Mary Mother of GOD
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!
  RDeo grátias. R.  Thanks be to God.
Sixth Week of Easter


 We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director
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.

Who Are You, My Queen?  May 25 - Our Lady of the New Jerusalem (530)
Who are you, my Queen? Who are you, Immaculate? I cannot understand what it means to be a creature of God.
Immaculate ... I turn to you in a humble prayer: Grant me the gift to praise you, Blessed Virgin ...
Help me understand and express what God prepared in you and through you.

Immaculate, Queen of heaven and earth, I know I am unworthy to approach you, to fall on my knees in front of you, but since I love you so much, let me ask you, you who are so good, to tell me who you are,
because I have the desire to know you more and more, without limits, and to love you with increasing fervor.

Grant me the gift to praise you, Blessed Virgin.  Let me glorify you by my sacrifice.
May I live, work, suffer, be consumed and die for you and you alone!

Prayer to the Immaculate by Father Maximilian Kolbe
Quoted in the Revue du Rosaire, February 1973.

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

In our neighbor, we should observe only what is good. -- St. Jeanne de Chantal

May 25 – Our Lady of the Sea (Aix en Provence, France) – Saint Bede the Venerable
My soul magnifies the Lord!
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. The first meaning of these words is certainly to recognize all the gifts that God has bestowed on her, Mary, personally; but she goes on to recall the universal blessing that God continually pours forth on the human race.

The soul glorifies the Lord when she applies all her inner powers to praise and serve God (…). The spirit rejoices in God its Savior, when it places all its joy in remembering his Creator, from whom it hopes to receive eternal salvation.

Perhaps these words express perfectly what all the saints are thinking, but it is especially fitting that they were pronounced by the Blessed Mother of God who, filled with a unique privilege, was burning with an all-spiritual love for the One she had the joy of conceiving in her flesh.
Saint Bede the Venerable
Monastic Lectionary of Solesmes for the Visitation, homily for the Easter Season, Éditions du Cerf, Paris

Ecclesiastical History and other historical works is C. Plummer’s (1896), but there are several more popular translated editions; Stapleton’s delightful version (1565) was reprinted in 1930, and modernized by P. Hereford in 1935. Ven BEDE
"I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile." Pope Gregory the VII  1073-1085
  Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi,
pray that we will make a commitment to seek the presence of God in prayer the way you did.
Guide us to see the graces God gives us as gifts not rewards and to respond
with gratitude and humility, not pride and selfishness. Amen
       St. Mary, the mother of James At Veroli Campania the translation of, revered body is noted for many miracles
       At Assisi in Umbria, the translation of St. Francis, confessor, in the time of Pope Gregory IX 1227-1241.
 230 Pope Urban I Alexander Severus Roman emperor 222-35 favoured a religious eclecticism and also protected Christianity
302 St. Julius of Dorostorum birthday of the holy martyrs Pasicrates, Valentio, and two others crowned with them.
359 St. Dionysius of Milan Bishop defended Athanasius banished to Cappadocia with Eusebius of Vercelli and Lucifer of Cagliari
384 St. Maximus & Victorinu
417 St. Zenobius Florence bishop renowned for the sanctity of his life and his glorious miracles.
550 St. Leo of Troyes Abbot who succeeded St. Romanus at Mautenay,
709 St. Aldhelm abbot of Malmesbury practiced great austerity holiness
717 St. Dunchadh   
735 Venerable St. Bede born near St. Peter and St. Paul monastery at Wearmouth-Jarrow, England Doctor of the Church {Pope Leo XIII}
881 St. Egilhar
936 St Gennadius
1085  Pope Gregory VII  At Salerno, the death of blessed , a most zealous protector and champion of Church liberty.
1607 St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi virgin of the Order of the Carmelites famed for her holy life suffering mystic
1865 St. Madeleine Sophie Barat foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, who devoted her labours for the Christian education

Vérulis, in Hérnicis, Translátio sanctæ Maríæ Jacóbi; cujus sacrum corpus plúrimis miráculis illustrátur.
    At Veroli in Campania, the translation of St. Mary, the mother of James the Less, whose revered body is noted for many miracles.
James, the Apostle, son of Alphaeus
James (son of Alphaeus) One of the 12 Apostles. He is named in the list of Apostles in Matthew 10:1-3, Mark 3:14-19, Luke 6:13-16, and Acts 1:13. His mother's name was Mary and she was one of the women who went to the tomb of Jesus, and found that it had been opened. James was also called "James the Less" and "James the Younger."

 Assísii, in Umbria, item Translátio sancti Francísci Confessóris, témpore Gregórii Papæ Noni.
    At Assisi in Umbria, the translation of St. Francis, confessor, in the time of Pope Gregory IX.

230 Pope Urban I Alexander Severus Roman emperor 222-35 favoured a religious eclecticism and also protected Christianity
Romæ, via Nomentána, natális beáti Urbáni Primi, Papæ et Mártyris, cujus exhortatióne et doctrína complúres (in quibus fuere Tibúrtius et Valeriánus) Christi suscepérunt fidem, et pro ea martyrium subiérunt.  Ipse quoque, in persecutióne Alexándri Sevéri, multa passus pro Ecclésia Dei, tandem, cervícibus abscíssis, martyrio coronátus est.
    At Rome, on the Via Nomentana, the birthday of blessed Urban, pope and martyr, by whose exhortation and teaching many persons, among whom were Tiburtius and Valerian, received the faith of Christ and suffered martyrdom for it.  He himself endured many afflictions for the Church of God, and was crowned with martyrdom by being beheaded in the persecution of Alexander Severus.
THE notice in the Roman Martyrology reads: “At Rome on the Via Nomentana, the birthday of Blessed Urban, Pope and Martyr, by whose exhortation and teaching many persons, including Tiburtius and Valerian, received the faith of Christ, and underwent martyrdom therefor; he himself also suffered much for God’s Church in the persecution of Alexander Severus and at length was crowned with martyrdom, being beheaded.”
It is to be feared that even this short notice is mainly apocryphal. The reference to Tiburtius and Valerian is derived from the very unsatisfactory Acts of St Cecilia, from which also the account of Urban in the Liber Pontificalis has borrowed. It is quite certain in any case that Pope Urban was not buried on the Via Nomentana, but in the cemetery of St Callistus, on the Via Appia, where a portion of his sepulchral slab, bearing his name, has been found in modem times. Not far from the cemetery of Callistus on the same main road was the cemetery of Praetextatus, and there another Urban, a martyr, had been buried. Confusion arose between the two, and an old building close beside the Praetextatus catacomb was converted into a small church, afterwards known as St Urbano alla Caffarella.
The confusion of the two Urbans and the muddle hence resulting in the notices of the Hieronymianum are points full of interest, but too complicated to be discussed here. See CMH., pp. 262 and 273; Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, pp. xlvii, xciii and 143 ; De Rossi, Roma Sotterranea, vol. ii, pp. xxii—xxv, 53, 151. Besides the passio of Pope Urban in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. vi, several other texts have been printed in the Bollandist cata­logues of Latin manuscripts; see BHL., nn. 8372—8392.
Reigned 222-30, date of birth unknown; died 23 May, 230. According to the "Liber Pontificalis," Urban was a Roman and his father's name was Pontianus. After the death of Callistus I (14 October, 222) Urban was elected Bishop of Rome, of which Church he was the head for eight years, according to Eusebius (Hist. eccl., VI, 23). The document called the Liberian catalogue of popes puts the beginning of his pontificate in the year 223 and its close in the year 230. The dissension produced in the Roman Church by Hippolytus (q.v.) continued to exist during Urban's pontificate. Hippolytus and his adherents persisted in schism; it was probably during the reign of Urban that Hippolytus wrote his "Philosophumena", in which he attacked Pope Callistus severely. Urban maintained the same attitude towards the schismatical party and its leader that his predecessor had adopted. The historical authorities say nothing of any other factious troubles in the life of the Roman Church during this era.

In 222 Alexander Severus became Roman emperor. He favoured a religious eclecticism and also protected Christianity. His mother, Julia Mammaea, was a friend of the Alexandrine teacher Origen, whom she summonded to Antioch. Hippolytus dedicated his work on the Resurrection to her. The result of the favourable opinion of Christianity held by the emperor and his mother was that Christians enjoyed complete peace in essentials, although their legal status was not changed. The historian Lampridius (Alex. Sever., c. xxii) says emphatically that Alexander Severus made no trouble for the Christians: "Christianos esse passus est." Undoubtedly the Roman Church experienced the happy results of these kindly intentions and was unmolested during this emperor's reign (222-235). The emperor even protected Roman Christians in a legal dispute over the ownership of a piece of land. When they wished to build a church on a piece of land in Rome which was also claimed by tavern-keepers, the matter was brought before the imperial court, and Severus decided in favour of the Christians, declaring it was better that God should be worshipped on that spot (Lampridius, "Alex. Sever.", c. xlix).
Nothing is known concerning the personal labours of Pope Urban.

The increase in extent of various Roman Catacombs in the first half of the third century proves that Christians grew largely in numbers during this period. The legendary Acts of St. Cecilia connect the saint, as well as her husband and brother-in-law, with Urban, who is said to have baptized her husband and her brother-in-law. This narrative, however, is purely legendary, and has no historical value whatever; the same is true of the Acts of the martyrdom of Urban himself, which are of still later date than the legend of St. Cecilia. The statement of the "Liber Pontificalis" that Urban converted many by his sermons, rests on the Acts of St. Cecilia. Another statement on the same authority, that Urban had ordered the making of silver liturgical vessels, is only an invention of the later editor of the biography early in the sixth century, who arbitrarily attributed to Urban the making of certain vessels, including the patens for twenty-five titular churches of his own time. The particulars of the death of Urban are unknown, but, judging from the peace of his era, he must have died a natural death. The "Liber Pontificalis" states that he became a confessor in the reign of Diocletian; the date added is without authority.
His name does not appear in the "Depositio Episcopoirum" of the fourth century in the "Kalendarium Philocalianum".

Two different statements are made in the early authorities as to the grave of Urban, of which, however, only one refers to the pope of this name. In the Acts of St. Cecilia and the "Liber Pontificalis" it is said that Pope Urban was buried in the Catacomb of Praetextatus on the Via Appia. The Itineraries of the seventh century to the graves of the Roman martyrs all mention the grave of an Urban in connexion with the graves of several martyrs who are buried in the Catacomb of Praetextatus. One of the Itineraries gives this Urban the title "Bishop and Confessor." Consequently, from the fourth century, all Roman tradition has venerated the pope of this name in the Urban of the Catacomb of Praetextatus. In excavating a double chamber of the Catacomb of St. Callistus, De Rossi found, however, a fragment of the lid of a sarcophagus that bore the inscription OUPBANOCE [piskopos]. He also proved that in the list of martyrs and confessors buried in the Catacomb of St. Callistus, drawn up by Sixtus III (432-40), the name of an Urban is to be found. The great archaeologist De Rossi therefore came to the conclusion that the Urban buried in St. Callistus was the pope, while the saint of the same name buried in St. Praetextatus was the bishop of another see who died at Rome and was buried in this catacomb. Most historians agree with this opinion, which, however, chiefly founded on the Acts of St. Cecilia. The lettering of the above-mentioned epitaph of an Urban in St. Callistus indicates a later period, as a comparison with the lettering of the papal epitaphs in the papal crypt proves. In the list prepared by Sixtus III and mentioned above, Urban is not given in the succession of popes, but appears among the foreign bishops who died at Rome and were buried in St. Callistus.

