Thursday  Saints of this Day March  12 Quarto Idus Mártii.  

Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!
(Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)


Day 32 of 40 Days for Life

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

It is a great poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish -- Mother Teresa
 Saving babies, healing moms and dads, 'The Gospel of Life'

 Mexico City  Dear Readers,   40 days for Life Campaign saves lives
Shawn Carney Campaign Director www.40daysforlife.com

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List

Acts of the Apostles

Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary.
The wonder-working Lydda Icon
 
The wonder-working Lydda Icon; Apostles Peter and John were preaching in Lydda built a church dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos; divine power icon of the Virgin imprinted in color on the wall of the church (some sources say the image was on a pillar)
Lydda (Lod). Ludd. Greek name of Lod, 1 Macc. 11:34; Acts 9:32-38.
Lydda was a town about 11 miles SE of Joppa, called Lod in the OT
(1 Chron 8:12), and modern Israelis have reverted to the OT name.
It is located in the midst of a rich and fertile plain. It was one of the most westernly of the Jewish settlements after the Exile, the site of which is described as Gehaharashim, the valley of the smiths or craftsmen. It was here that Peter healed the paralytic and secured many converts (Acts 9:32-35). It was not Jewish, but pagan, under the name Diospolis.
http://www.bible-history.com/geography/ancient-israel/bethlehem.html

The saints are a “cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.
When the Lord commanded us to be vigilant, he meant vigilance in both parts of man: in the body, against the tendency to sleep; in the soul, against lethargy and timidity. As Scripture says: Wake up, you just, and I have risen, and am still with you; and again, Do not lose heart. -- St Ephrem

March 12 – Our Lady of the Elm Tree (1610)
 
I had seen that kind of “necklace” before
 
Sister Catharina Maria was once was a pagan, a Buddhist and anti-Catholic ... This is her testimonial:

"Influenced by my older sister, my mother wanted to convert to Catholicism. She asked me to do the same. My answer was resolute: "No never," I firmly replied. Two years of spiritual struggle went by before I finally decided to ask to be baptized. But I still did not believe in God at all. God did not exist for me.
I had asked for baptism only for my mother’s sake, just to please her.

I continued in my disbelief until the priest poured the baptismal water on my forehead. The moment the water flowed down my face, my stony heart crumbled into the infinite Love of God, and looking at the Cross my eyes said,
"I love you Lord."

At the end of Mass, my mother gave me a Rosary as a baptism gift. I had seen my mother pray daily with that kind of "necklace." She even recited those prayers at night. The image of her praying, juxtaposed with the face of a Beautiful Lady, was my favorite "picture." I knew she was praying for me, her "prodigal" child.
 Since that day, the Rosary became, like for my mother, my favorite prayer.
 
The Mary of Nazareth Team
Source: rosarium.op.org


 Beginning of Novena to Saint Joseph
A novena is a prayer that is said for nine consecutive days. The purpose is to obtain a special favor from heaven by imploring a particular saint, in this case -Saint Joseph - who is celebrated in the Catholic Church on March 19th.
O glorious Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you do we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special favor we now implore (..state your petition..).  O Guardian of the Word Incarnate, we have confidence that your prayers on our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.
1500 B.C. The Righteous Phineas, grandson of the High Priest Aaron (also commemorated today) son of
       High Priest Eleazar also a priest and zealous in his service.

295 St. Maximilian Martyr refused to enter the Roman army because of his Christian beliefs
 303 St. Peter of Nicomedia Martyr 1st victims of last persecution by Roman Empire
 303 St. Egdunus Martyr with 7 companions in Nicomedia
604 Saint Gregory Dialogus granted a vision of the Lord Himself; Pope of Rome; inheritance - establish 6 monasteries Ibídem deposítio sancti Innocéntii Primi, Papæ et Confessóris.  Ipsíus autem festum quinto Kaléndas Augústi
   645 St. Mura McFeredach Irish abbot disciple of St. Columba
1022 Simeon the New Theologian abbot successor to St John the Evangelist and St Gregory of Nazianzus
1253 St. Fina "Seraphina"Virgin many miracles through her intercession Gregory appeared to her and
        said, "Dear child on my festival God will give you rest"

1815 Bl. Joseph Tshang-ta-Pong  Martyr of China a catechist put to death for the faith

Mary's Divine Motherhood
Called in the Gospel "the Mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the Mother of my Lord" (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.


March 12 - Our Lady of Miracles (France)
  Joseph, the Loyal Servant
One cannot doubt about it, this Joseph was a man of righteousness and fidelity, betrothed to the mother of the Savior. He was a loyal servant, I say, and prudent at the same time, he whom the Lord chose to support His mother, provider of His flesh. To sum it up, he was the unique and perfectly faithful cooperator in God's great design on earth.
    Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

March 12 – Our Lady of the Elm (Italy, 1610)
 
The Blessed Virgin Mary Will Take Care of Them
In June 1912, Charles Peguy's son Pierre fell seriously ill. Peguy made a vow and went on pilgrimage to Chartres.
“My old friend,” he wrote to Lotte, “I felt this could be very serious...I went on pilgrimage to Chartres... walked 144 km in three days... It is possible to see the bell tower of Chartres Cathedral from 17 km away, while still walking on the plain... As soon as I caught sight of it, I was enraptured. I was no longer aware of my fatigue and my sore feet.
All my impurities fell off of me at once and I was a new person.
I prayed for about an hour in the Cathedral on Saturday night and I prayed for an hour on Sunday morning before the High Mass... I prayed as I have never prayed before; I was able to pray for my enemies... My child is saved.
I offered the three of them (Peguy's wife did not believe in God) to Our Lady. I can't take care of everything...
My children are not even baptized. So I leave it all up to the Blessed Virgin Mary—she will take care of them."
 Taken from La Médaille Miraculeuse, (The Miraculous Medal), #65

1500 B.C. The Righteous Phineas, grandson of the High Priest Aaron (also commemorated today) son of High Priest Eleazar also a priest and zealous in his service. divine power icon of the Virgin imprinted in color on wall of church (some say on a pillar)
 295 St. Maximilian Martyr refused to enter the Roman army because of his Christian beliefs
 303 St. Peter of Nicomedia Martyr 1st victims of last persecution by Roman Empire
 303 St. Egdunus Martyr with 7 companions in Nicomedia
 573 St. Paul Aurelian  Welsh bishop able to perform miracles exorbitant nature
 604 Saint Gregory Dialogus granted a vision of the Lord Himself; Pope of Rome; inheritance - establish 6 monasteries
       Ibídem deposítio sancti Innocéntii Primi, Papæ et Confessóris.  Ipsíus autem festum quinto Kaléndas Augústi
       celebrátur.
       Item Romæ sancti Mamiliáni Mártyris. Also at Rome, St. Mamilian, martyr.
 605 St. Peter the Deacon  Papal secretary to Pope St. Gregory I the Great 
 645 St. Mura McFeredach Irish abbot disciple of St. Columba
  712 St. Vindician Bishop of Arras-Cambrai   
  818 St. Theophanes Abbot Confessor relics were honored by many miraculous cures
  951 St. Alphege Bishop prophet credited with helping to restore monasticism to England
1022 Simeon the New Theologian abbot successor to Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Gregory of Nazianzus
1092 Blessed Rusticus of Vallumbrosa 
1109 St. Bernard of Carinola Bishop patron saint of Carinola died in extreme old age
1253 St. Fina "Seraphina"Virgin many miracles through her intercession Gregory appeared to her and said, "Dear child on my festival God will give you rest"
1319 Blessed Justina Bezzoli Diseases and sufferings of many kinds were cured through the prayers of Bd Justina, and still more wonderful miracles of healing were wrought after her death
1471 Blessed Dionysius the Carthusian a mystical writer 
1606 BD NICHOLAS OWEN, MARTYR saved the lives of many priests by his extraordinary skill in devising hiding-  places for them Father Garnet admitted him to the Society of Jesus, before 1580, and he was amongst the first English lay-brothers
1815 Bl. Joseph Tshang-ta-Pong  Martyr of China a catechist put to death for the faith
1922 Blessed Angela Salawa served Christ and Christ’s little ones with all her strength
1940 Bl. Luigi Orine apostle of Mercy servant of poor founder 
The voice of the Father is heard, the Son enters the water, and the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove.
Day 32 of 40 Days for Life
Dear Readers
 
I have met many former abortion workers who say they were both enamored – and troubled – when nuns prayed in front of their workplace. Nuns bring simplicity, joy, and the love of God to any situation
.
That is certainly true for the Sisters of Life in New York, who in many ways assist moms and their children before and after birth.

It is tough work; but you will be inspired by today’s report, where these faithful sisters counsel the mother of a 22-week baby who was scheduled for an appointment at one of New York City’s most notorious abortion facilities.
 
Manhattan, New York
“The turnarounds keep coming!” said Jill in Manhattan, who coordinates the 40 Days for Life vigil outside Planned Parenthood on Margaret Sanger Square.
 
A woman who was heading into Planned Parenthood stopped to take a brochure … and told the counselors she was 22 weeks pregnant.
 
They spoke for a while, Jill said, “but the woman kept saying that she was not going to change her mind about having an abortion because of complicated circumstances.”
 
The counselors put her on the phone with the Sisters of Life, who spoke to her for an hour. She changed her mind about going into the abortion facility … and took the subway to meet with the sisters.
 
“Talk about turning from death to life!” Jill said. “Our prayers are working. And we can see the importance of being a prayerful witness right outside the abortion center.”
 
The prayer volunteers, she added, “are the last lifeline for these women who have no place else to turn.”
 
Tempe, Arizona
Lisa and other 40 Days for Life prayer team members arrived at Planned Parenthood, expecting to see a full parking lot.

 
“Not today!” she said.
On a typical Thursday, Planned Parenthood is open from 8 to 2 and clients arrive through the day. On this day, one woman walked up to the door – and it was locked.
She read a sign on the front door and began to make a phone call. A volunteer tried to speak to her, but she returned to her car. An employee opened the door and looked out, but the woman stayed in her can and then drove off.
 “Definitely not a typical abortion day in Tempe,” Lisa said. 
There was a similar slowdown during the 40 Days for Life campaign two years ago, when Planned Parenthood started closing on Mondays. They no longer open at all on Mondays. “Let us pray this will be the case for Thursdays.”
 
San Jose, California
Ricky said he was praying with three other 40 Days for Life volunteers outside a Planned Parenthood facility in San Jose.
A young woman of high school or college age arrived with an older woman, most likely her mother. They drove into the lot and parked. They got out of their car, but then just stopped.
They looked over at the people praying … then just stood outside the car talking to one another.
 “After about ten minutes,” Ricky said, “they hopped right back into the car … turned right back around … and did not enter the facility.”
Who knows why they were there? Who knows what they were talking about? Only God knows for sure. But prayer is powerful. And God listens.
 
Today’s devotional is from Rev. John Ensor of PassionLife.
As we pray for the end of abortion, let us pray for the expansion of the pregnancy help center movement worldwide.
 
Scripture
The dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne.
— Revelation 12:4-5

 
Reflection from Rev. John Ensor
You don’t need to be a theological scholar to get the essential point of Revelation 12. Something big is afoot. It has something to do with the birth of Christ and the children of God.
It involves a war in heaven, with powers and principalities beyond our expertise. But the battles are fought here on earth.
The crux of the matter centers around the babe of Bethlehem and the cross of Calvary.

It continues to unfold down through the ages, through us, the children of God, who put their faith in Christ and take up their cross and follow him.
The intensity waxes and wanes, but like labor pains, they grow and culminate in new life.
The unleashing of legal abortion nearly 40 years ago stirred up prayer (lamentation really). Many were then led to start pregnancy help centers and maternity homes.

Today there are over 3,000 such ministries that did not exist 40 years ago.
They reflect a movement of God on our watch: Christians driven to give their time and charity to end abortion one woman at a time.
Let’s pray this movement expands worldwide. Let's pray for thousands more Christians to start, serve and support pregnancy help centers.
 
Prayer
O God, from generation to generation, you have called your people to be the very aroma of life amidst a culture of death. Now it is our turn. Prepare me. Send me. Use me. I am eager to do my part. Stir your people everywhere to take up this great work.
 
Printable devotional
To download today’s devotional as a printable PDF to share with friends:
http://40daysforlife.com/media/day32.pdf



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)
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)
Morning Prayer and Hymn   Meditation of the Day
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 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 heaven
The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients
 so much as FOR the benefit of others.


1500 B.C. The Righteous Phineas, grandson of the High Priest Aaron (also commemorated today) and son of the High Priest Eleazar, was also a priest and zealous in his service.
When the Israelites, after the holy Prophet Moses (September 4) led them out of Egypt, were already near the Promised Land, their neighbors the Moabites and Midianites were overcome by fear and envy. Not trusting in their own strength, they summoned the magician Balaam to put a curse on the Israelites.

