Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
Mary's Divine Motherhood
 Friday Saints of this Day January  29 Quarto 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!)

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

January 29 – Our Lady of Nasturtiums (Italy, 1630) 
Our Lady will save us from barbarism
Still deeply shocked by the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks, many French people now measure the gravity of the situation—such attacks could happen again anytime, anywhere...

Our response must first be spiritual. It is our responsibility to live the mysteries of our faith in a more profound way and to anchor ourselves in the hope of Salvation. Faced with barbarism, it is our Christian duty to live more interior and prayerful lives. Do we have an active prayer life? Do we have regular recourse to the sacraments? Are we familiar with the Bible and Catholic traditions? Is our family a good example of Christian joy and missionary zeal?

Confronted with the challenge that awaits us, it is no longer possible to be just lukewarm. We must entrust ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since Our Lady has touched the hearts of so many Muslims, and since we have entered the Jubilee year of Mercy, let us launch a major campaign of prayer to ask the Mother of God to intercede for our Muslim brothers and sisters. May they also discover the face of Divine Mercy—Our Lord Jesus Christ—crucified and risen, the Alpha and the Omega of the history of mankind.
Father Fabrice Loiseau  Founder of the Missionaries of Divine Mercy  

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

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

A pure soul is like a fine pearl. As long as it is hidden in the shell at the bottom of the sea, no one thinks of admiring it. But if you bring it into the sunshine, this pearl will shine and attract all eyes. Thus, the pure soul which is hidden from the eyes of the world, will one day shine before the angels in the sunshine of eternity. -- St. John Vianney
108 Transfer of the Relics of the Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer introduced antiphonal singing  left us 7 archpastoral epistles provided instructions on faith, love and good works
1622 St Francis De Sales, Bishop Of Geneva And Doctor Of The Church, Co-Founder Of The Order Of The Visitation
January 29-Our Lady of Chatillon sur Seine (France, 1130) appears to Saint Bernard (d. 1153)
  The Name of Mary (I)
"And the virgin's name was Mary" (Lk 1:27). Let us also say a few words about this name, which means "star of the sea" and is most suitably fitting for a virgin mother. For she is most appropriately compared to a star, because, just as a star emits its rays without becoming corrupted, so the Virgin gave birth to her Son without any injury (to her virginity). When the star emits its rays, this does not make it less bright, and neither does the Son diminish his Mother's (virginal) integrity. She, therefore, is that noble star risen from Jacob, whose ray gives light to the whole world, whose brightness both shines forth in the heavens and penetrates the depths. It lights up the earth and warms the spirit more than the body; it fosters virtues and dries up vices. Mary, I say, is the distinguished and bright shining star, necessarily lifted up above the great broad sea, gleaming with merits, giving light by her example.

Oh, if any of you recognizes that he is caught between storms and tempests, tossed about in the flood of this world, instead of walking on dry land, keep your eyes fixed on the glow of this star, unless you want to perish, overwhelmed by the tempest!
Excerpt from Bernard of Clairvaux, Super missus est 2, 17; PL 183, 70-71
101 Sts. Sarbelius & Barbea 2 martyrs brother and sister
108 Transfer of the Relics of the Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer introduced antiphonal singing left us 7
       archpastoral epistles provided instructions on faith, love and good works
      St. Caesarius first bishop of Angouleme France
170 Constantius first bishop of Perugia and Companions 
275 St. Sabinian Martyr brother of St. Sabina
303 St. Papias and Maurinus Roman soldiers put to death in Rome for defending the faith
320 St. Valerius 2nd Bishop of Trier, Germany 
523 Blath of Kildare reputation for heroic sanctity and cooking
6th v  Triphina of Brittany  Widow  mother of the infant-martyr Saint Tremorus
570  Gildas (Badonicus) the Wise, Abbot Bishop first English historian 
591 Sulpicius 'Severus,' bishop of Bourges learned in secular literature and the law
598 Dallan Forghaill renowned scholar martyred  
650 St. Aquilinus vigorous opponent of Arianism: martyred by them 
724 St. Voloc Irish missionary throughout Scotland bishop
1212 Blessed Charles of Sayn a beatus by the Cistercians
1622 St Francis De Sales, Bishop Of Geneva And Doctor Of The Church, Co-Founder Of The Order Of The Visitation

Saint of the Day January 29
1258 Servant of God Brother Juniper  humble patient ("patience" comes from patior meaning "to suffer")
"Would to God, my brothers, I had a whole forest of such Junipers," said Francis of this holy friar.
We don’t know much about Juniper before he joined the friars in 1210.
Francis sent him to establish "places" for the friars in Gualdo Tadino and Viterbo.
When St. Clare was dying, Juniper consoled her. He was devoted to the passion of Jesus and was known for his simplicity.
The devil, fearing Brother Juniper, and being unable to endure the virtue and humility of St Francis, would forthwith depart.


He died in 1258 and is buried at Ara Coeli Church in Rome.  
Several stories about Juniper in the Little Flowers of St. Francis illustrate his exasperating generosity. Once Juniper was taking care of a sick man who had a craving to eat pig’s feet. This helpful friar went to a nearby field, captured a pig and cut off one foot, and then served this meal to the sick man. The owner of the pig was furious and immediately went to Juniper’s superior. When Juniper saw his mistake, he apologized profusely.   He also ended up talking this angry man into donating the rest of the pig to the friars!
Great Power Against The Devil  Devil gets Brother Juniper Condemned To The Gallows  How Brother Juniper Took Certain Little Bells From The Altar, And Gave Them Away For The Love Of God  Brother Juniper Kept Silence For Six Months   His Remedy For Temptations Of The Flesh   Brother Juniper Made Himself Contemptible For The Love Of God   
   In Order To Be Despised, Played At See-Saw    Brother Juniper Went One Day To Assisi For His Own Confusion    Brother Juniper Once Cooked For The Brethren Enough To Last For A Fortnight    Brother Juniper Fell Into An Ecstasy During The Celebration Of Mass   The Sorrow Which Brother Juniper Felt At The Loss Of His Companion Brother Amazialbene        
   Of The Hand Which Brother Juniper Saw In The Air    Another time Juniper had been commanded to quit giving part of his clothing to the half-naked people he met on the road.
Desiring to obey his superior, Juniper once told a man in need that he couldn’t give the man his tunic, but he wouldn’t prevent the man from taking it either.
In time, the friars learned not to leave anything lying around, for Juniper would probably give it away.     

Comment:  What can we make of Juniper? He certainly seems to be the first of many Franciscan "characters." No doubt some of the stories about him have improved considerably in the retelling. Although the stories about Juniper may seem a little quaint, his virtues were not. He was humble because he knew the truth about God, himself and others. He was patient because he was willing to suffer ("patience" comes from patior meaning "to suffer") in his following of Jesus.
Quote:  It is said that St. Francis once described the perfect friar by citing "the patience of Brother Juniper, who attained the state of perfect patience because he kept the truth of his low estate constantly in mind, whose supreme desire was to follow Christ on the way of the cross" (Mirror of Perfection, #85).   
1258 Servant of God Brother Juniper
How Brother Juniper Cut Off The Foot Of A Pig To Give It To A Sick Brother

