Saint Mary Mother of Jesus
   Monday  Saints of this Day May 02 Sexto Nonas Maji  
  Sixth Week in Easter

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”.
  • Monday, May 2, 2016
    Sixth Week of Easter
    Acts 16:11-15 ; Psalms 149:1-6, 9 ;  John 15:26--16:4 ;

Today's celebration midpoint of 50 days between Feasts of Pascha and Pentecost Lesser Blessing of Water and the Blessing of Fields
127-140 St. Zoe & Exsuperius (Hesperus) and 2 sons martyred for faith children encouraged parents  bodies preserved in the fire unharmed, angelic singing was heard, glorifying confessors of the Lord

373 St. Athanasius Bishop and Doctor of the Church refusal to tolerate Arian heresy refuge among desert monks became ascetic renowned for sanctity beloved by followers volumes of writings extant.
460 Germanus of Normandy bishop with Saint Patrick; alleged evangelized in Wales, Spain, Gaul, Isle of Man; martyred in Normandy
485 St Vindemialis, Eugene, & Longinus 3 African martyred bishops by Arian Vandal king

668 St. Waldebert Benedictine aristocrat Frankish knight then hermit abbot helped St. Salaberga to found her famed convent at Laon
926 St. Wiborada Swabian nobility Martyred nun wisdom noted for austerities holiness of prophecy
1257 Mafalda of Portugal Queen slept on bare ground spent night in prayer fortune used to restore cathedral of Oporto founded a hospice for pilgrims hospital for 12 widows build a bridge over the Talmeda River died in sackcloth and ashes body exhumed 1617 found flexible and incorrupt OSB Cist. (AC)
1654 Saint Athanasius III Patelarios, Patriarch of Constantinople, Wonderworker of Lubensk relics  glorified by numerous miracles and signs, rest in the city of Kharkov, in the Annunciation cathedral church
1854 St. Joseph Luu native Vietnamese martyr died in prison for refusing to abjure the faith even under torture

Where is the tallest statue of Our Lady located?
 
May 2 – Our Lady of Sorrows (Italy, 1895) -
Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, Patriarch and Father of the Church (d.373)
 
Mary sent a sign of hope to the persecuted Christians in June 2015.
 High on the top of a hill in the small town of Maaloula, Syria, a statue of the Madonna
was courageously rebuilt after being destroyed by terrorists of the al-Nusra Front.
The small town of Maaloula, with a population of 4,000, in majority Christian, is one of the few Middle Eastern communities
that still speaks Aramaic, the ancient language spoken by Jesus.

Also in Syria, in June 2015 as well, something unprecedented happened in the Islamic world
—the inauguration of a mosque in the coastal city of Tartous—dedicated to the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ! ...

Indeed, the tallest statue of the Virgin Mary in the world was inaugurated last year,
representing Our Lady of the Assumption. And do you know what the most amazing thing about it is?
 The statue was not set up in a traditionally Catholic country but in a country with the largest Muslim population on the planet
—Indonesia—populated by 250 million people (more than Brazil, which counts 205 million) of which 87.2% are Muslims!

  
 Monday  Saints of this Day May 02 Sexto Nonas Maji  
  Sixth Week in Easter
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.

Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
CAUSES OF SAINTS April  2016
May 2 - Our Lady of Seven Sorrows (Italy, 1895)
- Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, Father of the Church (d. 373) 
 
May 2 - St Athanasius of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria and Father of the Church (d. 373) 
 
The Lumberjack and the Scapular
 Towards the end of the 19th century, Bishop Polding, a missionary, was crossing a desert in Australia, when he fell ill. He was nursed back to health by a widow. When the bishop recovered, he promised the woman to come administer the last rites to her in person when she would be close to death. Many years later, the prelate was told that the widow was dying and was calling for him.

It took the bishop several days of walking before he arrived at the widow’s house. But he found the house empty. An Irish lumberjack who was working nearby explained that the woman couldn’t wait and had been taken to see another priest.

The bishop then turned to the Irishman: "Well, my good man, I don’t want to have come for nothing. Why don’t you kneel down, and I will hear your confession." The man had not confessed his sins for years. He hesitated, but then agreed to confess. He received absolution and promised to go to communion the following Sunday.

No sooner had Bishop Polding left him than he heard a crashing sound, followed by groans. Returning in haste, he found his penitent crushed under a tree, dead... Under his jacket was found the scapular of the Virgin Mary:
the good Mother had not allowed him to die before being reconciled with God...
 
 In Le scapulaire du Mont-Carmel, Editions Traditions Monastiques, March 1997

 
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 .

What made you establish man in so great a dignity? Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself! You are taken with love for her; for by love indeed you created her, by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good. -- St. Catherine of Siena, Dialogue IV.
 
Her tears are mentioned only once in the Gospel
The tears of the Blessed Virgin Mary are mentioned only once in the Gospel: when her words are reported for the fourth time, after she finds her Son in the Temple. And she is the one who makes this confession. Elsewhere, the authors of the Gospel simply say that Jesus wept, and this should be enough for us to guess what his Mother did.
Saint Bernardine of Siena says that the sorrow of the Blessed Virgin was so great that if it were divided
and shared among all the creatures able to suffer, they would all perish at once.
However, if we keep in mind the tremendous illumination of her soul filled with the Holy Spirit, for whom future events certainly had an actual and significant reality, we must apply this affirmation, not only to Good Friday,
 but also to all the moments of her life, from the Angel's salutation until her death.
  Léon Bloy (1846-1917)  www.spiritualite-chretienne.com


Athanasius has been called "the Father of Orthodoxy,"
 "the Pillar of the Church," and "Champion of Christ's Divinity."
 
Even in exile Athanasius managed to tend his flock. It was primarily for them that he wrote the most illuminating theological treatises on Catholic dogma.
May 2 - Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church (+ 373) Who Equals Her Greatness?
O noble Virgin, you are truly great above all greatness! Who equals you in greatness?
What can equal you, O temple of God’s Word?
O Virgin with whom shall I compare you among all creatures? You are so much greater than all creation put together.
Shall I compare you to the earth and its fruit? You exceed them...
If I say that God’s angels and archangels are great, you are greater than them all.
Because angels and archangels are merely the trembling servants of the One who lived in your womb.
Saint Athanasius of Alexandria
"

All of us are naturally frightened of dying and the dissolution of our bodies, but remember this most startling fact:

those who accept the faith of the cross despise even what is normally terrifying, and for the sake of Christ cease to fear even death.
When He became man, the Savior's love put away death from us and renewed us again; for Christ became man that we might become God.  He became what we are that He might make us what He is." --Athanasius

Saint Athanasius Doctor of the Church
Today's celebration midpoint of 50 days between Feasts of Pascha and Pentecost Lesser Blessing of Water and the Blessing of Fields
127-140 St. Zoe & Exsuperius (Hesperus) and 2 sons martyred for faith children encouraged parents  bodies were preserved in the fire unharmed, and angelic singing was heard, glorifying the confessors of the Lord
251 Martyrdom of St. Sina, the Soldier and Isidore many signs and wonders appeared from them
307 St. Valentine Bishop of Genoa monastic expansion relics were found and enshrined in 985
       Romæ sanctórum Mártyrum Saturníni, Neópoli, Germáni et Cælestíni,
373 St. Athanasius Bishop and Doctor of the Church refusal to tolerate Arian heresy refuge among desert monks became ascetic renowned for sanctity beloved by followers many volumes of writings extant
460 Germanus of Normandy bishop with Saint Patrick; alleged evangelized in Wales, Spain, Gaul, Isle of Man; martyred in Normandy BM (AC)
485 St Vindemialis, Eugene, & Longinus 3 African martyred bishops by Arian Vandal king Hunneric  
Floréntiæ item natális sancti Antoníni, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Epíscopi et Confessóris, doctrína et sanctitáte célebris
6th v. St. Neachtian Irish confessor supposedly present when Patrick died
6th v. Gluvias may have been sent to Cornwall by his brother, Saint Cadoc of Llancarfan (AC)
600 MERCIANS (meaning Lords of the March.) The original Mercian Bishopric was at Lichfield
668 St. Waldebert Benedictine aristocrat Frankish knight then hermit abbot helped St. Salaberga to found her famed convent at Laon
686 St. Ultan Benedictine abbot founder chaplain to St Gertrude's nuns escaped Mercians  by supernatural revelation he knew of the death of St Foillan, who was murdered by robbers in the forest of Seneffe, and he foretold to St Gertrude, at her request, the day of her own death. He said that St Patrick was preparing to welcome her, and in point of fact she died on March 17.
699 Bertinus the Younger Benedictine monk of Sithin (Sithiu) OSB (AC)
       St. Felix of Seville deacon Martyr of Spain still revered in Seville
       Saint Gennys often confused with others (AC)

 880  Departure of Pope Sinuthius (Shenouda I), 55th Pope of Alexandria (coptic)
907 The Holy Equal of the Apostles Tsar Boris, in Holy Baptism Michael on March 3, 870 Bulgaria was joined to the Eastern Church, and Orthodoxy was firmly established there
926 St. Wiborada Swabian nobility Martyred nun wisdom noted for austerities holiness and gifts of prophecy
1026 The Transfer of the Relics of the Holy Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb burial place was glorified by miracles
1126 Blessed Conrad of Seldenbüren founded and endowed Engelberg Abbey at Unterwalden Switzerland Benedictine lay-brother martyr; remained incorrupt until the abbey was burnt down in 1729. OSB M (AC)
1257 Mafalda of Portugal Queen slept on bare ground spent night in prayer fortune used to restore cathedral of Oporto founded a hospice for pilgrims hospital for 12 widows build a bridge over the Talmeda River died in sackcloth and ashes body exhumed 1617 found flexible and incorrupt OSB Cist. (AC)
1459 Natalis of Antoninus of Florence great soul in a frail body, and of the triumph of virtue over vast and organized wickedness miracles after death body was found uncorrupted in 1559 OP B (RM)  Feast Day May 10
1654 Saint Athanasius III Patelarios, Patriarch of Constantinople, Wonderworker of Lubensk relics  glorified by numerous miracles and signs, rest in the city of Kharkov, in the Annunciation cathedral church
1854 St. Joseph Luu native Vietnamese martyr died in prison for refusing to abjure the faith even under torture
The Putivil Icon depicts the Mother of God holding Christ on her left arm, and with a ladder behind her right hand.

BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/MAY/
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.

Consecration to Jesus through Mary (I)May 2 - Our Lady of Oviedo (Spain, 711)
Through the centuries Christians seeking most fully to know, love and serve God--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--have done so by consecrating their lives to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin Mary. This consecration, made in love and devotion, rests solidly on the theological truths that:
- God has created the world to show forth and share the divine love, goodness
and action with humans, created to this end in the divine image and likeness;
- the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception, through her spotless purity and total responsiveness to God's will was and is most capable of all humans of receiving and sharing in the divine grace, light, wisdom and power;
- God--for the fullest accomplishment of the purpose of Creation in human persons, and in the world--has deigned to fill Mary with grace and to call her, with her assent, to a total human sharing in the divine action for the redemption and renewal of the fallen world.
Writings of John Stokes Jr. (d. 2007) See http://www.mgardens.org
"All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him"
(Psalm 21:28)


127-140 St. Zoë & Exsuperius (Hesperus) and 2 sons martyred for their faith children encouraged parents to remain faithful bodies were preserved in the fire unharmed, and angelic singing was heard, glorifying the confessors of the Lord
Attalíæ, in Pamphylia, sanctórum Mártyrum Exsupérii, et Zoes uxóris, atque Cyríaci et Theodúli filiórum; qui, sub Hadriáno Imperatóre, cum servi essent cujúsdam viri Pagáni, omnes, ipso hero jubénte, ob líberam Christiánæ fídei professiónem, primum verberáti sunt ac veheménter torti, deínde, in accénsum clíbanum injécti, ánimas suas Deo tradidérunt.
 At Attalia in Pamphylia, the holy martyrs Exuperius and Zoë, his wife, with their sons, Cyriacus and Theodulus.  They were the slaves of a man named Paganus.  During the reign of Emperor Hadrian, because of their outspoken profession of the Christian faith, their master ordered them to be scourged and severely tortured.  They were finally cast into an oven, and in this way gave up their souls to God.
 
135 SS. EXSUPERIUS AND Zoë MARTYRS
Exsuperius, or rather Hesperus, and his wife Zoë were slaves of a rich man named Catalus, who lived in the reign of the Emperor Hadrian at Attalia, a town of Pamphylia in Asia Minor. They had been born Christians, and though negligent themselves, they brought up their two sons, Cyriacus and Theodulus in the faith. Having been shamed out of their religious indifference by the example of their children, they refused to accept food offered to the gods, which their master sent them on the occasion of the birth of his son. Thereupon they were arrested and brought up for trial. All made a bold confession. After the two boys had been tortured in the presence of their parents, alt four were roasted to death in a furnace. Justinian built a church in Constantinople dedicated in honour of St Zoë—presumably to contain her remains—but some of the relics of all these martyrs appear to have been translated to Clermont, where they are still venerated.

Although these saints seem to be commemorated on May 2 in all the synaxaries (see in particular the Synaxarium Constantinopolitanum, ed. Delehaye, cc. 649—630), and a Greek passio is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. i, the account seems to be historically worthless. It is difficult to understand how the father’s name, Hesperus, which appears in all the manuscripts, has been transformed into Exsuperius in the Roman Martyrology.

The Holy Martyrs Hesperus, his Wife Zo
ë, and their Children Cyriacus and Theodulus suffered for their faith in Christ in the second century, during the persecution under Hadrian (117-138). They had been Christians since their childhood, and they also raised their children in piety. They were all slaves of an illustrious Roman named Catullus, living in Attalia, Asia Minor. While serving their earthly master, the saints never defiled themselves with food offered to idols, which pagans were obliged to use.

Once, Catullus sent Hesperus on business to Tritonia. Sts Cyriacus and Theodulus decided to run away, unable to endure constant contact with pagans. St Zoe, however, did not bless her sons to do this. Then they asked their mother's blessing to confess their faith in Christ openly, and they received it. When the brothers explained to Catullus that they were Christian, he was surprised, but he did not deliver them for torture. Instead, he sent them with their mother to St Hesperus at Tritonia, hoping that the parents would persuade their children to deny Christ. At Tritonia, the saints lived in tranquility for a while, preparing for martyrdom.
All the slaves returned to Attalia for the birthday of Catullus' son, and a feast was prepared at the house in honor of the pagan goddess Fortuna. Food was sent to the slaves from the master's table, and this included meat and wine that had been sacrificed to idols. The saints would not eat the food. Zoë poured the wine upon the ground and threw the meat to the dogs. When he learned of this, Catullus gave orders to torture Zoë's sons, Sts Cyriacus and Theodulus.
The brothers were stripped, suspended from a tree, and raked with iron implements before the eyes of their parents, who counselled their children to persevere to the end.

Then the parents, Sts Hesperus and Zoë, were subjected to terrible tortures. Finally, they threw all four martyrs into a red-hot furnace, where they surrendered their souls to the Lord. Their bodies were preserved in the fire unharmed, and angelic singing was heard, glorifying the confessors of the Lord.
Hesperus, and his wife, Zoe, both Christians, were slaves of Catulus at Pamphylia, Asia Minor, during the reign of Emperor Hadrian(117-138).
When they refused to eat food offered to the Gods by their master on the birth of their son, they and their two sons, Syriacus and Theodulus, were tortured and then roasted to death in a furnace.

