Mary the Mother of Jesus
 Friday  Saints of this Day November  11 Tértio 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 Mother of GOD

 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary

November 11 - Paul VI declares the Virgin Mary "Mother of the Church" (1964)
 
The spiritual Mother of all humanity 
 
Pope Benedict XVI, in his homily for the Solemnity of the Mother of God, on January 1, 2007, said the following about Mary’s exceptional motherhood:

"As Mother of Christ, Mary is also Mother of the Church, which my venerable Predecessor, the Servant of God Paul VI chose to proclaim on 21 November 1964 at the Second Vatican Council. Lastly, Mary is the Spiritual Mother of all humanity, because Jesus on the Cross shed his blood for all of us and from the Cross he entrusted us all to her maternal care."

Indeed, on November 21, 1964, at the end of the 3rd Session of the Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI proclaimed the Virgin Mary "Mother of the Church":

"To the glory of the Virgin Mary and for the consolation of us all, we proclaim Mary the Holy Mother of the Church, that is, of the whole People of God, of the faithful and their Pastors, and we wish that henceforth the Blessed Virgin be honored and invoked with this title by all the Christian people."  w2.vatican.va

 
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
.
Acts of the Apostles


Virgin Mary Mother of the Church

Every Day, Every Hour Billions of people all over the world become Saints
As the Holy Eucharist enters their bodies from the Sanctified hands of Priests.
Monsignor John Dunphy died on November 11, 1963 at the age of 89
On March 17, 1947, Fr. John Dunphy pastor of Ascension Catholic Church of Minneapolis, was given the title of monsignor. In 1950, the year of his golden jubilee of his ordination, Monsignor Dunphy completed a handsome new convent for the sisters, who previously had been crowded into the parish’s two wood frame convents.

Monsignor Dunphy
died on November 11.  He was ecumenical long before it became popular.
He had friends of many faiths and often spoke at civic celebrations with Rev. Reuben Youndahl, pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, and Rabbi Albert Minda of Temple Israel.

He was pastor emeritus of a strong and vital Minneapolis parish empire. In his epilogue, Monsignor Dunphy wrote “…May there be a guarantee that Old Ascension, under God, shall never cease to bring Light and Warmth and Comfort to seeking souls…”


November 11 - Saint Martin, Bishop of Tours (d. 397) - Paul VI Proclaims Mary "Mother of the Church" (1964)
  On November 11, 1625, in the Parish Church of Glatz…
The Madonna of Glatz (Prussia) is a painting that the first archbishop of Prague, Ernst von Pardubitz gave to the Abbey of Canons Regular of Saint Augustine that he had just founded around 1350.
The image was painted on a plank of poplar wood and represents the Madonna and Child in glory. Ernst von Pardubitz, who shortly before his death wrote down the story of a Marian apparition he received in the parish church of Glatz while still a child, was a fervent devotee of the Virgin Mary. (…)
On November 11, 1625, after the siege of Glatz and the victory of the Imperial army, the painting was taken to the parish church of Saint Mary of the Ascension of Glatz. (…) After 1811, the painting of the Madonna and Child was entrusted to the art historian Ludwig Bittner of Glatz, who had it restored in 1834 and gave it to the royal high school in Glatz.
The MDN Team
 
Certainly nothing can so effectually humble us before the mercy of God as the multitude of his benefits. Nor can anything so much humble us before His justices as the enormity of our innumerable offences. Let us consider what He has done for us and what we have done against Him. -- St. Francis de Sales







Monsignor Dunphy died November 11, ecumenical long before it became popular. He had friends of many faiths and often spoke at civic celebrations with Rev. Reuben Youndahl, pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, and Rabbi Albert Minda of Temple Israel.

November 11

  400 Saint Martin of Tours bishop  miracle worker; freed prisoners; one of the most respected Saints for many centuries.  At Tours in France, the birthday of blessed Martin, bishop and confessor, whose life was so renowned for miracles that he received the power to raise three persons from the dead.

Little is known of many of the saints who died in the early years of Christianity but thanks to Sulpicius Severus, (born c. 363, Aquitania, Gaul —died c. 420, early Christian ascetic, a chief authority for contemporary Gallo-Roman history) we do. Sulpicius wrote his first biography of Martin before the saint died and who talked to most of the people involved in his life.  
Thanks to this biography we have a priceless record of Martin's life.
Born in 315 or 316 in Pannonia, a Roman province that includes modern Hungary, Martin came into a world in transition. Christians were no longer persecuted by the Roman empire but Christianity was still not accepted by all. Martin's father, an Roman army officer who had risen through the ranks, remained faithful to the old religion and suspicious of this new sect, as did Martin's mother.
Therefore it was Martin's own spiritual yearning and hunger that led him to secretly knock on the door of the local Christian church and beg to be made a catechumen -- when he was ten years old. In contemplative prayer, he found the time to be alone with God that he ached for. In the discussion of the mysteries, he found the truth he hoped for.


I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe -- St. Augustine.


- Saint Theodore the Studite (d. 826)
Saint Theodore's ideals and regulations have had a far-reaching influence in Byzantine monasticism. He encouraged learning and the arts, founded a school of calligraphy, and wrote a rule for the monastery that was adopted in Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and even on Mount Athos. He restored liturgical prayer, community life, enclosure, poverty, and manual labor among his monks. These reforms and developments were brought about under great external difficulties.
November 11 - Our Lady of the Portuguese (1546)
Mary is the New World (II)
Mary is the earth that was not accursed like the first, which was covered in thorns and thistles, but she is the earth on which the Lord's blessing has descended, and her fruit is blessed, just as the divine oracle foretold.
Now, in possession of blessed immortality, for the salvation of the world, she raises her hands that carried God... towards God. She is like a pure, white dove, high in flight, up in the heights, yet she does not cease to protect our low country. She left us in body, but in spirit she is with us; she frightens the demons away and is our Mediatrix with God in Heaven. Formerly, death, introduced into the world by Eve, strangled the earth with its cruel empire. Today, death has been expelled.  Its defeat came from where it formerly got its power...
Blessed Virgin, I see you asleep rather than dead. You were transported from the earth to Heaven, and yet you do not cease to protect mankind... Mother, you remained virgin, because he “was God, the One to whom you gave birth. And this is also what makes your death so different from ours--only you--and it is right, have an incorruptible body and soul. Saint Theodore the Studite - The Most Beautiful Texts on the Virgin Mary
Introduced by Fr. Pius Régamey (1946)


November 11 - Paul VI declared Mary "Mother of the Church" (1964)    A Son of Israel Converts (I)
Hermann Cohen was born in Hamburg on November 10, 1821. His family held a distinguished rank among the twenty thousand some Jews in the city. His loving mother who was completely devoted to her promising son took him to Paris where he became the pupil of Liszt, and the success of this 13-year-old prodigy dazzled the worldly circles. He was seduced by the revolutionary utopias of the time and became thoroughly unsettled spiritually and emotionally.

Until 1847, the musician Hermann Cohen, undone by his own success, lived a sinful, dissolute life, ruled by his passions alone. However, at age 26, one Friday in May of the same year, a friend asked him to fill in for him at the head of a church choir, during the solemnities of the month of Mary. When the moment of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament arrived, he felt an indescribable agitation. He was, in spite of his own will, led to bow his head towards the ground. Coming back the following Friday, he was overawed in the same manner, and he suddenly had the idea to become Catholic.

A few months later, having overcome his prejudices against priests, he attended Mass numerous times. On August 8, in Germany for a concert, he attended Sunday Mass in a little church. At the moment of the elevation of the Sacred Host, he could not contain a flood of tears. When he left this church, he was already a Christian in his heart. He returned to Paris where he was put in contact with Father Theodore Ratisbonne, a convert from Judaism. Hermann received baptism on August 28, 1847, the feast of Saint Augustine, whom he had chosen as his patron saint. On September 8, he made his First Communion.
Adapted from an article by Patricia Viscomte
Our Lady of Modern Times (Notre-Dame des Temps Nouveaux) #1, 1973 
190 St Victor at Damascus The Holy Martyr was a soldier miracles  
295 St. Menuas Egyptian army of Rome martyr  noted for healing various illnesses, delivering people from possession by demons, a protector, especially during times of war. We also ask his help in finding lost objects.
 304 Ss Valentine, Felician & Victorinus Martyrs at Ravenna under Diocletian
 304 St. Athenodorus Martyr in Mesopotamia died while praying
 400 Saint Martin of Tours man came back to life  bishop  tree fell  freeing of prisoners Patron of Soldiers bolt of lightning
 St. Rhediw Welsh church dedicated to him in Gwynedd
5th v. St. Cynfran Welsh  founder confessor  founder confessor
 Saint Rhedius of Wales church in his honor at Llanllyfni in Carnarvonshire (AC)
5th v. St. Veranus Bishop of Lyons France
6th v. St. Mennas Greek Hermit Abruzzi region Italy
 698 St. Bertuin Benedictine bishop missionary abbot
 820 St. Theodore Constantinople  nephew of Abbot St. Plato of Symboleon
 826 Saint Theodore the Studite  ideals and regulations have had a far-reaching influence in Byzantine monasticism Abbot (RM)
1067 Blessed Bartholomew of Marmoûtier archbishop of Tours OSB B (AC)
1250 Blessed Alradus of Isenhagen knight who laid down his arms to become a lay-brother of the Cistercian abbey OSB Cist. (PC)
1532 Blessed Agnes of Bavaria, Poor Clare  died at age seven  daughter of Louis IV, duke of Bavaria V (PC)
1811 St. Joseph Pignatelli  Jesuit confessor restorers of the SoJ 1773

Mary, Mother of Mercy in Dark Times (I) November 11 - OUR LADY OF THE PORTUGUESE (1641)
The religious history of the world shows us that Providence uses and lets the maternal almightiness of the Blessed Virgin shine in a very special way in these dark and troubled times when God seems to have disappeared, and where any recourse to Him seems to have become impossible. 

There are times when God, who has been offended, like a father rightly concerned with preserving his authority, only presents to men the severity or silence of His justice. This is when He asks Mary to intervene, to bring the word of salvation that can free us from His just decrees, or at least bring the consolation that helps bear the weight of His justice. Divine mercy outstretches itself to its maximum length through the ministry of Mary.
Fr. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus I Want to See God, p. 890

Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives.

Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts.
God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heaven:  only saints are allowed into heaven.
The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for benefit of the recipients so much as FOR the benefit of others.


190 Victor at Damascus The Holy Martyr was a soldier; miracles during the reign of the emperor Marcus Aurelius the Philosopher (161-180).
When the emperor began a persecution against Christians, Victor refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Such obligatory sacrifices were a test of a soldier's loyalty to the gods, the emperor and the state. The saint was given over to torture, but he came through all the torments unharmed. By the power of prayer he was victorious over a sorcerer, who from that point gave up give sorcery and became a Christian.

Through St Victor's prayers, blind soldiers suddenly received their sight. Witnessing the miracle worked by the Lord through St Victor, Stephanida, the young Christian wife of one of the torturers, openly glorified Christ, for which she was condemned to a cruel death. She was tied to two palm trees bent to the ground, which when released, sprung back and tore her apart. She was fifteen years old.
The torturer ordered that the holy Martyr Victor be beheaded. Hearing the commander's order, St Vincent told his executioners that they would all die in twelve days, and that the commander would be captured by the enemy in twenty-four days. As he foretold, so it came to pass.
The martyrs suffered in the second century at Damascus, where their venerable relics were buried.
295 St. Menuas Egyptian army of Rome officer martyr noted for healing various illnesses, delivering people from possession by demons, and as a protector, especially during times of war. We also ask his help in finding lost objects.
Cotyǽi, in Phrygia, insígnis pássio sancti Mennæ, Ægyptii mílitis, qui in persecutióne Diocletiáni, postquam, abjécto milítiæ cíngulo, méruit cælésti Regi secréta conversatióne in erémo militáre, procéssit in públicum, et, se Christiánum líbera voce declárans, primo diris cruciátibus examinátur; novíssime, fixis in oratióne génibus, Dómino Jesu Christo grátias agens, gládio cæsus est, ac multis post mortem miráculis cláruit.
    At Cotyaeum in Phrygia, during the persecution of Diocletian, the celebrated martyrdom of St. Mennas, an Egyptian soldier, who cast off the military belt and obtained the grace of serving the King of heaven secretly in the desert.  Afterwards, coming out publicly and freely declaring himself a Christian, he was first subjected to severe torments; and finally kneeling in prayer, giving thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ, he was slain with the sword.  After his death he became renowned for many miracles.

The Holy Great Martyr Menas of Egypt, an Egyptian by birth, was a military officer and served in the Kotyaeion region of Phrygia under the centurion Firmilian during the reign of the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (305-311). When the emperors began the fiercest persecution against Christians in history, the saint refused to serve these persecutors. He removed his soldier's belt (a sign of military rank) and withdrew to a mountain, where he lived an ascetic life of fasting and prayer.

