Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
Sunday  Saints of this Day November  15 Décimo séptimo Kaléndas Decémbris
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!)

November 15 - Byzantine Church: Our Lady of Piety - Saint Albert the Great  
Our Lady Who Unties Knots
Pope Francis has been one of the chief promoters of “Our Lady Who Unties Knots.” He was stunned by a Bavarian painting of Madonna untying knots when was studying in Germany as a young man. He acquired a copy of the painting and brought it back with him to Argentina, where he started promoting devotion to Mary under this title.

The theology of Mary untying knots goes back to the second century – less than one hundred years after the death of the Apostles. The painting was inspired by Saint Irenaeus of Lyons who wrote “the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary...” (Adversus haereses, 3, 22)

These “knots” are for which we see no solution: discord in the family, violence, family quarrels, drug addiction, alcoholism, abortion, depression, unemployment, ill health, fear, solitude, stress, indebtedness, failure, pride…

But the Blessed Virgin Mary can intercede for us all – to untie the knots of sin in our lives – so that we may be purified and grow ever closer to God.
Adapted from:

Six Canonized on Feast of Christ the King Nov 23 2014


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

The Blessed Virgin’s Predestination

"There are some who desire knowledge merely for its own sake; and that is shameful curiosity. And there are others who desire to know, in order that they may themselves be known; and that is vanity, disgraceful too.
Others again desire knowledge in order to acquire money or preferment by it; that too is a discreditable quest.
But there are also some who desire knowledge, that they may build up the souls of others with it; and that is charity. Others, again, desire it that they may themselves be built up thereby; and that is prudence.
Of all these types, only the last two put knowledge to the right use"
(St. Bernard, Sermon on the Canticle of Canticles). - Saint Albert the Great

November 15 – 6th of Heddär, Feast of Quesquâm (Ethiopia) – Our Lady of Piety (Byzantine Church) 
Ethiopia: Mary’s Stronghold
 One day, a lady told a Catholicos (title given to a Patriarch of the Coptic Church in Ethiopia):
"You Copts place too much emphasis on Mary; she was a woman like any other." –
"Fine," the Catholicos said. "Just give us another Christ then."
This exemplifies the "Marian culture" of Ethiopia. Saint Frumentius, who evangelized Ethiopia in the 4th century, called the first church built in Axum, the capital of the kingdom of Ethiopia, Edda Mariam, House of Mary.
Mary is venerated there under the title of Waladita Amlak, She who bore God. Mary's name appears in many Ethiopian names, and Ethiopia has its own festival: Kidäma Mehret, the Covenant of Mercy, on February 10th.
Convinced that the prayers of Mary through her Son are always answered, Ethiopians regard their country as Mary’s stronghold, placed under her special protection. Many beautiful churches carved into the rock are dedicated to the Virgin. They are decorated with frescoes recalling scenes from the Gospels and the apocryphal stories.  The Mary of Nazareth Team
This very moment I may, if I desire, become the friend of God. -- St. Augustine

November 15 - Our Lady of Piety (Byzantine Church)
Mary is the Channel of Grace
The Blessed Virgin is the hope of forgiveness for those who are sorry for their sins and expiate them in this world. And in the underworld, one will recall the example of the miracle of Theophilus, whom Mary reformed by the grace of forgiveness. But those above, innocent in grace, have in Mary the channel of that grace, by which they are kept from sin. Moved by pity and mercy, she speaks persuasively to her Son, interceding for sinners, and, by the support of her merits, she restores the repentant to the level of grace they had lost. Saint Albert the Great (1200-1280)

284-324 Samonas and Habibus Martyr & Confessor Gurias of Edessa
The martyrs endured everything with firmness and Samonas uttered a prayer to the Lord, which one of the witnesses to their death wrote down:
O Lord my God, against Whose will not a single sparrow falls into the snare. It was You Who made room for David in his sorrow (Ps. 4:1), Who proved the Prophet David stronger than lionsand granted a child of Abraham to be victor over torture and flames (Dan. ch. 3, ch. 14).

You know also, Lord, the infirmity of our nature, You see the struggle set before us. Our foe strives to snatch us, the work of Your right hand, away from You and to deprive us of the glory which is in You. With Your compassionate eye watching over us, preserve in us the inextinguishable light of Your Commandments. Guide our steps by Your light, and make us worthy of Your Kingdom, for You are blessed unto ages of ages."
By night, they took the martyrs out beyond the city and beheaded them (+ 299-306). Christians buried their holy bodies with reverence.  After some years, the last pagan emperor, Licinius (311-324), began a persecution against Christians. Habibus, a deacon of the Church of Edessa whom the emperor ordered to be arrested for his zealous spreading of the true Faith, presented himself before the executioners when he learned they were searching for him. The saint confessed his faith in Christ and was sentenced to be burned alive. The martyr went willingly into the fire and with a prayer surrendered his soul to the Lord.
When the fire went out, the mother and relatives of the saint found his body unharmed.
They buried the martyr next to Sts Gurias and Samonas. (Dan. ch. 6).
  Mary is the Channel of Grace Nov 15 - Our Lady of Piety (Byzantine Church) - Saint Albert the Great  (1200-1280)  
The Blessed Virgin is the hope of forgiveness for those who are sorry for their sins and expiate them in this world. And in the underworld, one will recall the example of the miracle of Theophilus, whom Mary reformed by the grace of forgiveness. But those above, innocent in grace, have in Mary the channel of that grace, by which are kept from sin.
Moved by pity and mercy, she speaks persuasively to her Son, interceding for sinners, and, by the support of her merits, she restores the repentant to the level of grace they had lost.
November 15 - Our Lady of Pignerol (France, 1098) The Blessed Virgin's Predestination (IV)
The fourth instant was to determine the gifts and graces, which were to be conferred upon the humanity of Christ, our Lord, in union with the Divinity.   To this instant also, and, as it were, in natural sequence, pertain the decree and predestination of the Mother of the Divine Word incarnate; for here, I understand, was ordained that pure Creature before aught else whatever. Thus, before all other creatures, was she conceived in the divine mind, in such manner and such state as befitted and became the dignity, excellence and gifts of the humanity of her most holy Son. To her flowed over, at once and immediately, the river of the Divinity and its attributes with all its impetuosity,
in as far as a mere creature is capable and as is due to the dignity of the Mother of God.
Excerpts from City of God or the Divine History and Life of the Virgin Mother of God
(Part 1, chapter I) manifested to Mary of Agreda
 St. Zachariah  St. Zachary Jerusalem priest wife Elizabeth, Mary's cousin beyond child-bearing age
287 Saint Felix of Nola first bishop of Nola, near Naples martyred with 30 companions
 284-324 Samonas and Habibus Martyr & Confessor Gurias of Edessa  refused to offer sacrifice to the gods, and boldly confessed their faith in Christ After the death of the saints, numerous miracles wrought by them for those who entreated their help with faith and love
  305 Gurias the Ascetic and Samonas the Faithful MM
        St. Secundus, Fidentian, & Varicus Martyrs in Roman Africa
  323 St. Abibus Deacon martyr in Edessa with Sts. Gurias &Samonas
  363 Martyrs Elpidius senator Christ appeared with angels resurrected
Elpidius, Marcellus and Eustochius idols standing nearby crumbled into dust  through the prayer of the saint More than six thousand pagans witnessed this miracle and were converted to Christ. St Elpidius was burned again
   490 St. Céronne who founded two monasteries of nuns near Mortagne
  621 St. Malo cousin to Saints Samson and Maglorius all the time that cloak lay there, there fell no rain upon it B
657 Birthday of Saint Eugenius of Toledo gifted poet musician most zealous for all that pertained to divine worship B (RM)
  655 St. Desiderius Bishop of Cahors built monasteries, convents, and churches
         St. Luperius Bishop of Verona
  703 St. Paduinus Benedictine  first abbot of the nearby St. Mary’s Abbey
  871 St. Arnulf Bishop opposed divorce of Lothair II
         St. Machudd abbot founder of Llanfechell Abbey
  879 St. Findan Benedictine hermit  at the Rheinan Abbey in Switzerland 20 twenty years
1135  St. Leopold Known for his piety and charity founded three monasteries
1271 Blessed Brother Leo, Priest; Friar Minor, companion of St. Francis of Assisi; confessor and secretary of the saint;
1280 St. Albert the Great Patron of Scientists a Church great intellect  very learned in biblical studies and theology
1457 Saint Philip of Rabanga founder of the Savior-Transfiguration monastery, near Kadnikov closest disciple of St Dionysius of Glushitsa extremely strict with himself, but lenient towards the infirmities of others

1539 Bl. Roger James English martyr monk at Glastonbury
1539 Bl. Richard Whiting Benedictine abbot martyr
1539 Bl. John Thorne Benedictine martyr of England  protecting
Glastonbury treasures from seizure by  Henry VIII
1539 Bl. John Rugg Martyred monk of Chichester refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy
1539 Bl. John Eynon  Martyred Benedictine of St. Giles
1539 Bl. Hugh Faringdon Benedictine abbot of Reading
1544 Blessed Lucy Brocolelli of Narni When five she had a vision of Our Lady; two years later, Our Lady came with Saint Dominic, who gave her the scapular OP V
1627 St. Gaius of Korea Japan Martyr former Korean Buddhist monk  Dominican tertiary
1642 St. Hugh Green, Blessed Martyr England
1794 Venerable Paisius Velichkovsky archimandrite Neamts Monastery
spent last 15 years of his life translating
 writings of the Holy Fathers organized community according to Typikon (Rule) of Mt Athos gathered a thousand monks in the monastery, instructing them in unceasing prayer of the heart holy relics of St Paisius were uncovered in
1846, 1853, 1861 and 1872, and were found incorrupt.

November 15 - Our Lady of Pignerol (France, 1098)  The Blessed Virgins Predestination (IV)
The fourth instant was to determine the gifts and graces, which were to be conferred upon the humanity of Christ, our Lord, in union with the Divinity.

To this instant also, and, as it were, in natural sequence, pertain the decree and predestination of the Mother of the Divine Word incarnate; for here, I understand, was ordained that pure Creature before aught else whatever. Thus, before all other creatures, was she conceived in the divine mind, in such manner and such state as befitted and became the dignity, excellence and gifts of the humanity of her most holy Son. To her flowed over, at once and immediately, the river of the Divinity and its attributes with all its impetuosity, in as far as a mere creature is capable and as is due to the dignity of the Mother of God.

Excerpts from City of God or the Divine History and Life of the Virgin Mother of God (Part 1, chapter II) manifested to Mary of Agreda

St. Zachary Jerusalem priest wife Elizabeth, Mary's cousin beyond child-bearing age
He was told by an angel in a vision that they would have a son and should name him John. When he doubted this, he was struck dumb. Elizabeth was visited by Mary, at which time Mary spoke the hymn of praise now known at the Magnificat, and after John's birth, Zachary's speech was restored. This is all that is known of Elizabeth and Zachary, and is found in the New Testament in Luke, Chapter 1. An unvarifiable tradition has Zachary murdered in the Temple when he refused to tell Herod where his son John was to be found. Their feast day is November 5th.

Saints Secundus, Fidentian, & Varicus (Valericus) MM (RM).
Martyrs of Proconsular Africa of whom nothing else is known (Benedictines).  St. Secundus, Fidentian, & Varicus Martyrs put to death in Roman Africa. No details of their sufferings are extant.
St. Zachariah also listed as Zachary first century.
Zachariah (first century) The father of St. John the Baptist,

287 Felix of Nola first bishop of Nola, near Naples martyred with 30 companions BM (RM).
Nolæ, in Campánia, beáti Felícis, Epíscopi et Mártyris; qui, a quintodécimo ætátis suæ anno, miráculis cláruit, et, sub Marciáno Præside, cum áliis trigínta Sóciis, agónem martyrii complévit.
    At Nola in Campania, blessed Felix, bishop and martyr, who was renowned for miracles from his fifteenth year.  He completed the combats of his martyrdom with thirty others, under the governor Marcian.
To get really confusing, there are two saints known as Felix of Nola. Today's saint is said to have been the first bishop of Nola, near Naples, and to have been put to death for Christ with 30 companions (Benedictines). The more famous Felix of Nola has his feast day on January 14.
305 Gurias the Ascetic and Samonas the Faithful MM (RM).
Martyrs beheaded at Edessa in Syria under Diocletian (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

284-324 Samonas and Habibus Martyr & Confessor Gurias of Edessa refused to offer sacrifice to the gods, and boldly confessed their faith in Christ After the death of the saints, numerous miracles were wrought by them for those who entreated their help with faith and love
Ibídem sanctórum Mártyrum Guríæ et Samónæ, sub Diocletiáno Imperatóre et Antoníno Præside.
    In the same place, the holy martyrs Gurias and Samonas, under Emperor Diocletian and the governor Antoninus.

The Holy Martyrs and Confessors Gurias, Samonas and Habibus: during the persecution against Christians under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (305-311). The two friends Gurias and Samonas, preachers of the Word of God, were arrested in the city of Edessa.

The saints refused to offer sacrifice to the gods, and boldly confessed their faith in Christ. For this they were subjected to cruel tortures: they were beaten, hung up by their hands, heavy weights were tied to their feet, and they were cast into a stifling prison.

The martyrs endured everything with firmness and Samonas uttered a prayer to the Lord, which one of the witnesses to their death wrote down: "O Lord my God, against Whose will not a single sparrow falls into the snare. It was You Who made room for David in his sorrow (Ps. 4:1), Who proved the Prophet David stronger than lions (Dan. ch. 6), and granted a child of Abraham to be victor over torture and flames (Dan. ch. 3, ch. 14). You know also, Lord, the infirmity of our nature, You see the struggle set before us. Our foe strives to snatch us, the work of Your right hand, away from You and to deprive us of the glory which is in You. With Your compassionate eye watching over us, preserve in us the inextinguishable light of Your Commandments. Guide our steps by Your light, and make us worthy of Your Kingdom, for You are blessed unto ages of ages." By night, they took the martyrs out beyond the city and beheaded them (+ 299-306). Christians buried their holy bodies with reverence.