127-140 Exsuperius (Hesperus), Zoë, Cyriacus & Theodulus MM (RM) According to a Greek legend, this family of slaves belonged to a rich pagan of Attalia, Pamphylia, Asia Minor. Exsuperius, his wife Zoë, and their two sons were roasted to death for refusing to participate with their master in ritual sacrifice. It was the children who encouraged their parents to remain faithful. The legend names the husband Hesperus (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson).
251 Martyrdom of St. Sina, the Soldier and Isidore many signs and wonders appeared from them
On this day also, St. Sina, the companion of St. Isidore(1), was martyred. After the Governor of Farma had tortured the two friends and St. Isidore was martyred, he kept St. Sina in the prison until he was removed.
When the new Governor took charge with the command not to keep any one who confessed the Name of Christ, he heard about the presence of Sina in prison, and that he was a captain of soldiers. St. Sina was tortured much but did not turn from his counsel. The Governor immediately ordered to cut off his head and he received the crown of martyrdom. His mother was beside him when he was martyred, and she saw a multitude of angels carrying away his soul as she saw St. Isidore's soul at the time of his martyrdom before.
They took his body, shrouded it, laid it with the body of his friend St. Isidore in the city of Samanoud, and many signs and wonders appeared from them. Their prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
Today's celebration is the midpoint of the fifty days between the Feasts of Pascha and Pentecost Lesser Blessing of Water, and the Blessing of Fields
St John tells us (John 7:14) that "in the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the Temple, and taught." The Feast in question is the Feast of Tabernacles (celebrated in September), not Pentecost.

The Church has appointed John 7:14-30 to be read for the Midfeast, thereby linking Pascha and Pentecost. In Chapter 8 of St John's Gospel, the Lord came to the Temple again and taught the people who came to Him. After leaving the Temple, he encounters the man born blind. We will hear about him on the Sunday of the Blind Man.

The Troparion of the Midfeast ("In the middle of the Feast, O Savior, fill my thirsting soul with the waters of godliness, as Thou didst cry to all: If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink [John 7:37]. O Christ God, Fountain of our life, glory to Thee!") hints at the encounter of Christ and the Samaritan Woman in just a few days.

Today we perform the Lesser Blessing of Water, and the Blessing of Fields.
307 St. Valentine Bishop of Genoa monastic expansion relics were found and enshrined in 985

Italy, from about 295. Valentine aided monastic expansion in his era. His relics were discovered in 985.
Saturninus, Neopolus, Germanus & Celestine MM (RM) The Roman Martyrology says Saturninus martyred in Rome however hagiographers place death at Alexandria under Diocletian. Nothing further is known of these saints (Benedictines).
Valentine of Genoa B (AC) This Saint Valentine was an early bishop of Genoa, Italy, whose relics were found and enshrined in 985 (Benedictines).
Romæ sanctórum Mártyrum Saturníni, Neópoli, Germáni et Cælestíni, qui, multa passi, in cárcerem demum conjécti, ibi in Dómino quievérunt.
 At Rome, the holy martyrs Saturninus, Neopolus, Germanus, and Celestine, who after much suffering were thrown into prison, where they found rest in the Lord.
373 St. Athanasius Bishop and Doctor of the Church refusal to tolerate Arian heresy refuge among desert monks became ascetic renowned for sanctity beloved by followers many volumes of writings extant
Alexandríæ natális sancti Athanásii, ejúsdem urbis Epíscopi, Confessóris et Ecclésiæ Doctóris, sanctitáte et doctrína claríssimi; in cujus persecutiónem univérsus fere Orbis conjuráverat.  Ipse tamen cathólicam fidem, a témpore Constantíni usque ad Valéntem, advérsus Imperatóres ac Prǽsides et innúmeros Epíscopos Ariános strénue propugnávit; a quibus plúrimas perpéssus insídias, prófugus toto Orbe actus est, nec ullus ei tutus ad laténdum supérerat locus.  Tandem, ad suam Ecclésiam revérsus, illic, post multos agones multásque patiéntiæ corónas, quadragésimo sexto sui sacerdótii anno migrávit ad Dóminum, témpore Valentiniáni et Valéntis Imperatórum.
             At Alexandria, the birthday of St. Athanasius, bishop of that city, confessor and doctor of the Church, most celebrated for sanctity and learning.  Although almost all of the world had formed a conspiracy to persecute him, he courageously defended the Catholic faith, from the reign of Constantine to that of Valens, against emperors, governors, and a multitude of Arian bishops, whose underhanded attacks forced him to wander as an exile over the whole earth without finding a place of security.  At length, however, he was restored to his church, and after overcoming many trials, and winning many crowns by his patience, he departed for heaven in the forty-sixth year of his priesthood, in the time of the emperors Valentinian and Valens.
373 ST ATHANASIUS, ARCHBISHOP OF ALEXANDRIA, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
ST ATHANASIUS, “the Champion of Orthodoxy”, was probably born about the year 297 at Alexandria. Of his family nothing is known except that his parents were Christians, and that he had a brother called Peter. All that has come down to us concerning his childhood is a tradition, preserved by Rufinus, to the effect that he first attracted the notice of Bishop Alexander when he was “playing at church” on the beach with other little boys. The truth of this is more than questionable; at the time of Alexander’s accession Athanasius must have been at least fifteen or sixteen years old. Whether or not he owed his training to the bishop, it is certain that he received an excellent education, which embraced Greek literature and philosophy, rhetoric, jurisprudence and Christian doctrine. His familiarity with the text of the Bible was quite exceptional. We have it on his own authority that he learnt theology from teachers who had been confessors during the persecution under Maximian, which had raged in Alexandria when he was almost an infant. It is interesting to note that from his early youth Athanasius appears to have had close relations with the hermits of the desert—more especially with the great St Antony. “I was his disciple”, he wrote, “and like Eliseus I poured water on the hands of that other Elias.” The friendship he then formed with the holy men was to prove of inestimable assistance to him in later life. But it is not until the year 318, when he was about 21, that Athanasius makes his first actual appearance upon the stage of history. He then received the diaconate, and he was appointed secretary to Bishop Alexander. It was probably at this period that he produced his first literary work, the famous treatise on the Incarnation, in which he expounded the redemptive work of Christ.
It was probably about the year 323 that scandal began to be aroused in Alexandria by the priest of the church of Baukalis, Anus by name, who was publicly teaching that the Word of God is not eternal, that He was created in time by the Eternal Father, and that therefore He could only figuratively be described as the Son of God. The bishop demanded a statement of these doctrines, which he laid first before the Alexandrian clergy and afterwards before a council of Egyptian bishops. With only two dissentients the assembly condemned the heresy, deposing Anus together with eleven priests and deacons who adhered to his tenets. The heresiarch retired to Caesarea, where he continued to propagate his teaching, having enlisted the support of Eusebius of Nicomedia and other Syrian prelates. In Egypt he had won over the Meletians, a disaffected body, and many of the “intellectuals”, whilst his doctrines, embodied in hymns or songs set to popular tunes, were popularized in the market-place and carried by sailors and traders in an incredibly short time all along the Mediterranean shores. That Athanasius, as the bishop’s archdeacon and secretary, already took a prominent part in the struggle, and that he even composed the encyclical letter announcing the condemnation of Anus, has been assumed with a great show of probability. All that is actually certain, however, is that he was present, as attendant upon his bishop, at the great Council of Nicaea in which the true doctrine of the Church was set forth, the sentence of excommunication against Anus confirmed, and the confession of faith known as the Nicene Creed promulgated and subscribed. It is unlikely that Athanasius actually participated in the discussions of this assembly of bishops in which he had not even a seat, but even if he did not exercise any influence upon the council it assuredly influenced him, and, as a modern writer has well said, the rest of his life was at one and the same time a testimony to the divinity of the Saviour and a heroic testimony to the profession of the Nicene fathers.
Shortly after the close of the council Alexander died, and Athanasius, whom he had nominated as his successor, was chosen bishop of Alexandria, although he was not yet thirty years old. Almost immediately he undertook a visitation of his enormous diocese, including the Thebaid and other great monastic settlements, where he was warmly welcomed as being himself an ascetic. He also appointed a bishop for Ethiopia, a country in which the Christian faith had recently found a footing. Nevertheless almost from the first he was faced by dissensions and opposition. In spite of his strenuous efforts to bring about union, the Meletians continued their schism and made common cause with the heretics, whilst Arianism, though temporarily crushed by the Council of Nicaea, soon reappeared with renewed vigour in Egypt as well as in Asia Minor, where it had powerful support.
In 330 the Arian bishop of Nicomedia, Eusebius, returned from exile and succeeded in persuading the Emperor Constantine, whose favourite residence was in his diocese, to write to Athanasius, bidding him re-admit Anus into communion. The bishop replied that the Catholic Church could hold no communion with heretics who attacked the divinity of Christ. Eusebius then addressed an ingratiating letter to Athanasius, in which he sought to justify Anus; but neither his flattering words nor the threats he induced the emperor to utter could shake the determination of the lion-hearted though weakly-looking young bishop whom Julian the Apostate, at a later date, was angrily to stigmatize as “that manikin”.
The bishop of Nicomedia’s next move was to write to the Egyptian Meletians urging them to carry out a design they had formed of impeaching Athanasius. They responded by bringing against him charges of having exacted a tribute of linen for use in his church, of having sent gold to a certain Philomenus, suspected of treason against the emperor, and of having authorized one of his deputies to destroy a chalice which was being used at the altar by a Meletian priest called Iskhyras. In a trial before the emperor, Athanasius cleared himself of all these accusations and returned in triumph to Alexandria, bearing with him a commendatory letter from Constantinople. His enemies, however, were not discouraged. He was now charged with having murdered a Meletian bishop, Arsenius, and was cited to attend a council at Caesarea. Aware that his supposed victim was alive and in hiding,

Athanasius ignored the summons. Nevertheless he found himself compelled by a command from the emperor to appear before another council summoned at Tyre in 335—an assembly which, as it turned out, was packed by his opponents and presided over by an Arian who had usurped the see of Antioch. Various offences were preferred against him, of which the first was that of the broken chalice. Several of the charges he disposed of at once: in regard to others he demanded time in which to obtain evidence. Realizing, however, that his condemnation had been decided beforehand, he abruptly left the assembly and embarked for Constantinople. Upon his arrival he accosted the emperor in the street in the attitude of a suppliant, and obtained an interview. So completely did he seem to have vindicated himself that Constantine, in reply to a letter from the Council of Tyre announcing that Athanasius had been condemned and deposed, wrote to the signatories a severe reply summoning them to Constantinople for a retrial of the case. Then, for some reason which has never been satisfactorily cleared up, the monarch suddenly changed his mind. Ecclesiastical writers naturally shrank from attaching blame to the first Christian emperor, but it would appear that he took umbrage at the outspoken language of Athanasius in a further interview. Before the first letter could reach its destination, a second one was despatched which confirmed the sentences of the Council of Tyre and banished Athanasius to Trier in Belgian Gaul.
History records nothing about this first exile, which lasted two years, except that the saint was hospitably received by the local bishop and that he kept in touch with his flock by letters.
In 337 the Emperor Constantine died, and his empire was divided between his three sons, Constantine II, Constantius and Constans. The various exiled prelates were immediately recalled, and one of the first acts of Constantine II was to restore Athanasius to his see. The bishop re-entered his diocesan city in seeming triumph, but his enemies were as relentless as ever, and Eusebius of Nicomedia completely won over the Emperor Constantius, within whose jurisdiction Alexandria was situated. Athanasius was accused before the monarch of raising sedition, of promoting bloodshed and of detaining for his own use corn which was destined for widows and the poor. His old adversary Eusebius furthermore obtained from a council which met at Antioch a second sentence of deposition, and the ratification of the election of an Arian bishop of Alexandria. By this assembly a letter was written to Pope St Julius inviting his intervention and the condemnation of Athanasius. This was followed by an encyclical, drawn up by the orthodox Egyptian hierarchy and sent to the pope and the other Catholic bishops, in which the case for Athanasius was duly set forth. The Roman pontiff replied accepting the suggestion of the Eusebians that a synod should be held to settle the question.
In the meantime a Cappadocian named Gregory had been installed in the see of Alexandria; and in the face of the scenes of violence and sacrilege that ensued, Athanasius betook himself to Rome to await the hearing of his case. The synod was duly summoned, but as the Eusebians who had demanded it failed to appear, it was held without them. The result was the complete vindication of the saint—a declaration which was afterwards endorsed by the Council of Sardica. Nevertheless he was unable to return to Alexandria till after the death of the Cappadocian Gregory, and then only because the Emperor Constantius, on the eve of a war with Persia, thought it politic to propitiate his brother Constans by restoring Athanasius to his see. After an absence of eight years the bishop returned to Alexandria amidst scenes of unparalleled rejoicing, and for three or four years the wars and disturbances in which the rulers of the empire were involved left him in comparatively peaceful possession of his chair. But the murder of Constans removed the most powerful support of orthodoxy, and Constantius, once he felt himself securely master of the west and of the east, set himself deliberately to crush the man whom he had come to regard as a personal enemy. At Arles in 353 he obtained the condemnation of the saint from a council of time-serving prelates, and again in 355 at Milan where he declared himself to be the accuser of Athanasius; of a third council St Jerome wrote, “The whole world groaned and marvelled to find itself Arian”. The few friendly bishops were exiled, including Pope Liberius, who was kept in isolation in Thrace until, broken in body and spirit, he was temporarily beguiled into acquiescence with the censure.
In Egypt Athanasius held on with the support of his clergy and people, but not for long. One night, when he was celebrating a vigil in church, soldiers forced open the doors, killing some of the congregation and wounding others. Athanasius escaped—he never knew how—and disappeared into the desert, where the watchful care of the monks kept him safely hidden for six years. If during that time the world had few tidings of him, he was kept well informed of all that was going on, and his untiring activity, repressed in one direction, expressed itself in literary form:  to this period are ascribed many of his chief writings.
The death of Constantius in 361 was followed soon afterwards by the murder, at the hands of the populace, of the Arian who had usurped the Alexandrian see. The new emperor, Julian, had revoked the sentences of banishment enacted by his predecessor, and Athanasius returned to his city. But it was only for a few months. The Apostate’s plans for the paganizing of the Christian world could make little way as long as the champion of the Catholic faith ruled in Egypt. Julian therefore banished him as “a disturber of the peace and an enemy of the gods”, and Athanasius once more sought refuge in the desert. He only narrowly escaped capture. He was in a boat on the Nile when his companions in great alarm called his attention to an imperial galley which was fast overhauling them. Athanasius, unperturbed, bade them turn the boat and row towards it. The pursuers shouted out, asking for information about the fugitive. “He is not far off”, was the reply. “Row fast if you want to overtake him.” The stratagem succeeded. During this fourth exile Athanasius seems to have explored the Thebaid from end to end. He was at Antinopolis when he was informed by two solitaries of the death of Julian, who had at that moment expired, slain by an arrow in Persia.
At once he returned to Alexandria, and some months later he proceeded to Antioch at the invitation of the Emperor Jovian, who had revoked his sentence of banishment. Jovian’s reign, however, was a short one; and the Emperor Valens in May 365 issued an order banishing all the orthodox bishops who had been exiled by Constantius and restored by his successors. Again Athanasius was forced to withdraw. The ecclesiastical writer Socrates says that he concealed himself in the vault in which his father lay buried, but a more probable account states that he remained in a villa in one of the suburbs of Alexandria. Four months later Valens revoked his edict—possibly fearing a rising among the Egyptians, who had become devotedly attached to their much-persecuted bishop. With great demonstrations of joy the people escorted him back. Five times Athanasius had been banished; seventeen years he had spent in exile: but for the last seven years of his life he was left in the unchallenged occupation of his see. It was probably at this time that he wrote the Life of St Antony.
St Athanasius died in Alexandria on May 2, 373, and his body was subsequently translated first to Constantinople and then to Venice.
The greatest man of his age and one of the greatest religious leaders of any age, Athanasius of Alexandria rendered services to the Church the value of which can scarcely be exaggerated, for he defended the faith against almost overwhelming odds and emerged triumphant. Most aptly has he been described by Cardinal Newman as “a principal instrument after the Apostles by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been conveyed and secured to the world”. Although the writings of St Athanasius deal mainly with controversy, there is beneath this war of words a deep spiritual feeling which comes to the surface at every turn and reveals the high purpose of him who writes. Take, for example, his reply to the objections which the Arians raised from the texts: “Let this chalice pass from me”, or “Why hast thou forsaken me?”
Is it not extravagant to admire the courage of the servants of the Word, yet to say that that Word Himself was in tenor, through whom they despised death? For that most enduring purpose and courage of the holy martyrs demonstrates that the Godhead was not in terror but that the Saviour took away our terror. For as He abolished death by death, and by human means all human evils, so by this so-called terror did He remove our terror, and brought about for us that never more should men fear death. His word and deed go together. . . . For human were the sounds: “Let this chalice pass from me”, and “Why hast thou forsaken me?” and divine the action whereby He, the same being, did cause the sun to fail and the dead to rise. And so He said humanly: “Now is my soul troubled”; and He said divinely: “I have power to lay down my life and power to take it again”. For to be troubled was proper to the flesh, but to have power to lay down His life and take it again when He would, was no property of man, but of the Word’s power. For man dies not at his own arbitrament, but by necessity of nature and against his will; but the Lord being Himself immortal, not having a mortal flesh, had it at His own free will, as God, to become separate from the body and to take it again, when He would. . . . And He let His own body suffer, for therefore did He come, that in the flesh He might suffer, and thenceforth the flesh might be made impassible and immortal; and that contumely and the other troubles might fall upon Him, but come short of others after Him, being by Him annulled utterly; and that henceforth men might for ever abide incorruptible, as a temple of the Word.

