Sunday  Saints November  06 Octávo Idus Novémbris.  
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!)

Mary the Mother of Jesus  Mary Mother of GOD

498 SPANISH, CUBAN, FRENCH AND ITALIAN MARTYRS



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40 days for Life Day 39
15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary

Six Canonized on Feast of Christ the King Nov 23 2014

CAUSES OF SAINTS April  2014

 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 .

November 6 – Our Lady of Valfleury (France)
Apply this to your daily life
These few short sentences summarize the entire life of your Mother.
Let us engrave them on our hearts, meditate fervently on them, put them into practice:
    - “I am the handmaid of the Lord” Ecce…    - “Be it done to me according to your word” Fiat…
    - “My soul magnifies the Lord” Magnificat…

Cardinal François-Xavier NGUYEN VAN THUAN, Sur le chemin de l'espérance (The Road to Hope), Le Sarment, Fayard 1991.

"Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger.
Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy.
Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven." -- St Ephraem

  November 6
Romans 15:14-21 ;  Psalms 98:1-4 ;  Luke 16:1-8 ;

SAINT SEVERINUS miracle worker (c. 410 – 8 January 482) And the servant of God said 
" Even if thy soldiers are unarmed, they shall now be armed from the enemy. For neither numbers nor fleshly courage is required, when everything proves that God is our champion. Only in the name of the Lord advance swiftly, advance confidently. For when God in his compassion goes before, the weakest shall seem the bravest.
 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall be silent. Then make haste; and this one thing observe above everything, to conduct unharmed into my presence those of the barbarians whom thou shalt take.
"

 
Your first task is to be dissatisfied with yourself, fight sin, and transform yourself into something better.
Your second task is to put up with the trials and temptations of this world that will be brought on
by the change in your life and to persevere to the very end in the midst of these things
. -- St. Augustine

Mary's Childbirth in the Marian Piety of the Second Century
The Spirit opened the womb of the Virgin and she received conception and gave birth; and the Virgin became a mother with many mercies. She travailed and brought forth a Son, without incurring pain. She did not require a midwife, because He caused her to give life. She gave birth like a strong man with desire, and she brought Him forth openly, and acquired Him with great dignity, and loved Him in His swaddling clothes and guarded Him tenderly, and showed Him in Majesty.  Hallelujah.  Excerpt from The Odes of Solomon  (Apocryphal text of the 2nd century)

Late 17th - early of 18th century (after 1697). From the St. Nicholas Church in Tolmachi, Moscow.

The icon is a copy of the miracle-working image of Our Lady the Joy of All Afflicted of the Transfiguration Church at Ordynka, Moscow. The worship started in 1688, after it cured the sister of Patriarch Joachim. The icon, probably, appeared in the church after it was rebuilt of stone in 1685. The history of this icon is unclear. According to one version, it was in the Church of Our Lady the Joy of All Afflicted at Ordynka on the site of the Transfiguration Church, till it was closed in the Soviet years. According to another hypothesis, the miraculous icon was taken to St. Petersburg on order of Natalia, a sister of Peter the Great, in 1711, while a copy remained in Moscow.
The Moscow and St. Petersburg images have notable iconographic differences.
Known in Russia since the 1680s, the iconography of Our Lady the Joy of All Afflicted emerged under spectacular influences of several Roman Catholic types. Hence its many variants, largely differing on many points. They have only one feature in common — the figures of sufferers praying to the Virgin, the Protectress interceding for them. The St. Petersburg icon, with no such figures, is the only exception. The iconographic variant which includes both the Moscow and St. Petersburg images has the crowned Virgin in the centre (often portrayed standing on the moon), holding the Child, also crowned, on Her left arm, and surrounded by a halo — the Roman Catholic type ascending to the words of Revelation about the «woman clothed with the sun» (Rev 12:1). The variant to which the miracle-working icon of Moscow belonged adds to this image a crowd of sufferers divided in six groups — seniors, the unclothed, the sick, the afflicted, the hungry and travellers, all consoled by angels at Her bidding. These figures directly illustrate the troparion to the icon, written in a cartouche in the lower part of the composition. The Moscow icon has one definitive characteristic — four saints to both sides of the Virgin, above the sufferers — Sergii of Radonezh, Theodore of Sykeon, Gregory Decapolites and Barlaam of Khutyn.
The icon repeats the iconography of the Moscow miraculous image closely enough, and almost fully coincides with it in size. It may be seen as one of the oldest replicas of this type. It changes the arrangement of the four supplementary saints, and replaces St. Gregory Decapolites by Gregory of Neocaesarea — perhaps, due to the topographical closeness of the St. Nicholas Church at Tolmachi and the Church of St. Gregory of Neocaesarea at Polyanka.

November 6 - Our Lady of Valfleury (Lyons, France) The Miraculous Birth of King Louis XIV "God-Given" (I)
Married very young in 1615, Louis XIII and Anne of Austria remained barren for many years. The matter became alarming even if only from a political point of view. The Queen prayed continually for an heir. Unfortunately, again in 1630 her pregnancy was no more successful than before. It was said that a miracle was in need.
The miracle actually happened after 22 years of marriage, by the intercession of Our Lady of Graces.

On 27th October 1637, while he was in prayer with his brothers in his convent, Brother Fiacre had a sudden inspiration:
the Queen should publicly ask that the people make three novenas to the Blessed Virgin, and a son would be granted to her. The first novena was to be to Our Lady of Graces in Provence, the second to Notre-Dame of Paris (patroness of the cathedral) and the third to Our Lady of Victories, the church of his convent in Paris as well.
In fact, two years earlier, as a young novice, Brother Fiacre had received the same inspiration, but with less conviction. Nevertheless, his superiors remained sceptical and prohibited him to speak about it, unless of course he had proof?
          St. Atticus Martyr of Phrygia
         St. Felix of Thynissa African martyr  St. Augustine honored his feast day
SAINT SEVERINUS miracle worker And the servant of God said, “Even if thy soldiers are unarmed, they shall now be armed from the enemy. For neither numbers nor fleshly courage is required, when everything proves that God is our champion. Only in the name of the Lord advance swiftly, advance confidently. For when God in his compassion goes before, the weakest shall seem the bravest. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall be silent. Then make haste; and this one thing observe above everything, to conduct unharmed into my presence those of the barbarians whom thou shalt take”.
Theópoli, quæ est Antiochía, sanctórum decem Mártyrum, qui a Saracénis passi legúntur.
    At Theopolis, which is Antioch, ten holy martyrs who are said to have suffered at the hands of the Saracens.

 530 ST MELAINE, BISHOP OF RENNES;  the author of his life tells us that he performed many miracles; played a leading part in drawing up Council of Orleans canons 511; King Clovis after his conversion held him in great esteem
6th v. ST ILLTUD, OR ILLTYD, ABBOT; a disciple of St Germanus (of Auxerre), who ordained him priest, and that he presided over the monastic school at Llantwit in Glamorgan much stress is laid on his learning and wisdom “This Illtud was the most learned of all the Britons both in the Old Testament and the New, and in all kinds of philosophy—poetry and rhetoric, grammar and arithmetic…were I to begin to relate all his wondrous works I should be led to excess”.

6th v. St. Felix of Fondi Benedictine monk; revered friend of Pope St. Gregory I the Great
   559 St. Leonard of Noblac Hermit-abbot convert of St. Remigius
  570 St. Leonianus Hermit confessor captured by raiders
7th v. St. Edwen Patroness of Llanedwen, Anglesey
   700 St. Efflam Founder of a monastery in Brittany
   717 St. Winoc Founding abbot established a church and a hospital
   912 St  Demetrian Cypriot bishop highly venerated on Cyprus  abbot of the monastery for forty years
         St. Leonard invoked by women in labor prisoners of war miracles
         St. Pinnock winnow Welsh saint
1193 St. Barlaam Hermit of Russia on the Volga River St. Leonard of Reresby Crusader prisoner of the Saracens set free in a miracle
1312 BD CHRISTINA. OF STOMMELN, VIRGIN
1391 St. Nicholas Tavelic and 3 Companions are among the 158 Franciscans been martyred in the Holy Land since the friars became custodians of the shrines in 1335.
1414 BD JOAN MARY DE MAILLE, WIDOW; No gambling or bad language was permitted in their château, which
became the asylum of the poor of the neighbourhood; and they adopted and educated three orphans; became destitute; Many conversions and miracles of healing worked by her, finally her the fame and recognition which she was far from desiring was gift of prophecy; remarkable revelations about future, some she felt constrained to impart to the king.
1431 BD NONIUS Nonius (Nuñes) Alvares de Pereira, son of a grand-master of the Knights of Rhodes, was born near Lisbon in 1360. At the age of seventeen he married, and when twenty-three was made constable in command of the armed forces of Portugal by the grand-master of the Knights of Aviz, who became king as John I. Together they overcame the armies of Castile and established their country as a sovereign state. Thus Bd Nonius is one of the national heroes of Portugal, whose story is told in the sixteenth-century Chronica do Condestavel.
   In 1422, his wife being dead, he entered a Carmelite friary which he had founded at Lisbon as a lay-brother, and remained there for the rest of his life. He died on All Saints’ day in 1431, while reading the Passion according to St John, just as he came to the words, “Behold thy mother!”

1521 BD MARGARET OF LORRAINE, WIDOW; 1513, when her responsibility for her children was at an end, she withdrew to Mortagne, where there was a convent and she could unostentatiously look after the poor and the sick. From there she took some of the nuns and established them, under the rule of the Poor Clares, at Argentan. In this convent Bd Margaret herself took the habit in 1519. She refused the office of abbess, and died, a simple nun; Bd Margaret is mentioned among the praetermissi, and the writer describes the evidences of a still fervent cultus that he witnessed on a visit to Argentan in 1878.
He also refers to a catalogue of miracles at the shrine, drawn up by Fr Mann de Proverre.
1851-1862 THE MARTYRS OF INDO-CHINA, II
1861 St. Joseph Khang  Martyr of Vietnam

Our Lady of Poor Souls (I)November 6 - OUR LADY OF GOOD REMEDIES (Mexico, 1519)
Mary loves the Poor Souls in Purgatory because she has also gone through a kind of purgatory of tribulation - not indeed, in punishment of her sins, for she had none - but that she might have more compassion on us, and be more fully entitled to the name by which she is so well know, Comforter of the Afflicted. For this reason she descended into a sea of sorrow, into the depths of tribulation, into the furnace of poverty, exile, persecution. For this reason she suffered those pains of mind and soul, which were caused by the loss of her Son, and by His absence during the years she lived after His death. All those sufferings were a real purgatory to her. Its flames but increased her love for the poor souls, and made her more truly the Mother of the Poor Souls in Purgatory.

While we still sojourn in this valley of tears, let us beg Mary to increase daily our ardour, and give us perseverance in good works, to obtain for us a happy death and assure us of her advocacy at the judgment-seat of God. Saint Alphonsus tells us that if we truly venerate Mary and faithfully serve her during life, we can certainly hope, when we die, to be led by her at once into Heaven without having to undergo the pains of purgatory.
See: http://www.montligeon.org/


St. Atticus “Martyr of Phrygia
In Phrygia sancti Attici Mártyris. In Phrygia, St. Atticus, martyr.
Listed in Roman Martyrology as "Martyr of Phrygia".
Atticus of Phrygia M (RM) Dates unknown. The Roman Martyrology reports: "In Phrygia Saint Atticus, Martyr." Nothing else is known of him (Benedictines).
St. Felix of Thynissa African martyr St. Augustine honored his feast day
Thiníssæ, in Africa, natális sancti Felícis Mártyris, qui, conféssus et ad torménta dilátus, álio die (ut refert sanctus Augustínus, Psalmum in ejus festivitáte ad pópulum expónens) invéntus est in cárcere exánimis.
    At Tunis in Africa, the birthday of St. Felix, martyr, who, having confessed Christ, was sent to prison.  His sentence had been deferred, but the next day he was found dead, as is related by St. Augustine when he was expounding on a psalm to the people on the feast of the saint.
Thynissa  near Hippona, or Bona. He died in prison awaiting execution. St. Augustine honored his feast day.

530 ST MELAINE, BISHOP OF RENNES;  the author of his life tells us that he performed many miracles; played a leading part in drawing up the canons of the Council of Orleans in 511; King Clovis after his conversion held him in great esteem

MELAINE (Melanius) was a native of Placet in the parish of Brain, in Brittany. He had served God with great fervour in a monastery for some years when, upon the death of St Amand, Bishop of Rennes, he was constrained by the clergy and people to fill that see. As a bishop he played a leading part in drawing up the canons of the Council of Orleans in 511 (see Neues Archiv, xiv, 50), and with others wrote a letter of rebuke to two Breton priests who were wandering from place to place and behaving very irregularly. A sincere humility, and a spirit of continual prayer chiefly enhanced his virtue, and the author of his life tells us that he performed many miracles. King Clovis after his conversion held him in great esteem. St Melaine died in a monastery, which he had built at Placet, some time before 549. He was buried at Rennes, where his feast is kept to-day, as it was formerly at Mullion in Cornwall, where he had come to be regarded as the local patron, supplanting an earlier St Mollien or Moellien. He must not be confused with the St Mellon venerated in Normandy, who gave his name to Saint Mellons between Newport and Cardiff.

See his life in the Acta Sanctorum, January 6, of which other, and probably older, re­dactions may be found in the Catalogus Cod. Hagiog. Lot. Paris, i, 7x and ii, 531. Cf. also MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. iii; Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. ii, pp. 340—341; and G. H. Doble, St Melaine (1935).  

570 St. Leonianus Hermit confessor captured by raiders
Originally from Pannonia, he was captured by raiders and taken to France. Regaining his freedom, Leonianus became a hermit near Autun. He embraced the monastic life in his later years.
559 St. Leonard of Noblac Hermit-abbot convert of St. Remigius
Lemóvicis, in Aquitánia, sancti Leonárdi Confessóris, qui fuit beáti Remígii Epíscopi discípulus.  Hic, nóbili génere ortus, solitáriam vitam delégit, et sanctitáte ac miráculis cláruit; ejúsque virtus præcípue in liberándis captívis enítuit.
    At Limoges in Aquitaine, St. Leonard, confessor, disciple of the blessed bishop Remigius, who was born of a noble family but chose to lead a solitary life.  He was celebrated for holiness and miracles, but his virtue shone particularly in the deliverance of captives.
He was a French courtier offered a bishopric, but became a recluse at Micy, France. He then lived at Limoges, France, and he was given land by the royal court on which he founded Noblac Abbey, later called Saint-Leonard. He is a patron of Women in labor and prisoners of war.  St. Leonard invoked by women in labor prisoners of war miracles
According to unreliable sources, he was a Frank courtier who was converted by St. Remigius, refused the offer of a See from his godfather, King Clovis I, and became a monk at Micy. He lived as a hermit at Limoges and was rewarded by the king with all the land he could ride around on a donkey in a day for his prayers, which were believed to have brought the Queen through a difficult delivery safely. Numerous miracles are attributed to him, and in one small town alone, Inchenhofen, Bavaria, from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, there are records of about 4000 favours granted through his intercession. The saint wrought the delivery of captives, women in confinement, those possessed of an evil spirit, people and beasts afflicted with diseases. At the end of the eleventh century his name had already become renowned among the Crusaders captured by the Mussulmans. He is generally represented holding chains in his hands.
He founded Noblac monastery on the land so granted him, and it grew into the town of Saint-Leonard. He remained there evangelizing the surrounding area until his death. He is invoked by women in labor and by prisoners of war because of the legend that Clovis promised to release every captive Leonard visited.

6th v. ST LEONARD OF NOBLAC
ALTHOUGH he was one of the most “popular” saints of Western Europe in the later Middle Ages, nothing is heard of this St Leonard before the eleventh century, when a life of him was written, upon which, however, no reliance at all can be put.


According to it he was a Frankish nobleman who was converted to the faith by St Remigius. Clovis I was his godfather, and offered St Leonard a bishopric, which he refused. He went into the country of Orleans, to the monastery of Micy, where he took the religious habit and lived until, aspiring after a closer solitude, he chose for his retirement a forest not far from Limoges. Here he built himself a cell, lived on vegetables and fruit, and had for some time no witness of his penance and virtues but God alone. One-day Clovis came hunting in that forest and his queen was there brought to bed by a difficult labour. The prayers of St Leonard safely delivered her, and the king in gratitude gave him as much land as he could ride round in a night on his donkey. Leonard formed a community, which in succeeding times became a flourishing monastery, first called the abbey of Noblac and now identified as the town of Saint-Leonard. From it the saint evangelized the surrounding neighbourhood, and died there, it is said, about the middle of the sixth century, revered for his holiness and miracles.
From the eleventh century devotion to St Leonard flourished remarkably, especially in northwest and central Europe. In England his name occurs in calendars and churches were dedicated in his honour: there is a St Leonard’s chapel so far west as Saint Ives at Worcester in the thirteenth century his feast was kept as a half-holyday, on which Mass was to be heard and only certain work (e.g. ploughing) might be done. The church at Noblac became a great pilgrimage shrine and the saint was invoked, on the one hand, by women in labour, and on the other, by prisoners of war (because, according to the legend, Clovis promised to release every captive Leonard visited); in one Bavarian town alone 4000 cures and other answers to prayer were attributed to his intercession from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Of this great cultus there now remains only a certain amount of local popular devotion and the observance of his feast at Limoges, Munich and in a few other places.


