Sunday  Saints of this Day May 01  Kaléndis Maii  
  Sixth Sunday in Easter  Passover, April 22 -30
Acts of the Apostles
Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!  (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)


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

The "Unexpected Joy" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos

To know and love Mary      
In May this is what you should give to Mary
 
May 1st - Saint Joseph the Worker
Doesn’t May represent, at least in our countries in the Northern Hemisphere, the smile of nature after a harsh winter? If May gradually became "the" month of Mary, it is because of its flowers. Men like the Dominican Henry Suso or Saint Philip Neri invited children to bring bouquets of flowers to the Virgin in May.

Isn’t Mary the "Mystical Rose," the flower that announces the fruit who is Jesus himself? Originally a headdress of plaited flowers, the word "rosary" is self-explanatory. In Lourdes, Our Lady appeared with a golden rose on each foot…

By a happy modification of the liturgical calendar, the month of Mary ends with the feast of the Visitation. This feast is the celebration par excellence of evangelization, of “Mary the Church” rushing to visit her cousin who was expecting John the Baptist.

The Virgin Mary should not be separated from Saint Joseph. So we begin this joyous month with the feast of Joseph the Worker. If anyone on earth enjoyed Mary’s smile, it must have been him!

 


 40 Days for Life  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.

Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  May 2016
Universal:   “That in every country in the world, women may be honoured and respected
and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed”.


Evangelization:  “That families, communities and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelisation and peace”.

CAUSES OF SAINTS

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  .

Regina Caeli May 1st - Month of Mary - Our Lady Queen of the May
Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia, quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia, Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

I address my thoughts to Mary: the month of May is especially dedicated to her. Pope John Paul II taught us, with his words and even more, with his example, to contemplate Christ with Mary's eyes, especially appreciating the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the singing of the Regina Caeli let us entrust to the Blessed Virgin all the needs of the Church and of humanity.
The Marian Thoughts of Pope Benedict XVI, May 1, 2005

May 1st - Saint Joseph the Worker  
Caught up by the mystery of the Incarnation
On March 18, 2009, in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Pope Benedict XVI dedicated his homily to Joseph, his patron saint. Addressing all members of God’s people, the pope concluded by saying that in Joseph there is "no separation between faith and action":
"Our meditation on the human and spiritual journey of Saint Joseph invites us to ponder his vocation in all its richness, and to see him as a constant model for all those who have devoted their lives to Christ in the priesthood, in the consecrated life or in the different forms of lay engagement.
Joseph was caught up at every moment by the mystery of the Incarnation... Joseph reveals to us the secret of a humanity which dwells in the presence of mystery and is open to that mystery at every moment of everyday life. In Joseph, faith is not separated from action.
His faith had a decisive effect on his actions. Paradoxically, it was by acting, by carrying out his responsibilities, that he stepped aside and left God free to act, placing no obstacles in his way. Joseph is a “just man” (Mt 1:19) because his existence is “ad-justed” to the Word of God.”
Pope Benedict XVI  w2.vatican.va

May 1 - Saint Joseph the Worker - Our Lady of Romay (France)
 
The name of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, henceforth added to the Eucharistic Prayers
The faithful in the Catholic Church have shown continuous devotion to Saint Joseph and have solemnly and constantly honored his memory as the most chaste spouse of the Mother of God and as the heavenly Patron of the universal Church. For this reason Blessed Pope John XXIII, in the days of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, decreed that Saint Joseph’s name be added to the ancient Roman Canon.

In response to petitions received from places throughout the world, the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI deemed them worthy of implementation and graciously approved them. The Supreme Pontiff Francis likewise has recently confirmed them.

(…) Accordingly, mature consideration having been given to all the matters mentioned here above, this Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, by virtue of the faculties granted by the Supreme Pontiff Francis, is pleased to decree that the name of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary is henceforth to be added to Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV, as they appear in the third typical edition of the Roman Missal, after the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
 Antonio Card. Cañizares Llovera
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Excerpt of the decree Regarding the Mention of the Divine Name of St. Joseph
in the Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV, issued at the Vatican, on May 1, 2013


Let us then cast ourselves at the feet of this good Mother,
and embracing them, let us not depart until she blesses us, and accepts us for her children.
 -- St. Bernard of Clairvaux


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.

Sancti Pii Quinti, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Papæ et Confessóris, qui Kaléndis mensis hujus obdormívit in Dómino.
Pope St. Pius V, confessor of the Order of Preachers, who went to sleep in the Lord on the 1st of May. {see April 30}

May 1st - Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker     Mary’s Husband, the Carpenter
Leo XIII wrote, "Joseph, of royal descent, united in marriage with the most sublime and saintly of women, the putative father of the Son of God, nevertheless spent his whole life working, and, by his industry and skill, provided everything that was needed to sustain his family.  
   The work of the laborer, far from being demeaning can be quite the reverse when combined with virtue, and can become highly ennobled" (Leo XIII, "Quamquam pluries" 1889). "Jesus, the Son of God and God Himself", wanted to be seen and thought of as a craftsman, more than that,
He did not shrink from spending a large part of His life on manual work.
"This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary...?" Mark 6:3. (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, 1891).
Excerpt from San Giuseppe nel mistero di Dio, Piemme 1992, adapted by Françoise Breynaert 
See http://www.mariedenazareth.com/4352.0.html?&L=1

600 BC Jeremiah,The Holy Prophet  one of the four great Old Testament prophets
           St. Joseph Feastday: March 19, May 1 Patron of the Universal Church
The birthday of the blessed apostles Philip and James.  Philip, after having converted nearly all of Scythia to the faith of Christ, went to Hieropolis, a city in Asia, where he was fastened to a cross and stoned, and thus ended his life gloriously.  James, who is also called the brother of our Lord, was the first bishop of Jerusalem.  Being hurled down from a pinnacle of the temple, his legs were broken, and being struck on the head with a dyer's staff, he expired and was buried near the temple. 
 208 St Andeolus Martyr sent to France by St Polycarp
 240 St Orentius and Patientia Martyrs Spain husband wife
 303 St Acius deacon & Aceolus subdeacon Martyrs of minor orders
4th v. Bata, The Martyr  a monastic, lived during the 4th century in Persia labored there in monastery
 418 St Amator priest Bishop confessor miracles ability to make spur conversions including King Germanus scholars believe Amator ordained St. Patrick
        St Grata secured proper burial for remains of Christian martyrs 4th or 8th century

  439 St Orentius Bishop hermit faithful of Auch insisted he become their bishop
         St Cominus Martyr of Catania, in Sicily
 510 St Brieuc Bishop missionary known for miracles educated by St. Germanus
 523 ST. SIGISMUND St. Avitus made king Sigismund realize his behavior was anything but Christian and he trie to make amends. Sigismund listened to the voice of his conscience and found that it led to martyrdom. We, too may have to suffer for trying to live our faith. It is one of the consequences of following Christ.
 6th v. St Ceallach Disciple of St. Kiernan bishop
  558 St Marculf missionary work hermit patron cured diseases attracted numerous disciples built monastery Egyptian
model
  600 St Asaph First bishop of Asaph Wales
  604 St. Arigius Bishop 20 yrs greatest priest pastor of his era
  680 St Bertha abbess-foundress martyr
  893 St Theodard Benedictine bishop rebuilt churches ransom captives selling treasures spending his own money to
feed poor suffering practiced severe austerities
1012 St Benedict of Szkalka hermit martyr gifted mystic of Hungary
1200 Tamar In 1166 a daughter, Tamar, was born to King George III (1155–1184) and Queen Burdukhan of Georgia.
1219 St Aldebrandus Bishop reformer sermons roused many preached against baneful corrupting influences
1345 Peregrine Laziosi received a vision of Our Lady who told him to go to Siena, Italy, and there to join the Servites healed by Jesus incorrupt fervant preacher, excellent orator, and gentle confessor
1383 St Panacea Child martyr of Quarona struck while at prayer
1477 Saint Paphnutius of Borov monk 30 years at the Protection Monastery as igumen, Elder, and Father-confessor
earned deep respect and love of the brethren of his own monastery & other monasteries
 1497 Macarius The Hieromartyr , Metropolitan of Kiev, was earlier the archimandrite of the Vilensk Holy Trinity
monastery.
1537 St Zosimas of Kumurdo lived and labored from the end of the 15th century through the first half of the 16th
century
1554 St Gerasimus of Boldino, whose secular name was Gregory a strict ascetic founded monasteries
1814 St Euthymius This holy New Martyr of Christ was born in Demitsana in the Peloponnesos apostasized recantded and asked for martyrdom
1814 Ignatius The holy New Martyr martyred for the faith by moslems
1816 Acacius The holy New Martyr was born at Neochorion, Macedonia near Thessalonica in the eighteenth century
martyred for the faith by moslems
1821 Saint Nicephorus, the "most luminous star of the Church of Christ," who delighted the hearts of the faithful
"with divinely inspired teachings," grace of working miracles
1852 St John-Louis Bonnard priest Martyr of Vietnam


600 B.C. The Holy Prophet Jeremiah, one of the four great Old Testament prophets regarded as a wonderworker
In Ægypto sancti Jeremíæ Prophétæ, qui, a pópulo lapídibus óbrutus, apud Taphnas occúbuit, ibíque sepúltus est; ad cujus sepúlcrum fidéles (ut refert sanctus Epiphánius) supplicáre consuevérunt, índeque sumpto púlvere, áspidum mórsibus medéntur.
    In Egypt, St. Jeremias, prophet, who was stoned to death by the people at Taphnas, where he was buried.  St. Epiphanius tells that the faithful were accustomed to pray at his grave, and to take away from it dust to heal those who were stung by serpents.
Son of the priest Helkiah from the city of Anathoth near Jerusalem.  He lived 600 years before the Birth of Christ, under the Israelite king Josiah and four of his successors. He was called to prophetic service at the age of fifteen, when the Lord revealed to him that even before his birth the Lord had chosen him to be a prophet. Jeremiah refused, citing his youth and lack of skill at speaking, but the Lord promised to be always with him and to watch over him.
He touched the mouth of the chosen one and said, "Behold, I have put My words into your mouth. Behold, I have appointed you this day over nations and kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to rebuild, and to plant" (Jer. 1:9-10).
From that time Jeremiah prophesied for twenty-three years, denouncing the Jews for abandoning the true God and worshipping idols, predicting sorrows and devastating wars. He stood by the gates of the city, and at the entrance to the Temple, everywhere where the people gathered, and he exhorted them with imprecations and often with tears.
The people, however, mocked and abused him, and they even tried to kill him.

Depicting for the Jews their impending enslavement to the king of Babylon, Jeremiah first placed on his own neck a wooden, and then an iron yoke, and thus he went about among the people. Enraged at the dire predictions of the prophet, the Jewish elders threw the Prophet Jeremiah into a pit filled with horrid, slimy creatures, where he almost died. Through the intercession of the God-fearing royal official Habdemelek, the prophet was pulled out of the pit, but he did not cease his prophecies, and for this he was carted off to prison.
Under the Jewish king Zedekiah his prophecy was fulfilled.
Nebuchadnezzar came, slaughtered many people, carried off a remnant into captivity, and Jerusalem was pillaged and destroyed.  Nebuchadnezzar released the prophet from prison and permitted him to live where he wanted.

The prophet remained at the ruins of Jerusalem and bewailed his nation's misfortune. According to Tradition, the Prophet Jeremiah took the Ark of the Covenant with the Tablets of the Law and hid it in one of the caves of Mount Nabath (Nebo), so that the Jews could no longer find it (2 Mac. 2).  Afterwards, a new Ark of the Covenant was fashioned, but it lacked the glory of the first.

Among the Jews remaining in their fatherland there soon arose internecine clashes: Hodoliah, Nebuchadnezzar's viceroy, was murdered. The Jews, fearing the wrath of Babylon, decided to flee into Egypt. The Prophet Jeremiah disagreed with their intention, predicting that the punishment which they feared would befall them in Egypt. The Jews would not listen to the prophet, however, and taking him along by force, they went into Egypt and settled in the city of Tathnis. There the prophet lived for four years and was respected by the Egyptians, because by his prayers he killed crocodiles and other creatures infesting these parts.                                                  

When Jeremiah prophesied that the King of Babylon would invade Egypt and annihilate the Jews living there, the Jews murdered him.  In that very same year the saint's prophecy was fulfilled.
There is a tradition that 250 years later, Alexander the Great transported the relics of the holy Prophet Jeremiah to Alexandria.

The Prophet Jeremiah wrote his Book of Prophecies and also the Book of Lamentations about the desolation of Jerusalem and the Exile.  The times in which he lived and prophesied are described in 4/2 Kings (Ch. 23-25) and in the Second Book of Chronicles (36:12) and in 2 Maccabbees (Ch. 2).

