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 Sunday Saints of this Day January  31 Prídie 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.

    "Give as if every pasture in the mountains of Ireland belonged to you." --Saint Aidan 626

Menuthis is now known as Abukir, meaning 'Father Cyrus,' Nelsons Victory

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


 Eódem die Translátio sancti Marci Evangelístæ, cum sacrum ejus corpus ex Alexandría, a bárbaris tunc occupáta, Venétias allátum, ibídem in majóri Ecclésia, ejus nómine consecráta, honorificentíssime cónditum fuit.

The same day, the transfer of the revered body of the Evangelist St. Mark from the city of Alexandria in Egypt, then occupied by barbarians, to Venice, and with the greatest honours placed in the large church dedicated to his name.
January 31 - Saint John Bosco   Two Columns
On May 30, 1862, Don Bosco spoke to his boys and young clerics he was training about a dream he had dreamt. He said, "Try to picture yourselves with me on a seashore, or better still, on a outlying cliff with no other land in sight. The vast expanse of water is covered with a formidable array of ships in battle formation, prows fitted with sharp spear-like beaks capable of breaking through any defense. All are headed toward one stately flagship, mightier than them all. As they try to close in, they try to ram it, set it on fire, and destroy it as much as possible.

This stately vessel is shielded by a flotilla escort. Winds and waves are with the enemy. In the midst of this endless sea, two solid columns a short distance apart, soar high into the sky: one is surmounted by a statue of the Immaculate Virgin with a rosary at whose feet a large inscription reads: Help of Christians; the other, far loftier and sturdier supports a (Communion) Host of proportionate size and bears beneath it the inscription Salvation of Believers."

The saint continued explaining that the assault turned to the advantage of the aggressors, but the Pope, in white, on the bow of the great ship, summoned his commanders for a conference, but a furious storm broke out and they had to return to their ships. Standing at the helm the Pope strained every muscle to steer his ship between the two columns from whose summits hung many anchors and strong hooks linked to chains.

At this point Don Bosco asked one of the priests present for his views. He replied that he thought that the flagship symbolized the Church headed by the Pope, with the ships representing mankind and the sea as an image of the world. The ships defending the flagship he equated with the laity and the attackers with those trying to destroy the Church, while the two columns represented devotion to Mary and the Eucharist.
Adapted from
January 31 - St John Bosco (d. 1888)
  Two Mighty Columns of Great Height

(I saw) an innumerable fleet of ships in battle array…
As escorts to that majestic fully equipped ship (the Church), there are many smaller ships, which receive commands by signal from it and carry out movements to defend themselves from the opposing fleet.

In the midst of the immense expanse of sea, two mighty columns of great height arise a little distance the one from the other. On the top of one, there is the statue of the Immaculate Virgin, from whose feet hangs a large placard with this inscription: Auxilium Christianorum – ‘Help of Christians’; on the other, which is much higher and bigger, stands a Host of great size proportionate to the column and beneath is another placard with the words: Salus Credentium –‘Salvation of the Faithful.’

(…) The new Pope, putting the enemy to rout and overcoming every obstacle, guides the ship right up to the two columns and comes to rest between them; he makes it fast with a light chain that hangs from the bow to an anchor of the column on which stands the Host; and with another light chain which hangs from the stern, he fastens it at the opposite end to another anchor hanging from the column on which stands the Immaculate Virgin.

Then a great convulsion takes place. All the ships that until then had fought against the Pope's ship are scattered; they flee away, collide and break to pieces one against another.     Don Bosco’s Prophetic Dream (May 30, 1862)

 250 St. Metranus Egyptian martyr in Alexandria
 250 Sts. Saturninus, Thrysus, & Victor Martyrs at Alexandria
 303 St. Cyrus Alexandrian doctor monk converted patients to Christianity and John Arab soldier Martyrs
 309 St. Julius of Novara  Missionary confessor with his brother, Julian deacon
 348 St. Geminian Bishop of Modena, Italy
       St. Tryphaena martyr at Cyzicus on the Hellespont patroness nursing mothers

       St. Tarskius Martyr with Zoticus Cyriacus & companions
 410 St. Marcella Roman matron gave to the poor martyred
 626 St. Aidan Monastic & Church founder bishop miracle worker great charity kindness to animals
 680 St. Adamnan of Coldingham Confessor gift of prophecy
 750 St. Ulphia Hermitess
  766 St. Bobinus Benedictine bishop of Troyes
  884 St. Eusebius hermit Martyred Irish Benedictine
 885 St. Athanasius Bishop caught in the Saracen invasion of Sicily 
1050 Bessed John of Angelus, 
1107 St. Nicetas Bishop of Novgorod miracle worker 
1156 St. Martin Manuel Portuguese martyr

1515 Blessed Paula Gambara-Costa won bad husband over to Christ
1533 Blessed Louise degli Albertoni Widow spent her life in works of charity
       St. Madoes honored in the Carse of Gowrie, Scotland
1815 St. Francis Xavier Bianchi Bamabite priest called “the Apostle of Naples”  stopped lava from Vesuvius 1805
1836 Blessed Mary Christina, Queen
1888 John Bosco, Priest Founder great lover of children (RM)
"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)

1888 John Bosco, Priest Founder great lover of children (RM)
 Augústæ Taurinórum sancti Joánnis Bosco, Confessóris, Societátis Salesiánæ ac Institúti Filiárum Maríæ Auxiliatrícis Fundatóris, animárum zelo et fídei propagándæ conspícui, quem Pius Papa Undécimus Sanctórum fastis adscrípsit.
       At Turin,the birthday of St. John Bosco, confessor, founder of the Salesian Congregation and of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians.  Conspicuous for his zeal for souls and for the propagation of the faith, he was canonized by Pope Pius XI.
Born at Becchi (near Turin), Piedmont, Italy, August 15, 1815; died in Turin on January 31, 1888; both beatified in 1929 and canonized April 1, 1934, by Pope Pius XI as the "Father and Teacher of Youth."

“IN his life the supernatural almost became the natural and the extraordinary ordinary.” These were the words of Pope Pius XI in speaking of that great lover of children, Don Bosco. Born in 1815, the youngest son of a peasant-farmer in a Piedmontese village, John Melchior Bosco lost his father at the age of two and was brought up by his mother, a saintly and industrious woman who had a hard struggle to keep the home together. A dream which he had when he was nine showed him the vocation from which he never swerved. It was the precursor of other visions which, at various critical periods of his life, indicated the next step he was to take. In this first dream he seemed to be surrounded by a crowd of fighting and blaspheming children whom he strove in vain to pacify, at first by argument and then with his fists. Suddenly there appeared a mysterious lady who said to him “Softly, softly... if you wish to win them Take your shepherd’s staff and lead them to pasture.” As she spoke, the children were transformed into wild beasts and then into lambs. From that moment John recognized that his duty was to help poor boys, and he began with those of his own village, teaching them the catechism and bringing them to church. As an encouragement, he would often delight them with acrobatic and conjuring tricks, at which he became very proficient. One Sunday morning, when a perambulating juggler and gymnast was detaining the youngsters with his performances, the little lad challenged him to a competition beat him at his own job, and triumphantly bore off his audience to Mass.

Whilst he was staying with an aunt who was servant to a priest, John had learnt to read and he ardently desired to become a priest, but he had many difficulties to over­come before he could enter on his studies. He was sixteen when he entered the seminary at Chieri and so poor that his maintenance money and his very clothes had to be provided by charity, the mayor contributing his hat, the parish priest his cloak, one parishioner his cassock, and another a pair of shoes. After his ordination to the diaconate he passed to the theological college of Turin and, during his residence there, he began, with the approbation of his superiors, to gather together on Sundays a number of the neglected apprentices and waifs of the city.

His attention was confirmed in this field by St Joseph Cafasso, then rector of a parish church and the annexed sacerdotal institute in Turin. It was he who persuaded Don Bosco that he was not cut out to be a missionary abroad “Go and unpack that trunk you’ve got ready, and carry on with your work for the boys. That, and nothing else, is God’s will for you.” Don Cafasso introduced him, on the one hand, to those moneyed people of the city who were in time to come to be the generous benefactors of his work, and on the other hand to the prisons and slums whence were to come the beneficiaries of that work.

His first appointment was to the assistant chaplaincy of a refuge for girls founded by the Marchesa di Barola, the wealthy and philanthropic woman who had taken care of Silvio Pellico after his release. This post left him free on Sunday to look after his boys, to whom he devoted the whole day and for whom he devised a sort of combined Sunday-school and recreation centre which he called a “festive oratory”. Permission to meet on premises belonging to the Marchesa was soon withdrawn because the lads were noisy and some of them picked the flowers, and for over a year they were sent from pillar to post—no landlord being willing to put up with the lively band, which had increased to several hundred. When at last Don Bosco was able to hire an old shed and all seemed promising, the Marchesa, who with all her generosity was somewhat of an autocrat, delivered an ultimatum offering him the alternative of giving up the boys or resigning his post at her refuge. He chose the latter.

