Mary Mother of GOD
 
15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
 Thursday  Saints of this Day November  17 Quintodécimo Kaléndas Decémbris  
Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас! (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)

Six Canonized on Feast of Christ the King Nov 23 2014

CAUSES OF SAINTS April  2014

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here

Acts of the Apostles

 November 17 – Mary of the Gate of the Dawn (Lithuania) - Saint Gregory the Wonderworker (d. 270) 
 
The fire that devastated Vilnius spared the painting of the Madonna

Our Lady of the Gate of the Dawn or, in Polish, Ostra Brama, is the best known image of our Lady in Lithuania. The history of the miraculous image of Vilnius started at the time of the construction of a wall surrounding the city. The wall had nine gates, and the south-eastern one was called the Gate of the Dawn. The first stone was laid in 1498 and in 1503 the gate was adorned with an image of the Virgin Mary.

150 years later, Carmelite nuns restored the image, had it plated with silver, and mounted it in a chapel. The contemporary chroniclers mention several accounts of miracles, namely that of a lifeless child—who had fallen from a balcony—returned alive to his mother.

When the Muscovites attacked the city in 1655, the fire that devastated Vilnius for 17 days completely spared the painting of the Madonna. Several fires were put out in miraculous ways, especially in 1706 and 1715. And in 1812, the Chapel of the Gate of the Dawn, indulgenced by the Pope and filled with ex-votos, was miraculously protected whereas all the other churches in Vilnius were destroyed or damaged. Pilgrimages continue to this day, with the faithful praying, often on their knees, in the street.  www.notre-dame-de-france.com
 
From Mary, We Learn the True Meaning of Freedom
True freedom is found in our loving embrace of the Father’s will. From Mary, Full of Grace, we learn that Christian freedom is more than liberation from sin. It is freedom for a new, spiritual way of seeing earthly realities. It is the freedom to love God and our brothers and sisters with a pure heart, and to live a life of joyful hope for the coming of Christ’s Kingdom. …Let us turn to Our Lady and implore the grace to rejoice in the freedom of the children of God, to use that freedom wisely in the service of our brothers and sisters, and to live and work as signs of the hope which will find its fulfillment in that eternal Kingdom where to reign is to serve.
Pope Francis August 15, 2014 Homily on the Solemnity of the Assumption, in Daejeon, South Korea w2.vatican.va
 
November 17
Sirach 26:1-3, 15-18, 24
Psalms 31:4-5, 8-9, 20, 24-25; Matthew 25:31-40
Today the Church offers us riches:
1420 BD ELIZABETH THE GOOD, VIRGIN She received the stigmata of the Passion from time to time, including marks resembling those of the crown of thorns and of the scourging; these bled copiously on Fridays and in Lent, and the pain was almost unceasing.
1426 Saint Nikon Abbot of Radonezh successor of St Sergius of Radonezh a "zealot of obedience." St Peter and St Alexis together with St Sergius appeared to him
1628 Martyrs of Paraguay Three Spanish Jesuits
1628 St. JUAN de Castillo Jesuit. One of the Martyrs of Paraguay
1628 St. Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz  earliest beatified martyr of America
1628 St Alonso Rodriguez co-founded the "reduction" of the Assumption on the Ijuhi River
1852 BD PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE, VIRGIN

You cannot please both God and the world at the same time.
They are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions.
-- St. John Mary Vianney


November 17 - Our Lady of Sion (Queen of the Jews) - Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus (d. 270)     
  One of the First Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin
One night while Gregory was meditating on the doctrines of the faith during a sleepless night, someone appeared to him in human form, aged in appearance, clothed in garments denoting a sacred dignity, with a face characterized by a sense of grace and virtue. Gregory, frightened at this sight, rose from his bed and asked the old man who he was and why he had come. The unknown person spoke in a subdued voice, and, after calming his distress, told Gregory that he had appeared by divine will to clear up his doubts by revealing to him the truth of the faith.
Reassured by these words, Gregory looked at the old man with a mixture of joy and fright.
The apparition held up his hand, as if to point with his finger at something in the opposite direction. Gregory, turning his gaze in the direction indicated, saw before him a second figure with female features and a noble aspect far surpassing normal human beauty. Gregory was frightened again and he lowered his eyes. Although he could not bear to look upon the apparition, Gregory heard their speech as they discussed the problems that were troubling him.
From their words, Gregory not only obtained an exact understanding of the doctrine of the faith but also was able to discover the names of the two persons who had appeared to him, for they called each other by name.

For it is said that he heard the female person exhorting John the Evangelist to explain to the young man the mystery of the true faith. John, in his turn, declared that he was completely willing to please the Mother of God. And so the discussion came to a close, and after they had made it quite clear and precise for him, the two disappeared from his sight.
Adapted from St Gregory of Nyssa, Life of St Gregory the Wonderworker (Thaumaturgus)

St Dionysius of Alexandria, Bishop and Educator 265
St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (means the wonderworker) first recorded vision of Our Lady
During the heresy of Sabellius and Paul of Samosata began to spread. They taught falsely concerning the Holy Trinity. St Gregory prayed fervently and diligently imploring God and His most pure Mother to reveal to him the true faith. The All-Holy Virgin Mary appeared to him, radiant like the sun, and with Her was the Apostle John the Theologian dressed in archepiscopal vestments.  By the command of the Mother of God, the Apostle John taught the saint how to correctly and properly confess the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.
   St Gregory wrote down everything that St John the Theologian revealed to him. The Mystery of the Symbol of the Faith, written down by St Gregory of Neocaesarea, is a great divine revelation in the history of the Church.
The teaching about the Holy Trinity in Orthodox Theology is based on it.
    Subsequently it was used by the holy Fathers of the Church: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and Gregory of Nyssa. The Symbol of St Gregory of Neocaesarea was later examined and affirmed in the year 325 by the First Ecumenical Council, showing his enduring significance for Orthodoxy.
  265 St. Dionysius of Alexandria Bishop of Alexandria the Great
  270 St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (means the wonderworker); miracles first recorded vision of Our Lady
 
303  St. Alphaeus lector in the church of Caesarea and Zachaeus deacon at Gadara martyrs
  4th v. Ss. Acisclus and Victoria, Martyrs remembered in Mozarabic liturgical rites
        St. Namasius bishop of Nimes
 422 St. Eugene a disciple of St. Ambrose of Milan and deacon at Florence, Italy, under St. Zenobius.
  453 St. Anianus Bishop defender of Orleans against Attila the Hun
  594  St Gregory of Tours Historian writer his works are our best historical source for the Merovingian period
  680 St. Hilda Benedictine abbess one of England’s greatest women baptized by St. Paulinus; “that not only ordinary people, but also kings and princes sometimes asked and accepted her advice. And she obliged those who were under her direction to attend much to reading the Holy Scriptures and to exercise themselves freely in works of righteousness in order that many there might be found fit for ecclesiastical duties and to minister at the altar.”  b. 614 
857 Saint Lazarus the Iconographer lived in Constantinople priest led strict ascetic life; painted holy icons fought against all heresy, enduring many afflictions from Nestorians, Eutychians, and iconoclasts
 914 Saint Gobrones, in Holy Baptism Michael, with him 133 Soldiers Georgian Martyrs by Muslims when all refused to apostasize
St. Namasius bishop of Nimes
  Eugene of Florence    Raverranus of Séez    Salomea  Victoria  Zachaeus,
1170 St. Hugh of Noara Cistercian abbot of Noara Abbey Sicily  disciple of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
        Hugh and Richard, of the Abbey of St. Victor by Benedict XVI
1200 St. Hugh of Lincoln known for his wisdom and justice abbot of the first English Carthusian monastery built by King Henry II as part penance for murder of Thomas Becket; St Hugh in his little garden was a special attraction to squirrels and birds, of whom he was very fond and over whom he had consider­able power. {In pictorial representations of St Hugh his emblem is generally a swan. His chaplain and biographer assures us that when a bishop he had a pet wild swan at Stow, one of his manors, which would feed from his hand, follow him about and keep guard over his bed, so that it was impossible for anyone to approach the bishop without being attacked by it Giraldus Cambrensis confirms these statements.} In the epidemic of Jew-baiting, which broke out in England at the time of the Third Crusade St, Hugh was conspicuous in defence of those persecuted. In his own cathedral at Lincoln, at Stamford, and again at Northampton, he single-handed faced armed and angry mobs, and cowed and cajoled them into sparing their hated victims: When his chancellor pointed out to him that St Martin had cured leprosy by his touch, St Hugh answered, “St Martin’s kiss healed the leper’s flesh; but their kiss heals my soul”.
1231 St. Elizabeth of Hungary
The Caliph Who Defied the Coptic Church (I)
Saint Simon was an ordinary man whose simple faith was of the kind that moves mountains. Humble in his appearance, hard-working, pure of heart and firm in his faith, he was chosen by God to work a great miracle, the moving of Mokattam Mountain in Egypt, while saving his Church and rising up the cross of Christ.
  Saint Simon the Shoemaker or the Tanner lived in Egypt towards the end of the tenth century A.D. He was the contemporary of the saintly bishop Abraam the Syrian, who was the 62nd Coptic Pope (975 - 978). Little is known about Simon's childhood. He probably lived in a small town, Babylon or the Wax Palace (today's Old Cairo) under the reign of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Muizz. Saint Simon worked in as a tanner and a shoemaker, a widespread trade still exerted in Old Cairo.
    An episode of his life explains the event which cost him his eye. One day a woman came into his shop to give him shoes to repair. When she took them off she exposed some of her legs, which Simon looked at lustily. When he came back to his senses, he took one of his pointed tools and thrust it into his eye, taking the commandment of the Lord to the letter: "But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna" (Mt 5:28-29). The icon of Saint Simon depicts him deprived of his right eye.
   Saint Simon led an ascetic life, praying and eating very little-he once said to Patriarch Abraam who questioned him, "I eat little, just enough to stay alive." He dressed in thread-bare clothing and dedicated most of his time to prayer. At dusk he would leave his work, eat a frugal meal and, in his own words: "... spend the night in prayer." Each day Saint Simon took care of the elderly and the sick, bringing them water and food. He explained to the patriarch: "I rise early each morning and before going to work, I fill my jug with water and bring some to the aged and sick who don't have the strength to fetch it themselves?and I distribute bread and food daily to cloistered hermits, men or women?" 
To find out more: Church of Saint Simon, Mokattam Mountain, Cairo, Egypt
Tel (202) 5123666/5124080 Fax (202) 5126150
See "The Biography of Saint Simon the Tanner" published by the Church of Saint Simon, Mokattam Mountain, Cairo
Adapted from an article by Mohamed Salmawy published in the weekly AL-AHRAM, March 8, 2000.
Prayer for Harmony St Dionysius of Alexandria, Bishop and Educator
God the Father, source of everything divine, you are good surpassing everything good and just surpassing everything just.   In you is tranquility, as well as peace and harmony.  Heal our divisions and restore us to the unity of love, which is similar to your divine nature.  Let the bond of love and the ties of divine affection make us one in the Spirit by your peace which renders everything peaceful.
We ask this through the grace, mercy, and compassion of your only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Helpíthi, in Saxónia, item natális sanctæ Gertrúdis Vírginis, ex Ordine sancti Benedícti,
1268 Bl. Salomea princess became a Franciscan tertiary; did her best to make her court a model of Christian life; founding a convent of Poor Clares; 28 yrs a Poor Clare; abbess
1307  JANE of Segna Shepherdess in her youth. Tertiary solitary 40 years; Her reputa­tion for miracles was great, and people came from all the surrounding country to consult her and bring their sick and afflicted. Immediately after her death on November 9, 1307, a cultus sprang up, which was greatly enhanced in 1348 by the attribution of a sudden cessation of an epidemic to her intercession.
14th v. Saint Gennadius was the steward of the Vatopedi monastery on Mt Athos miracle was ascribed to the Most Holy Theotokos
1420 BD ELIZABETH THE GOOD, VIRGIN She received the stigmata of the Passion from time to time, including marks resembling those of the crown of thorns and of the scourging; these bled copiously on Fridays and in Lent, and the pain was almost unceasing. For years and years Bd Elizabeth lived on an amount of food far short of the minimum normally required to keep a human being alive, and eventually died attended by the faithful priest, Father Conrad Kügelin, who had been the witness of her extraordinary life.
1426 Saint Nikon Abbot of Radonezh successor of St Sergius of Radonezh a "zealot of obedience." St Peter and St Alexis together with St Sergius appeared to him
1628 Martyrs of Paraguay Three Spanish Jesuits
1628 St. JUAN de Castillo Jesuit. One of the Martyrs of Paraguay
1628 St. Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz  earliest beatified martyr of America
1628 St Alonso Rodriguez co-founded the "reduction" of the Assumption on the Ijuhi River
1852 BD PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE, VIRGIN
November 17 - Our Lady of Sion (Queen of Jews, 1393) - Saint Gregory the Thaumaturgist (+ 270)
O Blessed Virgin Mary, God was made flesh in you;  O most holy Virgin, no praise is high enough for you, for in you, God was made flesh and was born as man.  All creation - in heaven, on earth and in the depths - rightfully pays homage to you.  From the heights of your heavenly kingdom you shine in the full resplendence of your light.  There, the eternal Father is glorified; the shadow of His might has fallen upon you:  the Son, to whom you have given birth, is constantly worshipped; the Holy Spirit who prepared the place in your womb for the birth of our great King, is exalted. Through you, most gracious lady, the Holy and co-substantial Trinity is made flesh in the world. Be merciful enough to allow us to share in your perfect grace, in Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom may glory be to the Father and the Holy Spirit for today and ever more, throughout eternity.  Amen


St. Namasius bishop of Nimes Also Naamat, France.
265 St. Dionysius the Great of Alexandria Bishop of Alexandria.
Alexandríæ sancti Dionysii Epíscopi, summæ eruditiónis viri, qui, multis confessiónibus clarus et pro passiónum tormentorúmque diversitáte magníficus, plenus diérum Conféssor quiévit, Valeriáni et Galliéni Imperatórum tempóribus.
    At Alexandria, St. Denis, bishop, a man of very great learning.  In the time of Emperors Valerian and Gallienus, renowned for often having confessed the faith, and illustrious for the various sufferings and torments he had endured, full of days he rested in peace a confessor.

265 St Dionysius, Bishop Of Alexandria
St Basil and other Greek writers honour this prelate with the epithet of “the Great”, and St Athanasius calls him the “Teacher of the Catholic Church”.  Alexandria, which was the place of his education, was then the centre of the sciences, and Dionysius whilst yet a heathen gave himself to learning. He assures us that he was converted to the Christian faith by a vision and a voice, which spoke to him, as well as by diligent reading and an impartial examination.
   He became a scholar in the catechetical school of Origen, and made such progress that when Heraclas was made bishop the care of that school was committed to Dionysius, who conducted it for fifteen years. In 247 he was himself chosen bishop. Soon after the populace, stirred up by a certain heathen prophet at Alexandria, raised a fierce persecution, of which St Dionysius wrote an account to Fabius, Bishop of Antioch.
  Then the edict of Decius put arms into the hands of the enemies of the Christians, and directly the decree reached Alexandria the governor sent a troop to arrest the bishop. They looked everywhere for him except in his house, where he was all the time, but at the end of four days he left it with his household to try and get away. They were seen and arrested, except one servant, who told a peasant whom he met going to a wedding what had happened. The peasant was not a Christian but seemed glad of an excuse to fight the police, for he rushed off and told the wedding party, who “with a single impulse” as if by agreement, ran to the rescue and drove off the guards. St Dionysius thought the wedding-guests were robbers and offered them his clothes. Then when it was explained that
St Dionysius was free he was grieved at losing a martyr’s crown and refused to budge. The Egyptians did not understand this idea at all, so they seized him, put him on a donkey and drove him to a place of refuge in the Libyan desert. Here Dionysius remained with two companions, governing the church of Alexandria from thence, until the per­secution ceased.
   Then the Church was rent by the schism formed by Novatian against Pope St Cornelius. The antipope sent him a request for his support, and St Dionysius answered, “You ought to have suffered all things rather than have caused a schism in the Church. To die in defence of its unity would be as glorious as laying down one’s life for its faith in my opinion, more glorious because here the safety of the whole Church is concerned. If you bring your brethren back to union your fault will be forgotten. If you cannot gain others, at least save your own soul.”

   In opposition to the heresy of Novatian, who denied to the Church the power of remitting certain sins, he ordered that communion should be refused to no one that asked it in the right dispositions at the hour of death.

   When Fabius of Antioch seemed inclined to favour the rigorism of Novatian towards the lapsed, Dionysius wrote him several letters against that principle. In one he relates that an old man called Serapion, of hitherto blameless life, had offered pagan sacrifice and had therefore been refused communion. In his last sickness he could get absolution from no one, till he cried out, “Why am I detained here? I beg to be delivered.” Then he sent his little grandson to a priest who, being sick and not able to come, sent the Holy Eucharist by the child (for during persecutions the Blessed Sacrament is allowed to be so carried and received in domestic communion). So the aged man died in peace. St Dionysius contends that his life was miraculously preserved that he might receive communion.

   At this time a pestilence began to rage and made great havoc for several years. St Dionysius left an account of its terrors, in which he contrasts the behaviour of the Christians, many of whom died martyrs of charity, with the selfishness—and greater mortality—of the pagans.

   In opposing the false opinion that Christ will reign on earth with his elect a thousand years before the day of judgement Dionysius showed himself a keen scriptural critic, and in his enthusiasm against dogmatic error, used arguments against St John’s authorship of the Apocalypse which seventeen hundred years later were revived by “higher critics”.

St Dionysius took part also in the controversy about baptisms by heretics, in which he seems to have inclined to the view that such baptisms were invalid but followed the practice directed by Pope St Stephen I {254-246}. This indefatigable bishop also had to proceed against some of his brethren in the Pentapolis who professed Sabellianism. In writing against them he vented opinions that caused him to be delated to his namesake, Pope St Dionysius. The pope wrote expounding the bishop’s errors, whereupon he published an explanation of his teaching.

Persecution being renewed by Valerian in 257, Emilian, prefect of Egypt, had St Dionysius with some of his clergy brought before him and pressed them to sacrifice to the gods, the protectors of the empire. St Dionysius replied, “All men do not worship the same deities. We worship one only God, the creator of all things, who has bestowed the empire on Valerian and Gallienus. We offer up prayers to Him for the peace and prosperity of their reign.” The prefect tried to persuade them to worship the Roman deities with their own God, and then sent them into banishment to Kephro in Libya.

The exile of St Dionysius this time lasted for two years, but when he was allowed to return to his see in 260 it was to a distracted city. A political upheaval brought on Alexandria all the evils of civil war, and it was a prey to violence of all sorts. Trifling incidents caused riots. The town ran to arms, the streets were filled with dead bodies, and the gutters ran with blood. The peaceable demeanour of the Christians could not protect them from violence, as St Dionysius complains, and a man could neither keep at home nor stir out of doors without danger. He even had to communicate with his people by letter, for it was easier, he wrote, to go from East to West than from Alexandria to Alexandria. Plague again added its havoc, and, whilst the Christians attended the sick with care and charity, the heathen threw putrid carcasses into the highways, and often put their dying friends out of doors and left them to perish in the streets.

Towards the end of the year 265 St Dionysius died at Alexandria, after he had governed that church with great wisdom and sanctity about seventeen years. A church dedicated in his honour, but much more by his virtues and writings, says St Epiphanius, preserved his memory, there, of which only a few fragments have survived.  St Dionysius of Alexandria is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on this day, and also on October 3, where he is erroneously named as a martyr together with his companions in his first exile and others. He is commemorated in the canon of the Syrian and Maronite Mass.

Almost all we know of St Dionysius is derived from Eusebius and from the extracts from the saint’s letters that Eusebius preserved for us. There are a few references to him in the writings of St Athanasius and other early fathers, but they do not amount to much. The best edition of Dionysius’s literary remains is that of C. L. Feltoe (1904), who has also produced (1918) another book of translations and comments. There is an exhaustive article devoted to this Dionysius by Abbot Chapman in the Catholic Encyclopedia. See also Bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchilchen Literatur, vol. ii, pp. 206—237 DTC., vol. iv (1911), cc. 425—427 the Journal of Theological Studies, vol. xxv (1924), pp. 364—377 the Zeitschrift N.—T. Wissenschaft, 1924, pp. 235—247 the monographs of F. Dittrich (1867) and J. Burel (1910) and H. Delehaye, Les passions des martyrs… (1921), pp. 429—435.  