The account of St Leonard furnished in the Acta Sanctorum, November, vol. iii, is exceptionally thorough and authoritative, for Fr Albert Poncelet, an expert in Merovingian and Carolingian hagiography, wrote it in 1910. The text of the Latin life, which had already been critically edited by B. Krusch in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. iii, is printed again by the Bollandist, with a long series of narratives of later miracles. Poncelet agrees with Krusch that the life was compiled somewhere about the year 1025, certainly not before 1017, and that of itself it does not provide evidence even that such a person as St Leonard ever existed. It seems that no trace of any cultus of the saint is to be found either in church-dedications, inscriptions, martyrologies or calendars earlier than the eleventh century. The special devotion to St Leonard as a liberator of prisoners of war probably gained popularity from the story of the release of Bohemund, Prince of Antioch, in 1103 after the Moslems had taken him captive. It is historically certain that he paid a visit to Noblac and there presented an ex-voto in gratitude on which see the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxi (1912), pp. 24—44. Canon Arbellot published a French Life in 1863, and there are others, mostly uncritical.
The anachronisms of the life of St Leonard are discussed by G. Kurth, Clovis, vol. ii, pp. 167 and 259—260. Much has been written on the popular practices of devotion and on the folk-lore associated with the St Leonard cult: consult, e.g. W. Hay, Volkstumliche Heiligentage (1932), pp. 264—269. Curiously enough this French saint was nowhere more honoured than in Bavaria, as has been shown by G. Schierghofer, Alt-Bayerns Umritte und Leonhardifahrten (1913), and in his Umrittbrauch (1922); also by Rudolf Kriss, Volkskundliches aus alt-bayerischen Gnaden­statten (1930), and Max Rumpf, Religiöse Volkskunde (1933), p. 166.
700 St. Efflam Founder of a monastery in Brittany
France. He was the son of a British prince.

6th v. ST ILLTUD, OR ILLTYD, ABBOT; a disciple of St Germanus (of Auxerre), who ordained him priest, and that he presided over the monastic school at Llantwit in Glamorgan much stress is laid on his learning and wisdom “This Illtud was the most learned of all the Britons both in the Old Testament and the New, and in all kinds of philosophy—poetry and rhetoric, grammar and arithmetic…were I to begin to relate all his wondrous works I should be led to excess”.

THE first information we have about IlItud, one of the most celebrated of the Welsh saints, is in the perhaps early seventh-century Life of St Samson. Here it is said that he was a disciple of St Germanus (of Auxerre), who ordained him priest, and that he presided over the monastic school at Llantwit in Glamorgan much stress is laid on his learning and wisdom.

“This Illtud was the most learned of all the Britons both in the Old Testament and the New, and in all kinds of philosophy—poetry and rhetoric, grammar and arithmetic…were I to begin to relate all his wondrous works I should be led to excess”.

There are further references in the ninth-century Life of St Paul Aurelian there it is stated that the saint’s monastery was established on a certain island “within the borders of Dyfed, called Pyr”, which is usually identified with Caldey, off Tenby. This statement has given rise to the baseless conjecture that there was an original Llanilltud on Caldey, and that a later and bigger foundation in Glamorgan was distinguished from it as Llanilltud Fawr, that is “the Great”. Illtud is said to have increased the size of this “very limited area hemmed in by the sea”, at the suggestion of his pupils Paul, David, Samson, and Gildas.*{*Little credence can be attached to the statement that St David was a pupil of St IlItud: cf. A. W. Wade-Evans, Life of St David, p. 73. The same scholar sought to identify the insula with Manorbier on the mainland of Pembrokeshire (Notes and Queries, 1950).}

The only life we have of St IlItud himself is a Latin composition dating from about 1140. This tells us that his father was a Briton who lived in Letavia with his wife; it has been suggested that Letavia here really means a district in central Brecknock rather than Brittany. When he grew up Illtud went by water to visit “his cousin King Arthur”, and married a lady called Trynihid. Leaving Arthur, he entered the military service of a chieftain in Glamorgan, whence he is sometimes called IlItud the Knight. The story goes that he was startled into taking up the monastic life by a hunting accident in which some of his friends lost their lives, and that he was recommended to leave the world by St Cadoc (who was hardly born at this time). Illtud went to live with Trynihid in a reed hut by the river Nadafan, but was warned by an angel, in peculiar circumstances, to leave his wife. This he did, very roughly, early in the morning, and went to St Dubricius to receive the tonsure of a monk. Then he made his abode by a stream called the Hodnant, and lived austerely there as a solitary until disciples began to flock around. They flourished materially and spiritually, their land was good and they worked hard, and St Illtud’s monastery became the first great monastic school of Wales, known as Llanilltud Fawr (now Llantwit Major in Glamorgan).

Once Trynihid came to see her husband, whom she found working in the fields, but he was offended and would not speak to her (The narrator here attributes a similar discourtesy to Almighty God). When Illtud was driven from his monastery by the oppression of a local chieftain he had to take refuge for a time in a cave by the river Ewenny, where he was fed from Heaven their lands were threatened by the collapse of the sea-wall, which the monks built up again, but finally it had to be made good miraculously by the saint. He is said to have gone with corn-ships to relieve a famine in Brittany, and places and churches bearing his name are found there as well as many in Wales. Illtud was honoured as having introduced to his monks, and so to the people, an improved method of ploughing. The life is largely taken up with anecdotes of wonders, which provoked Dom Serenus Cressy in the seventeenth century to complain of “fables and unsavoury miracles”, when he met them in Capgrave’s Nova legenda Angliae. It states that in his old age Illtud again crossed the sea, and died at Dol; but the Life of Samson gives a moving account of his last days at Llantwit.

A local tradition of Breconshire says he died at Defynock and was buried at the place still called Bedd Gwyl Illtud, the Grave of Illtud’s Feast. In one of the Welsh triads IlItud is named, with Cadoc and Peredur, as one of the three knights of Arthur who had charge of the Holy Grail, and attempts have been made to identify him with the Galahad of the Arthurian legends. No mention of Illtud seems to be found in calendars, martyrologies or litanies earlier than the eleventh century. In a ninth-century inscription on a cross at Llantwit there is mention of “Iltet, Samson and Ebisar”, and this is probably the earliest surviving notice of the saint. His feast is observed in the archdiocese of Cardiff and on Caldey.
The best texts of the Latin life of St IlItud are those edited by Father De Smedt in the Acta Sanctorum, November, vol. iii, and by A. W. Wade-Evans in Vitae sanctorum Britanniae (1944), with a translation (both correct many errors which occur in the transcript of W. J. Rees, Lives of the Cambro-British Saints, pp. 158—182). The best and handiest general work in English is G. H. Doble’s St Ilyut (1944). See also A. W. Wade-Evans, Welsh Christian Origins (1934), pp. 132—137 and passim and especially F. Duine, Memento des sources hagiographiques...de Bretagne (1918), pp. 129—131. The saint’s name appears in many forms, Iltutus, Eltut, Hildutus, etc.

6th v. St. Felix of Fondi Benedictine monk; revered friend of Pope St. Gregory I the Great
Thiníssæ, in Africa, natális sancti Felícis Mártyris, qui, conféssus et ad torménta dilátus, álio die (ut refert sanctus Augustínus, Psalmum in ejus festivitáte ad pópulum expónens) invéntus est in cárcere exánimis.
    At Tunis in Africa, the birthday of St. Felix, martyr, who, having confessed Christ, was sent to prison.  His sentence had been deferred, but the next day he was found dead, as is related by St. Augustine when he was expounding on a psalm to the people on the feast of the saint.

Felix of Fondi, Italy, a revered friend of Pope St. Gregory I the Great.
7th century St. Edwen Patroness of Llanedwen, Anglesey
Wales. She is reported to have been the daughter of King Edwin of Northumbria, the first Christian ruler there.
717 St. Winoc Founding abbot established a church and a hospital
also called Winnoc. Perhaps a Welshman, or from Britain, he was raised in Brittany, France, and became a monk at St. Peter's monastery at Sithiu (Saint-Omer) under St. Bertin. One tradition states that he was of royal British blood. He and three friends later founded a monastery near Dunkirk which became a missionary center for the region. They labored among the Morini people at Wormhont. Winoc also established a church and a hospital.

717? ST WINNOC, ABBOT
WINNOC was probably of British origin. When a young man he, with three companions, came to the newly founded monastery of St Peter at Sithiu (Saint-­Omer).  He was so edified with the fervour of the monks and the wisdom of their abbot, St Bertin that he and his companions agreed to take the habit together. Soon, as the chronicler of the monastery testifies, St Winnoc shone like a morning star among the hundred and fifty monks who inhabited that sanctuary.

When it was judged proper to found a new monastery in a remoter part of the country of the Morini, for the instruction and example of the inhabitants of that part, Heremar, a man who had lately embraced the faith, bestowed on St Bertin some land at Wormhout, near Dunkirk, very convenient for that purpose. Bertin sent thither his four British monks to found the new monastery. St Winnoc and his brethren worked tirelessly in building their church and cells, together with a hospital for the sick, and the place soon became an important missionary centre. Many miracles were attributed to Winnoc, who was always foremost in the service of his monastic brethren and his heathen neighbours. Even in his old age he ground corn for the poor of his community, turning the hand-mill himself without any assistance. When others were astonished that he should have strength enough to do constantly such hard labour, they looked through a chink into the barn and saw the quern turning without being touched, which they ascribed to a miracle.

St Winnoc died on November 6, the year, according to the fourteenth-century tradition, being 717. Count Baldwin IV built and founded at Bergues an abbey, which he peopled with a colony from Sithiu and enriched with the relics of St Winnoc. The lands of the monastery of Wormhout were settled upon this house, and the town bears the name of Bergues-Saint-Winnoc.

In curious contrast to St Illtud, St Winnoc, though his direct connection with Great Britain is very slight, is commemorated in nearly all the English calendars of the tenth and eleventh centuries (see those edited for the Henry Bradshaw Society by F. Wormald in 1934). What is more, his name is mentioned and the miracle of the corn grinding described in detail in the Old-English martyrology of c. 850. Three Latin lives of St Winnoc have been printed in the Acta Sanctorum, November, vol. iii, but only the first, which may have been written as early as the eighth century, is of much account, the other two being obviously based upon this. This first life has also been edited by Levison in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. v. See also Van der Essen, Étude critique sur les Saints méroving., pp. 402 seq. Flahault, Le culte de St Winnoc a Wormhout (1903) and Duine, Memento, p. 64. St Winnoc is apparently the titular of Saint Winnow in Cornwall, and in an excellent monograph (1940) Canon Doble gives reasons for thinking he was a Welshman who founded this Cornish church, and subsequently came to Sithiu, no doubt via Brittany. 

912 St  Demetrian Cypriot bishop highly venerated on Cyprus  abbot of the monastery for forty years
Demetrius was born in Sika, Cyprus. He became a monk at St. Anthony’s Monastery when his wife died, and he was ordained. Demetrian served as abbot of the monastery for forty years and then became bishop of Khytri despite his objections. He ruled for twenty-five years. During a Saracen raid on Cyprus, Demetrian obtained the release of Christian captives who were destined to become slaves.

912 ST DEMETRIAN, BISHOP OF Khytri (now Kyrka; the ancient Kythereia)

HE was born at Sika, a village in Cyprus, his father being a venerated priest of that place. Demetrian himself was married at an early age, but three months later his wife died and he took the angelical habit in the monastery of St Antony. He soon became well known for his piety and powers of healing, and was ordained priest. He was elected abbot and governed in wisdom and holiness until the see of Khytri (now Kyrka; the ancient Kythereia) became vacant and he was appointed to it. 

Demetrian had now been a monk for nearly forty years, and was loath to involve himself in the responsibilities and distractions of the episcopate. He therefore ran away to a friend, one Paul, who hid him in a cave. But Paul had scruples about this, informed the authorities where the fugitive was, and Demetrian had to submit to consecration. Near the end of an episcopate of some twenty-five years the Saracens ravaged Cyprus and many Christian Cypriots carried off into slavery. St Demetrian is said to have followed and interceded with the raiders, who, im­pressed by his venerable age and selflessness, let the prisoners return to their homes. He is accounted one of the greatest bishops and saints of Cyprus.

There is one early Life of St Demetrian, written in Greek, which, so far as is known, has been preserved to us only in a single manuscript, somewhat mutilated at the end. From this codex it was edited by H. Gregoire in the Byzantinische Zeitschrift, vol. xvi (1907), pp. 217—237, and again more accurately by Fr Delehaye in the Acta Sanctorum, November, vol. iii. Delehaye thinks that the life was written about the middle of the tenth century. 

1193 St. Barlaam Hermit of Russia on the Volga River; His burying-place was the scene of miracles, and his relics were solemnly enshrined in 1452.
Barlaam came from a wealthy family from Novgorod and was christened Alexis. When his parents died, he became a hermit on the Volga. So many disciples joined him there that he had to found a monastery. He took the name Barlaam at that time. He died on November 6, 1193. His grave was a popular site for pilgrims.

The mitre of dark-green velvet is originated from the Khutyn monastery. It has got its modern shape in the late 18-th century when it was altered, but all details the mitre made in 1643 had, were kept and have been transfered to the new one. These are the silver gilt plaques adorned with the engraved compositions of “The Holy Virgin of the Sign, Deisis with Barlaam from Khutyn, the Reverend of Novgorod, the cherubim. Against the velvet background on a base which is worked of round thin small plaques made of plated wire in spectacular manner are laid threaded pearls. Of great interest is a narrow stripe adorned with incased donative inscription that reads, year 7151 (1643) March, 1 this hat was made to the house of his Gracious Reverend Barlaam at Khutyn.
Den hellige Barlaam av Khutyn ( -1193)

Minnedag: 6. november Den hellige Barlaam (Varlaam) ble født som Alexej på 1100-tallet i en velstående kjøpmannsfamilie i Novgorod i Russland. Da hans foreldre døde, solgte han alt han eide og ga bort det meste av pengene til de fattige. Selv dro han for å leve som eneboer i Khutyn [Kutyn, Choutinsk] ved bredden av elva Volga. Her bygde han et trekapell.

Etter hvert som hans ry for hellighet spredte seg, kom det mange disipler og sluttet seg til ham der. Da han ikke lenger kunne sørge for dem alle, organiserte han dem som et monastisk fellesskap og styrte dem selv som abbed. Det var på den tiden han tok navnet Barlaam. Trekapellet ble erstattet av en steinkirke viet til Herrens forklarelse. Blant pilegrimene og andre besøkende som strømmet til det nye klosteret, var hertug Jaroslav av Novgorod, som ble dets velgjører.

Men Barlaam levde ikke lenge etter at kommuniteten var endelig etablert. Etter å ha sørget for dets underhold og utnevnt en munk ved navn Antonius til å etterfølge ham, døde han den 6. november 1193. Det ble meldt om mirakler ved hans grav, som ble et populært valfartsmål. Hans relikvier ble høytidelig skrinlagt i 1452. Hans minnedag er dødsdagen 6. november. Hans biografi ble skrevet av en serbisk munk ved navn Pakhomios, og han minnes i den russiske liturgien under forberedelsene av brødet og vinen.

Barlaam and Josaphat (bär`läəm, jō`səfăt), legend popular in medieval times. It corresponds in part to the legend of Buddha. Versions of the story have been found in nearly every language. At the birth of Josaphat (or Joasaph), the son of the Indian king Abenner, it was prophesied that the young prince was destined for greatness not as a royal leader but as a holy man. The king did all that was possible to stop the prophecy from coming true, but the prince, through the teachings of the monk Barlaam, was converted to religion (according to Western legend, Christianity). After the death of Abenner, Josaphat abdicated the throne and lived out the remainder of his days with Barlaam, as a religious recluse.

Khutyn Monastery of Saviour's Transfiguration and of St. Varlaam used to be the holiest monastery of the medieval Novgorod Republic. The monastery is situated on the right bank of the Volkhov River 10 km away from Novgorod, in the area known as Khutyn, whose name is derived from the Old Russian word for “devilry.

The cloister was founded by the Novgorodian boyar Oleksa Mikhailovich, who was appointed its first hegumen in 1192 and died the next year. As many miracles were reported at his tomb, Oleksa was canonized by the Russian Orthodox church as Saint Varlaam. He was the patron saint of Novgorod and the patrilineal ancestor of many families of Russian nobility, including Chelyadnins and Pushkins, of which Alexander Pushkin was a member.

As the story goes, Ivan III visited the cloister and wished to see the relics of Saint Varlaam in 1471. When they opened the saint's tomb, it was full of smoke and fire. Afraid of inflicting divine wrath, Ivan III fled the monastery and Novgorod altogether, leaving his staff as a curiosity to local monks. This staff was exhibited at the cloister's sacristy for centuries to come.

Ivan's son Vasily III, wishing to augment his influence in newly-conquered Novgorod, ordered the old monastery cathedral to be demolished and replaced with a noble six-pillared edifice, intended to demonstrate the might and wealth of Muscovite rulers. The new church, completed by 1515, was evidently patterned after the Assumption Cathedral in Rostov. It was the first piece of Muscovite architecture in the Russian North-West and a venerated model for many subsequent churches in the region.

The annex of St Gabriel, added to the cathedral in 1646, received its present name after the poet Gavrila Derzhavin had been interred here in 1816. The refectory with St Varlaam Church was built on behest of Ivan IV in 1552. The Neoclassical belltower dates from the reign of Catherine the Great.
During the first decades of Soviet rule the monastery housed a lunatic asylum. It was restored to the church in 1993.

