscopi, qui, sanctórum Isidóri Epíscopi ac Florentínæ Vírginis frater, sua prædicatióne et indústria gentem Visigothórum, adjuvánte Reccarédo, eórum Rege, ab Ariána impietáte ad cathólicam fidem convértit.
       At Seville in Spain, the birthday of St. Leander, bishop of that city, and of St. Florentina, virgin.  By his preaching and zeal the Visigoths, with the help of King Recared, were converted from the Arian heresy to the Catholic faith.
Leander was born at Cartagena, Spain, of Severianus and Theodora, illustrious for their virtue. St. Isidore and Fulgentius, both bishops were his brothers, and his sister, Florentina, is also numbered among the saints. He became a monk at Seville and then the bishop of the See.

He was instrumental in converting the two sons Hermenegild and Reccared of the Arian Visigothic King Leovigild. This action earned him the kings's wrath and exile to Constantinople, where he met and became close friends of the Papal Legate, the future Pope Gregory the Great. It was Leander who suggested that Gregory write the famous commentary on the Book of Job called the Moralia.

Once back home, under King Reccared, St. Leander began his life work of propagating Christian orthodoxy against the Arians in Spain. The third local Council of Toledo (over which he presided in 589) decreed the consubstantiality of the three Persons of the Trinity and brought about moral reforms.
Leander's unerring wisdom and unflagging dedication let the Visigoths and the Suevi back to the true Faith and obtained the gratitude of Gregory the Great.

The saintly bishop also composed an influential Rule for nuns and was the first to introduce the Nicene Creed at Mass. Worn out by his many activities in the cause of Christ, Leander died around 600 and was succeeded in the See of Seville by his brother Isidore. The Spanish Church honors Leander as the Doctor of the Faith.
596 ST LEANDER, BISHOP OF SEVILLE
IT was mainly through St Leander’s efforts that the Western Goths or Visigoths, who had ruled in Spain for a hundred years, were converted from the errors of Arianism. His father was Severian, Duke of Cartagena, at which place the saint was born, and his mother was the daughter of the Ostrogothic King Theodoric. His brothers were St Fulgentius, Bishop of Ecija, and St Isidore, who succeeded him in the see of Seville. He had a sister, St Florentina, and according to tradition a second sister who married King Leovigild. This, however, is not certain; if true it must have added enormously to his difficulties, for Leovigild was a deter­mined Arian.

Even as a boy, Leander was remarkable for his eloquence and fascinating personality; while still quite young he took the monastic habit at Seville, where he gave himself for three years to devotion and study. Upon the death of the bishop of Seville he was unanimously chosen to succeed him, but his change of condition made little, or no alteration in his mode of living. He immediately set to work to fight against the prevalent heresy of Arianism, and through his prayers and his eloquence caused many conversions, including that of Hermenegild, the eldest son of King Leovigild.

In 583 St Leander went to Constantinople on an embassy to the emperor, and there he became acquainted with St Gregory the Great, who had been sent there as legate by Pope Pelagius II. The two men formed a close and lasting friendship, and it was at the suggestion of Leander that Gregory wrote his Morals on the Book of Job.

Upon his return, he continued his fight for the true faith, but in 586 Leovigild caused his son St Hermenegild to be put to death for refusing to receive communion from the hands of an Arian bishop, and he banished several Catholic prelates, including St Leander and his brother St Fulgentius. Even in exile the bishop continued his fight, writing two works against Arianism and a third to meet the objections that had been raised against his arguments. Before long, however, Leovigild recalled the exiles, and when he found that he was on his death-bed he sent for St Leander and entrusted to him his son and successor Reccared to be instructed in the Catholic faith. Nevertheless, through fear of his people, St Gregory tells us, Leovigild himself died unreconciled to the Church. Reccared, under the guidance of St Leander, became an ardent and well-instructed Catholic. Leander spoke with so much wisdom on the controverted points to the Arian bishops that, by force of his reasoning rather than by his authority, he brought them over to the truth and thus converted the whole nation of the Visigoths. He was equally successful with the Suevi, a people of Spain whom Leovigild had perverted. No one rejoiced more than did St Gregory the Great at the wonderful blessings bestowed by Almighty God on the labours of the holy bishop, and he wrote him to an affectionate letter in which he congratulated him warmly and also sent him the pallium.