The principal source of information for the life of St Athanasius is the collection of his own writings, but his activities were so interwoven with not only the religious, but the secular history of his times that the range of authorities to be consulted is very wide. For English readers Cardinal Newman in his Anglican days, both in his special work on St Athanasius and in his tract on the “Causes of the Rise and Successes of Arianism”, rendered the whole complicated situation intelligible. There is also a brilliantly written chapter on St Athanasius in Dr A. Fortescue’s volume, The Greek Fathers (1908). Two excellent little monographs have appeared in France, by F. Cavallera (1908) and by G. Bardy (1914) in the series “Les Saints”. Reference should also be made to four valuable papers by E. Schwartz in the Nachrichten of the Göttingen Akademie from 1904 to 1911. For a fuller bibliography, see Bardenhewer in the latest edition of his Patrologie, or in his larger work, Geschichte des altkirchlichen Literatur, and for a survey of more recent work, F. L. Cross, The Study of St Athanasius (1945).

Saint Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria, was a great Father of the Church and a pillar of Orthodoxy. He was born around the year 297 in the city of Alexandria into a family of pious Christians. He received a fine secular education, but he acquired more knowledge by diligent study of the Holy Scripture. In his childhood, the future hierarch Athanasius became known to St Alexander the Patriarch of Alexandria (May 29). A group of children, which included Athanasius, was playing at the seashore. The Christian children decided to baptize their pagan playmates.
Athanasius von Alexandria Orthodoxe Kirche: 18. Januar und 2. Mai (Übertragung der Gebeine) Katholische, Anglikanische und Evangelische Kirche: 2. Mai
Athanasius der Große
Ikonenzentrum Saweljew
Athanasius wurde um 295 in Alexandria geboren. Seine Eltern waren Christen. Er war Schüler des Antonius und wurde 319 Diakon des Patriarchen Alexander von Alexandria. Er nahm in Begleitung seines Patriarchen am 1. oekumenischen Konzil in Nicäa (325) teil und setzte sich dort lautstark und überzeugend gegen die Arianer ein. 328 wurde er Patriarch von Alexandria und damit Oberhaupt der ägyptischen Kirche. In den folgenden 38 Jahren wurde er fünfmal auf Betreiben der Arianer verbannt (nach Trier, nach Rom und in die Wüste) und wieder zurückgerufen - je nachdem welcher Seite sich gerade die Gunst des jeweiligen Kaisers zuwandte. Insgesamt verbrachte er 18 Jahre in der Verbannung und wirkte im Untergrund für seine Gemeinden. Nur von 366 bis bis zu seinem Tod konnte er ungehindert in seinem Patriarchat wirken. In seinen zahlreichen Schriften setzte er sich für die Gottheit Christi und die Wesenseinheit mit dem Vater ein. Dabei betonte er besonders, dass dieses Geheimnis bezeugt, aber nicht rational erklärt werden könne. Er starb am 2. Mai 373 in Alexandria. Athanasius verfaßte mehrere Schriften gegen die Arianer. Die Gegner der Arianer werden auch als Athanasianer bezeichnet.

The young Athanasius, whom the children designated as "bishop", performed the Baptism, precisely repeating the words he heard in church during this sacrament. Patriarch Alexander observed all this from a window. He then commanded that the children and their parents be brought to him. He conversed with them for a long while, and determined that the Baptism performed by the children was done according to the Church order. He acknowledged the Baptism as real and sealed it with the sacrament of Chrismation. From this moment, the Patriarch looked after the spiritual upbringing of Athanasius and in time brought him into the clergy, at first as a reader, and then he ordained him as a deacon. It was as a deacon that St Athanasius accompanied Patriarch Alexander to the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea in the year 325. At the Council, St Athanasius refuted of the heresy of Arius. His speech met with the approval of the Orthodox Fathers of the Council, but the Arians, those openly and those secretly so, came to hate Athanasius and persecuted him for the rest of his life.

After the death of holy Patriarch Alexander, St Athanasius was unanimously chosen as his successor in the See of Alexandria. He refused, accounting himself unworthy, but at the insistence of all the Orthodox populace that it was in agreement, he was consecrated bishop when he was twenty-eight, and installed as the archpastor of the Alexandrian Church. St Athanasius guided the Church for forty-seven years, and during this time he endured persecution and grief from his antagonists. Several times he was expelled from Alexandria and hid himself from the Arians in desolate places, since they repeatedly tried to kill him. St Athanasius spent more than twenty years in exile, returned to his flock, and then was banished again. There was a time when he remained as the only Orthodox bishop in the area, a moment when all the other bishops had fallen into heresy. At the false councils of Arian bishops he was deposed as bishop. Despite being persecuted for many years, the saint continued to defend the purity of the Orthodox Faith.
He wrote countless letters and tracts against the Arian heresy.

When Julian the Apostate (361-363) began a persecution against Christians, his wrath first fell upon St Athanasius, whom he considered a great pillar of Orthodoxy. Julian intended to kill the saint in order to strike Christianity a grievous blow, but he soon perished himself. Mortally wounded by an arrow during a battle, he cried out with despair: "You have conquered, O Galilean."
After Julian's death, St Athanasius guided the Alexandrian Church for seven years and died in 373, at the age of seventy-six.

Numerous works of St Athanasius have been preserved; four Orations against the Arian heresy; also an Epistle to Epictetus, bishop of the Church of Corinth, on the divine and human natures in Jesus Christ; four Epistles to Serapion, Bishop of Thmuis, about the Holy Spirit and His Equality with the Father and the Son, directed against the heresy of Macedonius. Other apologetic works in defense of Orthodoxy have been preserved, among which is the Letter to the emperor Constantius. St Athanasius wrote commentaries on Holy Scripture, and books of a moral and didactic character, as well as a biography of St Anthony the Great (January 17), with whom St Athanasius was very close. St John Chrysostom advised every Orthodox Christian to read this Life.

The memory of St Athanasius is celebrated also on January 18 with St Cyril of Alexandria.
St. Athanasius, the great champion of the Faith was born at Alexandria, about the year 296, of Christian parents. Educated under the eye of Alexander, later Bishop of his native city, he made great progress in learning and virtue. In 313, Alexander succeeded Achillas in the Patriarchal See, and two years later St. Athanasius went to the desert to spend some time in retreat with St. Anthony. In 319, he became a deacon, and even in this capacity he was called upon to take an active part against the rising heresy of Arius, an ambitious priest of the Alexandrian Church who denied the Divinity of Christ. This was to be the life struggle of St. Athanasius.  In 325, he assisted his Bishop at the Council of Nicaea, where his influence began to be felt.
Five months later Alexander died. On his death bed he recommended St. Athanasius as his successor. In consequence of this, Athanasius was unanimously elected Patriarch in 326.
Council of Nicaea
First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 325 on the occasion of the heresy of Arius (Arianism). As early as 320 or 321 St. Alexander (Born c. 250; died 326-328/), Bishop of Alexandria, convoked a council at Alexandria at which more than one hundred bishops from Egypt and Libya anathematized Arius. The latter continued to officiate in his church and to recruit followers. Being finally driven out, he went to Palestine and from there to Nicomedia.)  His refusal to tolerate the Arian heresy was the cause of many trials and persecutions for St. Athanasius. He spent 17 of the 46 years of his episcopate in exile. After a life of virtue and suffering, this intrepid champion of the Catholic Faith, the greatest man of his time, died in peace on May 2, 373. St. Athanasius was a Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

Athanasius of Alexandria B Doctor (RM) Born in Alexandria, Egypt, in c. 295-297; died May 2, 373; Doctor of the Church (one of the four great Greek Doctors); in the East he is venerated as one of the three Holy Hierarchs.
"All of us are naturally frightened of dying and the dissolution of our bodies, but remember this most startling fact: that those who accept the faith of the cross despise even what is normally terrifying, and for the sake of Christ cease to fear even death. When He became man, the Savior's love put away death from us and renewed us again; for Christ became man that we might become God." --Athanasius
"He became what we are that He might make us what He is." --Athanasius
Saint Athanasius
Athanasius was a deacon when he led the battle for orthodoxy against Arianism at the Council of Nicaea, which resulted in his being exiled five times. Nothing is known of his family, except that they were Christians and that he had a brother named Peter.
So the story really begins on the sands of Alexandria with a group of children who attracted the attention of their bishop, Saint Alexander. From his house overlooking the shore, Alexander watched them at their play and, curious to know what game it was, sent for them. They told him they were playing at 'baptisms,' one of them acting the part of the bishop, another being dipped, in imitation of a church ceremony. Impressed by their innocence and seriousness, he added to their simple game the Confirmation, and years afterwards the boy who had played the part of the bishop became his archdeacon. He was Athanasius, who himself later became bishop of Alexandria.
The saint received an excellent education at the catechetical school of Alexandria that encompassed Greek literature and philosophy, rhetoric, law, and Christian doctrine. His intimacy with Biblical texts is extraordinary. In his own writings, he tells us that he learned theology from teachers who had been confessors during the Maximian persecution. From early youth, he formed a close relationship with the hermits of the desert, which was to prove providential during his exiles because they protected him during several of them.

Athanasius lived at a time when the Church, having survived the fires of persecution and all the ruthless fury of the pagan world, was torn and imperilled by internal heresy and division. The arch- heretic was priest of Baukalis named Arius, who disputed the truth of our Lord's divinity, and who commanded a popular following. He claimed that Christ was not eternal, that He was created in time by the Eternal Father and, therefore, could not be described as co- equal with the Father.

Alexander demanded a written statement from Arius about his teaching to be discussed first with the Alexandrian clergy and then at a synod of Egyptian bishops. With only two dissidents, the bishops denounced Arius and the eleven priests and deacons who followed his teaching. Arius then spread his heresy in Caesarea, where he enlisted the support of Eusebius of Nicomedia and other Syrian prelates.

In Egypt he had won over the Meletians, a disaffected body, and many of the so-called intellectuals. Meanwhile, his doctrines were embodied in hymns set to popular tunes that were carried into the marketplaces and by sailors to all parts of the Mediterranean. So widespread became the influence of this pallid and persuasive priest that the famous Council of Nicaea was called in 325, presided over by Emperor Constantine.
At the time, Athanasius, who had just composed the treatise De Incarnatione expounding on the redemptive work of Christ in restoring fallen man to the image of God in which he was created, was an under-sized, 25-year-old deacon serving as secretary to Bishop Alexander. He accompanied the bishop to the council, probably not thinking that he would play any important role in its outcome. But upon him rested the fate of Christendom; for he more than any other perceived the gravity of the points at issue, and by his clear and powerful arguments disconcerted the heretics.
Thus, the battle of faith was won, and the letter sent out by the council confirming the excommunication of Arius, concluded with the words: "Pray for us all, that what we have thought good to determine may remain inviolate, through God Almighty, and through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, to whom be glory for evermore." The Creed, formulated there and confirmed by the Council of Constantinople (May, 381, by Emperor Theodosius

But, as the Venerable John Henry Newman declared, in the period after the Council of Nicaea, the laity were the firm champions of Catholic orthodoxy, while the bishops floundered on many sides. This, of course, is an exaggeration, but not entirely without merit. In the reaction that followed, the discontented faction gained the ear of the emperor, brought false charges against Athanasius, and continually sought his ruin.

Upon the death of Patriarch Alexander, Athanasius became bishop, though he was only about 30 (in 328). Almost immediately Athanasius began a visitation of his entire diocese. As bishop of Alexandria Athanasius also took responsibility for the welfare of the desert monks and fathers. He became their spiritual head for 40 years. He aided the ascetic movement in Egypt, counted Saints Pachomius(Born in the Upper Thebaîd near Esneh, Egypt, c. 290-292; died at Tabennisi, Egypt, on May 15, c. 346-348) and Serapion(Died in Egypt c. 365-370. Serapion was an Egyptian monk of great erudition and a penetrating intellect.) among his friends, and was the first to introduce the knowledge of monasticism in the West. About this time he was also appointed bishop of Ethiopia, where the Christian faith had recently found a footing.
The Arians were well-represented at the imperial court of Constantinople. So the battles began with many of the powerful, including the two Eusebii (of Caesarea and of Nicomedia).

born in Spain, about 346; died at Milan, 17 January, 395), is still used in the liturgy of the Catholic Church.
Eusebius of Nicomedia, an Arian bishop who returned from exile in 330, tried to force Athanasius to admit Arius to communion, even going so far as to enlist Emperor Constantine to pressure the saint.
Athanasius replied to the emperor's letter that the Catholic Church could hold no communion with heretics who attacked Christ's divinity. Eusebius then tried to justify Arius in a letter to Athanasius.
Eusebius next moved to enlist the dissident Meletians.
They tried to impeach Athanasius on trumped up charges. The Meletians claimed that the bishop had exacted a tribute of linen for use in his church, sent gold to someone named Philomenus who was suspected of treason, and authorized one of his deputies to destroy a chalice that was being used for the Eucharist by a Meletian priest named Iskhyras. Athanasius was cleared by the emperor of all these accusations.
 Next he was charged with the murder of a Meletian bishop, Arsenius. Everyone knew that the bishop was in hiding, and he ignored the summons to court.