In the Gospel of Matthew it is said that the betrayal of Judas was foretold by the Prophet Jeremiah, "And they took thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom the sons of Israel had set a price, and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me" (Mt. 27:9-10). Perhaps Jeremiah 32:6-15 is meant.
Even after his death, the Prophet Jeremiah was regarded as a wonderworker.
Dust from his tomb was believed to cure snake-bite, and many Christians pray to him for this purpose.
St. Joseph Feastday: March 19, May 1 Patron of the Universal Church

St. Joseph The Workman (See 19 March) SS. Philip and James, Apostles (transferred to 11 May)
ST PHILIP the apostle came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and seems to have belonged to a little group of earnest men who had already fallen under the influence of St John the Baptist.
In the synoptic gospels there is no mention of Philip except in the list of apostles which occurs in each. But St John’s gospel introduces his name several times, recording in particular that the call of Philip came the day after that given to St Peter and St Andrew. Jesus, we are told, “found Philip” and said to him, “Follow me”. More than a century and a half later Clement of Alexandria avers that St Philip was the young man who, when our Lord said to him, “Follow me”, begged leave to go home first and bury his father, which occasioned the reply, “Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke ix 6o). It seems probable that this identification was based on no firmer ground than the use of the phrase “Follow me” in both cases. The position of the incident of the rebuke (“Let the dead”, etc.) in the narrative of St Luke, and also in that of St Matthew, clearly suggests that it occurred some time after the beginning of the public life, when our Lord was already attended by His little company of apostles. On the other hand, St Philip was certainly called before the marriage feast at Cana, though, as our Saviour Himself declared, His hour had not yet come, i.e. He had not yet embarked on the public activities of His great mission.
From the account given by the evangelist, we should naturally infer that Philip responded without hesitation to the call he had received. Though his knowledge was imperfect, so much so that he describes Jesus as “the son of Joseph of Nazareth”, he goes at once to find his friend Nathanael (in all probability to be identified with the apostle Bartholomew) and tells him, “We have found him of whom Moses, in the law and the prophets did write”, being plainly satisfied that this was in truth the Messias. At the same time Philip gives proof of a sober discretion in his missionary zeal. He does not attempt to force his discovery upon unwilling earn. When Nathanael objects, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” his answer is not indignant declamation, but an appeal for personal inquiry—“Come and see.”
In the description of the feeding of the five thousand Philip figures again. “When Jesus”, we are told, “had lifted up His eyes and seen that a very great multitude cometh to Him, He said to Philip, ‘ Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?’ And this He said to try him; for He Himself knew what He would do.” Once more we get an impression of the sober literalness of St Philip’s mental outlook when he replies: “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them that every one may take a little”. It is in accord with the same amiable type of character which hesitates before responsibilities that, when certain Gentiles among the crowds who thronged to Jerusalem for the pasch came to Philip saying, “Sir,
we would see Jesus “, we find him reluctant to deal with the request without taking  counsel. “Philip cometh and telleth Andrew. Again Andrew and Philip told Jesus.” Finally another glimpse is afforded us of the apostle’s earnestness and  devotion conjoined with defective spiritual insight, when on the evening before the  Passion our Lord announced, “No man cometh to the Father but by me. If you  had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know Him, and you have seen Him.” Philip saith to Him: “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us. Jesus saith to him: “Have I been so long a time with you; and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou: Show us the Father ? (John xiv 6-9).
            Apart from the fact that St Philip is named with the other apostles who spent ten days in the upper room awaiting the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost,  this is all we know about him with any degree of certainty.

            On the other hand, Eusebius, the church historian, and some other early writers, have preserved a few details which tradition connected with the later life of Philip.  The most reliable of these is the belief that he preached the gospel in Phrygia, and died at Hierapolis, where he was also buried. Sir W. M. Ramsay found among  the tombs of that city a fragmentary inscription which refers to a church there dedicated in honour of St Philip. We know also that Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, writing to Pope Victor towards the close of the second century, refers to two  daughters of St Philip the Apostle, who had lived in virginity until old age at Hierapolis, and mentions also another daughter who was buried in his own city of Ephesus. Papias, who was himself bishop of Hierapolis, seems to have known  personally the daughters of St Philip and to have learnt from them of a miracle attributed to him, no less than the raising of a dead man to life. Heracleon, the gnostic, about the year 180, maintained that the apostles Philip, Matthew and Thomas died a natural death, but Clement of Alexandria contradicted this, and  the opinion commonly accepted at a later date was that Philip was crucified head  downwards under Domitian. One fact which introduces much uncertainty into these obscure fragments of evidence is the confusion which undoubtedly arose between Philip the Apostle and Philip the Deacon, sometimes also called “the Evangelist, who figures so prominently in chapter viii of the Acts of the Apostles.  Both, in particular, are alleged to have had daughters who enjoyed exceptional  consideration in the early Church. It is stated that the remains of St Philip the  Apostle were eventually brought to Rome, and that they have been preserved there  in the basilica of the Apostles since the time of Pope Pelagius (A.D. 561). A late apocryphal document in Greek, dating from the close of the fourth century at earliest, purports to recount the missionary activities of St Philip in Greece, as well as in the land of the Parthians and elsewhere, but it echoes the received tradition  so far as regards his death and burial at Hierapolis.
            The apostle St James—the Less, or the younger—here associated with St Philip, is most commonly held to be the same individual who is variously designated “James, the son of Alpheus (e.g. Matt. x 3, and Acts i 13), and “James, the  brother of the Lord” (Matt. xiii 55 Gal. i 19). He may also possibly be identical with James, son of Mary and brother of Joseph (Mark xv 40). This, however, is not the place to discuss the rather intricate problem of the” brethren of our Lord” and the questions connected with it. It may be assumed then, as Alban Butler infers, that the apostle James who became bishop of Jerusalem (Acts xv and xxi 18) was the son of Alpheus and “brother” (i.e. first cousin) of Jesus Christ. Although  no prominence is given to this James in the gospel narrative, we learn from St Paul that he was favoured with a special appearing of our Lord before the Ascension.
         Further, when St Paul, three years after his conversion, went up to Jerusalem and was still regarded with some suspicion by the apostles who remained there, James,  with St Peter, seems to have bid him a cordial welcome. Later we learn that  Peter, after his escape from prison, sent a special intimation to James, apparently as  to one whose pre-eminence was recognized among the Christians of the holy city.
         At what is called the Council of Jerusalem, where it was decided that the Gentiles  who accepted Christian teaching need not be circumcised, it was St James who,  after listening to St Peter’s advice, voiced the conclusion of the assembly in the  words, “it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us” (Acts xv). He was,  in fact, the bishop of Jerusalem, as Clement of Alexandria and Eusebius expressly state. Even Josephus, the Jewish historian, bears testimony to the repute in which James was held, and declares, so Eusebius asserts, that the terrible calamities which fell upon the people of that city were a retribution for their treatment of one “who  was the most righteous of men
. The story of his martyrdom, as told by Hegesippus in the latter part of the second century, has been preserved by Eusebius, and runs as follows:
        
             Together with the apostles, James, our Lord’s brother, succeeded to the
           government of the Church. He received the name of “the Just” from all
           men from the time of our Lord even to our own; for there were many called
           James. Now he was holy from his mother’s womb, drank no wine nor strong
           drink nor ate anything in which was life. No razor came upon his head; he
           anointed himself not with oil, and used no bath. To him alone it was per-
           mitted to enter the holy place; for he wore nothing woollen, but linen garments
           [i.e. the priestly robes]. And alone he entered into the sanctuary and was
           found on his knees asking forgiveness on behalf of the people, so that his knees
           became hard like a camel’s, for he was continually bending the knee in worship
           to God and asking forgiveness for the people. In fact, on account of his
           exceeding great justice he was called “ the Just
and “ Oblias , that is to say,
           bulwark of the people.
        
           We learn further from Hegesippus that:        
             As many as came to believe did so through James. When, therefore, many
           also of the rulers were believers, there was an uproar among the Jews and
           scribes and pharisees, for they said: “There is danger that the whole people
           should expect Jesus as the Christ
. Coming together, therefore, they said
           to James: “We beseech thee, restrain the people, for they are gone astray
           unto Jesus, imagining that he is the Christ. We beseech thee to persuade all
           who come for the day of the Passover concerning Jesus, for in thee do we all
           put our trust. For we bear thee witness, as do all the people, that thou art
           just and that thou acceptest not the person of any. Persuade, therefore, the
           multitude that they go not astray concerning Jesus. For, of a truth, the
           people, and we all, put our trust in thee. Stand, therefore, upon the pinnacle
           of the temple, that from thy lofty station thou mayest be evident, and thy
           words may easily be heard by all the people. For on account of the Passover
           all the tribes, with the Gentiles also, have come together.” Therefore the
           aforesaid scribes and pharisees set James upon the pinnacle of the temple, and
           cried aloud to him saying: “0 Just One, in whom we ought all to put our

            trust, inasmuch as the people is gone astray after Jesus who was crucified, tell
            us what is the door of Jesus” (cf. John x 1—9). And he replied with a loud
            voice: “Why ask ye me concerning the Son of Man, since He sitteth in
            Heaven on the right hand of the Mighty Power, and shall come on the clouds
            of Heaven?” And when many were fully persuaded and gave glory at the
            testimony of James and said: “Hosanna to the son of David “, then once
            more the same scribes and pharisees said among themselves: “We do ill in
            affording such a testimony to Jesus. Let us rather go up and cast him down,
            that being affrighted they may not believe him.” And they cried aloud
            saying: “Ho, ho, even the Just One has gone astray!” And they fulfilled
            the scripture that is written in Isaias: “Let us take away the just one, for
            he is troublesome to us. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their doings.”
            Going up therefore they cast the Just One down. And they said to each other:
            “Let us stone James the Just “. And they began to stone him, for the fall
            did not kill him. But turning he kneeled down and said: “I beseech thee,
            O Lord God, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do “. And
            while they thus were stoning him, one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, the
            son of Rachabim, who had witness borne to them by Jeremias the prophet,
            cried aloud, saying: “Cease ye; what do ye? The Just One is praying on
            your behalf.” And one of them, a fuller, took the stick with which he beat
            out the clothes, and brought it down on the Just One’s head. Thus he was
            martyred. And they buried him at the spot beside the temple, and his
            monument still remains beside the temple.

        
            The story is told somewhat differently by Josephus, who says nothing about  James’s having been thrown down from the pinnacle of the temple. He informs us, however, that he was stoned to death, and assigns this to the year 62. In relation to the festivals kept by the Church liturgically under the designation of “ St  Peter’s Chair , it is interesting to note that Eusebius speaks of the “ throne , or chair, of St James as still preserved and venerated by the Christians of Jerusalem.
         This St James is commonly held to be the author of the epistle in the New Testament which bears his name and which, by its insistence on good works, was highly obnoxious to those who preached the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

        
           Outside the New Testament, and such not wholly reliable traditions as we find recorded
         in the pages of Eusebius, there is very little we can appeal to as sources for the history of
         either St Philip or St James. In the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. i, the Bollandists have
         gathered up most of the allusions to be met with in the early ecclesiastical writers. The
         apocryphal Acts of St Philip, which probably date from the third or fourth century, have
         been edited by R. A. Lipsius in his Apokryphen Apostelgeschichten und Apostellegenden,
         vol. ii, part 2, pp. 1—90. See also E. Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen (2nd edn.,
         5924); and the Handbuch brought out by the same editor. The life of the two apostles
         is discussed in nearly all scriptural encyclopaedias, such, for example, as the Dictionnaire de
         la Bible
with its supplements. The authorship of the canonical Epistle of St James has been
         the subject of much heated discussion. The matter does not concern us here, and the text
         of the epistle itself throws little light upon the history or character of the writer who penned
         it.  As the martyrdom of St James the Less is commonly assigned to the year A.D. 62 or 63,
         the epistle, on the assumption that he is the author, must be of early date. Mgr Duchesne
         has suggested that the association of St James with St Philip on May 1, which is common
         both to the Gelasian and the Gregorian Sacramentaries, may be traced to the dedication of
         the church “of the Apostles “ at Rome by Pope John III, C. A.D. 563. This church, though
         later spoken of vaguely as the church “of the Apostles”
, was originally dedicated in honour
         of SS. Philip and James in particular; the inscription long preserved there said

Quisquis lector adest Jacobi pariterque Philippi
Cernat apostolicum lumen inesse locis.
         But there are indications in certain manuscripts of the Hieronymianum and in other docu-
         ments that Philip’s name on May 1 once stood alone, and that James is a later addition.

 
Everything we know about the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus comes from Scripture and that has seemed too little for those who made up legends about him.


We know he was a carpenter, a working man, for the skeptical Nazarenes ask about Jesus, "Is this not the carpenter's son?" (Matthew 13:55). He wasn't rich for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24).

Despite his humble work and means, Joseph came from a royal lineage. Luke and Matthew disagree some about the details of Joseph's genealogy but they both mark his descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). Indeed the angel who first tells Joseph about Jesus greets him as "son of David," a royal title used also for Jesus.

We know Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He planned to divorce Mary according to the law but he was concerned for her suffering and safety. He knew that women accused to adultery could be stoned to death, so he decided to divorce her quietly and not expose her to shame or cruelty (Matthew 1:19-25).

We know Joseph was man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby.
He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-23).

We know Joseph loved Jesus. His one concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but upon his return settled in the obscure town of Nazareth out of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple we are told Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son for over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, "Is this not the son of Joseph?" (Luke 4:22)
We know Joseph respected God. He followed God's commands in handling the situation with Mary and going to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised and Mary purified after Jesus' birth. We are told that he took his family to Jerusalem every year for Passover, something that could not have been easy for a working man.
Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus' public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph probably had died before Jesus entered public ministry.

Joseph is the patron of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus' public life, he died with Jesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth.
Joseph is also patron of the universal Church, fathers, carpenters, and social justice. We celebrate two feast days for Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker.
There is much we wish we could know about Joseph -- where and when he was born, how he spent his days, when and how he died.
Scripture has left us with the most important knowledge: who he was -- "a righteous man" (Matthew 1:18).

In His Footsteps: Joseph was foster father to Jesus. There are many children separated from families and parents who need foster parents. Please consider contacting your local Catholic Charities or Division of Family Services about becoming a foster parent.
Prayer:  Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, watch over the Church as carefully as you watched over Jesus, help protect it and guide it as you did with your adopted son. Amen
 
May 1, 2008 St. Joseph the Worker 
Apparently in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. But the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a longer history.

In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Comment:    “The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it” (Genesis 2:15). The Father created all and asked humanity to continue the work of creation. We find our dignity in our work, in raising a family, in participating in the life of the Father’s creation. Joseph the Worker was able to help participate in the deepest mystery of creation. Pius XII emphasized this when he said, “The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Savior of the world, but certainly, no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by it than the foster father of Jesus, who lived with Him in closest intimacy and community of family life and work. Thus, if you wish to be close to Christ, we again today repeat, ‘Go to Joseph’” (see Genesis 41:44).