The Lord revealed His will to Balaam, and Balaam refused to curse the People of God, seeing that God was pleased to bless them (Num. 24:1).

Then the Moabites drew the Israelites into the worship of Baal-Peor. God punished the Jews for their apostasy, and they died by the thousands from a plague.  Many, beholding the wrath of God, came to their senses and repented.

At this time a certain man named Zimri, of the tribe of the Simeon, "brought his brother a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, and they wept at the door of the tabernacle of witness" (Num. 25:6). Phineas, filled with wrath, went into Zimri's tent and killed both him and the Midianite woman with a spear.
"And the Lord said to Moses, 'Phineas... has caused My wrath against the children of Israel to cease, when I was exceedingly jealous among them.... Behold, I give him a covenant of peace, and he and his descendants shall have a perpetual covenant of priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel'" (Num. 25:10-13).
After this, at the command of God, Phineas went at the head of the Israelite army against the Moabites and brought chastisement upon them for their impiety and treachery. After the death of the High Priest Eleazar, St Phineas was unanimously chosen as High Priest.
The high priesthood, in accord with God's promise, continued also with his posterity. St Phineas died at an advanced age around 1500 B.C.
The wonder-working Lydda Icon; Apostles Peter and John were preaching in Lydda built a church dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos divine power icon of the Virgin imprinted in color on the wall of the church (some sources say the image was on a pillar)
Mentioned in the service for the Kazan Icon (July 8 & October 22) in the third Ode of the Canon.
According to Tradition, the Apostles Peter and John were preaching in Lydda (later called Diospolis) near Jerusalem. There they built a church dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos, then went to Jerusalem and asked her to come and sanctify the church by her presence. She sent them back to Lydda and said, "Go in peace, and I shall be there with you."

Arriving at Lydda, they found an icon of the Virgin imprinted in color on the wall of the church (some sources say the image was on a pillar). Then the Mother of God appeared and rejoiced at the number of people who had gathered there. She blessed the icon and gave it the power to work miracles. This icon was not made by the hand of man, but by a divine power.

Julian the Apostate (reigned 361-363) heard about the icon and tried to eradicate it. Masons with sharp tools chipped away at the image, but the paint and lines just seemed to penetrate deeper into the stone. Those whom the emperor had sent were unable to destroy the icon. As word of this miracle spread, millions of people came to venerate the icon.

In the eighth century, St Germanus, the future Patriarch of Constantinople (May 12) passed through Lydda. He had a copy of the icon made, and sent it to Rome during the iconoclastic controversy. It was placed in the church of St Peter, and was the source of many healings. In 842, the reproduction was returned to Constantinople and was known as the Roman Icon (June 26).

The oldest sources of information for the Lydda Icon are a document attributed to St Andrew of Crete in 726, a letter written by three eastern Patriarchs to the iconoclast emperor Theophilus in 839, and a work of George the Monk in 886.

The icon still existed as late as the ninth century.

295 St. Maximilian Martyr refused to enter the Roman army because of his Christian beliefs
 Item Romæ sancti Mamiliáni Mártyris.
       Also at Rome [erroneus], St. Mamilian, martyr somewhere near Carthage.
Sometimes listed as Mamilian. The son of Fabius Victor, he refused to enter the Roman army because of his Christian beliefs and was beheaded at Thebaste in modem Algeria.

295 ST MAXIMILIAN, MARTYR
THE passio of St Maximilian is one of that small collection of precious documents that is an authentic, contemporary and practically unembroidered account of the trial and death of an early martyr. It runs as follows: In the consulate of Tuscus and Anulinus, on March 1; at Theveste in Numidia,* [* Now Tebessa in Algeria. It is suggested that this is a copyist’s mistake, and that the martyrdom was really somewhere near Carthage. Cf. the penultimate paragraph.]
Fabius Victor was brought before the court, together with Maximilian. The public prosecutor, Pompeian, opened the case, and said, “Fabius Victor is here with Caesar’s commissary, Valerian Quintian. I demand that Maximilian, son of Victor, a conscript suitable for service, be measured.” The proconsul Dion asked the young man his name, and he answered, “What is the good of replying? I cannot enlist, for I am a Christian”; and added when the proconsul told the usher to take his height, “I cannot serve, I cannot do evil. I am a Christian.” The proconsul repeated his order, and the usher reported that Maximilian measured five feet ten inches. Then the proconsul said he was to be given the military badge, but Maximilian persisted, “Never!—I cannot be a soldier.”
Dion:    You must serve or die.
MAXIMILIAN: I will never serve. You can cut off my head, but I will not be a soldier of this world, for I am a soldier of Christ.+ [+ It was this insistence of the early Christians on being soldiers of Christ that gave us our word “pagan”: paganus a civilian. Cf. Shorter Oxford Dictionary, edition of 1936.]
DI0N:    What has put these ideas into your head?
MAXIMILIAN: My conscience and He who has called me.
DI0N (to Fabius Victor): Put your son right.
VICTOR: He knows what he believes, and he will not change.
DI0N (to Maximilian): Be a soldier and accept the emperor’s badge.{++A leaden seal (bulla), worn round the neck. Cf. the modern identity disc.}
MAXIMILIAN: Not at all. I carry the mark of Christ my God already.
DI0N:    I shall send you to your Christ at once.
MAXIMILIAN: I ask nothing better. Do it quickly, for there is my glory.
DI0N (to the recruiting-officer): Give him his badge.
MAXIMILIAN: I will not take the badge. If you insist, I will deface it. I am a Christian, and I am not allowed to wear that leaden seal round my neck. For I already carry the sacred sign of the Christ, the Son of the living God, whom you know not, the Christ who suffered for our salvation, whom God gave to die for our sins. It is He whom all we Christians serve, it is He whom we follow, for He is the Lord of life, the Author of our salvation.
DION:    Join the service and accept the seal, or else you will perish miserably.
MAXIMILIAN: I shall not perish: my name is even now before God. I refuse to serve,
DION:    You are a young man and the profession of arms befits your years. Be a soldier.
MAXIMILIAN: My army is the army of God, and I cannot fight for this world. I tell you, I am a Christian.
DI0N:    There are Christian soldiers serving our rulers Diocletian and Maximian, Constantius and Galerius.
MAXIMILIAN: That is their business. I also am a Christian, and I cannot serve.
DI0N:    But what harm do soldiers do?
MAXIMILIAN; You know well enough.
DI0N:    If you will not do your service I shall condemn you to death for contempt of the army.
MAXIMILIAN: I shall not die. If I go from this earth my soul will live with Christ my Lord.
DI0N:    Write his name down. . . . Your impiety makes you refuse military service, and you shall be punished accordingly as a warning to others.
He then read the sentence: “Maximilian has refused the military oath through impiety. He is to be beheaded.”
MAXIMILIAN: God liveth!
Maximilian’s age was twenty-one years, three months and eighteen days. On his way to death he said to the assembled Christians, “Beloved brethren, make haste to attain the vision of God and to deserve a crown like mine with all your strength and with the deepest longing.” He was radiant; and, turning to his father, he said, “That cloak you got ready for when I was a soldier, give it to the lictor. The fruits of this good work will be multiplied an hundredfold. May I welcome you in Heaven and glorify God with you!”
Almost at once his head was cut off.
A matron named Pompeiana obtained Maximilian’s body and had it carried in her litter to Carthage, where she buried it close to the holy Cyprian, not far from the palace.
Victor went home joyfully, thanking God for having allowed him to send such a gift to Heaved, whither he was not long in following his son. Amen. 

The text of the passio is in Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, and Ruinart, Acta sincera. See Allard, Histoire des Persecutions, vol. iv; Delehaye, Les Passions des martyrs pp. 104—110. In the third century the Roman army was’ recruited chiefly from volunteers, but the sons of veterans were under obligation to serve. St Maximilian’s rejection of this obligation has been the occasion of needless embarrassment to some writers (e.g. Paul Allard); the conflicting views on soldiering current in the early Church can be con­veniently examined (without necessarily accepting all his conclusions) in the work of a Protestant scholar, Dr C. J. Cadoux, The Early Christian Attitude to War. Cf. St Victricius (August 7) and St Martin of Tours (November 11). In the Roman Martyrology, St Maximilian is called Mamilianus, and the place of his martyrdom is erroneously given as Rome.

Maximilian of Theveste M (RM) (also known as Maximilian of Tebessa)
Died 296. In the African churches of the late Roman Empire, it was not uncommon for liturgies to include readings from the acta and passios of martyrs. The one often included for Saint Maximilian is the authentic record of his trial in Numidia (now Algeria) and execution for refusing to be conscripted into the Roman army. Maximilian resisted because he didn't want to be tainted by the idolatry of wearing the emperor's image around his neck.
Maximilian also refused because he was a pacifist, perhaps one of the earliest conscientious objectors. There has long been a debate within the Church concerning the radical pacifism advocated by Our Lord and the less stringent, but more practical, position allowing self-defense and just war. Prior to the Edict of Milan and the toleration of Christianity, Christians believed that bearing arms contradicted the Gospel. Tertullian, for example, prohibited military service. Saint Hippolytus said that it was impossible to be a soldier and a catechumen--as contradictory as being a prostitute and catechumen (at least part of his reasoning dealt with the association of soldiers with pagan gods and sacrifices). The Church moderated its position. The Council of Arles (314) said that soldiers who left the army during peacetime would be excommunicated.

About 295, the proconsul Dion went to Theveste to recruit soldiers for the third Augustan legion stationed there. At this time the Roman army was mainly volunteers, but sons of veterans were obliged to serve. Maximilian, the 21-year-old son of the Roman army veteran Fabius Victor, was presented to the recruiting agent. The advocatus Pompeianus, seeing that Maximilian would make an excellent recruit, asked for him to be measured: he was 5'10" tall. The ensuing dialogue between the proconsul Dion and Maximilian has been preserved to this day.

When asked his name, Maximilian replied, "Why do you wish to know my name? I cannot serve because I am a Christian." Nevertheless, orders were given for him to be given the military seal. He answered, "I cannot do it: I cannot be a soldier." When told he must serve or die, he said, "You may cut off my head, but I will not serve. My army is the army of God, and I cannot fight for this world," it was pointed out to him that there were Christians serving as bodyguards for the emperors Diocletian and Maximian. To this he replied, "That is their business. I am a Christian, too, and I cannot serve." Dion then told Victor to correct his son. Victor, who had become a Christian like his son, said, "He knows what he believes, and he won't change his mind."

Dion insisted, "Agree to serve and receive the military seal." "I already have the seal of Christ, my God . . . I will not accept the seal of this world; if you give it to me, I will break it for it is worthless. I cannot wear a piece of lead around my neck after I have received the saving sign of Jesus Christ, my Lord, the son of the living God. You do not know Him; yet He suffered for our salvation: God delivered Him up for our sins. He is the one whom all Christians serve; we follow Him as the Prince of Life and Author of Salvation."
Again Dion stated that there are other Christians who are soldiers. Maximilian answered, "They know what is best for them. I am a Christian and I cannot do what is wrong." Dion continued, "What wrong do those commit who serve in the army?" Maximilian answered, "You know very well what they do."
Threatened with death if he remained obstinate, Maximilian answered, "This is the greatest thing that I desire. Dispatch me quickly. Therein lies my glory." Then he added, "I shall not die. When I leave this earth, I shall live with Christ, my Lord." He was sentenced accordingly: "Whereas Maximilian has disloyally refused the military oath, he is sentenced to die by the sword."
Just before his execution, Maximilian encouraged his companions to persevere and asked his father to give his new clothes to the executioner. We are told that Fabius Victor "went home happily, thanking God for having allowed him to send such a gift to heaven."
The place of Maximilian's death is given as Theveste (Tebessa) in Numidia, but it may have been nearer Carthage, where his body was taken for burial by a devout woman named Pompeiana. It was buried close to the relics of Saint Cyprian.
 

As a side note, in 295, Diocletian issued an edict linking pagan religious practice to marriage and children. In 300, all soldiers were required to sacrifice to the civic gods (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Markus). In art, St. Maximilian is a warrior with a banner that says In hoc vinces (Roeder).
303 St. Peter of Nicomedia Martyr 1st victims of last persecution by Roman Empire
 Ibídem pássio sancti Petri Mártyris, qui, cum esset cubiculárius Diocletiáni Imperatóris, et libérius de imménsis Mártyrum supplíciis quererétur, proptérea, jubénte eódem, in médium addúcitur, ac primo suspénsus, diutíssime flagris torquétur, deínde acéto ac sale perfúsus, ad últimum in cratícula lento igne assátur, sicque vere Petri éxstitit et fídei heres et nóminis.

       In the same city, the passion of the martyr St. Peter, chamberlain to Emperor Diocletian.  For openly complaining of the atrocious torments inflicted upon the martyrs, he was, by order of the emperor, first suspended and for a long time scourged, then had salt and vinegar poured on his wounds, and finally was burned on a grate over a slow fire.  Thus did he become a true heir of St. Peter's name and faith.