Thus it seems necessary to accept the testimony that Pope Urban was buried in the Catacomb of Praetextatus, while the Urban lying in St. Callistus is a bishop of a later date from some other city. This view best reconciles the statements of the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum". Under date of 25 May (VIII kal. Jun.) is to be found the notice: "Via nomentana miliario VIII natale Urbani episcopi in cimiterio Praetextati" ("Martyr. Hieronym.", ed. De Rossi-Duchesne, 66). The catacomb on the Via Nomentana, however, is that which contains the grave of Pope Alexander, while the Catacomb of Praetextatus is on the Via Appia. Duchesne has proved (Lib. Pontif., I, xlvi-xlvii) that in the list of graves of the popes from which this notice is taken a line dropped out, and that it originally stated that the grave of Pope Alexander was on the Via Nomentana, and the grave of Pope Urban on the Via Appia in the Catacomb of Praetextatus. Consequently 25 May is the day of the burial of Urban in this catacomb. As the same martyrology contains under the date of 19 May (XIV kal. Jun.) a long list of martyrs headed by the two Roman martyrs Calocerus and Partenius, who are buried in the Catacomb of St. Callistus, and including an Urban, this Urban is apparently the foreign bishop of that name who lies buried in the same catacomb.
302 St. Julius of Dorostorum; birthday of the holy martyrs Pasicrates, Valentio, and 2 others crowned with them.
Doróstori, in Mysia inferióre, item natális sanctórum Mártyrum Pasícratis, Valentiónis et aliórum duórum, simul coronatórum.
    At Silistria in Bulgaria, the birthday of the holy martyrs Pasicrates, Valentio, and two others crowned with them.
Martyr with Pasicrates and Valentio. Pasicrates and Valentio died two days before Julius, who was a Roman soldier put to death with his companions at Dorostorum on the Danube, at modem Silistria. Hesychius, a fellow soldier, encouraged Julius in his sufferings and also died.
359 St. Dionysius of Milan; defended Athanasius, banished to Cappadocia with Eusebius of Vercelli and Lucifer of Cagliari
Medioláni sancti Dionysii Epíscopi, qui, ab Ariáno Imperatóre Constántio in Cappadóciam pro fide cathólica relegátus, ibídem, propióre Martyribus titulo, spíritum Deo réddidit.  Ejus sacrum corpus ab Aurélio Epíscopo transmíssum est Mediolánum ad beátum Ambrósium Epíscopum; cui piæ actióni offícium quoque sancti Basilíi Magni accessísse tráditur.
    At Milan, Bishop St. Denis, who for the Catholic faith was exiled into Cappadocia by the Arian emperor Constantius, where he yielded his soul to God in a manner almost like that of the martyrs.  His revered body was sent to blessed Bishop Ambrose at Milan, by Bishop Aurelius, with the help, it is said, of St. Basil the Great.
Bishop of Milan, Italy, the successor of St. Protasius in 351.
AMONGST the few faithful bishops who upheld the cause of St Athanasius when the whole world seemed to have turned against him, a place of honour must be accorded to St Dionysius, who succeeded Protasius in 351 as metropolitan of Milan. An ardent champion of the Catholic faith, he found himself summoned in 355 to attend, in his own episcopal city but at the imperial palace, a synod which the Arian Emperor Constantius had convoked to pronounce the condemnation of Athanasius.
Although nearly all the prelates present were overawed into signing the decree, St Dionysius, St Eusebius of Vercelli, and Lucifer of Cagliari refused to do so. They were accordingly banished, and St Dionysius retired into Cappadocia, where he died about the year 360, probably shortly before the Emperor Julian sanctioned the return of the exiles to their churches. A point of interest is the fact that the remains of the saint were sent back to Milan all the way from Cappadocia by St Basil. The letter in which Basil describes to St Ambrose the care taken to authenticate the relics is still preserved.
In the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. vi, a life of St Dionysius is given. It is of little historical value, as the document, or possibly some earlier text upon which it is based, was probably, as Father Savio has shown, compiled by the unscrupulous chronicler Landulf at the end of the eleventh century. Father Savio’s comments will be found in his book, Gli Antichi Vescovi d’Italia, La Lombarda, pp. 114 Seq. and 753 seq. See also Lanzoni, Le Diocesi d’Italia, vol. ii (1927), p. 1014, and especially CMH., pp. 81 and 271, with Hefele-Leclercq’s Conciles, vol. i, pp. 873—877. For St Basil’s letter, see Migne, PG., vol. xxxii, cc. 712—713.
Dionysius attended the Synod of Milan called by Arian Emperor Constantius II to condemn St. Athanasius. When Dionysius defended Athanasius, he was banished to Cappadocia with Eusebius of Vercelli and Lucifer of Cagliari. Dionysius died in exile, but St. Ambrose had his remains enshrined in Milan.
384 St. Maximus & Victorinus
Martyrs of France, brothers sent by Pope Damasus to preach in Gaul. They were martyred by pagans at Evreux.
417 St. Zenobius Florence bishop renowned for the sanctity of his life and his glorious miracles.
Floréntiæ natális sancti Zenóbii, ejúsdem civitátis Epíscopi, vitæ sanctitáte ac miraculórum glória conspícui.
    At Florence, the birthday of St. Zenobius, bishop of that city, renowned for the sanctity of his life and his glorious miracles.
FACT and fiction are intermingled in the traditional history of St Zenobius, the principal patron of Florence, and there are no contemporary records from which to reconstruct a reliable biography. A member of the Geronimo family of Florence, he is said to have been baptized at the age of twenty-one by Bishop Theodore, who afterwards ordained him and made him his archdeacon. The virtues and learning of Zenobius won him the friendship of St Ambrose of Milan, by whose advice he was called to Rome by Pope St Damasus. After carrying out successfully a mission from the Holy See to Constantinople, he returned to Italy. Upon the death of Theodore he was chosen bishop of Florence, and edified all men by his eloquence, his miracles and the holy life he led with his deacon St Eugenius and his subdeacon St Crescentius. Five dead persons, we are told, were resuscitated by him, including a child who was run over by a cart as he played before the cathedral. St Zenobius died at the age of eighty and was buried at first in San Lorenzo and then in the cathedral. Scenes from the life of St Zenobius form the subject of many pictures by old masters in the Florentine galleries.
The text of several short lives is printed in Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. vi, but no one of them can be dated earlier than the eleventh century. The existence of Bishop Theodore is doubtful. See especially Davidsohn, Forschungen zur älteren Geschichte von Florenz, vol. i, and with regard to the reputed relics of the saint, Cocchi, Ricognizioni . . . delle Reliquie di S. Zenobio.
Zenobius (d.c. 390) + Bishop of Florence, Italy. He was a member of the Florentine Geronimo family. Zenobius is best known for his close friendships with Saints Ambrose of Milan and Pope St. Damasus I (r. 366-384) The latter used him as a papal legate to Constantinople (modern Istanbul,Turkey) to deliver the papal views concerning the Arian heresy which was then troubling the Church. Zenobius was famous for miracles, including raising five people from the dead. 417 St. Zenobius - b 337
Bishop of Florence and one of the patrons of that city, b. there in the latter part of the reign of Constantine I; d. 337. Carefully educated by pagan parents, he came early under the influence of the holy bishop Theodore, was baptized by him, and succeeded, after much opposition, in bringing his father and mother to the Christian Faith. He embraced the clerical state, and rapidly rose to the position of archdeacon, when his virtues and notable powers as a preacher made him known to St. Ambrose, at whose instance Pope Damasus (366-86) called him to Rome, and employed him in various important missions, including a legation to Constantinople. On the death of Damasus he returned to his native city, where he resumed his apostolic labours, and on the death of the bishop of that see, Zenobius, to the great joy of the people, was appointed to succeed him.
The ancient legends of his episcopal career -- in which, however, there are many interpolations of a later date -- are unanimous in their description of his saintly life and supernatural gifts.
Extraordinary miracles, including several instances of the restoration of the dead to life, are attributed to him, and during his prolonged episcopate his fervour and zeal for souls never for a moment flagged. According to his biographer and successor in the See of Florence, Antonius, he died in his ninetieth year, in 424; but, as Antonius says that Innocent I (d. 417) was at the time pope, the date is uncertain. There is ground for believing that he actually died in 417, on 25 May, on which day the ancient tower where he is supposed to have lived, near the Ponte Vecchio, is annually decorated with flowers. His body was first buried in the Basilica of St. Laurence (consecrated by St. Ambrose in 393), and was later translated to San Salvador's church, on the site of the present cathedral. Beneath the high altar is the silver shrine of the saint, designed by Ghiberti about 1440, inn the same style as his famous bronze gates. There is a statute of Zenobus in San Marco, and other memorials of him in the city, where his name and memory are still venerated.
550 St. Leo of Troyes Abbot who succeeded St. Romanus at Mautenay,  
In território Tricassíno sancti Leónis Confessóris.    In the territory of Troyes, St. Leo, confessor.
AT Mantenay, a village in the diocese of Troyes, St Leo’s whole life was passed:  there he was born and there he entered a monastery which had been built not very many years earlier by St Romanus, afterwards bishop of Rheims. First as a simple monk, afterwards as abbot in succession to Romanus, Leo led an edifying and uneventful existence. One night when he lay, as was his custom, on the baptistery floor, St Hilary, St Martin of Tours and St Anastasius of Orleans appeared to announce his death which, they told him, was to take place in three days. St Leo asked for a three days’ respite to enable him to obtain a mortuary habit which a good woman had promised him. The delay was granted and a messenger was despatched from the abbey to ask for the garment. The lady acknowledged that she had not yet made it as the father abbot seemed hale and hearty, but said he should have it in three days. The promise was kept: the habit was duly sent: and St Leo at the appointed time passed to his reward.
A short account of St Leo is given both in Mabillon and the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. vi, but the materials merit little confidence. His name, however, has been included in certain later recensions of the Hieronymianum.
Abbot who succeeded St. Romanus at Mautenay, near Troyes, France.
709 St. Aldhelm abbot of Malmesbury practiced great austerity holiness
In Británnia sancti Aldélmi, Epíscopi Schireburgénsis.
In England, St. Aldhelm, bishop of Sherburn.

THE first Englishman to attain distinction as a scholar in his native land and across the seas was St Aldhelm or Ealdhelm. Sufficient is preserved of his Latin writings in prose and in verse to give an idea of his obscure and surprising style. A relation to Ine, King of the West Saxons, he was born about the year 639, and received his early education at Malmesbury under an Irish teacher named Maildub. It is not clear where he spent his first years of manhood, but when he was between thirty and forty we find him at Canterbury, which had become a great centre of religious and secular learning under Archbishop St Theodore and St Adrian. It was to Abbot Adrian that St Aldhelm attributed the literary proficiency he afterwards developed. While he was at Canterbury, or perhaps earlier, he received the tonsure and took the habit. Upon the death or retirement of Maildub, St Aldhelm returned to Malmesbury to take charge of the school, and about the year 683 he was appointed abbot.
He did much to foster religion and education in Wessex, especially after the accession of King Ine, whose counsellor he became. For the edification and instruction of the poor, whose spiritual needs he had so much at heart, he composed verses and songs in English, for he was a skilled musician.
King Alfred dearly loved St Aldhelm’s English hymns, and the holy man’s ballads were popular down to a much later date, but unfortunately they are not now extant.

He founded subsidiary monasteries at Frome and Bradford-on-Avon, besides building several churches; one at Bradford-on-Avon dedicated by him to St Laurence is standing to this day, the loveliest remaining piece of Saxon building.

  At the request of a synod summoned by King Ine, he addressed a letter to Geraint, king of Dumnonia (Cornwall and Devon), which proved the means of reconciling to the Roman use a number of ecclesiastics who had till then adhered to the Celtic tradition in such matters as the date of keeping Easter. St Aldhelm is said to have made a journey to Rome, but of this visit we have no satisfactory evidence.

When, after the death of St Hedda in 705, Wessex was divided into two dioceses, the more westerly was bestowed upon Aldhelm, who fixed his episcopal seat at Sherborne. Four years later he died, while on a visitation to Doulting, near Westbury. His body was conveyed back to Malmesbury with great solemnity, crosses being set up at the places where the body had rested on the way.
   Best known of St Aldhelm’s writings is a treatise on virginity dedicated to the nuns of Barking; there are also a number of Latin poems and a book on prosody containing as illustrations some metrical riddles—it has been remarked that Aldhelm would have appreciated the crossword-puzzles of a later age. His feast is now kept in the dioceses of Clifton, Plymouth and (on May 28) Southwark.