Born in Alexandria, Dionysius had a vision and converted to Christianity. He entered a catechetical school and studied under Origen, whom he succeeded as master of the school. Bishop Heraclas named him to this position in 232. In 247, Dionysius was elected bishop of Alexandria. During the persecution of the Church in 249, Dionysius was arrested but rescued and taken to the Libyan desert. He returned to Alexandria but had to flee again in another persecution. Dionysius supported Pope St. Cornelius in his battle against Novatian. After his second exile, this time to Kephro in the Libyan desert, Dionysius returned to Alexandria to find plague and civil unrest. He comforted the plague victims and protected Christians.
St. Athanasius called Dionysius “the Teacher of the Catholic Church.” St. Basil surnamed him “the Great.”

He studied under Origen, and eventually became the head of the catechetical school of Alexandria, Egypt. Archbishop of Alexandria. In 250 during the persecution of Decius, Dionysius tried to flee the city, but was caught and imprisoned. He was rescued by Christians and hid in the Libyan desert until 251. During the Novatian schism Dionysius supported Pope Cornelius, and helped unify the East. Exiled during the persecution of Valerian in 257 to the desert of Mareotis; he returned to Alexandria when toleration was decreed by Gallienus in 260. Dionysius dealt leniently with the Christians who had lapsed during the persecutions. He wrote a noted commentary on Revelations. Greek Father of the Church.  Born  c.190 in Alexandria, Egypt  Died  265 of natural causes
Prayer for Harmony
God the Father, source of everything divine, you are good surpassing everything good and just surpassing everything just. In you is tranquility, as well as peace and harmony. Heal our divisions and restore us to the unity of love, which is similar to your divine nature. Let the bond of love and the ties of divine affection make us one in the Spirit by your peace which renders everything peaceful. We ask this through the grace, mercy, and compassion of your only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
St Dionysius of Alexandria, Bishop and Educator
270 St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (means the wonderworker); miracles; first recorded vision of Our Lady;
Neocæsaréæ, in Ponto, natális sancti Gregórii, Epíscopi et Confessóris, doctrína et sanctitáte illústris, qui propter signa atque mirácula, quæ cum multa Ecclesiárum glória perpetrávit, Thaumatúrgus est appellátus.
    At Neocaesarea in Pontus, the birthday of St. Gregory, bishop and confessor, illustrious for his learning and sanctity.  The signs and miracles which he wrought to the great glory of the Church gained for him the surname Wonderworker.

268 St Gregory The Wonderworker, Bishop of Neocaesarea
Theodore, afterwards called Gregory, and from his miracles surnamed Thaumaturgus or Worker of Wonders, was of Neocaesarea in Pontus, born of parents eminent in rank and pagan in religion. At fourteen he lost his father, but continued his education, which was directed towards a career in the law. His sister going to join her husband, an official at Caesarea in Palestine, Gregory accompanied her with his brother Athenodorus, who was afterwards a bishop and suffered much for the faith of Jesus Christ.
  Origen had arrived at Caesarea a little before and opened a school there, and at the first meeting with Gregory and his brother discerned in them capacity for learning and dispositions to virtue which encouraged him to inspire them with a love of truth and an eager desire of attaining the sovereign good of man. Fascinated with his discourse, they entered his school and laid aside all thoughts of going to the law-school of Bairut, as they had originally intended. Gregory does justice to Origen by assuring us that he excited them to virtue no less by his example than by his words; and tells us that he inculcated that in all things the most valuable knowledge is that of the first cause, and thus he led them on to theology. He opened to their view all that the philosophers and poets had written concerning God, showing what was true and what was erroneous in the doctrines of each and demonstrating the incompetence of human reason alone for attaining to certain knowledge in the most important of all points, that of religion.
   Conversion of the brothers to Christianity was complete and they continued their studies under their master for some years, going back home about the year 238. Before he took leave of Origen, Gregory thanked him publicly in an oration before a large audience, in which he extols the method and wisdom by which his great master conducted him through his studies, and gives interesting particulars of the way in which Origen taught. A letter also is extant from the master to the disciple he calls Gregory his respected son and exhorts him to employ for the service of religion all the talents which he had received from God and to borrow from the heathen philosophy what might serve that purpose, as the Jews converted the spoils of the Egyptians to the building of the tabernacle of the true God.
On his return to Neocaesarea St Gregory intended to practice law, but within a short time, although there were only seventeen Christians in the town, he was appointed to be its bishop; but of his long episcopate few certain particulars have come down to us. St Gregory of Nyssa gives a good deal of information in his panegyric of the saint with regard to the deeds which earned him the title of Wonderworker, but there is little doubt that a good deal of it is legendary. However, it is known that Neocaesarea was rich and populous, deeply buried in vice and idolatry, that St Gregory, animated with zeal and charity, applied himself vigorously to the charge committed to him, and that God was pleased to confer upon him an extraordinary power of working miracles. St Basil tells us that “through the co-operation of the Spirit, Gregory had a formidable power over evil spirits he altered the course of rivers in the name of Christ; he dried up a lake that was a cause of dissension between two brothers; and his foretelling of the future made him equal with the other prophets…Such were his signs and  wonders that both friends and enemies of the truth looked on him as another Moses.
*{* Alban Butler narrates the famous miraculous removal of a great stone, which in the Dialogues of St Gregory the Great becomes a mountain. When the feast of St Gertrude was to be added to the Western calendar in 1738 it was found that her dies natalis coincided, with that of St Gregory. Clement XII thought that even a pope should not himself move a saint who moved mountains, and St Gertrude’s feast was assigned to the 15th.}
   When he first took possession of his see Gregory accepted the invitation of Musonius, a person of importance in the city, and lodged with him. That very day he began to preach and before night had converted a number sufficient to form a little church. Early next morning the doors were crowded with sick persons, whom he cured at the same time that he wrought the conversion of their souls. Christians soon became so numerous that the saint was enabled to build a church for their use, to which all contributed either money or labour.
   Circumstances in which St Gregory caused Alexander the Charcoal-burner to be chosen bishop of Comana have been narrated in the notice of that saint on August 11; and his wisdom and tact caused him to be referred to in civil as well as religious causes, and then his interrupted legal studies came in useful.
   Gregory of Nyssa and his brother Basil learned much of what was currently said about the Wonderworker from their grandmother, St Macrina, who was born in Neocaesarea about the time of his death. St Basil says that the whole tenor of his life expressed the height of evangelical fervour. In his devotion he showed the greatest reverence and recollection and never covered his head at prayer, and he loved simplicity and modesty of speech: “yea” and “nay” were the measure of his ordinary conversation. He abhorred lies and falsehood; no anger or bitterness ever appeared in his words or behaviour.
   The persecution of Decius breaking out in 250, St Gregory advised his flock rather to hide than to expose themselves to the danger of losing their faith; he himself withdrew into the desert, accompanied only by a pagan priest whom he had converted and who was then his deacon. The persecutors were informed that he was concealed upon a certain mountain and sent soldiers to apprehend him. They returned, saying they had seen nothing but two trees; upon which the informer went to the place and, finding the bishop and his deacon at their prayers, whom the soldiers had mistaken for two trees, judged their escape to have been miraculous and became a Christian.
   The persecution was followed by a plague, and the plague by an irruption of Goths into Asia Minor, so that it is not surprising to find that, with these added to the ordinary cares and duties of the episcopate, St Gregory was not a voluminous writer. What these cares and duties were he sets out in his “Canonical Letter”, occasioned by problems arising from the barbarian raids.
   It is stated that St Gregory organized secular amusements in connection with the annual commemorations of the martyrs, which attracted pagans as well as popularizing the religious gatherings among Christians: doubtless, too, he had it in mind that the martyrs were honoured by happy recreation in addition to formally religious observances. But he “is the sole missionary we know of, during these first three centuries, who employed such methods; and he was a highly-educated Greek.”
   A little before his death St Gregory Thaumaturgus inquired how many infidels yet remained in the city, and being told there were seventeen he thankfully acknowledged as a great mercy that, having found but seventeen Christians at his coming thither, he left but seventeen idolaters. Having then prayed far their conversion, and the confirmation and sanctification of those that believed in the true God, he enjoined his friends not to procure him any special place of burial but that, as he lived as a pilgrim in the world claiming nothing for himself, so after death he might enjoy the common lot. His body is ultimately transferred to a Byzantine monastery in Calabria, and there is considerable local cultus of St Gregory in southern Italy and Sicily, where he is invoked in times of earthquake and, on account of his miracle of stopping the flooding of the River Lycus, against inunda­tions.

Apart from what Gregory himself tells us about his relations with Origen, and sundry casual allusions which we find in the writings of St Basil, St Jerome and Eusebius, the information which we possess concerning this saint is of a very unsatisfactory character. The panegyric by St Gregory of Nyssa recounts many marvels, but says little of his history, and even less confidence can be placed in the Syriac life (the best text is in Bedjan, Acta Martyrum, vol. vi, 1896, pp. 83—106). Besides this there is an Armenian life and one in Latin, both of little value. See also Ryssel, Gregorius Thaumaturgus, sein Leben und seine Schriften (188o) Funk in the Theologische Quartalschrift for 1898, pp. 81 seq. Journal of Theological Studies for 1930, pp. 142—155. A valuable article by M. Jugie on the sermons attributed to St Gregory is in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xliii (1925), pp. 86—95. Here it is clearly shows that most of these attributions are unreliable, but Fr Jugie inclines to accept the authenticity of one of those preserved in Armenian, though he rejects that which F. C. Conybeare translated into English in the Expositor for 1896, Pt 1 pp. 161—173. Critics, however, seem generally agreed in admitting the genuineness of the panegyric of Origen, the treatise on the Creed, the canonical epistle, and the dissertation addressed to Theopompus this last only exists in Syriac. The greater part of the writings printed under the name of St Gregory Thaumaturgus in Migne, PG., vol. x, are either gravely suspect or certainly spurious. See Bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchilchen Literatur, vol. ii, Pp. 315—332.  

  Gregory was of a distinguished pagan family. He was born at Neocaesarea, Pontus, and studied law there. About 233, he and his brother, Athenodorus, accompanied his sister, who was joining her husband in Caesarea, Palestine, while they continued on to Beirut to continue their law studies.
   They met Origen and instead of going to Beirut, entered his school at Caesarea, studied theology, were converted to Christianity by Origen, and became his disciples. Gregory returned to Neocaesarea about 238, intending to practice law, but was elected bishop by the seventeen Christians of the city. It soon became apparent that he was gifted with remarkable powers. He preached eloquently, made so many converts he was able to build a church, and soon was so reknowned for his miracles that he was surnamed Thaumaturgus (the wonderworker).
   He was a much-sought-after arbiter for his wisdom and legal knowledge and ability, advised his flock to go into hiding when Decius' persecution of the Christians broke out in 250, and fled to the desert with his deacon. On his return, he ministered to his flock when plague struck his See and when the Goths devastated Pontus, 252-254, which he described in his "Canonical Letter."
   He participated in the synod of Antioch, 264-265, against Samosata, and fought sabellianism and Tritheism. It is reported that at his death at Neocaesarea, only seventeen unbelievers were left in the city. He is invoked against floods and earthquakes (at one time he reportedly stopped the flooding Lycus, and at another, he moved a mountain).
   According to Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Thaumaturgus experienced a vision of Our Lady, the first such recorded vision. He wrote a panegyric to Origen, a treatise on the Creed, and a dissertation addressed to Theopompus; St. Gregory of Nyssa wrote a panegyric to Gregory Thaumaturgus.
Saint Gregory the Wonderworker, Bishop of Neocaesarea
    Born in the city of Neocaesarea (northern Asia Minor) into a pagan family. Having received a fine education, from his youth he strived for Truth, but the thinkers of antiquity were not able to quench his thirst for knowledge. Truth was revealed to him only in the Holy Gospel, and the youth became a Christian.
    For the continuation of his studies St Gregory went to Alexandria, known then as a center for pagan and Christian learning. The youth, eager for knowledge, went to the Alexandrian Catechetical School, where the presbyter Origen taught. Origen was a famous teacher, possessing a great strength of mind and profound knowledge. St Gregory became a student of Origen. Afterwards, the saint wrote about his mentor: "This man received from God a sublime gift, to be an interpreter of the Word of God for people, to apprehend the Word of God, as God Himself did use it, and to explain it to people, insofar as they were able to understand it."
St Gregory studied for eight years with Origen, and was baptized by him.
    The ascetic life of St Gregory, his continence, purity and lack of covetousness aroused envy among his conceited and sin-loving peers, pagans that they were, and they decided to slander St Gregory. Once, when he was conversing with philosophers and teachers in the city square, a notorious harlot came up to him and demanded payment for the sin he had supposedly committed with her. At first St Gregory gently remonstrated with her, saying that she perhaps mistook him for someone else. But the profligate woman would not be quieted. He then asked a friend to give her the money. Just as the woman took the unjust payment, she immediately fell to the ground in a demonic fit, and the fraud became evident. St Gregory said a prayer over her, and the devil left her. This was the beginning of St Gregory's miracles.
    Having returned to Neocaesarea, the saint fled from the worldly affairs into which influential townsmen persistently sought to push him. He went into the desert, where by fasting and prayer he attained to high spiritual accomplishment and the gifts of clairvoyance and prophecy. St Gregory loved life in the wilderness and wanted to remain in solitude until the end of his days, but the Lord willed otherwise.
   The bishop of the Cappadocian city of Amasea, Thedimos, having learned of St Gregory's ascetic life, decided to have him made Bishop of Neocaesarea. But having foreseen in spirit the intent of Bishop Thedimos, the saint hid himself from the messengers of the bishop who were entrusted to find him. Then Bishop Thedimos ordained the absent saint as Bishop of Neocaesarea, beseeching the Lord that He Himself would sanctify the unusual ordination.
   St Gregory perceived the extraordinary event as a manifestation of the will of God and he did not dare to protest. This episode in the life of St Gregory was recorded by St Gregory of Nyssa (January 10). He relates that St Gregory of Neocaesarea received the episcopal dignity only after Bishop Thedimos of Amasea performed all the canonical rites over him.
   During this time, the heresy of Sabellius and Paul of Samosata began to spread. They taught falsely concerning the Holy Trinity. St Gregory prayed fervently and diligently imploring God and His most pure Mother to reveal to him the true faith. The All-Holy Virgin Mary appeared to him, radiant like the sun, and with Her was the Apostle John the Theologian dressed in archepiscopal vestments.  By the command of the Mother of God, the Apostle John taught the saint how to correctly and properly confess the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. St Gregory wrote down everything that St John the Theologian revealed to him. The Mystery of the Symbol of the Faith, written down by St Gregory of Neocaesarea, is a great divine revelation in the history of the Church. The teaching about the Holy Trinity in Orthodox Theology is based on it. Subsequently it was used by the holy Fathers of the Church: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and Gregory of Nyssa. The Symbol of St Gregory of Neocaesarea was later examined and affirmed in the year 325 by the First Ecumenical Council, showing his enduring significance for Orthodoxy.
   Having become a bishop, St Gregory set off to Neocaesarea. Along the way from Amasea he expelled devils from a pagan temple, the priest of which he converted to Christ. The convert was witness to still another miracle of the saint, at his word a large stone shifted from its place.
   The preaching of the saint was direct, lively and fruitful. He taught and worked miracles in the name of Christ: he healed the sick, he helped the needy, he settled quarrels and complaints. Two brothers sharing an inheritance were not able to agree over the property of their dead father. There was a large lake over which they argued, for each of the brothers wanted the lake for himself. They both gathered their friends together, and were ready to come to blows. St Gregory persuaded them to delay their fight until the following day, and he himself prayed all night long at the shore of the lake which sparked the quarrel. When dawn broke, everyone saw that the lake had dried up or gone underground. Through the intense prayer of the saint, now there was only a stream, and its course defined the boundary line. Another time, during the construction of a church, he commanded a hill to move and make room at the place of the foundation.
    When a persecution against Christians began under the emperor Decius (249-251), St Gregory led his flock to a faraway mountain. A certain pagan, knowing about the hiding place of the Christians, informed the persecutors. Soldiers surrounded the mountain. The saint went out into an open place, raised up his hands to heaven and ordered to his deacon to do the same. The soldiers searched the whole mountain, and they went several times right past those praying, but not seeing them, they gave up and went away. In the city they reported that there was nowhere to hide on the mountain: no one was there, and only two trees stood beside each other. The informer was struck with amazement, he repented of his ways and became a fervent Christian.
    St Gregory returned to Neocaesarea after the end of the persecution. By his blessing church Feasts were established in honor of the martyrs who had suffered for Christ.
    By his saintly life, his effective preaching, working of miracles and graced guiding of his flock, the saint steadily increased the number of converts to Christ. When St Gregory first ascended his cathedra, there were only seventeen Christians in Neocaesarea. At his death, only seventeen pagans remained in the city.

GREGORY THAUMATURGUS   Also known as  Gregory of Neo Caesarea; Gregory of Neocaesarea; Gregory of Pontus; Gregory the Wonder Worker; The Wonder Worker; 
Born to a wealthy and distinguished pagan family. Trained in law and rhetoric in his youth. Brother-in-law to the Roman governor of Palestine. Father died when Theodore was age 14. Originally planned to study at the law school in Beirut, but when he arrived at Caesarea with his brother-in-law's entourage, Palestine he encountered Origen, head of the catechetical school in Alexandria. He and his brother Athenodorus each gave up the idea of law school, became students of Origen, and converted to Christianity; Theodore changed his name to Gregory. Studied philosophy and theology for seven years under Origen. Returned to Pontus c. 238.
   Bishop of Caesarea, a diocese with only 17 Christians at the time. Converted most of his bishopric; tradition says there were only 17 pagans left at the time of his death. Instituted the celebration of martyrs, teachings about the saints, and celebration of saint feast days as a way to interest pagans in the Church. During the Decian persecutions c. 250, he and his flock fled into the desert. Worked among the sick when the plague struck soon after, and with refugees during the invasion of Pontus by the Goths in 252-254. Attended the First Council of Antioch in 264-265. Opposed the heresies of sabellianism and Tritheism. Used his legal training to help his parishioners, and settle disputes between them without taking their problems to the civil courts controlled by pagans. Oversaw the council that chose Saint Alexander the Charcoal Burner as the first bishop of Comana.
   Saint Macrina the Elder heard Gregory preach many times in her youth, and passed his wisdom onto her grandsons Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory of Nyssa. Noted theological writer.

