Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
 
 Saturday  Saints of this Day November  19 Tertiodécimo 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!)

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


November 19 – Ethiopian Church: Feast of Mary Seyom – Our Lady of Good News 
 
A woman of superhuman majesty --
Saint Gregory the Wonderworker
 One night when Saint Gregory the Wonderworker was pondering the doctrine of the faith, an old man appeared before him. Startled, Gregory stood up and asked: "Who are you and what do you want?" The stranger told him that he had been sent by God to enlighten his doubts and reveal the truth of faith to him.  Gregory hesitated, torn between joy and fear, until the apparition outstretched his hand as if pointing in the opposite direction. Gregory turned and saw a woman of superhuman majesty. Unable to stand the light that emanated from her, he lowered his eyes. Then he heard the two visitors discuss the question that had been preoccupying him.  From this conversation, Gregory gained a true knowledge of the faith, but was also able to identify his two heavenly visitors: he heard the woman pressing John the Evangelist to disclose to him the mystery of faith, and John answered that he was ready to do so, since this was the pleasure of the Mother of God.
When the Virgin Mary and Saint John had left, Gregory rushed off to write down the teaching from Heaven. This testimony is the oldest that has been documented and dates back to the third century.
 L’étoile – Issue # 12, 1966 Story told by Brother Albert Pfleger In Fioretti de la Vierge Marie, Ephèse Diffusion


November 19 - Feast of Saint Mary of Sion (Ethiopia)
   Follow Grace to the Very End
If there is any distance between the Virgin Mary and us, it is our own fault. We are the ones who make her distant and unreachable. That distance indicates our mediocrity and pettiness, the way we tend to compromise, and our fear to follow grace to the very end.  For it is easier to say: Mary is immaculate, she is the Mother of God, but she is different. I cannot imitate her. And yet, this is just a poor excuse that builds barriers and blocks out grace’s urgent call to follow in her footsteps. Tadeusz Dajczer A l’école de la Sainte Famille (At the School of the Holy Family), Ed F.-X. de Guibert.

 November 19 – Feast of Mary Seyom (Ethiopian Church)  
 
A Marian month during Advent 
 
The Coptic Church has a veritable Marian month during the season of Advent, the month of Kiahk, which is the fourth month of the Coptic calendar. That month prepares the faithful for Christmas, the feast of Christ who is born and of Mary who gives birth to him.

The fast before Christmas lasts 46 days and has a strong Marian coloring. The Copts call it the "fast of the Virgin" and they say that the Virgin fasted for one and a half months before the birth of her Son.
Ibn Siba in the 14th century described this traditional belief.

"The Christmas fast originated thus: Our Lady, Mother of the light, was in the seventh and a half month of her pregnancy from the day of the Annunciation... She claimed that she was still a virgin, but she was found pregnant. Since she suffered continual reproaches, she fasted for a month and a half, weeping and lamenting because of the insults."

The Copts celebrate the Marian month with a daily night vigil that spans the entire month of Kiahk and which prolongs the normal duration of the Office. During the evening they sing "Theotokies" and other texts from the "Chanting of Kiahk."
 
Gabriele Giamberardini  In Il culto mariano in Egitto, Jerusalem 1974, vol 3

  
  November 19
Today the Church offers us riches:
236 ST PONTIAN, POPE AND MARTYR
1231 St Elizabeth of Hungary, Widow; a reputation for miracles.
1625 St. Adrian of Peshekhon and Yaroslav
1867 Saint Philaret (Drozdov) Metropolitan of Moscow, and remained in that position until his death.
1907 Saint Raphael Kalinowski: sentence to ten years forced labor in the Siberian salt mines; part of his sentence was spent in Irkutsk where his relics recently sanctified a new cathedral: Enthusiastic parish priest, he spent countless hours with his parishioners in the confessional.

November 19 - Our Lady of Good News (Venice, Italy)
The Power of the Rosary (I)
Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort planed to visit the island of Yeu, 17 kilometers from the coast of France, to preach a mission. It was at the time of the War of Spanish Succession.
English pirates patrolled the sea and the coast making it dangerous.
Because of this insecurity, the missionary's companions urged him to forgo the trip. But in vain!
He could not rest until he had convinced some brave sailors to take him in their ship ...
The boat finally left the shore. Everything went smoothly at first, but after three hours of on the sea, two pirate ships loomed over the horizon, heading at full speed towards the missionaries and their ship. The crew began to scream with fright. The desperate sailors shouted: "We're goners!" Montfort's companions started to sob.
As for the saint, he kept his good spirits and began to sing hymns. He called on the other passengers to follow suit.
They remained silent as fish in the sea. So Montfort said: "Since you do not care to sing, recite the rosary with me." 
Written by Michael Faltz in Kleine Lebensbilder
Father, you guide your people with kindness and govern us with love. By the prayers of Saint Gregory give the spirit of wisdom to those you have called to lead your Church. May the growth of Your people in holiness be the eternal joy of our shepherds.  -- Liturgy of the Hours


    At Samaria in Palestine, the holy prophet Abdias.
  170 Sts. Severinus, Exuperius, & Felician Martyrs
  236 ST PONTIAN, POPE AND MARTYR

  255 St. Maximus Martyr of Rome
270-275 Heliodorus The Holy Martyr
  304 St. Azas and Companions 150 Martyrs of the Roman army
  304 St. Barlaam Martyr of Caesarea, in Cappadocia
  363 St. Sophia and the Fifty Virgins with her Martyrdom Coptic
  370 St. Nerses the Great Armenia Bishop martyr father of St. Isaac the Great
4th v. St. Crispin Bishop and martyr in Andalusia
4th v.St. Faustus Martyr of Alexandria Egypt
8th v. St. Medana Irish virgin who went to live in Galloway
   865 St. James of Sasseau Benedictine hermit
   875 Saint Hilarion the Georgian was the son of a Kakheti aristocrat
1010 St. Atto Benedictine abbot of Tordino
1065  Saint Barlaam, Igumen of the Kiev Caves
1231 St Elizabeth of Hungary, Widow; a reputation for miracles.
1253 St. Agnes of Assisi devotion to prayer
1298 St. Mechtildis of Helfta Benedictine nun trained St. Gertrude the Great

Charles de Foucald, founder of the Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, said:
"One must pass through solitude and dwell in it to receive God’s grace. 
It is there that one empties oneself, that one drives before oneself all that is not God,
and that one completely empties this little house of our soul to leave room for God alone. 

In doing this, do not fear being unfaithful toward creatures. 
On the contrary, that is the only way for you to serve them effectively" (Raphael Brown, Franciscan Mystic, p. 126).
1625 St. Adrian of Peshekhon and Yaroslav
1867 Saint Philaret (Drozdov) Metropolitan of Moscow, and remained in that position until his death.
1907 Saint Raphael Kalinowski: sentence to ten years forced labor in the Siberian salt mines; part of his sentence was spent in Irkutsk where his relics recently sanctified a new cathedral: Enthusiastic parish priest, he spent countless hours with his parishioners in the confessional.

Icons of this type depict the Mother of God standing full-length, with a scepter in Her right hand. In some variants of this icon, She is also holding Christ in Her left arm. See July 23 and October 24.November 19 - Our Lady of Glad Tidings   Wisdom
None save my Mother Mary shall I love, All other love from obligation flows; Vital it is, yet naught but She Can kindle it in hearts that hold her dear. For her sake must I love my foes, Through her I pledge this sacrifice, That gentleness of heart, and zeal to serve I sought in prayer- and heard her answer me.  When I was feeble and yet still a wretch With idle hands, and eyes by world’s temptations veiled, She kissed my eyes and joined my hands, And taught me how to whisper words of love. Through her I wished to bear these pains, For her my heart shall bear His wounds,  As I strive to grapple with my trials She strengthens me when I call her name.  Mary, my Mother, I only wish to think on you, Wellspring of knowledge, and source of all grace, Mother of France, to whom we look unfailingly To uphold the honor of our native land.  O Spotless Mary, quintessential love, Fount of our heartfelt and undying faith In loving you, how glorious is it That you become my only love, my Heaven’s gate.   Paul Verlaine (1814-1896)

The Caliph Who Defied the Coptic Church (III) November 19 - Our Lady of Glad Tidings
The patriarch found the man with the water jug where Our Lady had indicated. After being told the message, Simon replied: "Forgive me, Father, but I am only a sinful man." Abraam insisted: "It's an order from Our Mother of Light!" Simon then submitted and answered humbly:
"If Our Mother of Light charged me with this mission I am entirely at your service."
Since the patriarch didn't know anything about Simon, he asked him some questions, especially why he was up so early at the market place when everybody else was still asleep. Saint Simon reluctantly revealed his true life's story, pressing Abraam not to tell anyone until after his death. Then Saint Simon explained how the miracle would take place: "You must go to the top of the mountain in a procession with your clergy, holding Bibles and crosses lifted above your heads, with lit candelabra and censers. Ask the caliph to climb the other side of the mountain with his court. As for myself, I will be hidden amongst the people and you will not recognize me.
"You should celebrate the divine mysteries and after the Eucharistic communion you must repeat this invocation: 'Kyrie Eleison' (Lord, have pity on us) with all the people, in a spirit of humility and with a broken heart, one hundred times to the East, one hundred times to the West, one hundred times to the North and one hundred times to the South.
"Then, you and the clergy should adore God silently on your knees, with your hands raised to the Most-High. Afterwards, you will rise and trace the sign of the cross over the mountain. Do this three times and you will see the glory of God."
The patriarch told the Caliph Al-Muizz that with God's grace he was ready to accomplish his request.
The caliph rode to the top of the mountain followed by his court, his high dignitaries and soldiers. The Patriarch Abraam faced him with his clergy and many faithful believers, among whom Simon the Tanner stood. Things happened just as Saint Simon had described and at the first sign of the Cross a great earthquake shook the mountain, which rose and fell. An earthquake accompanied each sign of the Cross. Such is the power of faith, as Saint Paul our master declared: "I can do all things through he who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13).