The accounts of St Aldhelm furnished by Faricius of Abingdon and by William of Malmesbury (both printed in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. vi) are not very trustworthy, as coming from twelfth-century writers. Bede refers to him in respectful terms, but does not tell us very much. The best edition of Aldhelm’s works is that edited by Ehwald in MGH, Auctores Antiquissimi, vol. xv. See also the Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. i, pp. 72—79; Father Thurston in the Catholic Encyclopaedia, vol. i, pp. 280—281; and H. S. Duckett, Anglo-Saxon Saints and Scholars (1947). The existing Bradford church is probably the successor of Aldhelm’s ecclesiola.
Bishop and abbot, also called Adelemus, Athelmas, Adelnie, Eadelhelm, Aedelhem. Born about 639, and a relative of King Ine of Wessex, he received his early education at Malmesbury, in Wiltshire, England. There he was trained by an Irish teacher, Maildubh, and by Adrian, a native of Roman Africa.  Adrian arrived in England with Bishop Theodore and made abbot of St. Augustine's, Canterbury.
After his training in Malmesbury, Aldhelrn was named abbot of Malmesbury, where he practiced great austerity. During his term in office the abbey prospered, and he also founded St. Lawrence monastery, in the area of Bradfordon-on-Avon. Aldhelm went to Rome to represent Malmesbury before Pope Sergius. He also counseled the Wessex Synod. In 705, Aldhelm succeeded Hedda as bishop of Sherborne, Hedda's original diocese being divided. He died only four years later. A silver shrine was erected at Malmesbury in 857 by King Ethelwulf. The shrine honored not only the saint's holiness but his extraordinary and long-lasting impact on English scholarship. He was the first Englishman to promote classical learning in the isles. Some evidence of his own remarkable literary skills is extant.

Aldhelm Katholische und Anglikanische Kirche: 25. Mai
Aldhelm (Aeldhelm/Ealdhelm u.a.) wurde um 639 in Wessex geboren. Er wurde im Kloster Malmesbury und in Canterbury erzogen. Einer seiner Lehrer war der Benediktinermönch Adrian, der mit Theodor nach England gekommen war.
Aldhelm wurde Abt des Klosters Malmesbury. Er gründete mehrere Kirche, darunter die Laurentiuskirche in Bradford on Avon. Er war ein bekannter Gelehrter und die erhaltenen Fragmente seiner Werke ("De laude virginitatis") gehören zu den ältesten Zeugnissen englischer Literatur. 705 wurde er Bischof von Sherborne. Er starb 709 und wurde in seinem Kloster beigesetzt. Ihm werden zahlreiche Wunder - vor allem nach seinem Tod -zugeschrieben.

717 St. Dunchadh
(Dunichad, Duncad, Donatus)
Confessor, Abbot of Iona; date of birth unknown, died in 717. He was the son of Ceannfaeladh and grandson of Maelcobha of the house of Conall Gulban. He is first heard of as Abbot of Killochuir on the coast of S.E. Ulster (perhaps Killough, County Down). There is considerable dispute as to the year in which he became Abbot of Hy (Iona). The "Annals of Ulster" first mention him in that capacity under the year 706 (really 707); but Conamhail was abbot from 704 to 710. It may be that St. Dunchadh was coadjutor to Conamhail (the phrase is principatum tenuit). Or perhaps there was some schism in the monastery over the paschal question, for though St. Dunchadh is said to have ruled from 710 till 717, in 713 the death of "St. Dorbaine Foda, Abbot of Ia" is recorded by the "Annals of the Four Masters", and the same authority relates the appointment of "Faelchu, son of Dorbene" to the abbacy in 714. It was this Faelchu who was certainly abbot from 717 to 724. Both of these, however, may have been really coadjutors to St. Dunchadh, or priors, or even bishops, for there were certainly bishops in Iona at that period, and the phrase employed is cathedram Iae obtinuit.

   However this may be, the paschal controversy was settled at Iona by the adoption of the Roman usage, while St. Dunchadh was abbot. This took place at the instance of St. Egbert, a Northumbrian priest, who had been educated in Ireland. He came to Iona in 716, and was at once successful in persuading the community to abandon the Celtic Easter and tonsure.
735 Venerable Bede born near St. Peter and St. Paul monastery at Wearmouth-Jarrow, England
Girvi, in Anglia, tránsitus sancti Bedæ Venerábilis, Presbyteri, Confessóris et Ecclésiæ Doctóris, sanctitáte et eruditióne celebérrimi.  Ipsíus autem festum recólitur sexto Kaléndas Júnii.
    At Jarrow in England, the death of St. Venerable Bede, priest, confessor and doctor of the Church, well known for his sanctity and scholarship.  His feast, however, was celebrated on the 27th day of May.
He was sent there when he was three and educated by Abbots Benedict Biscop and Ceolfrid. He became a monk at the monastery, was ordained when thirty, and except for a few brief visits elsewhere, spent all of his life in the monastery, devoting himself to the study of Scripture and to teaching and writing.
He is considered one of the most learned men of his time and a major influence on English literature.
His writings are a veritable summary of the learning of his time and include commentaries on the Pentateuch and various other books of the Bible, theological and scientific treatises, historical works, and biographies.

His best-known work is HISTORIA ECCLESIASTICA, a history of the English Church and people, which he completed in 731. It is an account of Christianity in England up to 729 and is a primary source of early English history. Called "the Venerable" to acknowledge his wisdom and learning, the title was formalized at the Council of Aachen in 853. He was a careful scholar and distinguished stylist, the "father" of English history, the first to date events anno domini (A.D.), and in 1899, was declared the only English doctor of the Church. He died in Wearmouth-Jarrow on May 25.
ALMOST all that is known about the life of St Bede is derived from a short account he has given of himself and from a touching description of his last hours written by one of his disciples, a monk called Cuthbert. In the closing chapter of his famous work, the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, the Venerable Bede says:
“Thus much concerning the ecclesiastical history of Britain and especially of the English nation, I, Bede, a servant of Christ and priest of the monastery of the Blessed Apostles St Peter and St Paul, which is at Wear-mouth and at Jarrow, have with the Lord’s help composed so far as I could gather it either from ancient documents or from the traditions of our forefathers or from my own knowledge. I was born in the territory of the said monastery and at the age of seven I was, by the care of my relations, given to the most reverend Abbot Benedict [St Benedict Biscop] and afterwards to Ceolfrid to be educated. From that time I have spent my whole life in that monastery, devoting all my efforts to the study of the Scriptures, and amid the observance of monastic discipline and the daily charge of singing in the church it has ever been my delight to learn or teach or write. In my nineteenth year I was admitted to the diaconate and in my thirtieth to the priesthood—both by the hands of the most reverend Bishop John [St John of Beverley] and at the bidding of Abbot Ceolfrid. From the time of my ordination up till my present fifty-ninth year I have endeavoured, for my own use and that of the brethren, to make brief notes upon the Holy Scriptures either out of the works of the venerable fathers or in conformity with their meaning and interpretation.”
He goes on to give a list of his writings and concludes with the words:
“And I pray thee, loving Jesus, that as thou hast graciously given me to drink in with delight the words of thy knowledge, so thou wouldst mercifully grant me to attain one day to thee, the fountain of all wisdom, and to appear for ever before thy face.”

   That Bede sometimes visited friends in other monasteries has been inferred from the fact that in 733 he stayed for a few days in York with Archbishop Egbert; but except for such brief interludes his life was spent in a round of prayer and praise, of writing and of study. A fortnight before Easter 735 he began to be much troubled by shortness of breath, and all seem to have realized that the end was near. Nevertheless his pupils continued to study by his bedside and to read aloud, their reading often interrupted by tears. He for his part gave thanks to God. During the “Great Forty Days” from Easter to the Ascension, in addition to singing the office and instructing his pupils, he was engaged on a translation of St John’s Gospel into English, and a collection of notes from St Isidore; for, he said,
“I will not have my scholars read what is false or labour unprofitably on this after my death.” On Rogation Tuesday he began to be much worse, but he passed the day peacefully and dictated in school, saying occasionally: “Go on quickly: I do not know how long I shall hold out and whether my Maker will soon remove me.”
After a wakeful night spent in thanksgiving he began to dictate the last chapter of St John. At three in the afternoon he sent for the priests of the monastery, distributed to them some pepper, incense and a little linen which he had in a box and asked for their prayers. They wept much when he said they would see his face on earth no more, but rejoiced that he was about to return to his Creator. In the evening the boy who was acting as his amanuensis said, “There is still one sentence, dear master, which is not written down”, and when that last passage had been supplied and he was told that it was finished, Bede exclaimed, “You have well said...all is finished. Take my head in your hands that I may have the comfort of sitting opposite the holy place where I used to pray and that, so sitting, I may call upon my Father.” And on the floor of his cell, singing “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost”, he breathed his last.
Several fantastic stories have been invented to account for the title of “Venerable” by which Bede is known ; it was actually a term of respect not infrequently bestowed in days of old upon distinguished members of religious orders. We find it applied to Bede by the Council of Aáchen in 836, and the title seems to have struck the public imagination as peculiarly suitable. It has clung to him through the succeeding centuries and, though in 1899 he was authoritatively recognized as saint and doctor of the Church, it remains his special designation to this day.
Bede, the only English doctor of the Church, is the only Englishman who sufficiently impressed Dante to name him in the Paradiso. That that one should be Bede is not surprising: the monk who hardly left his monastery became known throughout England and far beyond—his homilies are read in the Divine Office everywhere in the Western church. But for his Ecclesiastical History—which is more than ecclesiastical—England’s history before 729, “the year of the comets” would be dark indeed; through the school of York, founded by his pupil Archbishop Egbert, and by his own writings, he was a power in the scholarship of Carolingian Europe; and if we know little enough about his personal life, that account of his last hours by the monk Cuthbert is enough—“the death of his saints is precious in the eyes of the Lord”. St Boniface said of Bede that he was “a light of the Church lit by the Holy Ghost”; and that light has never been quenched, even in this world.

Many books have been written about St Bede and his times, especially by Anglicans. Dr William Bright’s Chapters of Early English Church History (1878) is in some respects open to objection from a Catholic point of view, but no one has written more eloquently or sym­pathetically of Bede’s own character. Bede His Life, Times and Writings, ed. by A. Hamilton Thompson (1935), is a most valuable collection of essays by non-Catholic scholars. H. M. Gillett’s popular biography is excellent, as is the essay in R. W. Chambers’s Man’s Unconquerable Mind (1939), pp. 23—52. In the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. vi, we have little but what purports to be a life by Turgot, really an extract from Simeon of Durham, and an account of the translation of Bede’s remains to Durham cathedral. The definitive edition of the Ecclesiastical History and other historical works is C. Plummer’s (1896), but there are several more popular translated editions; Stapleton’s delightful version (1565) was reprinted in 1930, and modernized by P. Hereford in 1935. For Bede’s martyrology, see D. Quentin, Les martyrologes historiques (1908). See also T. D. Hardy, Descriptive Catalogue (RolIs Series), vol. i, pp. 450—455. “Remember”, writes Cardinal Gasquet, “what the work was upon which St Bede was engaged upon his deathbed—the translation of the gospels into English”…But of this work “ to break the word to the poor and unlearned” nothing is now extant.

735 Saint Bede was a church historian who recorded the history of Christianity in England up to his own time
He was probably born around 673 in Northumbria. We do not know exactly where he was born, but it is likely that it was somewhere near Jarrow. When he was seven, Bede was sent to St Benedict Biscop (January 12) at the monastery of St Peter at Wearmouth to be educated and raised. Then he was sent to the new monastery of St Paul founded at Jarrow in 682, where he remained until his death. There he was guided by the abbot St Ceolfrith (September 25), who succeeded St Benedict in 690, ruling both Wearmouth and Jarrow.

There is an incident in the anonymous Life of Ceolfrith which may refer to the young Bede. A plague swept through Ceolfrith's monastery in 686, taking most of the monks who sang in the choir for the church services. Only the abbot and a young boy raised and educated by him remained. This young boy "is now a priest of the same monastery and commends the abbot's admirable deeds both verbally and in writing to all who desire to learn them."

Grieved by this catastrophe, Ceolfrith decided that they should sing the Psalms without antiphons, except at Matins and Vespers. After a week of this, he went back to chanting the antiphons in their proper place. With the help of the boy and the surviving monks, the services were performed with difficulty until other monks could be brought in and trained to sing.