    As you might expect from some one surnamed the Wonder Worker, there were many miraculous events in Gregory's life.
Saint Gregory of Nyssa writes that the Wonder-Worker was the first person known to receive a vision of the Theotokus. The Virgin and Saint John the Baptist appeared to him in a vision, and gave him what became a statement of doctrine on the Trinity.
Gregory had the power of healing by laying on of his hands. Often the healing was so powerful that the patient was cured of his illness, and became a fervent convert on the spot.
    During the construction of a church for his growing flock, the builders ran into a problem with a huge buried boulder. Gregory ordered the rock to move out of the way of his church; it did.
    In order to stop the River Lycus from its frequent and damaging floods, Gregory planted his staff at a safe point near the river bank. He then prayed that the river would never rise past the staff. The staff took root, grew into a large tree, and the river never flooded past it again. This act led to his patronage against floods and flooding.
   Two local pagans, hearing that Gregory was a soft touch, decided to con the bishop. One lay beside the road where Gregory was travelling, and pretended to be dead. The other stopped the bishop, pleaded poverty, and asked for money to bury his dead friend. Gregory had no money with him, so he took off his cloak and threw it over the "dead" man, telling the "live" one to sell the cloak and use the funds. When Gregory had moved on, the "live" con-man found that his friend had died.
    Two brothers in Gregory's diocese had inherited a piece of land that contained a lake. Unable to decide how to divide the lake, the two settled on armed combat to settle the matter. On the night before the battle, Gregory prayed for a peaceful solution to the matter. The next morning the brothers found that the lake had dried up leaving easily dividable farm land.
   During Gregory's time in the desert during the Decian persecutions, an informer told the authorities where to find the bishop. Guards went to the site, but found nothing but two trees standing in isolation in the desert. The informer went back to the place and found that what the soldiers had seen as trees were actually Gregory and a deacon in prayer. This convinced the informer of the reality of Gregory's God, and he converted.
    When returning from the wilderness, Gregory had to seek shelter from a sudden and violent storm. The only structure nearby was a pagan temple. Gregory made the sign of the cross to purify the place, then spent the night there in prayer, waiting out the storm. The next morning, the pagan priest arrived to receive his morning oracles. The demons who had been masquerading as pagan gods advised him that they could not stay in the purified temple or near the holy man. The priest threatened to summon the anti-Christian authorities to arrest Gregory. The bishop wrote out a note reading "Gregory to Satan: Enter". With this "permission slip" in hand, the pagan priest was able to summon his demons again.
The same pagan priest, realizing that his gods unquestioningly obeyed Gregory's single God, found the bishop and asked how it was done. Gregory taught the priest the truth of Christianity. Lacking faith, the priest asked for a sign of God's power. Gregory ordered a large rock to move from one place to another; it did. The priest immediately abandoned his old life, and eventually became a deacon under bishop Gregory. This ordering about of boulders led to Gregory's patronage against earthquakes.
St Gregory Thaumaturgus:  Born  c.213 at Pontus, Asia Minor (Turkey) as Theodorus (Theodore)  Died  c.270 at Pontus, Asia Minor (Turkey) of natural causes; remains translated to Calabria  Canonized  Pre-Congregation  Patronage  against earthquakes, desperate causes, floods, forgotten causes, impossible causes, lost causes 
Representation  bishop driving devils out of a temple; presenting a bishop's mitre to Saint Alexander the Charcoal Burner.
303  St. Alphaeus lector in the church of Caesarea and Zachaeus deacon at Gadara martyrs.
In Palæstína sanctórum Mártyrum Alphæi et Zachæi, qui primo anno persecutiónis Diocletiáni, post multa torménta, capitálem senténtiam subiére.
    In Palestine, in the first year of Diocletian's persecution, the holy martyrs Alpheus and Zachaeus, who underwent beheading after many tortures.

303 Ss. Alphaeus and Zachaeus, Martyrs
In the first year of Diocletian’s general persecution, upon the approach of the games for celebrating the twentieth year of his reign, the governor of Palestine obtained the emperor’s pardon for all criminals, Christians only excepted. At that very time, Zachaeus, deacon at Gadara beyond the Jordan, was apprehended. He was inhumanly scourged, then torn with iron combs, and afterwards thrown into prison, where his feet were stretched to the fourth hole of the stocks, by which his body was almost rent asunder: yet he lay in this condition very cheerfully, praising God night and day. Here he was soon joined by Alphaeus, a native of Eleutheropolis, of a good family, and lector in the church of Caesarea.

   In the persecution he boldly encouraged the faithful to constancy and, being seized, baffled the prefect at his first examination and was committed to prison. At a second appearance in court, his flesh was torn first with whips, then with hooks after which he was cast into the dungeon with Zachaeus and put in like manner in the stocks. In a third examination they were both condemned to die, and were beheaded together on November 17, 303.

We know nothing of these martyrs beyond what Eusebius has recorded in his Martyrs of Palestine, bk I, ch. 5. See CMH., pp. 604—605.

Alphaeus went to Caesarea, in modern Israel, where he became a lector in the parish church. When the persecutions conducted by Emperor Diocletian started, Alphaeus was arrested and tortured, with his companion, Zacchaeus, a deacon at Godara. The two were beheaded when they refused to deny Christ.
4th v. Ss. Acisclus and Victoria, Martyrs remembered in Mozarabic liturgical rites
Córdubæ, in Hispánia, sanctórum Mártyrum Acíscli et Victóriæ germanórum, qui, in eádem persecutióne, Diónis Præsidis jussu sævíssime cruciáti sunt, et illústri passióne corónas a Dómino meruérunt.
    At Cordova in Spain, during the same persecution, the holy martyrs Acisclus and his sister Victoria, who were most cruelly tortured by order of the governor Dion, and thus merited to be crowned by our Lord for their glorious sufferings.

These martyrs were considered of sufficient importance to warrant their being accorded a proper office in the Mozarabic liturgy, and it is often said that they suffered under Diocletian but there is no agreement within a hundred years or more as to when they lived and died. In his Memorial of the Saints St Eulogius says they belonged to Cordova and were brother and sister. Having been de­nounced as Christians they were committed to prison, and beaten and tortured to induce them to apostatize. They were eventually put to death in the amphi­theatre, Acisclus by beheading and Victoria by piercing with arrows. The matron Minciana, at her country-house, at which many martyrs under the Arab persecution were buried, buried their bodies where later a church was built.

Although the medieval passio (printed in Florez, España Sagrada, vol. x, pp. 485—491) is no better than a pious fiction, and there seems to he no warrant for the existence of any such person as Victoria, Acisclus was an unquestionably genuine martyr. He is mentioned by Prudentius, and entered in the Hieronymianum (see CMH., pp. 606—607) under November 18, with the curious addition that “on this day roses are gathered”. His name also occurs in a Spanish inscription of the early sixth century referring to relics, as noted in J. Vives, Inscripciones cristianas de la España romana y visigoda (1942), no. 316.

A martyr whose life is mentioned by St. Eulogius, alongside the sufferings of his sister, Victoria. This martyr lived in Córdoba, Spain. When arrested, Acisclus and Victoria clearly maintained their Christian faith and were condemned to death after prolonged torture. Victoria was shot by arrows and Acisclus was beheaded. Some records indicate the two died during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian. There is considerable doubt about whether Victoria ever existed at all, but both she and Acisclus are remembered in Mozarabic liturgical rites.

ACISLUS Profile  Brother of Saint Victoria. Martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian. After their deaths, their home was turned into a church. They have an office in the Mozabic Liturgy, and devotion to them is widespread throughout Spain and France.  Born  at Cordoba, Spain  Died  beheaded in 304  Canonized  Pre-Congregation  Patronage  Cordoba, Spain  Representation  with Saint Victoria 

312 Victoria Sister of Saint Acislus Martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian
After their deaths, their home was turned into a church. They have an office in the Mozabic Liturgy, and devotion to them is widespread throughout Spain and France. Born Cordoba, Spain  Died  shot with arrows in 304  Canonized  Pre-Congregation  Representation  crowned with roses; in the company of Saint Acislus  Patronage  Cordoba, Spain

422 St. Eugene St. Eugene a disciple of St. Ambrose of Milan and deacon at Florence, Italy, under St. Zenobius
Floréntiæ sancti Eugénii Confessóris, qui fuit Diáconus beáti Zenóbii, ejúsdem civitátis Epíscopi.
    At Florence, St. Eugene, confessor, the deacon of blessed Zenobius, bishop of that city.
453 St. Anianus Bishop defender of Orleans against Attila the Hun.
Aureliánis, in Gállia, sancti Aniáni Epíscopi, cujus mortem in conspéctu Dómini pretiósam mirácula crebra testántur.
    At Orleans in France, St. Anian, bishop, the value of whose death in the sight of the Lord is attested by frequent miracles.

453 St Anianus, Or Aignan, Bishop of Orleans
Anianus was born in Vienne and, after living a hermit’s life there for some time, went to Orleans, attracted by the reputation of its holy bishop
, Evurtius. He ordained Anianus priest. Towards the end of his life St Evurtius determined to resign his bishopric, and summoned an assembly to appoint a successor. Ac­cording to a legend the names of the candidates were put in a vessel and, the lot having been drawn by a child, it fell upon St Anianus; lest this should be but chance, the choice was confirmed by the sortes biblicae. When he came to take possession of his cathedral, Anianus asked the governor of the city according to custom to release all the prisoners who were in gaol. The governor refused until, having had a near escape from death, he took this to be a warning from Heaven and did as the new bishop had requested.

In the year 451 Orleans was threatened by Attila and his Huns and, as in many other examples at this time, the credit of saving the city was given to its bishop. St Anianus helped to organize the defenses, encourage the people, and appealed urgently to the Roman general Aetius to come to their help. Aetius was slow in moving, the town was taken, and the Huns had already begun to carry off their booty and captives, when they had to turn and defend themselves against the troops of Aetius, who drove them from Orleans and across the Seine. St Anianus died two years later at a great age.

The two Latin lives of this saint are late in date and unreliable. The better of the two has been edited by B. Krusch in MGH., Scriptures Merov., vol. iii, pp. 104—, 117. St Gregory of Tours also describes in some detail the relief of Orleans when attacked by Attila, and attributes it to St Aignan. See further C. Duhan, Vie de St Aignan (1877) and L. Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. ii, p. 460. 

     Anianus was born in Vienne, France, where he lived as a hermit for many years. He went to Orleans, France, to be ordained by Bishop Evurtius, and succeed him as bishop in Vienne. When Attila the Hun and his horde attacked Orleans, Anianus defended the area. He sent word to General Aetius, who brought a Roman army to relieve the city.
594 St Gregory Bishop of Tours Historian writer his works are our best historical source for the Merovingian period
Turónis, in Gállia, sancti Gregórii Epíscopi.    At Tours in France, St. Gregory, bishop.
  This best-known bishop of the early church of Touts after St Martin was Georgius Florentius, who afterwards took the name of Gregory. He was born in 538 at Clermont-Ferrand of a distinguished family of Auvergne: he was a great-grandson of St Gregory of Langres and a nephew of St Gallus of Clermont, to whom he was entrusted as a boy on the death of his father. Gallus died when Gregory was sixteen and, a serious illness having turned his mind to God’s service, he began the study of the Scriptures under St Avitus I, then a priest at Clermont. In 573, in accordance with the wishes of King Sigebert I and the people of Tours, Gregory was appointed to succeed St Euphronius as bishop there.

It was a much-troubled age in Gaul, and Tours was a particularly troubled diocese. After three years of war at the beginning of St Gregory’s episcopate it came into the hands of King Chilperic, who was very averse from the new bishop, and Gregory consequently had to deal with powerful enemies.

He gave sanctuary to Chilperic’s son Meroveus, in defiance of the stepmother Fredegund, and firmly supported St Praetextatus of Rouen whom Chilperic summoned on a charge of having blessed the marriage of Meroveus with his step-aunt Brunhilda.

Then one Leudastis, whom Gregory had caused to be removed from the countship of Tours as unworthy, accused him to the king of political disloyalty and of having slandered Queen Fredegund. He was accordingly arraigned before a council, wherein he purged himself of the charge on oath and behaved with such propriety that the bishops acquitted him and ordered Leudastis to be punished as a false witness.

   Chilperic, like many another monarch of those times, fancied himself as a theologian, and here again St Gregory came into conflict with him, for he could not dissimulate that the royal theology was bad and the manner in which it was set out even worse. Chilperic, however, died in 584 and Childebert II held first by Guntram of Burgundy and then Tours.  These sovereigns were friendly to Gregory and he was able to go on unhampered with the varied work of his diocese and with his writings.

Faith and good works were much increased in Tours under Gregory’s adminis­tration. He rebuilt his cathedral and several other churches, and he brought over a number of heretics to unity of faith, though he was no great theologian. St Odo of Cluny extols his humility, zeal for religion and charity towards all, especially his enemies. Several miracles are ascribed to St Gregory of Tours, which he attributed to the intercession of St Martin and other saints whose relics he always carried about him.

Though Gregory was one of the most effective of the Merovingian bishops, he is best remembered today as a historian and hagiographer. His History of the Franks is an original source for the early history of the French monarchy and gives a great deal of information about himself. His books “of the Glory of the Mar­tyrs” and of other saints, “of the Glory of the Confessors”, and “of the Lives of the Fathers” are less valuable as history. He was writing according to the taste of his day, and an excessive preponderance is given to legends and marvels, marvels of which he was only occasionally critical. As Alban Butler moderately puts it, “In his ample collections of miracles he seems often to have given credit to popular reports”.

What we know of the life of St Gregory of Tours is mainly derived from his own works, with some little supplementary information that comes to us from Venantius Fortunatus or contemporary records. There is a life (it is printed in Migne, PL., vol. lxxi, cc. 115-118, but it was compiled only in the tenth century, and is of little independent value. A great deal has been written about Gregory of Tours, but less from a hagiographical point of view than as a study of his writings. One of the most notable contributions to this aspect of the subject is that of G. Kurth, Histoire poétique des Mérovingiens (1893) but see also the Etudes Franques (1919), pp. 1-29 of the same author L. Halphen in Mélanges Lot (1925), pp. 235-244; B. Krusch in Mittheilungen Inst. Oester Geschichte (1931), pp. 486—490; DAC., vol. vi, cc. 1711—1753 and Delehaye, “Les Recueils des Miracles des Saints” in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xliii (1925), pp. 305—325. The most satisfactory edition of the historical works of Gregory is that of Krusch and Levison in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. i, Pt I (1937—51). There is an interesting article on the saint by Harman Grisewood in Saints and Ourselves (1953), pp. 25—40.

  Also known as  George Florentius 
     Friend of Saint Magnericus. Bishop of Tours in 573, taking the name Gregory on his ordination. An excellent bishop for 20 years; Saint Gregory the Great thought highly of him. Historian and writer; his works are our best historical source for the Merovingian period.
Born  540 at Auvergne, France as George Florentius Died  594 of natural causes  Canonized  Pre-Congregation
680 St. Hilda Benedictine abbess one of England’s greatest women baptized by St. Paulinus; “that not only ordinary people, but also kings and princes sometimes asked and accepted her advice. And she obliged those who were under her direction to attend much to reading the Holy Scriptures and to exercise themselves freely in works of righteousness in order that many there might be found fit for ecclesiastical duties and to minister at the altar.”  b. 614

680 ST HILDA, ABBESS OF WHITBY, VIRGIN
The cultus of this great abbess must have been recognized almost at once after her death, for her name appears in the calendar of St Willibrord, written at the beginning of the eighth century. Hilda (Hild) was the daughter of Hereric, nephew of St Edwin, King of Northumbria, and St Paulinus baptized her together with that prince, when she was thirteen years old. The first thirty-three years of her life, says St Bede, “she spent living most nobly in the secular state and more nobly dedicated the remaining half to the Lord as a nun”. She went into the kingdom of the East Angles, where her cousin, King Anna, reigned her idea was to retire to the monastery of Chelles in France, where her sister Hereswitha served God.
   But St Aidan prevailed upon Hilda to return to Northumberland, where he settled her in a small nunnery upon the River Wear. Then she was made abbess of Heiu’s double monastery at Hartlepool. Here her first business was to bring better order to the house, in accordance with her innate wisdom and love for the service of God.
  Some years later St Hilda was transferred to Streaneshalch (afterwards called Whitby), either to found a new abbey or to reform an old one. This again was a double monastery of monks and nuns, who lived entirely apart but sang the office together in church.  As was usual in such houses, the abbess was in supreme charge, except where strictly spiritual matters were concerned. St Hilda filled this office so well, writes Bede, “that not only ordinary people, but also kings and princes sometimes asked and accepted her advice. And she obliged those who were under her direction to attend much to reading the Holy Scriptures and to exercise themselves freely in works of righteousness in order that many there might be found fit for ecclesiastical duties and to minister at the altar.”
   Several of her monks became bishops, including St John of Beverley. The poet Caedmon was a servant of the monastery, and took the habit there at Hilda’s suggestion he also was locally commemorated as a saint, and she was followed in her office by St Elfleda, her pupil.

The success of St Hilda’s rule and the love which she inspired in her subjects maybe clearly seen in the pages of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History. Probably, too, it was the reputation of the house as well as the convenience of its situation that caused Whitby Abbey to be selected as the place for the great synod of 664, summoned to decide on what day Easter should he observed and other vexed questions. St Hilda and her religious sided with the Scots in favour of the Celtic customs, but St Wilfrid and the other party triumphed and King Oswy ordered the Roman customs to be observed in Northumbria. Doubtless St Hilda obeyed this decision of the synod, but perhaps was vexed by St Wilfrid’s part in it, for later she strongly supported St Theodore of Canterbury against him in the matter of the northern dioceses.
   Seven years before her death St Hilda contracted a sickness which never again left her but all the time, "she never failed either to return thanks to her Maker or publicly, or privately, to instruct those under her care. By her own example
she admonished all to serve God dutifully when in health and to remain grateful to Him in adversity or bodily infirmity.” She died at dawn, presumably on November 17, in the year 680. A nun who, says St Bede, “loved her most passionately,” but being in charge of the postulants was not present at her death, nevertheless saw it in vision and told her charges thereof. And at the daughter-house at Hackness, thirteen miles away, a nun called Begu heard in her sleep the passing-bell and saw as it were the soul of her abbess departing to Heaven. She called her sisters and they remained praying in the church until daylight, “when the brothers came with news of her death from the place where she had died.”

The monastery of Whitby *{* Alban Butler says in a footnote The common people formerly imagined that St Hilda changed serpents into stones in this place, because on the face of the cliff were found abundance of stones, which have the appearance of serpents or snakes rolled up, or in their coil, but without heads which are natural stones called Ammonites, and are still plentiful there.” Cf. St Keyne at Keynsham (October 8).} was destroyed by the Danes, when the relics of St Hilda were either lost or translated to a place unknown. Her feast is now kept in the diocese of Middlesbrough.

We know little more of St Hilda than what is told us in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History but see the notes in C. Plummer’s edition, and also Howorth, The Golden Days of the Early English Church, vol. iii, pp. 186—195 and passim. Cf. Stanton, Menology, pp. 551—552.

She was the daughter of a king of Northumbria, England, and is considered one of England’s greatest women. At age thirty three Hilda entered Chelles Monastery in France, where her sister was a nun. At the request of St. Aidan, she returned to Northumbria and became abbess of Hartlepool. In time she became the head of the double monastery of Streaneschalch, at Whitby. She trained five bishops, convened the Council of Whitby, and encouraged the poet Caedmon.

Hilda  Also known as  Hilda of Whitby; Hild 
      Daughter of Hereric. Sister of Saint Hereswitha. Grand-niece of King Saint Edwin. Baptized in 627 at age thirteen by Saint Paulinus of York. Lived as a lay woman until age 33 when she became a Benedictine nun at the monastery of Chelles in France. Abbess at Hartepool, Northumberland, England. Abbess of the double monastery of Whitby, Streaneshalch. Abbess to Saint Wilfrid of York, Saint John of Beverley, and three other bishops. Patroness and supporter of learning and culture, including patronage of the poet Caedmon.
    Hilda and her houses followed the Celtic liturgy and rule, but many houses had adopted the continental Benedictine rule, and the Roman liturgy. Hilda convened a conference in 664 to help settle one single rule. When the conference settled on the Roman and Benedictine, they were adopted throughout England, and Hilda insured the observance of her houses. 
Born  614 at Northumbria, England  Died  680 of natural causes 
    Representation  holding Whitby abbey in her hands with a crown on her head or at her feet; turning serpents into stone; stopping wild birds from stealing a corn crop; being carried to heaven by the angels.

Hilda von Whitby Katholische Kirche: 17. November Anglikanische Kirche: 19. November
Hilda von 614 in Northumbria geboren. Sie war eine Verwandte des englischen Königs Edward. Sie wurde Nonne in Chelles bei ihrer Verwandten Hereswida (1.12.), kehrte aber nach England zurück und gründete 657 das Doppelkloster Streaneshalch (Whitby Abbey). Das Kloster war in ganz England bekannt und brachte zahlreiche Gelehrte und Bischöfe hervor. Hilda starb am 17.11. 680. Ihre Reliquien wurden im 10. Jahrhundert nach Glastonbury überführt.
857 Saint Lazarus the Iconographer lived in Constantinople priest led strict ascetic life and painted holy icons fought against all heresy, enduring many afflictions from the Nestorians, Eutychians, and iconoclasts
   Under the iconoclast emperor Theophilus (829-842), he was arrested and after cruel tortures, thrown into prison. Theophilus ordered horseshoes to be placed in a fire until they glowed red with the heat. Then they were put upon the iconographer's hands, because he dared to paint icons of Christ and the saints.
    He was saved from execution by the intervention of the empress Theodora.
St Lazarus died in the year 857 while returning from Rome, where he had been sent in a delegation on church matters to Pope Benedict III (855-858). His remains were taken to Constantinople and buried in the church of St Evandrus.