In the midst of his anxiety, the holy man was prostrated by a severe attack of pneumonia with complications which nearly cost him his life. He had hardly recovered when he went to live in some miserable rooms adjoining his new oratory, and with his mother installed as his housekeeper he applied himself to consolidating and extending his work. A night-school started the previous year took permanent shape, and as the oratory was overcrowded, he opened two more centres in other quarters of Turin. It was about this time that he began to take in and house a few destitute children. In a short time some thirty or forty neglected boys, most of them apprentices in the city, were living with Don Bosco and his devoted mother, “Mamma Margaret”, in the Valdocco quarter, going out daily to work. He soon 

realized that any good he could do them was counterbalanced by outside influences, and he eventually determined to train the apprentices at home. He opened his first two workshops, for shoemakers and tailors, in 1853.

The next step was to construct for his flock a church, which he placed under the patronage of his favourite saint, Francis de Sales, and when that was finished he set to work to build a home for his increasing family. The money came—miracu­lously as it often seemed. The boys were of two sorts little would-be appren­tices, and those in whom Don Bosco discerned future helpers and possible vocations to the priesthood. At first they attended classes outside, but, as more help became available, technical courses and grammar classes were started in the house and all were taught at home. By 1856 there were 150 resident boys, with four workshops including a printing-press, and also four Latin classes, with ten young priests, besides the oratories with their 500 children. Owing to his intense sympathy and marvellous power of reading their thoughts, Don Bosco exercised an unbounded influence over his boys, whom he was able to rule with an apparent indulgence and absence of punishment which rather scandalized the educationists of his day.

Over and above all this work, he was in constant request as a preacher, his fame for eloquence being enhanced by the numerous miracles—mostly of healing—which were wrought through his intercession. A third form of activity which he pursued for years was the writing of popular books, for he was as strongly convinced of the power of the press as any member of the Catholic Truth Society. Now it would be a work in defence of the faith, now a history or other lesson book, now one of a series of Catholic readings which would occupy him for half the night, until failing sight in later life compelled him to lay down his pen.

For years St John Bosco’s great problem was that of help. Enthusiastic young priests would offer their services, but sooner or later would give up, because they could not master Don Bosco’s methods or had not his patience with often vicious young ruffians or were put off by his scheme for schools and workshops when he had not a penny. Some even were disappointed because he would not turn the oratory into a political club in the interests of “Young Italy”. By 1850 he had only one assistant left, and he resolved to train young men himself for the work. (It was in consequence of this that St Dominic Savio came to the oratory in 1854.) In any case something in the nature of a religious order had long been in his mind and, after several disappointments, the time came when he felt that he had at last the nucleus he desired.            “On the night of January 26, 1854, we were assembled in Don Bosco’s room,” writes one of those present. Besides Don Bosco there were Cagliero, Rocchetti, Artiglia and Rua. “It was suggested that with God’s help we should enter upon a period of practical works of charity to help our neighbours. At the close of that period we might bind ourselves by a promise, which could subsequently be transformed into a vow. From that evening, the name of Salesian was given to all who embarked upon that form of apostolate.”

The name, of course, came from the great Bishop of Geneva. It seemed a most unpropitious moment for launching a new congregation, for in all its history Piedmont had never been so anti-clerical. The Jesuits and the Ladies of the Sacred Heart had been expelled, many convents had been suppressed, and law after law was passed cur­tailing the rights of the religious orders. Nevertheless it was the statesman Rattazzi, one of the ministers most responsible for that legislation, who, meeting Don Bosco one day, urged him to found a society to carry on his valuable work, promising him the support of the king.

In December 1859, with twenty-two companions, he finally determined to proceed with the organization of a religious congregation, whose rules had received the general approval of Pope Pius IX but it was not until fifteen years later that the constitutions received their final approbation, with leave to present candidates for holy orders. The new society grew apace: in 1863 there were 39 Salesians, at the founder’s death 768, and today they are numbered by thousands, all over the world. One of Don Bosco’s dreams was realized when he sent his first missionaries to Patagonia, and others soon spread over South America. He lived to see twenty-six houses started in the New World and thirty-eight in the Old. Today Salesian establishments include schools from the primary grade to colleges and seminaries, adult schools, technical schools, agricultural schools, printing and bookbinding shops, hospitals, to say nothing of foreign missions and pastoral work.

His next great work was the foundation of an order of women to do for poor girls what the Salesians were doing for boys. This was inaugurated in 1872 with the clothing of twenty-seven young women to whom he gave the name of Daughters of Our Lady, Help of Christians. This community increased almost as fast as the other, with elementary schools in Italy, Brazil and the Argentine, and other activi­ties. To supplement the work of these two congregations, Don Bosco organized his numerous outside helpers into a new sort of third order to which he attached the up-to-date title of Salesian Co-operators. These were men and women of all classes, pledged to assist in some way the educational labours of the Salesians.

The dream or vision previously referred to struck the note for all Don Bosco’s dealings with boys. It is a platitude that to do anything with them you must have a liking for them; but the love must also be seen. It radiated from Don Bosco, and incidentally helped to form his ideas about punishment at a time when the crudest superstitions on that subject were still almost unquestioned. Fostering of a sense of personal responsibility, removal of occasions of disobedience, appre­ciation of effort, friendliness these were his methods. In 1877 he wrote, “I do not remember ever to have used formal punishment. By God’s grace I have always been able to get not only observance of rules but even of my bare wishes.” There went with that an acute awareness of the harm done by misdirected kindness, as he was not slow to point out to parents. One of the pleasantest pictures that St John Bosco’s name conjures up is those Sunday excursions into the country with a gang of boys, when he would celebrate Mass in the village church, then breakfast and games out-of-doors, a catechism lesson, and the singing of Vespers to end up— Don Bosco was a firm believer in the civilizing and spiritualizing effects of good music.

Any account of Don Bosco’s life would be incomplete without some mention of his work as a church-builder.
His first little church soon proving insufficient for its increasing congregation, the founder proceeded to the construction of a much larger one which was completed in 1868. This was followed by another spacious and much-needed basilica in a poor quarter of Turin, which he placed under the patronage of St John the Evangelist. The effort to raise the necessary money had been immense, and the holy man was out of health and very weary, but his labours were not yet over. During the last years of Pius IX, the project had been formed of building in Rome a church in honour of the Sacred Heart, and Pius had given the money to buy the site. His successor was equally anxious for the work to proceed, but it seemed impossible to obtain funds to raise it above the foundations. 

“What a pity it is that we can make no headway,” remarked the pope after a consistory.

“The glory of God, the honour of the Holy See and the spiritual good of so many are involved in the undertaking. I can see no way out of the difficulty.”
“I could suggest one”, said Cardinal Alimonda.
“And what might that be?”
“Hand it over to Don Bosco: he could do it.”
“But would he accept”
“I know him: a wish expressed by your Holiness would be honoured as a command.”
The task was accordingly proposed to him and he undertook it.

When he could obtain no more funds from Italy he betook himself to France, the land where devotion to the Sacred Heart has always flourished pre-eminently. Everywhere he was acclaimed as a saint and a wonder-worker, and the money came pouring in. The completion of the new church was assured, but, as the time for the consecration approached, Don Bosco was sometimes heard to say that if it were long delayed he would not be alive to witness it. It took place on May 14, 1887, and he offered Mass in the church once shortly after but as the year drew on it became evident that his days were numbered. Two years earlier the doctors had declared that he had worn himself out and that complete rest was his only chance, but rest for him was out of the question. At the end of the year his strength gave way altogether, and he became gradually weaker until at last he passed away on January 31, 1888, so early in the morning that his death has been described, not quite correctly, as occurring on the morrow of the feast of St Francis de Sales. Forty thousand persons visited his body as it lay in the church, and his funeral resembled a triumph, for the whole city of Turin turned out to do him honour when his mortal remains were borne to their last resting-place. St John Bosco was canonized in 1934.

A full biography of Don Bosco in Italian, by G. B. Lemoyne, has had an enormous sale, but the standard life is that by A. Auffray (1929). Biographies and studies are numerous in many languages. Among the more recent in French are those by D. Lathoud (1938), F. Veuillot (1943), and P. Crass Fidéle histoire de St Jean Bosco (1936), and such shorter works in English as H. Ghéon’s Spirit of St John Bosco and those of F. A. Forbes and Fr H. L. Hughes. St John Bosco’s Early Apostolate (1934), by Fr G. Bonetti, is an exhaustive study of the first quarter-century of the saint’s priesthood. A new English edition of Auffray’s work is in preparation.