One of the most chosen disciples and first companions of St Francis was Brother Juniper, a man of profound humility and of great fervour and charity, of whom St Francis once said, when speaking of him to some of his companions: "He would be a good Friar Minor who had overcome the world as perfectly as Brother Juniper." Once when he was visiting a sick brother at St Mary of the Angels, he said to him, as if all on fire with the charity of God: "Can I do thee any service?" And the sick man answered: "Thou wouldst give me great consolation if thou couldst get me a pig's foot to eat." Brother Juniper answered immediately: "Leave it to me; thou shalt have one at once." So he went and took a knife from the kitchen, and in fervour of spirit went into the forest, where many swine were feeding, and having caught one, he cut off one of its feet and ran off with it, leaving the swine with its foot cut off; and coming back to the convent, he carefully washed the foot, and diligently prepared and cooked it. Then he brought it with great charity to the sick man, who ate it with avidity; and Brother Juniper was filled with joy and consolation, and related the history of his assault upon the swine for his diversion. Meanwhile, the swineherd who had seen the brother cut off the foot, went and told the tale in order, and with great bitterness, to his lord, who, being informed of the fact, came to the convent and abused the friars, calling them hypocrites, deceiver, robbers, and evil men. "Why," said he, "have you cut off the foot of my swine?" At the noise which he made, St Francis and all the friars came together, and with all humility made excuses for their brother, and, as ignorant of the fact, promised, in order to appease the angry man, to make amends for the wrong which had been done to him. But he was not to be appeased, and left St Francis with many threats and reproaches, repeating over and over again that they had maliciously cut the foot off his swine, refusing to accept any excuse or promise of repayment; and so departed in great wrath. And as all the other friars wondered: "Can Brother Juniper indeed have done this through indiscreet zeal?" So he sent for him, and asked him privately: "Hast thou cut off the foot of a swine in the forest?" To which Father Juniper answered quite joyfully, not as one who has committed a fault, but believing he had done a great act of charity: "It is true, sweet Father, that I did cut off that swine's foot; and if thou wilt listen compassionately, I will tell thee the reason. I went out of charity to visit the brother who is sick." And so he related the matter in order, adding: "I tell thee, dear father, that this foot did the sick brother so much good, that if I had cut off the feet of a hundred swine instead of one, I verily believe that God would have been pleased therewith." To whom St Francis, in great zeal for justice, and in much bitterness of heart, made answer: "O Brother Juniper, wherefore hast thou given this great scandal? Not without reason doth this man complain, and thus rage against us; perhaps even now he is going about the city spreading this evil report of us, and with good cause. Therefore I command thee by holy obedience, that thou go after him until thou find him, and cast thyself prostrate before him, confessing thy fault, and promising to make such full satisfaction that he shall have no more reason to complain of us, for this is indeed a most grievous offence." At these words Brother Juniper was much amazed, wondering that any one should have been angered at so charitable an action, for all temporal things appeared to him of no value, save in so far as they could be charitably applied to the service of our neighbour. So he made answer: "Doubt not, Father, but that I shall soon content and satisfy him. And why should there be all this disturbance, seeing that the swine was rather God's than his, and that it furnished the means for an act of charity?" And so he went his way, and coming to the man, who was still chafing and past all patience, he told him for what reason he had cut off the pig's foot, and all with such fervour, exultation and joy, as if he were telling him of some great benefit he had done him which deserved to be highly rewarded. The man grew more and more furious at his discourse, and loaded him with much abuse, calling him a fantastical fool and a wicked thief. Brother Juniper, who delighted in insults, cared nothing for all this abuse, but marvelling that any one should be wrath at what seemed to him only a matter of rejoicing, he thought he had not made himself well understood, and so repeated the story all over again, and then flung himself on the man's neck and embraced him, telling him that all had been done out of charity, and inciting and begging him for the same motive to give the rest of the swine also; and all this with so much charity, simplicity, and humility, that the man's heart was changed within him, and he threw himself at Brothers Juniper's feet, acknowledging with many tears the injuries which by word and deed he had done to him and his brethren. Then he went and killed the swine, and having cut it up, he brought it, with many tears and great devotion, to St Mary of the Angels, and gave it to those holy friars in compensation for the injury he had done them. Then St Francis, considering the simplicity and patience under adversity of this good Brother Juniper, said to his companions and those who stood by: "Would to God, my brethren, that I had a forest of such Junipers!"
Great Power Against The Devil

The devils could not endure the purity of Brother Juniper's innocence and his profound humility, as appears in the following example: A certain demoniac one day fled in an unaccustomed manner, and through devious paths, seven miles from his home. When his parents, who had followed him in great distress of mind, at last overtook him, they asked him why he had fled in this strange way. The demoniac answered: "Because that fool Juniper was coming this way. I could not endure his presence, and therefore, rather than wait his coming, I fled away through these woods." And on inquiring into the truth of these words, they found that Brother Juniper had indeed arrived at the time the devil had said. Therefore when demoniacs were brought to St Francis to be healed, if the evil spirit did not immediately depart at his command, he was wont to say: "Unless thou dost instantly leave this creature, I will bring Brother Juniper to thee." Then the devil, fearing the presence of Brother Juniper, and being unable to endure the virtue and humility of St Francis, would forthwith depart.
How, By The Contrivance Of The Devil, Brother Juniper Was Condemned To The Gallows

Once upon a time the devil, desiring to terrify Brother Juniper, and to raise up scandal and tribulation against him, betook himself to a most cruel tyrant, named Nicholas, who was then at war with the city of Viterbo, and said to him: "My lord, take heed to watch your castle well, for a vile traitor will come here shortly from Viterbo to kill you and set fire to your castle. And by this sign you shall know him: he will come in the guise of a poor beggar, with his clothes all tattered and patched, and a torn hood falling on his shoulders, and he will carry with him an awl, wherewith to kill you, and a flint and steel wherewith to set fire to the castle; and if you find not my words to be true, punish me as you will." At these words Nicholas was seized with great terror, believing the speaker to be a person worthy of credit; and he commanded a strict watch to be kept, and that if such a person would present himself he should be brought before him forthwith. Presently Brother Juniper arrived alone; for, because of his great perfection, he was allowed to travel without a companion as he pleased.
        On this there went to meet him certain wild young men, who began to mock him, treating him with great contempt and indignity. And Brother Juniper was no way troubled thereat, but rather incited them to ill-treat him more and more. And as they came to the castle-gate, the guards seeing him thus disfigured, with his scanty habit torn in two - for he had given half of it on the way to a begger, for the love of God, so that he had no longer the appearance of a Friar Minor - recognizing the signs given of the expected murderer, they dragged him with great fury before the tyrant Nicholas. They searched him to find whether he had any offensive weapons, and found in his sleeve an awl, which he used to mend his sandals, and also a flint and steel which he carried with him to strike a light when he abode, as he often did, in the woods or in desert places. Nicholas, seeing the signs given by the devil, commanded that a cord should be fastened round his neck, which was done with so great cruelty that it entered into the flesh. He was then most cruelly scourged; and being asked who he was, he replied: "I am a great sinner." When asked whether he wanted to betray the castle to the men of Viterbo, he answered: "I am a great traitor, and unworthy of any mercy." Being questioned whether he intended to kill the tyrant Nicholas with that awl, and to burn the castle, he replied that he should do greater things than these, should God permit him.

This Nicholas then, being wholly mastered by his fury, would examine no further, but without delay condemned Brother Juniper, as a traitor and murderer, to be fastened to a horse's tail, and so dragged on the ground to the gallows, there to be forthwith hanged by the neck. And Brother Juniper made no excuse for himself, but, as one who joys to suffer for the love of God, he was full of contentment and rejoicing. So the command of the tyrant was carried into effect. Brother Juniper was tied by the feet to the horse's tail, and dragged along the ground, making no complaint, but, like a meek lamb led to the slaughter, he submitted with all humility. At this spectacle of prompt justice, all the people ran together to behold the execution of so hasty and cruel a judgment, but no one knew the culprit.

Nevertheless it befell, by the will of God, that a good man, who had seen Brother Juniper taken and sentenced forthwith, ran to the house of the Friars Minor, and said: "I pray you, for the love of God, to come with me at once, for a poor man has been seized and immediately condemned and led to death. Come, that he may at least place his soul in your hands, for he seems to me a good man, and he has had no time to make his confession; even now they are leading him to the gallows, yet he seems to have no fear of death nor care of his soul. Oh, be pleased to come quickly!"
Then the guardian, who was a compassionate man, went at once to provide for the salvation of this soul; and when he came to the place of execution, he could not get near for the crowd; but, as he stood watching for an opening, he heard a voice say: "Do not so, do not so, cruel men; you are hurting my legs!" And as he recognised the voice of Brother Juniper, the guardian, in fervour of spirit, forced his way through the crowd, and tearing the bandage from the face of the condemned, he saw that it was indeed Brother Juniper, who looked upon him with a cheerful and smiling countenance. Then the guardian with many tears besought the executioners and all the people for pity to wait a little space, till he should go and beseech the tyrant to have mercy on Brother Juniper. The executioners promised to wait a few moments, believing, no doubt, that he was some kinsman of the prisoner. So the devout and pious guardian went to the tyrant Nicholas, weeping bitterly, and said: "My lord, I am so filled with grief and amazement that my tongue can scarcely utter it, for it seems to me that in this our land has been committed to-day the greatest sin and the greatest evil which has been wrought from the days of our fathers even until now, and I believe that it has been done through ignorance."
 Nicholas heard the guardian patiently, and inquired: "What is this great sin and evil which has been committed to-day in this land?" And the guardian answered: "It is this, my lord, that you have condemned - and, as I assuredly believe, unjustly - to a most cruel punishment one of the holiest friars at this time in the Order of St Francis, to whom you profess a singular devotion." Then said Nicholas: "Now tell me, father guardian, who is he; for perhaps, knowing him not, I have committed a great fault?" "He," said the guardian, "whom you have condemned to death is Brother Juniper, the companion of St Francis." Then was the tyrant amazed, for he had heard the fame of Brother Juniper's sanctity; and, pale with fear, he hastened together with the guardian to Brother Juniper, and loosed him from the horse's tail and set him free, and in the presence of all the people he prostrated himself on the ground before Brother Juniper, and with many tears confessed his fault, and the cruelty of which he had been guilty towards that holy friar; adding: "I believe indeed that the days of my wicked life are numbered, since I have thus without reason cruelly tortured so holy a man. For, in punishment of my evil life, God will send me in a few days an evil death, though this thing I did ignorantly." Then Brother Juniper freely forgave the tyrant Nicholas: but a few days afterwards God permitted a most cruel death to overtake him. And so Brother Juniper departed, leaving all the people greatly edified.