Once he happened to arrive in the city during a pagan festival. At the climax of the games the saint's accusing voice rang out, preaching faith in Christ, the Savior of the world. At his trial before the prefect Pyrrhus, the saint bravely confessed his faith, saying that he had come to denounce the impious. The prefect was angered, and had Menas arrested.

Pyrrhus offered to restore the saint's former rank if he would offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. When he refused, he was put to cruel tortures, then he was beheaded. This occurred in the year 304. Christians gathered up the martyr's relics by night and hid them until the end of the persecution. Later, they were brought to Egypt and placed in a church dedicated to St Menas southwest of Alexandria.

The saint received grace from God to work miracles, and to help those in need. St Menas is noted for healing various illnesses, delivering people from possession by demons, and as a protector, especially during times of war. We also ask his help in finding lost objects.
Possibly slain at Karm Aba Mina, near Alexandria. An officer in the imperial army of Rome, he resigned when the persecutions of Christians was started. Mennas lived as a recluse in the mountains of Phrygia, but he then proclaimed his Christianity, suffering beheading as a resuIt. His remains were enshrined, and his cult as a warrior saint became popular in the Middle Ages. He is always depicted with a camel. His cult is now confined to local calendars.


ST MENNAS, MARTYR
THE outline of the legend of St Mennas (Menas) is that he was an Egyptian by birth and a soldier in the Roman army.  He was at Cotyaeum in Phrygia when the persecution of Diocletian began, wheitupon he deserted and hid himself in the mountains, where he led a life of prayer and austerity.   On the occasion of some games at Cotyaeum he left his hiding-place and displayed himself in the amphitheatre, announcing that he also was a Christian. He was arrested and brought before the president who, after having him beaten and tortured, ordered him to be beheaded.  His remains were recovered and brought back to Egypt, where the miracles reported at his tomb soon made it a great centre of devotion. The cultus of St Mennas spread far and wide in the East, his true history was overlaid and distorted by fictions and embellishments which brought him into the ranks of the “warrior saints, and he was credited with absurd wonders) one of them (which, however, he shares with SS. Cosmas and Damian) being, in the words of Tillemont, in the highest degree scandalous.
    Father Delehaye is of the opinion that all that can be fairly certainly known about St Mennas is that he was an Egyptian who was martyred and buried in his native place. Churches were built in his honour at, among other places, Cotyaeum, and these gave rise to mythical duplicates of the martyr connected with those cities.  The great shrine of St Mennas, built over his tomb, was at flumma (Karm Abu-Mina), south-west from Alexandria, which was a principal pilgrimage sanctuary until the Arab invasion in the seventh century.  Its ruins, basilica, monastery, baths, secular buildings, were excavated by Mgr K. M. Kaufmann in 1905-08, who found innumerable traces of the former popular cult us of the martyr.  Among them were numerous phials bearing such inscriptions as Souvenir of St Mennas, which were shown to have been made to contain water from a well near the shrine.
Such phials had been long previously found elsewhere in Africa and in Europe, and had hitherto been supposed to have contained oil of St Mennas taken from the lamps in the church.  In 1943 the Orthodox patriarch of Alexandria, Christopher II, issued an encyclical letter in which he attributed the saving of Egypt from invasion at the battle of Alamein to the prayers to God of the holy and glorious great martyr Mennas, the wonder-worker of Egypt; and he put forward a project for restoring the saint's ruined sanctuary near Alamein as a memorial tothe fallen.
  The Roman Martyrology mentions to-day another ST MENNAS, who was a solitary in the Abruzzi.  He was a Greek from Asia Minor whose holiness and zeal are spoken of by Pope St Gregory in his Dialogues.
  As in the came of the great St George, we have here to do with a martyr of whose historical existence, owing to his localized, wide-spread and early cult, we can hardly entertain a doubt, but whose story has been lost and supplied at a later date by deliberate fabrication.   Starting from this primitive fiction it has been transmitted to subsequent generations with endless varieties of detail, and translated into many languages, oriental and western.
The Greek passio is known to us in three distinct families, but the kernel recognizable in all of them has been obtained by the simple process of borrowing the story of another martyr and giving him a new name.  The martyr in this case was St Gordius, whose conflict is described to us in a panegyric preached by St Basil.   An immense amount of research has been lavished upon St Mennas by such scholars as Krumbacher, Delehaye, P. Franchi de' Cavalieri, K. M. Kaufmann and others.  What is of main interest is that the cradle of the cultus of this Egyptian martyr was brought to light in the present century through the excavations of Mgr Kaufmann.   It has been described in his folio volume, Die Menas-stadt und das Nationalheiligtum der altchristlichen Aegypter (1910).   Father Delehaye in particular has written very fully on the subject. See the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxix (1910), pp. 117-150; and vol. xliii, pp. 46-49; Origines du culte des martyrs (1933), pp. 222-223 and passim; Les passions des martyrs et les genres litteraires, pp. 388-389 ; and CMH., pp. 595-596.  See also Budge, Texts relating to St Mena of Egypt (1909) ; P. Franchi de' Cavalieri in Studi e Testi, vol. xix (1908), pp. 42-108 ; and H. Leclercq in DAC., vol. xi, cc. 324-397, where also is a full bibliography.
St. Menna of Egypt public profession of his faith in the arena at Cotyaeum in Phrygia M (RM)
(also known as Menas, Mennas) Died c. 295 or 303? Mennas was probably born in Egypt and martyred there. All the earliest representations of him agree in showing him accompanied by two camels, so he may well have been a camel- driver before he enlisted in the Roman army. He was also a Christian. When his legion reached Phrygia the persecutions under Diocletian began. Mennas deserted his post in order to escape death and hid in a mountain cave.

But as more and more Christians were put to death under Diocletian's edicts, Mennas decided he too ought to make a public profession of his faith. He carefully chose his time. During the annual games in the arena at Cotyaeum in Phrygia, Mennas suddenly appeared before the spectators and announced that he was a Christian. He was tortured and beaten, but would not recant, and so he was put to death by beheading. After his death Saint Mennas's body was taken back to Egypt for burial.

This basic story has been expanded and embellished with preposterous marvels and the fame of the hero as one of the so- called soldier-saints grew in proportion: the little terracotta bottles (ampullae) for water from his shrine, brought away by pilgrims, have been found in all countries bordering the Mediterranean.

That shrine was at Karm Abu Mina, southwest of Alexandria and Lake Mareotis, on the edge of the Libyan desert, where the ruins of the church and ancillary buildings have been laid bare, and many tokens of the cultus of Saint Mennas found. He has been popularly looked on as one of the great saints of Egypt down to today (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia).

Saint Mennas is portrayed as a young knight with a halberd. A 6th century ivory includes two camels in the piece. Sometimes he is shown with his hands cut off and eyes plucked out. He was greatly venerated in the Middle Ages. Patron of wandering peddlers and those falsely accused (Roeder).
304 Valentine, Felician & Victorinus Martyrs at Ravenna under Diocletian
Ravénnæ sanctórum Mártyrum Valentíni, Feliciáni et Victoríni; qui in Diocletiáni persecutióne coronáti sunt.
    At Ravenna, the holy martyrs Valentine, Felician, and Victorinus, who were crowned during the persecution of Diocletian.
MM (RM)
Martyrs at Ravenna under Diocletian (Benedictines).

304 St. Athenodorus Martyr in Mesopotamia died while praying
In Mesopotámia sancti Athenodóri Mártyris, qui, sub eódem Diocletiáno et Eléusio Præside, ígnibus cruciátus et áliis supplíciis tortus, demum cápitis damnátus est, et, cum cárnifex corruísset neque ullus álius gládio illum feríre ausus esset, orans obdormívit in Dómino.
    In Mesopotamia, St. Athenodorus, martyr, who was subjected to fire and other torments under the same Diocletian and the governor Eleusius.  He was at length sentenced to be beheaded, but when the executioner fell to the ground and no other person would dare to strike him with the sword, he passed to his repose in the Lord while praying.
reign of Emperor Diocletian. The details concerning his martyrdom state that Athenodorus was tortured cruelly but remained steadfast in the faith. Condemned to die, Athenodorus started praying. His executioner collapsed and no one dared strike him.Athenodorus died while praying.
Athenodorus of Mesopotamia M (RM). The Roman Martyrology relates that the martyr Saint Athenodorus "was tormented with fire and tried with other punishments...at length he was condemned to capital punishment, but when the executioner fell to the ground and none other dared smite him with the sword, he fell asleep in the Lord in prayer" (Benedictines).

5th v. St. Veranus Bishop of Lyons France.
Lugdúni, in Gállia, sancti Veráni Epíscopi, cujus vita fuit fide et virtútum méritis illústris.
    At Lyons in France, St. Veranus, bishop, whose life was illustrious for his faith and his other virtues.
He is perhaps to be considered identical to St. Veranus of Venice.
St Veranus of Lyons B (RM) 5th v. Although the Roman Martyrology ascribes Saint Veranus to Lyons, he is probably identical to Saint Veranus of Venice, who was the second son of Saint Eucherius and later bishop of Venice (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
6th v. St. Mennas Greek Hermit Abruzzi region Italy.
In província Sámnii beáti Mennæ solitárii, cujus virtútes et mirácula sanctus Gregórius Papa commémorat.
    In the province of Abruzzi, blessed Mennas, a solitary whose virtues and miracles are mentioned by Pope St. Gregory.
Cotyǽi, in Phrygia, insígnis pássio sancti Mennæ, Ægyptii mílitis, qui in persecutióne Diocletiáni, postquam, abjécto milítiæ cíngulo, méruit cælésti Regi secréta conversatióne in erémo militáre, procéssit in públicum, et, se Christiánum líbera voce declárans, primo diris cruciátibus examinátur; novíssime, fixis in oratióne génibus, Dómino Jesu Christo grátias agens, gládio cæsus est, ac multis post mortem miráculis cláruit.
    At Cotyaeum in Phrygia, during the persecution of Diocletian, the celebrated martyrdom of St. Mennas, an Egyptian soldier, who cast off the military belt and obtained the grace of serving the King of heaven secretly in the desert.  Afterwards, coming out publicly and freely declaring himself a Christian, he was first subjected to severe torments; and finally kneeling in prayer, giving thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ, he was slain with the sword.  After his death he became renowned for many miracles.

originally from Asia Minor. He was a Greek who took up residence in Santomena, Sanctus Menna. Pope St. Gregory I the Great praised him in his writings.
Mennas of Santomena, Hermit (RM) 6th century. Saint Mennas, a Greek from Asia Minor, became a hermit in the Abruzzi, Italy, probably at Santomena (Sanctus Menna) in the diocese of Conza. Saint Gregory the Great (Dialogue, 111, 26) enlarges upon his virtues and miracles (Benedictines).

ST MENNAS, MARTYR
THE outline of the legend of St Mennas (Menas) is that he was an Egyptian by birth and a soldier in the Roman army. He was at Cotyaeum in Phrygia when the persecution of Diocletian began, whereupon he deserted and hid himself in the mountains, where he led a life of prayer and austerity. On the occasion of some games at Cotyaeum he left his hiding-place and displayed himself in the amphitheatre, announcing that he also was a Christian. He was arrested and brought before the president who, after having him beaten and tortured, ordered him to be beheaded. His remains were recovered and brought back to Egypt, where the miracles reported at his tomb soon made it a great centre of devotion. The cultus of St Mennas spread far and wide in the East, his true history was overlaid and distorted by fictions and embellishments which brought him into the ranks of the “warrior saints”, and he was credited with absurd wonders, one of them (which, however, he shares with SS. Cosmas and Damian) being, in the words of Tillemont, “in the highest degree scandalous”. Father Delehaye is of the opinion that all that can be fairly certainly known about St Mennas is that he was an Egyptian who was martyred and buried in his native place. Churches were built in his honour at, among other places, Cotyaeum, and these gave rise to mythical duplicates of the martyr connected with those cities.
The great shrine of St Mennas, built over his tomb, was at Bumma (Karm Abu-Mina), southwest from Alexandria, which was a principal pilgrimage sanc­tuary until the Arab invasion in the seventh century. Its ruins, basilica, monastery, baths, secular buildings, were excavated by Mgr K. M. Kaufmann in 1905-08, who found innumerable traces of the former popular cultus of the martyr. Among them were numerous phials bearing such inscriptions as “ Souvenir of St Mennas” which were made to contain water from a well near the shrine. Such phials had been long previously found elsewhere in Africa and in Europe, and had hitherto been supposed to have contained” oil of St Mennas “taken from the lamps in the church. In ‘943 the Orthodox patriarch of Alexandria, Christo­pher II, issued an encyclical letter in which he attributed the saving of Egypt from invasion at the battle of Alamein to “the prayers to God of the holy and glorious great martyr Mennas, the wonder-worker of Egypt”; and he put forward a project for restoring the saint’s ruined sanctuary near Alamein as a memorial to the fallen.
The Roman Martyrology mentions today another ST MENNAS, who was a solitary in the Abruzzi.
He was a Greek from Asia Minor whose holiness and zeal are spoken of by Pope St Gregory in his Dialogues.

