Mary Mother of GOD
 Tuesday  Saints of January  17 Décimo sexto Kaléndas Februárii.  

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 }
St Anthony_Thebais_abbot.jpg

The saints “a cloud of witnesses over our head”,
showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.


January 17 – Our Lady of Holy Hope (Pontmain, France, 1871) 
 
"Pray, my children. God will answer you shortly."
 
In the winter of 1870-1871, a large part of France was occupied by the Germans. Humanly speaking, there was little hope of stopping the invasion. On the evening of January 17th, the German General Von Schmidt noted: "Right now, my troops are in Laval." This city is 52 kilometers from the village of Pontmain, France.

Anxiety was high in Pontmain for the safety of the 38 men from the village who had gone to war. After the men were sent off, the priest asked his parishioners to come to Mass every day if possible. His appeal was heard. The parish became a genuine community of prayer and the whole village wanted to join in.

Children probably prayed even harder than their parents. Among them, the two young Barbedette children were especially assiduous. On January 17th the Virgin Mary promised peace to the children of Pontmain, at the very same time that German troops were ordered to attack the defenseless city of Laval... But later that night, a counter-order was given. The next day, 2 km from Laval, the last combats ended to the advantage of the French army. The message of Pontmain was fulfilled: "Pray, my children. God will answer you shortly." On January 28th, the Armistice was signed.
 
Adapted from Chanoine Foisnet’s book, Notre Dame de Pontmain, Belles histoires belles vies, Editions Fleurus
apotres.amour.free.fr


356 St. Anthony the Abbot miraculous healings Faith comes from God rhetoric from humans
377 ST JULIAN SABAS “In the district of Edessa, in Mesopotamia (the commemoration) of St Julian, the hermit,  called Sabas, who, when the Catholic faith at Antioch had almost died out in the time of the Emperor Valens,  restored it again by the power of his miracles”.
4 th v. St. Achillas Hermit in Egypt with Amoes "the Flowers of the Desert" by the Greek Church
  395  St. Pior Hermit disciple of St. Anthony in Egypt
 420 Sabinus of Piacenza B (RM); feast day formerly December 11. Bishop Saint Sabinus of Piacenza was a close friend of Saint Ambrose, who used to send him his writings for editing.
1329 BD ROSELINE, VIRGIN holy Carthusian nun frequent visions and ecstasies, and possessed an extraordinary gift of reading the hearts of all who came to her. Her body was indescribably beautiful after death, and no sign of rigidity or corruption appeared in it. Five years afterwards it was still perfectly preserved, and the ecclesiastic who presided at the them enucleated and kept in a reliquary apart. The body was still quite entire a hundred years later, and the eyes had neither shrivelled nor decayed as late as 1644.

The patient and humble endurance of the Cross - whatever nature it may be
 - is the highest work we have to do. -- St Katherine Drexel


I Loved Him Deeply - Our Lady of Pontmain (France, 1871)
I will now show you more fully how, from the beginning, when I first learned and came to an understanding of the existence of God, I was always concerned about my salvation and religious observance. When I learned more completely that God himself was my Creator and the judge of all my actions, I came to love Him deeply, and I was constantly alert and watchful so as not to offend Him in word or deed. When I learned that He had given His law and commandments to His people and worked so many miracles through them, I made a firm resolution in my soul to love nothing but Him, and the things of the world became altogether repugnant to me.

Then, having learned that God himself would redeem the world and be born of a Virgin, I was so smitten with love for Him that I thought of nothing but God and wanted nothing but Him. As far as I was able, I withdrew from the conversation and the presence of parents and friends and gave away to the needy everything I had come to own. I kept for myself nothing but meager food and clothing.
>From the Blessed Virgin according to Saint Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373)
Saint Bride and Her Book: Birgitta of Sweden's Revelations, Book 1, ch.10

January 17– Our Lady of Holy Hope (Pontmain, France, 1871)
  "Pray, and God will quickly hear your prayer"

At the same time that the Virgin Mary promised peace to the children of Pontmain, the German troops reached the outskirts of Laval and received General Von Schmidt’s order to invade the defenseless city.

However, in the early hours of the 18th, Prince Frederic Charles issued a counter-order. The next day, the last battle took place in Saint-Melaine, just 2 km from Laval, ending in favor of the French army.

On January 20th, the citizens of Laval still lived in fear, as the news of the apparition was not yet known. The Bishop of Laval, Msgr Wicart, made a vow to rebuild the tower and spire of the Basilica of Avesnieres, to beg heaven to spare the city from invasion.
On that same day, the German troops began retreating from the region.
The message of Pontmain was accomplished: "Pray, and God will quickly hear you."
On the 28th, the Armistice was signed.
Canon Foisnet,
In Notre Dame de Pont-Main, Belles histoires belles vies, (Our Lady of Pontmain, Beautiful Stories & Beautiful Lives), Editions Fleurus.  http://apotres.amour.free.fr/page7/pontmain.htm

 
155? SS. SPEUSIPPUS, ELEUSIPPUS AND MELEUSIPPUS, MARTYRS
 Romæ Invéntio sanctórum Mártyrum Diodóri Presbyteri, Mariáni Diáconi, et Sociórum; qui, sancto Stéphano Papa Ecclésiam Dei regénte, martyrium Kaléndis Decémbris sunt assecúti.
       At Rome, the finding of the holy martyrs Diodorus, priest, and Marian, deacon, and their companions.  They suffered martyrdom on the 1st of December during the pontificate of Pope St. Stephen.

356 St. Anthony the Abbot miraculous healings Faith comes from God rhetoric from humans
 377 ST JULIAN SABAS “In the district of Edessa, in Mesopotamia (the commemoration) of St Julian, the hermit, called Sabas, who, when the Catholic faith at Antioch had almost died out in the time of the Emperor Valens, restored it again by the power of his miracles”.
4 th v. St. Achillas Hermit in Egypt with Amoes "the Flowers of the Desert" by the Greek Church
       Blessed Gonzalo de Amarante Dominican priest
 
395  St. Pior Hermit disciple of St. Anthony in Egypt
 420 Sabinus of Piacenza B (RM); feast day formerly December 11. Bishop Saint Sabinus of Piacenza was a close friend of Saint Ambrose, who used to send him his writings for editing.
 624 St. Sulpicius Bishop of Bourges in austerities holiness devoted to the poor
715 ST RICHIMIR, ABBOT selected a place called later Saint-Rigomer-des-Bois. There he built a church in honour of the Apostles, and founded a monastery over which he ruled as abbot till his death
6th v. St. Nennius 1 of the 12 Apostles of Ireland disciple of St. Finian
 676 St. Mildgytha Benedictine nun, daughter of St. Ermenburga
1220 St. Berard and Companions prompted Anthony of Padua a young Augustinian canon to join the Franciscans
1329 BD ROSELINE, VIRGIN holy Carthusian nun frequent visions and ecstasies, and possessed an extraordinary gift of reading the hearts of all who came to her. Her body was indescribably beautiful after death, and no sign of rigidity or corruption appeared in it. Five years afterwards it was still perfectly preserved, and the ecclesiastic who presided at the them enucleated and kept in a reliquary apart. The body was still quite entire a hundred years later, and the eyes had neither shrivelled nor decayed as late as 1644.

155? SS. SPEUSIPPUS, ELEUSIPPUS AND MELEUSIPPUS, MARTYRS
 Apud Língonas, in Gállia, sanctórum tergeminórum Speusíppi, Eleusíppi et Meleusíppi; qui, cum ávia sua Leonílla, martyrio coronáti sunt, témpore Marci Aurélii Imperatóris.
       At Langres in France, in the time of Marcus Aurelius, the Saints Speusippus, Eleusippus, and Meleusippus, born at one birth, were crowned with martyrdom together with their grandmother Leonilla.
THESE are stated in the Roman Martyrology to have been tergemini, three twin brothers, who, with their grandmother, Leonilla (or Neonilla), suffered martyrdom, apparently at Langres in France, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. The whole story seems to present a typical example of a fiction which, written originally for edification or mere diversion, has been adopted in all seriousness, and transplanted to other lands far from the place of its birth.
In its origin the romance is clearly connected with Cappadocia, but no early or local cult can be cited to bear out any of its incidents. How it happened that the clergy of Langres in the fifth century
or later came to believe themselves to be in possession of the relics of these martyrs cannot now be explained. The relics are supposed to have been further translated, at least in part, to the abbey of Ellwangen in Swabia.