303 SS. PETER, GORGONIUS AND DOROTHEUS, Martyrs
WHEN the Emperor Diocletian was in residence at Nicomedia in Asia Minor it was reported to him that there were Christians in his own household. He accordingly caused images of the gods to be set up and ordered that all suspected persons should offer sacrifice to them. The Christians boldly refused, and the first to incur his vengeance was Peter, his major-domo. We read in Eusebius and elsewhere of the terrible tortures he had to endure. Stripped naked,. he was suspended in the air while he was scourged until his bones were laid bare; vinegar mixed with salt was poured over the quivering flesh. Upon seeing this, Dorotheus, who was set over the imperial bedchamber, and Gorgonius, another high official, exclaimed,
"Sire, why do you punish Peter for sentiments in which we all share? His faith, his opinion and his religion are ours also. Hitherto we have fought for you: from henceforth we will serve God whose creatures we are.” They and another official named Migdonius were thereupon tortured and then put to death. Peter, whose spirit was undaunted, was cut down and trampled underfoot and finally slowly roasted like meat on a spit, pieces of flesh being cut off from time to time. In the
midst of his agony he uttered no cry of pain, but exclaimed exultingly, “The gods of the heathen are but devils : it is the Lord who made the heavens”.

We know practically nothing of these martyrs except what is found in the Ecclesiastical history of Eusebius, bk viii, ch. 6. But it is noteworthy that the Syriac Calendar or Breviarium of the end of the fourth century mentions on this day the names of martyrs who suffered at Nicomedia, and amongst these we find those of Peter and Dorotheus, to whom Eusebius gives prominence. It is probable that the “Egdunus and seven others at Nicomedia” commemorated in the Roman Martyrology all belong to the same group. The “Migdonius” mentioned above and the “Egdunus” of the martyrology are probably mere miswritings of the same name. Cf. note to St Gorgonius on September 9.
According to tradition, he was a chamberlain at the court of Emperor Diocletian at Nicomedia. Arrested for being a Christian when the last great persecution of the Church was launched at Diocletian’s command, Peter was cruelly tortured by having the flesh stripped from his body and salt and vinegar poured and rubbed into the wounds. Finally, he was roasted to death over a fire. He is ranked as one of the first victims of the last persecution by the Roman Empire.

Peter of Nicomedia M (RM) Saint Peter was Diocletian's valet (cubicularius) at Nicomedia. He had great pity for the Christian martyrs and shared their fate as one of the first victims of the last great persecution. The flesh was raked from his bones, salt and vinegar poured into the wounds, and finally he was roasted to death over a slow fire. The new calendar associates Peter of Nicomedia with Saints Gorgonius and Dorotheus, who were killed in the same persecution and who have their own feast day as well (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

303 St. Egdunus Martyr with 7 companions in Nicomedia
Nicomedíæ sanctórum Egdúni Presbyteri, et aliórum septem; qui singuli diébus suffocáti sunt, ut céteris metus incuterétur.
       At Nicomedia, St. Egdunus, priest, and seven others, who, one by one, on successive days, were strangled in order to terrify those who remained.
Egdunus was suspended head downwards over a fire. Egdunus & Companions MM (RM) Died 303. Eight Christians were suspended upside-down over a fire in Nicomedia until they were suffocated by the smoke (Benedictines).

573 St. Paul Aurelian  Welsh bishop able to perform miracles exorbitant nature

573 ST PAUL AURELIAN, BISHOP OF LÉON
THE Bretons are fortunate in having a life of one of the fathers of Christianity in their country written before the wholesale destructions by the Northmen, with some authentic particulars of its author. He was a monk of Landévennec, named Wrmonoc, who knew the Léon country well; he based his work, he tells us, on an earlier life, and finished it in the year 884. The following is a summary of this document.

Paul Aurelian (afterwards known as St Pol de Léon), was the son of Perphius, a British chief, and was born in Penychen (or elsewhere) in South Wales. At the monastic school to which he had asked to be sent he had as his fellows St David, St Samson and St Gildas: this was at Ynys Byr under St Illtyd, and Paul was present at the well-known miracle of the enlargement of that island. When he was sixteen his master allowed him to withdraw to a lonely spot elsewhere (Llanddeusant in Carmarthenshire?), where he built some cells and a chapel. There he lived for years a life of prayer, praise and study, and there after he had been raised to the priesthood he gathered round him twelve companions who lived in cells near his own. From this retreat he was recalled to a troubled world by a king called Mark, who besought him to come to “Villa Bannheddos” and evangelize his people. This he did so successfully that they wished to make him their bishop. He was reluctant to consent, and while casting about in his mind what to do an angel appeared to him, who told him that his vocation lay beyond the sea. King Mark was loath to let him go, and churlishly refused his request for a parting present in the shape of a little bell—one of seven which were rung before meals.

The holy man with his twelve companions took ship and arrived at the coast of Armorica or Brittany. But before setting sail from British soil he touched at a bay (in Cornwall?) where his sister lived a solitary life with a few other nuns.*[ * Her name is given as Sitofolla, and attempts have been made to identify her with that mysterious person St Sativola—Sidwell—who was venerated at Exeter. Cf. Fr P. Grosjean in Analecta Bollandians, vol. liii (1935), pp. 359—365.]

 She prevailed upon him to stay some days, and on the eve of his departure besought him with tears to obtain for her a favour from God. The place, though convenient for their purpose, was too confined and close to “tiresome relatives”. “It is easy for you to obtain what I want if you will but pray to God for it: ask that the sea may be forced into a stationary bed and that the land may be a little extended.” Then St Paul and his sister knelt down on the shore in prayer, having first put two rows of stones along low-water mark; and immediately the sea receded and left dry ground behind. And the stones grew up into mighty pillars which acted as a dyke and kept out the sea.

St Paul and his disciples came to the island of Ushant, where they landed at the place which is now called Porz-Pol. There they built cells and lived happily for some time, until the angel St Paul had seen before appeared again and told him to move further.

Coming to the mainland they went inland and made a settlement at Ploudalmézeau. Then Paul, again urged on by the angel, made his way to the lord of the district, a good Christian named Withur, who befriended them and gave them the island of Batz, where St Paul settled down and built a monastery. Wonderful tales are told about the benefits the saint conferred. He killed a dragon that had done untold mischief, he taught the people how to get honey by gathering a swarm of wild bees and setting them in a hive, and he tamed a wild sow whose descendants remained at Léon for many generations.

When Paul was talking one day to Withur, a fisherman came to show them a fish he had caught. In its head was embedded a bell which—curiously enough— turned out to be the very bell which King Mark had refused to give St Paul. (In proof of the authenticity of this incident the peasants of Léon point to an ancient hand-bell which is preserved in their cathedral, made of red copper mingled with silver. Miraculous properties were attributed to it.)

The people who had profited so much from the teaching and miracles of St Paul now began to clamour to have him as their bishop. Withur was equally anxious, but he knew how unwilling the holy man would be to accept such a dignity and therefore he had recourse to a stratagem. He gave him a letter which he asked him to deliver personally to King Childebert in Paris, as it contained matter of great importance. It actually contained a request that St Paul should be appointed bishop. He protested with tears, but the king had him consecrated and then sent him back to Léon, where he was received with acclamation. The name of the oppidum where his seat was fixed was changed to St-Pol-de-Léon in memory of him. He continued to live the same austere life as before, his only food being bread and water except on great festivals, when he took a little fish. It seems that Withur had given him his own house on the island of Batz as a monastery for his monks, and thither the holy bishop loved to retire at intervals for prayer and contemplation.

He lived to extreme old age, but had resigned office for some years before his death. After having outlived two of his followers whom he had ordained to succeed him in his episcopacy, he died in his monastery at Batz. St Paul was endowed with the gift of prophecy and foretold the incursions of the Marcomanni (North-men), says Wrmonoc, and he recounts the saint’s last moments very simply and movingly.

For discussion of this narrative—which must by no means be taken at its face value—the reader may be referred to the works mentioned below. It may be added that there are considerable traces of St Paul Aurelian in Wales, and in Cornwall at Paul, close to the western shore of Mount’s Bay. If his sister’s little monastery was in fact close by, on Gwavas Lake (as Charles Henderson thought), it is an interesting coincidence that, when driven out by the French Revolution, the last bishop of Léon, John Francis de la Marche, landed in Mount’s Bay in 179I, nine days before St Paul’s feast. That feast is now observed in the diocese of Quimper and at the monastery on Caldey.

The earliest manuscript (tenth century) of Wrmonoc’s Life of St Paul Aurelian was printed by C. Cuissard in the Revue Celtique, vol. v (1883), pp. 417—458; a later manuscript (eleventh-twelfth century) is printed in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. i (1882), pp. 209—258.  See also vol. ii, pp. 191-194. The fullest and best discussion of the subject is by Canon G.  H. Doble, St Paul of Léon (1941), where the more important parts of the Wrmonoc vita are translated; cf. the same writer’s article, “St Paulinus of Wales”, in Laudate, July 1941. See also LBS., vol. iv, pp. 75—86 and F. Duine, Sources hagiographiques ... de Bretagne, pp. 58—61.

Probably of Roman-Welsh descent, he was the son of a local Welsh chieftain. He studied under St. Illtyd at the Ynys Byr monastery and, according to tradition, was granted permission to become a hermit. Ordained, he nevertheless gathered around himself a group of followers and acquired such a reputation for goodness that a king in Brittany asked him to preach the Christian faith to his subjects. Paul sailed to Caldey Island in Brittany soon after and founded a monastery at PorzPol on the island of Quessant. Later he established himself and his followers at Ouismor. There, over his objections, he was made a bishop, although he was finally permitted to resign after several years and retire to Batz. He was reputed to be able to perform miracles.
604 Saint Gregory Dialogus granted a vision of the Lord Himself Pope of Rome used inheritance to establish 6 monasteries
 Romæ sancti Gregórii Primi, Papæ, Confessóris et Ecclésiæ Doctóris exímii; qui, ob res præcláræ gestas atque Anglos ad Christi fidem convérsos, Magnus est dictus et Anglórum Apóstolus appellátus.
      At Rome, St. Gregory, pope and eminent doctor of the Church, who on account of his illustrious deeds and the conversion of the English to the faith of Christ, was surnamed the Great, and called the Apostle of England.
Born in Rome around the year 540. His grandfather was Pope Felix, and his mother Sylvia (November 4) and aunts Tarsilla and Emiliana were also numbered among the saints by the Roman Church. Having received a most excellent secular education, he attained high government positions.
 
604 ST GREGORY THE GREAT, POPE, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
POPE GREGORY I, most justly called “the Great”, and the first pope who had been a monk, was elected to the apostolic chair when Italy was in a terrible condition after the struggle between the Ostrogoths and the Emperor Justinian, which ended with the defeat and death of Totila in 562. The state of Rome itself was deplorable: it had been sacked four times within a century and a half, and conquered four times in twenty years, but no one restored the damage done by pillage, fire and earthquake. St Gregory, writing about 593, says: “We see what has become of her who once appeared the mistress of the world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold misfortunes. . . . Ruins upon ruins everywhere! . . . Where is the senate? Where are the people?
We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by the sword and innumerable trials…Deserted Rome is in flames: her buildings also.”
The saint’s family, one of the few patrician families left in the city, was distinguished also for its piety, having given to the Church two popes, Agapitus I and Felix III, Gregory’s great-great-grandfather. Little is known of Gordian, Gregory’s father except that he was a regionarius—whatever that might be—and that he owned large estates in Sicily as well as a house on the Coelian Hill; his wife Silvia is named as a saint in the Roman Martyrology.
Gregory appears to have received the best education obtainable at that time in Rome, and to have taken up the career of a public official. In 568 a fresh calamity fell upon Italy in the form of the first Lombard invasion, and three years later the barbarian horde came alarmingly near Rome. At that time of panic Gregory probably showed something of the wisdom and energy which distinguished him later, for at the age of about thirty we find him exercising the highest civil office in Rome—that of prefect of the city. In that capacity he gained the respect arid esteem of the Romans and developed an appreciation of order in the administration of affairs which he retained throughout his life.