As in the case of the great St George, we have here to do with a martyr of whose historical existence, owing to his localized, wide-spread and early cult, we can hardly entertain a doubt, but whose story has been lost and supplied at a later date by deliberate fabrication. Starting from this primitive fiction it has been transmitted to subsequent generations with endless varieties of detail, and translated into many languages oriental and western. We know the Greek passio in three distinct families, but the simple process of borrowing the story of another martyr and giving him a new name has obtained the kernel recognizable in all of them. The martyr in this case was St Gordius, whose conflict is described to us in a panegyric preached by St Basil. An immense amount of research has been lavished upon St Mennas by such scholars as Krumbacher, Delehaye, P. Franchi de’ Cavalieri, K. M. Kaufmann and others. What is of main interest is that the cradle of the cultus of this Egyptian martyr was brought to light in the present century through the excavations of Mgr Kaufmann. It has been described in his folio volume, Die Menas-stadt und das Nationalheiligtum der altchristlichen Aegypter (1910). Father Delehaye in particular has written very fully on the subject. See the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxix (1910), pp. ,,7—150; and vol. xliii, pp. 46—49; Origines du culte des martyrs (1933), pp. 222—223 and passim; Les passions des martyrs et les genres littéraires, pp. 388—389 and CMII., pp. 595—596. See also Budge, Texts relating to St Mena of Egypt (1909) P. Franchi de’ Cavalieri in Studi e Testi, vol. xix (1908), pp. 42—108; and H. Leclercq in DAC., vol. xi, cc. 324—397, where also is a full bibliography.  

400 Saint Martin of Tours man came back to life  bishop tree fell  freeing of prisoners Patron of Soldiers bolt of lightning.
Turónis, in Gállia, natális beáti Martíni Epíscopi et Confessóris; cujus vita tantis éxstitit miráculis gloriósa, ut trium mortuórum suscitátor esse merúerit.
    At Tours in France, the birthday of blessed Martin, bishop and confessor, whose life was so renowned for miracles that he received the power to raise three persons from the dead.
When Sulpicius Severus first met Martin of Tours he was stunned. Not only did the bishop offer him hospitality at his residence -- a monk's cell in the wilderness instead of a palace -- but Martin washed Sulpicius' hands before dinner and his feet in the evening. But Sulpicius was just the kind of person Martin showed the greatest honor to -- a humble man without any rank or privilege. People of nobility and position were turned away from his abbey by chalk cliffs, out of fear of the temptation to pride. From that visit, Sulpicius became Martin's disciple, friend, and biographer. Little is known of many of the saints who died in the early years of Christianity but thanks to Sulpicius, who wrote his first biography of Martin before the saint died and who talked to most of the people involved in his life, we have a priceless record of Martin's life.

Born in 315 or 316 in Pannonia, a Roman province that includes modern Hungary, Martin came into a world in transition. Christians were no longer persecuted by the Roman empire but Christianity was still not accepted by all. Martin's father, an Roman army officer who had risen through the ranks, remained faithful to the old religion and suspicious of this new sect, as did Martin's mother.
Therefore it was Martin's own spiritual yearning and hunger that led him to secretly knock on the door of the local Christian church and beg to be made a catechumen -- when he was ten years old. In contemplative prayer, he found the time to be alone with God that he ached for. In the discussion of the mysteries, he found the truth he hoped for.

He was still an unbaptized catechumen when he was forced to join the army at 15. The Roman army apparently had a law that required sons of veterans to serve in the military. Still, Martin found this so far removed from his desire to be a Christian monk that he had to be held in chains before taking the military oath. Once the oath was administered he felt bound to obey. He was assigned to a ceremonial cavalry unit that protected the emperor and rarely saw combat. Like his father, he became an officer and eventually was assigned to garrison duty in Gaul (present-day France).

Even in the military Martin attempted to live the life of a monk. Though he was entitled to a servant because he was an officer, he insisted on switching roles with his servant, cleaning the servant's boots instead of the other way around!

It was on this garrison duty at Amiens that the event took place that has been portrayed in art throughout the ages. On a bitterly cold winter day, the young tribune Martin rode through the gates, probably dressed in the regalia of his unit -- gleaming, flexible armor, ridged helmet, and a beautiful white cloak whose upper section was lined with lambswool. As he approached the gates he saw a beggar, with clothes so ragged that he was practically naked. The beggar must have been shaking and blue from the cold but no one reached out to help him. Martin, overcome with compassion, took off his mantle. In one quick stroke he slashed the lovely mantle in two with his sword, handed half to the freezing man and wrapped the remainder on his own shoulders. Many in the crowd thought this was so ridiculous a sight that they laughed and jeered but some realized that they were seeing Christian goodness. That night Martin dreamed that he saw Jesus wearing the half mantle he had given the beggar. Jesus said to the angels and saints that surrounded him, "See! this is the mantle that Martin, yet a catechumen, gave me." When he woke, it was the "yet a catechumen" that spurred Martin on and he went immediately to be baptized. He was eighteen years old.

We don't know much about the two years that followed but his baptism must have fed his growing desire to make a total commitment to Christ, a commitment that was in conflict with his military role. This conflict came to a crisis when the nomad Franks and Allemanni invaded the empire.

It was the practice at the time to give money to soldiers before battle, in order to infuse the soldiers with a greater love of their country and desire to fight. When Julian lined up the soldiers in Gaul to give them their bounty, Martin refused to accept the money -- and to fight -- saying, "Put me in the front of the army, without weapons or armor; but I will not draw sword again. I am become the soldier of Christ." There seems to be no evidence that Martin had been in combat before so perhaps he never had to reconcile his Christian beliefs with war. In any case, it does seem an unfortunate time to make such a decision. Julian, furious at what he saw as cowardice, told Martin he would grant him his wish and put him right in the middle of battle the next day. Until that happened, he had Martin imprisoned. However, against all predictions and all explanation, the nomads sent word that they wanted to negotiate for peace and the battle was postponed. Martin was released from his prison and from the army.

Searching for direction in his new life, Martin wound up in Poitiers, seeking the guidance and example of Saint Hilary. Hilary wished to make this promising young man a priest but Martin, out of humility, refused even to be ordained a deacon. He finally agreed to be ordained an exorcist (someone who performed rituals for those who were sick or possessed) when Hilary told him his refusal meant that he thought he was too good for such a lowly job.

On a trip over the Alps to visit his parents, he was attacked by robbers who not only wanted to steal what he owned but threatened to take his life. Calm and unperturbed, Martin spoke to the robbers about God. One was so impressed he converted and became a law-abiding citizen who told his own story to Sulpicius years later.

But Martin was to find even more trouble in his own home town. Though his mother converted, his father stubbornly refused. When Martin began to denounce publicly the Arian heretics that were then in power throughout the empire -- even within the Church -- Martin was whipped and driven out of his own hometown!

He could not escape trouble by leaving. When he discovered that Hilary had been exiled from Poitiers as well for the same reason, Martin went to an island near Milan to live as a hermit. The Arians soon discovered that Hilary was even more trouble in exile, because of the writing he did, and let him come back. When Hilary returned to Poitiers, Martin was there to meet him and renew their old friendship. In order to fulfill Martin's call to solitude, Hilary gave Martin a wilderness retreat. As disciples came to Martin for direction, he founded a monastery for them called Ligug‚. It was there he performed the first of many miracles. When a catechumen died before baptism, Martin laid himself over the body and after several hours the man came back to life. Sulpicius also had talked to this man who was baptized immediately but lived many years after that. Martin remained in this monastery near his teacher and friend until after Hilary died.

This was still the era when bishops were chosen by the people and when the bishop of Tours died, the people decided they wanted an example of holiness as their new bishop. After that their choice was simple -- Martin. But as well as they knew his holiness, they also knew he would never agree to be a bishop so they conceived a trick. A citizen of Tours came to Martin and begged him to come visit his sick wife. When the kindhearted Martin got to Tours crowds of people came out of hiding and surrounded him. Unable to escape, he was swept into the city. The people may have been enthusiastic about their choice but the bishops there to consecrate the new bishop declared they were repelled by this dirty, ragged, disheveled choice. The people's reply was that they didn't choose Martin for his haircut, which could be fixed by any barber, but for his holiness and poverty, that only charity and grace could bring. Overwhelmed by the will of the crowds the bishops had no choice but to consecrate Martin.

Instead of living in a palace, Martin made his first home as bishop in a cell attached to a church in hopes of being able to maintain his lifestyle as a monk. But at that time bishops were more than spiritual pastors. With the Empire's administration disintegrating under outside invasion and internal conflict, often the only authority in a town like Tours was the bishop. People came to Martin constantly with questions and concerns that involved all the affairs of the area.

To regain some of his solitude Martin fled outside the city to live in a cabin made of branches. There he attracted as many as eighty disciples who wanted to follow him and founded the monastery of Marmoutiers. He kept in touch with Tours through priest representatives who reported to him and carried out his instructions and duties with the people.

It may seem from this that Martin did not get involved with what was going on but Martin was deeply committed to his responsibilities.

One of those responsibilities was, he felt, the missionary conversion of those who still held to various non-Christian beliefs. In those early days of Christianity such old beliefs survived in abundance. He did not attempt to convert these people from a high pulpit or from far away. His method was to travel from house to house and speak to people about God. Then he would organize the converts into a community under the direction of a priest of monk. In order to let them know of his continued love and to keep them following the faith, he would then visit these new communities regularly.

Of course he ran into resistance. In one rather ridiculous scene, locals decided to get back at him by dressing up as the gods. So in the middle of the night, he was visited by a waggish talkative Mercury, a doltish Jupiter, and an enthusiastically naked Venus, as well as various "wood spirits." Needless to say, he was unconvinced by this show.

In one town, when he tried to convince the locals to cut down a pine tree they venerated, they agreed -- but only if Martin would sit where the tree was going to fall! Martin seated himself directly under the path of the leaning tree and the townspeople began to cut from the other side. However, just as the tree began to topple, Martin made the sign of the cross and the tree fell in the opposite direction -- slowly enough to miss the fleeing townspeople. Martin won many converts that day.

Martin tore down many non-Christian temples and always built a Christian church in their place to make a point about true worship and give people a genuine replacement for their false idols. In once case when a huge tower was not torn down under his orders, a bolt of lightning came to destroy it after his prayers.

Martin was also dedicated to freeing of prisoners, so much so that when authorities, even the emperors, heard he was coming, they refused to see him because they knew he would request mercy for someone and they would be unable to refuse. Martin was so dedicated that few escaped his entreaties. One who didn't was a general named Avitianus who arrived at Tours with ranks of prisoners he intended to torture and execute the next day. As soon as Martin heard of this cruel plan, he left his monastery for the city. Although he arrived there after midnight, he went straight to the house where Avitianus was staying and threw himself on the threshold crying out in a loud voice. Sulpicius tells us that it was an angel who awakened Avitianus to tell him Martin was outside. The servants, certain Avitianus was dreaming, reassured him there was no one out there (without looking themselves). But after the angel woke him up the second time, Avitianus went outside himself and told Martin, "Don't even say a word. I know what your request is. Every prisoner shall be spared."
Remarkably enough Sulpicius had this story from Avitianus himself, who loved to tell it.

Martin was human and made mistakes. In spite of what we may think of people in earlier times, many were skeptical of his visions of demons, believing them to come from too much fasting. He also announced eight years before he died that the Antichrist had been born. But his visions, whatever the source, are still instructive.

At one point the devil appeared to him dressed in magnificent robes, encrusted with gold and gems, and announced he was Jesus and that Martin was to adore him. Martin immediately saw the mistake the devil had made (and had to make) and asked, "Where are the marks of the nails? Where the piercing of the spear? Where the crown of thorns? When I see the marks of the Passion I shall adore my Lord." Jesus would not come in riches but with the signs of his suffering and poverty.

Martin's compassion was as well-known as his miracles. In just one case out of many a father came to him griefstricken that his daughter had never spoken. Martin healed her by asking her to say her father's name -- which she did.

However it was this compassion and mercy that led to what he considered his greatest mistake. Bishops from Spain including a bishop named Ithacius had gone to the emperor soliciting his help in destroying a new heresy taught by a man named Priscillian. Martin agreed completely that Priscillian was teaching heresy (among other things, he rejected marriage, and said that the world was created by the devil) and that he should be excommunicated. But he was horrified that Ithacius had appealed to a secular authority for help and even more upset that Ithacius was demanding the execution of Priscillian and his followers. Martin hurried to intervene with emperor Maximus, as did Ambrose of Milan. Martin stated his case that this was a church matter and that secular authority had no power to intervene and that excommunication of the heretics was punishment enough. He left believing he had won the argument and saved the heretics but after he left Ithacius began his manipulation again and Priscillian and the other prisoners were tortured and executed. This was the first time a death sentence had been given for heresy -- a horrible precedent.