Quote:    In Brothers of Men, René Voillaume of the Little Brothers of Jesus speaks about ordinary work and holiness: “Now this holiness (of Jesus) became a reality in the most ordinary circumstances of life, those of word, of the family and the social life of a village, and this is an emphatic affirmation of the fact that the most obscure and humdrum human activities are entirely compatible with the perfection of the Son of God...in relation to this mystery, involves the conviction that the evangelical holiness proper to a child of God is possible in the ordinary circumstances of someone who is poor and obliged to work for his living.”
The birthday of the blessed apostles Philip and James.  Philip, after having converted nearly all of Scythia to the faith of Christ, went to Hieropolis, a city in Asia, where he was fastened to a cross and stoned, and thus ended his life gloriously.  James, who is also called the brother of our Lord, was the first bishop of Jerusalem.  Being hurled down from a pinnacle of the temple, his legs were broken, and being struck on the head with a dyer's staff, he expired and was buried near the temple.

Natális beatórum Philíppi et Jacóbi Apostolórum.  Ex his Philíppus, cum omnem fere Scythiam ad Christi fidem convertísset, tandem apud Hierápolim, Asiæ civitátem, cruci affíxus et lapídibus óbrutus, glorióso fine quiévit; Jacóbus vero, qui et frater Dómini légitur et primus Hierosolymórum Epíscopus, e pinna Templi præcipitátus, confráctis inde crúribus, ac fullónis fuste in cérebro percússus, intériit, ibique, non longe a Templo, sepúltus est.

Ss. Philip And James, Apostles (Transferred To 11 May)

St Philip the apostle came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and seems to have belonged to a little group of earnest men who had already fallen under the influence of St John the Baptist. In the synoptic gospels there is no mention of Philip except in the list of apostles which occurs in each. But St John’s gospel introduces his name several times, recording in particular that the call of Philip came the day after that given to St Peter and St Andrew. Jesus, we are told, “found Philip” and said to him, “Follow me”. More than a century and a half later Clement of Alexandria avers that St Philip was the young man who, when our Lord said to him, “Follow me”, begged leave to go home first and bury his father, which occasioned the reply, “Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke ix 6o). It seems probable that this identification was based on no firmer ground than the use of the phrase” Follow me” in both cases. The position of the incident of the rebuke (“ Let the dead “, etc.) in the narrative of St Luke, and also in that of St Matthew, clearly suggests that it occurred some time after the beginning of the public life, when our Lord was already attended by His little company of apostles. On the other hand, St Philip was certainly called before the marriage feast at Cana, though, as our Saviour Himself declared, His hour had not yet come, i.e; He had not yet embarked on the public activities of His great mission.

From the account given by the evangelist, we should naturally infer that Philip responded without hesitation to the call he had received. Though his knowledge was imperfect, so much so that he describes Jesus as “the son of Joseph of Nazar­eth”, he goes at once to find his friend Nathanael (in all probability to be identified with the apostle Bartholomew) and tells him, “We have found him of whom Moses, in the law and the prophets did write”, being plainly satisfied that this was in truth the Messias. At the same time Philip gives proof of a sober discretion in his missionary zeal. He does not attempt to force his discovery upon unwilling ears. When Nathanael objects, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” his answer is not indignant declamation, but an appeal for personal inquiry—“Come and see.”


In the description of the feeding of the five thousand Philip figures again. “When Jesus”, we are told, “had lifted up His eyes and seen that a very great multitude cometh to Him, He said to Philip, ‘Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?’ And this He said to try him; for He Himself knew what He would do.” Once more we get an impression of the sober literalness of St Philip’s mental outlook when he replies: “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them that every one may take a little”. It is in accord with the same amiable type of character which hesitates before responsibilities that, when certain Gentiles among the crowds who thronged to Jerusalem for the pasch came to Philip saying, “Sir, we would see Jesus”, we find him reluctant to deal with the request without taking counsel. “Philip cometh and telleth Andrew. Again Andrew and Philip told Jesus.” Finally another glimpse is afforded us of the apostle’s earnestness and devotion conjoined with defective spiritual insight, when on the evening before the Passion our Lord announced, “No man cometh to the Father but by me. If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know Him, and you have seen Him.” Philip saith to Him:  “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us”. Jesus saith to him: “Have I been so long a time with you; and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou: Show us the Father?” (John xiv 6—9).

Apart from the fact that St Philip is named with the other apostles who spent ten days in the upper room awaiting the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, this is all we know about him with any degree of certainty.

On the other hand, Eusebius, the church historian, and some other early writers, have preserved a few details which tradition connected with the later life of Philip. The most reliable of these is the belief that he preached the gospel in Phrygia, and died at Hierapolis, where he was also buried. Sir W. M. Ramsay found among the tombs of that city a fragmentary inscription which refers to a church there dedicated in honour of St Philip. We know also that Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, writing to Pope Victor towards the close of the second century, refers to two daughters of St Philip the Apostle, who had lived in virginity until old age at Hierapolis, and mentions also another daughter who was buried in his own city of Ephesus.


Papias, who was himself bishop of Hierapolis, seems to have known personally the daughters of St Philip and to have learnt from them of a miracle attributed to him, no less than the raising of a dead man to life. Heracleon, the gnostic, about the year 180, maintained that the apostles Philip, Matthew and Thomas died a natural death, but Clement of Alexandria contradicted this, and the opinion commonly accepted at a later date was that Philip was crucified head downwards under Domitian. One fact which introduces much uncertainty into these obscure fragments of evidence is the confusion which undoubtedly arose between Philip the Apostle and Philip the Deacon, sometimes also called “the Evangelist”, who figures so prominently in chapter viii of the Acts of the Apostles. Both, in particular, are alleged to have had daughters who enjoyed exceptional consideration in the early Church. It is stated that the remains of St Philip the Apostle were eventually brought to Rome, and that they have been preserved there in the basilica of the Apostles since the time of Pope Pelagius (A.D. 561). A late apocryphal document in Greek, dating from the close of the fourth century at earliest, purports to recount the missionary activities of St Philip in Greece, as well as in the land of the Parthians and elsewhere, but it echoes the received tradition so far as regards his death and burial at Hierapolis.

The apostle St James—the Less, or the younger—here associated with St Philip, is most commonly held to be the same individual who is variously designated “James, the son of Alpheus” (e.g. Matt. x 3, and Acts i, 13), and “James, the brother of the Lord” (Matt. xiii 55; Gal. 1 19). He may also possibly be identical with James, son of Mary and brother of Joseph (Mark xv 40). This, however, is not the place to discuss the rather intricate problem of the “brethren of our Lord” and the questions connected with it. It may be assumed then, as Alban Butler infers, that the apostle James who became bishop of Jerusalem (Acts xv and xxi 18) was the son of Alpheus and “brother” (i.e. first cousin) of Jesus Christ.

Although no prominence is given to this James in the gospel narrative, we learn from St Paul that he was favoured with a special appearing of our Lord before the Ascension. Further, when St Paul, three years after his conversion, went up to Jerusalem and was still regarded with some suspicion by the apostles who remained there, James, with St Peter, seems to have bid him a cordial welcome. Later we learn that Peter, after his escape from prison, sent a special intimation to James, apparently as to one whose pre-eminence was recognized among the Christians of the holy city.


At what is called the Council of Jerusalem, where it was decided that the Gentiles who accepted Christian teaching need not be circumcised, it was St James who, after listening to St Peter’s advice, voiced the conclusion of the assembly in the words, “it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us” (Acts xv). He was, in fact, the bishop of Jerusalem, as Clement of Alexandria and Eusebius expressly state. Even Josephus, the Jewish historian, bears testimony to the repute in which James was held, and declares, so Eusebius asserts, that the terrible calamities which fell upon the people of that city were a retribution for their treatment of one “who was the most righteous of men”. The story of his martyrdom, as told by Hege­sippus in the latter part of the second century, has been preserved by Eusebius, and runs as follows:

Together with the apostles, James, our Lord’s brother, succeeded to the government of the Church. He received the name of “the Just” from all men from the time of our Lord even to our own; for there were many called James. Now he was holy from his mother’s womb, drank no wine nor strong drink nor ate anything in which was life. No razor came upon his head; he anointed himself not with oil, and used no bath. To him alone it was per­mitted to enter the holy place; for he wore nothing woollen, but linen garments [i.e. the priestly robes]. And alone he entered into the sanctuary and was found on his knees asking forgiveness on behalf of the people, so that his knees became hard like a camel’s, for he was continually bending the knee in worship to God and asking forgiveness for the people. In fact, on account of his exceeding great justice he was called “the Just” and “Oblias”, that is to say, bulwark of the people.

We learn further from Hegesippus that:
As many as came to believe did so through James. When, therefore, many also of the rulers were believers, there was an uproar among the Jews and scribes and pharisees, for they said: “There is danger that the whole people should expect Jesus as the Christ”. Coming together, therefore, they said to James: “We beseech thee, restrain the people, for they are gone astray unto Jesus, imagining that he is the Christ. We beseech thee to persuade all who come for the day of the Passover concerning Jesus, for in thee do we all put our trust. For we bear thee witness, as do all the people, that thou art just and that thou acceptest not the person of any. Persuade, therefore, the multitude that they go not astray concerning Jesus. For, of a truth, the people, and we all, put our trust in thee. Stand, therefore, upon the pinnacle of the temple, that from thy lofty station thou mayest be evident, and thy words may easily be heard by all the people. For on account of the Passover all the tribes, with the Gentiles also, have come together.” Therefore the aforesaid scribes and pharisees set James upon the pinnacle of the temple, and cried aloud to him saying: “0 Just One, in whom we ought all to put our trust, inasmuch as the people is gone astray after Jesus who was crucified, tell us what is the door of Jesus” (cf. John x 1—9). And he replied with a loud voice: “Why ask ye me concerning the Son of Man, since He sitteth in Heaven on the right hand of the Mighty Power, and shall come on the clouds of Heaven?” And when many were fully persuaded and gave glory at the testimony of James and said: “Hosanna to the son of David”, then once more the same scribes and pharisees said among themselves: “We do ill in affording such a testimony to Jesus. Let us rather go up and cast him down, that being affrighted they may not believe him. “And they cried aloud saying: “Ho, ho, even the Just One has gone astray!” And they fulfilled the scripture that is written in Isaias:” Let us take away the just one, for he is troublesome to us. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their doings.” Going up therefore they cast the Just One down. And they said to each other:

“Let us stone James the Just “. And they began to stone him, for the fall did not kill him. But turning he kneeled down and said: “I beseech thee, O Lord God, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. And while they thus were stoning him, one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, the son of Rachabim, who had witness borne to them by Jeremias the prophet, cried aloud, saying: “Cease ye; what do ye? The Just One is praying on your behalf.” And one of them, a fuller, took the stick with which he beat out the clothes, and brought it down on the Just One’s head. Thus he was martyred. And they buried him at the spot beside the temple, and his monument still remains beside the temple.


The story is told somewhat differently by Josephus, who says nothing about James’s having been thrown down from the pinnacle of the temple. He informs us, however, that he was stoned to death, and assigns this to the year 62. In rela­tion to the festivals kept by the Church liturgically under the designation of “St Peter’s Chair”, it is interesting to note that Eusebius speaks of the “throne”, or chair, of St James as still preserved and venerated by the Christians of Jerusalem. This St James is commonly held to be the author of the epistle in the New Testa­ment which bears his name and which, by its insistence on good works, was highly obnoxious to those who preached the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

Outside the New Testament, and such not wholly reliable traditions as we find recorded in the pages of Eusebius, there is very little we can appeal to as sources for the history of either St Philip or St James. In the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. i, the Bollandists have gathered up most of the allusions to be met with in the early ecclesiastical writers. The apocryphal Acts of St Philip, which probably date from the third or fourth century, have been edited by K. A. Lipsius in his Apokryphen Apostelgeschichten und Apostellegenden, vol. ii, part a, pp. 5—90. See also E. Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen (2nd edn., 1924); and the Handbuch brought out by the same editor. The life of the two apostles is discussed in nearly all scriptural encyclopaedias, such, for example, as the Dictionnaire de la Bible with its supplements. The authorship of the canonical Epistle of St James has been the subject of much heated discussion. The matter does not concern us here, and the text of the epistle itself throws little light upon the history or character of the writer who penned it.

            As the martyrdom of St James the Less is commonly assigned to the year AD. 62 or 63, the epistle, on the assumption that he is the author, must be of early date. Mgr Duchesne has suggested that the association of St James with St Philip on May 1, which is common both to the Gelasian and the Gregorian Sacramentaries, may be traced to the dedication of the church “of the Apostles” at Rome by Pope John III, c. A.D. 563. This church, though later spoken of vaguely as the church “of the Apostles”, was originally dedicated in honour of SS. Philip and James in particular; the inscription long preserved there said
Quisquis lector adest Jacobi pariterque Philippi
Cernat apostolicum lumen inesse locis.

But there are indications in certain manuscripts of the Hieronymianum and in other docu­ments that Philip’s name on May 1 once stood alone, and that James is a later addition.

The "Unexpected Joy" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos
It is painted in this way: in a room is an icon of the Mother of God, and beneath it a youth is kneeling at prayer.
The tradition about the healing of some youth from a bodily affliction through this holy icon is recorded in the book of St Demetrius of Rostov, The Fleece of Prayer [See Judges 6: 36-40].

The sinful youth, who was nevertheless devoted to the Theotokos, was praying one day before the icon of the All-Pure Virgin before going out to commit a sin. Suddenly, he saw that wounds appeared on the Lord's hands, feet, and side, and blood flowed from them. In horror he exclaimed, "O Lady, who has done this?" The Mother of God replied, "You and other sinners, because of your sins, crucify My Son anew." Only then did he realize how great was the depth of his sinfulness.

For a long time he prayed with tears to the All-Pure Mother of God and the Savior for mercy. Finally, he received the unexpected joy of the forgiveness of his sins.

