Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
 Wednesday    Sextodécimo Kaléndas Decémbris.  The Sixteenth Day of November

Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!  (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)

“The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man,
but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here
November 16
Today the Church offers us riches:
 Saint Mathew
Apostle and Evangelist Matthew also named Levi a witness to the suffering, death, and Resurrection of the Savior, and of His glorious Ascension into Heaven.
and several colorful saints from the middle ages about whom a lot is known.
Male/female mystics:  Gertrude the Great 1302, her mentor/friend Mechtilde von Hackeborne1298 Edmund of Abingdon 1242 a fisherman converted late in life, Gratia of Cattaro 1508Agnes of Assisi 1253, away from home to help start Poor Clares. The fisherman1508 is contrasted with a queen, Margaret of Scotland 1093 Proving again in 1 day that God loves variety, calls to Himself whom he wills without regard to station in life or personality. contrast two queens, Margaret of Scotland 1093 and tomorrow's Elizabeth of Hungary 1231, who demonstrate that marriage is not an obstacle to sanctity. Margaret's marriage was stormy; Elizabeth lived in wedded bliss.
November 16 - Our Lady of Ostra Brama (Poland and Lithuania)
   Our Lady of Ostra Brama, Queen of Poland

A copy of the painting of the Most Holy Virgin Mary venerated at the Shrine of Ostra Brama in Lithuania, under the title of Mater Misericordiæ, (Mother of Mercy), was inserted in the altarpiece.

The author of the original painting is an anonymous Dutch Renaissance artist from the 17th century. This Virgin was solemnly transferred to the Church of Saint Teresa of Avila of Vilnius in 1671.

Following the many miracles and graces obtained, the veneration of that miraculous image spread to all Poland, so much so that, in 1927, Our Lady of Ostra Brama was officially proclaimed Queen of Poland.  The MDN Team
November 16 - Our Lady of Chieves (Hainault, Belgium, 1130)
- Saint Gertrude the Great (d. 1302)   Olive Tree of Mercy
O Olive tree of mercy, Hail Mary, Mother of God. Hail Mary, Queen of Kindness, and Olive Tree of Mercy,
from whom the remedy of life came to us. Since, by your Son, you became the true Mother of all mankind, now for the sake of His love, keep me in your motherly love, despite my unworthiness. Help me to believe, preserve and strengthen my faith. Grant me your care in this life, and receive me with the plenitude of your motherhood at the hour of my death. Amen. Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)

Our Lady of Light November 16 - Our Lady of Ostra Brama (Poland & Lithuania)
Commissioned from Russian artist Natalia Tsarkova by the Primavera Foundation, created by an American couple, to renew the vitality of Christian culture through the fine arts, "Our Lady of Light" depicts the five new mysteries of the Rosary, the Mysteries of Light, introduced by Pope John Paul II in 2002.
In meditating the meaning of the new mysteries, Tsarkova imagined Our Lady, serene/beautiful, walking across clouds. With one hand she dispels the dark clouds of despair, replacing them with warm, golden light,
and nestled in her other arm, Baby Jesus, the hope of humanity, looks out at the viewers.

Tsarkova chose to represent the mysteries of the Rosary as angels. The Luminous Mysteries erupt from Heaven, shimmering with light. The angel offering an open book symbolizes these new mysteries, whereas the angels of the Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries are paired together as a study in contrast. The joyful angel comforts the sorrowful one by pointing up towards the new mysteries. At the lower corner of the canvas, the angel representing the Glorious Mysteries blows a trumpet, proclaiming the Luminous Mysteries to mankind.

"Our Lady of Light" is an inspiring masterpiece of theological art. Limited edition reproductions are exhibited in the following locations among others world wide: The Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center in Jerusalem, Israel; University of Sacramento, Sacramento, California; and Mater Ecclesiae College in Wakefield, Rhode Island.
Adapted from Zenit News Agency May 19, 2005 "Russian Artist Illuminating the U.S."

Today the Church offers us riches: Saint Mathew and several colorful saints from the middle ages about whom a lot is known.
Male/female mystics:  Gertrude the Great 1302, her mentor/friend Mechtilde von Hackeborne1298 Edmund of Abingdon 1242 a fisherman converted late in life, Gratia of Cattaro 1508Agnes of Assisi 1253, away from home to help start Poor Clares. The fisherman1508 is contrasted with a queen, Margaret of Scotland 1093 Proving again in 1 day that God loves variety, calls to Himself whom he wills without regard to station in life or personality. contrast two queens, Margaret of Scotland 1093 and tomorrow's Elizabeth of Hungary 1231, who demonstrate that marriage is not an obstacle to sanctity. Margaret's marriage was stormy; Elizabeth lived in wedded bliss.
Prayer to St. Joseph Moscati 1927
"Dear St Joseph Moscati, true model of Christian doctors, in the exercise of your medical profession, you always took care of both the body and soul of every patient. Look on us, who have recourse to your heavenly intercession, and obtain for us both physical and spiritual health, and a share in the dispensation of heavenly favours.
    "When you awake in the morning, let your first act be to salute My Heart, and to offer Me your own...Whoever shall breathe a sigh toward Me from the bottom of his heart when he awakes in the morning and shall ask Me to work all his works in him throughout the day, will draw Me to him...For never does a man breathe a sigh of longing aspiration toward Me without drawing Me nearer to him than I was before."--Our Lord to Saint Mechtilde 1298
Apostle and Evangelist Matthew also named Levi a witness to the suffering, death, and Resurrection of the Savior, and of His glorious Ascension into Heaven. The holy Apostle brought the Gospel of Christ to Syria, Media, Persia, Parthia, and finishing his preaching in Ethiopia with a martyr's death.
2nd v. St. Fidentius bishop of Padua
        St. Rufinus With Mark Valerius & companions
 326 Hypatius Bishop of Gangra
Hieromartyr martyred after 1st Council at Nicea relics famous for numerous miracles, particularly for casting out demons and for healing the sick
  362 St. Elpidius martyr with Eustochius Marcellus & companions
        St. Africus Confessor of Comminges in southern France
5th v. Saint Balsamie a nurse of Saint-Remy (Nourrice)
450 Saint Eucherius reputation for wisdom and virtue compelled to accept bishopric of Lyons B (RM)
       St. Afan obscure bishop of Brecknock, Wales
  725 St. Gobrain Bishop of Vannes  monk when consecrated bishop
  759 St. Othmar A martyred Teuton priest abbot
1093 St. Margaret of Scotland English princess holy civility
1105 St. Alfrick Archbishop of Canterbury faced the Norse invasion of England 1219
1141 Blessed Simeon of Cava, OSB Abbot (AC)
1242 Saint Edmund Rich taught theology for 8 years canon and treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral very virtuous life experienced heavenly visitations B (RM)
1253 St. Agnes of Assisi Abbess miracle worker
1298 Saint Mechtilde  mistress of novices of the Cistercian convent at Helfta Castle in Saxony  many mystical experiences spiritual formation of Saint Gertrude the Great O.Cist. V (AC)
1302 St. Gertrude Gertrude the Great, Virgin Patroness of the West Indies
1495 Blessed Louis Morbioli third order Carmelite teaching Christian doctrine begged alms for the poor OC Tert.
1508 Blessed  Gratia mysterious light seen above his cell miracles at his intercession lay-brother at Monte Ortono, near Padua  gift of infused knowledge
1544 Bd Lucy Of Narni, Virgin; received the stigmata, and a sensible participation in sufferings of the Passion, which happened, accompanied by loss of blood, every Wednesday and Friday for the three years that she remained at Viterbo
1585 Saint Sergius of Malopinega (in the world Simeon) he possessed a kindly soul pure mind a courageous heart humility and quiet strength love for truth was merciful to the poor to the point of self-denial numerous miracles which occurred at the grave
1885 Saint Joseph Mkasa prefect of the royal pages of Uganda M (RM)
1927 St. Joseph Moscati Celebrated physician of Naples a model of piety and faith long periods of reflective prayer 

Apostle and Evangelist Matthew also named Levi a witness to the suffering, death, and Resurrection of the Savior, and of His glorious Ascension into Heaven. The holy Apostle brought the Gospel of Christ to Syria, Media, Persia, Parthia, and finishing his preaching in Ethiopia with a martyr's death.
The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew, was also named Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27); he was one of the Twelve Apostles (Mark 3:18; Luke 6:45; Acts 1:13), and was brother of the Apostle James Alphaeus (Mark 2:14). He was a publican, or tax-collector for Rome, in a time when the Jews were under the rule of the Roman Empire. He lived in the Galilean city of Capernaum. When Matthew heard the voice of Jesus Christ: "Come, follow Me" (Mt. 9:9), left everything and followed the Savior. Christ and His disciples did not refuse Matthew's invitation and they visited his house, where they shared table with the publican's friends and acquaintances. Like the host, they were also publicans and known sinners. This event disturbed the pharisees and scribes a great deal.

Publicans who collected taxes from their countrymen did this with great profit for themselves. Usually greedy and cruel people, the Jews considered them pernicious betrayers of their country and religion. The word "publican" for the Jews had the connotation of "public sinner" and "idol-worshipper." To even speak with a tax-collector was considered a sin, and to associate with one was defilement. But the Jewish teachers were not able to comprehend that the Lord had "come to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mt. 9:13).

Matthew, acknowledging his sinfulness, repaid fourfold anyone he had cheated, and he distributed his remaining possessions to the poor, and he followed after Christ with the other apostles. St Matthew was attentive to the instructions of the Divine Teacher, he beheld His innumerable miracles, he went together with the Twelve Apostles preaching to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Mt. 10:6). He was a witness to the suffering, death, and Resurrection of the Savior, and of His glorious Ascension into Heaven.

Having received the grace of the Holy Spirit, which descended upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, St Matthew preached in Palestine for several years. At the request of the Jewish converts at Jerusalem, the holy Apostle Matthew wrote his Gospel describing the earthly life of the Savior, before leaving to preach the Gospel in faraway lands.

In the order of the books of the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew comes first. Palestine is said to be the place where the Gospel was written. St Matthew wrote in Aramaic, and then it was translated into Greek. The Aramaic text has not survived, but many of the linguistic and cultural-historical peculiarities of the Greek translation give indications of it.

The Apostle Matthew preached among people who were awaiting the Messiah. His Gospel manifests itself as a vivid proof that Jesus Christ is the Messiah foretold by the prophets, and that there would not be another (Mt. 11:3).

The preaching and deeds of the Savior are presented by the evangelist in three divisions, constituting three aspects of the service of the Messiah: as Prophet and Law-Giver (Ch. 5-7), Lord over the world both visible and invisible (Ch. 8-25), and finally as High Priest offered as Sacrifice for the sins of all mankind (Ch. 26-27).

The theological content of the Gospel, besides the Christological themes, includes also the teaching about the Kingdom of God and about the Church, which the Lord sets forth in parables about the inner preparation for entering into the Kingdom (Ch. 5-7), about the worthiness of servers of the Church in the world (Ch. 10-11), about the signs of the Kingdom and its growth in the souls of mankind (Ch. 13), about the humility and simplicity of the inheritors of the Kingdom (Mt. 18:1-35; 19 13-30; 20:1-16; 25-27; 23:1-28), and about the eschatological revelations of the Kingdom in the Second Coming of Christ within the daily spiritual life of the Church (Ch. 24-25).

The Kingdom of Heaven and the Church are closely interconnected in the spiritual experience of Christianity: the Church is the historical embodiment of the Kingdom of Heaven in the world, and the Kingdom of Heaven is the Church of Christ in its eschatological perfection (Mt. 16:18-19; 28:18-20).

The holy Apostle brought the Gospel of Christ to Syria, Media, Persia, Parthia, and finishing his preaching in Ethiopia with a martyr's death. This land was inhabited by tribes of cannibals with primitive customs and beliefs. The holy Apostle Matthew converted some of the idol-worshippers to faith in Christ. He founded the Church and built a temple in the city of Mirmena, establishing there his companion Platon as bishop.

When the holy apostle was fervently entreating God for the conversion of the Ethiopians the Lord Himself appeared to him in the form of a youth. He gave him a staff, and commanded him to plant it at the doors of the church. The Lord said that a tree would grow from this staff and it would bear fruit, and from its roots would flow a stream of water. When the Ethiopians washed themselves in the water and ate the fruit, they lost their wild ways and became gentle and good.

When the holy apostle carried the staff towards the church, he was met by the wife and son of the ruler of the land, Fulvian, who were afflicted by unclean spirits. In the Name of Christ the holy apostle healed them. This miracle converted a number of the pagans to the Lord. But the ruler did not want his subjects to become Christians and cease worshiping the pagan gods. He accused the apostle of sorcery and gave orders to execute him.

They put St Matthew head downwards, piled up brushwood and ignited it. When the fire flared up, everyone then saw that the fire did not harm St Matthew. Then Fulvian gave orders to add more wood to the fire, and frenzied with boldness, he commanded to set up twelve idols around the fire. But the flames melted the idols and flared up toward Fulvian. The frightened Ethiopian turned to the saint with an entreaty for mercy, and by the prayer of the martyr the flame went out. The body of the holy apostle remained unharmed, and he departed to the Lord.

The ruler Fulvian deeply repented of his deed, but still he had doubts. By his command, they put the body of St Matthew into an iron coffin and threw it into the sea. In doing this Fulvian said that if the God of Matthew would preserve the body of the apostle in the water as He preserved him in the fire, then this would be proper reason to worship this One True God.

That night the Apostle Matthew appeared to Bishop Platon in a dream, and commanded him to go with clergy to the shore of the sea and to find his body there. The righteous Fulvian and his retinue went with the bishop to the shore of the sea. The coffin carried by the waves was taken to the church built by the apostle. Then Fulvian begged forgiveness of the holy Apostle Matthew, after which Bishop Platon baptized him, giving him the name Matthew in obedience to a command of God.

Soon St Fulvian-Matthew abdicated his rule and became a presbyter. Upon the death of Bishop Platon, the Apostle Matthew appeared to him and exhorted him to head the Ethiopian Church. Having become a bishop, St Fulvian-Matthew toiled at preaching the Word of God, continuing the work of his heavenly patron.
St. Rufinus With Mark Valerius & companions.
In Africa sanctórum Mártyrum Rufíni, Marci, Valérii et Sociórum.
    In Africa, the holy martyrs Rufinus, Mark, Valerius, and their fellows.
a group of African martyrs put to death during the persecutions by the Roman Empire.
2nd v. St. Fidentius bishop of Padua
Patávii sancti Fidéntii Epíscopi.    At Padua, St. Fidentius, bishop.
Fidentius of Padua B (RM) 2nd century. Some make this saint a confessor, others a martyr, and one a bishop. Tradition assigns him to Padua, Italy, and to the 2nd century. (Benedictines).
326 Hieromartyr Hypatius Bishop of Gangra martyred after 1st Council at Nicea relics famous for numerous miracles, particularly for casting out demons; healing the sick
Bishop of the city of Gangra in Paphlagonia (Asia Minor). In the year 325 he participated in the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea, at which the heresy of Arius was anathematized.