Martin's mistake was yet to come. He hurried back in order to forestall a massacre of the Priscillianists. Once there he absolutely refused communion with the bishops who had murdered the people. This was a strong statement that rejected the persecuting bishops as part of the communion of the Church.

Unfortunately, the emperor Maximus knew the key to Martin's heart. He had prisoners that supported the former emperor Gratian in captivity and knew Martin wanted mercy for them. Maximus said that he would free these prisoners if Martin would share communion with Ithacius. Martin agreed to do so, but afterwards was so overcome with shame and guilt for giving in to such evil that he never went to any more assemblies of bishops.

On his way home, still weighed down with a feeling that he had sinned by communicating with Ithacius, he had a vision of angel who told him that although he was right to regret what he did, he was wrong to brood over his faults. "You saw no other way out," the angel said. "Take courage again: recover your ordinary firmness; otherwise you will be imperilling not your glory but your salvation." This advice we all should remember if we dwell too much on our mistakes.

Martin died when he was over 80 years old on November 8. Historians disagree on the year and place it anywhere from 395 to 402. His feast is November 11, the day he was buried, at his request, in the Cemetery of the Poor.

316?-397)
     If saints, like stars, vary in greatness, St. Martin of Tours is a saint of great magnitude. Although he flourished in ancient times, we know a good deal about him--a further proof of his wide popularity.
     Martin was the son of an Italian officer of the Roman army. He was born in what is now Szombathely, Hungary, when his father was on a military tour of duty; but before long his parents returned to Pavia, Italy, and it was there that the son grew up. Although the parents were pagans, Martin became a Christian catechumen at age 10. Roman law required that the sons of soldiers also be soldiers, so Martin took the military oath at 15, and was discharged only in 356. But his life was more Christian than soldierly, especially after his baptism at 18. From his earliest military years dates the story, legendary but characteristic, of his encounter with the poor man of Amiens, France.
     One wintry day, says the tale, Martin encountered at the city gate a man who stood begging alms, shaking with cold but spurned by passersby. Touched by the sight, the young soldier wanted to help. Since he had no coins on his person, he took off his military cloak, cut it in two with his sword, gave the beggar one part, and donned the other part himself. Some bystanders laughed at this soldier dressed in a ragged half-cape. But that night in a dream, Private Martin saw Jesus himself dressed in the beggar's half. Jesus said, "Martin, yet a catechumen, covered me with this garment."
     Eventually the military man decided that as a soldier of Christ he could no longer serve in the ranks. Emperor Julian ("the Apostate") thereupon jailed him for "cowardice", but shortly afterward gave him a discharge. Then he returned home and converted his mother and others to Christianity (but not his father).
     For a while he campaigned against the local Arian heretics.  (They denied the divinity of Christ.) Then, fascinated by the monastic life that was becoming popular among devout Christians, he took up the life of a hermit on an island near Genoa. After a while he contacted St. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers in western France, and received from him an invitation to move his hermitage to the present Ligugé near Poitiers. When a number of other men came to Ligugé and asked to join him, Martin the hermit established what seems to have been the pioneer monastery in France. This was around 360. During the next decade he not only helped form his disciples in the religious life but preached throughout the countryside of Gaul, which was still largely pagan.
     Gifted with the power of miracles, he was a very successful missionary.
     In 371, the people of Tours insisted that Martin be their bishop. He refused. But after they had tricked him into being consecrated, he finally accepted the task. Unwilling to abandon his monastic life, he set up a new monastery at Marmoutier, near Tours. In a short time the community grew to 80 monks. In this district, too, Bishop Martin became an effective missionary; indeed, he moved out from Touraine into northern Gaul (including Paris) and into the southeast of France.
     The longer Martin lived, the more his influence increased, in matters of state as well as church. Thus he intervened successfully with a tyrannical army officer to prevent him from torturing and executing a number of prisoners. He was less successful, however, in his effort to prevent the government from executing some Priscillianists. Not that he approved the errors of these Christian heretics. He simply believed that the Church, not the civil government, should handle the case, and that death was not an appropriate penalty.
Martin was still engaged in his tireless labors when it was revealed to him that his death was approaching. He told his disciples of this coming event, but they begged him not to "desert" them. Torn between their will and God's will, he prayed in anguish, "Lord, if your people still need me, I will keep working." But whatever delay he was granted was not long. He died in the harness on November 8, 397. Burial was at Tours on November 11, which became his feastday.
     St. Martin's tomb quickly became one of the most beloved shrines in Europe, and Martin one of the most popular saints, not only in France, where his name is interwoven with many folk traditions (e.g. the name "St. Martin's Summer" for "Indian Summer"), but especially in England. There the oldest existing church in the country, near Canterbury, is dedicated to him. And to this day, the feast of St. Martin of Tours, "this glory of France and light of the western Church", is listed in the calendar of the Anglican Church.  --Father Robert F. McNamara

Martin of Tours B (RM) Born in Sabaria in Upper Pannonia (Hungary), c. 316; died November 8, 397.
Most mortals only have to deal with a collective devil (or so they think)--the devil of communities and families, the occult force which appeals to the lowest parts of our nature, the dark god of the city at night. To have a personal devil seems to be a "privilege" reserved for saints. The greatness of a saint is measured by the greatness of the temptation he has to overcome because the life of the saint stands out in contrast with the work of the devil.

Martin was the son of a pagan army officer who moved with his family to his father's new post in Pavia, Italy. Martin had placed himself in the catechumenate at the age of 10 against his parents' will. He took lessons at the local church and, by the time he was 12, his love of God was so ardent that he wanted to retire to become a hermit. At 15, as the son of an army veteran, he was compelled to join the army against his will. Although Martin had not formally become a Christian, he had lived more the life of a monk than a soldier for several years.

While stationed at Amiens in France in 337, a semi-naked beggar approached him in bitterly cold weather. Martin's name became immortal at that moment, for he sliced his military cloak in two and gave half of it to the starving man. That night in a dream he saw Jesus wrapped in the half of the cloak that he had given away. Jesus said to him, "Martin, yet a catechumen, has covered me with this garment." Following this dream, he "flew to be baptized," according to his biographer.
When he was about 20, barbarians invaded Gaul. He was presented to Julian Caesar with his companions to receive a donative, but Martin refused it saying, "I have served you as a soldier; let me now serve Christ. Give the bounty to these others who are going to fight, but I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight."
Irritated by this stance, Julian accused him of cowardice. Martin replied that he was willing to go into battle unarmed and stand between the opposing parties in the name of Christ. He was thrown into prison, but that night the barbarians demanded and obtained an armistice. Martin sought and received his discharge c. 339.

Thereafter he lived for some time in Italy and Dalmatia before he went to Poitiers, and Bishop Saint Hilary took him as a disciple. Martin sought him out knowing that in serving this holy man he would be serving God. Hilary recognized Martin's extraordinary merit and would have ordained Martin a deacon, but he could not overcome Martin's humility.
To keep Martin in his diocese, Hilary assigned him the duties of exorcism--so it was in that official capacity that Martin first made the acquaintance of the devil. It was still only the general devil, for he did not yet have his own private one. Martin, however, learned how to ward off evil spells and parry thrusts from the devil's horns, a lesson that would always be useful.

Martin had a dream that called him home, and he returned to Pannonia, converting his mother and others, including a group of bandits who would have killed him, during the visit. Shortly thereafter the devil appeared to him in human form and told him that no matter where he went or what he did, the devil would oppose him.

In Illyricum his vocal opposition to the Arians led to his being publicly scourged and exiled by Auxentius, the Arian bishop. Returning to Italy, Martin found that Hilary had been exiled. He retreated to a place near the walls of Milan, where he entered the monastic life. Auxentius, when he seized the see of Milan, caught up with Martin and drove him from the diocese. Martin then joined company with a virtuous priest. The duo retired to the deserted island of Gallinaria in the gulf of Genoa where he lived as a recluse until 360, when the banished Saint Hilary was allowed to return to Poitiers.

It was true for Martin as for most saints that the more Martin grew in holiness, the more his private devil became differentiated from the collective devil. More and more the devil clung on to his soul, forcing him to be ceaselessly on his guard. It was like the scientific principle of communicating vessels: as Martin rose like mercury towards saintliness, the devil hastened to fill the empty space behind him.

One day while he was still living in seclusion on the island, Martin ate a poisonous plant that almost killed him. The chronicles call this plant 'hellebore' which is doubtless a mistake, since hellebore is no more fatal than it is a cure for madness, and, according to herbalists, contains nothing worse than a drastic purgative.

Perhaps the plant wasn't there by chance? There is a variety of hellebore called 'Christmas rose' that is a mandrake. A saint could easily confuse the two. Nevertheless, when Martin felt the poison at work, he began to pray--which proves that he realized that there was nothing natural about his sickness--and God cured him.

Martin's devil was capable of transforming himself into many different shapes. He was particularly fond of taking the form of the gods and goddesses of mythology, appearing sometimes as Jupiter, sometimes as Mercury. But though Martin was always alarmed by Mercury, he dismissed Jupiter as 'a stupid animal' and 'a fool.'

The devil also liked to disguise himself in the form of women. One day he appeared as Venus, the next as Minerva, always exuding a strong smell of sulphur and always being put to flight by the sign of the cross. As you can see, he wasn't a bad devil, in spite of some corny tricks. He was probably more stupid than wicked. He was a nonentity.

After learning that Hilary was returning to Poitiers, Martin travelled to Rome to meet him en route and accompany him back to his see. As Martin wished to live as a solitary, Hilary gave him some land, now called Ligugé, where he was joined by other hermits--and thus the first monastic community in Gaul was founded. It was a famous monastery until 1607, and was revived in 1852 by the Solesmes Benedictines. He lived there for 10 years, preaching and reputedly performing miracles in the area, including raising a catechumen and a hanged slave back to life.

Soon matters with the devil began to get worse. One day while the saint was at prayer in his cell the devil came in without knocking, holding in his hand a horn covered with blood. "I've just killed one of your people," he told the saint, and in fact the monastery's carrier had just been gored by a bull. Thereupon Martin resolved to fight the surrounding devils by destroying all the pagan temples in the district. He was soon seeing devils everywhere, and this enabled him to keep out of the way of his own devil. Around 371, Tours chose him as its third bishop. He was unwilling to take the office; the people tricked him into visiting a sick person in the city and then took him to the church. His poor appearance did not impress the bishops who had come to assist at the election, but the people overruled their objections and Martin was consecrated on July 3, 371.

He lived in a cell by the church but soon retreated from the city and its distractions to a place that would become an abbey at Marmoûtier, which became another great monastic center. It was a desert, with a steep cliff on one side and a river on the other. Before long, eighty monks had joined him. The hermit monks engaged in no art or business. The older ones were engaged solely in prayer, while the younger ones were deputed to write. Many bishops were chosen out of this monastery because every city wanted a pastor who had been bred under the discipline of Saint Martin.

Here Martin lived privately as a monk, while publicly he devoted himself with burning zeal to the discharge of his episcopal duties. Every year he visited each of his parishes in rural regions, travelling by foot, by donkey, or by boat. He was an innovator in that he worked to convert rural regions, to which he introduced a crude parochial system. Previously, Christians had been confined primarily to urban areas.

His biographer and friend, Sulpicius Severus--reported that he extended his apostolate from Touraine to Chartres, Paris, Autun, Sens, and Vienne. Although he is said to have ruthlessly destroyed pagan temples, his reputed miracles did much to aid his progress: he is said to have cured Saint Paulinus of Nola of an eye disease (this is disputed; Paulinus attributed it to the prayers of Saint Felix of Nola), healed lepers, and raised a dead man to life. Martin is reputed to have experienced visions and revelations and was gifted with the ability to prophesy. As an exorcist, Martin did not threatened demons, rather he would prostrate himself on the ground and subdue them by prayer.

He was one of the greatest pioneers of Western monasticism before Benedict--who had a particular veneration for him. During this time, Priscillian, the leader of a Gnostic-Manichean sect, was attacked by Ithacius, the bishop of Ossanova, who accused him of sorcery and urged the emperor to put him to death.

Martin, together with Pope Saint Siricius and Saint Ambrose, stood against the capital punishment of Priscillian and other heterodox Spaniards by the civil authorities including Ithacius and Emperor Maximus. He believed that the state should not intervene in an ecclesiastical matter. Martin pleaded with Maximus not to execute the heretics but to simply allow them to be excommunicated.