The "Unexpected Joy" icon is also commemorated on January 25 and May 1.
208 St Andeolus Martyr sent to France by St Polycarp
In território Vivariénsi, in Gálliis, beáti Andéoli, Subdiáconi, qui, una cum áliis, a beáto Polycárpo, Smyrnénsi Epíscopo, ex Oriénte in Gálliam ad prædicándum verbum Dei missus est.  Hic, sub Sevéro Imperatóre, spinósis fústibus cæsus, demum, per ensem lígneum cápite in quátuor partes in modum crucis conscísso, martyrium consummávit.
    In France, in the Province of Vivarias, blessed Andeol, subdeacon, who was sent from the East into Gaul with others by St. Polycarp to preach the word of God.  Under Emperor Severus he was scourged with thorny sticks, and having his head split with a wooden sword into four parts, in the shape of a cross, he completed his martyrdom.
Martyr and companion of St. Polycarp. Originally from Smyrna, Andeolus was sent to France by Polycarp. There he labored until arrested and martyred at Viviers.

Andeolus of Smyrna M (RM) (also known as Andreolus) Andeolus, subdeacon of Smyrna, was sent to France by Saint Polycarp to preach the Gospel. His unreliable vita relates that he was beheaded by order of Severus near Viviers on the Rhône in France, where he is venerated (Attwater2, Benedictines, Husenbeth). In art, Andeolus is depicted either as a deacon or subdeacon with a club in his hand. Sometimes with a palm, book, club or wooden knife across his head (Roeder).
240 St. Orentius and Patientia Martyrs Spain husband wife.  
Oscæ, in Hispánia, sanctórum Mártyrum Oréntii et Patiéntiæ.
    At Huesca in Spain, the holy martyrs Orentius and Patience.
they suffered for the faith in northern Spain and were traditionally thought to be the parents of St. Lawrence, the martyr.
303 St. Acius deacon & Aceolus subdeacon Martyrs of minor orders
Martyrs of minor orders. Acius was a deacon and Aceolus was a subdeacon, both probably studying for the priesthood. They were taken prisoner during Emperor Diocletian's persecution near Amiens, France. Both are revered in Amiens.

Acacius and Aceolus MM (AC) (also known as Acius or Ache and Acelus or Acheul) Deacon Acacius and Subdeacon Aceolus were martyred near Amiens, France, under Diocletian. Their cultus is widespread in that diocese; their acta, however, are untrustworthy.

The church of Saint Acheul outside the walls of Amiens was the town's original cathedral (Benedictines, Husenbeth). These saints are depicted as a deacon and subdeacon holding their severed heads. Venerated in Amiens
(Roeder).
4th v. The Martyr Bata, a monastic, lived during the fourth century in Persia and labored there in one of the monasteries
The holy martyr was killed in the city of Nisibis for confessing the Christian Faith during a time of persecution against Christians initiated by the Persian emperor.

418 St. Amator priest Bishop confessor Known for miracles ability to make spur conversions including King Germanus scholars believe Amator ordained St. Patrick
Antisiodóri sancti Amatóris, Epíscopi et Confessóris.    At Auxerre, St. Amator, bishop and confessor.
418 St Amator, Or Amatre, Bishop Of Auxerre
For details of the life of St Amator we have to rely upon a biography written 160 years after his death by an African priest called Stephen. The contents of the narrative prove it to have been for the most part an audacious fiction.

Amator, we read, was the only son of distinguished citizens of Auxerre, who affianced him to a young heiress named Martha, although he had expressed a strong disinclination for the married state. On the wedding day the guests assembled, and the aged Bishop Valerian came to perform the ceremony. Accidentally or providentially Valerian, instead of reading the nuptial blessing, recited the form which was used in the ordination of deacons—a mistake which was noticed only by the bride and bridegroom. When the service was over the young couple agreed to live a life of virginity, and Martha within a short time retired into a convent. Amator, after having laboured for some years as a priest, was elected bishop of Auxerre. In the course of a long episcopate he converted the remaining pagans of the district, performed many miracles, and built churches. He is said, on reliable evidence, to have ordained St Patrick up to the priesthood.

The governor of Auxerre during St Amator’s later years was Germanus, a high-spirited young patriciar wholly devoted to hunting. That all men might admire his prowess he continued, although he was a Christian, to observe the pagan custom of hanging the heads of the animals he killed on a pear-tree in the middle of the city—an offering to Woden. This caused great scandal, and St Amator, after having repeatedly remonstrated with Germanus, had the tree cut down during the governor’s absence. Greatly incensed, the young man on his return threatened to kill the bishop, who thought it advisable to retire for a time from the city. He was now well advanced in years, and had been for some time desirous of handing on his office to another. While he was staying at Autun with the provincial prefect, Julius, it was suddenly borne in upon him—by revelation or by intuition—that the worthy successor he was seeking was none other than Germanus himself. Having obtained the sanction of his host, under whom the governor of Auxerre served, Amator returned to Auxerre where, at his summons, the people—Germanus included—came to him in the cathedral. All arms having been laid down outside at the bishop’s request, the doors were shut, and the prelate, with the help of some of his clergy, seized Germanus, stripped him of his secular garb, gave him the tonsure, and pronounced him bishop designate of Auxerre.

St Amator’s work was now done. He had laboured for many years, and had secured as his successor one who was destined to become the greatest of all the bishops of Auxerre. A few days later the aged saint asked to be conveyed once more into his cathedral, where he peacefully breathed his last. The body of St Amator was laid with his predecessors in the ancient cemetery on the Entrains road.

The Latin life written by Stephen is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. i. Its extravagant details are, of course, quite fabulous, but there is no reason to doubt St Amator’s historical existence. Mgr Duchesne in his Fastes Épiscopaux (vol. ii, pp. 427—446) speaks well of the episcopal lists of Auxerre. See also DHG., vol. ii, c. 981, and Father Delehaye’s commentary on the Hieronymianum (p. 224) in which martyrology St Amator is com­memorated. But especially consult R. Louis on “L’ Église d’Auxerre...avant S. Germain” in S. Germain d’Auxerre et son temps (1951), and his Les églises d’Auxerre au Xie siècle (1952).

The son of Upper-class wealthy parents in Auxerre, France, also called Arnatre. At his wedding, Bishop Valerian read the words for the ordination ceremony for deacons.

Amator had not wanted to be married, and with the help of the bishop convinced his bride-to-be to enter a convent. He then became a priest and the bishop of Auxerre.

Known for his miracles and his ability to make spur conversions, Amator found himself threatened by the local governor, Germanus, a pagan who still conducted many of the old rituals.
Amator left for a time but upon his return he made Germanus a designated candidate for the bishopric. Some scholars believe it was Amator who ordained St. Patrick.
307 St. Grata secured proper burial for remains of Christian martyrs.
Bérgomi sanctæ Gratæ Víduæ.      At Bergamo, St. Grata, widow.
Holy woman of Bergamo, Itlay. She secured the proper burial for the remains of the Christian martyrs of her region.
Grata of Bergamo, Widow (RM)
Saint Grata, daughter of Duke Saint Lupo of Bergamo and his wife Saint Adelaide, did not become a Christian until after the death of her husband, at which time she converted her parents. She gained a reputation as a holy woman in her native Bergamo, Italy, especially for her zeal in securing Christian burial for the bodies of martyrs. It is said that she wrapped the head of Saint Alexander, one of the soldier-martyrs of the Theban Legion, in a napkin and honorably buried his remains. After her father's death, Grata governed Bergamo with wisdom and benevolence.  Evidence regarding her life is conflicting (Benedictines, Tabor). In Bergamese art, Saint Grata is a widow carrying the head of the martyr Saint Alexander. Sometimes her parents are included in the picture (Tabor). She is venerated in Bergamo, Italy (Roeder).
St. Asteria (or Hesteria) & St. Grata, Virgin Martyrs, of Bergamo, Italy

St. Asteria is the patron of Bergamo in Lombardy in Italy.  She was the sister of St. Grata of Bergamo where, during the time of the persecutions under Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, they both were responsible for burying the body of St. Alexander.  
St. Grata was put to death for her deed, with Asteria also being responsible for the burial of her remains.
In 307, shortly after her sister’s martyrdom, St. Asteria was arrested, tortured and beheaded.
Commemorated on August 10.  Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese [America]
439 St. Orentius Bishop hermit faithful of Auch insisted he become their bishop
Auscii, in Gállia, sancti Oriéntii Epíscopi.    At Auch in France, Bishop St. Orientius.
He lived for a time as a recluse in the Lavendan valley, near Tarbes, France. The faithful of Auch insisted that he become their bishop, and he served in that office for four decades.
St. Cominus Martyr of Catania, in Sicily.
510 St. Brieuc Bishop missionary known for miracles educated by St. Germanus in Auxerre, France.
6th v. ST BRIEUC, OR BRIOCUS, ABBOT
ALTHOUGH some writers have striven to prove that St Brieuc was of Irish descent, it is now commonly admitted that he probably was born in Cardiganshire. A life of him, which purports to be written by a contemporary but which is certainly of much later date, perhaps the eleventh century, describes his career in some detail. The saint, who in this Latin narrative is generally called Brioccius, but also Brio­maglus,*
[* Briomaglus seems to be the fill form of the name, Briocus the hypocoristic abbreviation so common among Celtic peoples.] is said to have been the son of noble parents, pagans, but good and charitable people. Before his birth an angel appeared, first to his mother and then to his father, in their sleep, demanding of them that the child should be sent to France to be brought up by a St Germanus. When in due course he had been ordained priest, a vision in his sleep recalled him to his own country, and there he converted his parents to Christianity, seemingly as a consequence of the miracles of healing which he wrought. After a while he was bidden by an angel to return to “Latium”, [Which may mean Brittany.] and accordingly he set sail with no less than 168 disciples whom he had gathered about him. On the journey the ship’s progress was suddenly arrested in the middle of the night. Great consternation prevailed, but they eventually discovered that they had struck an obstacle, which was really the Devil, who, in the form of a huge monster, was lying right across their course. Yielding to the prayers of the saint this primitive sea-serpent, though with a very bad grace, vanished into thin air. “Evanescit utfumus”, is the biographer’s phrase.

Pursuing their journey, they landed at some unidentified place where the local chieftain, named Conan, was converted from paganism by Brieuc’s miracles. This, however, was not their final destination, and they sailed on to a little estuary on the coast of Brittany near Tréguier, where they settled and built a monastery, of which St Brieuc became abbot. A flourishing and fervent community was formed, but before long news came of a grievous pestilence which was devastating his native land. His family implored him to visit them once again, and he, though very reluctantly, yielded to their entreaties, leaving his nephew, St Tugdual, to rule the abbey in his absence. His parents were consoled, and the pestilence was arrested by his prayers, but he would not consent to abide with them long. He was gladly welcomed back in Brittany, where he determined to found another monastery in a different part of the country. It is said that eighty-four volunteers accompanied him, who all travelled by sea, and, finding a suitable spot with a good water supply, proceeded to encamp and make themselves at home. The ruler of the district, Rigual, was at first infuriated by this invasion, but falling ill himself he was cured by St Brieuc. Having further discovered that he was a blood relation he became his warm friend and patron.
   We are told, however, that Brieuc, after the founda­tion of the new abbey on the lands which the chieftain bestowed, assisted Rigual on his death-bed, and himself, to the great sorrow of his brethren, passed away shortly after. He is said to have been then one hundred years old. All this is supposed to have happened on the site of the present cathedral and town of Saint-Brieuc, but in the middle of the ninth century the saint’s remains, for fear of the Norman marauders, were translated to Angers. In 1210 a portion of the relics was given back by the monks of Angers, and they are preserved in the cathedral to this day. It is possible that St Brieuc was a missionary bishop, but the see which bears his name was not formed until many centuries later.

The complete text of the Vita S. Brioci was printed for the first time in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. ii (1883), pp. 161—190. In the same collection, vol. xxiii (1904), pp. 246—251, is an interesting fragment in verse of a life in which he is called “Briomaglus”.  From this we learn that when his remains were exhumed (c. 853[?]) he was found wearing a dalmatic, a fact which pointed to episcopal consecration. See also Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. ii, pp. 269 and 390; LBS., vol. i, p. 288; du Bois de la Villerabel, Vie de Saint Brieuc; Gougaud, Christianity in Celtic Lands (1932), p. 115. Most valuable of all, however, is the essay of G. H. Doble, St Brioc (1929). At least one Cornish church is dedicated in honour of St Brieuc, viz. St Breoke (but not Breage); one in Cardiganshire, Llandyfriog; and one in Gloucestershire, St Briavels.

He is believed to have been born in Dyfed or Cardiganshire, Wales, circa 420. Ordained in France, Brieuc returned to England as a missionary. Known also as Briocus, Briomaglus, or Brioc, he converted his parents and became known for his miracles. He also converted Conan, a local ruler of Brittany, France, and founded a monastery near the present site of the town of Saint-Brieuc in Brittany. He remained in Brittany, dying at the age of ninety. Brieuc is venerated in Cornwall, England, and is credited with stopping a plague.
523 ST. SIGISMUND He met death by being drowned in a well, and was afterwards famous for his miracles.  St. Avitus made St. Sigismund realize that his behavior was anything but Christian and he tried to make amends. Sigismund listened to the voice of his conscience and found that it led to martyrdom. We, too, may have to suffer for trying to live our faith. It is one of the consequences of following Christ.

Apud Colúmnam vicum, in Aurelianénsi Gálliæ território, pássio sancti Sigismúndi, Regis Burgundiónum, qui in púteum demérsus occúbuit, ac póstea miráculis cláruit.  Sacrum vero ipsíus corpus, e púteo tandem extráctum, ad Ecclésiam Agaunénsis monastérii, intra Sedunénsis diœcésis términos siti, delátum est ibíque honorífice collocátum.
    In the town of Columna, in the province of Orleans in France, the martyrdom of St. Sigismund, king of Burgundy.  He met death by being drowned in a well, and was afterwards famous for his miracles.
  His venerable body was later recovered and taken to the monastery of Agaune in the diocese of Sitten where it was honorably entombed.