Athanasius was compelled to appear before a council convened at Tyre in 335.
The panel was packed with enemies and Arians, who made further charges and brought up old ones such as the broken chalice. Athanasius is credited with a keen sense of humor, which helped him in confronting his adversaries. After his accusers produced a hand that they said Athanasius had cut off the murdered Arsenius, Athanasius is said to have produced the living Arsenius in court. First pointing out his face, he then drew out from the bishop's cloak first one, then the other hand, and said, "Let no one now ask for a third, for God has only given a man two hands."

Realizing that his condemnation was a foregone conclusion, Athanasius abruptly left the assembly and travelled to Constantinople. Upon his arrival he accosted the emperor in the street in the attitude of a suppliant, and obtained an interview. So completely did he vindicate himself that Constantine, in reply to a letter from the Council of Tyre announcing that Athanasius had been condemned and deposed, wrote to the signatories a severe reply summoning them to Constantinople for a retrial of the case. But before the first letter could reach its destination, a second one was dispatched that confirmed the sentences of Tyre and banished Athanasius to Trier (Germany).

Thus, they succeeded in keeping Athanasius from his see, but, when he was recalled and reinstated by Constantine's successor in 338, he was welcomed back by the citizens in the crowded streets with tumults of applause. The great Athanasius had returned!

The Arian controversy, however, continued to darken and distract the life of the Church.
Eusebius of Nicomedia continued his attack with fresh charges against the saintly bishop. This time Athanasius was accused of sedition, promoting violence, and withholding his tithe of corn from the widows and orphans to which it belonged. One by one, old and loyal companions deserted him or were driven from office. During a council at Antioch, he was condemned for the second time and exiled. An Arian bishop was intruded into the see.
The assembly wrote to Pope Saint Julius (Born in Rome; died there in April 12, 352) seeking his confirmation of the condemnation. At the same time the orthodox bishops of Egypt drew up an encyclical in defense of the patriarch, which they sent to the Holy See and to other Catholic bishops in the West. In reply the pope announced that a synod should be called to settle the question.
Athanasius took refuge among the monks of the desert, and became an ascetic, renowned for his sanctity, beloved by his followers.

In the meantime, when a Cappadocian named Gregory was installed as patriarch, supplanting Athanasius, riots broke out in Alexandria. Athanasius, seeking to allow peace to prevail, left for Rome to await the hearing of his case. This was his most fruitful period during which he composed his most important works. While in Rome, Athanasius established close contact with the Western bishops who supported him in his struggles.
The synod was duly summoned, but as the Eusebians who had demanded it failed to appear, it was held without them.

The saint, of course, was completely vindicated; a declaration later endorsed by the Council of Sardica (Sofia). Nevertheless, Athanasius was unable to return to his see until the death of its incumbent. Then he was allowed to return only because Constantius, on the verge of war with Persia, believed it politic to propitiate his brother Constans by reinstating Athanasius.
Thus, for the second time Athanasius was recalled and welcomed home by a cheering multitude.

For the next few years he was left in peace because the secular powers were engaged in war and other disturbances. The murder of Constans, however, eliminated the most powerful support for orthodoxy, leaving Constantius free to crush the man he had come to regard as a personal enemy. Constantius packed councils at Arles in 353 and Milan in 355 with Arians and semi-Arians in order to obtain the condemnation of the saint from self-serving prelates. Constantius also exiled Pope Liberius to Thrace, where he forced him to agree to censures against the bishop of Alexandria.
For a time, Athanasius maintained the support of his clergy and people. But one night, when he was celebrating a vigil in church, soldiers forced open the doors, killed some of the congregation, and wounded others. Athanasius escaped and disappeared into the desert, where his faithful monks hid him for six years.
Again, his exile proved to be fruitful for his theological writings.

The death of Constantius in 361 was followed by the murder of Arius, who had usurped the see of Alexandria. The new emperor Julian the Apostate recalled all the exiled bishops; thus, Athanasius returned to his see for a few months until Julian realized that it would be difficult to reinstate paganism while the champion of Catholicism ruled in Egypt. Julian therefore banished Athanasius as a "disturber of the peace and an enemy of the gods." So, the saint retired again to the desert. He was at Antinopolis when he was informed by two hermits of the death of Julian, who had at that moment died in Persia from an arrow wound.
At once he returned to Alexandria, and some months later he proceeded to Antioch at the invitation of Emperor Jovian, who had revoked his sentence of banishment. Jovian's reign, however, was short. In May 365, Emperor Valens banished all the orthodox bishops, including Athanasius, who had been reinstated by the successors of Constantius.
Four months later Valens relented-- possibly because he feared an uprising of the Egyptians who had become devoted to their much persecuted bishop.

Five times altogether he was exiled (335-338 to Trier, Germany; 341-346 to Rome, Italy; 356-362 to the desert; 362-363 and a second time for four months in 363 again to the desert). Out of his exile came the Athanasian Creed, said to have been composed in a cave. He did not really write the creed (it was probably written by Saint Eusebius of Vercelli {Born on Sardinia, c. 283; died at Vercelli, Italy, on August 1, 371}), but it was based upon his writings. The supreme achievement of the 'mean little fellow,' as Julian the Apostate called him, was that in a critical hour, by his courage and tenacity, God used him to save the faith of Christendom.

Even in exile Athanasius managed to tend his flock. It was primarily for them that he wrote the most illuminating theological treatises on Catholic dogma. He authored Against the Heathen (c. 318), Contra Arianos (c. 358 ?), Apologia to Constantius, (primary historical source), History of the Arians Defense of His Flight, many letters, The Life of Antony (c. 357), and other pieces. In Against the Arians, Athanasius drew on the work of Saints Justin (Born in Flavia Neapolis, Samaria, c. 100; died 165) and St Irenaeus (115-125? 200?), who interpreted Scripture in an orthodox tradition, to insist that the Nicene term homoousios, although not Scriptural itself, was necessary to formulate correctly the truth of Christ's Scriptural revelation.
His Life of Saint Antony showed his friend as singularly devoted to combatting the powers of evil. It became a widely diffused classic. From the time of Saint Bede (Born in Northumbria, England, 673; died at Jarrow, England, on May 25, 735; named Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1899), it inspired other monastic hagiographers.
An 8th-century monk wrote, "If you find a book by Athanasius and have no paper on which to copy it, write it on your shirts."

All his thinking was soteriologically determined, {the branch of Christian theology that deals with salvation as the effect of a divine agency --  The theological doctrine of salvation as effected by Jesus.} hence 'the Word could never have divinized us if He were merely divine by participation and were not himself the essential Godhead.'
Athanasius defended the oneness of God, yet the separateness of the three Divine Persons. He also went forward to add the Holy Spirit to the Godhead to counter Tropici. His theology of the Holy Spirit is found in his letters to Serapion. In his enlightening treatises on Catholic dogma, Athanasius showed that asceticism and virginity were effective ways to restore the divine image in man.
Several of his works were addressed to monks, to whom he also gave repeated practical help.

When he returned to Alexandria after his final exile, Athanasius spent the last seven years of his life helping to build the Nicene party.
Upon his death, his body was taken first to Constantinople and then to Venice. Although Athansius was an intense man, he was also known for his not-so-gentle humor, which he also used as a weapon in his arsenal to support the Catholic faith.

Athanasius has been called "the Father of Orthodoxy," "the Pillar of the Church," and "Champion of Christ's Divinity."
Cardinal Newman described Athanasius as "a principal instrument after the apostles by which the sacred truths of the Church have been conveyed and secured to the world." When Saint Antony(Born at Koman (Coma) near Memphis, Egypt, c. 251; died on Mount Kolzim, January 17, 356), whose biography was written by Athanasius, died, he bequeathed "a garment and a sheep skin to the bishop Athanasius." It is said that Athanasius treasured this garment. (Athanasius is another saint for whom much information is easily available.) (Attwater, Attwater2, Barr, Benedictines, Bentley, Davies, Delaney, Farmer, Gill, Walsh, White).

In art, Saint Athanasius is portrayed as a Greek bishop wearing a pallium between two columns. He holds an open book and has a heretic under his feet (Roeder) He might also be represented in a group of Greek fathers, distinguished by name (Tabor) or in a boat on the Nile (White).

St. Athanasius  -  Patriarch of Alexandria
ATHANASIUS, ST, Bishop of Alexandria and one of the most illustrious defenders of the Christian faith, was born at Alexandria about the year 297. Of his family, circumstances, or early education nothing can be said to be known, although a legendary story has been preserved by Rufinus of Aquileia as to the manner in which he came, while yet a boy, under the notice of his predecessor, Alexander. It seems certain that Alexander became his patron, took him as a youth into his house, and employed him as his secretary. This was probably about 313, and from this time Athanasius may be said to have been devoted to the Christian ministry. He was, no doubt, a student in the "Didascaleion," or famous "catechetical school " of Alexandria, which included amongst its already illustrious teachers the names of Clement and Origen. In the museum, the ancient seat of the Alexandrian university, he may have learned grammar, logic, and rhetoric. His mind was certainly well disciplined, and accustomed to discuss from an early period the chief questions both in philosophy and religion. The persecution under which the Alexandrian Church suffered at this time, and his intimacy with the great hermit Antony of which he himself has told us, had all their effect upon his character, and served to nurture in him that undaunted fortitude and high spirit of faith by which he became distinguished.

Before the outbreak of the Arian controversy, which began in 319, Athanasius had made himself known as the author of two essays addressed to a convert from heathenism, one of them entitled Against the Gentiles, and the other On the Incarnation of the Word. Both are of the nature of apologetical treatises, arguing such questions as monotheism, and the necessity of divine interposition for the salvation of the world; and already in the second may be traced that tone of thought respecting the essential divinity of Christ as the "God-man" for which he afterwards became conspicuous. There is no distinct evidence of the connection of Athanasius with the first contentions of Arius and his bishop, which ended in the exile of the former, and his entrance into Palestine under the protection of Eusebius the historian, who was bishop of Caesarea and subsequently of his namesake the bishop of Nicomedia. It can hardly be doubted, however, that Athanasius would be a cordial assistant of his friend and patron Alexander, and that the latter was strengthened in his theological position by the young enthusiastic student who had already expounded the nature of the divine Incarnation, and who seems about this time to have become archdeacon of Alexandria. At the Council of Nicaea, in the year 325, he appears prominently in connection with the dispute. He attended the council, not as one of its members (who were properly only bishops or delegates of bishops), but merely as the attendant of Alexander. In this capacity, however, he was apparently allowed to take part in its discussions, for Theodoret (i. 26) states that "he contended earnestly for the apostolic doctrines, and was applauded by their champions, while he earned the hostility of their opponents". Within `five months' after the return of Alexander to the scene of his episcopal labours he expired, and his friend and archdeacon was chosen to succeed him. He was elected in the sight and amidst the acclamations of the people. He was now about 30 years of age, and is spoken of as remarkable both for his physical and mental characteristics. He was small in stature, but his face was radiant with intelligence, as 'the face of an angel. This is the expression of Gregory of Nazianzus (Orat., xxii. 9), who has written an elaborate panegyric upon his friend, describing him as fit 'to keep on a level with common-place views yet also to soar high above the more aspiring,' as accessible to all, slow to anger, quick in sympathy, pleasant in conversation, and still more pleasant in temper, effective alike in discourse and in action, assiduous in devotions, helpful to Christians of every class and age, a theologian with the speculative, a comforter of the afflicted, a staff to the aged, a guide of the young."

The first few years of the episcopate of Athanasius were tranquil; but the storms in which the remainder of his life was passed soon began to gather around him. The Council of Nicaea had settled the creed of Christendom, but had by no means composed the divisions in the church which the Arian controversy had provoked. Arius himself still lived, and his friend Eusebius of Nicomedia rapidly regained influence over the Emperor Constantine. The result of this was a demand made by the emperor that Arius should be re-admitted to communion. Athanasius stood firm, and refused to have any communion with the advocates of a "heresy that was fighting against Christ." Constantine was baffled for the moment; but many accusers soon rose up against one who was known to be under the frown of imperial displeasure. The archbishop of Alexandria was charged with cruelty, even with sorcery and murder. It was reported that a Meletian bishop in the Thebaid, of the name of Arsenius, had been unlawfully put to death by him. He was easily able to clear himself of such charges, but the hatred of his enemies was not relaxed, and in the summer of 335 he was peremptorily ordered to appear at Tyre, where a council had been summoned to sit in judgment upon his conduct. He did not venture to disobey the imperial order, and a commission was appointed to inquire into an alleged instance of cruelty urged against him, notwithstanding the explanations which he had made. There appeared plainly a predetermination to condemn him, and he fled from Tyre to Constantinople to appeal to the emperor himself. "He resolved," says Gibbon, "to make a bold and dangerous experiment, whether the throne was inaccessible to the voice of truth." He presented himself suddenly with five of his suffragans before the emperor, while riding into his new capital. Refused at first a hearing, his perseverance was at length rewarded by the emperor's consent to his reasonable request--that his accusers should be brought face to face with him in the imperial presence. The leaders of the Tyrian council, amongst the most conspicuous of whom were the two Eusebii, were accordingly summoned to Constantinople just after they had celebrated, at a great dedication festival at Jerusalem, the condemnation of Athanasius and the restoration of Arius to church communion. In confronting the former before Constantine they did not attempt to repeat the charge of cruelty, but found a more ready and effective weapon to their hands in a new charge of a political kind--that Athanasius had threatened to stop the Alexandrian corn-ships bound for Constantinople. Here, as in other matters, it is very difficult to understand how far there was any truth in the persistent accusations made against the prince-bishop of Alexandria. Probably there was in the very greatness of his character and the extent of his popular influence a certain species of dominance which lent a colour of truth to some of the things said against him. On the present occasion his accusers succeeded in at once arousing the imperial jealousy; and the consequence was, that, notwithstanding his earnest denial of the act attributed to him, he was banished to Trier, or Treves, the capital of Gaul.

This was the first banishment of Athanasius, which lasted about two years and a half. It was only brought to a close by the death of Constantine, and the accession of Constantine II. as emperor of the West. It is recorded by himself (Apol. 7) that, on his return to Alexandria, "the people ran in crowds to see his face; the churches were full of rejoicing; thanksgivings were offered up everywhere; the ministers and clergy thought the day the happiest in their lives." But this period of happiness was destined to be short-lived. His position as patriarch of Alexandria placed him, not under his friend Constantine II., but under Constantius, another son of the elder Constantine, who had succeeded to the throne of the East. He in his turn fell, as his father had done, more and more under the influence of the Nicomedian Eusebius, now transferred to the see of Constantinople. A second expulsion of Athanasius was accordingly resolved upon. The old charges against him were revived, with the addition of his having set at naught the decision of a council. It was further resolved on this occasion to put another bishop in his place. Accordingly, in the beginning of the year 340, a Cappadocian named Gregory, said to be an Arian, was installed by military force on the throne of the great defender of the faith, who, to save his followers from outrage, withdrew to a place of concealment. As soon as it was possible he repaired to Rome, to "lay his case before the church." He was declared innocent at a council held there in 342, and in another held at Sardica some years later. Julius, the bishop of Rome, warmly espoused his cause, and, generally, it may be said that the Western Church was Athanasian in its sympathies and its creed, while the majority of the Eastern bishops sided with the Eusebian party. This severance was clearly shown at the Council of Sardica, where the Orientals refused to meet with the representation of the Western Church, because the latter insisted on recognising the right of Athanasius and his friends to attend the council as regular bishops. The commonly received date of this council is 347, but the rediscovered Festal Letters of Athanasius have had the effect of throwing back this date for some years. It has been placed by some as early as the end of 343, by Mansi and others in the end of 344. The decision of the Council of Sardica, however, had no immediate effect in favour of Athanasius. Constantius continued for some time implacable, and the bold action of the Western bishops only incited the Arian party in Alexandria to fresh severities. Gradually, however, the excesses of the Arian party brought their own revenge, while the death of the intruded bishop Gregory, in the beginning of 345, opened up the way for a reconciliation betwixt the Eastern emporor and the banished prelate. The result was the restoration of Athanasius for the second time, amidst the enthusiastic demonstrations of the Alexandrian populace, which is represented by his panegyrist, Gregory Nazianzen, as streaming forth " like another Nile " to meet him in the distance as he approached the city. His restoration is supposed to have taken place, according to the more accurate chronology based upon the Festal Letters, in October 346.