When St Hypatius was returning in 326 from Constantinople to Gangra, followers of the schismatics Novatus and Felicissimus fell upon him in a desolate place. The heretics ran him through with swords and spears, and threw him into a swamp.
Like the Protomartyr Stephen, St Hypatius prayed for his murderers.

An Arian woman struck the saint on the head with a stone, killing him. The murderers hid his body in a cave, where a Christian who kept straw there found his body. Recognizing the bishop's body, he hastened to the city to report this, and the inhabitants of Gangra piously buried their beloved archpastor.

After his death, the relics of St Hypatius were famous for numerous miracles, particularly for casting out demons and for healing the sick.

From of old the hieromartyr Hypatius was particularly venerated in the Russian land. Thus in the year 1330 the Ipatiev monastery was built at Kostroma, on the place where the Mother of God appeared with the Pre-eternal Christ Child, the Apostle Philip, and the hieromartyr Hypatius, Bishop of Gangra. This monastery later occupied a significant place in the spiritual and social life of the nation, particularly during the Time of Troubles.

The ancient copies of the Life of the hieromartyr Hypatius were widely distributed in Russian literature, and one of these was incorporated into THE READING MENAION of Metropolitan Macarius (1542-1564).
In this Life there is an account of the appearance of the Savior to St Hypatius on the eve of the martyr's death.

The entry for the saint's Feast consists of his Life, some prayers, and words of praise and instruction. The pious veneration of St Hypatius was also expressed in Russian liturgical compositions. During the nineteenth century a new service was written for the hieromartyr Hypatius, distinct from the services written by St Joseph the Studite, contained in the March MENAION.

362 St. Elpidius martyr with Eustochius Marcellus & companions
Eódem die sanctórum Mártyrum Elpídii, Marcélli, Eustóchii et Sociórum; ex quibus Elpídius, cum esset órdinis Senatórii et coram Juliáno Apóstata Christiánam fidem constantíssime profiterétur, ídeo, primum equis indómitis, una cum Sóciis, alligátus atque pertráctus, deínde, in ignem conjéctus, gloriósum martyrium consummávit.
    The same day, the holy martyrs Elpidius, Marcellus, Eustochius, and their companions.  Elpidius, who was a senator, perseveringly confessed the Christian faith before Julian the Apostate, and, with his companions, was tied to wild horses and dragged by them, thus fulfilling a glorious martyrdom.
An official in the court of Emperor Constantius II, he was dragged tied to the tails of horses and burned at the stake.
Elpidius, Marcellus, Eustochius & Comp. MM (RM)
Saint Elpidius, a dignitary at the court of Emperor Constantius, was degraded by Julian the Apostate and, with several companions, tied to the tails of wild horses and dragged through the streets Finally they were burnt at the stake (Benedictines).

450 Saint Eucherius reputation for wisdom and virtue compelled to accept bishopric of Lyons B (RM)
Lugdúni, in Gállia, natális sancti Euchérii, Epíscopi et Confessóris, viri admirándæ fídei et doctrínæ.  Hic, ex nobilíssimo Senatórum órdine ad religiósam vitam habitúmque convérsus, diu, intra septa spelúncæ sponte conclúsus, in oratiónibus et jejúniis Christo servívit; deínde apud præfátam urbem in pontificáli Cáthedra, revelánte Angelo, solémniter collocátus est.
    At Lyons in France, the birthday of St. Eucherius, bishop and confessor, a man of extraordinary faith and learning.  He renounced the senatorial dignity to embrace the religious life, and for a long time voluntarily shut himself up in a cave, where he served Christ in prayer and fasting.  Afterwards, through the revelation of an angel, he was solemnly installed in the episcopal chair of the city of Lyons.
449 St Eucherius, Bishop Of Lyons
   Next to Irenaeus, no name has done so great honour to the church of Lyons as that of Eucherius.
By birth he was a Gallo-Roman of good position, and he married one called Galla, by whom he had two sons, Salonius and Veranus, whom he placed in the monastery of Lérins they both became bishops and both were venerated as saints. After a time Eucherius himself retired to Lérins.
St John Cassian called Eucherius and Honoratus, Abbot of Lérins, the two models of that house of saints.
   Out of a desire of closer solitude St Eucherius left Lérins to settle in the neighbouring island now called Sainte-Marguerite. There he wrote his book in praise of the solitary life, which he addressed to St Hilary of Arles, and to his cousin Valerian his incomparable exhortation which no one can read without being inspired with a contempt of the world and quickened to a strong resolution of making the service of God our only concern.
   Of the illusion of the world and the transitoriness of all its enjoyments he paints so striking a picture that it seems to pass like a flash of lightning before the eyes of the reader, making its appearance only to sink away in a moment. “I have seen”, he says, “men raised to the highest point of worldly honour and riches. Fortune seemed to be in their pay, throwing everything to them without their having the trouble of asking or seeking. Their prosperity in all things outdid their very desires. But in a moment they disappeared. Their vast possessions were fled, and the masters themselves were no more.”
  Eucherius who, as Cassian says, shone as a bright star in the world by the perfection of his virtue, was a model to the monastic order by the example of his life therein.  At length he was forced from his retirement, and placed in the see
of Lyons, probably in the year 434, in which he proved himself a faithful pastor, humble in mind, rich in good works, powerful in eloquence and accomplished in knowledge. The foundation of several churches and religious establishments at Lyons is ascribed to him.
 He ended an excellent life by a holy death about 449. St Paulinus of Nola, St Honoratus, St Hilary of Arles, St Sidonius and other great men of that age sought his friendship and commend his virtue. He was a copious writer, and Salvian wrote to him, “I have read the letters you sent me. They are sparing in words but full of doctrine, easy to read but perfect in their instruction. In short, they are worthy of your abilities and of your piety.” But not all the works attributed to St Eucherius were from his pen, and some others are doubtful. A letter of his is an important document in the history of the legend of St Maurice and the Theban Legion (September 22).

There is no formal biography, but Gennadius in his De viris illustribus devotes a brief notice to St Eucherius, His activities are discussed in some detail by Tillemont, Mémoires, vol. xv, pp. 126—136 and 848—857, who convincingly disposes of the legend of a second Bishop Eucherius at Lyons. His works are printed in Migne, PL., vol. I, and some of them have been re-edited in the Vienna Corpus scrip. eccles. lat. On his literary activities see DTC., vol. v, cc. 1452—1454 and Bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchilchen Literatur, vol. iv, pp. 561—570. The Laterculus of Polemius Silvius or Salvius, the best text of which is that of Mommsen in the Corpus inscrip. lat., vol. (2nd edn.), pp. 254 seq., is dedicated to Eucherius.

He was a Gallo-Roman of high rank, married to a lady named Galla; they had two sons, both of whom became bishops and were numbered among the saints. In middle life, c. 422, Eucherius became first a monk at Lérins and then a hermit on the adjoining isle of Sainte-Marguerite, off Cannes. His wife Galla took the veil. He spent his retirement in prayer and writing. His solitude was interrupted, however, because his reputation for wisdom and virtue was such that he was compelled to accept the bishopric of Lyons, c. 435, where he labored until his death. He left a few writings, which include a letter on the solitary life and an account of the martyrs of the Theban Legion. His letter to a relative on disdain for worldly things was translated into English by Henry Vaughan, 'the Silurist,' in Flores Solitudinis (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
5th v.Saint Balsamie a nurse of Saint-Remy (Nourrice).
There is a church in Rheims dedicated to Saint Balsamie, a nurse of Saint-Remy (Encyclopedia).

6th v. St. Afan obscure bishop of Brecknock, Wales.
All that is known of this saint comes from an inscription in a churchyard in Lanafan Fawr, Brecknock. The inscription notes that St. Afan, bishop, was interred at this site.
IN the churchyard of Lianafan Fawr (i.e. Great Avanchurch), in the hills a few miles north-west of Builth Wells in the county of Brecknock is an ancient tombstone bearing the inscription Hic Iacet Sanctus Avanus Episcopus “Here lies Saint Avan the Bishop.” The existence of this stone, which naturally arouses the interest of the visitor or reader, is the sole reason for mentioning St Afan here, since nothing whatever is known about his life. The lettering is said to be not older than the end of the thirteenth century, but St Afan certainly lived long before that: by some he has been identified with a holy Afan, of the house of Cunedda and a kinsman of St David, who lived during the early part of the sixth century and was the leading holy man of his district, being known as Afan Buellt, i.e. of Builth. According to the local legend Irish raiders put him to death.
  The following is related by Gerald the Welshman in the first chapter of the first book of his itinerary through Wales:
“In the reign of King Henry I, the lord of the castle of Radnor, the territory adjoining Builth, went into the church of St Afan (called Llanafan in the British tongue) and rashly and irreverently spent the night there with his hounds. When he got up early the next morning (as hunting men do), he found his hounds mad and himself blind. After living for years in darkness and misery he was taken on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, for he took care that his inward sight should not similarly be put out. And there, being armed and led to the field on horseback, he spurred upon the enemies of the faith, was mortally wounded, and so ended his life with honour.”
An anecdote which tells us something about the religious ideas of the twelfth century, but unfortunately nothing about St Afan.
See LBS., vol. i, s.v., and T. Jones’s History of Brecknock, vol. ii, pp. 225—226 (1908 edn.).
7th v. St. Africus Confessor of Comminges in southern France.
His seventh-century shrine was destroyed by Calvinists, but he is recorded as being the bishop of Comminges.

725 St. Gobrain Bishop of Vannes  monk when he was consecrated bishop
in Brittany, France. He retired at age eight-seven to a hermitage.
Gobrian of Vannes B (AC) Born in Brittany; died 725. Saint Gobrian was a monk when he was consecrated bishop of Vannes in Brittany. He served in the episcopacy before retiring to a hermit's cell at the age of 87 (Benedictines).

759 St. Othmar A martyred Teuton priest abbot of the Benedictine monastery of St. Gall, Switzerland and restored its buildings.
Eódem die deposítio sancti Othmári Abbátis.
The same day, the death of St. Othmar, abbot.

He died in prison during unjust imprisonment by two neighboring nobles.
Othmar of Saint-Gall, OSB Abbot (RM) (also known as Otmar, Audemar). In 720, the Teutonic priest, Othmar, was appointed abbot of the then dilapidated Saint-Gall monastery. He immediately introduced the Benedictine Rule and the abbey was revived, becoming the most important in Switzerland. Saint Othmar died a holy death in prison after being persecuted by two neighboring counts, unjustly calumniated, and condemned by a church tribunal (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
St. Othmar (c. 689 – c. 759) was a priest appointed as the first abbot of the Abbey of St. Gall, a Benedictine monastery in St. Gall, Switzerland. He rebuilt the hermitage Gallus left behind and is called the founder of the monastery. He introduced the Benedictine rule, which should be in effect until the closure of the monastery in 1805. It is also assumed that he founded the monastery school of the abbey, which shall become the foundation upon which the famous Stiftsbibliothek (Monastery library) was built.
He died in prison during imprisonment on false accusations by two neighboring nobles. He is buried in St. Gallen, where he had been taken secretly ten years after his death. It is said that his body was still completelly intact when he was taken over Lake Constance to the town of Steinach and further to St. Gallen. As the weather was really bad when his men rowed his body over the sea, they became extremelly thirsty. Legends say that the only barrel of wine they had left would not become empty, regardless of how much they drank. Therefore the wine barrel became one of his attributes (beside the Bishop's staff, as first abbot of the monastery).
1105 St. Alfrick Archbishop of Canterbury faced the Norse invasion of England
Alfrick was a monk in the Benedictine Abbey of Abingdon, England, noted for his holiness. He was appointed the bishop of Wilton, England, in 990, worked in the area, and was known for his charity. In 995 he became the archbishop of Canterbury and faced the devastating results of one of the invasions of England.

1253 St. Agnes of Assisi Abbess miracle worker.

IN the account of St Clare (August 12) it has been told how she left her parents’ house at Assisi in order to become a nun under the direction of St Francis; and it was mentioned that when she was placed temporarily at the Benedictine convent of Sant’ Angelo di Panzo she was there joined by her sister Agnes, who was then about fifteen years old. In the Chronicle of the Twenty-four Generals there is a circumstantial account of the brutal violence with which her relatives tried to get St Agnes away again and the miracles by which they were thwarted and her deter­mination upheld; but no mention of any such occurrences is made in Pope Alexander IV’s bull of canonization of St Clare.
St Francis gave Agnes the habit as she desired, and sent her with her sister to San Damiano. Eight years later, 
when St Francis established the convent of Monticelli at Florence, Agnes was made its abbess, and from there she is said to have supervised the foundations at Mantua, Venice, Padua and other places. Under her wise direction Monticelli became hardly less famous than San Damiano itself, and St Agnes firmly upheld her sister in her long struggle for the privilege of complete poverty.
In August 1253 she was summoned to Assisi to be with St Clare during her last hours, when it is said that the dying saint declared her sister would soon follow her. In fact, St Agnes died on November 16 following, and was buried at San Damiano till 1260, when her body joined that of her sister in the new church of Santa Chiara at Assisi.
The tomb of St Agnes was made glorious by miracles, and Pope Benedict XIV granted her feast to the Franciscans. A touching letter written by St Agnes to St Clare, after having to leave San Damiano for Monticelli in 1219, is still extant.

For the account devoted to her in the Chronica XXIV Generalium, see the Analecta Franciscana, vol. iii (1897), pp. 173—182. She is also several times spoken of in the early volumes of Wadding’s Annales Ordinis Minorum. Naturally St Agnes figures in all lives of her sister, e.g. that by Locatelli. Consult also the bibliography under August 12, St Clare, and Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iv, pp. 66—70.

The younger sister of St. Clare of Assisi. Born in Assisi, Agnes was the youngest daughter of Count Favorino Scifi and Countess Hortulana (now Blessed). On March 18, 1212, Clare renounced her inheritance and family and founded the Poor Clares, the Franciscan cloistered Order. Agnes joined her sixteen days later at the Benedictine cloister of St. Angelo in Panso, where they received their initial training. Her father, Count Favorino, sent armed men to carry Agnes away. She was badly beaten but was not taken back to her father because of the miraculous efforts of Clare. Agnes was accepted by St. Francis and placed in St. Damian's. She and Clare were soon joined by other noblewomen of Assisi, and there Agnes achieved perfection as a religious at a young age. She was eventually named abbess, and in 1219, was sent by St. Francis to direct the Poor Clares at Monticelli, near Florence. Agnes wrote a letter to Clare, and this surviving document clearly demonstrates her love of poverty and her loyalty to Clare's ideals. Agnes also established Poor Clares in Mantua, Padua, and Venice. In 1253, she was summoned to Clare's deathbed and assisted at her funeral. Agnes followed quickly as Clare had predicted, dying three months later, on November 16 of the same year. Her mother, Hortulana, and a younger sister, Beatrice, had already died, and Agnes was buried near them in the Church of St. Clare of Assisi.