How Brother Juniper Gave All That He Had To The Poor For The Love Of God
Brother Juniper was so full of pity and compassion for the poor, that when he saw anyone poor or naked he immediately took off his tunic, or the hood of his clock, and gave it to him. The guardian therefore laid an obedience upon him not to give away his tunic or any part of his habit. A few days afterwards, a poor half-naked man asked an alms of Brother Juniper for the love of God, who answered him with great compassion: "I have nothing which I could give thee but my tunic, and my superior has laid me under obedience not to give it, nor any part of my habit, to anyone. But if thou take it off my back I will not resist thee."
He did not speak to a deaf man; for the begger forthwith stripped him of his tunic, and went off with it. When Brother Juniper returned home, and was asked what had become of his tunic, he replied: "A good man took it off my back, and went away with it." And as the virtue of compassion increased in him, he was not contented with giving his tunic, but would give books, or clocks, or whatever he could lay his hands on, to the poor. For this reason the brethren took care to leave nothing in the common rooms of the convent, because Brother Juniper gave away everything for the love of God and to the glory of his name.

How Brother Juniper Took Certain Little Bells From The Altar,
And Gave Them Away For The Love Of God

One Christmas-day Brother Juniper was in deep meditation before the altar at Scesi, the which altar was right fairly and richly adorned; so, at the desire of the sacristan, Brother Juniper remained to keep guard over it while he went to his dinner. And as he was absorbed in devout meditations, a poor woman came asking an alms of him for the love of God. To whom Brother Juniper made answer: "Wait a while, and I will see if I can find anything for thee on this grand altar." Now there was upon the altar an exceedingly rich and costly frontal of cloth of gold, with silver bells of great value. "These bells," said Brother Juniper, "are a superfluity"; so he took a knife and cut them off the frontal, and gave them to the poor woman out of compassion. The sacristan, after he had eaten three or four mouthfuls, bethought him of the ways of Brother Juniper, whom he had left in charge; and began exceedingly to doubt whether, in his charitable zeal, he might not do some damage to the costly altar. As soon as the suspicion entered his head, he rose from the table, and went back to the church, to see if any of the ornaments of the altar had been removed or taken away; and when he saw that the frontal had been cut, and the little bells carried off, he was troubled and scandalised beyond measure. Brother Juniper, seeing that he was very angry, said to him: "Be not disturbed about those little bells, for I have given them to a poor woman who had great need of them, and here they were good for nothing but to make a pompous display of worldly vanity." When the sacristan had heard this, he went with all speed to seek the woman in the church, and throughout the city; but he could neither find her nor meet with anyone who had seen her. So he returned, and in great wrath took the frontal, and carried it to the general, who was at Assisi, saying: "Father general, I demand justice on Brother Juniper, who has spoilt this hanging for me, the very best I had in the sacristy. See how he has destroyed it by cutting away all the silver bells, which he says he has given to a poor woman!" And the general answered him: "It is not Brother Juniper who has done this, but thine own folly; for thou oughtest by this time to have known his ways: and I tell thee, I marvel only that he did not give away the whole frontal. Nevertheless, I will give him a sound correction for this fault." And having called the brethren together in chapter, he sent for Brother Juniper, and, in the presence of the whole community, reproved him most severely concerning the said bells; and, waxing wrathful as he spoke, he raised his voice till it became hoarse. Brother Juniper cared little or nothing for these words, for he delighted in reproaches, and rejoiced when he received a good humiliation; but his one thought in return was to find a remedy for the general's hoarseness. So when he had received his reproof, he went straight to the town for flour and butter, to make a good hasty-pudding, with which he returned when the night was far spent; then lighting a candle, he went with his hasty-pudding to the door of the general's cell and knocked. The general came to open it, and seeing him with a lighted candle and a pipkin in his hand, asked: "Who is there?" Brother Juniper answered him: "Father, when you reproved me to-day for my faults, I perceived that your voice grew hoarse, and I thought it was from over-fatigue. I considered therefore what would be the best remedy, and have had this hasty-pudding made for you; therefore I pray you eat of it, for I tell you that it will ease your throat and your chest." "What an hour of the night is this." said the general, "to come and disturb other people!" And Brother Juniper made answer: "See, it has been made for you; I pray you eat of it without more ado, for it will do you good." But the general being angry at the lateness of the hour, and at Brother Juniper's persistence, answered him roughly, bidding him go his way, for at such an hour he would not eat. Then Brother Juniper, seeing that neither persuasions nor prayers were of any avail, said: "Father, since you will not eat the pudding which was made for you, at least do this for me: hold the candle for me, and I will eat it." Then the general, being a devout and kindly man, seeing the piety and simplicity of Brother Juniper, and how he had done all this out of devotion, answered: "Well, since thou will have it so, thou and I will eat together." And so the two of them ate this hasty-pudding together, out of an importunate charity, and were refreshed by their devotion more than by the food.
How Brother Juniper Kept Silence For Six Months

Brother Juniper once determined with himself to keep silence for six months together, in this manner. The first day for love of the Eternal Father. The second for love of Jesus Christ his Son. The third for love of the Holy Ghost. The fourth in reverence to the most holy Virgin Mary; and proceeding thus, each day in honour of some saint, he passed six whole months without speaking.
One day as Brother Giles, Brother Simon of Assisi, Brother Ruffino, and Brother Juniper were discoursing together concerning God and the salvation of the soul, Brother Giles said to the other brethren: "How do you deal with temptations to impurity?" Brother Simon said: "I consider the vileness and turpitude of the sin till I conceive and exceeding horror of it, and so escape from the temptation." And Brother Ruffino said: "I cast myself on the ground, and with fervent prayer implore the mercy of God and of the Mother of Jesus Christ till I am freed from the temptation." And Brother Juniper answered:

"When I feel the approach of a diabolical suggestion, I run at once and shut the door of my heart, and, to secure its safety, I occupy myself in holy desires and devout meditations; so that when the suggestion comes and knocks at the door of my heart, I may answer from within: `Begone; for the room is already taken, and there is no space for another guest'; and so I never suffer the thought to enter my heart; and the devil, seeing himself baffled, retires discomfited, not from me alone, but from the whole neightbourhood."
Then Brother Giles made answer and said: "Brother Juniper, I hold with thee; for there is no surer way of overcoming this enemy than flight; inasmuch as he attacks us within by means of the traitor appetite, and without through our bodily senses; and so by flight alone can this masterful foe be overcome. And he who resists it in any other way, after all the toil of the conflict, rarely comes off victorious. Fly, then, from this vice, and thou shalt gain the victory."

How Brother Juniper Made Himself Contemptible For The Love Of God

Brother Juniper, desiring to make himself despicable in the sight of men, stripped himself one day of all but his inner garment; and, making a bundle of his habit and other clothes, he entered the city of Viterbo, and went half-naked into the market place, in order to make himself a laughing stock. When he got there, the boys and young men of the place, thinking him to be out of his senses, ill-treated him in many ways, throwing stones and mud at him, and pushing him hither and thither, with many words of derision; and thus insulted and evil entreated, he abode there the greater part of the day, and then went his way to the convent.
Now when the friars saw him they were full of indignation, and chiefly because he had gone thus through the city with his bundle on his head; wherefore they reproved and threatened him sharply. One said: "Let us put him in prison." Another: "He deserves to be hanged." And others: "He cannot be too severely punished for the scandal he has given to-day in his own person, to the injury of the whole Order." And Brother Juniper, being full of joy, answered with all humility, "You say well indeed; for I deserve all these punishments, and far worse than these."
How Brother Juniper, In Order To Be Despised, Played At See-Saw

As Brother Juniper was once entering Rome, the fame of his sanctity led many of the devout Romans to go out to meet him, but he, as soon as he saw this number of people coming, took it into his head to turn their devotion into sport and ridicule. So, catching sight of two children who were playing at see-saw upon two pieces of wood, he moved one of them from his place, and mounting on the plank in his stead, he began to see-saw with the other. Meanwhile the people came up and marvelled much at Brother Juniper's see-sawing. Nevertheless they saluted him with great devotion, and waited till he should have finished his play to accompany him honourably to the convent. Brother Juniper took little heed of their salutation, reverence, or patient waiting, but gave his whole attention to his see-saw. And when they had waited thus for a long time, they began to grow tired, and to say, "What folly is this?" Some few, who knew his ways, were moved to still greater devotion; but at last they all departed, leaving Brother Juniper on the see-saw. When they were gone, Brother Juniper remained full of consolation, because he saw in what contempt they held him. Then came he down from his see-saw, and entering Rome with all meekness and humility, came to the convent of the Friars Minor.
How Brother Juniper Once Cooked For The Brethren Enough To Last For A Fortnight