Overcome by fear the caliph and his entourage cried out: "God is great, blessed be his name." The caliph begged Abraam to cease what he was doing for fear that the town might tumble down, and when the commotion ceased he publicly showed Abraam his respect and endowed him with the right to remain in Egypt. The caliph even allowed him to rebuild or renovate a number of churches, among them Saint Markorios Abu Sifein in Old Cairo. Afterwards, the patriarch turned to look for Saint Simon, but the latter had disappeared and no one could find him (a sign of the saint's great humility).
Adapted from an article by Mohamed Salmawy published in the weekly AL-AHRAM, March 8, 2000.
The Assembly of a Council in Rome because of the Feast of Theophany and Lent.
On this day also a holy council assembled in Rome in the days of Victor, Pope of Rome and Anba Demetrius, Pope of Alexandria. The reason for the assembly of this council was because the Christians used to celebrate the Epiphany, then start 40 days of fasting on the following day and end the fast on the 22nd day of the month of Amshir. After a few days they would fast the Passion week, then celebrate the honorable feast of the Resurrection.
When St. Demetrius the Patriarch was chosen for the Alexandrian throne, God illumined his mind with divine grace. He studied the church books and interpreted most of them. He formulated the basis for calculating the days of the fast and the changeable feasts which we celebrate to the present time. He sent copies of it to Abba Victor, Patriarch of Rome; Abba Maximus, Patriarch of Antioch; and Abba Agapius, Bishop of Jerusalem.
When Abba Victor received this message he read it and appreciated it very much. He gathered fourteen of his learned bishops and many of the learned priests. They examined it, accepted it, and spread it in their countries.  Since then the holy fast and the feast of Resurrection have been regulated as they are now in our Coptic Orthodox Church.  Glory be to our Lord forever. Amen.
Samaríæ, in Palæstína, sancti Abdíæ Prophétæ.
  230  Pope Saint Pontian or Pontianus, was pope from July 21, to September 28, 235
ST PONTIAN, POPE AND MARTYR
PONTIAN, who is said to have been Roman, followed St Urban I as bishop of Rome about the year 230. The only known event of his pontificate is the synod held at Rome that confirmed the condemnation already pronounced at Alexandria of certain doctrines attributed to Origen.

At the beginning of the persecution by the Emperor Maximinus the pope was exiled to Sardinia, an island described as nociva, "unhealthy“, whereby perhaps the mines were meant; here he resigned his office. How much longer he lived and the manner of his death are not known: traditionally life was beaten out of him with sticks. Some years later Pope St Fabian translated his body to the cemetery of St Callistus in Rome, where in 1909 his original epitaph was found: PONTIANOC EPICK MPT, the last word having been added later.


Abdias A Minor Prophet who deals almost exclusively with the fate of Edom
Samaríæ, in Palæstína, sancti Abdíæ Prophétæ.
    At Samaria in Palestine, the holy prophet Abdias.


This name is the Greek form of the Hebrew `Obhádhyah, which means "the servant [or worshipper] of Yahweh". The fourth and shortest of the minor prophetical books of the Old Testament (it contains only twenty-one verses) is ascribed to Abdias. In the title of the book it is usually regarded as a proper name. Some recent scholars, however, think that it should be treated as an appellative, for, on the one hand, Holy Writ often designates a true prophet under the appellative name of "the servant of Yahweh", and on the other, it nowhere gives any distinct information concerning the writer of the work ascribed to Abdias. It is true that in the absence of such authoritative information Jews and Christian traditions have been freely circulated to supply its place; but it remains none the less a fact that "nothing is known of Abdias; his family, station in life, place of birth, manner of death, are equally unknown to us" (Abbé Trochon, Les petits prophètes, 193). The only thing that may be inferred from the work concerning its author is that he belonged to the Kingdom of Juda.

The short prophecy of Abdias deals almost exclusively with the fate of Edom as is stated in its opening words. God has summoned the nations against her. She trusts in her rocky fastnesses, but in vain. She would be utterly destroyed, not simply spoiled as by thieves. Her former friends and allies have turned against her, and her wisdom shall fail her in this extremity. She is justly punished for her unbrotherly conduct towards Juda when foreigners sacked Jerusalem and cast lots over it. She is bidden to desist from her unworthy conduct. The "day of Yahweh" is near upon "all the nations", in whose ruin Edom shall share under the united efforts of "the house of Jacob" and "the house of Joseph". As for Israel, her borders will be enlarged in every direction; "Saviours" shall appear on Mount Sion to "judge" the Mount of Esau, and the rule of Yahweh shall be established.

The Holy Prophet Obadiah [or Abdia] is the fourth of the Twelve Minor Prophets, and he lived during the ninth century B.C. He was from the village of Betharam, near Sichem, and he served as steward of the impious Israelite King Ahab. In those days the whole of Israel had turned away from the true God and had begun to offer sacrifice to Baal, but Obadiah faithfully served the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in secret.

When Ahab's wife, the impious and dissolute Jezebel, hunted down all the prophets of the Lord (because of her quarrel with the Prophet Elias), Obadiah gave them shelter and food (3/1 Kgs 18:3 ff). Ahab's successor King Okhoziah [Ahaziah] sent three detachments of soldiers to arrest the holy Prophet Elias (July 20). One of these detachments was headed by St Obadiah. Through the prayer of St Elias, two of the detachments were consumed by heavenly fire, but St Obadiah and his detachment were spared by the Lord (4/2 Kgs 1).

From that moment St Obadiah resigned from military service and became a follower of the Prophet Elias. Afterwards, he himself received the gift of prophecy. The God-inspired work of St Obadiah is the fourth of the Books of the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Bible, and contains predictions about the New Testament Church. Holy Prophet Obadiah was buried in Samaria.
170 Sts. Severinus, Exuperius, & Felician Martyrs
Viénnæ, in Gállia, sanctórum Mártyrum Severíni, Exsupérii et Feliciáni; quorum córpora, post multa annórum currícula, ipsis revelántibus, invénta, et a Pontífice, clero et pópulo illíus urbis honorífice subláta, condígno honóre cóndita sunt.
    At Vienne in France, the holy martyrs Severinus, Exuperius and Felician.  Their bodies, after the lapse of many years, were found through their own revelation, and being taken up with due honours by the bishop, clergy, and people of that city, were buried with becoming solemnity.
put to death under Emperor Marcus Aurelius at Vienne, in Gaul.
236 ST PONTIAN, POPE AND MARTYR; condemnation of Origen at Alexandria (231-2), a synod was held at Rome, according to Jerome (Epist. XXXII, iv) and Rufinus (Apol. contra Hieron., II, xx), which concurred in the decisions of the Alexandrian synod against Origen; without doubt this synod was held by Pontian
Sancti Pontiáni, Papæ et Mártyris; cujus dies natális tértio Kaléndas Novémbris recensétur.
    St. Pontian, pope and martyr, whose birthday occurs on the 30th of October.
PONTIAN, who is said to have been Roman, followed St Urban I as bishop of Rome about the year 230. The only known event of his pontificate is the synod held at Rome that confirmed the condemnation already pronounced at Alexandria of certain doctrines attributed to Origen. At the beginning of the persecution by the Emperor Maximinus the pope was exiled to Sardinia, an island described as nocivaunhealthy, whereby perhaps the mines were meant; here he resigned his office. How much longer he lived and the manner of his death are not known: traditionally life was beaten out of him with sticks. Some years later Pope St Fabian translated his body to the cemetery of St Callistus in Rome, where in 1909 his original epitaph was found: PONTIANOC EPICK MPT, the last word having been added later,