In 589 St Leander presided over the third Council of Toledo, at which a solemn declaration of the consubstantiality of the Three Persons of the Trinity was drawn up, and twenty-three canons were passed relating to discipline, for the holy prelate was no less zealous in the reformation of manners and morals than in restoring the purity of the faith. The following year another synod was held at Seville to com­plete, establish and seal the conversion of the nation to the true faith. St Leander was deeply sensible of the importance of prayer, and he laboured to encourage true devotion in all, but especially in those who were consecrated to God under a religious rule. His letter to his sister Florentina, usually called his Rule of a Monastic Life, turns chiefly on the contempt of this world and on prayer. A very important work of his was his reform of the Spanish liturgy. In this liturgy and in the third Council of Toledo, in conformity with the practice of the Eastern churches, the Nicene Creed was appointed to be said at Mass in repudiation of the Arian heresy. Other Western churches, and eventually Rome itself, adopted this practice later.

St Leander was tried by frequent illness, particularly by the gout, and St Gregory, who was afflicted with the same complaint, alludes to it in one of his letters. According to an old Spanish tradition, the famous picture of our Lady of Guadalupe was a present from the pope to his friend Leander. Of the bishop’s many writings none have come down to us except his Rule of a Monastic Life, and a homily in thanksgiving for the conversion of the Goths. He died in 596, and his relics are now in a chapel of Seville Cathedral. In Spain St Leander is honoured liturgically as a doctor of the Church.

See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii; Gams, Kirchengeschichte von Spanien, vol. ii, Pt 2, pp. 37 seq. and 66 seq. DTC., vol. ix, P. 95. There is also an excellent article on St Leander by Mrs Humphry Ward in DCB., vol. iii, pp. 637—640; and cf. F. H. B. Daniell’s article on Reccared, vol. iv, pp. 536—538.
 Constantinópoli sanctórum Confessórum Basilíi et Procópii, qui, témpore Leónis Imperatóris, pro cultu sanctárum Imáginum strénue decertárunt.
       At Constantinople, in the time of Emperor Leo, the holy confessors Basil and Procopius, who fought courageously in behalf of the veneration of sacred images.