914 Saint Gobrones, in Holy Baptism Michael, and with him 133 Soldiers Georgian Martyrs of the 10th century by Muslims when all refused to apostasize
   The Martyr Michael, descended from an illustrious princely line, was distinguished from his youth by his bravery and lack of fear, and for this he was called "Gorbones" (which means "valiant, brave" in Arabic).
   In the year 914 the Arab military commander Abdul-Kasim laid waste to Armenia, then occupied Tbilisi and stormed the fortress of Kvelo, defended by St Gorbones and his soldiers. After a 28 day siege, while treacherously breaking a truce, the Arabs burst into the fortress and captured its stoic defenders headed by Gorbones.
   The Georgian emperor Adarnas II (881-923) ransomed many of the captives, but the Arabs would not consent to the ransom of St Gorbones. The emir tried to persuade him to accept Islam, promising him freedom and riches, but received a firm refusal. Then before the eyes of St Gorbones they murdered 133 of his soldiers, those who also had refused to renounce their faith in Christ. St Gorbones dipped his fingers in the blood of the martyrs, traced a cross on his forehead and, giving thanks to the Lord for the martyr's crown, he calmly accepted death by beheading on November 17, 914.

    Bishop Stephen of Tbetsk, the author of the work, "The Martyrdom of Michael (Gorbon)" (914-918), relates that the body of St Gorbones was buried together with the bodies of his 133 warriors in a common pit. "Almost every night a marvelous light illumined the grave of the holy martyrs; and a multitude of the sick who approached the grave of the saints received healing". The Georgian Church numbered the Martyr Gorbones and his Soldiers among the saints and established their Feast on the day of their martyrdom, November 17.

  Eugene of Florence    Raverranus of Séez    Salomea  Victoria  Zachaeus,
1170 St. Hugh of Noara Cistercian abbot of Noara Abbey Sicily  disciple of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
    Hugh Of Noara Also known as Ugo of Novara; Hugo of Novara  Memorial  17 November; 16 August in Novara, Sicily  Profile  Cistercian Benedictine monk, a disciple of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Served as first abbot at Novara abbey, Sicily. 
Born  French  Died  c.1170 of natural causes  Patronage  Novara, Sicily
Hugh and Richard, of the Abbey of St. Victor by Benedict XVI
"Love Alone Makes Us Happy"
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 25, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave during today's general audience in Paul VI Hall.

Dear brothers and sisters, 
During these Wednesday audiences, I have been presenting some exemplary figures of believers who have been determined to show the harmony between reason and faith, and to witness with their life the proclamation of the Gospel.

Today I would like to speak to you about Hugh and Richard of St. Victor. Both are among those notable philosophers and theologians known by the name of Victorines, because they lived in the Abbey of St. Victor in Paris, founded at the beginning of the 12th century by William of Champeaux. William himself was a renowned teacher, who was able to give his abbey a solid cultural identity. In fact, inaugurated in St. Victor was a school for the formation of monks, open also to outside students, where a happy synthesis was made between the two forms of doing theology, of which I have already spoken in previous catecheses: namely, monastic theology, mainly oriented to the contemplation of the mysteries of the faith in Scripture, and scholastic theology, which used reason to attempt to scrutinize these mysteries with innovative methods, to create a theological system.
 
We know little about the life of Hugh of St. Victor. The date and place of his birth are uncertain: perhaps in Saxony or in Flanders. It is known that he arrived in Paris -- the European capital of culture at the time -- and spent the rest of his years in the abbey of St. Victor, where he was first a disciple and then a teacher. Already before his death, which occurred in 1141, he achieved great notoriety and esteem, to the point of being called a "second St. Augustine": Like Augustine, in fact, he meditated much on the relation between faith and reason, between profane sciences and theology.

According to Hugh of St. Victor, all sciences, in addition to being useful to understand the Scriptures, have value in themselves and should be cultivated to enhance man's learning, and also to correspond to his desire to know the truth. This healthy intellectual curiosity induced him to recommend to students that they never stifle the desire to learn and -- in his treatise on the methodology of learning and pedagogy, titled significantly Didascalicon (on teaching) -- he recommended: "Learn happily from everyone what you do not know. He will be the wisest of all who has desired to learn something from all. He who receives something from everyone, ends us by being the richest of all" (Eruditiones Didascalicae, 3,14: PL 176,774).
 
The science that concerns the philosophers and theologians of the Victorines is, in a particular way, theology, which requires first of all the loving study of sacred Scripture. To know God, in fact, one cannot but begin from what God himself has wished to reveal of himself through the Scriptures. In this connection, Hugh of St. Victor is a typical representative of monastic theology, totally based on biblical exegesis. To interpret Scripture, he proposes the traditional Patristic-Medieval articulation, that is, the historical/literal sense, first of all, then the allegorical and analogical, and finally the moral. These are four dimensions of the meaning of Scripture that also today are being rediscovered, because it is seen that in the text and the narration is hidden a more profound indication: the thread of faith, which leads us on high and guides us on this earth, teaching us how to live. However, while respecting these four dimensions of the meaning of Scripture, in an original way in relation to his contemporaries, he insists -- and this is something new -- on the importance of the historical/literal meaning. In other words, before discovering the symbolic value, the more profound dimensions of the biblical text, it is necessary to know and reflect further on the meaning of the history narrated in Scripture. Otherwise, he warns with an effective example, the risk is run of being like grammar scholars who ignore the alphabet. For those who know the meaning of the history described in the Bible, the human circumstances seem marked by Divine Providence, according to a well-ordered plan. Thus, for Hugh of St. Victor, history is not the result of a blind destiny or an absurd case, as it might seem. On the contrary, the Holy Spirit operates in human history, arousing a wonderful dialogue of men with God, their friend. This theological view of history makes evident the surprising and salvific intervention of God, who really enters and acts in history, almost makes himself part of our history, but always safeguarding and respecting man's liberty and responsibility.
 
For our author, the study of sacred Scripture and its historical/literal meaning makes possible true and authentic theology, that is, the systematic illustration of truths, to know their structure, the illustration of the dogmas of the faith, which he represents in a solid synthesis in the treatise De sacramentis christianae fidei (The sacraments of the Christian faith). There is found, among other things, a definition of "sacrament" that, subsequently perfected by other theologians, has features that even today are very interesting. "The sacrament," he writes, "is a corporeal or material element proposed in a strange and sensible way, which represents with its similarity an invisible and spiritual grace, it signifies it, because it was instituted for this purpose, and contains it, because it is capable of sanctifying" (9,2: PL 176,317). On one hand the visibility of the symbol, the "corporeal nature" of the gift of God, in which however, on the other hand, is hidden divine grace that comes from a history: Jesus Christ himself has created the fundamental symbols. Hence, three are the elements that concur in the definition of a sacrament, according to Hugh of St. Victor, the institution on the part of Christ, the communication of grace, and the analogy between the visible, material element and the invisible element, which are the divine gifts. It is a vision that is very close to contemporary sensibility, because the sacraments are presented with a language interlaced with symbols and images capable of speaking immediately to men's heart. Also important today is that the liturgical leaders, and in particular priests, appreciate with pastoral wisdom the signs themselves of the sacramental rites -- this visibility and tangibility of grace -- paying careful attention to their catechesis, so that each celebration of the sacraments is lived by all the faithful with devotion, intensity and spiritual joy.
 
A worthy disciple of Hugh of St. Victor is Richard, from Scotland.
He was prior of the Abbey of St. Victor between 1162 and 1173, the year of his death. Richard also, naturally, assigns an essential role to the study of the Bible but, as opposed to his teacher, he favors the allegorical sense, the symbolic meaning of Scripture with which, for example, he interprets the Old Testament figure of Benjamin, son of Jacob, as symbol of contemplation and summit of the spiritual life. Richard treats this argument in two texts. Benjamin minor and Benjamin major, in which he proposes to the faithful a spiritual way, which first invites the exercise of the different virtues, learning to discipline and order with reason the feelings and interior affective and emotional movements. Only when man has achieved a balance and human maturity in this field is he prepared to accede to contemplation, which Richard describes as "a profound and pure look of the soul directed to the wonders of wisdom, associated to an ecstatic sense of wonder and admiration" (Benjamin Maior 1,4: PL 196,67).
 
Contemplation is, therefore, the point of arrival, the result of an arduous journey, which entails dialogue between faith and reason, that is -- once again -- a theological discourse. Theology begins from the truths that are the object of faith, but it attempts to deepen its knowledge with the use of reason, appropriating the gift of faith. This application of reasoning to the understanding of faith is practiced in a convincing way in Richard's masterpiece, one of the great books of history, the De Trinitate (The Trinity). In the six books that make it up he reflects with acuity on the mystery of God one and triune.

According to our author, given that God is love, the only divine substance entails communication, oblation and affection between two Persons, the Father and the Son, who meet one another with an eternal exchange of love. But the perfection of happiness and of goodness does not allow for exclusiveness and narrow-mindedness; on the contrary, it calls for the eternal presence of a third Person, the Holy Spirit. Trinitarian love is participatory, harmonious and entails a superabundance of delight, enjoyment of incessant joy. That is, Richard assumes that God is love, analyzes the essence of love, which is what is involved in the reality of love, thus coming to the Trinity of Persons, which is really the logical expression of the fact that God is love.
 
Richard, nevertheless, is aware that love, though it reveals God's essence to us and makes us "understand" the mystery of the Trinity, is, however, only an analogy to speak about a mystery that exceeds the human mind, and -- poet and mystic that he is -- he takes recourse also to other images. For example he compares divinity to a river, to a loving wave that springs from the Father, flows back in the Son, later to be happily diffused in the Holy Spirit.
 
Dear friends, authors such as Hugh and Richard of St. Victor raise our soul to the contemplation of divine realities. At the same time, the immense joy we get from thought, admiration and praise of the Most Holy Trinity, establishes and sustains the concrete commitment to inspire us in that perfect model of communion and love to build our everyday human relations.

The Trinity is truly perfect communion! How the world would change if in families, in parishes and in all other communities relationships were lived following always the example of the three Divine Persons, where each one lives not only with the other, but for the other and in the other! I recalled it some months ago in the Angelus: "Love alone makes us happy, because we live in relation, and we live to love and to be loved" (L'Osservatore Romano, June 8-9, 2009, p. 1). It is love that realizes this incessant miracle: as in the life of the Most Holy Trinity, plurality is repaired in unity, where everything is pleasure and joy. With St. Augustine, held in great honor by the Victorines, we can also exclaim: "Vides Trinitatem, si caritatem vides" -- you see the Trinity, if you see charity (De Trinitate VIII, 8,12)

1200 St. Hugh of Lincoln known for his wisdom and justice abbot of the first English Carthusian monastery, which was built by King Henry II as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas Becket;
St Hugh in his little garden was a special attraction to squirrels and birds, of whom he was very fond and over whom he had consider­able power. {In pictorial representations of St Hugh his emblem is generally a swan. His chaplain and biographer assures us that when a bishop he had a pet wild swan at Stow, one of his manors, which would feed from his hand, follow him about and keep guard over his bed, so that it was impossible for anyone to approach the bishop without being attacked by it Giraldus Cambrensis confirms these statements.}
In the epidemic of Jew-baiting, which broke out in England at the time of the Third Crusade St, Hugh was conspicuous in defence of those persecuted. In his own cathedral at Lincoln, at Stamford, and again at Northampton, he single-handed faced armed and angry mobs, and cowed and cajoled them into sparing their hated victims: When his chancellor pointed out to him that St Martin had cured leprosy by his touch, St Hugh answered, “St Martin’s kiss healed the leper’s flesh; but their kiss heals my soul”.

In Británnia sancti Hugónis Epíscopi, qui, ex Mónacho Carthusiáno ad Ecclésiam Lincolniénsem regéndam vocátus, multis cláruit miráculis, et sancto fine quiévit.
    In England, St. Hugh, bishop, who was called to rule the church of Lincoln.  He ended his holy life in peace, renowned for many miracles.

1200 St Hugh, Bishop Of Lincoln
The foundations of an interior life are most surely laid in solitude, which is the best preparation for the works of the active life and the support of a spirit of religion amidst its distractions. It was in the desert of Chartreuse that St Hugh learned first to govern himself and stored up in his heart habits of virtue, the most essential qualification of a minister of Christ. He was born of a good family in Burgundy in 1140, his father being William, Lord of Avalon, a good soldier and an even better Christian. Hugh’s mother, Anne, died when he was eight years old, and he was educated from that age in a convent of regular canons at Villard­-BenoÎt. William of Avalon at the same time retired himself to the same place and there ended his days in the exercises of a devout and penitential religious life. Hugh when he was fifteen was allowed to make his religious profession and at nineteen was ordained deacon, at once beginning to distinguish himself as a preacher. He was put in charge of a small dependency of his monastery at Saint-­Maximin, and from thence accompanied his prior on a visit to the Grande Char­treuse. The retirement and silence of the place, and the contemplation and saintly deportment of the monks who inhabited it, kindled in Hugh’s breast a strong desire of embracing that life. The Carthusian prior painted an alarming picture of its hardships, and Hugh’s own superior extorted from him a vow that he would not leave Villard-Benoit. After more mature reflection Hugh decided that this vow had been made too hastily and under stress of emotion, and, now being per­suaded that God called him to this state, he went back to the Chartreuse and was admitted to the habit. A Carthusian cottage provides little outward matter for the biographer but we know that St Hugh in his little garden was a special attraction to squirrels and birds, of whom he was very fond and over whom he had consider­able power. {In pictorial representations of St Hugh his emblem is generally a swan. His chaplain and biographer assures us that when a bishop he had a pet wild swan at Stow, one of his manors, which would feed from his hand, follow him about and keep guard over his bed, so that it was impossible for anyone to approach the bishop without being attacked by it Giraldus Cambrensis confirms these statements.}

He had passed ten years in his solitary cell when the office of procurator of the monastery was committed to him, which charge he had held for about seven years when, at the age of forty, his life took an abrupt turn.

King Henry II of England founded, as part of his penance for the murder of St Thomas Becket, the first house of Carthusian monks in England, at Witham in Somersetshire; but so great difficulties occurred in the undertaking under the two first priors that the monastery could not be settled. The king, therefore, sent Reginald, Bishop of Bath, to the Grande Chartreuse, to desire that the holy monk Hugh, who had been recommended by a French nobleman, might be sent over to take upon him the government of this monastery. After much debating in the house it was determined that it became not Christian charity so to confine their solicitude to one family as to refuse what was required for the benefit of others, and, though the saint protested that he was most unfit for the charge, he was ordered by the chapter to accompany the deputies to England. At Witham he found that the monastic buildings had not even been begun, and that no provision had been made for the compensation of those who had been, or would have to be, evicted from their lands and tenements to make room for the monks. St Hugh refused to undertake his office until the king had compensated these people, “down to the last penny”. The work was then carried on successfully till it was nearing completion, and then was held up again because Henry had not paid the bills, except in promises. St Hugh’s tact overcame this difficulty and the first English charterhouse was at last in being. Hugh by his humility and meekness of manner and the sanctity of his life gained the hearts of the enemies of the foundation and men began to relish their close solitude and to consecrate themselves to God under the discipline of the saints.

As with many another exemplary monk, the reputation of Hugh’s goodness and abilities spread far beyond the cloister walls, and in particular King Henry never went hunting in his forest of Frome-Selwood without visiting the prior of Witham. The extent to which he trusted in Hugh is thus illustrated. As the king returned with his army from Normandy to England he was in great danger at sea in a furious storm. Their safety seemed despaired of, when the king cried aloud, “0 God whom the prior of Witham so truly serves, through his merits and intercession look with pity on our distress, in spite of our sins which deserve thy judgements”. Almost at once the wind abated and the voyage was completed without mishap, the king’s confidence in St Hugh being naturally confirmed and increased.

   St Hugh did not hesitate to remonstrate with his royal patron upon matters which required amendment, among which was his habit of keeping sees vacant in order to draw their revenues. A scandalous example was Lincoln, which, with an interval of eighteen months, had no bishop for nearly eighteen years. At a council held at Eynsham Abbey in 1186 order was given to the dean and chapter to elect a pastor, and the election fell upon St Hugh—under pressure from king and primate. His objections were not admitted, and he was obliged by the authority of the prior of the Grande Chartreuse to drop the strong opposition, which he had made, and to receive episcopal consecration. After so long a vacancy the diocese of Lincoln was naturally in dire need of reform, and St Hugh at once engaged several priests of learning and piety to be his assistants and he employed all the authority which his office gave him in restoring ecclesiastical discipline amongst his clergy. By sermons and private exhortations he laboured to quicken in all men the spirit of faith, and in ordinary conversation equally incited others to divine love. But he was full of talk and fun (which often took the form of puns), cheerful, enthusiastic and easily roused, as Giraldus Cambrensis tells us. In administering the sacraments or consecrating churches he sometimes spent whole days, beginning before daybreak and persevering into the night, without allowing himself rest or food. He was particularly strict against the exaction of improper fees by the clergy, following his own example at his enthronization when he refused an honor­arium to the archdeacon of Canterbury who had performed the office. He was deeply devoted to his poor and sick children, and would visit the leper-houses and wait upon the inmates. When his chancellor pointed out to him that St Martin had cured leprosy by his touch, St Hugh answered, “St Martin’s kiss healed the leper’s flesh; but their kiss heals my soul”. He took great pleasure in children and babies, and his biographer (who was the bishop’s chaplain) tells several charming stories illustrative of this trait, as well as miracles done in favour of little ones.

In the epidemic of Jew-baiting, which broke out in England at the time of the Third Crusade St, Hugh was conspicuous in defence of those persecuted. In his own cathedral at Lincoln, at Stamford, and again at Northampton, he single-handed faced armed and angry mobs, and cowed and cajoled them into sparing their hated victims. His concern for justice on behalf of his own people is illus­trated by his actions in regard to the royal forest-laws. The foresters and their agents “ hunt the poor as if they were wild animals and devour them as their prey” wrote Peter of Blois, a contemporary. Hugh had had trouble with them at Witham, and so soon as a company of these rangers had, upon a slight occasion, laid hands on a subject of the church of Lincoln, he, after due summons, excommunicated the head of them. This action King Henry took very ill. However, he dissembled his resentment, and soon after by letter requested of the bishop a prebend, then vacant in the church of Lincoln, in favour of one of his courtiers. St Hugh, having read the petition, returned answer by the messenger, “These places are to be conferred upon clerics, not upon courtiers. The king does not lack means to reward his servants.” The king of course was more furious than ever, and sent for St Hugh, who found him sitting with his court in the grounds of Woodstock castle. By Henry’s order nobody took any notice of the bishop, and he went on sewing a bandage round a cut finger. St Hugh watched him for a time and then said sweetly, “Now, you know, you look exactly like your kinsfolk at Falaise” *{*Henry’s great-grandfather, William the Conqueror, was the natural son of Robert of Normandy and the daughter of a furrier and glove-maker of Falaise.}

   This bold sally broke down the king’s ill humour, and he listened quietly while Hugh demonstrated how in the whole affair he had regard purely to the service of God and to his episcopal duty. The king was, or pretended to be, perfectly satisfied. The ranger showed himself penitent and was absolved by the bishop, and from that time became his steady friend.