The Latin text of the so-called acts is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, January 17. An unsatisfactory Greek version has also been printed by Leparev and by Grégoire, and a Georgian paraphrase by Marr. The story has been appealed to in confirmation of the theory, first enunciated by Dr Rendel Harris, that the pagan cult of the Dioscuri (the heavenly twins, Castor and Pollux) has been transplanted bodily into Christian hagiography (see, e.g. H. Grégoire, Saints jumeaux et dieux cavaliers), a fantastic thesis to which full justice has been done by H. Delehaye in the Analecta Bollandiana, vols. xxiii, pp. 427 seq. xxiv, 505 seq. xxvi, 334 seq. Cf. also C. Weymann in the Historisches Jahrbuch, vol. xxix, pp. 575 seq.
4th v. St. Achillas Hermit in Egypt with Amoes "the Flowers of the Desert" by the Greek Church
 They lived and prayed in a secluded desert region of Egypt for decades. For this reason they are called "the Flowers of the Desert" by the Greek Church. Achillas and Amoes are especially venerated at the beginning of Lent.

356 St. Anthony the Abbot miraculous healings Faith comes from God rhetoric from humans
 In Thebáide sancti Antónii Abbátis, qui, multórum Monachórum Pater, vita et miráculis præclaríssimus vixit; cujus gesta sanctus Athanásius insígni volúmine prosecútus est.  Ejus autem sacrum corpus, sub Justiniáno Imperatóre, divína revelatióne repértum et Alexandríam delátum, in Ecclésia sancti Joánnis Baptístæ humátum fuit.
       In Thebais, St. Anthony, abbot and spiritual guide of many monks, who was most celebrated for his life and miracles of which St. Athanasius has written a detailed account.  His holy body was found by a divine revelation during the reign of Emperor Justinian and brought to Alexandria,  buried in the church of St. John Baptist.


356 ST ANTONY THE ABBOT
ST ANTONY was born at a village south of Memphis in Upper Egypt in 251. His parents, who were Christians, kept him always at home, so that he grew up in ignorance of what was then regarded as polite literature, and could read no language but his own. At their death he found himself possessed of a consider­able estate and charged with the care of a younger sister, before he was twenty years of age. Some six months afterwards he heard read in the church those words of Christ to the rich young man “Go, sell what thou hast, and give it to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven”. Considering these words as addressed to himself, he went home and made over to his neighbours his best land, and the rest of his estate he sold and gave the price to the poor, except what he thought necessary for himself and his sister. Soon after, hearing in the church those other words of Christ, “Be not solicitous for to-morrow”, he also distributed in alms the moveables which he had reserved, and placed his sister in a house of maidens, which is commonly assumed to be the first recorded mention of a nunnery. Antony himself retired into solitude, in imitation of a certain old man who led the life of a hermit in the neighbourhood. Manual labour, prayer and reading were his whole occupation; and such was his fervour that if he heard of any virtuous recluse, he sought him out and endeavoured to take advantage of his example and instruction. In this way he soon became a model of humility, charity, prayerfulness and many more virtues.

The Devil assailed Anthony by various temptations, representing to him first of all many good works he might have been able to carry out with his estate in the world, and the difficulties of his present condition—a common artifice of the enemy, whereby he strives to make a soul dissatisfied in the vocation God has appointed. Being repulsed by the young novice, he varied his method of attack, and harassed him night and day with gross and obscene imaginations. Antony opposed to his assaults the strictest watchfulness over his senses, austere fasts and prayer, till Satan, appearing in a visible form, first of a woman coming to seduce him, then of a Negro to terrify him, at length confessed himself vanquished.

The saint’s food was only bread, with a little salt, and he drank nothing but water he never ate before sunset, and sometimes only once in three or four days. When he took his rest he lay on a rush mat or the bare floor. In quest of a more remote solitude he withdrew to an old burial-place, to which a friend brought him bread from time to time. Satan was here again permitted to assault him in a visible manner, and to terrify him with gruesome noises; indeed, on one occasion he so grievously beat him that he lay almost dead, and in this condition was found by his friend. When he began to come to himself Antony cried out to God, “Where wast thou, my Lord and Master? Why wast thou not here from the beginning of this conflict to render me assistance?” A voice answered, “Antony, I was here the whole time I stood by thee and beheld thy combat; and because thou hast manfully withstood thy enemies, I will always protect thee, and will render thy name famous throughout the earth.”

Hitherto Antony, ever since he turned his back on the world in 272, had lived in solitary places not very far from his village of Koman; and St Athanasius observes that before him many fervent persons led retired lives in penance and contemplation near the towns, while others followed the same manner of life without withdrawing from their fellow creatures. Both were called ascetics, from their being devoted to the exercise of mortification and prayer, according to the import of the Greek word askhsix (practice or training). Even in earlier times we find mention made of such ascetics; and Origen, about the year 249, says they abstained from flesh-meat no less than the disciples of Pythagoras. Eusebius tells us that St Peter of Alexandria practised austerities equal to those of the ascetics he says the same of Pamphilus, and St Jerome uses the same expression of Pierius. St Antony had led this manner of life near Koman until about the year 285 when, at the age of thirty-five, he crossed the eastern branch of the Nile and took up his abode in some ruins on the top of a mountain, in which solitude he lived almost twenty years, rarely seeing any man except one who brought him bread every six months.

To satisfy the importunities of others, about the year 305, the fifty-fourth of his age, he came down from his mountain and founded his first monastery, in the Fayum. This originally consisted of scattered cells, but we cannot be sure that the various colonies of ascetics which he planted out in this way were all arranged upon the same plan. He did not stay permanently with any such community, but he visited them occasionally, and St Athanasius tells us how, in order to reach this first monastery, he had, both in going and returning, to cross the Arsinoitic canal, which was infested by crocodiles. It seems, however, that the distraction of mind caused by this intervention in the affairs of his fellow men gave him great scruples, and we hear even of a temptation to despair, which he could only overcome by prayer and hard manual labour. In this new manner of life his daily sustenance was six ounces of bread soaked in water, to which he sometimes added a few dates. He took it generally after sunset, and in his old age he added a little oil. Sometimes he ate only once in three or four days, yet appeared vigorous and always cheerful strangers knew him from among his disciples by the joy on his countenance, resulting from the inward peace of his soul. St Antony exhorted his brethren to allot the least time they possibly could to the care of the body, notwithstanding which he was careful not to make perfection seem to consist in mortification but in the love of God. He instructed his monks to reflect every morning that perhaps they might not live till night, and every evening that perhaps they might never see the morning; and to do every action as if it were the last of their lives. “The Devil”, he said, “dreads fasting, prayer, humility and good works he is not able even to stop my mouth who speak against him. His illusions soon vanish,- especially if a man arms himself with the sign of the cross.” He told them that once when the Devil appeared to him and said, “Ask what you please I am the power of God,” he invoked the name of Jesus and the tempter vanished.

In the year 311, when the persecution was renewed under Maximinus, St Antony went to Alexandria in order to give courage to the martyrs. He publicly wore his white tunic of sheep-skin and appeared in the sight of the governor, yet took care never presumptuously to provoke the judges or impeach himself, as some rashly did. The persecution having abated, he returned to his monastery, and some time after organized another, called Pispir, near the Nile but he chose for the most part to shut himself up in a cell upon a mountain difficult of access with Macarius, a disciple whose duty it was to interview visitors. If he found them to be Hiero­solymites, i.e. spiritual men. St Antony himself sat with them in discourse; if Egyptians (by which name they meant worldly persons), then Macarius entertained them, and Antony only appeared to give them a short exhortation. Once the saint saw in a vision the whole earth covered so thick with snares that it seemed scarce possible to set down a foot without being entrapped. At this sight he cried out trembling, “Who, Lord, can escape them all?” A voice answered him, “Humil­ity, Antony!

St. Antony cultivated a little garden on his desert mountain, but this tillage was not the only manual labour in which he employed himself. St Athanasius speaks of his making mats as an ordinary occupation. We are told that he once fell into dejection, finding uninterrupted contemplation above his strength; but was taught to apply himself at intervals to manual work by an angel in a vision, who appeared platting mats of palm-tree leaves, then rising to pray, and after some time sitting down again to work, and who at length said to him, “Do thus, and relief shall come to thee”. But St Athanasius declares that Antony continued in some degree to pray whilst he was at work. He spent a great part of the night in contemplation and sometimes when the rising sun called him to his daily tasks he complained that its visible light robbed him of the greater interior light which he enjoyed when left in darkness and solitude. After a short sleep he always rose at midnight, and continued in prayer on his knees with his hands lifted to Heaven till sunrise, and sometimes till three in the afternoon, so, at least, Palladius informs us in his Lausiac History.