St. Agnes of Assisi established convents
She was the younger sister of St. Clare. At fifteen she joined Clare at the Benedictine convent of Sant'Angelo di Panzo. Determined to follow her sister's life of poverty and penance, she resisted her relatives' attempts to force her to return home, and was given the habit by St. Francis and sent to San Damiano with Clare, thus founding the Poor Clares. St. Francis appointed her abbess of the Poor Clares' convent at Monticelli near Florence in 1219. She established convents at Mantua, Venice, and Padua, and supported her sister's struggle for poverty in their Order. Agnes was with Clare at her death and died three months later, on November 16, reportedly as predicted by Clare. Many miracles have been reported at her tomb in Santa Chiara Church in Assisi.

St. Agnes of Assisi  Catholic Encyclopedia
Younger sister of St. Clare and Abbess of the Poor Ladies, born at Assisi, 1197, or 1198; died 1253. She was the younger daughter of Count Favorino Scifi. Her saintly mother, Blessed Hortulana, belonged to the noble family of the Fiumi, and her cousin Rufino was one of the celebrated "Three Companions" of St. Francis. Agnes's childhood was passed between her father's palace in the city and his castle of Sasso Rosso on Mount Subasio. On 18 March, 1212, her eldest sister Clare, moved by the preaching and example of St. Francis, had left her father's home to follow the way of life taught by the Saint. Sixteen days later Agnes repaired to the monastery of St. Angelo in Panso, where the Benedictine nuns had afforded Clare temporary shelter, and resolved to share her sister's life of poverty and penance. At this step the fury of Count Favorino knew no bounds. He sent his brother Monaldo, with several relatives and some armed followers, to St. Angelo to force Agnes, if persuasion failed, to return home. The conflict which followed is related in detail in the "Chronicles of the Twenty-four Generals." Monaldo, beside himself with rage, drew his sword to strike the young girl, but his arm dropped, withered and useless, by his side; others dragged Agnes out of the monastery by the hair, striking her, and even kicking her repeatedly. Presently St. Clare came to the rescue, and of a sudden Agnes's body became so heavy that the soldiers having tried in vain to carry her off, dropped her, half dead, in a field near the monastery. Overcome by a spiritual power against which physical force availed not, Agnes's relatives were obliged to withdraw and to allow her to remain with St. Clare. St. Francis, who was overjoyed at Agnes's heroic resistance to the entreaties and threats of her pursuers, presently cut off her hair and gave her the habit of Poverty. Soon after, he established the two sisters at St. Damian's, in a small rude dwelling adjoining the humble sanctuary which he had helped to rebuild with his own hands. There several other noble ladies of Assisi joined Clare and Agnes, and thus began the Order of the Poor Ladies of St. Damian's, or Poor Clares, as these Franciscan nuns afterwards came to be called. From the outset of her religious life, Agnes was distinguished for such an eminent degree of virtue that her companions declared she seemed to have discovered a new road to perfection known only to herself. As abbess, she ruled with loving kindness and knew how to make the practice of virtue bright and attractive to her subjects. In 1219, Agnes, despite her youth, was chosen by St. Francis to found and govern a community of the Poor Ladies at Monticelli, near Florence, which in course of time became almost as famous as St. Damian's. A letter written by St. Agnes to Clare after this separation is still extant, touchingly beautiful in its simplicity and affection. Nothing perhaps in Agnes's character is more striking and attractive than her loving fidelity to Clare's ideals and her undying loyalty in upholding the latter in her lifelong and arduous struggle for Seraphic Poverty. Full of zeal for the spread of the Order, Agnes established from Monticelli several monasteries of the Poor Ladies in the north of Italy, including those of Mantua, Venice, and Padua, all of which observed the same fidelity to the teaching of St. Francis and St. Clare. In 1253 Agnes was summoned to St. Damian's during the last illness of St. Clare, and assisted at the latter's triumphant death and funeral. On 16 November of the same year she followed St. Clare to her eternal reward. Her mother Hortulana and her younger sister Beatrice, both of whom had followed Clare and Agnes into the Order, had already passed away. The precious remains of St. Agnes repose near the body of her mother and sisters, in the church of St. Clare at Assisi. God, Who had favoured Agnes with many heavenly manifestations during life, glorified her tomb after death by numerous miracles. Benedict XIV permitted the Order of St. Francis to celebrate her feast. It is kept 16 November, as a double of the second class.
1093 St. Margaret of Scotland English princess holy civility
Edimbúrgi, in Scótia, sanctæ Margarítæ Víduæ, Scotórum Regínæ, amóre in páuperes et voluntária paupertáte célebris.  Ipsíus tamen festívitas quarto Idus Júnii celebrátur.
    At Edinburgh in Scotland, the birthday of St. Margaret, queen of the Scots and widow, renowned for her love of the poor and her voluntary poverty.  Her feast is celebrated on the 10th of June.
St. Margaret of Scotland (1050?-1093)
Margaret of Scotland was a truly liberated woman in the sense that she was free to be herself. For her, that meant freedom to love God and serve others.

Margaret was not Scottish by birth. She was the daughter of Princess Agatha of Hungary and the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward Atheling. She spent much of her youth in the court of her great-uncle, the English king, Edward the Confessor. Her family fled from William the Conqueror and was shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland. King Malcolm befriended them and was captivated by the beautiful, gracious Margaret. They were married at the castle of Dunfermline in 1070.

Malcolm was good-hearted, but rough and uncultured, as was his country. Because of Malcolm’s love for Margaret, she was able to soften his temper, polish his manners and help him become a virtuous king. He left all domestic affairs to her and often consulted her in state matters.

Margaret tried to improve her adopted country by promoting the arts and education. For religious reform, she instigated synods and was present for the discussions which tried to correct religious abuses common among priests and others, such as simony, usury and incestuous marriages. With her husband, she founded several churches.

Margaret was not only a queen, but a mother. She and Malcolm had six sons and two daughters. Margaret personally supervised their religious instruction and their other studies.

Although she was very much caught up in the affairs of the household and country, she remained detached from the world. Her private life was austere. She had certain times for prayer and reading Scripture. She ate sparingly and slept little in order to have time for devotions. She and Malcolm kept two Lents, one before Easter and one before Christmas. During these times she always rose at midnight for Mass. On the way home she would wash the feet of six poor persons and give them alms. She was always surrounded by beggars in public and never refused them. It is recorded that she never sat down to eat without first feeding nine orphans and 24 adults.

In 1093, King William Rufus made a surprise attack on Alnwick castle. King Malcolm and his oldest son, Edward, were killed. Margaret, already on her deathbed, died four days after her husband.

Comment: There are two ways to be charitable: the "clean way" and the "messy way." The "clean way" is to give money or clothing to organizations that serve the poor. The "messy way" is dirtying your own hands in personal service to the poor. Margaret's outstanding virtue was her love of the poor. Although very generous with material gifts, Margaret also visited the sick and nursed them with her own hands. She and her husband served orphans and the poor on their knees during Advent and Lent. Like Christ, she was charitable the "messy way."
Quote: "When [Margaret] spoke, her conversation was with the salt of wisdom. When she was silent, her silence was filled with good thoughts. So thoroughly did her outward bearing correspond with the staidness of her character that it seemed as if she has been born the pattern of a virtuous life" (Turgot, St. Margaret's confessor).

Margaret and her mother sailed to Scotland to escape from the king who had conquered their land. King Malcolm of Scotland welcomed them and fell in love with the beautiful princess. Margaret and Malcolm were married before too long.

As Queen, Margaret changed her husband and the country for the better. Malcolm was good, but he and his court were very rough. When he saw how wise his beloved wife was, he listened to her good advice. She softened his temper and led him to practice great virtue. She made the court beautiful and civilized. Soon all the princes had better manners, and the ladies copied her purity and devotion. The king and queen gave wonderful example to everyone by the way they prayed together and fed crowds of poor people with their own hands. They seemed to have only one desire: to make everyone happy and good.

Margaret was a blessing for all the people of Scotland. Before she came, there was great ignorance and many bad habits among them. Margaret worked hard to obtain good teachers, to correct the evil practices, and to have new churches built. She loved to make these churches beautiful for God's glory, and she embroidered the priest's vestments herself.

God sent this holy Queen six sons and two daughters. She loved them dearly and raised them well. The youngest boy became St. David. But Margaret had sorrows, too. In her last illness, she learned that both her husband and her son, Edward, had been killed in battle. Yet she prayed: "I thank You, Almighty God, for sending me so great a sorrow to purify me from my sins."

Let us take this saintly Queen for our example. While we do our duties, let us keep in mind the joys that God will give us in Heaven.

Margaret of Scotland, Queen (RM) Born in Hungary in 1045; died in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1083; additional feast day is June 10.
Margaret was the daughter of the exiled Aetheling Prince Edward (of the line of Saxon kings and son of King Edmund Ironsides) and Agatha (kinswoman of Saint Stephen of Hungary--in the line of the Roman emperors). It is believed that she and her siblings--Edgar and Christina--were all born in exile in Hungary. When Margaret was 12, her family was received at the court of her great uncle Saint Edward the Confessor. Her father died soon after their arrival in England. Although the family did not remain there long, Margaret watched the initial erection of Westminster Abbey. When the Normans conquered England in 1066, the three children and their mother escaped to Scotland, where they were received by King Malcolm, who succeeded the usurper Macbeth. Malcolm immediately fell in love with 21-year-old Margaret and asked Edgar for his sister's hand. Margaret wanted, like her sister who later became an abbess, to enter religious life, but after much prayer, she realized that her vocation was for marriage.

Malcolm (a widower) and Margaret married at Dunfermline around 1068 (their daughter Matilda married the Norman Henry I to reinstitute the old royal blood of England into the descendents of William the Conqueror).

Margaret's first task was to civilize Malcolm, an illiterate barbarian. He was jealous of her, but this allowed him to be molded, "like wax in her hands." She prayed for his conversion, taught him how to pray, and how to show mercy to the poor. After his conversion, they often prayed together. "Turgot tells how `there grew up in the King a sort of dread of offending one whose life was so venerable, for he could not but perceive from her conduct the Christ dwelt within her'" (S. P. Delany).

They were married for 16 years, had six sons and two daughters. Margaret gave them their early religious education. She never spoiled her children (see Douay Chronicles). Edward (son) killed in same battle as Malcolm. Ethelred became a lay abbot; Edmund went astray for a time, but later became a monk; Edgar, Alexander and David (David reigned 29 years) became three of Scotland's best kings; Matilda married Henry I of England (known as Good Queen Maud, who washed and kissed the feet of lepers); Mary married Count Eustace of Bologna and was the mother of Matilda of whom was born Stephen, the English king.

Margaret urged Malcolm to reform his kingdom. She ransomed slaves. She also used her influence to reform abuses in the national Church to bring the Scottish Church into harmony with the rest of the Catholic Church. She wrote to Archbishop of Canterbury, who sent Friar Goldwin and two other monks to instruct her. They settled in a Benedictine priory at Dunfermline, Fife, where she built a new and exquisite church in 1072, dedicated to the Blessed Trinity. Then an ecclessiastical council was held with Malcolm acting as interpreter. She restored the monastery at Iona, provided vestments and chalices, etc. for churches, and established a palace workshop to train women in the making of ecclessiastical vestments.

Margaret developed a deep friendship with her confessor, Prior Turgot, who built the superb Norman cathedral at Durham. He had been one of William the Conqueror's prisoners and had escaped to Norway where he had taught sacred music at the royal court. He told the story of her spiritual life in Latin (translated by W. Forbes-Leith, S.J.).

Margaret's faithful prayer brought blessings on her family and nation. She kept herself humble through severe self-discipline. She repeated Breviary daily, attended five or six Masses daily, and waited on 24 poor people before partaking of her frugal meals. Endless days of toil, nights of prayer and self-discipline brought on an early death, which she accurately predicted (Bentley, S. P. Delany).
Returning thanks after meals is known as Saint Margaret's Blessing.
St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Encyclopedia
Born about 1045, died 16 Nov., 1092, was a daughter of Edward "Outremere", or "the Exile", by Agatha, kinswoman of Gisela, the wife of St. Stephen of Hungary. She was the granddaughter of Edmund Ironside. A constant tradition asserts that Margaret's father and his brother Edmund were sent to Hungary for safety during the reign of Canute, but no record of the fact has been found in that country. The date of Margaret's birth cannot be ascertained with accuracy, but it must have been between the years 1038, when St. Stephen died, and 1057, when her father returned to England. It appears that Margaret came with him on that occasion and, on his death and the conquest of England by the Normans, her mother Agatha decided to return to the Continent. A storm however drove their ship to Scotland, where Malcolm III received the party under his protection, subsequently taking Margaret to wife. This event had been delayed for a while by Margaret's desire to entire religion, but it took place some time between 1067 and 1070.
In her position as queen, all Margaret's great influence was thrown into the cause of religion and piety. A synod was held, and among the special reforms instituted the most important were the regulation of the Lenten fast, observance of the Easter communion, and the removal of certain abuses concerning marriage within the prohibited degrees. Her private life was given up to constant prayer and practices of piety. She founded several churches, including the Abbey of Dunfermline, built to enshrine her greatest treasure, a relic of the true Cross. Her book of the Gospels, richly adorned with jewels, which one day dropped into a river and was according to legend miraculously recovered, is now in the Bodleian library at Oxford. She foretold the day of her death, which took place at Edinburgh on 16 Nov., 1093, her body being buried before the high altar at Dunfermline. 
In 1250 Margaret was canonized by Innocent IV, and her relics were translated on 19 June, 1259, to a new shrine, the base of which is still visible beyond the modern east wall of the restored church. At the Reformation her head passed into the possession of Mary Queen of Scots, and later was secured by the Jesuits at Douai, where it is believed to have perished during the French Revolution. According to George Conn, "De duplici statu religionis apud Scots" (Rome, 1628), the rest of the relics, together with those of Malcolm, were acquired by Philip II of Spain, and placed in two urns in the Escorial. When, however, Bishop Gillies of Edinburgh applied through Pius IX for their restoration to Scotland, they could not be found.
The chief authority for Margaret's life is the contemporary biography printed in "Acta SS.", II, June, 320. Its authorship has been ascribed to Turgot, the saint's confessor, a monk of Durham and later Archbishop of St. Andrews, and also to Theodoric, a somewhat obscure monk; but in spite of much controversy the point remains quite unsettled. The feast of St. Margaret is now observed by the whole Church on 10 June.
1141 Blessed Simeon of Cava, OSB Abbot (AC)
cultus confirmed in 1928. Simeon, abbot of La Cava Abbey from 1124 until his death, was highly regarded by Pope Innocent II and Roger II of Sicily. During his abbacy, La Cava in southern Italy reached the height of its fame and splendor (Benedictines).

1242 Saint Edmund Rich taught theology for 8 years canon and treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral very virtuous life experienced heavenly visitations B (RM) (also known as Edmund or Edme of Abingdon) When he preached his words were words of fire, which powerfully moved souls, and miracles were reported to attend his preaching at Worcester, Leominster and elsewhere. William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, who had lived a long time neglectful of the duties of a Christian, was converted by hearing a sermon, which the saint preached, and by conversing with him.
Cantuáriæ, in Anglia, sancti Edmúndi, Epíscopi et Confessóris; qui, pro Ecclésiæ suæ júribus tuéndis in exsílium actus, apud Provínum, Sénonum óppidum, sanctíssime óbiit; et Sanctórum cánoni ab Innocéntio Papa Quarto adscríptus est.
    At Canterbury in England, St. Edmund, archbishop and confessor, who was sent into exile for having maintained the rights of his church.  He died a most holy death at Provins, a town near Sens, and was canonized by Innocent IV.