1193 ST BARLAAM OF KHUTYN, ABBOT
HE was born into a wealthy family at Novgorod and was christened Alexis. On the death of his parents he sold his property, giving away much to the poor, and went to live as a solitary at a place called Khutyn on the banks of the river Volga. The fame of his virtues in time brought companions to him, and these he organized as a monastic community, ruling over them as abbot, with the name of Barlaam (Varlaam). His wooden chapel was rebuilt in stone, and dedicated in honour of the Transfiguration. Pilgrims and other visitors flocked to the new monastery, among them the Duke Yaroslav, who became its benefactor. St Barlaam did not live long after the final establishment of this community; after having provided for its continuance and upkeep, and having nominated the monk Antony to succeed him, he died on November 6, 1193. His burying-place was the scene of miracles, and his relics were solemnly enshrined in 1452.

A Serbian monk named Pachomius wrote the life of St Barlaam of Khutyn; in the Russian use of the Byzantine Mass he is commemorated at the preparation of the holy things.

See Martynov’s Annus ecclesiasticus Graeco-Slavicus in Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xi; and cf. note under St Sergius on September 25 herein.  

13th v. St. Leonard of Reresby Crusader prisoner of the Saracens set free in a miracle
fashion. He was a native of Yorkshire, England.
St. Pinnock Welsh saint
honored by a church in Cornwall, England. As there is no historical evidence for St. Pinnock’s existence, it is assumed by some scholars that Pinnock is a derivation of St. Winnow.

1312 BD CHRISTINA. OF STOMMELN, VIRGIN; dying at the age of seventy, in 1312, with a great reputation of sanctity. Thirty years after her relics were translated to Niedeggen  in the Eifel, and again in 1569 to Jülich, where they still repose and receive the veneration of the people. Nor does anything which has been said above reflect on the credit of Bd Christina or suggest that that veneration is misplaced; for heroic virtue, which is the condition of holiness, is entirely independent of abnormal physical phenomena or extraordinary divine favours, and the first of these are not inconsistent with a life far from holy. The Holy See has recognized that the evidence touching the personal virtue of Bd Christina justifies the continuation of her age-long local cultus.

DURING her life and from the time of her death until to-day Christina Bruso was venerated as a saint in her native village of Stommeln, near Cologne, and at Jülich, where she was eventually buried; and on account of this uninterrupted local veneration Pope Pius X confirmed the cultus in 1908, just on 600 years after her death. Were it not for the large amount of contemporary, eyewitnesses’, and personal testimony to the phenomena which make her one of the most extraordinary cases in all hagiology, she would have to be dismissed as a devout but mentally diseased young woman who suffered from hallucinations on a very large scale indeed or whose biographers were either hopelessly deceived or unscrupulous liars.
   Even as it is, some of the Catholic scholars who have studied the documents are of the opinion that many statements of experiences were made by her when she was not mistress of herself; and, as one of them has put it,
it is easier to believe that the whole story was a romance concocted, letters and all, by Peter of Dacia and that no such person as Christina ever existed” than to believe the extravagances recorded in her letters written by the hand of the village schoolmaster.

Christina’s father was a prosperous peasant, and the girl had some soft of school­ing, for she learned to read the psalter, but not to write. In the short account of her early life that she dictated to her parish priest, John, she says that she affianced herself to our Lord when He appeared to her in vision at the age of ten. When she was thirteen she ran away from home and became a beguine at Cologne. She lived with such austerity and extravagance of devotion that the beguines thought her mad, and already she thought herself singled out for attention by supernatural powers, both divine and diabolical: Satan, for example, disguised as St Bartholomew, tempted her to suicide. After some time she left the beguinage, where she had been treated with scant sympathy as a hysterical subject, and returned home. When she was twenty-five Christina made the acquaintance of Father Peter of Dacia (i.e. Scandinavia and Denmark), a pious and capable young Dominican, and at their first meeting she was, in the presence of others as well, thrown about the room and pierced with wounds in her feet by invisible agency. For the next two years or so Father Peter kept a record of what he saw in connection with Christina, between whom and the Swedish friar there was a warm personal friend­ship. The numerous remarkable happenings, which he narrates, include long ecstasies and temporary stigmata that bled copiously during Holy Week. On one occasion Christina was found up to her neck in mud in a pit without knowing how she got there, and on another Satan tormented her by fixing to her body hot stones, which the bystanders could see and touch. But the manifestation of which Father Peter gives the most careful and detailed account was of so repulsive a nature that no particulars of it can be given here. It is sufficient to say that on numerous occasions for weeks on end Christina and those who visited her, Father Peter himself and other Dominicans, other clergy, and lay people of both sexes, were covered with showers of filth that came apparently from nowhere.

   After Father Peter left Cologne in 1269 Christina corresponded with him through the parish priest, John, who sometimes added to her dictation comments of his own. From these letters it appears that the visitations, which Christina attributes to the malice of the Evil One, continued unabated, though in ever-varying forms. These violent happenings were not confined to Christina herself. Her father was hit with stones on the head and arms, her friend the Benedictine prior of Brauweiler was badly bitten by invisible teeth, and a skull, after moving about in the air, tied itself about the neck of the Brusos’ servant.

A Dominican wrote to Father Peter from Cologne that’ “[The devil] gnaws her [Christina’s] flesh like a dog, and bites out great pieces; he burns her clothes next her skin while she is wearing them, and shows himself to her in horrible forms.” Thrice, says John the Priest, she was dragged from her bed, once on to the roof of her house and twice to a tree in the garden to which she was left bound. John himself untied her, in the presence of her mother and others. In 1277 John the Priest died and Master John, a young schoolmaster at Stommeln, took his place as amanuensis. He filled this office over a period of eight years, and the contents of the letters exceed anything previously reported by or of Christina. “The accounts of Christina’s experiences between 1279 and 1287”, says the writer quoted at the beginning of this article, “which reached her Dominican friend through the intermediary of Magister Johannes are so preposterous that, if they really emanated from herself, one can only regard them as the hallucinations of a brain which, for the time being at least, was completely unhinged.” All the paraphernalia used by the medieval artist in depicting Hell and its denizens is brought into play, and Christina over and over again is physically tormented in corresponding ways. Sometimes the powers of Heaven come to her aid, our Lord or His Mother or angels, and restore her from the harms that she has suffered. For what is related in these letters there is no shred of corroborative evidence, and from two very significant passages therein it is argued that their incredible extravagances were communicated by Christina (if Master John did not deliberately invent, which in all the circumstances he seems unlikely to have done) when in trance or other abnormal states, and were filled out and rounded off by the schoolmaster.

Father Peter of Dacia died about 1288 and Christina’s known history ends at that time, but she lived for another twenty-four years, dying at the age of seventy, in 1312, with a great reputation of sanctity. Thirty years after her relics were translated to Niedeggen in the Eifel, and again in 1569 to Jülich, where they still repose and receive the veneration of the people. Nor does anything which has been said above reflect on the credit of Bd Christina or suggest that that veneration is misplaced; for heroic virtue, which is the condition of holiness, is entirely independent of abnormal physical phenomena or extraordinary divine favours, and the first of these are not inconsistent with a life far from holy. The Holy See has recognized that the evidence touching the personal virtue of Bd Christina justifies the continuation of her age-long local cultus.

The material collected by Peter of Dacia for his projected book on “The Virtues of the Bride of Christ Christina” were printed for the first time in the Acta Sanctorum, June, vol. iv; but Father Papebroch had to use a copy which was in places becoming illegible. A better text, which, however, does not include all the documents, is provided in the Scriptores latini medii aevi Suecani, vol. i, Pt 2, pp. 1-257, by J. Paulson. See also Th. Wollersheim, Das Leben der ekstatischen und stigmatisirten Jungfrau Christina von Stommeln (1859); E. Renan, Nouvelles etudes d’histoire religieuse (Eng. trans.), pp. 353—396; H. Thurston in The Month, October and November, 1928, pp. 289—301 and 425—437; Douleur et stigmatisation (1936), pp. 44-49, in the series “Études Carmélitaines”; and Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lvii (1939), pp. 187—189.

1391 St. Nicholas Tavelic and 3 Companions are among the 158 Franciscans who have been martyred in the Holy Land since the friars became custodians of the shrines in 1335.

Nicholas was born in 1340 to a wealthy and noble family in Croatia. He joined the Franciscans and was sent with Deodat of Rodez to preach in Bosnia. In 1384 they volunteered for the Holy Land missions and were sent there. They looked after the holy places, cared for the Christian pilgrims and studied Arabic.

In 1391 Nicholas, Deodat, Peter of Narbonne and Stephen of Cuneo decided to take a direct approach to converting the Muslims. On November 11, 1391, they went to the huge Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem and asked to see the Qadi (Muslim official). Reading from a prepared statement, they said that all people must accept the gospel of Jesus. When they were ordered to retract their statement, they refused. After beatings and imprisonment, they were beheaded before a large crowd.

Nicholas and his companions were canonized in 1970. They are the only Franciscans martyred in the Holy Land to be canonized.

Comment: Francis presented two missionary approaches for his friars. Nicholas and his companions followed the first approach (live quietly and give witness to Christ) for several years. Then they felt called to take the second approach of preaching openly. Their Franciscan confreres in the Holy Land are still working by example to make Jesus better known.
Quote: In the Rule of 1221, Francis wrote that the friars going to the Saracens (Muslims) “can conduct themselves among them spiritually in two ways. One way is to avoid quarrels or disputes and 'be subject to every human creature for God's sake' (1 Peter 2:13), so bearing witness to the fact that they are Christians. Another way is to proclaim the word of God openly, when they see that is God's will, calling on their hearers to believe in God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Creator of all, in the Son, the Redeemer and Savior, they may be baptized and become true spiritual Christians. (Ch. 16).
1414 BD JOAN MARY DE MAILLE, WIDOW; No gambling or bad language was permitted in their château, which became the asylum of the poor of the neighbourhood; and they adopted and educated three orphans; Many were the conversions and miracles of healing worked by her, but perhaps what finally won her the fame and recognition which she was far from desiring was her gift of prophecy; she had remarkable revelations about the future, some of which she felt constrained to impart to the king.
ON April 14, 1332, at Roche-Saint-Quentin in Touraine, there was born to Baron Hardouin VI of Maillé or Maillac, and his wife Joan de Montbazon, a girl, who received at her baptism the name of Joan and at her confirmation that of Mary. She showed great piety from infancy, and once, when playing with other children of her age, she is said to have saved by her prayers the life of a little neighbour, Robert de Sillé, who had fallen into a pond. The boy himself became deeply attached to her, and when they grew up a marriage was arranged between them by Mary’s grandfather, her father being dead. The girl had proposed to consecrate herself to God, and her intention had been intensified after her recovery from a serious illness, but she was obliged to obey the old man, who, however, died on the wedding day. The young couple agreed to live together as brother and sister, and this they did for sixteen years. No gambling or bad language was permitted in their château, which became the asylum of the poor of the neighbourhood; and they adopted and educated three orphans.
Their holy and happy existence was disturbed by war: the Baron de Sillé followed the king to defend his country against the English, and in the disastrous battle of Poitiers he was wounded and left for dead. The capture of King John put Touraine at the mercy of the enemy troops, who overran the land and pillaged the chateau of Sills. Robert himself having been made prisoner, the large sum of 3000 forms was demanded for his ransom, and his wife sold her jewels and horses and borrowed what more was required to make up the sum. This entailed delay, and to hasten payment Robert’s gaolers are said to have kept him practically without food for nine days.
His eventual liberation he ascribed to the interposition of our Lady, who appeared to him in a vision to break his chains and enable him to escape. To their former charities they now added donations for the ransom of prisoners, and lived if possible a more holy and self-denying life than ever until Robert’s death in 1362.
     The grief of the widow at the loss of her husband was intensified by the unkindness of his family, who reproached her bitterly for the impoverishment of the estate through the alms which she had encouraged Robert to give. They went so far as to deprive her of her marriage portion and to drive her from her home. She took refuge at first with an old servant, who, however, finding that she had arrived empty-handed, received her grudgingly and treated her with contempt. Afterwards she returned to her mother at Luynes and learnt to make up medicines and salves. Joan was still young, and her peace of mind was soon disturbed by suitors, who were encouraged by her mother and brother. To escape from them, she withdrew to a little house in Tours, adjacent to the church of St Martin, and devoted herself to prayer, to attendance at the canonical offices and to the care of the sick and poor.
Once while Joan Mary was praying in church a madwoman threw a stone which injured her back so severely the surgeon whom Anne of Brittany sent to her relief declared that he could do nothing. But God Himself cured her miraculously, and although she carried the mark of the blow until her death, she was able to resume her former way of life. Her austerities were extreme, and she became a Franciscan tertiary, whose habit she always wore. After one of the several grave illnesses which she had to bear, she determined to strip herself of all earthly possessions, including the Château des Roches, which had been restored to her by her husband’s family. She gave everything to the Carthusians of Liget, and made a declaration of renunciation of any property which might accrue to her in the future. By so doing she alienated her own relations, and when she returned to Tours, completely destitute, no one would house her: she had to beg her bread from door to door and sometimes she slept in disused pigstyes and dog-kennels. At one time she was admitted among the servants of the hospital of St Martin, but her very holiness aroused jealousy, and she was calumniated and expelled.
    At last she found peace in the solitude of Planche-de-Vaux, near Cléry there she lived for a long time, almost hidden from the world. Nevertheless she was able to bring about the restoration of a ruined chapel which was called after her the chapel of the Good Anchoress and became a favourite place of pilgrimage. Later she returned to Tours, and at the age of fifty-seven took up her abode in a tiny room near the Minorite church. Some people still regarded her as a madwoman or a witch, but there were others who recognized that they had a saint living amongst them. Many were the conversions and miracles of healing worked by her, but perhaps what finally won her the fame and recognition which she was far from desiring was her gift of prophecy; she had remarkable revelations about the future, some of which she felt constrained to impart to the king. In memory perhaps of the sufferings of her husband, Joan Mary had a great compassion for prisoners, whether they were criminals or war captives. She visited them in prison, assisted and instructed them, and once obtained from the king liberation of all the prisoners in Tours. On March 28, 1414, Bd Joan Mary de Maillé died.
Her cultus was approved in 1871, and the Friars Minor keep her feast today.
See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii; and Leon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. ii, 106—130. There are also lives in French, the most recent by A. de Crisenoy (1948).

1431 BD NONIUS Nonius (Nuñes) Alvares de Pereira, son of a grand-master of the Knights of Rhodes, was born near Lisbon in 1360. At the age of seventeen he married, and when twenty-three was made constable in command of the armed forces of Portugal by the grand-master of the Knights of Aviz, who became king as John I. Together they overcame the armies of Castile and established their country as a sovereign state. Thus Bd Nonius is one of the national heroes of Portugal, whose story is told in the sixteenth-century Chronica do Condestavel.
   In 1422, his wife being dead, he entered a Carmelite friary which he had founded at Lisbon as a lay-brother, and remained there for the rest of his life. He died on All Saints’ day in 1431, while reading the Passion according to St John, just as he came to the words, “Behold thy mother!”
His popular cultus was approved for Portugal and the Carmelite Order in 1918. By the marriage of his daughter Beatrice with the eldest son of King John, first duke of Braganza, he is looked on as the founder of that Serene House; King Manuel II, the last king of Portugal, long familiar in England after his abdication in 1910, was a descendant of Bd Nonius.
        
Apart from the Chronica do Condestavel (1526), highly praised as a classic of early Portuguese literature, we have an excellent modem biography, J. P. de Oliveira Martins, A Vida de Nun’ Alvares (1893), and others by Ruy Chianca (1914), E. Battaglia (1918) and V. A. Cordeiro (1919). There is a popular account in English by J. M. Haffert, The Peacemaker (1945).

1521 BD MARGARET OF LORRAINE, WIDOW; 1513, when her responsibility for her children was at an end, she withdrew to Mortagne, where there was a convent and she could unostentatiously look after the poor and the sick. From there she took some of the nuns and established them, under the rule of the Poor Clares, at Argentan. In this convent Bd Margaret herself took the habit in 1519. She refused the office of abbess, and died, a simple nun; Bd Margaret is mentioned among the praetermissi, and the writer describes the evidences of a still fervent cultus that he witnessed on a visit to Argentan in 1878. He also refers to a catalogue of miracles at the shrine, drawn up by Fr Mann de Proverre
MARGARET OF Anjou, daughter of “good King René”, married the holy Henry VI of England; her sister, Yolande, married Fern of Lorraine and of their union was born the Margaret whose ancient cultus was confirmed in 1921. When she was twenty-five she married René, Duke of Alençon. The duke died four years later, and Margaret was left with three babies, and the estates of Alençon to be looked after for them. The first thing she did was to ensure the guardianship of her children, which Charles VIII of France wanted to take from her, and then settled down to bring them up at her castle of Mauves. Bd Margaret was as solicitous for the spiritual and temporal welfare of her vassals as for that of her sons; and she proved herself a most capable administrator, so that when her son Charles came of age and married, he received his inheritance in a good deal better state than it had been left by his father.
Margaret had come under the influence of St Francis of Paula, and during her years of widowhood had been leading a life of considerable asceticism. About 1513, when her responsibility for her children was at an end, she withdrew to Mortagne, where there was a convent and she could unostentatiously look after the poor and the sick. From there she took some of the nuns and established them, under the rule of the Poor Clares, at Argentan. In this convent Bd Margaret herself took the habit in 1519. She refused the office of abbess, and died, a simple nun, on November 2, 1521. Her body was taken from its tomb by the Jacobins in 1793 and thrown into the common burying-ground. It was a dastardly act, but there is a certain fitness in the ashes of this holy Duchess of Alençon mingling with those of the nameless poor and obscure people to whom she had been so devoted.