St Antony in the year 339 saw in a vision, under the figure of mules kicking down the altar, the havoc which the Arian persecution was to cause two years after in Alexandria. So deep was the impression of horror that he would not speak to a heretic unless to exhort him to the true faith; and he drove all such from his mountain, calling them venomous serpents. At the request of the bishops, about the year 355, he took a journey to Alexandria to confute the Arians, preaching that God the Son is not a creature, but of the same substance with the Father; and that the Arians, who called him a creature, did not differ from the heathen themselves, who worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator“. All the people ran to see him, and rejoiced to hear him even the pagans, struck with the dignity of his character, flocked around him, saying, “We want to see the man of God“. He converted many, and even worked miracles. St Athanasius conducted him back as far as the gates of the city, where he cured a girl possessed by an evil spirit. Being desired by the governor to make a longer stay in the city, he answered,

As fish die if they are taken from the water, so does a monk wither away if he forsake his solitude

St Jerome relates that at Alexandria Antony met the famous Didymus, the blind head of the catechetical school there, and exhorted him not to regret overmuch the loss of eyes, which were common even to insects, but to rejoice in the treasure of that inner light which the apostles enjoyed, by which we see God and kindle the fire of His love •in our souls. Heathen philosophers and others often went to discuss with him, and returned astonished at his meekness and wisdom. When certain philosophers asked him how he could spend his time in solitude without even the alleviation of books, he replied that nature was his great book and amply supplied the lack of all else. When others came to ridicule his ignorance, he asked them with great simplicity which was best, good sense or book learning, and which had produced the other. The philosophers answered, “Good sense.” “This, then, said Antony, “is sufficient of itself.” Some others wishing to cavil and demanding a reason for his faith in Christ, he put them to silence by showing that they degraded the notion of godhead by ascribing to it human passions; but that the humiliation of the Cross is the greatest demonstration of infinite goodness, and its ignominy is shown to be the highest glory by Christ’s triumphant resurrection and by His raising of the dead to life and curing the blind and the sick. St Athanasius mentions that he disputed with these Greeks through an interpreter. Further, he assures us that no one visited St Antony under any affliction who did not return home full of comfort and he relates many miraculous cures wrought by him and several heavenly visions and revelations.

About the year 337 Constantine the Great and his two sons, Constantius and Constans, wrote a letter to the saint, recommending themselves to his prayers. St Antony, seeing his monks surprised, said, “Do not wonder that the emperor writes to us, a man even as I am; rather be astounded that God should have written to us, and that He has spoken to us by His Son“. He said he knew not how to answer it; but at last, through the importunity of his disciples, he penned a letter to the emperor and his sons, which St Athanasius has preserved, in which he exhorts them to constant remembrance of the judgement to come. St Jerome mentions seven other letters of St Aritony to divers monasteries. A maxim which he frequently repeats is, that the knowledge of ourselves is the necessary and only step by which we can ascend to the knowledge and love of God. The Bollandists give us a short letter of St Antony to St Theodore, abbot of Tabenna, in which he says that God had assured him that He showed mercy to all true worshippers of Jesus Christ, even though they should have fallen, if they sincerely repented of their sin. A monastic rule, which bears St Antony’s name, may very possibly preserve the general features of his system of ascetic training. In any case, his example and instructions have served as a trustworthy rule for the monastic life to all succeeding ages. It is related that St Antony, hearing his disciples express surprise at the multitudes who embraced the religious state, told them with tears that the time would come when monks would be fond of living in cities and stately buildings, of eating at well-laden tables, and be only distinguished from persons of the world by their dress but that still some amongst them would rise to the spirit of true perfection.

St Antony made a visitation of his monks a little before his death, which he foretold, but no tears could move him to die among them. It appears from St Athanasius that the Christians had begun to imitate the pagan custom of embalming the bodies of the dead, an abuse which Antony had often condemned as proceeding from vanity and sometimes superstition. He gave orders that he should be buried in the earth beside his mountain cell by his two disciples, Macarius and Amathas. Hastening back to his solitude on Mount Kolzim near the Red Sea, he some time after fell ill whereupon he repeated to these disciples his orders that they should bury his body secretly in that place, adding, “In the day of the resurrection I shall receive it incorruptible from the hand of Christ”.

He ordered them to give one of his sheep-skins, with the cloak upon which he lay, to the bishop Athanasius, as a public testimony of his being united in faith and communion with that holy prelate to give his other sheep-skin to the bishop Serapion and to keep for themselves his sackcloth. “Farewell, my children. Antony is departing, and will no longer be with you.” At these words they embraced him, and he, stretching out his feet, without any other sign, calmly ceased to breathe.
     His death occurred in the year 356, probably on January 17, on which day the most ancient martyr­ologies commemorate him. He was one hundred and five years old. From his youth to that extreme old age he always maintained the same fervour and austerity yet he lived without sickness, his sight was not impaired, his teeth were only worn, not one was lost or loosened. The two disciples interred him ac­cording to his directions. About the year 561 his remains are supposed to have been discovered and translated to Alexandria, thence to Constantinople, and eventually to Vienne, in France. The Bollandists print an account of many miracles wrought by his intercession, particularly of those connected with the epidemic called St Antony’s Fire, which raged violently in many parts of Europe in the eleventh century about the time of the translation of his reputed relics thither.

In art St Antony is constantly represented with a tau-shaped crutch or cross, a little bell, a pig, and sometimes a book. The crutch, in this peculiarly Egyptian T-shaped form of the cross, may be simply an indication of the saint’s great age and abbatial authority, or it may very possibly have reference to his constant use of the sign of the cross, in his conflict with evil spirits. The pig, no doubt, in its origin, denoted the Devil, but in the course of the twelfth century it acquired a new significance owing to the popularity of the Hospital Brothers of St Antony, founded at Clermont in 1096. Their works of charity endeared them to the people, and they obtained in many places the privilege of feeding their swine gratuitously upon the acorns and beech mast in the woods. For this purpose a bell was attached to the neck of one or more sows in a herd of pigs, or possibly their custodians an­nounced their coming by ringing a bell. In any case, it seems that the bell became associated with the members of the order, and in that way developed into an attri­bute of their eponymous patron. The book, no doubt, has reference to the book of nature which compensated the saint for the lack of any other reading.
We also some­times find flames indicated, which are typical of the disease, St Antony’s Fire, against which the saint was specially invoked.*[
*Called also the “burning sickness”, “hell fire” or “sacred fire”. It was later identified with erysipelas (called in Welsh y fendigaid, “the blessed”) but it appears originally to have been a far more virulent and contagious disorder, caused probably by the consumption of flour made from grain damaged by ergot.]
His popularity, largely due to the prevalence of this form of epidemic (see, e.g. the Life of St Hugh of Lincoln), was very great in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. He was, in particular, appealed to, probably on account of his association with the pig, as the patron of domestic animals and farm stock, so that gilds of butchers, brushmakers, etc., placed them­selves under his protection. Antony is named in the preparation of the Byzantine Eucharistic liturgy and in the canon according to the Coptic and Armenian rites.

The main authority for our knowledge of St Antony is the Life by St Athanasius, the authorship of which is now practically undisputed there is an English trans. by Dr R. T. Meyer in the Ancient Christian Writers series, and others. A very early Latin translation of the original Greek was made by Evagrius, and a Syriac version is also known. (On a second Latin rendering, see Wilmart, in the Revue Bénédictine, 1914, pp. 163—173.) Inter­esting supplementary details are also contributed by Palladius in his Historic Lausiaca, Cassian, and the later church historians. The literature of the subject is considerable. It will be sufficient to refer to Abbot C. Butler, Lausiac History, vol. i, pp. 215—228, and in the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. i, pp. 553555 Hannay, Christian Monasticism, pp. 95 seq., and pp. 274 seq.; H. Leclercq, art. “Cénobitisme”, in the DAC and Fr Cheneau, Saints d’Égypte, vol. i, pp. 153—181. On the diabolical assaults and temptations which figure so prominently in the life, cf. J. Stoffels in Theologie said Glaube, vol. ii (1910), pp. 721 seq., and 809 seq. Some fragments of what seems to be the original Coptic of three of St Antony’s letters have been published in the Journal of Theol. Studies, July, 1904, pp. 540-545 their authenticity is still a matter of dispute. We only know all seven in an imperfect Latin translation. The suggestion made by C. Ghedini (Lettere cristiane dei papiri greci, 1923, no. 19) that a letter in Greek on a fragment of papyrus in the British Museum is an autograph of St Antony, cannot be treated seriously; see Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xlii (1924), p. 173. See also G. Bardy in the Dictionnaire de spiritualité, vol. i, cc. 702—708; L. von Hertling, Antonius der Einsiedler (1930) B. Lavaud, Antoine le Grand (1943) and L. Bouyer, St Antoine Le Grand (1950), a valuable essay on primitive monastic spirituality. H. Queffélec’s biography (1950) is “une vie romancée”. On the saint in art, see H. Detzel, Christliche Ikonographie, vol. ii, pp. 85—88 ; Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, vol. ii, pp. 741 seq.  Drake, Saints and Their Emblems, p.a,. In the East St Antony is also greatly vener­ated, and religious communities among the Maronites and Chaldeans, and the Orthodox monks of Sinai, still profess to follow his rule. See also Reitzenstein, Des Athanasius Werk Über das Leben des Antonius (1914) ; and Contzen, Die Regel des hl. Antonius (1896). There is no justification for the spelling “Anthony” in this or any other example of the name.