In the fourth-century Depositio Martyrum the name of St Pontian is coupled with that of Hippolytus, and August 13 is the day assigned for the commemoration: Idus Aug. Ypoliti in Tiburtina et Pontiani in Callisti.” Fr Delehaye has discussed the whole matter very fully in his CMH, pp. 439—440. See also Marucchi in Nuovo Bullettino for 1909, pp. 35—50 Wilpert, Die Papstgraber und die Caciliengruft (1909), pp. 17—I8 and E. Caspar, Geschichte des Papsttums, vol. 1(1930), pp. 44 seq.
Pope St. Pontian
Dates of birth and death unknown. The "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 145) gives Rome as his native city and calls his father Calpurnius. With him begins the brief chronicle of the Roman bishops of the third century, of which the author of the Liberian Catalogue of the popes made use in the fourth century and which gives more exact data for the lives of the popes. According to this account Pontian was made pope 21 July, 230, and reigned until 235. The schism of Hippolytus continued during his episcopate; towards the end of his pontificate there was a reconciliation between the schismatic party and its leader with the Roman bishop. After the condemnation of Origen at Alexandria (231-2), a synod was held at Rome, according to Jerome (Epist. XXXII, iv) and Rufinus (Apol. contra Hieron., II, xx), which concurred in the decisions of the Alexandrian synod against Origen; without doubt this synod was held by Pontian (Hefele, Konziliengeschichte, 2nd ed., I, 106 sq.). In 235 in the reign of Maximinus the Thracian began a persecution directed chiefly against the heads of the Church. One of its first victims was Pontian, who with Hippolytus was banished to the unhealthy island of Sardinia. To make the election of a new pope possible, Pontian resigned 28 Sept., 235, the Liberian Catalogue says "discinctus est". Consequently Anteros was elected in his stead. Shortly before this or soon afterwards Hippolytus, who had been banished with Pontian, became reconciled to the Roman Church, and with this the schism he had caused came to an end. How much longer Pontian endured the sufferings of exile and harsh treatment in the Sardinian mines is unknown. According to old and no longer existing Acts of martyrs, used by the author of the "Liber Pontificalis", he died in consequence of the privations and inhuman treatment he had to bear. Pope Fabian (236-50) had the remains of Pontian and Hippolytus brought to Rome at a later date and Pontian was buried on 13 August in the papal crypt of the Catacomb of Callistus. In 1909 the original epitaph was found in the crypt of St. Cecilia, near the papal crypt. The epitaph, agreeing with the other known epitaphs of the papal crypt, reads: PONTIANOS, EPISK. MARTUR (Pontianus, Bishop, Martyr). The word mártur was added later and is written in ligature [cf. Wilpert, "Die Papstgräber und die Cäciliengruft in der Katakombe des hl. Kalixtus" (Freiburg, 1909), 1 sq., 17 sq., Plate III]. He is placed under 13 Aug. in the list of the "Depositiones martyrum" in the chronographia of 354. The Roman Martyrology gives his feast on 19 Nov.
255 St. Maximus Martyr of Rome.
Romæ, via Appia, natális sancti Máximi, Presbyteri et Mártyris, qui, in persecutióne Valeriáni passus, pósitus est ad sanctum Xystum.
    At Rome, on the Appian Way, the birthday of St. Maximus, priest and martyr, who suffered in the persecution of Valerian and was buried near St. Sixtus.
He died under Emperor Valerian.
270-275 Heliodorus The Holy Martyr
 lived during the reign of the emperor Aurelian (270-275) in the city of Magidum (Pamphylia). The ruler of the city, Aetius, subjected the saint to fierce tortures for his faith in Christ and had him beheaded.

304 St. Azas and Companions 150 Martyrs of the Roman army
In Isáuria pássio sanctórum Azæ et Sociórum centum quinquagínta mílitum, sub Diocletiáno Imperatóre et Aquilíno Tribúno.
    In Isauria the martyrdom of St. Azas and his soldier companions, to the number of one hundred and fifty, under Emperor Diocletian and the tribune Aquilinus.
about 150 in number. Azas and his fellow martyrs were slain in Isauria  during the persecutions conducted by Emperor Diocletian.

The Holy Martyr Azes and with him 150 Soldiers suffered at Isauria, in Asia Minor, under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). For his confession of the Christian Faith, the saint was arrested and brought to trial before the eparch, Aquilinus.

One hundred and fifty soldiers had been sent to arrest the saint, but they were converted to the path of salvation and they accepted holy Baptism with water that sprang forth through the prayer of St Azes. The martyr persuaded them to fulfill the commandment to obey those in authority, and therefore to bring him before the eparch.

The soldiers and the saint confessed their Christian faith before Aquilinus, and for this they were all beheaded. With them the eparch executed his own wife and daughter, who had come to believe in Christ, seeing steadfastness of St Azes under torture.

304 St. Barlaam Martyr of Caesarea, in Cappadocia
Cæsaréæ, in Cappadócia, sancti Bárlaam Mártyris, qui, agréstis licet et rudis, Christi sapiéntia munítus tyránnum vicit, et ignem ipsum per invíctam fídei constántiam superávit; in cujus die natáli sanctus Basilíus Magnus célebrem hábuit oratiónem.
    At Caesarea in Cappadocia, St. Barlaam, martyr, who, though unpolished and ignorant, was armed with the wisdom of Christ to overcome the tyrant, and by the constancy of his faith, subdue fire itself.  On his birthday, St. Basil the Great delivered a celebrated sermon.
in modern Turkey, although he is listed as dying in Antioch, Turkey. He was arrested and imprisoned for being a Christian, and commanded to sacrifice to the pagan deities. He lost his hand to hot coals of incense before being slain because he would not save himself pain by allowing the coals to be sprinkled on an idol. St. Basil preached in his honor.
Barlaam_and King Joasaph
ST BARLAAM, MARTYR
THERE is a panegyric of this martyr by St John Chrysostom, but his acta as we have them are spurious. This legend says that Barlaam was a laborer in a village near Antioch, where his confession of Christ provoked the persecutors, who detained him a long time in jail before he was brought to trial. When he was arraigned the judge laughed at his uncouth language and appearance, but was forced to admire his virtue and constancy. He was nevertheless cruelly scourged, but no word of complaint was extorted from him. He was then put on the rack and his bones dislocated. When this failed to move him, the prefect threatened him with death and had swords and axes fresh stained with the blood of martyrs displayed before him. Barlaam beheld them without a word. He was therefore remanded to prison, and the judge, who was ashamed to see himself beaten by an illiterate peasant, tried to invent some new torment. At length he flattered himself that he had found a method by which Barlaam should be compelled, in spite of his resolution, to offer sacrifice. He was brought out of prison, and an altar with burning coals upon it was made ready. The martyr’s hand was then forcibly held over the flames and incense with red-hot embers was laid upon it, so that, if he shook them off his hand, he might be said to offer sacrifice by throwing the incense into the fire upon the altar. Barlaam, fearing scandal and the very shadow of idolatry (though by throwing off the fire to save his hand he could not be esteemed to have meant to sacrifice), kept his hand steady whilst the fire burnt into it and so dropped his flesh, with the incense, upon the altar. The martyrdom of St Barlaam, whenever and in whatever circumstances it took place, happened at Antioch, and not at Caesarea in Cappadocia as stated in the Roman Martyrology.


This Barlaam, it may be said with confidence, is none other than the “Barula” whom we find on November 18 associated with St Romanus. See the article of Delehaye in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxii, pp. 129—145, and other references given above under Romanus.

The Holy Martyr Barlaam lived in Antioch of Syria. During Diocletian's persecution against Christians, the aged St Barlaam was arrested and brought to trial, where he confessed himself a Christian.
The judge, wanting to compel the saint to renounce Christ, ordered that St Barlaam be brought to the pagan altar. His right hand was placed over it, and a red-hot censer burning with incense was put into his hand. The torturer thought that a physically weak old man could not endure the pain and would drop it on the altar. In this way he would involuntarily be offering sacrifice to the idol. However, the saint held on to the censer until his hand fell off. After this, the holy Martyr Barlaam surrendered his soul to the Lord.
The Monks Barlaam the Wilderness-Dweller, Joasaph the son of the Emperor of India, and his Father Abenner:
The emperor Abenner ruled in India, which had once received the Christian Faith through the evangelization of the holy Apostle Thomas. He was an idol-worshipper and fierce persecutor of Christians. For a long time he did not have any children. Finally, a son was born to the emperor, and named Joasaph. At the birth of this son the wisest of the emperor's astrologers predicted that the emperor's son would accept the Christian Faith which was persecuted by his father. The emperor, in an effort to prevent the prediction from being fulfilled, commanded that a separate palace be built for his son. He also arranged matters so that his son should never hear a single word about Christ and His teachings.