It happened once, when Brother Juniper was in a house of the brethren, that, for some reasonable cause all the friars were obliged to go out, and Brother Juniper alone remained at home. Then the guardian said to him: "Brother Juniper, we are all going out, therefore, by the time we come back, I wish thee to prepare a little food for the refreshment of thy brethren." "Most willingly," replied Brother Juniper; "leave it to me." When all the brethren, as has been said, were gone out, Brother Juniper said to himself: "What superfluous carefulness is this, that a brother should be lost in the kitchen, and deprived of all opportunity for prayer! Of a surety, as I am now left in this charge, I will cook enough to serve the brethren, were they as many more, for a fortnight to come." So he went to the town and borrowed some large pots for cooking; then he got fresh meat and salt, chickens, eggs, and vegetables; he begged wood also, and made a great fire, upon which he set everything together to boil: the fowls in their feathers, the eggs in their shells, and the rest in like manner. Meanwhile one of the friars, to whom Brother Juniper's simplicity was well known, returned to the house; and seeing these great cauldrons on such an enormous fire, he sat down in amazement to watch with what care and diligence Brother Juniper proceeded in his cookery. And having observed him for some time to his great recreation, this friar went out of the kitchen, and told the other brethren that Brother Juniper was certainly preparing a wedding banquet. The brethren took it for a jest; but presently Brother Juniper took his cauldrons off the fire, and bade them ring the bell for dinner. Then the brethren took their places at the table, and he came into the refectory, all rubicund with his toil and with the heat of the fire, and said to the brethren: "Eat a good dinner now, and then we will go to prayer: and let no one thing of cooking for a long time to come, for I have cooked more than enough to last us all for more than a fortnight." And so saying, he set down his hotch-potch before them; but there was never a hog in the Campagna of Rome so hungry that he could have eaten it. Brother Juniper praised his way of cooking because it was so great a saving of time; and seeing that the other friars ate none of it, he said: "These fowls are good for the head; and this food will keep the body in health, so wholesome is it."; so that the brethren were all in admiration at the devotion and simplicity of Brother Juniper. But the guardian, being angry at such folly, and grieved at the waste of so much good food, reproved Brother Juniper severely. Then Brother Juniper fell on his knees before the guardian, and humbly confessed his fault to him and all the brethren saying: "I am a very wicked man. Such a one committed such a sin, for which he was condemned to lose his eyes. Such another was hanged for his crimes. But I deserve far worse for my evil deeds. And now I have wasted so much of the gifts of God and the substance of the Order." And thus lamenting he departed; nor would he come into the presence of any one of the brethren for the rest of that day. Then said the father guardian: "My dearest brethren, I would that every day this brother might spoil as much of our substance, if we had it, as he has done to-day, were it only for the edification he has given us by the simplicity and charity with which he has done this thing."
How Brother Juniper Went One Day To Assisi For His Own Confusion

Once when Brother Juniper was dwelling in the valley of Spoleto, knowing that there was to be a great solemnity at Assisi, and that many were resorting thither with great devotion, it came into his head to go there also; and you shall hear in what guise he went. He stripped himself of all but his inner garment, and thus, passing through the midst of the city of Spoleto, he came to the convent. The brethren, much displeased and scandalised, rebuked him sharply, calling him a fool, a madman, and a disgrace to the Order of St Francis, and declaring that he ought to be put in chains as a madman. And the general, who was then on the spot, calling all the friars together, gave Brother Juniper a very sharp correction in the presence of them all. And, after many words, he ended with this severe sentence: "So great and grievous is thy fault, that I know not what sufficient penance to give thee." Then, Brother Juniper, answered, as one who delighted in his own confusion: "Father, I will tell you: for penance, send me back again from this solemnity in the same garb in which I came to it."
How Brother Juniper Fell Into An Ecstasy During The Celebration Of Mass

As Brother Juniper was one day hearing Mass with great devotion, he fell into an ecstasy, and so continued for a long space of time. And when he came to himself, he said with great fervour of spirit to the other friars: "Oh, my brethren, who is there in this world so noble that he would disdain to carry a basket of mud all the world over, in the hope of obtaining a house full of gold?" Then he added: "Alas, why will we not endure a little shame to obtain life eternal?"
Of The Sorrow Which Brother Juniper Felt At The Loss Of His Companion Brother Amazialbene

Brother Juniper had a companion named Amazialbene, whom he loved most tenderly, and who possessed the virtues of patience and obedience in the utmost perfection; for, when he was beaten and ill-treated on all sides, he never complained or uttered a word of remonstrance. He was often sent to places where he met with persons who treated him most cruelly, and he bore it all patiently and without the least resentment. At the command of Brother Juniper, he would laugh or weep. At last, as it pleased God to ordain, this Brother Amazialbene died, in high reputation for sanctity; and when Brother Juniper heard of his death, he felt greater sorrow thereat then he had ever experienced in this life for any earthly thing. And thus did he express in words the great bitterness of his heart, saying: "Alas, woe is me; for there is no good left me now, and all the world is darkened to me by the death of my sweet and most loving brother Amazialbene!" and he added: "Were it not that I should have no peace from the brethren, I would go to his grave and take out his head, and out of his skull I would make me two vessels; from the one I would always eat, in memory of him, for my own devotion, and from the other I would drink when I was thirsty."
Of The Hand Which Brother Juniper Saw In The Air

Brother Juniper being one day in prayer, and, it may be, proposing to himself to do great things for God, he saw a hand in the air, and heard with his bodily ears a voice, which said thus to him: "O Brother Juniper, with this hand thou canst do nothing." Then he arose immediately, and with his eyes raised to heaven, he went round the convent, repeating aloud: "True indeed, most true indeed!" and this he repeated many times.
"All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him"
(Psalm 21:28)

101 Sts. Sarbelius & Barbea 2 martyrs brother and sister
who were put to death at Edessa during the persecutions of Emperor Trajan (98-117). Sarbelius, also called Sharbel, was a high priest at Edessa, in Mesopotamia. They were arrested for converting to the faith, and were tortured with red-hot irons prior to execution. (also known as Sharbel and Bebaia)
 Before his conversion, Thatueles Sarbellius had been the pagan high priest of Edessa (Benedictines).
108 Transfer of the Relics of the Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer introduced antiphonal singing left us 7 archpastoral epistles provided instructions on faith, love and good works
(See December 20). After the holy hieromartyr Ignatius was thrown to the lions in the year 107 on the orders of the emperor Trajan, Christians gathered up his bones and preserved them at Rome.

Later, in the year 108, the saint's relics were collected and buried outside the gate of Daphne at Antioch. A second transfer, to the city of Antioch itself, took place in the year 438. After the capture of Antioch by the Persians, the relics of the Hieromartyr Ignatius were returned to Rome and placed into the church of the holy Hieromartyr Clement in the year 540 ( in 637, according to other sources).

St Ignatius introduced antiphonal singing into Church services. He has left us seven archpastoral epistles in which he provided instructions on faith, love and good works. He also urged his flock to preserve the unity of the faith and to beware of heretics. He encouraged people to honor and obey their bishops, "we should regard the bishop as we would the Lord Himself" (To the Ephesians 6)

In his Letter to Polycarp, St Ignatius writes: "Listen to the bishop, if you want God to listen to you... let your baptism be your shield, your faith a helmet, your charity a spear, your patience, like full armor." (Compare Eph. 6:14-17 and the Wisdom of Solomon 5:17-20. Also THE LADDER 4:2)

St. Caesarius first bishop of Angouleme France 1st century 1v.
Deacon of Angouleme, France, during the era of St. Ausonius, the first bishop of that diocese.

170 Constantius first bishop of Perugia and Companions MM (RM)
Died 170. The first bishop of Perugia, Italy, Saint Constantius, was martyred with many of his flock under Marcus Aurelius (161-180). The Acts of these martyrs are untrustworthy (Benedictines).

275 St. Sabinian Martyr brother of St. Sabina M (RM)
also listed as Savinian. According to dubious accounts, he was born on the island of Samos and was converted to the Christian faith with his sister, Sabina. He went to Gaul (modern France) and labored to preach the Gospel. The notoriety he gained for his efforts caused his arrest and execution at the command of Emperor Aurelian (270). He is revered as the apostle of Troyes, where he was beheaded.
ST SABINIAN is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on this day, and he is also honoured in the diocese of Troyes as the first apostle and martyr of that city. Three sets of “acts”, none of them of any historical value, profess to record the history of his martyrdom. He is said to have been born in the island of Samos, to have been converted to Christianity by reading the Bible, to have travelled to Gaul to preach the gospel before he had even been baptized, to have received this sacrament without any human minister (a voice from heaven pronouncing the words), to have been arrested on account of the conversions he effected, to have been brought before the Emperor Aurelian whose threats he defied, and finally, after a series of miraculous incidents, in the course of which fire proved powerless to burn him or arrows to wound him, to have been decapitated by the sword of the executioner. There seems to be no ancient tradition of cultus, and we consequently cannot safely say more than that some martyr of that name may have suffered at Troyes in one of the early persecutions under the Romans.