In the Acta Sanctorum (November, vol. i, pp. 418—459) Bd Margaret is mentioned among the praetermissi, and the writer describes the evidences of a still fervent cultus that he witnessed on a visit to Argentan in 1878. He also refers to a catalogue of miracles at the shrine, drawn up by Fr Mann de Proverre, but at that date unprinted. Several lives of this servant of God were published in the seventeenth century for example, one by P. de Hameau in 1628. In more modern times we have biographies by E. Laurent (1854) and R. Guérin (1926). The decree confirming the cultus is printed in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xiii (1921), pp. 231—233.

1851-1862 THE MARTYRS OF INDO-CHINA, II
THERE is often so much of extravagance and even of pure invention in the accounts handed down to us of the early martyrs that the doubt may suggest itself whether there is any truth at all in the descriptions of the refined cruelties to which they are said to have been subjected. But the brutality latent in human nature is everywhere much the same, and the torments which we know upon indisputable evidence to have been inflicted on modern missionaries in the Far East enable us, as nothing else can, to realize what a tyrannical magistrate in pagan Rome, Alexandria or Antioch is likely to have been capable of.
The story of BD THEOPHANES VENARD, a young Frenchman who even from childhood had dreamed of martyrdom, and who laid down his life in Tongking at the age of thirty-one, is harrowing in the details it supplies of the diabolical cruelty which prevailed in those regions and of the hardships which he and his companions encountered joyously for Christ's sake. In his tender affection for all the family circle he was a prolific letter-writer, and not only does every word of his bear the stamp of sincerity, but his statements are confirmed in the fullest detail by the correspondence of those who lived with him.
Theophanes was ordained subdeacon in December 1850, and then sought admission into the college of the Missions Étrangères at Paris, en route, as it proved, for martyrdom. In a letter to his sister, just after making his decision, he begins thus:
My DARLING SISTER,
How I cried when I read your letter! Yes, I knew well the sorrow I was going to bring upon my family, and especially upon you, my dear little sister. But don't you think it cost me tears of blood, too, to take such a step, and give you all such pain? Whoever cared more for home and a home life than I All my happiness here below was centred there. But God, who had united us all in links of the tenderest affection, wished to wean me from it.

Theophanes was always delicate and a severe illness nearly postponed his ordination, but after being admitted to the priesthood he started in September 1852 for Hongkong. Fifteen months were spent there in studying languages, and thence he passed in 1854 to Western Tongking. The new missionary with an elder companion reached his destination in safety, but he had to contend both with almost uninterrupted attacks of illness and with a violent outbreak of persecution. For more than five years he struggled on, labouring unremittingly in a district which numbered 10,000 fervent native Christians. Of the climax of this spell of fanaticism he writes:

The order has come to seize all the Christians, and to put them to death by what is called lang-tri; that is, by slow torture, cutting off first the ankles, then the knees, then the fingers, then the elbows, and so on until the victim is nothing but a mutilated trunk. Mgr Melchior, the Dominican vicar apostolic of the eastern district of Tongking, was seized and suffered this horrible death in August last.

 Of the desperate straits to which he and the other fathers were reduced he gives many pictures. “What do you think of our position?” he writes; “three missionaries, of whom one is a bishop, lying side by side, day and night, in a space of about a yard and a half square, our only light and means of breathing being three holes, the size of a little finger made in the mud wall, which our poor old woman is bound to conceal by means of faggots thrown down outside”. On November 30, 1800, Theophanes was taken, and for two months was kept chained in a cage; but the sweetness of his character impressed even his captors and he was not too cruelly used. He managed to write letters from his cage, and in one he says

These last days in my prison pass quietly; all those who surround me are civil and respectful, and a good many love me. From the great mandarin down to the humblest private soldier, everyone regrets that the laws of the country condemn me to death. I have not been put to the torture like my brethren.” His de­capitation, however, owing to the brutality of the executioner, was a gruesome spectacle, but it is interesting to read in the account of an eyewitness: “No sooner had the soldiers left than the crowd threw themselves upon the spot to soak their linen cloths and paper handkerchiefs in the martyr’s blood; and such ardour did they show that not a blade of grass was left in the place.” He suffered martyrdom on February 2, 1861.

Ten years before two other alumni of the Paris Society for Foreign Missions, BD AUGUSTUS Schöffler and Bd JOHN LOUIS BONNARD, had been put to death by beheading. Schöffler was a native of Lorraine, who had come to Tongking in 1848 and soon learned enough of the language to hear confessions and give simple instruction. In 1851 owing to political disturbances a persecution of Christians broke out. Father Schöffler was rearrested on March 1, and, although he was not tortured, he must have suffered terribly from the great wooden frame (tang) round his neck, and the fetters which confined his limbs, not to speak of the vermin and of the company in the common prison into which he was thrown. His execution was attended with much parade, but the martyr’s courage and bearing impressed even his enemies.

Father Bonnard reached Tongking in 1850, at the crisis of the cholera epidemic then raging, but laboured strenuously among the plague-stricken while continuing his study of the language. The vicar apostolic under whose orders he served wrote of him with the tenderest affection and admiration. A very beautiful letter of Father Bonnard is preserved in which, when under sentence of death, he took leave of his family in France. His head was struck off on May 1, 1852, and, as was usual, his remains, heavily weighted, were thrown into the river. In the case of the martyr last named the native Christians succeeded in recovering the body.

Among the other martyrs who suffered at this time, Bd STEPHEN THEODORE CUENOT, in virtue of his episcopal dignity and of his many years of labour under conditions which would daunt the stoutest heart, must claim a place. He was born in 1802, and after making his studies at the seminary of the Missions Étrangères in Paris came to Annam in 1829. A violent persecution broke out in 1833, and Cuénot was directed by his superiors to seek refuge in Siam with some of the native students for the priesthood. Sad discouragements and reverses met him every­where, but his courage and resourcefulness were so manifest that in 1835 at Singa­pore he was consecrated episcopal coadjutor to Mgr Taberd. The persecution still raged in Annam, but Mgr Cuénot managed to effect an entrance, and though terribly hampered in his work by having to remain continually in hiding, he per­formed marvels in reorganizing the scattered Christian communities and in giving fresh courage to the old native priests and catechists. His zeal was contagious in spite of the adverse conditions, and many converts were made.

In fifteen years Mgr Cuénot had established three separate vicariates in Cochin ­China, each served by some twenty priests, though, on his arrival as vicar apostolic, there had hardly been more than a dozen priests, most of them aged and decrepit, in the whole country. After an episcopate of more than twenty-five years, during which there had at no time been immunity from persecution, a very violent outbreak of fanaticism occurred which affected even the province of Binh-Dinh, where the Christians had hitherto been left in comparative peace. The bishop took refuge in the house of a pagan, “who concealed him in a narrow cell adroitly built in the thickness of a double wall”. The searchers failed to discover his hiding-place, but finding traces of his belongings, kept watch in the same spot. After two days the bishop, exhausted and ill, could no longer endure the thirst which consumed him, and ventured to show himself. He was at once seized, thrust into a narrow cage, in which the prisoner could only squat, bent almost double, and was in this conveyed to the chief town of the district. Though he was then given some measure of liberty within the fortress, he died a few days later as the result of a violent attack of dysentery. He had scarcely breathed his last when orders arrived from the capital that he should be beheaded. One of the mandarins proposed to execute the sentence on the corpse, but the two others prevented this last barbarity.

“Half the clerical students, all the pupils of the junior college, all the nuns, altogether a band of 250, have fallen into the hands of the persecutors and are branded on the face with the letters ta dao (false religion) as a badge of infamy. They either have a cang or a chain around their necks, some have both they are divided into small parties and distributed among the different villages where they are crowded into wretched hovels. . . . The rumour has now spread that two villages have burnt the Christians in order to save their guards the trouble of watching them, and when called to account by the mandarins, they pretended that the fire was accidental.”

So wrote the pro-vicar from Saigon in January 1862. Bd Stephen Cuénot had died on November 14 in the previous year, and two other bishops were martyred during the same month. Bn Jerome HERMOSILLA, a Spanish Dominican, succeeded Bd Ignatius Delgado as vicar apostolic of Eastern Tongking, and when persecution began again he was captured by the mandarin Nguyen. Mgr Hermosilla managed to escape and continued secretly to minister to the people till he was.betrayed by a soldier. He was imprisoned with two other Dominican missionaries, BD VALEN­TINE BERRI0-Ochoa, vicar apostolic of Central Tongking, and Bd PETER ALMATO. Mgr Berrio-Ochoa was brought up in the Biscayan province, and was apprenticed to a joiner, his noble family having come down in the world. He left his trade to enter a seminary, and then joined the Friars Preachers with the expressed object of becoming a missionary. He left for Tongking in 1856, and became vicar apostolic of the central district on the martyrdom of Mgr Sampedro eighteen months later. During the persecution his hiding-place was revealed by an apostate. Father Peter Almato was a Catalan, who had worked as a missionary for six years under the handicap of ill-health. Mgr Hermosilla tried to get him over the frontier into China, but the attempt was too late. These three were beheaded together on November 1, 1861. It was Bd Peter’s thirty-first birthday. Five weeks later a native secular tertiary, BD JOSEPH KHANG, was put to death at the same place.

The methods of the persecutors were such as have become only too familiar in later days and much nearer home: All Christians shall be scattered among the non-Christian villages, wives separated from their husbands, and children from their parents. Christian villages must be destroyed and their possessions distri­buted elsewhere. Every Christian shall be marked on his face with the words, “False religion”.  Other Indo-Chinese who suffered were the priests BD. LAURENCE HUNG (1856), PAUL LOK (1859) and JOHN HOAN (1861); Bd ANDREW NAM-THUNG (1855), a catechist; BD MICHAEL HO-DINH-HY (1857), an important official; and BD MARTHA WANG (1862), who was taken while carrying letters from the imprisoned seminarists Bd. Joseph SHANG and PAUL CHENG. The above and their many fellow martyrs were beatified in 1900, 1906 and 1909; to-day, November 6, is the feast of BB. Jerome Hermosilla and his Dominican companions.

In 195I Pope Pius XII beatified a further twenty-five martyrs who suffered in Tongking (now Viet-Nam) between 1857 and 1862 in the persecution of Yu-Duk. Their leaders were the Spanish bishops Bd JOSEPH SANJURJO and BD MELCHIOR SAMPEDRO. Just before his execution Bishop Sanjurjo wrote: “I am without house, books, clothes, anything. But I am quiet and cheerful, and happy to be able to be a little like our Blessed Lord who said that the Son of man had nowhere to lay His head”. All the others of this group were Indo-Chinese, and all laymen except four. They ranged from a judge, Bd VINCENT TUONG, to two fishermen, BB. PETER THUAN and Dominic T0NG, who with Bd PETER DA were burned alive in their bamboo hut. Other martyrs in Indo-China are mentioned herein under July 11.

The principal source of information about Theophanes Vénard is his own letters and those of his friends, Vie et Correspondance de J. T. Vénard (1864). There is a full life by Mgr F. Trochu (1929), and a less satisfactory anonymous biography translated into English by Lady Herbert. A full account of the martyrdom of Fathers Schöffler and Bonnard will be found in the Annals of the Propagation of the Faith for 1852 and 1853, and of Stephen Cuénot in the same for 1862, pp. 250—260. There is a life of J. L. Bonnard by Mgr Vindry (1876). An account of the Dominicans is given in G. Clementi, Gli otto martiri Tonchinesi OP. (1906) and A. Bianconi, Vita e martirio del beati Domenicani (1906). See also the letter of Father Estavez in the above-mentioned Annals, 1863, pp. 178—204. Several of the references given for the first group of Indo-Chinese martyrs (July II) are relevant.