Ithacius then accused Martin of heresy. Maximus told Martin that he would execute no one, but after Martin left him in Trier, Maximus was prevailed upon to remand the case of the sect to the Prefect Evodius. The sect was found guilty and the members were beheaded, marking this as the first judicial death sentence for heresy. Both Maximus and Itacius were censured by Pope Siricius for their roles in the affair.

Martin returned to Trier, Germany, to arbitrate for the Spanish Priscillianists--in danger of persecution--and for two followers of the late emperor Gratian. Maximus agreed to spare their lives provided Martin reconcile himself to Ithacius. His delicate position led Martin to maintain an alliance with Ithacius, which troubled him greatly afterward.

Martin encountered a good deal of opposition in his later years, one of his chief critics being the firebrand Saint Brice, who succeeded him as bishop. But his awe-inspiring spiritual power was too much for the 'unspeakably bloody ferocity' of Count Avitian, who refrained from intended barbarities in Tours.

He became ill at rural Candes in Touraine. As he lay dying as a Christian, stretched out on his bed of ashes, ready to draw his last painful breath, while the bells were already tolling to mark his passing, he asked his disciples, "Leave me, my brothers, so that I may fix my eyes on heaven rather than on earth and set my soul on the path which leads to the Lord."

But the devil was waiting at the bedside of his old enemy. He knew only too well the subtle workings of the death agony. He knew just where to put his hand at that last moment when the soul, white-hot with the heat and effort to tear itself away from the body, has become as soft and malleable as molten glass; and the devil was waiting to seize the soul at that moment and carry it off to the fires of hell. He was much too busy to talk, and besides he had long ago used up his stock of wiles. And so, heavy, black, and watchful, he worked in silence on the body of the dying man.

Then Saint Martin, rousing himself from his death throes, confronted the monster with these words: "What are you doing here, savage beast? You'll find nothing in me that belongs to you, accursed one, for I shall soon be in the bosom of Abraham!"

And having exorcised the demon from his body, Martin turned his face to the wall and gave up his soul to God. Such, since the beginnings of the world, have been the relations between the saint and the devil.

Martin is buried at Tours. His successor Brice built a chapel over his grave, and it was later replaced with a basilica. He was one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages, and his shrine was a great site of pilgrimage where many miracles are wrought.
As an evangelizer of rural Gaul and the father of monasticism in France, Saint Martin of Tours was a figure of great importance. His fame spread from Ireland to Africa and east. In England, Saint Martin's Summer is a spell of fine weather that sometimes occurs around the time of the feast. Many churches in England were dedicated in his honor, including Saint Martin's at Canterbury and Saint Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

Although the saint longed to be a hermit, the church forced him to lead the life of a loving, energetic Bishop of Tours (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth, Monceaux, Severus, Walsh, Watkin, White).
Saint Martin is most generally portrayed as a young soldier on horseback dividing his cloak with a beggar, but sometimes he is shown as a bishop with a beggar at his feet or near him, or in armor, with episcopal symbols. His emblems are a globe of fire over his head as he says Mass, or a goose, whose migration often coincides with his feast (Roeder).

Other portrayals of Saint Martin by Simone Martini include:
St. Martin Dividing His Cloak   St. Martin Knighted  St. Martin Renouncing the Sword    The Dream of St. Martin    The Death of St. Martin

Saint Martin is venerated at Tours. He serves as patron of armorers, beggars, cavalry, coopers, domestic animals, France, geese, girdlers, glovers, horses and horsemen, infantrymen, millers, innkeepers, soldiers, tailors, wine growers and wine merchants (because his feast falls just after the vendange), and wool-weavers (because he divided his cloak) (Roeder). He is invoked against drunkenness, storms, and ulcers (Roeder).
397 ST MARTIN, Bishop OF TOURS
THE great St Martin, the glory of Gaul and a light to the Western church in the fourth century, was a native of Sabaria, a town of Pannonia. From thence his parents, who were pagans, had to remove to Pavia in Italy, for his father was an officer in the army, who had risen from the ranks. Martin himself has, rather curiously, come to be looked on as a “soldier saint”. At the age of fifteen he was, as the son of a veteran, forced into the army against his will and for some years, though not yet formally a Christian, he lived more like a monk than a soldier. It was while stationed at Amiens that is said to have occurred the incident which tradition and image have made famous. One day in a very hard winter, during a severe frost, he met at the gate of the city a poor man, almost naked, trembling and shaking with cold, and begging alms of those that passed by. Martin, seeing those that went before take no notice of this miserable creature, thought he was reserved for himself, but he had nothing with him but his arms and clothes. So, drawing his sword, he cut his cloak into two pieces, gave one to the beggar and wrapped himself in the other half. Some of the bystanders laughed at the figure he cut, but others were ashamed not to have relieved the poor man. That night Martin in his sleep saw Jesus Christ, dressed in that half of the garment which he had given away, and heard Jesus say, “Martin, yet a catechumen, has covered me with this garment”.* {* Our familiar word “ chapel “ is said to be derived from this incident. The oratory in which the alleged cloak of St Martin was preserved was called in Latin the cappella (diminutive of cappa, a cloak), in Old Preach chapele.}

 His disciple and biographer Sulpicius Severus states that he had become a catechumen on his own initiative at the age of ten; and that as a consequence of this vision he “flew to be baptized.”

Martin did not at once leave the army, and when he was about twenty there was a barbarian invasion of Gaul. With his comrades he appeared before Julian Caesar to receive a war-bounty, and Martin refused to accept it. “Hitherto he said to Julian,” I have served you as a soldier; let me now serve Christ. Give the bounty to these others who are going to fight, but I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight.” Julian stormed and accused Martin of cowardice, who retorted that he was prepared to stand in the battle-line unarmed the next day and to advance alone against the enemy in the name of Christ. He was thrust into prison, but the conclusion of an armistice stopped further developments and Martin was soon after discharged. He went to Poitiers, where St Hilary was bishop, and this doctor of the Church gladly received the young “conscientious objector” among his disciples. t{t The narrative of Sulpicius Severus here presents considerable chronological difficulties.}

Martin had in a dream a call to visit his home and, crossing the Alps where he had a remarkable escape from robbers, he went into Pannonia, and converted his mother and others but his father remained in his infidelity. In Illyricum he opposed the triumphant Arians with so much zeal that he was publicly scourged and had to leave the country. In Italy he heard that those heretics also oppressed the church of Gaul and St Hilary banished, so he remained quietly at Milan. But Auxentius, the Arian bishop, soon drove him away. He then retired with a priest to the island of Gallinaria in the gulf of Genoa, and remained there till St Hilary was allowed to return to Poitiers in 360. It being Martin’s earnest desire to pursue his vocation in solitude, St Hilary gave him a piece of land, now called Ligugd, where he was soon joined by a number of other hermits. This community-traditionally the first monastic community founded in Gaul-grew into a great monastery which continued till the year 1607, and was revived by the Solesmes Benedictines in 1852.
   St Martin lived here ten years, directing his disciples and preaching throughout the countryside, where many miracles were attributed to him.  About 371 the people of Tours demanded Martin for their bishop.   He was unwilling to accept the office, so a stratagem was made use of to call him to the city to visit a sick person, where he was conveyed to the church. Some of the neighbouring bishops, called to assist at the election, urged that the meanness of his appearance and his unkempt air showed him to be unfit for such a dignity.   But such objections were overcome by the acclamations of the local clergy and people.
  St Martin continued the same manner of life. He lived at first in a cell near the church, but not being able to endure the interruptions of the many visitors he retired from the city to where was soon the famous abbey of Marmoutier. The place was then a desert, enclosed by a steep cliff on one side and by a tributary of the river Loire on the other; but he had here in a short time eighty monks, with many persons of rank amongst them.
 A very great decrease of paganism in the district of Tours and all that part of Gaul was the fruit of the piety, miracles and zealous instruction of St Martin.  He destroyed many temples of idols and felled trees and other objects that were held sacred by pagans.  Having demolished a certain temple, he would also have cut down a pine that stood near it.  The chief priest and others agreed that they themselves would fell it, upon condition that he who trusted so strongly in the God whom he preached would stand under it where they should place him.  Martin consented, and let himself be tied on that side of the tree to which it leaned.  When it seemed about to fall on him he made a sign of the cross and it fell to one side.   Another time, as he was pulling down a temple in the territory of Autun, a man attacked him sword in hand.  The saint bared his breast to him; but the pagan lost his balance, fell backwards, and was so terrified that he begged for forgiveness. These and many other marvels are narrated by Sulpicius Severus.  Some are so extraordinary that, he tells us himself, there were not wanting
wretched, degenerate and slothful men in his own day who denied their truth.  He also recounts several instances of revelations, visions and the spirit of prophecy with which the saint was favoured by God.
  Every year St Martin visited each of his outlying
parishes, travelling on foot, on a donkey, or by boat. According to his biographer he extended his apostolate from Touraine to Chartres, Paris, Autun, Sens and Vienne, where he cured St Paulinus of Nola of an eye trouble.  When a tyrannical imperial officer, Avitian, had come to Tours with a batch of prisoners and was going to put them to death with torture on the following day, St Martin hurried from Marmoutier to intercede for them. He did not arrive till nearly midnight, but went straight to Avitian and would not go away until mercy was extended to the captives.
  Whilst St Martin was employed in making spiritual conquests, and in peaceably spreading the kingdom of Jesus Christ, the churches in Spain and Gaul were disturbed by the Priscillianists, a gnostic-manichean sect named after their leader. Priscillian appealed to the Emperor Maximus from a synod held at Bordeaux in 384, but Ithacius, Bishop of Ossanova, attacked him furiously and urged the emperor to put him to death.
  Neither St Ambrose at Milan nor St Martin would countenance Ithacius or those who supported him, because they sought to put heretics to death and allowed the emperor's jurisdiction in an ecclesiastical matter. Martin besought Maximus not to spill the blood of the guilty, saying it was sufficient that they be declared heretics and excommunicated by the bishops. Ithacius, far from listening to his advice, presumed to accuse him of the heresy involved, as he generally did those whose lives were too ascetic for his taste, says Sulpicius Severus. Maximus, out of regard to St Martin's remonstrances, promised that the blood of the accused should not be spilt. After the saint left Trier, the emperor was prevailed upon, and committed the case of the Priscillianists to the prefect Evodius.  He found Priscillian and others guilty of certain charges, and they were beheaded.
  St Martin came back to Trier to intercede both for the Spanish Priscillianists, who were threatened with a bloody persecution, and for two adherents of the late emperor, Gratian  he found himself in a very difficult position, in which he seemed to be justified in maintaining communion with the party of Ithacius, which he did: but he was afterwards greatly troubled in conscience as to whether he had been too complaisant in this matter.*{* For their parts in the afair of Priscillian both the emperor and Ithacius were censured by Pope St Siricius.  It was the first judicial death-sentence for heresy, and it was followed by a spread of Priscillianism in Spain. Sulpicius Severus says that two of Priscillian's followers were exiled  to the Scilly island that lies beyond Britain.}
  St Martin had a knowledge of his approaching death, which he foretold to his disciples, and with tears they besought him not to leave them. 
Lord, he prayed, if thy people still need me I will not draw back from the work. Thy will be done.  He was at a remote part of his diocese when his last sickness came on him.  He died on November 8, 397, today being the day of his burial at Tours, where his successor St Britius built a chapel over his grave, which was later replaced by a magnificent basilica. Its successor was swept away at the Revolution, but a modern church now stands over the site of the shrine, which was rifled by the Huguenots in 1562.  Till that date the pilgrimage to Tours was one of the most popular in Europe, and a very large number of French churches are dedicated in St Martin's honour.  And not only in France. The oldest existing church in England bears his name, that one outside the eastern walls of Canterbury which St Bede says was first built during the Roman occupation. If this be so, it doubtless at first had another dedication, but was called St Martin's by the time St Augustine and his monks came to use it. By the end of the eighth century there were at least five other Martin dedications in Great Britain, including of course St Ninian's church at Whithorn.   St Martin was named in the canon of the Mass in the Bobbio Missal.