After some years, the last pagan emperor, Licinius (311-324), began a persecution against Christians. Habibus, a deacon of the Church of Edessa whom the emperor ordered to be arrested for his zealous spreading of the true Faith, presented himself before the executioners when he learned they were searching for him. The saint confessed his faith in Christ and was sentenced to be burned alive. The martyr went willingly into the fire and with a prayer surrendered his soul to the Lord. When the fire went out, the mother and relatives of the saint found his body unharmed. They buried the martyr next to Sts Gurias and Samonas.

After the death of the saints, numerous miracles were wrought by them for those who entreated their help with faith and love. Once, a certain Gothic soldier, sent to serve at Edessa, took the pious virgin Euphemia as his wife. Before this the barbarian vowed to her mother Sophia at the graves of the Martyrs Gurias, Samonas and Habibus that he would do his spouse no harm, and would never insult her, but would always love and cherish her.
At the completion of his service in Edessa, he took Euphemia with him back to his native land. It turned out that he had deceived her, for he already had a wife at home, and Euphemia became her slave. Her evil husband threatened to kill her if she revealed to anyone that they were married. Euphemia suffered much abuse and humiliation. When she gave birth to a son, the jealous Gothic woman poisoned him. Euphemia turned with prayer to the holy Martyrs Gurias, Samonas and Habibus, the witnesses to the perjurer's oath, and the Lord delivered Euphemia from her suffering and miraculously returned her to Edessa, where she was welcomed by her mother.

After a certain while the Goth was again sent to serve in Edessa. The whole city learned of his misdeeds after he was denounced by Sophia. The Goth was executed by order of the prefect of the city.

In an Akathist, the Holy Church addresses the martyrs: "Rejoice, Gurias, Samonas and Habibus, Heavenly Patrons of honorable marriage." We pray to them for deliverance from family turmoil, and from marital difficulties, especially where one spouse hates the other without cause.

Of of the two principal sanctuaries at Edessa in Syria enshrined the bodies of these martyrs.    Their legends relate that, during the persecution of Diocletian, Gurias and Samonas were arrested and imprisoned, and on their refusal to sacrifice were hung up by one hand with weights tied to their feet. Then they were thrown into a foul dungeon and left without food or light for three days.   When they were taken out Gurias was already nearly dead, but Samonas was submitted to a horrible torture, which failed to shake his resolution.  They were therefore both beheaded.  Later, Abibus, a deacon of Edessa, hid himself from the persecution of Licinius, but eventually gave himself up that he might earn the martyr's crown.  The officer to whom he surrendered gave him the opportunity to change his mind and escape, but Abibus would not avail himself of it.     He was sentenced to be burnt, and was accompanied to the place of execution by his mother and other relatives, to whom he was allowed to give the kiss of peace before he was thrown to the flames.    Afterwards they took his body, which had not been destroyed in the fire, and buried it near those of his friends Gurias and Samonas.   All three martyrs are mentioned in the Roman Martyrology today, but in two separate entries.  They had the curious distinction of being venerated as the avengers of unfulfilled contracts
There are several Greek variants of the passio of St Gurias and companions they will be found enumerated in BHG., nn. 731-736. But besides these there are oriental texts in Syriac (of which another fragment of earlier date was afterwards discovered by Mar Ephrem Rahmani), and a version in Armenian.  It seems that the language of the original account was unquestionably Syriac.  The matter has been very fully treated by E. von Dobschutz in vol. xxxvii, pt 2 of Texte und Untersuchungen; on which also see the review in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxi (1912), pp. 332-334.  The later Syriac text in its sophisticated form, purporting to be written by an eye-witness, has been translated into English by Professor Burkitt in his Euphemia and the Goth (1913).  The Armenian version was translated by F. C. Conybeare and printed in The Guardian for 1897.  The fact of the martyrdom is not open to doubt, for in the Syriac breviarium we have the entry on November 15,  "in the city of Edessa, Shamona and Guria the confessors".   There is also a homily preached in their honour by James of Sarug.
323 St. Abibus Deacon martyr in Edessa with Sts. Gurias &Samonas
Edéssæ, in Mesopotámia, pássio sancti Abibi Diáconi, qui sub Licínio Imperatóre et Lysánia Præside, únguibus lacerátus, in ignem conjéctus est.
    At Edessa in Mesopotamia, the martyrdom of St. Abibus, deacon, who was torn with iron hooks and cast into the fire in the time of Emperor Licinius and the governor Lysanias.
Abibus served the Church in Edessa, in Syria, where he was arrested during the persecutions of co-Emperor Licinius. The three were burned alive and buried together.
Abibus of Edessa M (RM) Died 322. Deacon Saint Abibus of Edessa, Syria, was martyred by burning under Emperor Licinius, and buried with his friends Saints Gurias and Samonas (Benedictines).

363 Martyrs Elpidius senator; Christ appeared with angels resurrected Elpidius, Marcellus and Eustochius idols standing nearby crumbled into dust through the prayer of the saint; More than six thousand pagans witnessed this miracle and were converted to Christ. St Elpidius was burned again
The Holy Martyrs Elpidius, Marcellus and Eustochius suffered under the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). St Elpidius was a senator. They tried him before the imperial judge on charges of being a Christian.
The martyrs endured many terrible torments, and they died after being thrown into a fire. At the place where Christians buried the relics of the saints, Christ appeared with an host of angels and resurrected Elpidius. Then the emperor gave orders to arrest the holy martyr again.
During the torture, idols standing nearby crumbled into dust through the prayer of the saint. More than six thousand pagans witnessed this miracle and were converted to Christ. St Elpidius was burned again.

490 St. Céronne who founded two monasteries of nuns near Mortagne;
Ceronne  a saintly girl from Beziers, was calumniated in Bordeaux and buried in the Orne (Encyclopedia).
St. Secundus, Fidentian, & Varicus Martyrs in Roman Africa.
In Africa sanctórum Mártyrum Secúndi, Fidentiáni et Várici.
    In Africa, the holy martyrs Secundus, Fidentian, and Varicus.
No details of their sufferings are extant.
621 Malo cousin to Saints Samson and Maglorius all the time that cloak lay there, there fall no rain upon it B (RM)
Apud Arcum, in território Santonénsi, natális sancti Machúti, Aleténsis in Gállia Epíscopi; qui, in Anglia natus, a primævo ætátis suæ tirocínio miráculis emícuit.
    At Archingeay, in the neighbourhood of Saintes, the birthday of St. Malo, bishop of Aleth, in France.  He was born in England and from his earliest years was famed for his miracles.
(also known as Maclovius, Maclou, Mahou or wrongly Machutus)
Born in England or southwest Wales; died on November 15, 621; feast of his translation is July 11. Saint Malo is said to have been cousin to Saints Samson and Maglorius. While he was still a youth, Malo was sent to Ireland for his education in virtue and the humanities, and may have been a disciple of Saint Brendan. After his priestly ordination, Malo was elected to a bishopric but declined the dignity, retiring to Brittany to become its apostle. The port of Saint-Malo takes its name from this Malo, who ministered and made foundations from the islet in the estuary of the Rance or from the neighboring Aleth (Saint-Servan) in Brittany. About 541, Malo was consecrated bishop of Aleth. He is said to have been driven from his see by his enemies and to have settled at Saintes, but he was later recalled by a deputation of his people. He died at Archingeay near Saintes before he could return to Aleth.
The feast of Saint Malo was celebrated in England, especially in southern monasteries and in the Sarum calendar, as well as in Brittany. Farmer claims that his cultus was encouraged by the bishops of Winchester because the Latin word for Gwent closely resembles that for Wincester. For this reason his relics were claimed by Bath and other churches; however, the majority were translated from Saintes and Aleth to Saint-Malo in Brittany (Attwater, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).
A primitive vita, now lost, provided the basis for two less reliable ones in the 9th century. These later biographies depict a rugged man of truth, who sang psalms in a loud voice as he travelled throughout the countryside on horseback. Often he found himself "shaking the dust from his feet" after making enemies, as well as friends, in a district.
The life of Saint Malo, written five centuries after his death by a quiet scholar named Sigebert of Gembloux, includes this story of Saint Malo and the Wren.
"And another miracle he wrought like to this, worthy of record for its compassion alone. He was a follower of Paul the Apostle, whose own hands supplied his wants if aught were lacking; and when he had leisure from his task of preaching the Gospel, he kept himself by the work of his hands. One day he was busy with the brethren in the vineyard, pruning the vines, and for better speed in his work took off his cloak and laid it out of sight. When his work was done and he came to take his cloak, he found that he small bird whom common folk call a wren had laid an egg on it. And knowing that God's care is not far from the birds, since not one of them falls on the ground without the Father, he let his cloak lie there, till the eggs were hatched and the wren brought out her brood. And this was the marvel, that all the time that cloak lay there, there fall no rain upon it. And whoever came to hear of it, they glorified the power of God, and they praised God's own pity in man" (Sigebert).
7th v. St. Malo Welsh bishop missionary to Brittany
France. He is also called Machutis and Maclou. Malo was born near Llancarfan, Wales, and became a monk under St. Brendan, going with him to Brittany. He founded a center at Aleth, now called Saint-Malo. Pagan opposition forced him and his fellow monks to move to Saintes, France, where regarded as a bishop. Malo was recalled to Aleth but died on the way.
MACHUTUS, Maclovius, Maclou (and other forms) is best known to English-speaking people, by association with the Breton port, as Malo. Medieval hagiographers say he was born in South Wales, near Llancarfan, and was educated in the monastery there.  When he grew up his parents wanted him to leave the monks, but he refused and, after hiding for a time in one of the islands of the Severn Sea, he was ordained priest and determined to leave Britain, perhaps on account of the great pestilence in the middle of the sixth century.  He landed in Brittany, and began to evangelize the neighbourhood of Aleth (Saint-Servan), having his headquarters on an island where now stands the town of Saint-Malo.
  He built churches and made monastic settlements, tried to protect the weak from the violence of the local chiefs, and made many converts; as he rode from place to place on his missionary journeys he recited psalms in a loud voice.  St Malo made enemies as well as converts, and after the death of the chief who had first persecuted and then protected him, and whom Malo is said to have converted, they began to get the upper hand. St Malo decided to leave; and, going on board ship with thirty-three monks, he solemnly anathematized the malcontents and sailed off down the coast. He settled near Saintes and stayed there for some years until a deputation from Aleth came and asked him to return: his flock was suffering from a bad drought, which was attributed to their treatment of their bishop.  He visited them as requested, and immediately on his arrival there was a heavy fall of rain.  Malo, however, did not stay at Aleth long; he set out again for Saintes, but died just before he arrived there.
  In the Lives of St Malo there is narrated a number of stories and miracles of a highly unconvincing kind.  In particular it is stated that he emulated St Brendan in his fabulous voyages of quest for the Isle of the Blessed, and celebrated Easter on the back of a whale.
There are four or five medieval lives of St Malo duly enumerated in BHL., nn. 5116-5124. The best known is that attributed to the deacon Bili, who wrote in the latter part of the ninth century.  There probably was a primitive life which has perished, from which the Bili version and the anonymous text (BHL. 5117) have both been elaborated. The texts may be conveniently consulted in Plaine and La Borderie, Deux vies inédites de S. Malo (1884). The matter is too complicated to discuss here, but see especially F. Lot, Mélanges &histoire bretonne (1907) pp. 97-206 Duine, Memento, pp. 53-57; Duchesne in the Revue Celtique, vol. xi (1890), pp.  1-22  Poncelet in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxiv (1905), pp. 483-486.
657 Birthday of Saint Eugenius of Toledo gifted poet musician most zealous for all that pertained to divine worship B (RM)
Toléti, in Hispánia, sancti Eugénii Epíscopi.    At Toledo in Spain, St. Eugene, bishop.
Eódem die natális sancti Eugénii, Epíscopi Toletáni et Mártyris; qui fuit beáti Dionysii Areopagítæ discípulus, et in território Parisiénsi, consummáto martyrii cursu, beátæ passiónis corónam percépit a Dómino. 
Ipsíus autem corpus Tolétum, in Hispánia, póstea fuit translátum.
Also, the birthday of St. Eugene, bishop of Toledo and martyr, disciple of blessed Denis the Areopagite.  His martyrdom was completed near Paris, and he received from our Lord a crown for his blessed sufferings. 
His body was afterwards translated to Toledo in Spain.