Two Greek philosophers ventured out into the Egyptian desert to the mountain where Anthony lived. When they got there, Anthony asked them why they had come to talk to such a foolish man? He had reason to say that -- they saw before them a man who wore a skin, who refused to bathe, who lived on bread and water. They were Greek, the world's most admired civilization, and Anthony was Egyptian, a member of a conquered nation. They were philosophers, educated in languages and rhetoric. Anthony had not even attended school as a boy and he needed an interpreter to speak to them. In their eyes, he would have seemed very foolish.

But the Greek philosophers had heard the stories of Anthony. They had heard how disciples came from all over to learn from him, how his intercession had brought about miraculous healings, how his words comforted the suffering. They assured him that they had come to him because he was a wise man.

Anthony guessed what they wanted. They lived by words and arguments. They wanted to hear his words and his arguments on the truth of Christianity and the value of ascetism.
But he refused to play their game. He told them that if they truly thought him wise, "If you think me wise, become what I am, for we ought to imitate the good. Had I gone to you, I should have imitated you, but, since you have come to me, become what I am, for I am a Christian."
Anthony's whole life was not one of observing, but of becoming. When his parents died when he was eighteen or twenty he inherited their three hundred acres of land and the responsibility for a young sister. One day in church, he heard read Matthew 19:21: "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
Not content to sit still and meditate and reflect on Jesus' words he walked out the door of the church right away and gave away all his property except what he and his sister needed to live on. On hearing Matthew 6:34, "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today," he gave away everything else, entrusted his sister to a convent, and went outside the village to live a life of praying, fasting, and manual labor.
It wasn't enough to listen to words, he had to become what Jesus said.

Every time he heard of a holy person he would travel to see that person. But he wasn't looking for words of wisdom, he was looking to become. So if he admired a person's constancy in prayer or courtesy or patience, he would imitate it. Then he would return home.

Anthony went on to tell the Greek philosophers that their arguments would never be as strong as faith. He pointed out that all rhetoric, all arguments, no matter how complex, how well-founded, were created by human beings. But faith was created by God. If they wanted to follow the greatest ideal, they should follow their faith.

Anthony knew how difficult this was. Throughout his life he argued and literally wrestled with the devil. His first temptations to leave his ascetic life were arguments we would find hard to resist -- anxiety about his sister, longings for his relatives, thoughts of how he could have used his property for good purposes, desire for power and money.
When Anthony was able to resist him, the devil then tried flattery, telling Anthony how powerful Anthony was to beat him. Anthony relied on Jesus' name to rid himself of the devil. It wasn't the last time, though. One time, his bout with the devil left him so beaten, his friends thought he was dead and carried him to church. Anthony had a hard time accepting this. After one particular difficult struggle, he saw a light appearing in the tomb he lived in. Knowing it was God, Anthony called out, "Where were you when I needed you?" God answered, "I was here. I was watching your struggle. Because you didn't give in, I will stay with you and protect you forever."

With that kind of assurance and approval from God, many people would have settled in, content with where they were. But Anthony's reaction was to get up and look for the next challenge -- moving out into the desert.

Anthony always told those who came to visit him that the key to the ascetic life was perseverance, not to think proudly, "We've lived an ascetic life for a long time" but treat each day as if it were the beginning. To many, perseverance is simply not giving up, hanging in there. But to Anthony perseverance meant waking up each day with the same zeal as the first day. It wasn't enough that he had given up all his property one day. What was he going to do the next day?

Once he had survived close to town, he moved into the tombs a little farther away. After that he moved out into the desert. No one had braved the desert before. He lived sealed in a room for twenty years, while his friends provided bread. People came to talk to him, to be healed by him, but he refused to come out. Finally they broke the door down. Anthony emerged, not angry, but calm.

Some who spoke to him were healed physically, many were comforted by his words, and others stayed to learn from him. Those who stayed formed what we think of as the first monastic community, though it is not what we would think of religious life today. All the monks lived separately, coming together only for worship and to hear Anthony speak.

But after awhile, too many people were coming to seek Anthony out. He became afraid that he would get too proud or that people would worship him instead of God. So he took off in the middle of the night, thinking to go to a different part of Egypt where he was unknown. Then he heard a voice telling him that the only way to be alone was to go into the desert. He found some Saracens who took him deep into the desert to a mountain oasis. They fed him until his friends found him again.

Anthony died when he was one hundred and five years old. A life of solitude, fasting, and manual labor in the service of God had left him a healthy, vigorous man until very late in life. And he never stopped challenging himself to go one step beyond in his faith.

Saint Athanasius, who knew Anthony and wrote his biography, said, "Anthony was not known for his writings nor for his worldly wisdom, nor for any art, but simply for his reverence toward God."
We may wonder nowadays at what we can learn from someone who lived in the desert, wore skins, ate bread, and slept on the ground. We may wonder how we can become him. We can become Anthony by living his life of radical faith and complete commitment to God.

In His Footsteps: Fast for one day, if possible, as Anthony did, eating only bread and only after the sun sets. Pray as you do that God will show you how dependent you are on God for your strength.

Prayer: Saint Anthony, you spoke of the importance of persevering in our faith and our practice. Help us to wake up each day with new zeal for the Christian life and a desire to take the next challenge instead of just sitting still. Amen
Copyright (c) 1996-2000, Terry Matz. All Rights Reserved. Quotations from "Life of St. Anthony" by Saint Athanasius. Translated by Sister Mary Emily Keenan, S.C.N. Copyright 1952 by Fathers of the Early Church, Inc.
 
The life of Anthony will remind many people of St. Francis of Assisi.
At 20, Anthony was so moved by the Gospel message, “Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor” (Mark 10:21b), that he actually did just that with his large inheritance.
He is different from Francis in that most of Anthony’s life was spent in solitude. He saw the world completely covered with snares, and gave the Church and the world the witness of solitary asceticism, great personal mortification and prayer. But no saint is antisocial, and Anthony drew many people to himself for spiritual healing and guidance.
 
At 54, he responded to many requests and founded a sort of monastery of scattered cells. Again like Francis, he had great fear of “stately buildings and well-laden tables.”

At 60, he hoped to be a martyr in the renewed Roman persecution of 311, fearlessly exposing himself to danger while giving moral and material support to those in prison.
At 88, he was fighting the Arian heresy, that massive trauma from which it took the Church centuries to recover. “The mule kicking over the altar” denied the divinity of Christ.

Anthony is associated in art with a T-shaped cross, a pig and a book. The pig and the cross are symbols of his valiant warfare with the devil—the cross his constant means of power over evil spirits, the pig a symbol of the devil himself. The book recalls his preference for “the book of nature” over the printed word. Anthony died in solitude at 105.

Comment: In an age that smiles at the notion of devils and angels, a person known for having power over evil spirits must at least make us pause. And in a day when people speak of life as a “rat race,” one who devotes a whole life to solitude and prayer points to an essential of the Christian life in all ages. Anthony’s hermit life reminds us of the absoluteness of our break with sin and the totality of our commitment to Christ. Even in God’s good world, there is another world whose false values constantly tempt us.