1240 St Edmund Of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury
Edmund was the eldest son of Reynold (or Edward) Rich of Abingdon in Berkshire and his wife Mabel, who were but slenderly provided with the goods of this world but were abundant in virtue and grace.

   Reynold in his middle years, having provided for his family, with his wife’s free consent made his religious profession in the monastery of Eynsham, where he soon died. Mabel lived in a very austere way, and brought up her children both religiously and strictly. When Edmund was about twelve he went to school at Oxford,*{ *It was at this time he was said to have had a vision of the boy Jesus in the fields, who told him that whoever should before sleeping trace the words Jesus of Nazareth on his forehead should be preserved that night from sudden and unprepared death. Whence the custom of tracing the initials I.N.R.I., with a prayer to the same end.} and some three years later, accom­panied by his brother Robert, to Paris to continue their studies there.

   The two boys were not unnaturally shy and nervous at leaving home and going so far on their own. The austere Mabel urged them to trust in God, and to encourage them gave each a hairshirt, which they promised to wear. Edmund was recalled to England by the mortal sickness of his mother, and before she died she gave him her last blessing. Edmund begged the same for his brother and sisters, but she answered, “I have given them my blessing in you, for through you they will share abundantly in the blessings of Heaven”, and she confided them to his care.

  The two girls wished to be nuns, and he placed them in the Benedictine nunnery of Catesby in Northamptonshire, where both were eminent for the sanctity of their lives, and died successively prioresses.

   Then Edmund went back to Paris to pursue his studies. Whilst he lived at Oxford he had consecrated himself to God by a vow of chastity, and this vow he observed with the utmost fidelity, sometimes in trying circumstances, as his biographer narrates. His life as a student was exemplary and he was assiduous in his attendance at the Church’s offices. He became regent in arts at Oxford, and was deeply immersed in the study and teaching of mathematics, until he seemed one night to see his mother in a dream, who, pointing to certain geometrical figures before him, asked him what all that signified. When he explained they represented the subject of his lectures, she told him rather to make the worshipful Trinity the object of his studies.

From that time he gave himself up to theology, took his doctorate, and was ordained, either in Oxford or Paris. For eight years he was a lecturer in theology at Oxford and is said to have been the first to teach the logic of Aristotle in that university. He was a successful professor and preacher, and a number of his pupils attained distinction. He took a personal interest in them, especially were they poor or sick, but for himself carried on his mother’s severe asceticism.  An abbot of Reading noticed that he did not relax even in vacation time. About 1222 Edmund accepted a canonry, as treasurer, in the cathedral of Salisbury, with the prebend of Calne, in Wiltshire, where he had to reside three months out of the twelve. One quarter of his income he gave to the building fund of the cathedral, and most of the rest to the poor, leaving himself destitute the greater part of the year, so that he had to seek the hospitality of Stanley Abbey, near Calne. The abbot more than once rebuked him for his extravagance and lack of foresight. In 1227 Pope Gregory IX sent him an order to preach the crusade against the Saracens, with the right to receive a stipend from each church in which he should do so. 

Edmund executed the commission with great zeal, but would accept no stipend. When he preached his words were words of fire, which powerfully moved souls, and miracles were reported to attend his preaching at Worcester, Leominster and elsewhere. William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, who had lived a long time neglectful of the duties of a Christian, was converted by hearing a sermon, which the saint preached, and by conversing with him.

   St Edmund was one of the most experienced doctors of the interior life in the Church at that time, and he was solicitous to teach Christians to pray in affection and spirit. “A hundred thousand persons”, he writes, “are deceived in multiplying prayers. I would rather say five words devoutly with my heart, than five thousand which my soul does not relish with affection and intelligence. Sing to the Lord with understanding: what a man repeats by his mouth, that let him feel in his soul.” He so well united in himself the science of the soul with that of the schools, mystical theology with speculative, that he became a perfect contemplative.

The see of Canterbury had been long vacant, when, after three annulled elections, St Edmund was chosen to fill it. A deputation was sent to Calne to give notice of his election, and to conduct him to his see. Edmund, who was till then, it is said, ignorant of these proceedings, protested against the office that was offered him. The deputies then applied to Bishop Robert of Salisbury, who exerted his authority to compel him to acquiesce. Edmund submitted, after much resistance, and was consecrated on April 2, 1234. A few days later he took part in a parliament at Westminster, which solemnly warned the king, Henry III, of the state of his realm and called on him to dismiss his unworthy ministers. This Henry did, and sent St Edmund with other bishops to the west to negotiate a truce with Llywelyn of Wales and the disaffected nobles. He further acted as mediator in the king’s dealings with the disgraced ministers, Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, and others. About this time St Edmund appointed as his diocesan chancellor St Richard of Wych, afterwards bishop of Chichester, and he, together with Robert Rich the archbishop’s brother, seem to have been by his side for the rest of his life.

   In 1237 St Edmund presided at King Henry’s solemn ratification of the Great Charter in Westminster Abbey but his marriage with Eleanor of Provence had opened the way to more ministers and favourites from abroad and, to strengthen his hand against his own barons, Henry obtained the appointment of a papal legate, Cardinal Otto. St Edmund went to the king and protested at what he had done, foretelling that the appointment of a legate would be the cause of more trouble in the kingdom. Cardinal Otto duly arrived, creating a good impression by refusing the presents which were offered him on all sides, and presided at a council in St Paul’s at which were promulgated a number of canons concerning the discipline of the clergy and the holding of benefices. But some of them favoured foreign incumbents at the expense of Englishmen and were received with protests. Soon Henry was playing the legate off against St Edmund and the English bishops and barons.

  Love of peace and work for that end stand out prominently in the life and character of Edmund Rich, yet he chose to see his friends break with him and turn his persecutors, rather than approve or tolerate deviation from justice and right. Their bitterness against him never altered the peace of his mind or his charity and tenderness towards them and he seemed indifferent to any injuries or injustices that were done him. He used to say that tribulations were a food which God prepared for the nourishment of his soul, and that their bitterness was mixed with much sweetness, as it were a wild honey, with which his soul had need to be fed in the desert of this world, like John the Baptist in the wilderness. Nicholas Trivet, the English Dominican annalist, records that St Edmund had always some learned Dominican with him wherever he went, and that one of them, who lived to be very old, assured him that one day, when the saint had invited several persons to dine with him, he kept them waiting a long while before he came out. When dinner had been ready some time, Richard, his chancellor, went to call him, and found him in the chapel, raised a considerable height above the ground in prayer. St Edmund was of a friendly and affectionate disposition, and like other innocent people suffered from the censoriousness of others. When a lady whom he had befriended came from Catesby to pass Holy Week at Canterbury he said to her, “You are indeed welcome. And, if the world’s judgements were not too harsh for the purity of our intentions, nothing should be allowed ever to part us from each other.”

     St Edmund’s troubles were far from being confined to resisting the encroach­ments and injustices of the king in matters of church and state. The monks of Christ Church at Canterbury, who served the metropolitan cathedral, in defence of certain alleged rights and liberties, raised what was in effect a revolt against their archbishop. Though he offered a compromise, and the papal legate counselled them to submit, they carried on the controversy till it was a scandal throughout the land, and St Edmund took the matter to Rome in person in 1237. One evening while he was there he was summoned to the pope after Compline, and said the pope’s message had come while he was at prayer. “You would make a good monk”, said Gregory laughing. “Would that I could be a good monk and free from all these troubles”, replied St Edmund. “How happy and peaceful is the state of a monk!” But the Canterbury monks were not at all peaceful, and after he got back the archbishop had to excommunicate seventeen of them by name. Then King Henry openly opposed himself to St Edmund and his suffragans, and Cardinal Otto did likewise, absolving those whom he had excommunicated, reversing decisions he had given in various high matters, and even usurping personal rights of the English primate. Then at a council at Reading the legate asked for a levy of one-fifth on the goods of the bishops and clergy to help the pope in his struggle with the Emperor Frederick II. Already there was bitter resentment against the holding of so many wealthy English benefices by non-resident papal nominees, generally Italians, and the consequent material and spiritual harm (the great opponent of this abuse was the holy Robert Grosseteste, whom St Edmund consecrated bishop of Lincoln), and the bishops turned to their primate for counsel. “My brethren”, said Edmund, “you know that we are in such difficult times that we would all rather be dead. We must make a virtue of necessity. For, while the pope drags us one way and the king the other, I do not see how we can resist.”

Henry, in order to have the benefit of the revenues during vacancy, was in the habit of leaving offices and benefices in his gift unoccupied and of hindering the elections to others, with obvious hurt to the faithful. With great trouble and expense St Edmund had obtained a brief from Gregory IX that after six months’ vacancy the metropolitan could present to any cathedral or monastic church. Henry induced the pope to withdraw this brief, and it is not surprising that at this grave reverse St Edmund began to see himself as possibly another Thomas Becket. It had become almost impossible for him to administer his office, for whatever steps he took Cardinal Otto was liable to reverse them, and he decided to leave the country. After taking leave of the king and blessing the land, “standing on a hill [Shooters Hill?] near the city of London”, he sailed from Thanet; and “looking back on England he wept bitterly, knowing in spirit that he would never see it again.”

St Edmund went to the Cistercian abbey of Pontigny, “where a refuge had been found by all prelates who had been exiled from England for justice’s sake. Blessed Thomas the Martyr before the time of his martyrdom had awaited there for [two] years the reward of his life.”
   During the few months he was there Edmund lived as one of the community, writing in the scriptorium and preaching in the neighbouring villages. In the summer of 1240 he went for his health to a priory of canons regular at Soissy. Here he died at dawn on Friday, November 16, after raising the excommunication on the Canterbury monks, and sending his hair-shirt to his brother Robert and his camlet cloak and a holy image to his sisters at Catesby. He was buried in the great church at Pontigny, where his body is still enshrined and venerated. St Edmund was canonized six years later, and his feast is kept in nearly every diocese of England and by the Cistercians, as well as at Meaux and Sens.

We are on the whole very well informed regarding the history of St Edmund. Besides the abundant notices in Matthew Paris and several other contemporary chroniclers, there are at least four independent biographies of serious value. Unfortunately we have no certain knowledge as to their respective authors, and though there is good reason to suppose that Robert Rich, St Edmund’s brother, Bertrand, a Cistercian who was prior of Pontigny, Matthew Paris, Eustace, a monk of Canterbury, and Robert Bacon the Dominican, an uncle or brother of the more celebrated Roger Bacon the Franciscan, all wrote lives of the arch­bishop, there is no agreement as to which writer is responsible for which life. The longest and perhaps the most satisfactory of these texts is that printed in the Thesaurus novus anecdotorum of Martène and Durand, vol. iii, pp. 1775—1826. The second has been edited by W. Wallace in his Life of St Edmund of Canterbury (1893), pp. 543—583, and with this two others, pp. 589—624. Besides this excellent work we have lives by the Baroness de Paravicini (1898), by Bishop Bernard Ward (1903), and by M. R. Newbolt (1928). See also an article by H. W. C. Davis in the English Historical Review, vol. xxii (1907), pp. 84—92 the Dublin Review for October, 1904, pp. 229—237, and a criticism of this last in the preface to the Eynsham Cartulary edited by H. E. Salter (1907—1908); and A. B. Emden, An Oxford Hall in Medieval Times (1927). Some theological treatises written by St Edmund seem to have remained in manuscript unrecognized, as has been shown by Mgr Lacombe in Mélanges Mandonnet (1930), vol. ii, pp. 163—591, under the title of “Quaestionès Aber­donenses.” Edmund’s sisters, Alice and Margaret, are mentioned by the Bollandists among the praetermissi; and cf. B. Camm in Revue Bénédictine, vol. x (1893), p. 314.

Born in Abingdon, Berkshire, England, on November 30, c. 1170-1180; died near Pontigny c. ; canonized 1246 or 1247 (no one agrees exactly on any of these dates).  Born into a prosperous family, Edmund Rich studied at Oxford and Paris. He taught art and mathematics at Oxford, received his doctorate in theology, and was ordained. He taught theology for eight years and about 1222 became canon and treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral.  He was an eloquent and popular preacher, preached a crusade against the Saracens at the request of Pope Gregory IX in 1227, was elected archbishop of Canterbury in 1233 (after Pope Gregory rejected three other candidates), and was consecrated in 1234 against his wishes. He was an adviser to King Henry III, undertook several diplomatic missions for the king during his seven-year episcopate, and in 1237 presided at Henry's ratification of the Great Charter.  Edmund was reputed to be a man of very virtuous life who experienced heavenly visitations. Saint Gregory was essentially a preacher and teacher, a man of study and prayer.  To lighten the burden of public affairs with which he reluctantly, but resolutely, had to deal, he chose as his chancellor Master Richard of Wich, known to later ages as Saint Richard of Chicester. Immediately after his consecration Saint Edmund was successful in averting civil war in the Welsh marshes, and he brought about a reorganization of the government. His uncompromising stand in favor of good discipline, monastic observance, and justice in high quarters soon brought him into conflict with King Henry III over discrepancies between church law and the English common law, with several monasteries, and with his own chapter.

Edmund protested Henry's action in securing the appointment of a papal legate, Cardinal Otto, to England as an infringement of his episcopal rights. A rebellion by the monks of Christ Church at Canterbury, supported by Henry, to eliminate his rights there caused him to go to Rome in 1237, and on his return he excommunicated 17 of the monks--an action that was opposed by his suffragans, Henry, and Cardinal Otto who lifted the excommunications.

Edmund then became involved in a dispute with Otto over the king's practice of leaving benefices unoccupied so the crown could collect their revenues. When Rome withdrew the archbishop's authority to fill benefices left vacant for six months, he left England in 1240 and retired to the Cistercian abbey at Pontigny. He died at Soissons, France, on Nov. 16 and was canonized in 1247 by Pope Innocent IV.

Saint Edmund was a learned and holy man, and a good if not great bishop. On his deathbed he called God to witness, 'I have sought nothing else but you.' He was buried in the abbey church at Pontigny, where his body still lies; locally there he is called Saint Edme.
Very little of his writing has survived, but his Mirror of Holy Church makes it clear that he is entitled to an honorable place among the English medieval mystics. In this treatise he sets out at various levels the contemplative's way to God. The only surviving medieval hall at Oxford, Saint Edmund's, is named in his honor, and according to tradition it was built on the site of his tomb (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Lawrence).
Saint Edmund is portrayed in art as an archbishop making a vow before a statue of the Blessed Virgin as the Christ-Child appears to him. Sometimes Saint Thomas of Canterbury appears to him (Roeder).
St. Edmund of Abingdon (1175-1240) Born: 20th November 1175 at Abingdon, Berkshire Archbishop of Canterbury Died: 16th November 1240 at Soissy, France
Flag of Saint Edmund >
Edmund 'Rich' was born in Abingdon on 20th November, the feast of St. Edmund, the King of East Anglia, about the year 1175. He was the son of a local merchant named Edward or Reynold Rich. Of his three brothers, Robert supposedly wrote one of his biographies. His two sisters, Margaret and Alice, became Prioresses of Catesby in Northamptonshire. Edmund's boyhood seems to have been spent in Abingdon and Oxford, and he was probably first educated at the abbey in the former town. His mother Mabel enticed him by little allurements to practice extreme asceticism like herself, to wear sackcloth, to fast on Friday, to refuse food on Sunday and other feast-days until he had sung the whole psalter. The family was apparently in easy circumstances, as the father's surname suggests (this is actually an epithet only and should therefore not really be applied to the children). However, Mabel's severe discipline did not make the home a comfortable one for her husband. To quote Hook's Lives: “We are not, however, surprised to find that the more self-indulgent old merchant preferred a monastery to such a home as that which Mabel latterly provided for him.” So the father withdrew to the greater comfort of the monastery of Eynsham, near Oxford.