(also known as Eugene II) Born in Toledo, Spain. Eugenius, a Spanish Goth, was successively a cleric under Saint Helladius, a monk of Saint Engracia at Saragossa, and then the archdeacon of Saint Braulio in Toledo. Finally, in 646, he was raised to the primatial see of Toledo. He was a gifted poet and musician, and most zealous for all that pertained to divine worship (Benedictines).
IT is said there was an Eugenius who occupied the see of Toledo and was an astronomer and mathematician his successor, St Eugenius, was a musician and poet. He was a Spanish Goth, a monk at Saragossa, and to avoid ecclesiastical promotion he hid himself in a cemetery. But he was forced to return and receive episcopal consecration. Some of the writings of St Eugenius, in prose and in verse, are extant; and we are told that he was a good musician, who tried to improve the poor singing of which he heard so much. He governed his see with great edification, and was followed therein by his nephew, St Ildephonsus. Alban Butler refers to another St EUGENIUS, called “of Toledo”, who is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on November 15. He is said to have been a martyred associate of St Dionysius of Paris, but he had nothing to do with Spain. The martyrology also names, on the 17th, a third ST EUGENIUS, deacon to St Zenobius of Florence and a disciple of St Ambrose. 
There has been confusion in the early episcopal lists of Toledo, and the existence of Eugenius I is questionable. The story printed in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. ii, is probably a myth. But there can be no question about the real existence and the literary activities of the Eugenius who died in 657. St Ildephonsus gives a short account of him in his De viris illustribus, cap. xiv (Migne, PL., vol. xcvi, c. 204). His poetical writings, with notes, etc., have been edited in MGH., Auctores Antiquissimi, vol. xiv. See on this the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxiv (1905), pp. 297—298. See also J. Madoz in Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique, vol. xxxv (1939), pp. 530—533.
655 St. Desiderius Bishop of Cahors built monasteries, convents, and churches
THIS Desiderius is one of several saints honoured in France under the name of Didier (he is also called Gery).  His father was a noble with large estates around Albi, and the religious dispositions of his mother are mentioned in the saint's life with reference to letters written by her to him.   Desiderius became a high official at the court of King Clotaire II of Neustria, where he met St Arnulf of Metz, St Eligius and other holy men, as well as less desirable acquaintances.   His brother Rusticus became a priest and then bishop of Cahors; but he soon after was murdered (he is venerated as a martyr at Cahors) and Desiderius was elected to fill his see in 630, though still a layman.  He proved a zealous and effective bishop, and his extant correspondence gives some idea of the scope of his activities, which were directed towards the temporal as well as the spiritual welfare of his diocese.
He encouraged the nobles to endow religious foundations, and was a strong promoter of monasticism both for men and women.  He directed a convent of his own foundation, built the monastery of St Amantius and endowed it, and built three large churches. Cahors also benefited by the provision of an aqueduct and the repair of its fortifications.  But the first concern of St Desiderius was always the Christian life of his flock, which he knew to be best forwarded by a virtuous and well-instructed clergy, among whom he maintained a strict discipline.    He died in 655 near Albi, and was buried at Cabors, where miracles took place at his tomb.
There is a Latin life of the better class, written towards the close of the eighth or the beginning of the ninth century, which incorpoates the text of certain letters and documents of some historical value.  The best edition is that of B. Krusch, with an important introduction, in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. iv, pp. 547-602  the text is also in Migne, PL., vol. lxxxvii, cc. 219-239.
France, the successor of his brother, St. Rusticus. He was a nobleman of Albi, France, chosen as bishop in 630. He built monasteries, convents, and churches and died near Albi.
Desiderius of Cahors, B (AC) (also known as Didier). Saint Didier, a royal official, succeeded his own brother Saint Rusticus as bishop of Cahors. He governed the diocese, which flourished, from 630 to 655 (Benedictines).

7th v. St. Machudd abbot founder of Llanfechell Abbey Anglesey, Wales.
Machudd of Lianfechell, Abbot (AC) (also known as Machell) Died 7th century. Abbot-founder of Llanfechell (Anglesey) (Benedictines).

St. Luperius Bishop of Verona 6th or 8th century.
Verónæ sancti Lupérii, Epíscopi et Confessóris.    At Verona, St. Luperius, bishop and confessor.
 Italy. Details of his life are no longer extant.
Luperius of Verona B (RM) Died 6th or 8th century. A bishop of Verona of whom nothing further is known (Benedictines).

703 St. Paduinus  Benedictine first abbot of the nearby St. Mary’s Abbey.
He started his monastic service at St. Vincent’s near Le Mans, France, became first abbot of the nearby St. Mary’s Abbey.
Paduinus of Le Mans, OSB Abbot (AC) (also known as Pavin). Monk and prior of Saint Vincent's abbey, at Le Mans, and later first abbot of Saint Mary's near the same city (Benedictines).
871 St. Arnulf  Bishop opposed divorce of Lothair II.
king of the Franks. Arnulf was the bishop of Toul, France, from 847-871.
Arnulfus of Toul B (AC) (also known as Arnulf). As bishop of Toul from 847 to 871, Saint Arnulf was a firm and outspoken opponent of the divorce of King Lothair (Benedictines).

879 St. Findan Benedictine hermit  at the Rheinan Abbey in Switzerland 20 twenty years
also called Fintan. He was born in Leinster, Ireland, and was made a slave by Norse raiders in the Orkney Islands. Escaping to Scotland, he went on a pilgrimage to Rome and became a Benedictine in Sabina. Findan was a hermit at the Rheinan Abbey in Switzerland for more than twenty years.
Fintan of Rheinau, OSB Hermit (AC)  (also known as Findan) Born in Leinster; died 879. Irish calendars commemorate 55 saints named Fintan. While still a youth, this Saint Fintan was carried off from Leinster to the Orkneys as a slave by Norse raiders. Pledging that he would make a pilgrimage to Rome, Fintan managed to escape by jumping into the sea and swimming to Scotland, where he was received by a kindly bishop. Two years later he began his pilgrimage on the continent, travelling first to Rome, then to the Benedictine abbey of Farfa in Sabina.
Fintan spent his last 27 years with some Irish hermits in the Black Forest on the island of Rheinau, near Schaffhausen on the Rhein. Fintan drew up a rule whereby the hermits lived as did the religious of their homeland. The last 22 of the 27 years were spent in almost total solitude, during which he was subject to many mystical experiences. The words he heard spoken in his native tongue by demons and angels were recorded by a 10th-century biographer and represent some of the earliest specimens of Gaelic that have survived.
The hermit's sacramentary (Kantonsbibl. 30) of the "Gelasian" type, which originated at Nivelles and contains a calendar with numerous devotions to Irish saints, is preserved in the University Library at Zurich. His Missal can be seen at the Saint Gall Library. In 1446, Saint Fintan was enshrined at Rheinau, where his feast is still celebrated (Attwater, Benedictines, D'Arcy, Daniel- Rops, Farmer, Gougaud, Kenney, Montague, Tommasini).

This Fintan (Findan) is said to have been a native of Leinster, born there at the beginning of the ninth century. In a Norse raid he was carried off as a slave to the Orkneys, from whence he managed to make his escape and spent two years under the protection of a bishop in Scotland. He then went on pilgrimage to Rome on his way back he stopped with some hermits at Rheinau in the Black Forest, and spent the rest of his life there. His holiness was a great edification to the community, and for the last twenty-two years of his life he was allowed to live as a solitary, always refusing to have any fire in his lonely cell.  The relics of St Fintan were enshrined at Rheinau in 1446, and his feast is still observed in the town.
The text of the only Latin life of the saint may be read in Mabillon, vol. iv, Pt i, PP. 356-360  or better in MGH., Scriptores, vol. xv, pp. 503-506.   See also Gougaud, Les Saints irlandais hors d'Irlande (1936), pp. 95-96.
1135  St. Leopold Known for his piety and charity lay saint founded three monasteries
Kahlembérgæ, prope Vindobónam, in Austria, sancti Leopóldi, ejúsdem provínciæ Austriæ Marchiónis, quem Innocéntius Papa Octávus in Sanctórum númerum adscrípsit.
    At Klosterneuburg, near Vienna in Austria, St. Leopold, margrave of that province of Austria.  He was placed on the canon of the saints by Pope Innocent VIII.
Born Melk, Austria 1073, educated by Bishop Altman of Passau, and at the age of twenty-three, he succeeded his father as military governor of Austria. In 1106, Leopold married Emperor Henry IV's daughter, who bore him eighteen children, eleven of whom survived childhood. Known for his piety and charity, in 1106 he also founded three monasteries.
In 1125, Leopold refused to become Emperor upon the death of his brother-in-law, Henry V. He died in 1135 at one of the monasteries he had founded. He was canonized by Pope Innocent VIII in 1486.
When one carries out the duties of one's state of life with fairness, justice, and virtue, as did Leopold, many people are won over not only to a peaceful political scene, but also to a life of faith and virtue.
Leopold of Austria (RM) (also known as Leopold the Good) Born at Melk (Gars), Lower Austria, 1073; died in Vienna in 1136; canonized 1486; named patron of Austria in 1663.  Margrave Leopold Babenberger, the grandson of Emperor Henry III, was educated by Bishop Altmann of Passau and succeeded his father as fourth margrave of Austria when he was 23 (1095). He married Agnes, the widowed daughter of Emperor Henry IV, by whom he had 18 children. He initially supported the Concordat of Worms (1122) in the investiture controversy, but after his marriage he took the side of his father-in-law.
He was a capable and beloved ruler and a munificent benefactor of the Church. In 1106 he founded the monasteries of Heiligenkreuz (Holy Cross) in the Wienerwald (Vienna Woods) (Cistercian); Klosterneuburg (Augustinian) near Vienna; and Mariazell (Benedictine) in Styria. Additionally, he reformed the monastery of Melk.
His piety and charity earned him the popular appellation of "the Good." He was notably free from ambition, for in 1125, he refused the imperial crown when his brother-in-law Henry V died. He actively helped the first crusade. Leopold died at Klosterneuburg after reigning as margrave for 40 years. His chronicler Otto of Freising was one of his 18 children. Historians are not without criticism of Saint Leopold; he did lay the foundation for Austria's greatness, but also that for its ecclesiastical provincialism (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer).
In art Saint Leopold is an armed count with a cross upon his coronet, a banner with three eagles, and a model of the church of Heiligenkreuz (Holy Cross) in his hand. In some pictures he is shown (1) hunting with his courtiers, when he finds his wife's veil near the monastery of Klosterneuburg; (2) with the Virgin appearing to him while hunting and the veil nearby; (3) with his countess building Klosterneuburg; (4) before the Virgin and Saint Anne; or (5) with Saint Jerome as patron of Klosterneuburg (Roeder). Leopold is the patron saint of Austria (Encyclopedia); his feast is a national holiday (Farmer).

THIS prince, known as "the Good ", was canonized three hundred and fifty years after his death by Pope Innocent VIII, but only a few reliable particulars of his life have survived.  He was born at Melk in 1073, brought up under the influence of the reforming bishop St Altman of Passau, and succeeded his father when he was twenty-three years old.  In 1106 he married Agnes, daughter of the Emperor Henry IV and a widow.  She had two sons by her first husband, and she now gave eighteen children to Leopold. Of the eleven who survived childhood, one was the historian, Otto of Freising, and it was at the request of this Otto, then Cistercian abbot of Morimond in Burgundy, that St Leopold founded the still existing abbey of Heiligenkreuz in the Wienerwald. Another great foundation of his was Klosterneuburg, near Vienna, for Augustinian canons. This abbey is also still in being, and is a most influential centre of the " liturgical movement " among German-speaking peoples.  The Benedictine monastery of Mariazell, in Styria, whose church is now a popular place of pilgrimage, was also founded by St Leopold.  By these benefactions he forwarded the cause of true religion in his country, setting before the people examples of charity, self-abnegation and devotion to the worship of God.
   In the tortuous and difficult politics, ecclesiastical and secular, of his time Leopold IV played an inconspicuous part, but no doubt an important one, for when his brother-in-law Henry V died in 1125 the Bavarians wished the imperial crown to be offered to him.  But in any case Leopold refused to be nominated. After a reign of forty years St Leopold died in 1136, and was buried at Klosterneuburg amid the lamentations of his people.
   Surius and Pez (Scriptores rensm Austriacarum, vol. i, pp. 577-592) print the only known medieval life of St Leopold. A short German biography by B. A. Egger (1885), was translated into French in 1891.  See also V. 0. Ludwig, Die Legende von milden Markgraf Leopold (1925); and volume of essays on the saint (ed. S. Wintermayr) published at Klosterneuburg in 1936.

1271 Blessed Brother Leo, Priest; Friar Minor, companion of St. Francis of Assisi; confessor and secretary of the saint;
Date of birth uncertain; died at Assisi, 15 November, 1271. He appears to have been a native of Assisi and not of Viterbo, as some later writers have asserted. Although not one of the original twelve companions of St. Francis, Leo was one of the first to join him after the approbation of the first Rule of the Friars Minor (1209-1210) and perhaps was already a priest. In the course of time he became the confessor and secretary of the saint, and from about 1220 up to the time of Francis's death Leo was his constant companion.
   He was with the "Poverello" when the latter retired to Fonte Colombo near Rieti in 1223; to re-write the rule of the order and he accompanied him on his subsequent journey to Rome to seek its approval. The year following Leo was with the saint on Mount La Verna when Francis received the stigmata and he has left us a clear and simple account of that great miracle. This statement he wrote across the face of the autograph blessing which St. Francis had given him on La Verna, as a talisman against temptation, and which is still preserved at S. Francesco in Assisi. The text of a letter written by the saint to Leo some time before is also extant. It is a word of tender encouragement and counsel to the "Frate Pecorello di Dio" (little brother sheep of God) as the Saint had named his faithful disciple because of his simplicity and tenderness. And one of the most golden chapters in the "Fioretti" (Chapter 7) tells how St. Francis showed to Brother Leo "which things were perfect joy". Leo nursed his master during his last illness and as the saint lay dying it was he, together with Angelo, another favourite companion, who consoled Francis by singing the "Canticle of the Sun".
   Leo had entered deeply into the bitter disappointments experienced by the saint during the last few years of his life, and soon after Francis's death he came into conflict with those whom he considered traitors to the Poverello and his ideal of poverty. Having protested against the collection of money for the erection of the basilica of San Francesco and having actually smashed the vase which Brother Elias had set up for contributions (see Elias), Leo was whipped by order of Elias and expelled from Assisi. He thereupon retired to some hermitage of the order and from thenceforth we catch only occasional glimpses of him.
 Thus we find him present in 1253 at the death-bed of St. Clare of whom he was a life-long friend. Leo appears to have passed much of his latter years at the Porziuncola and to have employed himself in writing those works which exerted such a marked influence on Conrad d'Offida, Angelo Clareno, Ubertino da Casale, and other "Spirituals" of a later generation. These writings, in which Leo set forth what he considered to be the real intention of St. Francis regarding the observance of poverty, he is said to have confided to the nuns of S. Chiara in Assisi in order to save them to posterity. Leo died at the Porziuncola on 15 November, 1271, at an advanced age and was buried in the lower church of San Francesco near the tomb of his seraphic father. He is commemorated in the Franciscan Martyrology which gives him the title of Blessed, and the cause of his formal beatification is now (1910) pending with that of the other early companions of St. Francis.