Saints of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
The Venerable Fathers of the Nearer Caves of St. Anthony

St. Anthony, the First-Founder; St. Prokhor the Wonderworker; St. John the Fast; St. Juliania the Maiden, Princess of Ol’shansk; Saint-Martyrs Basil and Theodore; St. Polykarp, Archimandrite; St. Varlaam, Ihumen; St Damian the Presbyter and Healer;

St. Nikodim the Prosphora-maker; St. Lavrentii the Hermit, Bishop of Turiv; St. Athanasius the Hermit; St. Erasm the Black-Robed; St. Luke the Steward; St Agapit, the Gratuitous Physician; St Theophilus the Exact-sighted; St John the God-pleasing; St. Nektary the Obedient; St Gregory the Iconographer; Holy Hieromartyr Kuksha, Enlightener of the Vyati; St Alexei the Hermit; St Sava the God-pleasing; St Serhiy the Obedient; St. Mercurius, Bishop of Smolensk; St. Pimen the Much-ill; St. Nestor the Chronicler; Venerable Martyr Eustrathius; St. Elladii the Hermit; St Jeremiah the Perspicacious (could see the future); Venerable Martyr Moses the Hungarian; St. John the Much-suffering; St. Mark the Grave-digger; St Mykola Svyatosha, Prince of Chernihiv; St. Gregory the Wonderworker; St Onysim the Hermit; St. Matthew the Perspicacious; St Isaiah the Wonderworker; St. Avramy the Lover of work; St. Nyphont, Bishop of Novhorod; St. Sylvester the Wonderworker; St. Pimen the Faster; St. Onuphrius the Silent; St. Anatolius the Hermit; St. Alypius the Iconographer; St Sisoi the Hermit; St. Theophil the Hermit; St Aretha the Hermit; St. Spiridon the Prosphora-maker; St. Onysiphor the Confessor; St John the Ihumen; St John and his son St Zechariah; St. Simon, Bishop of Suzdal; St. Nikon, Ihumen of the Caves; St. Theophan the Faster; St. Makarius; Venerable Martyr Anastasius the Deacon; Twelve Saints-Greek Master Architects of the Kyivan Caves Great Church in honour of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God; St Avrami the Hermit; St. Isaac the Hermit; St. John the Infant (one of the children martyred at Bethlehem by King Herod at the time of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ); St. Elias of Murom; St Nikon the Lean; St. Ephrem, Bishop of Pereyaslavl; St. Titus the Priest-Monk;
In addition to these are thirty unknown Saints of God whose preserved and myrr-earing Heads are with the Relics of the Fathers of the Nearer Caves.
In the Service to the Fathers of the Nearer Caves are also mentioned:  St Ephrem the Priest and St. Eustathius the goldsmith. Also, Saint Dionysius, Archbishop of Suzdal; St. Jerome, Hermit and Wonderworker; St. Meladius, Elder and Wonderworker; St. Perhius, Elder; St. Paul the Obedient; St Meletius the Priest; St. Serapion, St. Philaret: St. Peter.
On May 24, A.D. 1853, these Saints of the Kyivan Caves Lavra were newly-revealed: St. Theophil; St. Theodosius; St. John the Cave-Dweller.
Other newly revealed Saints in the Near Caves of the Lavra include:   St Azarius the Faster, St Bassian, St. David, St Eliseus, St Innocent, St Hesychius, St Joachim, St Nicephorus, St Niphont, a second St Sergius, a second St Silouan, a second St Sylvester, St Sisoes the Canonarch, St Stephen the Faster and St Timothy.

Saint Anthony the Great is known as the Father of monasticism, and the long ascetical sermon in The Life of St Anthony by St Athanasius (Sections 16-34), could be called the first monastic Rule.
He was born in Egypt in the village of Coma, near the desert of the Thebaid, in the year 251.
His parents were pious Christians of illustrious lineage.
Anthony was a serious child and was respectful and obedient to his parents.
He loved to attend church services, and he listened to the Holy Scripture so attentively, that he remembered what he heard all his life.

When St Anthony was about twenty years old, he lost his parents, but he was responsible for the care of his younger sister. Going to church about six months later, the youth reflected on how the faithful,in the Acts of the Apostles (4:35), sold their possessions and gave the proceeds to the Apostles for the needy.

Then he entered the church and heard the Gospel passage where Christ speaks to the rich young man: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me" (Mt.19:21). Anthony felt that these words applied to him. Therefore, he sold the property that he received after the death of his parents, then distributed the money to the poor, and left his sister in the care of pious virgins in a convent.

Leaving his parental home, St Anthony began his ascetical life in a hut not far from his village. By working with his hands, he was able to earn his livelihood and also alms for the poor. Sometimes, the holy youth also visited other ascetics living in the area, and from each he sought direction and benefit. He turned to one particular ascetic for guidance in the spiritual life.

In this period of his life St Anthony endured terrible temptations from the devil. The Enemy of the race of man troubled the young ascetic with thoughts of his former life, doubts about his chosen path, concern for his sister, and he tempted Anthony with lewd thoughts and carnal feelings. But the saint extinguished that fire by meditating on Christ and by thinking of eternal punishment, thereby overcoming the devil.

Realizing that the devil would undoubtedly attack him in another manner, St Anthony prayed and intensified his efforts. Anthony prayed that the Lord would show him the path of salvation. And he was granted a vision. The ascetic beheld a man, who by turns alternately finished a prayer, and then began to work. This was an angel, which the Lord had sent to instruct His chosen one.

St Anthony tried to accustom himself to a stricter way of life. He partook of food only after sunset, he spent all night praying until dawn. Soon he slept only every third day. But the devil would not cease his tricks, and trying to scare the monk, he appeared under the guise of monstrous phantoms. The saint however protected himself with the Life-Creating Cross. Finally the Enemy appeared to him in the guise of a frightful looking black child, and hypocritically declaring himself beaten, he thought he could tempt the saint into vanity and pride. The saint, however, vanquished the Enemy with prayer.

For even greater solitude, St Anthony moved farther away from the village, into a graveyard. He asked a friend to bring him a little bread on designated days, then shut himself in a tomb. Then the devils pounced upon the saint intending to kill him, and inflicted terrible wounds upon him. By the providence of the Lord, Anthony's friend arrived the next day to bring him his food. Seeing him lying on the ground as if dead, he took him back to the village. They thought the saint was dead and prepared for his burial. At midnight, St Anthony regained consciousness and told his friend to carry him back to the tombs.

St Anthony's staunchness was greater than the wiles of the Enemy. Taking the form of ferocious beasts, the devils tried to force the saint to leave that place, but he defeated them by trusting in the Lord. Looking up, the saint saw the roof opening, as it were, and a ray of light coming down toward him. The demons disappeared and he cried out, "Where have You been, O Merciful Jesus? Why didn't You appear from the very beginning to end my pain?"

The Lord replied, "I was here, Anthony, but wanted to see your struggle. Now, since you have not yielded, I shall always help you and make your name known throughout all the world." After this vision St Anthony was healed of his wounds and felt stronger than before. He was then thirty-five years of age.

Having gained spiritual experience in his struggle with the devil, St Anthony considered going into the Thebaid desert to serve the Lord. He asked the Elder (to whom he had turned for guidance at the beginning of his monastic journey) to go into the desert with him. The Elder, while blessing him in the then as yet unheard of exploit of being a hermit, decided not to accompany him because of his age.

St Anthony went into the desert alone. The devil tried to hinder him, by placing a large silver disc in his path, then gold, but the saint ignored it and passed by. He found an abandoned fort on the other side of the river and settled there, barricading the entrance with stones. His faithful friend brought him bread twice a year, and there was water inside the fort.

St Anthony spent twenty years in complete isolation and constant struggle with the demons, and he finally achieved perfect calm. The saint's friends removed the stones from the entrance , and they went to St Anthony and besought him to take them under his guidance. Soon St Anthony's cell was surrounded by several monasteries, and the saint acted as a father and guide to their inhabitants, giving spiritual instruction to all who came into the desert seeking salvation. He increased the zeal of those who were already monks, and inspired others with a love for the ascetical life. He told them to strive to please the Lord, and not to become faint-hearted in their labors. He also urged them not to fear demonic assaults, but to repel the Enemy by the power of the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord.

In the year 311 there was a fierce persecution against Christians, in the reign of the emperor Maximian. Wishing to suffer with the holy martyrs, St Anthony left the desert and went to Alexandria. He openly ministered to those in prison, he was present at the trial and interrogations of the confessors, and accompanying the martyrs to the place of execution. It pleased the Lord to preserve him, however, for the benefit of Christians.

At the close of the persecution, the saint returned to the desert and continued his exploits. The Lord granted the saint the gift of wonderworking, casting out demons and healing the sick by the power of his prayer. The great crowds of people coming to him disrupted his solitude, and he went off still farther, into the inner desert where he settled atop a high elevation. But the brethren of the monasteries sought him out and asked him to visit their communities.

Another time St Anthony left the desert and arrived in Alexandria to defend the Orthodox Faith against the Manichaean and Arian heresies. Knowing that the name of St Anthony was venerated by all the Church, the Arians said that he adhered to their heretical teaching. But St Anthony publicly denounced Arianism in front of everyone and in the presence of the bishop. During his brief stay at Alexandria, he converted a great multitude of pagans to Christ.