St Bede was ordained as a deacon when he was nineteen, and to the holy priesthood at the age of thirty by St John of Beverley (May 7), the holy Bishop of Hexham (687), and later (705) of York. Bede had a great love for the church services, and believed that since the angels were present with the monks during the services, that he should also be there. "What if they do not find me among the brethren when they assemble? Will they not say, 'Where is Bede?'

Bede began as a pupil of St Benedict Biscop, who had been a monk of the famous monastery at Lerins, and had founded monasteries himself. St Benedict had brought many books with him to England from Lerins and from other European monasteries. This library enabled Bede to write his own books, which include biblical commentary, ecclesiastical history, and hagiography.

Bede was not an objective historian. He is squarely on the Roman side in the debate with Celtic Christianity, for example. He was, however, fair and thorough. His books, derived from "ancient documents, from the traditions of our ancestors, and from my own personal knowledge" (Book V, 24) give us great insight into the religious and secular life of early Britain. To read St Bede is to enter a world shaped by spiritual traditions very similar to those cherished by Orthodox Christians. These saints engage in the same heroic asceticism shown by saints in the East, and their holiness fills us with love and admiration. Christians were expected to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, and there was a forty day Nativity Fast (Book IV, 30).

St Bede became ill in 735. For about two weeks before Pascha, he was weak and had trouble breathing, but experienced little pain. He remained cheerful and gave daily lessons to his students, then spent the rest of the day singing Psalms and giving thanks to God. He would often quote the words of St Ambrose, "I have not lived in such a way that I am ashamed to live among you, and I do not fear to die, for God is gracious" (Paulinus, Life of Saint Ambrose, Ch. 45).

In addition to giving daily lessons and chanting the Psalms, St Bede was also working on an Anglo-Saxon translation of the Gospel of St John, and also a book of extracts from the writings of St Isidore of Seville (April 4). On the Tuesday before the Feast of the Lord's Ascension, the saint's breathing became more labored, and his feet began to swell. "Learn quickly," he told those who were taking dictation from him, "for I do not know how long I can continue. The Lord may call me in a short while."

After a sleepless night, St Bede continued his dictation on Wednesday morning. At the Third Hour, there was a procession with the relics of the saints in the monastery, and the brethren went to attend this service, leaving a monk named Wilbert with Bede. The monk reminded him that there remained one more chapter to be written in the book which he was dictating. Wilbert was reluctant to disturb the dying Bede, however. St Bede said, "It is no trouble. Take your pen and write quickly."

At the Ninth Hour, Bede paused and told Wilbert that he had some items in his chest, such as pepper, incense, and linen. He asked the monk to bring the priests of the monastery so that he could distribute these items to them. When they arrived, he spoke to each of them in turn, requesting them to pray for him and to remember him in the services. Then he said, "The time of my departure is at hand, and my soul longs to see Christ my King in His beauty."
That evening, Wilbert said to him, "Dear Master, there is one sentence left unfinished."
Bede said, "Very well, write it down."
Then the young monk said, "It is finished now."
St Bede replied, "You have spoken truly, it is well finished." Then he asked Wilbert to raise his head so that he could see the church where he used to pray. After chanting, "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit" to its ending, St Bede fell asleep in the Lord Whom he had loved.

Although St Bede reposed on May 25, the eve of the Ascension, he is commemorated on the 27th, since the Feast of St Augustine of Canterbury is appointed for the 26th. His body was first buried in the south porch of the monastery church, then later transferred to a place near the altar. Today his holy relics lie in Durham Cathedral, in the Galilee chapel.
St Bede is the only Englishman mentioned by Dante in the DIVINE COMEDY (Paradiso).

May 25, 2010 St. Bede the Venerable (672?-735) 
Bede is one of the few saints honored as such even during his lifetime. His writings were filled with such faith and learning that even while he was still alive, a Church council ordered them to be read publicly in the churches.

At an early age Bede was entrusted to the care of the abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul, Jarrow. The happy combination of genius and the instruction of scholarly, saintly monks produced a saint and an extraordinary scholar, perhaps the most outstanding one of his day. He was deeply versed in all the sciences of his times: natural philosophy, the philosophical principles of Aristotle, astronomy, arithmetic, grammar, ecclesiastical history, the lives of the saints and, especially, Holy Scripture. >From the time of his ordination to the priesthood at 30 (he had been ordained deacon at 19) till his death, he was ever occupied with learning, writing and teaching. Besides the many books that he copied, he composed 45 of his own, including 30 commentaries on books of the Bible.

Although eagerly sought by kings and other notables, even Pope Sergius, Bede managed to remain in his own monastery till his death. Only once did he leave for a few months in order to teach in the school of the archbishop of York. Bede died in 735 praying his favorite prayer: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As in the beginning, so now, and forever.”

His Ecclesiastical History of the English People is commonly regarded as of decisive importance in the art and science of writing history. A golden age was coming to an end at the time of Bede’s death: It had fulfilled its purpose of preparing Western Christianity to assimilate the non-Roman barbarian North. Bede recognized the opening to a new day in the life of the Church even as it was happening.
Comment:Though his History is the greatest legacy Bede has left us, his work in all the sciences (especially in Scripture) should not be overlooked. During his last Lent, he worked on a translation of the Gospel of St. John into English, completing it the day he died. But of this work “to break the word to the poor and unlearned” nothing remains today.
Quote: “We have not, it seems to me, amid all our discoveries, invented as yet anything better than the Christian life which Bede lived, and the Christian death which he died” (C. Plummer, editor of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History).
881 St. Egilhard
Martyred Benedictine abbot of Cornilmunster, near Aachen, Germany. He was martyred by Normans at Bercheim.
936 St. Gennadius
ST GENNADIUS, whom the Spaniards invoke against fever, was trained as a monk from an early age. He was afterwards the abbot and restorer of San Pedro de Montes, which St Fructuosus had founded at Vierzo in the Cantabrian Mountains. About the year 895, or possibly later, he was chosen bishop of Astorga and during his episcopate he built and restored several religious houses. Five years before his death he resigned his office to resume the life of a monk or hermit in a mountain desert. He died about the year 936 and was buried in his monastery of St Peter at Peñalba. He is described as a man of the deepest piety whose only preoccupation was the honour of God and the salvation of souls.
There is an account pieced together by Mabillon from various materials in Acta Sanctorum, 0.S.B., vol. v, pp. 33—38. Consult also Yepez, Coronica General de la Orden de San Benito, vol. iv, folios 266 seq.; Florez, España Sagrada, vol. xvi, pp. 129—147; V. de Ia Fuente, Histories ecclesiastica de España, vol. iii, pp. 239 seq. The very interesting renunciation, or testament, of St Gennadius is printed in Mabillon and elsewhere.
Bishop of Astorga, Spain, formerly a Benedictine monk at Argeo, Spain. He was also abbot of San Pedro de Montes at Vierzo. Named bishop in 895, he built many institutions in that diocese. In 931, Gennadius resigned and lived as a recluse until his death.
1085  Pope Gregory VII  At Salerno, the death of blessed, a most zealous protector and champion of Church liberty.  Pope St. Gregory VII (HILDEBRAND).
Salérni deposítio beáti Gregórii Séptimi, Papæ et Confessóris, ecclesiásticæ libertátis propugnatóris ac defensóris acérrimi.
    At Salerno, the death of blessed Pope Gregory VII, a most zealous protector and champion of Church liberty.

One of the greatest of the Roman pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all times; born between the years 1020 and 1025, at Soana, or Ravacum, in Tuscany; died 25 May, 1085, at Salerno.

THE Bollandist compilers of the Acta Sanctorum remark by way of a preface to the life of Gregory VII that he suffered much from persecutions during his lifetime and from calumnies after his death. It is, however, satisfactory to note that, whereas it was once the fashion to depict this great pope as an ecclesiastical tyrant, modern historians are agreed in recognizing his whole policy to have been inspired, not by ambition, but by an unquenchable thirst for justice—the establishment of righteousness upon the earth.
St Gregory was born in the hamlet of Rovaco, near Saona in Tuscany, and received at baptism the name of Hildebrand. Nothing is known of his parentage, but he was sent when young to Rome, to the care of an uncle who was superior of the monastery of St Mary on the Aventine. From there he attended the Lateran school where one of his masters, John Gratian, formed so high an opinion of him that, upon being raised to the papacy as Gregory VI, he chose his former pupil as his secretary. After Gregory’s death in Germany, Hildebrand retired into a monastery which—if we accept the tradition—was the great abbey of Cluny, then ruled over by St Odilo as abbot and St Hugh as prior. Gladly would Hildebrand have spent the rest of his life in the cloister, but Bruno, bishop of Toul, who was chosen to fill the chair of St Peter, persuaded him to return with him to Rome. There, as economus to Pope St Leo IX, he restored financial stability to the treasury and order to the city, besides co-operating with all that pontiff’s attempted reforms. Under St Leo’s four successors he continued to act as chief counsellor, and indeed was regarded by many as the “power behind the throne”. Nobody then was surprised when, at the death of Alexander II in 1073, Cardinal Archdeacon Hildebrand was elected pope by acclamation. He took the name of Gregory VII.
He had reason to be appalled at the magnitude of the task which lay before him. It was one thing to denounce the abuses which were corrupting the Church, as his friend St Peter Damian was doing, or even to wield the sword of justice in the service of other popes as he himself had done. It was quite another thing to feel directly responsible to God as Christ’s vicar on earth for the suppression of those abuses. No man was better qualified for the task. “On you, who have reached the summit of dignity, are fixed the eyes of all men”, wrote William of Metz. “They know the glorious combats you have sustained in. a lower station, and one and all now long to hear great things of you”. They were not disappointed.
To aid him in the reforms he was about to undertake Gregory could expect little help from those in authority. Of the great rulers, the best was William the Conqueror, ruthless and cruel though he showed himself at times. Germany was governed by Henry IV, a young man of twenty-three, dissolute, greedy of gold, tyrannical; whilst of Philip I, king of France, it has been said, “His reign was the longest and most discreditable which the annals of France have known”. The leaders of the Church were as corrupt as the rulers of the state, to whom indeed they had become subservient, bishoprics and abbeys being sold by kings and nobles to the highest bidder or bestowed on favourites. Simony was general, while clerical celibacy was so little regarded that in many districts priests openly lived as married men, squandered the tithes and offerings of the faithful on their families, and even in some cases bequeathed their livings to their children. The rest of Gregory’s life was to be spent in heroic efforts to free and purify the Church by putting down simony and clerical incontinency, and by abolishing the whole system of investitures, i.e. the bestowal of church preferments by laymen and their symbolical conveyance by presentation of the crozier and the ring.*[*The pope’s aim, of course, was to keep civil rulers” in their place “vis-à-vis the Church. On the other hand, the large landed properties of bishoprics and abbacies made their holders barons of great power, and sovereigns wanted to keep a feudal relation with and due control over them. To this extent—and it was a most important consideration—the sovereigns were justified, The distinction between the conferring of the episcopal office and the grant of its temporalities was not yet clear in people’s minds.]
Shortly after his accession Gregory deposed Godfrey, archbishop of Milan, who had obtained his office by bribery, and in his very first Roman synod he enacted stringent decrees against simoniacal and married priests. Not only were they disqualified from exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction or holding any benefice, but the faithful were warned not to avail themselves of their ministrations. These decrees roused great hostility, especially in France and Germany: a council assembled in Paris declared them intolerable, irrational, and calculated to make the validity of a sacrament dependent on the character of the celebrant.