For ten years at this time Athanasius held his ground in Alexandria. But the intrigues of the Arian or court party were soon renewed against him, and the feeble emperor, who had protested that he would never again listen to their accusations, was gradually stimulated to new hostilities. A large council was held at Milan in the spring of the year 356, and here, notwithstanding the vigorous opposition of a few faithful men amongst the Western bishops, a renewed condemnation of Athanasius was procured. This was followed up by the banishment of the faithful prelates, even of Hosius of Cordova, whose conciliatory character and intimate connection with the imperial family had not prevented him from addressing to Constantius a pathetic remonstrance against the tyranny of the Arian party. When his friends were thus scattered in exile, their great leader could not long escape; and on the night of the 8th of February 356, while he was engaged in service in the church of St Thomas, a band of armed men burst into the sacred building. He has himself described the scene (Apol. de fuga, 24). Here for a time he maintained his composure, and desired the deacon to read the psalm, and the people to respond--" For His mercy endureth for ever; " and how, as the soldiers rushed forward with fierce shouts towards the altar, he at length made his escape in the crowd, and sought once more a place of safe retirement. The solitudes of Upper Egypt, where numerous monasteries and hermitages had been planted, appear to have been his chief shelter at this time. Here, protected from pursuit, he spent his time in literary labours in behalf of his cause; and to this period, accordingly, belong some of his most important writings, above all the great Orations or Discourses against the Arians, which furnish the best exposition of his theological position and principles.

For six years at this time Athanasius continued in exile, till the death of Constantius in November 361 opened once more the way for his return to his episcopate. Julian, the successor to the imperial throne, professed indifference to the contentions of the church, and granted permission to the bishops exiled in the late reign to return home. Amongst others, Athanasius took advantage of this permission, and seated himself once more upon his throne, amidst the jubilations of the people. He had begun his episcopal labours with renewed ardour, and summoned a council to Alexandria to decide various important questions, when an imperial mandate yet again drove him from his place of power. The faithful gathered around him weeping. " Be of good heart," he said, " it is but a cloud it will soon pass." His forecast proved true; for within a few months Julian had closed his brief career of Pagan revival, and Athanasius "returned by night to Alexandria." He received a letter from the new emperor, Jovian, praising his Christian fidelity, and encouraging him to resume his work. With the emperor he continued to maintain friendly relations, and even drew out for him a synodal letter embodying the Nicene Creed, which was graciously received. During the brief reign of this bluff soldier-prince, comparative quiet prevailed in the church. But the repose was of short duration. In the spring of 365, after the accession of Valens, troubles reappeared. An order was issued for the expulsion of all bishops who had been expelled by Constantius, and Athanasius was once more forced to take refuge in concealment from his persecutors. His concealment, however, only lasted for four months, when an order came for his return; and from this time (Feb. 366) he was left undisturbed to pursue his episcopal labours. Those labours were unceasing in refuting heretics, in building churches, in rebuking rapacious governors, in comforting faithful bishops, and in strengthening the orthodox everywhere, till at length, in the spring of 373, "in a good old age," he ceased from all his work. Having consecrated one of his presbyters his successor, he died quietly in his own house. His "many struggles," according to his panegyrists, won him "many a crown." He was gathered to his fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, who had contended for the truth. Even those who fail to sympathize with the cause which Athanasius steadfastly maintained, cannot refuse their tribute of admiration to his magnanimous and heroic character. The cynic eloquence of Gibbon grows warm in recounting his adventurous career, and the language of Hooker breaks into stately fervour in celebrating his faith and fortitude. " The whole world against Athanasius, and Athanasius against it; half a hundred of years spent in doubtful trial which of the two in the end should prevail --the side which had all, or else the part which had no friends but God and death--the one a defender of his innocency, the other a finisher of all his troubles." If imperious in temper and inflexible in dogmatic determination, Athanasius had yet a great heart and intellect, enthusiastic in their devotion to Christ, and in work for the good of the church and of mankind.

His chief distinction as a theologian was his zealous advocacy of the essential divinity of Christ as co-equal in substance with the Father. This was the doctrine of the Homoousion, proclaimed by the Nicene Creed, and elaborately defended by his life and writings. Whether or not Athanasius first suggested the use of this expression, he was its greatest defender; and the catholic doctrine of the Trinity has ever since been more identified with his "immortal" name than with any other in the history of the church and of Christian theology. (J.T.)

Encyclopaedia Britannica Ninth Edition, Vol. II Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1878
460 Germanus of Normandy bishop with Saint Patrick alleged evangelized in Wales Spain Gaul Isle of Man martyred in Normandy BM (AC)

It may be hard to believe that someone named Germanus of Normandy originated either in Ireland or Wales, but it is true. Today's saint was converted by Saint Germanus of Auxerre (Born in Auxerre, France, c. 378; died at Ravenna, Italy, 448), whose name he took, when the bishop was visiting Britain.

Today's saint worked as a bishop with Saint Patrick and is alleged to have evangelized in Wales, Spain, Gaul, and the Isle of Man. Some regard Germanus as the Apostle of the Isle of Man. He was martyred in Normandy (Benedictines, Montague).
485 St Vindemialis, Eugene, & Longinus 3 African martyred bishops by Arian Vandal king Hunneric.
Eódem die sancti Vindemiális, Epíscopi et Mártyris, qui, una cum sanctis Epíscopis Eugénio et Longíno doctrína et miráculis advérsus Ariános decértans, a Rege Wandalórum Hunneríco jubétur váriis torméntis afflígi ad tandem cápite obtruncári.
 The same day, St. Vindemial, bishop and martyr, who with the holy bishops Eugene and Longinus, combated the Arians by his teaching and miracles, and was beheaded by order of Hunneric, king of the Vandals.

Three African martyred bishops who were cruelly tortured to death by the Arian Vandal king Hunneric (r. 477-484) for adhering to orthodox Christianity.

Vindemialis, Eugene & Longinus MM (RM) Only after being severely tortured by the Arian Vandal King Hunneric, were these three African bishops martyred (Benedictines).
Floréntiæ item natális sancti Antoníni, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Epíscopi et Confessóris, doctrína et sanctitáte célebris.  Ipsíus autem festívitas sexto Idus mensis hujus recólitur.
 At Florence, Bishop St. Antoninus of the Order of Preachers, renowned for sanctity and learning.  His feast is kept on the 10th of this month. 
6th v. St. Neachtian Irish confessor supposedly present when Patrick died.
He was a friend of St. Patrick(Born in Scotland 385-390 died in Ireland c. 461.) possibly a relative.
Neachtain (AC) 5th century. Saint Neachtain was present at the death of his near relative Saint Patrick of Ireland (Benedictines)
6th v. Gluvias may have been sent to Cornwall by his brother, Saint Cadoc of Llancarfan (AC).

(also known as Glywys, Clivis)  6th century; feast in Cornwall is May 3. The monk Saint Gluvias may have been sent to Cornwall by his brother, Saint Cadoc of Llancarfan(Died c. 580). There he laid the foundation for a monastery and a parish commemorates his name. Sometimes he is said to have been the nephew of Saint Petroc(Died at Treravel, Wales, c. 594).
He may have been martyred and may be the same person as the patron of Coedkernew (Gwent), Saint Glywys, and/or the patron of Merthir Glivis in Glamorgan, whose shrine is mentioned in the Book of Llan Dav (Benedictines, Farmer).
600 MERCIANS (meaning Lords of the March.) The original Mercian Bishopric was at Lichfield.
the Iclingas began absorbing the Saxon and Anglian kingdoms and tribes of the eastern Midlands into their territory, and became known as Mercians, meaning Lords of the March. One definite date given for this transformation is 584, but it probably occurred over a space of a generation or so.
The early Mercians held the main border between the Britons, and the Saxons and Angles in the emerging Engla-land, and were instrumental in pushing back the borders of British kingdoms such as Cynwidion and Pengwern (which at this time still stretched out to the east of modern Birmingham). Pengwern became a strong ally in the fight against the Northumbrians from 613-656.
Mercia's kings liked to spend Christmas at Tamworth, an old and well-established part of their domain where they felt particularly safe. The original Mercian Bishopric was at Lichfield.
686 St. Ultan Benedictine abbot founder chaplain to St Gertrude's nuns escaped Mercians by supernatural revelation he knew of the death of St Foillan, who was murdered by robbers in the forest of Seneffe, and he foretold to St Gertrude, at her request, the day of her own death. He said that St Patrick was preparing to welcome her, and in point of fact she died on March 17.

686 ST ULTAN, ABBOT by supernatural revelation he knew of the death of St Foillan, who was murdered by robbers in the forest of Seneffe, and he foretold to St Gertrude, at her request, the day of her own death. He said that St Patrick was preparing to welcome her, and in point of fact she died on March 17.
ST ULTAN (or Ultain) and his more celebrated brothers, St Fursey and St Foillan, were Irish monks who crossed over to East Anglia, where they founded the abbey of Burgh Castle, near Yarmouth, on territory bestowed upon them by King Sigebert or Sigebert I. In consequence of raids by the Mercians, St Fursey went to France, where he died. When St Foillan and St Ultan visited their brother’s tomb at Péronne on their way back from a pilgrimage to Rome, they were warmly welcomed by Bd Itta and St Gertrude at Nivelles, who offered them land at Fosses on which to build a monastery and a hospice for strangers. Ultan became the abbot of Fosses. We are told that by supernatural revelation he knew of the death of St Foillan, who was murdered by robbers in the forest of Seneffe, and he foretold to St Gertrude, at her request, the day of her own death. He said that St Patrick was preparing to welcome her, and in point of fact she died on March 17. St Ultan later became abbot of, and died at, Péronne, but his relics were subsequently translated to Fosses.
What we know of St Ultan is mainly gleaned from the life of St Fursey and from that of St Gertrude of Nivelles. These texts have been edited by Bruno Krusch in the second and the fourth volume of MGH., Scriptores Merov. See also Gougaud, Christianity in Celtic Lands, pp. 147—148, Les saints irlandais hors d’Irlande, and Gaelic Pioneers, pp. 128— 131; and cf. J. F. Kenney, The Sources for the Early History of Ireland, vol. i, pp. 502—505.

The brother of St Fursey(Born in Ireland; died in Belgium, c. 655) and St Foillan(Born Island of Inisquin(?), Lough Corri, Ireland; died in France c. 648), he followed them into the monastic life, entering the community of monks at Burgh Castle, near yarmouth, East Anglia, England. He subsequently went to France to escape the predations of the Mercians and was greeted with enthusiasm by St. Gertrude of Nivelles(Born at Landen in 626; died at Nivelles in 659). After serving as chaplain to Gertrude's nuns, be became the founding abbot of Fosses Monastery on land given to him by Blessed Ita(Died 652)and daughter St Gertrude. He also ruled Peronne.

Ultan of Péronne, OSB Abbot B (AC) (also known as Ultan of Fosse)
Died at Péronne, c. 686. Ultan, an Irish monk like his brothers Saints Fursey and Foillan, went with them on a missionary journey to East Anglia. There, with Fursey, he founded a monastery in Burgh Castle, a Roman fort near Yarmouth, but later migrated to France after a pilgrimage to Rome. There he administered the Abbey of Saint-Quentin, which had been built for Fursey. Then he escaped the raiding Mercians by moving into Belgium.

His brother Foillan built and became abbot of Fosses Monastery on land given to him by Blessed Itta and her daughter Saint Gertrude of Nivelles. During this time Ultan was chaplain to Gertrude's convent and taught them liturgy, Scripture, and chant. Ultan later succeeded his brother Fursey in ministering to pilgrims as abbot of Fosses.

He inherited Foillan's abbacy at Péronne, where he died. Foillan's official feast day is the date of Ultan's vision of his martyrdom, although his relics were not recovered for about two months thereafter. Ultan is mentioned in the vita of Saint Amatus, who had been unjustly banished by Theodoric: "Amatus found refuge in Fursey's monastery at Péronne of which Ultan was abbot at the time and rejoiced in the tranquility of his retirement."

Ultan was buried in Fosses Abbey, which became a celebrated Irish monastery, as did Péronne. A chapel dedicated to Saint Brigid of Kildare(Born at Faughart? (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth, Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525) overlooks the town of Fosses (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Daniel-Rops, Delaney, Fitzpatrick, Gougaud, Montague, Tommasini).
668 St. Waldebert Benedictine aristocrat Frankish knight then hermit abbot helped St. Salaberga to found her famed convent at Laon: Sometimes listed as Walbert and Gaubert. numerous miracles attributed to the saint.
665 ST WALDEBERT, ABBOT
AMONGST the successors of St Columban in the monastery of Luxeuil the most famous during his life and the most revered after his death was St Waldebert (Walbert, Gaubert), the third abbot. This is partly due to the fact that his long rule coincided with the most glorious period of the abbey’s history and partly to the numerous miracles attributed to the saint. Objects he had touched—notably his wooden drinking bowl—were long venerated for their healing properties, and in the tenth century Anso, a Luxeuil monk, wrote a book about the wonders the saint had wrought.
Waldebert was a young Frankish nobleman, who in military attire appeared at Luxeuil to ask admittance of the abbot, St Eustace, and when he laid aside his weapons to receive the habit they were suspended from the roof of the church, where they remained for centuries. He proved so exemplary a monk that he obtained permission to lead the eremitic life about three miles from the abbey. After the death of St Eustace and the refusal of St Gall to become his successor, the brethren chose St Waldebert as their superior. For forty years he ruled them wisely and well. Under his government the Rule of St Columban was superseded by that of St Benedict, and he obtained for Luxeuil from Pope John IV the privilege, already conceded to Lérins and Agaunum, of being free from episcopal control. He had bestowed his own estates upon the abbey, which was also enriched during his lifetime by many benefactions. Such assistance was indeed needed, because Luxeuil itself could not contain or support all who sought to enter it; parties of monks were continually being sent out from it to found fresh houses in other parts of France. Even over nunneries St Waldebert was called to exercise control, and it was with his help that St Salaberga founded her great convent at Laon. The holy abbot died about the year 665.
An account of the life and miracles of St Waldebert was written 300 years after his death by Abbot Anso; this has been printed by Mabillon, and in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. i. See also J. B. Clerc, Ermitage et vie de S. Valbert (1861); H. Baumont, Etude historique sur Luxeuil (1896); J. Poinsotte. Les Abbé, de Luxeuil (1900).

Born a Frankish nobleman, he gave up the aristocratic and aristocrat life to enter the monastery of Luxeuil, France. There he lived as a hermit for a time, but after the death of Abbot St. Eustace he was elected abbot in 628. As head of the monastery for some forty years, he was responsible for ending adherence to the rule of St Columban and instituting the rule of St Benedict. He also won freedom for the community from episcopal jurisdiction, promoted a generous building program, and brought Luxeuil to the height of its influence and glory in the West. Waldebert also helped St. Salaberga to found her famed convent at Laon.