  St Hugh had found his cathedral in ruins, and soon began its rebuilding, on which he sometimes worked with his own hands. Some of the actual magnificent building there is due to Hugh, and on his deathbed he gave final instructions to the master-builder, Geoffrey de Noiers. All St Hugh’s great achievements in activity were grounded in contem­plation, and it was his custom to retire once a year to his beloved cloister at Witham, and there pass some time observing the common rule, without any difference but that of wearing the episcopal ring on his finger.
St Hugh had such a reputation for justice in his judicial capacity that two poor orphans in a cause appealed to Rome and asked that the Bishop of Lincoln might judge the case, and he exercised this quality in great things and in small. When in 1197 King Richard I wanted the bishops as well as the barons to subsidize his war with Philip Augustus for twelve months, St Hugh maintained that his see was only liable to assist in home-defence. Only Bishop Herbert of Salisbury supported him, and he at once had all his goods confiscated. Hugh stood out, rebuked the king to his face for his unjust oppression and other ill deeds, and triumphed. But whereas he calmed Henry’s rage with a joke, he overcame Richard by a kiss. Stubbs, the constitutional historian, says that this “is the first clear case of the refusal of a money-grant demanded directly by the Crown, and a most valuable precedent for future times”. Just before his contest with the king, St Hugh had been strengthened in his faith and duty by a vision granted to a young cleric of our Lord, in the likeness of a tiny child, held in the saint’s hands at the consecration at Mass. This youth had previously been supernaturally warned to go to the Bishop of Lincoln and tell him to draw the attention of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the lamentable laxity of many of the English clergy a vision at Mass was promised in confirmation. This was by no means the only time that St Hugh was encouraged and consoled in his difficult labours by clear marks of the help of Heaven, whether by the healing of the sick, the driving out of evil spirits or the conversion of hardened sinners.
After the death of Richard I, who had said of Hugh that “if all the prelates of the Church were like him, there is not a king in Christendom who would dare to raise his head in the presence of a bishop,” and the coronation of his successor, King John sent St Hugh into France on affairs of state. He visited, among other places, his old home at the Grande Chartreuse and the great abbeys of Cluny and Citeaux, and was everywhere received with joy and veneration, for he was known by reputation all over France as well as England. But his last sickness was now upon him, and on his return he went to pray at St Thomas’s shrine in Canterbury. However, he got worse, and when he was summoned to a national council in London he had to take to his bed at his house in the Old Temple, Holborn (whence “Lincoln’s Inn”), receiving the last anointing on the vigil of the nineteenth anniversary of his episcopal consecration. He lingered on in pain and patience for nearly two months, dying in the evening of November 16, 1200. The body was taken in a sort of triumphal progress to Lincoln, where it was buried in the cathedral amidst universal grief on November 24. There were present beside the primate of all England, fourteen bishops and a hundred abbots, an archbishop from Ireland and another from Dalmatia, a prince, Gruffydd ap Rhys, from South Wales, King William the Lion of Scotland and King John of England—and the Lincoln ghetto was there, bewailing the loss of its protector and a “ true servant of the great God”. Twenty years later Pope Honorius III canonized St Hugh.  His feast is now observed by the Carthusian Order and in several English dioceses; the great charterhouse at Parkminster in Sussex is dedicated in his honour.

The biography known as the Magna Vita, which was written by Adam, a monk of Eynsham who was St Hugh’s chaplain, is a life which for fullness of detail and reliability of statement has hardly a parallel in medieval literature. It was edited by Mr Dimock for the Rolls Series in 1864. But besides this we have an important memoir by Giraldus Cambrensis, printed in vol. vii of his works (also in the Rolls Series), as well as a metrical life of unknown authorship, which was the first to be published by Mr Dimock at Lincoln in 1860. There are, moreover, a number of references to St Hugh in such contemporary chroniclers as Hoveden, Benedict, etc., and not a few charters and papal documents in which his name figures. The fullest modern life is that published under Carthusian auspices at Montreuil­sur-Mer in 1890 this was translated into English and edited with copious additional notes by Fr H. Thurston in 1898. Two excellent popular lives of less compass are those of F. A. Forbes (1917) and Joseph Clayton (1931). A concise Anglican biography of merit is that by Canon R. M. Woolley (1927). Miss Margaret Thompson has published two admirable books, the fruit of years of research, in which St Hugh plays a prominent part—The Somerset Carthusians (1895) and The Carthusian Order in England (1930). St Hugh’s tomb and his translation, etc., have been much discussed see particularly the Archaeological Journal, vol. 1 and vol. Ii, but these matters are noted in almost every book on Lincoln Cathedral cf. also Bramley, St Hugh’s Day at Lincoln (1900).

   Hugh of Lincoln was the son of William, Lord of Avalon. He was born at Avalon Castle in Burgundy and was raised and educated at a convent at Villard-Benoit after his mother died when he was eight. He was professed at fifteen, ordained a deacon at nineteen, and was made prior of a monastery at Saint-Maxim. While visiting the Grande Chartreuse with his prior in 1160. It was then he decided to become a Carthusian there and was ordained. After ten years, he was named procurator and in 1175 became Abbot of the first Carthusian monastery in England. This had been built by King Henry II as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas Becket.
     His reputation for holiness and sanctity spread all over England and attracted many to the monastery. He admonished Henry for keeping Sees vacant to enrich the royal coffers. Income from the vacant Sees went to the royal treasury. He was then named bishop of the eighteen year old vacant See of Lincoln in 1186 - a post he accepted only when ordered to do so by the prior of the Grande Chartreuse. Hugh quickly restored clerical discipline, labored to restore religion to the diocese, and became known for his wisdom and justice.
     He was one of the leaders in denouncing the persecution of the Jews that swept England, 1190-91, repeatedly facing down armed mobs and making them release their victims. He went on a diplomatic mission to France for King John in 1199, visiting the Grande Chartreuse, Cluny, and Citeaux, and returned from the trip in poor health. A few months later, while attending a national council in London, he was stricken and died two months later at the Old Temple in London on November 16. He was canonized twenty years later, in 1220, the first Carthusian to be so honored.

HUGH of Lincoln Also known as  Hugh of Avalon; Hugh of Burgundy 
Profile  Son of William, Lord of Avalon. His mother Anna died when he was eight, and he was raised and educated at a convent at Villard-Benoit. Monk at 15. Deacon at 19. Prior of a monastery at Saint-Maxim. Joined the Carthusians in 1160. Ordained in 1165. In 1175 he became abbot of the first English Carthusian monastery, which was built by King Henry II as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas Becket.
His reputation for holiness spread through England, and attracted many to the monastery. He admonished Henry for keeping dioceses vacant in order to keep their income for the throne. He resisted the appointment, but was made bishop of Lincoln on 21 September 1181. Restored clerical discipline in his see. Rebuilt the Lincoln cathedral, destroyed by earthquake in 1185.
Denounced the mass persecution of Jews in England in 1190-91, repeatedly facing down armed mobs, making them release their victims. Diplomat to France for King John in 1199, a trip that ruined his health. While attending a national council in London a few months later, he was stricken with an unnamed ailment, and died two months later.
     Hugh's primary emblem is a white swan, in reference to the story of the swan of Stowe which had a deep and lasting friendship for the saint, even guarding him while he slept.  Born  1135 at Avalon Castle, Burgundy, France  Died  16 November 1200 at London, England of natural causes; buried in the Lincoln Cathedral  Canonized  18 February 1220 by Pope Honorius III; first canonized Carthusian  Patronage  sick children; sick people; swans  Representation  chalice; swan; bishop with a swan; Carthusian with a swan; Carthusian surrounded by seven stars; man with a swan at his death bed; bearded bishop giving a blessing; helping to build the Lincoln Cathedral; raising a dead child to life.

1231 St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Catholic Encyclopedia
Also called St. Elizabeth of Thuringia, born in Hungary, probably at Pressburg, 1207; died at Marburg, Hesse, 17 November (not 19 November), 1231.
She was a daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary (1205-35) and his wife Gertrude, a member of the family of the Counts of Andechs-Meran; Elizabeth's brother succeeded his father on the throne of Hungary as Bela IV; the sister of her mother, Gertrude, was St. Hedwig, wife of Duke Heinrich I, the Bearded, of Silesia, while another saint, St. Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal (d. 1336), the wife of the tyrannical King Diniz of that country, was her great-niece.

    In 1211 a formal embassy was sent by Landgrave Hermann I of Thuringia to Hungary to arrange, as was customary in that age, a marriage between his eldest son Hermann and Elizabeth, who was then four years old. This plan of a marriage was the result of political considerations and was intended to be the ratification of a great alliance which in the political schemes of the time it was sought to form against the German Emperor Otto IV, a member of the house of Guelph, who had quarrelled with the Church. Not long after this the little girl was taken to the Thuringian court to be brought up with her future husband and, in the course of time, to be betrothed to him.
    The court of Thuringia was at this period famous for its magnificence. Its centre was the stately castle of the Wartburg, splendidly placed on a hill in the Thuringian Forest near Eisenach, where the Landgrave Hermann lived surrounded by poets and minnesingers, to whom he was a generous patron. Notwithstanding the turbulence and purely secular life of the court and the pomp of her surroundings, the little girl grew up a very religious child with an evident inclination to prayer and pious observances and small acts of self-mortification. These religious impulses were undoubtedly strengthened by the sorrowful experiences of her life.
    In 1213 Elizabeth's mother, Gertrude, was murdered by Hungarian nobles, probably out of hatred of the Germans. On 31 December, 1216, the oldest son of the landgrave, Hermann, who Elizabeth was to marry, died; after this she was betrothed to Ludwig, the second son. It was probably in these years that Elizabeth had to suffer the hostility of the more frivolous members of the Thuringian court, to whom the contemplative and pious child was a constant rebuke. Ludwig, however, must have soon come to her protection against any ill-treatment. The legend that arose later is incorrect in making Elizabeth's mother-in-law, the Landgravine Sophia, a member of the reigning family of Bavaria, the leader of this court party. On the contrary, Sophia was a very religious and charitable woman and a kindly mother to the little Elizabeth.
     The political plans of the old Landgrave Hermann involved him in great difficulties and reverses; he was excommunicated, lost his mind towards the end of his life, and died, 25 April, 1217, unreconciled with the Church. He was succeeded by his son Ludwig IV, who, in 1221, was also made regent of Meissen and the East Mark. The same year (1221) Ludwig and Elizabeth were married, the groom being twenty-one years old and the bride fourteen. The marriage was in every regard a happy and exemplary one, and the couple were devotedly attached to each other. Ludwig proved himself worthy of his wife. He gave his protection to her acts of charity, penance, and her vigils, and often held Elizabeth's hands as she knelt praying at night beside his bed. He was also a capable ruler and brave soldier. The Germans call him St. Ludwig, an appellation given to him as one of the best men of his age and the pious husband of St. Elizabeth.
   They had three children: Hermann II (1222-41), who died young; Sophia (1224-84), who married Henry II, Duke of Brabant, and was the ancestress of the Landgraves of Hesse, as in the war of the Thuringian succession she won Hesse for her son Heinrich I, called the Child; Gertrude (1227-97), Elizabeth's third child, was born several weeks after the death of her father; in after-life she became abbess of the convent of Altenberg near Wetzlar.
   Shortly after their marriage, Elizabeth and Ludwig made a journey to Hungary; Ludwig was often after this employed by the Emperor Frederick II, to whom he was much attached, in the affairs of the empire. In the spring of 1226, when floods, famine, and the pest wrought havoc in Thuringia, Ludwig was in Italy attending the Diet at Cremona on behalf of the emperor and the empire. Under these circumstances Elizabeth assumed control of affairs, distributed alms in all parts of the territory of her husband, giving even state robes and ornaments to the poor. In order to care personally for the unfortunate she built below the Wartburg a hospital with twenty-eight beds and visited the inmates daily to attend to their wants; at the same time she aided nine hundred poor daily. It is this period of her life that has preserved Elizabeth's fame to posterity as the gentle and charitable chételaine of the Wartburg. Ludwig on his return confirmed all she had done. The next year (1227) he started with the Emperor Frederick II on a crusade to Palestine but died, 11 September of the same year at Otranto, from the pest. The news did not reach Elizabeth until October, just after she had given birth to her third child. On hearing the tidings Elizabeth, who was only twenty years old, cried out: "The world with all its joys is now dead to me."
     The fact that in 1221 the followers of St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226) made their first permanent settlement in Germany was one of great importance in the later career of Elizabeth. Brother Rodeger, one of the first Germans whom the provincial for Germany, Caesarius of Speier, received into the order, was for a time the spiritual instructor of Elizabeth at the Wartburg; in his teachings he unfolded to her the ideals of St. Francis, and these strongly appealed to her. With the aid of Elizabeth the Franciscans in 1225 founded a monastery in Eisenach; Brother Rodeger, as his fellow-companion in the order, Jordanus, reports, instructed Elizabeth, to observe, according to her state of life, chastity, humility, patience, the exercise of prayer, and charity. Her position prevented the attainment of the other ideal of St. Francis, voluntary and complete poverty. Various remarks of Elizabeth to her female attendants make it clear how ardently she desired the life of poverty. After a while the post Brother Rodeger had filled was assumed by Master Conrad of Marburg, who belonged to no order, but was a very ascetic and, it must be acknowledged, a somewhat rough and very severe man. He was well known as a preacher of the crusade and also as an inquisitor or judge in cases of heresy. On account of the latter activity he has been more severely judged than is just; at the present day, however, the estimate of him is a fairer one.
Pope Gregory IX, who wrote at times to Elizabeth, recommended her himself to the God-fearing preacher. Conrad treated Elizabeth with inexorable severity, even using corporal means of correction; nevertheless, he brought her with a firm hand by the road of self-mortification to sanctity, and after her death was very active in her canonization. Although he forbade her to follow St. Francis in complete poverty as a beggar, yet, on the other hand, by the command to keep her dower she was enabled to perform works of charity and tenderness.

     Up to 1888 it was believed, on account of the testimony of one of Elizabeth's servants in the process of canonization, that Elizabeth was driven from the Wartburg in the winter of 1227 by her brother-in-law, Heinrich Raspe, who acted as regent for her son, then only five years old. About 1888 various investigators (Börner, Mielke, Wenck, E. Michael, etc.) asserted that Elizabeth left the Wartburg voluntarily, the only compulsion being a moral one. She was not able at the castle to follow Conrad's command to eat only food obtained in a way that was certainly right and proper. Lately, however, Huyskens (1907) tried to prove that Elizabeth was driven from the castle at Marburg in Hesse, which was hers by dower right. Consequently, the Te Deum that she directed the Franciscans to sing on the night of her expulsion would have been sung in the Franciscan monastery at Marburg. Accompanied by two female attendants, Elizabeth left the castle that stands on a height commanding Marburg. The next day her children were brought to her, but they were soon taken elsewhere to be cared for. Elizabeth's aunt, Matilda, Abbess of the Benedictine nunnery of Kitzingen near Würzburg, took charge of the unfortunate landgravine and sent her to her uncle Eckbert, Bishop of Bamberg. The bishop, however, was intent on arranging another marriage for her, although during the lifetime of her husband Elizabeth had made a vow of continence in case of his death; the same vow had also been taken by her attendants. While Elizabeth was maintaining her position against her uncle the remains of her husband were brought to Bamberg by his faithful followers who had carried them from Italy. Weeping bitterly, she buried the body in the family vault of the landgraves of Thuringia in the monastery of Reinhardsbrunn. With the aid of Conrad she now received the value of her dower in money, namely two thousand marks; of this sum she divided five hundred marks in one day among the poor. On Good Friday, 1228, in the Franciscan house at Eisenach Elizabeth formally renounced the world; then going to Master Conrad at Marburg, she and her maids received from him the dress of the Third Order of St. Francis, thus being among the first tertiaries of Germany. In the summer of 1228 she built the Franciscan hospital at Marburg and on its completion devoted herself entirely to the care of the sick, especially to those afflicted with the most loathsome diseases. Conrad of Marburg still imposed many self-mortifications and spiritual renunciations, while at the same time he even took from Elizabeth her devoted domestics. Constant in her devotion to God, Elizabeth's strength was consumed by her charitable labours, and she passed away at the age of twenty-four, a time when life to most human beings is just opening.
     Very soon after the death of Elizabeth miracles began to be worked at her grave in the church of the hospital, especially miracles of healing. Master Conrad showed great zeal in advancing the process of canonization. By papal command three examinations were held of those who had been healed: namely, in August, 1232, January, 1233, and January, 1235. Before the process reached its end, however, Conrad was murdered, 30 July, 1233. But the Teutonic Knights in 1233 founded a house at Marburg, and in November, 1234, Conrad, Landgrave of Thuringia, the brother-in-law of Elizabeth, entered the order. At Pentecost (28 May) of the year 1235, the solemn ceremony of canonization of the "greatest woman of the German Middle Ages" was celebrated by Gregory IX at Perugia, Landgrave Conrad being present. In August of the same year (1235) the corner-stone of the beautiful Gothic church of St. Elizabeth was laid at Marburg; on 1 May, 1236, Emperor Frederick II attended the taking-up of the body of the saint; in 1249 the remains were placed in the choir of the church of St. Elizabeth, which was not consecrated until 1283. Pilgrimages to the grave soon increased to such importance that at times they could be compared to those to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela. In 1539 Philip the Magnanimous, Landgrave of Hesse, who had become a Protestant, put an end to the pilgrimages by unjustifiable interference with the church that belonged to the Teutonic Order and by forcibly removing the relics and all that was sacred to Elizabeth.
     Nevertheless, the entire German people still honour the "dear St. Elizabeth" as she is called; in 1907 a new impulse was given to her veneration in Germany and Austria by the celebration of the seven hundredth anniversary of her birth. St. Elizabeth is generally represented as a princess graciously giving alms to the wretched poor or as holding roses in her lap; in the latter case she is portrayed either alone or as surprised by her husband, who, according to a legend, which is, however, related of other saints as well, met her unexpectedly as she went secretly on an errand of mercy, and, so the story runs, the bread she was trying to conceal was suddenly turned into roses.

 St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) 
In her short life Elizabeth manifested such great love for the poor and suffering that she has become the patroness of Catholic charities and of the Secular Franciscan Order. The daughter of the King of Hungary, Elizabeth chose a life of penance and asceticism when a life of leisure and luxury could easily have been hers. This choice endeared her in the hearts of the common people throughout Europe.
At the age of 14 Elizabeth was married to Louis of Thuringia (a German principality), whom she deeply loved; she bore three children. Under the spiritual direction of a Franciscan friar, she led a life of prayer, sacrifice and service to the poor and sick. Seeking to become one with the poor, she wore simple clothing. Daily she would take bread to hundreds of the poorest in the land, who came to her gate.
After six years of marriage, her husband died in the Crusades, and she was grief-stricken. Her husband’s family looked upon her as squandering the royal purse, and mistreated her, finally throwing her out of the palace. The return of her husband’s allies from the Crusades resulted in her being reinstated, since her son was legal heir to the throne.
In 1228 Elizabeth joined the Secular Franciscan Order, spending the remaining few years of her life caring for the poor in a hospital which she founded in honor of St. Francis. Elizabeth’s health declined, and she died before her 24th birthday in 1231. Her great popularity resulted in her canonization four years later.
Comment: Elizabeth understood well the lesson Jesus taught when he washed his disciples' feet at the Last Supper: The Christian must be one who serves the humblest needs of others, even if one serves from an exalted position. Of royal blood, Elizabeth could have lorded it over her subjects. Yet she served them with such a loving heart that her brief life won for her a special place in the hearts of many. Elizabeth is also an example to us in her following the guidance of a spiritual director. Growth in the spiritual life is a difficult process. We can play games very easily if we don't have someone to challenge us or to share experiences so as to help us avoid pitfalls.
Quote: "Today, there is an inescapable duty to make ourselves the neighbor of every individual, without exception, and to take positive steps to help a neighbor whom we encounter, whether that neighbor be an elderly person, abandoned by everyone, a foreign worker who suffers the injustice of being despised, a refugee, an illegitimate child wrongly suffering for a sin of which the child is innocent, or a starving human being who awakens our conscience by calling to mind the words of Christ: 'As long as you did it for one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it for me' (Matthew 25:40)" (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 27, Austin Flannery translation).
1268 Bl. Salomea princess became a Franciscan tertiary; did her best to make her court a model of Christian life; founding a convent of Poor Clares; 28 yrs a Poor Clare; abbess
1268 BD SALOME, WIDOW
SOME time about the year 1205 Bd Vincent Kadlubek, Bishop of Cracow, was commissioned to take a child of three years old to the court of King Andrew II of Hungary. She was Salome, daughter of Leszek the Fair of Poland, who had arranged a marriage for her with Andrew’s son, Koloman. Ten years later the marriage was solemnized. But Salome lived more like a nun than a princess she became a tertiary of the Franciscan Order, and did her best to make her court a model of Christian life. About 1225 Koloman was killed in battle. Salome continued to live in the world for some years, being a liberal benefactress of the Friars Minor and founding a convent of Poor Clares, to which she herself retired eventually. She was a nun for twenty-eight years, and was elected abbess of the community. Bd Salome died on November 17, 1268, and her cultus was approved by Pope Clement X.

There is a medieval Latin life printed in the Monumenta Poloniae Historica, vol. iv, pp. 776—796 and some account in Wadding, Annales Ord. Min., vol. iii, pp. 353—355 and vol. iv, pp. 284—285. See also Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iv, pp. 71—74.