St Gregory, however, was not one to be daunted by opposition or deflected from pursuing the right course. A second synod held in Rome the following year went still further, and abrogated the whole system of lay investiture. It pronounced the excommunication of “any person, even if he were emperor or king, who should confer an investiture in connexion with any ecclesiastical office”. To publish and enforce his decrees he made use of legates, for he could not trust the bishops. These representatives, who were nearly all monks whom he had known and tested, served him courageously and well in these times of exceptional difficulty.
In England, William the Conqueror refused to give up investiture or to do fealty (several Christian princes had at one time or another put their realms under the protection of the Holy See); but he accepted the other decrees, and Gregory, who seeing to have trusted him, did not press the matter of investiture. In France the reforms were eventually carried through, that is, they were accepted in principle and gradually in practice, through the energy of the legate, Hugh of Die; but it was a long struggle, and most of the bishops had to be deposed before it was over. But it was from the Emperor Henry IV that the worst trouble came; eventually he raised the restive clergy of Germany and northern Italy and the anti-papal Roman nobles against the pope. While singing the midnight Mass of Christmas in St Mary Major’s, Gregory was carried off and held captive for several hours until rescued by the people. Shortly after, a meeting of German bishops at Worms denounced the pope, the bishops of Lombardy refused him obedience, and Henry sent an envoy to Rome who informed the cardinals that Gregory was a usurper whom the emperor was going to replace. The next day Gregory excommunicated Henry with special solemnity, releasing his subjects from their allegiance to him. It was a moment of deep significance in the history of the papacy.
It was also an opportunity for those German nobles who wished to get rid of their king. In October 1076 these met, and agreed that Henry should forfeit his crown unless he had received absolution from the pope within a year of his excommunication and had appeared for judgement before a council which Gregory should preside over at Augsburg in the following February. Henry resolved to save himself by an appearance of submission. With his wife and baby and one attendant he crossed the Alps in most severe weather, and came up with the pope at the castle of Canossa, between Modena and Parma. He demanded admission, was refused, and spent three days, dressed as a penitent, at the castle gate. This has sometimes been called arrogant and cruel conduct on Gregory’s part, but he was probably making up his mind what to do. However, he had little alternative: Henry had come as a private penitent and, though the pope might well suspect him of bad faith, he had no evidence of it. Accordingly, Henry was at length admitted, accused himself, and was absolved.
In the phrase “ Go to Canossa” this incident has become symbolical of the triumph of church over state. In fact it was a triumph for Henry’s political wiliness there is no evidence that he ever seriously gave up his claim to confer investiture, and subsequent events led to something very like downfall for Gregory VII.
In spite of Henry’s reinstatement some of the nobles elected his brother-in-law, Rudolf of Swabia, in his place in 1077. Though for a time St Gregory tried to remain neutral, he found himself compelled to renew the excommunication and declared in favour of Rudolf who, however, was slain in battle. Henry on his part promoted the election of Guibert, archbishop of Ravenna, as antipope and, as soon as death had freed him of his rival, marched an army into Italy. For two years he unsuccessfully besieged Rome, but the third year he succeeded in taking it. St Gregory retired into the castle of Sant’ Angelo, where he remained until he was rescued by an army under Robert Guiscard, the Norman duke of Calabria. The excesses of Guiscard’s followers, however, roused the Romans to fury, and St Gregory, because he had summoned the Normans to his aid, shared their unpopularity. As a consequence he retired first to Monte Cassino and then to Salerno, humiliated and in failing health, deserted by thirteen of his cardinals.
Gregory made a last appeal to all who believed that “the blessed Peter is father of alt Christians, their chief shepherd under Christ, that the holy Roman church is the mother and mistress of all the churches”; and in the following year he died, on May 25, 1085. On his death-bed he expressed his forgiveness of all his enemies and raised all the excommunications he had pronounced, except those against Henry IV and Guibert of Ravenna. “I have loved righteousness and hated iniquity”, he declared with his last breath, “that is why I die in exile.”
St Gregory VII was certainly one of the greatest men among the popes, though far from being faultless his faults were those of his time, and to many they make him an unsympathetic character. But ambitious in any worldly sense he was not:  his life was devoted to the cleansing and fortifying of the Church, because it was God’s Church and should be the abode of charity and justice upon earth. His name was added to the Roman Martyrology (wherein he is called not Sanctus but Beatus) by Cardinal Baronius, and his feast was given to all the Western church by Pope Benedict XIII in 1728—much to the indignation of Gallican churchmen in France.
The Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. vi, print with other material three documents which to some extent help us to appreciate Hildebrand as a man and a saint. The first is a formal biography by Paul Bernried, completed only in 1128, but founded on the recollections of those who knew Gregory VII and upon a study of his Registers. The second is a memoir of which Pandulf is the probable author the third an adaptation by Cardinal Boso, the Englishman, of Bonizo’s Liber ad Amicum, which was written in Gregory’s lifetime. But the pope belongs to all history, and official documents such as the Regesta, at least what is left of them, do in this ease very much help to elucidate his character. From Mgr Mann’s Lives of the Popes, vol. vii (1910), pp. 1—217, a full and satisfactory account of the pontificate, especially in its external aspects, may be obtained. There is also a good bibliography, in which Mgr Mann judiciously goes out of his way to commend J. W. Bowden’s Life and Pontificate of Gregory VII, though it was published as far back as 1840. The literature of the subject is vast and has grown immensely since Mann wrote in 1910. Mention may be made of the studies by Mgr Batiffol (1928) and H. X. Arquillière (1934); an admir­able sketch, based on more profound but scattered studies published elsewhere, is that of A. Fliche in the series “Les Saints” (1920), and V. Fliche has since published a more exhaustive work, La Réforme grégorienne (1925), on which cf. the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xliv (1926), pp. 425—433. See also W. Wühr, Studien zu Gregors VII Kirchenreform (1930); Fliche and Martin, Histoire de I’ Église, vol. viii and on the problem of Gregory’s Regesta consult the studies of W. M. Peitz and of E. Caspar. An English translation of Gregory’s correspondence, by E. Emerton, appeared in 1932, and at Rome Studi Gregoriani, ed. G. B. Borino, began publication in 1947.

The early years of his life are involved in considerable obscurity. His name, Hildebrand (Hellebrand)--signifying to those of his contemporaries that loved him "a bright flame", to those that hated him "a brand of hell"--would indicate some Lombard connection of his family, though at a later time, it probably also suggested the fabled descent from the noble family of the Aldobrandini. That he was of humble origin--vir de plebe, as he is styled in the letter of a contemporary abbot--can scarcely be doubted. His father Bonizo is said by some chroniclers to have been a carpenter, by others a peasant, the evidence in either case being very slender; the name of his mother is unrecorded. At a tender age he came to Rome to be educated in the monastery of Santa Maria on the Aventine Hill, over which his maternal uncle Laurentius presided as abbot. The austere spirit of Cluny pervaded this Roman cloister, and it is not unlikely that here the youthful Hildebrand first imbibed those lofty principles of Church reform of which he was afterwards to become the most fearless exponent. Early in life he made his religious profession as a Benedictine monk at Rome (not in Cluny); the house of his profession, however, and the year of his entrance into the order, both remain undetermined. As a cleric in minor orders he entered the service of John Gratian, Archpriest of San Giovanni by the Latin Gate, and on Gratian's elevation to the papacy as Gregory VI, became his chaplain. In 1046 he followed his papal patron across the Alps into exile, remaining with Gregory at Cologne until the death of the deposed pontiff in 1047, when he withdrew to Cluny. Here he resided for more than a year.

At Besançon, in January, 1049, he met Bruno, Bishop of Toul, the pontiff-elect recently chosen at Worms under the title of Leo IX, and returned with him to Rome, though not before Bruno, who had been nominated merely by the emperor, had expressed the intention of submitting to the formal choice of the Roman clergy and people. Created a cardinal-subdeacon, shortly after Leo's accession, and appointed administrator of the Patrimony of St. Peter's, Hildebrand at once gave evidence of that extraordinary faculty for administration which later characterized his government of the Church Universal. Under his energetic and capable direction the property of the Church, which latterly had been diverted into the hands of the Roman nobility and the Normans, was largely recovered, and the revenues of the Holy See, whose treasury had been depleted, speedily augmented. By Leo IX he was also appointed propositus or promisor (not abbot) of the monastery of St. Paul extra Muros. The unchecked violence of the lawless bands of the Champagne had brought great destitution upon this venerable establishment. Monastic discipline was so impaired that the monks were attended in their refectory by women; and the sacred edifices were so neglected that the sheep and cattle freely roamed in and out through the broken doors. By rigorous reforms and a wise administration Hildebrand succeeded in restoring the ancient rule of the abbey with the austere observance of earlier times; and he continued throughout life to manifest the deepest attachment for the famous house which his energy had reclaimed from ruin and decay. In 1054 he was sent to France as papal legate to examine the cause of Berengarius. While still in Tours he learned of the death of Leo IX, and on hastening back to Rome he found that the clergy and people were eager to elect him, the most trusted friend and counsellor of Leo, as the successor. This proposal of the Romans was, however, resisted by Hildebrand, who set out for Germany at the head of an embassy to implore a nomination from the emperor. The negotiations, which lasted about eleven months, ultimately resulted in the selection of Hildebrand's candidate, Gebhard, Bishop of Eichstadt, who was consecrated at Rome, 13 April, 1055, under the name of Victor II. During the reign of this pontiff, the cardinal-subdeacon steadily maintained, and even increased the ascendancy which by his commanding genius he had acquired during the pontificate of Leo IX. Near the close of the year 1057 he went once more to Germany to reconcile the Empress-regent Agnes and her court to the (merely) canonical election of Pope Stephen X (1057-1058). His mission was not yet accomplished when Stephen died at Florence, and although the dying pope had forbidden the people to appoint a successor before Hildebrand returned, the Tusculan faction seized the opportunity to set up a member of the Crescentian family, John Mincius, Bishop of Velletri, under the title of Benedict X. With masterly skill Hildebrand succeeded in defeating the schemes of the hostile party, and secured the election of Gerard, Bishop of Florence, a Burgundian by birth, who assumed the name of Nicholas II (1059-1061).

The two most important transactions of this pontificate--the celebrated decree of election, by which the power of choosing the pope was vested in the college of cardinals, and the alliance with the Normans, secured by the Treaty of Meifi, 1059--were in large measure the achievement of Hildebrand, whose power and influence had now become supreme in Rome. It was perhaps inevitable that the issues raised by the new decree of election should not be decided without a conflict, and with the passing away of Nicholas II in 1061, that conflict came. But when it was ended, after a schism enduring for some years, the imperial party with its antipope Cadalous had been discomfited, and Anselm of Baggio, the candidate of Hildebrand and the reform party, successfully enthroned in the Lateran Palace as Alexander II. By Nicholas II, in 1059, Hildebrand had been raised to the dignity and office of Archdeacon of the Holy Roman Church, and Alexander II now made him Chancellor of the Apostolic See. On 21 April, 1073, Alexander II died. The time at length had come when Hildebrand, who for more than twenty years had been the most prominent figure in the Church, who had been chiefly instrumental in the selection of her rulers, who had inspired and given purpose to her policy, and who had been steadily developing and realizing, by successive acts, her sovereignty and purity, should assume in his own person the majesty and responsibility of that exalted power which his genius had so long directed.

On the day following the death of Alexander II, as the obsequies of the deceased pontiff were being performed in the Lateran basilica, there arose, of a sudden, a loud outcry from the whole multitude of clergy and people: "Let Hildebrand be pope!" "Blessed Peter has chosen Hildebrand the Archdeacon!" All remonstrances on the part of the archdeacon were vain, his protestations fruitless. Later, on the same day, Hildebrand was conducted to the church of San Pietro in Vincoli, and there elected in legal form by the assembled cardinals, with the due consent of the Roman clergy and amid the repeated acclamations of the people. That this extraordinary outburst on the part of the clergy and people in favour of Hildebrand could have been the result of some preconcerted arrangements, as is sometimes alleged, does not appear likely. Hildebrand was clearly the man of the hour, his austere virue commanded respect, his genius admiration; and the prompitude and unanimity with which he was chosen would indicate, rather, a general recognition of his fitness for the high office. In the decree of election those who had chosen him as pontiff proclaimed him "a devout man, a man mighty in human and divine knowledge, a distinguished lover of equity and justice, a man firm in adversity and temperate in prosperity, a man, according to the saying of the Apostle, of good behaviour, blameless, modest, sober, chaste, given to hospitality, and one that ruleth well his own house; a man from his childhood generously brought up in the bosom of this Mother Church, and for the merit of his life already raised to the archidiaconal dignity". "We choose then", they said to the people, "our Archdeacon Hildebrand to be pope and successor to the Apostle, and to bear henceforward and forever the name of Gregory" (22 April, 1073), Mansi, "Conciliorum Collectio", XX, 60.