Edmund and Robert were sent to be educated in Paris, then closely connected with Oxford. But their mother either could not or would not provide them with much money, so that the lads had to beg their way from place to place. Mabel's girdle was regarded, many generations later, as a treasure to be bequeathed as an heirloom. The next few years of Edmund’s life were spent in Paris and Oxford in study and in teaching. The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris had recently been completed in the magnificence of the new pointed style, and serves as a link between the Paris of St. Edmund and the Paris of today. Of the Oxford of his day, we are still reminded amid many changes by the castle, the town walls, the tower of St. Michael, the small crypt of St. Peter's in the East, and Christ Church Cathedral - then St. Frideswide's Priory.

In Paris, Edmund once played the part of Joseph to a fair siren, and behaved with less than his usual chivalry. A certain young girl, who had taken a shine to him, invited the Abingdonian to a private assignation, but Edmund invited the University authorities, who proceeded to lay bare the back of the frail maiden and the offending Eve was whipped out of her! Edmund practised austere self-discipline, wore garments of rope-cloth and horse-hair, and showed himself careless about teacher's fees both in Paris and Oxford. He was devoted to his pupils, nursing them in sickness and selling the treasures of his library to give to needy scholars.

Edmund taught, at first, in the secular learning of Oxford, particularly philosophy and mathematics; and was one of the pioneers in the revival of the study of Greek. Roger Bacon, the great scientist, speaks of him as “Edmund, the first in my time who read the Elements - of Aristotle - at Oxford.” Later on, Edmund joined the Austin Canons of Merton College and abandoned the vanity of secular studies for theology. He at once became famous as a preacher. Among his penitents was William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, the illegitimate son of King Henry II. Oxford had fallen on evil days owing to the tyranny of King John and the turbulence of the students and townsmen. Its existence as a seat of learning was threatened by the migrations of students to other places. St. Edmund, along with the Oxford friars, took a great part in restoring its high character for learning and conduct.

In 1222, Edmund left Oxford to become Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral and Prebend of Calne. During the eleven years that he held this post, he must have taken a share in the work of building the most graceful of all English Cathedrals. At this time, he was engaged in preaching the Crusade all over England, with marked success. In 1233, he received, at Calne, the news that he had been appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by the Pope, to whom a disputed election had been referred. In the words of Capgrave, "The Pope cassed the eleccion. Thanne were the munkis at her liberte to have a new eleccion; and thei chose Maister Edmund Abyngdon, a holy man, which was thanne tresorer of Salisbury."

Prince Edward, afterwards the great King Edward I, was confirmed by him, and perhaps, in later life, derived from him something of his crusading zeal and his popular sympathies. As Archbishop, Edmund supported the Baronian Party which aimed at securing national independence and freedom from the domination of Henry III's foreign favourites; and rebuked the King for the murder of the Earl Marshal. He excommunicated the infamous Simon de Montfort for his clandestine marriage with Eleanor, the King's sister. He was the champion of the English Church against the tax-gatherers of Rome and endeavoured to suppress many corrupt practices in the Church. To this end, his Constitutions were issued in 1236. However, the resentment he incurred, partiocularly from his own monks, led him to visit Rome in order to lay his difficulties before the Pope in person, but he failed to secure any support from Gregory IX.

He finally broke down under the stress of all these struggles and, feeling his position to be intolerable, he followed his great predecessors, Thomas A'Becket and Stephen Langton, in retiring from his troubled life to an exile of despair at Pontigny, and lived in seclusion as a simple monk. As a boy, he had seen visions in the fields of Abingdon and Oxford. The end of his life at Pontigny and Soisy was also vision-haunted. Death came to him at Soisy, on 16th November 1240, and his body was carried back to Pontigny, where his shrine may be seen today, behind the High Altar of the Abbey there. Reported miracles and, still more, the memory of his pure and holy life, attracted many worshippers to the shrine and, at length, led to his canonization in 1247. This was hotly opposed, but finally allowed owing to the warm support of King Louis IX.

It was not St. Edmund's political capacity so much as the charm of his character that attracted the affection of his own and succeeding generations. He spent the 'amercements' of his see in providing dowries for his poorer tenants' daughters. He would tolerate neither bribery nor gifts, was a good steward of the estates of his office, and was hospitable in spite of his personal austerity. To the end, he wore a cheap tunic of grey or white in preference to purple and fine linen. The chronicler quaintly remarks that, when he was Primate of all England, he did not blush to take off his own shoes.

Among St. Edmund’s writings must be mentioned his 'Constitutions', which give an interesting account of his reforms and aims, and throw light on the manners of that age. He also wrote Speculum Ecclesiae, or the ‘Mirror of the Church’. A black letter quarto of Latin sermons, undated, c.1521, with nice woodcuts, contains 'A Myrour of the Chyrche made by Saynt Austyn of Abyndon'. St. Austin is a slip for St. Edmund of Abingdon. This, and other editions, indicate the hold that the Abingdon preacher had taken on the minds of Englishmen. In the English envoy of the printer it professes to be 'rudely endited', 'that ye reders leve not the fruytfull sentence of within for the curious fable of without.'

In memory of St. Edmund of Abingdon, Prince Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, founded, in 1288, St. Edmund's Chapel in the parish of St. Helen's in Abingdon, near the saint’s reputed birthplace. It was swept away at the reformation but is still remembered in the name of 'St. Edmund's Lane' where it stood.
Edited from J. Townsend's 'A History of  Abingdon' (1910)
Edmund Rich, St., abp. of Canterbury, Speculum amicicie, also known as Speculum religiosorum or Speculum ecclesie, in a French translation. H. W. Robbins, ed., Le Merure de Seinte Eglise by St. Edmund of Pontigny (Lewisburg, Pa., 1923) pp. 1-78, includes all the text except the sentence at the end before the prayer [Ami pur W....].  MS 492 is not included in his list of manuscripts, pp. viii-ix, nor in the list given by H. Forshaw, "New Light on the Speculum Ecclesie of St. Edmund of Abingdon," Archives d'histoire doctrinale et litteraire du Moyen Age 46 (1971) pp. 16-17. According to A. Wilshire, MS 492 is of the original family of French manuscripts, containing the text as translated for nuns, not as modified for lay people; it is closely related to the text in London, B. L. Royal 12. C. XII, ff. 17r-30r, but includes a vital sentence in the chapter on contemplation which is lacking in all other manuscripts except Oxford, Bodl. Lib. Selden Supra 74. See A. Wilshire, "The Latin Primacy of St. Edmund's 'Mirror of Holy Church'," Modern Language Review 71 (1976) pp. 500-12; idem, Mirour de Seinte Eglyse, Anglo-Norman Text Society 40 (London, 1982) siglum = A9, pp. vi, xi, xiii.
1298 Saint Mechtilde  mistress of novices of the Cistercian convent at Helfta Castle in Saxony  many mystical experiences spiritual formation of Saint Gertrude the Great O.Cist. V (AC)
feast day formerly on November 19.

"When you awake in the morning, let your first act be to salute My Heart, and to offer Me your own...Whoever shall breathe a sigh toward Me from the bottom of his heart when he awakes in the morning and shall ask Me to work all his works in him throughout the day, will draw Me to him...For never does a man breathe a sigh of longing aspiration toward Me without drawing Me nearer to him than I was before." --Our Lord to Saint Mechtilde.

Saint Mechtilde, sister of abbess Gertrude of Hackeborn, was the mistress of novices of the Cistercian convent at Helfta Castle in Saxony. In this capacity she played an important role in the spiritual formation of Saint Gertrude the Great. Like her spiritual daughter, Mechtilde was blessed with many mystical experiences that were recorded by Saint Gertrude in the Book of Special Grace. Mechtilde and the younger Gertrude together wrote a series of prayers that became very popular (Benedictines, Delaney, Martindale).

1302 St. Gertrude the Great,, virgin, whose birthday is on the 17th of November and Mechtilda of Hackeborn.
St. Gertrude Virgin Patroness of the West Indies ;
her book The Herald of Divine Love
Sanctæ Gertrúdis Vírginis, cujus natális sequénti die recensétur.  
Born at Eisleben in Saxony. At the age of five, she was placed in the care of the Benedictine nuns at Rodalsdorf and later became a nun in the same monastery, of which she was elected Abbess in 1251. The following year she was obliged to take charge of the monastery at Helfta, to which she moved with her nuns.
St. Gertrude had enjoyed a good education. She wrote and composed in Latin, and was versed in Sacred Literature. The life of this saint, though not replete with stirring events and striking actions, was one of great mental activity. It was the mystic life of the cloister, a life hidden with Christ in God. She was characterized by great devotion to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord in His Passion and in the Blessed Eucharist, and by a tender love for the Blessed Virgin. She died in 1302.

Gertrude the Great, OSB V (RM)
Born in Eisleben, Thuringia, Germany, on January 6, 1256; died at Helfta in Saxony, c. 1302.
    "O Lord Jesus Christ, in union with Your most perfect actions I commend to You this my work, to be directed according to Your adorable will, for the salvation of all mankind. Amen." --Saint Gertrude

Almost nothing is known about one of my favorite saint's birth or death. Saint Gertrude was probably an orphan because at age five she was received by the Cistercian nuns of Helfta and placed under the care of Saint Mechtilde (see below) of Hackeborn, mistress of novices. (Helfta was actually a Black Benedictine convent, which had been falsely designated as Cistercian for political reasons in many early records.)

The intellectual level was high in the castle convent of Helfta, which was then run by the noblewoman, Saint Gertrude of Hackeborn (1232-1292). Even so, Saint Gertrude was considered an outstanding student, who devoted herself to study, especially literature and philosophy. Eventually she became a professed nun but still she concentrated on the secular.

God, however, is a great teacher. Gertrude learned that when she began to get carried away with her love of learning. She didn't go so far as to neglect the Lord completely, but she did push him off a bit to the side. Her mind was growing, but it was growing faster than her heart.

Gertrude's life has a lesson for intellectuals who will profit from her example. If a syllogism moves you to ecstasy and a dissertation about the love of God makes you speechless with joy, then beware. They are a trap. Gertrude learned not to prefer things to people, ideas to reality, the study of divine learning to the pursuit of love. She teaches us to avoid entanglement in the net of our words that save us from believing in the living God, from dressing up God in the latest fashions and making him into a latter-day golden calf, an idol that only serves to hide the real Lord. Love means another person--the beloved--and another person always upsets the neat constructs built by the mind.

But the Lord Himself saw to it that she was set on the right path of devotion. Once touched by the Spirit of God, Gertrude was converted from innocence to holiness, and swiftly ran in the paths of perfection, devoting herself to prayer and contemplation. Thus, her ecstasies began when she was 26.

Then she redirected her energies from secular studies to scrutinizing the Bible and the writings of SS Augustine, Gregory, and Bernard.

Many of her writings are lost, but fortunately she left to the world an abundance of spiritual joy in her book The Herald of Divine Love, in which she tells of the visions granted her by our divine Lord. She wrote this excellent, small book because she was told that nothing was given to her for her own sake only. Her Exercises is an excellent treatise on the renewal of baptismal vows, spiritual conversion, religious vows, love, praise, gratitude to God, reparation, and preparation for death.

She began to record her supernatural and mystical experiences in what eventually became her Book of Extraordinary Grace (Revelation of Saint Gertrude), together with Mechtilde's mystical experiences Liber Specialis Gratiae, which Gertrude recorded.
 Most of the book was actually written by others based on Gertrude's notes.
She also wrote with or for Saint Mechtilde a series of prayers that became very popular, and through her writings helped spread devotion to the Sacred Heart (though it was not so called until revealed to Margaret Mary Alocoque).
When in a vision the Lord asked Gertrude whether she would prefer health or sickness, she responded, "Divine Lord, give me whatever pleases You. Do not consider my wishes at all. I know that what You choose to send is the best for me."

What value should be placed on our suffering?
All the saints looked upon it as a gift that brings great merit. Moreover, it is better to bear the sorrows God allows. Gertrude says, "It is the most dangerous kind of impatience if a person desires to choose his own sufferings. Whatever is given to him by God is the best."

What if sickness comes? Our Lord said to Gertrude:
    "When man, after applying the remedy for his suffering, patiently bears for love of Me that which he is unable to cure, he gains a glorious prize."
And later:
    "If a man can, with the help of grace, praise and thank God in time of suffering, he obtains a treasure from the Lord, because thanksgiving when sorrow comes is the most beautiful and precious crown of the soul." (similarity to the Book of Job.)

Saint Gertrude learned that every tear shed on the death of a loved one earns a rich reward if offered to God in obedience to His holy will. The deep sympathy our Lord shows for the sorrows of men was thus revealed to her.
Gertrude found her strength in the Holy Eucharist. I think this passage from Herald of Divine Love shows us how much Jesus prizes diversity in worship.
    "Once Gertrude felt slightly provoked when she noticed a certain religious approach Holy Communion with extreme timidity. Our Lord rebuked her, however, saying, 'Dost thou not realize that I deserve reverence equally as much as love? But as human frailty is incapable of rendering both, I inspire one with reverence, and to another I give the unction of My love.'"

Regarding frequent communion, Jesus told her:
    "It is a time honored custom that one who has twice held the office of governor excels in honor him who has filled the office but once. Likewise, they shall be more glorious in heaven who shall have received Me oftener on earth...
    "In communicating but once, the Christian receives Me for his salvation, with all My goods--that is, with the united treasures of My Divinity and Humanity; but he does not appropriate the abundance of these treasures except by repeated Communions. At each new Communion, I increase, I multiply the riches which are to constitute his happiness in heaven!..In the end, he who approaches Me with fear and reverence is less eagerly welcomed than he who comes to Me from a motive of pure love."

The depth of His love was shown to Gertrude in several visions. One day she saw Jesus during Holy Communion placing beautiful white robes on some of the sisters. Precious jewels, shaped like violets and giving out a delightful fragrance, adorned the robes. A rose- colored garment with golden flowers was also given them as a sign of Christ's passion and His infinite love for man.