The daughter of a Polish prince, she was betrothed at the age of three to Prince Coloman of Hungary, son of King Andrew II. She became a widow in 1241 when Coloman was killed in battle. She then entered the Poor Clares, founding a convent at Zawichost (later moved to Skala). She later became the abbess of the convent and died there on November 17. She was beatified in 1673.
Helpíthi, in Saxónia, item natális sanctæ Gertrúdis Vírginis, ex Ordine sancti Benedícti, quæ dono  revelatiónum clara éxstitit.  Ipsíus tamen festívitas prídie hujus diéi celebrátur.
    At Hedelfs in Saxony, the birthday of St. Gertrude, virgin of the Order of St. Benedict, who was famous for her revelations.  Her feast is observed on the preceding day.

1307  JANE of Segna Shepherdess in her youth. Tertiary solitary 40 years; Her reputa­tion for miracles was great, and people came from all the surrounding country to consult her and bring their sick and afflicted. Immediately after her death on November 9, 1307, a cultus sprang up, which was greatly enhanced in 1348 by the attribution of a sudden cessation of an epidemic to her intercession.
1307 Bd Joan Of Signa, Virgin
A Number of miracles are related of this Franciscan tertiary, but very few particulars of her life are available. Signa is a village on the Arno, near Florence, and Joan was born there about the year 1245. Her parents were very poor peasants, and at an early age she was sent out to look after sheep and goats. She would collect other herdsfolk round her and talk to them of the truths of faith, and urge them to live a Christian life, to which her own example was an even better inducement than her simple heart-felt words. Her ability to keep dry in wet weather was much talked of, but this seems to have been due to the simple expedient of sheltering under a large and thick tree when it rained. At the age of twenty-three Bd Joan, possibly inspired by the tales she had heard of St Verdiana of Castelfiorentino, who died about the time Joan was born, became a solitary in a cell on the banks of the Arno, not far from her native place. Here she lived for forty years.

   Her reputa­tion for miracles was great, and people came from all the surrounding country to consult her and bring their sick and afflicted. Immediately after her death on November 9, 1307, a cultus sprang up, which was greatly enhanced in 1348 by the attribution of a sudden cessation of an epidemic to her intercession. This cultus was confirmed in 1798.

An anonymous Latin life is in existence that must have been written about the year 1390. It has been printed by Fr Mencherini in the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum, vol. x (1917), pp. 367—386, and also in the Acta Sanctorum, November, vol. iv. Two other accounts of later date in Italian verse add nothing to our knowledge. Not only the Fran­ciscans, but also Vallombrosan monks, the Carmelites and the Augustinians have claimed that the recluse was attached to their respective orders. On the Vallombrosan case see F. Soldani, Ragguaglio istorico della B. Giovanna do Signa (1741). The Franciscan claim can be gathered from Mencherini as above, who supplies a bibliography. In the opinion of the Bollandists evidence is lacking that the recluse had a definite connection with any order. An account of Bd Joan is given by Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iv, pp. 160—164.

Profile  Shepherdess in her youth. Tertiary, though records disagree if Franciscan or Vallumbrosan.  Born  at Segna, Italy  Beatified  1798 (cultus confirmed)
14th v. Saint Gennadius was the steward of the Vatopedi monastery on Mt Athos miracle was ascribed to the Most Holy Theotokos in charge of supplies
     When the monastery's oil began to run low, he tried to be economical with what remained by using oil just for the needs of the church. The cook began to complain to the Igumen, saying that he had no oil for preparing meals. The Igumen ordered St Gennadius to place his trust in the Mother of God, and to supply the oil for all the monastery's needs.


One day, St Gennadius went to the storeroom and saw the tank overflowing with oil covering the floor as far as the door. This miracle was ascribed to the Most Holy Theotokos, and to Her Elaiovrytissa icon which stood nearby. Since that time, the icon has hung in the storeroom and has emitted an ineffable fragrance.

The Elaiovrytissa ("Flowing with oil") Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is commemorated on Bright Friday.
1420 BD ELIZABETH THE GOOD, VIRGIN She received the stigmata of the Passion from time to time, including marks resembling those of the crown of thorns and of the scourging; these bled copiously on Fridays and in Lent, and the pain was almost unceasing. For years and years Bd Elizabeth lived on an amount of food far short of the minimum normally required to keep a human being alive, and eventually died attended by the faithful priest, Father Conrad Kügelin, who had been the witness of her extraordinary life.
THERE was born in 1386 at Waldsee in Würtemberg, to a couple in humble circumstances called John and Anne Achier, a child who because of her sweetness and innocence was known from very early years as die gute Betha, “the good Bessie”.  When she was fourteen her confessor, Father Conrad Kügelin, a canon regular, who directed her all her life and wrote an account of her soon after her death, recommended her to become a Franciscan tertiary this she did, and went to lodge with a woman weaver to learn her trade. Elizabeth remained there three years and was then put by Father Conrad with four other tertiaries, for whom she did the cooking. She seems to have been more expert at this than at the loom. This little community was at Reute, near Waldsee, and there Elizabeth lived for the rest of her life. She was one of the last of the medieval women mystics, mostly connected with one or other of the mendicant orders, who were remarkable for their extreme austerities, visions and visitations, and abnormal physical phenomena: Bd Christina of Stommeln, mentioned on the 6th of this month, is a better known example.
Elizabeth the Good is notable for the frequent supposedly diabolical manifestations of which she was the object and for the reputed length of time during which she would abstain completely from food. Once she is said to have done this for three years on end, and to have then broken her fast only at the command of the Devil disguised as her confessor. Later, many things were missing from the house, which were at last found under Elizabeth’s bed. She had not put them there and believed that the Devil had; but she patiently accepted the severe rebuke and penance imposed on her and the natural distrust of her sisters. At other times she sustained supernatural physical attacks and other bodily ills, but she was also said to be granted visions of Heaven and Purgatory, frequent ecstasies, and on one occasion a miraculous communion. She received the stigmata of the Passion from time to time, including marks resembling those of the crown of thorns and of the scourging; these bled copiously on Fridays and in Lent, and the pain was almost unceasing. For years and years Bd Elizabeth lived on an amount of food far short of the minimum normally required to keep a human being alive, and eventually died attended by the faithful priest, Father Conrad Kügelin, who had been the witness of her extraordinary life. Her cultus was approved in 1766, and her shrine at Reute is still a place of resort.
We are well informed regarding Bd Elizabeth, for Conrad Kügelin, her confessor, wrote a life of her in German, the original of which is still preserved. The text was reprinted in the periodical Alemannia for 1881 and 1882, from a scarce early edition which had appeared in 1624. Another life is that of Nidermayer, Die selige gute Betha von Reute (1766). See also Lechner, Leben der sel. Elisabetha Bona von Reute (1854) and A. Baier, Die sel. gute Betha von Reute (1920).

1426 Saint Nikon Abbot of Radonezh successor of St Sergius of Radonezh a "zealot of obedience." St Peter (December 21) and St Alexis (February 12) together with St Sergius appeared to him
(September 25 and July 5), was born at Yuriev-Polsk. Having heard of the angelic life of the Radonezh Wonderworker, the young man came to St Sergius and requested to be tonsured into the angelic schema.
    St Sergius did not accept Nikon, whether because of his youth or for some other reason. Instead, he sent him to his disciple St Athanasius (September 12) at Serpukhov. But St Athanasius would not accept him right away. Only after seeing the young man's persistence did he tonsure him into the monastic schema.
    St Nikon struggled in prayer, studied Holy Scripture and persevered in virtue and purity. Because of his humility and the way he fulfilled each task assigned him without argument, St Nikon was called a "zealot of obedience." When he reached the age of thirty, he was ordained to the priesthood. After a certain while, St Athanasius blessed him to go see St Sergius. St Sergius, catching sight of him, said, "It is good that you have come, my child Nikon," and happily received him.
     At first, he gave orders for St Nikon to serve the brethren. The disciple passed whole days in monastic matters, and his nights in prayerful conversation with God. St Sergius was comforted by his virtuous life. Having received a special insight concerning him, St Sergius bade his disciple to dwell with him in his own cell, so that he might share in spiritual attainment. He instructed him in every monastic virtue, and explained much about the essence of spiritual life. St Sergius assigned St Nikon to the duty of assisting him, but six months before his repose, he appointed his disciple as his successor. Then St Sergius withdrew into seclusion.
   After the death of St Sergius (September 25, 1392), Nikon carried out his duties exactly as he was instructed by the founder of the monastery. He had the habit of attending all the monastic services, and never did he forsake common tasks, working on a equal footing with all the brethren. But the burden of being the igumen of the monastery weighed upon St Nikon. Recalling his quiet life in the Serpukhov Vysotsk monastery with St Athanasius, and later with St Sergius, he gave up his position and retired to his own cell.
     For six years the monastery was guided by St Sava of Storozhevsk (December 3). In the year 1400 St Sava founded his own monastery near Zvenigorod, and the brethren entreated St Nikon to again take over its direction. He consented, but allotted himself a certain time each day for silence, so as to stand alone before God.
     When reports began to spread about an invasion of the Russian land by Khan Edigei (1408), St Nikon zealously prayed to God to spare the monastery. In a dream the Moscow hierarchs Peter (December 21) and Alexis (February 12) together with St Sergius appeared to him and said that he should not grieve over the destruction of the monastery, since it would not become desolate, but would flourish all the more.
     The monks left the monastery, taking with them relics, books, and consecrated vessels. When they returned, they saw that their beloved place had been reduced to ashes. But St Nikon did not despair, and the brethren began to restore the monastery. First of all a wooden church was built in honor of the Most Holy Trinity. It was consecrated on September 25, 1411, the anniversary of the repose of St Sergius.
    The monastery was restored, and St Nikon began construction of a stone church over the grave of his spiritual Father, St Sergius. The work crew digging the foundations uncovered the incorrupt relics of St Sergius on July 5, 1422. Amidst universal rejoicing they placed the relics in a new reliquary and at the new site a wooden church was built (now the church in honor of the Descent of the Holy Spirit is at this place). St Nikon later built a new stone church in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity. In honor and memory of his spiritual Father, he transferred the holy relics into this newly built church.
     St Nikon brought in the finest iconographers, Sts Andrew Rublev (July 4) and Daniel Cherny (June 13) for the adornment of the temple. Then St Andrew painted the Icon of the Most Holy Trinity (Hospitality of Abraham), embodying what was revealed to St Sergius. St Nikon was occupied with the construction of the Trinity church until the end of his life.
St Nikon's final resting place was revealed to him in a vision before his death. He summoned the brethren and gave them instructions. After receiving the All-Pure Body of Christ and His Precious Blood, St Nikon gave the brethren a last blessing and said, "Go forth, my soul, with joy to the place where repose is prepared for you. Christ is calling you."

Having made the Sign of the Cross, St Nikon died on November 27, 1426. He was buried near the reliquary of St Sergius. Under the hierarch Jonah (1448-1461), the hieromonk Pachomius the Logothete wrote the Service and Life of St Nikon. In the year 1547 a generally observed celebration to him was established. In the year 1548 a church named for him was built over the grave of St Nikon. In 1623 a new one was constructed in its place, in which the relics of St Nikon rest in a crypt. The 500 year anniversary of the repose of St Nikon was solemnly observed in 1976 at the Trinity-Sergeev Lavra.
1628 Martyrs of Paraguay Three Spanish Jesuits
Roch Gonzalez, Aiphonsus Rodriguez, Juan de Castilo - who were slain in missions called “reductions,” including the main site on the Jiuhi River in Paraguay. They were at All Saints Mission there when they were murdered. Pope John Paul II canonized them in 1988.

1628 Alonso Rodriguez  co-founded the "reduction" of the Assumption on the Ijuhi River
    Also known as  Alphonsus Rodriquez; Alphonso Rodriquez  Profile  Jesuit, ordained in 1624. Missionary to Paraguay and Brazil. With Saint Roch Gonzalez and Saint Juan de Castillo, he co-founded the "reduction" of the Assumption on the Ijuhi River. In 1628 they established the All Saints mission in Caaro, Brazil. Killed 15 days into his missionary work. One of the Jesuit Martyrs of Paraguay, the first martyrs in the Americas to be beatified.  Born  1598 in Segovia, Spain  Died  hacked to death with a tomahawk on 15 November 1628 at Caaro, Brazil  Beatified  1934  Canonized  1988 by Pope John Paul II  Name Meaning  noble ready; battle ready; ready to do good .

1628 JUAN de Castillo Jesuit. One of the Martyrs of Paraguay
Born  1596  Died  martyred at Caaro, Brazil  Beatified  1934  Canonized  1988 by Pope John Paul II
1628 St. Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz  earliest beatified martyr of America
The earliest beatified martyrs of America are three Jesuits of Paraguay, and one of them was American-born.

1628 Bb. Roque Gonzalez And His Companions, The Martyrs Of Paraguay
The earliest martyrs of the Americas who have been raised to the altars of the Church suffered in 1628. They were not of course the first martyrs of the New World three Franciscans were killed by Caribs in the Antilles in 1516; massacres on the mainland of South America soon followed; and in 1544 Friar Juan de Padilla was slain, the first martyr of North America. Where he suffered is not certain—eastern Colorado, western Kansas, Texas have all been suggested. But these and others have not been beatified; for lack of sufficient certain evidence about the circumstances of their death such evidence may turn up one day.

The earliest beatified martyrs of America are three Jesuits of Paraguay, and one of them was American-born.  Roque Gonzalez y de Santa-Cruz was the son of noble Spanish parents, and he came into this world at Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, in 1576. He was an unusually good and religious boy, and everybody took it for granted that young Roque would become a priest. He was in fact ordained, when he was twenty-three but unwillingly, for he felt very strongly that he was unworthy of priesthood. At once he began to take an interest in the Indians of Paraguay, seeking them out in remote places to preach to and instruct them in Christianity and after ten years, to avoid ecclesiastical promotion and to get more opportunity for missionary work, he joined the Society of Jesus.
These were the days of the beginnings of the famous “reductions” of Paraguay, in the formation of which Father Roque Gonzalez played an important part. These remarkable institutions were settlements of Christian Indians run by the Jesuit missionaries, who looked on themselves, not like so many other Spaniards did as the conquerors and “ bosses “ of the Indians, but as the guardians and trustees of their welfare. To the Jesuits the Indians were not a subject or “lower” people, but simple untutored children of God; they had no contempt for their civilization and life, in so far as these were not at variance with the gospel of Christ the missionaries sought to make them Christian Indians and not imitation Spaniards.
   The Jesuits’ opposition to Spanish imperialism, to slavery by the colonists, and to methods of the Inquisition eventually brought about their own downfall in Spanish America and the dissolution of the reductions, over a century after Father Roque’s death.
   Even the scoffing Voltaire had been impressed, and he wrote that, “When the Paraguayan missions left the hands of the Jesuits in 1768 they had arrived at what is perhaps the highest degree of civilization to which it is possible to lead a young people…In those missions law was respected, morals were pure, a happy brotherliness bound men together, the useful arts and even some of the more graceful sciences flourished, and there was abundance everywhere.”

It was to bring about such a happy state of things that Father Roque laboured for nearly twenty years, grappling patiently and without discouragement with hardships, dangers and reverses of all kinds, with intractable and fierce tribes and with the open opposition of the European colonists. He threw himself heart and in the periodical Alemannia for 1881 and 1882, from a scarce early edition which had appeared in 1624. Another life is that of Nidermayer, Die selige gute Betha ton Reute (1766). See also Lechner, Leben 4cr set. Elisabetha Bona ton Reuthe (1854); and A. Baier, Die sel. gute Betha von Reute (1920).

     Roque Gonzalez y de Santa-Cruz was the son of noble Spanish parents, and he came into this world at Asuncion, the capitol of Paraguay, in 1576. He was an unusually good and religious boy, and everybody took it for granted that young Roque would become a priest. He was in fact ordained, when he was twenty-three: but unwillingly, for he felt very strongly that he was unworthy of the priesthood. At once he began to take an interest in the Indians of Paraguay, seeking them out in remote places to preach to and instruct them in Christianity; and after ten years, to avoid ecclesiastical promotion and to get more opportunity for missionary work, he joined the Society of Jesus.
   These were the days of the beginnings of the famous "reductions" of Paraguay, in the formation of which Father Roque Gonzalez played an important part. These remarkable institutions were settlements of Christian Indians run by the Jesuit missionaries, who looked on themselves, not like so many other Spaniards did as the conquerors and "bosses" of the Indians, but as the guardians and trustees of their welfare.
It was to bring about such a happy state of things that Father Roque labored for nearly twenty years, grappling patiently and without discouragement with hardships, dangers and reverses of all kinds, with intractable and fierce tribes and with the opposition of the European colonists. He threw himself heart and soul into the work. For three years he was in charge of the Reduction of St. Ignatius, the first of them, and then spent the rest of his life establishing others reductions, half a dozen in all, east of the Parana and Uruguay rivers; he was the first European known to have penetrated into some districts of South America.
     In 1628, Father Roque was joined by two young Spanish Jesuits, Alonso (Alphonsus) Rodriguez and Juan (John)de Castillo, and together they founded a new reduction near the Ijuhi river, dedicated in honor of Our Lady's Assumption. Father Castillo was left in charge there, while the other two pushed on to Caaró (in the southern tip of what is now Brazil), where they established the All Saints' Reduction.   Here they were faced with the hostility of a powerful "medicine man", and at his instigation the Mission was soon attacked. Father Roque was getting ready to hang a small church bell when the raiding party arrived; one man stole up from behind and killed him with blows on the head from a tomahawk. Father Rodriguez heard the noise and, coming to the door of his hut to see what it was about, met the bloodstained savages who knocked him down. "What are you doing, my sons?" he exclaimed. But he was silenced by further blows. The wooden chapel was set on fire and the two bodies thrown into the flames. It was November 15, 1628. Two days later the Mission at Ijuhi was attacked; Father Castillo was seized and bound, barbarously beaten, and stoned to death.
    The first steps toward the beatification of these missionaries were taken within six months of their martyrdom, by the writing down of evidence about what had happened. But these precious documents were lost. Then copies of the originals turned up in the Argentine, and in 1934, Rogue Gonzalez, Alonso Rodrigues and Juan de Castillo were solemnly declared Blessed. They were canonized in 1988 by Pope John Paul II. Their feast day is November 17th.
Nearly all the available evidence has been brought together in the book of Fr J. M. Blanco, Historia documentada de la Vida y gloriosa Muerte de los PP. Roque Gonzalez…(1929). See also Fr H. Thurston’s article in The Catholic Historical Review, vol. xx (Balti­more, 1935), pp. 371—383. R. B. Cunninghame Graham wrote a very readable account of the Reductions of Paraguay, A Vanished Arcadia (1924). 

ROCCO GONZALEZ   Also known as  Roch Gonzalez; Roque Gonzalez; Martyr of Paraguay 
Profile
  Paraguayan noble. One of the architects of the Jesuit Reductions in Paraguay. Realizing the damage of the slave trade, the Jesuits gathered the indigenous Indians and went inland. In Paraguay, beginning in 1609, they built settlements, taught agriculture, architecture, construction, metallurgy, farming, ranching and printing. This Utopia was suddenly destroyed by the avarice of the slave traders who were able to influence the Spanish crown.