  In the BHL., no less than fifty-six medieval Latin texts are Indicated as in some sense sources for the life of St Martin, and the literature arising out of these is of course immense.  But the fundamental narrative comes to us from Sulpicius Severus, who had visited the saint at Tours and whose successive contributions to the subject are immensely more important than any later materials.  At the time of St Martin's death Sulpicius had already compiled his biography. A little later he revised it, supplementing the text with three long letters he had written in the interval, the last of these describing the saint's death and funeral.  Sulpicius meanwhile had been busy in writing a general chronicle, and in this Book II, ch. 50 is devoted to St Martin's share in the Priscillianiat controversy.  Finally in 404 Sulpicius threw into dialogue form some further materials, comparing Martin with earlier ascetics, and gathering up a number of new anecdotes.  The text edited by C. Hahn in the Vienna Corpus (vol. i, pp. 107-216) has not yet been superseded. Cf. however, the Sulpicius section of the Book of Armagh, edited by Professor John Gwynn (1913). 
More than a century and a half elapsed before St Gregory at Tours itself made another notable contribution to the history of his venerated predecessor.   Unfortunately the chronology of Sulpicius and Gregory is often at variance, and these inconsistencies formed the basis of an essay in destructive criticism by E. Babut (St Martin de Tours, 1912) which created a considerable sensation when it appeared. A detailed reply by Fr Delehaye in the Analecta Bolandiana  (vol. xxxviii, 1920, pp. 1-136) may count as perhaps the most up-to-date contribution to the subject, and another high authority, C. Jullian, in the Revue des Etudes anciennes (vols. xxiv and xxv) and in his Histoire de la Gaule (vol. viii) has written in general agreement with Delehaye.  Biographies and studies of the different aspects of St Martin's history are numerous.  See especially the books of A. Lecoy de Ia Marche, C. H. van Rhijn, P. Ladoue and, most useful of all, the little volume of Paul Monceaux (Eng. trans., 1928).
On St Martin in art consult Kunstle, Ikonographie, vol. ii, pp. 438-444; and the volume by H. Martin, in the series L'art et Its saints.  St Martin has also played a great part in the traditions of the people; many popular phrases in French recall his name.     Much of this folk-lore has been gathered up by Lecoy de Ia Marche, and for Germany see Bächtold-Staubli, Handworterbuch des deutsehen Aberglaubens, vol. v, cc, 1708-1725.  For Martin's influence in Ireland, see J. Ryan, Irish Monasticism (`931) ; and Fr Grosjean in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lv (1942), pp. 300-348 ; for the early English dedications, W. Levison, England and the Continent...(1946), p. 259.  The great veneration for St Martin in medieval England is witnessed by the fact that the calendar of the Book of Common Prayer not only retains his dies natalis but also the fesat of the translation of his relics on July 4.  The life by Sulpicius Severus is translated in the Fathers of the Church series, vol. vii (1949), and again in F. K. Hoare, The Western Fathers (1954), together with his three letters on St Martin and the dialogues with Postumianus and Gallus.

St. Martin of Tours  November 11, 2010 (316?-397)
    A conscientious objector who wanted to be a monk; a monk who was maneuvered into being a bishop; a bishop who fought paganism as well as pleaded for mercy to heretics—such was Martin of Tours, one of the most popular of saints and one of the first not to be a martyr.

He was born of pagan parents in what is now Hungary and was raised in Italy. The son of a veteran, he was forced to serve in the army against his will at the age of 15. He became a Christian catechumen and was baptized at 18. It was said that he lived more like a monk than a soldier. At 23 he refused a war bounty from the emperor with the words, "I have served you as a soldier; now let me serve Christ. Give the bounty to those who are going to fight. But I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight." After great difficulties, he was discharged and went to be a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers.

He was ordained an exorcist and worked with great zeal against the Arians. He became a monk, living first at Milan and later on a small island. When Hilary was restored to his see after exile, Martin returned to France and established what may have been the first French monastery near Poitiers. He lived there for 10 years, forming his disciples and preaching throughout the countryside.

The people of Tours demanded that he become their bishop. He was drawn to that city by a ruse—the need of a sick person—and was brought to the church, where he reluctantly allowed himself to be consecrated bishop. Some of the consecrating bishops thought his rumpled appearance and unkempt hair indicated that he was not dignified enough for the office.

Along with St. Ambrose, Martin rejected Bishop Ithacius's principle of putting heretics to death—as well as the intrusion of the emperor into such matters. He prevailed upon the emperor to spare the life of the heretic Priscillian. For his efforts, Martin was accused of the same heresy, and Priscillian was executed after all. Martin then pleaded for a cessation of the persecution of Priscillian's followers in Spain. He still felt he could cooperate with Ithacius in other areas, but afterwards his conscience troubled him about this decision.

As death approached, his followers begged him not to leave them. He prayed, "Lord, if your people still need me, I do not refuse the work. Your will be done."
Comment: Martin's worry about cooperation reminds us that almost nothing is either all black or all white. The saints are not creatures of another world: They face the same perplexing decisions that we do. Any decision of conscience always involves some risk. If we choose to go north, we may never know what would have happened had we gone east, west or south. A hypercautious withdrawal from all perplexing situations is not the virtue of prudence; it is, in fact, a bad decision, for "not to decide is to decide."
5th v. St. Cynfran Welsh  founder confessor.
He was the son of a local Welsh king. Cynfran founded a church in Gwynedd, and a local well was named for him.
Cynfran of Wales (AC) 5th century. A Welsh saint, one of the sons of the chieftain Saint Brychan of Brecknock and founder of a church in Carnavonshire, where there is a Saint Cynfran's well (Benedictines).

698 St. Bertuin Benedictine bishop missionary abbot
Bertuin was an Anglo-Saxon monk who spent two years in Rome. He was consecrated there and went to Malonne. in the area of Namur, Belgium. He became the abbot of the monastery he founded there.
Bertuin of Malonne, OSB B (AC) (also known as Bertuin of Maloigne or of Namur). Saint Bertuin was an Anglo-Saxon monk of the small abbey of Othelle. He was consecrated a missionary bishop, left for Rome, where he spent two years, and finally became the abbot- founder of the abbey of Malonne, in the territory of Namur, henceforth the center of his missionaries activity (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Montague).
 
St. Rhediw Welsh church dedicated to him in Gwynedd.
He is known principally because of the church dedicated to him in Gwynedd, Wales.

Saint Rhedius of Wales church in his honor at Llanllyfni in Carnarvonshire (AC)
(also known as Rhediw) Date unknown. A Welsh saint whose name is perpetuated by the dedication of a church in his honor at Llanllyfni in Carnarvonshire (Benedictines).

826 Saint Theodore the Studite  ideals and regulations have had a far-reaching influence in Byzantine monasticism Abbot (RM)
Constantinópoli sancti Theodóri, Abbátis Studítæ, qui, pro fide cathólica advérsus Iconoclástas strénue pugnans, factus est apud univérsam Ecclésiam cathólicam célebris.
    At Constantinople, St. Theodore, abbot of Studium, who fought valiantly for the Catholic faith against the Iconoclasts, and became famed throughout the universal Church.
Born at Constantinople in 759; died at Akrita, 826.

826 ST THEODORE THE STUDITE, ABBOT
ST PLATO, abbot of Symboleon upon Mount Olympus in Bithynia, had a brother-in-law who with his three sons went to their estate at Sakkoudion, also near Olympus, and there began to lead a monastic life.   Among these novices no one was more fervent than Theodore, the eldest son, then in his twenty-second year.  St Plato was prevailed upon to resign his abbacy and to undertake the government of this new monastery, and in due course he sent Theodore to Constantinople to be ordained priest.   He made so great progress in virtue and learning that in 794 his uncle abdicated the government of the house and, by the consent of the community, confided it to Theodore.
  The young emperor Constantine VI having put away his wife and taken Theodota, a relation of SS. Plato and Theodore, they protested against his conduct.  Constantine desired to gain Theodore to his side and used his utmost endeavours, by promises and by the consideration of their kindred.  When these failed, the emperor went to take the waters at Brusa, near Sakkoudion, expecting St Theodore to pay him a ceremonial visit  but neither the abbot nor any of his monks were there to receive him.  The prince returned to his palace in a rage, and sent officers with an order to deport Theodore and those monks who were his most resolute adherents.  They were banished to Thessalonika, and a strict order was published forbidding anyone to receive or entertain them, so that even the monks of that country durst not help them.
   The aged Plato was confined in a solitary cell in Constantinople. St Theodore wrote to him from Thessalonika an account of the journey and hardships of himself and his companions, a letter full of courage and of admiration for his old master.   But the exile lasted only a few months, being brought to an end by a characteristic example of the brutal ambitions of the time and place. In 797 the emperor's mother, Irene, dethroned her son, and ordered his eyes to be put out.   She reigned five years and recalled the exiles. St Theodore returned to Sakkoudion, and reassembled his scattered flock; but finding this monastery exposed to the raids of the Arabs they in 799 took shelter within the walls of the city.  Theodore was given charge of the famous monastery of Studius, so called from its founder, the consul Studius who, coming from Rome to Constantinople, had built it in the year 463. Constantine Copronymus had expelled the monks and Theodore found the place a desert, with a bare dozen inmates; under his rule the community and its dependants came to number a thousand. As a legislator St Theodore takes the first place in the development of monasticism deriving from St Basil.  St Athanasius the Lauriote brought his regulations to Mount Athos, and they spread to Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia, where and elsewhere they still form the basis of cenobitical monastic life.{*There was a revival of Studite monasticism among Catholic Byzantines in our own day.  In 1901 Andrew Szepticky, Archbishop of Lvov founded a monastery in then Austrian Galicia which prospered and gave off affiliations but the monks were suppressed by the Soviet government after 1945.  A group of refugee monks have made a fresh start in Canada*}
  He especially fostered learned studies and the practice of the fine arts, and the school of calligraphy that he established was long famous.  St Theodore's own written works were chiefly instructions and sermons, liturgical hymns, and treatises on monastic asceticism, in which, compared with many orientals, he was notably moderate. He told a hermit,  Don't cultivate a self-satisfied austerity.  Eat bread, drink wine occasionally, wear shoes, especially in winter, and take meat when you need it." For eight years St Theodore governed his monastery in peace amid the turmoil of imperial politics, and then the affair of Constantine's adultery was brought up again.
  To fill the vacant patriarchal throne of Constantinople the Emperor Nicephorus I chose his namesake, afterwards St Nicephorus, who was a layman at the time.  For this reason St Theodore, St Plato, and other monks opposed the appointment, and were imprisoned for twenty-four days in consequence. Then, at the request of the emperor, Nicephorus and a small synod of bishops reinstated the priest Joseph, who had been degraded for blessing the marriage between Constantine VI and Theodota. St Theodore and others refused to hold communion with Joseph or to accept the decision of a second synod that the marriage had been valid, and he, his brother Joseph, Archbishop of Thessalonika, and St Plato were relegated to Princes' Island and shut up in separate prisons.  Theodore wrote explaining matters to the pope and St Leo III replied, commending his prudence and constancy, but the other side had spread rumours in Rome that Theodore was heretical and was annoyed at not having been made patriarch, and Leo made no formal judgement. The Studite monks were dispersed among other monasteries and grievously ill-treated, and the imprisonment of the leaders lasted nearly two years, until the death of the Emperor Nicephorus in 811.
  A reconciliation was broughtabout between Theodore and Patriarch Nicephorus, which was cemented by their unity on the vexed question of the veneration of images.   Particulars of the outbreak of the second Iconoclast persecution, under Leo V the Armenian, have been given in the account of St Nicephorus (March 13).  St Theodore openly denied any right of the emperor to interfere in ecclesiastical affairs, and on the Palm Sunday after the banishment of St Nicephorus he ordered all his monks to take images in their hands and to carry them solemnly in public procession, singing a hymn which begins,
We reverence thy holy image, 0 blessed one.  From this moment St Theodore was recognized as the leader of the orthodox, and he continued to encourage all to honour holy images, for which the emperor banished him into Mysia, where he continued to animate the faithful by letters, of which a number are extant.  His correspondence being discovered, the emperor ordered him to Bonita, at a greater distance in Anatolia, with instruction to his gaoler to have the confessor scourged.  This man, Nicetas, seeing the cheerfulness with which St Theodore put off his tunic and offered his naked body, wasted with fasting, to the blows, was moved with compassion. He therefore contrived to send all others out of the dungeon; then, throwing a sheep-skin over Theodore's bed, he discharged upon it a number of blows, which were heard by those without; then, pricking his arm to stain the whip with blood, he showed it when he came out and seemed out of breath with the pains he had taken.
  St Theodore was still able to write letters, and among them those which he sent to all the patriarchs and to Pope St Paschal I. To him he writes,
Give ear, apostolic bishop, shepherd appointed by God over the flock of Jesus Christ.  You have received the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; you are the rock on which the Church is built; you are Peter, since you fill his see. Come to our assistance. The pope having sent legates to Constantinople (who, however, achieved nothing), St Theodore wrote a letter of thanks, in which he said, You are from the beginning the pure source of the orthodox faith.  You are the secure harbour of the universal Church, her shelter against the storms of heretics, and the city of refuge chosen by God.
  For three more years St Theodore and his faithful attendant Nicholas were imprisoned at Bonita with extreme rigour; enduring great cold in winter and almost stifled in summer and tormented with hunger and thirst, for their guards threw them in at a window only a little bread every other day.  St Theodore says that he expected they would soon perish with hunger, adding, " God is yet but too merciful to us ", and they probably would have, had not a court official who passed that way been shocked by their condition and ordered them to be properly fed.
   The Emperor Leo, having intercepted another letter in which the saint encouraged the faithful to defy
the infamous sect of image-burners, gave order to the prefect of the East to punish its author. This officer was not won over as Nicetas had been, and caused Nicholas, the monk who had written the letter, to be cruelly scourged and then a hundred stripes to be given to Theodore, who was left lying on the ground exposed to the cold of February.  He was a long time unable to take any rest or food, and was only saved by the care of Nicholas who, forgetting his own sufferings, fed him drop by drop with a little broth, and after he had thus strengthened him, endeavoured to dress his wounds, from which he had to cut away the mortified flesh.  Theodore was for three months in excessive pain, and before he was recovered an officer arrived to conduct him and Nicholas to Smyrna. They had to walk in the day-time and at night were put in irons. At Smyrna the archbishop, who was a bitter Iconoclast, kept Theodore confined closely, and said he would ask the emperor to send an officer to cut off his head, or at least to cut out his tongue.
  But the persecution ended in 820, with the murder of him who had raised it. Leo was succeeded by Michael the Stammerer, who at first affected great moderation the exiles were restored, and St Theodore the Studite came out after seven years of imprisonment.  He wrote a letter of thanks to Michael, exhorting him to be united with Rome, the first of the churches, and freely to permit the veneration of images. But the new emperor refused to allow any images in the imperial city, or restore the patriarch,
the abbot of the Studium or any other orthodox prelates to their offices unless they agreed. St Theodore, after making fruitless remonstrances, left Constantinople-in effect an exile-and visited the monasteries of Bithynia to encourage and strengthen his followers.
  