When he was a young man, Joasaph asked his father's permission to go out the palace, and he saw such things as suffering, sickness, old age and death. This led him to ponder the vanity and absurdity of life, and to engage in some serious thinking.

At that time a wise hermit, St Barlaam, lived in a remote wilderness. Through divine revelation he learned about the youth agonizing in search of truth. Forsaking his wilderness, St Barlaam went to India disguised as a merchant. After he arrived in the city where Joasaph's palace was, he said that he had brought with him a precious stone, endowed with wondrous powers to heal sickness. Brought before Joasaph, he began to teach him the Christian Faith in the form of parables, and then from the Holy Gospel and the Epistles. From the instructions of St Barlaam the youth reasoned that the precious stone is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and he believed in Him and desired to accept holy Baptism. Having made the Sign of the Cross over the youth, St Barlaam told him to fast and pray, and he went off into the wilderness.

The emperor, learning that his son had become a Christian, fell into rage and grief. On the advice of one of his counsellors, the emperor arranged for a religious debate between the Christians and the pagans, at which the magician Nakhor appeared in the guise of Barlaam. In the debate Nakhor was supposed to acknowledge himself beaten and thereby turn the imperial youth away from Christianity.

St Joasaph learned about the deception in a dream, and he threatened Nakhor with a fiercesome execution if he were beaten in the debate. Nakhor not only defeated the pagans, but he himself came to believe in Christ, and he repented and accepted holy Baptism and went off into the wilderness.

The emperor also tried to turn his son away from Christianity by other methods, but the youth conquered all the temptations. Then on the advice of his counsellors, Abenner bestowed on his son half the realm. When St Joasaph became emperor, he restored Christianity in his lands, rebuilt the churches, and finally, converted his own father Abenner to Christianity.

The emperor Abenner died soon after Baptism, and St Joasaph abdicated his throne and went off into the wilderness in search of his teacher, Elder Barlaam. For two years he wandered about through the wilderness, suffering dangers and temptations, until he found the cave of St Barlaam, laboring in silence. The Elder and the youth began to struggle together.

When St Barlaam's death approached, he served the Divine Liturgy, partook of the Holy Mysteries and communed St Joasaph, then he departed to the Lord. He lived in the wilderness for seventy of his one hundred years. After he buried the Elder, St Joasaph remained in the cave and continued his ascetic efforts. He dwelt in the wilderness for thirty-five years, and fell asleep in the Lord at the age of sixty.

Barachias, St Joasaph's successor as emperor, with the help of a certain hermit, found the incorrupt and fragrant relics of both ascetics in the cave, and he brought them back to his fatherland and buried them in a church built by the holy Emperor Joasaph.
363 St. Sophia and the Fifty Virgins with her Martyrdom Coptic

On this day, the holy, and pure fifty virgins and their mother Sophia, were martyred. These saints were from different countries. Divine love and ascetic life had brought them together and they lived in a convent for virgins in El-Raha. St. Sophia, the head nun, was filled with every wisdom and grace. She raised them with a spiritual upbringing until they became as angels on earth. They continually prayed, fasted and read the holy Books and chronicles of the monks and saints. Among them were some who had dwelt in the convent for 70 years and some were young in age but firm in faith and of strong conviction.

When Emperor Julian the Infidel heard that Shapur, King of Persia, intended to fight him, he prepared his army and set out against Shapur. The city of El-Raha was on his way and when he passed by the convent of these virgins, he ordered the soldiers to kill everyone in it and to rob the convent. The soldiers carried out the order, they cut the nuns with swords into pieces and took everything they found.

The Lord took vengeance on this evil Emperor by having him stabbed by the spear of a knight at war. (It was said that he was Saint Marcurius) The Emperor fell down from his horse and died in the year 363 A.D. As for the holy virgins, they received the crown of martyrdom.

370 St. Nerses the Great Armenia Bishop martyr father of St. Isaac the Great.
A native of Armenia, he studied in Cappadocia and wed a princess who gave birth to Isaac. After she died, he served as a chamber lain in the court of King Arshak of Armenia. In 353 he was made Catholicos of the Armenians. Nerses devoted much effort to reforming the Armenian Church, including convening a synod in 365 based on the principles he had studied under St. Basil at Caesarea. Though he established hospitals and monasteries, his reforms and denunciation of King Arshak’s murder of the queen led to his exile. He returned after Arshak’s death in battle, but relations were not much better with the new Armenian ruler, Pap, whose dissolute lifestyle caused Nerses to refuse him admission into church.
Nerses was invited to a royal banquet at Khakh, on the Euphrates River, and was assassinated by poison.

373 ST NERSES I, KATHOLIIKOS OF THE ARMENIANS, MARTYR
THIS bishop, the first of several Armenian saints of his name, was a strong reformer and began the work that was carried on by his son St Isaac. He was brought up at Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he married. After the death of his wife he became an official at the court of the Armenian king, Arshak, received holy orders, and in 363 was made chief bishop of Armenia, much against his will. At Caesarea he had come under the influence of St Basil, and accordingly about the year 365 he convened the first national synod at Ashtishat, in order to bring better discipline and efficiency to his church. He encouraged monasticism, established hospitals, and promulgated canonical legislation imitated from the Greeks. This embroiled him with the king, and worse followed when Arshak murdered his wife, Olympia. St Nerses condemned him and refused to attend the court, whereupon he was banished and another bishop intruded in his office. Arshak was killed in battle with the Persians shortly after and St Nerses returned, only to find that the new king, Pap, was even worse than his predecessor: a contemporary Armenian chronicler says he was possessed by the Devil. His life was so atrocious that St Nerses refused him entrance to the church until he mended his ways. Pap meditated revenge. Pretending penitence he invited Nerses to dine at his table, and there poisoned him. St Nerses has ever since been venerated as a martyr, his name occurs in the canon of the Armenian Mass, and he is referred to as “the Great.
A very full account of St Nerses will be found in Tournebize, Histoire politique et religieuse de l’Armenie (1901), especially pp. 469—489. See also S. Weber, Die Katholische Kirche in Armenien (1903), pp. 287—316 the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxix (1921), pp. 65—69 and Messina and Markwart in Orientalia christiana, vol. xxvii (1932), pp. 141—236.
4th v. St. Crispin Bishop and martyr in Andalusia
In civitáte Astiagénsi, in Hispánia, beáti Crispíni Epíscopi, qui, cápite amputáto, martyrii glóriam adéptus est.
   At Ecijo in Spain, blessed Bishop Crispin, who obtained the glory of martyrdom by beheading.
 ruling the see of Ecijia in Andalusia, Spain. He is believed to have been beheaded in the reign of co-Emperor Maximilian. Crispin is particularly venerated in the Mozarabic breviary.

4th v. St. Faustus Martyr of Alexandria Egypt
Eódem die sancti Fausti, Diáconi Alexandríni, qui primum, in persecutióne Valeriáni, cum sancto Dionysio, in exsílium missus est; deínde, ætáte longævus, in persecutióne Diocletiáni, animadvérsus gládio martyrium consummávit.
    St. Faustus, deacon of Alexandria, who had been banished with St. Denis in the persecution of Valerian; later, in the persecution of Diocletian, being advanced in age, his martyrdom was accomplished by the sword.
the deacon of St. Dionysius and his companion in exile. In extreme old age, Faustus was martyred.

8th v. St. Medana Irish virgin who went to live in Galloway
Scotland. She may be the same as St. Midnat.

865 St. James of Sasseau Benedictine hermit
Born in Constantinople, he joined the army and gradually made his way to France where he entered the Church and received ordination at Clermont Abbey. He became a Benedictine near Bourges and retired to the life of a hermit at Sasseau.
875 Saint Hilarion the Georgian was the son of a Kakheti aristocrat
There were other children in the family, but only Hilarion was dedicated to God from his very birth. Hilarion’s father built a monastery on his own land, and there the boy was raised.

At the age of fourteen Hilarion left the monastery and his father’s guardianship and settled in a small cave in the Davit-Gareji Wilderness. There he remained for ten years.

Soon report spread through all of eastern Georgia of the angelic faster and tireless intercessor in prayer. Crowds flocked to his cave to receive instruction, blessings, and counsel. When the bishop of Rustavi came to visit Hilarion, he ordained him a priest. Soon he was made abbot of St. Davit of Gareji Lavra.

After his ordination, the holy father was praised even more among his people, and he decided to leave his motherland. Hilarion chose one of the brothers to replace him as abbot of the monastery and set off on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

On the way Venerable Hilarion was attacked by a band of vicious thieves. They sought to kill the holy father, but their hands suddenly withered. When the terrified thieves realized that God had punished them for raising their hands to kill the saint, they fell to their knees before St. Hilarion and begged his forgiveness. The venerable father blessed them with the sign of the Cross, healed them and let them depart in peace.