See the Acts Sanctorum for January 29; E. Defer, Vie des saints du diocese de Troyes, pp. 27—36; Analecta Bollandiana, vol. iv (1885), pp. 139-156.
Born in Samos; died at Rilly near Troyes, France, c. 275. Disenchanted with the society and morals of his native land, the pagan Sabinian journeyed to Gaul. At Troyes he was converted and baptized by Saint Patroclus who was later martyred c. 259. Saint Sabinian carried on the work of Patroclus for another 26 years or so. He preached and baptized in the region of the upper Seine, and many were converted. When Sabinian was brought to judgement before the Emperor Aurelian, he mocked the imperial threats and refused to renounce his Christian faith.
Arrows and burning failed to kill him, however, and eventually he was beheaded (Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson)
Saint Sabinian is generally pictured with his throat pierced by a sword; sometimes with his sister Saint Sabina of Troyes. They are, of course, venerated in Troyes (Roeder).

303 St. Papias and Maurinus Roman soldiers put to death in Rome for defending the faith
They were martyred under Maximian (emperor, with Diocletian 286–305) in Rome, where they are venerated (Benedictines, Roeder).

320 St. Valerius 2nd Bishop of Trier, Germany
According to tradition, he was a disciple of St. Peter, although it is known that he was bishop during the fourth century.

523 Blath of Kildare reputation for heroic sanctity and cooking V (AC)
(also known as Flora)
Died 523. Saint Blath was the lay-sister who served as cook at Saint Brigid's convent in Kildare. She earned a reputation for heroic sanctity, and of her cooking it is said that bread and bacon at Brigid's table were better than a banquet elsewhere (Benedictines, D'Arcy).  She was renowned for her holiness and for her steadfast loyalty to St. Brigid in good times and in bad.

6th century 6v Triphina of Brittany Widow  mother of the infant-martyr Saint Tremorus (RM), feast may be July 5.
Saint Triphina was the mother of the infant-martyr Saint Tremorus. She passed the later years of her life in a convent in Brittany (Benedictines).

570  Gildas (Badonicus) the Wise, Abbot Bishop first English historian (RM)
Born c. 500; died c. 570 (some scholars believe he may have died as early as 554).
THIS famous man seems to have been born about the year 500, in the lower valley of the Clyde. He must have travelled south at a somewhat early age, and we may reasonably trust the tradition which describes him as practising asceticism at Llanilltud. He was no doubt younger than either St Samson or St Paul Aurelian, but all three, either simultaneously or successively, lived under St Illtud, we are told. How long Gildas remained in Britain cannot be determined, but the terrible indictment of the scandalous lives of his contemporaries, both ecclesiastics and laymen, which he left in his De excidio Britanniae was written probably on British soil somewhere about the year 540. Severely as this work has been criticized as a mere jeremiad (even Bede calls it sermo flebilis, a pitiful tale) and as an often in­coherent patchwork of the most denunciatory texts to be found in both the Testa­ments, it should be remembered that there is no reason to suppose that the author’s object was to write a history. On the contrary, he tells us himself that his main purpose was to make known “the miseries, the errors and the ruin of Britain”, and he certainly manifests an acquaintance with Holy Scripture which must be deemed highly creditable in any writer during this period of barbarism ; nor was he ignorant of Vergil and St Ignatius of Antioch. Moreover, there can be no question that Gildas, in spite of his querulous tone, was animated by a real zeal for morality and religion.
As a Welsh scholar of our own day has written : “ A popular reverence has throughout the centuries clung to a few of the names that stand out before us in Britain and Brittany. We have many indications that these men, who knew the poor as well as the great, the people ‘ in the Church no less than the bishops and priests who ruled it, had grasped the great fact of sin as the supreme evil for men and had minjstered to the deepest need of their souls. Those who know the works of Gildas will best appreciate this.” (Hugh Williams, Christianity in Early Britain, 1912, p. 366.)
           Little can be affirmed with confidence regarding the life of Gildas himself. We learn on what seems fair evidence of certain Irish ascetics, such as St Finnian of Clonard, who had sojourned in Britain for a while and become disciples of St Gildas.
         We are also told that he himself visited Ireland, and it appears that Gildas’s reputation as a scholar was such that he was consulted by distant ecclesiastics who wrote to him from there. He seems to have lived for a time on the island of Flatholm in the Bristol Channel, where he copied a missal for St Cadoc and perhaps wrote the De excidio. The last years of his life, however, were certainly spent in Brittany, where he lived for some time as a hermit on a tiny island near Rhuys, in Morbihan bay. Here disciples gathered around him, and in spite of his desire for solitude he does not seem to have cut himself off entirely from the world, for we hear of his travelling to other places in Brittany; the visit to Ireland has been assigned to this period, though the fact is very doubtful.

There has been much difference of opinion regarding the date of St Gildas’s death. Some put it as early as 554, but the majority of recent critics incline to c. 570.
           The feast of St Gildas is observed in the diocese of Vannes but nowhere in Great Britain or Ireland, in spite of the fact that he was a prophetical figure of real importance, perhaps the most prominent and respected teacher of his century in Celtic-speaking lands, and an important influence in the formation of Jrish monasticism.
           The text of Gildas’s De excidio Britanniae and of the Vita Gildac, by a monk of Rhuys,
         has been critically edited by T. Mommsen in MGH., Auctores antiquissimi, vol. xiii. See
         also Hugh Williams, op. cit., and his Gildas in the Cymmrodorion Record Series, 1901,
         where the vita is printed on pp. 317—389; LBS., vol. iii, pp. 81—130; J. Fonssagrives, St
         Gildas de Ruis
(1908) J. Ryan, Irish Monasticism (1931), pp. 146—166 and passim L.
         Gougaud, Christianity in Celtic Lands (1932), passim A. W. Wade-Evans, Welsh Christian
(1934), cap. xiii and passim J. E. Lloyd, History of Wales (1939), vol.1, pp. 134—143
         and C. E. Stevens in the Eng. Hist. Rev., vol. lvi (1941), pp. 353—373. Polydore Vergil’s
         edition of Gildas’s writings (1525) was the first attempt made in England at a critical edition
         of an historical source.

Gildas may have been born in the lower valley of Clydeside in Scotland. He is often called "Badonicus" because he was born in the year the Britons defeated the Saxons at Bath. He may have married and been widowed, but he eventually became a monk at Llanilltud in southern Wales, where he was trained by Saint Illtyd together with Saint Samson and Saint Paul Aurelian, though he was much younger. Well-known Irish monks, including Saint Finnian, became his disciples. He made a pilgrimage to Ireland to consult with his contemporary saints of that land and wrote letters to far-off monasteries. He seems to have had considerable influence on the development of the Irish church.

Around 540 he wrote the famous work De excidio et conquestu Britanniae with the purpose of making known "the miseries, the errors, and the ruin of Britain." The work laid bare and severely criticized the lives of Britain's rulers and clerics, blaming their moral laxity for the triumph of the Anglo-Saxon invaders. Although the fierceness of its rhetorical invectives has been criticized the wide scriptural scholarship that it reveals is uncontested. It also shows that he was knowledgeable about Virgil and Ignatius. This work was cited by Saint Bede.

He is considered to be the first English historian. He lived as a hermit for some time on Flatholm Island in the Bristol Channel, where he copied a missal for Saint Cadoc and may have written De excidio. Gildas made a pilgrimage to Rome and on his return founded a monastery on an island near Rhuys (Rhuis or Morbihan) in Brittany, which became the center of his cult. Though he lived for a time on a tiny island in Morbihan Bay, he gathered disciples around him and does not seem to have cut himself off entirely from the world; he did travel to other places in Brittany. He is said to have died on the isle of Houat, though this is uncertain.

The De excidio, which very influential in the early Middle Ages, may not have been written entirely by Gildas. Some of it may have been a forgery shortly after his time. The work serves as an example of the classical and early Christian literature that was then available in England. Gilda's writings were used by Wulfstan, archbishop of York, in the 11th century in his Sermon of the Wolf to the English people during the disordered reign of Ethelred the Unready.

The chronology of Gildas's life has been disputed. Some say that the lives of two men of the same name have been confused. Some early Irish martyrologies commemorate his feast as does the Leofric Missal (c. 1050) and Anglo-Saxon calendars of the 9th through 11th centuries (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Gill, Farmer, Walsh, White).

He is portrayed in art with a bell near him (White).