1861 St. Joseph Khang  Martyr of Vietnam
The servant of St. Jerome Hermosilla, Joseph tried to deliver St. Jerome from prison. He was caught in the attempt, lashed, and beheaded. Joseph was canonized in 1988 by Pope John Paul II.
SAINT SEVERINUS (c. 410 – 8 January 482) miracle worker And the servant of God said, " Even if thy soldiers are unarmed, they shall now be armed from the enemy. For neither numbers nor fleshly courage is required, when everything proves that God is our champion. Only in the name of the Lord advance swiftly, advance confidently. For when God in his compassion goes before, the weakest shall seem the bravest. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall be silent. Then make haste; and this one thing observe above everything, to conduct unharmed into my presence those of the barbarians whom thou shalt take."
Barcinóne, in Hispánia, sancti Sevéri, Epíscopi et Mártyris; qui ob fidem cathólicam, confósso per clavum cápite, martyrii corónam accépit.
    At Barcelona in Spain, St. Severus, bishop and martyr, who had his head pierced with a spike, and thus received the crown of martyrdom for the sake of the Catholic faith.
  {http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/severinus_02_text.htm}
At the time of the death of Attila, king of the Huns, confusion reigned in the two Pannonias and the other borderlands of the Danube. Then Severinus, most holy servant of God, came from the parts of the East to the marches of Riverside Noricum and the Pannonias, and tarried in a little town which is called Asturis.
There he lived in accordance with the evangelical and apostolic doctrine, in all piety and chastity, in the confession of the Catholic faith, and fulfilled his reverend purpose by holy works. By such exercises strengthened, he innocently sought the crown of the celestial calling; and one day, as was his wont, went forth to the church. Then the priests, the clergy, and the citizens were fetched, and he began in all humility of mind to prophesy, how they ought to ward off the threatening snares of the enemy by prayers, and by fastings, and by the fruits of compassion. But their stubborn hearts, defiled by fleshly lusts, proved the oracles of the prophet by the decision of their unbelief. Yet the servant of God returned to the lodging where the sacristan of the church had received him, and made known the day and hour of imminent destruction.
"I go in haste," he said, "from a stubborn town that shall swiftly perish."
Then he went away to the next town, which is called Comagenis.
This was very strictly guarded by the barbarians established within, who had entered into a league with Romans, and it was not easy for any one to secure permission to go in or to leave. Yet, though they knew him not, they neither questioned the servant of God, nor turned him back. So anon he went into the church; and when he found all in despair of their safety, he exhorted them to be armed with fasting and prayers and almsgivings, and set forth examples of salvation from of old, in which the protection of God had freed his people in unforeseen and wondrous ways.
   And when they hesitated to believe one who at the very crisis of peril promised the safety of all, the old man came who at Asturis had long been the host of Severinus (how great a guest!). When the guards at the gates anxiously questioned the old man, his deportment and words revealed the destruction of his town. He added that it was destroyed on the same day that a certain man of God had foretold. When they heard this, they eagerly replied, "Thinkest thou he is the same, who in our despair promises us the assistance of God?" Then straightway the old man recognized the servant of God within the church, and cast himself at his feet, saying that through his kindness he had been spared the destruction which had overtaken his townsmen.
When they had heard these things, the inhabitants of Comagenis begged forgiveness for their unbelief, and obeyed with holy works the admonitions of the man of God. They made a fast, and assembled in the church for the space of three days, reproaching their past sins with groans and lamentations. But on the third day, during the celebration of the evening sacrifice, there was a sudden earthquake; and the barbarians who dwelt within the city were so terrorsmitten that they compelled the Romans to open the gates for them in haste. Then they rushed out tumultuously, and scattered, supposing themselves besieged and surrounded by near foes; and their terror was augmented by divine influence, so that, in the wanderings and confusion of the night, they slew one another with the sword. Thus utter destruction consumed the enemy; and the people, saved by the divine aid, learned through the saint to fight with heavenly arms.
At the same time a cruel famine had prostrated a city named Favianis
And the inhabitants believed that their only remedy would be by devout prayers
to invite the man of God from the town of Comagenis.
   He foreknew that they would come to him, and was moved by the Lord to go with them. When he had come thither, he began to exhort the people of the city, saying, "By the fruits of repentance ye shall be able to be freed from so great a calamity of hunger." While they were profiting by such instructions, most blessed Severinus learned by divine revelation that a certain widow, Procula by name, had concealed much produce of the fields. He called her before the people, and vehemently rebuked her. "Daughter of most noble parents," he said, "why dost thou make thyself the handmaid of avarice and stand forth the slave of covetousness, which is, as the apostle teaches, idolatry? Lo, the Lord in his compassion hath regard for his servants; and thou shalt not have any use for thine ill-gotten wealth, except to cast into the stream of the Danube the corn too long withheld, and so to exhibit to fishes the humanity which thou hast denied to men! Wherefore aid thyself rather than the poor from those things which thou yet thinkest to keep, while Christ hungers."
When she heard these sayings, the woman was filled with great fear and trembling; and began willingly to expend her hoards for the poor.
Not long after, there unexpectedly appeared at the bank of the Danube a vast number of boats from the Raetias, laden with great quantities of merchandise, which had been hindered for many days by the thick ice of the river Aenus. When at last God's command had loosed the ice, they brought down an abundance of food to the famine-stricken. Then all began to praise God with uninterrupted devotion, as the bestower of unhoped relief; for they had expected to perish, wasted by the long famine, and they acknowledged that manifestly the boats had come out of due season, loosed from the ice and frost by the prayers of the servant of God.
   At the same time barbarian robbers made an unexpected plundering incursion, and led away captive all the men and cattle they found without the walls. Then many of the citizens flocked weeping to the man of God, recounted to him the destructive calamity that had come upon them, and showed him evidences of the recent rapine.
But he straitly questioned Mamertinus, then a tribune, who afterwards was ordained bishop, whether he had with him any armed men with whom to institute an energetic pursuit of the robbers. Mamertinus replied, "I have soldiers, a very few. But I dare not contend with such a host of enemies. However, if thou commandest it, venerable father, though we lack the aid of weapons yet we believe that through thy prayers we shall be victorious."
   And the servant of God said, " Even if thy soldiers are unarmed, they shall now be armed from the enemy. For neither numbers nor fleshly courage is required, when everything proves that God is our champion. Only in the name of the Lord advance swiftly, advance confidently. For when God in his compassion goes before, the weakest shall seem the bravest. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall be silent. Then make haste; and this one thing observe above everything, to conduct unharmed into my presence those of the barbarians whom thou shalt take."
Then they went forth. At the second milestone, by a brook which is called Tiguntia, they came upon the foe. Some of the robbers escaped by hasty flight, abandoning their weapons. The soldiers bound the rest and brought them captive to the servant of God, as he had commanded. He freed them from chains, refreshed them with food and drink, and briefly addressed them. "Go," he said, "and command your confederates not to dare to approach this place again in their lust for booty. For the judgment and retribution of heaven shall straightway punish them, since God rights for his servants, whom his supernal power is wont so to protect that hostile missiles do not inflict wounds upon them, but rather furnish them with arms." Then the barbarians were sent away; and he rejoiced over the miracles of Christ, and promised that through Christ's compassion Favianis should have no further experience of hostile pillage; only let neither prosperity nor adversity withdraw the citizens from the work of God.
Then Saint Severinus withdrew into a more remote spot, which was called Ad Vineas, where a small cell contented him.
But he was compelled by a divine revelation to return to Favianis; so that, though the quiet of his cell was dear to him, he yet obeyed the commands of God and built a monastery not far from the city. There he began to instruct great numbers in the sacred way of life, training the souls of his hearers rather by deeds than by words. He often withdrew, indeed, to a solitary habitation, called by the neighbors Burgum, a mile from Favianis, that he might avoid the throngs of men that kept coming to him, and cleave to God in uninterrupted prayer.
The more he desired to inhabit solitude, the more was he warned
by frequent revelations not to deny his presence to the afflicted peoples.
Day by day his merit grew, fame of his virtues increased, this spread far and wide, and was extended by marks of celestial favor conferred upon him. For good things cannot be concealed, since, according to the words of the Saviour, neither can a candle be concealed under a bushel, nor a city that is set on a hill be hid.
Among the other great gifts which the Saviour bestowed upon him stood out the gift of abstinence.
He subdued his flesh by innumerable fasts, teaching that the body, if nourished with too abundant food, will straightway bring destruction upon the soul. He wore no shoes whatever. So at midwinter, which in those regions is a time of cruel, numbing cold, he gave a remarkable proof of endurance by being always willing to walk barefoot. A well-known proof of the terrible cold is afforded by the Danube, which is often so solidly frozen by the fierce frost that it affords a secure crossing even for carts.
Yet he whom the grace of God had elevated by such virtues was wont to make acknowledgment with utmost humility, and to say, "Think not that what ye see is of my merit. It is rather an example for your salvation. Let the foolhardiness of man cease. Let the pride of exaltation be restrained. That we can do anything good, we are chosen; as the apostle saith, 'He hath chosen us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him.' Pray rather in my behalf that the gifts of the Saviour to me may serve not for greater condemnation, but for increase of justification."
This and the like he was wont to declare, weeping. Thus he taught men humility by his wondrous example. Standing on the secure foundation of this virtue, he shone with so great a splendor of the divine gift that even the very enemies of the church, the heretics, honored him with most reverent courtesy.
CHAPTER V.
The king of the Rugii, Flaccitheus, began to feel himself unsteady on the throne at the very commencement of his reign. The Goths in Lower Pannonia were violently hostile to him, and he was alarmed by their innumerable multitude. Therefore in his perils he asked counsel of most blessed Severinus as of a heavenly oracle. Once he came to him in exceeding confusion, and declared with tears that he had asked of the princes of the Goths a passage to Italy, and that, as they had denied this request, he did not doubt that they would put him to death. Then Flaccitheus received this reply from the man of God:
 "If the one Catholic faith united us, thou oughtest rather to consult me concerning eternal life; but since thou art anxious only over present safety, which is of common concern to us both, hear my instruction. Be not troubled by the multitude of the Goths or by their enmity. They shall soon depart and leave thee secure, and thou shalt reign in the prosperity which thou hast desired. Only do not neglect the warnings of my humility. Let it not irk thee to seek peace even with the least; never lean upon thine own strength. 'Cursed be the man,' saith the Scripture, 'that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. Learn therefore to beware of snares, not to lay them: and thou shalt die in thy bed with a peaceful end."
As Flaccitheus, encouraged by this oracle, was joyfully departing, a message was brought to him that a band of plundering barbarians had taken captive some of the Rugii. Straightway he sent to the man of God to ask his counsel. Severinus, by revelation of the Lord, forewarned Flaccitheus with holy exhortations not to follow the robbers. "If thou follow them," he said, "thou wilt be slain. Take heed; cross not the stream; be not taken unawares and overcome by the triple ambush which has been prepared for thee! For speedily a trusty messenger will come, who shall inform thee concerning all these matters." Then two of the captives, fleeing from the camp of the enemy, related in order those things which the most blessed man had foretold by revelation of Christ. So the hostile ambush came to naught, and Flaccitheus was prospered more and more, and ended his days in peace and tranquillity.
CHAPTER VI.
Now after this one of the Rugii suffered incredible pain from gout for twelve years, and lost all use of his limbs. His intolerable torments were so long continued that they became well known to the neighbors on every side. So at last, when divers remedies availed nothing, his mother, a widow, put her son in a cart, and having brought him to the saint, laid him down in his desperate sickness at the door of the monastery, and prayed with many tears that her only son might be restored to her whole.
But the man of God, perceiving that great things were demanded of him, and moved by her weeping, said: "Why am I oppressed by a deceitful fancy? Why am I thought to be able to do what I cannot? I have no power to accomplish such great things. Yet I give my judgment as one that hath obtained mercy of God." Then he charged the woman that she should bestow something upon the poor, according to her power. Without delay she quickly took off the clothing which she wore, and was hastening to divide it among the needy. When the man of God heard this, he marvelled at her ardor, and again charged her that she should clothe herself with her garments. "When thy son," he said, "has been healed by the Lord and goes with thee, then shalt thou fulfill thy vows."
So he set a fast of a few days, as was his wont, and poured forth prayers to God; and straightway healed the sick man, and sent him home whole, walking without aid.
Afterwards, when the man was present at the crowded weekly market, he exhibited the miracle, and astounded all who saw him. For some said, "Look, it is he, whose whole body was dissolved in corruption"; while as others absolutely denied that it was he, a friendly contention arose.
     Now from that time when health was restored to the man who had been thought incurable, the whole nation of the Rugii resorted to the servant of God, and began to render grateful obedience, and to ask help for their diseases. Likewise many of other races, to which the fame of so great a miracle had come, desired to see the soldier of Christ. With the same reverence, even before this event, some barbarians, on their way to Italy, turned aside with a view to gaining his benediction.
CHAPTER VII.
Among such visitants was Odoacer, later king of Italy, then a tall youth, meanly clad. While he stood, stooping that his head might not touch the roof of the lowly cell, he learned from the man of God that he was to win renown. For as the young man bade him farewell, "Go forth!" said Severinus, "Go forth to Italy! Now clad in wretched hides, thou shalt soon distribute rich gifts to many."
CHAPTER VIII.
King Feletheus, sometimes called Feva, son of Flaccitheus, mentioned above, imitated his father's diligence, and before the commencement of his reign began to make frequent visits to the saint. His wife, Giso by name, a dangerous and wicked woman, always drew him back from the healing works of mercy. Among the other pollutions of her iniquity, she even attempted to rebaptize certain Catholics. But when her husband, out of his reverence for Saint Severinus, did not consent, she incontinently abandoned her sacrilegious purpose. Yet she oppressed the Romans with a heavy hand, and even ordered some to be removed beyond the Danube. For one day she came to a village near Favianis, and commanded that certain ones should be brought to her across the Danube to be condemned to the most degrading offices of slavery. The man of God sent to her and asked that she let them go. But she, her woman's anger kindled to a white heat, replied with a message of the greatest rudeness. "Pray for thyself," she said, "servant of God, lurking in thy cell! Leave me to issue concerning my servants such orders as I please."
When the man of God received this answer, he said, "I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. She shall be compelled by necessity to do that which her perverse inclination has despised."
Even so the swift stroke followed which cast down her haughty spirit. For there were certain goldsmiths, barbarians, shut up and straitly guarded that they might fashion ornaments for the king and queen. On the same day on which the queen had spurned the servant of God, the little son of King Feletheus, Fredericus by name, moved by childish curiosity, went in among them. Then the goldsmiths put a sword at the child's breast, saying that if any one should attempt to approach them without the safeguard of an oath, they would first run through the little prince, and afterwards slay themselves; since, worn out by toil and confinement, they were utterly desperate. When this came to the ears of the cruel and ungodly queen, she rent her garments for grief, and cried aloud, "O Severinus, servant of the Lord, thus are the insults I have offered avenged by thy God! With profuse prayers thou hast called down vengeance upon my scorn, that thou might be avenged in my offspring!" So, running to and fro, with manifold contrition and pitiable lamentation, she acknowledged that she was smitten by this blow in recompense for the crime of scorn which she had committed against the servant of God. And she instantly dispatched horsemen to seek his pardon; and sent back the Romans whom that very day she had removed, and interceding for whom Severinus had been visited with her scorn. The goldsmiths received the surety of an oath, released the child, and were at the same time themselves released.
When he heard these things, the most reverent servant of Christ returned unbounded thanks to the Creator: who doth sometimes postpone answering prayer, in order that with the increase of faith, hope, and love he may grant greater blessings than are asked. For the omnipotence of the Saviour brought it to pass that when the cruel woman subjected the free to slavery, she was compelled to restore the slaves to liberty.
When these wonders had been accomplished, the queen forthwith hastened with her husband to the servant of God, and showed him her son, who, she acknowledged, had been rescued by his prayers from the brink of death. And she promised that she would never again resist his commands.
CHAPTER IX.
Not only was the servant of God endowed with the gift of prophecy, but also his diligence in redeeming captives was great. For he applied himself with eagerness to the task of restoring to their native liberty those oppressed by the sway of the barbarians.
     Meanwhile he instructed a certain man, whom with wife and children he had redeemed, to cross the Danube, and seek out an unknown man at the weekly market of the barbarians. Divine revelation had shown him the man so clearly that he told even his stature and the color of his hair, his features, and the fashion of his clothing, and showed in what part of the market the messenger was to find him. He added that whatever the person, when found, should say to the messenger, the latter, returning in all haste, should report to him.
So the messenger departed, and to his astonishment found everything even as the man of God had foretold. He was amazed to find the man Severinus had described; who then questioned him, saying, "Thinkest thou that I can find someone to conduct me to the man of God, whose fame is everywhere spread abroad? I will pay what price he wishes. For long have I importuned the holy martyrs, whose relics I bear, that sometime my unworthiness may be freed from this service, which hitherto I have maintained not out of rash presumption but by pious necessity."
Then the messenger of the man of God made himself known to him. Severinus received with due honor the relics of Saint Gervasius and Saint Protasius the martyrs, placed them in the church which he had built within the monastery, and committed them to the care of the priests. In that place he assembled the relics of vast numbers of martyrs; but he always acquired them on the strength of a previous revelation, for he knew that the adversary often creeps in under the guise of sanctity.
He was asked to accept the honorable office of bishop. But he closed the matter with a determined refusal. It was enough for him, he said, that, withdrawn from his beloved solitude, he had come by divine direction to that province to live among the pressing, crowding throngs. Nevertheless he wished to give a pattern to the monks, and urged them to follow earnestly in the steps of the sainted fathers, and thence to gain instruction in holy conduct. They must strive, he admonished them, that he who hath forsaken parents and the world look not back and desire the allurements of worldly display which he had sought to escape. On this point he referred to the terrible example of Lot's wife. He admonished likewise that the incentives to lusts must be mortified in the fear of the Lord; and declared that the fires of sensual delights cannot be conquered, except through the grace of God they be quenched in the fountain of tears.
CHAPTER X.
There was a janitor at the monastery church, Maurus by name, whom Saint Severinus had redeemed from the hands of the barbarians. One day the man of God warned him, saying, "Take heed to-day not to go away anywhere: otherwise thou shalt be in imminent peril." But the janitor, contrary to the warning of the great father, and persuaded by a layman, went out at midday to gather fruit at the second milestone from Favianis. Presently he and the layman were made captives by barbarians and carried across the Danube. In that hour the man of God, reading in his cell, suddenly closed the book, and said, "Seek Maurus speedily!" When the janitor was nowhere found, Severinus crossed the streams of the Danube in all haste, and hurried after the robbers, whom the people called Scamarae. Stricken with awe by his reverend presence, they humbly restored the captives whom they had taken.
CHAPTER XI.
While the upper towns of Riverside Noricum yet stood, and hardly a castle escaped the attacks of the barbarians, the fame and reputation of Saint Severinus shone so brightly that the castles vied with each other in inviting his company and protection; believing that no misfortune would happen to them in his presence. This came to pass not without the aid of divine grace, that all might stand in awe of his commands, as of heavenly oracles, and be armed for good works through his example.
     Moreover the holy man, summoned by the prayers of the vicinage, came to a castle named Cucullis, and there a mighty miracle was wrought, which I cannot pass by in silence. We heard the amazing story from Marcianus, a citizen of the same town, later our priest. A part of the populace of Cucullis continued to practise abominable sacrifices at a certain spot. When he learned of this sacrilege, the man of God addressed the people in many discourses. He persuaded the priests of the place to enjoin a three' days' fast; and he instructed that waxen tapers should be brought from each house, and that everyone should fasten his taper with his own hand to the wall of the church. Then, when the customary psalm-singing was completed, and the hour of the sacrifice arrived, the man of God exhorted the priests and deacons that with all alacrity of heart they should join him in prayer to their common Lord; that the Lord might show the light of his knowledge to distinguish those guilty of sacrilege. So while he was praying with them at great length, weeping much, and on his knees, the greater part of the tapers, those namely which the faithful had brought, were suddenly kindled by divine agency. The rest remained unlighled, being the tapers of those who had been polluted by the aforesaid sacrilege, but, wishing to remain hidden, had denied it. Thus those who had placed them were revealed by the divine test; and straightway they cried out, and by their behavior sufficiently betrayed the secrets of their hearts. Convicted by the witness of their tapers, and by open confession, they bore witness to their own sacrilegious acts.
O merciful power of the Creator, enkindling tapers and souls! The fire was lighted in the tapers, and shone with reflected light in the emotions! The visible light melted into flames the substance of the wax, but the invisible light dissolved the hearts of the penitents into tears! Who would believe, that afterward those whom the error of sacrilege had ensnared were more distinguished for good works than those whose tapers had been divinely lighted?
CHAPTER XII.
At another time, in the territory of the same castle, swarms of locusts had settled, consuming the crops, and destroying everything with their noxious bite. Therefore, being smitten by this pest, the priests and the other inhabitants promptly betook themselves with urgent prayers to Saint Severinus, saying: "That this great and horrible plague may be removed, we ask the tried suffrage of thy prayers, which by the recent great miracle of the tapers lighted from heaven we have seen to avail much before the Lord."
He answered them with great piety. "Have ye not read," he said, "what the divine authority commanded a sinful people through the prophet: 'Turn ye to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping,' and a little after, 'sanctify a fast,' he saith, 'call a solemn assembly, gather the congregation,' and the rest which follows? Therefore fulfill by meet works what ye teach, that ye may readily escape the evil of the present time. Let no one go out to his field, as if concerned to oppose the locusts by human effort; lest the divine wrath be yet more provoked." Without delay all gathered together in the church, and each in order sang psalms as was their custom. Every age and sex, even such as could not form the words, offered prayer to God in tears, alms were continually given, whatever good works the present necessity demanded were fulfilled, as the servant of God had instructed.
While all were occupied with exertions of this sort, a certain very poor man forsook the work of God that was begun, to look after his own field of standing corn, a little plot which stood among the sowings of the others. And having gone out, and all day anxiously and diligently driven away, so far as he could, the threatening cloud of locusts, he then went to the church to partake of the holy communion. But his little patch of corn, surrounded by his neighbors' many crops, was devoured by the dense swarm of locusts.
The locusts were that night by divine command removed from those territories: a proof of the great power of faithful prayer. So when at dawn the violator and scorner of the holy work again went forth anxiously to his field, he found it swept perfectly bare by the baleful work of the locusts, while all the sowings round about were untouched. Utterly amazed, he returned with doleful outcries to the castle. When he had published what had happened, all went out to see the miracle; where the ravages of the locusts had marked out as if by a ruled line the corn plot of this contumacious fellow. Then he cast himself at their feet and with lamentations begged for the pardon of his sin by the aid of their intercession. Wherefore the man of God took occasion to give a warning, and taught all that they should learn to obey the Lord omnipotent, whose commands even the locusts observe.
But the poor man, weeping, declared that, for the rest, he could obey the commands, if but a hope of wherewithal he might live had been left him. Then the man of God addressed the others. "It is just," he said, " that he who through his own punishment hath given you an example of humility and obedience should of your liberality receive sustenance for the present year." So the poor man, both rebuked and enriched by a collection from the faithful, learned what loss unbelief inflicts, and what benefit God's bounty bestows upon his worshippers.
CHAPTER XIII.
Near a town called Juvao, they went into the church one summer day to celebrate the evening service, but found no fire for lighting the lamps. Unable to elicit a blaze in the usual way, by striking stones together, they were so long delayed in striking iron and stone that the time of the evening service was passing. But the man of God kneeled on the ground and prayed earnestly; and soon, in full view of three clerics who were present at the time, the taper which Saint Severinus held in his hand was lighted. By its light the sacrifice of eventide was completed in the customary manner, and they returned thanks to God in all things. Although he wished those who were present at this miracle to keep the fact secret, as in the case of many mighty works which were performed through him by God's doing, yet the splendor of so great virtue could not be hid, but surpassingly kindled others to a great faith.
CHAPTER XIV.
It happened that a certain woman of Juvao was vexed by long continued sickness and lay half-dead, and the burial was already prepared. Her relatives, in mournful silence, repressed funereal lamentations at the voice of faith, and laid the sick woman's now almost lifeless body at the door of the saint's cell. When the man of God saw the entrance closed by the bed set against it, he said to them, "Why have ye done this? " They answered, "That by thy prayer the dead may be restored to life." Then he said, bursting into tears, "Why do ye demand the great from the little? I know myself utterly unworthy. O that I may deserve to find pardon for my sins! " They said, "We believe that if thou pray, she will live again." Then Saint Severinus straightway wept, and cast himself down in prayer; and when the woman forthwith arose, he addressed them: "Do not attribute to my works any of these things; for the vehemence of your faith hath merited this grace, and this cometh to pass in many places and nations, that it may be known that there is one God, who doeth wonders in heaven and on earth, calling forth the lost unto salvation, and bringing back the dead to life.''
The woman, her health restored, on the third day began to labor with her own hands in the fields, after the custom of the province.
CHAPTER XV.
Quintanis was a municipality of Raetia Secunda, situated on the bank of the Danube. Near by on the other side ran a small river named Businca. Often the Businca, when swollen in time of flood by the overflow of the Danube, covered some spaces of the castle, because the latter stood on the plain. Moreover the inhabitants of this place had built outside the walls a wooden church which overhung the water, and was supported by posts driven into the riverbed and by forked props. In place of a flooring it had a slippery platform of boards, which were covered by the overflowing water whenever it rose above the banks.
   Now through the faith of the people of Quintanis Saint Severinus had been invited thither. Coming at a time of drought, he asked why the boards were seen bare and uncovered. The neighbors answered that the frequent inundations of the river always washed away anything that was spread on the boards. But he said, "In Christ's name, let a pavement be now laid upon the boards; from henceforth ye shall see the river restrained by the command of heaven." So when the pavement was finished, he went down into a boat, took an axe, and, after offering prayer, struck the posts; and, having cut the sign of the venerable cross, said to the water of the river, "My Lord Jesus Christ doth not permit thee to overpass this sign of the cross." From that time, therefore, when the river after its wont rose mountain high in floods and encompassed the neighboring country as of yore, it was lower than the site of the church, in such wise that it never actually overpassed the sign of the holy cross which the man of God had marked.
CHAPTER XVI.
Moreover it happened that there died a highly venerable priest of Quintanis, Silvinus by name. The bier was placed in the church, and, according to the custom, they passed the night watching and singing psalms. When the dawn was already breaking, the man of God asked all the weary priests and deacons to go away for a little while, that after the toil of watching they might refresh themselves somewhat by sleep. When they had gone out, the man of God asked the doorkeeper, Maternus by name, whether all had departed as he had bidden. When Maternus answered that all had gone out, "Not so," he said, "but there is a woman hiding here." Then the janitor of the church explored the walls a second time, and assured him that no one remained within them. But the soldier of Christ, the Lord revealing it to him, said, "Some one is lurking here." So the doorkeeper searched more diligently for the third time, and found that a certain consecrated virgin had concealed herself in a very obscure place. Therefore the doorkeeper reproved her: "Why didst thou think that thy presence could be hid when the servant of God was here?" She answered, "Love of piety persuaded me to do it: for when I saw all driven out, I thought within myself that the servant of Christ would invoke the divine majesty, and raise up this dead man." Then the virgin departed, and the man of God, bowing in prayer together with a priest, a deacon, and two janitors, prayed with many tears that the supernal power might reveal a work of its wonted majesty. Then, as the priest ended the prayer, the saint thus addressed the corpse: "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, holy priest Silvinus, speak with thy brothers!" But when the dead man opened his eyes, the man of God with difficulty persuaded those present to restrain their joy and keep silent. And again he speaketh unto him, "Shall we ask the Lord that he deign to grant thee still in this life to us, his servants?" But he saith, "By the Lord I adjure thee, let me not be held here longer, and cheated of the everlasting rest in the possession of which I have seen myself." And immediately, when he had spoken, the dead man was at rest.
Now this event was so concealed at the earnest request of Saint Severinus, that no one knew of it until after his death. Yet I learned what I have reported from the account of Marcus the subdeacon and Maternus the janitor. For the priest and the deacon, witnesses of this great miracle, are known to have died before the saint, to whom they had sworn to reveal to no one that which they had seen.
CHAPTER XVII.
Not only did the grace of Christ make Saint Severinus rich in such gifts, but also from his innate goodness he took so great care of captives and the needy that almost all the poor through all the towns and castles were fed by his activity. To these he ministered with such cheerful concern, that he believed himself to be filled or to abound in all good things only when he saw that the needy had their bodily wants supplied.
Though he himself was not in the least enfeebled by repeated week-long fasts, yet he felt himself afflicted by the hunger of the unfortunate. When they saw his pious largess to the poor, great numbers, although they were straitened with hunger under the harsh sway of the barbarians, faithfully gave the poor the tithes of their crops. Though this commandment is familiar to all from the law, yet these observed it with grateful devotion, as though they were hearing it given by the lips of an angel present among them. The cold, too, was felt by the man of God only in the nakedness of the poor. Indeed, he had received from God the special gift of remaining vigorous and active, hardened by his wonderful abstinence, in a land of bitter cold.
We spoke of tithes for the support of the poor. He was wont to send letters, urging the communities of Noricum also to give them. This became their custom, and once, when they had sent to him a quantity of clothing to be distributed, he asked the attendants whether the town of Tiburnia was sending a like contribution. They answered that men from that place also would soon arrive. But the man of God signified that they should not come, and foretold that the offering which they had delayed must be made to the barbarians. Accordingly, not long after the citizens of Tiburnia were beleaguered by the Goths, and fought them with varying fortune; and under the terms of peace, which they obtained with difficulty, they presented to the enemy, among other things, the largess, already collected, which they had delayed to send to the servant of God.
CHAPTER XVIII.
Likewise the citizens of the town of Lauriacum, in spite of many warning exhortations from Saint Severinus, had delayed offering to the poor the tithes of their crops. They were pinched with hunger, and the yellow of the ripening harvest showed that relief was at hand. But when a destructive rust unexpectedly appeared, and was on the point of damaging the crops, they immediately came and cast themselves down before Saint Severinus, and acknowledged the punishment of their stubbornness. But the soldier of  Christ comforted the feeble ones with spiritual words, saying, "Had ye offered tithes for the poor, not only would ye enjoy an everlasting reward, but ye would also be able to abound in present comforts. But since ye rebuke your sin by your own confession, I promise you, by the goodness of the Lord, that this mighty rust shall cause no damage whatever; only let not your faith waver any more." This promise rendered the citizens from that time on more ready to pay the tithes. Then, as was his wont, he urged that a fast be proclaimed. When this had ended, a gentle rain relieved from danger the harvest of which they had despaired.
CHAPTER XIX.
Batavis 66 is a town lying between two rivers, the Aenus and the Danube. There Saint Severinus had established after his wonted fashion a cell for a few monks, because he himself not infrequently came thither at the request of the citizens; particularly on account of the constant incursions of the Alamanni, whose king, Gibuldus, greatly honored and loved him.
Now on a certain occasion Gibuldus came eagerly to see him. That the king might not encumber Batavis by his visit, the saint went out to meet him, and addressed the king with so great firmness, that Gibuldus began to tremble violently before him, and declared to his armies, as he withdrew, that never, in war or in any peril, had he been smitten with such trembling. And when he gave to the servant of God his choice, to give what command he would, the most pious teacher asked that the king should pay attention rather to his own best interests, restrain his nation from laying waste the Roman territory, and set free without ransom the captives his followers had made.
Then the king appointed that Severinus should direct some one from his own followers to bring this work more speedily to completion. Forthwith Deacon Amantius was dispatched, and followed in the king's path; but, though he watched before his gates many days, he could not secure an audience. As he was turning back, very sorrowful because his appointed task had not been accomplished, a man appeared in the form of Saint Severinus, who accosted him menacingly, and, as he stood in utter terror, bade him follow. As he followed in fear and excitement, he came to the king's door; and immediately the guide that had gone before him vanished from his wondering eyes. But the king's messenger asked the deacon whence he came and what he wished. He told his errand briefly, gave letters to the king, and received others from him, and returned home. He conveyed back about seventy captives, and moreover brought the pleasing promise of the king, that when he had diligently searched through the province, he would send back all the captives that were to be found there. Later Saint Lucillus the priest was selected to attend to this matter, and recovered from captivity a great number of unfortunates.
CHAPTER XX.
So long as the Roman dominion lasted, soldiers were maintained in many towns at the public expense to guard the boundary wall. When this custom ceased, the squadrons of soldiers and the boundary wall were blotted out together. The troop at Batavis, however, held out. Some soldiers of this troop had gone to Italy to fetch the final pay to their comrades, and no one knew that the barbarians had slain them on the way. One day, as Saint Severinus was reading in his cell, he suddenly closed the book and began to sigh greatly and to weep. He ordered the bystanders to run out with haste to the river, which he declared was in that hour besprinkled with human blood; and straightway word was brought that the bodies of the soldiers mentioned above had been brought to land by the current of the river.
CHAPTER XXI.
One Paulinus, a priest, had come to Saint Severinus, whose fame was extending. He tarried some days in the company of the saint. When he wished to return home, Severinus said to him, "Hasten, venerable priest; for, beloved, the episcopal dignity shall speedily adorn thee, even if, as we believe, thou opposest the desire of the peoples." And presently, when he returned to his own country, the word of the prophet was fulfilled unto him. For the citizens of Tiburnia, which is the metropolis of Noricum, compelled him to assume the preeminence of the highest priesthood.
CHAPTER XXII.
For a church beyond the walls of Batavis, in a place named Bojotro, across the Aenus, where Severinus had built a cell for a few monks, relics of martyrs were sought. When the priests were accordingly pushing themselves forward that they might be sent to fetch relics, Saint Severinus uttered this warning: "Though all wrought by mortals' toil passeth away, yet most swiftly must these buildings above others be abandoned." And he said that they ought to make no effort for relics of the saints, because the blessing of Saint John would be brought to them without their asking.
Meantime the citizens of Batavis approached the saint, and besought him to go to Feba, prince of the Rugii, to ask permission for them to trade. He said to them, "The time of this town is at hand, that it remain deserted like the rest of the upper castles and uninhabited. Why, then, is it necessary to provide merchandise for places where in future no merchant can appear?"
     They replied that he ought not to mock them, but to aid them with his wonted direction. A certain priest, filled with the spirit of Satan, added, "Go, saint, I beg, go quickly, that for a little space thy departure may give us rest from fastings and vigils." At this saying the man of God was oppressed with great weeping, because a priest, in public, had burst forth in ridiculous gabbling. For open scurrility is a witness of hidden sins. When the saint was asked by the brethren why he was weeping thus, "I see," he said, "a heavy blow that in my absence shall straightway befall this place; and, with groaning I must say it, the shrine of Christ shall so overflow with human blood, that even this place must be desecrated." For he was speaking in the baptistery. Therefore he went down the Danube by ship a hundred miles and more to his old monastery, larger than the others, near the walls of Favianis. As he was going down the river, Hunimund, accompanied by a few barbarians, attacked the town of Batavis, as the saint had foretold, and, while almost all the inhabitants were occupied in the harvest, put to death forty men of the town who had remained for a guard. The priest who had spoken sacrilegious words in the baptistery against the servant of Christ fled for refuge to the same place, and was slain by the pursuing barbarians. For in vain did the offender against God and enemy of truth seek protection in the place where he had so impudently transgressed.
CHAPTER XXIII.
Once while Saint Severinus was reading the Gospel in the monastery at Favianis, after offering prayer he arose, ordered a skiff to be instantly prepared for him, and said to the astonished bystanders, "Blessed be the name of the Lord; we must go to meet the relics of the sainted martyrs." They crossed the Danube without delay, and found a man sitting on the farther bank of the river, who besought them with many prayers to conduct him to the servant of God, whose fame was widespread, and to whom he had long wished to come. The servant of Christ was pointed out to him; and immediately and as a suppliant he offered him the relics of Saint John the Baptist, which he had kept by him for a long time. The servant of God received the relics with the veneration they deserved; and so the blessing of Saint John was bestowed unasked upon the church, as he had foretold, and Severinus consecrated the relics by the hands of the priests.
CHAPTER XXIV.
There was a town called Joviaco, twenty miles and more distant from Batavis. Thither the man of God, impressed as usual by a revelation, sent a singer of the church, Moderatus by name; admonishing that all the inhabitants should quit that place without delay. For imminent destruction threatened them if they despised his commands. Some were in doubt over so great a presage, while others did not believe it at all. Therefore yet again he sent one unto them, a certain man of Quintanis, to whom he said, weeping, "Make haste! Declare unto them that if they stay there this night, they shall without delay be made captives!"
He bade that Saint Maximianus too, a priest of spiritual life, should be urgently warned; that he at least, leaving the scorners behind, through the compassion of heaven might escape. The servant of God said that he was in great sorrow over him, lest haply he might postpone obedience to the saving command, and so be exposed to the threatening destruction. Accordingly the messenger of the man of God went and fulfilled his orders; and when the others in their unbelief hesitated, he did not tarry a moment, though the priest strove to keep him and wished to extend to him the courtesy of his hospitality. That night the Heruli made a sudden, unexpected onslaught, sacked the town, and led most of the people into captivity. They hanged the priest Maximianus on a cross. When the news came, the servant of God grieved sorely that his warnings had been disregarded.
CHAPTER XXV.
Later a man from Noricum, Maximus by name, came to visit the servant of God, as was his frequent custom. Pursuant to their established friendship, he tarried some days in the monastery of the saint. Then Severinus informed him by his oracles that his country was about to experience a sudden and heavy disaster. Maximus took a letter addressed to Saint Paulinus the bishop, and in all haste returned home. Accordingly Paulinus, prepared by the contents of the letter, wrote to all the castles of his diocese, and strongly admonished them to meet the coming mischief and disaster by a three days' fast, as the letter of the man of God had indicated. They obeyed these commands, and the fast was ended, when lo, a vast multitude of the Alamanni, minions of Death, laid everything waste. But the castles felt no danger. The trusty cuirass of fasting, and praiseworthy humility of heart, with the aid of the prophet, had armed them boldly against the fierceness of the enemy.
CHAPTER XXVI.
Later, a leper from the territory of Milan came to Saint Severinus, attracted by his fame. When he prayed and begged to be made whole, Severinus decreed a fast, and commended the leper to his monks; and through the work of God's grace he was forthwith cleansed. When he had been made whole and was advised to return to his country, he threw himself at the feet of the saint, imploring that he be not compelled to go home again; desiring that he might escape from the leprosy of sin as he had from that of the flesh, and might close his life in the same place with a praiseworthy end. The man of God greatly admired his pious purpose, and with fatherly command instructed a few monks to practise frequent fasts with him and to continue in uninterrupted prayer, in order that the Lord might grant to him those things which were meet. Fortified by so great remedies, within the space of two months the man was freed from the fetters of mortal life.
CHAPTER XXVII.
At the same time the inhabitants of the town of Quintanis, exhausted by the incessant incursions of the Alamanni, left their own abodes and removed to the town of Batavis. But their place of refuge did not remain hidden from the Alamanni: wherefore the barbarians were the more inflamed, believing that they might pillage the peoples of two towns in one attack. But Saint Severinus applied himself vigorously to prayer, and encouraged the Romans in manifold ways by examples of salvation. He foretold that the present foes should indeed by God's aid be overcome; but that after the victory those who despised his admonitions should perish. Therefore the Romans in a body, strengthened by the prediction of the saint, and in the hope of the promised victory, drew up against the Alamanni in order of battle, fortified less with material arms than by the prayers of the saint. The Alamanni were overthrown in the conflict and fled. The man of God addressed the victors as follows. "Children, do not attribute the glory of the present conflict to your own strength. Know that ye are now set free through the protection of God to the end that ye may depart hence within a little space of time, granted you as a kind of armistice. So gather together and go down with me to the town of Lauriacum." The man of God impressed these things upon them from the fullness of his piety. But when the people of Batavis hesitated to leave their native soil, he added, "Although that town also, whither we go, must be abandoned as speedily as possible before the inrushing barbarism, yet let us now in like manner depart from this place."
As he impressed such things upon their minds, most of the people followed him. A few indeed proved stubborn, nor did the scorners escape the hostile sword. For that same week the Thuringi stormed the town; and of those who notwithstanding the prohibition of the man of God remained there, a part were butchered, the rest led off into captivity and made to pay the penalty for their scorn.
CHAPTER XXVIII.
After the destruction of the towns on the upper course of the Danube, all the people who had obeyed the warnings of Saint Severinus removed into the town of Lauriacum. He warned them with incessant exhortations not to put trust in their own strength, but to apply themselves to prayers and fastings and almsgivings, and to be defended rather by the weapons of the spirit.
Moreover one day the man of God appointed that all the poor be gathered together in one church, that he might, as custom demanded, dispense oil to them: a commodity which in those places was brought to market only after a most difficult transport by traders. Accordingly a great throng of the needy assembled, as if for the sake of receiving the benediction. No doubt the presence of this fluid, a costly food, swelled the throng and the number of applicants. When the saint had finished the prayer, and made the sign of the cross, he uttered as usual, while all listened, the word of Holy Writ, "Blessed be the name of the Lord." Then he began with his own hand to fill the measures of oil for the attendants who conveyed it, copying as a faithful servant his Lord, who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. And, following in the way of the Saviour, he rejoiced that the substance was increased, which he poured out with his right hand, his left hand knowing not. When the oil-vessels of the poor were filled, the oil in the hands of the attendants was not diminished. Now while the bystanders silently wondered at so great a blessing of God, one of them, whose name was Pientissimus, in amazement and great fear cried out, "My Lord! This pot of oil increases, and overflows like a fountain!" So, its miraculous powers having been betrayed, the welcome fluid was withdrawn. Straightway the servant of Christ cried out and said, "Brother, what hast thou done? Thou hast hindered the advantage of many: may the Lord Jesus Christ pardon thee!" So once the widow woman burdened with debts was bidden by Elisha the prophet from the small quantity of oil which she had to fill vessels not a few. After she had done this, and asked for yet more vessels from her sons, when she heard that there was not a vessel more, straightway the oil stayed.
CHAPTER XXIX.
At the same time Maximus of Noricum, of whom we have made mention above, kindled by the warmth of his faith, at midwinter, when the roads of that region are closed by the numbing cold, hastened to come to Saint Severinus. It was an enterprise of rash temerity, or rather, as was afterwards manifest, of fearless devotion. He had hired many companions, to carry on their backs, for the benefit of the captives and the poor, a collection of clothing which the people of Noricum had piously given. So they set out, and attained the highest peaks of the Alps, where all night long the snow fell so thickly that it shut them in beneath the protecting shelter of a great tree, as a huge pit would inclose those who had fallen into it. And when they despaired utterly of their lives, since no aid (as they thought) was at hand, the leader of the companions saw in his sleep a vision of the man of God standing and saying unto him, "Fear not; complete your journey." They were instantly heartened by this revelation, and resumed their course, trusting in God rather than in the strength of their limbs; when suddenly by divine command a bear of monstrous size appeared at their side to show the way: though in the winter time he usually hid in caves. He immediately disclosed the desired road, and for about two hundred miles, turning aside neither to the left nor to the right, showed a passable way. For he went just far enough ahead of them so that his fresh track broke out a path. So, leading through the desert wilderness, the beast did not forsake the men who were bringing relief to the needy, but with the utmost possible friendliness conducted them as far as human habitations. Then, having fulfilled his duty, he turned aside and departed: showing by the great service of his guidance what men ought to do for men, and how much love they ought to display, since here a savage beast showed the road to the despairing.
When the arrivals were announced to the servant of God, he said, "Blessed be the name of the Lord! Let them enter, to whom a bear hath opened a way for their coming." When they heard this they marvelled with exceeding great amazement that the man of God should tell that which had happened in his absence.
CHAPTER XXX.
The citizens of the town of Lauriacum and the fugitives from the upper castles appointed scouts to explore the suspected places, and guarded against the enemy, so far as by human care they could. The servant of God, instructed by divine inspiration, arranged beforehand with prophetic mind that they should bring inside the city wall all their meagre property, in order that the foemen in their deadly foray, meeting with no human life, might be promptly forced by hunger to abandon their frightful and cruel designs. This he earnestly entreated for four days. When the fourth day already verged toward evening, he sent a monk, Valens by name, to Saint Constantius, bishop of the town, and said to the others who remained, "Set the customary guards at the walls tonight, and keep a stricter watch; and beware of a sudden and treacherous assault by the foe." They declared to him that the scouts saw absolutely nothing of the enemy. But the servant of Christ did not cease to forewarn the hesitant, and cried out with a loud voice, affirming that they would be taken captive that same night unless they faithfully obeyed his commands. He often repeated the words, "If I shall be proved a liar, stone me." So at last they were compelled to guard the walls.
At the beginning of the night they sang psalms, as they were wont, and afterwards the men gathered in great numbers and commenced their watch. Then a nearby haystack, accidentally fired by a porter's torch, illuminated, but did not burn the city. When this happened, every one howled and shouted, and the enemy concealed in the woods and forests were terrified by the sudden brightness and the shouting, and, thinking themselves detected, remained quiet. Next morning they surrounded the city, and ran to and fro everywhere; but when they found no food, they seized the herd of cattle of a certain man who in the face of the prophecies of the servant of God had stubbornly scorned to secure his possessions, and withdrew.
Now when they were gone the citizens sallied forth from the gates, and found ladders lying not far from the walls. These the barbarians had made ready for the destruction of the city, and had thrown away when they were disturbed in the night by the shouting. Therefore the citizens of Lauriacum humbly besought pardon from the servant of Christ, confessing that their hearts were harder than stones. They recognized from these events that the loveliness of prophecy bloomed in the saint. Assuredly the disobedient populace would all have gone into captivity, had not the accustomed prayer of the man of God kept them free; for as James the apostle bears witness, "The continual prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
CHAPTER XXXI.
Feletheus, sometimes called Feva, king of the Rugii, hearing that from all the towns by the advice of the servant of God the remnants that had escaped the barbarian sword had gathered at Lauriacum, took an army and came, purposing to bring them quickly into his own power and to lead them away and settle them in the towns, of which Favianis was one, that were tributary to him and near him, and were separated from the Rugii only by the Danube.
Wherefore all were deeply disturbed, and with prayers went to Saint Severinus, that he might go forth to meet the king and moderate his purpose. All night Severinus hastened, and in the morning met him at the twentieth milestone from the city. The king, much alarmed by his arrival, averred that he was vastly distressed by the saint's fatiguing journey, and inquired the causes of his sudden visit. To whom thus answered the servant of God:
"Peace be unto thee, most excellent king. I come to thee as ambassador of Christ, to beg compassion for the conquered. Reflect upon the grace, recall to mind the divine favors, of whose repeated aid thy father was sensible. Throughout the whole time of his reign he never ventured to take any step without my advice. He did not withstand my salutary admonitions; and from frequent successes he learned to recognize the great value of an obedient mind, and how greatly it profiteth victors not to be puffed up by their triumphs."
And the king saith, "I will not suffer this people, for whom thou comest as a friendly intercessor, to be ruined by the cruel plundering of the Alamanni and Thuringi, or slaughtered by the sword, or reduced to slavery, when I have neighboring and tributary towns in which they ought to be established."
The servant of Christ firmly answered him as follows: "Was it thy bow or sword that delivered these men from the continual ravages of robbers? Were they not rather reserved by the favor of God, that they might be able for a short while to obey thee? Therefore, most excellent king, do not now reject my counsel. Commit these subjects to my guardian care, lest by the constraint of so great an army they be ruined rather than removed. For I trust in my Lord, that he, who hath made me a witness of their calamities, shall make me a suitable leader to conduct them to safety."
The king was appeased by these moderate representations, and forthwith went back with his army. Therefore the Romans whom Saint Severinus had received in his guardian care left Lauriacum, were amicably established in the towns, and lived in friendly alliance with the Rugii. But Severinus dwelt at Favianis in his old monastery, and ceased not to admonish the peoples and to foretell the future, declaring that all were to remove into a Roman province without any loss of liberty.
CHAPTER XXXII.
At about the same time King Odoacer addressed a friendly letter to Saint Severinus, and, mindful of that prophecy, by which of yore he had foretold that he should become king, entreated him to choose whatsoever gift he might desire. In response to this august invitation, the saint asked that one Ambrose, who was living in exile, be pardoned. Odoacer joyfully obeyed his command.
Also, once when in the saint's presence many nobles were praising Odoacer with the adulation usual among men, Severinus asked on what king they were conferring such great commendations. They replied, "Odoacer." "Odoacer," he said, "safe between thirteen and fourteen"; meaning of course the years of his unchallenged sovereignty: and he added that they should live to see the speedy fulfillment of his prophecy.
CHAPTER XXXIII.
At the entreaty of the townspeople, among whom he had first won fame, Saint Severinus came to Comagenis. One of the nobles of King Feletheus had a son, a youth, who was wasted away by inveterate sickness and for whose burial preparations were already in progress. When the nobleman learned that Severinus was at Comagenis, he crossed the Danube and cast himself at his feet. Weeping, he said, "I believe, man of God, that thy entreaty can procure from heaven a swift recovery for my son." Then Severinus offered prayer. The boy, who had been brought to him half-dead, straightway arose whole, to the amazement of his father, and forthwith returned home in perfect health.
CHAPTER XXXIV.
Likewise a certain leper, Tejo by name, attracted by the virtues of Saint Severinus, came from a far country, asking to be cleansed through his prayer. So he was given the customary command, and bidden ceaselessly and with tears to implore God, the giver of all grace. Why say more? Through the prayers of the saint the leper was cleansed by the divine aid; as he altered his character for the better, he gained a change of color also; and he, and many others who knew of him, proclaimed far and wide the mighty works of the Eternal King.
CHAPTER XXXV.
Bonosus, by birth a barbarian, was a monk of Saint Severinus, and hung upon his words. He was much afflicted by weakness of the eyes, and desired that cure be afforded him through the prayers of the saint. He bore it ill that strangers and foreigners experienced the aid of healing grace, while no cure or help was tendered to him. The servant of God said unto him, "Son, it is not expedient for thee to have clear sight in the bodily eyes, and to prefer distinct vision by the eye of the flesh. Pray rather that thy inner sight may be quickened." Bonosus was instructed by these admonitions, and was eager to see with the heart rather than with the flesh. He gained a wonderful power of unwavering continuance in prayer. After he had remained steadfastly for about forty years in the service of the monastery, he passed away in the same ardent faith in which he was converted.
CHAPTER XXXVI.
In Bojotro, a place mentioned above, the humble teacher perceived that three monks of his monastery were stained with horrid pride. When he had ascertained that each of them upon being visited with reproach was hardened in his sin, he prayed that the Lord should receive them into the adoption of sons, and deign to reprove them with the paternal lash. Before he had ended his tearful prayer, the three monks were in one and the same instant seized violently by the devil and tormented, and with cries confessed the stubbornness of their hearts.
Let it not seem to any one cruel or wrong, that men of this sort are delivered "unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh," as the blessed apostle teacheth, "that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." For Saint Ambrose, bishop of Milan, said that the slave of Stilicho, who was found to be the author of forged letters, ought to be delivered unto Satan, that he might not dare to commit such crimes in the future; and at the same moment, while the word was yet in the bishop's mouth, the unclean spirit seized the slave and began to rend him. Sulpicius Severus, too, relates, on the authority of Postumianus, that a certain man, admirable for his great virtues and miracles, aiming to drive out from his heart the vanity of ostentation into which he had fallen, procured by entreaty "that power over him might be given the devil for five months, and he be made like those whom he himself had healed." And Sulpicius says, a little further on, that accordingly "he was seized by the devil, held in chains, and endured everything which those possessed by devils are wont to suffer; until, finally, in the fifth month he was cured, not merely from the devil, but (what he needed and desired more) from the fault."
So the man of God turned over the three monks to the brethren, and subjected them for forty days to the bitter remedy of fasting. When the days were fulfilled, he spake a prayer over them, and plucked them forth from the power of the devil, and bestowed upon them soundness not only of body but of mind. As a result of this event, the saint was held in enhanced awe and terror, and a greater fear of discipline possessed the rest.
CHAPTER XXXVII.
Marcianus the monk, who was afterward priest, and who preceded me in the headship of the monastery, was sent by Severinus to Noricum in company with Brother Renatus. As the third day was passing, the saint said to the brethren, "Pray, dearly beloved, for at this hour grievous tribulation is upon Marcianus and Renatus, from which nevertheless they shall be freed by Christ's aid." Then the monks straightway wrote down what he had said; and when many months later Marcianus and Renatus returned, and made known the day and hour of their peril, at which they had escaped the barbarians, these were found to be just as had been written down.
CHAPTER XXXVIII.
Also most blessed Severinus suddenly commanded one of the brethren, by name Ursus, to meet in advance a coming calamity by a strict fast of forty days, with abstinence from food, and lamentations, saying, "A bodily peril threatens thee, which through God's protection thou shalt avert by the remedy of a scanty diet of bread and water." So on the fortieth day a deadly pustule appeared on the arm of the fasting man, which he immediately showed to Severinus, approaching him as a suppliant. The holy servant of God said unto him, "Do not fear the crisis which was foretold thee forty days ago"; and straightway with his own hand made the sign of the cross over it; whereupon the fatal pustule vanished, to the amazement of the bystanders.
Let it suffice to have told of this one of his cures in his own household, that Ï may avoid the tediousness of a lengthy task. For often through the revelation of Christ he foretold the illnesses of his monks, and healed them through the same gifts by which he foresaw them.
CHAPTER XXXIX.
The spiritual teacher, continuing instant in prayer and fasting, dwelt not far from the cell of his disciples. With them he regularly completed the morning prayers, and the proper psalm-singing in the evening. The remaining times of prayer he fulfilled in the little oratory in which he lived. In his seasons of prayer he was often strengthened by celestial oracles, and through the grace of God foretold many things that were to come. He knew the secrets of many things, and, when there was need, made them known, and provided remedies for each patient, according as the kind of sickness demanded. His bed was a single mohair rug on the floor of the oratory. Always, even while he slept, he wore the same garment. He never broke his fast before sunset except on an appointed festival. In Lent he was satisfied with one meal a week, yet his countenance shone with the same cheerfulness. He wept over the sins of others as if they were his own, and helped to overcome them by such aid as he could give.
CHAPTER XL.
At last, after many struggles and long contests, Saint Severinus, through the revelation of God, perceived that he was about to pass from this world. He bade Feva, king of the Rugii, mentioned above, to come to him with his cruel wife Giso. He exhorted Feva, with salutary words, that in dealing with his subjects he should constantly bear in mind that he must render account to the Lord for the condition of his kingdom; and fearlessly added other admonitions. Then he stretched forth his hand, pointing to the king's breast, and reproachfully asked the queen, "Giso, which lovest thou the more, this soul, or gold and silver?" And when she answered that she prized her husband above all riches, the man of God in his wisdom continued, "Therefore cease to oppress the innocent, lest their affliction result in the destruction of your power. For thou often bringest to naught the clemency of the king." But she answered, "Why dost thou receive us so, servant of God?" He replied, "I adjure you, I the lowly, who shall shortly stand in the presence of God, that ye restrain yourselves from unjust deeds, and apply yourselves to works of piety. Hitherto by God's help your kingdom hath been prospered. Henceforth look to it." The king and queen, much instructed by these admonitions, bade him farewell, and went away.
Then the saint ceased not to address his people in the sweetness of love concerning the nearness of his departure. Indeed, he had done so ceaselessly before. "Know ye, brethren," he said, "that as the children of Israel were delivered out of the land of Egypt, so all the peoples of this land are destined to be freed from the unrighteous sway of the barbarians. For all shall depart from these towns with their possessions, and shall reach the Roman province without any loss by capture. But remember the command of the holy patriarch Joseph, in the words of whose testimony I, though unworthy and most lowly, make my request to you: 'God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.' This shall profit, not me, but you. For these places, now thronged with inhabitants, shall be rendered a solitude so utterly waste that the enemy, thinking to find gold, shall dig up even the graves of the dead." The present issue in fact has proved the truth of his prophecy. But the most holy father, with pious forethought, ordered his body to be removed as a token; in order that when the general transmigration of the people should take place, the company of brethren which he had gathered might depart undivided, and, held together by the common bond of his memory, might endure as one holy society.
CHAPTER XLI.
Moreover most blessed Severinus revealed two years or more in advance the day on which he was to pass from the body. This he did in the following manner. On the day of Epiphany, when Saint Lucillus the priest had announced in agitation that on the morrow he was to perform the annual rites of commemoration for the burial day of his abbot, Saint Valentine, formerly bishop of the Raetias, the servant of God replied, "If Saint Valentine hath committed these rites to thee to be performed, I too, being about to depart from the body, bequeath to thee the care of my funeral festival, which shall be observed upon the same day." Lucillus, an old and broken man, was greatly shaken at this saying, and rather commended himself earnestly to the protection of Severinus, on the ground that he was likely to pass away first. But Severinus answered, "Holy priest, this thing which thou hast heard shall come to pass, nor shall the Lord's ordinance be brought to naught by the will of man."
CHAPTER XLII.
Feva, king of the Rugii, had given Favianis, one of the few towns which remained on the bank of the Danube, to his brother Ferderuchus. Near this town, as I have related, Saint Severinus dwelt. When Ferderuchus came, as was his wont, to pay his respects to Severinus, the soldier of Christ began to tell him eagerly of his approaching journey, and adjured him, saying: "Know that I am to depart quickly to the Lord. Therefore be warned, and beware of attempting, when I am gone, to lay hands on any of these things which have been committed to me. Seize not the substance of the poor and the captives. If thou art guilty of such foolhardiness, which may Heaven forfend, thou shalt feel the wrath of God! "
Ferderuchus, perturbed by the unexpected admonition, said, "Why dost thou adjure me and confound me? I do not wish to be deprived of thy mighty protection. Indeed, it is seemly that I should add something to thy sacred bounty, which all men know, not take away from it; that I may deserve to be protected by thy wonted prayer, as was our father Flaccitheus. He learned by experience that he was ever aided by the merits of thy holiness."
And Severinus said, "On the very first opportunity thou wilt wish to violate my cell. Then straightway thou shalt learn the truth of my words, and be punished in a manner which I do not desire." Then Ferderuchus promised that he would observe the admonitions of the servant of Christ, and returned to his home.
But the kindly teacher did not cease to speak continually to his disciples, saying, "I trust in the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ that if ye persevere in his work, and in memory of me remain united in friendly association, he will give you the riches of eternal life, nor in this world will he deny you his consolation."
CHAPTER XLIII.
On the fifth of January he began to be slightly disquieted by a pain in the side. When this persisted for three days, at midnight he commanded the brethren to be with him. He gave them instructions as to the disposal of his body, strengthened them with fatherly counsel, and bestowed upon them the following earnest and admirable discourse.
"Most beloved sons in Christ," he said, "ye know that blessed Jacob, when he was about to leave the world, and the time drew nigh that he must die, called unto his sons, and said, 'Gather yourselves together'; that he might tell them that which should befall them in the last days, and bless them every one according to his blessing.
But I am lowly and of lukewarm faith. I am inferior to such piety. I dare not assume the burden of this privilege. Yet there is one thing which is accordant with my humility, and which I will say. I will refer you to the examples of the elders, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. For Abraham, when called of the Lord, obeyed in faith. He went forth into a place which he was to receive into his possession; and he went forth not knowing whither he was to go. Therefore imitate the faith of this blessed patriarch, copy after his holiness, despise the things of earth, seek ever the heavenly home. Moreover I trust in the Lord, that eternal gain shall come to me from you. For I perceive that ye have enlarged my joy by the fervor of your spirit, that ye love justice, that ye cherish the bonds of brotherly love, that ye neglect not chastity, that ye guard the rule of humility. These things, so far as the eye of man hath power to see, I confidently praise and approve.
    But pray that those things which to human view are worthy, may be confirmed by the test of the eternal judgment; for God seeth not as man seeth. Indeed, as the divine word declareth, he searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts. Therefore constantly hope and pray for this, that God may enlighten the eyes of your understanding, and open them, as blessed Elisha prayed, that ye may see what hosts of saints surround and support you, what mighty aids are prepared for the faithful. For our God draws nigh to them that are without guile. Let the soldiers of God fail not to pray without ceasing. Let him not be reluctant to repent, who was not ashamed to sin. Sinners, hesitate not to lament, if but by the overflowing of your tears the wrath of God may be appeased; for he hath seen fit to call a contrite spirit his sacrifice.
Therefore let us be humble in heart, tranquil in mind; guarding against all sins and ever mindful of the divine commands; knowing that meanness of garb, the name monk, the word religion, the outward form of piety, profiteth us not, if touching the observance of God's commands we be found degenerate and false. Therefore let your characters, my most beloved sons, accord with the vow which ye have assumed. It is a great crime to lead a sinful life, even for a man of this world; how much more then for monks, who have fled from the enticements of the world as from a hideous wild beast, and have preferred Christ to all desires; whose gait and garb are held to be evidence of virtue? But why, dearest sons, delay you further with a long address? It remains to bestow upon you the last prayer of the blessed apostle, who saith, 'And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, who is able to preserve you, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.' To him be the glory for ever and ever."
     After this edifying address, he bade all in succession approach for his kiss. He received the sacrament of the communion; and altogether forbade that they should weep for him. Having stretched out his hand, and made the sign of the cross over his whole body, he commanded that they should sing a psalm. When the grief that overspread them kept them silent, he himself started the psalm, "Praise ye the Lord in his sanctuary; let everything that hath breath praise the Lord." And so, on the eighth of January, repeating this verse, while we could hardly make the responses, he fell asleep in the Lord.
When he was buried, our elders, implicitly believing that, like his many other prophecies, what he had foretold in regard to our removal could not fail to come to pass, prepared a wooden casket; that when the predicted migration of the people should take place, the commands of the prophet might be fulfilled.
CHAPTER XLIV.
Ferderuchus was poor and ungodly, a greedy barbarian, and more greedy than the barbarians. When he learned of the death of Saint Severinus, he determined to carry off the clothing allotted to the poor, and some other things. Joining sacrilege to this crime, he ordered that the silver goblet and the rest of the altar service be carried off. Since the service was on the holy altars, the bailiff who was sent dared not stretch out his hands to such a villainy, but compelled a certain soldier, Avitianus by name, to commit the robbery. Although Avitianus executed the order unwillingly, he was from that moment plagued by an incessant trembling in all his limbs, and furthermore was possessed by a devil. Therefore he quickly set right his sins by adopting a better purpose. For he assumed the vow of the sacred profession, exchanged the weapons of earth for those of heaven, and withdrew to a lonely isle.
Ferderuchus, unmindful of the adjuration and prophecy of the holy man, seized all the possessions of the monastery, and left only the walls, which he could not carry across the Danube. But presently the threatened vengeance came upon him. For within the space of a month he was slain by Fredericus, his brother's son, and lost booty and life together.
Therefore King Odoacer waged war upon the Rugii. They were defeated, Fredericus was compelled to flee. His father Feva was taken prisoner, and removed to Italy with his wicked wife.
Later, Odoacer heard that Fredericus had returned to his home. At once he dispatched a great army, under his brother Onoulfus; before whom Fredericus fled again, and went to King Theodoric, who was then at Novae, a city of the province of Moesia.
Onoulfus, however, at his brother's command ordered all the Romans to migrate to Italy. Then all the inhabitants, led forth from the daily depredations of the barbarians as from the house of Egyptian bondage, recognized the oracles of Saint Severinus.
When Count Pierius compelled all to depart, the venerable Lucillus, then our priest, was not unmindful of the command of Severinus. After he had ended singing with the monks the vesper psalms, he bade the place of burial to be opened. When it was uncovered, a fragrance of such sweetness surrounded us who stood by, that we fell on the earth for joy and wonder. Then whereas we reckoned in all human expectation to find the bones of his corpse disjoined, for the sixth year of his burial had already passed, we found the bodily structure intact. For this miracle we returned unmeasured thanks to the Author of all, because the corpse of the saint, on which were no spices, which no embalmer's hand had touched, had staid unharmed, with beard and hair, even to that time. Accordingly the linen cloths were changed; the corpse was inclosed in the casket that had been prepared for it long before, placed in a wagon drawn by horses, and presently carried forth. All the provincials made the journey in our company. They abandoned the towns on the banks of the Danube and were allotted the various abodes of their exile through the different districts of Italy. So the body of the saint passed through many lands and was borne to a castle named Mount Feleter.
CHAPTER XLV.
During this time many that were attacked by divers diseases, and some who were oppressed by unclean spirits, experienced the instant healing of divine grace. A certain dumb man also was brought to this castle through the compassion of his kinsmen. He eagerly entered the oratory, where the body of the holy man still lay upon the wagon, and when he offered supplication behind the closed door of his mouth, in the chamber of his heart, immediately his tongue was loosed in prayer, and he spoke praise unto the Most High. And when he returned to the inn where he was wont to lodge, and was questioned as usual by nod and sign, he answered in a clear voice, that he had prayed and had offered praise to God. When he spoke, they who knew him were terrified and ran shouting to the oratory and told Saint Lucillus the priest, and us, who were with him and knew nothing of the event. Then we all rejoiced exceedingly, and returned thanks to the divine mercy.
CHAPTER XLVI.
Barbaria, a lady of rank, venerated Saint Severinus with pious devotion. She and her late husband had known him well by reputation and through correspondence. When, after the death of the saint, she heard that his body had with great labor been brought into Italy, and up to that time had not been committed to earth, she invited by frequent letters our venerable priest Marcianus, and also the whole brotherhood. Then with the authorization of Saint Gelasius, pontiff of the Roman see, and received by the people of Naples with reverent obsequies, the body was laid to rest by the hands of Saint Victor the bishop in the Lucullan castle, in a mausoleum which Barbaria had built.