     Faithfully and honourably though Gregory fulfilled his duties, he had long been feeling the call to a higher vocation, and at length he resolved to retire from the world and to devote himself to the service of God alone. He was one of the richest men in Rome, but he gave up all, retiring into his own house on the Clivus Scauri, which he turned into a monastery and which he placed under the patronage of St Andrew and in the charge of a monk called Valentius, of whom Gregory writes that he was “the superior of my monastery and of myself”. The few years the saint spent in this seclusion were the happiest of his life—although his excessive fasting brought on gastric troubles and sowed the seeds of the painful infirmity which tormented him for the rest of his life.
It was not likely that a man of St Gregory’s talents and prestige would be left long in obscurity at such a time, and we find him ordained seventh deacon of the Roman church, and then sent as papal apocrisiarius or ambassador at the Byzantine court. The contrast between the magnificence of Constantinople and the miserable condition of Rome could not fail to impress the saint, but he found the etiquette of the court wearisome and the intrigues revolting. He had the great disadvantage of knowing no Greek, and more and more he lived a monastic life with several of the monks of St Andrew’s who had accompanied him. In Constantinople he met St Leander, Bishop of Seville, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship, and at whose request he began a commentary on the Book of Job which he afterwards finished at Rome and which is generally known as his Moralia. Most of the dates in St Gregory’s life are uncertain, but it was probably about the beginning of the year 586 that he was recalled to Rome by Pelagius II. He immediately settled down again, deacon of Rome though he was, in his monastery of St Andrew, of which he soon became abbot; and it seems that it is to this period we must refer the celebrated story told by the Venerable Bede on the strength of an old English tradition.
St Gregory, it appears, was one day walking through the market when he noticed three golden-haired, fair-complexioned boys exposed for sale and inquired their nationality. “They are Angles or Angli”, was the reply. “They are well named,” said the saint, “for they have angelic faces and it becomes such to be companions with the angels in heaven.” Learning that they were pagans, he asked what province they came from. “Deira.”—“De ira!” exclaimed St Gregory. “Yes, verily they shall be saved from God’s ire and called to the mercy of Christ. What is the name of the king of that country?”—“Aella.”—“Then must Alleluia be sung in Aella’s land.” So greatly was he impressed by their beauty and by pity for their ignorance of Christ that he resolved to preach the gospel himself in Britain, and started off with several of his monks. However, when the people of Rome heard of their departure they raised such an outcry that Pope Pelagius sent envoys to recall them to Rome.

The whole episode has been declared apocryphal by modern historians on the ground of the flimsiness of the evidence. They also point out that Gregory never alludes to the incident, and moreover that even in his most informal writings he never indulges in puns. On the other hand, the first part of the story—the scene in the market-place—may easily be true: men sometimes pun in familiar conversation who would abstain from the practice when writing. Also it might plausibly be urged that St Gregory’s admiration for the fair complexion and hair of the English lads, while natural enough in an Italian, is not the sort of trait which it would have occurred to a northern scribe to invent; while finally there can be no dispute that Gregory later on was deeply interested in St Augustine’s mission, however it came about.

The trental of Masses or Gregorian Masses for the Dead are also connected in origin with this period.
Justus, one of his monks, being ill, acknowledged to having three golden crowns hidden away, and the abbot sternly forbade the brethren to have any communication with him or to visit him on his death-bed. Upon his death he was excluded from the monks’ burial ground and was interred under a dunghill, the pieces of gold being buried with him. Nevertheless, as he died penitent, the abbot ordered that Mass should be offered for thirty days for the repose of his soul, and we have St Gregory’s own testimony that at the close of that time the dead man’s soul appeared to Copiosus, his natural brother, assuring him that he had been in torments but was now released.
A terrible inundation of the Tiber was followed by another and an exceptionally severe outbreak of the plague: Rome was again decimated, and in January 590 Pelagius died of the dread disease. The people unanimously chose Gregory as the new pope, and to obtain by penitence the cessation of the plague he ordered a great processional litany through the streets of Rome. From seven churches in the city proceeded seven columns of people, who met at St Mary Major. St Gregory of Tours, after the report of one who was present, describes it: “The procession ordered for Wednesday took place on three successive days the columns proceeded through the streets chanting ‘Kyrie eleison’ while the plague was still raging; and as they walked people were seen falling and dying about them. Gregory inspired these poor people with courage, for he did not cease preaching and wished that prayer should be made continually.”
The faith of the people was rewarded by the speedy diminution and cessation of the plague, as we learn from contemporary writers, but no early historian mentions the appearance of the Archangel Michael sheathing his sword on the summit of Hadrian’s mausoleum during the passing of the procession. This legend, which subsequently gained great credence, accounts for the figure of the angel which now surmounts the ancient pile and for the name of Sant’ Angelo which the castle has borne since the tenth century. Although St Gregory had thus been publicly devoting himself to the help of his fellow-citizens, his inclinations still lay in the direction of the contemplative life, and he had no intention of becoming pope if he could avoid it: he had written to the Emperor Maurice, begging him not to confirm the election; but, as we are told by Gregory of Tours, “while he was preparing to run away and hide himself; he was seized and carried off to the basilica of St Peter, and there, having been consecrated to the pontifical office, was given as pope to the city”. This took place on September 3, 590.
A correspondence with John, Archbishop of Ravenna, who had modestly censured him for trying to avoid office, led to Gregory’s writing the Regula Pastoralis, a book on the office of a bishop. In it he regards the bishop as first and foremost a physician of souls whose chief duties are preaching and the enforcement of discipline. The work met with immediate success, and the Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek by Anastasius, Patriarch of Antioch. Later St Augustine took it to England, where 300 years later it was translated by King Alfred, and at the councils summoned by Charlemagne the study of the book was enjoined on all bishops, who were to have a copy delivered to them at their consecration.

For hundreds of years Gregory’s ideals were those of the clergy of the West and “formed the bishops who have made modern nations”. To the twofold duty of enforcing discipline and of preaching the pope set himself vigorously from the moment of his assuming office. He promptly and publicly deposed the Archdeacon Laurence, the most important ecclesiastic in Rome, “on account of his pride and misdemeanors, about which we think it our duty to keep silence”, says an old chronicle; he appointed a vice-dominus to look after the secular affairs of the papal household, he enacted that only clerics should be attached to the service of the pope, he forbade the exaction of fees for burial in churches, for ordinations, or for the conferring of the pallium, and he prohibited deacons from conducting the sung part of the Mass lest they should be chosen for their voices rather than for their character. In the matter of preaching, St Gregory was no less zealous: it was the great work he did for the churches of Rome. He liked to preach during Mass and preferred to choose as his subject the gospel for the day. We still possess a number of these homilies, which are popular and eloquent they always end with a moral lesson which each one is to apply to himself.
In his instructions to his vicar in Sicily and to the overseers of his patrimony generally, Gregory constantly urged liberal treatment of his vassals and farmers and ordered that money should be advanced to those in difficulties. He was indeed an ideal papal landlord; his tenants were flourishing and content, and yet money flowed into the treasury. After his death he was blamed for the empty coffers left to his successors, but his huge charities—which took almost the form of state relief—must have saved multitudes from starvation in that distressful period. Large sums were spent in ransoming captives from the Lombards, and we find him commending the bishop of Fano for breaking up and selling church plate for that object and advising another prelate to do the same. In view of a threatened corn shortage he filled the granaries of Rome, and a regular list was kept of the poor to whom grants were periodically made. Cases of “decayed gentlewomen” seem to have received special consideration.
   St Gregory’s sense of justice showed itself also in his enlightened treatment of the Jews, whom he would not allow to be oppressed or deprived of their synagogues. He declared that they must not be coerced but must be won by meekness, and charity, and when the Jews of Cagliari in Sardinia complained that their synagogue had been seized by a converted Jew who had turned it into a church, he ordered the building to be restored to its former owners.

From the very outset of his pontificate the saint was called upon to face the aggressions of the Lombards, who from Pavia, Spoleto and Benevento made incursions into other parts of Italy. No help was obtainable from Constantinople or from the exarch at Ravenna, and it fell upon Gregory, the one strong man, not only to organize the defences of Rome, but also to lend assistance to other cities. When in 593 Agilulf with a Lombard army appeared before the walls of Rome and general panic ensued, it was not the military or the civil prefect but the Vicar of Christ who went out to interview the Lombard king. Quite as much by his personality and prestige as by the promise of an annual tribute Gregory induced him to withdraw his army and leave the city in peace. For nine years he strove in vain to bring about a settlement between the Byzantine emperor and the Lombards; Gregory then proceeded on his own account to negotiate a treaty with King Agilulf, obtaining a special truce for Rome and the surrounding districts. Anticipating a few years we may add that Gregory’s last days were cheered by news of the re-establishment of peace.
It must have been a relief to the saint to turn his thoughts sometimes from the busy world to his writings. Towards the end of 593 he published his celebrated Dialogues—one of the most popular hooks of the middle ages. It is a collection of tales of visions, prophecies and miracles gathered from oral tradition and designed to form a sort of picture of Italian efforts after holiness. His stories were obtained from people still living who, in many cases, claimed to be eye-witnesses of the
events recorded. St Gregory’s methods were not critical, and the reader today must often feel misgivings as to the trustworthiness of his informants.
Modern writers have wondered whether the Dialogues could have been the work of anyone so well balanced as St Gregory, but the evidence in favour of his authorship seems conclusive; and we must remember that it was a credulous age and that anything unusual was at once put down to supernatural agency.

Of all his religious work in the West that which lay closest to Gregory’s heart was the conversion of England, and the success which crowned his efforts in that direction was to him—as it necessarily is to Englishmen—the greatest triumph of his life. Whatever may be the truth of the Angles and Angels story, it seems most probable that the first move in regard to the sending of a mission came from England itself. This is the inference to be drawn from two letters of St Gregory still preserved. Writing to the French Kings Thierry and Theodebert he says:

News has reached us that the nation of the Angli greatly desires to be converted to the faith, but that the bishops in their vicinity pay no heed (to their pious wish) and refuse to second it by sending preachers.” He writes to Brunhilda in almost exactly the same terms. The bishops alluded to are most probably the bishops of northern France—not the British (“Welsh”) or Scottish bishops. In this difficulty the pope’s first action was to order the purchase of some English slaves, boys of about seventeen or eighteen, in order to educate them in a monastery for the service of God. Still, it was not to them that he intended primarily to entrust the work of conversion. From his own monastery of St Andrew he selected a band of forty missionaries whom he sent forth under the leadership of Augustine. It is not necessary to retell here the further history of that mission, already dealt with on May 26. Well may we say with the Venerable Bede: “If Gregory be not an apostle to others, he is one to us, for we are the seal of his apostleship in the Lord.”

During nearly the whole of his pontificate St Gregory was engaged in conflicts with Constantinople—sometimes with the emperor, sometimes with the patriarch, occasionally with both. He protested constantly against the exactions of Byzantine officials whose pitiless extortions reduced the Italian country people to despair, and remonstrated with the emperor against an imperial edict which prohibited soldiers from becoming monks. With John the Faster, Patriarch of Constantinople, he had an acrimonious correspondence over the title of Oecumenical or Universal which that hierarch had assumed. It only meant the general or superior authority of one archbishop over many, but the use of the title Oecumenical Patriarch seemed to savour of arrogance, and Gregory resented it. For his own part, though one of the most strenuous upholders of the papal dignity, he preferred to call himself by the proudly humble title of Servus servorum Dei—Servant of the servants of God— a title still retained by his successors. In 602 the Emperor Maurice was dethroned by a military revolt under Phocas, who murdered the old emperor and his whole family in the most brutal fashion. The writing of a tardy but rather painfully diplo­matic letter to this cruel usurper is the only act which has exposed the pope to hostile criticism. The letter consists mainly of hopes that peace is now assured; in the in­terest of his defenceless people Gregory could not afford to launch denunciations.

Into the thirteen years of his pontificate Gregory had crowded the work of a lifetime. His deacon Peter declared that he never rested, and he certainly did not spare himself, though he suffered from chronic gastritis and was a martyr to gout. He became reduced almost to a skeleton, and the sands of life were running low, yet he dictated letters and looked after the affairs of the Church to the very end.

Almost his last action was to send a warm winter cloak to a poor bishop who suffered from the cold. Gregory was buried in St Peter’s, and as the epitaph on his tomb expresses it, “after having conformed all his actions to his doctrines, the great consul of God went to enjoy eternal triumphs.”

St Gregory has been credited with the compilation of the Antiphonary, the revision and reatrangement of the system of church music, the foundation of the famous Roman schola cantorum, and the composition of several well-known hymns. These claims have been contested, though he certainly had considerable effect on the Roman liturgy. But his true work lies in other directions. He is venerated as the fourth doctor of the Latin church, in which capacity he may be said to have popularized St Augustine and to have given clear expression to certain religious doctrines which had not previously been perfectly defined. For several centuries his was the last word on theology, though he was a popular preacher, catechist and moralist rather than a theologian. Perhaps his chief work was in strengthening the position of the Roman see. As the Anglican Milman writes in his History of Latin Christianity: “It is impossible to conceive what would have been the confusion, the lawlessness, the chaotic state of the middle ages without the medieval papacy ; and of the medieval papacy, the real father is Gregory the Great.” Not without reason did the Church bestow upon him that seldom granted title of Magnus, “the Great”.