The decree of Nicholas II having expressly, if vaguely acknowledged the right of the emperor to have some voice in papal elections, Hildebrand deferred the ceremony of his consecration until he had received the royal sanction. In sending the formal announcement of his elevation to Henry IV of Germany, he took occasion to indicate frankly the attitude, which, as sovereign pontiff, he was prepared to assume in dealing with the Christian princes, and, with a note of grave personal warning besought the king not to bestow his approval. The German bishops, apprehensive of the severity with which such a man as Hildebrand would carry out the decrees of reform, endeavoured to prevent the king from assenting to the election; but upon the favourable report of Count Eberhard of Nettenburg, who had been dispatched to Rome to assert the rights of the crown, Henry gave his approval (it proved to be the last instance in history of a papal election being ratified by an emperor), and the new pope, in the meanwhile ordained to the priesthood, was solemnly consecrated on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, 29 June, 1073. In assuming the name of Gregory VII, Hildebrand not only honoured the memory and character of his earliest patron, Gregory VI, but also proclaimed to the world the legitimacy of that pontiff's title.

From the letters which Gregory addressed to his friends shortly after his election, imploring their intercession with heaven in his behalf, and begging their sympathy and support, it is abundantly evident that he assumed the burden of the pontificate, which had been thrust on him, only with the strongest reluctance, and not without a great struggle of mind. To Desiderius, Abbot of Monte Cassino, he speaks of his elevation in terms of terror, giving utterance to the words of the Psalmist: "I am come into deep waters, so that the floods run over me"; "Fearlessness and trembling are come upon me, and darkness hath covered me." And in view of the appalling nature of the task that lay before him (of its difficulties no one indeed had a clearer perception than he), it cannot appear strange that even his intrepidspirit was for the moment overwhelmed. For at the time of Gregory's elevation to the papacy the Christian world was in a deplorable condition. During the desolating era of transition--that terrible period of warfare and rapine, violence, and corruption in high places, which followed immediately upon the dissolution of the Carlovingian Empire, a period when society in Europe and all existing institutions seemed doomed to utter destruction and ruin--the Church had not been able to escape from the general debasement. The tenth century, the saddest, perhaps, in Christian annals, is characterized by the vivid remark of Baronius that Christ was as if asleep in the vessel of the Church. At the time of Leo IX's election in 1049, according to the testimony of St. Bruno, Bishop of Sengi, the whole world lay in wickedness, holiness had disappeared, justice had perished and truth had been buried; Simon Magus lording it over the Church, whose bishops and priests were given to luxury and fornication" (Vita S. Leonis PP. IX in Watterich, Pont. Roman, Vitae, I, 96). St. Peter Damian, the fiercest censor of his age, unrolls a frightful picture of the decay of clerical morality in the lurid pages of his "Liber Gomorrhianus" (Book of Gomorrha). Though allowance must no doubt be made for the writer's exaggerated and rhetorical style--a style common to all moral censors-- yet the evidence derived from other sources justifies us in believing that the corruption was widespread. In writing to his venerated friend, Abbot Hugh of Cluny (Jan., 1075), Gregory himself laments the unhappy state of the Church in the following terms: "The Eastern Church has fallen away from the Faith and is now assailed on every side by infidels. Wherever I turn my eyes--to the west, to the north, or to the south--I find everywhere bishops who have obtained their office in an irregular way, whose lives and conversation are strangely at variance with their sacred calling; who go through their duties not for the love of Christ but from motives of worldly gain. There are no longer princes who set God's honour before their own selfish ends, or who allow justice to stand in the way of their ambition. . . .And those among whom I live--Romans, Lombards, and Normans--are, as I have often told them, worse than Jews or Pagans" (Greg. VII, Registr., 1.II, ep. xlix).

But whatever the personal feelings and anxieties of Gregory may have been in taking up the burden of the papacy at a time when scandals and abuses were everywhere pressing into view, the fearless pontiff felt not a moment's hesitation as to the performance of his duty in carrying out the work of reform already begun by his predecessors. Once securely established on the Apostolic throne, Gregory made every effort to stamp out of the Church the two comsuming evils of the age, simony and clerical incontinency, and, with characteristic energy and vigor, laboured unceasingly for the assertion of those lofty principles with which he firmly believed the welfare of Christ's Church and the regeneration of society itself to be inseparably bound up. His first care, naturally, was to secure his own position in Rome. For this purpose he made a journey into Southern Italy, a few months after his election, and concluded treaties with Landolfo of Benevento, Richard of Capun, and Gisolfo of Salerno, by which these princes engaged themselves to defend the person of the pope and the property of the Holy See, and never to invest anyone with a church benefice without the papal sanction. The Norman leader, Robert Guiscard, however, maintained a suspicious attitude towards the pope, and at the Lenten Synod (1075) Gregory solemnly excommunicated him for his sacrilegious invasion of the territory of the Holy See (Capun and Benevento). During the year 1074 the pope's mind was also greatly occupied by the project of an expedition to the East for the deliverance of the Oriental Christians from the oppression of the Seljuk Turks. To promote the cause of a crusade, and to effect, if possible, a reunion between the Eastern and the Western Church--hopes of which had been held out by the Emperor Michael VIII in his letter to Gregory in 1073--the pontiff sent the Patriarch of Venice to Constantinople as his envoy. He wrote to the Christian princes, urging them to rally the hosts of Western Christendom for the defense of the Christian East; and in March, 1074, addressed a circular letter to all the faithful, exhorting them to come to the rescue of their Eastern brethren. But the project met with much indifference and even opposition; and as Gregory himself soon became involved in complications elsewhere, which demanded all his energies, he was prevented from giving effect to his intentions, and the expedition came to naught. With the youthful monarch of Germany Gregory's relations in the beginning of his pontificate were of a pacific nature. Henry, who was at the time hard pressed by the Saxons, had written to the pope (Sept., 1073) in a tone of humble deference, acknowledging his past misconduct, and expressing regret for his numerous misdeeds--his invasion of the property of the Church, his simoniacal promotions of unworthy persons, his negligence in punishing offenders; he promised amendment for the future, professed submission to the Roman See in language more gentle and lowly than had ever been used by any of his predecessors to the pontiffs of Rome, and expressed the hope that the royal power and the sacerdotal, bound together by the necessity of mutual assistance, might henceforth remain indissolubly united. But the passionate and headstrong king did not long abide by these sentiments.

With admirable discernment, Gregory began his great work of purifying the Church by a reformation of the clergy. At his first Lenten Synod (March, 1074) he enacted the following decrees:

    * That clerics who had obtained any grade or office of sacred orders by payment should cease to minister in the Church.
    * That no one who had purchased any church should retain it, and that no one for the future should be permitted to buy or sell ecclesiastical rights.
    * That all who were guilty of incontinence should cease to exercise their sacred ministry.
    * That the people should reject the ministrations of clerics who failed to obey these injunctions.

Similar decrees had indeed been passed by previous popes and councils. Clement II, Leo IX, Nicholas II, and Alexander II had renewed the ancient laws of discipline, and made determined efforts to have them enforced. But they met with vigorous resistance, and were but partially successful. The promulgation of Gregory's measures now, however, called forth a most violent storm of opposition throughout Italy, Germany, and France. And the reason for this opposition on the part of the vast throng of immoral and simoniacal clerics is not far to seek. Much of the reform thus far accomplished had been brought about mainly through the efforts of Gregory; all countries had felt the force of his will, the power of his dominant personality. His character, therefore, was a sufficient guarantee that his legislation would not be suffered to remain a dead letter. In Germany, particularly, the enactments of Gregory aroused a feeling of intense indignation.
 The whole body of the married clergy offered the most resolute resistance, and declared that the canon enjoining celibacy was wholly unwarranted in Scripture. In support of their position they appealed to the words of the Apostle Paul, I Cor., vii,2, and 9: "It is better to marry than to be burnt"; and I Tim., iii, 2: "It behooveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife." They cited the words of Christ, Matt., xix, 11: "All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given"; and, recurred to the address of the Egyptian Bishop Paphnutius at the Council of Nice. At Nuremberg they informed the papal legate that they would rather renounce their priesthood than their wives, and that he for whom men were not good enough might go seek angels to preside over the Churches. Siegfried, Archbishop of Mainz and Primate of Germany, when forced to promulgate the decrees, attempted to temporize, and allowed his clergy six months of delay for consideration. The order, of course, remained ineffectual after the lapse of that period, and at a synod held at Erfurt in October, 1074, he could accomplish nothing. Altmann, the energetic Bishop of Passau, nearly lost his life in publishing the measures, but adhered firmly to the instructions of the pontiff. The greater number of bishops received their instructions with manifest indifference, and some openly defied the pope. Otto of Constance, who had before tolerated the marriage of his clergy, now formally sanctioned it. In France the excitement was scarcely less vehement than in Germany. A council at Paris, in 1074, condemned the Roman decrees, as implying that the validity of the sacraments depended on the sanctity of the minister, and declared them intolerable and irrational. John, Archbishop of Rouen, while endeavouring to enforce the canon of celibacy at a provincial synod, was stoned and had to flee for his life. Walter, Abbot of Pontoise, who attempted to defend the papal enactments, was imprisoned and threatened with death. At the Council of Burgos, in Spain, the papal legate was insulted and his dignity outraged. But the zeal of Gregory knew no abatement. He followed up his decrees by sending legates into all quarters, fully empowered to depose immoral and simoniacal ecclesiastics.

It was clear that the causes of the simony and of the incontinence amongst the clergy were closely allied, and that the spread of the latter could be effectually checked only by the eradication of the former. Henry IV had failed to translate into action the promises made in his penitent letter to the new pontiff. On the subjugation of the Saxons and Thuringians, he deposed the Saxon bishops, and replaced them by his own creatures. In 1075 a synod held at Rome excommunicated "any person, even if he were emperor or king, who should confer an investiture in connection with any ecclesiastical office", and Gregory recognizing the futility of milder measures, deposed the simoniacal prelates appointed by Henry, anathematized several of the imperial counsellors, and cited the emperor himself to appear at Rome in 1076 to answer for his conduct before a council.
   To this Henry retorted by convening a meeting of his supporters at Worms on 23 January 1076. This diet naturally defended Henry against all the papal charges, accused the pontiff of most heinous crimes, and declared him deposed. Theses decisions were approved a few weeks later by two synods of Lombard bishops at Piacenza and Pavia respectively, and a messenger, bearing a most offensive personal letter from Henry, was dispatched with this reply to the pope.
   Gregory hesitated no longer: recognizing that the Christian Faith must be preserved and the flood of immorality stemmed at all costs, and seeing that the conflict was forced upon him by the emperor's schism and the violation of his solemn promises, he excommunicated Henry and all his ecclesiastical supporters, and released his subjects from their oath of allegiance in accordance with the usual political procedures of the age.

Henry's position was now precarious.
   At first he was encouraged by his creatures to resist, but his friends, including his abettors among the episcopate, began to abandon him, and the Saxons revolted once more, demanding a new king. At a meeting of the German lords, spiritual and temporal, held at Tibur in October, 1076, the election of a new emperor was canvassed.
On learning through the papal legate of Gregory's desire that the crown should be reserved for Henry if possible, the assembly contented itself with calling upon the emperor to abstain for the time being from all administration of public affairs and avoid the company of those who had been excommunicated, but declared his crown forfeited if he were not reconciled with the pope within a year.
It was further agreed to invite Gregory to a council at Augsburg in the following February, at which Henry was summoned to present himself. Abandoned by his own partisans and fearing for his throne, Henry fled secretly with his wife and child and a single servant to Gregory to tender his submission.
He crossed the Alps in the depth of one of the severest winters on record. On reaching Italy, the Italians flocked around him promising aid and assistance in his quarrel with the pope, but Henry spurned their offers. Gregory was already on his way to Augsburg, and, fearing treachery, retired to the castle of Canossa. Thither Henry followed him, but the pontiff, mindful of his former faithlessness, treated him with extreme severity. Stript of his royal robes, and clad as a penitent, Henry had to come barefooted mid ice and snow, and crave for admission to the presence of the pope. All day he remained at the door of the citadel, fasting and exposed to the inclemency of the wintry weather, but was refused admission. A second and a third day he thus humiliated and disciplined himself, and finally on 28 January, 1077, he was received by the pontiff and absolved from censure, but only on condition that he would appear at the proposed council and submit himself to its decision.