Considerable doubt still exists as to how much Leo actually wrote. The famous "rotuli" and "cedulae" which he deposited with the Poor Clares have not come down to us, but these documents are believed to have been the source from which the "Speculum Perfectionis" and some other compilations of 'materia seraphica' were more or less directly derived. This "Speculum Perfectionis" was first published as a separate work in 1898 by Paul Sabatier, who called it the "Legenda Antiguissima S. Francisci" and claimed that it was written by Leo as early as 1227, as a manifesto against Elias and the other abettors of laxity among the friars. This claim gave rise to a large controversial literature. The majority of critics ascribe the "Speculum Perfectionis" to a later date and regard it as the work of different writers. However this may be, the "Speculum Perfectionis" remains of the utmost value and interest. In spite of its polemic tone--which reflects the controversy raging within the order between the zelanti and mitigati in Leo's day--and its shortcomings from a literary standpoint if compared with the "Legends" of Thomas of Celano and of St. Bonaventure, the portrait of St. Francis which the "Speculum" presents, and which all admit to be substantially due to Leo, affords an insight into the life of the Poverello such as no formal biography contains and such as none but an intimate could have given. Leo was moreover associated with Angelo and Rufino in the composition of the celebrated "Legend of the Three Companions", a work which has been the subject of scarcely less controversy than the "Speculum Perfectionis"; he is also credited with the authorship of a life of Blessed Giles or Aegidius of Assisi inserted in the "Chronicle of the XXIV Generals", and is thought to have collaborated in the biography of St. Clare written about 1257.

 1280 St. Albert the Great Patron of Scientists a Church great intellect  very learned in biblical studies and theology
Colóniæ Agrippínæ sancti Albérti Epíscopi et Confessóris, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, cognoménto Magni, sanctitáte et doctrína célebris, quem Pius Papa Undécimus Doctórem universális Ecclésiæ declarávit, et Pius Duodécimus cultórum scientiárum naturálium cæléstem apud Deum Patrónum constítuit.

At Cologne, St. Albert, surnamed the Great, bishop and confessor of the Order of Preachers, renowned for his holiness and learning.  Pope Pius XI appointed him as Doctor of the universal Church, and Pius XII appointed him as heavenly patron of those studying the natural sciences.

IT was his contemporaries who dubbed St Albert "the Great"; they also, referring to the depth and scope of his learning, called him "the Universal Doctor", and said that he was "a man no iess than godlike in all knowledge, so that he may fitly be called the wonder and miracle of our age".
  Even Friar
Roger Bacon regarded him, more modestly, as "an authority", and his works as original sources".  That he was the master of St Thomas Aquinas has added to his fame, but his contemporaries recognized that he was great in his own right as certainly as posterity has done.
   He was a Swabian by descent, born of the family
of Bollstädt at the castle of Lauingen on the Danube in 1206.  Little is known of his youth or the age at which he went to the University of Padua, but in 1222 Bd Jordan of Saxony, second master general of the Friars Preachers, wrote from that city to Bd Diana de Andelo at Bologna that he had received ten postulants for the order, "and two of them are the sons of great lords, counts in Germany ".  One of them was Albert, whose uncle in Padua had tried to keep him away from the Dominican church, but had failed before the influence of Bd Jordan.  When he heard that his son was clothed as a mendicant the Count of Bollstadt was most indignant, and there was talk of retrieving him by force, but nothing came of it for Albert was discreetly removed to another friary.  This was probably Cologne, where he was teaching  in 1228 ; afterwards he supervised the studies and taught at Hildesheim, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Regensburg, Strasburg and back again at Cologne, making for himself a great reputation throughout the German province.  He was instructed to go to Paris, then as always the intellectual centre of western Europe, and he was there some years, lecturing under a master until he himself took his master's degree.  At the end of this time the Dominicans decided to open four new studia generalia, and in 1248 St Albert was sent to be regent of that at Cologne, where until 1252 he had among his students a young friar called Thomas Aquinas.
  In those days philosophy was understood as the totality of the main branches of knowledge which could be known by the natural powers of the mind:  logic, metaphysics, mathematics, ethics and what we now call physical science; and the writings of St Albert, which fill thirty-eight quarto volumes in print, include works on all these subjects as well as biblical and theological treatises and sermons.  He stands beside Roger Bacon as a great natural scientist, whose aim, he says, "is to investigate the causes that are at work in nature", and some scholars have claimed that he did even more than Bacon himself for the advancement of scientific study.  He was an authority on physics, geography, astronomy, mineralogy, alchemy (i.e. chemistry) and biology, so that it is not surprising that legends grew up that he had and used magical powers. He wrote a treatise on botany and another on human and animal physiology, in the course of which he disposed, from personal observation, of various fables current at that time, as that of Pliny that eagles wrap their eggs in fox-skin and leave them to hatch in the sun. As a geographer he has received especial praise in later times ; he traced the chief mountain ranges of Europe, explained the influence of latitude on climate, and gave an excellent physical description of the earth, which he demonstrated by an elaborate argument to be spherical in shape.
   But the principal fame of St Albert as a doctor resides not in these achievements, but in the fact that, realizing the autonomy of philosophy and seeing the use that could be made of the philosophy of Aristotle in ordering the science of theology, he re-wrote the works of the Philosopher so as to make them acceptable to Christian critics, and by the application of Aristotelean methods and principles to the study of theology inaugurated (with the Englishman Alexander of Hales) the scholastic system which was to be brought to perfection by his pupil St Thomas Aquinas. He was the principal pioneer and forerunner of the "preferred system of the Church"; he collected and selected the materials, even laid the foundations; St Thomas built the edifice.
  Throughout his long years of teaching Albert was writing as well, and he continued the work throughout his otherwise busy life. While directing the Cologne studium his practical abilities became widely recognized, he was in request to adjust administrative and other disputes, and in 1254 he was made prior provincial of his order in Germany. Two years later he attended in that capacity the chapter general in Paris which forbade Friars Preachers at the universities to be called " master" or " doctor ", or anything but their right name. He himself had already been dubbed "the Universal Doctor" and his prestige had helped to provoke the jealousy against the friars of the secular professors. On account of this, which had led to delay in granting degrees to St Thomas and St Bonaventure, Albert went to Italy to defend the mendicant orders against the attacks being made on them at Paris and elsewhere, especially as voiced by William of Saint-Amour in a tract "on the Dangers of these Present Times".
  While he was in Rome, St Albert filled the office of master of the sacred palace (i.e. the pope's personal theologian and canonist, always a Dominican friar) and preached in the churches of the City. In 1200 he received order from the Holy See to undertake the government of the diocese of Regensburg, a church, he was informed, that was "turned upside-down in spiritual as well as temporal matters". He was bishop for under two years, Pope Urban IV then accepting his resignation; he did much to remedy the distresses of the diocese, but the scheming of powerful interests and the stubbornness of entrenched abuses made the task too much for him.  To the great joy of his master general, Bd Humbert of Romans, who had in vain tried to induce Alexander IV not to make him a bishop, St Albert returned to the studium at Cologne. But the next year he was called away again, this time to help the Franciscan Berthold of Ratisbon to preach the crusade in Germany. This over, he went back again to Cologne and taught and wrote there in peace till 1274, when he was bidden to attend the fourteenth general council at Lyons.  Just before he set out he heard of the death of his beloved disciple, Thomas Aquinas (it is said to have been revealed directly to him by God), but in spite of this shock and his advancing age St Albert took an active part in the assembly; he worked with Bd Peter of Tarentaise (Innocent X) and William of Moerbeke for the reunion of the Greeks, throwing all his influence to the side of peace and reconciliation.
     St Albert probably made his last public appearance three years later, when some of the writings of St Thomas were seriously attacked by Stephen Tempier, Bishop of Paris, and other theologians.  He hurried to Paris to defend the teaching of his dead disciple, teaching that was in great measure his own as well; he challenged the university to examine himself personally upon it, but he could not avert the local condemnation of certain points. In 1278, during a lecture, his memory suddenly failed; there is a story, insufficiently attested, that he related to his auditors how when he was a young friar he had been very discouraged and strongly inclined to return to secular life; how our Lady had appeared to him in a prophetic dream and promised to ask for him illuminating grace in his studies if he would persevere, but that his powers would fail again in old age, and that this lapse was a warning of the end.  The loss of memory became acute, the strength of his mind failed, and after two years St Albert died, peacefully and without illness, sitting in his chair among his brethren at Cologne, on November 15, 1280.
  It has been said that, "Throughout Albert's writings there are frequent signs that his whole life was one of remarkable holiness, but there are also signs that as long as he wielded a pen he fell short of the saintly suppression of self that distinguished St Thomas. It is not until Albert has laid aside his pen and taken to expressing his profoundest thought in tears that we feel ourselves in the presence of a candidate for canonization."  This gradual attainment of the heights of sanctity is paralleled by the slow journey of Albert to the altars of the Church.  He was not beatified till the year 1622 and, though there was considerable increase in devotion to him, especially in Germany, canonization did not follow. In 1872 and again in 1927 the German bishops petitioned the Holy See to canonize him, without apparent effect. Then, on December 16, 1931, Pope Pius XI by a detretal letter proclaimed Albert the Great a doctor of the Church, thereby equivalently declaring him to be a saint and, moreover, one whose feast should be observed throughout the Western church. St Albert had, said the pope, "that rare and divine gift, scientific instinct, in the highest degree...he is exactly the saint whose example should inspire the present age, which so ardently seeks peace and is so full of hope in its scientific discoveries".  He is the patron saint of students of the natural sciences.
Especially since the canonization, a number of excellent lives of St Albert have been published, and in nearly all of them a careful account is given of the sources.  Of medieval biographies the most important is that of Peter of Prussia, though it was not written unitil towards the close of the fifteenth century.  An earlier sketch was produced in the middle of the fourteenth century by Henry of Herford (Herford in Westphalia ; by some perversity many translators from the German present the name as Hereford, which is quite a different place), and before this we have sundry short appreciations in the Vitae fratrum of Gerard de Fracheto, the Bonum universale of Thomas of Cantimpre, and the De yiris ilustribus by John of Cologne. Modern investigators, who have set about their task in a more scientiflc spirit, point out that a considerable amount of biographical material is latent in St Albert's own writings. His commentaries on the gospels and his sermons contain not infrequent references to incidents of his childhood or to his experiences as bishop.  Further, we may obtain light from documents of a more or less official character, for example, the Acta capitulorum generalium O.P. (ed. Reichert, vol. i, 1898), or such a collection as H. Finke's Ungedruckte Dominicaner Briefe des XIII Jahrhunderts (1891).  Using these or similar materials, Quétif and Echard in their Scriptores Ordinir Praedicatorum, vol.  (17,9), had already compiled a reliablo literary portrait of the saint ; to which a valuable supplement was provided in the series of articles by P. von Loe in the Analecta Bollandiana, vols. xix to xxi (1900-2), and in his Kritische Strezfzuge auf dem Gebiete der Albertus-Magnus-Forschung (1904). Another notable contribution to the understanding of St Albert's influence on medieval culture was that of Emil Michael, Geschithte des deutschen Volkes, vol. iii (1903), pp. 69-128, and also M. Grabmann's articles in the Zeitschnftfijr Kath. Theologie, vol. 111(1928). Among recent lives may be mentioned H. Wilma, Albert the Great (1933); T. M. Schwertner, Saint Albert the Great (1933)  A. Garreau, Saint Albert le Grand (1932) ; H. C. Scheeben, Albert der Grosse (1931); and a good general sketch by Sister M. Albert (1948).  Other aspects of St Albert's work have been dealt with by A. R. Bachiller, Alberta Magna y las Ciencias empiricas (1933)  Bonné, Die Erkenntnislehre Albert: den Grossen (1935) ; H. Fleckenstein, Die theologische Lehre von der materiellen Welt (1933)   M. M. Gorce, L'E,ssor de la pensee au moyen age, Albert le Grand (1933) R. Lien; Die Naturkunde von der menschlichen Seele nach Albert dem Grossen (1933), etc. There is a good bibliography in the life by Wilms, to supplement which consult the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. 1i(1933), pp. 183-190.
VATICAN CITY, 24 MAR 2010 (VIS) - In today's general audience, celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Pope turned his attention to St. Albert the Great, whom he described as "one of the greatest masters of scholastic theology".
  The saint, who was born in Germany at the beginning of the thirteenth century, "studied what were known as the 'liberal arts': grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music; in other words, general culture, and he diplayed that typical interest for the natural sciences which would soon become his chosen field of specialisation".
  He entered the Order of Preachers and, following his ordination as a priest, had the opportunity to complete his theological studies at the most famous university of his age, Paris. From there he went to Cologne, taking Thomas Aquinas with him, his own "outstanding student". Pope Alexander IV made use of Albert's theological counsel, and subsequently appointed him as bishop of Regensburg.
  Albert, recalled the Holy Father, "contributed to the 1274 Council of Lyon, called by Pope Gregory X to favour the unification of the Latin and Greek Churches following their separation in the great Eastern Schism of 1054. He clarified the ideas of Thomas Aquinas, who had been the subject of entirely unjustified objections and even condemnations".
  The German saint died in Cologne in the year 1280, and was canonised and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI in 1931, "undoubtedly an appropriate recognition for this great man of God" who was also "an outstanding scholar, not only of the truth of faith but in many other fields of knowledge". For this reason too, "Pope Pius XII named him as patron of the natural sciences, also giving him the title of 'Doctor universalis' because of the vastness of his interests and knowledge".
  "Above all, St. Albert shows that there is no opposition between faith and science. ... He reminds us that there is friendship between science and faith, and that scientists can, through their vocation to study nature, follow an authentic and absorbing path of sanctity", said the Holy Father.
  "St. Albert the Great opened the door to the complete acceptance of the thought of Aristotle into the philosophy and theology of the Middle Ages, an acceptance that was later definitively elaborated by St. Thomas Aquinas. This acceptance of what we may call pagan or pre-Christian philosophy was an authentic cultural revolution for the time. Yet many Christian thinkers feared Aristotle's philosophy", especially as it had been interpreted in such a was as to appear "entire irreconcilable with Christian faith. Thus a dilemma arose: are faith and reason in contrast with one another or not?
  "Here lies one of the great merits of St. Albert: he rigorously studied the works of Aristotle, convinced that anything that is truly reasonable is compatible with faith as revealed in Sacred Scripture", the Pope added.
  "St. Albert was able to communicate these concepts in a simple and understandable way. A true son of St. Dominic, he readily preached to the people of God who were won over by his words and the example of his life".
  The Pope concluded his catechesis by asking God "that the holy Church may never lack learned, pious and wise theologians like St. Albert the Great, and that He may help each of us to accept the 'formula for sanctity' which Albert followed in his own life: 'Wanting everything I want for the glory of God just as, for His glory, God wants everything He wants'. In other words, we must always conform ourselves to the will of God in order to want and do everything always and only for His glory".
AG/ALBERT THE GREAT/... VIS 100324 (620)
On St. Albert the Great
"Scientific Study Is Transformed Then Into a Hymn of Praise"
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 24, 2010 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience in St. Peter's Square.
Dear brothers and sisters,  
One of the greatest teachers of Medieval theology is St. Albert the Great. The title "great" (magnus) with which he has passed into history, indicates the vastness and depth of his doctrine, which he coupled with holiness of life. But already his contemporaries did not hesitate to attribute excellent titles to him; one of his disciples, Ulrich of Strasbourg, described him as "wonder and miracle of our age."
Born in Germany at the beginning of the 13th century, he was still young when he went to Italy, to Padua, seat of one of the most famous universities of the Middle Ages. He dedicated himself to the study of the so-called liberal arts: grammar, rhetoric, dialectics, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music, that is, of the general culture, manifesting that typical interest for the natural sciences, which would soon become the favorite field of his specialization. During his stay in Padua, he frequented the church of the Dominicans, whom he later joined with the profession of religious vows. The hagiographic sources lead one to understand that Albert matured this decision gradually. The intense relationship with God, the example of holiness of the Dominican Friars, the listening of sermons of Blessed Giordano of Saxony, successor of St. Dominic in the leadership of the Order of Preachers, were the decisive factors that helped him to overcome every doubt, overcoming also family resistance. Often, in the years of youth, God speaks to us and indicates the plan of our life. As for Albert, so for all of us, personal prayer nourished by the Word of the Lord, the frequenting of the sacraments and the spiritual guidance of enlightened men are the means to discover and follow the voice of God. He received the religious habit from Blessed Giordano of Saxony.
After his priestly ordination, the superiors sent him to teach in several centers of theological study adjacent to monasteries of the Dominican Fathers. His brilliant intellectual qualities enabled him to perfect the study of theology in the most famous university of the time, that of Paris. From then on St. Albert undertook that extraordinary activity of writer, which he would then follow for his whole life.
He was assigned prestigious tasks. In 1248 he was charged with opening a theological study at Cologne, one of the most important administrative centers of Germany, where he lived in successive stages, and which became his adopted city. From Paris he took with him an exceptional pupil, Thomas Aquinas. The merit would suffice of having been St. Thomas' teacher to foster profound admiration toward St. Albert. Established between these two great theologians was a relationship of mutual esteem and friendship, human attitudes that help much in the development of science. In 1254, Albert was elected Provincial of the "Provincia Teutoniae" -- Teutonic Province -- of the Dominican Fathers, which embraced communities spread over a vast territory in Central and Northern Europe. He distinguished himself for the zeal with which he exercised this ministry, visiting the communities and constantly recalling his fellow brothers to fidelity, to the teachings and examples of St. Dominic.
His gifts did not pass unnoticed and the Pope of that time, Alexander IV, wanted Albert next to him for a certain time in Anagni -- where the Pope frequently went -- in Rome itself and in Viterbo, to make use of his theological counsel. The same Supreme Pontiff appointed him bishop of Regensburg, a great and famous diocese, which was, however, going through a difficult time. From 1260 to 1262 Albert carried out this ministry with tireless dedication, succeeding in taking peace and concord to the city, reorganizing parishes and convents, and giving a new impulse to charitable activities.
In the years 1263-1264 Albert preached in Germany and in Bohemia, charged by Pope Urban IV, to return then to Cologne to take up again his mission of docent, scholar and writer. Being a man of prayer, of learning and of charity, he enjoyed great authoritativeness in his interventions, in several affairs of the Church and of the society of the time. He was above all a man of reconciliation and peace in Cologne, where the archbishop had entered into harsh opposition with the city's institutions; he spent himself during the unfolding of the Second Council of Lyon in 1274, convoked by Pope Gregory X to foster the union between the Latin and Greek Churches, after the separation of the Great Schism of the East of 1054; he clarified the thought of Thomas Aquinas, who was the object of objections and even of wholly unjustified condemnations.
He died in the cell of his monastery of the Holy Cross in Cologne in 1280, and very soon was venerated by his fellow brothers. The Church proposed him to the devotion of the faithful with his beatification in 1622 and his canonization in 1931, when Pope Pius XI proclaimed him Doctor of the Church. It was undoubtedly an appropriate recognition of this great man of God and illustrious scholar not only of the truths of the faith, but of very many other sectors of learning; in fact, glancing at the titles of his very numerous works, we realize that his culture was something prodigious, and that his encyclopedic interest led him to be concerned not only with philosophy and theology, as other contemporaries, but also with every other discipline then known, from physics to chemistry, from astronomy to mineralogy, from botany to zoology. For this reason Pope Pius XII named him patron of cultivators of the natural sciences and he is also called "Doctor universalis" precisely because of the vastness of his interest and learning.
Of course, the scientific methods adopted by St. Albert the Great are not those that were to be affirmed in subsequent centuries. His method consisted simply in observation, description and classification of phenomenons studied, but thus he opened the door for future works.
He still has much to teach us. Above all, St. Albert shows that between faith and science there is no opposition, notwithstanding some episodes of misunderstanding recorded in history. A man of faith and prayer, as St. Albert the Great was, can cultivate serenely the study of the natural sciences and progress in the knowledge of the micro and macro cosmos, discovering the laws proper of matter, because all this concurs to feed the thirst for and love of God. The Bible speaks to us of creation as the first language through which God -- who is supreme intelligence, who is Logos -- reveals to us something of himself. The Book of Wisdom, for example, states that the phenomena of nature, gifted with grandeur and beauty, are as the works of an artist, through which, by analogy, we can know the Author of creation (cf. Wisdom 13:5). With a classic similarity in the Medieval Age and the Renaissance one can compare the natural world with a book written by God, which we read on the basis of several approaches of the sciences (cf. Address to the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Oct. 31, 2008). How many scientists, in fact, in the wake of St. Albert the Great, have carried forward their research inspired by wonder and gratitude before a world that, in the eyes of scholars and believers, seemed and seems the good work of a wise and loving Creator! Scientific study is transformed then into a hymn of praise. It was well understood by a great astrophysicist of our times, whose cause of beatification has been introduced, Enrico Medi, who wrote: "Oh, you mysterious galaxies ... I see you, I calculate you, I understand you, I study you and discover you, I penetrate you and I am immersed in you. From you I take the light and I do science, I take the motion and do science, I take the sparkling of colors and make poetry; I take you stars in my hands, and trembling in the unity of my being I raise you beyond yourselves, and in prayer I hand you to the Creator, that only through me you stars can adore" (The Works. Hymn to Creation).
St. Albert the Great reminds us that between science and faith there is friendship, and that the men of science can undertake, through their vocation to the study of nature, a genuine and fascinating journey of sanctity.
His extraordinary openness of mind is revealed also in a cultural operation that he undertook with success, that is, in the acceptance and evaluation of the thought of Aristotle. Spreading at the time of St. Albert, in fact, was knowledge of numerous works of this great Greek philosopher who lived in the fourth century before Christ, above all in the realm of ethics and metaphysics. They demonstrated the force of reason, explained with lucidity and clarity the meaning and structure of reality, of its intelligibility, the value and end of human actions. St. Albert the Great opened the door for the complete reception of the philosophy of Aristotle in Medieval philosophy and theology, a reception elaborated later in a definitive way by St. Thomas. This reception of a philosophy, let us say, pagan and pre-Christian was an authentic cultural revolution for that time. And yet, many Christian thinkers feared Aristotle's philosophy, non-Christian philosophy, above all because, presented by its Arab commentators, it was interpreted in a way of appearing, at least in some points, as altogether irreconcilable with the Christian faith. Thus a dilemma was posed: are faith and reason in opposition to one another or not?
Here is one of the great merits of St. Albert: with scientific rigor he studied the works of Aristotle, convinced that everything that is rational is compatible with the faith revealed in sacred Scriptures. In other words, St. Albert the Great, thus contributed to the formation of an autonomous philosophy, different from theology and united to it only by the unity of the truth. Thus was born in the 13th century a clear distinction between these two learnings, philosophy and theology, which, in dialogue between them, cooperate harmoniously in the discovery of the authentic vocation of man, thirsty for truth and blessedness: and it is above all theology, defined by St. Albert as "affective science," which indicates to man his call to eternal joy, a joy that gushes from full adherence to the truth.
St. Albert the Great was able to communicate these concepts in a simple and comprehensible way. Authentic son of St. Dominic, he preached willingly to the people of God, which were conquered by his word and the example of his life.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray to the Lord so that there will never be lacking in the Holy Church learned, pious and wise theologians like St. Albert the Great and may he help each one of us to make our own the "formula of sanctity" that he followed in his life: "To want everything that I want for the glory of God, to wish and do everything only and always for his glory."