The kingdom of Burgundy at the beginning of the sixth century comprized a great portion of south-eastern France and of south-western Switzerland. It was ruled by a prince of Vandal extraction named Gundebald, who was an Arian, but a year before his death his son and successor, Sigismund, was converted to the Catholic faith by St Avitus, Bishop of Vienne.
But Sigismund seems to have remained something of a barbarian—subject at times to uncontrollable fits of rage. On one occasion, when worked upon by the false accusations of his second wife, he ordered his son Sigeric to be strangled. No sooner had the deed been perpetrated than Sigismund came to his senses and was overpowered with horror and remorse. Perhaps the greatest service Sigismund rendered to the Church was the virtual refounding of the monastery of St Maurice at Agaunum in the present canton of Valais; he endowed it liberally and, in order that the laus perennis, the unbroken chant, should be celebrated within its walls, he brought to it monks from Lérins, Gigny, Ile-Barbe and Condat.*
* The law perennis was an arrangement in certain religious houses by which the praises of God never ceased. Relays of monks or nuns were so timed to succeed each other that the chanting of the divine office went on night and day without intermission; this was only practicable where communities contained an unusually large number of members. The practice seems to have been of eastern origin, but it found much favour in houses in which the Celtic traditions were strong, and it was also particularly associated with Agaunum. In the course of centuries this observance died out everywhere. Cf. St Alexander Akimetes (January 15).]

When the church was dedicated St Avitus preached a sermon of which fragments are still preserved.

Sigismund in his repentance had prayed that God would punish him in this life, and his prayer was granted. The three kings of France, sons of Clovis, declared war against him with the avowed intention of avenging their maternal grandfather, Chilperic, whom Sigismund’s father had put to death, and of con­quering Burgundy. Sigismund, after he had been defeated in battle, escaped in the direction of Agaunum. For a time he lived as a hermit in the vicinity of St Maurice, but eventually he was captured and taken to Orleans. There he was put to death by King Clodomir, in spite of the remonstrances of St Avitus. His body was thrown into a well, from which it was recovered, and his relics are now preserved at Prague in Bohemia. St Sigismund is not only named in the Roman Martyrology but is even called a martyr.

There is a Passio Sancti Sigismundi which is a valuable historical document compiled by a monk of Agaunum. It is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. i, but more critically edited by Bruno Krusch in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. ii, pp. 333—340. We also learn something from Gregory of Tours, both in his Historia Francorum, bk. iii, and in his De Gloria Martyrum, ch. 74. A full bibliography is available in H. Leclercq’s article on Agaunum in the DAC., vol. i, cc. 850—871, and in Hefele-Leclercq, Histoire des Conciles, vol. ii, pp. 1017—1022 and pp. 1031—1042.

The era of the Merovingian kings of France was brutal and barbaric, and these kings were especially noted for their savagery and cruelty. But it was also a period of high sanctity, some saints martyred and others converting or converted St. Sigismund was the king of Burgundy, whose father had been an Arian, and he was converted to the Catholic faith by St. Avitus, bishop of Vienne. But at heart he remained a barbarian, subject to violent, uncontrollable rages, like many kings of the period. He succeeded to the throne in 516 and, in 522, in one of his fits of rage, ordered his own son to be strangled.

The shock of this barbaric act brought him to his senses and in reparation he founded the monastery of St. Maurice in present-day Switzerland, bringing monks from Lerins, Gigny, Ile-Barbe, and St. Claude. He arranged that the <laus perennis>, the perpetual chanting of the canonical hours, should take place there and endowed the monastery liberally.

He also asked that God punish him in this life for his barbaric behavior; soon after, the kings of France declared war upon him to avenge the death of their grandfather, Chilperic, who had been put to death by Sigismund's father. Sigismund was defeated in battle, escaped, and fled to Agaunum, where he began to live as a hermit near the monastery of St. Maurice, which he had founded. He was later captured by King Clodomir and, even though Bishop Avitus begged for Sigismund's life to be spared, he was killed by being drowned in a well.

The dead king was revered as a martyr from the day of his death and his relics were taken to St. Maurice. In 1354, part of his relics were brought to the cathedral in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and others were transported to Freising in Germany.

Thought for the Day: Power can intoxicate, and kings in their lust for power have often lacked a sense of decency and justice. Association with St. Avitus made St. Sigismund realize that his behavior was anything but Christian and he tried to make amends. Sigismund listened to the voice of his conscience and found that it led to martyrdom. We, too, may have to suffer for trying to live our faith. It is one of the consequences of following Christ.

From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . . . "Do you believe all this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater proofs than this. You will even see heaven open and the angels of God coming back and forth to me, the Messiah."—John 1:50-51

6th v. St. Ceallach Disciple of St. Kiernan bishop 6th century
sometimes called Kellach or Celsus. He was a bishop of Killala, Ireland, but ended his life as a hermit. Some records lists him as a martyr.
558 St. Marculf missionary work hermit patron who cured skin diseases attracted numerous disciples built monastery Egyptian model

558 St Marculf, or Marcoul, Abbot; St Marcoul was regarded as a patron who cured skin diseases, and as late as 1680 sufferers made pilgrimages to his shrine at Nanteuil and bathed in the springs connected with the church. The shrine was completely destroyed by the revolutionaries in 1793.
The name of St Marcoul was formerly celebrated throughout the length and breadth of France because for centuries it was usual for the king, after his corona­tion at Rheims, to proceed to Corbeny to venerate the relics of St Marcoul, in whose honour a novena was observed by the sovereign in person or, vicariously, by his grand-almoner. It was through St Marcoul that the king was popularly believed to derive the gift of healing known as “touching for the King’s Evil”, or scrofula. As recently as 1825, after the coronation of Charles X at Rheims, the relics were brought to the hospital of St Marcoul at Rheims, and the novena was kept. After­wards the monarch laid his hands on a number of patients, making the sign of the cross and saying: “Le roi te touche: Dieu te guérisse”.

Marcoul was born at Bayeux of noble parents. At the age of thirty he was ordained by Possessor, bishop of Coutances, who sent him forth to preach as a kind of diocesan missioner. Although successful in winning souls, Marcoul always longed for solitude and closer union with God, and would retire to a lonely island, where he would spend his days as a hermit. After some time he obtained from King Childebert a grant of land at Nanteuil, on which he built some huts for a few disciples who also wished to live a retired life. From this small nucleus there soon grew a great monastery. Many of the monks continued to live, like their founder, the eremitic life, and several of them, including St Helier, went to settle in the island of Jersey. We read that St Marcoul at one period stayed there with them, and by his intercession saved the inhabitants from a raid of marauding Saxons. So violent a storm arose when he prayed that the invaders were dashed to pieces on the rocks. Marcoul died about the year 558 on May 1, and tradition says that his two most faithful disciples, St Domardus and St Cariulfus (St Criou), passed away on the same day. St Marcoul was regarded as a patron who cured skin diseases, and as late as 1680 sufferers made pilgrimages to his shrine at Nanteuil and bathed in the springs connected with the church. The shrine was completely destroyed by the revolutionaries in 1793.

Mabillon and the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum (May, vol. i) have printed an ancient life of St Marculf, which, however, as B. Baedorf has shown, can hardly be older than the early ninth century. A somewhat expanded recension is also included in the same collection. Consult further F. Duine, Memento des sources hagiographiques de Bretagne, p. 44. Popular accounts have been published by C. Gautier (1899) and H. Scholl (1932).

Marculf is also known as Marcoul. He was born at Bayeux, Gaul, of noble parents. He was ordained when he was thirty, and did missionary work at Coutances. Desirous of living as a hermit, he was granted land by king Childebert at Nanteuil. He attracted numerous disciples, and built a monastery, of which he was abbot. It became a great pilgrimage center after his death on May 1. St. Marculf was regarded as a patron who cured skin diseases, and as late as 1680, sufferers made pilgrimages to his shrine at Nanteuil and bathed in the springs connected with the church.

Marculf, Abbot (AC) (also known as Marcou, Marcoul, Marculfus) Born at Bayeux, Gaul; died May 1, 558. Born of noble parents, Marculf was ordained by Bishop Possessor of Coutances when he was 30 and did missionary work in Coutances. Desirous of the eremitical life, he was granted land by King Childebert at Nanteuil in Normandy. Unfortunately, solitude was not in store for him. He soon attracted numerous disciples and built a monastery in the Egyptian model over which he governed as abbot, which became a great monastery and an important pilgrimage center after his death.

Although the monastery grew, many of Marculf's monks continued to live as hermits. Several of them, including Saint Helier( 6th century), settled on the island of Jersey. Marculf is said to have stayed there with them and saved the inhabitants from a raid of marauding Saxons by praying for a violent storm, which dashed the invaders against the rocky shore. It is said the two of Marculf's most faithful disciples  Saints Domardus and Cariulfus (Criou)--died on the same day that he did.

In 898, Marculf's relics were enshrined at Corbigny, diocese of Laon, to where the kings of France would proceed after their coronation at Rheims. There the new king would observe a novena in person or through his almoner. After touching the relics of the saint they were able to heal those afflicted with "the king's evil" (scrofula; a skin disease). He is commemorated in the martyrologies of Coutances and Evreux among others. His shrine was destroyed during the Reformation (Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth, Walsh).

In art, Saint Marculf is portrayed as an abbot touching the chin or elbow of a suppliant (curing the king's evil). At times he may be depicted (1) confirming the king with power to touch for scrofula; (2) holding a plantain (herbe Saint Marcoul); (3) as a woman with devil's foot stands before him or is put to flight as he blesses bread; or (4) with Saint Cloud(605-696) (Clodoaldus) (Roeder). His relics lie at Corbigny. Marculf is invoked against scrofula and all skin diseases
(Roeder).
600 St. Asaph First bishop of Asaph Wales also called Asa.
Elviæ, in Anglia, sancti Asaphi Epíscopi, cujus nómine ipsa cívitas Episcopális póstmodum est insigníta.
    At Llanelwy in Wales, Bishop St. Asaph, in whose memory the cathedral city was later named.
He is believed to have lived in a hemitage near Tenegel, near Holywell. He is also described in a life of St. Kentigern, or Mungo.
While still young, Asaph served Kentigern. Asked to bring Kentigern a piece of wood for the fire, Asaph brought live coals in his apron, an event that alerted Kentigern to Asaph's sanctity. When Kentigern left the area in 573, Asaph was consecrated a bishop. Asaph's relatives, Deiniol, Tysilo, and others were honored as saints
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604 St. Arigius Bishop 20 yrs greatest priest pastor of his era
of Gap, France. He served as bishop for twenty years after earning a reputation as one of the greatest priest pastors of his era. His cult was confirmed by Pope St. Pius X
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680 St. Bertha abbess-foundress martyr
Bertha was the abbess-foundress of Avenay, near Chalons-sur-Marne, in France. She was murdered and is deemed a martyr
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893 St. Theodard Benedictine bishop rebuilt churches ransom captives selling treasures spending his own money to feed poor suffering practiced severe austerities also called Audard.
893 St Theodard, Archbishop or Narbonne
The birthplace of St Theodard (“Audard”) was Montauriol, a little town which formerly occupied a site covered by the present city of Montauban. He appears to have studied law at Toulouse, for we first hear of him as the advocate retained by the cathedral authorities in a curious suit brought against them by the Jews of Toulouse, who, not unnaturally, objected to a sort of religious pageant in the course of which a Jew was publicly struck on the face before the cathedral doors. This ceremony took place three times a year—at Christmas, on Good Friday, and on the feast of the Assumption. Archbishop Sigebold, who came to Toulouse for the hearing of the case, was so greatly taken with the young lawyer that he took him back with him to Narbonne. Soon afterwards Theodard received holy orders and became Sigebold’s archdeacon. The Montauban breviary describes him as “an eye to the blind, feet to the lame, a father of the poor, and the consoler of the afflicted”. Greatly beloved by all, he was unanimously chosen archbishop of Narbonne at the death of Sigebold, who had nominated him as his successor. The perils which then beset travellers did not deter the newly-elected prelate from undertaking a visit to Rome, where he received the pallium.

As an archbishop he worked unremittingly to repair the ravages wrought by the Saracens and to revive the drooping faith of the people. He practically rebuilt his cathedral, and in 886 restored the bishopric of Ausona (now Vich) which had long fallen into abeyance. To buy back those who were taken captive by the Saracens in their raids, and to feed the hungry during a three years’ famine, he not only spent his whole income, but also sold some of the vessels and other treasures of his church. The strenuous life he led and his anxieties for his flock seriously impaired his health; he could not sleep and suffered from continual fever. It was thought that he might recover in his native air, and he accordingly returned to Montauriol. The monks of St Martin received him joyfully, but they soon realized that he had only come back to die. After making a general confession in the presence of all the brethren St Theodard passed peacefully away as if in sleep. Afterwards the abbey was renamed St Audard in his honour.

The life of St Theodard printed in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. i, dates only from the close of the eleventh century. See also Gallia Christiana, vol. vi, pp. 19—22, and Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. i, p. 306. A popular account of the saint has been written in French by J. A. Guyard (1887).

Born at Montauban (Monlauriol), France, he studied law at the University of Toulouse and then at the Benedictine abbey of Montauban before becoming a lawyer.
Appointed secretary to Archbishop Sigebold of Narbonne, he soon was named an archdeacon and finally succeeded Sigebold as archbishop. He devoted much of his effort to repairing the damage, physical and spiritual, caused by the raids of Saracens, including rebuilding churches, ransoming captives, selling off treasures, and spending his own money to feed the poor and suffering. His death at St. Martin's Abbey (where he received the Benedictine habit) was probably hastened by the severe austerities he practiced
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1012 St. Benedict of Szkalka hermit martyr gifted mystic of Hungary
Benedict was a recluse on Mount Zabor, near a Benedictine monastery, trained by St. Andrew Zorard.
A gifted mystic, Benedict was murdered by a mob in 1012. He was canonized in 1083
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1200 Tamar In 1166 a daughter, Tamar, was born to King George III (1155–1184) and Queen Burdukhan of Georgia.
The king proclaimed that he would share the throne with his daughter from the day she turned twelve years of age.