The winter is over, he said, but spring is not yet come. The sky is clearer and there is hope of a good passage. The fire is out-but there is still smoke. The influence of Theodore was so great that monks in general and Studites in particular were regarded as synonymous with orthodoxy; and some of his monks gathered round him in a monastery on the peninsula of Akrita.  He was here taken ill in the beginning of November 8th, yet walked to church on the fourth day and celebrated the Holy Sacrifice.  His sickness increasing, he dictated to a secretary his last instructions ; and died on the following Sunday, November 11.  His body was translated to the monastery of Studius eighteen years after his death.
    St Theodore the Studite is greatly venerated in the East and is named in the Roman Martyrology as
famous throughout the Church, as indeed he well deserves to be, as a monastic legislator, an upholder of the supreme authority of the see of Rome, and a spirited defender of and sufferer for the veneration of holy images.
  He opposed the Iconoclasts essentially on theological grounds. He did not regard sacred pictures as a necessary artistic adornment of a church; he definitely discouraged the pictorial representation of the Virtues and Vices and any other
unauthorized flights of the religious fancy.
   Nor did he deem their veneration a necessary devotional exercise; he seems to have used it but little himself, regarding it simply as an aid to devotion for the "weaker brethren".

   In his own instructions on prayer he sees the heart and mind in direct communion with God without reference to any exterior helps or intermediaries.  But he saw clearly that to deny the lawfulness of the display and veneration of holy images was to deny the validity of certain theological principles which are essential to the Christian faith.

  Many of his writings have come down to us, including numerous letters, treatises on monastic life and the veneration of images, sermons, and a number of hymns.
   Like the life of the saint they are marked with that rigorism and uncompromising detachment from the world, almost amounting to
puritanism, which was characteristic of many of his followers and in some of their successors was so exaggerated as gravely to disturb the peace of the Church.
In volume xcix of Migne's Greek Patrology are printed two biographies with some other documents referring to St Theodore as well as his own writings. His life was so completely identified with the controversies of the period that for a fuller understanding we must turn to the exponents of general ecclesiastical history. Pargoire, L'Eglise Byantine de 527 a 847 (1923), is very valuable; as is also Hefele-Leclercq, Histoire des Conciles (especially bk 18 in vol. iii, Pt a); Mgr Mann's Lives of the Popes, vol. ii, pp. 795-858; and Brehier, La Quereile des Images (1904).  Among works more directly relating to St Theodore may be mentioned J. Hausherr, St Theodore....après ses catéchèses (1926) in the series Orientalia Christiana, no. 22  Alice Gardner, Theodore of Studium (1905) ; H. Martin, St Theodore (1906);  Dobschütz, Methodius und die Studiten in the Byzantinische Zeitschrift, vol. xviii (1909), pp. 41-105 ; and G. A. Schneider, Der hl. Theodor von Studion (1900).  Several articles bearing on St Theodore have been published in the Analecta Boliandiana. In vol. xxxi (1952) Fr C. Van de Vorst published for the first time Theodore's eulogy of St Theophanes, and in vol. xxxii another Greek text describing the tranilation of Theodore's relics, as well as a paper on his relations with Rome, and in vol xxxiii a discussion of his smaller catechism. See also in DAC. the account of St Theodore's activities in the Iconoclasm controversy (vol. vii, 1926, cc. 272-284).  There is an excellent popular sketch by Prince Max of Saxony, Der hl. Theodor (1929); and of. N.H. Baynes and C. L. B. Moss, Byzantium (1948).
Saint Theodore was the son of an imperial treasury official. Theodore became a novice at a monastery established by his father on his estate at Saccudium (Sakkoudion) near Constantinople, where he was sent to study by his uncle Abbot Saint Plato of Symboleon.
He was ordained in 787 in Constantinople, returned to the monastery, and in 794 succeeded his uncle as abbot of the monastery of Sakkoudion in Bithynia. He and his monks were banished for a short time in 796 for his refusal to countenance Emperor Constantine VI's divorce and remarriage to Theodota but they returned when Constantine's mother, Irene, seized power, dethroned and then blinded her son.
Theodore reopened Sakkoudion but in 799 he transferred his community to Constantinople to escape the Saracen raids. There they occupied the monastery founded by the Roman consul Studius in 463 and he was again named abbot. The Studios Monastery was famous partly because of its age, but it had been neglected and rundown. Under Theodore's direction this house developed remarkably from 12 monks to a thousand.
Saint Theodore's ideals and regulations have had a far-reaching influence in Byzantine monasticism. He encouraged learning and the arts, founded a school of calligraphy, and wrote a rule for the monastery that was adopted in Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and even on Mount Athos. He restored liturgical prayer, community life, enclosure, poverty, and manual labor among his monks. These reforms and developments were brought about under great external difficulties.
When he opposed the emperor's appointment of a layman, Nicephorus, to succeed Tarasius, who had died in 806 as patriarch of Constantinople, Theodore was imprisoned by the emperor.
From 809 to 811 Theodore was in exile on Prince's Island with his uncle Plato and his brother Archbishop Joseph of Thessalonica on account of further troubles arising out of the late emperor's adultery. At that time the emperor dispersed the monks of Studios. Theodore returned to Constantinople on the emperor's death and was reconciled to Patriarch Nicephorus in a common fight against Emperor Leo V the Armenian, who revived iconoclasm as an imperial policy. When Nicephorus was banished, Theodore organized public resistance, and he was again exiled to Mysia in 813.

For seven years he was confined at various places with extreme rigor, even to being flogged by his jailers. But he continued by letter to encourage his followers to keep up the struggle, and he sent an appeal to Pope Paschal I (emphasizing the primacy of the bishop of Rome), who sent legates to Constantinople; but they achieved nothing except Theodore's removal to Bonita in Anatolia (now in Turkey). He endured great hardships for the three years he was imprisoned there and was then transferred to Smyrna and placed in the custody of an iconoclast bishop who wanted him beheaded and treated him with great harshness.

After the violent death of Leo V in 820, Theodore was released, but was again faced with a renewed iconoclasm under Emperor Michael the Stammerer, and was not allowed to return permanently to the Studite monastery. Theodore left Constantinople and visited monasteries in Bithynia, founded a monastery on Akrita for many of his monks who had followed him, and he died there in semi-exile on November 11. Saint Theodore stands out as a champion of the Church's religious independence of civil power, a defender of the legitimacy of sacred images, and a monastic reformer of genius. He has been called an incomparable agitator: he was certainly strong-willed and intransigent, even domineering; but there was a less rigid side to him, which can be seen in some of the more personal of his very numerous extant letters. There have also survived, as well as polemical writings, catechetical works, sermons, hymns, and epigrams. Saint Theodore was also a skilled calligrapher, an art which he fostered among his monks (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Gardner).
Russian icon shows Saint Theodore with Saint Theodosius the Great.
826 St. Theodore of Studites abbot monastic reformer champion rights of Church
Also Theodore of Studiurn and Theodore of Studios, and ardent enemy of iconoclastic policies in the Byzantine Empire. The nephew of St. Pluto, abbot of Saccudium (a monastery in Bithynia, Asia Minor, nenr Mt. Olympus in modern Turkey), he studied under his uncle and entered the community about 780. In 794, he followed St. Pluto as abbot when his uncle abdicated in his favor. Theodore soon distinguished himself for his opposition to the adulterous marriage of Emperor Constantine VI (r. 780-797) and was banished until 797 when the emperor was deposed by his mother, Irene.
Two years later, Theodore moved the community from Saccudium to Studites in order to escape the growing influence of the Arabs. The monastery subsequently became one of the most prominent in the whole of the Eastern Church. In 809, Theodore was exiled once more, this time by Emperor Nicephorus I (r. 802-811), marking the start of suffering which continued unceasingly virtually until his death. Recalled in 811, he was forced soon after to speak out against the iconoclastic policies of Emperor Leo V (r. 813-820). In revenge, Leo had Theodore seized, cruelly abused, and exiled. Studites was populated by Iconoclast monks, and Theodore lived in banishment until 820 when Emperor Michael II (r. 820-829) brought him back to Constantinople. Theodore remained unbending and died without ever returning to Studites. He died just outside of Constantinople. Theodore was venerated for his personal holiness, his brilliant abilities as a preacher, and his willingness to champion the rights of the Church, even at the price of deep personal sacrifice. He was also the author of five hundred letters, hymns, sermons, polemics against Iconoclasm, and two cathechisms.
820 St. Theodore Constantinople nephew of Abbot St. Plato of Symboleon
Theodore was born at Constantinople and nephew of Abbot St. Plato of Symboleon on Mount Olympus in Bithynia. He became a novice at a monastery established by his father on his estate at Saccudium near Constantinople, where he was sent to study by Plato, who had become abbot of Saccudium. Theodore was ordained in 787 at Constantinople, returned to Saccudium, and in 794, succeeded Plato as abbot. He and Plato denounced the action of Emperor Constantine VI in leaving his wife and marrying Theodota, and in 796, Theodore and his monks were exiled to Thessalonica. He returned a few months later when Constantine's mother, Irene, seized power, dethroned, and then blinded her son. Theodore reopened Saccudium but moved to Constantinople to escape Saracen raids, was named abbot of the famous Studios monastery, founded in 463 but now neglected and rundown, built it from a dozen monks to a thousand, and made it the center of eastern monastic life. He encouraged learning in the arts, founded a school of calligraphy, and wrote a rule for the monastery that was adopted in Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and even on Mount Athos. When he opposed the appointment of a layman, Nicephorus, (namesake of Emperor Nicephorus I) to succeed Tarasius, who had died in 806 as patriarch of Constantinople by Emperor Nicephorus I, Theodore was imprisoned by the emperor. When in 809, Nicephorus the patriarch, and a synod of bishops reinstated the priest, Joseph, who had married Constantine and Theodota and declared their marriage valid, Theodore's denunciations of the decision caused him to be exiled to Princes' Island with Plato and Archbishop Joseph of Thessalonica, Theodore's brother, and the monks of Studios were dispersed. Theodore returned on the emperor's death in 811 and was reconciled to Patriarch Nicephorus in a common fight against the iconoclasm of Emperor Leo V the Armenian. When Nicephorus was banished, Theodore became the leader of the Orthodox and was himself banished in 813 to Mysia by Leo. When Theodore's correspondence (among it, letters to Pope St. Paschal I emphasizing the primacy of the Bishop of Rome) was discovered, he was removed to Bonita in Anatolia. He endured great hardships the three years he was in prison there and he was transferred to Smyrna and put in the custody of an iconoclast bishop who wanted him beheaded and treated him with great harshness.

Released on the murder of Leo in 820, he was again faced with a renewed iconoclasm under Emperor Michael the Stammerer, who refused to restore him as abbot or to restore any of the orthodox bishops to their Sees. Theodore left Constantinople and visited monasteries in Bithynia, founded a monastery on Akrita for many of his monks who had followed him, and died there on November 11. Many of his letters, treatises, sermons, and hymns are still existent. 
1065 St. Bartholomew of Rossano; Italian, Basilian abbot, hymn writer, Founder, advisor Pope Benedict IX, Greek
In monastério Cryptæ Ferrátæ, in agro Tusculáno, sancti Bartholomæi Abbátis, qui fuit sócius beáti Nili, ejúsque vitam conscrípsit.
    In the monastery of Grottaferrata, in the Tuscan plain, the holy abbot Bartholomew, a companion of blessed Nilus, whose life he wrote.