People from all walks of life loved the saint and sought his advice. Pagan philosophers once came to Abba Anthony intending to mock him for his lack of education, but by his words he reduced them to silence. Emperor Constantine the Great (May 21) and his sons wrote to St Anthony and asked him for a reply. He praised the emperor for his belief in Christ, and advised him to remember the future judgment, and to know that Christ is the true King.

St Anthony spent eighty-five years in the solitary desert. Shortly before his death, he told the brethren that soon he would be taken from them. He instructed them to preserve the Orthodox Faith in its purity, to avoid any association with heretics, and not to be negligent in their monastic struggles. "Strive to be united first with the Lord, and then with the saints, so that after death they may receive you as familiar friends into the everlasting dwellings."

The saint instructed two of his disciples, who had attended him in the final fifteen years of his life, to bury him in the desert and not in Alexandria. He left one of his monastic mantles to St Athanasius of Alexandria (January 18), and the other to St Serapion of Thmuis (March 21). St Anthony died peacefully in the year 356, at age 105, and he was buried in the desert by his disciples.

The Life of the famed ascetic St Anthony the Great was written by St Athanasius of Alexandria. This is the first biography of a saint who was not a martyr, and is considered to be one of the finest of St Athanasius' writings. St John Chrysostom recommends that this Life be read by every Christian.

"These things are insignificant compared with Anthony's virtues," writes St Athanasius, "but judge from them what the man of God Anthony was like. From his youth until his old age, he kept his zeal for asceticism, he did not give in to the desire for costly foods because of his age, nor did he alter his clothing because of the infirmity of his body. He did not even wash his feet with water. He remained very healthy, and he could see well because his eyes were sound and undimmed. Not one of his teeth fell out, but near the gums they had become worn due to his advanced age. He remained strong in his hands and feet.... He was spoken of everywhere, and was admired by everyone, and was sought even by those who had not seen him, which is evidence of his virtue and of a soul dear to God."

The following works of St Anthony have come down to us:  Twenty Sermons on the virtues, primarily monastic (probably spurious).  Seven Letters to various Egyptian monasteries concerning moral perfection, and the monastic life as a spiritual struggle.  A Rule for monastics (not regarded as an authentic work of St Anthony). 

In the year 544 the relics of St Anthony the Great were transferred to Alexandria, and after the conquest of Egypt by the Saracens in the seventh century, they were transferred to Constantinople. The holy relics were transferred from Constantinople in the tenth-eleventh centuries to a diocese outside Vienna. In the fifteenth century they were brought to Arles (in France), to the church of St Julian.

  January 17, 2007 St. Anthony of Egypt  251-356)
The life of Anthony will remind many people of St. Francis of Assisi. At 20, Anthony was so moved by the Gospel message, “Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor” (Mark 10:21b), that he actually did just that with his large inheritance. He is different from Francis in that most of Anthony’s life was spent in solitude. He saw the world completely covered with snares, and gave the Church and the world the witness of solitary asceticism, great personal mortification and prayer. But no saint is antisocial, and Anthony drew many people to himself for spiritual healing and guidance.
At 54, he responded to many requests and founded a sort of monastery of scattered cells.
Again like Francis, he had great fear of “stately buildings and well-laden tables.”
At 60, he hoped to be a martyr in the renewed Roman persecution of 311, fearlessly exposing himself to danger while giving moral and material support to those in prison.
At 88, he was fighting the Arian heresy, that massive trauma from which it took the Church centuries to recover. “The mule kicking over the altar” denied the divinity of Christ.
Anthony is associated in art with a T-shaped cross, a pig and a book. The pig and the cross are symbols of his valiant warfare with the devil—the cross his constant means of power over evil spirits, the pig a symbol of the devil himself. The book recalls his preference for “the book of nature” over the printed word. Anthony died in solitude at 105.
Comment:   In an age that smiles at the notion of devils and angels, a person known for having power over evil spirits must at least make us pause. And in a day when people speak of life as a “rat race,” one who devotes a whole life to solitude and prayer points to an essential of the Christian life in all ages. Anthony’s hermit life reminds us of the absoluteness of our break with sin and the totality of our commitment to Christ. Even in God’s good world, there is another world whose false values constantly tempt us.
377 St Julian Sabas “In the district of Edessa, in Mesopotamia (the commemoration) of St Julian, the hermit, called Sabas, who, when the Catholic faith at Antioch had almost died out restored it again by the power of his miracles
In the Roman Martyrology we read on this day: “In the district of Edessa, in Mesopotamia (the commemoration) of St Julian, the hermit, called Sabas, who, when the Catholic faith at Antioch had almost died out in the time of the Emperor Valens, restored it again by the power of his miracles.
Hiding himself from the world in a cave in Osrhoene (beside the Euphrates) he practiced extraordinary asceticism, eating only once in the week.  After the expulsion of St Meletius, Bishop of Antioch, it was asserted by the heretics in that city that Julian Sabas, whose reputation as an ascetic stood high, had embraced Arian doctrines.
When besought by the orthodox in 372 to come and refute the slander, he complied, and his presence in Antioch was attended by the most beneficial results.
When his mission was accomplished he returned to his cave, and died not long afterwards.  Many stupendous miracles are attributed to him by the Greek hagiographers.
See the Acta Sanctorum for October 18, where Theodoret is cited as our most reliable source of information.  A Syriac version of Theodoret’s account has been printed by Bedjan; see Analecta Bollandiana, vol xvi (1897), p. 184; and BHG, nn. 67--68.
St. Pior 395  Hermit disciple of St. Anthony in Egypt.
Pior belonged to the eremitical community in the the Baid desert on the Nile. He lived in a cave.
420 Sabinus of Piacenza B (RM); feast day formerly December 11. Bishop Saint Sabinus of Piacenza was a close friend of Saint Ambrose, who used to send him his writings for editing
 In fínibus Edessénæ regiónis, in Mesopotámia, sancti Juliáni Eremítæ, cognoménto Sabæ, qui, Valéntis Imperatóris témpore, fidem cathólicam, Antiochíæ ferme collápsam, virtúte miraculórum eréxit.
      At Edessa in Mesopotamia, in the time of Emperor Valens, St. Julian Sabas the Elder, who miraculously restored the Catholic faith at Antioch, although it was almost destroyed in that city.
While still a deacon Sabinus was sent by Pope Saint Damasus to settle the Meletian schism at Antioch. Sabinus is reputed to have stayed the flood water of the River Po with a written order (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson).
420 ST SABINUS, BISHOP OF PIACENZA
The letters of St Ambrose to Sabinus bear witness to the close friendship between the two bishops, as also to the high reputation for learning which St Sabinus enjoyed, for in one letter St Ambrose asks for his criticisms of some treatises which he sent to him.

He sat in the Council of Aquileia in 381 against the Arians, and in that of Milan nine years later against Jovinian. He is probably identical with the Sabinus who was a deacon at Milan, and was sent by Pope St Damasus to the East in connection with the Arian troubles at Antioch. St Gregory has preserved the legend according to which St Sabinus averted a disastrous flood by writing down an order and casting the paper into the River Po. The river obeyed, and returned to its proper channel. He is said to have died on December 11, 420.

See Acta Sanctorum, January 17.
6th v. St. Nennius One of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland disciple of St. Finian.
The only other thing known about him is that he was born in Ireland.
6th v. St. Anthony, Merulus, and John monks in Rome’s Benedictine Monastery of Saint Andrew
 Romæ, in monastério sancti Andréæ, beatórum Monachórum Antónii, Méruli et Joánnis, de quibus scribit sanctus Gregórius Papa.
       At Rome, in the monastery of St. Andrew, the blessed monks Anthony, Merulus, and John, of whom Pope St. Gregory speaks in his writings.
Anthony, Merulus, and John were monks in Rome’s Benedictine Monastery of Saint Andrew. Anthony meditated upon the Scriptures so as to move his heart to contrition. One night he experienced a vision in which he was told to prepare to leave on a journey, for God had commanded it. When Anthony replied that he did not have the money to pay his way, the voice answered, “If you are referring to your sins, know that they are forgiven.” Six days later, he died. The monk Merulus recited the psalms continually. He also received a vision foreshadowing his death, when one night he saw a garland of white flowers descend from heaven and settle upon his head. He died peacefully soon afterward. The monk John was distinguished for his great humility and meekness. When he fell ill with what seemed a fatal illness, he experienced a vision of an aged man assuring him that he would not die from this sickness, but adding, “Be prepared, for you have not long to live in this world.” After recovering, John spent the next two years living his monastic vocation with exceptional fervor before dying from a fever.
647 St. Sulpicius Bishop of Bourges in 624 austerities holiness devoted to the poor
 Apud Bitúricas, in Aquitánia, deposítio sancti Sulpícii Epíscopi, cognoménto Pii, cujus vita et mors pretiósa gloriósis miráculis commendátur.
       At Bourges in Aquitaine, the death of the holy Bishop Sulpice, surnamed Pius, whose life and precious death were approved by glorious miracles.
Sulpicius, also called Sulpice and Pius, was the son of wealthy parents, who renounced the idea of marriage and devoted himself even from his youth to all kinds of good works, and especially to care for the poor.
When he became Bishop of Bourges in 624, he fought for the rights of his people against King Dagobert's minister, Lullo. Sulpicius attended the Council of Clichy in 627.
He was known for his austerities and holiness, and is reported to have converted all the inhabitants of Bourges to Christianity with his holiness and charity. He resigned his Bishopric late in life to devote himself to the poor. The famous St. Sulpice Seminary in Paris is named after him.