St. Hilarion venerated the holy places in Jerusalem, then settled in a cave in the Jordan wilderness (according to tradition, the holy prophet Elijah had dwelt in that same cave).  One night St. Hilarion saw a vision: He was standing before the Most Holy Theotokos, in the midst of twelve men, on the Mount of Olives, the place of our Lord’s Ascension. The Holy Virgin said to him, “Hilarion! Return to your home and prepare a meal for the Lord, my Son!”

Upon waking, Hilarion understood this vision with both his heart and mind and immediately set off for his motherland.
When he returned to Georgia, St. Hilarion learned of the repose of his father and brothers. His mother gave her only living son the family inheritance.  Blessed Hilarion founded a convent with the resources he had inherited, donated lands to the monastic community, and established its rules. Then he gathered seventy-six worthy monk-ascetics and founded a monastery for men. He distributed his remaining property to the poor and disabled.
As before, the news of St. Hilarion’s virtuous deeds spread quickly through all of Georgia. Again many desired to receive his blessing and counsel, but when the clergy announced their intention to consecrate him a bishop, he abandoned Georgia for the second time. He took two companions and journeyed to Constantinople.
After the long journey, Hilarion and his companions finally reached Mt. Olympus in Asia Minor and settled in a small, forsaken church. During the evening services on Cheese-fare Saturday, the lamplighter from the Monastery of St. Ioannicius the Great came to the church to light an icon lamp, and seeing that several people had settled there, he brought them some food.

The next Saturday, the feast of St. Theodore the Tyro, the same monk returned to the church and saw that the brothers had gone the whole week eating nothing but a few lentils. They had not touched the food he had brought them. So the monk asked St. Hilarion what they needed, and Hilarion requested prosphora and wine for the Bloodless Sacrifice. Then St. Hilarion celebrated the Liturgy at the appropriate time, received Holy Communion, and served the Holy Gifts to the brothers.


When the abbot of the Great Lavra heard that a service had been celebrated by an unknown priest in a language other than Greek, he was infuriated and ordered his steward and several of the monks to chase the strangers off the monastery property. But St. Hilarion responded to the steward in Greek and asked for permission to spend the night in the church, promising to depart in the morning.


That night the Theotokos appeared to the abbot of the lavra in a vision. She stood at the foot of his bed and rebuked him, saying, “Foolish one! What has moved you to cast out these strangers, who left their own country for the love of my Son and God? Why have you broken the commandment to receive and show mercy to strangers and the poor? Do you not know that there are many living on this mountain that speak the same language as they? They are also praising God here. He who fails to receive them is my enemy, for my Son entrusted me to protect them and to ensure that their Orthodox Faith is not shaken. They believe in my Son and have been baptized in His name!”

The next day the elder fell to his knees before St. Hilarion, begged forgiveness for his impertinence, and requested that he remain at the monastery. St. Hilarion consoled the elder and agreed to stay.

St. Hilarion spent five years on Mt. Olympus, then journeyed again to Constantinople, to venerate the Life-giving Cross of our Lord. From there he traveled to Rome to venerate the graves of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. On the way to Rome his prayers healed a paralyzed man. After spending two years in Rome, St. Hilarion set off again for Constantinople. On the way, in the city of Thessalonica, the blessed Hilarion stopped for a rest at the home of the prefect. When he arrived, a servant woman was carrying a paralyzed fourteen-year-old boy out of the house, and she laid him in the sun. The saint asked the woman for water, and when she had gone to bring it, he blessed the child with the sign of the Cross and healed him. Immediately the boy ran to his mother, and St. Hilarion quickly departed from that place.

But the prefect, the boy’s father, had witnessed the miracle, and he ordered that the wonderworker be found. When he had been brought before him, the prefect begged St. Hilarion to remain in Thessalonica and choose for himself a place to continue his miraculous works.  Recognizing the prefect to be a true lover of God, the saint heeded his entreaty and agreed to remain. The prefect built a church in the place that Hilarion had chosen, and before long the entire city had heard about St. Hilarion and his miracles.

St. Hilarion spent the remainder of his days in Thessalonica. When the Lord made known to him the day of his repose, he called for the prefect, thanked him, and instructed him to love the monks and all the suffering and to be just and merciful.


The saint reposed on November 19, 875, and the sorrowful prefect prepared a marble shrine for him. Those who were sick and who approached St. Hilarion’s grave with faith were healed of their infirmities.

The prefect and the archbishop of Thessalonica informed the Byzantine emperor Basil the Macedonian (867–886) about the miracles that had occurred at the holy father’s grave. The emperor in turn informed the monks who came to him from Mt. Olympus, among whom was the elder who once had tried to chase St. Hilarion out of the church. Emperor Basil became intrigued with St. Hilarion’s disciples and fellow countrymen through the stories of Hilarion’s miracles. St. Hilarion’s three disciples were presented to him, and the emperor was so struck by their holiness that he sent them to the patriarch of Constantinople to receive his blessing. Recognizing immediately that the three elders were filled with divine favor, the patriarch advised the emperor to confer great honors upon them.

In response, Emperor Basil invited the elders to choose for themselves and their countrymen one of the monasteries in Constantinople and make it their own. The fathers graciously declined since they did not wish to live in the populous city. Instead the monks asked the emperor to build cells for them outside the capital. So Emperor Basil built a large church dedicated to the Holy Apostles in a place that the Georgian fathers had chosen in a certain ravine, where a spring of cold water flowed from beneath a little hill, and he carved a cell for himself as well. The monastery was called “Romana,” after the nearby brook.

Later the emperor sent his own two sons, Leo1 and Alexander, to be raised by the holy fathers. Emperor Basil sought to bury St. Hilarion’s holy relics in the capital, but the people of Thessalonica would not allow the relics to be taken away. In the end, it was necessary for the emperor’s envoys to conceal the sacred shrine and carry it back to Constantinople in secret.

The emperor, the patriarch, and all the people met the arrival of St. Hilarion’s relics with glorious hymns and prayers. Before the special burial vault had been built, the emperor kept St. Hilarion’s holy relics in his own chamber. Three nights after the relics had arrived, Basil awoke to an unusual fragrance. No one in the court could discover its source.


When the emperor dozed off again, St. Hilarion appeared to him in his vestments and said, “You have done a good deed by preparing a shelter for my remains. But the sweet fragrance you smell was acquired in the wilderness, not in the city. Therefore, if you desire to receive the divine blessings in full, take me away to the wilderness!”

The emperor reported this wondrous turn of events to the patriarch and the prefect, and with their consent he brought the holy relics of St. Hilarion to the Monastery of Romana.

1065  Saint Barlaam, Igumen of the Kiev Caves
Son of an illustrious noble. From his youth, he yearned for the monastic life and he went to St Anthony of the Caves (July 10), who accepted the pious youth so firmly determined to become a monk, and he bade St Nikon (March 23) to tonsure him.

St Barlaam's father tried to return him home by force, but finally became convinced that his son would never return to the world, so he gave up. When the number of monks at the Caves began to increase, St Anthony made St Barlaam igumen, while he himself moved to another cave and again began to live in solitude.

St Barlaam became the first igumen of the Kiev Caves monastery. In the year 1058, after asking St Anthony's blessing, St Barlaam built a wooden church in honor of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. Afterwards, St Barlaam became igumen of the newly-formed monastery in honor of the Great Martyr Demetrius.

St Barlaam twice went on pilgrimage to the holy places in Jerusalem and Constantinople. After he returned from his second journey, he died in the Vladimir Holy Mountain monastery at Volhynia in 1065 and was buried, in accord with his final wishes, at the Caves monastery in the Near Caves. His memory is celebrated September 28 and on the second Sunday of Great Lent.

1010 St. Atto Benedictine abbot of Tordino.
Italy. This monastery was founded by the Benedictines of Monte Cassino in 1004.

1231 St Elizabeth of Hungary, Widow; a reputation for miracles.
In óppido Marpúrgi, in Germánia, deposítio sanctæ Elísabeth Víduæ, Regis Hungarórum Andréæ fíliæ, ex tértio Ordine sancti Francísci, quæ, pietátis opéribus assídue inténta, miráculis clara migrávit ad Dóminum.
    At Marburg in Germany, the death of St. Elizabeth, widow, daughter of King Andrew of Hungary, and member of the Third Order of St. Francis.  After a life spent in the performance of works of piety, she went to heaven, having a reputation for miracles.