Triphina of Brittany  Widow  mother of the infant-martyr Saint Tremorus (RM) 6th century 6v, feast may be July 5. Saint Triphina was the mother of the infant-martyr Saint Tremorus. She passed the later years of her life in a convent in Brittany (Benedictines).
591 Sulpicius 'Severus,' bishop of Bourges learned in secular literature and the law B (RM)

THERE seems no sufficient reason to believe that this prelate was really called Severus. St Gregory of Tours who gives an account of his appointment to the see of Bourges (584) in preference to other, simoniacal, candidates speaks of him with much respect and tells us of a provincial council which he convoked in Auvergne. He also took part in the Council of Macon in in 585.  The name Severus  may have attached itself to him to emphasize the distinction between him and a later Sulpicius of Bourges, who was surnamed “ Pius”. It is, however, clearly the Sulpicius who died in 591 who is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on this day, January 29. A good deal of confusion with the writer Sulpicius Severus is perceptible in the notices of the early martyrologists.
           See the Acta Sanctorum for January 29 and Duchesne, Fastes É
piscopaux, vol. i, pp.
         28—29.    Alban Butler honours the real Sulpicius Severus with the title Saint, but there
         seems no sufficient authority for this though the Bollandists refer to the ecclesiastical writer
         in their account of St Sulpicius, Bishop of Bourges, they point out the temporary inclusion
         of the former in the Roman Martyrology was due to a confusion.

Born in Aquitaine; died 591. There was a great writer named Sulpicius Severus, not numbered among the saints, who authored the Life of Saint Martin of Tours. This is not he, though his moniker has often caused confusion. Saint Sulpicius, bishop of Bourges from 584 until his death, was born into a wealthy and illustrious Roman family. He was highly learned in secular literature and the law, which he practiced for a time.

Sulpicius began to consider the religious life following the death of his beloved wife, from whom he inherited even greater wealth. For a time he continued to live in the same household as his pious mother-in-law, Bassula, with whom he shared a mutual affection. Her example and exhortations confirmed the resolution of Saint Sulpicius to turn his life over to Christ unreservedly. His conversion at about age 32 occurred during the same year of Saint Paulinus of Nola's conversion about 392. (Some of what we know about Saint Sulpicius comes from the testimony of the latter saint.)

He was venerated by Saint Gregory of Tours (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth)
598 Dallan Forghaill renowned scholar martyred M (AC)
(also known as Dallan of Cluain Dallain)
Born in Connaught, Ireland; died 598. Dallan, a kinsman of Saint Aidan of Ferns and a renowned scholar in his own right. The intensity of his study strained his eyes to the point where he became blind.

In 575, Dallan was the Chief Bard of Ireland, a position second only to the king in honor. When the king of Ireland, Aedh MacAinmire, called upon the Assembly of Drumceat to abolish the bardic guild and its privileges, Saint Columba successfully argued that the bards were necessary to preserve the history of the nation and that it would be prudent to punish abusive bards rather than destroy the order.

In recognition of Columba's defense of the bards, Saint Dallan wrote a panegyric, Ambra Choluim Kille or Eulogy of Columba. To account for its obscure and intentionally difficult language, legend tells us that in his humility Columba would only permit it to be written if it were incomprehensible to the Irish.
Saint Dallan also wrote the Eulogy of Senan.

Today's saint reorganized and reformed the Bardic Order and initiated a strictly supervised school system for it that encouraged the cultivation of the Gaelic language and preservation of its literature. The order itself was active until 1738 when Turlough O'Carolan, the last of the great Irish bards and composer of the tune of the "Star Spangled Banner," died. Until that time, the bards participated in every major Irish celebration.

He is venerated as a martyr because he was murdered at Inis-coel (Inniskeel) by pirates who broke into the monastery (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Healy, Kenney, Montague, Montalembert, Muirhead)
650 St. Aquilinus vigorous opponent of Arianism: martyred by them
Aquilinus was born in Bavaria. He left his native land to avoid being made a bishop, went to Italy and settled in Milan. A vigorous opponent of Arianism, he was so effective in his preaching against the heresy that a group of Arians murdered him. He died in 650.  His relics are venerated in Milan (Benedictines). Saint Aquilinus is pictured with a sword through his neck (Roeder).

724 St. Voloc Irish missionary throughout Scotland bishop.
He worked to propagate the Christian faith throughout Scotland.

1212 Blessed Charles of Sayn a beatus by the Cistercians OSB Cist., Abbot (AC)
Died 1212. Charles started his career in the military but became a Cistercian at Hemmerode in 1185. In 1189, he was elected prior of Heisterbach and in 1197 abbot of Villers in Brabant. In 1209, he resigned and returned to Hemmerode to prepare for his death. He has always been venerated as a beatus by the Cistercians (Benedictines).

1622 St Francis De Sales, Bishop of Geneva And Doctor of The Church, Co-Founder The Order of The Visitation
St Francis De Sales was born at the Château de Sales in Savoy on August 21, 1567, and on the following day was baptized in the parish church of Thorens under the name of Francis Bonaventure. His patron saint in after-life was the Poverello of Assisi, and the room in which he was born was known as “St Francis’s room”, from a painting of the saint preaching to the birds and fishes.
During his first years he was very frail and delicate, owing to his premature birth, but with care he gradually grew stronger, and, though never robust, he was singularly active and energetic throughout his career. His mother kept his early education in her own hands, aided by the Abbé Déage, who afterwards, as his tutor, accompanied Francis everywhere during his youth.
   He was remarkable in his childhood for obedience and truthfulness, and seems to have been eager to learn and to have loved books. At the age of eight Francis went to the College of Annecy. There he made his first communion in the church of St Dominic (now known as St Maurice), there he also received confirmation, and a year later he received the tonsure. Francis had a great wish to consecrate himself to God, and regarded this as the first outward step. His father (who at his marriage had taken the name of de Boisy) seems to have attached little importance to it, and destined his eldest son for a secular career. In his fourteenth year Francis was sent to the University of Paris, which at that time, with its 54 colleges, was one of the great centres of learning. He was intended for the College de Navarre, as it was frequented by the sons of the noble families of Savoy, but Francis, fearing for his vocation in such surroundings, implored to be allowed to go to the College de Clermont, which was under Jesuit direction and renowned for piety as well as for learning. Having obtained his father’s consent to this, and accompanied by the Abbé Déage, he took up his abode in the Hotel de la Rose Blanche, Rue St Jacques, which was close to the College de Clermont.
Francis soon made his mark, especially in rhetoric and philosophy, and he ardently devoted himself to the study of theology. To satisfy his father he took lessons in riding, dancing and fencing, but cared for none of them. His heart was more and more set upon giving himself wholly to God. He vowed perpetual chastity and placed himself under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin. He
was, nevertheless, not free from trials. About his eighteenth year he was assailed by an agonizing temptation to despair. The love of God had always meant more than anything else to him, but he was now the prey of a terrible fear that he had lost God’s grace and was doomed to hate Him with the damned for all eternity. This obsession pursued him day and night, and his health suffered visibly from the consequent mental anguish. It was a heroic act of pure love which brought him deliverance. “Lord”, he cried, “if I am never to see thee in Heaven, this at least grant me, that I may never curse nor blaspheme thy holy name. If I may not love thee in the other world—for in Hell none praise thee—let me at least every instant of my brief existence here love thee as much as I can.”

Directly afterwards, while kneeling before his favourite statue of our Lady, in the church of St Étienne des Grés, humbly saying the Memorare, all fear and despair suddenly left him and a deep peace filled his soul. This trial taught him early to understand and deal tenderly with the spiritual difficulties and temptations of others.

He was twenty-four when he took his final degree and became a doctor of law at Padua, and he rejoined his family at the Château de Thuille on the Lake of Annecy, where for eighteen months this singularly attractive youth led, outwardly at least, the ordinary life of a young noble of his tithe. That he should marry was his father’s greatest desire, and the bride destined for him was a charming girl, the heiress of a neighbour of the family. However, by his distant, though courteous manner to the young lady Francis soon showed that he could not follow his father’s wishes in this matter. For a similar motive he declined the dignity offered him of becoming a member of the senate of Savoy, an unusual compliment to so young a man. Francis had so far only confided to his mother, to his cousin Canon Louis de Sales, and to a few intimate friends his earnest desire of devoting his life to the service of God. An explanation with his father, however, became inevitable. M. de Boisy had been greatly chagrined by his son’s refusal of the senatorship and his determination not to marry, but neither of these disappointments appeared to have prepared him for the blow of Francis’s vocation.

The death of the provost of the chapter of Geneva suggested to Canon Louis de Sales the possibility that Francis might be appointed to this post, and that in this way his father’s opposition might relax. Aided by Claud de Granier, Bishop of Geneva, but without consulting any of the family, he applied to the pope, with whom the appointment rested, and the letters instituting Francis provost of the chapter were promptly received from Rome. When the appointment was announced to Francis his surprise was extreme, and it was only with reluctance that he accepted the unsought honour, hoping thereby to obtain his father’s consent to his ordination. M. de Boisy was a man of determined character and considered that his children ought to regard his expressed wish as final, and it required all the patient persuasiveness and respect which Francis could call to his aid before M. de Boisy at length gave way.