650 St. Baldomerus Patron saint of locksmiths, a monk of Lyons
 Lugdúni, in Gállia, sancti Baldoméri Subdiáconi, viri Deo devóti, cujus sepúlcrum crebris miráculis illustrátur.
      At Lyons, St. Baldomer, subdeacon and man of God, whose tomb is graced by many miracles.
France. Baldomerus was a locksmith until he entered the monastery of St. Justus. He is depicted in liturgical art as carrying blacksmith tools and pincers.
660 ST BALDOMERUS, OR GALMIER
St Galmier was a locksmith in Lyons who lived in great poverty and austerity, spending all his leisure moments in holy reading and prayer. He gave his earnings—and sometimes even his tools—to the poor, and to everyone he met he used to say, “In the name of the Lord, let us always give thanks to God”. Viventius, abbot of Saint Justus, came upon him when he was at prayer, and was greatly struck by the fervour of his devotion, but he was still more impressed when he entered into conversation with him. The abbot offered him a cell in his monastery, and here he devoted himself almost entirely to contemplation. His biographer says that as a mark of God’s special favour the wild birds of the air whom no man had ever caught or tamed used to come at the hour of his meal and eat out of his hands, whilst he would say to them, “Take your refreshment and always bless the Lord of Heaven”. Bishop Gundry ordained him subdeacon, in spite of his reluctance. He was sometimes venerated as the patron of locksmiths, and is represented in art with pincers and other implements of his trade.
St Baldomerus is commemorated under this name in the Roman Martyrology, but we, have no reliable materials for his history. See the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii Detzel, Christliche Ikonographie, vol. ii, p. 179.
700 ST ALNOTH a man of singular simplicity and holiness. It is told in Goscelin’s Life of St Werburga
AT Weedon in Northamptonshire there stood a house which was presented by Wulfhere, King of Mercia, to his daughter St Werburga and was converted by her into a monastery. On the estate lived a cowherd called Alnoth, a man of singular simplicity and holiness. It is told in Goscelin’s Life of St Werburga that she one day saw her steward cruelly belabouring the poor serf for some fancied fault. Although she might well have used her authority to command the bailiff to stop, the saint in her humility cast herself at his feet and besought him to spare the good cowherd, who, she felt sure, was more acceptable to God than any of themselves. Later on, Alnoth became a hermit, and lived in the woods at Stowe near Bugbrooke. He was murdered by robbers—for what reason is not clear, as he possessed nothing that they could plunder. He was buried at Stowe and his memory was long venerated in the neighbourhood, a festival being kept in his honour.
See the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii. There seems to be no mention of St Alnoth in any of the early English calendars.
975 St. John of Gorze  Benedictine abbot ambassador to Caliph Abd al-Rahman III of Cordoba.  
sent as an ambassador to Caliph Abd al-Rahman III of Cordoba by Emperor Otto I. Born at Vandieres, France, he became a Benedictine at Gorze after renouncing his wealth and making a pilgrimage to Rome. After his two years in Cordoba, John was elected abbot of Gorze in 960.
974 ST JOHN OF GORZE, ABBOT
THE father of John of Gorze was well on in years when his son was born at Vandières near Pont-à-Mousson, and, though he lived long enough to have him well educated at Metz and at Saint-Mihiel, he died before John attained to manhood. The youth was called upon to look after the family property, and was thus brought into touch with leading men in church and state. The benefices of Vandières and of Saint-Laurent in the village of Fontenoy were vested in him, and he did much to adorn and beautify these churches, especially Saint-Laurent, where he would sometimes spend several days in prayer when he was free from secular business. Although the world still had attractions for him, he was greatly influenced by an old priest who had a special devotion to the Divine Office and by a holy deacon named Bernier. The church and monastery on his estate were dependent on the nunnery of St Peter at Metz, and he used often to go there to serve at Mass. The accidental discovery of the austerity practised by the nuns and those who were under their care brought home to him the ease and luxury in which he was living. From that moment he turned his mind entirely to spiritual matters. He is credited with having learnt the Bible by heart, and is said to have acquired an extraordinary knowledge of the Comes, the Penitentials, the canons of ecclesiastical law, the homilies of the fathers, and the lives of the saints, so that he could recite them as though he were reading from a book.

A pilgrimage to Rome brought John into touch with various holy persons who helped him to advance in the spiritual life, and he visited Monte Gargano, Monte Cassino—and Vesuvius. Upon his return to Lorraine, he formed a great friendship with Archdeacon Einhold of Toul, whom he persuaded to give away his possessions and to join him on another pilgrimage to Rome. However, Adelborn, Bishop of Metz, interposed, and the two then betook themselves to the almost deserted abbey of Gorze in 933. They soon instilled new life into the monastery, and Einhold became abbot, with John as his prior; so severe were the austerities which he undertook that his superior felt obliged to moderate them. The Emperor Otto I having asked for two monks to go as his ambassadors to the court of the Caliph Abdur-Rahman of Cordova, John was chosen as the chief spokesman, and he fulfilled his mission with so much courage and wisdom that he won the admiration of the Mussulman chief. On his return in 960 he was elected abbot of Gorze, and he proceeded to introduce reforms which spread to other Benedictine monasteries in Upper Lorraine; the reform, like that of the contemporary St Gerard of Brogne, was marked by its physical severity. It seems rather uncertain whether John should be styled “Saint”, or “Blessed”: the Bollandists give the latter description, but he is popularly spoken of as St John of Gorze.