John Melchoir Bosco was a great lover of children, and such was the gentleness and sweetness of his life that Pius XI, in proclaiming him a saint, said that "in his life the supernatural almost became the natural and the extraordinary ordinary." Born of peasant stock, his father died when John was two, leaving his valiant wife Margaret to care for her stepson, Antonio, and her own two sons, Giovanni (John) and Giuseppe (Joseph), and her mother-in-law. She raised the children vigorously and lovingly in the poor cottage.

At age nine John had a dream in which he saw himself changing children from beasts into lambs. He decided immediately to become a priest and devote his life to children, and began at once. He haunted every circus and fair; learned to walk tight-ropes, do acrobatics, and become a conjurer at the cost of an often broken nose. He was then able to provide fascinating entertainment that would end with the rosary and a verbatim repetition of the previous Sunday's sermon.
In addition to his physical prowess, John Bosco possessed great mental acumen, a formidable memory, good looks, a sense of humor, and charm. These also attracted others. As a young man, he was of medium height with curly, chestnut hair. He had his problems, too. He was a passionate young man and, like Saint Peter, impetuous. He judged himself so full of pride that he feared he would use his position as a parish priest to feed his cravings for prestige. Yet he learned to control his passions so that calmness and peacefulness characterized his whole life and his relationships with others.

Saint John Bosco Courtesy of the Salesians
Having set his sights on the priesthood, John also learned his lessons well. John left home at age 13 to earn money for his schooling. He hired himself out to farmers, then a tailor, and later worked in a confectionery. These trades served him well later in life.
When he entered the seminary at Chieri at 20 (some say 16), he wore clothes and shoes that were provided by charity. He was ordained in 1841 by Archbishop Fransoni. He had retained his irrepressible gaiety, despite the stiff, semi-Jansenism of his professors. The young priest had thought of becoming a missionary but Saint Joseph Cafasso, the rector of the seminary and John's spiritual director for over twenty years, persuaded him to remain in Italy. He is reported to have said, "Don Bosco, you can't even take a coach ride without getting an upset stomach. How will you ever be a missionary? No, you will not go; but you will send out many to preach and teach the word of God." Father Cafasso eventually introduced John to the wealthy who would support his work with children, and showed him the immense harvests to be gathered among the slums of Turin.

Shortly after his ordination, the archbishop approved Bosco for an intensive five-year course of post-graduate theological study at Turin's Ecclesiastical College. While finishing his education, John also studied the slums of Turin, where many peasant and orphaned lads had come to try their luck. Their degradation was appalling. He could achieve no contact until one day a sacristan smacked the head of a big oaf who stood staring and had answered that he didn't know how to serve the Mass John was about to offer. "I won't have my friends treated like that," John exclaimed. "Your friend?" "The moment anyone is ill-used he becomes my friend." The lad was brought back; next Sunday he fetched others; in but a few months over a hundred were arriving. For three years this uproarious horde had the courtyard of the college for a playground.

At first he brought the boys together only on Sundays in one church or another in Turin or near by; he prayed with them, gave them brief, trenchant instruction in the Christian faith, prepared them to receive the sacraments, then allowed them to romp in the open countryside. An early disciple reminisced, "At the end of each Sunday excursion, Don Bosco always told us to plan for the next Sunday. He gave us advice as to our conduct and asked us, if we had any friends, to invite them, too. Joy reigned among us. Those happy days are engraved in our memories and influenced our lives.
Courtesy of  St. Charles Borromeo Church 
"Arriving at some church in the outskirts of town, Don Bosco would ask permission of the parish priest to play. The permission was always granted, and then at a signal the noisy band gathered together. Catechism followed breakfast: the grass and rocks supplied the plates and tables. It is true, bread failed now and then, but cheerfulness, never. We sang while walking, and at sunset we marched back again into Turin. We were fatigued, but our hearts were content."
Don Bosco believed in the value, especially for deprived urban boys, both of contact with natural beauty and the uplifting power of music. That worked well during the summer, the winter was a different story. In winter, Father John had difficulty finding accommodation for the hundreds of boys who "went to don Bosco's."

Other sites were offered and soon withdrawn. No less than ten people within a space of five months had offered John the use of their facilities. Every one of them, after a few experiences, withdrew the promise. Imagine 400 young, energetic boys gathered in one place! No wonder it seemed impossible to accommodate them all. Finally he rented a roomy old shed. The number of boys at Easter time in 1846 was about 800.

Some spread the rumor that don Bosco was organizing a political conspiracy. In the unstable political climate of northern Italy, such an assumption was not unreasonable. To add to the suspicions, anti-clericalism had been rising in the wake of the desire for unification of the seven Italian states and the ousting of the Austrian and French royal houses, while the unarmed papal states benefitted from the occupation of the Austrian army. So, Don Bosco was watched by police. But the police were converted rather than Don Bosco being arrested.

When he visualized and announced what the future held, others said he was a megalomaniac. Well-meaning friends tried to have him committed to an asylum. Two priests were sent as an escort but Bosco intuited their errand. He followed them to their carriage, politely allowed them to enter first, slammed the door, and called out to the driver: "To the asylum." Well, it took a while to get the poor men out (personally, I know that Italians have a caustic sense of humor). Don Bosco had scored.

In 1844, Don Bosco was appointed chaplain of Saint Philomena's Hospice for girls, and housed his boys in an old building on the grounds of the hospice. When they became too unruly he was ordered to give up his care of the boys or resign as chaplain. He resigned and was forced to leave his apartment.

Thus, remembering Palm Sunday of 1846, when John felt his work might come to an end, he wrote: "As I looked at the crowd of children, the thought of the rich harvest they promised, I felt my heart was breaking. I was alone, without helpers. My health was shattered, and I could not tell where to gather my poor little ones anymore."

John urged the urchins to pray, and God answered the cry of the poor. Mr. Pinardi offered to rent John a piece of property in Turin's marshy Valdocco area, which had a small hayshed that could be used as a chapel. They had to dig out the floor so that John could stand upright in the shed, but it worked. Easter Mass was celebrated in the new chapel.

Three months later the exhausted young priest contracted pneumonia. Leaders sprung up among the young men who kept watch outside the hospital. They organized all-night prayer vigils, hounding heaven with sincere promises, fasting, and other penances. The boys were determined to wrestle Don Bosco from death's grip by their prayers and penances. When death seemed inevitable, John's friend Father Borel whispered: "John, these children need you. Ask God to let you stay. Please, say this prayer after me, 'Lord, if it be your good pleasure, cure me. I say this prayer in the name of my children.'" After the prayer, John's fever broke and he recovered.

When John Bosco left the hospital, like his Master before him, he had no place to lay his head. He went to his mother's farm to recuperated. Finally, in November 1846, Mr. Pinardi offered to rent John four rooms on the property in an unseemly neighborhood for a priest living alone. He asked his mother to give up her beloved farm and come with him to the city. Believing it was God's will, Margaret Bosco followed her son. They walked the 20 miles into the city because they had no money for transportation. Thus, with his mother's help, John Bosco established himself in the slum- center of Valdocco and started what he called his oratory. Until then working with the youths was extracurricular, now he could devote himself to his true apostolate.

With his mother as housekeeper and later renting the whole house, he opened a boarding-house for 40 destitute apprentices, who lived with them. This ministry began on a cold rainy night in May 1847, when Mama Margaret welcomed a youngster, chilled to the bones, who stood trembling on the doorstep. She immediately took him in and cared for "the boy who came to dinner." Mama Margaret seems to me to be a saint herself. She toiled endlessly to care for these children. When she was exhausted and frustrated, ready to return to the quiet life of the farm, she would persist for love of Jesus and the sacrifice He made for her.

Soon hundreds of waifs were crowded in the center that Don Bosco opened for instruction in the faith, for training in the crafts, and for recreation. The most gifted pupils were given additional instruction in languages and mathematics and became teachers of the others. And, of course, they were taught music, because, he said, "an Oratory without singing is like a body without a soul." If a child had a vocation for the priesthood, the way with smoothed for him.

It was a turbulent time (does Italy know any other?) and several attempts were made on the saint's life. Once a man shot him through the window as he sat teaching. The bullet passed under his arm, ripping the cloth. "A pity," said he, "it is my best cassock." And he continued the lesson. He also had a mongrel, stray dog named Grigio, who several times saved his life. No one ever saw the dog eating anything, and no one knew where it slept.