[Translation by ZENIT]  [The Holy Father then greeted the people in several languages. In English, he said:]
Dear Brothers and Sisters, 
In our catechesis on the Christian culture of the Middle Ages, we now turn to Saint Albert, better known as Albertus Magnus, Albert the Great. A universal genius whose interests ranged from the natural sciences to philosophy and theology, Albert entered the Dominicans and, after studies in Paris, taught in Cologne. Elected provincial of the Teutonic province, he served as bishop of Regensburg for four years and then returned to teaching and writing. He played an important part in the Council of Lyons, and he worked to clarify and defend the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, his most brilliant student. Albert was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI, and Pope Pius XII named him the patron of the natural sciences. Saint Albert shows us that faith is not opposed to reason, and that the created world can be seen as a "book" written by God and capable of being "read" in its own way by the various sciences. His study of Aristotle also brought out the difference between the sciences of philosophy and theology, while insisting that both cooperate in enabling us to discover our vocation to truth and happiness, a vocation which finds its fulfillment in eternal life.
I welcome all the English-speaking visitors, especially a group of priests, Religious and seminarians visiting from the Philippines. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and your families, I invoke God's abundant blessings. ©Copyright 2010 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
[He concluded in Italian:] Finally, I greet young people, the sick and newlyweds. May the Solemnity of the Annunciation, which we celebrate tomorrow, be for all an invitation to follow the example of Mary Most Holy: for you, dear young people, may it translate into prompt availability to the call of the Father, so that you can be evangelical leaven in our society; for you, dear sick, may it be a stimulus to renew the serene and confident acceptance of the divine will and transform your suffering into a means of redemption for the whole of humanity; may Mary's yes inspire in you, dear newlyweds, an ever more generous commitment in building a family founded on mutual love and eternal Christian values.  [Translation by ZENIT]
He studied at the University of Padua and later taught at Hildesheim, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Regensburg, and Strasbourg. He then taught at the University of Paris, where he received his doctorate in 1245. He was among the first and greatest of the natural scientists, gaining a reputation for expertise in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geography, metaphysics, and mathematics. He trained and directed a pupil who gave the world a concise, clear, and perfect scientific exposition and defence of Christian Doctrine; under God, therefore, we owe to Albertus Magnus the "Summa Theologica" of St. Thomas who died before Albert(1274). He was also very learned in biblical studies and theology.
Albert the Great, OP B Dr. (RM) (also known as Albertus Magnus) Born in Lauingen, Swabia, Germany, c. 1207; died in Cologne, 1280; beatified in 1622; canonized and named a doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI.
St. Albert Image of Saint Alfred the Great courtesy of Saint Charles Borromeo Church

Among Christians there often arises a dispute regarding the relative merits of science and theology, of intellectual versus spiritual understanding. Some say that the two are irreconcilable, forgetting that, according to the technical definition, myths (such as the Creation Story) offer more than simply a surface explanation of the mechanics of science. Studying the life of Saint Albert the Great should put aside these disputes.

Today in Cologne, the spires of a building began seven centuries earlier still point to heaven. It is only a legend that credits the design of the cathedral to Saint Albert the Great. But it is so typical of his own life, pointing all beauty to heaven, that it is a legend that is very easy to believe. Albert, who even secular history calls "the Great," spent his life in teaching that science and faith have no quarrel, and that all earthly loveliness and order can be traced directly to God.
Early Life
Albert was born in a castle in the diocese of Bavaria, the eldest son of the count of Bollstaedt. Albert was of small stature, but strongly built, having gigantic shoulders and a mole on one eyelid.

Albert's keen observation, which was later to show itself in his scientific works, had its initial training in the woods near his father's castle, where he and his brother Henry--who also became a Dominican--hunted with hawks and hounds, and became experts in falconry. Their first education was at home under private tutors.  That both his brother Henry and his sister also became Dominicans attests to the piety of his family.
In 1222, at the age of 16, he was sent to study law at the famous university of Padua (some say Bologna) under supervision of his uncle who was a canon there. He proved to be an outstanding student, and a brilliant future lay before him in a well-paid career. But God had other plans for Saint Albert.

