Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart
From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

Octáva sancti Stéphani Protomártyris.
       The Octave of St. Stephen, the first martyr.

St. Basil said: “The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”

 Saint of the Day January 02 Quarto Nonas Januárii.  
Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here
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!)

Pope Benedict XVI to The Catholic Church In China {whole article here }
The saints “a cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.
Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  JANUARY

The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Thursday, January 02, 2014 (Memorial)
Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors 
1 John 2:22-28 Psalm 98:1-4 John 1:19-28
God does not command us to live in hair shirts and chains, or to chastise our flesh with scourges,
but to love Him above all things and our neighbor as ourselves.  -- St Charles of Sezze
January 2 - Saint Basil and Saint Gregory of Nazianzus –
Memorial of the Panaghia Portaitissa (Holy Guardian of the Door - Greece, Mount Athos)
     
  The mere invocation of her name is sweet to my heart
Many are the marvels and mercies that I have witnessed at the hands of the Lord and of the Mother of God but there is naught I can render in return for this love of theirs.
What could I give our most holy sovereign Lady for coming to me and bringing enlightenment, instead of turning away in loathing for my sin?
I did not behold her with my eyes but the Holy Spirit gave me to know her through her words, which were filled with grace, and my spirit rejoices and my soul leaps to her in love, so that the mere invocation of her name is sweet to my heart.
Saint Silouan the Athonite (1866-1938)
Excerpt from: Saint Silouan the Athonite, XI, On the Mother of God, by archimandrite sophrony (Sakharov),
Russian translated by Rosemary Edmonds, Stavropegic Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, Essex, 1991, p. 390-393
 
Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors (Memorial)
Saint John, Son of Mary (II)  - Memorial of Panaghia Portaitissa, the Holy Guardian of the Door of Mount Athos
When we take a good look at Saint John's life, we see the fantastic privileges he received which led him to become the "Eagle" that Tradition sees him as. John was first a disciple of John the Baptist, then a disciple of Jesus for 3 years. After that he spent about twenty years alone with the Blessed Virgin, the mother of memory, who helped him to mature his thoughts into the surprisingly perceptive and precise gospel that he preached orally for 40 years before receiving the great vision of the Revelation. This last book of the Bible reveals a sharp interpretation of the mystery of Christ through the meditation of the mystery of the Incarnation-a mystery he meditated with Our Lady for many long years.
It was John, the son of Zebedee, the Apostle and Evangelist, who heard from the Cross the words of Christ: "Behold, your mother." But first Christ had said to his mother: "Woman, behold, your son." This was a wonderful testament.
As he left this world, Jesus Christ gave a man, a simple human being to his mother, to be like a son for her: John. He entrusted him to her. And, as a consequence of this giving and entrusting, Mary became the mother of John.
The Mother of God became the mother of man.
From that hour John "took her into his own home" and became the earthly guardian of the mother of his Master; for sons have the right and duty to care for their mothers. John became by Christ's will the son of the Mother of God. And in John every human being became her child.
John Paul II Excerpt from Homily at Mass in Fatima, May 13, 1982

January 2 - Memorial of the Portaitissa (Mt. Athos, Greece) The Gatekeeper and Guardian (I)
The Iberian Icon of the Most-Holy Virgin, which is especially honored above all of the icons of Mt. Athos, first appeared about the middle of the 9th Century. The Holy Orthodox Church at that time was profoundly agitated by fresh waves of iconoclasm under Emperor Theophilus, and to protect the Holy Icons from being burnt and desecrated, pious people tried to hide or set them afloat on swift rivers or seas, entrusting their destiny to God's will.

Such was the case of the Iberian Icon of the Mother of God. According to Church Tradition, to save the icon, a widow from the town of Nicaea set the icon afloat on the waters of the sea, entrusting it into the hands of the Theotokos. But as the widow and her son watched, the Holy Image did not disappear into the water, instead it floated westward in an upright position. This moved the widow's son to dedicate himself to God and he secretly left for Thessalonica and from there to Mt. Athos, where he settled after taking monastic vows at the Iberian Monastery (Iveron).
It was he who told the monks there about the icon and thus preserved its sacred memory.

One day in the latter half of the 10th century, the monks of Iveron Monastery saw a pillar of fire rising from the sea. It continued for several days and nights. Soon the monks who gathered on the shore saw an icon of the Madonna which seemed to be standing upright on the surface of the water, giving off rays of light. The mystery of the miraculous appearance of the icon was revealed by the Holy Mother of God herself to Gabriel, a pious hermit of Iveron, whom she willed to walk over the water and receive the icon in his hands. With great rejoicing and ceremony the monks greeted the Holy Image on the shore and a chapel was built on the spot soon after.
Source: http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/truth

379 St. Basil the Great -- Doctor of the Church
  vast learning constant activity, genuine eloquence immense charity
Patron of hospital administrators
He is to monks of the East what St. Benedict is to the West and his principles influence Eastern monasticism today.
THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS
3rd-4th v. St. Artaxus Martyr with Acutus & companions
 
305 commemoration of many holy martyrs, who preferred maryterdom to giving up Códices
3rd v. St. Isidore of Antioch bishop, martyred
  320 St. Argeus martyr soldiers with brothers Narcissus and Marcellus at Tomi 
  379 St. Basil the Great  vast learning and constant activity, genuine eloquence and immense charity Patron of
        hospital administrators

      St. Martinian Bishop of Milan Council of Ephesus foe of Nestorianism
4th v. Nítriæ, in Ægypto, beáti Isidóri, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
 
394 ST MACARIUS OF ALEXANDRIA
  560 St. Aspasius Bishop in Councils of Orleans, in 533, 541, and 549
7th v. St. Munchin Patron of Limerick or “little monk.”
 672? ST VINCENTIAN; There is nothing even to show that such a person as St Vincentian ever existed.
  630 St. Blidulf Monk at Bobbio reformed the court and the area
 827
St. Adelard monk Charles Martel grandson King Pepin nephew Charlemagne 1st cousin
1146? BD AYRALD, Bishop of MAURIENNE; “Here lies Ayrald, a man of noble blood, monk of Portes, glory of
        pontiffs, a light of the Church, stay of the unfortunate, shining with goodness and unnumbered miracles.”
1530 BD STEPHANA QUINZANI, VIRGIN; third order of St Dominic, she spent her time in nursing the sick and relieving the poor until she was able herself to found a convent at Soncino;  performed many miracles of healing and to have multiplied food and money;
1833 St. Seraphim of Sarov Russian monk/mystic high honorific title of starets Vision from Mary
1836 St. Caspar del Bufalo Various miracles many graces were obtained by his intercession

“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).  

On Death and Life
"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"

DECREES OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS VATICAN CITY, 19 DEC 2011 (VIS)
 Saint of the Day January 02 Quarto Nonas Januárii.  
The saints “a cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.

The Rosary html Mary Mother of GOD -- Her Rosary Here
Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
Mary's Divine Motherhood
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
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.”
 (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 61).
Feasts of Our Lady.html January to December
breviary.net/martyrology/mart01 02 stlukeorthodox.com/html/saints/  usccb.org  ewtn.com  St Patricks 01 02
domcentral.org/life/martyr Dec syriac   oca.org   glaubenszeugen.de/tage/kai/02 Serbian   http://www.copticchurch.net  Melkite
Monthly Saints with pics here http://www.stfrancisenid.com/memorials.htm  antiochian.org/AW-WomenSaints--wonderful icons
Lutheran Saints  One Saint per day stthomasirondequoit.com/SaintsAlive/index.htm    stjohndc.org  God's Humourous Saints

Join Mary of Nazareth Project help us build the International Marian Center of Nazareth.

http://www.worldpriest.com/
THE EUCHARIST, A MYSTERY TO BE BELIEVED POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
Morning Prayer and Hymn    Meditation of the Day    Prayer for Priests    Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here
How to Stay Out of PURGATORY -- How to Get others Out     POPES html    Parents of Saints html   
The_Litany_of_the_Blessed_Virgin.html  
Patron_Saints.html    Angels and Archangels html
Marian Apparitions. html  Doctors_of_the_Church
   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.
Miracles 100   200   300   400   500   600   700    800   900   1000  
 
1100   1200   1300   1400  1500  1600  1700  1800   1900 Lay Saints
The POPES HTML
Pius IX 1846--1878 • Leo XIII 1878-1903 • Pius X 1903-1914• Benedict XV 1914-1922 • Pius XI 1922-1939 • Pius XII 1939-1958 • John XXIII 1958-1963 • Paul VI 1963 to 1978 • John Paul • John Paul II 10/16/1975-4/2/2005 Benedict XVI

"The answers to many of life's questions can be found by reading the Lives of the Saints. They teach us how to overcome obstacles and difficulties, how to stand firm in our faith, and how to struggle against evil and emerge victorious."  1913 Saint Barsanuphius of Optina
The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR benefit of others.
Non est inventus similis illis

God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heaven.

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 Saints today
Pope Warns Against Domesticating Memory of Salvation
At Morning Mass, Says It's 'So Wonderful to Be Saved' That We Must Feast
- Pope Francis reflected today on the joy of the Christian life, specifically, the awareness that Christ came to save us.

He celebrated his habitual morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae with the eight cardinals who he has chosen to be his advisory council. The council is meeting these days at the Vatican.

Vatican Radio reported that the Holy Father's homily was drawn from the First Reading, from Chapter 8 of Nehemiah, which describes the people's rejoicing as Ezra read from the Book of the Law.

The People of God, he said, “had the memory of the Law, but it was a distant memory.” The recovery of the Law brought them "the experience of the closeness of salvation."
“This is important not only in the great moments in history, but also in the moments of our life: we all have the memory of salvation, everyone. I wonder, though: is this memory close to us, or is it a memory a bit far away, spread a little thin, a bit archaic, a little like a museum [piece]… it can get far away [from us]… and when the memory is not close, when we do not experience the closeness of memory, it enters into a process of transformation, and the memory becomes a mere recollection.”
When memory is distant, Francis added, “it is transformed into recollection, but when it comes near, it turns into joy, and this is the joy of the people.” This, he continued, constitutes “a principle of our Christian life.” When memory is close, said Pope Francis, “it warms the heart and gives us joy.”:

“This joy is our strength. The joy of the nearness of memory. Domesticated memory, on the other hand, which moves away and becomes a mere recollection, does not warm the heart. It gives us neither joy nor strength. This encounter with memory is an event of salvation, it is an encounter with the love of God that has made history with us and saved us. It is a meeting of salvation - and it is so wonderful to be saved, that we need to make feast.”