IT is related by Dietrich of Apolda in his life of this saint*{*Alban Butler’s own comment, under the 16th of this month, on the De contemptu mundi of St Eucherius of Lyons, in this piece certain superfluities might have been spared and the full sense more closely expressed with equal strength and perspicuity in fewer words is true also of his account of St Elizabeth of Hungary in an even greater degree than usual in his lives. His long notice of her has therefore been almost entirely discarded.}

IT is related by Dietrich of Apolda in his life of this saint that on an evening in the summer of the year 1207 the minnesinger Klingsohr from Transylvania announced to the Landgrave Herman of Thuringia that that night a daughter had been born to the king of Hungary, who should be exalted in holiness and become the wife of Herman’s son; and that in fact at that time the child Elizabeth was born, in Pressburg (Bratislava) or Saros-Patak, to Andrew II of Hungary and his wife, Gertrude of Andechs-Meran. Such an alliance as that “foretold” by Klingsohr had substantial political advantages to recommend it, and the baby Elizabeth was promised to Herman’s eldest son. At about four years of age she was brought to the Thuringian court at the castle of the Wartburg, near Eisenach, there to be brought up with her future husband. As she grew up she underwent much unkindness from some members of the court, who did not appreciate her goodness, but on the other hand the young man Louis (Ludwig) became more and more enamored of her. We are told that when he had visited a city he would always bring back a present for her, a knife or a bag or gloves or a coral rosary. “When it was time for him to be back she would run out to meet him and he would take her lovingly on his arm and give her what he had brought.”
   In 1221, Louis being now twenty-one and landgrave in his father’s place, and Elizabeth fourteen, their marriage was solemnized, in spite of attempts to persuade him to send her back to Hungary as an unsuitable bride; he declared he would rather cast away a mountain of gold than give her up. She, we are told, was “perfect in body, handsome, of a dark complexion; serious in her ways, and modest, of kindly speech, fervent in prayer and most generous to the poor, always full of goodness and divine love”. He also was handsome and “modest as a young maid”, wise, patient and truthful, trusted by his men and loved by his people. Their wedded life lasted only six years and has been called by an English writer “an idyll of enthralling fondness, of mystic ardor, of almost childish happiness, the like of which I do not remember in all I have read of romance or of human experience.”

They had three children, Herman, who was born in 1222 and died when he was nineteen, Sophia, who became duchess of Brabant, and Bd Gertrude of Aldenburg. Louis, unlike some husbands of saints, put no obstacles in the way of his wife’s charity, her simple and mortified life, and her long prayers. “My lady”, says one of her ladies-in-waiting, “would get up at night to pray, and my lord would implore her to spare herself and come back to rest, all the while holding her hand in his for fear she should come to some harm. She would tell her maids to wake her gently when he was asleep—and sometimes when they thought him sleeping he was only pretending.” *

{*“She had ordained that one of her women, which was more familiar with her than another, that if peradventure she were overtaken with sleep, that she should take her by the foot for to awake her; and on a time she supposed to have taken her lady by the foot and took her husband’s foot, which suddenly awoke and would know wherefore she did so; and then she told him all the case, and when he knew it he let it pass and suffered it peace­ably” (Golden Legend).}

Elizabeth’s material benefactions were so great that they sometimes provoked adverse criticism. In 1225 that part of Germany was severely visited by a famine and she exhausted her own treasury and distributed her whole store of corn amongst those who felt the calamity heaviest. The landgrave was then away, and at his return the officers of his household complained to him of her profusion to the poor. But Louis, without examining into the matter, asked if she had alienated any of his dominions. They answered, “No”. “As for her charities”, said he, “they will bring upon us the divine blessings. We shall not want so long as we let her relieve the poor as she does.”
   The castle of the Wartburg was built on a steep rock, which the infirm and weak were not able to climb (the path was called “the knee-smasher”). St Elizabeth therefore built a hospital at the foot of the rock for their reception, where she often fed them with her own hands, made their beds, and attended them even in the heat of summer when the place seemed insupportable. Helpless children, especially orphans, were provided for at her expense. She was the foundress of another hospital in which twenty-eight persons were constantly relieved, and she fed nine hundred daily at her gate, besides numbers in different parts of the dominions, so that the revenue in her hands was truly the patrimony of the distressed. But Elizabeth’s charity was tempered with discretion; and instead of encouraging in idleness such as were able to work, she employed them in ways suitable to their strength and ability. There is a story about St Elizabeth so well known that it would hardly need repeating here but that Father Delehaye picks it out as an example of the way in which hagiographers so often embellish a tale to make a greater impression on their readers.

Everyone is familiar with the beautiful incident in the life of St Elizabeth of Hungary when, in the very bed she shared with her husband, she laid a miserable leper,...The indignant landgrave rushed into the room and dragged off the bedclothes. “But”, in the noble words of the historian, “at that instant Almighty God opened the eyes of his soul, and instead of a leper he saw the figure of Christ crucified stretched upon the bed,” This admirable account by Dietrich of Apolda was considered too simple by later biographers, who consequently transformed the sublime vision of faith into a material apparition. Tunc aperuit Deus interiores principis oculos, wrote the historian.

On the spot where the leper had slept, lay a bleeding crucifix with out-stretched arms” (The Legends of the Saints,p. 90). From the Friars Minor St Elizabeth say the modern hagiographers, “there objectively, his methods were offensive.”

At this time strenuous efforts were being made to launch another crusade, and Louis of Thuringia took the cross. On St John the Baptist’s day he parted from St Elizabeth and went to join the Emperor Frederick II in Apulia; on September ax following he was dead of the plague at Otranto. The news did not reach Germany until October, just after the birth of Elizabeth’s second daughter. Her mother-in-law broke the news to her, speaking of what had befallen her husband, and the “dispensation of God. Elizabeth misunderstood. “Since he is a prisoner”, she said, “with the help of God and our friends he shall be set free.” When she was told he was not a prisoner but dead, she cried, “The world is dead to me, and all that was joyous in the world”, and ran to and fro about the castle shrieking like one crazed.
What happened next is a matter of some uncertainty. According to the testimony of one of her ladies-in-waiting, Isentrude, St Elizabeth’s brother-,in-law, Henry, who was regent for her infant son, drove her and her children and two attendants from the Wartburg during that same winter that he might seize power himself; and there are shocking particulars of the hardship and contempt which she suffered until she was fetched away from Eisenach by her aunt, Matilda, Abbess of Kitzingen.
  It is alternatively claimed that she was dispossessed of her dower-house at Marburg, in Hesse, or even that she left the Wartburg of her own free will. From Kitzingen she visited her uhcle, Eckembert, Bishop of Bamberg, who put his castle of Pottenstein at her disposal, whither she went with her son Herman and the baby, leaving the little Sophia with the nuns of Kitzingen. Eckembert had ambitious plans for another marriage for Elizabeth, but she refused to listen to them: before his departure on the crusade she and her husband had exchanged promises never to marry again. Early in a 1228 the body of Louis was brought home and solemnly buried in the abbey church at Reinhardsbrunn. He is popularly venerated in Germany as “St Ludwig. See September
{* Alban Butler’s treatment of Coarad of Marburg is an excellent example of a defect of his method in writing of saints. He says “Conrad, a most holy and learned priest and an eloquent pathetic preacher, whose disinterestedness and love of holy poverty, mortified life, and extraordinary devotion and spirit of prayer rendered him a model to the clergy of that age, was the person whom she chose for her spiritual director, and to his advice she submitted herself in all things relating to her spiritual concerns. This holy and experienced guide, observing how deep root the seeds of virtue had taken in her soul, applied himself by cultivating them to conduct her to the summit of Christian perfection, and encouraged her in the path of mortification and penance, but was obliged often to moderate her corpora! austerities by the precept of obedience.” True in substance, if exaggerated in expression but.}

provision was made for Elizabeth by her relatives; and on Good Friday in the church of the Franciscan friars at Eisenach she formally renounced the world, later taking the unbleached gown and cord which was the habit of the-third order of St Francis.

An influential part was played in all these developments by Master Conrad of Marburg, who benceforward was the determining human influence in St Elizabeth’s life. This priest had played a considerable part therein for some time, having succeeded the Franciscan Father Rodinger as her confessor in ins. The Land­grave Louis, in common with Pope Gregory IX and many others, had a high opinion of Conrad, and had allowed his wife to make a promise of obedience to him, saving of course his own husbandly authority.
  But the conclusion can hardly be avoided that Conrad’s experience as a successful inquisitor of heretics and his domineering and severe, if not brutal, personality made him an unsuitable person to be the director of St Elizabeth. Some of his later critics have been moved in their adverse criticism by emotion rather than thought and knowledge; on the other hand, his defenders and apologists have not always been free from special pleading. Subjectively, it is true that Conrad, by giving to Elizabeth obstacles which she overcame, helped her on her road to sanctity (though we cannot know that a director of more sensibility would not have led her to yet greater heights)
had acquired a love of poverty which she could put into action only to a limited extent all the time she was landgravine of Thuringia.