The royal court unanimously vowed its allegiance and service to Tamar, and father and daughter ruled the country together for five years. After King George’s death in 1184, the nobility recognized the young Tamar as the sole ruler of all Georgia. Queen Tamar was enthroned as ruler of all Georgia at the age of eighteen. She is called “King” in the Georgian language because her father had no male heir and so she ruled as a monarch and not as a consort.

At the beginning of her reign, Tamar convened a Church council and addressed the clergy with wisdom and humility: “Judge according to righteousness, affirming good and condemning evil,” she advised. “Begin with me—if I sin I should be censured, for the royal crown is sent down from above as a sign of divine service. Allow neither the wealth of the nobles nor the poverty of the masses to hinder your work. You by word and I by deed, you by preaching and I by the law, you by upbringing and I by education will care for those souls whom God has entrusted to us, and together we will abide by the law of God, in order to escape eternal condemnation.… You as priests and I as ruler, you as stewards of good and I as the watchman of that good.”

The Church and the royal court chose a suitor for Tamar: Yuri, the son of Prince Andrei Bogoliubsky of Vladimir-Suzdal (in Georgia Yuri was known as “George the Russian”). The handsome George Rusi was a valiant soldier, and under his command the Georgians returned victorious from many battles. His marriage to Tamar, however, exposed many of the coarser sides of his character. He was often drunk and inclined toward immoral deeds. In the end, Tamar’s court sent him away from Georgia to Constantinople, armed with a generous recompense. Many Middle Eastern rulers were drawn to Queen Tamar’s beauty and desired to marry her, but she rejected them all. Finally at the insistence of her court, she agreed to wed a second time to ensure the preservation of the dynasty. This time, however, she asked her aunt and nurse Rusudan (the sister of King George III) to find her a suitor. The man she chose, Davit-Soslan Bagrationi, was the son of the Ossetian ruler and a descendant of King George I (1014–1027).
  In 1195 a joint Muslim military campaign against Georgia was planned under the leadership of Atabeg (a military commander) Abu Bakr of Persian Azerbaijan. At Queen Tamar’s command, a call to arms was issued. The faithful were instructed by Metropolitan Anton of Chqondidi to celebrate All-night Vigils and Liturgies and to generously distribute alms so that the poor could rest from their labors in order to pray. In ten days the army was prepared, and Queen Tamar addressed the Georgian soldiers for the last time before the battle began. “My brothers! Do not allow your hearts to tremble before the multitude of enemies, for God is with us.… Trust God alone, turn your hearts to Him in righteousness, and place your every hope in the Cross of Christ and in the Most Holy Theotokos!” she exhorted them.

Having taken off her shoes, Queen Tamar climbed the hill to the Metekhi Church of the Theotokos (in Tbilisi) and knelt before the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. She prayed without ceasing until the good news arrived: the battle near Shamkori had ended in the unquestionable victory of the Orthodox Georgian army.

After this initial victory the Georgian army launched into a series of triumphs over the Turks, and neighboring countries began to regard Georgia as the protector of the entire Transcaucasus. By the beginning the 13th century, Georgia was commanding a political authority recognized by both the Christian West and the Muslim East.
Georgia’s military successes alarmed the Islamic world. Sultan Rukn al-Din was certain that a united Muslim force could definitively decide the issue of power in the region, and he marched on Georgia around the year 1203, commanding an enormous army.

Having encamped near Basiani, Rukn al-Din sent a messenger to Queen Tamar with an audacious demand: to surrender without a fight. In reward for her obedience, the sultan promised to marry her on the condition that she embrace Islam; if Tamar were to cleave to Christianity, he would number her among the other unfortunate concubines in his harem. When the messenger relayed the sultan’s demand, a certain nobleman, Zakaria Mkhargrdzelidze, was so outraged that he slapped him on the face, knocking him unconscious.

At Queen Tamar’s command, the court generously bestowed gifts upon the ambassador and sent him away with a Georgian envoy and a letter of reply. “Your proposal takes into consideration your wealth and the vastness of your armies, but fails to account for divine judgment,” Tamar wrote, “while I place my trust not in any army or worldly thing but in the right hand of the Almighty God and the infinite aid of the Cross, which you curse. The will of God—and not your own—shall be fulfilled, and the judgment of God—and not your judgment—shall reign!”

The Georgian soldiers were summoned without delay. Queen Tamar prayed for victory before the Vardzia Icon of the Theotokos, then, barefoot, led her army to the gates of the city.

Hoping in the Lord and the fervent prayers of Queen Tamar, the Georgian army marched toward Basiani. The enemy was routed. The victory at Basiani was an enormous event not only for Georgia, but for the entire Christian world.

The military victories increased Queen Tamar’s faith. In the daytime she shone in all her royal finery and wisely administered the affairs of the government; during the night, on bended knees, she beseeched the Lord tearfully to strengthen the Georgian Church. She busied herself with needlework and distributed her embroidery to the poor.

Once, exhausted from her prayers and needlework, Tamar dozed off and saw a vision. Entering a luxuriously furnished home, she saw a gold throne studded with jewels, and she turned to approach it, but was suddenly stopped by an old man crowned with a halo. “Who is more worthy than I to receive such a glorious throne?” Queen Tamar asked him.

He answered her, saying, “This throne is intended for your maidservant, who sewed vestments for twelve priests with her own hands. You are already the possessor of great treasure in this world.” And he pointed her in a different direction.  Having awakened, Holy Queen Tamar immediately took to her work and with her own hands sewed vestments for twelve priests.

History has preserved another poignant episode from Queen Tamar’s life: Once she was preparing to attend a festal Liturgy in Gelati, and she fastened precious rubies to the belt around her waist. Soon after she was told that a beggar outside the monastery tower was asking for alms, and she ordered her entourage to wait. Having finished dressing, she went out to the tower but found no one there. Terribly distressed, she reproached herself for having denied the poor and thus denying Christ Himself. Immediately she removed her belt, the cause of her temptation, and presented it as an offering to the Gelati Icon of the Theotokos.

During Queen Tamar’s reign a veritable monastic city was carved in the rocks of Vardzia, and the God-fearing Georgian ruler would labor there during the Great Fast. The churches of Pitareti, Kvabtakhevi, Betania, and many others were also built at that time. Holy Queen Tamar generously endowed the churches and monasteries not only on Georgian territory but also outside her borders: in Palestine, Cyprus, Mt. Sinai, the Black Mountains, Greece, Mt. Athos, Petritsoni (Bulgaria), Macedonia, Thrace, Romania, Isauria and Constantinople. The divinely guided Queen Tamar abolished the death penalty and all forms of bodily torture.

A regular, secret observance of a strict ascetic regime—fasting, a stone bed, and litanies chanted in bare feet—finally took its toll on Queen Tamar’s health. For a long time she refrained from speaking to anyone about her condition, but when the pain became unbearable she finally sought help. The best physicians of the time were unable to diagnose her illness, and all of Georgia was seized with fear of disaster. Everyone from the small to the great prayed fervently for Georgia’s ruler and defender. The people were prepared to offer not only their own lives, but even the lives of their children, for the sake of their beloved ruler.

God sent Tamar a sign when He was ready to receive her into His Kingdom. Then the pious ruler bade farewell to her court and turned in prayer to an icon of Christ and the Life-giving Cross: “Lord Jesus Christ! Omnipotent Master of heaven and earth! To Thee I deliver the nation and people that were entrusted to my care and purchased by Thy Precious Blood, the children whom Thou didst bestow upon me, and to Thee I surrender my soul, O Lord!”

The burial place of Queen Tamar has remained a mystery to this day. Some sources claim that her tomb is in Gelati, in a branch of burial vaults belonging to the Bagrationi dynasty, while others argue that her holy relics are preserved in a vault at the Holy Cross Monastery in Jerusalem.
St. Tamara is commemorated on Sunday of the Myrrh-beating Women in addition to her regular commemoration on May 1.
1219 St. Aldebrandus Bishop reformer sermons roused many preached against baneful corrupting influences
also known as Hildebrand. He was born in Sorrivoli, Italy. Appointed provost of Rimini, he preached against the baneful and corrupting influences of his era. His sermons roused many, and Aldebrandus had to flee on one occasion to avoid an angry mob.  In 1170 he was named the bishop of Fosombrone, Italy. He is patron of that city
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1345 Peregrine Laziosi received a vision of Our Lady who told him to go to Siena, Italy, and there to join the Servites; healed by Jesus, incorrupt, fervant preacher, excellent orator, and gentle confessor Also known as Peregrinus
Foro Lívii sancti Peregríni, ex Ordine Servórum beátæ Maríæ Vírginis.
    At Forli, St. Peregrinus of the Order of Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

1345 St Peregrine Laziosi; he spent hours upon his knees in the chapel of our Lady in the cathedral. One day the Blessed Virgin herself appeared to him in that place, and addressed him, saying, “Go to Siena: there you will find the devout men who call themselves my servants: attach yourself to them”.  The only son of well-to-do parents, St Peregrine Laziosi was born in 1260 at Forli, in the Romagna. As a young man he took an active part in the politics of his native city, which belonged to the anti-papal party. On the occasion of a popular rising, St Philip Benizi, who had been sent by the pope to act as a mediator, was severely mishandled by the popular leaders, and Peregrine himself struck him on the face with his fist. The holy Servite’s only reply was to offer the other cheek—an action which brought his assailant to immediate repentance, and from that time Peregrine was a reformed character. Turning away from his worldly companions, he spent hours upon his knees in the chapel of our Lady in the cathedral. One day the Blessed Virgin herself appeared to him in that place, and addressed him, saying, “Go to Siena: there you will find the devout men who call themselves my servants: attach yourself to them”. Peregrine instantly obeyed. Having received the Servite habit, he set about following with zeal the path of perfection. It became his guiding principle that one must never rest in the way of virtue, but must press on to the appointed goal. It is said that for thirty years he never sat down, and as far as he could he observed silence and solitude.

After he had spent some years in Siena, his superiors sent him to Forli to found a new house for the order. By this time he had been ordained and had proved himself to be an ideal priest—fervent in the celebration of the holy mysteries, eloquent in preaching, untiring in reconciling sinners. A great affliction now befell him in the form of cancer of the foot, which, besides being excruciatingly painful, made him an object of repulsion to his neighbours. He bore this trial without a murmur. At last the surgeons decided that the only thing to do was to cut off the foot. St Peregrine spent the night before the operation in trustful prayer; he then sank into a light slumber, from which he awoke completely cured—to the amaze­ment of the doctors, who testified that they could no longer detect any trace of the disease. This miracle greatly enhanced the reputation which the holy man had already acquired by his exemplary life. He lived to the age of 80, and was canon­ized in 1726.

The Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. iii, were able to print some portion of the documents presented in the cause of the canonization of St Peregrine. Many Italian accounts of the saint have been published, mostly devotional rather than historically critical; for example, B. Albicini, Vita e Morte del B. Pellegrino Laziosi (1648); F. A. Monsignani, Notizie della Vita, Morte e Miracoli, etc. (1727). See also Giani, Annales FF. Servorum B.V.M., vol. i, pp. 285 seq.

Born wealthy, he spent a worldly youth, and became involved in politics. Peregrine was initially strongly anti-Catholic. During a popular revolt, he struck the papal peace negotiator, Saint Philip Benizi, across the face. Saint Philip calmly turned the other cheek, prayed for the youth, and Peregine converted.


He received a vision of Our Lady who told him to go to Siena, Italy, and there to join the Servites. After training and ordination, they assigned him to his home town. He lived and worked, as much as possible, in complete silence, in solitude, and without sitting down for 30 years in an attempt to do penance for his early life. When he did speak, he was known as a fervant preacher, excellent orator, and gentle confessor. Founded a Servite house at Forli.

A victim of a spreading cancer in his foot, Peregrine was scheduled for an amputation. The night before the operation, he spent in prayer; that night received a vision of Christ who healed him with a touch. The next morning, Peregrine found his cancer completely healed.
Born 1260 at Forli, Italy Died 1345 at Forli, Italy of natural causes; body incorrupt
St. Peregrine Laziosi 1345  Peregrine Laziosi was born of a wealthy family at Forli, Italy, in 1260. As a youth he was active in politics as a member of the anti-papal party. During one uprising, which the Pope sent St. Philip Benizi to mediate, Philip was struck in the face by Peregrine. When Philip offered the other cheek, Peregrine was so overcome that he repented and converted to Catholicism. Following the instructions of the Virgin Mary received in a vision, Peregrine went to Siena and joined the Servites. It is believed that he never allowed himself to sit down for thirty years, while as far as possible, observing silence and solitude. Sometime later, Peregrine was sent to Forli to found a new house of the Servite Order. An ideal priest, he had a reputation for fervent preaching and being a good confessor. When he was afflicted with cancer of the foot and amputation had been decided upon, he spent the night before the operation, in prayer. The following morning he was completely cured. This miracle caused his reputation to become widespread. He died in 1345 at the age of eighty-five, and he was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726. St. Peregrine, like St. Paul, was in open defiance of the Church as a youth. Once given the grace of conversion he became one of the great saints of his time. His great fervor and qualities as a confessor brought many back to the true Faith. Afflicted with cancer, Peregrine turned to God and was richly rewarded for his Faith, enabling him over many years to lead others to the truth. He is the patron of cancer patients.
1383 St. Panacea Child martyr of Quarona struck while at prayer
b. 1378 near Novara, Italy. Also called Panassia and Panexia, she was killed by her stepmother, who struck her while she was at prayer.
1477 Saint Paphnutius of Borov; monk 30 years at the Protection Monastery as igumen, Elder, and Father-confessor earned deep respect and love of the brethren of his own monastery & other monasteries
Born in 1394 in the village of Kudinovo, not far from Borov named Parthenius at Baptism. His father John was the son of a baptized Tatar, a "baskak" ("tax-collector") named Martin, and his mother was named Photina. At the age of twenty, Parthenius left his home and received monastic tonsure in 1414 with the name Paphnutius at the Vyosky-Protection Monastery near Borov under its abbot, Marcellus. St Paphnutius struggled for many years at the monastery, and when Igumen Marcellus died, the brethren chose him as his successor.
St Photius, Metropolitan of Kiev (July 2), ordained him to the priesthood around the year 1426.
The monk spent thirty years at the Protection Monastery, where he was igumen, Elder, and Father-confessor. At fifty-one years of age he fell grievously ill, gave up his position as igumen and was tonsured into the Great Schema. After recovering his health on April 23, 1444 (the Feast of the holy Great Martyr George the Victory-Bearer), he left the monastery and settled with one monk on the left bank of the River Protva, where it meets the River Isterma. Soon brethren began to gather to him at this new place, and the number of the monks quickly grew. A new stone church was built in place of the former wooden one, in honor of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos.
The finest iconographers of those times, Dionysius, Metrophanes, and their assistants were invited to adorn the church with icons and frescoes. St Paphnutius was an example to the brethren, leading a strict life. His cell was the poorest of all, and he chose the worst morsels of food. On Mondays and Fridays he ate nothing at all, and on Wednesdays he only ate dry food. He did the most difficult tasks himself. He chopped and carried fire wood, dug and cultivated the garden, yet he was always the first to arrive for church services.