The Church, said Pope Francis, has “[Christ’s] memory”: the “memory of the Passion of the Lord.” We too, he said, run the risk of “pushing this memory away, turning it into a mere recollection, in a rote exercise."
“Every week we go to church, or perhaps when someone dies, we go to the funeral … and this memory often times bores us, because it is not near. It is sad, but the Mass is often turned into a social event and we are not close to the memory of the Church, which is the presence of the Lord before us. Imagine this beautiful scene in the Book of Nehemiah: Ezra who carries the Book of Israel’s memory and the people once again grow near to their memory and weep, the heart is warmed, is joyful, it feels that the joy of the Lord is its strength – and the people make a feast, without fear, simply.”

“Let us ask the Lord,” concluded Pope Francis, “for the grace to always have His memory close to us, a memory close
and not domesticated by habit, by so many things, and pushed away into mere recollection.”
Pope Francis VATICAN CITY, October 03, 2013 (Zenit.org)

"Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive it, and it shall come to you. St. Mark 11:24"

Pope Francis

THE PSALTER OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY  PSALM 128

My enemies have often troubled me from my youth up:
deliver me, O Lady, and vindicate my cause from them.

Give them not power over my soul: keep my interior and my exterior.

Obtain for us pardon for our sins: let it be given to us by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Make us do penance worthily and praiseworthily: that we may come to God by a blessed end.

Show us then with a gracious and serene countenance: the glorious fruit of thy womb.

Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven; give us this day our daily Bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil; Amen

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee, Blessed art Thou amoung women, and Blessed is the fruit of Thy womb JESUS,  Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death; Amen
Eternal rest, grant unto them of Lord, and let Thy Perpetual Light shine upon them;  Amen.
Indulgence of 500 days for each of these prayers.
Paul VI_Athenagoras_05_01_1964
  Quote: Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Instruction on the Contemplative Life includes this passage:  
 "To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).

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

Benedict_XVI_Patriarch_Bartholomew

Benedict XVI_Archbishop_Hilarion
Benedict XVI receives Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion n September 18th, Pope Benedict XVI;  Archbishop Hilarion, president of the Department for External Church Affairs of the Patriarchate of Moscow.
The Orthodox Archbishop is currently visiting the Vatican at the invitation of Cardinal Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
This Pontifical Council underlined that the visit will confirm the ties of friendship between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, with a view to closer collaboration and to favor the presence of the Church in the lives of the peoples of Europe and the world.
In addition, a further step in ecumenical relations is scheduled for the month of October in Cyprus: the meeting of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, which will address the theme of Petrine Primacy.
Benedict XVI met with Aram I Catholicos of Cilicia, the highest authority of the Orthodox Church.  The Pope remembered the martyrs of the Armenian Church and the Armenian genocide, without explicitly mentioning it, and denounced the persecution of Christians in modern times.  Benedict XVI
That testimony culminated in the twentieth century, which proved a time of Unspeakable suffering for your people. Most recently we have all been saddened by the escalation of persecution and violence against Christians in parts of the Middle East and elsewhere.
The Catholicos is based in Lebanon. That is why, the Pope said, he prays every day for peace in this country and throughout the Middle East. Benedict XVI said there will only be peace in the region when each country is free to decide its own destiny and when every ethnic and religious group accepts and respects the others. Aram I emphasized that the churches must be means for peace and to achieve that they must recognize all genocides, even the Armenian.. The Catholicos recalled his meeting with John Paul II, adding that this visit represents a new step for ecumenical dialogue.
Aram I Catholicos
Our meeting is an opportunity to pray and reflect together, and to renew our commitment and efforts for Christian unity.
Armenian church members from all over the world join with Catholicos in making pilgrimages to Rome.

The great psalm of the Passion, Chapter 22, whose first verse “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Jesus pronounced on the cross, ended with the vision: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him
For kingship belongs to the LORD, the ruler over the nations. All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage. And I will live for the LORD; my descendants will serve you. The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought.
Pope Benedict XVI to The Catholic Church In China {whole article here} 2000 years of the Catholic Church in China
The saints “a cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.

THE PSALTER OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY  PSALM 97

Sing to Our Lady a new song: for she hath done wonderful things.
In the sight of nations she hath revealed her mercy: her name is heard even to the ends of the earth.
Be mindful, O Lady, of the poor and the wretched: and support them by the help of thy holy refreshment.
For thou, O Lady, art sweet and true: exceedingly patient and full of compassion.
Tread upon the enemies of our souls: and crush with thy holy arm their contumacy.


Glory be to the Father who created Heaven and earth; His only Son who lived and died for all of us;
and the Holy Spirit the Lord giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father and Son, with the Father and Son He is Worshiped and Glorified, and He has spoken through the prophets:  Amen.


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Saint Frances Xavier Seelos  Practical Guide to Holiness
1. Go to Mass with deepest devotion. 2. Spend a half hour to reflect upon your main failing & make resolutions to avoid it.
3. Do daily spiritual reading for at least 15 minutes, if a half hour is not possible.  4. Say the rosary every day.
5. Also daily, if at all possible, visit the Blessed Sacrament; toward evening, meditate on the Passion of Christ for a half hour, 6.  Conclude the day with evening prayer & an examination of conscience over all the faults & sins of the day.
7.  Every month make a review of the month in confession.
8. Choose a special patron every month & imitate that patron in some special virtue.
9. Precede every great feast with a novena that is nine days of devotion. 10. Try to begin & end every activity with a Hail Mary

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
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,  Fatima Prayer, Angel of Peace
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 general and binds all the followers of Christ.
God loves variety. He doesn't mass-produce his saints. Every saint is unique each 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 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.
The 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary ) Revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan)
1.    Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces. 2.    I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary. 3.    The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies. 4.    It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of people from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things.  Oh, that soul would sanctify them by this means.  5.    The soul that recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish. 6.    Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying themselves to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune.  God will not chastise them in His justice, they shall not perish by an unprovided death; if they be just, they shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life. 7.    Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church. 8.    Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the Saints in Paradise. 9.    I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary. 10.    The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.  11.    You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary. 12.    I shall aid all those who propagate the Holy Rosary in their necessities. 13.    I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death. 14.    All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ. 15.    Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Aramaic dialect of Edessa, now known as Syriac
The exact date of the introduction of Christianity into Edessa {Armenian Ourhaï in Arabic Er Roha, commonly Orfa or Urfa, its present name} is not known. It is certain, however, that the Christian community was at first made up from the Jewish population of the city. According to an ancient legend, King Abgar V, Ushana, was converted by Addai, who was one of the seventy-two disciples. In fact, however, the first King of Edessa to embrace the Christian Faith was Abgar IX (c. 206) becoming official kingdom religion.
  Christian council held at Edessa early as 197 (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., V,xxiii).
In 201 the city was devastated by a great flood, and the Christian church was destroyed (“Chronicon Edessenum”, ad. an. 201).
In 232 the relics of the Apostle St. Thomas were brought from India, on which occasion his Syriac Acts were written.
Under Roman domination martyrs suffered at Edessa: Sts. Scharbîl and Barsamya, under Decius; Sts. Gûrja, Schâmôna, Habib, and others under Diocletian. 
In the meanwhile Christian priests from Edessa evangelized Eastern Mesopotamia and Persia, established the first Churches in the kingdom of the Sassanides.  Atillâtiâ, Bishop of Edessa, assisted at the Council of Nicæa (325). The “Peregrinatio Silviæ” (or Etheriæ) (ed. Gamurrini, Rome, 1887, 62 sqq.) gives an account of the many sanctuaries at Edessa about 388.
Although Hebrew had been the language of the ancient Israelite kingdom, after their return from Exile the Jews turned more and more to Aramaic, using it for parts of the books of Ezra and Daniel in the Bible. By the time of Jesus, Aramaic was the main language of Palestine, and quite a number of texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls are also written in Aramaic.
Aramaic continued to be an important language for Jews, alongside Hebrew, and parts of the Talmud are written in it.
After Arab conquests of the seventh century, Arabic quickly replaced Aramaic as the main language of those who converted to Islam, although in out of the way places, Aramaic continued as a vernacular language of Muslims.
Aramaic, however, enjoyed its greatest success in Christianity. Although the New Testament wins written in Greek, Christianity had come into existence in an Aramaic-speaking milieu, and it was the Aramaic dialect of Edessa, now known as Syriac, that became the literary language of a large number of Christians living in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire and in the Persian Empire, further east. Over the course of the centuries the influence of the Syriac Churches spread eastwards to China (in Xian, in western China, a Chinese-Syriac inscription dated 781 is still to be seen); to southern India where the state of Kerala can boast more Christians of Syriac liturgical tradition than anywhere else in the world.
Meeting of the Saints  walis (saints of Allah)
Great men covet to embrace martyrdom for a cause and principle.
So was the case with Hazrat Ali. He could have made a compromise with the evil forces of his time and, as a result, could have led a very comfortable, easy and luxurious life.  But he was not a person who would succumb to such temptations. His upbringing, his education and his training in the lap of the holy Prophet made him refuse such an offer.
Rabia Al-Basri (717–801 C.E.) She was first to set forth the doctrine of mystical love and who is widely considered to be the most important of the early Sufi poets. An elderly Shia pointed out that during his pre-Partition childhood it was quite common to find pictures and portraits of Shia icons in Imambaras across the country.
Shah Abdul Latif: The Exalted Sufi Master born 1690 in a Syed family; died 1754. In ancient times, Sindh housed the exemplary Indus Valley Civilisation with Moenjo Daro as its capital, and now, it is the land of a culture which evolved from the teachings of eminent Sufi saints. Pakistan is home to the mortal remains of many Sufi saints, the exalted among them being Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, a practitioner of the real Islam, philosopher, poet, musicologist and preacher. He presented his teaching through poetry and music - both instruments sublime - and commands a very large following, not only among Muslims but also among Hindus and Christians. Sindh culture: The Shah is synonymous with Sindh. He is the very fountainhead of Sindh's culture. His message remains as fresh as that of any present day poet, and the people of Sindh find solace from his writings. He did indeed think for Sindh. One of his prayers, in exquisite Sindhi, translates thus: “Oh God, may ever You on Sindh bestow abundance rare! Beloved! All the world let share Thy grace, and fruitful be.”
Shia Ali al-Hadi, died 868 and son Hassan al-Askari 874. These saints are the 10th and 11th of Shia's 12 most revered Imams. Baba Farid Sufi 1398 miracle, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki renowned Muslim Sufi saint scholar miracles 569 A.H. [1173 C.E.] hermit gave to poor, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti greatest mystic of his time born 533 Hijri (1138-39 A.D.), Hazrat Ghuas-e Azam, Hazrat Bu Ali Sharif, and Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Sufi Saint Hazrath Khwaja Syed Mohammed Badshah Quadri Chisty Yamani Quadeer (RA)
1236-1325 welcomed people of all faiths & all walks of life

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Eternal Word Television Network 5817 Old Leeds Rd. Irondale, AL 35210  USA
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Mother Angelica saving souls is this beautiful womans journey Shrine_of_The_Most_Blessed_Sacrament
Colombia was among the countries Mother Angelica visited. 
In Bogotá, a Salesian priest - Father Juan Pablo Rodriguez - brought Mother and the nuns to the Sanctuary of the Divine Infant Jesus to attend Mass.  After Mass, Father Juan Pablo took them into a small Shrine which housed the miraculous statue of the Child Jesus. Mother Angelica stood praying at the side of the statue when suddenly the miraculous image came alive and turned towards her.  Then the Child Jesus spoke with the voice of a young boy:  “Build Me a Temple and I will help those who help you.” 