As stated above, King Alfred the Great had a translation made of St Gregory’s Regula Pastoralis, and presented a copy to each of his bishops. This he equipped with both a preface and an epilogue written by himself, and he also prefixed some Anglo-Saxon verses, of which the following prose translation may give an idea:

This message Augustine brought over the salt sea from the south to the islanders, as the pope of Rome, the Lord’s champion, had formerly decreed it. The wise Gregory was versed in many true doctrines through the wisdom of his mind, his hoard of studious thoughts. For he gained over most of mankind to the guardian of Heaven [St Peter], he the best of Romans, wisest of men, most gloriously famous. Afterwards King Alfred translated every word of me into English and sent me to his scribes south and north; ordered more such to be brought to him after the exemplar, that he might send them to his bishops, for some of them needed it who knew little Latin.

St Gregory’s own letters and writings are the most reliable source of information for the history of his life, but in addition to these we have a short Latin biography by a monk of Whitby which probably dates from the early years of the eighth century, another by Paul the Deacon late in the same century, and a third by John the Deacon, between 872 and 882. We have also valuable notices in Gregory of Tours, Bede and other historians, and especially in the Liber Pontificalis. For the letters of St Gregory the edition of P. Ewald and L. M. Hartmann in MGH should of course be consulted. A valuable modern life in brief compass is that of Mgr Batiffol in the series “Les Saints” (Eng. trans., 1929). See also the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii; Mann, Lives of the Popes vol. i; Snow, Life of St Gregory the Great Niche and Martin, Histoire de l’Eglise, vol. v (1938) and amongst Anglican writers the very careful work of Dr J. H. Dudden, St Gregory the Great (1905) but the literature of the subject is, of course, vast. See the bibliographies in DAC. and DTC.

Leading a God-pleasing life, he yearned for monasticism with all his soul. After the death of his father, St Gregory used his inheritance to establish six monasteries. At Rome he founded a monastery dedicated to the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, where he received monastic tonsure.

Later, on a commission of Pope Pelagius II, St Gregory lived for a while in Constantinople. There he wrote his Commentary on the Book of Job.

After the death of Pope Pelagius, St Gregory was chosen to the Roman See. For seven months he would not consent to accept this service, considering himself unworthy.
He finally accepted consecration only after the persistent entreaties of the clergy and flock.

Wisely leading the Church, St Gregory worked tirelessly in propagating the Word of God. St Gregory compiled the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in the Latin language, which before him was known only in the verbal tradition. Affirmed by the Sixth Ecumenical Council, this liturgical service was accepted by all the Orthodox Church.
He zealously struggled against the Donatist heresy; he also converted the inhabitants of Brittany pagans and Goths, adhering to the Arian heresy to the True Faith.
St Gregory has left behind numerous written works. After the appearance of his book, DIALOGUES CONCERNING THE LIFE AND MIRACLES OF THE ITALIAN FATHERS (DIALOGI DE VITA ET MIRACULIS PATRUM ITALIORUM), the saint was called "Dialogus." His PASTORAL RULE (or LIBER REGULAE PASTORALIS) was well-known. In this work, St Gregory describes the model of the true pastor. His letters (848), dealing with moral guidance, have also survived.
St Gregory headed the Church for thirteen years, ministering to all the needs of his flock. He was characterized by an extraordinary love of poverty, for which he was granted a vision of the Lord Himself.

Pope St Gregory the Great, as he is known, died in the year 604, and his relics rest in the cathedral of the holy Apostle Peter in the Vatican.

Orthodoxe und Evangelische Kirche: 12. März  Katholische und Anglikanische Kirche: 3. September
Gregor von Rom

Ikonenzentrum Saweljew Gregor wurde um 540 in einer sehr reichen, dem Hochadel angehörenden römischen Familie geboren. Schon als junger Mann wurde er Präfekt von Rom. Als er feststellte, daß ihn die umfangreiche Arbeit von seiner Hingabe an Gott abhielt, legte er mit 35 Jahren sein Amt nieder und wandelte seinen Grundbesitz in Klöster um. Aus dem Palast seines Vaters wurde das Andreaskloster, in dem er selber mit Freunden nach der Regel Benedikts lebte. Papst Pelagius II. ernannte ihn zum Gesandten in Byzanz. Nachdem Pelagius 590 starb, wurde Gregor gegen seinen Willen zum Bischof von Rom berufen. Gregor ordnete die Finanzen der Kirche neu. Die erzielten Einnahmen retteten die Kirche und die Stadt in Zeiten des Hungers und der Pest und ermöglichten Tributzahlungen an die Langobarden.

Gregor war sicher einer der größten Päpste des ersten christlichen Jahrtausends. Er ordnete die Kirche und ihre Finanzen und verschaffte ihr durch seine Diplomatie weltliches Ansehen. Er erneuerte auch die Liturgie, übertrug die Kirchenmusik an geschulte Chöre und bevorzugte den einstimmigen Gesang ohne Instrumente. Hieraus entstand die Form des gregorianischen Chorals.

Die Zukunft der Kirche sah Gregor bei den im Norden lebenden Völkern. 596 sandte er deshalb 36 Mönche mit ihrem Abt Augustinus als Missionare nach England. Schon fünf Jahre später konnte er zwei Bistümer einrichten. Gregor nannte sich auch als erster Papst "Diener der Diener Gottes". Er starb am 12. März 604 in Rom.

Der Titel Dialogus, den Gregor in dere orthodoxen Kirche trägt, entstand nach dem Erscheinen seines Werkes "Dialogi de vita et miraculis patrum Italiorum"

1295 wurde ihm der Titel eines Kirchenlehrers verliehen. Wegen seiner großen Gelehrsamkeit wurde er zum Patron des Schulwesens, der Lehrer, Studenten und Schüler. In den Schulen wurde lange Zeit am 12. März ein Schülerfesttag gefeiert, an dem die Rollen der Schüler und Lehrer getauscht wurden. Dieser Tag wurde auch in evangelischen Gebieten noch gefeiert. Bei der Kalenderreform wurde sein Gedenktag in der katholischen Kirche aus der Fastenzeit auf den Tag seiner Papstweihe verlegt.


 Ibídem deposítio sancti Innocéntii Primi, Papæ et Confessóris.  Ipsíus autem festum quinto Kaléndas Augústi celebrátur.
      In the same place, the death of St. Innocent I, pope and confessor.  His feast is celebrated on the 28th of July.

605 St. Peter the Deacon  Papal secretary to Pope St. Gregory I the Great
A Benedictine monk, he was a companion of Gregory and his faithful secretary. The pontiff dictated the four books of the Dialogues to Peter. He is also revered as the patron saint of Biella, Italy.

Peter the Deacon, OSB (AC) Peter, usually described as a Benedictine, was the disciple, secretary, and companion of Saint Gregory the Great, to whom the great pope dictated the four books of his Dialogues. Peter is venerated as the patron of Salassola in the diocese of Biella near Venice (Benedictines).

645 St. Mura McFeredach Irish abbot disciple of St. Columba
He was named abbot of Fahan and is patron saint of Fahan in County Derry. Also called Muran and Murames, he is remembered by one of his crosses that remains standing at Fahan.

Mura McFeredach, Abbot (AC) (also known as Muran, Murames, Muranus, Muru) Born in Donegal, Ireland; Saint Mura was appointed the first abbot of Fahan (Innisowen, County Donegal) by Saint Columba, whose staff and little bell still exist. The crozier can be found in the Royal Irish Academy and the bell in the Wallace Collection in London. His cross is also preserved at Fahan as a National Monument. He is the special patron of the O'Neill clan and of Fahan (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer).

712 St. Vindician Bishop of Arras-Cambrai.
Born at Bullecourt, France, in 632, he became a disciple of St. Eligius. Named bishop of Cambrai about 669, he was a dedicated prelate who visited parishes and promoted monasticism. He also courageously opposed the actions of the Frankish king Thierry III (r. 670-687) and his mayor of the palace, Ebroin, in executing Bishop St. Leodegarius of Autun, and he secured reparations for the sin from the ruler.
   He spent his final years at St. Vaast Monastery, Arras, an institution that King Thierry supported. Vindician died while on a visit to Brussels, Belgium.

818 St. Theophanes Abbot Confessor relics were honored by many miraculous cures
 Constantinópoli sancti Theóphanis, qui, ex ditíssimo pauper Mónachus efféctus, ab ímpio Leóne Arméno, pro cultu sacrárum Imáginum, biénnio deténtus est in cárcere, et inde in Samothráciam deportátus, ibídem, ærúmnis conféctus, réddidit spíritum, multísque miráculis cláruit.
Constantinópoli sanctórum Theóphanis et Sociórum.
       At Constantinople, St. Theophanes, who gave up great riches to embrace the poverty of the monastic state.  The impious Leo the Armenian kept him in prison for two years because of his veneration of sacred images, and later sent him into Thrace in exile.  There, overwhelmed with afflictions, but famous for miracles, death came upon him.

817 ST THEOPHANES THE CHRONICLER, ABBOT
IT was at the court of the Emperor Constantine V that St Theophanes grew up. His father had died early, leaving him heir to a large estate and entrusting him to the guardianship of the emperor. He was induced to marry, but by mutual agreement his wife became a nun; Theophanes also retired from the world and seemingly built two monasteries, the first of which was situated on Mount Sigriana, near Cyzicus. When he established the second, on the island of Kalonymos, which was part of his heritage, he made this his home, and there spent six years. Event­ually he returned to Mount Sigriana and remained on as abbot. In 787 Theo­phanes was invited to take part in the Second Council of Nicaea, which sanctioned the use and veneration of sacred images. But Leo the Armenian in 814 reversed the policy of his predecessors, and strove to suppress the cultus of images. Recog­nizing how widespread was the authority and reputation of St Theophanes, he attempted to win him over to his side by civilities and crafty letters. But the holy man was well armed against all the devices which could be used to ensnare him. At the age of fifty he had begun to be grievously afflicted with the stone and with another painful internal disease; but, called to Constantinople by the emperor, he obeyed the call, although he was at the time tortured by these agonizing infirm­ities.

Leo sent him a message that flattered and then threatened. To this Theophanes replied: “Being now far advanced in years and much broken with pain and the weakness of my body, I have neither relish nor inclination for any of those things which I despised, for Christ’s sake, in my youth. As to my monastery and my friends, I commend them to God. If you think to frighten me into compliance by your threats, as a child is awed by the rod, you are only losing your pains.” The emperor sent several emissaries to argue with him, but he remained inflexible. He was condemned to be scourged and imprisoned, and, after receiving 300 stripes, was confined for two years in a close and stinking dungeon, where he was left almost without the necessaries of life, although his malady was ever increasing. At last he was removed from prison and banished to the island of Samothrace, where he died March 12, 817, seventeen days after his arrival, as the result of the treatment he had endured. He left a Chronography or short history of the world to the year 813, starting from A.D. 284, the date which terminated an earlier history written by his friend George Syncellus, secretary of the patriarch St Tarasius.

The importance of the work of St Theophanes as a chronicler of Byzantine history has led to much attention being paid to his life. The complete biography of the saint by Methodius was edited completely for the first time by D. Spyridon in the periodical  vol. xii (1913). The lives previously known seem all to be dependent on this. Moreover, we have a panegyric delivered by his fellow monk and disciple, St Theodore Studites, which is to be found in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxi (1912), pp. 11—25, as well as certain letters of the same Theodore printed in Migne, PG., vol. xcix, cc. 1197 seq. Cf. BHG., nn. 1788—1792. The Chronographia of Theophanes has been edited by Dc Boor (1885), with a valuable introduction. See also Pargoire in  vol. ix (1902), pp. 31—102; Krumbacher, Gesch. des Byz. Literatur, pp. 342—347; and Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxi (1912), pp. 11—25, 148—156.

His father, who was governor of the isles of the Archipelago, died when he was only three years old, and left him heir to a very great estate, under the guardianship of the Iconoclast emperor, Constantine Copronymus. Amidst the dangers of such an education, a faithful pious servant instilled into his tender mind the most generous sentiments of virtue and religion. Being arrived at man's estate, he was compelled by his friends to take a wife; but on the day of his marriage, he spoke in so moving a manner to his consort on the shortness and uncertainty of this life, that they made a mutual vow of perpetual chastity. She afterwards became a nun, and he for his part built two monasteries in Mysia one of which, called Megal-Agre, near the Propontis, he governed himself.
He lived, as it were, dead to the world and the flesh, in the greatest purity of life, and in the exercises of continual mortification and prayer. In 787, he assisted at the second council of Nice, where all admired to see one, whom they had formerly known in so much worldly grandeur, now so meanly clad, so modest, and so full of self-contempt as he appeared to be.