By the time the Jesuits were expelled in 1767 they had 57 settlements with over 100-thousand natives.
    Roch served as doctor, engineer, architect, farmer and pastor, supervised the construction of churches, schools and homes, and introduced care for cattle and sheep to the natives. To convert the natives to Christianity he adapted his tactics to their love of ornament, dancing, and noise. On the great feasts of the Church Roch gathered natives outside their small, straw-thatched church. He celebrated Mass with all solemnity, and for the rest of the day the Indians were treated to extraordinary entertainment. Decorated with gay tapestries, colored silks, and long, graceful feathers, there were games, bonfires, and religious dances, the shrill music of flutes, and ear-splitting fireworks.
     Fierce savages, softened by Roch's gentle kindness, laid aside their hatred for religion and eagerly embraced the faith; vengeful natives heard him speak of peace, stifled their desire for revenge and made friends with former enemies; timid women found refuge in the courage with which Roch faced every threat and every danger; Indians, dying in horrible agony, were calmed by Roch's words as he prepared them for the end. In Roch they found a stanch protector of their freedom.
     Greedy Spaniards, with an eye to easy money, lured the natives away from the Reduction, betrayed them, and sold them into slavery; but they ran into a stone wall in Roch. He pleaded the Indian cause so forcefully with the Spanish Government that the Reduction of Saint Ignatius was finally left in peace.
    Because of his success in Christianizing the natives, a local witch-doctor who was losing his power base, martyred Roch with his two Jesuit companions one day just as they finished celebrating Mass. 
Born  1576 at Paraguay  Died  martyred 1628 at Caaro, Brazil  Beatified  1934  Canonized  1988 by Pope John Paul II .
1852 BD PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE, VIRGIN
UNDER May 25 herein there is printed an account of St Madeleine Sophie Barat and the foundation of the Society of the Sacred Heart. In the course of it there are references to a certain Mother Duchesne, who introduced the newly established congregation to North America; and this Mother Duchesne was beatified in 1940.
   She was born in 1769, at Grenoble in Dauphiny, her father being the head of a prosperous mercantile family. At her christening she was given the names Rose Philippine, of which the first was a veritable augury, for St Rose of Lima, on the eve of whose feast she was born, was the first canonized saint of the New World. There was nothing especially remarkable about her childhood she had a strong and rather imperious nature (characteristic of her father’s family), she was of a serious disposition, and she early showed interest in history. At the age of eight a Jesuit who had worked in Louisiana and told the Duchesnes stories about the Indians kindled her first enthusiasm for missionary life and the American land. Philippine went to school with the Visitation nuns of Sainte-Marie-d’En-haut and also was taught by a tutor with her cousins the Périers, and she became uncommonly well-educated. Then when she was seventeen, and her parents were looking around for a husband for her, she announced her intention of being a nun; and after some opposition she was allowed to join the community with which she had been at school. Eighteen months later, however, her father forbade her profession—and for a sound reason he did not like the outlook for the future in France. And sure enough, in 1791, the Visitandines of Grenoble were expelled, and Philippine returned to her family, who were now living in the country.

Throughout the years of revolution Philippine did her best to live in a way in all respects befitting a religious. She looked after her family; she tended the sick and confessors of the faith and others in prison, and above all was concerned for the education of children. And then, when the Holy See concluded its concordat with Napoleon in 1801, she was enabled to acquire the buildings of her old convent of Sainte-Marie-d’En-haut. Philippine had always hoped to be instrumental in re-establishing the Visitandine community of which she had been a member, but now she found the undertaking even more difficult than she had expected indeed, it proved to be impossible. On a day in August, 1802—it was in fact the 21st, the feast day of the foundress of the Visitation nuns, St Jane Frances de Chantal— it was decided to abandon the venture ; and a few days later Philippine and another sister were left alone in the convent. Unkind outsiders were not slow to say that it was another example of the “ stiffness “ of the Duchesne character, that Sister Philippine made things difficult in community life. Philippine decided to offer Sainte-Marie-d’En-haut to Mother Barat, who not long before had begun the first house of the Society of the Sacred Heart, at Amiens. The proposal was agreed, and on December 31, 1804, Philippine and four others were admitted as postulants at Sainte-Marie. Thus were brought together, as novice-mistress and as novice, these two souls, “ one of marble, the other of bronze ‘‘, St Madeleine Sophie Barat and Bd Philippine Duchesne. Less than a year later the novice was professed. The months of preparation had seen a growing-together of foundress and aspirant, a better understanding of discipline on the part of the young nun who had been so much “on her own”-perhaps her hardest struggle was to give up personal mortifications and penances at the word of her mother in religion.

Early in 1806 Sainte-Marie-d’En-haut was visited by the abbot of La Trappe, Dom Augustine de Lestrange, who three years before had sent the first Cistercian monks to North America; and this visit served to inflame Bd Philippine’s desire to be a missionary in that land. Nowadays we do not think of the United States as mission territory; but a hundred and forty years ago{1960} far the greater part of that huge country was still unsettled by Europeans, or indeed by anybody; the frontier was only gradually moving west, and the Indians were still a notable proportion of the population. But though Mother Barat approved in principle, it was still to be another twelve years before Mother Duchesne achieved her ambition, years during which the instrument was to be prepared and tempered, both spiritually and in the handling of affairs. At last the appointed time came. Mgr Dubourg, Bishop of Louisiana, called on Mother Barat and asked her to let him have some of her religious as soon as they could be spared from France. She promised to do so, but would perhaps have put the enterprise off indefinitely had it not been for the direct and impetuous intervention of Mother Duchesne. And so, in March 1818, five religious of the Sacred Heart left Bordeaux for the New World.  Mother Duchesne, to her great regret, had been appointed their superioress.

After a trying voyage (“Seasickness is really evil”, wrote Bd Philippine, “It affects the head as well as the stomach, and makes one useless for anything”) the little party landed at New Orleans on May 29, the feast of the Sacred Heart. They went up the Mississippi to Saint Louis, then a town of about 6,ooo inhabitants, in what is now Missouri. Here Mgr Dubourg, who found them a house for their first establishment at Saint Charles, welcomed them: it was a small log cabin. And here, among the children of the poor, was started the first free school west of the Mississippi. The white population was in majority Catholic, and composed of French, Creole, English and others, many of them bi-lingual; the nuns had been studying English ever since they were assigned to America, but Bd Philippine never really mastered the language. Two passing remarks of hers throw light on the sort of people they had to work among: “Some of our pupils have more gowns than chemises or, above all, pocket-handkerchiefs”, and “At Portage-des-Sioux the walls [of the church] were adorned with representations of Bacchus and Venus... put up out of sheer ignorance”. As for the Indians, “We used to entertain the pleasing thought of teaching docile and innocent savages, but the women are idle and given to drink as much as the men”. After a hard winter the bishop decided to move the community to Florissant, nearer Saint Louis. A three-storied brick building was provided, and into this the nuns moved on the two days before Christmas, 1819;

St. Ferdinand's Convent, built in 1819 under the supervision of Mother Duchesne. This convent became the first Mother House of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart outside of France; the site of the first Catholic school for Indian girls in the United States; the first free school for girls west of the Mississippi; and the first novitiate for women in the upper Louisiana Purchase Territory.

Mother Duchesne wrote a vivid account of the bitterly cold rigors of the move, complicated by a cow that ran away. The more commodious residence raised the possibility of starting a novitiate, about which Mgr Dubourg was not too sanguine in view of the independent American character. But the ground was broken when a postulant presented herself to be a lay-sister, and the first American to receive the habit of the Society of the Sacred Heart was clothed on November 22, 1820 her name was Mary Layton.

Old St. Ferdinand's Church,the oldest Catholic church building between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. St. Ferdinand's served as the focal point of the Catholic Indian Mission movement, begun by Father De la Croix in 1820. Father DeSmet was ordained at St. Ferdinand's in 1827.

   The opening of the novitiate and the progress of the school were more encouraging signs for the future, and Bd Philippine herself was getting to understand better the strange people of a strange land. It must be remembered that she was in her fiftieth year when she crossed the Atlantic—and she was very much of a Frenchwoman. The Americans baffled her both in their faults and their virtues, and it has been well said, “she probably never attained, in its perfection, ‘tact in dealing with those whose customs are not European'”. In any case she underwent some of that ‘‘mellowing” that increasing age so often brings, but without losing the old enthusiasm she could write to Mother Barat in 1821, “I thought I had reached the height of my ambition—but I am burning with desire to go to Peru. However, I am more reasonable than I was in France when I used to pester you with my vain aspirations.’’ In the same year the second house was opened, at Grand Coteau, about one hundred and fifty miles from New Orleans. Mother Duchesne’s visit to this new foundation involved probably the worst journey she ever undertook it took four weeks out and nine weeks in, and the return trip was partly made on a boat on which yellow fever broke out—a horrible experience of the neglected sick and of the callous fear of the rest. She devoted herself to the care of one stricken man, whom she baptized before he died; and it nearly cost her own life, for she too sickened and had to be put ashore at Natchez, where she could find no shelter but the bed of a woman who had herself just died of the fever.
   Back at Florissant, Bd Philippine found it was a case of one grim trial after another. Temporal difficulties and the jealousy and slanders of outsiders were ruining the school—“They say everything about us, except that we poison the children”, she wrote to Mother Barat. At length there were only five pupils left but when things were looking their worst improvement came through help from a new quarter. The difficulties had been partly caused by the withdrawal of Mgr Dubourg to Lower Louisiana but in 1823 he was able to arrange for the establishment at Florissant of the novitiate of the Jesuits in Maryland. It is difficult to tell whether in the ensuing period the Society of the Sacred Heart owed more to the Society of Jesus or the fathers to the nuns. In 1826 and the following year two more houses were opened, St Michael’s near New Orleans and in Saint Louis itself; and the house at Saint Charles was refounded in 1828. With Bayou-la-Fourche there were now six houses of the society in the valley of the Mississippi. The next ten years continued to be full of trials and hardships, disappointment and ill-health, borne by Bd Philippine with trust in God but with ever-mounting fatigue. However, it was not till 1840 that her wish to resign her responsible office was granted, and then not by St Madeleine Sophie. The assistant general of the Society of the Sacred Heart came on a visitation of the American houses. She was Mother Elizabeth Galitsin, a woman of strong and imperious character, not unlike Mother Duchesne in her earlier years, and she caused a certain amount of upheaval among the nuns in America. Bd Philippine did not resist the autocratic methods of the visitor (who was twenty-eight years younger than herself); but she was made to fear that perhaps she had failed in the trust assigned to her, and she asked to be allowed to resign. Mother Galitsin agreed without demur, and Mother Duchesne returned to the Saint Louis house as a simple religious.
    And now, when she was seventy-one years old, she was able to turn her attention to those people for whose sake she had originally wanted to come to America—the Indians. The famous Jesuit Father De Smet had asked Mother Galitsin to send nuns to set up a school in the mission among the Potawatomi at Sugar Creek in Kansas. Four religious were nominated to go, including Mother Duchesne “if able to travel”. She was able to travel. But she was with her beloved Indians for only about twelve months she could not master their language, the hardships of the life were too much for her failing strength. Her heart spoke of Indians among the Rocky Mountains to be converted to Christ; but her superiors spoke of the need for her to come away. “God knows the reason for this recall,” she said, “and that is enough.”

Bd Philippine’s last years were spent at Saint Charles, but the tide of her life went out on no gentle ebb. The fortunes of the Society of the Sacred Heart in America did not rise in one unwavering curve of progress; houses that Mother Duchesne had founded and nursed were threatened with dissolution; and for nearly two years correspondence between herself and her deeply loved Mother Barat was not delivered—a mystery never properly cleared up. So, during a prolonged old age of suffering and prayer, Mother Duchesne completed her life of apostleship and self-sacrifice. She died on November 18, 1852. She was eighty-three years old. It was said of her by a contemporary “She was the St Francis of Assisi of the Society. Everything in and about her was stamped with the seal of a crucified life. She would have liked to disappear from the sight of men, and it may indeed be said that no one occupied less space in the world than Madame Duchesne. Her room was a miserable hole with a single window, in which paper supplied the place of some of the panes; her bed was a mattress two inches thick, laid on the ground by night and put away in the day in a cupboard; her only covering at night was an old piece of black stuff with a cross like a pall.” While she lay dead a daguerreotype was taken of Philippine Duchesne, “in case” as was said, “she may one day be canonized”. Less than a century later that day is within sight. This missionary of the American frontier was beatified in 1940, and her feast is kept on November 17.

Duchesne_shrine_behind_old_convent

On the death of Mother Duchesne, Father De Smet wrote, “You should publish a beautiful biography... No greater saint ever died in Missouri, or perhaps in the whole Union.” This was first most adequately done by Mgr Baunard, whose Life of Mother Duchesne was translated into English in 1879. Then in 1926 appeared Mother Philippine Duchesne by Marjory Erskine. This is a full-length work that depends of necessity largely on Baunard, but corrected in certain points and with fresh matter added. See also The Society of the Sacred Heart in North America, by Louise Callan (1937), and Redskin Trail, by M. K. Richardson (1952). {Cannonized July, 3 1988}
Testimony of Fr. De Smet
One of those who listened to Fr. De Smet speak of Mother Duchesne in 1847 made these notes of what he said:
“He said she had climbed all the rungs of the ladder of sanctity, and never had he seen a soul more ardent in love for Our Lord. In his opinion, she rivaled St. Teresa. Never had he known a person who was poorer in all that concerned her private life, and in this she imitated St. Francis of Assisi. Nor a more apostolic soul, eager for the salvation of souls, and he thought St. Francis Xavier had shared with her his zeal for the conversion of the infidels. Ending his talk he said: Now she is on the sorrowful way of Calvary to which old age and infirmities have condemned her, but no matter how hard that road may seem to her, she is climbing it with all the fervor of youth. She has struck deep roots in American soil and they will one day bear an abundant harvest. I should not be surprised if some day she were raised to our altars.” (Callan, Philippine Duchesne, pp. 462-3.) {Cannonized July, 3 1988}



This portrait of Mother Duchesne was reportedly done by an Ursuline nun in New Orleans and said to most closely resemble what she really looked like.

Duchesne Utah.
The name Duchesne was utilized for the new community. The name Duchesne is taken from the name of the river that runs through town and was likely named by fur trappers in the 1820s in honor of Mother Treasa Duchesne founder of the School of the Sacred Heart near St. Louis, Missouri.
The community of Duchesne is located just above the junction of the Strawberry and Duchesne rivers in the Uintah Basin of northeastern Utah. It was first identified as a potential town site by Father Escalante when the Dominguez-Escalante expedition camped near the present-day town 18 September 1776 while on their epic journey. Duchesne is strategically located not only due to its location at the junction of the rivers but it is also at the mouth of Indian Canyon, the major route into the Basin through the Tavaputs Plateau from Price.
The town came into being in 1905 when the United States government opened the region to homesteading under the Allotment Act. The land that forms all of Duchesne County and western Uintah County had formerly belonged to the Ute Indians as part of their reservation. A.M. Murdock, an Indian trader at Whiterocks, obtained permission from the government to set up a trading post at the site that became Duchesne City. With the assistance of several other men, he set up a large circus tent for a general store and trading post. Government surveyors laid out the streets and the survey was accepted by the government on 18 October 1905. Other settlers soon pitched their tents and built pioneer dwellings that were replaced over the next months and years with more modern buildings for homes and businesses.

The town was originally called Dora, after Murdock's baby daughter. This name was replaced for a short time by the name Theodore, in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. But when town to the east adopted the name of Roosevelt, it was thought that two towns in the same county named for the same president would be too confusing for mail delivery. The name Duchesne was utilized for the new community.

St. Philippine Duchesne:  Failures Became Her Success
Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.

Rose Philippine Duchesne was born into a prosperous and prominent lawyer in Grenoble, France in 1769. Her family was Catholic, her mother pious, but the men in the family were ambitious and liberal in their politics. Her father had become an enthusiastic supporter of the new ideas of liberty that were spreading all over France among the old aristocracy and high bourgeoisie in the last decade of the Ancien Regime. His activities in the revolutionary clubs and Masonic groups that promoted Voltairian ideas would cause great grief for Philippine and her mother. (1)

Philippine Duchesne, 1769-1852
The Duchesne blood came to the fore early in Philippine – revealing itself in strong doses of willfulness, stubbornness and independence. This served, however, to help her resist the marriage proposals her parents arranged for her, and remain faithful to the religious vocation she knew God had given to her since the “call,” as she termed it, at age 8 on her First Communion day.
1. What happened to Philippine’s father? In 1814, he died with Philippine and her sister at his side, after receiving Confession and Extreme Unction. His conversion was a triumph of the daughter’s faith, trust and prayer, made powerful by the complete sacrifice of self. Louis Callan, RSCJ, Philippine Duchesne, Frontier Missionary of the Sacred Heart (Newman Press: 1966), pp. 128-9.
We can catch a glimpse of her strong will and determination in the story of her entrance at age 18 into the Visitation Convent of St. Marie d’en Haut nearby her home. One morning she left home in the company of an aunt to visit the convent. Once there, she simply announced her intention to stay, and set her distraught aunt home alone to face her enraged father.  He rushed to the convent to confront his daughter and take her home, but left resigned to the decision of Philippine, so like him in temperament. She did, however, acquiesce to her father’s wishes that she not take her final vows until she was 25 because of the political upheaval in France.  Nor was it long before her father’s well-founded fears came to realization. In 1792, while Philippine was still a postulant, the nuns were dispersed by order of the Government. During the Reign of Terror, St. Marie Convent was used as prison for those who opposed the Revolution in the area.

Instead of returning to her family villa as expected, Philippine took a flat in Grenoble with another woman and organized the Ladies of Mercy. These ladies risked their lives to bring material and spiritual help to those imprisoned at St. Marie or to assist the priests living as fugitives. To her worried family members, she always gave the same answer: “Let me be. It is my happiness and glory to serve my Divine Savior in the person of those persecuted for His Sake.”

In 1801, after Napoleon Bonaparte had overthrown the revolutionary Directory, Philippine used her own funds to purchase the badly damaged Convent of St. Marie d’en Haut from the State. Several nuns joined her there, but soon left, complaining that the work was too difficult and Philippine too exacting in demanding compliance to the old Rule. It was the first of many failures for Philippine Duchesne, but she remained on the former Visitation grounds, convinced that God had a plan for her and her beloved Convent.

Three years later, History records the providential and touching meeting of Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat, founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart, and Philippine Duchesne. As Mother Barat, only 25-years-old, entered the Convent of St. Marie on December 13, 1804, she was met by Philippine, who fell to the ground, kissed her feet, and repeated the psalmist’s words: “How lovely on the mountain are the feet of those who bring the Gospel of peace.”
“I let her do it through pure stupefaction,” Mother Barat said as she told of that first meeting. “I was utterly dumbfounded at the sight of such faith and humility, and I did not know what to say or do.”
At age 35, Philippine Duchesne signed over her Convent to the Society and became a postulant in a new community. One year later her first vows were taken, and she finally pledged herself to poverty, chastity, and obedience.

The next years were busy ones for the fledgling community. Mother Barat quickly recognized the organizational qualities in the great and generous soul of Mother Duchesne, who became secretary general of the Order and was given charge of the new motherhouse in Paris. Had she remained in France, she would have enjoyed the honor of her community, the consolation of her close friendship with Mother Barat, and the company and support of her distinguished and prosperous family.

Instead, what took root in her heart was a great desire to bring the Gospel to the forsaken “savages” of America. After hearing a sermon from a traveling missionary in 1805, Mother Duchesne felt irresistibly drawn to the foreign missions. For twelve years, with holy impatience, she pleaded to go, offering all her works, prayers and sacrifices for the sake of her “dark souls” in America.

In January of 1817, Bishop Louis Dubourg of St. Louis, Mo. came to France to beg for sisters to be spared for the American missions. Mother Barat had neither spare funds nor sisters for the enterprise. But the indomitable Philippine intervened, for a second time throwing herself at the feet of her Superior, begging consent to go. There was a poignant moment of silence – and permission was granted.  At last, in March of 1818, Mother Philippine Duchesne, age 49, was placed as superior over a band of four other missionary sisters who set sail for the New World on the vessel Rebecca.

Failure, not success in America
The sisters arrived in New Orleans with no instructions from Bishop Dubourg. Mother Duchesne soon came to the sore realization that they had been called to America not to work with the Indians, but to educate the daughters of merchants and farmers. Months later, when the sisters finally arrived in St. Louis (MO) they were asked to establish themselves in St. Charles, 14 miles from St. Louis on the Mississippi River, which Mother Duchesne described as “the remotest village in the United States.” In a one-room shanty on a two-acre plot without a tree or blade of grass, they established the first Convent west of the Mississippi and the first free school for girls in the United States.

In her famous letter describing that first brutal winter, she reported how water froze in the pails on the way from the creek to the cabin, how food froze to the table, and how the sisters often had no fire for lack of tools to cut wood. (2) By the spring of 1819, the house in St. Charles was considered impracticable, and a new foundation with a convent, novitiate and boarding school was begun at Florissant, north of St. Louis, Mo.
2. The large correspondence of Mother Philippine Duchesne with Mother Barat, other religious, family members and friends, as well as pertinent material from the archives of the Society of the Sacred Heart, was organized in a biography by Louis Callan, R.S.C.J., published by Newman Press in 1957. The quotes and information in this article was taken from an abridged version of that biography titled Philippine Duchesne: Frontier Missionary of the Sacred Heart 1769-1852, published in 1965.
While the hardships of life might have resulted in a breakdown of discipline, Mother Duchesne insisted that the Rule and customs of the new convent be faithfully followed. When Bishop DuBourg requested certain relaxations to accommodate the more easygoing American spirit, Mother Duchesne firmly refused.