The Call
Here in Italy Albert met Jordan of Saxony, a fellow-countryman and the second master-general of the Dominican Order following the death of Saint Dominic on August 4, 1221. Jordan's enormous charisma earned him the nickname 'Siren of the Schools' as he travelled from place to place seeking recruits for the young order. Albert was greatly affected by what he heard, and vowed to become a Dominican.
He wavered, though, both because he doubted whether he could persevere and because his uncle opposed him. On the false pretext that travel helps form the character of a youth, his uncle took him on a trip to Venice, and at the same time obtained from the pope an annulment of the vow that he thought so rash. But what can a man, even a priest, do against the will of God?
On their return Albert went to the University of Padua, where he encountered the crisis of his life when he heard another sermon by Blessed Jordan. The preacher spoke of those young men who wavered between certainty and doubt, who hesitated because they feared they might not persevere, when in reality they ought to offer themselves entirely to God and trust in him.
Albert was astonished at what he heard. Going after Blessed Jordan he said, "Master, who has laid bear my heart to you?" Blessed Jordan comforted him, explaining that he had not been addressing any particular individual, but all alike who might be so affected, yet no doubt this was a message of God to him personally; transfixed by these words, he immediately offered himself. He was received into the Order, probably in 1223, and completed his theological studies.
A legend is told of this period which serves to bring out both the greatness of Albert's science and his love for Our Lady. Albert, it is related, had not worn the white habit for long when it became plain to him that he was no match for the mental wizards with whom he was studying. Anything concrete, which he could take apart and study, he could understand, but the abstract sciences were too much for him.

He decided to run away from it all; planning a quiet departure, he carefully laid a ladder against the wall and waited for his opportunity. As he was kneeling for one last Hail Mary before he should go over the wall, Our Lady appeared to him. She reproached him gently for his forgetfulness of her--why had he not remembered to ask her for what he wanted? Then she gave him the gift of science he so much desired, and disappeared. Whatever the truth behind the legend--and it has survived, almost unchanged, through the many years--it is equally certain that Albert was a devout client of Our Lady and a master scientist.

Albert was ordained a priest in 1228. He was then sent to teach in Cologne, where his critical lectures on the Sentences of Peter Lombard made his name; he afterward came to be known as the greatest German scholar of the Middle Ages. Later he taught in Hildesheim, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Regensburg (Ratisbon) for two years, Strasbourg and again in Cologne. He traveled from one place to another on foot, preaching, praying, and observing. His mind was receptive, daring, modern, and picked up an extraordinary amount of information. From the first his great erudition had been recognized, to say nothing of his deep piety and humility.

Albert rejected nothing of value that his age could offer him, doing so not out of a superficial syncretism, which would try to please everybody, but out of his concern not to lose anything that might be an element of the truth.

From 1240 to 1248 Albert was at the monastery of Saint-Jacques in Paris; Place Maubert and Rue Maitre-Albert in the Latin Quarter evoke his memory, while the Rue du Fouarre recalls the crowd of students who gathered round his pulpit, seated on their small bundles of straw.
It was in Paris that he had the happiness of seeing a quiet student from the Kingdom of Sicily rise like a brilliant star that would outshine all the others. What must it have been like to watch the mind of Saint Thonas Aquinas develop and unfold to the wisdom of time and eternity, and to help him open the doors to profound truth?
Albert was one of the first to recognize, cultivate, and proclaim the brilliance of his good friend and student Saint Thomas Aquinas. It takes a man of great humility and great sanctity to see and cultivate the potential for it in others, and these Albert had.
Albert took Thomas under his wing, assigned him a room adjoining his own, and for nearly five years was his inseparable companion. They studied together in both Paris, where Albert taught and earned his doctorate in theology in 1244-45, and in Cologne. He helped adapt the Scholastic method, which applied Aristotelian methods to revealed doctrine, an approach that was further developed by Saint Thomas.

In 1248 Albert again moved to University of Cologne, where he served as regent of the new studia generalia until 1254, when he was elected provincial of the Teutonia, a vast Dominican province including Alsace, Belgium, and Germany as far as the frontiers of Poland and Hungary. He personally visited all the monasteries in his province, convened chapters, imposed penances, ensured that observances were respected, and, above all, preached by his own example.
In 1256 Albert went to Rome, where he defended the mendicant orders against William of Saint Armour (who was condemned later in the year by Pope Alexander IV). Then he served for a time as the personal theologian to the pope and professor of Holy Scripture. By 1257, when a general chapter was held in Florence, Albert had completed his mandate and gladly resigned his provincialatae to return to his studies and his pulpit in Cologne. But, unfortunately for him and for his pupils, not for very long.

During his short return to study, together with Thomas Aquinas and Peter of Tarentais, Albert drew up a new curriculum of study for the Dominicans (1259).

As Bishop
The time for study was interrupted too soon, when on January 5, 1260, Pope Alexander IV appointed Albert bishop of Regensburg (Ratisbon) against his wishes and, though the master general tried the stop the appointment, very reluctantly Albert was obliged to accept. Vigorous reforms were needed in Regensburg and Albert was the man for the job.

The new bishop used his authority with severity against those who were injuring the Church in her temporal possessions. He cleaned up the administration, ordered economies, put the debts in order, solicited generous gifts, and restored deteriorating buildings. By his own example he showed his priests a life of purity, strict poverty, harsh penance, and piety; he helped greatly to restore to fervor a diocese in disorder. He dealt severely with his clergy, condemning their concubinage, idleness and simony.

As for his episcopal robes, he just settled for a pair of stout shoes, which he needed for his long journeys on foot. The people were astonished and called him "the bishop in clogs," or simply, "Clodhopper." Saint Clodhopper for God, forever in the march along the paths of the Gospel!

The clergy resented his simplicity and rejected his reforms, and the avaricious nobles refused to return the Church's property. Once the worst problems were corrected, Albert clearly recognized that he could serve God better from a pulpit. Albert felt called back to his life's work of teaching and the restoration of theology.

After two years as bishop, he journeyed to Rome and asked to be relieved of the office. The petition was granted, but he was appointed to preach the crusade in the German-speaking countries, a work he continued for several years with a companion preacher, the Franciscan Berthold of Ratisbon, going as far as Lithuania. These labors ended with the death of Pope Urban IV. And Albert returned to Wurzburg (where he lived for three years), Strasbourg, and once more to Cologne in 1270 to teach again under the obedience of the Dominican Order.

Old Age
For the last dozen years of his life he taught theology in Cologne, with a break in 1274 to take an active part in the general council of Lyons, working for the reunion of the Greek and Roman Churches. Albert's sadness at the failure of the council was surpassed by the death of Thomas Aquinas, age 49, on the road from Rome to the council in the little monastery of Hautecombe. He died calmly while making a commentary on the Song of Songs. Thomas's last wish, as he told the monks attending him, was to eat a good French herring. Such is the simplicity of saints.
Albert wept bitterly that the 'glory and ornament of the world' had gone. He outlived his beloved pupil by several years, and, in extreme old age, he walked halfway across Europe to defend a thesis of Thomas's that was challenged. He fiercely and brilliantly defended Saint Thomas and his position against Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris and a group of theologians at the university there in 1277.

On his return to the monastery at Cologne, Albert ceased teaching forever and retired permanently to his cell. He had kept the innocence and freshness of his faith, and prayed like a child. He love the Virgin Mary with tenderly, and wrote one of his most beautiful theological treatises in her praise. For the last two years of his life, Albert suffered from increasing memory loss and ill health, which led to his death in Cologne on November 15, 1280. Saint Albert is enshrined in the church of Saint Andreas in Cologne.

Albert had an enquiring mind, ranking beside Roger Bacon as one of the first and greatest natural scientists. He was an experimenter and a classifier at a time when all experimental knowledge was under suspicion. There was not a field in which he did not at least try his hand, and his keenness of mind and precision of detail make his remarks valuable, even though, because he lacked facts which we now have, his conclusions were incomplete.
It is difficult to estimate his vast erudition, the acuteness of mind and keenness of intellect of this learned and saintly man. In philosophy his work exhibited the highest achievement of human reason when thrown on its own resources.

The whole realm of nature and grace are covered by his encyclopedic knowledge; he wrote even more than Saint Thomas Aquinas himself. Some of his works still remain in manuscript unpublished and as many as seventy others have been lost. His printed works fill 38 quarto volumes and deal with all branches of learning. Among his works are Summa theologie, De unitate intellectus contra Averren, De vegetabilibus, and Summa de creaturis.
He stands out in particular for his recognition of the autonomy of human reason in its own sphere, of the validity of knowledge gained from sensory experience, and of the value of Aristotle's philosophy in systematizing theology. Aquinas perfected the synthesis now known as the Scholastic method.
At the time of his scientific investigations, the field was almost exclusively in the hands of the Arabian philosophers--inheritors of the work of Avicenna and Averroes--who had drawn a great part of their errors from faulty interpretation of Aristotle. Since Aristotle, who must be regarded as the greatest comprehensive genius of any age, no other had written on the subject (as far as known), until Albert the Great.

During the intervening millennia between Aristotle and Albert, there had been a void; after his time three hundred years passed before botany was taken seriously. Albert commenced by making a catalogue of all the trees, plants, and herbs known in his own time. His minute observations on their forms and variations show an exquisite sense of their floral beauty, which he attributed to God. He was acquainted with the sleep of plants, with the periodic opening and closing of flowers, with the diminution of sap during evaporation from the cuticle of the leaf, and with the influence of the distribution of bundles of vessels on the foliar indentations. And this is only the beginning of his observations.

In addition to botany, he wrote in similar detail on astronomy, chemistry, physics, biology, metaphysics, ethics, scripture, geography, geology (one of his treatises proved the earth to be spherical), logic, mathematics, theology, and meteorology; he made maps and charts and experimented with plants; he studied chemical reactions; designed instruments to help with navigation; and he made detailed studies of birds and animals. His brilliance and erudition caused him to be called the "Universal Doctor" by his contemporaries.

Albert's admiration for Arabic learning and culture caused suspicion in some quarters. His and Thomas Aquinas's adaptation of Aristotelian principles to systematic theology and their attempts to reconcile Aristotelianism to Christianity caused bitter opposition among many of their fellow theologians. Conservatives condemned these dangerous innovations as being tainted with heresy since they came from pagan Greek, Islamic, and Jewish thinkers.

Saint Albert knew that studying the minute beauty and perfection of creation gives us reason to glorify God. The universe is full of mystery; the intellect of man has only touched its outer fringe. Had the students of natural science proceeded along the lines Albert had laid down, the wrong road taken for three centuries might have been avoided.

In the modern mechanistic view, God is excluded, but Albert saw the whole universe as the work of God's hand. I've stressed Albert's erudition, but his whole life was absorbed in God; the Master of the Universe developed in him a greatest also of soul. He found God everywhere and in all things and always saw some good in others and in their books. His work was to sift out the good and to reserve it for Christ.

True greatness of soul is not content with merely observing the good, but passes on its revelation to others, thus revealing the noble disposition towards magnanimity. His task was to demonstrate the harmony between natural truth and divine revelation and to give this abundantly to others.

Saint Albert was canonized by being enrolled among the doctors of the Church by Pope Pius XI in 1931. He was also named patron saint of students of the natural sciences, for he had, said the pope, 'that rare and divine gift, scientific instinct, in the highest degree...; he is exactly the saint whose example ought to inspire the present age' (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Dorcy, Encyclopedia, Murray, White, Wilms).

Faith and Science
The opposition between science and faith is only apparent. It originates either in the error of scientists who forward unprovable hypotheses as undoubted facts--the theory of evolution, for instance--or in the mistakes of theologians who would give their private, false opinions as gospel truths. If both would remain within the confines of their own science, no opposition would be possible.

Saint Albert insisted that 'purely from reason no one can attain to knowledge of the Trinity, the Incarnation of Jesus and the Resurrection.'

But, in fact reason and faith are helpful to each other. Reason gives faith a solid foundation, so that we are not asked to give blind assent to truths we cannot know. It also furnishes us with strong extrinsic proof of the contents of divine revelation. Faith, on the other hand, "furnishes facts to the other sciences," Cardinal Newman says, "which these sciences, left to themselves, would never reach, and it invalidates apparent facts, which left to themselves, they would imagine."

Science deals only with secondary causes; when it questions why things happen it ceases to be science and becomes philosophy, but religion interests itself with the Primary Cause of all things.

We are surrounded by the mystery of the universe; it is in no way peculiar to religion. Science may make continual progress and tell us of countless new and marvelous things, but the why and the wherefore of them are altogether beyond its scope. There are mysteries in God's world, both of nature and of grace.

The First Vatican Council teaches us, "The Church therefore, far from hindering the pursuit of the arts and sciences, fosters and promotes them in many ways. Nor does she prevent sciences, each in its own sphere, from making use of their own principles and methods. Yet, while acknowledging the freedom due to them, she tries to preserve them from falling into error contrary to divine doctrine, and from overstepping their own boundaries and throwing into confusion matters that belong to the domain of faith" (Decree 16.12.41).

Saint Albert is represented in art as a Dominican with a doctor's cap and a book. Sometimes he is shown (1) lecturing from a pulpit; (2) with Saint Thomas Aquinas; or (3) as a Dominican bishop with pen and book (Roeder).  Patron of all natural sciences, scientists, and students of science (Roeder).

 St. Albert the Great
(1206-1280) Albert the Great was a 13th-century German Dominican who influenced decisively the stance of the Church toward Aristotelian philosophy brought to Europe by the spread of Islam. Students of philosophy know him as the master of Thomas Aquinas. Albert’s attempt to understand Aristotle’s writings established the climate in which Thomas Aquinas developed his synthesis of Greek wisdom and Christian theology.
Albert deserves recognition on his own merits as a curious, honest and diligent scholar.