Francis put on ecclesiastical dress the very day his father gave his consent, and six months afterwards, on December 18, 1593, he was ordained priest. He took up his duties with an ardour which never abated. He ministered to the poor with zealous love, and in the confessional devoted himself to the poorest and humblest with special predilection. He preached constantly, not only in Annecy, but in many other places. His style was so simple that it charmed his hearers, and, excellent scholar though he was, he avoided filling his sermons with Greek and Latin quotations, as was the prevailing custom. He was destined, however, soon to be called upon to undertake far more difficult and hazardous work.

At this time, owing to armed hostilities and the inroads of Protestantism, the religious condition of the people of the Chablais, on the south shore of the Lake of Geneva, was deplorable, and the Duke of Savoy applied to Bishop de Granier to send missioners who might win back his subjects to the Church. In response the bishop sent a priest to Thonon, the capital of the Chablais. The first attempt was fruitless, and the priest was soon forced to withdraw. The bishop, summoning his chapter, put the whole matter before them, disguising none of the difficulties and dangers. Perhaps of all those present, the provost was the one who best realized the gravity of the task, but nevertheless he stood up and offered himself for the work, saying very simply, “My lord, if you think I am capable of under­taking the mission, tell me to go. I am ready to obey, and should be happy to be chosen.” The bishop accepted at once, to Francis’s great joy. But M. de Boisy took a different view of the matter and hastened to Annecy to stop what he called “this piece of folly”. In his opinion it meant sending Francis to his death. Kneeling at the feet of the bishop he exclaimed, “My lord, I allowed my eldest son, the hope of my house, of my old age, of my life, to devote himself to the service of the Church to be a confessor, but I cannot give him up to be a martyr!” When Mgr de Granier, impressed by the distress and insistence of his old friend, seemed on the point of yielding, it was Francis who implored him to be firm, saying, “Would you make me unworthy of the Kingdom of God? Having put my hand to the plough, would you have me look back?”

The bishop used every argument likely to influence M. de Boisy, but he took his leave, saying, “I have no wish to resist the will of God, but I do not mean to be my son’s murderer I cannot be a party to his throwing away his life!  May God do according to His good pleasure, but as to this undertaking, it shall never have my sanction”. Thus Francis had the disappointment of starting on his mission without his father’s blessing. It was on September 14, 1594, Holy Cross day, that, travelling on foot and accompanied only by his cousin, Canon Louis de Sales, he set forth to win back the Chablais. The Château des Allinges, six or seven miles from Thonon, was where the governor of the province was stationed with a garrison, and here the cousins, for safety’s sake, were to return each night.

In Thonon, the residue of the once Catholic population amounted to about twenty scattered individuals, too afraid of violence to declare themselves openly. These Francis sought out and exhorted to courage and perseverance. The missionaries worked and preached daily in Thonon, gradually extending their efforts to the villages of the surrounding country. The walk to and from Allinges, a great additional tax on their endurance, was in the following winter on several occasions a matter of extreme danger. One evening Francis was attacked by wolves, and only escaped by spending the night in a tree. When daylight came he was found by some peasants in such an exhausted condition that had they not carried him to their hut and revived him with food and warmth he would certainly have died. These good people were Calvinists, and with his thanks Francis spoke such words of enlightenment and charity that they were afterwards converted. Twice in January 1595 he was waylaid by assassins who had sworn to take his life, but on both these occasions, as also several times later, he was preserved seemingly by miracle.

Time went by with little apparent result to reward the labours of the two missioners, and all the while M. de Boisy was sending letters to his son, alternately commanding and imploring him to give up so hopeless a task. Francis could only reply that short of a positive order from the bishop he had no right to forsake his post. He himself did not lose heart, notwithstanding the enormous difficulties. To a friend near Evian he wrote, “We are but making a beginning. I shall go on in good courage, and I hope in God against all human hope."

He was constantly seeking new ways to reach the hearts and minds of the people, and he began writing leaflets setting forth the teaching of the Church as opposed to the errors of Calvin­ism. In every spare moment of his arduous day he wrote these little papers, which were copied many times by hand and distributed widely by all available means. These sheets, composed under such stress and difficulty, were later to form the volume of “Controversies”, and in their original form are still preserved in the archives of the Visitation Convent at Annecy. This was the beginning of his activities as a writer. To all this work Francis added the spiritual care of the sol­diers, quartered in the Château des Allinges, Catholic in name but an ignorant and dissolute crew. In the summer of 1595, going up the mountain of Voiron to restore an oratory of our Lady which had been destroyed by the Bernese, he was attacked by a hostile crowd, who insulted and beat him. Soon afterwards his sermons at Thonon began to be more numerously attended. The tracts too had been silently doing their work, and his patient perseverance under every form of persecution and hardship had not been without its effect. Conversions became more and more frequent, and before very long there was a steady stream of lapsed Catholics seeking reconciliation with the Church.

After three or four years, when Bishop de Granier came to visit the mission, the fruits of Francis’s self-sacrificing work and untiring zeal were unmistakable. The bishop was made welcome, and was able to administer confirmation. He even presided at the “Forty Hours”, a thing which seemed unthinkable in Thonon. Catholic faith and worship had been re-established in the province, and Francis could with justice be called the “Apostle of the Chablais”. A great bishop of Geneva in our own day, Marius Besson, has summed up his predecessor’s apostolic spirit in a sentence that St Francis himself wrote to St Jane de Chantal: “I have always said that whoever preaches with love is preaching effectively against the heretics, even though he does not say a single controversial word against them.” And Mgr Besson quotes Cardinal du Perron: “I hope that, with God’s help, the learning He has given me is enough easily to convince heretics of their errors but if you want to convert them, take them to my Lord of Geneva: God has given him a quality through which all those to whom he speaks come away converted.”

Mgr de Granier, who had long been considering Francis in the light of a possible coadjutor and successor, felt that the moment had now come to give effect to this. When the proposal was made Francis was at first unwilling, but in the end he yielded to the persistence of the bishop, submitting to what he ultimately felt was a mani­festation of the Divine Will. Soon he fell dangerously ill with a fever which kept him for a time hovering between life and death. When sufficiently recovered he proceeded to Rome, where Pope Clement VIII, having heard much in praise of the virtue and ability of the young provost, desired that he should be examined in his presence. On the appointed day there was a great assemblage of learned theologians and men of eminent intellect. The pope himself, Baronius, Bellarmine, Cardinal Frederick Borromeo (a cousin of St Charles) and others put no less than thirty-five abstruse questions of theology to Francis, all of which he answered with simplicity and modesty, but in a way which proved his learning. His appointment as coadjutor of Geneva was confirmed, and Francis returned to take up his work with fresh zeal and energy. Early in 1602 he was in Paris. During his stay he was invited to preach a course in the chapel royal, which soon proved too small to hold the crowd that came to listen to his simple and moving but uncompromising words of truth. He was in high favour with Henry IV, who used every inducement to get him to remain in France, and renewed his efforts in later years when Francis was again in Paris. But the young bishop would not forsake his “poor bride”, his mountain diocese, for the “rich wife”, the more imposing see, offered him. King Henry said that “My Lord of Geneva has every virtue and not a fault”.

Francis succeeded to the see of Geneva on the death of Claud de Granier in the autumn of 1602, and took up his residence at Annecy, with a household organized on lines of the strictest economy. To the fulfilment of his episcopal duties he gave himself with unstinted generosity and devotion. He thought out every detail for the government of his diocese, and apart from all his administrative work continued to preach and minister in the confessional with unremitting devotion. He organized the teaching of the catechism throughout the diocese, and at Annecy gave the instructions himself, with such glowing interest and fervour that years after his death the “Bishop’s Catechisms” were still vividly remembered. Children loved him and followed him about. His unselfishness and charity, his humility and clemency, could not have been surpassed. In dealing with souls, though always gentle, he was never weak, and he could be very firm when kindness did not prevail. In his wonderful Treatise on the Love of God, he wrote, “The measure of love, is to love without measure”, and this he not only taught, but lived. The immense correspondence which he carried on brought encouragement and wise guidance to innumerable persons who sought his help. A prominent place in this work of spiritual direction was held by St Jane Frances de Chantal, who first became known to him in 1604, when he was preaching Lenten sermons at Dijon. The foundation of the Order of the Visitation in 1610 was the result that evolved from this meeting of the two saints. His most famous book, the Introduction to the Devout Life, grew out of the casual notes of instruction and advice which he wrote to Mme de Chamoisy, a cousin by marriage, who had placed herself under his guidance. He was persuaded to publish them in a little volume which, with some additions, first appeared in 1608. The book was at once acclaimed a spiritual masterpiece, and soon translated into many languages. In 1610 came the heavy sorrow of his mother’s death (his father had died nine years before). “My heart was very full and I wept over that good mother more than I have wept since I became a priest,” were his words afterwards, written to Mme de Chantal. Francis survived his mother twelve laborious years.