   He never laid aside his hair shirt; his bed was a mat, and his pillow a stone; his sustenance was hard coarse bread and water. At fifty years of age, he began to be grievously afflicted with the stone and nephritic colic; but bore with cheerfulness the most excruciating pains of his distemper. The emperor Leo, the Armenian, in 814, renewed the persecution against the church, and abolished the use of holy images, which had been restored under Constantine and Irene. Knowing the great reputation and authority of Theophanes, he endeavored to gain him by civilities and crafty letters. The saint discovered the hook concealed under his alluring baits, which did not, however, hinder him from obeying the emperor's summons to Constantinople, though at that time under a violent: fit of the stone; which distemper, for the remaining part of his life, allowed him very short intervals of ease. The emperor sent him this message. "From your mild and obliging disposition, I flatter myself you are come to confirm my sentiments on the point in question with your suffrage, it your readiest way for obtaining my favor, and with that the greatest riches and honors for yourself, your monastery, and relations, which it is in the power of an emperor to bestow. But if you refuse to comply with my desires in this affair, you will incur my highest displeasure, and draw misery and disgrace on yourself and friends." The holy man returned for answer: "Being now far advanced in years, and much broken with pains and infirmities, I have neither relish nor inclination for any of these things which I despised for Christ's sake in my youth, when I was in a condition to enjoy the world. As to my monastery and my friends, I recommend them to God. If you think to frighten me into a compliance by your threats, as a child is awed by the rod, you only lose your labor. For though unable to walk, and subject to many other corporeal infirmities, I trust in Christ that he will enable me to undergo, in defense of his cause, the sharpest tortures you can inflict on my weak body." The emperor employed several persons to endeavor to overcome his resolution, but in vain: so seeing himself vanquished by his constancy, he confined him two years in a close stinking dungeon, where he suffered much from his distemper and want of necessaries. He was also cruelly scourged. having received three hundred stripes. In 818, he was removed out of his dungeon, and banished into the isle of Samothracia, where he died in seventeen days after his arrival, on the 12th of March. His relics were honored by many miraculous cures. He has left us his Chronographia, or short history from the year 824, the first of Dioclesian, where George Syncellus left off, to the year 813. His imprisonment did not allow him leisure to polish the style.

Theophanes the Chronicler, Abbot (RM) (also known as Theophanes of Mt. Sigriana)  Born in Constantinople; died in Samothrace, March 12, 818. Saint Theophanes went from possessing great wealth in his youth to great poverty. While he was still quite young, his father died and left him a huge fortune. He was raised in the court of Emperor Constantine V, married, but by mutual consent, he and his wife separated so that she could become a nun and he a monk. Theophanes built monasteries on Mount Sigriana and on the island of Kalonymos; after six years at the latter, he became abbot of Mount Sigriana. He attended the Council of Nicaea in 787 and when he supported the decrees of the council approving the veneration of sacred images, he came into conflict with Emperor Leo the Armenian, who supported iconoclasm. When Theophanes refused to accede to the emperor's demands, he was scourged, imprisoned for two years, and then banished to Samothrace, where he died in exile soon after his arrival from the injuries he received in prison. He has the appellation "the Chronicler" because he wrote a history covering the years 284-813 entitled Chronographia (Delaney, Encyclopedia).
Saint Theophanes the Confessor was born in 759 at Constantinople into a pious and renowned family. His father was a relative of the Byzantine emperor Leo the Isaurian (717-741). Three years after Theophanes was born, his father died, leaving his family under the care of the emperor himself.
   Theophanes grew up at the court and became a dignitary under the emperor Leo IV the Khazar (775-780). His position obliged him to enter into marriage, but he persuaded his bride to live with him in virginity.
After the death of his parents, Theophanes and his wife visited monasteries in the Sygrian district (Asia Minor), Theophanes met the Elder Gregory Stratitios, who predicted to Theophanes' wife that her husband would earn the crown of martyrdom.
    Later the wife of Theophanes was tonsured a nun in one of the monasteries in Bithynia, and Theophanes went to a monastery in the Cyzicus region. With the blessing of his Elder, Theophanes founded the Kalonymon monastery on an island in the Sea of Marmara and secluded himself in his cell, transcribing books. Theophanes attained a high degree of skill in this occupation.
    Later, St Theophanes founded another monastery in Sygria, at a place called the "Big Settlement", and became its igumen. He participated in all the work of the monastery, and was an example to all in his love for work and ascetical effort. He received from the Lord the gift of wonderworking, healing the sick, and casting out demons.
The Seventh Ecumenical Council met in Nicea in 787, which condemned the heresy of Iconoclasm. St Theophanes was also invited to the Council. He arrived dressed in his tattered garments, but he revealed his wisdom in affirming the veneration of the holy icons.
   At the age of fifty, St Theophanes fell grievously ill and he suffered terribly until the day he died. Even on his deathbed, the saint continued to work. He wrote his CHRONOGRAPHIA, a history of the Christian Church covering the years 285-813. This work has remained an invaluable source for the history of the Church.
   During the reign of the emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820), when the saint was advanced in age, the Iconoclast heresy returned. They demanded that St Theophanes accept the heresy, but he firmly refused and was locked up in prison. His "Big Settlement" monastery was put to the torch. The holy confessor died in 818 after twenty-three days in prison.
After the death of the impious emperor Leo the Armenian, the "Big Settlement" monastery was restored and the relics of the holy confessor were transferred there.
951 ST ALPHEGE, BISHOP OF WINCHESTER chiefly remembered for his indirect part in the restoration of monasticism in England by encouraging his kinsman St Dunstan to become a monk
ST ALPHEGE the Elder, or the Bald, as he is called to distinguish him from one of his successors, St Alphege the Martyr, is now chiefly remembered for his indirect part in the restoration of monasticism in England by encouraging his kinsman St Dunstan to become a monk. No doubt the bishop’s arguments sank into his mind, but it required a dangerous illness to decide him. St Alphege, on hearing of his purpose, was greatly rejoiced and lost no time in investing him with the habit, and later had the joy of raising him to the priesthood. Two others were ordained on that occasion, St Ethelwold and another monk named Ethelstan. The spirit of prophecy came upon St Alphege, and addressing the new priests he is reported to have said, “To-day, before God, I have laid my hands upon three men, of whom two will attain to the grace of the episcopal order—one in the city of Winchester and then at Canterbury, and the other will also occupy my seat in legitimate succession later on. The third, after doing much evil and wallowing in sensual pleasures, will come to a miserable end.” His words were fulfilled in every particular. The good bishop’s life was one of great holiness and he was famous for his prophetical gifts.

The Life of Dunstan by “B”, together with the histories of William of Malmesbury and Simeon of Durham, are the principal sources for the little we know of St Alphege, whose name figures in two or three medieval calendars.

951 St. Alphege Bishop prophet monk  credited with helping to restore monasticism to England called "the Elder" or "the Bald." Also known as Elphege, he was the bishop of Winchester, England. There he ordained St. Dunstan. A holy prophet, Alphege is credited with helping to restore monasticism to England.

Alphege of Winchester, OSB B (RM) (also known as Elphege the Elder or Elphege the Bald) feast day formerly April 19. Before he was raised to the dignity of bishop of Winchester in 935, Alphege was a monk or hermit. He persuaded many others to enter monastic life, including his kinsman Saint Dunstan and Saint Ethelwold, both of whom he ordained to the priesthood on the same day.
His feast is still kept at Winchester and Saint Albans (Benedictines, Farmer).

1022 Simeon the New Theologian abbot successor to Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Gregory of Nazianzus
Born in Paphlagonia, died at Constantinople, 1022. Saint Simeon is venerated by the Orthodox Church at Constantinople, where he was raised. He was a monk of the Studius who migrated to St. Mamas Monastery in such of a more austere life. He become its abbot and ruled for 25 years.
His strictness was met with animosity, so he organized a new community. In Saint Simeon, Byzantine mysticism reached its peak; he followed the spiritual tradition of Saint John Climacus and Saint Maximus the Confessor. Recently his writings have generated interest among Western students (samples can be found in E. Kadloubovsky and G. E. H. Palmer's Writings from the Philokalia (1951)). Simeon is called the "new" theologian to indicate his place in the Orthodox Church as a successor to Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (Attwater).

SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN: DIVINE LOVE OPENS US TO OTHERS
VATICAN CITY, 16 SEP 2009 (VIS) - In today's general audience, which was held in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope focused his attention on Symeon the New Theologian, "an Eastern monk from Asia Minor whose writings exercised an important influence on theology and spirituality in the East, especially as regards the experience of mystical union with God".

  The Holy Father explained how Symeon was born in Galatai, Asia Minor. He began a civilian career in the imperial service but abandoned it in order "to follow the path of union with God" under the guidance of Symeon the Pious in a monastery in Constantinople. He died in the year 1022.

  "Symeon focused his reflections on the presence of the Holy Spirit in the baptised and on the awareness they must have of this spiritual truth. Christian life, he insists, is intimate and personal communion with God. ... True knowledge of God ... stems from a journey of inner purification". This journey must pass through "profound penitence and sincere suffering for ones sins in order to achieve union with Christ, the source of joy and peace". 

  "This saintly Oriental monk reminds everyone to pay great attention to spiritual life. If, in fact, we are rightly concerned with tending to our physical, human and intellectual development, it is even more important not to overlook our inner development which consists in knowledge of God and communion with Him, so as to experience His help at all times and in all circumstances".

  Symeon the New Theologian "had certain proof that the source of Christ's presence and action in a person's soul is love", said Benedict XVI. "The love of God grows within us if we remain united to Him through prayer and listening to His Word. Only divine love makes us open our hearts to others and renders us sensitive to their needs, bringing us to consider everyone as our brothers and sisters and inviting us to respond to hatred with love and to offence with forgiveness".

  Recalling then how, as a young man, Symeon "found a spiritual director who helped him greatly and for whom he always maintained great respect", the Pope told his audience: "This remains valid even today, as everyone - priests, consecrated persons, lay people and especially the young - is invited to seek the counsel of a good spiritual father, one capable of accompanying each individual in a profound knowledge of self and leading him or her to intimate union with the Lord, that their lives may be increasingly moulded to the Gospel".

  "To advance towards the Lord we always have need of a guide, of some form of dialogue; we cannot do it just with our own reflections. And finding this guide is part of the ecclesial nature of our faith".


AG/SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN/...                               VIS 090916 (480)

Saint Simeon the New Theologian was born in the year 949 in the city of Galatea (Paphlagonia), and he was educated at Constantinople. His father prepared him for a career at court, and for a certain while the youth occupied a high position at the imperial court. When he was fourteen, he met the renowned Elder Simeon the Pious at the Studion Monastery, who would be a major influence in his spiritual development. He remained in the world for several years preparing himself for the monastic life under the Elder's guidance, and finally entered the monastery at the age of twenty-seven.

St Simeon the Pious recommended to the young man the writings of St Mark the Ascetic (March 5) and other spiritual writers. He read these books attentively and tried to put into practice what he read. Three points made by St Mark in his work "On the Spiritual Law" (see Vol. I of the English PHILOKALIA) particularly impressed him. First, you should listen to your conscience and do what it tells you if you wish your soul to be healed (PHILOKALIA, p. 115). Second, only by fulfilling the commandments can one obtain the activity of the Holy Spirit. Thirdly, one who prays only with the body and without spiritual knowledge is like the blind man who cried out, "Son of David, have mercy upon me (Luke 18:38) (PHILOKALIA, p. 111). When the blind man received his sight, however, he called Christ the Son of God (John 9:38).

St Simeon was wounded with a love for spiritual beauty, and tried to acquire it. In addition to the Rule given him by his Elder, his conscience told him to add a few more Psalms and prostrations, and to repeat constantly, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me." Naturally, he heeded his conscience.
During the day, he cared for the needs of people living in the palace of Patricius. At night, his prayers grew longer and he remained praying until midnight. Once, as he was praying in this way, a most brilliant divine radiance descended upon him and filled the room. He saw nothing but light all around him, and he was not even aware of the ground beneath his feet.  It seemed to him that he himself became light. Then his mind rose upward to the heavens, and he saw a second light brighter than the light which surrounded him. Then, on the edge of this second light, he seemed to see St Simeon the Pious, who had given him St Mark the Ascetic to read.
Seven years after this vision, St Simeon entered the monastery. There he increased his fasting and vigilance, and learned to renounce his own will.