During the next years the congregation made a slow but steady progress. As American born girls joined the growing band of sisters, Mother Duchesne opened four convents and two schools in west central Louisiana. Supported by the prosperous French-speaking plantation owners, these schools saw a success that Mother Duchesne would never personally experience in her own impoverished foundations in Missouri. Finally an orphanage, academy and free school were begun in the original destination, St. Louis, Mo., and in 1828, the Sisters returned to St. Charles to cheers and applause of the townspeople. Mainly because of her perseverance and organization skills, twelve Sacred Heart schools had opened in the New World by 1850.

But Mother Duchesne felt herself a failure: she met no success with the few Indian free schools for girls she tried to establish. Because she could not learn English, she could not teach the American girls or interact with their parents. “Americans only admire those who have good looks and speak their language,” she would explain, and then tell how she was lacking in both regards. The gracious charms and formal manners of the French Old Regime, which she never changed, left her out of touch with the more egalitarian and relaxed American way of life. She brought this European formality and ceremony to the lives of the young ladies she influenced, a culture and refinement that would be a signal mark of the alumni of the Sacred Heart up until the 1960s, when the schools suffered the effects of the Cultural Revolution that entered the religious orders and Church with Vatican II.

For 22 years, Mother Duchesne was forced to bear the heavy yoke of directing those who seemed to not want her directorship. Some Sisters also resented her formal ways and insistence on Rule, although all admired her spirit of prayer and sacrifice. At council meetings, she found it difficult to make her opinion prevail, since the common issue of her enterprises was failure, while the New Orleans foundations always met with success.

When Mother Barat once suggested that she move to New Orleans, she replied in a letter: “I carry in my heart a great fear of spoiling things wherever I shall be, and this because of the words I think I heard in the depths of my soul: You are destined to please Me, not so much by success as by bearing failure.”

In 1834, at age 65, Mother Duchesne retired to Florissant, the “poorest and humblest house of the congregation.” Still burdened with the administrative functions of governing the growing congregation in the United States, she nonetheless considered herself of no practical use.

Finally, in 1840, she was permitted to resign as Superior of the American Mission. Her life became more and more the hidden work of prayer, suffering and providing whatever small service she could perform for her community and the Jesuit missionary priests who were carrying out the work of converting her beloved Indians. “All desire but that of doing God’s holy will has been extinguished in me,” she wrote to Mother Barat.

Finally, the Mission to the Indians
As soon as the Belgium missionary Jesuits arrived in Florissant, MO, in 1823, Mother Duchesne became their enthusiastic supporter and friend. Even though her own foundations were always in dire need of money and goods, she found a way to provide small gifts of money, altar linens and clothing to aid the missionary work. In turn, the priests considered her a vital partner in their missionary ventures because of her constant prayer and many acts of mortification she offered for their work.

A special friendship that lasted until her death formed with the young postulant Fr. Peter John De Smet, the future great missionary to the Indians of the Rockies. He made it a top priority to pay his respects to “good Mother Duchesne” on every return from his Indian missionary visits. “I never returned from one of these visits but with an increase of edification, with a higher opinion of her virtues and sanctified life and always under the full conviction that I had conversed with a truly living saint,” he wrote. “I always considered Mother Duchesne as the greatest protector of our Indian missions.”

In 1840, Fr. De Smet asked the Assistant General of the Society of the Sacred Heart for some nuns to open a school among the Potawatomis at Sugar Creek in present day Kansas. Although ill and weakened by a life of hardship, penances and privation, Mother Duchesne, age 72, requested permission to join the colony. A final time, Mother Barat acquiesced against all good sense to the indomitable Rose Philippine Duchesne.

In July 1841 the group arrived in Sugar Creek where they were warmly received by the Indians - who offered them gifts of human scalps. Having never mastered any Indian language, Mother Duchesne could not teach; her infirmities rendered her incapable of the hard mission work. Instead, she spent her time in prayer and small acts of charity. The Indians loved and respected the “Woman-who-prays-always,” the name they gave her. She spent fours hours in the morning and four in the afternoon motionless before the tabernacle, a spectacle that amazed the Indians and won their love and veneration.

One night when she was making an all night vigil, an Indian crept up and left some kernels of corn on the hem of her habit to see if she really remained in prayer motionless for those long hours. He returned the next morning and found the grain in the same place.

Her health continued to weaken under the hardships of life at Sugar Creek. Finally, after only one short year in the Indian mission, to her great disappointment, she was forced to return under obedience to Florissant, where she spent the last ten years of her life in poverty, mortifications, suffering and prayer.

“I feel that I am a worn-out instrument, a useless walking stick that is fit only to be hidden in a dark corner,” she wrote about these times. For her sleeping room in the Florissant Convent, she chose a narrow closet beneath a staircase. Visitors today to the Convent can still see that narrow sleeping place, a testimony to the humility and mortification of a great woman who held herself as nothing in eyes of the world.

In fact, Mother Duchesne was much more highly esteemed and venerated than she imagined. She was almost transfigured by Holy Communion. A wonderful light was seen to shine from her countenance after she had received, as if a flame were reflected on her face. The children used to wait to reverently watch her come out of the chapel after her thanksgiving.

“The clergy and laity, in fact, everyone who knew her, esteemed Rev. Mother Duchesne as a saint,” testified Mother Anne Shannon, a former student at Florissant.” She was gifted with an admirable spirit of prayer and often spent whole nights on her knees before the Blessed Sacrament, without any support whatsoever.”

The closet room under the stairway in the Florissant convent that Mother Duchesne used for her sleeping room the lat 10 years of her life
 
“Never did I leave her without the feeling that I had been conversing with a saint,” Fr. De Smet, SJ, repeated in a letter of October 9, 1872.

On November 18, 1852, the heroic life of Philippine Duchesne came to an end. She had kept the fast and early that morning, made her confession, received Communion and received Extreme Unction. She was sinking rapidly, but when she heard the invocation, “Jesus, Mary, Joseph,” she was able to answer, “I give you my heart, my soul, and my life – oh, yes, my life, generously.” These were her last words.

When Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne died at age 83 in St. Charles, Mo., Fr. De Smet wrote her religious Sisters: “No greater saint ever died in Missouri or perhaps in the whole Union.” He urged them to write a biography, but it was not done. The apostle of the Sacred Heart who came to America to work and save the souls of Indians was put aside in death, just as she was in life. Forty-three years after her death in 1852, Philippine‘s cause was officially opened at the Vatican and Pope Pius X declared her “Venerable.” On May 12, 1940, she was beatified by Pope Pius XII, and canonized 44 years later on July 3, 1988.

A lesson for Americans
What is the message for us, Americans, that Divine Providence provided by the example of the heroic life of Mother Philippine Duchesne? In my opinion, her life represented the opposite of the American way of life and points to the direction we should follow to redress our faults.

Her life was, as she defined it, a sequence of failures. The first order she entered closed; she did not feel realized in the second institution until she came to America to convert the Indians. Then, instead of carrying out this long-desired mission, she was ordered to teach girls and found convents. The work was more difficult because she never learned to speak English. She founded one convent that failed, then another that foundered. The girls there were ungrateful and worldly, and the Sisters chaffed under her governance and wanted to relax the Rule.

When she finally was permitted to go to work in an Indian mission, she was already 72-years-old, too old to work or learn the native language. But after only one year, she was denied even that great consolation - she was ordered to leave the Indian mission and return to Florissant. She died there, without having accomplished what she felt called to do.

This constant failures of her planned enterprises and a success only on the spiritual level is, in my opinion, a lesson for Americans. Often we only value the immediate success, the practical way of doing things, and a good appearance in the results.

The life of Mother Duchesne is a call for us to abandon this way of being that idolizes appearances and success. It is a call to follow the will of God when we experience incomprehension, darkness, and failure. If we will turn our eyes to the path of the Cross of Our Lord and walk on it with courage and confidence, we will transform our mentality, our country, and our people into an elect nation called to help build the Reign of Mary.

1852 BD PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE, VIRGIN
UNDER May 25 herein there is printed an account of St Madeleine Sophie Barat and the foundation of the Society of the Sacred Heart. In the course of it there are references to a certain Mother Duchesne, who introduced the newly established congregation to North America; and this Mother Duchesne was beatified in 1940. She was born in 1769, at Grenoble in Dauphiny, her father being the head of a prosperous mercantile family. At her christening she was given the names Rose Philippine, of which the first was a veritable augury, for St Rose of Lima, on the eve of whose feast she was born, was the first canonized saint of the New World. There was nothing especially remarkable about her childhood: she had a strong and rather imperious nature (characteristic of her father’s family), she was of a serious disposition, and she early showed interest in history.
   At the age of eight a Jesuit who had worked in Louisiana and told the Duchesnes stories about the Indians kindled her first enthusiasm for missionary life and the American land. Philippine went to school with the Visitation nuns of Sainte-Marie-d’En-haut; and also was taught by a tutor with her cousins the Périers, and she became uncommonly well educated. Then when she was seventeen, and her parents were looking around for a husband for her, she announced her intention of being a nun; after some opposition she was allowed to join the community with which she had been at school. Eighteen months later, however, her father forbade her profession—and for a sound reason: he did not like the outlook for the future in France. And sure enough, in 1791, the Visitandines of Grenoble were expelled, and Philippine returned to her family, who were now living in the country.

Throughout the years of revolution Philippine did her best to live in a way in all respects befitting a religious. She looked after her family; she tended the sick and confessors of the faith and others in prison, and above all was concerned for the education of children. And then, when the Holy See concluded its concordat with Napoleon in 1801, she was enabled to acquire the buildings of her old convent of Sainte-Marie-d’En-haut.
  Philippine had always hoped to be instrumental in re-establishing the Visitandine community of which she had been a member, but now she found the undertaking even more difficult than she expected: indeed, it proved to be impossible. On a day in August 1802—it is-as in fact the 21st, the feast day of the foundress of the Visitation nuns, St Jane Frances de Chantal— it was decided to abandon the venture; and a few days later Philippine and another sister were left alone in the convent. Unkind outsiders were not slow to say that it was another example of the “stiffness” of the Duchesne character, that Sister Philippine made things difficult in community life.
   Philippine decided to offer Sainte-Marie-d’En-haut to Mother Barat, who not long before had begun the first house of the Society of the Sacred Heart, at Amiens. The proposal was agreed, and on December 31, 1804, Philippine and four others were admitted as postulants at Sainte-Marie, Thus were brought together, as novice-mistress and as novice, these two souls, “one of marble, the other of bronze”, St Madeleine Sophie Barat and Bd Philippine Duchesne. Less than a year later the novice was professed. The months of preparation had seen a growing-together of foundress and aspirant, a better understanding of discipline on the part of the young nun who had been so much “on her own”—perhaps her hardest struggle was to give up personal mortifications and penances at the word of her mother in religion.

   Early in 1806 Sainte-Marie-d’En-haut was visited by the abbot of La Trappe, Dom Augustine de Lestrange, who three years before had sent the first Cistercian monks to North America. This visit served to inflame Bd Philippine’s desire to be a missionary in that land. Nowadays we do not think of the United States as mission territory; but a hundred and forty years ago far the greater part of that huge country was still unsettled by Europeans, or indeed by anybody. The frontier was only gradually moving west, and the Indians were still a notable proportion of the population. Though Mother Barat approved in principle, it was still to be another twelve years before Mother Duchesne achieved her ambition, years during which the instrument was to be prepared and tempered, both spiritually and in the handling of affairs.

   At last the appointed time came. Mgr Dubourg, Bishop of Louisiana, called on Mother Barat and asked her to let him have some of her religious as soon as they could be spared from France. She promised to do so, but would perhaps have put the enterprise off indefinitely had it not been for the direct and impetuous intervention of Mother Duchesne. so, in March 1818, five religious of the Sacred Heart left Bordeaux for the New World. Mother Duchesne, to her great regret, had been appointed their superioress.

   After a trying voyage (“Seasickness is really evil”, wrote Bd Philippine, “It affects the head as well as the stomach, and makes one useless for anything.”)  The little party landed at New Orleans on May 29, the feast of the Sacred Heart. They went up the Mississippi to Saint Louis, then a town of about 6,000 inhabitants, in what is now Missouri. Here Mgr Dubourg, who found them a house for their first establishment at Saint Charles, welcomed them. It was a small log cabin.

   Here, among the children of the poor, was started the first free school west of the Mississippi.

   The white population was in majority Catholic, and composed of French, Creole, English and others, many of them bi-lingual; the nuns had been studying English ever since they were assigned to America, but Bd Philippine never really mastered the language. Two passing remarks of hers throw light on the sort of people they had to work among: “Some of our pupils have more gowns than chemises or, above all, pocket-handkerchiefs”, and “At Portage-des-Sioux the walls [of the church] were adorned with representations of Bacchus and Venus…put up out of sheer ignorance”. As for the Indians, “We used to entertain the pleasing thought of teaching docile and innocent savages, but the women are idle and given to drink as much as the men”.

   After a hard winter the bishop decided to move the community to Florissant, nearer Saint Louis. A three-storied brick building was provided, and into this the nuns moved on the two days before Christmas, 1819; Mother Duchesne wrote a vivid account of the bitterly cold rigours of the move, complicated by a cow that ran away. The more commodious residence raised the possibility of starting a novitiate, about which Mgr Dubourg was not too sanguine in view of the inde­pendent American character. But the ground was broken when a postulant presented herself to be a lay-sister, and the first American to receive the habit of the Society of the Sacred Heart was clothed on November 22, 1820: her name was Mary Layton.

   Opening of the novitiate and the progress of the school were more en­couraging signs for the future, and Bd Philippine herself was getting to understand better the strange people of a strange land. It must be remembered that she was in her fiftieth year when she crossed the Atlantic—and she was very much of a Frenchwoman. The Americans baffled her both in their faults and their virtues, and it has been well said that “ she probably never attained, in its perfection, ‘tact in dealing with those whose customs are not European’”. In any case she underwent some of that mellowing” that increasing age so often brings, without losing the old enthusiasm: she could write to Mother Barat in 1821, “I thought I had reached the height of my ambition—but I am burning with desire to go to Peru. However, I am more reasonable than I was in France when I used to pester you with my vain aspirations.”

   In the same year the second house was opened, at Grand Côteau, about one hundred and fifty miles from New Orleans, Mother Duchesne’s visit to this new foundation involved probably the worst journey she ever undertook: it took four weeks out and nine weeks in, and the return trip was partly made on a boat on which yellow fever broke out—a horrible experience of the neglected sick and of the callous fear of the rest. She devoted herself to the care of one stricken man, whom she baptized before he died; and it nearly cost her own life, for she too sickened and had to be put ashore at Natchez, where she could find no shelter but the bed of a woman who had herself just died of the fever.

Back at Florissant, Bd Philippine found it was a case of one grim trial after another. Temporal difficulties and the jealousy and slanders of outsiders were ruining the school—“They say everything about us, except that we poison the children”, she wrote to Mother Barat. At length there were only five pupils left but when things were looking their worst improvement came through help from a new quarter. The difficulties had been partly caused by the withdrawal of Mgr Dubourg to Lower Louisiana. But in 1823 he was able to arrange for the establishment at Florissant of the novitiate of the Jesuits in Maryland. It is difficult to tell whether in the ensuing period the Society of the Sacred Heart owed more to the Society of Jesus or the fathers to the nuns.

   In 1826 and the following year two more houses were opened, St Michael’s near New Orleans and in Saint Louis itself; and the house at Saint Charles was refounded in 1828. With Bayou-la­Fourche there were now six houses of the society in the valley of the Mississippi. The next ten years continued to be full of trials and hardships, disappointment and ill health, borne by Bd Philippine with trust in God but with ever-mounting fatigue. However, it was not till 1840 that her wish to resign her responsible office was granted, and then not by St Madeleine Sophie. The assistant general of the Society of the Sacred Heart came on a visitation of the American houses. She was Mother Elizabeth Galitsin, a woman of strong and imperious character, not unlike Mother Duchesne in her earlier years, and she caused a certain amount of upheaval among the nuns in America.

   Bd Philippine did not resist the autocratic methods of the visitor (who was twenty-eight years younger than herself); but she was made to fear that perhaps she had failed in the trust assigned to her, and she asked to be allowed to resign. Mother Galitsin agreed without demur, and Mother Duchesne returned to the Saint Louis house as a simple religious.

   Now, when she was seventy-one years old, she was able to turn her attention to those people for whose sake she had originally wanted to come to America—the Indians. The famous Jesuit Father De Smet had asked Mother Galitsin to send nuns to set up a school in the mission among the Potawatomi at Sugar Creek in Kansas. Four religious were nominated to go, including Mother Duchesne “if able to travel”. She was able to travel. But she was with her beloved Indians for only about twelve months: she could not master their language, the hardships of the life were too much for her failing strength. Her heart spoke of Indians among the Rocky mountains to be converted to Christ; but her superiors spoke of the need for her to come away. “God knows the reason for this recall,” she said, “and that is enough.”

Bd Philippine’s last years were spent at Saint Charles, but the tide of her life went out on no gentle ebb. The fortunes of the Society of the Sacred Heart in America did not rise in one unwavering curve of progress. Houses that Mother Duchesne had founded and nursed were threatened with dissolution; and for nearly two years correspondence between herself and her deeply loved Mother Barat was not delivered—a mystery never properly cleared up. So, during a prolonged old age of suffering and prayer, Mother Duchesne completed her life of apostleship and self-sacrifice. She died on November 18, 1852. She was eighty-three years old. A contemporary said it of her:
“She was the St Francis of Assisi of the Society. Everything in and about her was stamped with the seal of a crucified life. She would have liked to disappear from the sight of men, and it may indeed be said that no one occupied less space in the world than Madame Duchesne. Her room was a miserable hole with a single window, in which paper supplied the place of some of the panes; her bed was a mattress two inches thick, laid on the ground by night and put away in the day in a cupboard; her only covering at night was an old piece of black stuff with a cross like a pall.”

While she lay dead a daguerreotype was taken of Philippine Duchesne, “in case as was said, “she may one day be canonized”. Less than a century later that day is within sight. This missionary of the American frontier was beatified in 1940, and her feast is kept on November 17.

On the death of Mother Duchesne, Father De Smet wrote, “You should publish a beautiful biography…No greater saint ever died in Missouri, or perhaps in the whole Union.” This was first most adequately done by Mgr Baunard, whose Life of Mother Duchesne was translated into English in 1879. Then in 1926 appeared Mother Philippine Duchesne by Marjory Erskine. This is a full-length work that depends of necessity largely on Baunard, but corrected in certain points and with fresh matter added. See also The Society of the Sacred Heart in North America, by Louise Callan (1937), and Redskin Trail, by M. K. Richardson (1952).


 Thursday  Saints of this Day November  17 Quintodécimo Kaléndas Decémbris  

November 2 Feast of All Souls:  PURGATORY - - CONFESSIONS FROM THE SAINTS
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
ewtnmissionaries.com

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

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

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

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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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THE EUCHARIST, A MYSTERY TO BE BELIEVED POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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

Called in the Gospel the Mother of Jesus, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as the Mother of my Lord (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son,  the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart ... From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to me, His unworthy slave, if I mistake not:
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment.
Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish the Holy Hour and to pray lying prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven till midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness.
He endured when abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony, and to receive holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the first great revelation, He made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Heart with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation.
He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the feast of the Sacred Heart; He called her the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart, and the heiress of all Its treasures. The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire which consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings. In her last illness she refused all alleviation, repeating frequently: What have I in heaven and what do I desire on earth, but Thee alone, O my God, and died pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus.
With regard to this promise it may be remarked: (1) that our Lord required Communion to be received on a particular day chosen by Him; (2) that the nine Fridays must be consecutive; (3) that they must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord; (4) that our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather He implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end; (5) that perseverance in receiving Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Firdays helps the faithful to acquire the habit of frequent Communion, which our Lord eagerly desires; and (6) that the practice of the nine Fridays is very pleasing to our Lord He promises such great reward, and all Catholics should endeavor to make nine Fridays.
How do I start the Five First Saturdays? by Fr. Tom O'Mahony.
On July 13,1917, Our Lady appeared for the third time to the three children of Fatima an showed them the vision of hell and made the now - famous thirteen prophecies. In this vision Our Lady said that 'GOD WISHES TO ESTABLISH IN THE WORLD