He was the eldest son of a powerful and wealthy German lord of military rank. He was educated in the liberal arts. Despite fierce family opposition, he entered the Dominican novitiate.  His boundless interests prompted him to write a compendium of all knowledge: natural science, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, astronomy, ethics, economics, politics and metaphysics. His explanation of learning took 20 years to complete.
"Our intention," he said, "is to make all the aforesaid parts of knowledge intelligible to the Latins."

He achieved his goal while serving as an educator at Paris and Cologne, as Dominican provincial and even as bishop of Regensburg for a time. He defended the mendicant orders and preached the Crusade in Germany and Bohemia.
Albert, a Doctor of the Church, is the patron of scientists and philosophers.
Comment:  An information glut faces us Christians today in all branches of learning. One needs only to read current Catholic periodicals to experience the varied reactions to the findings of the social sciences, for example, in regard to Christian institutions, Christian life-styles and Christian theology. Ultimately, in canonizing Albert, the Church seems to point to his openness to truth, wherever it may be found, as his claim to holiness. His characteristic curiosity prompted Albert to mine deeply for wisdom within a philosophy his Church warmed to with great difficulty.
Quote:  "There are some who desire knowledge merely for its own sake; and that is shameful curiosity. And there are others who desire to know, in order that they may themselves be known; and that is vanity, disgraceful too. Others again desire knowledge in order to acquire money or preferment by it; that too is a discreditable quest. But there are also some who desire knowledge, that they may build up the souls of others with it; and that is charity. Others, again, desire it that they may themselves be built up thereby; and that is prudence. Of all these types, only the last two put knowledge to the right use" (St. Bernard, Sermon on the Canticle of Canticles).
1457 Saint Philip of Rabanga founder of the Savior-Transfiguration monastery, near Kadnikov closest disciple of St Dionysius of Glushitsa extremely strict with himself, but lenient towards the infirmities of others

Saint Philip of Rabanga was the founder of the Savior-Transfiguration monastery, near Kadnikov to the northeast of Vologda. He spent the beginning of his monastic life in the monastery of St Dionysius of Glushitsa (June 1) one of his closest disciples.

Upon the death of his teacher and spiritual Father, St Philip left the Glushitsa monastery and settled in a sparsely populated area at the confluence of the Sukhona and Rabanga Rivers. The saint wanted to lead his life in complete solitude. The local inhabitants learned about him, and seeking his guidance to become monks, they began to come to him in the wilderness. Accepting this as a mandate from above, St Philip traveled to Rostov to the holy Archbishop Ephraim (March 27) and asked the saint's blessing to found a monastery and to build a church in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord (the temple was built in 1447).

Tradition relates that the holy founder of the Savior-Transfiguration monastery was extremely strict with himself, but lenient towards the infirmities of others. St Philip died on November 15, 1457 and was buried in the monastery he founded.

1539 Bl. Roger James English martyr monk at Glastonbury
Benedictine monastery. The youngest member of the monastic community of Glastonbury, he served as sacrist until the seizure of the community by the troops of King Henry VIII during the infamous Dissolution of the Monasteries of England. Arrested and condemned as a traitor when the monks opposed the royal decree, Roger was hanged, drawn, and quartered on Tor Hill, over looking Glastonbury, with his abbot, Blessed Richard Whiting, and with Blessed John Thome. They were beatified in 1895.

1539 Bl. Richard Whiting Benedictine abbot martyr
Born at Wrington, Somerset, England, he entered the Benedictines at Glastonbury and studied at Cambridge. Elected abbot of Glastonbury in 1525, he had the difficult task of ruling at the launch of the infamous Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII of England. Arrested for refusing to surrender his celebrated abbey into the hands of the crown, he was condemned as a traitor and hanged

1539 Bl. John Thorne  Benedictine martyr of England  protecting treasures of Glastonbury from seizure by  Henry VIII
Treasurer of Glastonbury Abbey, he was martyred with Blessed Richard Whiting and Blessed Roger James for protecting various treasures of Glastonbury from seizure by the rapacious minions of King Henry VIII of England Who were implementing the Dissolution of the Monasteries. They were beatified in 1895.

BB Richard Whiting, Roger James, & John Thorne, OSB MM (AC); beatified in 1895. The Somerset-born Richard Whiting became a Benedictine monk at Glastonbury and was sent to Cambridge for his higher education. In 1525, he became abbot of Glastonbury. At the dissolution he refused to surrender his abbey to the Crown and was condemned to death for treason. Roger James was the youngest monk and sacristan of the Glastonbury community at the time of his death. John Thorne, treasurer of Glastonbury at the time of the dissolution, was charged with sacrilege, the sacrilege consisting in his having hidden various treasures of the abbey church to save them from the rapacious hands of King Henry VIII. All three were hanged with the usual brutalities on the summit of Tor Hill overlooking Glastonbury (Benedictines).

1539 Bl. John Rugg  Martyred monk of Chichester refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy
England. In residence at Reading Abbey, he was martyred by King Henry VIII at Reading, with Blessed Hugh Farington and John Eynon for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy. They were beatified in 1895.

1539 Bl. John Eynon  Martyred Benedictine of St. Giles
Reading. John served as the pastor of the local parish in St. Giles. He refused to surrender the parish to the authorities and was taken to Reading Abbey. He was executed at the abbey gateway with Blessed Hugh Farington and Blessed John Rugg. They were beatified in 1895.

1539 Bl. Hugh Faringdon Benedictine abbot of Reading
once a friend of King Henry VIII. When he refused to allow the king to dissolve Reading Abbey, he was martyred with two companions.

Blessed Hugh Faringdon, John Eynon, & John Rugg, OSB MM (AC); beatified in 1895. Hugh Faringdon (vere Cook) became abbot of Reading in 1520. He was an intimate friend of Henry VIII, but at the dissolution he refused to surrender his abbey. He was martyred at Reading with two prebendaries of the abbey (doubtless monks), Fr. John Eynon and John Rugg. Blessed John Eynon was the priest in charge of Saint Giles in Reading, and John Rugg was a prebendary of Chichester living at Reading Abbey. They are generally considered to have been monks of the abbey (Benedictines).

1544 Blessed Lucy Brocolelli of Narni When five she had a vision of Our Lady; two years later, Our Lady came with Saint Dominic, who gave her the scapular OP V (AC)
Born in 1476; beatified 1720.

Very early, it became evident to her pious Italian family that this child was set for something unusual in life, for some of her heavenly favors were visible. When Lucy was five years old, she had a vision of Our Lady; two years later, Our Lady came with Saint Dominic, who gave her the scapular. At age 12, she made private vows and, even at this early age, had determined to become a Dominican. However, family affairs were to make this difficult. Lucy's father died, leaving her in the care of an uncle. He felt that the best way to dispose of a pretty niece was to marry her off as soon as possible.

The efforts of her uncle to get Lucy successfully married form a colorful chapter in the life of the Blessed Lucy. At one time, he arranged a big family party, and his choice of Lucy's husband was there. He thought it better not to tell Lucy what he had in mind, because she had such queer ideas, so he presented the young man to her in front of the entire assembly. The young man made a valiant attempt to place a ring on Lucy's finger, and he was thoroughly slapped for his pains.

The next time, the uncle approached the matter with more tact, arranging a marriage with Count Pietro of Milan, who was not a stranger to the family. Lucy was, in fact, very fond of him, but she had resolved to live as a religious. The strain of the situation made her seriously ill. During her illness, Our Lady appeared to her again, accompanied by Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine, and told her to go ahead with the marriage as a legal contract, but to explain to Pietro that she was bound to her vow of virginity and must keep it. When Lucy recovered, the matter was explained to Pietro, and the marriage was solemnized.

Lucy's life now became that of the mistress of a large and busy household. She took great care to instruct the servants in their religion and soon became known for her benefactions to the poor.

Pietro, to do him justice, never seems to have objected when his young wife gave away clothes and food, nor when she performed great penances. He knew that she wore a hair-shirt under her rich clothing, and that she spent most of the night in prayer and working for the poor. He even made allowances for the legend told him by the servants, that SS Catherine, Agnes, and Agnes of Montepulciano came to help her make bread for the poor. However, when a talkative servant one day informed him that Lucy was entertaining a handsome young man, who seemed to be an old friend, Pietro took his sword and went to see. He was embarrassed to find Lucy contemplating a large and beautiful crucifix, and he was further confused when the servant told him that was the young man.

When Lucy departed for the desert to become an anchorite, and returned the next day, saying that Saint Dominic had brought her home, Pietro's patience finally gave out. He had his young wife locked up. Here she remained for the season of Lent; sympathetic servants brought her food until Easter. Perhaps they had both decided that Lucy could not live the life God had planned for her in Pietro's house. She returned to her mother's house and put on the habit of a Dominican tertiary.

Shortly after this, Lucy went to Viterbo and joined a group of Third Order sisters. She tried very hard to hide her spiritual favors, because they complicated her life wherever she went. She had the stigmata visibly, and she was usually in ecstasy, which meant a steady stream of curious people who wanted to question her, investigate her, or just stare at her. Even the sisters were nervous about her methods of prayer. Once they called in the bishop, and he watched with them for 12 hours, while Lucy went through the drama of the Passion.

The bishop hesitated to pass judgment and called in the inquisition. From here, she was referred directly to the pope. After talking to her, the pope pronounced in her favor and told her to go home and pray for him. Here the hard-pressed Pietro had his final appearance in Lucy's life. He made a last effort to persuade Lucy to change her plans and come back to him. Finally he decided to become a Franciscan, and, in later years, he was a famous preacher.

When Lucy returned to Viterbo, she may have thought her troubles were over, but they were just beginning. The duke of Ferrara, in the manner of other wealthy nobles with a guilty conscience, decided to build a monastery and, hearing of the fame of the mystic of Viterbo, demanded that she come there and be prioress. Lucy had been praying for some time that a means would be found to build a new convent of strict observance, and she agreed to go to the new convent at Narni.

This touched off a two-year battle between the towns. Viterbo had the mystic and did not want to lose her; the duke of Ferrara sent his troops to take her by force, and much blood was shed before she was finally brought to Narni. The shock and grief of this violence was a new trial for Lucy. The duke sent his daughter-in-law, Lucrezia Borgia, to find postulants for the new convent. The records say, sedately: "Many of these did not persevere."

The duke of Ferrara liked to show off the convent he had founded. He brought all his guests to see it. One time, he arrived with a troop of dancing girls, who had been entertaining at a banquet, and demanded that Lucy show them her stigmata and, if possible, go into ecstasy. It is not surprising that such events would upset religious life, and that sooner or later something would have to be done about it. Some of the sisters, naturally, thought it was Lucy's fault.

The petitioned the bishop, and he sent six nuns from the Second Order to reform the community. Lucy's foundation was of the Third Order; exactly what the difference was we do not know. The Second Order nuns, according to the chronicle, "brought in the very folds of their veils the seed of war"; nuns of the Second Order wore black veils, a privilege not allowed to tertiaries.

The uneasy episode ended when one of the visitors was made prioress. Lucy was placed on penance. The nature of her fault is not mentioned, nor is there any explanation of the fact that, until her death, 39 years later, she was never allowed to speak to anyone but her confessor, who was chosen by the prioress.

The Dominican provincial, probably nervous for the prestige of the order, would not let any member of the order go to see her. Her stigmata disappeared, too late to do her any good, and vindictive companions said: "See, she was a fraud all the time." When she died in 1544, people thought she had been dead for many years.

It is hard to understand how anyone not a saint could have so long endured such a life. Lucy's only friends during her 39 years of exile were heavenly ones; the Dominican, Catherine of Racconigi, sometimes visited her--evidently by bi-location--and her heavenly friends often came to brighten her lonely cell.

Lucy was buried without honors, but miracles occurring at her tomb soon made it necessary to transfer her relics to a more accessible place. She was reinterred, first in the monastery church, then in the cathedral (Dorcy).
1627 St. Gaius of Korea Japan Martyr former Korean Buddhist monk  Dominican tertiary
Gaius went to Nagasaki, Japan. arrested for harboring missionaries and martyred. Gaius was a Dominican tertiary.

Blessed Caius of Corea (Korea), OP Tert. M (AC)A Died 1624. Caius, a former bonze, fled from Korea to Nagasaki, Japan, where he harbored Dominican Friars (Benedictines).

1642 St. Hugh Green, Blessed Martyr England
He was educated at Cambridge, converted to Catholicism, and went to Douai, France. There he was ordained in 1612. Returning to England, Hugh labored in Dorset until his arrest. He was hanged at Dorchester.
1794 Venerable Paisius Velichkovsky archimandrite Neamts Monastery spent last 15 years of his life translating writings of the Holy Fathers organized community according to Typikon (Rule) of Mt Athos gathered a thousand monks in the monastery, instructing them in the unceasing prayer of the heart; holy relics of St Paisius were uncovered in 1846, 1853, 1861 and 1872, and were found to be incorrupt.

Saint Paisius Velichkovsky was born in Poltava in Little Russia on December 21, 1722, and was the eleventh of twelve children. His father John was a priest, who named him Peter at his Baptism, in honor of St Peter the Metropolitan of Moscow, on whose Feast he was born.

After the children's father died, their mother Irene raised them in piety. Peter was sent to study at the Moghila Academy in Kiev in 1735. After four years, Peter decided to leave the world and become a monk. At the age of seventeen, he went in search of a monastery and a good spiritual Father. For seven years Peter visited various monasteries, including the Kiev Caves Lavra, but he did not feel drawn to any of the monasteries of Ukraine.

After being made a rassophore monk (one blessed to wear the rasson, but not yet tonsured "into the mantle") at the St Nicholas Medvedevsky Monastery with the name Platon, he found that there was no experienced Elder there who could teach him obedience or give him spiritual direction. Not wishing to begin his monastic life without such guidance, he left the monastery a week after his tonsure with the blessing of his Elder.