Waldebert of Luxeuil, OSB Abbot (RM) also known as Walbert, Gaubert
Died c. 665-668. Saint Waldebert was a Frankish knight, who found more nobility in serving God than in service to an earthly king in the army.
He became a monk at Luxeuil and donated all his wealth to the monastery. He was permitted to live as a hermit under the rule of the abbey until the death of Saint Eustace(Died 625), when he was elected to be its third abbot. About two years after becoming abbot in 628, he introduced the Benedictine Rule. During his forty-year abbacy, the monastery, founded by Saint Columbanus(Born in West Leinster, Ireland, 530-543; died November 23, 615), reached the peak of its religious and cultural influence. He secured from Pope John IV the abbey's freedom from episcopal control. Waldebert also helped Saint Salaberga (September 22 665) found her great convent at Laon (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Delaney).
699 Bertinus the Younger Benedictine monk of Sithin (Sithiu) OSB (AC)
A Benedictine monk of Sithin (Sithiu) during the time of its founder, Saint Bertinus the Great (Born near Coutances, France; died at Sithiu, c. 709) (Benedictines).

St. Felix of Seville deacon Martyr of Spain still revered in Seville  
Híspali, in Hispánia, sancti Felícis, Diáconi et Mártyris.    At Seville in Spain, St. Felix, deacon and martyr
Seville  the site of his suffering possibly slain by Muslims.
Felix of Seville M (RM). Felix, a deacon, was martyred in Seville, where he is held in high veneration (Benedictines).
Saint Gennys often confused with others (AC)
Saint Gennys is often confused with Saint Genesius of Arles, but the patron of Cornwall has his own feast today, which may point to the fact that he is a different individual and an obscure, local founder. He may more properly be identified with Saint Genesius the Martyr, whose head was translated on July 19 to Lismore. To add to the confusion, the famous Germanus of Auxerre is also known as Gennys or Genewys (Benedictines, Farmer).
880  Departure of Pope Sinuthius (Shenouda I), 55th Pope of Alexandria.  
On this day, of the year 596 A.M. (April 19th., 880 A.D.), the great father Pope Sinuthius (Shenouda I), 55th Pope of the See of St. Mark, departed. This holy father was a monk in the monastery of St. Macarius. He advanced in righteousness and worship, and was ordained archpriest for the monastery.

Shortly after, he was chosen for the Patriarchate with the recommendation of the people and bishops. He was enthroned on the 13th day of Tubah 575 A.D. (January 8th., 859 A.D.), and great tribulations and severe persecutions befell him. God performed through him many signs and healed many grievous sicknesses.

Once there was a drought in the city of Mariout for three years, the wells dried up and the farm land became barren. This father came to the church of St. Mina, celebrated the Divine Liturgy, and supplicated God to have mercy upon His creation. At the setting of the sun of that day, the rain began lightly then ceased. This father entered his room and stood up praying and he said: "O My Lord Christ, have mercy on Thy people with the riches of Thy compassion, and let them be filled with Thy good pleasure." Before he finished his prayer, mighty thunders and lightnings started, and the rain descended like a flood, until the wells, the vineyards, and the farms were filled with water. The people rejoiced, glorifying God the wonder worker.

When this father was in the wilderness visiting the monasteries, the Arabs of Upper Egypt came to the desert of Scetis to plunder the monasteries and kill the monks. The Pope took his staff that had the sign of the cross on it and he went forth to meet them, when they saw the Cross they retreated and fled away. (The account of this wonder is mentioned in the 9th day of Baramoudah
Some men, in a village called Boukhnessa, one of the villages of Mariout, said that He Who suffered for us was only a man and that the Divinity had departed from Him. This Pope wrote a letter and sent it during the Holy Fast (Lent) to be read in all the churches. He said in it, "God the Word suffered for us in His Body, and His Divinity was not separated from His humanity, not for a twinkling of an eye. The pain and suffering did not touch and affect the Divinity, as when you hammer a red hot iron, the iron suffers from the hammering but not the flame. For the passion of the Humanity to be of value, the Hypostatic union with the Divinity was a must, and through this passion Christ redeemed all the humanity."

Also, some men from the city of El-Balyana, and their bishops, said that the Divine Nature died. When the father heard that, he wrote to them saying: "The Nature of God, the Word, is unknowable, intangible, and impassable for it was impossible for the pain to affect its essence. The participation of the Divinity with the humanity in passion is moral participation, to give a value to these sufferings, to pay the debt of the humanity to God the Omnipresent, and that would only be possible if the Divinity would participate morally without affecting His essence. So we say "Holy God, Who was crucified for us, have mercy upon us." When his letter reached them, they turned from their error, and the bishops came and confessed the true and right faith before the Pope and asked for forgiveness.

Pope Shenouda I, cared greatly for the churches, their buildings, and their needs. He also cared for the places wherein pilgrims sojourned, and what money has left to him, he gave to the poor and the needy.
When he finished his good course, he departed in peace. He stayed on the Chair of St. Mark for 21 years, 3 months and 11 days. His prayers be with us. Amen.
907 The Holy Equal of the Apostles Tsar Boris, in Holy Baptism Michael on March 3, 870 Bulgaria was joined to the Eastern Church, and Orthodoxy was firmly established there
His apostolic deeds were foretold by an uncle, St Boyan. The first years of the reign of Tsar Boris were marked by misfortune. The Bulgarians were frequently at war with surrounding nations, famine and plague beset the land, and in the year 860 Bulgaria found itself in dire straits. Tsar Boris saw the salvation of his land, which was darkened by paganism, in its enlightenment by the faith in Christ.

During one of the battles of the Bulgarians with the Greeks he captured the illustrious courtier Theodore Kuphares, who had become a monk. He was the first man to plant the seed of the Gospel in the soul of the Bulgarian tsar. In one of the campaigns with the Greeks the young sister of Tsar Boris was taken captive, and was raised in the Orthodox Faith at the court of the Byzantine Emperor.

When the emperor Theophilus died, Tsar Boris decided to take advantage of this circumstance to take revenge upon the Greeks for his former defeats. But the widow of the emperor, Theodora, showed courage and sent a messenger to the Bulgarian tsar saying that she was prepared to defend the Empire and humiliate its opponents. Tsar Boris agreed to a peace alliance, and Theodore Kuphares was exchanged for the Bulgarian princess, who influenced her brother toward Christianity. A while later St Methodius was sent into Bulgaria. He and his brother St Cyril were enlightening the Slavic peoples with the light of Christ. St Methodius baptized Tsar Boris, his family and many of the nobles.

When the pagan Bulgarians learned of this, they wanted to kill Tsar Boris, but their plot was frustrated by the tsar. Deprived of their rebellious leaders, the Bulgarian people voluntarily accepted Baptism. A peace was concluded between Byzantium and Bulgaria, based on their unity in faith, which was not broken until the end of the reign of the noble tsar.
The Patriarch Photius (February 6) took great interest in the spiritual growth of the Bulgarian nation.

 In 867, preachers from Rome were sent into Bulgaria. This led to three years of discord between the Greek and Roman Churches in Bulgaria. A Council at Constantinople in 869 put an end to the quarrel, and on March 3, 870 Bulgaria was joined to the Eastern Church, and Orthodoxy was firmly established there. Bulgaria's holy ascetics: Sts Gorazd (July 27) and Clement of Ochrid (July 27) were glorified as saints. Tsar Boris adorned the land with churches and furthered the spread of piety. Later, a Patriarchal See was established in Bulgaria.

In his declining years, Tsar Boris entered a monastery, leaving the throne to his sons Vladimir and Simeon.

While in the monastery the saint learned that Vladimir, who succeeded him, had renounced Christianity. Distressed by this, St Boris again donned his military garb, punished his disobedient son and threw him in prison. After giving the throne to his younger son Simeon, St Boris returned to the monastery. He left it once more to repel a Hungarian invasion.
St Boris, who was named Michael in holy Baptism, reposed on May 2, 907.
926 St. Wiborada Swabian nobility; Martyred nun, wisdom, noted for austerities holiness and gifts of prophecy also listed as Guiborat and Weibrath.
926 ST WIBORADA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR
KLINGNAU, in the Swiss canton of Aargau, was the birthplace of St Wiborada, who is called in French Guiborat and in German Weibrath. Her parents belonged to the Swabian nobility, and she led a retired life in the house of her father and mother. After one of her brothers, Hatto by name, had decided to be a priest she made his clothes and also worked for the monastery of St Gall, where he prosecuted his studies. Many of the books in the abbey library were covered by her.
Upon the death of her parents, Wiborada joined this brother, who had been made provost of the church of St Magnus, and he taught her Latin so that she could join him in saying the offices. Their house became a kind of hospital to which Hatto would bring patients for Wiborada to tend. After the brother and sister had made a pilgrimage to Rome, Hatto resolved to take the habit at St Gall, largely through Wiborada’s influence. She, on the other hand, remained for some years longer in the world, though not of it. It may have been at this period—but more probably, as certain writers have argued, after she became a recluse—that she came into touch with St Ulric, who had been sent, as a delicate little lad of seven, to the monastic school of St Gall. We read that she prophesied his future elevation to the episcopate, and in after years he regarded her as his spiritual mother.
According to some of the saint’s biographers—but not the earliest—she suffered so severely from calumnies against her character that she underwent trial by ordeal at Constance to clear herself of the charges. Whether the story be true or false, she decided to withdraw into solitude that she might serve God without distraction. At first she took up her abode in an anchorhold on a mountain not far from St Gall, but in 915 she occupied a cell beside the church of St Magnus; there she remained for the rest of her life, practising extraordinary mortifications. Many visitors came to see her, attracted by the fame of her miracles and prophecies. Other recluses settled near her, but only one of them was admitted to any sort of companionship.
This was a woman called Rachildis, a niece of St Notker Balbulus. She was brought to St Wiborada suffering from a disease which the doctors had pronounced incurable. Having apparently been cured by the ministrations of the recluse, she could never be induced to leave her benefactress. But after the death of the latter the malady returned with so many complications that she seemed a second Job, owing to the multiplicity of her diseases and the patience with which she bore them.
St Wiborada foretold her own death at the hands of the invading Hungarians, adding that Rachildis would be left unmolested. Her warnings enabled the clergy of St Magnus and the monks of St Gall to escape in time, but she herself refused to leave her cell. The barbarians burnt the church and, having made an opening in the roof of the hermitage, entered it as she knelt in prayer. They struck her on the head with a hatchet and left her dying; Rachildis, however, remained unharmed and survived her friend for twenty-one years. St Wiborada was canonized in 1047.

There is good evidence for most of the details given above. Hartmann, a monk of St Gall, who first wrote a sketch of her life—it is printed by Mabillon and in the Acta Sanctorum,, May, vol. i—was almost a contemporary. A later life by Hepidannus is less reliable. But we have also other references to St Wiborada, for example, in Gerhard’s Life of St Ulric of Augsburg and in Ekkehard (iv), Cams S. Galli. This last is printed by G. Meyer v. Knonau, St Gallische Geschichtsquellen, iii. See also A. Schroder’s valuable article in the Historisches Jahrbuch, vol. xxii (1901), pp. 276—284, and A. Fah, Die hl. Wiborada (1926).

Born at Klingna, Aargau, Switzerland, she belonged to the Swabian nobility.
When her brother Hatto entered the Benedictines at St. Gall, she went with him and worked as a bookbinder and lived for a time as a recluse. She desired to exist as a hermit and to be walled up as an anchoress. Before the monastic leaders of St. Gall would acquiesce, she was forced to endure an ordeal by fire, successfully convincing her vocal critics. Her cell was visited by many who sought out her wisdom. She was also noted for her austerities, holiness, and her gifts of prophecy. One of her visions told of her own martyrdom, which came to pass when invading Magyars of Hungary murdered her in her cell.

God has a unique job for each of us to perform in life, and it is fascinating to watch Him guiding us towards fulfilling that special call. The life of St. Wiborada in particular shows Him at work shaping careers. Here, He took a home-body and led her up to a climax of startling heroism.

The daughter of noble parents of the Swiss Canton of Aargau, Wiborada felt an early call to a life of devotion; but, not knowing the direction it would take, she left the guidance in God's hands. At the outset, she just lived quietly at home. Then her brother Hatto decided to study for the diocesan priesthood at the famous Swiss abbey at St. Gall. The two were very close, so she decided to go to the town of St. Gall herself, where she might be of some service to him. Thus, she was able to make Hatto's clothes and also lend a hand at the monastery. For instance, she bound many of the books in the monastery library.

After ordination, Father Hatto was assigned to the Church of St. Magnus in St. Gall. He invited his sister to stay there with him, and he taught her Latin so that she could join with him in reciting the Divine Office. They also began to take sick people into their home, and Wiborada proved to be a good nurse. Then the pair went to Rome on pilgrimage. When they returned, Hatto decided to become a monk at St. Gall Abbey. His sister encouraged him. One of the loveliest aspects of St. Wiborada's life was the close and deeply religious friendship between her and her brother. It testified to the religious strength of their family life. This reminds us that many a staunch Catholic family has given to the Church not just one priest or nun, but two or three. Especially is this true of the diocese of Rochester (at least in past times).

Wiborada's life was not totally serene, however. For some reason (perhaps because she was still unattached by marriage or religious profession), she appears to have been the object of slanderous charges. To prove her innocence, we are told, she submitted to some sort of ordeal. This was a medieval type of lie-detector. She passed the test and re-established her good repute.

Perhaps because of this embarrassment, Wiborada now decided to become a hermitess. She had a little cell built for her as a wing on the Church of St. Magnus. Thereupon, she entered into the definitive life style that God had intended for her. As a holy woman sealed into her little “Anchorhold”, she developed mightily in prayer. People began to seek her out because of her wisdom and her miracles, and several other women chose to become ancresses or hermitesses elsewhere in the town. Most of them lived alone. Wiborada eventually welcomed a second companion in her quarters: a woman named Rachildis whom she had cured of an ailment.

Hermitess Wiborada, though now on the final plateau of her calling, would never have dreamed its startling conclusion. God gave her forewarning, however. In 926 pagan Hungarian marauders invaded Switzerland. God then revealed to Wiborada that she would perish at their hands, but Rachildis would be spared. The hermitess quickly warned the clergy of St. Magnus Church and the monks of St. Gall to take flight and they did. She and Rachildis refused to leave their cloistered cell. The marauders reached St. Gall, and burned down St. Magnus Church. Then they broke a hole into the roof of the saint's cell and entered. Finding her kneeling in prayers, they clove her skull with a hatchet and left her dying. But they did not lay hands on Rachildis, who survived the awful event for 21 years.

Thus Wiborada, the devout homebody, had climaxed her life of quiet service by winning the crown of martyrdom in her own cell!

God's expectation of us, therefore, is neither that we travel nor that we stay put. It is that wherever we live, we serve His holy will. That's why he created us as us. --Father Robert F. McNamara
1026 The Transfer of the Relics of the Holy Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb burial place was glorified by miracles
St Boris (July 24) was a brother of the Great Prince of Kiev Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054), and was baptized with the name Roman brother of the Great Prince of Kiev Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054), his brother was baptized with the name David.
The murdered Prince Boris was buried at the church of St Basil the Great at Vyshgorod near Kiev.