Our Lord wishes people to pray for the souls in purgatory. He once showed Gertrude a table of gold on which were many costly pearls. The pearls were prayers for the holy souls. At the same time the saint had a vision of souls freed from suffering and ascending in the form of bright sparks to heaven.
In one favorite passage, Our Lord tells Gertrude that he longs for someone to ask Him to release souls from purgatory, just as a king who imprisons a friend for justice's sake hopes that someone will beg for mercy for his friend. Jesus ends with:
"I accept with highest pleasure what is offered to Me for the poor souls, for I long inexpressibly to have near Me those for whom I paid so great a price. By the prayers of thy loving soul, I am induced to free a prisoner from purgatory as often as thou dost move thy tongue to utter a word of prayer."
To her was granted the privilege of seeing our Lord's Sacred Heart. The graces flowing from it appeared like a stream of purest water flowing over the whole world. These visions continued until the end of her life. Jesus said to her at the last:
"Come, my chosen one, and I will place in you My throne."

Saint Gertrude was "the Great" because of her single-hearted love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the souls in purgatory. Though she was never formally canonized, Pope Clement XII in 1677 directed that her feast be observed throughout the Church.
It is interesting to note that Saint Teresa of Avila had a great devotion to Gertrude (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Martindale, Melady, White)
In art Saint Gertrude is depicted as a Cistercian (white) abbess wearing seven rings on her right hand and holding a heart with the figure of Christ in her left. She was neither an abbess nor a Cistercian (but rather a Black Benedictine), but is often portrayed as such. Sometimes seven angels ring her head and the Christ-Child is over her heart (Roeder).

She is known as the 'prophetess of devotion to the Sacred Heart.' She is the patroness of the West Indies. Venerated at Helfta, Saxony (Roeder).

1302 St. Gertrude Patron of the West Indies
St. Gertrude, Virgin (Patroness of the West Indies) Feastday-November 16 St. Gertrude was born at Eisleben in Saxony. At the age of five, she was placed in the care of the Benedictine nuns at Rodalsdorf and later became a nun in the same monastery, of which she was elected Abbess in 1251. The following year she was obliged to take charge of the monastery at Helfta, to which she moved with her nuns.

St. Gertrude had enjoyed a good education. She wrote and composed in Latin, and was versed in Sacred Literature. The life of this saint, though not replete with stirring events and striking actions, was one of great mental activity. It was the mystic life of the cloister, a life hidden with Christ in God. She was characterized by great devotion to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord in His Passion and in the Blessed Eucharist, and by a tender love for the Blessed Virgin. She died in 1302.

St. Gertrude the Great
Benedictine and mystic writer; born in Germany, 6 Jan., 1256; died at Helfta, near Eisleben, Saxony, 17 November, 1301 or 1302. Nothing is known of her family, not even the name of her parents. It is clear from her life (Legatus, lib.I, xvi) that she was not born in the neighbourhood of Eisleben. When she was but five years of age she entered the alumnate of Helfta. The monastery was at that time governed by the saintly and enlightened Abbess Gertrude of Hackerborn, under whose rule it prospered exceedingly, both in monastic observance and in that intellectual activity which St.Lioba and her Anglo-Saxon nuns had transmitted to their foundations in Germany. All that could aid to sanctity, or favour contemplation and learning, was to be found in this hallowed spot. Here, too, as to the centre of all activity and impetus of its life, the work of works-the Opus Dei, as St. Benedict terms the Divine Office - was solemnly carried out. Such was Helfta when its portals opened to receive the child destined to be its brightest glory. Gertrude was confided to the care of St. Mechtilde, mistress of the alumnate and sister of the Abbess Gertrude. From the first she had the gift of winning the hearts, and her biographer gives many details of her exceptional charms, which matured with advancing years. Thus early had been formed betwen Gertrude andMechtilde the bond of an intimacy which deepened and strengthened with time, and gave the latter saint a prepondering influence over the former.

Partly in the alumnate, partly in the community, Gertrude had devoted herself to study with the greatest ardour. In her twenty-sixth year there was granted her the first of that series of visions of which the wonderful sequence ended only with life. She now gauged in its fullest extent the void of which she had been keenly sensible for some time past, and with this awakening came the realization of the utter emptiness of all transitory things. With characteristic ardour she cultivated the highest spirituality, and, to quote her biographer, "from being a grammarian became a theologian", abandoning profane studies for the Scriptures, patristic writings, and treatises on theology. To these she brought the same earnestness which had characterized her former studies, and with indefatigable zeal copied, translated, and wrote for the spiritual benefit of others. Although Gertrude vehemently condemns herself for past negligence ( Legatus, II, ii), still to understand her words correctly we must remember that they express the indignant self-condemnation of a soul called to the highest sanctity. Doubtless her inordinate love of study had proved a hindrance alike to contemplation and interior recollection, yet it had none the less surely safeguarded her from more serious and grievous failings. Her struggle lay in the conquest of a sensitive and impetuous nature. In St. Gertrude's life there are no abrupt phases, no sudden conversion from sin to holiness. She passed from alumnate to the community. Outwardly her life was that of the simple Benedictine nun, of which she stands forth preeminently as the type. Her boundless charity embraced rich and poor, learned and simple, the monarch on his throne and the peasant in the field; it was manifested in tender sympathy towards the souls in purgatory, in a great yearning for the perfection of souls consecrated to God. Her humility was so profound that she wondered how the earth could support so sinful a creature as herself. Her raptures were frequent and so absorbed her faculties as to render her insensible to what passed around her. She therefore begged, for the sake of others, that there might be no outward manifestations of the spiritual wonders with which her life was filled. She had the gift of miracles as well as that of prophecy.

When the call came for her spirit to leave the worn and pain-stricken body, Gertude was in her forty-fifth or forty-sixth year, and in turn assisted at the death-bed and mourned for the loss of the holy Sister Mechtilde (1281), her illustrious Abbess Gertrude of Hackeborn (1291), and her chosen guide and confidante, St. Mechtilde (1298). When the community was transferred in 1346 to the monastery of New Helfta, the present Trud-Kloster, within the walls of Eisleben, they still retained possession of their old home, where doubtless the bodies of St. Gertrude and St. Mechtilde still buried, though their place of sepulture remains unknown. There is, at least, no record of their translation. Old Helfta is now crown-property, while New Helfta has lately passed into the hands of the local municipality. It was not till 1677 that the name of Gertrude was inscribed in the Roman Martyrology and her feast was extended to the universal church, which now keeps it on 15 November, although it was at first fixed on 17 November, the day of her death, on which it is still celebrated by her own order. In compliance with a petition from the King of Spain she was declared Patroness of the West Indies; in Peru her feast is celebrated with great pomp, and in New Mexico a town was built in her honour and bears her name. Some writers of recent times have considered that St. Gertrude was a Cistercian, but a careful and impartial examination of the evidence at present available does not justify this conclusion. It is well known that the Cistercian Reform left its mark on many houses not affiliated to the order, and the fact that Helfta was founded during the "golden age" of Cîteaux (1134-1342) is sufficient to account for this impression.

Many of the writings of St. Gertrude have unfortunately perished. Those now extant are:

    * The "Legatus Divinae Pietatis",
    * The "Exercises of St. Gertrude";
    * The "Liber Specialis Gratiae" of St. Mechtilde.

The works of St. Gertrude were all written in Latin, which she used with facility and grace. The "Legatus Divinae Pietatis" (Herald of Divine Love) comprises five books containing the life of St. Gertrude, and recording many of the favours granted her by God. Book II alone is the work of the saint, the rest being compiled by members of the Helfta community. They were written for her Sisters in religion, and we feel she has here a free hand unhampered by the deep humility which made it so repugnant for her to disclose favours personal to herself. The "Exercises", which are seven in number, embrace the work of the reception of baptismal grace to the preparation for death. Her glowing language deeply impregnated with the liturgy and scriptures exalts the soul imperceptibly to the heights of contemplation. When the "Legatus Divinae Pietatis" is compared with the "Liber Specialis Gratiae" of St. Mechtilde, it is evident that Gertrude is the chief, if not the only, author of the latter book. Her writings are also coloured by the glowing richness of that Teutonic genius which found its most congenial expression insymbolism and allegory. The spirit of St. Gertrude, which is marked by freedom, breadth, and vigour, is based on the Rule of St. Benedict. Her mysticism is that of all the great contemplative workers of the Benedictine Order from St. Gregory to Blosius. Hers, in a word, is that ancient Benedictine spirituality which Father Faber has so well depicted (All for Jesus, viii).

The characteristic of St. Gertrude's piety is her devotion to the Sacred Heart, the symbol of that immense charity which urged the Word to take flesh, to institute the Holy Eucharist, to take on Himself our sins, and, dying on the Cross, to offer Himself as a victim and a sacrifice to the Eternal Father (Congregation of Rites, 3 April, 1825). Faithful to the mission entrusted to them, the superiors of Helfta appointed renowned theologians, chosen from the Dominican and Franciscan friars, to examine the works of the saint. These approved and commented them throughout. In the sixteenth century Lanspergius and Blosius propagated her writings. The former, who with his confrere Loher spared no pains in editing her works, also wrote a preface to them. The writings were warmly received especially in Spain, and among the long list of holy and learned authorities who used and recommended her works may be mentioned :

    * St. Teresa, who chose her as her model and guide,
    * Yepez,
    * the illustrious Francisco Suárez,
    * the Discalced Carmelite Friars of France,
    * St. Francis de Sales,
    * M. Oliver,
    * Fr. Faber,
    * Dom Guéranger.

The Church has inserted the name of Gertrude in the Roman Martyrology with this eulogy: "On the 17th of November, in Germany (the Feast) of St. Gertrude Virgin, of the Order of St. Benedict, who was illustrious for the gift of revelations."

1256-1302 A.D.)
     Few men have merited the title, "the Great"; fewer women. I know of only one nun so honored, St. Gertrude of Helfta, a mystic whose spiritual writings have remained influential up to the present.
     Nothing is known of this German woman's family background. When five years old, she was entrusted to the sisters of Helfta Abbey to be educated. A bright child, she became a good Latin scholar. In her teen years she asked to join the community. Therefore, she probably spent her whole life from childhood on within the abbey walls.
     As a young nun, Gertrude continued her studies, but the extensive reading that she did was mostly nonreligious. Then, one evening in 1281, Jesus appeared to her, took her hand, and said, "I will save and deliver you. Fear not." From that day on, Sister Gertrude was "converted" from a life of religious mediocrity to one of ardent pursuit of union with God.
     Gertrude committed to writing many of her mystical experiences in the book commonly called the "Revelations of St. Gertrude." Her piety focused on the humanity of our Lord, and in this she showed the strong influence of the Christ-centered St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the famous Cistercian monk. It seems that, apart from a period of 18 days, she had a continued sense of Jesus' being within her.  She was united with Him, so to speak, in a spiritual marriage.
     St. Bernard had been the first to promote devotion to the loving heart of Jesus. Devotion to the Sacred Heart was strong at Helfta Abbey, and Gertrude did much to foster it. On one occasion, Jesus, in an apparition, pointed out to her the wound in his side, out of which flowed a stream of crystal-clear water. (One thinks of the prophet Isaiah's inspired promise: "With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation.") The heart of Christ seemed to her to be suspended like a lamp in her own heart. She heard it throbbing with saving love for saint and sinner. Some of the saints' writings about the Sacred Heart remind one, even verbally, of the revelations that would be made to St. Margaret Mary of Alacoque four centuries later.
     Another object of St. Gertrude's special attention was the Holy Eucharist. She tells the reader how to hear Mass and how to prepare for receiving Holy Communion. Worshiping the Holy Eucharist gained in popularity in the 13th century, and Gertrude had much to do with promoting that development. It would culminate in the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi and the beautiful meditations on the Eucharist in the fourth book of the Imitation of Christ.
     The enduring influence of this nun on the shaping of popular devotions reminds us once again how many of our forms of popular piety were originated by or fostered by religious orders. Thus, we owe the brown scapular to the Carmelites, the rosary to the Dominicans, the Miraculous Medal devotions to the Vincentians, and so forth. The Eucharistic liturgy must, of course, hold pride of place in Catholic public worship; still, “popular devotions, as Vatican II insists, “are warmly commended...
     St. Gertrude desired that God might be for us “all in all”. If we seek to make Him so, according to our own graces, then we will glorify Him not only through the Mass but also through some of those nonliturgical devotions that keep us alive to His constant presence.--Father Robert F. McNamara

SS. GERTRUDE THE GREAT AND MECHTILDIS, VIRGINS AD. 1302 AND 1298 * The feast of St Margaret is kept throughout Scotland on this day, the anniversary of her death. But an account is given of her herein under June 10, the day on which her feast is observed by the rest of the Western church. It was finally fixed for this date in 1693 at the request of King James II and VII, being the birthday (in 1688) of his son James (de jure III and VIII); but November 16 was restored for Scotland by Pope Leo XIII in 1868. 
THE date of the death and of the feast of St Mechtildis is November 19, but it is convenient and suitable to speak of her here with her pupil St Gertrude.
VATICAN CITY, 6 OCT 2010 (VIS) - In his general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square, the Pope dedicated his catechesis to St. Gertrude, "one of the most famous mystics and the only woman in Germany to receive the title of 'Great'", which was given to her "for her great cultural and evangelical importance. With her life and thought she made a uniquely incisive contribution to Christian spirituality", he said.  Born in the year 1256, at the age of five "she entered the convent, as often happened at that time, for education and study. There she spent her whole life".  Gertrude "was an outstanding student. ... She went on to dedicate herself totally to God in monastic life and for twenty years nothing exceptional happened: her principal activities were study and prayer". Then, at the age of twenty-five, "she had a vision of a young man who took her by the hand and guided her to loosen the knot of thorns oppressing her soul. In that hand, Gertrude recognised ... the One Who saved us with His blood on the cross: Jesus.  "From that moment her life of intimate communion with the Lord became more intense", the Holy Father added. She abandoned "the profane humanistic sciences for theological studies, and in her monastic observance she moved from a life she herself defined as 'negligent' to one of intense mystical prayer, showing exceptional missionary ardour".  Gertrude, Pope Benedict explained, "understood that she had been distant from God, ... that she had dedicated herself too avidly to liberal studies, to human knowledge, disregarding the spiritual sciences and depriving herself of the taste of true wisdom. Now she was being led to the mountain of contemplation where she abandoned the old self to clothe herself in the new".
  This German saint "dedicated herself to writing, to revealing the truth of faith with clarity, simplicity, grace and conviction, serving the Church with love and faithfulness, and becoming much appreciated by theologians and men of piety". Among her writings - of which few remain "because of the events that led to the destruction of the convent of Helfta" - are the "'Herald of Divine Love' or 'The Revelations', as well as the 'Spiritual Exercises', a rare jewel of mystic spiritual literature", said the Holy Father.
  "Gertrude added other prayers and penance to those imposed by the monastic rule, with such devotion and faithful abandonment to God that she aroused in those who met here the conviction of being in the presence of the Lord. And in fact God Himself brought her to understand that He had called her to be an instrument of His grace. Yet Gertrude felt unworthy of this immense divine treasure, and confessed that she had not protected and cherished it". She died in 1301 or 1302.  In closing, Benedict XVI highlighted how the example of St. Gertrude "shows us that the focal point of a happy and authentic life is friendship with Jesus the Lord. This is learned through love for Sacred Scripture and the liturgy, through profound faith and through love for Mary, so as to gain increasing knowledge of God and, therefore, to know true happiness which is the goal of our existence".