A full and historically important biography of John of Gorze was written in 980 by his friend John, abbot of St Arnulf at Metz, but the only manuscript we possess is unfortunately incomplete. The text has been edited by the Bollandists (Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii), by Mabillon, and in the MGH., Scriptores, vol. iv, whence it has been reprinted in Migne, PL., vol. 137, cc. 241—310. See also Mathieu, De Joannis Abbatis Gorziensis Vita (1879), and Sackur, Die Cluniacenser, vol. i.
1600 Bl. Mark Barkworth Martyr of England first Benedictine to die at Tyburn
Born in Lincoinshire, he was a Protestant educated at Oxford. While in Europe, Mark visited Douai, France, and became a Catholic. He was ordained in Valladolid, Spain, in 1599, and became a Benedictine in Navarre while on his return to England. Mark was arrested soon after his return to his homeland, and three apostates testified against him. With Father Richard Filcock he was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tybum on February 27 — the first English Benedictine martyr.
1601 BD MARK BARKWORTH, MARTYR
MARK BARKWORTH (alias Lambert) was born in Lincolnshire in 1572, and brought up a Protestant. He was a graduate of the University of Oxford, and while travelling on the continent visited the seminary at Douay, where he was shortly afterwards received into the Church. He began studying for the priesthood there, and concluded his course at Valladolid, where he was ordained in 1599. At this time there was a movement towards the Order of St Benedict among the students in the English college at Valladolid, and of this movement Mr Barkworth seems to have been the leader; it was viewed with strong disfavour by the Jesuit fathers who conducted the college, and when Barkworth left Spain for the English mission in the year of his ordination, and in company with Bd Thomas Garnet, he was still a secular priest. So on his way through Navarre he visited the abbey of Hirache and was there accepted as a Benedictine novice, with the privilege of making his profession at the hour of death, if there were no opportunity for him to do so before.

Within a few months of his arrival in England Father Mark was arrested, and it was while in prison that he told a Genoese soldier, Hortensio Spinola, of a vision of St Benedict from whom he had learned that he would die a martyr and a monk. It is said that for this reason he would not make use of opportunities for escape; and in February 1601 he was brought to trial at the Old Bailey, together with the Venerable Roger Filcock. The jury included three men who were not only apos­tates but probably former fellow students of Father Mark, and so with antecedent knowledge that he was a priest. His answers to questions caused several demon­strations in court, and he was sentenced without any witnesses having been called.

The day of his execution was very cold and it was snowing heavily. By some means Father Mark got hold of a Benedictine habit, which he put on, and had his head shaved in the monastic form of tonsure. When he and Father Roger Filcock arrived at Tyburn the dead body of Bd Anne Line (see below) was hanging from the gallows: he kissed the edge of her dress and her hand, saying, “Thou hast got the start of us, sister, but we will follow thee as quickly as we may”. He addressed the people, reminding them that Pope St Gregory had sent monks of St Benedict to preach the gospel to their heathen ancestors, “And I come here to die”, he said, “as a Catholic, a priest and a religious of the same order”. He had made his profession in two senses. Then as he was about to be turned off the cart he sang “in manner and form following: Haec est dies Domini, gaudeamus, gaudeamus, gaudeamus in ea”—“This is the day of the Lord; let us rejoice, rejoice, rejoice in it.” The contemporary account of the subsequent butchery is one of the most horrible in the records of the English martyrs; but Father Filcock was allowed to hang till he was dead. While the martyrs were being quartered it was noticed that Father Mark’s knees were calloused by constant kneeling. A young man picked up one of his legs and showed it to the attendant Protestant ministers, asking “Which of you gospellers can show such a knee?” Bd Mark Barkworth died on February 27, 1601, the first English Benedictine martyr.