Henry then returned to Germany, but his severe lesson failed to effect any radical improvement in his conduct. Disgusted by his inconsistencies and dishonesty, the German princes on 15 March, 1077, elected Rudolph of Swabia to succeed him. Gregory wished to remain neutral, and even strove to effect a compromise between the opposing parties. Both, however, were dissatisified, and prevented the proposed council from being held.
Henry's conduct toward the pope was meanwhile characterized by the greatest duplicity, and, when he went so far as to threaten to set up an antipope, Gregory renewed in 1080 the sentence of excommunication against him. At Brixen in June, 1080, the king and his feudatory bishops, supported by the Lombards, carried their threat into effect, and selected Gilbert, the excommunicated simoniacal Archbishop of Ravenna, as pope under the title of Clement III. Rudolph of Swabia having fallen mortally wounded at the battle of Mersburg in 1080. Henry could concentrate all his forces against Gregory.
   In 1081 he marched on Rome, but failed to force his way into the city, which he finally accomplished only in 1084. Gregory thereupon retired into the exile of Sant' Angelo, and refused to entertain Henry's overtures, although the latter promised to hand over Guibert as a prisoner, if the sovereign pontiff would only consent to crown him emperor. Gregory, however, insisted as a necessary preliminary that Henry should appear before a council and do penance. The emperor, while pretending to submit to these terms, tried hard to prevent the meeting of the bishops. A small number however assembled, and, in accordance with their wishes, Gregory again excommunicated Henry. The latter on receipt of this news again entered Rome on 21 March, 1084. Guibert was consecrated pope, and then crowned Henry emperor. However, Robert Guiscard, Duke of Normandy, with whom Gregory had formed an alliance, was already marching on the city, and Henry, learning of his advance, fled towards Citta Castellana. The pontiff was liberated, but, the people becoming incensed by the excesses of his Norman allies, he was compelled to leave Rome. Disappointed and sorrowing he withdrew to Monte Cassino, and later to the castle of Salerno by the sea, where he died in the following year.
   Three days before his death he withdrew all the censures of excommunication that he had pronounced, except those against the two chief offenders--Henry and Guibert. His last words were: "I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile." His body was interred in the church of Saint Matthew at Salerno. He was beatified by Gregory XIII in 1584, and canonized in 1728 by Benedict XIII. His writings treat mainly of the principles and practice of Church government. They may be found under the title "Gregorii VII registri sive epistolarum libri" in Mansi, "Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio" (Florence, 1759) and "S. Gregorii VII epistolae et diplomata" by Horoy (Paris, 1877).

THERE stood in old Florence for two centuries and more a convent of Augustinian nuns which was popularly known as “Il Chiarito”. It was founded in 1342 by Bd Claritus or Chiarito, the last male of the Voglia family, and was dedicated by him in honour of our Lady. His wife Nicolasia having taken the veil in the new foundation, he himself joined it as servant to the nuns. In that humble capacity he remained until he was carried off by an epidemic of the plague which decimated the city in 1348. His shrine was held in great veneration in the convent church and was credited with the property of emitting a peculiar odour whenever one of the nuns was about to die.
There is the dearth of reliable evidence which seems characteristic of saints of the Augustinian Order. The Bollandists could find no better materials than a life written nearly three centuries after the event by A. M. V. Racconisi. It is printed in a Latin trans­lation in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. vi. See, however, the Bollettino Storico Agostiniano, vol. (1924), pp. 15—20.
1607 St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi virgin of the Order of the Carmelites famed for her holy life suffering mystic
Lutétiæ Parisiórum sanctæ Magdalénæ-Sophíæ Barat, Fundatrícis Institúti Sorórum a Sacro Corde Jesu; quæ pro Christiána puellárum informatióne valde adlaborávit, et a Pio Papa Undécimo in sanctárum Vírginum catálogum fuit reláta.
    At Paris, St. Madeleine-Sophie Barat, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, who devoted her labours for the Christian education of girls.  She was added to the list of holy virgins by Pope Pius XI.
Her feast is observed on the 29th of May.

A deceased holy nun appeared before the same altar where Mary praying & levitating during an hour of devotion.  Mary asked her why she was here.  The nun said she had not performed the hour of devotion out of love for God but because she had to -- obligated to , grudgling-- and not a privelidge before the Lord and Savior.  Therefore, she was in purgatory for that, even thouth the nun was known for her piety and holiness, and faithful for to her duties.  Now the nun was only allowed to adore Jesus in the blessed sacrament for one hour.

From the revelations of the saints we understand that there are different degrees of pain and suffering in Purgatory. We could have no better guide than that of Mary Magdalen Dei Pazzi. Among all the saints canonised by the Church, she is the one who, after Saint Frances of Rome, has left us the most detailed and the most exact description of Purgatory.

One evening, as she was walking in the garden of the Convent, she was suddenly taken away in spirit and she was heard to say: "Yes, I will walk around it; I will walk around it! " With these words she consented to her Guardian Angel's request to visit Purgatory. Once the ecstasy was over, she wrote her account about it.

Mary Magdalen Dei Pazzi witnessed the intensity of the suffering in Purgatory and visited the different places where the souls are imprisoned. There was an abyss filled with tormented Priests and religious, another place which was not so severe held the souls of children and those who were guilty through ignorance. She saw souls being pricked by the points of very sharp needles and almost torn to shreds..these were the souls of those who had tried to please others during their lives and so had been hypocrites. Further on were observed the souls of the impatient and disobedient..they were being crushed under enormous weights. To her horror she witnessed a group of souls having molten lead poured into their mouths while at the same time having their bodies immersed in a pool of ice. These souls, who were burning and freezing at the same time, belonged to those who were liars. The avaricious were being liquefied with lead whilst the souls of the ambitious suffered excruciating pain in darkness. The hard-hearted and ungrateful to God were immersed in a lake of of molten lead as punishment for allowing the source of Grace to remain sterile through their ingratitude. Finally she visited the prison of those who during their lives held no great vices but they suffered also, but to a lesser degree than the others, all the castigation of all those lesser vices which they had.

After two extremely painful hours Mary Magdalen Dei Pazzi returned to herself, physically weak and in a state of moral prostration.....requiring several days to recover.
The body of Saint Mary Magdalen Dei Pazzi remains incorrupt after several hundred years.

It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God gave this saint, rather than on her life. In fact, it would be difficult to do differently, so overwhelming were those gifts from God. The temptation for many modern readers (including the author) would be to see little to identify with in these graces and walk away without seeing more. The other temptation would be to become so fascinated with these stories that one would neglect to dig deeper and learn the real lessons of her life.
But Mary Magdalene de Pazzi is not a saint because she received ecstasies and graces from God. Many have received visions, ecstasies, and miracles without becoming holy. She is a saint because of her response to those gifts -- a lifelong struggle to show love and gratitude to the God who gave her those graces.
In fact Mary Magdalene saw her ecstasies as evidence of a great fault in her, not a reward for holiness. She told one fellow sister that God did not give this sister the same graces "because you don't need them in order to serve him." In her eyes, God gave these gifts to those who were too weak to become holy otherwise. That Mary Magdalene received these gifts proved, in her mind, how unworthy she was.
Born in Florence on April 2, 1566, Mary Magdalene (baptized Catherine) was taught mental prayer when she was nine years old at the request of her mother. Her introduction at this age to this form of prayer which involves half an hour of meditation did not seem to be unusual. And yet today we often believe children incapable of all but the simplest rote prayers.
At twelve years old she experienced her first ecstasy while looking at a sunset which left her trembling and speechless.
With this foundation in prayer and in mystical experience, it isn't surprising that she wanted to enter a contemplative monastery of the Carmelite Order. She chose the monastery of St. Mary's of the Angels because the nuns took daily Communion, unusual at the time.
In 1583 she had her second mystical experience when the other nuns saw her weeping before the crucifix as she said, "O Love, you are neither known nor loved."
Mary Magdalene's life is a contradiction of our instinctive thought that joy only comes from avoiding suffering. A month after being refused early religious profession, she was refused she fell deathly ill. Fearing for her life the convent had her professed from a stretcher at the altar. After that she experienced forty days of ecstasies that coexisted with her suffering. Joy from the graces God gave were mixed with agony as her illness grew worse. In one of her experiences Jesus took her heart and hid it in his own, telling her he "would not return it until it is wholly pure and filled with pure love." She didn't recover from her illness until told to ask for the intercession of Blessed Mary Bagnesi over three months later.

What her experiences and prayer had given her was a familiar, personal relationship with Jesus. Her conversations with Jesus often take on a teasing, bantering tone that shocks those who have a formal, fearful image of God. For example, at the end of her forty days of graces, Jesus offered her a crown of flowers or a crown of thorns. No matter how often she chose the crown of thorns, Jesus kept teasingly pushing the crown of flowers to her. When he accused her, "I called and you didn't care," she answered back, "You didn't call loudly enough" and told him to shout his love.
She learned to regret the insistence on the crown of thorns. We might think it is easy to be holy if God is talking to you every day but few of us could remain on the path with the five year trial that followed her first ecstasies. Before this trial, Jesus told her, "I will take away not the grace but the feeling of grace. Though I will seem to leave you I will be closer to you." This was easy for her to accept in the midst of ecstasy but, as she said later, she hadn't experienced it yet. At the age of nineteen she started five years of dryness and desolation in which she was repelled by prayer and tempted by everything. She referred to her heart as a pitch-dark room with only a feeble light shining that only made the darkness deeper. She was so depressed she was found twice close to suicide. All she could do to fight back was to hold onto prayer, penance, and serving others even when it appeared to do no good.

Her lifelong devotion to Pentecost can be easily understood because her trial ended in ecstasy in 1590. At this time she could have asked for any gifts but she wanted two in particular: to look on any neighbor as good and holy without judgment and to always have God's presence before her.
Far from enjoying the attention her mystical experiences brought her, she was embarrassed by it. For all her days, she wanted a hidden life and tried everything she could to achieve it. When God commanded her to go barefoot as part of her penance and she could not walk with shoes, she simply cut the soles out of her shoes so no one would see her as different from the other nuns. If she felt an ecstasy coming on, she would hurry to finish her work and go back to her room. She learned to see the notoriety as part of God's will. When teaching a novice to accept God's will, she told her, "I wanted a hidden life but, see, God wanted something quite different for me."
Some still might think it was easy for her to be holy with all the help from God. Yet when she was asked once why she was weeping before the cross, she answered that she had to force herself to do something right that she didn't want to do. It's true that when a sister criticized her for acting so different, she thanked her, "May God reward you! You have never spoken truer words!" but she told others it hurt her quite a bit to be nice to someone who insulted her.
Mary Magdalene was no pale, shrinking flower. Her wisdom and love led to her appointment to many important positions at the convent including mistress of novices. She did not hesitate to be blunt in guiding the women under her care when their spiritual life was at stake. When one of the novices asked permission to pretend to be impatient so the other novices would not respect her so much, Mary Magdalene's answer shook this novice out of this false humility: "What you want to pretend to be, you already are in the eyes of the novices. They don't respect you nearly as much as you like to think."