Thus began a great adventure that would eventually result in the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, a Temple dedicated to the Divine Child Jesus, a place of refuge for all. Use this link to read a remarkable story about
The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Father Reardon, Editor of The Catholic Bulletin for 14 years Lover of the poor; A very Holy Man of God.
Monsignor Reardon Protonotarius Apostolicus
 
Pastor 42 years BASILICA OF SAINT MARY Minneapolis MN
America's First Basilica Largest Nave in the World
August 7, 1907-ground broke for the foundation
by Archbishop Ireland-laying cornerstone May 31, 1908
James M. Reardon Publication History of Basilica of Saint Mary 1600-1932
James M. Reardon Publication  History of the Basilica of Saint Mary 1955 {update}

Brief History of our Beloved Holy Priest Here and his published books of Catholic History in North America
Reardon, J.M. Archbishop Ireland; Prelate, Patriot, Publicist, 1838-1918.
A Memoir (St. Paul; 1919); George Anthony Belcourt Pioneer Catholic Missionary of the Northwest 1803-1874 (1955);
The Catholic Church IN THE DIOCESE OF ST. PAUL from earliest origin to centennial achievement
1362-1950 (1952);

The Church of Saint Mary of Saint Paul 1875-1922;
  (1932)
The Vikings in the American Heartland;
The Catholic Total Abstinence Society in Minnesota;
James Michael Reardon Born in Nova Scotia, 1872;  Priest, ordained by Bishop Ireland;
Member -- St. Paul Seminary faculty.
Affiliations and Indulgence Litany of Loretto in Stained glass windows here.  Nave Sacristy and Residence Here
Sanctuary
spaces between them filled with grilles of hand-forged wrought iron the
life of our Blessed Lady After the crucifixon
Apostle statues Replicas of those in St John Lateran--Christendom's earliest Basilica.
Ordered by Rome's first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, Popes' cathedral and official residence first millennium of Christian history.

The only replicas ever made:  in order from west to east {1932}.
Every Christian must be a living book wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel
 
It Makes No Sense
Not To Believe In GOD
THE BLESSED MOTHER AND ISLAM By Father John Corapi. Site http://www.fathercorapi
  June 19, Trinity Sunday, 1991: Ordained Catholic Priest under Pope John Paul II;
then 2,000,000 miles delivering the Gospel to millions, and continues to do so.
By Father John Corapi, SOLT
Among the most important titles we have in the Catholic Church for the Blessed Virgin Mary are Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary. These titles can be traced back to one of the most decisive times in the history of the world and Christendom. The Battle of Lepanto took place on October 7 (date of feast of Our Lady of Rosary), 1571. This proved to be the most crucial battle for the Christian forces against the radical Muslim navy of Turkey. Pope Pius V led a procession around St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City praying the Rosary. He showed true pastoral leadership in recognizing the danger posed to Christendom by the radical Muslim forces, and in using the means necessary to defeat it. Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons, and this more than anything was a battle that had its origins in the spiritual order—a true battle between good and evil.

Today we have a similar spiritual battle in progress—a battle between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, truth and lies, life and death. If we do not soon stop the genocide of abortion in the United States, we shall run the course of all those that prove by their actions that they are enemies of God—total collapse, economic, social, and national. The moral demise of a nation results in the ultimate demise of a nation. God is not a disinterested spectator to the affairs of man. Life begins at conception. This is an unalterable formal teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do not accept this you are a heretic in plain English. A single abortion is homicide. The more than 48,000,000 abortions since Roe v. Wade in the United States constitute genocide by definition. The group singled out for death—unwanted, unborn children.

No other issue, not all other issues taken together, can constitute a proportionate reason for voting for candidates that intend to preserve and defend this holocaust of innocent human life that is abortion.

As we watch the spectacle of the world seeming to self-destruct before our eyes, we can’t help but be saddened and even frightened by so much evil run rampant. Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia, North Korea—It is all a disaster of epic proportions displayed in living color on our television screens.  These are not ordinary times and this is not business as usual. We are at a crossroads in human history and the time for Catholics and all Christians to act is now. All evil can ultimately be traced to its origin, which is moral evil. All of the political action, peace talks, international peacekeeping forces, etc. will avail nothing if the underlying sickness is not addressed. This is sin. One person at a time hearts and minds must be moved from evil to good, from lies to truth, from violence to peace.
Islam, an Arabic word that has often been defined as “to make peace,” seems like a living contradiction today. Although it is supposed to be a religion of peace, Islam has been hijacked by Satan and now operates in the dark space of international terrorism.  As we celebrate the birthday of Our Lady, I am proposing that each one of us pray the Rosary for peace. Prayer is what must precede all other activity if that activity is to have any chance of success. Pray for peace, pray the Rosary every day without fail.  There is a great love for Mary among Muslim people. It is not a coincidence that a little village named Fatima is where God chose to have His Mother appear in the twentieth century. Our Lady’s name appears no less than thirty times in the Koran. No other woman’s name is mentioned, not even that of Mohammed’s daughter, Fatima. In the Koran Our Lady is described as “Virgin, ever Virgin.”
Archbishop Fulton Sheen prophetically spoke of the resurgence of Islam in our day. He said it would be through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Islam would be converted. We must pray for this to happen quickly if we are to avert a horrible time of suffering for this poor, sinful world. Turn to our Mother in this time of great peril. Pray the Rosary every day. Then, and only then will there be peace, when the hearts and minds of men are changed from the inside.
Talk is weak. Prayer is strong. Pray!  God bless you, Father John Corapi
Site http://www.fathercorapi

Father Corapi's Biography

Father John Corapi is what has commonly been called a late vocation. In other words, he came to the priesthood other than a young man. He was 44 years old when he was ordained. From small town boy to the Vietnam era US Army, from successful businessman in Las Vegas and Hollywood to drug addicted and homeless, to religious life and ordination to the priesthood by Pope John Paul II, to a life as a preacher of the Gospel who has reached millions with the simple message that God's Name is Mercy!

Father Corapi's academic credentials are quite extensive. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Pace University in the seventies. Then as an older man returned to the university classrooms in preparation for his life as a priest and preacher. He received all of his academic credentials for the Church with honors: a Masters degree in Sacred Scripture from Holy Apostles Seminary and Bachelor, Licentiate, and Doctorate degrees in dogmatic theology from the University of Navarre in Spain.

Since his ordination to the priesthood in 1991 Fr. Corapi has traveled over 2,000,000 miles preaching the Gospel. He has preached in 49 of the 50 states, all of the Canadian provinces except NewFoundland, and several other foreign countries. He is currently engaged in preaching and teaching the Catholic faith by way of the means of social communication: television, radio, the internet, and various other multi-media formats.

  Father John Corapi goes to the heart of the contemporary world's many woes and wars, whether the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, or the Congo, or the natural disasters that seem to be increasing every year, the moral and spiritual war is at the basis of everything. “Our battle is not against human forces,” St. Paul asserts, “but against principalities and powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness...” (Ephesians 6:12). 
The “War to end all wars” is the moral and spiritual combat that rages in the hearts and minds of human beings. The outcome of that  unseen fight largely determines how the battle in the realm of the seen unfolds.  The title talk, “With the Moon Under Her Feet,” is taken from the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation, and deals with the current threat to the world from radical Islam, and the Blessed Virgin Mary's role in the ultimate victory that will result in the conversion of Islam. Few Catholics are aware of the connection between Islam, Fatima, and Guadalupe. Presented in Father Corapi's straight-forward style, you will be both inspired and educated by him.

About Father John Corapi.
Father Corapi is a Catholic priest .
The pillars of father's preaching are basically:
Love for and a relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Leading a vibrant and loving relationship with Jesus Christ
Great love and reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist from Holy Mass to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
An uncompromising love for and obedience to the Holy Father and the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church

LINKS:
Marian Apparitions (over 2000)  India Marian Shrine Lourdes of the East   Lourdes Feb 11- July 16, Loreto, Italy 1858 
China
Marian shrines
May 23, 1995 Zarvintisya Ukraine Lourdes Kenya national Marian shrine    Quang Tri Vietnam La Vang 1798  
Links to Related
Marian Websites  Angels and Archangels
Doctors_of_the_Church   Acts_Of_The_Apostles  Roman Catholic Popes  Purgatory  Uniates
DECREES OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS VATICAN CITY, 19 DEC 2011 (VIS)
The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:

MIRACLES
 - Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the Congregation of the Humble Sister Servants of the Lord (1841-1913).
 - Blessed Jacques Berthieu, French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) (1838-1896).
 - Blessed Maria del Carmen (born Maria Salles y Barangueras), Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching (1848-1911).
 - Blessed Maria Anna Cope, nee Barbara, German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse U.S.A. (1838-1918).
 - Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman (1656-1680).
 - Blessed Pedro Calungsod, Filipino lay catechist and martyr (1654-1672).
 - Blessed Anna Schaffer, German laywoman (1882-1925).
 - Servant of God Louis Brisson, French priest and founder of the Oblates of St. Francis of Sales (1817-1908).
 - Servant of God Luigi Novarese, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Silent Workers of the Cross (1914-1984).
 - Servant of God Maria Luisa (nee Gertrude Prosperi), Italian abbess of the convent of the Order of St. Benedict of Trevi (1799-1847).
 - Servant of God Mother St. Louis (nee Maria Luisa Elisabeth de Lamoignon, widow of Mole de Champlatreux), French foundress of the Sisters of St. Louis (1763-1825).
 - Servant of God Maria Crescencia (nee Maria Angelica Perez), Argentinean professed religious of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Orchard (1897-1932).