There is a complete account of this beatus in Camm’s Nine Martyr Monks (1932). The principal sources are MMP., pp. 253—256, wherein is used a manuscript provided by the English monks of Douay; Raissius in his Catalogue Christi Sacerdotum...; Blackfan, Annales Collegii Sti Albani in oppido Valesoleti, and the usual Benedictine authorities.
1601 St. Anne Line  English 1/40 martyr from Dunmow, Essex Widow.
The daughter of William Heigham, she was disowned by him when she married a Catholic, Roger Line.
Roger was imprisoned for being a Catholic and was exiled and died in 1594 in Flanders, Belgium. Anne stayed in England where she hid Catholic priests in a London safe house. In this endeavor she aided Jesuit Father John Gerard until her arrest. Anne was hanged in Tyburn on February 27, 1601.  Pope Paul VI canonized Anne Line in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
1601 BD ANNE LINE, MARTYRED WIDOW
This Anne was daughter to William Heigham, a gentleman of Dunmow in Essex and a strong Protestant, who disinherited his son and daughter when they became Catholics. Anne married Roger Line, of Ringwood, in the New Forest of Hamp­shire. Shortly afterwards Mr Line was imprisoned for recusancy and then allowed to go abroad, to Flanders, where he died in 1594. His widow, who suffered from extreme ill-health, then devoted the rest of her life to the service of her hunted co-religionists. When the Jesuit, Father John Gerard, organized a house of refuge for clergy in London, Mrs Line was put in charge of it; but after Father Gerard’s escape from the Tower in 1597 she began to come under suspicion of the authorities, and had to find a new residence. But this also was tracked down, and on Candlemas day 1601 the pursuivants broke in just as Father Francis Page, s.j., had vested for Mass. He managed to remove his vestments and escape detection, but Mrs Line, Mrs Gage and others were taken.

A friend at court brought about the release of Mrs Gage, but Anne Line was brought before Lord Chief Justice Popham at the Old Bailey, charged with having harboured a priest from overseas. She was so ill at the time that she had to be carried into court in a chair. When asked if she were guilty of the charge, she replied in a loud voice for all to hear, “My lords, nothing grieves me more but that I could not receive a thousand more.” The prosecution, which had only one witness, signally failed to prove its case; the jury nevertheless, at the judge’s direction, found a verdict of guilty, and Anne was sentenced to death. She spent her last days and hours with composure and spiritual comfort, and when brought to Tyburn to be hanged she kissed the gallows and knelt in prayer up to the last moment. There suffered with her Roger Filcock, a Jesuit, who had long been Mrs Line’s friend and confessor, and Bd Mark Barkworth. Father Filcock’s cause is among those still under consideration.

See MMP., pp. 257—259; John Gerard’s autobiography (tr. P. Caraman, 1951), pp. 82—86; and Gillow, Biog. Dict.
1862 Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows  patron saint of students (Possenti), CP
 Insulæ, in Aprútio, sancti Gabriélis a Vírgine Perdolénte, Clérici Congregatiónis a Cruce et Passióne Dómini nuncupátæ, et Confessóris; qui, magnis intra breve vitæ spátium méritis et post mortem miráculis clarus, a Benedícto Papa Décimo quinto in Sanctórum cánonem relátus est.
      At Isola, in the province of Abruzzi, St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, confessor and cleric of the Passionist Congregation.  Having been known  for his merits during his short life, and after death renowned for miracles, Pope Benedict XV enrolled him in the canon of the saints.
Born in Assisi, Italy, March 1, 1838; died on Isola di Gran Sasso, Abruzzi, Italy, on February 27, 1862; canonized in 1920.
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Passionist (1838-1862) Special Devotion to Mary the Afflicted Mother February 27
 
1802 ST GABRIEL POSSENTI Passionist name in religion of Brother Gabriel-of-our-Lady-of-Sorrows; he renewed his promise to a relic of the Jesuit martyr St Andrew Bobola, recently beatified; cured, miraculously; life of continual self-surrender, cheerfulness with which the offering was made.
THIS young saint was the son of a distinguished advocate who held a succession of official appointments under the government of the States of the Church. There were thirteen children in the family of Sante Possenti, of whom the future saint, born in 1838 and christened Francis, was the eleventh. Several died in infancy and their delicate mother was herself taken from them in 1842, when Francis was only four years old. Mr Possenti had just then become “grand assessor”, let us say registrar, of Spoleto, and it was in the Jesuit college of that city that Francis received most of his education. After a surfeit of the dubious marvels which meet us in the legendary story of so many aspirants for canonization, it is a distinct relief to find that the childhood of Francis Possenti, like that of Teresa Martin, was perfectly normal. It is not recorded that he had visions at the age of four, or that he had devised extraordinary forms of self-torture before he was eight. On the contrary he seems by nature to have possessed a warm temper, which was not always under perfect control, and to have been fastidious about his dress and personal appearance. As a youth he read novels, he was fond of gaiety and of the theatre, though seemingly the plays he frequented were innocent enough, and on account of his cheerfulness and good looks he was a universal favourite. Though there is not the least reason to believe that he ever lost his innocence or seriously broke the law of God, he, from the shelter of the cloister, looked back upon these years with evident alarm.