 Having concluded his catechesis, the Holy Father reminded the various pilgrim groups present that October is the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary, and that tomorrow marks the feast day of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary.
  "The Rosary", he said turning to address Polish pilgrims, "is a special prayer of the Church and a spiritual weapon for each one of you. May meditation on the lives of Jesus and Mary be a light for all of us on our evangelical journey of spiritual renewal and conversion of heart". AG/  VIS 20101006 (640)
VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2010 (VIS) - St. Matilda of Hackeborn (1241/1242 - 1298), one of the outstanding figures of the German convent of Helfta, was the subject of the Holy Father's catechesis during his general audience, which took place this morning in St. Peter's Square.
  Matilda was daughter of the barons of Hackeborn. At an early age she entered the convent of Helfta where her sister, St. Gertrude, was abbess for forty years. Gertrude gave "a particular imprint to the spirituality of the convent, causing it to flourish as a centre of mysticism and culture, a place of scientific and theological education". The nuns of Helfta enjoyed "a high level of intellectual learning which enabled them to cultivate a spirituality founded on Sacred Scripture, the liturgy and patristic tradition, and on the Rule and spirituality of the Cistercians".
  The main source for Matilda's life is a book written by her sister and entitled "The Book of Special Grace", in which she is described as possessing exalted natural and spiritual qualities such as "science, intelligence, knowledge of human literature, and a voice of great beauty".
  While still very young Matilda became the head of the convent school of Helfta, and later director of the choir and mistress of novices. She also possessed "the divine gift of mystic contemplation" and was "a teacher of faithful doctrine and great humility, a counsellor, a consoler and a guide in discernment". For this reason "many people, within the convent but also from elsewhere, ... testified that this holy virgin had freed them from their sufferings and that they had never known such consolation as they had with her", said Benedict XVI.
  "During her long life in the convent, Matilda was afflicted by continuous and intense suffering, to which she added her own great penance for the conversion of sinners. In this way she shared in the Lord's passion until the end of her life.
  "Prayer and contemplation", the Pope added. "were the vital 'humus' of her life. It was there that her revelations, her teachings, her service to others, and her journey in faith and love had their roots and their context. ... Of the liturgical prayers, Matilda gave particular emphasis to the canonical hours, and to the celebration of Mass especially Holy Communion. ... Her visions, her teachings, and the events of her life are described with expressions evocative of liturgical and biblical language. Thus do we come to appreciate her profound knowledge of Sacred Scripture, which was her daily bread".
  This saint, "allowing herself to be guided by Sacred Scripture and nourished by the Eucharistic bread, followed a path of intimate union with the Lord, always maintaining complete fidelity to the Christ. For us too, this is a powerful call to intensify our friendship with the Lord, especially through daily prayer and attentive, faithful and active participation in Mass. The liturgy is a great school of spirituality", the Pope concluded.  AG/   VIS 20100929 (500)

Mechtildis when she was seven years old was confided to the care of the nuns of Rossdorf, who shortly after elected her elder sister, Gertrude von Hackeborn, to be their abbess. It is by confusion with this Abbess Gertrude that St Gertrude the Great is herself often erroneously referred to as an abbess. Mechtildis herself became a nun of Rossdorf; she was chief chantress of the house and mistress of the children who were sent there to be trained. In 1258 the nuns moved to a monastery at Helfta in Saxony, the home of the noble Hackeborn family, and three years later St Gertrude, then a child of five, joined them. Nothing is known either of her parentage or the place of her birth. She came under the charge of St Mechtildis, and mistress and pupil took to one another; Gertrude was personally very attractive and of great intellectual ability; she became a good Latin scholar and in due course was professed a nun, probably never having left the cloister which she entered as a little girl.
  When Gertrude was nearly twenty-six years old she received the first of the revelations that have made her famous. In the dormitory, as she was about to go to bed, she seemed to see our Lord, in the form of a young man. When He had spoken to her, “although I was certain of my bodily presence in that place, nevertheless it seemed to me that I was in choir, in that corner where I was accustomed to make my lukewarm prayers, and that there I heard these words, ‘I will save and deliver you. Fear not.’ When He had said this I saw His fine and delicate hand take mine as though solemnly to ratify this promise, and He went on, ‘You have licked the dust with my enemies and sucked honey from thorns. Now come back to me, and my divine delights shall be as wine to you.’” Then a thorn-covered hedge seemed to stretch between them, but Gertrude found herself as it were lifted and placed by our Lord’s side, and “I then recognized, in the hand that had just been given me as a pledge, the radiant jewels of those sacred wounds which have made of no effect the handwriting that was against us”.
   Thus she received that experience which even in the purest and most faultless souls is called conversion; she applied herself consciously and deliberately to the attainment of perfection and ever-closer union with God. Hitherto her delight had been in profane studies, but now she turned to the Bible and the works of the fathers, especially St Augustine, St Gregory and the not-long-dead St Bernard: “from being a grammarian she became a theologian”, and her own writings show clearly the influence both of the Church’s liturgy and her private reading.
  Exteriorly the life of St Gertrude was like that of any other contemplative nun and therefore deficient in incident. We hear of the copies of scriptural passages and the little biblical treatises she made for her sisters in religion, her charity towards the dead, and the liberty of spirit that informed her. The last is well 
illustrated by her attitude towards sudden or unattended death. “I wish with my whole heart to be strengthened by those health-giving last sacraments; neverthe­less, the will and appointment of God seem to be the best and surest preparation. I am certain that, whatever the manner of my death, sudden or foreseen, I shall never lack His mercy, without which I cannot possibly be saved in either case.” After her first vision of our Lord she continued to see Him “indistinctly” at the time of communion, until the vigil of the Annunciation, when He visited her at the morning chapter-meeting and “henceforth He gave me a more clear knowledge of Himself, so that I was led to correct my faults by the sweetness of His love far rather than by fear of His just anger”.

The five books of the Herald of God’s Loving-kindness (commonly called the Revelations of St Gertrude), of which only the second book was actually written by the saint, contain a succession of visions, communications and mystical experiences, which have received the approval of a number of holy mystics and distinguished theologians. She speaks of a ray of light like an arrow coming from the wound in the right side of a crucifix; of beholding her soul, in the likeness of wax softened at a fire, presented to the bosom of our Lord as though to receive the impress of a seal; and of a spiritual marriage in which she was as it were drawn into the heart of Jesus: but “adversity is the spiritual ring with which the soul is betrothed to God”. St Gertrude anticipated the later revival of frequent communion, as well as devotion to St Joseph and, particularly, to the Sacred Heart.

With both St Mechtildis and St Gertrude the love of the Sacred Heart was a frequently recurring theme, and it is stated that Gertrude in vision twice reposed her head upon the breast of our Lord and heard the beating of His heart.

In the meantime, St Mechtildis, fifteen years older than Gertrude and still by her singing a “nightingale of Christ,” had been following the same mystical way; but it was not till she was fifty that she learned that her pupil had been assiduously writing down all she had been told of her mistress’s experiences and teaching. Mechtildis was at first alarmed at this, but our Lord assured her that all had been committed to writing by His will and inspiration, and so she was reassured and she corrected the manuscript. This is the work called the Book of Special Grace, or the Revelations of St Mechtildis. Seven years later, on November 19, 1298, Christ called her to Himself; “she offered Him her heart, plunging it into His; and our Lord touched it with His own, giving to her eternal glory, wherein we hope she will obtain grace for us by her intercession.”

St Mechtildis has never been canonized, but her feast is permitted to numerous houses of Benedictine nuns. Some identifies her with the “Donna Matelda” in cantos 27 and 28 of the Purgatorio of Dante.

These two saints are probably best known to the Catholic public today by a series of prayers attributed to them. They were first published at Cologne at the end of the seventeenth century and, whatever their merits as prayers, they were certainly not written by Gertrude and Mechtildis. Prayers extracted from their genuine works were first published by Dom Castel in French, and in English by Canon John Gray in 1927.
 Alban Butler calls St Gertrude’s book “perhaps the most useful production, next to the writings of St Teresa, with which any female saint has enriched the Church for the nourishing of piety in a contem­plative state”. St Gertrude died on November 17 in the year 1301 or 1302, at the age of about forty-five, after suffering much ill health for a decade. She was never formally canonized, but in 1677 Pope Innocent XI added her name
to the Roman Martyrology, and Clement XII directed that her feast be ob­served throughout the Western church. She is greatly venerated by the Bene­dictines and the Cistercians, by both of which orders the monastery of Helfta has been claimed
There are no materials for the life of either of these saints beyond what is found in their own writings. These were first collected and adequately edited in the two Latin volumes published in 1875 by the Benedictines of Solesmes under the general title Revelationes Gertrudianae et Mechtildianae, but the contents were made up of several separate treatises. In that called Legatus divinae pietatis, which is divided into five books, the second book was certainly written by Gertrude herself, books 3, 4 and 5 were composed under her guidance, and book 1 was compiled by her intimates shortly after her death. This work is the principal source of the little we know concerning her history and literary activities, but we also obtain some further information from the Liber specialis gratiae which has mainly to do with St Mechtildis and is printed in the second volume of the Revelationes. There is an excellent English life by Dom G. Dolan, St Gertrude the Great (1912), and one in French by G. Ledos (1901). St Gertrude’s influence upon the devotional feeling of her age has been well treated by K Michael, Geschichte des deutschen Volkes vain dreizehnten Jahrhundert, vol. iii, pp. 174—251. Many articles and books have been written on this mystic’s anticipation of the special cultus of the Sacred Heart. See amongst the rest A. Hamon, Histoire de devotion an Sacré Coeur, vol. ii; U. Berlière, La devotion au Sacré Coeur dans l’Ordre de St Benoit (1920); K. Richstätter, Herz-Jesu-Verehrung des deutsch Mittelalters (1924). The question whether St Gertrude was Benedictine or a Cistercian has been much debated. See Dom U. Berlière in the Revue Benedictine, vol. xvi (1899), pp. 457—461; E. Michael in the Zeitschrift. Kath. Theol., vol. xxiii (1899), pp. 548—552 and the Cistercienser Chronik for 1913, pp. 257—268. That she was much influenced by contact with the Franciscans has been shown in the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum,, vol. xix (1926), pp. 733—752. On Donna Matelda consult F. Gardner, Dante and the Mystics, p. 269.  
1495 Blessed Louis Morbioli third order Carmelite teaching Christian doctrine begged alms for the poor OC Tert. (AC) so many miracles were attri­buted to his intercession that the body was soon translated to within he Cathedral.
Born in Bologna, Italy, 1439; cultus confirmed in 1842. As a young man, Louis was notorious for his dissipated lifestyle which continued even after his marriage. The Holy Spirit brought Louis low and raised him up again. After a serious illness, Louis completely turned his life over to the Lord. He became a member of the third order of Carmelites, began teaching Christian doctrine, and begged alms for the poor (Benedictines).  Among the tertiaries not living in community must be mentioned Blessed Louis Morbioli of Bologna (d. 1495).

1485 BD LOUIS MORBIOLI; many miracles were attri­buted to his intercessio
The Car­melite friar Baptist of Mantua wrote a METRICAL life of this beatus, adorned with classical allusions and figures after the manner then fashionable, a few years after his death. Louis belonged to a bourgeois family of Bologna where he was born in 1433. He was a handsome young man, who soon married, but led a careless and at times sinful life. But in 1462, while he was staying in the monastery of the canons regular of St Saviour at Venice, Louis was taken very ill, and the threat to his life, aided by the exhortations of his hosts, brought about a complete Change in him.

From being a scandal, he became an example to Bologna and his inward conversion was manifested by his outward appearance the man of fashion now wore the same thin, plain garments summer and winter, and no longer curled and dressed his hair. After he had made provision for her, the wife of Louis agreed to a separation, and he then began to go from place to place preaching repentance.

He begged alms for the poor, taught Christian doctrine to the young and ignorant, and did not care how ridiculous he seemed to make himself to the eyes of his former associates. In his moments of leisure he amused himself by carving images in bone and wood. During the last years of his life his lodging was below the staircase of a Bolognese mansion, and when his last illness began he resolutely refused to see a doctor. Instead, he asked for the sacraments, and when he had received them with great devotion he died, on November 9, 1485. He was buried in the cemetery of the cathedral, but so many miracles were attri­buted to his intercession that the body was soon translated to within the building. During alterations and rebuilding in the cathedral a hundred years later the site of his grave was lost and has never been recovered; but this did not interrupt the cultus of Bd Louis Morbioli, which was confirmed in 1843. The Carmelites claim that Bd Louis became a secular tertiary of their order after his conversion, and they keep his feast today.

The metrical life by Baptista Mantuanus is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, November, vol. iv, pp. 288—297, where it is remarked that the author does not indulge in poetic licence and depends on his own or eye-witnesses’ knowledge. The Bollandists refer also to other works. There seems to be some little doubt about the chronology. There is an account in the Analecta Juris Pontificii, vol. xix (1926), pp. 1043 seq.; and in R. McCaffrey, The White Friars (1926), pp. 62—63.

1508 Blessed  Gratia mysterious light seen above his cell miracles at his intercession lay-brother at Monte Ortono, near Padua  gift of infused knowledge

1508 BD GRATIA OF CATTARO; miracles took place at his intercession;
ACCORDING to tradition Gratia was a native of Cattaro (Kotor) in Dalmatia who followed the trade of the sea till he was thirty years old.  Coming one day into a church at Venice he was deeply impressed by a sermon from an Augustinian friar, Father Simon of Camerino. Gratia determined to enter that order and was accepted as a lay brother at Monte Ortono, near Padua. Here Brother Gratia was employed in the gardens, and soon earned the respect and veneration of the whole convent. When he was transferred to the friary of St Christopher at Venice a mysterious light was seen above his cell, and miracles took place at his intercession. When the church was being repaired and he was working on the building, a cistern was marvelously supplied with water all through a dry summer, and the water remained fresh even when the sea got into it. In his seventy-first year Gratia was taken seriously ill, and insisted on getting out of bed to receive the last sacraments on his knees; he died on November 9, 1508. The cultus of Bd Gratia was confirmed in 1889, and the Augustinians keep his feast on this day.

See the Acta Sanctorum, November, vol. iv, pp. 297-304. The earliest accounts (S. Lazarini, in Italian, 1643; Eliseus Polonus, in Latin, 1677) were not compiled till over a century after Gratia’s death all writings on him seem to go back to a common source.  A more recent Italian life is by N. Mattioli (1890) and there is one in Serbo-Croat by I. Matovic (1910).

According to tradition, Gratia was a native of Cattaro (Kotor) in Dalmatia who followed the trade of the sea till he was thirty years old. Coming one day into a church at Venice, he was deeply impressed by a sermon from an Augustinian friar, Father Simon of Camerino. Gratia determined to enter that order and was accepted as a lay-brother at Monte Ortono, near Padua. Here, brother Gratia was employed in the gardens, and soon earned the respect and veneration of the whole convent.