The oratory was so successful that another had to be founded, even though there was no money. That never worried Don Bosco; he knew that God would provide. And so He did. Two workshops for shoemakers and tailors were opened in 1853. By 1856, the 40 boys became 150 residents with four workshops, 10 priests, and a group of 400 of the roughest lads attached to the oratories. John's schools were considered among the best in Turin. A distinguished professor explained Bosco's success, "His love shone forth from his looks and his words so clearly, and all felt it and could not doubt it. . . . They experienced an immense joy in his presence."

In order to pay for this work, Don Bosco preached in numerous places, his reputation for oratory increasing daily as the stories spread of miraculous cures attributed to his prayers and intercession; and in addition, wrote numerous pamphlets and nearly 100 book that were distributed throughout Italy. He cured a man with paralysis and another who was blind. Another time, when there were not enough Hosts for the large crowd going to Communion, the Blessed Sacrament was miraculously multiplied so that all the people were able to receive our blessed Lord.

One of Don Bosco's greatest problems was getting help in his work, and to solve that difficulty, in 1859, he opened a religious seminary (later to be called the Society of Saint Francis de Sales or the Salesians). In 1874 this group received the approbation of the Holy Father, and before the founder's death, there were 768 members with 26 houses in the New World and 38 in the Old. Today there are almost 40,000 Salesian fathers, brothers, and sister working in 120 countries. They specialize in pastoral work and schools of all kinds. They staff 220 orphanages, 219 clinics and hospitals, 864 nurseries, and 3,104 schools (287 are technical schools and 59 are agricultural schools).

Another great work begun by Don Bosco was the foundation of a religious order for women. Together with a peasant woman from near Genoa, Saint Mary Mazzarello, in 1872, he began the congregation called Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians, dedicated to working with poor girls--specializing in elementary schools, instruction centers in the faith, and the like.

A radical idea of Don Bosco, and one which shocked many of his contemporaries was his attitude toward corporal punishment of children. "I do not remember ever to have used formal punishment," he wrote. "By God's grace I have always been able to get not only observance of rules but even of my bare wishes." His educational method, still employed by the Salesians, tries to eliminate conditions leading to delinquency, to influence the pupils by good example and trust, and to make goodness attractive through religious motives, and easy to practice by religious means. "Frequent confession, daily Mass, these are the pillars supporting the whole structure of education," said the saint.

Such was Don John's unique power over the human heart that, having after great difficulty obtained permission to take 300 convicts, to whom he had preached a retreat, on a whole day's excursion to the country as a reward for good behavior, without any guards whatsoever, not a single one made any attempt to escape.

Towards the end of his life don Bosco's missionary spirit developed two special interests: one was England, to which the Salesians came in 1887, and the other was Latin America--he sent ten missionaries to Argentina in 1875. So, while he remained in Italy to work in the slums of Turin, he actually established the framework for the missionary work he originally wanted to undertake.

The Salesians arrived in Argentina at an important time. Many Italians had been migrating to the country during the last quarter of the 19th century, and there were not enough churches and schools to meet their needs. Half of the group travelled south to minister to the indigenous people whose land had been confiscated by the immigrants and led to war. They were instrumental in bringing about a peace, in addition to establishing schools and evangelizing as far south as Puente del Fuego.

Why did such homage surround his last years? In 1883, Pope Leo XIII asked Don Bosco to beg for funds to complete the construction of Sacro Cuore (Sacred Heart Basilica) in Rome. John readily agreed because it would provide him with an opportunity to serve and to visit his spiritual sons who had already spread into France as well as Spain (where he preached a similar mission later). Everywhere he was greeted by warm, enthusiastic crowds who responded generously.

When he was in Lyons the poor cabdriver lost his temper at the encroaching crowds, saying, "I had rather drag the devil than drive a saint." And in Paris the Church of Our Lady of Victories was crammed two hours before the Mass he came to say in that "refuge of sinners," and a poor woman exclaimed to a questioner: "You see, it is the Mass for sinners, and it is to be offered by a saint. . . ."

Don Bosco's health was giving way under the demands of so many well-wishers. His right eye pained him terribly and continuously. Although he was only in his 60's, he was so troubled by phlebitis that two Salesians had to steady him as he meandered through the crowds blessing and greeting people.

As his health continued to deteriorate, his doctors urged Don Bosco to rest. He always responded that he had too much work to do. Until the moment of his death, Don Bosco, supported by two Salesian companions, would journey through Turin visiting the poor, begging from the rich, cheering the hearts of the sad. When he knew his death was imminent, he would say, "I want to go to heaven for there I shall be able to work much better for my children. On earth I can do nothing more for them." His famous sense of humor did not fade with his body: Gasping for breath, he whispered to a son anxiously bending over him, "Do you know where there is a good bellowsmaker?" "Why?" came the puzzled response. "Because I need a new pair of lungs, that's why!"

His successor Don Rua requested that every Salesian try to come to Turin to say farewell to Don Bosco. They entered his room two-by- two to receive his blessing--the priests, the brothers, the farmers and street urchins that had been helped by him to grow into a deep, abiding love of God.

In a way Bosco lived in four worlds simultaneously--the exterior one, symbolized by the town into which his Turin Oratory had grown, the world of dreams (an exact scientific study of which would be infinitely more valuable to psychologists than that of diseased mentalities in Viennese hospitals), the world of souls into which he read with an accuracy far beyond telepathy, and the world of God.

His purity, perfect to the very roots of his thought, enabled him, as our Lord promised, to "see God," and therefore, perhaps, to read so clearly within his fellow-men; his total trust was such that he literally built up his entire life's work out of nothing; his lovable sarcasms that never hurt; his transparent simplicity; his bluff gaiety, despite terrific work (he never slept for more than five hours) and great physical pain and complete self-denial--all this was not an matter of temperament or merely talent, but a gift from God.

He wrote a little, including biographies of Saint Joseph Cafasso and Saint Dominic Savio, one of Bosco's pupils whom Bosco hoped to train to be a helper in his work, but the boy died at age 15.

Church-builder, reformer, educator, leader of the young and of religious working for the young: when Don Bosco died on January 31, 1888, he left all of Europe startled with his accomplishments-- deeds of lasting and heroic importance. Forty thousand (Martindale reports 100,000) people visited his body as it lay in the church at Turin, and the entire city assembled to see him carried to his grave. It is said that more than 200,000 people at his funeral prayed to him rather than for him (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Butler, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Karp, Martindale, Melady, Salesian, Schamoni, Sheppard).

St. John Bosco 1815-1888
John Bosco’s theory of education could well be used in today’s schools. It was a preventive system, rejecting corporal punishment and placing students in surroundings removed from the likelihood of committing sin. He advocated frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. He combined catechetical training and fatherly guidance, seeking to unite the spiritual life with one’s work, study and play.
Encouraged during his youth to become a priest so he could work with young boys, John was ordained in 1841. His service to young people started when he met a poor orphan and instructed him in preparation for receiving Holy Communion. He then gathered young apprentices and taught them catechism.

After serving as chaplain in a hospice for working girls, John opened the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales for boys. Several wealthy and powerful patrons contributed money, enabling him to provide two workshops for the boys, shoemaking and tailoring.

By 1856, the institution had grown to 150 boys and had added a printing press for publication of religious and catechetical pamphlets. His interest in vocational education and publishing justify him as patron of young apprentices and Catholic publishers.
John’s preaching fame spread and by 1850 he had trained his own helpers because of difficulties in retaining young priests. In 1854 he and his followers informally banded together under Francis de Sales.
With Pope Pius IX’s encouragement, John gathered 17 men and founded the Salesians in 1859. Their activity concentrated on education and mission work. Later, he organized a group of Salesian Sisters to assist girls.

Comment: John Bosco educated the whole person—body and soul united. He believed that Christ’s love and our faith in that love should pervade everything we do—work, study, play. For John Bosco, being a Christian was a full-time effort, not a once-a-week, Mass-on-Sunday experience. It is searching and finding God and Jesus in everything we do, letting their love lead us. Yet, John realized the importance of job-training and the self-worth and pride that comes with talent and ability so he trained his students in the trade crafts, too.
Quote: “Every education teaches a philosophy; if not by dogma then by suggestion, by implication, by atmosphere. Every part of that education has a connection with every other part. If it does not all combine to convey some general view of life, it is not education at all” (G.K. Chesterton, The Common Man).
St. Tarskius Martyr with Zoticus Cyriacus & companions.
  Item Alexandríæ sanctórum Mártyrum Tharsícii, Zótici, Cyríaci et Sociórum.
       Also at Alexandria, the holy martyrs Tharsicius, Zoticus, Cyriacus, and their companions.

They were put to death in an unknown year at Alexandria, Egypt.