Dear Philip, [he afterwards wrote to a friend] If you truly love your soul, shun bad companions; shun the theatre. I know by experience how very difficult it is when entering such places in the state of grace to come away without having lost it, or at least exposed it to great danger. Avoid pleasure-parties and avoid evil books. I assure you that if I had remained in the world, it seems certain to me that I should not have saved my soul. Tell me, could any one have indulged in more amusements than !? Well, and what is the result? — nothing but bitterness and fear. Dear Philip, do not despise me, for I speak from my heart. I ask your pardon for all the scandal that I may have given you and I protest that whatever evil I may have spoken about anyone, I now retract it and beg of you to forget it all, and to pray for me that God may forgive me likewise.

Probably much of this self-accusatory tone. was due to the sensitiveness of conscience which developed in the noviceship, but there must have been a certain relative frivolity in the years which preceded, and his friends, we are told, used in playful exaggeration to call him il damerino, “the ladies’ man“. As a consequence the call of God does not seem to have been at once attended to even when it was clearly heard. Before his very promising career as a student was completed he fell dangerously ill, and he promised if he recovered to enter religion; but when he was restored to health he took no immediate step to carry his purpose into effect. After the lapse of a year or two he was again brought to death’s door by an attack of laryngitis, or possibly quinsy, and he renewed his promise, having recourse in this extremity to a relic of the Jesuit martyr St Andrew Bobola, just then beatified. Once more he was cured, miraculously as he believed, and he made application to
enter the Society of Jesus. But though he was accepted, he still delayed—after all, he was not yet seventeen—possibly because he doubted whether God was not calling him to a more penitential life than that of the Society. Then his favourite sister died during an outbreak of cholera, and so, stricken with a sense of the precarious nature of all earthly ties, he at last, with the full approval of his Jesuit confessor, made choice of the Passionists. Thus in September 1856 he entered their noviceship at Morrovalle, where he was given the name in religion of Brother Gabriel-of-our-Lady-of-Sorrows.

The rest of Gabriel’s career is simply a record of an extraordinary effort to attain perfection in small things. His brightness, his spirit of prayer, his charity to the poor, his consideration for others, his exact observance of every rule, his desire (constantly checked by wise superiors) to adopt forms of bodily mortification which were beyond his strength, his absolute submission in all matters in which he could practise obedience evidently made an ineffaceable impression upon all who lived with him. Their testimony in the process of his beatification is most con­vincing. It was a life of continual self-surrender, but the most charming feature of the whole was the cheerfulness with which the offering was made. Naturally there is not much to chronicle in such an existence. But as an illustration of the simple means—simple except for the weariness of the endless renewal of such acts of self-repression—by which heroic sanctity may be reached, the following may be quoted from one of his biographies:  He was always eager to do more bodily penance, and for a long time, to take a single example, he asked permission to wear a chain set with sharp points. Leave was refused, but he still begged for it with modest persistence. His director replied, “You want to wear the little chain!? I tell you what you really ought to have is a chain on your will—yes, that is what you need. Go away, don’t speak to me about it.” And he retired deeply mortified. Another time when he was asking leave for the same thing, “Well, yes,” I said, “wear it by all means; but you must wear it outside your habit and in public, too, that all may see what a man of great mortification you are.” Though stung to the quick, he wore it as I directed besides, to satisfy his thirst for penances, I made fun of him before his companions but he accepted all in silence, and did not even ask to be dispensed from thus becoming a laughing stock.

After only four years spent in religion, in the course of which Brother Gabriel had given rise to the expectation of great and fruitful work for souls once the priesthood had been attained, symptoms of tuberculous disease manifested them­selves so unmistakably that from henceforth he had to be exempted, very much against his will, from all the more arduous duties of community observance. Patience under weakness and bodily suffering, and a ready submission to the restrictions imposed by superiors upon his ardent nature, became the keynote of his effort after perfection. Young and old were indescribably impressed by the example which he gave, but he himself shrank from any soft of favourable notice, and not long before his death he succeeded in securing the destruction of all his private notes of the spiritual favours which God had bestowed upon him. He passed away in great peace in the early morning of February 27, 1862, at Isola di Gran Sasso in the Abruzzi. St Gabriel-of-our-Lady-of-Sorrows was canonized in 1920.