When he was transferred to the friary of St. Christopher at Venice, a mysterious light was seen above his cell, and miracles took place at his intercession. When the church was being repaired and he was working on the building, his cistern was marvelously supplied with water all through a dry summer, and the water remained fresh even when the sea got into it.
In his seventy-first year, Gratia was taken seriously ill, and insisted in getting out of bed to receive the last Sacraments on his knees.
He died on November 9, 1508. The cultus of Blessed Gratia was confirmed in 1889.

Blessed Gratia of Cattaro, OSA (AC) Born in Cattaro, Dalmatia; died 1509; beatified in 1889. The Venetian fisherman, Gratia, was converted at the age of 30 on hearing a sermon. He then entered the Augustinians as a lay brother, where he became a gardener famous for his gift of infused knowledge (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

Augustinian, Hermit (Mul in Boka Kotorska, November 27, 1438 - Venice, November 9, 1508) Blessed Grace of Mul
    In the small village of Mul in Boka Kotorska, a child was born who was christened Grace [Gracija]. This name seemed to characterize his entire life as a fisherman, sailor, monk and saint.
As the child of a poor fisherman, he spent his youth on the sea as a fisherman and working the barren land as a farmer. He soon became a sailor. On one voyage across the Adriatic Sea from his native village to Venice, he found not material but spiritual gain. In 1468, he heard the inspired preaching of the Blessed Simon of Camerine, an Augustinian who was a famous popular missionary of the time. The word of the Blessed Simon was like a seed planted in Grace's heart, which would soon yield fruit. Grace decided to abandon his way of life and devote himself entirely to God.
He knocked on the door of the Augustinian monastery and began a monastic life in the impoverished monastery on Mt. Ortona near Padua. After fifteen years of penitential life, from Ortona he went to a monastery on the island of San Kristoforo in Venice. There he spent the last years of his life and died in holiness at the age of 70. His body was initially buried in a common grave. After a short time, it was placed in a new marble sarcophagus and exhibited to the veneration of believers. Many claimed that they received numerous graces through his intercession.

After the fall of Napoleon, the hermits of St. Augustine left the island of San Kristoforo and returned the body of the Blessed Grace to his native village. Thus, after 250 years, the greatest son of this coastal village returned home by boat to a magnificent celebration. Pope Leo XIII approved the permanent veneration of this modest monk. In 1889, Grace was beatified.

Grace was a man of humble family origins. He went out into the world as a sailor. When he chose the monastic life, he did not want to study books and become a priest but live as a humble friar. Grace worked in the sacristy, monastery and monastery garden with devoted love and sacrifice. He cultivated special reverence toward Christ who is present in the Holy Eucharist. During the Mass, he would submerge himself in the Eucharistic Mystery and nourish himself with Christ's body during Holy Communion. In his free time, he would spend hours kneeling before the Most Holy Altar of the Sacrament. He was a eucharistic soul, distinguished by a childlike sincere piety toward Mary. The poor and beggars who came to the monastery gates had a special place in his heart. He never refused them. He offered each "a crust of bread" and word of encouragement, which often meant more to them than a material gift.

1544 BD LUCY OF NARNI, VIRGIN; received the stigmata, and a sensible participation in sufferings of the Passion, which happened, accompanied by loss of blood, every Wednesday and Friday for the three years that she remained at Viterbo

THE treasurer of the commune of Narni in Umbria during the second half of the fifteenth century was a certain Nicholas Brocadelli, who married Gentilina Cassio and became by her the father of eleven children. The eldest of these was Lucy, who was born at Narni in 1476. At an early age she determined to consecrate herself to God, but, her father being dead, her guardians had other views for her, and when she was fourteen tried to betroth her by force. Lucy threw the ring to the floor, slapped the suitor’s face, and ran out of the room. In the following year another young man was brought forward, a certain Count Peter, and Lucy, after resisting at first, agreed to marry him, having been recommended to do so by a vision of our Lady and by the advice of her confessor.

The Congregation of Sacred Rites in granting to St Lucy in 1729 the Mass and Office of a virgin has accepted the evidence for the union of her and Peter being only nominally marital, and after about three years her husband told her she was free to do whatever she liked. Whereupon she withdrew to her mother’s house, received the habit of the Dominican third order, and joined a community of regular tertiaries in Rome. A little later she went to a similar convent at Viterbo. Here Bd Lucy received the stigmata, and when to these were added a sensible participation in the sufferings of the Passion, which happened, accompanied by loss of blood, every Wednesday and Friday for the three years that she remained at Viterbo, her state could not be concealed. She was examined, skeptically enough, by the local inquisitor, by the Master of the Sacred Palace, by a Franciscan bishop, and by the physician of the pope himself, Alexander VI. They were all convinced of the genuineness of the phenomena. Finally Count Peter came to see he was convinced too, and is said in consequence to have joined the Friars Minor.

The fame of Bd Lucy came to Ercole I, Duke of Ferrara, who had a deep admiration for the memory of St Catherine of Siena and was a sincere friend of such contemporary holy women as Bd Stephana Quinzani, Bd Columba of Rieti and Bd Osanna of Mantua. He obtained the pope’s permission and her agreement to found a convent for Lucy at Ferrara. Great difficulties were put in the way of her leaving Viterbo, and in the end she had to be smuggled out of the town in a clothes-basket strapped to the back of a mule. But Bd Lucy was only twenty-three years old and she had not the natural qualities necessary to a superior moreover, Ercole d’Este was a man of large ideas and wanted his new convent (on whose building and decoration he spent large sums of money) to house not less than a hundred sisters, so he invited none other than Lucretia Borgia (who had just become his daughter-in-law) to help him in his quest for subjects.

These came from several quarters, some of them were not at all suitable, and Lucy’s task became more and more difficult. She was deposed from office and her place taken by Sister Mary of Parma, who was not a tertiary at all but a Dominican nun of the so-called second order, to which she wanted to affiliate the whole community.

In 1505 Bd Lucy’s ducal protector died, and from being a “fashionable mystic” and the protégée of d’Este she sank into complete obscurity and so remained for thirty-nine years. Moreover, the new prioress treated her with a severity that was not short of persecution: the parlour was closed to her, she might speak to nobody except the confessor who was appointed for her, a sister was told off to be always in charge of her.

It was during these weary years, unjustly condemned by the sisters of the house she had been brought with so much trouble from Viterbo to found, that Bd Lucy became a saint. Not a word of impatience or complaint is heard, even when she is ill and left unattended. So completely did she allow herself to be effaced that when she died on November 15, 1544 the people of Ferrara were astonished to hear that she had been still alive: they thought she was dead years ago. Immediately popular veneration was aroused, soon her body had to be translated to a more public resting-place, and many miracles were claimed. This cultus of Bd Lucy of Narni was confirmed in 1710.

There is plenty of evidence available concerning the early mystical life of this beata. Edmund Gardner in his book Dukes and Poets in Ferrara (1904), has left us a graphic account of the more memorable incidents connected with her; see pp. 366—381, 401—404 and 465—467.  His description is largely based upon the work of L. A. Gandini, Sulla venuta in Ferrara della beata Lucia da Narni (1901), and upon the Vita della beata Lucia di Narni of Domenico Ponsi (1711). In connection with this last there is a curious supplement printed in 1740, Aggiunta al libro della Vita della B. Lucia. In this we have a bibliography of earlier publications concerning Lucy, but the substance of the book is taken up with the attempt made by the Franciscans of Majorca to suppress a printed picture of her in which she was represented with the stigmata. The Franciscans contended that by a decree of Sixtus IV (a Franciscan) it had been forbidden under pain of excommunication to represent anyone except St Francis himself as marked with the stigmata. The case was referred to Rome and by a decree of 1740 the matter was decided in favour of the Dominicans. The question of the reality of Lucy’s stigmata had been very thoroughly investigated by Duke Hercules of Ferrara himself, and his letter on the subject printed in the booklet Spiritualium personarum facta admiratione digna (1501)—there is a copy in the British Museum—is a document of great interest. See also another letter of his in G. Marcianese, Narratione della nascita, etc., della b,. Lucia di Narni (1616).

1585 Saint Sergius of Malopinega (in the world Simeon) he possessed a kindly soul pure mind a courageous heart humility and quiet strength love for truth was merciful to the poor to the point of self-denial numerous miracles which occurred at the grave
Born in 1493. His father, Markian Stephanovich Nekliud, was descended from Novgorod nobles. Together with other fellow citizens they left their native-place setting off "to the side of the icy sea," when Great Novgorod was finally subjugated to the power of Moscow by Ivan III. There in the northlands, Markian Stephanovich married Apollinaria, a maiden from a rich and noble family. The pious spouses raised their son Simeon in the fear of God, they gave him a fine education, and inculcated in him the love for "book-learning." Having grown old, Markian and Apollinaria by mutual agreement went to monasteries. Markian (in monasticism Matthew) was afterwards igumen of the Resurrection monastery in the city of Keurola. Apollinaria died a schemanun with the name Pelagia.

Simeon was ordained presbyter at the canonical age of thirty to serve the churches of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the Great Martyr George in the Malopinega district. The holy presbyter Simeon with love finished his pastoral service at age sixty-two. With apostolic zeal he labored over the conversion of the pagan Chud people. The rare personal qualities of the pastor contributed much to the success of his preaching. As the Chronicle notes, he possessed a kindly soul and pure mind, a courageous heart, humility and quiet strength, love for truth, and was merciful to the poor to the point of self-denial.

In the final year of his life, the monk took the schema with the name Sergius and died on November 16, 1585. Following the saint's final instructions, they buried him near the altar of the Transfiguration church. Later, a chapel was built over his grave. The old hand-written manuscript tells about the numerous miracles which occurred at the grave of the saint.

1885 Saint Joseph Mkasa prefect of the royal pages of Uganda M (RM)
Died in Uganda, 1885; canonized 1964. Saint Joseph, the prefect of the royal pages of Uganda, was baptized in 1881 and beheaded in witness to his faith just four years later (Benedictines).
JOSEPH MUKASA [Saint Joseph Mukasa]
Also known as Joseph Mkasa; Joseph Mkasa Balikuddembe; Joseph Balikuddembe; Yosefu Mukasa Balikuddembe; Josef Mukasa; Yosefu Mkasa
Memorial    3 June
Profile    Kayozi clan. Major-domo to King Mwanga of Uganda, and captain of the king's pages. Convert, joining on 15 November 1885. Rebuked the 18 year old king for his dissolute lifestyle, his drinking, his advances to the male court pages, and the martyrdom of Anglican missionary bishop James Hannington. Not the first Christian killed in Uganda, but the first Catholic martyr in the country. One of the Martyrs of Uganda who died in the Mwangan persecutions.

Born  1860 at Buganda, Uganda
Died  beheaded on 15 November 1885 at Nakivubo, Uganda; his body was burned
Name Meaning whom the Lord adds (Joseph)
Canonized 18 October 1964 by Pope Paul VI at Rome, Italy

1927  St. Joseph Moscati Celebrated physician of Naples a model of piety and faith long periods of reflective prayer
 Italy, noted for medical research. Joseph gave his wages and skills to caring for the sick and the poor and was a model of piety and faith. He was beatified in 1975 and canonized in 1987.

Giuseppe Moscati (RM) (also known as Joseph Moscati) Born in Benevento, Italy, 1860; beatified in 1975; canonized in 1987 by Pope John Paul II. Saint Giuseppe studied medicine at the University of Naples and later joined the school's medical faculty. His work led to the modern study of biochemistry. But Giuseppe was not canonized because he had a great scientific mind; rather his vow of chastity and loving care of the incurables at Santa Maria del Populo drew him to a life of sanctity. His charity was further proven during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906 and the cholera outbreak in 1911. Throughout his professional life he continued his medical research to relieve suffering, not to earn acclaim or wealth. He regularly withdrew for long periods of reflective prayer. Three years after his death, his relics were translated to the church of Gesu Nuovo (Farmer).

St. Joseph Moscati

"Remember that, following Medicine, you undertook upon yourself the responsibility of a teachings always in your memory, with love and pity for the abandoned, with faith and enthousiasm, deaf to praises and criticisms, to envry, inclined only to God." [from a letter to Dr.Giuseppe Biondi, Sept. 4th, 1921.]

Joseph Moscati was born in Benevento, Italy, on July 25, 1880. He was born to virtuous Catholic parents being the seventh of nine children. His father was a lawyer and President of the Court of Assize in Naples. He was a very friendly and well-liked person. He was extremely intelligent, pious and prayerful.

He went to medical school at the University of Naples. He studied rigorously and frequented daily Mass. He suffered much grief when his beloved father died during his first year in medical school. He pressed on and graduated with a degree in Medicine and Surgery, summa cum laude, when he was only 23 years old in 1903. In 1906, he heroically saved many patients who could have died in the hospital when the roof was collapsing during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. He also was known to save many during a cholera epidemic in 1911. Later that same year, he became holder of the Naples University Chair in Chemical Physiology. Around 1912 or 1913, he made a vow of chastity, consecrating himself to a life of celibacy. He then aspired to be a Jesuit but was discourage by the Jesuit priests who discerned that God's will was for Dr. Moscati to remain in the world as a physician. In 1914, the start of World War I, his mother died. He volunteered in the Italian Army and became a major. He cared for the wounded soldiers and helped them become good Catholics.

Dr. Moscati's philosophy for medical practice was to save souls by caring for the body. He believed that the health of the body depended upon the soul remaining in the state of grace. He is quoted in saying that "one must attend first to the salvation of the soul and only then to that of the body." Through his practice, he helped many lapsed Catholics to return to the Sacraments. His favorite patients were the poor, the homeless, the religious and the priests-all from whom he would never accept payment. He actually went as far as secretly leaving his money within a patient's prescription or under a patient's pillow.
One day he even refused payment from all his patients saying "These are working folk. What have we that has not been given us by Our Lord? Woe to us if we do not make good use of God's gifts!"
He was always good to his patients. When one of his patients complained about the strict diet the good doctor prescribed, Dr. Moscati replied "God make us suffer here in order to reward us in the heavenly Kingdom; by resigning ourselves to dietary restrictions, and suffering, we shall have greater merit in the eyes of the Almighty."
Professionally, he commanded the highest admiration and respect from his peers and his students. Some of his pupils would accompany him to Mass. He received communion everyday and had a great devotion to Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception.
Though he saved many, he knew that he himself would not live long. After doing his normal hospital rounds and visiting the poor and examining patients in his home, he felt ill, stopped work, went to his room, sat in his chair and expired. He died at the age of 46. Pope John Paul II canonized Joseph Moscati during the Marian Year of 1987-1988 on October 25, 1987. Dr. Moscati's feastday is November 16. Summarized and adapted from: Joan Carroll Cruz, "Secular Saints: 250 Canonized and Beatified Lay Men, Women, and Children.

 Wednesday    Sextodécimo Kaléndas Decémbris.  The Sixteenth Day of November

November is the month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory since 1888;
Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  November 2016
Universal: Countries Receiving Refugees

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

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

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016

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

We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
40 days for Life Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

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

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

Jesus brings us many Blessings
The more we pray, the more we wish to pray. Like a fish which at first swims on the surface of the water, and afterwards plunges down, and is always going deeper; the soul plunges, dives, and loses itself in the sweetness of conversing with God. -- St. John Vianney

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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