250 Sts. Saturninus, Thrysus, & Victor Martyrs at Alexandria MM (RM)
 Ibídem sanctórum Mártyrum Saturníni, Thyrsi et Victóris.
       In the same place, the holy martyrs Saturninus, Thyrsus, and Victor.

put to death at Alexandria, Egypt, perhaps during the severe persecutions launched by Emperor Trajanus Decius.  (Benedictines).

250 St. Metranus Egyptian martyr in Alexandria
 Alexandríæ natális sancti Metráni Mártyris, qui, sub Décio Imperatóre, cum ad jussiónem Paganórum nollet ímpia verba proférre, hi totum ejus corpus fústibus collisérunt, vultúmque et óculos præacútis cálamis terebrántes, cum cruciátibus expulérunt ipsum extra urbem, ibíque lapídibus oppréssum interemérunt.
      At Alexandria, in the time of Emperor Decius, the birthday of St. Metran, martyr, who, because he refused to utter blasphemous words at the bidding of the pagans, had his body all bruised with blows, and his face and eyes pierced with sharp pointed reeds.  He was then driven out of the city and stoned to death.
sometimes called Metras. St. Dionysius of Alexandria wrote an account of his martyrdom  left a vivid account of Saint Metranus's martyrdom  in the reign of Emperor Trajanus Decius. (Benedictines)
303 St. Cyrus Alexandrian doctor monk converted patients to Christianity and John Arab soldier Martyrs
 Romæ, via Portuénsi, sanctórum Mártyrum Cyri et Joánnis, qui pro confessióne Christi, post multa torménta, cápite truncáti sunt.
       At Rome, on the road to Ostia, the holy martyrs Cyrus and John, who were beheaded after suffering many torments for the name of Christ.
St. Cyrus was an Alexandrian doctor who used his calling to convert many of his patients to Christianity. He joined an Arabian physician named John in encouraging Athanasia and her three daughters to remain constant in their faith under torture at Canopus, Egypt. They were both seized and tortured, and then all six were beheaded.
CYRUS, a physician of Alexandria, who by the opportunities which his profession gave him had converted many persons to the faith, and John, an Arabian, hearing that a lady called Athanasia and her three daughters, of whom the eldest was only fifteen, were suffering grievous torment for the name of Christ at Canopus in Egypt, went thither to encourage them. They were apprehended themselves, and cruelly beaten their sides being burnt with torches, while salt and vinegar were poured into their wounds in the presence of Athanasia and her daughters, who were also tortured after them. At length the four women, and a few days after, Cyrus and John, were beheaded, the two latter on this day. The Syrians, Egyptians, Greeks and Latins all venerate their memory.

Concerning these saints who, like SS. Cosmas and Damian, were specially honoured among the Greeks as anárgnoi (physicians who took no fees), there is a fairly abundant literature. Of special interest are three short discourses of St Cyril of Alexandria, and a panegyric and relation of miracles by St Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (fl. 638). In these last, strong traces are said to be found of practices resembling the incubation familiar in the temples of Aesculapius. A certain authority accrues to the writings of Sophronius, who had himself been healed at the shrine of these martyrs, by the citation of extracts from them in the proceedings of the second Council of Nicaea in 787.

From St Cyril we learn the interesting fact that when at Menuthi in Egypt, at the beginning of the fifth century, superstitious rites were still observed by the populace in honour of Isis, St Cyril could think of no better plan for counteracting the mischief than by translating thither a great part of the relics of SS. Cyrus and John. At Menuthi, consequently, a great shrine grew up which became a famous place of pilgrimage. The spot is now known as Abukir, well remembered from Nelson’s great naval victory in 1798 and the landing of Sir Ralph Abercrombie in 1801. Abukir is simply AbbáKqroz, Abba-cyrus, from the name of the first of the two saints. Strangely enough, outside Rome is a little church known as Santa Passera, which represents another transformation of the same name: Abbáciro, Pácero, Passera.

See P. Sinthern in the Römische Quartalschrift, vol. xxii (1908), pp. 196—239; H. Delehaye in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxx (1911), pp. 448—450, and Legends of the Saints (1907), pp. 152 seq.; P. Peeters in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxv (1906), pp. 233—240; and BHG., pp. 33-34. St Cyril’s discourses are in Migne, PG., vol. lxxxvii, c. 1110; and St Sophronius relation in the same, cc. 33—79.
Cyrus and John MM (RM)
There is little information regarding these saint and that is unreliable, even though Saint Sopronius wrote their acta, which were commended in the seventh ecumenical council. Cyrus was an Alexandrian doctor who became a monk and John, his friend, was a Arab soldier (or both were physicians). It is said that Cyrus had many opportunities to witness to Christ's saving love as he ministered to the sick and, thus, converted many.
Upon hearing that a Christian woman, Athanasia, and her young three daughters (the eldest was 15) were suffering for their faith at Canopus, they went there to help and encourage them. They themselves were captured, beaten, scorched, and suffered other tortures in the sight of Athanasia and her children. The torture of the four females followed. Cyrus and John were beheaded a few days after the execution of the mother and daughters.

In order to discourage the worship of Isis that still lingered in Menuthis, near Canopus, Saint Cyril translated the relics of Cyrus and John from Alexandria to the church at Menuthis as a counter- attraction. It became a much frequented shrine; but pagan superstitions were not so easy to displace, for customs endured very like incubation (a sick person slept in the saints' church hoping to be favored with a dream that would lead to a cure). The relics of Cyrus and John were eventually taken to Rome, although they were greatly venerated in Egypt and the East. Menuthis is now known as Abukir, meaning 'Father Cyrus,' was the scene of Nelson's victory in 1798 (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

309 St. Julius of Novara  Missionary confessor with his brother, Julian deacon
In Província Mediolanénsi sancti Júlii, Presbyteri et Confessóris, témpore Imperatóris Theodósii.
       In the province of Milan, St. Julius, priest and confessor, in the reign of the emperor Theodosius.
Julius was a priest, and Julian a deacon. They converted pagan temples into churches, commissioned to this undertaking by Emperor Theodosius I.
348 St. Geminian Bishop of Modena, Italy
When St. Athanasius was entering exile in France, he passed through Modena and was received kindly by Geminian.
St. John Chrysostom received the same hospitality in Modena. Geminian did not waver in opposing heresy.

Geminian of Modena B (RM) (also known as Gimignano)
Saint Geminian was a deacon who became bishop of Modena in northern Italy, where he bravely opposed Jovinianism. He gave shelter to Saint Athanasius as he passed through Italy on his way into exile in Gaul. When the city was threatened by the Huns, he saved it through his intercession (Attwater2, Benedictines, Tabor).
Saint Geminian is pictured as a bishop holding a mirror in which the Virgin Mary is reflected. He may also be shown (1) holding the town of San Gimignano; (2) exorcising the emperor's daughter; or (3) calming a storm at sea (Roeder). He is the patron of Modena and San Gimignano, Italy (Roeder).

410 St. Marcella Roman matron gave to the poor
 Romæ sanctæ Marcéllæ Víduæ, cujus præcláras laudes beátus Hierónymus scripsit.
       At Rome, St. Marcella, widow, whose meritorious deeds are related by St. Jerome.
ST Marcella is styled by St Jerome the glory of the Roman ladies. Having lost her husband in the seventh month of her marriage, she rejected the suit of Cerealis the consul, and resolved to imitate the lives of the ascetics of the East. She abstained from wine and flesh, employed her time in reading, prayer and visiting the churches of the martyrs, and never spoke with any man alone. Her example was followed by other women of noble birth who put themselves under her direc­tion, and Rome witnessed the formation of several such communities in a short time. We have sixteen letters of St Jerome to her in answer to her questions on religious matters, but she was by no means content simply to “sit at his feet” she examined his arguments closely and rebuked him for his hasty temper. When the Goths plundered Rome in 410 they maltreated St Marcella to make her disclose her supposed treasures, which in fact she had long before distributed among the poor. She trembled only for her dear pupil Principia (not her daughter, as some have erroneously supposed), and falling at the feet of the soldiers she begged that they would offer her no insult. God moved them to compassion: they conducted them both to the church of St Paul, to which Alaric had granted the right of sanctuary. St Marcella survived this but a short time, and died in the arms of Principia about the end of August in 410; her memory is honoured on this day in the Roman Martyrology.

All that we know of St Marcella is practically speaking derived from the letters of St Jerome, especially from letter 127 entitled “Ad Principiam virginem, sin Marcellae viduae epitaphium” (Migne, PL., vol. xxii, cc. 1087 seq.). See also Grützmacher, Hieronymus; eine biographische Studie, vol. i, pp. 225 seq.; vol. ii, pp. 173 seq.; vol. iii, pp. 195 seq.Cavallera, Saint Jérôme (2 vols., 1922) ; and DCB, vol. iii, p. 803.