1050   ST BARTHOLOMEW OF GROTTAFERRATA, ABBOT
THE founder of the Greek abbey of Grottaferrata in the Tuscan plain, St Nilus, died in the year 1004, and was succeeded as abbot in quick succession by Paul, Cyril and Bartholomew. They were all personal disciples of Nilus, the last named being venerated as the lesser founder of the monastery for St Nilus and his first two successors were able only to clear the land and begin building, while St Bartholomew carried the work to its conclusion and firmly established his monks, who had been driven from southern Italy and Sicily by Saracen invasions. He made his monastery a centre for learned studies and the copying of manuscripts, himself being skilled in the art of calligraphy, and he composed a number of liturgical hymns.
  A canon in the liturgical office of St Bartholomew contains these words:
When, 0 father, thou didst see the Roman Pontiff rejected, thou didst persuade him by wise words to give up his throne and to end his days in the happy life of a monk. This refers to the Grottaferrata tradition-perhaps a true one-concerning the last years of Pope Benedict IX, whose grandfather, Count Gregory of Tusculum, had given the land on which the abbey is built.  When Benedict, after a stormy and scandalous reign of twelve years, having first resigned the papacy for a money payment and then tried to regain it, was finally driven from Rome in 1048, he came to Grottaferrata in a state of remorse.  Abbot Bartholomew was quite definite as to what was Benedict's duty: by his disorders he had made himself unfit to be a priest, much less a pope he must definitely resign all claim to that dignity and fulfil the rest of his life in penance (he was still only about thirty-six years old).
    The influence of the abbot gradually changed Benedict's remorse into true penitence;  he remained at Grottaferrata as a simple monk and died there.  This account of the saint's part in the career of Benedict IX is first found in the Life of St Bartholomew, perhaps written by his third successor, Abbot Luke I, and is supported by monuments at the abbey; but it appears that in 1055, the year of his death, Benedict was still calling himself pope.  The vigorous government of St Bartholomew was responsible for raising his monastery to that position of importance from which it played a part in the history of the medieval papal states, a position which ultimately led to its decline as a religious house until its restoration in the nineteenth century.
Two Greek texts giving some account of St Bartholomew will be found printed in Migne, PG., vol. CXXVII, CC. 476-516. Some of the manuscripts copied by his band are believed still to survive in the library of Grottaferrata and an ancient mosaic representing SS. Nilus and Bartholomew is still visible in the sanctuary of the abbey church. The resignation of Pope Benedict IX is discussed in Mgr Mann's Lives of the Popes, vol. v, p. 292.  See also S. C. Mercati in Enciclopedia italiana, Vol. vi, p. 254; L. Brehier in DHG., vol. vs, CC. 1006-1007; and F. Flalkin in Analecta Bolandiana, vol. lxi (1943), pp. 202-210, who points out that, of the two Greek texts just referred to, one, the Encomium, refers to another St Bartholomew.
Bartholomew was born in Rossano, Italy, where he became a disciple of St. Nitus, the founder of the Greek abbey of Grottaferata, near Rome. He became an abbot there and completed the structure, turning it into a center of learning. Thus he earned a reputation as the second founder of the institution.
He rebuked Pope Benedict IX, convincing him to reform his life. He is also credited with several liturgical hymns.

Bartholomew of Rossano, Abbot (RM) (also known as Bartholomew of Grottaferrata) Born at Rossano, Calabria; died 1065. Of Greek extraction. Saint Nilus of Rossano (Sept. 26) selected Grottaferrata at Frascati in the Alban hills as the permanent home of his monks, but it was his third successor, Saint Bartholomew who established the house on a firm and lasting basis, directing it for some 40 years. The monastery was under Saint Basil's Rule and in the Greek rite. He was a personal disciple of Saint Nilus, and like his master, a hymn writer and skilled calligrapher. He 'could not bear to see anyone in affliction without giving him comfort,' says his biographer. It was he who persuaded Pope Benedict IX to reform his life and do penance at Grottaferrata (Attwater, Benedictines).

1067 Blessed Bartholomew of Marmoûtier archbishop of Tours OSB B (AC)
This abbot of Marmoûtier was consecrated archbishop of Tours in 1052. He worked tirelessly in the face of many difficulties, especially to bring back Berengarius to the Catholic faith (Benedictines).

1250 Blessed Alradus of Isenhagen knight who laid down his arms to become a lay-brother of the Cistercian abbey  OSB Cist. (PC) (also known as Abrad, Araldus)
Alradus was a knight who laid down his arms to become a lay-brother of the Cistercian abbey of Isenhagen (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

1532 Blessed Agnes of Bavaria, Poor Clare  died at age seven  daughter of Louis IV, duke of Bavaria V (PC)
Agnes was the daughter of Louis IV, duke of Bavaria. She was educated by the Poor Clares of Saint James in Munich, Germany, where she died at age seven (Benedictines).

1811 St. Joseph Pignatelli  Jesuit confessor restorers of the SOJ in 1773
He was born in Saragossa, Spain, and became a Jesuit at the age of fifteen. When the Jesuits were suppressed at the command of the pope and under intense pressure from the European monarchs, he resided in Bologna, Italy, for two decades. In 1799, he opened a new semiofficial novitiate for the Jesuits, laying the foundation for the eventual restoration of the Society of Jesus by Pope Pius VII in 1814. Pope Pius XI described him as a priest of “manly and vigorous holiness,” and Pius XII termed him the “restorer of the Jesuits.” Joseph was canonized in 1954.


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!)


Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pope St. Clement (92-101):  Since all things lie open to His eyes and ears, let us hold Him in awe and rid ourselves of impure desires to do works of evil, so that we may be protected by His mercy from the judgement that is to come.
Which of us can escape His mighty hand? 

"The answers to many of life's questions can be found by reading the Lives of the Saints. They teach us how to overcome obstacles and difficulties, how to stand firm in our faith, and how to struggle against evil and emerge victorious."  1913 Saint Barsanuphius of Optina
The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR benefit of others.
Non est inventus similis illis
God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heaven.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints today

Paul VI Proclaims Mary "Mother of the Church" (1964) November 11


Eugenio Pacelli Proclaims the Dogma of the Assumption (1950)
A divinely revealed dogma
“After we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare wilfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.”
After the Pope proclaimed this Dogma, a ray of sunlight shined forth on Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Pius XII - Munificentissimus Deus - Defining the Dogma of the Assumption, 1 November 1950

Festívitas ómnium Sanctórum, quam in honórem beátæ Dei Genitrícis Vírginis Maríæ et sanctórum Mártyrum Bonifátius Papa Quartus, cum templum Pántheon tértio Idus Maji dedicásset, célebrem et generálem instítuit agi quotánnis in urbe Roma.  Sed Gregórius item Quartus póstmodum decrévit, eándem festivitátem, quæ váriis modis jam in divérsis Ecclésiis celebrabátur, in honórem ómnium Sanctórum solémniter hac die ab univérsa Ecclésia perpétuo observári.
    The Festival of All Saints, which Pope Boniface IV, after the dedication of the Pantheon, ordained to be kept generally and solemnly every year on the 13th of May, in the city of Rome, in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and of the holy martyrs.  It was afterwards decreed by Gregory IV that this feast, which was then celebrated in many dioceses, but at different times, should be on this day kept by the whole Church in honour of all the saints.
The air which we breathe, the bread which we eat, the heart which throbs in our bosoms, are not more necessary for man that he may live as a human being, than is prayer for the Christian that he may live as a Christian.-- St. John Eudes

Solemnity of All Saints 
“'Be holy as I am holy,' says the Lord. As Christians we are all called to holiness because we are His children. Every Christian should be a saint. Indeed, for a Christian to live in a state of sin is a monstrous contradiction”. --Curé d'Ars.

It has recently been claimed that the decline in the cult of saints and in pilgrimages to holy places is spiritually beneficial for Christians, so that their attention will be turned exclusively towards Jesus. There is, however, a danger to the faith in attempting to become too intellectual and sophisticated, and thereby becoming too cold, methodical, and rational.
In the face of the divine mysteries and matters that are beyond human comprehension our minds should be kept open.

“The saints are like so many little mirrors in which Jesus Christ sees Himself. In His apostles He sees His zeal and love for the salvation of souls; in the martyrs He sees His constancy, suffering, and painful death; in the hermits He sees His obscure and hidden life; in the virgins He sees His spotless purity; and in all the saints He sees His unbounded charity.
And when we honor the virtues of the saints, we are but worshipping the virtues of Jesus Christ...”
 --
John Baptiste Marie Vianney Curé d'Ars

We render God a worship of adoration and dependence with faith, hope, love, and a profound humbling of our souls before His supreme Majesty. We honor the saints with a feeling of respect and veneration for the favors God granted them, for the virtues they practiced, and for the glory with which God has crowned them in heaven. We commend ourselves to their prayers.
It is a most precious grace that God should have destined the saints to be our protectors and our friends. Saint Bernard said that the honor we give them is less a glory for them than a help to us, and that we may call upon them with full confidence because they know how greatly we are exposed to dangers on earth, for they remember the perils that they themselves had to face during their lifetimes. -- Curé d'Ars.

The friendship that binds us to all the saints, and which is encouraged and commemorated by the feast-days of the Church, is not the invention of a handful of bigots or a commercial stunt manufactured by merchants of religious medallions. The communion of saints answers a definite need, and insofar as we neglect any one of the forms of spiritual life we are cutting ourselves off from a source of divine grace and making ourselves just a little blinder than we are already.
We too can be saints and we must all strive to become so.
The saints were mortals like us, weak and subject to the passions, as we are. We have the same help, the same means of grace, the same sacraments, but we must be like them and renounce the pleasures of the world, shunning the evils of the world as much as we can and remaining faithful to grace. We must take the saints as our models or be damned, that we must live either for heaven or for hell. There is no middle way. --Saint John Vianney.

The Church has celebrated some feast in honor of the saints from the period of primitive Christianity. There is tentative evidence of the celebration to honor all the martyrs in the writings of Tertullian (died 223) and Gregory of Nyssa (died 395). It was definitely observed at the time of Saint Ephraem (died 373), who in the Nisibene Hymnus mentions a feast kept in honor of the martyrs of all the earth on May 13. It should be noted that on May 13, c. 609, Pope Saint Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon of Rome in honor of our Lady and all martyrs--another instance of something pagan baptized by Christianity for a new purpose dedicated to God.
The Venerable Bede (673-735) says that the pope designed that the memory of all the saints might in future be honored in the place which had formerly been devoted to the worship, not of gods, but of demons.

By 411 as indicated in the Syriac Short Martyrology, throughout the Syrian Church the Friday in the Octave of Easter was celebrated as the feast of all the martyrs.
Chaldean Catholics still maintain Easter Friday in honor of the martyrs.

Since at least the time of Saint John Chrysostom (died 407 - - one of the Three Holy Hierarchs), the Byzantine churches have kept a feast of all the martyrs on the Sunday after Pentecost (Chrysostom, A panegyric of all the martyrs that have suffered throughout the world)
  Saint John Chrysostom.
We are not quite sure how November 1 came to be commemorated in honor of all the saints in the West. We do know that by AD 800, Blessed Alcuin of York  was in the habit of keeping the solemnitas sanctissima of All Saints on November 1, preceded by a three-day fast. His friend Bishop Arno of Salzburg had presided over a synod in Bavaria (Germany) which included that day in its list of holy days (Walsh).
Blessed Alcuin
Why has the Church included such a day in its calendar? To honor all the saints--known and unknown to us--reigning together in glory; to give thanks to God for the graces with which He crowns all the elect; to excite ourselves to humble imitation of their virtues; to implore the Divine Mercy through the help of these intercessors; and to repair any failures in not having properly honored God in His saints on their individual feast days.

Saint Bernard wrote:
  It is our interest to honor the memory of the saints, not theirs. Would you know how it is our interest? from the remembrance of them I feel, I confess, a triple vehement desire kindled in my breast--of their company, of their bliss, and of their intercession.
First, of their company. To think of the saints is in some measure to see them. Thus we are in part, and this the better part of ourselves, in the land of the living, provided our affection goes along with our thoughts or remembrance: yet not as they are. The saints are there present, and in their persons; we are there only in affection and desires. Ah! when shall we join our fathers? when shall we be made the fellow-citizens of the blessed spirits, of the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and virgins? when shall we be mixed in the choir of the saints?
The remembrance of each one among the saints is, as it were, a new spark, or rather torch, which sets our souls more vehemently on fire, and makes us ardently sigh to behold and embrace them, so that we seem to ourselves even now to be amongst them. And from this distant place of banishment we dart our affections sometimes towards the whole assembly, sometimes towards this, and sometimes that happy spirit. What sloth is it that we do not launch our souls into the midst of those happy troops, and burst