In 1622, the Duke of Savoy, going to meet Louis XIII at Avignon, invited St Francis to join them there. Anxious to obtain from Louis certain privileges for the French part of his diocese, Francis readily consented, although he was in no state of health to risk the long winter journey. But he seems to have had a pre­monition that his end was not far off. Before quitting Annecy he put all his affairs in order, and took his leave as if he had no expectation of seeing people again. At Avignon he led as far as possible his usual austere life. But he was greatly sought after—crowds were eager to see him, and the different religious houses all wanted the saintly bishop to preach to them. On the return journey he stayed at Lyons, where he lodged in a gardener’s cottage belonging to the convent of the Visitation. Here for a whole month, though sorely in need of rest, he spared himself no labour for souls. Being asked one day by a nun to write down what virtue he specially wished them to cultivate, he wrote on a sheet of paper, in large letters, the one word “Humility”.

In bitterly cold weather, through Advent and over Christmas, he continued his preaching and ministrations, refusing no demand upon his strength and time. On St John’s day he was taken seriously ill with some sort of paralytic seizure. He recovered speech and consciousness, and endured with touching patience the torturing remedies used in the hope of prolonging his life, but which only hastened the end. After receiving the last sacraments he lay murmuring words from the Bible expressive of his humble and serene trust in God’s mercy. He was heard to say, “Exspectans exspectavi Dominum et intendit mihi, et exaudivit preces meas, et eduxit me de lacu miseriae et de luto faecis.”—“With expectation I have waited for the Lord and He was attentive to me, and He heard my prayers and brought me out of the pit of misery and the filthy mire.”

At last clasping the hand of a loving attendant, he whispered, Advesperascit et inclinata est jam dies.”—“It is towards evening and the day is now far spent.” The last word he was heard to utter was the name of “Jesus”. While those kneeling around his bed said the litany for the dying, and were invoking the Holy Innocents, whose feast it was, St Francis gently breathed his last, in the fifty-sixth year of his age.

The beatification of St Francis de Sales in 1662 was the first solemn beatification to take place in St Peter’s at Rome, where he was canonized three years later. His feast was fixed for January 29, the anniversary of the bringing of his body to the convent of the Visitation at Annecy. He was declared a doctor of the Church in 1877, and Pope Pius XI named him the patron-saint of journalists. At the time of his death there was living in Paris a priest now known as St Vincent de Paul. To him Francis had entrusted the spiritual care of the first convent of the Visitation in Paris. St Vincent said of St Francis, This servant of God conformed so well to the divine pattern that often I asked myself with amazement how a created being—given the frailty of human nature—could reach so high a degree of perfection…Going over his words in my mind I have been filled with such admiration that I am moved to see in him the man who, of all others, has most faithfully reproduced the love of the Son of God on earth.”

Some people who thought St Francis de Sales too indulgent towards sinners one day spoke freely to him on the subject. The saint replied, If there were anything more excellent than meekness, God would certainly have taught it us and yet there is nothing to which He so earnestly exhorts all, as to be meek and humble of heart’. Why would you hinder me from obeying the command of my Lord? Can we really be better advised in these matters than God Himself?” The tenderness of Francis was particularly displayed in his reception of apostates and other abandoned sinners. When these prodigals returned to him he used to say, speaking with all the tenderness of a father, God and I will help you; all I require of you is not to despair: I shall take on myself the burden of the rest.” His affectionate care of them extended even to their bodily wants, and his purse was open to them as well as his heart. He justified this to some who, disedified at his indulgence, told him that it only encouraged the sinner and hardened him in his ways, by observing, “Are they not a part of my flock? Has not our blessed Lord shed His blood for them? These wolves will be changed into lambs; a day will come when they will be more precious in the sight of God than we are. If Saul had been cast off, we should never have had St Paul.”

An immense amount of material is available for the fuller study of the life of St Francis de Sales. A number of biographies were printed in the seventeenth century, two of them within a couple of years of his death. His own works, particularly his letters, form an almost inexhaustible mine of information. They should be consulted in the great edition of Annecy prepared by the Visitation nuns under the direction of the English Benedictine Dom Mackey, and later of Father Navatel and others. The Spirit of St Francis de Sales by Bishop Camus has had an immense popularity since its first appearance in 1641, and has been translated and abridged in many languages; see also St Francis de Sales (1937), by M. Mueller. The most complete modern biographies are those by the Abbé Hamon (revised and supplemented edn. in 2 vols., 1909 English adaptation by Fr H. Burton in a vols., 1926-29), and by Mgr W. C. Trochu (2 vols., 1941). There is a French study of St Francis as the “Doctor of Perfection” by Canon J. Leclercq (1948). There are several slighter works accessible to English readers, some original, like that of M. M. Maxwell Scott, St Francis de Sales and his Friends, others translated, like the short Life by de Margerie. Two Anglican writers have written well of the saint H. L. Farrer (Mrs Lear) in her Life (1872), and B. K. Sanders (1928).

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.

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
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:


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

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

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

Patron_Saints.html  Widowed_Saints htmIndulgences The Catholic Church in China
LINKS: Marian Shrines  
India Marian Shrine Lourdes of the East   Lourdes 1858  China Marian shrines 1995
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 Benedict XVI (2005 - 2013) Francis (2013

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints

At Paris St. Thomas was honored with the friendship of the King, St. Louis, with whom he frequently dined. In 1261, Urban IV called him to Rome where he was appointed to teach, but he positively declined to accept any ecclesiastical dignity. St. Thomas not only wrote (his writings filled twenty hefty tomes characterized by brilliance of thought and lucidity of language), but he preached often and with greatest fruit. Clement IV offered him the archbishopric of Naples which he also refused. He left the great monument of his learning, the "Summa Theologica", unfinished, for on his way to the second Council of Lyons, ordered there by Gregory X, he fell sick and died at the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova in 1274.
St. Thomas declared Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius V.

Romæ sancti Vitaliáni Papæ.       At Rome, St. Vitalian, pope.

Whereas in the Lord's Prayer, we are bidden to ask for 'our daily bread,' the Holy Fathers of the Church all but unanimously teach that by these words must be understood, not so much that material bread which is the support of the body, as the Eucharistic bread, which ought to be our daily food. -- Pope St. Pius X

Then in 1525, since it was a Holy Year of Jubilee, Angela Merici went as a pilgrim to Rome to gain the great jubilee indulgence. When she had an audience with the Pope Clement VII, he tried to persuade her to stay at Rome and head a congregation of nursing sisters. But she was still convinced of her calling to education work. In fact, years before, she had experienced a vision in which she saw a group of young women ascending to heaven on a ladder of light. A voice had then said:
“Take heed, Angela; before you die you will found at Brescia a company of maidens similar to those you have just seen.
     It was April 1533 that she made this prophecy come true. The Ursalines

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
Pope Gregory IX 1227-1241 , having called St Raymund to Rome in 1230, nominated him to various offices and took him likewise for his confessor, in which capacity Raymund enjoined the pope, for a penance, to receive, hear and expedite im­mediately all petitions presented by the poor. Gregory also ordered the saint to gather into one body all the scattered decrees of popes and councils since the collection made by Gratian in 1150. In three years Raymund completed his task, and the five books of the “Decretals” were confirmed by the same Pope Gregory in 1234. Down to the publication of the new Codex Juris Canonici in 1917 this compilation of St Raymund was looked upon as the best arranged part of the body of canon law, on which account the canonists usually chose it for the text of their commentaries.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints

250 St. Fabian layperson dove descended this stranger was elected Pope able built Church of Rome
Pope ST FABIAN succeeded St Antherus in the pontificate about the year 236. Eusebius relates that in an assembly of the people and clergy held to elect the new pope, a dove flew in and settled on the head of St Fabian.

Pope Paschal II 1086 St. Canute IV Martyred king of Denmark -- authorized the veneration of St Canute, though it is not easy to see upon what his claim to martyrdom rests. Aelnoth adds that the first preachers of Christianity in Denmark and Scandinavia were Englishmen, and that the Swedes were the most difficult to convert.

Pope Leo XIII 1924 Saint Joseph Sebastian Pelczar; Bishop of Przemysl in 1900 until his death in 1924. He made frequent visits to the parishes, supported the religious orders, conducted three synods, and worked for the education and religious formation of his priests.
He worked for the implentation of the social doctrine described in the writings of Pope Leo XIII.

The Church without Mary is an orphanage
 Pope Francis:
“It is very different to try and grow in the faith without Mary's help. It is something else. It is like growing in the faith, yes, but in a Church that is an orphanage. A Church without Mary is an orphanage. With Mary—she educates us, she makes us grow, she accompanies us, she touches consciences. She knows how to touch consciences, for repentance.”
Pope Francis Speech of October 25, 2014, to the Schönstatt Apostolic Movement on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its founding

Pope Clement IX --  1670 St. Charles of Sezze Franciscan Pope Clement IX called Charles to his bedside for a blessing

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
 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.

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. 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 (

"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