MARTYRDOM
- Servant of God Nicola Rusca, Swiss diocesan priest, killed in hatred of the faith (1563-1618).
- Servants of God Luis Orencio (ne Antonio Sola Garriga) and eighteen companions of the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools; Antonio Mateo Salamero, diocesan priest, and Jose Gorostazu Labayen, layman, all killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.
- Servants of God Alberto Maria Marco y Aleman and eight companions of the Order of Carmelites of the Ancient Observance, and Agustin Maria Garcia Tribaldos and fifteen companions of the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools; all killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1937.
- Servants of God Mariano Alcala Perez and eighteen companions of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1937.

HEROIC VIRTUES
 - Servant of God Donato Giannotti, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of Sisters Handmaidens of the Immaculate Conception (1828-1914).
 - Servant of God Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus (ne Henri Grialou), French professed priest of the Order of Discalced Carmelites and founder of the Institute of Notre-Dame de Vie (1894-1967).
 - Servant of God Alphonse-Marie (nee Elisabeth Eppinger), French foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of the Blessed Saviour (1814-1867).
 - Servant of God Marguerite Lucia Szewczyk, Polish foundress of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sorrowful Mother of God - Seraphic Sisters (1828-1905).
 - Servant of God Assunta Marchetti, Italian co-foundress of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles (1871-1948).
 - Servant of God Maria Julitta (nee Teresa Eleonora Ritz), German professed sister of the Congregation of Sisters of the Redeemer (1882-1966).
 - Servant of God Maria Anna Amico Roxas, Italian laywoman and foundress of the Society of St. Ursula (1883-1947).  VIS 20111219 (580)

THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS
“THOU shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins
(Math. i 21). A feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is observed in the Western church on the Sunday that falls between the Circumcision and the Epiphany; and when there is no such Sunday, on this date, January 2.

As we honour Christ’s passion summed up in the material cross, so the name Jesus brings to the mind all that name stands for (cf. Phil. ii 9—10). “To speak of it gives light; to think of it is the food of the soul; to call on it calms and soothes the heart”: so said St Bernard of Clairvaux, than whom no one has spoken of the Holy Name more movingly or more profoundly.

The Council of Lyons in 1274 prescribed a special devotion towards the name of Jesus, and it was to the Order of Preachers that Bd Gregory X specially turned to spread it. But its great diffusion—in the face of a good deal of opposition—was due to the two Friars Minor, St Bernardino of Siena and St John of Capistrano. It was they who popularized the use of the monogram IHS, which is simply an abbreviation of the name Jesus (Ihesus). The subsequent adoption of this monogram as part of the emblem of the Society of Jesus gave it a yet wider diffusion. A feast of the Holy Name was granted by the Holy See to the Franciscans in 1530 and subsequently allowed elsewhere. Not till 1721 was it extended to the whole Western church, and it was not many years later that Pope Benedict XIV’s commission for the reform of the Breviary recommended that it should be withdrawn from the general calendar. The feast is in a sense only a double of the Circumcision, and the lessons of the third nocturn at Matins are taken from St Bernard’s sermons on that mystery.

It is interesting to note that the Name of Jesus figures in the calendar of the Book of Common Prayer, on August 7, the date selected by some late medieval bishops in England and Scotland when they adopted the feast on their own initiative. And Father Edward Caswall’s translation of the lovely Vespers hymn, Jesu dulcis memoria (anonymous, but often wrongly attributed to St Bernard), has made it known perhaps better among Protestants than Catholics. St Bernardino and St John of Capistrano may have been the originators of the Litany of the Holy Name, which in fact is concerned rather with the attributes of our Lord than with His name: Bishop Challoner in the original Garden of the Soul calls it simply the
Litany of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The great English contribution to the devotion was Jesu’s Psalter, by the Bridgettine Richard Whytford, with its triple invocations of Jesu. Nowadays it too often is printed in a debased form.

See the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. x, pp. 319—320; C. Stengel, Sacrosancti nominis Jesus cultus et miracula (1613) lives of St Bernardino of Siena; F. G. Holweck, Calen­darium liturgicum festorum Dei et Dei Matris (1925); and the issue of La Vie Spirituelle for January 1952. For the Eastern tradition of the Holy Name, see La prière de Jesus (Cheve­togne, 1951). An account of the work and projects of Pope Benedict XIV’s commission, referred to above and elsewhere herein, may be most easily found in S. Bäumer, Histoire du bréviaire, vol. ii (1905), cap. 12 (trans. from the German and supplemented by R. Biron).

3rd-4th v. St. Artaxus Martyr with Acutus & companions
Eugenda, Maximianus, Timothy, Tabias, and Vitus. The martyrs were put to death at Syrmium, Pannonia.

305 commemoration of many holy martyrs, who preferred maryterdom to giving up Códices
 Romæ commemorátio plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum, qui, spreto Diocletiáni Imperatóris edícto quo tradi sacri Códices jubebántur, pótius córpora carnifícibus quam sancta dare cánibus maluérunt.
       At Rome, the commemoration of many holy martyrs, who, despising the edict of Emperor Diocletian, which ordered that the sacred books should be delivered up, preferred to offer their bodies to the executioners rather than to give holy things to dogs.

3rd v. St. Isidore of Antioch bishop, martyred
 Antiochíæ pássio beáti Isidóri Epíscopi.
      At Antioch, the passion of blessed Isidore, bishop.
 4th v. Nítriæ, in Ægypto, beáti Isidóri, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
      In Nitria in Egypt, blessed Isidore, bishop and confessor.
320 St. Argeus martyr soldiers with brothers Narcissus and Marcellus at Tomi
 Tomis, in Ponto, sanctórum fratrum Argéi, Narcíssi et Marcellíni púeri.  Hic, sub Licínio Príncipe, cum inter tirónes esset comprehénsus et nollet militáre, hinc, cæsus ad mortem ac diu macerátus in cárcere, demum, in mare demérsus, martyrium consummávit; ejus autem fratres gládio perémpti sunt.
       At Tomis in Pontus, in the time of Emperor Licinius, three holy brothers, Argeus, Narcissus, and the young man Marcellinus.  This last, being enrolled among the new soldiers, and refusing to serve, was beaten almost to death, and for a long while kept in prison.  Being finally cast into the sea, he finished his martyrdom, and his brothers were beheaded.
in Pontus along the southern Black Sea. They are listed as soldiers in the armies of co-Emperor Licinius Licinianus. Argeus and Narcissus were beheaded. Marcellus, a young lad, was imprisoned for a long time after being flogged and was then drowned.
379 St. Basil the Great; Doctor of The Church, vast learning and constant activity, genuine eloquence and immense charity Patron of hospital administrators

379 St Basil The Great, Archbishop of Caesarea and Doctor of The Church, Patriarch of Eastern Monks
St Basil was born at Caesarea, the capital of Cappadocia in Asia Minor, in the year 329. One of a family of ten, which included St Gregory of Nyssa, St Macrina the Younger, and St Peter of Sebaste, he was descended on both sides from Christians who had suffered persecution. His father, St Basil the Elder, and his mother, St Emmelia, were possessed of considerable landed property, and Basil’s early years were spent at the country house of his grandmother, St Macrina, whose example and teaching he never forgot.

   He studied at Constantinople and completed his education at Athens. He had there as fellow students St Gregory of Nazianzus who became his inseparable friend, and Julian, the future emperor and apostate. The two young Cappadocians associated with the most serious-minded of their contemporaries and, according to St Gregory, knew only two streets, those leading to the church and to the schools. As soon as Basil had learnt all that his masters could teach him, he returned to Caesarea. For some years he taught rhetoric in the city, but on the very threshold of a brilliant career he was led to abandon the world through the influence of his eldest sister, Macrina, who, after helping to educate and settle her sisters and youngest brother, had retired with her widowed mother and other women to live a community life on one of the family estates at Annesi on the river Iris.

About the same time Basil appears to have been baptized; and determined from thenceforth to serve God in evangelical poverty, he visited the principal monasteries of Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia to study the religious life. Upon his return he withdrew to a wild and beautiful spot in Pontus, separated by the river Iris from Annesi, and devoted himself to prayer and study. With the disciples who soon gathered round him, including his brother Peter, he formed the first  monastery in Asia Minor and for them he organized the life and enunciated the principles which have continued through the centuries down to the present day to regulate the lives of monks of the Eastern church. Basil lived the life of a monk in the strict sense for only five years; but in the history of Christian monachism he ranks in importance with St Benedict himself. *[*St Basil’s “new range of ideas” is finely summarized by Abbot Cuthbert Butler in the Cambridge Medieval History vol i pp 528-530.]

At this time the Arian heresy was at its height, and heretical emperors were persecuting the orthodox. In 363 Basil was persuaded to be ordained deacon and priest at Caesarea; but the archbishop, Eusebius, became jealous of his influence, and the saint quietly retired again to Pontus to aid in the foundation and direction of new monasteries. Caesarea, however, could not spare him for long. In 365, St Gregory of Nazianzus, on behalf of the orthodox, fetched Basil from his retreat to assist them in the defence of their faith, their clergy, and their churches. A reconciliation was effected between him and Eusebius, Basil remained on in Caesarea to become the bishop’s right hand and actually to rule the church, whilst tactfully giving credit to Eusebius for all that he was really doing himself.

During a season of drought followed by famine he not only distributed his maternal inheritance in charity, but he also organized a great system of relief with a soup kitchen in which he could be seen, girt with an apron, dealing out food to the hungry. Eusebius died in 370, and Basil, in spite of considerable opposition, was elected to fill the vacant see on June 14—to the great joy of St Athanasius and the equally great mortification of the Arian emperor, Valens. It was indeed an important post and in Basil’s case a difficult one, because as bishop of Caesarea he was exarch of Pontus and metropolitan over fifty suffragans, many of whom had opposed his election and continued to be hostile until by patience and charity he was able to win their confidence and support.