{Two more translations still awaited the body. October 14, 903, the Lucullan castle was abandoned through fear of the marauding Saracens. The remains of the saint were borne in solemn procession to the great Benedictine monastery of Saint Severinus, within the walls of Naples. Joannes Diaconus Neapolitanus, Martyrium Sancti Procopii, in Octavius Cajetanus's Vitae Sanctorum Siculorum (Panormi, 1657), ii, p. 62, reprinted in L. A. Muratori's Rerum Italicarum Scriptores (Mediolani, 1723-51), i, 2, pp. 271 f.; and the same, printed from another manuscript, under the title of Translatio Sancti Severini or Historia Translationis, in Acta Sanctorum, January, i (1643), pp. 1100-1103, and reprinted thence in Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores Rerum Langobardicarum et Italicarum Saec. VI-IX (Hannoverae, 1878), pp. 452-459. ----It should be noted, however, that Luigi Parascandolo, in his Memorie Storiche-Critiche-Diplomatiche della Chiesa di Napoli (Naples, 1847-51), ii, pp. 253 f., doubts the authenticity of this narrative, which, he thinks, owes at least its present form to the labor of some Benedictine monk living in the monastery of Saint Severinus at the time of the revival of learning.---- Descriptions of the monastery, now for the most part secularized and occupied by the Royal Neapolitan State Archives, and of the church of Saints Severinus and Sosius connected with it, may be found in Napoli e i Luoghi Celebri delle sue Vicinanze (Naples, 1845), i, pp. 233-243, and in the current guidebooks.
Here the remains of Severinus reposed for many centuries, not in the large church, but beneath the great altar of the smaller primitive church, or chapel, connected with it. Inscription on the great altar is given in Acta Sanctorum, January, i, p. 499:
"Hic duo sancta simul divinaque corpora Patres Sosius unanimes et Severinus habent."
According to Sebastian Brunner (Leben des St. Severin, Vienna, 1879, p. 170), the following inscription was found in the crypt when it was opened in 1807: "Divis Severino Noricorum in Oriente Apostolo et Sosio Levitae B. Januarii Episcopi in Passione socio Templum ubi eorum SS. Corpora sub Altare majori requiescunt et Apostolico indultu cum oblatione sacra purgantes animae liberantur."
The fourth removal was on May 30, 1807, after the dissolution of the monastery under the French domination, to the town of Fratta Maggiore, a few miles north of Naples. Stanislao d'Aloe, in Napoli e i Luoghi Celebri dette sue Vicinanze, i, p. 240 (d'Aloe errs as to the date); G. A. Galante, Memorie dell' Antico Cenobio Lucullano di S. Severino Abate (Naples, 1869), p. 41; Brunner, St. Severin, pp. 167-172. There was, it would appear from Brunner's account, some ecclesiastical as well as civil authority for the removal of the remains. Nevertheless Dr. Galante considers that they were " fraudolentemente rapitoci " (p. 41), and in his dissertation (pp. 41 f.) strongly urges their return to Naples. "Cives Fractenses," he writes me under date of March 20, 1914, " non S. Severini, sed S. Sosii corpus repetebant, et occasionem nacti expulsionis Monachorum e coenobio et templo Severinianio, prope Archivium Magnum, corpora utriusque simul quiescentia rapuerunt, et ad oppidum suum transtulerunt, ubi nunc in majori templo Fractensi quiescunt. Quamvis Monachi postea redierint, haud curae fuit, sacra lipsana repetere. Superioribus annis ego null uni non movi lapidem ut corpus S. Severini Neapoli restitueretur, sed frustra; praecordia tantum sanguine intincta, et quatuor ossa restituta sunt, quae nunc in templo S. Severini asservantur."
From 1807 to 1874 the bodies of Severinus and Sosius lay in a small chapel near the parish church of Fratta Maggiore. They were then removed into the church, to a new chapel, where the coffins, placed on either side the altar, were covered with red velvet, and distinguished by the gilt letters S. S. M. (Sanctus Sosius Martyr) and S. S. A. (Sanctus Severinus Abbas). Brunner, St. Severin, pp. 179 f.} |108
At this solemnity many afflicted by divers diseases, whom it would be tedious to enumerate, were instantly healed. Among them was a venerable handmaid of God, Processa by name, a citizen of Naples, who suffered from a severe and troublesome sickness. Invited by the virtues of the holy corpse, she hastened to meet it on the way; and when she approached the vehicle in which the venerable body was borne, immediately she was free from sickness in all her members.
Also at that time a blind man, Laudicius, was startled when he heard the unexpected clamor of the people singing psalms, and anxiously asked his household what it was. When they replied that the body of a certain Saint Severinus was passing, he was moved by the spirit, and asked that he be led to the window; from which one possessed of sight could behold afar off the multitude singing psalms and the carriage bearing the sacred body. And when he leaned forth from the window and prayed, straightway he saw, and pointed out his acquaintances and neighbors one by one. Thereupon all who heard him wept for joy and returned thanks to God.
Marinus too, precentor of the holy church at Naples, could not recover his health after a terrible sickness, and suffered from a constant headache. In faith he leaned his head against the carriage, and immediately lifted it up free from pain. In memory of this benefit, he always came on the anniversary of the saint's burial and rendered to God thanks and the sacrifice of a vow.
I have related three of the numberless miracles which were wrought on the arrival of the saint through his mediation and virtues. Let it suffice; though many know of more.
A monastery, built at the same place to the memory of the blessed man, still endures. By his merits many possessed with devils have received and do receive healing through the effective grace of God; to whom is honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Illustrious minister of Christ, thou hast the memoir. From it make by thy editorial care a profitable work.