The Enemy of our salvation stirred up the brethren of the monastery against St Simeon, who was indifferent to the praises or reproaches of others. Because of the increased discontent in the monastery, St Simeon was sent to the Monastery of St Mamas in Constantinople.  There he was tonsured into the monastic schema, and increased his spiritual struggles. He attained to a high spiritual level, and increased his knowledge of spiritual things through reading the Holy Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers, as well as in conversation with holy Elders.
Around the year 980, St Simeon was made igumen of the monastery of St Mamas and continued in this office for twenty-five years. He repaired and restored the monastery, which had suffered from neglect, and also brought order to the life of the monks.   The strict monastic discipline, for which St Simeon strove, led to great dissatisfaction among the brethren. Once, after Liturgy, some of the monks attacked him and nearly killed him. When the Patriarch of Constantinople expelled them from the monastery and wanted to hand them over to the civil authorities, St Simeon asked that they be treated with leniency and be permitted to live in the world.
About the year 1005, St Simeon resigned his position as igumen in favor of Arsenius, while he himself settled near the monastery in peace.
There he composed his theological works, portions of which appear in the PHILOKALIA.
The chief theme of his works is the hidden activity of spiritual perfection, and the struggle against the passions and sinful thoughts. He wrote instructions for monks: "Theological and Practical Chapters," "A Treatise on the Three Methods of Prayer," (in Vol. IV of the English PHILOKALIA) and "A Treatise on Faith." Moreover, St Simeon was an outstanding church poet. He also wrote "Hymns of Divine Love," about seventy poems filled with profound prayerful meditations.
The sublime teachings of St Simeon about the mysteries of mental prayer and spiritual struggle have earned him the title "the New Theologian." These teachings were not the invention of St Simeon, but they had merely been forgotten over time.  Some of these teachings seemed unacceptable and strange to his contemporaries. This led to conflict with Constantinople's church authorities, and St Simeon was banished from the city. He withdrew across the Bosphorus and settled in the ancient monastery of St Makrina.

The saint peacefully fell asleep in the Lord in the year 1021. During his life he received the gift of working miracles. Numerous miracles also took place after his death; one of them was the miraculous discovery of his icon.  His Life was written by his cell-attendant and disciple, St Nicetas Stethatos. 
Since March 12 falls during Great Lent, St Simeon's Feast is transfered to October 12.
1092 Blessed Rusticus of Vallumbrosa  OSB Vall., Abbot (AC)
 Rusticus was elected third abbot general of the Vallumbrosans in 1076. His relics were elevated in 1200 (Benedictines).

1109 St. Bernard of Carinola Bishop patron saint of Carinola died in extreme old age also called Bernard of Capua.
 Cápuæ sancti Bernárdi, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
       At Capua, St. Bernard, bishop and confessor.
He was the confessor of Duke Richard II of Capua until appointed the bishop of Forum Claudii in 1087 by Pope Victor III. He transferred the see to Carinola in 1100.

1109     ST BERNARD OF CAPUA, BISHOP OF CALENO
ST BERNARD OF CAPUA, of whose antecedents and early life no records are available, became chaplain and adviser to Duke Richard II, son of Prince Jordan of Capua. He gained the confidence of his patron so entirely that it was said that Richard would undertake nothing without first consulting his confessor. When the see of Foro-Claudio was vacant he was appointed by Pope Victor III, and he soon began to consider removing his episcopal seat. Foro-Claudio was in an exposed place— not easily defended—on the high-road between Rome and Naples, whereas at a short distance off, in a far better position, stood Caleno. The change was accordingly made. On Monte Massico hard [probably “nearby”] by lay the body of the hermit St Marcius (Martin), mention of whom is made in the Dialogues of St Gregory; and Arachis, Duke of Benevento, came with a great retinue intending to remove the body and to take it to Benevento. Mass was celebrated for them in the presence of the relics, but suddenly there came an earthquake, and the duke, interpreting this as a warning that it was not God’s will that the body should leave the neighbourhood, returned home. Then St Bernard and his priests went up to the mountain, and having brought the precious treasure to their new cathedral enclosed it in the altar.

The account of this saint in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, is based upon certain breviary lessons cited by Ughelli and by Michael Monachus in his Sanctuarium Capuanum. The authority is not very satisfactory, but there can be no doubt of St Bernard’s historical existence.
Bernard of Carinola B (RM) (also known as Bernard of Capua) Born in Capua, Italy; died 1109. Bernard was appointed bishop of Forum Claudii in 1087 by Pope Saint Victor III. In 1100, he transferred the see to Carinola, Campania, Italy. He died in extreme old age and is now venerated as the principal patron of Carinola (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

1253 St. Fina "Seraphina"Virgin; many miracles through her intercession Gregory appeared to her and said, "Dear child on my festival God will give you rest"

1253 ST FINA, OR SERAPHINA, VIRGIN
THE old town of San Geminiano in Tuscany treasures with special veneration the memory of Santa Fina, a young girl whose claim to be recognized as a saint lay in the perfect resignation with which she accepted bodily suffering. She was born of parents who had seen better days but had fallen into poverty. The child was pretty and attractive. Poor as she was, she always kept half her food to give to those who were worse off than herself. As far as possible she lived the life of a recluse at home, sewing indeed and spinning during the day, but spending much of the night in prayer. Her father seems to have died when she was still young, and about the same time Fina was attacked by a sudden complication of diseases. Her head, hands, eyes, feet and internal organs were affected and paralysis supervened. She lost her good looks and became a miserable object. Desiring to be like our Lord on the cross, for six years she lay on a plank in one position, unable to turn or to move. Her mother had to leave her for hours while she went out to work or to beg, but Fina never complained. Although in terrible pain she always maintained serenity, and, with her eyes fixed upon the crucifix, she kept on repeating, “It is not my wounds but thine, 0 Christ, that hurt me”.
Fresh trouble befell her. Her mother died suddenly, and Fina was left utterly destitute. Except for one devoted friend, Beldia, she was now so neglected that it was clear she could not live long—dependent on the casual attentions of poor neighbours who shrank from contact with her loathsome sores. Someone had told her about St Gregory the Great and his sufferings, and she had conceived a special veneration for him. She used to pray that he, who was so much tried by disease, would intercede with God that she might have patience in her affliction. Eight days before her death, as she lay alone and untended, Gregory appeared to her, and said, “Dear child, on my festival God will give you rest”. And it came to pass as he had said: on March 12, 1253, she died; and the neighbours declared that when her body was removed from the board on which it had rested, the rotten wood was found to be covered with white violets. All the city attended the funeral, and many miracles were reported as having been wrought through her intercession. In particular she is said, as she lay dead, to have raised her hand and to have clasped and healed the injured arm of her friend Beldia. The peasants of San Geminiano still give the name of Santa Fina’s flowers to the white violets which bloom about the season of her feast day.
The story of St Fina is preserved to us in the short Latin life written by the Dominican John of Geminiano, seemingly about fifty years after the saint’s death. It is printed by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii. There is also a contemporary Italian text which may be the original. See also A. B. C. Dunbar, Dictionary of Saintly Women, vol. i, p.317. The obsequies of Santa Fina form the subject of one of Ghirlandajo’s most famous pictures.
She was known for her self denial and acts of penance as a young girl. A mysterious illness left this beautiful girl unattractive; her eyes, feet, and hands became deformed and eventually Seraphina was paralyzed. Her mother and father both died while she was young. She was devoted to St. Gregory the Great. She died on the feast of St. Gregory, exactly as she had been warned by Gregory in a dream. Seraphina was a very helpful child around the family home. She did many of the chores and helped her mother spin and sew.

St. Fina or Seraphina,  The old town of San Geminiano in Tuscany treasures with special veneration the memory of Santa Fina, a young girl whose claim to be recognized as a saint lay in the perfect resignation with which she accepted bodily suffering. She was born of parents who had seen better days but had fallen into poverty. The child was pretty and attractive. Poor as she was she always kept half her food to give to those who were worse off than herself. As far as possible she lived the life of a recluse at home, sewing indeed and spinning during the day, ;but spending much of the night in prayer.
Her father seems to have died when she was still young and about the same time Fina was attacked by a sudden complication of diseases. Her head, hands, eyes, feet and internal organs were affected and paralysis supervened. She lost her good looks and became a miserable object. Desiring to be like our Lord on the cross, for six years she lay on a plank in one position, unable to turn or to move. Her mother had to leave her for hours while she went to work or beg, but Fina never complained. Although in terrible pain she always maintained serenity and with her eyes fixed upon the crucifix she kept on repeating,"It is not my wounds but thine, O Christ, that hurt me".

Fresh trouble befell her. Her mother died suddenly and Fina was left utterly destitute. Except for one devoted friend Beldia she was now so neglected that it was clear she could not live long, dependent on the casual attentions of poor neighbors who shrank from contact with her loathsome sores.
Someone had told her about St. Gregory the Great and his sufferings, and she had conceived a special veneration for him. She used to pray that he, who was so much tried by disease would intercede with God that she might have patience in her affliction. Eight days before her death as she lay alone and untended, Gregory appeared to her and said, "Dear child on my festival God will give you rest". And it came to pass when her body was removed from the board on which it had rested, the rotten wood was found to be covered with white violets. All the city attended the funeral and many miracles were reported as having been wrought through her intercession. In particular she is said as she lay dead, to have raised her hand and to have clasped and healed the injured arm of her friend Beldia. The peasants of San Geminiano still give the name of Santa Fina's flowers to the white violets which bloom about the season of her feast day of March 12th.

1319 Blessed Justina Bezzoli Diseases and sufferings of many kinds were cured through the prayers of Bd Justina, and still more wonderful miracles of healing were wrought after her death
(also known as Blessed Francuccia) Born at Arezzo, Italy; cultus confirmed in 1890. At the age of 13, Francuccia entered the Benedictine monastery of Saint Mark in her hometown and took the name Justina. After a time she moved to All Saints Convent. For a time she lived as a recluse at Civitella before returning to the community at All Saints (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
1319 BD JUSTINA OF AREZZO, VIRGIN Diseases and sufferings of many kinds were cured through the prayers of Bd Justina, and still more wonderful miracles of healing were wrought after her death
JUSTINA OF Arezzo, whose name in the world appears to have been Francuccia Bizzoli, was only thirteen years old when she entered the Benedictine convent of St Mark in Arezzo. When the nuns overflowed into the convent of All Saints she accompanied them and continued to live there for many years, ever advancing in the paths of holiness. Then she left the convent with the permission of her superiors and made her way to a cell near Civitella, where she joined a holy anchoress called Lucia. This cell was so narrow and low that they could not both stand upright in it. When Lucia fell ill, Justina nursed her day and night for over a year without giving up any of her devotions and austerities. After Lucia’s death Justina remained all alone in the cell, in spite of the wolves that howled around and leaped on to the roof, until she developed a painful affection of the eyes which ended in total blindness. She was then taken from the hermitage back to Arezzo, where she and several other sisters lived in great self-abnegation and from midnight to midday served God in unbroken prayer. Diseases and sufferings of many kinds were cured through the prayers of Bd Justina, and still more wonderful miracles of healing were wrought after her death. She died in 1319 and her cultus was approved in 1890.

All that we know of Bd Justina is contained in the short life printed in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii.
1471 Blessed Dionysius the Carthusian a mystical writer O. Cart. (PC)
Born at Ryckel (near Loos), Flanders; At the age of 22, Dionysius earned his doctorate at the University of Cologne. In 1423, he entered the Carthusian Order. He excelled as a mystical writer and on this account has been honored with the title Doctor Ecstaticus. Though he has never been officially beatified, he is commemorated as such in several martyrologies (Benedictines).
1815 Bl. Joseph Tshang-ta-Pong  Martyr of China a catechist put to death for the faith He was beatified in 1909.
1606 BD NICHOLAS OWEN, MARTYR saved the lives of many priests by his extraordinary skill in devising hiding-places for them Father Garnet admitted him to the Society of Jesus, before 1580, and he was amongst the first English lay-brothers
PERHAPS no single person contributed more to the preservation of the Catholic religion in England during the penal times than a humble artisan called Nicholas Owen, who in the reign of James I saved the lives of many priests by his extraordinary skill in devising hiding-places for them. Nothing is known of his antecedents or early life, but it is thought that he may have been a builder by trade. Familiarly known as “Little John” and “Little Michael”, he also passed under the names of Andrewes and Draper. Summarizing contemporary records Father Tanner says of him: “A great servant of God in a diminutive body, Nicholas Odoenus, otherwise Owen, spent eighteen years with Fathers Henri Garnet and John Gerard in the capacity of a faithful and most useful servant.
Born in England in an age of licence, he lived a singularly innocent life, untainted by the allurements of the world; his confessor, who had known his conscience from his earliest childhood, solemnly asserts that he preserved his baptismal innocence unsullied until death. With incomparable skill he knew how to devise a place of safety for priests in subterranean passages, to hide them between walls, and to bury them in impenetrable recesses. But what was much more difficult of accomplishment, he so disguised the entrances to these as to make them most unlike what they really were. Moreover he kept these places so close a secret with himself, that he would never disclose their existence to anyone else. He alone was both their architect and their builder, working at them with inexhaustible industry and labour, for generally the thickest walls had to be broken into and large stones excavated, requiring stronger arms than were attached to a body so diminutive as to give him the nickname of ‘Little John’. And by his skill many priests were preserved from the fury of the persecutors, nor is it easy to find anyone who had not often been indebted for his life to Owen’s hiding-places—a benefit redounding to all Catholics, whose progress in virtue and whose access to the sacraments were thus due to him. His unwonted success in constructing these hiding-places would seem to have been a reward from Heaven for his remarkable piety; for when he was about to design one, he commenced the work by receiving the most holy Eucharist, sought to aid its progress by continual prayer, and offered the completion of it to God alone, accepting of no other reward for his toil than the merit of charity and the consolation of labouring for the good of Catholics.”
When he had worked for some years in this way, Father Garnet admitted him to the Society of Jesus, before 1580, and he was amongst the first English lay-brothers—although, for good reasons, his connection with the order was kept secret. He was with Father John Gerard when they were betrayed by an unsuspected traitor and apprehended together on St George’s day, 1594. He was imprisoned in the Counter and was subjected to terrible tortures to force him to disclose the names of other Catholics. He and Brother Richard Fulwood were
hung up for three hours together, with their arms fixed into iron rings, and their bodies hanging in the air, and Owen’s suffering was increased by heavy weights which were attached to his feet. This was the notorious “Topcliffe” rack, which was also applied to Father Southwell. No information could be obtained from either of the prisoners, and Nicholas was released for a sum of money which a Catholic gentleman paid, because, as Father Gerard testified, his services in con­triving priests’ hiding-places were indispensable to them and many others

He soon proved that he could do more than conceal them: he could deliver them from prison. The wonderful escape of Father Gerard from the Tower was almost certainly planned by Owen, although it was carried out by Brothers Fulwood and Lilly, who were less well-known to the prison authorities. Owen himself was waiting at a fixed spot with horses. Father Gerard in his narrative says: “After we landed… I with Richard Fulwood went to a house which Father Garnet had in the suburbs, and there I and Little John shortly before daylight mounted our horses which he had ready there for the purpose, and rode straight off to Father Garnet who was then living a short distance in the country.”