Paphnutius_of_Borov.jpg
St Paphnutius earned the deep respect and love not only of the brethren of his own monastery, but also of other monasteries. Through the providence of God a twenty-year-old youth, John Sanin was guided to the monastery. After testing him for a time, Paphnutius tonsured him into monasticism with the name Joseph. Later on St Joseph of Volokolamsk (Sept. 9) defended the purity of the Orthodox Faith and entered into struggle against the heresy of the Judaizers, condemned at the Council of 1504. St Paphnutius blessed the young man in his endeavors.
 A week before his death, the saint foretold his end. After he had prayed and blessed the brethren, he fell asleep in the Lord on May 1, 1477. St Paphnutius was a disciple of St Sergius of Radonezh (Sept. 25).
1497 The Hieromartyr Macarius, Metropolitan of Kiev, was earlier the archimandrite of the Vilensk Holy Trinity monastery.
In 1495, after the death of Metropolitan Jonah of Kiev, Macarius was chosen and ordained in his place by an assembly of hierarchs; Vassian of Vladimir, Luke of Polotsk, Vassian of Turov and Jonah of Lutsk. Papers of blessing were sent from Constantinople by the Patriarch Niphon, confirming the election of St Macarius to the metropolitan See of Kiev.
On May 1, 1497 Tatars invading Russia killed Metropolitan Macarius of Kiev and All Rus in the village of Strigolovo, at the River Vzhischa, where the saint was conducting divine services. Many of his flock were killed with him, or taken into captivity .
The holy incorrupt relics of St Macarius, glorified by God with miracles, rest now at Kiev at the Vladimir cathedral church.
1537 Saint Zosimas of Kumurdo lived and labored from the end of the 15th century through the first half of the 16th century
To the world he was known as Zebede. He was raised by Princess Ketevan, the daughter of King George VIII (1446–1466).
In 1515 Zebede was tonsured a monk and given the new name Zosimas. It is believed that in the same year he was also consecrated a bishop. An inscription at Kumurdo Church attests to his hierarchical rank: “May the Lord have mercy on Zosimas, bishop of Kumurdo. Amen.” St. Zosimas is credited with compiling a handwritten anthology of prayers, homilies, and other writings in the year 1537. The anthology concludes with two of the holy father’s own wills.

In addition to his pastoral, educational and church-building activity in the Kumurdo diocese, St. Zosimas also performed many important works in the Holy Land of Jerusalem. In the 15th and 16th centuries the struggle between Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics over whom God had appointed heir to the holy hill of Golgotha became particularly acute, and the Orthodox Church was forced to defend the rights that it had acquired in previous centuries. At that time St. Zosimas arrived in the Holy Land and joined the struggle to liberate Golgotha from the Catholics.
In honor of his valiant efforts, two vigil lamps were later hung in his name in the churches at Golgotha and the Holy Cross Monastery.

It is significant to note that from the 15th century the names of the bishops of Kumurdo have been inscribed in an important chronicle called Ertgulebis Tsigni, or The Book of Faith. Throughout history the hierarchs of Kumurdo have defended the unity of the Georgian Church and stood steadfast as pillars of national-religious sentiment and examples of faith.
On October 17, 2002, the Georgian Church canonized the holy hierarch Zosimas of Kumurdo and reinstated the bishopric of ancient Kumurdo.
1554 Saint Gerasimus of Boldino, whose secular name was Gregory a strict ascetic founded monasteries
Born in 1490 at Pereslav-Zalessk. In his early childhood, he often went to church to attend the divine services. When he heard about the holy life of St Daniel of Pereyaslavl (April 7), the thirteen-year-old Gregory tearfully begged the Elder to permit him to join him. The Elder accepted the boy as a novice and, after a short time, gave him monastic tonsure with the name Gerasimus. The new monk zealously fulfilled the labors of fasting and prayer, and soon he was known in Moscow as a strict ascetic. He even traveled to the capital with his teacher, and met the Tsar.

Worldly fame was a burden for the ascetic and, after twenty-six years under St Daniel's guidance, St Gerasimus obtained the blessing of his Elder to live the solitary life in the region of Smolensk. He settled near the city of Dorogobuzha in a wild forest inhabited by snakes and wild animals.The holy ascetic restrained his body ("the wild beast") by subjecting it to heat and cold. The saint often had to endure the intrusion of brigands, but he bore all their outrages meekly and patiently, and he prayed for the malefactors.

In a vision, he was instructed to go to Boldino Hill, where an immense oak stood by a spring. The local inhabitants beat him with sticks and wanted to drown him, but they became frightened and handed him over to the administrator of Dorogobuzha, who threw him into jail for vagrancy. St Gerasimus patiently endured the ridicule, keeping silence and devoting himself to prayer.

During this time an imperial emissary from Moscow came to visit the administrator. Seeing St Gerasimus, he bowed down before him and asked his blessing. He recognized him because he had seen the saint before, with St Daniel, in the presence of the Tsar. The administrator became terrified, and immediately begged the saint's forgiveness and promised to build an enclosure to protect him from robbers.

Besides the Boldino monastery, St Gerasimus founded another monastery in honor of St John the Forerunner at the city of Vyazma, and later on, in the Bryansk forest at the River Zhizdra, a monastery in honor of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple. Peter Korostelev, a disciple of St Gerasimus, was made igumen of this monastery. Several ascetics were under the spiritual guidance of St Gerasimus: the igumen Anthony, who later became the Bishop of Vologda (Oct. 26), and Arcadius, a disciple of St Gerasimus, struggled as a hermit and was buried at the Boldino monastery.

Before his death, St Gerasimus summoned the igumens and monks of the monasteries he had founded, told them of his life, and gave them his final instructions. This oral narrative of the saint was included in his Life, which was composed by St Anthony at the request of the Elders. The Rule, or Testament, of St Gerasimus is similar to the "Spiritual Deed" of St Joseph of Volokolamsk (September 9, October 18, February 13). From St Joseph he also borrowed the practice of having twelve Elders govern the monastery.
There is an oral tradition that he may have converted Opta, the founder of Optina Monastery. It seems that he would convert the criminals in a given area, and then establish a monastery there.
St Gerasimus reposed on May 1, 1554. He is also commemorated on July 20.
1814 St Euthymius This holy New Martyr of Christ was born in Demitsana in the Peloponnesos; apostasized recantded and asked for martyrdom  martyred for the faith by moslems
His parents were Panagiotes and Maria, and he was given the name Eleutherius in Baptism. Eleutherius was the youngest of five children (the others were George, Christos, John, and Katerina).

After attending school in Demetsana, Eleutherius and John traveled to Constantinople to enroll in the Patriarchal Academy. Later, they went to Jassy, Romania where their father and brothers were in business. Some time afterwards, Eleutherius decided to go to Mt. Athos to become a monk. Because of a war between Russia and Turkey, he was able to travel only as far as Bucharest. There he stayed with the French consul, then with an employee of the Russian consul.

Eleutherius began to pursue a life of pleasure, putting aside his thoughts of monasticism. When hostilities ceased, Eleutherius made his way to Constantinople in the company of some Moslems. On the way, he turned from Orthodoxy and embraced Islam. He was circumcised and given the name Reschid. Soon his conscience began to torment him for his denial of Christ. The other Moslems began to notice a change in his attitude, so they restricted his movements and kept a close watch on him. One day Eleutherius was seen wearing a cross, so the others reported him to the master of the house, Rais Efendi. The master favored Eleutherius, which made the others jealous.
He told them it was still too early for Eleutherius to give up all his Christian ways.

Rais Efendi and his household journeyed to Adrianople, arriving on a Saturday. Metropolitan Cyril, who later became Patriarch of Constantinople, was serving Vespers in one of the city's churches. Eleutherius pretended to have letters for Metropolitan Cyril, but he send someone else to receive them. When Eleutherius told this man that he wanted Christian clothes, he became suspicious and sent him away.

Back in Constantinople, Rais Efendi gave Eleutherius costly presents, hoping to influence him to remain a Moslem. Eleutherius, however, prayed that God would permit him to escape. He ran off at the first opportunity, seeking out a priest from the Peloponnesos who lived near the Patriarchate. After relating his story, Eleutherius asked the priest to help him get away. The priest refused to assist him, fearing reprisals if he should be caught. He gave Eleutherius some advice, then sent him away.
With some assistance from the Russian embassy, Eleutherius boarded a ship and sailed to Mt. Athos. At the Great Lavra Eleutherius was chrismated and received back into the Orthodox Church, and also became a monk with the name Euthymius.
Euthymius read the NEW MARTYROLOGION of St Nicodemus (July 14), and was inspired by the example of the New Martyrs.
He then became consumed with a desire to wipe out his apostasy with the blood of martyrdom.
St Euthymius went to Constantinople with a monk named Gregory, arriving on March 19, 1814. A few days later, on Palm Sunday, he received Holy Communion. Removing his monastic garb, he dressed himself as a Moslem and went to the palace of the Grand Vizier, Rusud Pasha. St Euthymius, holding palms in his hand, confessed that he was an Orthodox Christian, and wished to die for Christ. He denounced Mohammed and the Moslem religion, then trampled upon the turban he had worn on his head, which led the Vizier to believe that he was either drunk or crazy.
The valiant warrior of Christ assured the Vizier that he was in his right mind, and was not drunk. Euthymius was thrown into a dark cell and bound with chains. After an hour or so, they brought him out again. With flattery and promises of wealth, the Vizier tried to convince Euthymius to return to the Moslem faith.
The saint boldly declared that Islam was a religion based on fables and falsehood, and that he would not deny Christ again even if he were to be tortured and slain. The Grand Vizier ordered the saint to be beaten and returned to prison. After three hours, St Euthymius was brought before Rusud Pasha, who said to him, "Have you reconsidered, or do you remain stubborn?"
Euthymius replied, "There is only one true Faith, that of the Orthodox Christians. How can I believe in your false prophet Mohammed?"

Now the Vizier realized that he would never convince Euthymius to return to Islam, so he ordered him to be put to death by the sword.
When the executioner attempted to tie the saint's hands he said, "I came here voluntarily, so there is no need to bind my hands.Allow me to meet my death untied."
St Euthymius was allowed to walk to the place of execution unbound. He went joyfully and unafraid, holding a cross in his right hand, and palms in his left. When they arrived at the site, Euthymius faced east and began to pray. He thanked God for making him worthy of martyrdom for His sake. He also prayed for his family and friends, asking God to grant all their petitions which are unto salvation.
Then St Euthymius kissed the cross he was holding, then knelt and bent his neck. The executioner struck a fierce blow with the sword, but this did not behead him. He struck again, and failed to kill him. Finally, he took a knife and slit the martyr's throat.
St Euthymius was killed about noon on March 22, 1814 in Constantinople, thereby earning a place in the heavenly Kingdom where he glorifies the holy, consubstantial, and life-creating Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, forevermore.
The head of St Euthymius is in the Monastery of St Panteleimon on Mt. Athos.
1814 The holy New Martyr Ignatius martyred for the faith by moslems
Born in the village of Eski Zagora in the Trnovo region of Bulgaria, and was named John in Baptism. While he was still a young child, his parents George and Maria moved to the city of Philippopolis and enrolled him in a school there. Although he did well at school, he had a strong desire for the monastic life. Upon reaching adulthood, he entered the Rila monastery in western Bulgaria. There he was assigned to an Elder, with whom he lived in obedience for six years. When the Elder's strictness became unbearable, John returned home.

About that time the Serbs rose in revolt against the Moslem government. John's father was asked to take command of an Ottoman brigade, but he refused to fight against other Orthodox Christians. The Moslems attacked George with furious anger. He was stabbed and then beheaded. John's mother and sisters were also taken by the Hagarenes, and they ultimately agreed to convert to Islam. John fled and hid in the home of an elderly Orthodox woman. His mother and sisters learned where he was hiding, and they told the Moslems. Those sent to capture him did not know what he looked like, so the old woman told them she did not know him. The woman helped him escape to Bucharest, Romania, where he became acquainted with St Euthymius, who would also endure martyrdom.