626 St. Aidan Monastic & Church founder bishop miracle worker great charity kindness to animals
THE monastery of Coldingham, on the coast of Berwick, was a double one, for both men and women, and among its monks was an Irishman named Adamnan (Ewian), who lived a life of great austerity. One day, returning from a walk with one of his brethren, they stopped to look at the group of monastic buildings, and Adamnan suddenly burst into tears. Turning to his companion he said “The time is approaching when a fire shall consume all the buildings that we see.” The other monk reported this prediction to the abbess, St Ebba, “the mother of the con­gregation”, and she naturally questioned Adamnan closely about it, with the result that is related in the account of Ebba herein (August 25). There seems to have been no liturgical cultus of Adamnan of Coldingham.

This St Adamnan is, of course, an entirely different person from St Adamnan of Iona. All we know of him comes from Bede, Ecclesiastical History, bk iv, ch. 23. See Plummer’s edition and notes, together with KSS., p. 264, and the Bollandists (Acta Sanctorum, Jan., vol. iii).
Known as Edan, Modoc, and Maedoc in some records, Aidan was born in Connaught, Ireland. Tradition states that his birth was heralded by signs and omens, and he showed evidence of piety as a small child. Educated at Leinster, Aidan went to St. David monastery in Wales. He remained there for several years, studying Scriptures, and his presence saved St. David from disaster. Saxon war parties attacked the monastery during Aidan's stay, and he supposedly repelled them miraculously. In time, Aidan returned to Ireland, founding a monastery in Ferns, in Wexford. He became the bishop of the region as well. His miracles brought many to the Church. Aidan is represented in religious art with a stag. He is reported to have made a beautiful stag invisible to save it from hounds.

Aidan of Ferns B (AC) (also known as Aedan, Aedh, Maedoc-Edan, Moedoc, Mogue)
Born in Connaught, Ireland; died 626.

"Give as if every pasture in the mountains of Ireland belonged to you." --Saint Aidan 626.

The Irish Saint Aidan loved animals. His fellow Irishmen were fond of hunting. Aidan so protected them that his emblem in art is a stag. Legend has it that as he sat reading in Connaught, a desperate stag took refuge with him in the hope of escaping pursuing hounds. Aidan by a miracle made the stag invisible, and the hounds ran off.

There were several Irish saints named Aidan but this one seems to have been the most important. As a youth he spent some time in Leinster but, 'desirous of becoming learned in holy Scripture,' Aidan went to Wales to study under Saint David (Dewi) at Menevia in Pembrokeshire for several years. His only difference from his fellow monks is that he brought his own beer from his native land.

The inspiration of Saint David caused him to return to Ireland with several other monks to built his own monastery at Ferns, County Wexford, on land given to him by Prince Brandrub (Brandubh) of Leinster together with the banquet halls and champions' quarters of the royal seat of Fearna. He also founded monasteries at Drumlane and Rossinver, which disputed Ferns' claim to his burial site. In addition to abbeys, Aidan is credited with founding about 30 churches in Ireland. One source claims that Aidan became the first bishop of Ferns (which is not that unlikely because many abbots were treated as bishops during the period), which displaced Sletty of Fiach as the bishop's seat.

Later in life he returned to Saint David's for a time, and it is said that Saint David died in the arms of Aidan. Welsh tradition maintains that Aidan succeeded David as abbot of Menevia, and on that basis Wales later claimed jurisdiction over Ferns because a Welsh abbot founded it. In fact, in Wales they regard Aidan as a native and provide him with a geneaology that includes Welsh nobility. There his great reputation for charity still survives, for he taught his monks to give their last bits of food to those in need.

The written vitae of Saint Aidan are composed mostly of miracles attributed to him. His is attributed with astonishing feats of austerity, such as fasting on barley bread and water for seven years, as well as reciting 500 Psalms daily. An odd tale is related in another. Some spurious beggars hid their clothes, donned rags, and then begged for alms. Knowing what they had done, Aidan gave their clothes to the poor and sent the impostors away with neither their clothing nor alms.

One story reports that he bequeathed his staff, bell (Bell of Saint Mogue), and reliquary to his three monasteries of Ferns, Drumlane, and Rossinver. All have survived the fates of time. The staff can be found in the National Museum in Dublin; the other two in the Library of Armagh cathedral. The bell had been in the hereditary keepership of the MacGoverns in Templeport, County Cavan. Another of his personal belongings, the Breac Moedoc, is in the National Museum. This stamped leather satchel and shrine that encased the relics of Saint Laserian of Leighlin was brought from Rome and given to Aidan, who placed it in the church of Drumlane. A bronze reliquary that contained his remains in the 11th century is preserved in Dublin. In addition to having a cultus in Ireland and Wales, Saint Aidan was venerated in Scotland in the 12th century.

He is represented in art by a stag because of the story related above (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, D'Arcy, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth, Kenney, Montague, Neeson, Porter, Stokes).
680 St. Adamnan of Coldingham  pilgrim priest Confessor gift of prophecy
who was born in Ireland and undertook a series of penitential pilgrimages. Adamnan arrived on the southwest coast of Scotland where he met St. Ebba at the Monastery of Coldingham. He became a monk in this monastery and lived a life of severe austerity. Adamnan was noted for the gift of prophecy until his death.

THE monastery of Coldingham, on the coast of Berwick, was a double one, for both men and women, and among its monks was an Irishman named Adamnan (Ewian), who lived a life of great austerity. One day, returning from a walk with one of his brethren, they stopped to look at the group of monastic buildings, and Adamnan suddenly burst into tears. Turning to his companion he said “The time is approaching when a fire shall consume all the buildings that we see.” The other monk reported this prediction to the abbess, St Ebba, “the mother of the con­gregation”, and she naturally questioned Adamnan closely about it, with the result that is related in the account of Ebba herein (August 25). There seems to have been no liturgical cultus of Adamnan of Coldingham.

This St Adamnan is, of course, an entirely different person from St Adamnan of Iona. All we know of him comes from Bede, Ecclesiastical History, bk iv, ch. 23. See Plummer’s edition and notes, together with KSS., p. 264, and the Bollandists (Acta Sanctorum, Jan., vol. iii).
Adamnan of Coldingham, OSB, Monk (AC)
cultus confirmed by Pope Leo XIII in 1897. Saint Adamnan was an Irish pilgrim priest who became a monk at the double monastery of Coldingham near Berwick, Scotland, which was ruled by the abbess-founder, Saint Ebba.
He should not be confused with the Adamnan who wrote the biography of Saint Columba of Iona.

Today's Adamnan established a reputation for his extreme austerity and the rigor with which he kept the Rule, which went beyond even that of traditional Irish monasticism. He was a very serious man, who criticized those whose actions he saw as frivolous. In a vision he learned that the monastery would be destroyed by fire because of "senseless gossip and fivolities." For this reason he insisted that monastic discipline be maintained more stringently. This omen unsettled the abbess, who was reassured by Adamnan that the event would not occur in her lifetime. Unfortunately, despite her personal holiness and renewed efforts to enforce the rule, Saint Ebba was not a gifted administrator. After her death the fervor of the community declined again and was destroyed in 683, shortly after Adamnan's death (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Montague, Montalembert).

750 St. Ulphia Hermitess
also called Wulfe and Wulfia. She lived as a recluse near Amiens, France, spending many years as a disciple of St. Domitius at Sr. Acheul Abbey. When disciples began to build hermitages around her, Ulphia organized them into a community. She then resumed her eremetical life alone.
THE feast of St Ulphia, whose name is written in many forms (Wulfe, Olfe, etc.), is kept in the diocese of Amiens. The late medieval biography we possess of her is of little historical value, but it is no doubt true that she led the life of a solitary under the direction of the aged hermit St Domitius. According to the legend, they both dwelt at no great distance from the church of our Lady, on the site of the present Saint-Acheul. Domitius in passing used to awaken Ulphia by knocking with his stick so that she might follow him to the offices in the church. On one occasion the frogs had croaked so loud during the greater part of the night that Ulphia had had no sleep, and the knocking failed to wake her. She accordingly forbade them to croak again, and we are assured that in that locality they are silent even to this day. After the death of Domitius, St Ulphia was joined by a disciple named Aurea, and a community was formed at Amiens under her guidance; but she eventually returned to her solitude, and it was only in 1279, some hundreds of years after her death, that her remains were translated to Amiens cathedral.

See the Acta Sanctorum for January 31 and Corblet, Hagiographie du diocese d’Amiens (1869).