 Now, her children having been provided for, she went to Marburg, but was forced to leave there and lived for a time in a cottage at Wehrda, by the side of the River Lahn. Then she built a small house just outside Marburg and attached to it a hospice for the relief of the sick, the aged and the poor, to whose service she entirely devoted herself.

In some respects Conrad acted as a prudent and necessary brake on her en­thusiasm at this tim : he would not allow her to beg from door to door or to divest herself definitely of all her goods or to give more than a certain amount at a time in alms or to risk infection from leprosy and other diseases. In such matters he acted with care and wisdom. But “Master Conrad tried her constancy in many ways, striving to brcak her own will in all things. That he might afflict her still more he deprived her of those of her household who were particularly dear to her, including me, Isentrude, whom she loved; she sent me away in great dis­tress and with many tears. Last of all he turned off Jutta, my companion, who had been with her from her childhood, and whom she loved with a special love. With tears and sighs the blessed Elizabeth saw her go. Master Conrad, of pious memory, did this in his zeal with good intentions, lest we should talk to her of past greatness and she be tempted to regret. Moreover, he thus took away from her any comfort she might have in us because he wished her to cling to God alone.”
  For her devoted waiting-women he substituted two
harsh females, who reported to him on her words and actions when these infringed his detailed commands in the smallest degree. He punished her with slaps in the face and blows with a long, thick rod “whose marks remained for three weeks. No plea of “other times, other manners can take the sting from Elizabeth’s bitter cry to Isentrude, “If I am so afraid of a mortal man, how awe-inspiring must be the Lord and Judge of the world!

  Conrad’s policy of breaking rather than directing the will was not completely successful. With reference to him and his disciplinary methods St Elizabeth compares herself to sedge in a stream during flood-time the water bears it down flat, but when the rains have gone it springs up again, straight, strong and unhurt. Once when she went off to pay a visit of which Conrad did not approve, he sent to fetch her back. “We are like the snail, she observed, “which withdraws into its shell when it is going to rain. So we obey and withdraw from the way we were going.” She had that good self-confidence so often seen when a sense of humour serves submission to God.

One day a Magyar noble arrived at Marburg and asked to be directed to the residence of his sovereign’s daughter, of whose troubles he had been informed.Arrived at the hospital, he saw Elizabeth in her plain grey gown, sitting at her spinning-wheel. The magnificent fellow started back, crossing himself in alarm:  “Whoever has seen a king’s daughter spinning before?He would have taken her back to the court of Hungary, but Elizabeth would not go. Her children, her poor, the grave of her husband were all in Thuringia, and she would stay there for the rest of her life. It was not for long. She lived with great austerity and worked continually, in her hospice, in the homes of the poor, fishing in the streams to earn a little more money to help sufferers even when she was sick herself she would try to spin or card wool. She had not been at Marburg two years. when her health finally gave way. As she lay abed her attendant heard her singing softly. “You sing sweetly, madam,” she said. “I will tell you why,” replied Elizabeth.

  Between me and the wall there was a little bird singing so gaily to me, and it was so sweet that I had to sing too.” At midnight before the day of her death she stirred from her quietness and said, “It is near the hour when the Lord was born and lay in the manger and by His all-mighty power made a new star. He came to redeem the world, and He will redeem me.” And at cock-crow, “It is now the time when He rose from the grave and broke the doors of hell, and he will release me.”

St Elizabeth died in the evening of November 17, 1231, being then not yet twenty-four years old.

   For three days her body lay in state in the chapel of the hospice, where she was buried and where many miracles were seen at her intercession. Master Conrad began collecting depositions, touching her sanctity, but he did not live to see her canonization, which was proclaimed in 1235. In the following year her relics were translated to the church of St Elizabeth at Marburg, built by her brother-in-law Conrad, in the presence of the Emperor Frederick II, and so great a concourse of divers nations, peoples and tongues as in these German lands scarcely ever was gathered before or will ever be again. There the relics of St Elizabeth of Hun­gary rested, an object of pilgrimage to all Germany and beyond, till in 1539 a Protestant landgrave of Hesse, Philip, removed them to a place unknown.

A glance at the BHL., nn. 2488—2514, suffices to reveal how much was written about St Elizabeth within a relatively short time of her death. For a somewhat more detailed biblio­graphy of sources, consult A. Huyskens, Quellenstudien zur Geschichte der hl. Elizabeth (1908), and also the introduction and notes to the text printed by D. Henniges in the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum, vol. ii (1909), pp. 240—268. It must suffice to say here that the most important materials are supplied by the Libelius de dictis IV anciliarum (a summary of the depositions of the saint’s four handrnaidens); by the letters of Conrad to the pope the accounts of miracles and other documents sent to Rome in view of her canonization; the life written by Caesarius of Heisterbach with a discourse of his concerning the translation (both before 1240); and the life by Dietrich of Apolda, composed as late as 1297, but im­portant on account of its wide diffusion. Some of the most notable of these texts were edited by Karl Wenck, and others by Huyskens, in view of the seventh centenary of the saint’s birth. A detailed criticism is provided in the Analecta Bollandiana, vols. xxvii, pp. 493—497 and xxviii, pp. 333—335. Of modern biographies the work of Count de Monta­lembert (1836; best English translation by F.D. Hoyt , 1904) for more than half a century held the field, but unfortunately the author’s charm of style and deep religious feeling are handicapped by a lack of historical criticism. The attitude of Conrad of Marburg towards his penitent has been in some measure vindicated by P. Braun in his articles in the Beitrage zur Hessische Kirchengeschichte, vol. iv (1910), pp. 248—300 and 331—364. There are French lives of the saint of moderate compass by E. Horn (1902), Leopold de Cherancé (1927), and 3. Ancelet-Hustache (1947), and German ones by A. Stolz (1898) and E. Busse-Wilson (1931). There is a sensitive simple sketch in English by William Canton; but the book called Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, by F. J. von Weinrich (Eng. trans., 1933), is a mere work of fiction based upon the story of St Elizabeth. She has sometimes been credited with the writings called the Revalationes B. Elisabeth, but thus contain nothing of hers, as F. Oliger has proved: neither did they spring from the fertile imagination of St Elizabeth of Schönau cf. Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxxi (1953), pp. 494—495.
1253 St. Agnes of Assisi devotion to prayer
Agnes
, born 1197, was sister of St. Clare and her first follower. When Agnes left home two weeks after Clare’s departure, their family attempted to bring Agnes back by force. They tried to drag her out of the monastery, but all of a sudden her body became so heavy that several knights could not budge it. Her uncle Monaldo tried to strike her but was temporarily paralyzed. The knights then left Agnes and Clare in peace.

Agnes matched her sister in devotion to prayer and in willingness to endure the strict penances which characterized their lives at San Damiano. In 1221 a group of Benedictine nuns in Monticelli (near Florence) asked to become Poor Clares. St. Francis sent Agnes to become abbess of that monastery. Agnes soon wrote a rather sad letter about how much she missed Clare and the other nuns at San Damiano. After establishing other Poor Clare monasteries in northern Italy, Agnes was recalled to San Damiano in 1253 when Clare was dying.
Agnes followed Clare in death three months later. Agnes was canonized in 1753.
Comment:  God must love irony; the world is so full of it. In 1212, many in Assisi surely felt that Clare and Agnes were wasting their lives and were turning their backs on the world. In reality, their lives were tremendously life-giving, and the world has been enriched by the example of these poor contemplatives.
Quote:  Charles de Foucald, founder of the Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, said: "One must pass through solitude and dwell in it to receive God’s grace. It is there that one empties oneself, that one drives before oneself all that is not God, and that one completely empties this little house of our soul to leave room for God alone. In doing this, do not fear being unfaithful toward creatures. On the contrary, that is the only way for you to serve them effectively" (Raphael Brown, Franciscan Mystic, p. 126).
1298 St. Mechtildis of Helfta Benedictine nun trained St. Gertrude the Great.
She was born to a noble family in Heifta, Saxony, and was placed in a convent at age seven. Mechtildis was a mystic, and aided St. Gertrude with her Book of Special Graces or The Revelation of St. Mechtildis. She died on November 19 and was never formally canonized.
1625 Adrian of Peshekhon and Yaroslav.
The Uncovering of the Relics of the Hieromartyr Adrian of Peshekhon and Yaroslav took place on November 19, 1625. On December 17, 1625, under Patriarch Philaret, his incorrupt relics were transferred to the monastery he founded. The account of the hosiomartyr Adrian is located on the day of his death, March 5.

1867 Saint Philaret (Drozdov) Metropolitan of Moscow, and remained in that position until his death.
born on December 26, 1782 in Kolomna, a suburb of Moscow, and was named Basil in Baptism. His father was a deacon (who later became a priest).  The young Basil studied at the Kolomna seminary, where courses were taught in Latin. He was small in stature, and far from robust, but his talents set him apart from his classmates. In 1808, while he was a student at the Moscow Theological Academy at Holy Trinity Lavra, Basil received monastic tonsure and was named Philaret after St Philaret the Merciful (December 1). Not long after this, he was ordained a deacon. In 1809, he went to teach at the Theological Academy in Petersburg, which had been reopened only a short time before. Hierodeacon Philaret felt ill at ease in Petersburg, but he was a very good teacher who tried to make theology intelligible to all. Therefore, he worked to have classes taught in Russian rather than in Latin.