Father Gerard also mentions a narrow escape which Owen had when he had been lent by Garnet to construct hiding-places in a new house which Gerard had taken and was about to occupy. Suspicion had been aroused and the house was surrounded, “but the house was so large that although they had a numerous body of followers, they were not able to surround it entirely, nor to watch all the outlets so narrowly but what Little John managed to make off safely”.

At length, after a faithful service of twenty years, Owen fell once more into the hands of his enemies together with Father Garnet and Father Oldcorne. He came voluntarily out of the hiding-place in which he had carefully concealed them, in order that he might be captured and, by passing for a priest, save the lives of the fathers as more useful to the Church. He was apprehended with Brother Ralph Ashley, the servant of Father Oldcorne. At first a “free custody” was allowed in order that those who visited him might be watched, but Owen’s prudence baulked the intentions of his captors. He was then removed from the Marshalsea to the Tower of London, the keeper of which, Wade, was possessed by a fanatical hatred of the Catholic faith. He kept his victim suspended day after day, sometimes for six hours together, although he was ill and suffering from a hernia, which was girt with an iron band. Owen consistently refused to answer Wade’s questions and would speak to God alone, invoking the aid of Jesus and Mary. In the end the prolonged strain so extended the martyr’s body that his bowels broke in a terrible way, the iron band assisting to tear and enlarge the wound, and in the midst of terrible anguish Brother Nicholas passed to his eternal reward.

Attempts were made to vilify his memory and to attribute his death to suicide, but his courage was too well known and the lie obtained little credence. A piece of evidence which has only been made available of recent years is contained in a despatch of the Venetian ambassador, Giustiniani, who on March 13, 1606, wrote to his government as follows (the portion in square brackets is in cypher):

I ought to add that while the king (James) was talking to me he let fall that last night one of the Jesuits, conscience-stricken for his sins, stabbed himself deeply in the body twice with a knife. When the warders ran up at the noise they found him still alive. He confessed to having taken a share in the plot at the suggestion of his provincial (Garnet), and now, recognizing his crime, he had resolved to kill himself, and so escape the terrible death that overhung him, as he deserved. [Public opinion, however, holds that he died of the tortures inflicted on him, which were so severe that they deprived him not only of his strength, but of the power to move any part of his body, and so they think it unlikely that he should have been able to stab himself in the body, especially with a blunt knife, as they allege. It is thought that as he confessed nothing and is dead, they have hoodwinked the king himself by publishing this account] in order to rouse him and everybody to greater animosity against the Catholics and to make the ease blacker against his companion the provincial.

King James’s statement that Brother Owen in his dying agony “confessed to having taken a share in the plot at the suggestion of his provincial”, is not only supremely improbable in itself, but is refuted by the fact that not the least use was made of this alleged confession at Garnet’s trial.

Father Gerard wrote of Brother Owen: “I verily think no man can be said to have done more good of all those who laboured in the English vineyard. For, first, he was the immediate occasion of saving the lives of many hundreds of persons, both ecclesiastical and secular, and of the estates also of these seculars, which had been lost and forfeited many times over if the priests had been taken in their houses of which some have escaped, not once but many times, in several searches that have come to the same house, and sometimes five or six priests together at the same time. Myself have been one of the seven that have escaped that danger at one time in a secret place of his making. How many priests then may we think this man did save by his endeavours in the space of seventeen years in all shires and in the chiefest Catholic houses of England!”

The most reliable information we possess concerning Bd Nicholas Owen is to be found in the writings of his companion and contemporary, Father John Gerard, which are printed in The Condition of Catholics under James I, by Fr John Morris; and see the translation of his autobiography by Fr P. Caraman (1951). See also REPSJ., vol. iv, pp. 245—267. Gius­tiniani’s despatch, which alone enables us to fix the exact date of the death of Bd Nicholas, is printed in the Calendar of State Papers, Venetian, vol. x, pp. 327—328.
1922 Blessed Angela Salawa served Christ and Christ’s little ones with all her strength
b. 1881 Angela  Born in Siepraw, near Kraków, Poland, she was the 11th child of Bartlomiej and Ewa Salawa. In 1897, she moved to Kraków where her older sister Therese lived. Angela immediately began to gather together and instruct young women domestic workers. During World War I, she helped prisoners of war without regard for their nationality or religion. The writings of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross were a great comfort to her.
Angela gave great service in caring for soldiers wounded in World War I. After 1918 her health did not permit her to exercise her customary apostolate. Addressing herself to Christ, she wrote in her diary, "I want you to be adored as much as you were destroyed." In another place, she wrote, "Lord, I live by your will. I shall die when you desire; save me because you can."
At her 1991 beatification in Kraków, Pope John Paul II said: "It is in this city that she worked, that she suffered and that her holiness came to maturity. While connected to the spirituality of St. Francis, she showed an extraordinary responsiveness to the action of the Holy Spirit" (L'Osservatore Romano, volume 34, number 4, 1991).
Comment:  Humility should never be mistaken for lack of conviction, insight or energy. Angela brought the Good News and material assistance to some of Christ’s "least ones." Her self-sacrifice inspired others to do the same.
Quote:  Henri de Lubac, S.J., wrote: "The best Christians and the most vital are by no means to be found either inevitably or even generally among the wise or the clever, the intelligentsia or the politically-minded, or those of social consequence. And consequently what they say does not make the headlines; what they do does not come to the public eye. Their lives are hidden from the eyes of the world, and if they do come to some degree of notoriety, that is usually late in the day, and exceptional, and always attended by the risk of distortion" (The Splendor of the Church, p. 187).   
1940 Bl. Luigi Orine apostle of Mercy servant of poor founder
He founded the Sons of Divine Providence, the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity, the Blind Sacramentive Sisters, and the Hermits of St.Albert. In 1936, Don Orione, as he was called, opened a House of Providence in Cardiff. Wales. He died at San Remo, Italy, on March 12, and was beatified in 1980.




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!)




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

It is a great poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish -- Mother Teresa
 Saving babies, healing moms and dads, 'The Gospel of Life'
 
May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.

 
Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God loves variety. He doesn't mass-produce his saints. Every saint is unique, for each is the result of a new idea.  As the liturgy says: Non est inventus similis illis--there are no two exactly alike. It is we with our lack of imagination, who paint the same haloes on all the saints. Dear Lord, grant us a spirit that is not bound by our own ideas and preferences.  Grant that we may be able to appreciate in others what we lack in ourselves. O Lord, grant that we may understand that every saint must be a unique praise of Your glory. Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives.  Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts.   God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heavenonly saints are allowed into heaven. The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR the benefit of others.
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
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Cross Not Optional, Says Benedict XVI
Reflects on Peter's "Immature" Faith CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).-
Taking up one's cross isn't an option, it's a mission all Christians are called to, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this today before reciting the midday Angelus with several thousand people gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.
Referring to the Gospel reading for today's Mass, the Holy Father reflected on the faith of Peter, which is shown to be "still immature and too much influenced by the 'mentality of this world.'”  He explained that when Christ spoke openly about how he was to "suffer much, be killed and rise again, Peter protests, saying: 'God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.'"
"It is evident that the Master and the disciple follow two opposed ways of thinking," continued the Pontiff. "Peter, according to a human logic, is convinced that God would never allow his Son to end his mission dying on the cross.  "Jesus, on the contrary, knows that the Father, in his great love for men, sent him to give his life for them, and if this means the passion and the cross, it is right that such should happen."
Christ also knew that "the resurrection would be the last word," Benedict XVI added.
Serious illness
The Pope continued, "If to save us the Son of God had to suffer and die crucified, it certainly was not because of a cruel design of the heavenly Father.  "The cause of it is the gravity of the sickness of which he must cure us: an evil so serious and deadly that it will require all of his blood. 
"In fact, it is with his death and resurrection that Jesus defeated sin and death, reestablishing the lordship of God."

Popes mentioned in articles of todays Saints
the monothelite heresy condemned by Pope St Martin I at the Council of the Lateran in 649.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
Pope Leo XIII --1550 St. John of God impulsive love embraced anyone in need St. John of God, founder of the Order of Brothers Hospitallers, famed for his mercy to the poor, and his contempt of self.  Pope Leo XIII appointed him as heavenly patron of the sick and of all hospitals.


260 Pontius of Carthage Deacon; graphic account of the life and passion of Saint Cypri

254 St. Lucius I a Roman elected Pope to succeed Pope St. Cornelius
Pope St Gregory VII-- 1123 St. Peter of Pappacarbone Benedictine bishop leadership, care, and wisdom The abbot’s opinion was abundantly justified, for Peter proved himself well among that household of holy men and he remained there for some six years. He was then recalled to Italy, having been released by St Hugh apparently at the request of the archdeacon of Rome, Hilde­brand (who was afterwards Pope St Gregory VII).
Pope St Silvester; -- 803 St. Anselm of Nonantola Benedictine abbot duke
St. Anselm
also received from Pope Stephen III permission to remove to Nonantola the body of Pope St Silvester; and Langobard King Aistulf enriched the abbey with gifts and granted it many privileges it became very celebrated throughout all Italy.
Popes mentioned in articles of Saints

492 ST. FELIX III Pope helped to get the Church in Africa on its feet
492 ST. FELIX III Pope helped to get the Church in Africa on its feet
 Romæ natális sancti Felícis Papæ Tértii, qui sancti Gregórii Magni átavus fuit; qui étiam (ut ipse Gregórius refert), sanctæ Tharsíllæ nepti appárens, illam ad cæléstia regna vocávit.
       At Rome, the birthday of Pope St. Felix III, ancestor of St. Gregory the Great, who relates of him that he appeared to St. Tharsilla, his niece, and called her to the kingdom of heaven.

492 ST FELIX II (III), POPE  483 - 492
Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
468  St. Hilary, Pope from 461-468 guardian of Church unity sent decree to Eastern bishops validating decisions of General Councils Nicaea Ephesus and Chalcedon. Hilary consolidated the Church in Sandi, Africa, and Gaul
731 Saint Pope Gregory II served St Sergius I next 4 popes as treasurer of the Church, then librarian, Held synods to correct abuses, stopped heresy, promoted discipline, morality in religious and clerical life

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
Benedict VII -- 1011 St. Willigis Bishop missionaries to Scandinavia, founded churches chaplain to Emperor Otto II
On the death of Otto, Willigis became one of the most important and influential people in the empire.
Confirmed by Benedict VII in the right to coronate emperors, Willigis crowned Otto III and later influenced him in favor of abandoning Italy and concentrating his resources north of the Alps. Otto III died young in 1002. The succession was disputed but ended with Willigis crowning Saint Henry II and his wife Saint Cunegund at Paderborn. He then served his third monarch faithfully.



Popes mentioned in articles of Saints
Ordained by Pope Vigilius in 546.  556 St. Maximian of Ravenna Bishop of Ravenna erected St. Vitalis Basilica, which was dedicated in the presence of Emperor Justinian and his wife, Theodora Maximianus of Ravenna B (RM) Born in Pola, Italy, 499; died February 22, 556; feast day formerly February 21. Maximianus was consecrated bishop of Ravenna in 546 by Pope Vigilius.