Ulphia of Amiens V (RM) (also known as Olfe, Wulfe, Wolfia, Wulfia)
Died 995 (or c. 750?). Saint Ulphia was a solitary at Saint-Acheul near Amiens under the spiritual direction of Saint Domitius. Towards the end of her life, she formed and directed a community at Amiens. The convent of Paraclete was built over her tomb (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Roeder). In art, Saint Ulphia is a young nun seated in prayer on a rock with a frog in the pool near her (Roeder). She is venerated at Amiens, France (Roeder).

766 St. Bobinus Benedictine bishop of Troyes
France. Born in Aquitaine, he became a monk at Moulier-la-Celle. As the bishop of Troyes, Bobinus lavished treasures upon his former monastery.

884 St. Eusebius hermit Martyred Irish Benedictine
IN spite of his name this St Eusebius, we are told, was an Irishman who left his country like so many other peregrini, and eventually took the monastic habit in the famous abbey of Saint-Gall in Switzerland. He did not, however, remain there, but was permitted to go apart to lead the life of a hermit in the solitude of Mount St Victor near Röttris, in the Vorarlberg. After some thirty years it happened that when he, one day, denounced the godless lives of some of the neighbouring peasantry, one of them struck him with a scythe and killed him. A “monasterium Scottorum” (monastery for the Irish) was erected there by Charles the Fat at about the same date.

See the Acta Sanctorum for January 31 MGH., Scriptores, vol. ii, p. 73 and L. Gougaud, Gaelic Pioneers of Christianity (1923), pp. ii, 82, 90.
While traveling from Ireland to Switzerland, Eusebius became a Benedictine at Saint-Gall Monastery, Switzerland. He spent thirty years as a hermit on Mt. St. Victor and was cut down by a scythe when he preached to a group of pagan peasants.
Eusebius of Saint Gall, OSB M (AC) (also known as Eusebius of Mount Saint Victor)
Montague shows his feast on January 30.
The Irishman Eusebius, called Scotigena by Ratpert of Saint Gall, was a pilgrim who took the Benedictine habit in the Swiss abbey of Saint Gall. Ekkehard, another chronicler of the abbey, reports that Eusebius was from Ireland.
He was highly venerated in his lifetime by King Charles, son and successor to King Louis. In 883, the emperor founded an Irish monastery, Raetia, for him on the mountain. Two years later Charles deeded by royal charter the revenues of one of his villas near Rottris in the Voralberg to the monastery for a hospice for Irish pilgrims. Here 12 pilgrims could be accommodated on their way to Rome.

When he was denouncing the sins of some godless peasants, one of them struck and killed him with a scythe; hence, he is venerated as a martyr (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Encyclopedia, Gougaud, Montague, O'Hanlon, Tommasini).

885 St. Athanasius Bishop caught in the Saracen invasion of Sicily
Athanasius was born in Catania, Sicily, and had to flee to Patras in Greece when the Saracens invaded his lands. He became a Basilian monk and was named the bishop of Modon.

St. Tryphaena martyr at Cyzicus on the Hellespont patroness of nursing mothers
Cyzici, in Hellespónto, sanctæ Tryphǽnæ Mártyris, quæ, plúrimis torméntis superátis, a tauro demum necáta, martyrii palmam proméruit.
      At Cyzicum in the Hellespont, St. Triphenes, martyr, who overcame various torments, but was finally killed by a bull, and thus merited the palm of martyrdom.

She was reputedly tortured and then gored to death by a bull at Cyzicus on the Hellespont (in modern Turkey).
Tryphaena of Cyzicus, Matron M (RM) (also known as Triphenes)
A matron of Cyzicus on the Hellespont who, after having been tortured in various ways, was thrown to a savage bull and gored to death (Benedictines).
Saint Tryphena is pictured with an ox and a furnace near her. Sometimes there is a fountain springing at the scene of her martyrdom, giving milk to women. For this reason, she is the patroness of nursing mothers (Roeder).

St. Madoes honored in the Carse of Gowrie, Scotland
 Mútinæ sancti Geminiáni Epíscopi, miraculórum glória conspícui.
       At Modena, St. Geminian, bishop, made illustrious by his miracles.
also listed as Madianus. He may be identified with St. Modoc. One tradition makes him a companion of St. Boniface Quiritinus. Many legends offer other identities, none substantiated.  Madoes (Madianus) (AC) A place in the Carse of Gowrie takes it's name from Madoes. Some believe he is identical to Saint Moedoc or Aidan of Ferns. Another tradition makes of him a fellow missionary Saint Boniface Quiritinus or Curitan, who appears to have been sent from Rome to preach in Scotland. Legend and fact have become entangled in his story (Benedictines).

1050 Bessed John of Angelus, OSB (AC)
Born in Venice, Italy; John was a Benedictine at Pomposa in the diocese of Ferrara, Italy, under the rule of Saint Guy (Benedictines).

1107 St. Nicetas Bishop of Novgorod miracle worker
A native of Kiev, Ukraine, he became a monk in the Monastery of the Caves, but then embraced the life of a hermit. According to custom, Nicetas was much plagued by demonic torments and returned to the monastery. Named in 1095 to the office of bishop of Novgorod, he acquired a reputation for performing miracles.

Nicetas (Nikita), a native of Kiev, while still a young man became a monk in the monastery of the Caves there and conceived the ambition of becoming a solitary. In spite of the contrary advice of the abbot and other experienced monks he insisted on shutting himself away. Whereupon he was subjected to a remarkable tempta­tion. An evil spirit of angelic appearance suggested that he should give himself to reading instead of prayer. The first book to which Nicetas devoted himself was the Old Testament: he learned much of it by heart and received preternatural insight, so that people came to the monastery to consult him. The older monks warned him of what would come of studying only Jewish books: he came to dislike the New Testament, and would neither read it nor hear it read. But the prayers of his brethren at last brought him to his senses, he lost his deceptive wisdom, and humbly began his monastic life all over again, becoming a model for the whole community.

In 1095 Nicetas was made bishop of Novgorod, and in that charge his holiness was manifested by miracles: he was said to have put out a great fire by his prayers and to have obtained rain in time of drought. He was bishop for twelve years before he died, and about four hundred and fifty years later his relics were translated to the cathedral of the Holy Wisdom at Kiev. In the Russian use of the Byzantine Mass, St Nicetas of Novgorod is commemorated at the preparation of the holy things.

See Martynov’s Annus ecclesiasticus graeco-slavicus in Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xi. For other examples of dissuasion from the solitary life and of the significance of the Old Testament in early Russian Christianity, see Fedotov, The Russian Religious Mind (1946).
Nicetas of Novgorod B (RM)  Left to his own devices and preferences, Nicetas gave in to the temptation to read rather than pray. This is a danger to many who would abuse a good thing (learning, good works) and omit a better one (prayer, contemplation), for the one tends to serve the creature, rather than God. Learning tempered by prayer and charity leads to wisdom; by itself, it tends to hubris. So intense was his study of the Old Testament that Nicetas came to despise the New. It was only the prayers of his abandoned brothers in the monastery that saved poor Nicetas.
Finally he overcame the dangers of misapplied study, rejoined his community, and, in 1095, was made bishop of Novgorod (Attwater2, Coulson).

1156 St. Martin Manuel Portuguese martyr
He was an archpriest of Siure. Born in Auranca, near Coimbra, he answered the desire for a priestly vocation and served the Church until captured by the Saracens. He died in Cordoba, Spain, as a result of cruel treatment by his captors.
Martin Manuel M (AC) (Benedictines).

1515 Blessed Paula Gambara-Costa won bad husband over to Christ, OFM Tert. Matron (AC)

THIS holy Franciscan tertiary, the example of whose married life stands out in acute contrast to the laxity of the age in which she lived, was born near Brescia in 1473.
Strange and quite incredible things were afterwards related of the piety shown by her in early childhood, when, for example, she is said as an infant at the breast to have displayed her sympathy for the law of the Church by a marked abstemiousness on Fridays.

She was married at the age of twelve to a young nobleman, Lodovicantonio Costa, after all the formalities customary at that period had been duly observed. The famous Franciscan, Bd Angelo of Chiavasso, was called into consultation, and in spite of the little maid’s reluctance he formally pronounced that “the Lord had called His servant to the married state”, and wedded she accordingly was, with a splendour suited to the high rank of both families, even the wheels of the coaches, we are told, being gilded. One authentic document is a copy of the rule of life which the bride seems to have submitted to Bd Angelo when she first settled down in her husband’s home. She was to rise every morning at day-break and say her morning prayers and rosary. A little later she was to visit the Franciscan church in the neighbourhood, and assist at two Masses. In the afternoon she was to recite the office of our Lady and before she went to bed she said another rosary and her night prayers. There were also two periods of spiritual reading. She was to fast on all vigils of our Lady and a number of other vigils, and to go to confession once a fortnight. But the most illuminative clause is the following: “I will always obey my husband, and take a kindly view of his failings, and I will do all I can to prevent their coming to the knowledge of anyone.” Her eldest son was born in 1488, she herself being then barely fifteen.