Metropolitan John I of Kiev (1008-1035) and his clergy solemnly met the incorrupt relics of the holy passion-bearer Gleb and placed them in the church where the relics of St Boris rested. Soon the burial place was glorified by miracles. Then the relics of the holy brothers Boris and Gleb were removed from the ground and placed in a specially constructed chapel. On July 24, 1026 a church of five cupolas built by Yaroslav the Wise was consecrated in honor of the holy martyrs.

In later years, the Vyshgorod Sts Boris and Gleb church containing the relics of the holy Passion-Bearers became the family church of the Yaroslavichi, their sanctuary of brotherly love and service to the nation. The symbol of their unity was the celebration of the Transfer of the Relics of Boris and Gleb, observed on May 2.

The history of the establishing of this Feast is bound up with the preceding events of Russian history.

On May 2, 1069 the Great Prince Izyaslav, who had been expelled from the princedom for seven months (i.e. from September 1068) because of an uprising of the Kievan people, entered into Kiev. In gratitude for God's help in establishing peace in the Russian land, the prince built a new church to replace an older structure. Two Metropolitans, George of Kiev and Neophytus of Chernigov, participated in its consecration with other bishops, igumens, and clergy. The transfer of the relics, in which all three of the Yaroslavichi (Izyaslav, Svyatoslav, Vsevolod) participated, was set for May 2, and it was designated as an annual celebration.

Svyatoslav Yaroslavich, Prince of Kiev during 1073-1076, made an effort to transform the Sts Boris and Gleb temple into a stone church, but he was able to build the walls only eight cubits high. Later Vsevolod (+ 1093) finished the church construction, but it collapsed by night.

The veneration of Sts Boris and Gleb developed during the time of Yaroslav's grandsons, often producing a peculiar pious competition among them. Izyaslav's son Svyatopolk (+ 1113), built silver reliquaries for the saints. In 1102 Vsevolod's son Vladimir Monomakh (+ 1125), sent master craftsmen by night and secretly adorned the silver reliquaries with gold leaf. Svyatoslav's son Oleg (+ 1115) outdid them. He was called "Gorislavich", and was mentioned in the "Tale of Igor's Campaign." He "intended to raise up the collapsed stone (church) and hired some builders." He provided everything that was necessary.
< The church was ready in the year 1111, and Oleg "pressured and besought Svyatopolk to transfer the holy relics into it." Svyatopolk did not want to do this, "because he did not build this church."

The death of Svyatopolk Izyaslavich (+ 1113) brought a new insurrection to Kiev, which nearly killed Vladimir Monomakh, who had become Great Prince of that city. He decided to cultivate friendship with the Svyatoslavichi through the solemn transfer of the relics into the Oleg church. "Vladimir gathered his sons, and David and Oleg with their sons. They all arrived at Vyshgorod. All the hierarchs, igumens, monks and priests came, filling all the town and there was no space left for the citizenry along the walls."

On the morning of May 2, 1115, the Sunday of the Myrhhbearing Women, they began to sing Matins at both churches, old and new, and the transfer of relics began. The three were separated. "First they brought St Boris in a cart, and with him went Metropolitan Vladimir and his clergy." On other carts went St Gleb "and David with bishops and clergy." (Oleg waited for them in the church).

This separation was adhered to in future generations. St Boris was considered a heavenly protector of the Monomashichi; St Gleb, of the Ol'govichi and the Davidovichi. When Vladimir Monomakh speaks about Boris in his "Testament", he does not mention Gleb. In the Ol'govichi line, none of the princes received the name Boris.

In general the names Boris and Gleb, and so also Roman and David, were esteemed by many generations of Russian princes. The brothers of Oleg Gorislavich were named Roman (+ 1079), Gleb (+ 1078), David (+ 1123), and one of his sons was named Gleb (+ 1138).

From Monomakh were the sons Roman and Gleb; from Yuri Dolgoruky, Boris and Gleb; of St Rostislav of Smolensk, Boris and Gleb; of St Andrew Bogoliubsky, St Gleb (+ 1174); of Vsevolod Big Nest, Boris and Gleb. Among the sons of Vseslav of Polotsk (+ 1101) was the full range of "Sts Boris and Gleb" names: Roman, Gleb, David, Boris.
The Vyshgorod sanctuaries were not the only centers for the liturgical veneration of Sts Boris and Gleb. It was spread throughout the Russian land. First of all, there were churches and monasteries in specific places connected with the martyrdom of the saints, and their miraculous help for people; the temple of Boris and Gleb at Dorogozhich on the road to Vyshgorod, where St Boris died; the Sts Boris and Gleb monastery at Tmo near Tver where Gleb's horse injured its leg; a monastery of the same name at Smyadyno at the place of Gleb's murder; and at the River Tvertsa near Torzhok (founded in 1030), where the head of St George the Hungarian was preserved [trans. note: the beloved servant of St Boris was beheaded in order to steal the gold medallion given him by St Boris]. Churches dedicated to Sts Boris and Gleb were built at the Alta in memory of the victory of Yaroslav the Wise over Svyatopolk the Accursed on July 24, 1019; and also at Gzena near Novgorod where Gleb Svyatoslavich defeated a sorcerer.

The Ol'govichi and the Monomashichi vied with each other in building churches dedicated to the holy martyrs. Oleg himself, in addition to the Vyshgorod church, built the Sts Boris and Gleb cathedral in Old Ryazan in 1115 (therefore, the diocese was later called Sts Boris and Gleb). His brother David also built at Chernigov (in 1120). In the year 1132 Yuri Dolgoruky built a church of Boris and Gleb at Kideksh at the River Nerla, "where the encampment of St Boris had been." In 1145, St Rostislav of Smolensk "put a stone church at Smyadyno," at Smolensk. In the following year the first (wooden) Sts Boris and Gleb church was built in Novgorod. In 1167 a stone foundation replaced the wood, and it was completed and consecrated in the year 1173. The Novgorod Chronicles name the legendary Sotko Sytinich as the builder of the church.

The holy Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb were the first Russian saints glorified by the Russian and Byzantine Churches. A service to them was composed soon after their death, and its author was St John I, Metropolitan of Kiev (1008-1035), which a MENAION of the twelfth century corroborates. The innumerable copies of their Life, the accounts of the relics, the miracles and eulogies in the manuscripts and printed books of the twelfth-fourteenth centuries bear witness to the special veneration of the holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb in Russia.

[trans. note: Neither this account nor those of the individual feastdays give the details of their martyrdom. Perhaps it is assumed that the reader is familiar with the story, or perhaps it is too painful to recount. The saints chose not to take up arms to defend themselves, or flee to safety. In their final prayers, they refer to the Lord's voluntary suffering and death, as recorded by the chroniclers. Since they meekly accepted an unjust death for the sake of Christ, they are known as "Passion-Bearers."]

1126 Blessed Conrad of Seldenbüren founded and endowed Engelberg Abbey at Unterwalden Switzerland Benedictine lay-brother martyr  remained incorrupt until the abbey was burnt down in 1729 OSB M (AC)
1126 BD CONRAD OF Seldenbüren; remained incorrupt until the abbey was burnt down in 1729.
THE celebrated Benedictine abbey of Engelberg, in Unterwalden, owed its foundation to Bd Conrad, a scion of the princely family of Seldenbüren. Conrad resolved to devote part of his patrimony to building a monastery, and tradition says that the site was revealed to him by our Lady in a vision. For some unrecorded reason, delay must have occurred in the construction, for although the work was begun in 1802 it was not completed until 1120. After devoting the rest of his fortune to establishing a convent for women, the founder went to Rome where he obtained recognition and privileges for his houses. He then retired from the world, receiving from St Adelhelmus the habit of a lay brother. From his peaceful retreat Conrad emerged at the bidding of his superior to meet a claim which had been made on some of the property he had bestowed upon the abbey. At Zurich he went unsuspectingly to a meeting arranged by his opponents, who fell upon him and killed him. The body of Bd Conrad was brought back to Engelberg, where it remained incorrupt until the abbey was burnt down in 1729.
There is no early life of Bd Conrad, but a short account is furnished in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. i. See also two papers by A. Brackmann in the Abhandlungen of the Prussian Academy for 1928, and the sketch by B. Egger, Konrad von Seldenbüren (1926). The abbey at Mount Angel in Oregon was founded from Engelberg, as was Conception in Missouri.

Died at Zürich, Switzerland, 1126. Conrad was born into the royal house of Seldenbüren. He founded and endowed Engelberg Abbey at Unterwalden, Switzerland, where he was professed as a Benedictine lay-brother. Conrad is venerated as a martyr because he was killed during a trip to Zurich to defend the rights of the abbey (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1257 Mafalda of Portugal Queen slept on bare ground spent night in prayer fortune used to restore cathedral of Oporto founded a hospice for pilgrims hospital for 12 widows build a bridge over the Talmeda River died in sackcloth and ashes body exhumed 1617 found flexible and incorrupt OSB Cist. (AC) (also known as Matilda)
1252 ST MAFALDA
IN the year 1215, at the age of eleven, Princess Mafalda (i.e. Matilda), daughter of King Sancho I of Portugal, was married to her kinsman King Henry I of Castile, who was like herself a minor. The marriage was annulled the following year on the ground of the consanguinity of the parties, and Mafalda returned to her own country, where she took the veil in the Benedictine convent of Arouca. As religious observance had become greatly relaxed, she induced the community to adopt the Cistercian rule. Her own life was one of extreme austerity. The whole of the large income bestowed upon her by her father was devoted to pious and charitable uses. She restored the cathedral of Oporto, founded a hostel for pilgrims, erected a bridge over the Talmeda and built an institution for the support of twelve widows at Arouca. When she felt that her last hour was approaching she directed, according to a common medieval practice, that she should be laid on ashes. Her last words were, “Lord, I hope in thee”. Her body after death shone with a wonderful radiance, and when it was exposed in 1617 it is said to have been as flexible and fresh as though the holy woman had only just died. Mafalda’s cultus was confirmed in 1793.
A notice of Mafalda, compiled mainly from late Cistercian sources, will be found in the appendix to the first volume for May in the Acta Sanctorum. An account of her, with her sisters SS. Teresa and Sanchia, is also contained in Portugal glorioso e illustrado, etc., by J. P. Bayao (1727).

Born 1203; cultus approved in 1793. Mafalda, daughter of King Sancho of Portugal, was married at the age of 11 or 12 to her young cousin King Henry I of Castile. The following year her marriage was declared null by the Holy See because of consanguinity.
At once she returned to Portugal, entered the convent of Arouca and, in 1222, professed the Benedictine Rule. At her suggestion, the convent joined the Cistercians. She did not simply enter the monastery as the only alternative, but because she desired to give herself totally to God. She slept on the bare ground or spent the night in prayer. Her fortune was used to restore the beautiful cathedral of Oporto, found a hospice for pilgrims and a hospital for twelve widows, and build a bridge over the Talmeda River. Mafalda died in sackcloth and ashes. When her body was exhumed in 1617, it was found to be flexible and incorrupt (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Farmer).
1459 Antoninus of Florence great soul in a frail body, and of the triumph of virtue over vast and organized wickedness miracles after death body was found uncorrupted in 1559 OP B (RM)  SEE MAY 10 HERE FOR FEAST DAY
Sancti Antoníni, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Epíscopi Florentíni et Confessóris, cujus dies natális sexto Nonas mensis hujus recensétur.
 St. Antoninus of the Order of Preachers, confessor and archbishop of Florence, whose birthday is the 2nd of May.
 
Born in Florence, Italy, in 1389 (or 1384?); died there on May 2, 1459; canonized in 1523.
The story of Antonino Pierozzi is that of a great soul in a frail body, and of the triumph of virtue over vast and organized wickedness. His father, Niccolo Pierozzi, had been a noted lawyer, notary to the Republic of Florence. He and his wife Thomassina had their only child baptized as Antonio, but because the saint was both small and gentle people called him by the affectionate diminutive 'Antonino' all his life.

The world in which he lived was engrossed in the Renaissance; it was a time of violent political upheaval, of plague, wars, and injustice. The effects of the Great Schism of the West, over which Saint Catherine (Born in Siena, Italy, March 25, 1347, in Florence, Italy; died there on April 29, 1380; canonized in 1461; declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970) had wept and prayed a generation before, were still tearing Christendom apart when Antoninus was born--in the same year as Cosimo de'Medici. The fortunes of Florence were largely to rest in the hands of these two men.


There are only a few known details about the early life of Antoninus, but they are revealing ones. He was a delicate and lovable child. His stepmother, worried over his frailty, often gave him extra meat at table. The little boy, determined to harden himself for the religious life, would slip the meat under the table to the cats. Kids!

From the cradle his inclination was to piety. His only pleasure was to read the lives of saints and other good books, converse with pious persons, or employ himself in prayer. Accordingly, if he was not at home or at school, he was always to be found at Saint Michael's Church before a crucifix or in our Lady's chapel there. He had a passion for learning, but an even greater ardor to perfect himself in the science of salvation. In prayer, he begged nothing of God but His grace to avoid sin, and to do His holy will in all things.

Antoninus hitched his wagon to the star of great austerity and, at 14, discovered the answer to all his questions in the preaching of Blessed John Dominici(Born in Florence, Italy, 1376 (or 1350?); died in Hungary 1419), who was then the prior of Santa Maria Novella and later became cardinal-archbishop of Ragusa and papal legate. Antoninus went to speak with the preacher and begged to be admitted to the order.

At the time, Blessed John was reforming the Dominican priories of the area according to the wishes of Blessed Raymond of Capua(Born 1330 at Capua, Italy as Raymond delle Vigne Died 5 Oct 1399 at Nuremberg Germany of natural causes). John planned to build a new and reformed house at Fiesole (near Florence), which he hoped to start again with young and fervent subjects who would revivify the order. It declined under the plague and effects of the schism. As yet, he had no building in which to house the new recruits.

Even were the monastery completed, it was to be a house of rigorous observance, and Antoninus looked far too small and frail for such an austere community. John Dominici, not wishing to quench the wick of youthful eagerness, had not the heart to explain all this. He told Antoninus to go home and memorize the large and forbidding book called Decretum Gratiani, supposing that its very bulk would discourage the lad.

{It was about 1150 that the Camaldolese monk, Gratian, professor of theology at the University of Bologna, to obviate the difficulties which beset the study of practical, external theology (theologia practica externa), i. e. canon law, composed the work entitled by himself "Concordia discordantium canonum", but called by others "Nova collectio", "Decreta", "Corpus juris canonici", also "Decretum Gratiani", the latter being now the commonly accepted name.

In spite of its great reputation the "Decretum" has never been recognized by the Church as an official collection. It is divided into three parts (ministeria, negotia, sacramenta).
The first part is divided into 101 distinctions (distinctiones), the first 20 of which form an introduction to the general principles of canon Law (tractatus decretalium); the remainder constitutes a tractatus ordinandorum, relative to ecclesiastical persons and function.
The second part contains 36 causes (causœ), divided into questions (quœstiones), and treat of ecclesiastical administration and marriage; the third question of the 33rd causa treats of the Sacrament of Penance and is divided into 7 distinctions.
The third part, entitled "De consecratione", treats of the sacraments and other sacred things and contains 5 distinctions. Each distinction or question contains dicta Gratiani, or maxims of Gratian, and canones. Gratian himself raises questions and brings forward difficulties, which he answers by quoting auctoritates, i. e. canons of councils, decretals of the popes, texts of the Scripture or of the Fathers. These are the canones; the entire remaining portion, even the summaries of the canons and the chronological indications, are called the maxims or dicta Gratiani. It is to be noted that many auctoritates have been inserted in the "Decretum" by authors of a later date. These are the Paleœ, so called from Paucapalea, the name of the principal commentator on the "Decretum". The Roman revisers of the sixteenth century (1566-82) corrected the text of the "Decree" and added many critical notes designated by the words Correctores Romani.}

Antoninus, however, was possessed of an iron will. He went home and began to read the book straight through. By the end of the year, he had finished the nearly impossible task set before him, and returned to Blessed John to recite it as requested. There was now no further way to delay his reception into the order, so he was received into the Dominican Order "for the future priory of Fiesole" in 1405 by Blessed John.