LETTER OF PASCHASIUS TO EUGIPPIUS Paschasius the deacon to the holy and ever most beloved priest Eugippius.
The life and character of Saint Severinus, who dwelt in the provinces bordering on the Pannonias,
Dearest brother in Christ, thou measurest me by the measure of thy skill, eloquence, and happy leisure, and disdainest to consider my vexatious employments and manifold imperfections. Yet through the contemplation of thy love I sustain the injury to my modesty.
Thou hast sent me a memoir to which the eloquence of the trained writer can add nothing, and in a short compendium hast produced a work which the whole church can read. The life and character of Saint Severinus, who dwelt in the provinces bordering on the Pannonias, thou hast portrayed with much faithfulness; and thou hast handed down to the memory of future generations, to remain through long ages, the miracles which divine virtue hath wrought through him. The deeds of the good cannot perish with time. All persons to whom thy narrative shall bring Saint Severinus shall have him before them, and shall perceive that in a certain sense he dwells with them.
And so as thou hast told very simply, and explained very clearly, these particulars which thou didst ask me to narrate, I have thought it best not to try to make any addition to thy work. Indeed, it is one thing to relate what we have been told, quite another thing, to draw from the stores of our own experience. The virtues of teachers are particularly visible in their daily life, and consequently are more easily depicted by their pupils. By God's gift inspired, thou understandest the value of the deeds of the saints for the improvement of the minds of the good: their profitableness, the fervor they impart, their cleansing power. On this point we have the authority of the well-known words of the apostle, "being ensamples to the flock;" and Saint Paul commanded Timothy, "be thou an example of the believers." For this reason Saint Paul compiles a concise catalogue of the just, and, beginning from Abel, recounts the virtues of distinguished men.
    So also that most faithful Mattathias, as the days drew near that he should die a glorious death, distributed to his sons as an inheritance the examples of the saints; that fired with sacred zeal by the wonderful battles of the saints, they might hold their lives as naught in the defense of the eternal laws. Nor did the sons find the father's teaching false. For so greatly did the deeds of the elders profit them, that with most manifest faith they terrified armed princes, overcame the camps of the wicked, overthrew far and wide the worship and altars of demons, and decorated with perennial garlands they provided a civic crown for their glorious country.
For this reason also I rejoice that through a brother's service something is provided for the ornaments of the bride of Christ; not that at any time, as I believe, have there been lacking illustrious examples of the elders, but because it is fitting that the palace of the Great King should have the standards of many victories.
 For true virtue is not obscured by the multitude of virtues, but yearns for their increase, and is enlarged thereby.