It was not long, however, before the young wife found that sad troubles were in store for her. It seems to have been her incorrigible habit of giving lavishly to the poor which first awakened her husband’s resentment. As long as food was plentiful this did not so much matter, but in seasons of scarcity—and we hear of many such about this time—beggars swarmed and the worldly-wise hoarded all that their barns contained. It is true that Paula’s biographers declare that in her case grain, oil and wine were supernaturally multiplied in proportion to the gener­osity of her alms, so that her household was not the poorer but actually the richer for her charities. We must confess, however, that the evidence is open to some suspicion. For example, there is told of Paula a story which is the exact counter­part of a well-known incident in the life of St Elizabeth of Hungary, viz, that going out one day with her apron full of loaves Paula met her husband, who rudely forced her to show him what she carried, whereupon he found, in that winter season, a great heap of rose blossoms. If this miracle really happened to as many saints as it is attributed to, it must have been of rather frequent occurrence.

What was quite unpardonable was Lodovicantonio’s introduction into his home of a young woman of bad character, who poisoned his mind against his wife, served him as a spy, and became the actual mistress of the household. After inflicting incredible humiliation upon his wife, this young woman fell ill and died very soon afterwards, having been devotedly nursed by Paula, who brought a priest to her and obtained for her the grace of conversion. It is a curious illustration of the social life of that period, the age of the Borgias, that Paula was accused of poisoning her rival because the body was found much swollen and the illness had terminated more quickly than was expected. In the end, however, Paula, by her unalterable patience and charity, regained her husband’s affection. He himself turned sincerely to God and allowed his wife to practise her devotions and to exercise charity as she pleased. Apart from other austerities she used to rise in the night to pray, kneeling without support with hands uplifted in the middle of the room; more than once in the cold of winter she was found unconscious upon the floor, stiff and almost frozen to death. Many stories are told of her charities, as, for example, that meeting a beggar-woman in the road who had no shoes, she gave her those she was wearing, and herself returned to the castle bare-foot. We cannot be surprised that Bd Paula died in her forty-second year, on January 24, 1515. Her cult was confirmed in 1845.

See R. Bollano, Vita . . . della B. Paola Gambara-Costa (1765) Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 534—536.
Born in Brescia, Italy, in 1473; died at Benasco, Italy, on January 24, 1515; cultus confirmed by Gregory XVI in 1845; feast day formerly March 29. When the 12-year-old Paula unhappily married a young nobleman, Count Louis Costa of Benasco, she was given a rule of life by Blessed Angelo Carletti. Her husband continued his dissolute life, was unfaithful to her, treated her as a servant, and objected to her lavish charities. He even put another woman in charge of their household. By her heroic patience she won him over to Christ and passed the remainder of an austere life in peaceful wedlock. She died worn out with self- imposed penances (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
1533 Blessed Louise degli Albertoni Widow spent her life in works of charity
 Item Romæ beátæ Ludovícæ Albertóniæ, Víduæ Románæ, ex tértio Ordine sancti Francísci, virtútibus claræ.
       Also at Rome, blessed Louise Albertonia, a Roman widow, member of the Third Order of St. Francis, distinguished for her virtues.
Born in  Rome, Italy, 1474;cultus approved in 1671. Louise married James de Citara and bore him three children. After his death, Louise put on the habit of the Franciscan tertiary and spent her life in works of charity (Benedictines).

1815 St. Francis Xavier Bianchi; Barnabite priest, called “the Apostle of Naples.” stopped lava
 Neápoli sancti Francísci Xavérii-Maríæ Biánchi, Confessóris, Clérici reguláris sancti Pauli, signis, donis cæléstibus et admirábili patiéntia illústris, quem Pius Papa Duodécimus ad suprémos honóres Sanctórum éxtulit.
       At Naples, St. Francis Xavier-Maria Bianchi, confessor, cleric regular of St. Paul, renowned for miracles, heavenly gifts and an admirable patience, whom Pope Pius XII raised to the supreme honour of sainthood.
Born in Arpino, Italy, in 1743, he became a Barnabite and was ordained in 1767. Francis worked endlessly for the poor and abandoned. His work load and austerities ruined his health, and though he lost the use of his legs, he continued in his labors. He was canonized in 1951.


ST FRANCIS BlANCHI was born in 1743 at Arpino, in what was then the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and was educated as an ecclesiastical student at Naples, receiving the tonsure when he was only fourteen. His father, however, would not hear of his entering a religious order, and the boy had to pass through a period of great mental anguish in the conflict between duty to his parents and what seemed the call of God. Taking counsel at last with St Alphonsus Liguori, to whom he found access during one of the saint’s missions, Francis became sure of his vocation, and overcoming all opposition he entered the Congregation of Clerks Regular of St Paul, commonly called Barnabites. Inconsequence probably of the ordeal through which he had passed, he then fell seriously ill and suffered acutely for three years, but he recovered eventually, and was able to make great progress in his studies, distinguishing himself particularly in literature and science. He was ordained priest in 1767, and the trust which his superiors reposed in his virtue and practical ability was shown not only by his being deputed to hear confessions at an early age, a rare concession in Italy, but also by his appointment as superior to two different colleges simultaneously, a charge which he held for fifteen years.

Many important offices were conferred upon him in the order, but his soul seems to have felt more and more the call to detach himself from external things, and to devote all his energies to prayer and the work of the ministry. He began to lead an extremely mortified and austere life, spending also long hours, in the confessional, where his advice was sought by thousands. His health suffered, and his infirmities became so great that he could hardly drag himself from place to place nevertheless he persisted, and his unflinching resolution in placing himself at the service of all who needed his help seems to have lent a wonderful efficacy to his words and his prayers, so that he was universally regarded as a saint, At the time when the religious orders were dispersed and driven from their houses in Naples, Father Bianchi was in a most pitiable condition. His legs were terribly swollen and covered with sores, and he had to be carried to the altar. Some advantage, however, came to him from his very afflictions, for he was allowed to retain his habit and remain in the college where, all alone, he lived a life of the strictest religious observance.

There are many stories of his miraculous and prophetic powers. Two very remarkable cases of the multiplication of inadequate sums of money put aside in a drawer to meet a debt were recounted in the process of beatification, and it was also affirmed that in 1805, when Vesuvius was in eruption, Father Bianchi, at the earnest petition of his fellow townsfolk, had himself carried to the edge of the lava stream, and blessed it, with the result that the flow was stayed. Towards the end of his days the veneration he inspired in Naples was unbounded. “There may have been a Neri (black) in Rome”, the people said, “but we have our Bianchi (white) who is just as wonderful.”

Many years previously, a penitent of his, now known as St Mary Frances of Naples, who went to God in 1791, had promised Father Bianchi that she would appear to him three days before his death. The good priest was convinced that she would keep her word, and we are told that this visit actually took place three days before January 31, 1815, when he breathed his last. He was canonized in 1951.

See P. Rudoni, Virtu e meraviglie del yen. Francesco S. M. Bianchi (1823) C. Kempf, The Holiness of the Church in the Nineteenth Century (1916), pp. 96—97 Analecta Ecclesiastica, 1893, pp. 54 seq.

Francis Xavier Bianchi, Barn. (AC)
Saint Francis studied in Naples, was tonsured at 14 and, despite his father's objections, joined the Congregation of Clerks Regular of Saint Paul (the Barnabites). After his ordination in 1767, Francis served as president of two colleges, and became famous for his gift of prophecy and the miracles credited to him (he is reported to have stopped the flow of lava from the erupting Vesuvius in 1805). He was considered and acclaimed 'Apostle of Naples' for his work among the poor and abandoned and to preserve girls from the danger of an immoral life. Owing to overwork and to his austere lifestyle, he ruined his health and lost the use of his legs. Unable to be moved because of his health, he was left alone at his college when his order was expelled from Naples and died there. He inspired boundless veneration in Naples and miracles were attributed to him (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Delaney).

1836 Blessed Mary Christina, Queen (AC)
Born in Cagliari, Sardinia, in 1812;beatified in 1872.
In 1832, Mary Christina, daughter of King Victor Emmanuel of Savoy and Maria Teresa (niece of Emperor Joseph II), married Ferdinand II, king of the two Sicilies. She had one son before her death at age 23 (Benedictines).

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.

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There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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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

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Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
“IN his life the supernatural almost became the natural and the extraordinary ordinary.” These were the words of Pope Pius XI in speaking of that great lover of children, Don Bosco.

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