Within twelve months of Basil’s accession, the Emperor Valens was in Caesarea, after having conducted in Bithynia and Galatia a ruthless campaign of persecution. He had sent on in advance the prefect Modestus, to induce Basil to submit or at any rate to agree to some compromise. Neither to Modestus, however, nor to the emperor would the holy bishop yield, either to keep silence about Arianism or to ad­mit Arians to communion. Promises and threats were equally useless. “Nothing short of violence can avail against such a man”, was the report of Modestus to his master, and violence Valens was unwilling—perhaps afraid—to attempt. He decided in favour of banishment, but thrice in succession the reed pen with which he was signing the edict split in his hand. A weak man himself, he was overawed and moved to reluctant admiration by Basil’s determination, and eventually took his departure, never again to interfere with the ecclesiastical affairs of Caesarea.

This contest ended, the saint soon found himself involved in another struggle, owing to the division of Cappadocia into two civil provinces and the consequent claim of Anthimus, Bishop of Tyana, to be metropolitan of New Cappadocia. The dispute was an unfortunate one for Basil, not so much because he was obliged to yield to the division of his archdiocese, as because it led to an estrangement from St Gregory of Nazianzus, whom he insisted on consecrating to the bishopric of Sasima, a miserable town on debatable ground between the two Cappadocias.

Whilst he was thus engaged in defending the church of Caesarea against attacks upon its faith and jurisdiction, St Basil was no less zealously fulfilling his strictly pastoral duties. Even on working days he preached morning and evening to congregations so vast that he himself compared them to the sea. His people were in the habit of making their communion every Sunday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Amongst other practices which he had observed on his travels and had introduced among his flock, was that of assembling in church before sunrise to sing psalms. For the benefit of the sick poor he organized outside the gate of Caesarea a hospital which St Gregory of Nazianzus described as almost a new city and worthy to be reckoned one of the wonders of the world. It came to be called the Basiliad and continued to be famous long after its founder’s death. Away from his own episcopal residence, in spite of chronic ill-health, he made frequent visitations into mountainous districts, and by his vigilant supervision of his clergy and his insistence on the ordination of none but suitable candidates he made of his archdiocese a model of ecclesiastical order and discipline.

He was less successful in his efforts on behalf of the Church outside his own province. Left by the death of St Athanasius the champion of orthodoxy in the East, he strove persistently to rally and unite his fellow Catholics who, crushed by Arian tyranny and rent by schisms and dissensions amongst themselves, seemed threatened with extinction. His advances, however, were ill-received and he found himself misunderstood, misrepresented, and accused of ambition and of heresy. Even appeals which he and his friends made to Pope St Damasus and the Western bishops to intervene in the affairs of the East and to heal the troubles met with little response—apparently because aspersions upon their good faith had been made in Rome itself. “For my sins I seem to be unsuccessful in everything” wrote St Basil in a mood of deep discouragement.

Nevertheless, relief was at hand, and that from an unexpected quarter. On August 9, 378, the Emperor Valens was mortally wounded at the battle of Adrian­ople, and with the accession of his nephew, Gratian, came the end of the Arian ascendancy in the East. When the news reached St Basil he was on his death-bed, but it brought him consolation in his last moments. He died on January 1, 379 at the age of forty-nine, worn out by his austerities, his hard work, and a painful disease. The whole of Caesarea mourned him as a father and protector—pagans, Jews, and strangers joining in the general lamentation. Seventy-two years after his death the Council of Chalcedon described him as “The great Basil, the minister of grace who has expounded the truth to the whole earth”. He was undoubtedly one of the most eloquent orators the Church has ever produced and his writings have entitled him to a high place amongst her doctors. In the Eastern church his chief feast-day is on January 1.

Many details of St Basil’s life are found in his letters, of which a large collection has survived. He required exact discipline from clergy and laity alike, and he tells of a troublesome deacon, not sinful but silly, who went around with a troupe of girls who sang hymns and danced; he dealt with simony in ecclesiastical offices and the reception of unfit persons among the clergy; he fought the rapacity and oppression of officials, and excommunicated all concerned in the “white-slave traffic”, which was widespread in Cappadocia. He could rebuke with dreadful severity, but preferred the way of gentleness: there is the letter to the girl who had strayed, and the one to an ecclesiastic in a responsible position who was mixing himself up in politics; and thieves, expecting to be handed over to the magistrates and a stiff sentence, were often sent away free—but with a lively admonishment ringing in their ears. Nor was Basil silent when the well-to-do failed in their duty. “You refuse to give on the pretext that you haven’t got enough for your own needs”, he exclaimed in one of his sermons, “But while your tongue makes excuses, your hand convicts you—that ring shining on your finger silently declares you to be a liar! How many debtors could be released from prison with one of those rings? How many shivering people could be clothed from only one of your wardrobes? And yet you turn the poor away empty-handed.”
But he did not confine the obligation of giving to the rich alone. “You are poor? But there are others poorer than you. You have enough to keep you alive for ten days—but this man has enough for only one…Don’t be afraid to give away the little that you have. Don’t put your own interests before the common need. Give your last loaf to the beggar at your door, and trust in God’s goodness.”

Materials for the life of St Basil the Great are in one sense abundant. His own corre­spondence, the letters of St Gregory of Nazianzus and other contemporaries, the historians Socrates, Sozomen, and others of later date, the funeral orations of the two Gregories, and the panegyrics of St Ephraem, Amphilochius, etc., together with the theological and ascetical writings of St Basil himself, all help to elucidate his history. The Bollandists, in the Acta Sanctorum, June, vol. iii, have devoted to him an article of over 100 pages, and have printed the apocryphal life attributed wrongly to St Amphilochius. There is an English translation of Basil’s Letters, by R. J. Deferrari, in the Loeb Classical Library, 3 vols. (1926—1930) unfortunately, critical questions of authenticity and date have not always here received adequate attention. On the ascetical teaching of St Basil, and the question of his so-called “Rule”, useful information will be found in P. Humbertclaude, La Doctrine ascétique de S. Basile (1932), in M. G. Murphy, St Basil and Monasticism (1930), and particularly in F. Laun, “Die beiden Regein des Basilius”, in Zeitschrift f. Kirchengeschichte, vol. xliv (1923), pp. 1—61. See also W. K. L. Clarke, St Basil the Great (1913) and Ascetic Writings of St Basil (1925), and D. Amand, L’ascèse monastique de S. Basile (1949). There is a good article by G. Bardy in DHG., vol. vi (1931), and also in Bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchlichen Literatur, vol. iii, and in DCB., vol. i, and a valuable study by M. Bessières, La Correspondance de S. Basile (1923), which completes the articles published by the same Writer in the Journal of Theological Studies (1920—1922). There is a short study by P. Allard (“Les Saints” series), and sketches by Dr A. Fortescue in The Greek Fathers (1908) and D. Attwater in Eastern Saints (1938).

St. Basil the Great was born at Caesarea of Cappadocia in 330. He was one of ten children of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia. Several brothers and sisters are honored among the saints. He attended school in Caesarea, as well as Constantinople and Athens, where he became acquainted with St. Gregory Nazianzen in 352. A little later, he opened a school of oratory in Caesarea and practiced law.
Eventually he decided to become a monk and found a monastery in Pontus which he directed for five years. He wrote a famous monastic rule which has proved the most lasting of those in the East. After founding several other monasteries, he was ordained and, in 370, made bishop of Caesaria. In this post until his death in 379, he continued to be a man of vast learning and constant activity, genuine eloquence and immense charity. This earned for him the title of "Great" during his life and Doctor of the Church after his death.
Basil was one of the giants of the early Church. He was responsible for the victory of Nicene orthodoxy over Arianism in the Byzantine East, and the denunciation of Arianism at the Council of Constantinople in 381-82 was in large measure due to his efforts. Basil fought simony, aided the victims of drought and famine, strove for a better clergy, insisted on a rigid clerical discipline, fearlessly denounced evil wherever he detected it, and excommunicated those involved in the widespread prostitution traffic in Cappadocia. He was learned, accomplished in statesmanship, a man of great personal holiness, and one of the great orators of Christianity.

Basil was on his way to becoming a famous teacher when he decided to begin a religious life of gospel poverty. After studying various modes of religious life, he founded what was probably the first monastery in Asia Minor. He is to monks of the East what St. Benedict is to the West, and his principles influence Eastern monasticism today.
He was ordained a priest, assisted the archbishop of Caesarea (now southeastern Turkey), and ultimately became archbishop himself, in spite of opposition from some of his suffragan bishops, probably because they foresaw coming reforms.

One of the most damaging heresies in the history of the Church, Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ, was at its height. Emperor Valens persecuted orthodox believers, and put great pressure on Basil to remain silent and admit the heretics to communion. Basil remained firm, and Valens backed down.

But trouble remained. When the great St. Athanasius died, the mantle of defender of the faith against Arianism fell upon Basil. He strove mightily to unite and rally his fellow Catholics who were crushed by tyranny and torn by internal dissension. He was misunderstood, misrepresented, accused of heresy and ambition. Even appeals to the pope brought no response. “For my sins I seem to be unsuccessful in everything.”

He was tireless in pastoral care. He preached twice a day to huge crowds, built a hospital that was called a wonder of the world (as a youth he had organized famine relief and worked in a soup kitchen himself) and fought the prostitution business.

Basil was best known as an orator. His writings, though not recognized greatly in his lifetime, rightly place him among the great teachers of the Church. Seventy-two years after his death, the Council of Chalcedon 451, from 8 October until 1 November described him as “the great Basil, minister of grace who has expounded the truth to the whole earth.”

Comment:  As the French say, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Basil faced the same problems as modern Christians. Sainthood meant trying to preserve the spirit of Christ in such perplexing and painful problems as reform, organization, fighting for the poor, maintaining balance and peace in misunderstanding.