See N. Ward, Life of Gabriel of our Lady of Sorrows (1904) ; Anselmi de Ia Dolorosa, Vida de San Gabriel de la Virgen Dolorosa (1920); Lettere & San Gabriele della Addolorasa (1920) and C. Hollobough, St Gabriel, Passionist (1923).
O angelic young Gabriel, who, by your ardent love for Jesus Crucified and your compassion for Our Lady of Sorrows, were on earth a mirror of innocence and an example of every virtue; we turn to you full of confidence to implore your aid. Oh! How many evil things and afflictions, O how many dangers, assail our young people from every side, seeking to make them lose the faith. You, who lived always a life of faith, who amongst the temptations of the world maintained purity and virginity; turn your eyes to us, cast us a compassionate and pitying glance! Help us obtain the grace to persevere in faith; we invoke your name; we cannot doubt the efficaciousness of your patronage!
Confident of your help, we pray, O Sweet Saint, to obtain this particular grace for the greater glory of God and for the good of souls (here mention your request). Finally, obtain for us from Jesus Christ Crucified, through Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, resignation and peace so that we might always live the Christian life, throughout all the times of this present life, so that we might one day be happy with you in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Amen 
Adapted from www.geocities.com/saintgabrielpassionist/prayers

1862 St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows  (1838-1862 ) 
Born in Italy into a large family and baptized Francis, he lost his mother when he was only four years old. He was educated by the Jesuits and, having been cured twice of serious illnesses, came to believe that God was calling him to the religious life. Young Francis wished to join the Jesuits but was turned down, probably because of his age, not yet 17. Following the death of a sister to cholera, his resolve to enter religious life became even stronger and he was accepted by the Passionists.
Upon entering the novitiate he was given the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Ever popular and cheerful, Gabriel quickly was successful in his effort to be faithful in little things. His spirit of prayer, love for the poor, consideration of the feelings of others, exact observance of the Passionist Rule as well as his bodily penances—always subject to the will of his wise superiors— made a deep impression on everyone.
   His superiors had great expectations of Gabriel as he prepared for the priesthood, but after only four years of religious life symptoms of tuberculosis appeared. Ever obedient, he patiently bore the painful effects of the disease and the restrictions it required, seeking no special notice. He died peacefully on February 27, 1862, at age 24, having been an example to both young and old.

Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was canonized in 1920.
Comment:    When we think of achieving great holiness by doing little things with love and grace, Therese of Lisieux comes first to mind. Like her, Gabriel died painfully from tuberculosis. Together they urge us to tend to the small details of daily life, to be considerate of others’ feelings every day. Our path to sanctity, like theirs, probably lies not in heroic doings but in performing small acts of kindness every day.

Francis Possenti, the 11th of thirteen children of the lawyer Sante Possenti, was raised in a wealthy family that was both pious and cultured. His mother died when he was only four years old, and his father had just been appointed the registrar of Spoleto.
He was so inordinately vain and innocently, but passionately, devoted to worldly pleasures, that his friends referred to him as il damerino ('the ladies' man'). Before he finished school at the Jesuit college at Spoleto, he fell dangerously ill, and he promised that if he recovered, he would enter religious life. Upon his recovery, however, he did not act immediately upon his promise. Sure, he joined the Jesuits at age 17 but delayed entering the novitiate.

A year or two later, when he fell ill again, he renewed his promise. Once again he recovered. This time he fulfilled his vow and astonished everyone when he announced that he was entering the Passionist Order at Morovalle near Macerata immediately upon his graduation in 1856.
    St. Gabriel Possenti Image of Saint Gabriel Possenti courtesy of the Passionists
His religious life was one of love throughout--joyous love made all the sweeter by the penances prescribed by his rule, which he fulfilled to the letter. There was nothing extraordinary about him except his fidelity to prayer, his love of mortification, and his joyfulness of spirit.