647 ST SULPICIUS II, OR SULPICE, BISHOP OF BOURGES
THE life of St Sulpicius (Pius), the second bishop of Bourges of that name, which is one of the few biographies admitted even by Krusch to be an authentic Merovingian document, does not supply very much detail, but it must have been composed within a few years of the bishop’s death, and the sincerity and enthusiasm of the writer are unmistakable. Sulpicius was the son of wealthy parents, who renounced the idea of marriage and devoted himself even from his youth to all kinds of good works, and especially to care for the poor. Being elected bishop, he became the father of his people, defended them against the tyranny of Lullo, the minister of King Dagobert, and, as the effect of a general fast which ha imposed for three days, obtained considerate treatment for them under Clovis II, Dagobert’s successor. Various miracles, notably the extinction of a great conflagration by making the sign of the cross over it, were attributed to him during his life, and many more took place beside. his tomb after death.
The chronological data are scanty, but we know that St Sulpicius attended the Council of Clichy in 627, and that he exchanged letters frequently with St Didier of Cahors, whom he had consecrated bishop in 630. His austerity of life was remarkable. He spent much of the night in prayer, fasted continually, and recited the entire psalter each day. By the force of his example and his exhortations the whole Jewish population of Bourges was converted to Christianity. Towards the end of his days, finding that he could no longer give the same amount of time to the care of the poor and afflicted whom he loved, Sulpicius obtained leave from the king to appoint another bishop in his place, in order that he himself might have more leisure for his works of charity.
His death, in 647, was followed by extraordinary scenes of which his biographer was evidently an eye-witness. He compares the outcry and lamentations heard on all sides to the rumbling of thunder, and tells us that at his obsequies the vast throng of people, throwing themselves flat on the ground in their sorrow and despair, rendered it almost impossible for
the clergy to carry out the offices. “0 good shepherd”, they cried, “guardian of exhumation thought the living appearance of the eyes so wonderful that he had thy people, why dost thou forsake us? To whom this day dost thou leave us.”  Though the times are far removed from our own, the sketch which his biographer has left us gives an impression of such charity, zeal and strict observance as seems befitting in the patron of that famous Paris seminary which was afterwards to bear his name.

The most reliable text of the life has been printed by B. Krusch in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. iv, pp. 364—380, from MS. Addit. ii 88o, of the ninth century, in the British Museum. See also the Acta Sanctorum, January 17, Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. ii, pp 28—29, and BHL., n. 1146. “Pius” is an epithet to distinguish Sulpicius from a namesake.
676 St. Mildgytha Benedictine nun, daughter of St. Ermenburga.
 a princess, and Merewald. Her sisters were Sts. Milburga and Mildred. She received the veil from her mother at Minster on the Isle of Thanet and later became abbess of a Northumbrian convent.

715 ST RICHIMIR, ABBOT selected a place called later Saint-Rigomer-des-Bois. There he built a church in honour of the Apostles, and founded a monastery over which he ruled as abbot till his death

MUCH obscurity overshadows the memory of St Richimir. His name is omitted from the martyrologies. Nothing is known of the place of his burial, while the country which he sanctified has long since abandoned devotion to him. For­tunately a contemporary life has been preserved. The anonymous author relates how St Richimir, while not yet in orders, went to Gilbert, Bishop of Le Mans, and asked permission to settle in his diocese, together with a few followers, and to found a monastery under the Rule of St Benedict. The bishop gladly assented, and offered him a suitable property. But Richimir preferred wild and desolate land which had yet to be cultivated. Having been ordained, he set out for the Loire and built a cell near the river. When the bishop heard of his great poverty, he gladly sent him the necessaries of life, although Richimir accepted these only reluctantly. Apparently the position was not suitable, for he abandoned it and selected a place not far distant, called later Saint-Rigomer-des-Bois. There he built a church in honour of the Apostles, and founded a monastery over which he ruled as abbot till his death about 715.

See Acta Sanctorum, January 17, and Mabillon, vol. iii, part i, pp. 228—232.
Blessed Gonzalo de Amarante Dominican priest.
It must be confessed that many of the incidents recorded in the life of Blessed Gonzalo (Gundisalvus), a Portuguese of high family, are not of a nature to inspire confidence in the sobriety of his biographers judgment. At the very outset we are told that when carried to the font the infant fixed his eyes on the crucifix with a look of extraordinary love. Then, when he had grown up and been ordained a priest, he is said to have resigned his rich benefice to his nephew and to have spent fourteen years upon a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

On his return, being repulsed by his nephew, who set the dogs on him as a vagrant, he was supernaturally directed to enter that Order in which the Office began and ended with the Ave Maria. He accordingly became a Dominican, but what was allowed by his superiors to live as a hermit, during which time he built, largely with his own hands, a bridge over the river Tamega. When the laborers whom he persuaded to help him had no wine to drink, and he was afraid that they would go on strike, he betook himself to prayer; and then, on his hitting the rock with his stick, an abundant supply of excellent wine spouted forth from a fissure. Again, when provisions failed, he went to the riverside to summon the fishes, who came at his call and jumped out of the river, competing for the privilege of being eaten in so worthy a cause.

Similarly, we read that "when he was preaching to the people, desiring to make them understand the effects of the Church's censures upon the soul, he excommunicated a basket of bread, and the loaves at once became black and corrupt. Then, to show that the Church can restore to her communion those who humble acknowledge their fault, he removed the excommunication, and the loaves recovered their whiteness and their wholesome savor". It is to be feared that legend has played a considerable part in filling in the rather obscure outlines of the biography. Blessed Gonzalo died on January 10, but his feast is kept on this day by the Dominicans, his cultus having been approved in 1560.

1220 St. Berard and Companions prompted Anthony of Padua a young Augustinian canon to join the Franciscans

Preaching the gospel is often dangerous work. Leaving one’s homeland and adjusting to new cultures, governments and languages is difficult enough; but martyrdom sometimes caps all the other sacrifices.

In 1219 with the blessing of St. Francis, Berard left Italy with Peter, Adjute, Accurs, Odo and Vitalis to preach in Morocco. En route in Spain Vitalis became sick and commanded the other friars to continue their mission without him.

They tried preaching in Seville, then in Muslim hands, but made no converts. They went on to Morocco where they preached in the marketplace. The friars were immediately apprehended and ordered to leave the country; they refused. When they began preaching again, an exasperated sultan ordered them executed. After enduring severe beatings and declining various bribes to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ, the friars were beheaded by the sultan himself on January 16, 1220.