Quote:  St. Basil said: “The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”

BASIL: LIGHT OF THE CHURCH AND WITNESS OF GOD'S LOVE  VATICAN CITY, JUL 4, 2007 (VIS)
St. Basil, defined in Byzantine liturgical texts as a "light of the Church," was the subject of the Holy Father's catechesis during today's general audience. The audience, attended by 12,000 people, was held in the Vatican Basilica then continued in the Paul VI Hall.
  St. Basil, the Pope explained, was born in the 4th century. "Dissatisfied with his worldly successes and ... attracted by Christ, ... he dedicated himself to a monastic life in prayer ... and in the practice of charity." The Church in both East and West, he added, "looks to him admiringly for the sanctity of his life, the excellence of his doctrine and the harmonic blend of his intellectual and practical gifts."
  "Through his preaching and writing," this saint, who became bishop Caesarea in 370, "undertook an intense pastoral, theological and literary activity" and "supported the foundation of many 'fraternities' or communities of Christians consecrated to God, whom he visited frequently."
  St. Basil "is one of the fathers of monasticism. ... He created a special form of monasticism, not closed to the local church community but open to it. ... His monks formed part of the particular Church, the driving nucleus that preceded the faithful in discipleship of Christ, and not only in faith ... and love, ... but also through works of charity. The monks ran schools and hospitals and served the poor, thus demonstrating the integrity of their Christian life."
  "As bishop and pastor of his vast diocese, Basil was constantly concerned by the difficult conditions in which his faithful lived, firmly denouncing all evils. ... And he would intervene with government leaders to alleviate the sufferings of the people. ... He safeguarded the freedom of the Church, opposing even the powerful in order to defend the right to profess the true faith." St. Basil, who bore witness to the fact that "God is love and charity," also founded various institutions for the most needy, which became a model for modern hospitals.
  While maintaining his concern with charity as a sign of faith, Basil "considered the liturgy as the focus of his life," and "was also a wise liturgical reformer. ... At his encouragement, the people came to know and love the Psalms. ... He was able to oppose heretics ... and dedicated his energies to healing divisions within the Church."
  "Following a plan he himself had devised, he became apostle and minister of Christ, ... herald of the Kingdom of God, model and rule of piety, ... pastor of Christ's flock, pious doctor, father and nurse, God's helper and laborer, builder of the Lord's temple.
  "This," the Pope concluded, "is the plan that the holy bishop passes on to us, especially to those who announce the Word. He was a man ... who showed us how to be truly Christian."  AG/ST. BASIL/...VIS 070704 (490)

St. Basil the Great
(329-379)
Basil was on his way to becoming a famous teacher when he decided to begin a religious life of gospel poverty. After studying various modes of religious life, he founded what was probably the first monastery in Asia Minor. He is to monks of the East what St. Benedict is to the West, and his principles influence Eastern monasticism today.

He was ordained a priest, assisted the archbishop of Caesarea (now southeastern Turkey), and ultimately became archbishop himself, in spite of opposition from some of his suffragan bishops, probably because they foresaw coming reforms.


One of the most damaging heresies in the history of the Church, Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ, was at its height. Emperor Valens persecuted orthodox believers, and put great pressure on Basil to remain silent and admit the heretics to communion. Basil remained firm, and Valens backed down. But trouble remained. When the great St. Athanasius died, the mantle of defender of the faith against Arianism fell upon Basil. He strove mightily to unite and rally his fellow Catholics who were crushed by tyranny and torn by internal dissension. He was misunderstood, misrepresented, accused of heresy and ambition. Even appeals to the pope brought no response. “For my sins I seem to be unsuccessful in everything.”

He was tireless in pastoral care. He preached twice a day to huge crowds, built a hospital that was called a wonder of the world (as a youth he had organized famine relief and worked in a soup kitchen himself) and fought the prostitution business.

Basil was best known as an orator. His writings, though not recognized greatly in his lifetime, rightly place him among the great teachers of the Church. Seventy-two years after his death, the Council of Chalcedon described him as “the great Basil, minister of grace who has expounded the truth to the whole earth.”
Comment:  As the French say, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Basil faced the same problems as modern Christians. Sainthood meant trying to preserve the spirit of Christ in such perplexing and painful problems as reform, organization, fighting for the poor, maintaining balance and peace in misunderstanding.
Quote:  St. Basil said: “The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”
394 ST MACARIUS OF ALEXANDRIA
ST MACARIUS the Younger, a citizen of Alexandria, followed the business of a confectioner. Desirous to serve God with his whole heart, he forsook the world in the flower of his age and spent upwards of sixty years in the desert in penance and contemplation. He first retired into the Thebaid about the year 335. Having acquired some proficiency in virtue under masters renowned for their sanctity, he quitted Upper Egypt and came to the Lower before the year 373.

In this part were three deserts almost adjoining each other: that of Skete, on the borders of Libya, that of the Cells, contiguous to the former, this name being given to it on account of the hermit-cells with which it abounded; and a third, which reached to the western branch of the Nile, called Nitria.

St Macarius had a cell in each of these deserts, but his chief residence was in that of the Cells. Each anchoret had here a separate cell in which he spent his time, except on Saturday and Sunday when all assembled in one church to celebrate and receive the divine mysteries. When a stranger came to live among them, everyone offered him his cell, and was ready to build another for himself. Their cells were not within sight of each other. Their manual labour, which was that of making baskets or mats, did not interrupt the prayer of the heart, and a profound silence reigned throughout the district. Our saint here received the priesthood, and shone as a bright sun influencing this holy company, whilst St Macarius the Elder lived no less eminent in the wilderness of Skete.
   Palladius has recorded a memorable instance of the self-denial observed by these hermits. A present was made to St Macarius of a newly-gathered bunch of grapes; the holy man carried it to a neighbouring monk who was ill, and he sent it to another. In this manner it passed to all the cells and was brought back to Macarius, who was exceedingly rejoiced to perceive the abstinence of his brethren, but would not eat the grapes himself.

The austerities of all the inhabitants of that desert were extraordinary, but St Macarius went far beyond the rest. For seven years together he lived only on raw vegetables and beans, and for the three following years contented himself with four or five ounces of bread a day, and consumed only one little vessel of oil in a year, as Palladius assures us.
His watchings were not less surprising. God had given him a body capable of bearing the greatest rigours; and his fervour was so intense that whatever spiritual exercise he heard of or saw practised by others he resolved to adopt for himself. The reputation of the monastery of Tabennisi, under St Pachomius, drew him to this place in disguise, some time before the year 349. St Pachomius told him that he seemed too far advanced in years to accustom himself to their fastings and watchings; but at length admitted him on condition he would observe all the rules. Lent approaching soon after, the monks prepared to pass that holy time each according to his strength and fervour: some by fasting one, others two, three or four days, without any nourishment; some standing all day, others only sitting at their work. Macarius took palm-tree leaves steeped in water as materials with which to occupy himself, and standing in a retired place passed the whole time without eating, except for a few green cabbage leaves on Sundays. His hands were employed in almost continual labour, and his heart conversed with God. Such a prodigy astonished the monks, who even remonstrated with the abbot at Easter deprecating a singularity, which, if tolerated, might on several accounts be prejudicial to their community. St Pachomius prayed to know who this stranger was; and learning by revelation that he was the great Macarius, embraced him, thanked him for the edification he had given, and desired him, when he returned to his desert, to offer up his prayers for them.

The virtue of this great saint was often exercised by temptations. One was a suggestion to quit his desert and go to Rome to serve the sick in the hospitals; which, on due reflection, he discovered to be a secret artifice of vainglory inciting him to attract the eyes and esteem of the world. True humility alone could discover the snare that lurked under the specious disguise of charity. Finding this enemy extremely importunate, he threw himself on the ground in his cell, and cried out to the fiends, “Drag me hence, if you can, by force, for I will not stir”. Thus he lay till night, but as soon as he arose they renewed the assault; and he, to stand firm against them, filled two baskets with sand, and laying them on his shoulders, set out to tramp the wilderness. A friend, meeting him, asked him what he was doing, and made an offer to relieve him of his burden; but the saint only replied, “I am tormenting my tormentor”. He returned home in the evening, freed from the temptation.

Palladius informs us that St Macarius, desiring to enjoy heavenly contemplation at least for five days without interruption, immured himself within his cell, and said to his soul, “Having taken up thy abode in Heaven where thou hast God and His angels to converse with, see that thou descend not thence: regard not earthly things.” The first two days his heart overflowed with rapture; but on the third he met with so violent a disturbance from the Devil, that he was obliged to return to his usual manner of life.
God oftentimes withdraws Himself, as the saint observed on this occasion, to make religious people sensible of their own weakness and to convince them that this life is a state of trial.

St Jerome and others relate that a certain anchoret in Nitria having left one hundred crowns at his death, which he had acquired by weaving cloth, the monks met to deliberate what should he done with the money. Some were for having it given to the poor, others to the Church: but Macarius, Pambo, Isidore and others, who were called The Fathers, ordained that the one hundred crowns should be thrown into the grave, and that at the same time should be pronounced the words, “May thy money be with thee to perdition”. This example struck terror into the monks and put an end to the hoarding of money.

Palladius, who from 391 lived for a time under our saint, was eye-witness of several miracles wrought by him. He relates that a certain priest whose head was consumed by a cancerous sore came to his cell, but was refused admittance Macarius at first would not even speak to him. Palladius strove to prevail upon him to give at least some answer to the unfortunate man. Macarius on the contrary urged that God, to punish him for a sin of the flesh, had afflicted him with this disorder: however, that upon his sincere repentance and promise never more to celebrate the divine mysteries he would intercede for his cure. The priest con
fessed his sin, with the promise required. The saint thereupon absolved him by the imposition of hands; and a few days after the priest came back perfectly healed, glorifying God and giving thanks to his servant.

The two saints of the name of Macarius happened one day to cross the Nile together in a boat, when certain officers could not help observing to each other that these men, from the cheerfulness of their aspect, must be happy in their poverty. Macarius of Alexandria, alluding to their name, which in Greek signifies happy, made this answer, “You have reason to call us happy, for this is our name. But if we are happy in despising the world, are not you miserable who live slaves to it?” These words, uttered with a tone of voice expressive of an interior conviction of their truth, had such an effect on the tribune who first spoke that, hastening home, he distributed his fortune among the poor, and embraced an eremitical life.In the desert of Nitria a monastery bearing the name of St Macarius survived for many centuries.
St Jerome, in his letter to Rusticus, seems to have copied many things from a set of constitutions attributed to this saint. The Concordia Regularum, or “collection of rules”, gives another code under the names of the two SS. Macarius, Serapion (of Arsinöe, or the other of Nitria), Paphnutius (of Bekbale, priest of Skete), and thirty-four other abbots. According to this latter, the monks fasted the whole year, except on Sundays and the time from Easter to Whitsuntide; they observed the strictest poverty, and divided the day between manual labour and prayer. Hospitality was much recommended, but for the sake of recollection it was strictly forbidden for any monk, except one who was deputed to entertain guests, ever to speak to any stranger without leave. The definition of a monk or anchoret given by Abbot de Rancé, of La Trappe, seems to trace the portrait of the great Macarius in the desert. When, says he, a soul relishes God in solitude, she thinks no more of anything but Heaven. This Macarius is named in the canon of the Coptic Mass.