He was ordained, but, at the age of 23, just after finishing his studies, he was stricken with tuberculosis and died at age 24. Through his intercession it is believed that Saint Gemma Galgani was cured of spinal tuberculosis (Attwater, Benedictines, Butler, Delaney, Encyclopedia, White).

Gabriel is the patron saint of students, particularly those in colleges and seminaries (acting as a model to them), of the clergy, and of young people involved in Catholic Action in Italy (White).

1856 Bl. Augustus Chapdelaine Martyr of China Kwang-si
Born in 1814, in France, Augustus was ordained to the priesthood in the Paris Society of the Foreign Missions. He was sent to China after a brief period of parish work, going to Kwang-si. There he was taken prisoner during the persecution of the Church and was put to death brutally. He was beatified in 1900.

Also known as:  Father Ma; Papa Chapdelaine; Augustus Chapdelaine  Memorial:  27 February; 28 September
Profile:  Youngest of nine children born to Nicolas Chapdelaine and Madeleine Dodeman. Following grammar school, Auguste dropped out to work on the family farm. He early felt a call to the priesthood, but his family opposed it, needing his help on the farm. However, the sudden death of two of his brothers caused them to re-think forcing him to ignore his life's vocation, and they finally approved. He entered the minor seminary at Mortain on 1 October 1834, studying with boys half his age. It led to his being nicknamed Papa Chapdelaine, which stuck with him the rest of his life.

Ordained on 10 June 1843 at age 29. Associate pastor in Bouncy for seven years beginning on 23 February 1844. In 1851 he finally obtained permission from his bishop to enter the foreign missions, and was accepted by French Foreign Missions; he was two years past their age limit, but his zeal for the missions made them approve him anyway. He stayed long enough to say a final Mass, bury his sister, and say good-bye to his family, warning them that he would never see them again. Left Paris for the Chinese missions on 30 April 1852, landing in Singapore on 5 September 1852.

Due to being robbed on the road by bandits, Auguste lost everything he had, and had to fall back and regroup before making his way to his missionary assignment. He reached Kwang-si province in 1854, and was arrested in Su-Lik-Hien ten days later. He spent two to three weeks in prison, but was released, and ministered to the locals for two years, converting hundreds. Arrested on 26 February 1856 during a government crackdown, he was returned to Su-Lik-Hien and sentenced to death for his work. Tortured with and died with Saint Lawrence Pe-Man and Saint Agnes Tsau Kouy. One of the Martyrs of China

Born:  6 January 1814 at La Rochelle-Normande, France  Died:  beheaded on 29 February 1856 in Su-Lik-Hien, Kwang-Si province, China  Beatified:  27 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII  Canonized:  1 October 2000 by Pope John Paul II


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



Day 17 40 Days for Life Dear Readers

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

 
Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Benedict XVI (2005 - 2013) Francis (2013

Cross Not Optional, Says Benedict XVI
Reflects on Peter's "Immature" Faith CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).-
Taking up one's cross isn't an option, it's a mission all Christians are called to, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this today before reciting the midday Angelus with several thousand people gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.
Referring to the Gospel reading for today's Mass, the Holy Father reflected on the faith of Peter, which is shown to be "still immature and too much influenced by the 'mentality of this world.'”  He explained that when Christ spoke openly about how he was to "suffer much, be killed and rise again, Peter protests, saying: 'God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.'"
"It is evident that the Master and the disciple follow two opposed ways of thinking," continued the Pontiff. "Peter, according to a human logic, is convinced that God would never allow his Son to end his mission dying on the cross.  "Jesus, on the contrary, knows that the Father, in his great love for men, sent him to give his life for them, and if this means the passion and the cross, it is right that such should happen."
Christ also knew that "the resurrection would be the last word," Benedict XVI added.
Serious illness
The Pope continued, "If to save us the Son of God had to suffer and die crucified, it certainly was not because of a cruel design of the heavenly Father.  "The cause of it is the gravity of the sickness of which he must cure us: an evil so serious and deadly that it will require all of his blood. 
"In fact, it is with his death and resurrection that Jesus defeated sin and death, reestablishing the lordship of God."

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.