These were the first Franciscan martyrs. When Francis heard of their deaths, he exclaimed, "Now I can truly say that I have five Friars Minor!" Their relics were brought to Portugal where they prompted a young Augustinian canon to join the Franciscans and set off for Morocco the next year. That young man was Anthony of Padua. These five martyrs were canonized in 1481.
Comment: The deaths of Berard and his companions sparked a missionary vocation in Anthony of Padua and others. There have been many, many Franciscans who have responded to Francis’ challenge. Proclaiming the gospel can be fatal, but that has not stopped Franciscan men and women who today risk their lives in many countries throughout the world.
Quote: Before St. Francis, the Rules of religious orders made no mention of preaching to the Muslims. In the Rule of 1223, Francis wrote: "Those brothers who, by divine inspiration, desire to go among the Saracens and other nonbelievers should ask permission from their ministers provincial. But the ministers should not grant permission except to those whom they consider fit to be sent" (Chapter 12).
1329 BD ROSELINE, VIRGIN holy Carthusian nun frequent visions and ecstasies, and possessed an extraordinary gift of reading the hearts of all who came to her. Her body was indescribably beautiful after death, and no sign of rigidity or corruption appeared in it. Five years afterwards it was still perfectly preserved, and the ecclesiastic who presided at the them enucleated and kept in a reliquary apart. The body was still quite entire a hundred years later, and the eyes had neither shrivelled nor decayed as late as 1644.
THIS holy Carthusian nun, Roseline de Villeneuve, was of very distinguished ancestry. Her father was Baron des Arcs, and her mother was a de Sabran. She had to overcome strong family opposition before she could finally execute her purpose of consecrating herself to God. She had been educated by the nuns of St Clare, but found her own vocation in following the austere Carthusian rule. She seems to have been received in the convent of Bertrand at the age of twenty-five, and twelve years later was made prioress of Celle Roubaud, in Provence, where she died, January 17, 1329. She occasionally passed a whole week together without taking food; she punished herself with terrible disciplines, and never gave more than three or four hours to sleep. She used to teach her nuns to have a great dread of those words, “I know you not “, in order that they might make sure of hearing the greeting, “Come, ye blessed of my Father.” When Roseline was asked what was the best means of getting to Heaven, she often replied, “To know oneself. She had frequent visions and ecstasies, and possessed an extraordinary gift of reading the hearts of all who came to her. Her body was indescribably beautiful after death, and no sign of rigidity or corruption appeared in it. Five years afterwards it was still perfectly preserved, and the ecclesiastic who presided at the them enucleated and kept in a reliquary apart. The body was still quite entire a hundred years later, and the eyes had neither shrivelled nor decayed as late as 1644.  Her cultus was confirmed in 1851.
See the Acta Sanctorum for June xi; Le Couteulx, Annales Ordinis Cartusiensis, vol. v, pp. 262—268 Villeneuve-Flayose, Histoire de Ste Roseline de Villeneuve (1866).


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


Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Miracles by Century 100   200   300   400   500   600   700    800   900   1000    1100   1200   1300   1400  1500  1600  1700  1800   1900  Miracles_BLay Saints
Morning Prayer and Hymn    Meditation of the Day    Prayer for Priests    Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here
We are called upon with the whole Church militant on earth to join in praising and thanking God for the grace and glory he has bestowed on his saints. At the same time we earnestly implore Him to exert His almighty power and mercy in raising us from our miseries and sins, healing the disorders of our souls and leading us by the path of repentance to the company of His saints, to which He has called us.
   They were once what we are now, travellers on earth they had the same weaknesses, which we have. We have difficulties to encounter so had the saints, and many of them far greater than we can meet with; obstacles from kings and whole nations, sometimes from the prisons, racks and swords of persecutors. Yet they surmounted these difficulties, which they made the very means of their virtue and victories. It was by the strength they received from above, not by their own, that they triumphed. But the blood of Christ was shed for us as it was for them and the grace of our Redeemer is not wanting to us; if we fail, the failure is in ourselves.
   THE saints and just, from the beginning of time and throughout the world, who have been made perfect, everlasting monuments of God’s infinite power and clemency, praise His goodness without ceasing; casting their crowns before His throne they give to Him all the glory of their triumphs: “His gifts alone in us He crowns.”
“The saints must be honored as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God, as John the theologian and evangelist says: ‘But as many as received him, he gave them the power to be made the sons of God....’ Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory” Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

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

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

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

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

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

Patron_Saints.html  Widowed_Saints htmIndulgences The Catholic Church in China
LINKS: Marian Shrines  
India Marian Shrine Lourdes of the East   Lourdes 1858  China Marian shrines 1995
Kenya national Marian shrine  Loreto, Italy  Marian Apparitions (over 2000Quang Tri Vietnam La Vang 1798
 
Links to Related MarianWebsites  Angels and Archangels  Saints Visions of Heaven and Hell

Widowed Saints  html
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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 (2005 - 2013) Francis (2013

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints today

Pope St. Stephen.  -- 155? SS. SPEUSIPPUS, ELEUSIPPUS AND MELEUSIPPUS, MARTYRS
 Romæ Invéntio sanctórum Mártyrum Diodóri Presbyteri, Mariáni Diáconi, et Sociórum; qui, sancto Stéphano Papa Ecclésiam Dei regénte, martyrium Kaléndis Decémbris sunt assecúti.
At Rome, the finding of the holy martyrs Diodorus, priest, and Marian, deacon, and their companions.  They suffered martyrdom on the 1st of December during the pontificate of Pope St. Stephen.


Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
308-309 Pope St. Marcellus I
Romæ, via Salária, natális sancti Marcélli Primi, Papæ et Mártyris; qui, ob cathólicæ fídei confessiónem, jubénte Maxéntio tyránno, primo cæsus est fústibus, deínde ad servítium animálium cum custódia pública deputátus, et ibídem, serviéndo indútus amíctu cilícino, defúnctus est.
       At Rome, on the Salarian Way, the birthday of Pope St. Marcellus I, a martyr for the confession of the Catholic faith.  By command of the tyrant Maxentius he was beaten with clubs, then sent to take care of animals, with a guard to watch him.  In this servile office, dressed in haircloth, he departed this life.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
Pope Innocent III : 1208 Bl. Peter of Castelnau  Martyred Cistercian papal legate and inquisitor
To him, aided by another of his religious brethren,
Pope Innocent III
in 1203 confided the mission of taking action as apostolic delegate and inquisi­tor against the Albigensian heretics, a duty which Peter discharged with much zeal, but little success.

Pope Sylvester I (r. 314-335) named St. Agrecius Bishop to this see of Treves (modern Trier), Germany Agrecius missionary trusted associate of St. Helena 

Pope Alexander VI.
Several times Christ gave to St. Martha, blessed Veronica of Binasco, virgin, of the Order of St. Augustine.in prayer important messages which she carried to influential persons such as the Duke of Milan and Pope Alexander VI.



Pope St. Innocent I  401-41 ;   Pope St. Celestine I  422-432;

 681  Pope St. Agath678-681 a holy death, concluded a life remarkable for sanctity and learning.

1276 Teobaldo Visconti Pope St. Gregory X 1210-1276; Arriving in Rome in March, he was first ordained priest, then consecrated bishop, and crowned on the 27th  of the same month, in 1272. He took the name of Gregory X, and to procure the most effectual succour for the Holy Land he called a general council to meet at Lyons. This fourteenth general council, the second of Lyons, was opened in May 1274. Among those assembled were St Albert the Great and St Philip Benizi; St Thomas Aquinas died on his way thither, and St Bonaventure died at the council. In the fourth session the Greek legates on behalf of the Eastern emperor and patriarch restored communion between the Byzantine church and the Holy See.;  miraculous cures performed by him

Saints of Previoius Days
St. Hyginus, Pope Greek 137-140 confront Gnostic heresy
 Romæ sancti Hygíni, Papæ et Mártyris; qui, in persecutióne Antoníni, glorióse martyrium consummávit.
       At Rome, St. Hyginus, pope, who suffered a glorious martyrdom in the persecution of Antoninus.
Pope from 137-140, successorto Pope St. Telesphorus. He was a Greek, and probably had a pontificate of four years. He had to confront the Gnostic heresy and Valentinus and Cerdo, leaders of the heresy, who were in Rome at the time. Some lists proclaim him a martyr. His cult was suppressed in 1969.

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

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

"To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).
Christianity is not a moral code or a philosophy, but an encounter with a person -- Benedict XVI

Nazareth is the School of the Gospel (II)
It is first a lesson of silence.
May the esteem of silence be born in us anew, this admirable and indispensable condition of the spirit, in us who are assailed by so much clamor, noise and shouting in our modern life, so noisy and hyper sensitized. O silence of Nazareth, teach us recollection, interiority, disposition to listen to the good inspirations and words of the true masters; teach us the need and value of preparation, study, meditation, personal and interior life, and prayer that God alone sees in secret.

It is a lesson of family life.
May Nazareth teach us what a family is, with its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, its sacred and inviolable character; let us learn from Nazareth how sweet and irreplaceable is the formation one receives within it; let us learn how primordial its role is on the social level.

It is a lesson of work. Nazareth, the house of the carpenter's son; it is there that we would like to understand and celebrate the severe and redeeming law of human labor; there, to reestablish the conscience of work's nobility; to remind people that working cannot be an end in itself, but that its freedom and nobility come, in addition to its economic value, from the value that finalize it; how we wish to salute here all the workers of the world and show them their great model, their divine brother, the prophet of all their just causes, Christ Our Lord.
Homily of Paul VI in Nazareth January 5, 1964

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"

"Christianity is not a moral code or a philosophy, but an encounter with a person" -- Benedict XVI
"To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).
 

Pope Francis

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