See Palladius, Lausiac History, ch. 18, and Acta Sanctorum, January 2. Cf. Schiwietz, Morgenlandische Mönchtum (1904), vol. i, pp. 504 seq.; Amélineau in Annales du Musée Guimet, xxv, 235 seq.; BHL., n. 757; Codex Regularum in Migne, PL., vol. ciii; and Concordia Regularum, ed. H. Menard (1638). Although there may be some confusion in the stories told regarding the different ascetics who bore the name Macarius, it is impossible to identify this Macarius “the Younger” (of Alexandria) with Macarius the Elder (the Egyptian), for Palladius distinctly tells us that he knew them both.

St. Martinian Bishop of Milan Council of Ephesus foe of Nestorianism
 Medioláni sancti Martiniáni Epíscopi.       At Milan, St. Martinian, bishop.
sometimes listed as Maternian.

He was consecrated in 423 and served until his death. Martinian attended the
Council of Ephesus and was an ardent foe of Nestorianism, a heresy of the time that, in part, denied that Mary was the Mother of God.

560 St. Aspasius Bishop in Councils of Orleans, in 533, 541, and 549
Aspasius was the bishop of Eauze, near Auch, France. He also held a provincial council in 551. The cities of Meaux and Melin, in France, have traditionally venerated Aspasius.

 Ipso die sancti Siridiónis Epíscopi.       The same day, St. Siridion, bishop.
630 St. Blidulf Monk at Bobbio reformed the court and the area
Italy, also called Bladulph.
He confronted King Arioald of the Lombards denounce the monarch's heretical views; reformed the court and the area.

7th v. St. Munchin Patron of Limerick or “little monk.”
Ireland, called “the Wise.” He may have been a bishop, but he is commonly known as Maincin, or “little monk.” It is believed that Munchin was born in County Clare.
7th v. ST MUNCHIN, Bishop
THE martyrologies of Oengus, Tallaght and Gorman all mention on this day a Munchin, who is also described as “the Wise”, but that he was ever bishop of Limerick, or bishop at all, seems most doubtful. There is no extant life of the saint and the only data about his ancestry and career are to be found in the pedigree of the Dal Cais, the ruling sept in north Munster during early Christian times. Among the sept is numbered “Sedna from whom Maincin of Luimneach” in the Book of Ui Maine. The rare references to Sedna’s folk show that the territory of his people lay by the coast of the present County Clare. The connection of Maincin (the name means “Little Monk”) with the island at Limerick is explained in another entry in the genealogy: “Dioma had three sons, Dubduin, Aindlid and Feardomnach who gave Sibtand to Maincin of Luimneach”. The donor’s brethren figure in well-vouched history and we are enabled to date the lifetime of Munchin to the late seventh century. Inis Sibtand was the island at the head of the Shannon tideway where in the early tenth century the Norsemen founded Limerick.
St Munchin is the principal patron of the diocese of Limerick, and his feast is kept throughout Ireland.

The substance of the above notice is due to Mgr Canon Michael Moloney, of Limerick. Canon J. Begley’s surmise in his history of the diocese of Limerick (1906), pp. 71—72, is no more than an arbitrary guess. See also US., vol. i, pp. ~
672? ST VINCENTIAN; There is nothing even to show that such a person as St Vincentian ever existed.
THE only information which we possess concerning this saint is quite untrustworthy. It come to us in a biography which professes to have been written by a certain deacon Hermenbert, who was his tutor when a boy but survived him long enough to write this account. The life states that Vincentian lost his parents as a child and was brought up by one Berald, Duke of Aquitaine, who eventually agreed to the request of St Didier, Bishop of Cahors, that so promising a child should be trained for the priesthood. But Berald died soon after, and his son and successor compelled the bishop to send the youth back to the ducal household, where he was placed in charge of the stables. In the interval Vincentian had acquired the habits of the most fervent piety. He gave away to the poor his clothes and his food, he refused a bride who was pressed upon him, and, in the end, he was so cruelly beaten, persecuted and threatened that he ran away and hid himself in the forest, leading a solitary life as a hermit.
  It is useless to detail the extravagant miracles that mark different stages of the story.
  Eventually death came to release Vincentian at the time, which had been revealed to him in a vision, viz., January 2, 672. The dead body was placed on a car to be drawn by two oxen to the spot that his relics were destined to render famous. On the way a bear killed one of the oxen, but a disciple of the saint commanded the bear to drag the car in the place of the beast it had killed, and it at once obeyed.
The life has been printed by W. Levison in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. v, pp. 112—128, with an introduction in which he proves that the story cannot he the work of a contemporary as pretended but that it is a pure fabrication, two or three hundred years later in date. See also Bruno Krusch in Neues Archiv, vol. xviii, p. 561. There is nothing even to show that such a person as St Vincentian ever existed.

827 St. Adelard monk Charles Martel grandson King Pepin nephew Charlemagne 1st cousin
827 ST ADALHARD, on ADELARD, ABBOT
THE family of this holy monk was most illustrious, his father Bernard being son of Charles Martel and brother of King Pepin, so that Adalhard was first cousin to Charlemagne. He was only twenty years old when, in 773, he took the monastic habit at Corbie in Picardy, a monastery founded by Queen St Bathildis. The first employment assigned him was that of gardener, in which, whilst his hands were employed in digging or weeding, his thoughts were on God and heavenly things.
   The great example of his virtue defeated the projects of his humility and did not suffer him to live long unknown, and some years after he was chosen abbot. Being obliged by Charlemagne often to attend at court, he soon, in fact, became the first among the king’s counselors, as he is styled by Hincmar, who had seen him there in 796. He was even compelled by Charlemagne to quit his monastery altogether, and act as chief minister to that prince’s eldest son Pepin, who, at his death at Milan in 810, appointed the saint tutor to his son Bernard.
After the death of Charlemagne, Adalhard was accused of supporting the revolt of Bernard against Louis the Debonair, who banished him to a monastery in the little island of Hen, called afterwards Noirmoutier, on the coast of Aquitaine. The saint’s brother Wala (one of the great men of that age, as appears from his curious life, published by Mabillon) he obliged to become a monk at Lérins. This exile St Adalhard regarded as a great gain, and in it his tranquillity of soul met with no interruptions.
   The emperor at length was made sensible of his innocence, and after five years’ banishment recalled him to court towards the close of the year 821 but he soon had again to retire to his abbey at Corbie, where he delighted to take upon himself the most humbling employments of the house. By his solicitude and powerful example his spiritual children grew daily in fervour; and such was his zeal for their advancement, that he passed no week without speaking to every one of them in particular, and no day without exhorting them all in general by his discourses. The inhabitants of the country round had also a share in his labours, and he expended upon the poor the revenues of his monastery with a profusion which many condemned as excessive, but which Heaven sometimes approved by sensible miracles. The good old man would receive advice from the least of his monks. When entreated to moderate his austerities, he answered, “I will take care of your servant”, meaning himself, “that he may serve you the longer.”

During his banishment another Adalhard, who governed the monastery by his appointment, began at our saint’s suggestion to prepare the foundation of the monastery of New Corbie, commonly called Convey, in the diocese of Paderborn, that it might be a nursery of evangelical labourers for conversion of the northern nations. St Adalhard, after his return to Corbie, completed this undertaking, and to perpetuate the strict observance, which he established in his two monasteries, he compiled a book of statutes for their use, of which considerable fragments are extant. Other works of St Adalhard are lost, but by those, which we have, and also by his disciples St Paschasius Radbertus, St Anskar and others, it is clear that he was a zealous promoter of literature in his monasteries.
Paschasius assures us that he instructed the people not only in the Latin, but also in the Teutonic and vulgar French languages.
Alcuin, in a letter addressed to him under the name of Antony, calls him his son, whence many infer that he had been scholar to that great man. St Adalhard had just returned from Germany to Corbie, when he fell ill three days before Christmas and died on January 2, 827, in his seventy-third year. Upon proof of several miracles the body of the saint was translated with solemnity in 1040; of which ceremony we have a full account, by an author, not St Gerard, who also composed an office in his honour, in gratitude for having been cured of intense pains in the head through his intercession.
See his life, compiled with accuracy but in a tone of panegyric, by his disciple, Paschasius Radbertus, printed in the Acta Sanctorum, and more correctly in Mabillon (vol. v, p. 306). Cf. also U. Berlière in DHG., vol. i, cc. 457—458; and BHL., n. 11.
He became a monk at Corbie in Picardy in 773. Eventually he was chosen abbot, and became Charlemagne's counselor. He was forced by the king to quit the monastery and work for him as chief minister for his son Pepin. He was accused of supporting a rival power (Bernard) against Emperor Louis the Debonair and was banished to a monastery on the island of Heri. Five years later he was recalled to the king's court (821). He later retired to the Abbey at Corbie and died January 2 after an illness.
Miracles were reported after his death. When Adelard first became monk at Corby in Picardy (in 773), his first assignment was gardener of the monastery. He did his job humbly and piously, praying throughout the day. His great virtues eventually helped him become Abbot.
827 St. Adalard
Patron of French churches and towns. A nephew of Charles Martel, he was raised as a nobleman at the court of his cousin Charlemagne. At age twenty Adalard entered the monastery of Cordie in Picardy, but then went to Monte Cassino, staying there in seclusion until Charlemagne insisted he return to court. At Corbie, Adalard was elected abbot and then named Prime Minister to Pepin, Charlemagne's son, the King of Italy. He became involved in the political struggles of the royal family and in 814 he was banished to Hermoutier. After seven years of exile, Adalard was cleared of all charges and returned to the court of Louis the Pious. Adelard died on January 2, 827

1146? BD AYRALD, Bishop of MAURIENNE; “Here lies Ayrald, a man of noble blood, monk of Portes, glory of pontiffs, a light of the Church, stay of the unfortunate, shining with goodness and unnumbered miracles.”
THE identity of this holy bishop is involved in much confusion and obscurity. His cultus was confirmed in 1863, and in the decree published on that occasion a summary of his life is given.
If we may credit this account, he was a son of William II, Count of Burgundy. Of his three brothers, one was elected pope under the name of Callistus II; another, Raymond, became king of Castile; and the third, Henry, count of Portugal. Ayrald himself, however, according to the same summary, entered the Carthusian Order at Portes, and was made prior. From this life of seclusion he was called away to rule the see of Maurienne, but we are told that he still paid long visits to his old monastery to renew his spirit of fervour, and that he died at a comparatively early age. While one Carthusian chronicler, Dom-Le Vasseur, is in substantial agreement with this account, assigning January 2, 1146, as the date of Ayrald’s death, another, Dom Le Couteulx, contradicts it at almost every point. The fact seems to be that in the twelfth century there were three different bishops of Maurienne named Ayrald or Ayrard. One of these, either the first or the third, but not the second, had been a Carthusian monk at Portes.
In honour of the bishop who was beatified and with whom we are here concerned, the following epitaph was engraved of old upon his tomb in the cathedral of
Maurienne:
Hic jacet Airaldus, claro de sanguine natus, Portarum monachus, Pontificumque decus;
Ecclesiae lumen, miserorum atque columen, Virtute et signis splendidus innumeris.
“Here lies Ayrald, a man of noble blood, monk of Portes, glory of pontiffs,
a light of the Church, stay of the unfortunate, shining with goodness and unnumbered miracles.”