 Sunday  Saints November  06 Octávo Idus Novémbris.  

November 2 Feast of All Souls:  PURGATORY - - CONFESSIONS FROM THE SAINTS
November is the month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory since 1888;
   40 days for Life Day 39

Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  November 2016
Universal: Countries Receiving Refugees

That the countries which take in a great number of displaced persons and refugees may find support for their efforts which show solidarity.

Evangelization: Collaboration of Priests and Laity
That within parishes, priests and lay people may collaborate in service to the community without giving in to the temptation of discouragement.


God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016
ewtnmissionaries.com

On Death and Life
"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!    (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)
                      

                                                                           
       40 days for Life Day 38
40 Days for Life  11,000+ saved lives in 2015
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
40 days for Life Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director www.40daysforlife.com
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

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

"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.  arras.catholique.fr


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Five Reasons
Lucia once asked this question of Our Lord and received as an answer: 'MY DAUGHTER, THE MOTIVE IS SIMPLE, THERE ARE FIVE KINDS OF OFFENCES AND BLASPHEMIES UTTERED AGAINST THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY: (1) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: (2) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HER VIRGINITY: (3) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HER DIVINE MATERNITY: (4) BLASPHEMIES OF THOSE WHO OPENLY SEEK TO FOSTER IN THE HEARTS OF CHILDREN INDIFFERENCE OR EVEN HATRED FOR THIS IMMACULATE MOTHER: (5) THE OFFENCES OF THOSE WHO DIRECTLY OUTRAGE HER IN HOLY IMAGES.'