At first, he went to Kiev, where he happened to meet his sister-in-law, the widow of his older brother Archpriest John. She informed him of his mother's sorrow when he left Kiev, and her mind seemed to be affected by her grief. Then one day an angel appeared to her and told her that instead of loving the Creator with her whole heart and soul, she loved His creation (her son) more. Because of this excessive love, the angel went on, she was thinking of starving herself to death, which would result in her eternal condemnation. The angel said that by God's grace, her son would become a monk, and that she should also renounce the world and become a nun. After this, she became calm and accepted God's will.
She entered a convent and was tonsured with the name Juliana. After about ten years, she departed to the Lord.

While at Kiev, Platon met two monks from Romania who were about to return to their country. After crossing the border into Moldavia, they came to Vlachia and the Skete of St Nicholas, which is called Treisteny, around 1745. The Elder of the Skete, Hieroschemamonk Michael, was away on business in Ukraine, so Platon and his companions were welcomed by the Superior, Fr Demetrius. Platon was placed under a general obedience and given a cell near the Skete, from which the church was visible.

As he was sleeping one night, the semantron was sounded calling the monks to Sunday Matins, but Platon did not hear it. He woke up and ran to the church, only to find that the Gospel had already been read, and the Canon was being sung. In his grief and shame, he did not enter the church, but returned to his cell and wept bitter tears. After the Liturgy, when it was time for the meal, the Superior and the Elder were surprised that Platon had not been seen at the services. The Elder ordered that the meal be delayed while he sent a Fr Athanasius to find out what had happened to Platon. Fr Athanasius found him and asked why he was weeping. With difficulty, Platon was able to tell him the cause of his sorrow. Fr Athanasius tried to console him and urged him to come to the Skete, where the others were waiting for him. Finally, he was persuaded to go.

Seeing the brethren at table but not eating, Platon fell down before them weeping and asking forgiveness. The Elder and the Superior lifted him up and heard from Fr Athanasius the reason for his sorrow. The Elder told Platon not to grieve so over something that had happened involuntarily, and did his best to console him.
From that time, however, the saint would not sleep lying down in bed, but sitting up on a bench.

One day the Elder Onuphrius of Kyrkoul visited the Skete and spoke about his Skete at Kyrkoul. Platon long to see Kyrkoul, and so he returned there with Fr Onuphrius. He remained there for a time, conversing with Fr Onuphrius about overcoming the passions, the struggle with demons, unceasing prayer, and other soul-profiting topics.
This seed fell on good ground, later bearing spiritual fruit a hundredfold.

The time came when Platon was filled with a longing to visit Mount Athos. He asked the brethren of the Skete, and those of other Sketes, for their forgiveness and blessing for the journey. He also thanked them for their kindness and their paternal instruction. They blessed him and let him go in peace. At that time he was just twenty-four years old.

Platon went to Mount Athos in 1746, arriving at the Great Lavra on July 4, the eve of the Feast of St Athanasius of Athos. His traveling companion, Hieromonk Tryphon fell ill and died after four days. Platon would have died from the same illness, if not for the care of the Russian monks. He recovered and lived in solitude in a cell called Kaparis near the Pantokrator Monastery. He went around visiting the ascetics and solitaries, looking for a spiritual Father, but was unable to find anyone suitable.

In 1750 St Basil of Poiana Marului (April 15) visited the Holy Mountain and spent some time with Platon, who asked him for monastic tonsure. Elder Basil granted his request, giving him the name Paisius. Then Fr Basil returned to his Skete at Vlachia. About three months later, a young monk named Bessarion came to the Holy Mountain from Vlachia. He went around to the monasteries searching for an instructor, but did not find one. He also came to Fr Paisius and asked him to tell him something about saving his soul. Fr Paisius sighed and told him that he himself had been looking for an instructor without success. Yet, feeling compassion for Fr Bessarion, he talked to him a little about the qualifications necessary for a true instructor, and about the Jesus Prayer. After hearing him, Fr Bessarion said, "What more do I seek?" He fell down at the feet of Fr Paisius, entreating him to be his Elder. Fr Paisius did not want to be anyone's Elder, wishing instead to be under authority himself. Fr Bessarion remained for three days weeping until Fr Paisius agreed to accept him as a friend, and not as a disciple. For about four years they lived together fulfilling God's commandments, cutting off their own will and obeying one another as equals.

Other disciples began to join them, and their number continued to increase. Since they needed a priest and a confessor, they begged Fr Paisius to accept ordination. He did not want to hear of this, and repeatedly refused to consent. They did not give up, however. They asked him how he could expect to teach the brethren obedience and cutting off their own will, when he disobeyed the tearful entreaties of those who wanted him to accept. Finally, he said, "May the will of God be done."

In 1754 Fr Paisius was ordained to the holy priesthood and was given the Skete of the Prophet Elias, where he began to accept even more disciples. St Paisius remained on Mt Athos for a total of seventeen years, copying Greek patristic books and translating them into Slavonic.

In 1763 Fr Paisius went to Moldavia with sixty-four disciples, and was given the Dragomirna Monastery near the city of Sochava and on the border between Bukovina and Moldavia. Here he remained for twelve years, and the number of monks increased to three hundred and fifty. His friend Hieromonk Alexius came to visit him from Vlachia, and Fr Paisius asked him to tonsure him into the Schema. Fr Alexius did so, but without changing his name. While at Dragomirna, Fr Paisius corrected the Slavonic translations of patristic books by comparing them to the Greek manuscripts he had copied on Mt Athos.

The Russo-Turkish war broke out in 1768, and Moldavia and Vlachia saw many battles. Dragomirna and the forests around it became filled with refugees from the villages near the battlegrounds. Another catastrophe appeared in 1771 with the outbreak of plague. When Dragomirna and Bukovina came under the control of Austrian Catholics, St Paisius and his flock fled to Moldavia. In October of 1775, he went to Secu ("Beheading") Monastery, which was dedicated to St John the Baptist, with many of his monks.

Secul was too small for the number of brethren, who were crowded with three to five monks in a cell. In the spring, more brethren were due to arrive from Dragomirna, so new cells had to be built. After three years of labor one hundred cells were completed, and everyone had a place. Still, the numbers increased and they had to look for a larger monastery.

Prince Constantine Muruz wrote to the Elder saying that there was no larger monastery than Neamts, about two hours from Secul. On August 14, 1779, St Paisius moved to Neamts Monastery where he spent the last fifteen years of his life translating the writings of the Holy Fathers. He organized the community according to the Typikon (Rule) of Mt Athos. He gathered about a thousand monks in the monastery, instructing them in the unceasing prayer of the heart.

Archbishop Ambrose visited St Paisius at Neamts in 1790, staying for two days to converse with the Elder. During the Sunday Liturgy, he raised St Paisius to the rank of Archimandrite. He remained two more days, then departed after blessing everyone.

St Paisius fell asleep in the Lord on November 15, 1794 at the age of seventy-two. It is possible that God revealed the date of his death to him beforehand, for he stopped translating books. He only reviewed and corrected what had already been translated.

He was ill for four days, but felt well enough to attend the Liturgy on Sunday. After the service, he asked everyone to come and receive his blessing. He said farewell to them all, then returned to his cell and would not receive anyone. A few days later, on November 15, he received the Holy Mysteries again and surrendered his soul to God. His funeral was conducted by Bishop Benjamin of Tuma, and was attended by multitudes of priests, monks, laymen, nobles and ordinary people.

The holy relics of St Paisius were uncovered in 1846, 1853, 1861 and 1872, and were found to be incorrupt.

St Paisius has had an enormous influence, not only in Romania, but throughout the Orthodox world. His disciples traveled to Russia, sparking the spiritual revival of the nineteenth century with Slavonic translations of the PHILOKALIA and the tradition of eldership which they had learned from St Paisius. This influence has been felt even in America through St Herman of Alaska (December 13). St Herman was taught by Elders whose spiritual formation was guided by St Paisius. He first met Fr Nazarius, who became his Elder at Valaam, at Sarov, then followed him to Sanaxar when St Theodore (February 19) was their igumen.

One of the books that St Herman brought with him to America was the Slavonic PHILOKALIA, printed in 1794. He absorbed the spiritual wisdom that it contained, and imparted it to others.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Join Mary of Nazareth Project help us build the International Marian Center of Nazareth
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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

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


The Five Reasons
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: A reparative confession means that the confession should not only be good (valid and licit), but also be offered in the spirit of reparation, in this case, to Mary's Immaculate Heart. This confession may be made on the First Saturday itself or some days before or after the First Saturday within the preceding octave would suffice.
(2) COMMUNION: The communion of reparation must be sacramental duly received with the intention of making reparation. This offering, like the confession, is an interior act and so no external action to express the intention is needed.
(3) THE ROSARY: The Rosary mentioned here was indicated by the Portuguese word 'terco' which is commonly employed to denote a Rosary of five decades, since it forms a fourth of the full Rosary of 20 decades. This too must recited in a spirit of reparation.
(4) MEDITATION FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES: Here the meditation on one mystery or more is to be made without simultaneous recitation of the Rosary decade. As indicated, the meditation may be either on one mystery alone for 15 minutes, or on all 20 mysteries, spending about one minute on each mystery, or again, on two or more mysteries during the period. This can also be made before each decade spending three minutes or more in considering the mystery of the particular decade. This meditation has likewise to be made in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart.
(5) THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION: All these acts, as said above, have to be done with the intention of offering reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the offences committed against Her. Everyone who offends Her commits, so to speak, a two-fold offence, for these sins also offend her Divine Son, Christ, and so endanger our salvation. They give bad example to others and weaken the strength of society to withstand immoral onslaughts. Such devotions therefore make us consider not only the enormity of the offence against God, but also the effect of sins on human society as well as the need for undoing these social effects even when the offender repents and is converted. Further, this reparation emphasises our responsibility towards sinners who, themselves, will not pray and make reparation for their sins.
(6) FIVE CONSECUTIVE FIRST SATURDAYS: The idea of the Five First Saturdays is obviously to make us persevere in the devotional acts for these Saturdays and overcome initial difficulties. Once this is done, Our Lady knows that the person would become devoted to Her immaculate Heart and persist in practising such devotion on all First Saturdays, working thereby for personal self-reform and for the salvation of others.

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

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

Patron_Saints.html  Widowed_Saints htmIndulgences The Catholic Church in China
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Pius IX 1846--1878 • Leo XIII 1878-1903 • Pius X 1903-1914• Benedict XV 1914-1922 • Pius XI 1922-1939 • Pius XII 1939-1958 • John XXIII 1958-1963 • Paul VI 1963 to 1978 • John Paul • John Paul II 10/16/1975-4/2/2005 Benedict XVI (2005 - 2013) Francis (2013

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
  867 St. Nicholas I, Pope served Pope Sergius II deacon under Pope Leo IV trusted adviser to Pope Benedict III elected bishop of Rome still a deacon, and occupied the see with distinguished courage and energy for nine troubled years.(RM) patron of tailors cloth workers
Pope Leo XIII -- St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin St. Frances was born in Lombardi, Italy in 1850, one of thirteen children. At eighteen, she desired to become a Nun, but poor health stood in her way. She helped her parents until their death, and then worked on a farm with her brothers and sisters.

One day a priest asked her to teach in a girls' school and she stayed for six years. At the request of her Bishop, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. Then at the urging of
Pope Leo XIII she came to the United States with six nuns in 1889 to work among the Italian immigrants.

In 1946, Pope Pius XII named her patroness of all emigrants and immigrants.

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 hence by continual sighs! The church of the first-born waits for us; yet we loiter. The saints earnestly long for our arrival; yet we despise them. Let us with all the ardor of our souls prevent those who are expecting us; let us hasten to those who are waiting for us.

Secondly, he mentions the desire of their bliss; and, lastly, the succor of their intercession, and adds:
Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you, my friends. You know our danger, our frail mould, our ignorance, and the snares of our enemies; you know our weakness, and the fury of their assaults. For I speak to you who have been under the like temptation; who have overcome the like assaults; have escaped the like snares; and have learned compassion from what you yourselves have suffered.--We are members of the same Head.--Your glory is not to be consummated without us...
Bernard of Clairvaux, Serm. 5 de fest. omnium sanct., n. 5, 6.

In his sermon on the Vigil of Saints Peter and Paul, Bernard also writes: He who was powerful on earth is more powerful in heaven, where he stands before the face of his Lord. And if he had compassion on sinners, and prayed for them while he lived on earth, he now prays to the Father for us so much the more earnestly as he more truly knows our extreme necessities and miseries; his blessed country has not changed, but increased his charity. Though now impassible, he is not a stranger to compassion: by standing before the throne of mercy, he has put on the tender bowels of mercy...
November 1st - All Saints Day - OUR LADY OF THE PALM (1755, Cadiz, Spain)
Mary and the Souls in Purgatory (I): What is Purgatory?
The Holy Church of God, considered in its totality, is composed of three parts: the Church militant, the Church triumphant, and the Church suffering, or purgatory. This triple Church constitutes the mystical body of Jesus Christ, and the souls in purgatory are no less her members than the faithful on earth and the elect in heaven.
In the Gospel, the Church is ordinarily called the Kingdom of God; purgatory, just like heaven and the Church on earth, is a province of that vast Kingdom. The three sister-Churches have between them an incessant exchange, a continual communication, called the Communion of Saints. These relationships have no other object than to lead souls to glory, the final term toward which all the elect tend.
The word purgatory means sometimes a place, sometimes a state half-way between hell and heaven. It is, properly speaking, the situation of the souls who, at the time of death, find themselves in a state of grace, but haven't completely expiated their faults or attained the degree of purity necessary to enjoy the vision of God.
Purgatory is therefore a temporary state, which ends in the beatific life.
The Church teaches two things about purgatory, truths that are clearly defined as dogmas of faith: first, that there is a purgatory; secondly, that the souls in purgatory can be helped by the petitions of the faithful, especially by the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
Rev. Fr. François-Xavier Schouppe, s.j. The Dogma of Purgatory Illustrated by Facts and Private Revelations

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.