A lively controversy, of which a full bibliography may be found in U. Chevalier’s Repertoire—Bio-bibliographie, has been carried on regarding the identity of Bd Ayrald. See especially C. F. Bellet, Un problème d’hagiographie (1901), and Truchet, Le B. Ayrald (1891); also Le Vasseur, Ephemerides, vol. i, pp. 3—6; Le Couteulx, Annales Ord. Carth., vols. i, 382 seq., and ii, 43 seq. cf. Historisches Jahrbuch, 1903, p. 142, and 1904, p. 279.  
1530 BD STEPHANA QUINZANI, VIRGIN; third order of St Dominic, she spent her time in nursing the sick and relieving the poor until she was able herself to found a convent at Soncino;  performed many miracles of healing and to have multiplied food and money;
STEPHANA Quinzani was born in 1457 near Brescia, of a middle-class family. Strange things are related of her childhood, and she is said to have consecrated herself to God at a very early age. Her precise vocation, however, was not decided until her father and mother moved to Soncino, and she came under the influence of the Dominicans. There she had a vision of St Andrew the Apostle holding a cross. Receiving the habit of the third order of St Dominic, she spent her time in nursing the sick and relieving the poor until she was able herself to found a convent at Soncino. The most interesting document which has been preserved concerning her is a contemporary account, drawn up in 1497 and signed by twenty-one witnesses, describing one of the ecstasies in which she represented in her own person the different stages of the Passion, including the scourging, the crowning with thorns and the nailing to the cross. In these ecstasies the wound marks, or stigmata, seem to have shown themselves in her hands and feet, and her frame became so rigid that the onlookers could not change her position or bend her limbs. She is said to have performed many miracles of healing and to have multiplied food and money.
The Legenda Volgare, from which all accounts of Bd Stephana ultimately derive, is called by its editor, Mgr Guerrini, “a mystical romance in full flower, written as ascetical edification rather than history, full of elevations and mystical ramblings for women readers”.  Another source, the fragments of the beata’s own letters,
has not yet been properly explored and studied; she corresponded with many people in northern Italy. Bd Stephana died on January 2, 1530, and her cultus was confirmed in 1740. 

See P. de Micheli, La b. Stefana Quinzani: memorie e documenti, and P. Guerrini, La prima Legenda Volgare de la b. Stefana Quinzani (1930). See also M. C. Ganay, Les Bses. Dominicaines (1913), pp. 413—434, and pp. 545—548 where is printed part of the relazione referred to above.

1833 St. Seraphim of Sarov Russian monk/mystic high honorific title of starets Vision from Mary
(meaning in Russian, spiritual teacher)
Born to a middle class family at Kursk, he was originally named Prokhor Moshnin, changing it to Seraphim upon entering a rnonastery at Sarov in 1777. Ordained in 1793, he soon embarked upon an eremitical life in a solitary hut in the forest near the abbey, resided for a time upon a pillar, and later was walled up. After twenty-five years, he once more entered the world owing to a mystical vision which he attributed to the Virgin Mary. He soon attracted disciples and followers who came from far and wide to receive his counsel and to partake of his spiritual program of contemplative prayer, monastic-like austerities, and rigorous self-discipline. The Russian Orthodox Church canonized him in 1913, and his teachings have been the source of many books, making him well-known in the Western Churches.

1836 St. Caspar del Bufalo Various miracles many graces were obtained by his intercession Various miracles had been worked by Don Caspar during his lifetime, and after his death many graces were obtained by his intercession. He was canonized in 1954.
St. Caspar del Bufalo was the Founder of the Missioners of the Precious Blood. His feast day is January 2nd. Caspar, who was born in Rome, the son of a chef, in 1786, was ordained a priest in 1808. Shortly after this, Rome was taken by Napoleon's army, and he, with most of the clergy was exiled for refusing to abjure his allegiance to the Holy See. He returned after the fall of Napoleon to find a wide scope for work, as Rome had for nearly five years been almost entirely without priests and sacraments.

In 1814 he founded the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood and in 1815, it was formally approved. The second foundation was made in 1819 and the third shortly afterwards at Albano. His wish was to have a house in every diocese, the most neglected and wicked town or district being chosen. The Kingdom of Naples in those days was a nest of crime of every kind; no one's life or property was safe, and in 1821 the pope asked del Bufalo to found six houses there. He joyfully responded but met with endless difficulties before subjects and funds were collected.

Grave difficulties arose under Pope Leo XII; but these were cleared up, and in 1824, the houses of the congregation were opened to young clergy who wished to be trained specially as missioners. In his lifetime, their work covered the whole of Italy.

Del Bufalo's biographer gives us a graphic account of a mission, describing its successive stages. Some of his methods were distinctly dramatic, e.g. the missioners took the discipline in the public piazza, which always resulted in many conversions. On the last day, forbidden firearms, obscene books, and anything else that might offend Almighty God, were publicly burnt. A cross was erected in memoriam, a solemn Te Deum sung, and the missioners went away quietly.

His last mission was preached in Rome at the Chiesa Nuova during the cholera outbreak of 1836. Feeling his strength failing, he returned at once to Albano, and made every preparation for death. He suffered terribly from cold, and at night from parching thirst, but he would not take anything to drink, so that he might be able to celebrate Mass. After the feast of St. Francis Xavier he went to Rome to die. On December 19, the doctor forbade him to say Mass; he received the last sacraments on December 28, and he died the same day.

Various miracles had been worked by Don Caspar during his lifetime, and after his death many graces were obtained by his intercession. He was canonized in 1954.

In 1824, the houses of the congregation were opened to young clergy who wished to be trained specially as missionaries. In his lifetime, their work covered the whole of Italy. Journeying from town to town, enduring endless hardships, threatened often even with death, Gaspar always taking the hardest work himself, they preached their message. One of his principles was that everybody should be made to work. He therefore founded works of charity in Rome for young and old, rich and poor of both sexes. He opened the night oratory, where our Lord is worshipped all night by men, many coming to Him, like Nicodemus, by night who would not have the courage to go to confession by day.

1837 St Caspar Del Bufalo, Founder of The Missioners of The Precious Blood
Caspar, who was born in Rome, the son of a chef, in 1786, received his education at the Collegio Romano and was ordained priest in 1808. Shortly after this Rome was taken by Napoleon’s army, and he, with most of the clergy, was exiled for refusing to abjure his allegiance to the Holy See. He returned after the fall of Napoleon to find a wide scope for work, as Rome had for nearly five years been almost entirely without priests and sacraments.
In 1814 he conducted a mission at Giano, in the diocese of Spoleto, and there the idea of the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood first came to him. He found a house at Giano suitable for his purpose, and with the help of Cardinal Cristaldi, ever his kind friend, and the hearty approval of Pope Pius VII, the new congregation was formally approved in 1815. The house and adjoining church of San Felice in Giano were given him by the pope. The second foundation was made in 1819 and the third shortly afterwards at Albano. His wish was to have a house in every diocese, the most neglected and wicked town or district being chosen. The kingdom of Naples was in those days a nest of crime of every kind; no one’s life or property was safe, and in 1821 the pope wrote with his own hand to del Bufalo asking him to found six houses there. He joyfully responded, but met with endless difficulties before subjects and funds were collected. His biographer tells us that Providence had scherzato (played practical jokes) with him, as over and over again one difficulty was overcome only to be replaced by a greater; but by degrees men gathered round him, and at last he could say he had more than all the money he wanted.
Grave difficulties arose under Pope Leo XII; but these were cleared up, and in 1824, the houses of the congregation were opened to young clergy who wished to be trained specially as missioners. The ideal was high, the work arduous. A missioner, the founder said, like a soldier or sailor, must never give in, must be ready for anything. He required from his sons not only devotion, but also hard study. To evangelize the whole world, which was their aim, they must learn foreign languages besides theology and Holy Scripture. In his lifetime their work covered the whole of Italy. Journeying from town to town, enduring endless hardships, threatened often even with death, their founder always taking the most arduous work himself, they preached their message.
Del Bufalo’s biographer gives us a graphic account of a mission, describing its successive stages. Some of his methods were distinctly dramatic, e.g. the missioners took the discipline in the public piazza, which always resulted in many conversions. On the last day forbidden firearms, obscene books, and anything else that might offend Almighty God were publicly burnt. A cross was erected in memoriam, a solemn Te Deum sung, and the missioners went away quietly. Caspar
would often say at the end of a mission, exhausted but thankful, “If it is so sweet to tire ourselves for God, what will it be to enjoy Him!” One of his principles was that everybody should be made to work. He therefore founded works of charity in Rome for young and old, rich and poor of both sexes. He opened the night oratory, where our Lord is worshipped all night by men, many coming to Him, like Nicodemus, by night who would not have the courage to go to confession by day.

His last mission was preached in Rome at the Chiesa Nuova during the cholera outbreak of 1836. Feeling his strength failing, he returned at once to Albano, and made every preparation for death. He suffered terribly from cold, and at night from parching thirst, but he would not take anything to drink, so that he might be able to celebrate Mass. He asked to be left alone as much as possible, that his prayer might be less interrupted. After the feast of St Francis Xavier he went to Rome to die. On December 19 the doctor forbade him to say Mass; he received the last sacraments on December 28, and he died the same day.

Various miracles had been worked by Don Caspar during his lifetime, and after his death many graces were obtained by his intercession. We have, in fact, a long list of cures and other miraculous occurrences. He was canonized in 1954.

See the summarium presented to the Congregation of Rites in the process of beatification, and Sardi, Notizie intorno alla vita del beato Gaspare del Bufalo (1904). The English form of the name Caspar or Gaspar is properly Jasper.