John did not wish to stay in Bucharest, however, and so he left for Mt. Athos. On the way he visited the village of Soumla, where he ran into his friend Fr Euthymius again. Learning that Euthymius had denied Christ and beome a Moslem, John became very sad and left the village. He had not gotten very far when Turkish soldiers stopped him and took all his possessions. They demanded that he convert to Islam, and in his fright he told them that he would do so. Satisfied with this reply, they let him go. John reached the village of Eski Zagora, where he met an Athonite monk from the monastery of Grigoriou. They journeyed to the Holy Mountain together, and John settled in the Skete of St Anna. There he met Fr Basil.
One day John and Fr Basil traveled to Thessalonica on monastery business. While they were there the monks David and Euthymius of Demetsana suffered martyrdom because they were Christians. John was inflamed with the desire for martyrdom. Fr Basil, however, urged him to postpone his intention, and so they returned to the Holy Mountain. A short time after this, Fr Basil died. When a monk from the Skete of St Anna told him of the martyrdom of the New Martyr Euthymius (March 22), John was once more filled with zeal for martyrdom. He was placed under the spiritual direction of the Elder Acacius, who prescribed for him prayer, prostrations, and reading the Gospel.

In time, John was found worthy of monastic tonsure, and was given the new name Ignatius. The Elder Acacius blessed him to travel to Constantinople with the monk Gregory in order to bear witness to Christ. After receiving the Holy Mysteries in Constantinople, Ignatius felt he was ready for his ordeal. Dressed in Moslem garb, Ignatius went before the kadi and proclaimed his faith in Christ. He told him how he had promised to become a Moslem when he was younger, but now he threw his turban at the kadi's feet and said that he would never deny Christ. Thinking that Ignatius was insane, the kadi warned him that if he did not come to his senses he would endure horrible torments before being put to death. On the other hand, if he embraced Islam, he would receive rich gifts and great honor from them. The courageous martyr told the kadi to keep his gifts, for they were merely temporal gifts. "Your threats of torture and death are nothing new," he said, "and I knew of them before I came here. In fact, I came here because of them, so that I might die for my Christ."

St Ignatius went on to call Mohammed "a false prophet, a teacher of perdition, and a friend of the devil." Then he invited the Moslems to believe in Christ, the only true God.
The kadi then became so angry he could not speak, so he motioned for a servant to lead St Ignatius out of the room. Ignatius turned and struck the servant, then knelt before the kadi and bent his neck, as if inviting him to behead him then and there. Other servants entered the room, however, and dragged him off to prison.

Later, Ignatius was brought before the kadi for questioning. When asked who had brought him to Constantinople, he replied, "My Lord Jesus Christ brought me here." Again the kadi urged him to reconsider, for he was about to experience unimaginable tortures. "Do not expect to be beheaded so that the Christians can collect your blood as a blessing," he said, "for I intend to hang you."
Ignatius replied, "You will be doing me a great service whether you hang me or put me to the sword. I accept everything for the love of Christ."
Seeing that he could not turn Ignatius from his Christian Faith, the kadi ordered him to be hanged. He was taken to a place called Daktyloporta, where the sentence was carried out. The martyr's body remained hanging there for three days, then some pious Christians paid a ransom for it and took it to the island of Prote for burial.
St Ignatius gave his life for Christ on October, 1814. He is also commemorated on May 1 together with Sts Acacius and Euthymius.
The head of St Ignatius is in the Monastery of St Panteleimon on Mt Athos.
1816 The holy New Martyr Acacius was born at Neochorion, Macedonia near Thessalonica in the eighteenth century martyred for the faith by moslems
The oldest son of Bulgarian peasants, he was named Athanasius at his baptism. When he was nine years old, his family moved to the city of Serres. Athanasius was apprenticed to a cobbler, who frequently beat him. On the night of Holy Friday, after a particularly severe beating, he wandered onto the street and two Moslem women comforted him, brought him home and fed him. Pretending sympathy, they urged him to deny Christ, the bread which came down from heaven (John 6:41). They took the boy to Yusuf Bey, who adopted him, gave him a Moslem name, and had him circumcised. He lived in that home for nine years.

At first, the wife of Yusuf Bey treated Athanasius with maternal love, but this later turned into a lustful passion. Just as the righteous Joseph (March 31) rejected the advances of Potiphar's wife (Genesis 39:8-10), so did Athanasius spurn the advances of the Moslem woman. So she told her husband that Athanasius had tried to force himself on her. His Turkish father threw him out of the house, and the young man returned to Thessalonica to find his real parents. His mother told him it was too dangerous for him to stay with them, and so he went to Mt Athos.

At first he lived at the Hilandar Monastery for a while, but he spent time in other monasteries as well. He confessed his apostasy to Fr Nicholas at the Xenophontos Monastery, who read the prescribed prayers and received him back into the Church through Chrismation. Athanasius returned to Hilandar for about a year, then went to Iveron. While at the skete at Iveron he heard of Sts Euthymius and Ignatius, and desired to imitate their feat of martyrdom. He became filled with the desire to wipe out his sin by shedding his blood for Christ in the same place where he had denied Him. Athanasius revealed all this to Fr Nikephorus, who had been the spiritual Father of Sts Ignatius and Euthymius. He was placed under the direction of the monk Acacius, who was to prepare him for his difficult struggle. Athanasius spent his time in ceaseless prayer, vigil, and fasting. This, of course, aroused the hatred of the devil, who sowed the seeds of doubt and uncertainty in his soul. After thirty-five days Athanasius became faint-hearted and ran away in the middle of the night.

Athanasius went to Simonopetra Monastery, but found no peace there. He returned to Hilandar Monastery, but as a penance he had to live in the vineyard rather than in a cell. He soon became ill and was taken to Karyes, the capital of the Holy Mountain, but he refused medical treatment. Those who had brought him there were upset by this, and they said that he was neither a Christian nor a Moslem. Stung by their rebuke, Athanasius went into seclusion for forty days. At the end of that time, Athanasius returned to Fr Nikephorus at Iveron and Elder Acacius was assigned to look after him again. He entered upon an intense program of prayer, prostrations, and vigil, and was granted the gift of tears. On the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, seeing his repentance and progress in virtue, the Elder Acacius tonsured him with the name Acacius.

Soon he left for Constantinople with the Elder Gregory, who had also accompanied Sts Ignatius and Euthymius on their way to martyrdom. They left Mt Athos on a ship, arriving in Constantinople thirteen days later. On April 22, St Acacius received Holy Communion at a church in Galata, then returned to the ship. He changed into Moslem clothing and went with Fr Gregory to the Porte, where a doorkeeper asked them what they wanted.
St Acacius related his story, saying that he had been deceived into renouncing Christianity and accepting Islam, but now he had come to his senses. Denouncing Mohammed as a false prophet, he loudly proclaimed that he was a Christian. Then he threw his turban on the floor, trampled it under his feet, and spit on it.
St Acacius was seized, beaten, and thrown into prison. That night he was promised wealth and high position if he would return to Islam. When he refused, they began to beat him again.
The next day, St Acacius was brought before the vizier and repeated his story, then was returned to prison. Fr Gregory was able to send a messenger to bring Acacius a pyx containing the Holy Gifts, and he partook of the life-giving Mysteries of Christ.
Soon after this, the holy martyr was led to a place called Parmak Kapi, where he was beheaded. St Acacius gave his life for Christ on May 1, 1816 at six o'clock in the evening. Some pious Christians ransomed the saint's body from the Turks, and Fr Gregory brought it back to Mt Athos. The holy relics were brought to Iveron and buried in a church dedicated to Sts Ignatius and Euthymius.
Although some sources give the year of the saint's martyrdom as 1815, there is a letter from St Acacius to a certain spiritual Father on Mt Athos dated April 27, 1816 which states that he is on his way to martyrdom. Thus, the year is 1816.
The heads of Sts Acacius, Euthymius, and Ignatius are in the Russian monastery of St Panteleimon on the Holy Mountain.
1821 Saint Nicephorus, the "most luminous star of the Church of Christ," who delighted the hearts of the faithful "with divinely inspired teachings," grace of working miracles
Born around 1750 at Kardamyla on the Greek island of Chios, and his family name was Georgios, or Georgos. When he was still very young, he became sick with a pestilential disease. His parents vowed that if he recovered, they would offer him to the Mother of God to serve Her at the famous Byzantine monastery of Nea Moni, which was dedicated to Her. He did get well, and so the parents took him to the monastery, where he was placed under the guidance of the venerable Elder Anthimus Hagiopateritis.

Later, he was sent to the city of Chios to be educated in its schools by the priest Fr Gabriel Astrakaris. St Nicephorus remained close to this priest throughout the period of his education in the city, where he developed a love for learning, and a respect for those who taught others. He also met St Athanasius Parios (June 24), who was the Director of the school in the city of Chios. The greatest influence on his life was St Macarius of Corinth (April 17), whom he met even before he met St Athanasius. St Macarius was at Chios in 1780, left for a time, then returned in 1790. St Nicephorus saw St Macarius frequently, and learned much from him. After finishing his education, St Nicephorus returned to the monastery and was ordained a deacon.

When St Athanasius Parios reorganized the school of Chios, he appointed Nicephorus as one of its teachers. At the same time, he was also given a blessing to preach the Word of God at Nea Moni and elsewhere.  While serving as a teacher, St Nicephorus was called to become the Igumen of Nea Moni. Until 1802, the monks had managed the monastery's affairs without any audits. In that year, however, the monastery was fined 600, 000 piasters, and some of the monastery's estates had to be sold to pay the amount. Suspecting that the affairs of the monastery were not being properly administered, the citizens asked that Fr Nicephorus be made Igumen. They knew he despised worldly possessions, and so they had full confidence in him. They also decided that an audit of the monastery accounts would be made every year.

It was not easy for St Nicephorus to assume this burden, for he was not familiar with the many responsibilities of a Superior. He would have prefered solitude and study, but he applied himself to his new duties. During the next two years, he tried to resolve conflicts, and to raise the moral spirit of the monks by teaching and by personal example. There were many people above him and below him who did not appreciate his efforts, however, and they plotted against him. Unaccustomed to quarrels and intrigues, he was unable to complete his two year term in office. Therefore, he left and sought refuge in the Hermitage of St George at Resta.

Although he was unable to govern these monks, St Nicephorus did excel in his personal life, and in guiding many people to virtue. He also composed church services and hymns to various saints, including Sts Niketas, John, and Joseph (May 20), and St Matrona of Chios (October 20). The companions of St Nicephorus at Resta were a retired priest (who had also been a teacher) called Fr Joseph, and St Macarius of Corinth. Fr Joseph had lived on Mount Athos for a while, then settled on Chios. He also composed church services, including one to the New Martyr St Nicholas the New (October 31), which had been published in Venice in 1791. In 1812, St Athanasius Parios retired as Director of the schools of Chios, and joined St Nicephorus and the others at Resta.

St Nicephorus devoted himself to spiritual struggles, study, and writing. He also engaged in physical work of an agricultural nature. He planted olive and fig trees, cypresses, and pines. He also encouraged others to plant trees, for he understood that a lack of trees led to poverty, and that by planting trees one's material resources could be improved. The saint would sometimes tell those who came to him for Confession to plant so many trees as a penance.

In 1805, on his deathbed, St Macarius entrusted St Nicephorus with the task of completing and publishing his book THE NEW LEIMONARION. This book contained the Lives and church services of various martyrs, ascetics, and other saints. It is remarkable in that three saints collaborated on this book about saints, St Macarius, St Nicephorus, and St Athanasius Parios. By writing so many saints' Lives and church services, St Nicephorus showed that he considered them important and beneficial. Not only did he provide the biographical details about these saints, he also expressed the Orthodox view of God and man, the beauty of the virtues, and spiritual concepts such as theosis (divinization), inner attention, ceaseless prayer, purification, and asceticism in general.
Like St Macarius of Corinth, St Nicephorus was also known as a trainer of martyrs.
Those who abandoned Christianity and embraced Islam, and later repented of their actions, went to him to confess their sin. He helped them to prepare to wash away their apostasy by shedding their blood as martyrs. Mindful of the Lord's words, "Whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in heaven" (Mt. 10:33) they believed that only after a public reaffirmation of their faith in Christ before the Moslem authorities (which inevitably resulted in a sentence of death) could their sin be forgiven. St Nicephorus prepared them with prayer, fasting, prostrations, and by encouraging them to remain strong when they went to their deaths. Thus fortified, they endured the most horrible tortures with astonishing courage. Not only did the martyrs themselves receive grace and forgiveness from God, but their example encouraged others to remain firm in the Orthodox Faith. In addition to those whom he perpared personally, many others were also inspired to martyrdom through his published Lives and services to the martyrs.

Although St Nicephorus had the grace of working miracles, this is not the only reason that he is venerated as a saint. His holy life and character are also important considerations. A saint is one who is free from all vice and possesses all the virtues through divine grace. The people of Chios recognized that St Nicephorus was humble, gentle, free from anger, and filled with love for others. That is why, even in his lifetime, they regarded him as a saint.

St Nicephorus was of medium height, with a pale and gentle face, and a large black beard. Although St Nicephorus probably reposed in the summer of 1821, his Feast Day is designated as May 1. He died in a home near the church of St Paraskeve, where he sometimes stayed overnight when he was unable to get back to Resta. His body was brought back to Resta, and was placed in a grave where both St Athanasius Parius and the monk Nilus had once been buried. The holy relics of St Nicephorus were uncovered in 1845 and brought to the metropolitan church of Chios. Many years later, the Guild of Tanners asked for the relics and placed them in the church of St George. In 1907, an icon of St Nicephorus was painted, and a church service was composed in his honor.
1852 St. John-Louis Bonnard, priest; Martyr of Vietnam
Born at St. Christot-en-Jarret, France, he became a priest of the Paris Society of Foreign Missions and was ordained in 1850. Sent to western Vietnam, he was arrested in a persecution and beheaded. Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1988.


 Sunday  Saints of this Day May 01  Kaléndis Maii  
  Sixth Sunday in Easter  Passover, April 22 -30

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016
ewtnmissionaries.com

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  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.

Jesus brings us many Blessings
 
The more we pray, the more we wish to pray. Like a fish which at first swims on the surface of the water, and afterwards plunges down, and is always going deeper; the soul plunges, dives, and loses itself in the sweetness of conversing with God. -- St. John Vianney

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patron_Saints.html  Widowed_Saints htmIndulgences The Catholic Church in China
LINKS: Marian Shrines  
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