Philaret was consecrated as bishop in 1817, and was appointed to serve as a vicar in the diocese of Petersburg. He soon rose to the rank of archbishop, serving in Tver, Yaroslavl, and Moscow. In 1826, he was made Metropolitan of Moscow, and remained in that position until his death.
The Metropolitan believed that it was his duty to educate and enlighten his flock about the Church's teachings and traditions. Therefore, he preached and wrote about how to live a Christian life, basing his words on the wisdom of the Holy Fathers. His 1823 CATECHISM has been an influential book in Russia and in other countries for nearly two hundred years.

The reforms of Tsar Peter the Great had abolished the patriarchate and severely restricted the Church, placing many aspects of its life under governmental control. Metropolitan Philaret tried to regain some of the Church's freedom to administer its own affairs, regarding Church and State as two separate entities working in harmony. Not everyone shared his views, and he certainly made his share of enemies. Still, he did achieve some degree of success in effecting changes.


One day, Archimandrite Anthony (Medvedev), a disciple of St Seraphim of Sarov (January 2), paid a call on his diocesan hierarch. During their conversation, Fr Anthony spoke of the patristic teaching on unceasing prayer, and he may have told the Metropolitan something of St Seraphim. St Philaret felt a deep spiritual kinship with Fr Anthony, who soon became his Elder. He made no important decision concerning diocesan affairs, or his own spiritual life, without consulting Fr Anthony. St Seraphim once told Fr Anthony that he would become the igumen of a great monastery, and gave him advice on how to conduct himself. It was St Philaret who appointed him as igumen of Holy Trinity Lavra.

Metropolitan Philaret wanted to have the Holy Scriptures translated into modern Russian, so that people could read and understand them. Fr Anthony, however, criticized the unorthodox ethos of the Russian Bible Society, which was popular during the reign of Alexander I. In his eagerness to have the Bible translated into modern Russian, St Philaret at first supported the Bible Society without realizing how dangerous some of its ideas were. The first Russian translation of the Bible was printed during the reign of Tsar Alexander II.

Under the direction of his Elder, Metropolitan Philaret made great progress in the spiritual life. He also received the gifts of unceasing prayer, clairvoyance, and healing. It is no exaggeration to suggest that St Philaret himself was one of the forces behind the spiritual revival in nineteenth century Russia. He defended the Elders of Optina Monastery when they were misunderstood and attacked by many. He protected the nuns of St Seraphim's Diveyevo Convent, and supported the publication of patristic texts by Optina Monastery.

Metropolitan Philaret was asked to dedicate the new Triumphal Gate in Moscow, and Tsar Nicholas I was also present. Seeing statues of pagan gods on the Gate, the Metropolitan refused to bless it. The Tsar became angry, and many people criticized the saint's refusal to participate. He felt that he had followed his conscience in this matter, but still felt disturbed by it, and so he prayed until he finally dropped off to sleep. He was awakened around 5 A.M. by the sound of someone opening the door which he usually kept locked. The Metropolitan sat up and saw St Sergius of Radonezh (September 25) leaning over his bed. "Don't worry," he said, "it will all pass." Then he disappeared.

Two months before his death, St Philaret saw his father in a dream, warning him about the 19th day of the month. On November 19, 1867, he served the Divine Liturgy for the last time. At two in the afternoon, they went to his cell and found his body. He was buried at Holy Trinity Lavra.
St Philaret was glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1995.

1907 Saint Raphael Kalinowski: sentence to ten years forced labor in the Siberian salt mines; part of his sentence was spent in Irkutsk where his relics recently sanctified a new cathedral: Enthusiastic parish priest, he spent countless hours with his parishioners in the confessional.
Also known as:  Joseph Kalinowski

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Born 1835:  Son of Andrew Kalinowski, prominent mathematics professor at the College of Nobility, and Josepha Poionska Kalinowski. Studied at his father's school. Though he felt a call to the priesthood, Joseph decided on college first. Studied zoology, chemistry, agriculture, and apiculture at the Institute of Agronomy in Hory Horki, Russia, and at the Academy of Military Engineering at Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Lieutenant in the Russian Military Engineering Corps in 1857. Planned and supervised the construction of the railway between Kursk and Odessa. Promoted to captain in 1862, stationed in Brest-Litovsk. There he started, taught, and bore all the costs of a Sunday school, accepting anyone interested.

In 1863 he supported the Polish insurrection. He resigned from the Russian army and became the rebellion's minister of war for the Vilna region; he took the commission with the understanding that he would never hand out a death sentence or execute a prisoner. Arrested by Russian authorities on 25 March 1864. In June 1864 he was condemned to death for his part in the revolt, but the authorities feared they would be creating a political martyr, and commuted his sentence to ten years forced labor in the Siberian salt mines; part of his sentence was spent in Irkutsk where his relics recently sanctified a new cathedral.

Released in 1873, he was exiled from his home region in Lithuania. Moved to Paris, France, and worked as a tutor for three years. In 1877 he finally answered the long-heard call to the religious life, and joined the Carmelite Order at Graz, Austria, taking the name Raphael. Studied theology in Hungary, then joined the Carmelite house at Czama, Poland. Ordained on 15 January 1882.

Worked to restore the Discalced Carmelites to Poland, and for church unity. Founded a convent at Wadowice, Poland, c.1889. Worked with Blessed Alphonsus Mary Marurek. Noted spiritual director of both Catholics and Orthodox. Enthusiastic parish priest, he spent countless hours with his parishioners in the confessional.

Born 1835 at Vilna, Russian Poland (modern Vilnius, Lithuania) as Joseph Kalinowski
Died 15 November 1907 at Wadowice, Poland of natural causes
Beatified 22 June 1983 at Cracow, Poland by Pope John Paul II
Canonized 17 November 1991 by Pope John Paul II


 Friday  Saints of November  18 Quartodécimo 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.

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

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

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

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

The Five Reasons
Lucia once asked this question of Our Lord and received as an answer: 'MY DAUGHTER, THE MOTIVE IS SIMPLE, THERE ARE FIVE KINDS OF OFFENCES AND BLASPHEMIES UTTERED AGAINST THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY: (1) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: (2) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HER VIRGINITY: (3) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HER DIVINE MATERNITY: (4) BLASPHEMIES OF THOSE WHO OPENLY SEEK TO FOSTER IN THE HEARTS OF CHILDREN INDIFFERENCE OR EVEN HATRED FOR THIS IMMACULATE MOTHER: (5) THE OFFENCES OF THOSE WHO DIRECTLY OUTRAGE HER IN HOLY IMAGES.'
From the above, it is easy to see that each of the Five Saturdays can correspond to a specific offence. By offering the graces received during each First Saturday as reparation for the offence being prayed for, the participant can hope to help remove the thorns from Our Lady's Heart.
What Do I Have To Do?
The devotion of First Saturdays, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, carries with it the assurance of salvation. However, to derive profit from such a great promise of Our Lady, the devotion must be properly understood and duly performed.
The requirements as stipulated by Our Lady are as follows:
(1) CONFESSION, (2) COMMUNION, (3) FIVE DECADES OF THE ROSARY, (4) MEDITATION ON ONE OR MORE OF THE ROSARY MYSTERIES FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES, (5) TO DO ALL THESE THINGS IN THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, and (6) TO OBSERVE ALL THESE PRACTICES ON THE FIRST SATURDAY OF FIVE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS.
(1) CONFESSION: A reparative confession means that the confession should not only be good (valid and licit), but also be offered in the spirit of reparation, in this case, to Mary's Immaculate Heart. This confession may be made on the First Saturday itself or some days before or after the First Saturday within the preceding octave would suffice.
(2) COMMUNION: The communion of reparation must be sacramental duly received with the intention of making reparation. This offering, like the confession, is an interior act and so no external action to express the intention is needed.
(3) THE ROSARY: The Rosary mentioned here was indicated by the Portuguese word 'terco' which is commonly employed to denote a Rosary of five decades, since it forms a fourth of the full Rosary of 20 decades. This too must recited in a spirit of reparation.
(4) MEDITATION FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES: Here the meditation on one mystery or more is to be made without simultaneous recitation of the Rosary decade. As indicated, the meditation may be either on one mystery alone for 15 minutes, or on all 20 mysteries, spending about one minute on each mystery, or again, on two or more mysteries during the period. This can also be made before each decade spending three minutes or more in considering the