Due to the unsettled state of the Church, the order, and Italian politics, the training of the young aspirants was conducted at several different locations, including Cortona, and, for a time, the regular course of studies could not be pursued. Antoninus, nothing daunted, studied by himself. He was happily associated during these years with several future Dominican saints and beati, including Lawrence of Ripafratta, the novice master; Blessed Constantius of Fabriano(Born in Fabriano, Marches of Ancona, Italy, 1410; died at Ascoli, Italy, 1481;); Peter Capucci(Born at Città di Castello (the ancient Tifernum), in 1390; died 1445;) and his great friend, the artist, Saint Fra Angelico (Born in Mugello near Florence, Italy, in 1386 or 1387; died in Rome, Italy, in 1455).

Ordained and set to preaching, Antoninus soon won his place in the hearts of the Florentines. Each time he said Mass, he was moved to tears by the mercy of God, and his own devotion moved other hearts. He was given consecutively several positions in the order. While still very young, he was made prior of the Minerva in Rome (1430). He served the friars in various priories in Italy (including Cortona, Fiesole (1418-28), Naples, Gaeta, Siena, and Florence). As superior of the reformed Tuscan and Neapolitan congregations, and also as prior provincial of the whole Roman province, Antoninus zealously enforced the reforms initiated by John Dominici with a view to restoring the primitive rule. Antoninus became a distinguished master of canon law and assisted popes at their councils. There is evidence that at some point he served as a judge on the Rota. Pope Eugenius IV summoned him to attend the general Council of Florence (1439), and he assisted at all its sessions.

In 1436, he founded the famous priory of San Marco in Florence with the financial aid of Cosimo de'Medici in buildings abandoned by the Silvestrines. Under his guidance and encouragement, the San Marco's monastery became the center of Christian art. He called upon his old companion, Saint Fra Angelico, and on the miniaturist, Fra Benedetto (Angelico's natural brother), to do the frescoes and the choir books which are still preserved there. He also ensured that an outstanding library was collected.

Antoninus is still remembered today in the exquisite 'Cloister of Saint Antoninus' with its wide arches and beautiful ionic capitals, designed in the saint's lifetime by Michelozzo for San Marco. In the lunettes of the cloister Bernardino Poccetti and others painted scenes from Antoninus's life. (When Giambologna restored and altered the church of San Marco in 1588, he built for the saint's body a superb chapel.)

To his horror, Antoninus's wisdom and pastoral zeal made him a natural choice by Pope Eugenius IV for archbishop of Florence in 1446. Although Tabor reports that the pope had first chosen Fra Angelico, whose purity and wisdom had become known when he was painting in Rome. The artist entreated the holy father to choose Fra Antoninus instead, who had done great service by his unworldliness and gentle but irresistible power.

Antoninus's appointment as bishop was a genuine heartbreak to a scholar who could never find enough time to study; in fact, he had been in Naples for two years reforming the houses of the province when he received word of the nomination and confirmation by the Florentines. For a time he tried to escape accepting the dignity by hiding himself on the island of Sardinia. That did not work. So he tried begging the holy father to excuse him because of his weak physical constitution. The pope would accept no excuses; he commanded Antoninus to proceed immediately to Fiesole under the pain of excommunication for disobedience.

While he obeyed with trepidation, it was a blessing for the people of Florence that he was consecrated bishop in March 1446; they were not slow in demonstrating their appreciation of their good fortune. He was the 'people's prelate' and the 'protector of the poor' for he discharged his office with inflexible justice and overflowing charity. His love extended to the rich, too. The next year, the dying Pope Eugenius summoned Antoninus to Rome in order to receive the last sacraments from the holy bishop before dying in his arms on February 23, 1447.
For the remainder of his life, Antoninus combined an amazing amount of active work with constant prayer. He allowed himself very little sleep. In addition to the church office, he recited daily the office of our Lady, and the seven penitential psalms; the office of the dead twice a week; and the whole psalter on every festival. His prayer life allowed him to exhibit an exterior of serenity regardless of the situation.
Francis Castillo, his secretary, once said to him, bishops were to be pitied if they were to be eternally besieged with hurry as he was. The saint made him this answer, which the author of his vita wished to see written in letters of gold:

"To enjoy interior peace, we must always reserve in our hearts amidst all affairs, as it were, a secret closet, where we are to keep retired within ourselves, and where no business of the world can over enter."

Because of his reputation for wisdom and ability, Antoninus was often called upon to help in public affairs civil & ecclesiastical. Pope Nicholas V sought his advice on matters of church and state, forbade any appeal to be made to Rome from the archbishop's judgements, and declared that Antonino in his lifetime was as worthy of canonization as the dead Bernardino of Siena(Born in Massa Marittima (near Siena), Tuscany, Italy, on September 8, 1380; died in Aquila, Italy, May 20, 1444;), whom he was about to raise to the altars.
Pius II nominated him to a commission charged with reforming the Roman court. The Florentine government gave him important embassies on behalf of the republic and would have sent him as their representative to the emperor if illness had not prevented him from leaving Florence. Yet he also busied himself with the beauty of the chant, and personally attended the Divine Office at his cathedral.

A distinguished writer on international law and moral theology, his best known work is Summa moralis, which is generally thought to have laid the groundwork for modern moral theology. He was conscious of the new problems presented by social and economic development, and taught that the state had a duty to intervene in mercantile affairs for the common good, and to give help to the unfortunate and needy. He was among the first Christian moralists to teach that money invested in commerce and industry was true capital; therefore, it was lawful and not usury to claim interest on it (combine this information with the fact that he was a staunch opponent of usury). All his many books were of a practical nature, including guidance for confessors (Summa confessionis) and a chronicle of the history of the world.

His first concern, however, was always for the people of his diocese, to whom he set an example of simple living and inflexible integrity. He preached regularly, made a yearly visitation of all the parishes in the diocese on foot, put down gambling, opposed both usury and magic, reformed abuses of all kinds, and served as the example of Christian charity. Each day he held an audience for anyone who wished to speak with him. No one appealed for his help, material or spiritual, in vain.

Antoninus was probably best known for his kindness to the poor, and there were many in the rich city of Florence. He pulled up his own flower garden and planted vegetables for the poor. He drove his housekeeper to distraction by giving away even his own tableware, food, clothing, and furniture. He never possessed any small precious objects, such as plates or jewels. His stable generally housed one mule, which he often sold to relieve some poor person. When that happened, some wealthy citizen would buy the animal and offer it as a present to the charitable archbishop. He kept in personal contact with the poor of the city, particularly with those who had fallen from wealth and were ashamed to beg. For their care he founded a society called the "Goodmen of Saint Martin of Tours," who went about quietly doing much-needed charitable work--much in the fashion of our modern Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. His particular establishment now provides for about 600 families.

His charity did not end with the poor, but also extended to his enemies. A criminal, named Ciardi, who was called before the bishop to answer accusations, attempted to assassinate the archbishop. The saint narrowly escaped the thrust of his poniard, which pierced the back of his chair. Yet Antoninus freely forgave the potential assassin and prayed for his conversion. God answered his prayers so that he had the comfort of seeing Ciardi become a sincere Franciscan penitent.

When the plague again came to Florence in 1448, it was the saintly archbishop who took the lead in almsgiving and care of the sick. Many Dominicans died of the plague as they went about their priestly duties in the stricken city; sad but undaunted, Antoninus continued to go about on foot among the people, giving both material and spiritual aid. During the earthquakes of 1453-1455, he was similarly self-giving. The example of his own charity led many rich persons to likewise provide for the afflicted.

Antoninus's was a role model in other ways, too. When he learned that two blind beggars had amassed a fortune, he took the money from them and distributed it to others in dire necessity. Was this an injustice? No, he provided for all the needs of the two for the rest of their lives. The bishop tried to hide his virtue from others and himself, until he would see reflections of them in his flock. By accident he discovered one such flame that he had sparked in a poor, obscure handicraftsman who continually practiced penance. The man spent Sundays and holidays in the churches, secretly distributed to the poor all he earned beyond that needed for subsistence, and kept a poor leper in his home, joyfully serving the ungrateful beggar and dressing his ulcers with his own hands. The leper, increasingly morose and imperious, carried complaints against his benefactor to the archbishop, who, discovering this hidden treasure of sanctity in the handicraftsman, secretly honored it, while he punished the insolence of the leper.

Cosimo de'Medici, who did'n always have compliments for Dominicans, admitted frankly, "Our city has experienced all sorts of misfortunes: fire, earthquake, drought, plague, seditions, plots. I believe it would today be nothing but a mass of ruins without the prayers of our holy archbishop."

After 13 years as bishop, Antoninus died surrounded by his religious brothers from San Marco and mourned by the whole city. His whole life was mirrored in his last words, "to serve God is to reign." Pope Pius II assisted at his funeral, when he was buried in San Marco's church. Pius eulogized Antoninus as one who "conquered avarice and pride, was outstandingly temperate in every way, was a brilliant theologian, and popular preacher."

His hairshirt and other relics were the vehicle for many miracles. It is significant that the canonization of Saint Antoninus was decreed by the short-lived Pope Adrian VI (August 31, 1522, to September 14, 1523), whose ideas for church reform were radical and drastic. His body was found uncorrupted in 1559, when it was translated with pomp and solemnity into a chapel richly adorned by the two brothers Salviati (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Dominicans, Dorcy, Farmer, Husenbeth, Jarrett, Tabor, Walsh).

Antonius of Florence is generally portrayed in art as a Dominican bishop with scales. He might be shown (1) weighing false merchandise against the word of God; (2) as a Dominican with a pallium; (3) as a young man giving alms; (4) drifting down a river in a boat; or (5) holding a book in a bag (Roeder). The likeness of the archbishop was recorded by contemporary artists, as in the bust at Santa Maria Novella and a statue at the nearby Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Antonio del Pollaiuolo's painting of him at the foot of the Cross survives at San Marco, as does a series of scenes from his life in its cloister of San Antonino (Farmer) and a portrait by Fra Bartolomeo (Tabor).
1654 Saint Athanasius III Patelarios, Patriarch of Constantinople, Wonderworker of Lubensk relics  glorified by numerous miracles and signs, rest in the city of Kharkov, in the Annunciation cathedral church
In the world Alexis, was born in 1560 on the island of Crete, into the pious Greek family Patelarios. Despite his education and position in society, Alexis was attracted by the life of Christian ascetics. After his father's death, he became a novice in one of the monasteries of Thessalonica with the name Ananias. From there, he he later went to the monastery of Esphimenou on Mt. Athos, where he fulfilled his obedience in the trapeza (dining area).

From Athos he journeyed to the Palestinian monasteries, and he was tonsured with the name Athanasius. Upon his return to Thessalonica he was ordained presbyter and spread the Gospel of Christ among the Vlachs and the Moldovians, for whom he translated the PSALTER from the Greek. Sometimes, the saint went to Mt. Athos for solitude, and to ask God's blessing on his pastoral work. The holiness of his life attracted many Christians who wished to see a true preacher of the Orthodox Faith.

By his remarkable abilities and spiritual gifts he attracted the attention of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Cyril I (Lukaris) (1621-1623). Summoning the ascetic, Patriarch Cyril appointed him a preacher of the Patriarchal throne. Soon St Athanasius was consecrated bishop and became Metropolitan of Thessalonica.

At this time Patriarch Cyril was slandered before the sultan and imprisoned on the island of Tenedos. St Athanasius assumed the Patriarchal throne on March 25, 1634, on the day of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Patriarch Athanasius led an incessant struggle against heretics, Jesuits, and Moslems. After only forty days on the Patriarchal throne, he was deposed through the intrigues of the enemies of Orthodoxy, and Cyril I was returned.

The saint went to Athos, where for a certain time he pursued asceticism in solitude. Then he became Patriarch again, but was deposed after a year. After this, he returned to Thessalonica and renewed his connections with the Holy Mountain. In view of the intolerable persecution of Christians by the Moslems, St Athanasius was repeatedly (from 1633 to 1643) obliged to send petitions to the Russian tsar Michael (1613-1645) seeking alms for the hapless Church of Constantinople.
When living at Thessalonica became impossible for the saint, he was forced to journey to Moldavia under the protection of its sovereign, Basil Lukulos, and he settled there in the monastery of St Nicholas near Galats, but he longed for Mount Athos. He visited it often and hoped to finish his life there, but God ordained something else for him. In 1652 after the death of Patriarch Cyril I, St Athanasius was returned to the patriarchal throne. He remained only fifteen days, since he was not acceptable to the Moslems and Catholics. During his final Patriarchal service he preached a sermon in which he denounced papal pretensions to universal jurisdiction over the whole Church.

Persecuted by the Moslems and Jesuits, physically weakened, he transferred the administration of the Church of Constantinople to Metropolitan Paisius of Laureia, and he withdrew to Moldavia, where he was appointed administrator of the monastery of St Nicholas at Galats.

Knowing the deep faith and responsiveness of the Russian nation, St Athanasius undertook a journey to Russia. In April 1653 he was met with great honor in Moscow by Patriarch Nikon (1652-1658) and Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich. Having received generous alms for the needs of the monastery, Patriarch Athanasius left for Galats in December 1653. On the way he fell ill and stayed at the Transfiguration Mgarsk monastery in the city of Lubno in February 1654.
Sensing his impending death, the saint wrote his last will, and he fell asleep in the Lord on April 5. Igumen Petronios and the brethren of the monastery buried the Patriarch. By Greek custom the saint was buried in a sitting position. On February 1, 1662 St Athanasius was glorified as a saint and his Feastday was designated as May 2, the Feast of St Athanasius the Great.
The relics of holy Patriarch Athansios, glorified by numerous miracles and signs, rest in the city of Kharkov, in the Annunciation cathedral church.
1854 St. Joseph Luu native Vietnamese martyr died in prison for refusing to abjure the faith even under torture.

He was a catechist at the time of his arrest. He died in prison for refusing to abjure the faith, even under torture, and was canonized in 1988.

Blessed Joseph Luu M (AC) Born at Cai-nhum, Cochin-China, Vietnam; died at Vinh-long, 1854; beatified in 1909. Joseph was a native who died in prison for the faith. He may have been among those included in the canonization of the Martyrs of Vietnam in 1988, but the orthographic inconsistencies in the latinization of Chinese names makes it nearly impossible to tell without a complete list of those who were canonized at that time (Benedictines).
The Putivil Icon depicts the Mother of God holding Christ on her left arm, and a ladder behind her right hand.
Christ is holding an orb in His left hand, and bestows a blessing with His right.
The Putivil Icon is thought to be a copy of the Abul Icon from Mt Abul in Serbia.
The Putivl'sk Icon of the Mother of God appeared on 2 May 1635 in the city of Putivl' of Kursk region on the city's Nikol'sk gates (by some sources, the icon was first appeared in the year 1238). The wonderworking image was for a long time situated on the city-gates and glorified by numerous miracles and signs.


 Monday  Saints of this Day May 02 Sexto Nonas Maji  
  Sixth Week in Easter

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”.

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

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