Mary Magdalene's life offers a great challenge to all those who think that the best penance comes from fasting and physical discomfort. Though she fasted and wore old clothes, she chose the most difficult penance of all by pretending to like the things she didn't like. Not only is this a penance most of us would shrink from but, by her acting like she enjoyed it, no one knew she was doing this great penance!
In 1604, headaches and paralyzation confined her to bed. Her nerves were so sensitive that she could not be touched without agonizing pain. Ever humble, she took the fact that her prayers were not granted as a sure sign that God's will was being done. For three years she suffered, before dying on May 25, 1607 at the age of forty-one.
In her footsteps:
Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, pray that we will make a commitment to seek the presence of God in prayer the way you did. Guide us to see the graces God gives us as gifts not rewards and to respond with gratitude and humility, not pride and selfishness. Amen
1865 St. Madeleine Sophie Barat foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, who devoted her labours for the Christian education
Lutétiæ Parisiórum sanctæ Magdalénæ-Sophíæ Barat, Fundatrícis Institúti Sorórum a Sacro Corde Jesu; quæ pro Christiána puellárum informatióne valde adlaborávit, et a Pio Papa Undécimo in sanctárum Vírginum catálogum fuit reláta.
    At Paris, St. Madeleine-Sophie Barat, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, who devoted her labours for the Christian education of girls.  She was added to the list of holy virgins by Pope Pius XI.
MADELEINE Sophie Barat was born on December in, 1779, in the Burgundian town of Joigny, where her father was a cooper and the owner of a small vineyard. At her baptism, a brother eleven years her senior stood godfather. Louis was intended for the priesthood, and when, after completing his course at Sens, he returned as a deacon to take up a post as master in the college of his native city, he found his godchild a sprightly intelligent little girl of ten. Almost immediately the conviction forced itself upon him that she was destined by God to accomplish some great work for which it was his duty to fit her. This he proceeded to do by imparting to her an education similar to that which his boy pupils received, coupled with a discipline calculated to teach her to restrain her emotions and control her will. All day long, without companionship and almost without relaxation, she had to study in her little garret to acquire a grounding in Latin, Greek, history, physics and mathematics under the direction of a stern young taskmaster whose policy it was frequently to blame and punish, but never to praise. It was fortunate for her that she developed a great love of learning, seeing that the only reward she ever received was instruction in a fresh subject. Human emotion of any kind was severely repressed; so much so that once, when she offered a little present to her brother, it was thrown into the fire. The system, harsh as it was, worked well inthis case and Madeleine Sophie was making remarkable progress when she was suddenly deprived of her teacher.
In the year 1793, which saw the execution of Louis XVI and the inauguration of the Reign of Terror, Louis Barat. who had openly withdrawn his adherence to the civil constitution of the clergy as soon as it had been condemned by the pope, fled from Joigny to escape prosecution, but it was only to be arrested in Paris and to remain for two years a prisoner in constant expectation of death.
   Sophie in the meantime had grown up a charming and vivacious girl, the idol of her parents and the centre of an admiring circle of friends. To Louis, when he revisited Joigny as a priest after his liberation, there seemed real danger that she might lose that sense of vocation to the religious life which she had formerly evinced, and he never rested until he had transplanted her to Paris, where he was living and where he could resume his course of training. To the repressive discipline of her childhood were now added bodily penances and constant self-examination, whilst the classics were replaced by the study of the Bible, the Fathers, and theological treatises. She submitted with cheerful resignation, little anticipating the great future which in God’s providence lay before her.
As soon as the first fury of the French Revolution had spent itself, thoughtful men were confronted with the problem of providing education for the younger generation, seeing that all Christian schools had been swept away. Amongst those who took a deep interest in this was a group of young priests who had formed an association pledged to work for the restoration of the Society of Jesus, suppressed by Pope Clement XIV thirty years earlier. Their superior, Father Varin, had for some time been desirous of forming an institute of consecrated women for the training of girls, and when he heard from the Abbé Barat of his sister’s abilities and training, he sent for her and questioned her. After a very short acquaintance he satisfied himself that the simple Burgundian girl possessed all the qualifications he required. In reply to her timid admission that she hoped to become a Carmelite lay-sister, he said bluntly, “No, that is not your vocation. The gifts God has given you and your education point elsewhere.” He then expounded to her his ideal of a great educational work for girls, a work deriving its inspiration from devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Humbly and diffidently she responded to the call. “ I knew nothing: I foresaw nothing: I accepted all that was given me “, she said long afterwards, referring to that time.
On November 21, 1800, Madeleine Sophie and three other postulants began their religious life, and the following year she was sent to Amiens to teach in a school which had been taken over and which was the first convent of the new order. Soon a second school—a free one for poor children—was opened. More postulants came to the little community, but their first superior left them after two years, having proved herself devoid of ability to govern and lacking a true vocation. To her dismay Madeleine Sophie was appointed superior by Father Varin although she was only twenty-three and the youngest of all. She was to retain that office for sixty-three years.
The success of their educational ventures in Amiens led to requests for other foundations, and in 1804 Mother Barat travelled to Grenoble to take over the derelict convent of Sainte Marie-d’en-Haut as well as to receive into her institute the remnant of a community of Visitation nuns which it had sheltered. Foremost amongst these was Rd Philippine Duchesne, who was destined later on to introduce the Society of the Sacred Heart into America. The next settlement was at Poitiers, where an ancient Cistercian house, the abbey of the Feuillants, had been offered as a gift. St Madeleine Sophie made it the novitiate, and it became her headquarters for two years, which were perhaps the happiest of her life. There she trained her novices and from there she made occasional journeys across France and into Flanders to open fresh houses at Belley, Niort, Ghent and Cugnières. Everything seemed to be going well when the saint was faced with one of those fierce trials which seem almost invariably to beset the founder of a new religious order. During her absence from Amiens a number of important changes had been made without consulting her by the local superior, Madame Baudemont, in conjunction with M. de Saint-Estéve, an ambitious young priest who had succeeded Father Varin as chaplain. For eight years these two carried on a persistent campaign, striving, it seemed, to supersede the superior general, to undermine her influence, and to mould the society according to their own ideas. Patience and prayer were the weapons with which Mother Barat met their attacks, and they mistook her strength for weakness. M. de Saint-Estéve went so far as to draw up for the order constitutions of his own which would have changed its nature and transformed its very name. However, just when his success seemed assured, he over-reached himself, and the constitutions as passed by the general congregation of 1815 were not his, but a code which had been framed by Mother Barat and Father Varin, now a Jesuit.
The collapse of the opposition was followed by a period of great expansion, and in 1818 Mother Duchesne was sent with four companions to North America. Two years later Mother Barat summoned all the available local superiors to Paris-now the headquarters of the order-to draw up a general plan of study for the schools. Certain definite principles were laid down, but with characteristic clear-sightedness she insisted from the first that there should be facilities for development and adaptation. Indeed, when she arranged that the general council should meet every six years, one of her reasons was the opportunity that would be afforded to its members of revising the curriculum in order to keep abreast of the educational needs and systems of the day. Under her inspiration, the Paris boarding-schools attained a reputation which brought applications from all sides for similar establishments.
It is difficult for us in these days of easy communication to realize the arduous nature of St Madeleine Sophie's labours in the foundation of no less than one hundred and five houses. To establish and maintain them she many times traversed the length and breadth of France, thrice she visited Rome, once she went to Switzerland to make a home for the novitiate driven out of France in 1830 by the July Revolution, in 1844 she came to England and twelve years later she travelled to Austria. "I am always on the road", she once remarked, and her journeys often entailed great discomforts and even hardships on one who had never been robust.
In her great love for children she tried, wherever it was possible, to provide for the opening of a day-school for poor girls as well as a boarding-school for the daughters of well-to-do parents. With those foundations which she could not personally visit she kept in touch by correspondence, which necessitated the writing of innumerable letters. Even when she was living at the mother-house she was ceaselessly employed, either in administrative work or in giving interviews to the many persons who sought her advice. Words which she addressed to one of her daughters were singularly applicable to herself: Too much work is a danger for an imperfect soul . . . but for one who loves our Lord . . . it is an abundant harvest."
In the December of 1826, in response to a memorandum drawn up by St Madeleine Sophie and presented by her to Pope Leo XII, the Society of the Sacred Heart received formal approbation. This must have seemed to set the seal of stability on the new order, but thirteen years later a crisis arose which might easily have led to disruption. At the general congregation of 1839 certain fundamental alterations in the constitutions were proposed and carried in spite of Mother Barat's disapproval. It was characteristic of her tact and fairness that, instead of exercising her veto, she consented to allow them to be tried for three years. Time proved her to have been right; the new regulations did not work well: Pope Gregory XVI refused to sanction them, and they were reversed by the next general congregation. Once more prayer and patience had prevailed and those who had promoted the changes were the first to acknowledge their mistake.
Within narrow limits it is not possible to deal with the activities of the saint's later years: they form part of the history of her order. She lived to see her daughters firmly established in twelve countries of two continents. In 1864, when eighty-five years of age, she begged the general congregation to allow her to lay down her office, but all she could obtain was permission to choose a vicaress to assist her. The following year on May 21 she was stricken with paralysis and four days later, on the feast of the Ascension, her soul went to God. She was canonized in 1925.

St Madeleine Sophie has been privileged in her biographers. The admirable Histoire de la Vén. Mère Madeleine-Sophie Barat, written by Mgr Baunard, was excellently translated into English by Lady Georgiana Fullerton. Another satisfactory presentment, in two volumes, was that of one of her own religious, Mother Cahier (1884). A short sketch is provided in the series “Les Saints”, by Geoffroy de Grandmaison (1909). For English readers, the first place in order of merit must be accorded to the work of Mother Maud Monahan, Saint Madeleine Sophie (1925); a good short life by M. K. Richardson has the catchpenny title Heaven on Thursday (1948).
Born at Joigny, Burgundy, France, on December 12, the daughter of a cooper, she was educated by her older brother Louis, who later became a priest and who imposed the strictest discipline and penances on her. On his recommendation, Father Varin, who planned to form an institute of women to teach girls, a female counterpart of the Jesuits, received her and three companions into the religious life in 1800, thus founding the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
They founded their first convent and school at Amiens the following year, and in 1802, Madeleine, though the youngest member of the group, now grown to twenty-three, was appointed Superior; she was to rule for sixty-three years. The Society spread throughout France, absorbed a community of Visitation nuns at Grenoblein in 1804 (among whom was Blessed Phillipine Duchesne, brought the Society to the United States in 1818), and received formal approval from Pope Leo XII in 1826. In 1830 the Society's novitiate at Poitiers was closed by the Revolution, and Madeleine founded a new novitiate in Switzerland. By the time of her death in Paris on May 21, she had opened more than 100 houses and schools in twelve countries. She was canonized in 1925.

Mary's Divine Motherhood
Christians in Africa.
That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus,
may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

Marian spirituality: all are invited.
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!
  RDeo grátias. R.  Thanks be to God.
Sixth Week of Easter

May, the month of Mary, is the oldest
and most well-known Marian month, officially since 1724;

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016

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!)
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
  Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director
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'

"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
It Makes No Sense Not To Believe In GOD 
Every Christian must be a living book
wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel

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.

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

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

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

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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays? 
Called in the Gospel “the Mother of Jesus,” Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the Mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos). 
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
“The Blessed Virgin was eternally predestined, in conjunction with the incarnation of the divine Word, to be the Mother of God. By decree of divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving mother of the divine Redeemer, an associate of unique nobility, and the Lord's humble handmaid. She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ.”
The voice of the Father is heard, the Son enters the water, and the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove.
   THE spirit and example of the world imperceptibly instil the error into the minds of many that there is a kind of middle way of going to Heaven; and so, because the world does not live up to the gospel, they bring the gospel down to the level of the world. It is not by this example that we are to measure the Christian rule, but words and life of Christ. All His followers are commanded to labour to become perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect, and to bear His image in our hearts that we may be His children. We are obliged by the gospel to die to ourselves by fighting self-love in our hearts, by the mastery of our passions, by taking on the spirit of our Lord.
   These are the conditions under which Christ makes His promises and numbers us among His children, as is manifest from His words which the apostles have left us in their inspired writings. Here is no distinction made or foreseen between the apostles or clergy or religious and secular persons. The former, indeed, take upon themselves certain stricter obligations, as a means of accomplishing these ends more perfectly; but the law of holiness and of disengagement of the heart from the world is geeral and binds all the followers of Christ.
Join Mary of Nazareth Project help us build the International Marian Center of Nazareth
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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

Called in the Gospel the Mother of Jesus, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as the Mother of my Lord (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son,  the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart ... From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to me, His unworthy slave, if I mistake not:
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment.
Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish the Holy Hour and to pray lying prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven till midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness.
He endured when abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony, and to receive holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the first great revelation, He made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Heart with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification