Tuesday  Saints of November  22 Décimo 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!)

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

November 22 - Our Lady of Lavang (Vietnam, 1798) 
Mary in the Temple (II)


Six Canonized on Feast of Christ the King Nov 23 2014

CAUSES OF SAINTS April  2014

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List

Acts of the Apostles

Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

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

http://www.worldpriest.com/

THE EUCHARIST, A MYSTERY TO BE BELIEVED
POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION

SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI

Morning Prayer and Hymn   Meditation of the Day Prayer for Priests

We pray for those who have no one to pray for them.
All of us can attain to Christian virtue and holiness, no matter in what condition of life we live and no matter what our life work may be -- St Francis de Sales

November 22
54  Apostle Philemon of the Seventy
St Onesimus the Disciple of St Paul
        St. Maurus Martyr of Rome
 70 St Apphia the wife of Philemon and Equal of the Apostles
13th v. Blessed Benedict de Ponte shed blood to bring the light of faith to Poland among the Tartars OP (PC)
1318 Martyr Michael the Prince of Tver
1400 Venerable Callistus Xanthopoulos of Mt Athos

November 22 - Our Lady of Lavang (Vietnam, 1798)  Mary in the Temple (II)
 54  Apostle Philemon of the Seventy
        St. Maurus Martyr of Rome
 70 St Apphia the wife of Philemon and Equal of the Apostles
 Martyr Menignus at Parium a linen-bleacher
 Martyr Valerian at Rome and the Holy Martyrs Tiburtius Maximus:
  St. Cecilia patroness of music
 Tiburtius at Rome the brother of St Valerian, and the brother-in-law of Martyr  
Maximus at Rome led the detachment of soldiers accompanying St Cecilia Martyr
  305 St. Mark & Stephen Martyrs of Antioch, in Pisidia
  306 St. Lucretia Virgin martyr of western Spain
  340 St Agabbas of Syria novice under the Monk Eusebius
  520 St. Pragmatius of Autun His diocese suffered much during the war between the sons of Clovis B (RM)
  621 St. Devniolin Abbot 
        Hieromartyr Alexis (Benemanskii) of Tver
        Hieromartyr Elias (Gromoglasov) of Tver
 770 Savinian of Ménat Third abbot of Moûtier-Saint-Chaffre (Ménat), OSB Abbot (AC)
  873 Blessed Christian of Auxerre 37th bishop of Auxerre (Benedictines). B (AC)
  900 Saint Righteous Michael the soldier of Potouka, Bulgaria many miracles after death
  925 St. Tigridia Benedictine abbess
1086 Blessed Yaropolk the Prince of Vladimir-Volhynia, in Holy Baptism Peter
1093 Blessed Eugenia of Matera, OSB Abbess
13th v. Blessed Benedict de Ponte shed blood to bring the light of faith to Poland among the Tartars OP (PC)
1318 Martyr Michael the Prince of Tver
1400 Venerable Callistus Xanthopoulos of Mt Athos

November 22 - Our Lady of Lavang (Vietnam, 1798) 
Mary in the Temple (II)
Eighty-two young girls were weaving the veil of the Temple.  Rabbinical literature confirms many young girls lived in the Temple and wove the veil. The Jerusalem Talmud (or Palestinian Talmud) furnishes interesting precisions on the subject: "The veil of the Temple was a palm-length in width. It was woven with seventy-two smooth stitches each made of twenty-four threads. The length was  40 cubits and width of 20 cubits. Eighty-two young girls wove it. Two veils were made each year and three hundred priests were needed to carry it to the pool" (Mishna Sheqalim 8, 5). The Talmud also says that when the Temple was burnt in 70 A.D.  "the virgins who were weaving threw themselves in the flames" rather than let themselves fall into the hands of the enemy (Pesiqta Rabbati 26, 6), and that they lived in the three-storey building inside the Temple area.

Excerpts from the Jerusalem Talmud
Mary, "Mother of the Church" (II)  November 22 -
Our Lady of Soufanieh (Syria, 1982)
This is a title, Venerable Brothers, not new to Christian piety; it is precisely by this title, in preference to all others, that the faithful and the Church address Mary. It truly is part of the genuine substance of devotion to Mary, finding its justification in the very dignity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate.
Just as, in fact, the Divine Maternity is the basis for her special relationship with Christ, and for her presence in the economy of salvation brought about by Jesus Christ, thus it also constitutes the principal basis for the relations between Mary and the Church, since she is the mother of him who, right from the time of his Incarnation in her virginal bosom, joined to himself as head of his Mystical Body which is the Church.
Mary, then as Mother of Christ, is mother also of all the faithful and of all the Pastors.
We trust then, that with the Promulgation of the Constitution on the Church, sealed by the Proclamation of Mary as Mother of the Church, that is to say of all the faithful and all the Pastors, the Christian people may,
with greater ardor, turn to the Holy Virgin and render to her the honor and devotion due to her.

Protectress of the Catholics November 22 -
OUR LADY OF LA-VANG (Vietnam, 1798)

Vietnam is a land of many martyrs. Across the centuries devoted religious, scholars, leaders and the poor have paid homage to Our Lady at La-Vang. Sadly, the Shrine was destroyed in the summer of 1972 during the Vietnam War.
In June 19, 1988, John Paul II, in the canonizing ceremony of the 117 Vietnamese martyrs,
publicly recognized the importance of Our Lady of La-Vang.


Around the year 1795, a large number of Vietnamese Catholics found refuge from persecution in the jungle of La-Vang. Here they stayed hidden, suffering from bitter cold weather, dangers and illnesses, to practice their religion.
One of the few comforts they allowed themselves was to recite the rosary every day at dusk. On one such evening in 1798, they were first frightened and then astonished to behold a Woman and a Child standing nearby in a mysterious glow of light. Our Lady was wearing a long cape, holding Baby Jesus in her arms, with two angels at their sides.
She comforted them and told them to boil the leaves from certain nearby trees to use as medicine.
She also told them, "From this day on, prayers said on this spot will be heard and answered."


Not long after the Virgin's visit, the people who had taken refuge there erected a simple chapel in her honor.
By 1820, her name had spread among the people in the region to other places and even the Buddhists believed in Our Lady's promises. Little by little, the pilgrims that had come with axes and spears to scare away wild animals were replaced by those holding banners, flowers and rosaries. In 1901, a new church was built and over 12,000 people participated in the solemn inauguration ceremony where
Our Lady of La-Vang was proclaimed Protectress of the Catholics.

See http://www.ourladyoflavang.org/pages/history-our-lady-la-vang

( ...) Just as at the invitation of Pope John XXIII We entered the Council hall, along with "Mary, the Mother of Jesus," so at the close of the third session We leave this Temple with the most holy and sweet name of Mary,
Mother of the Church.

Pope Paul VI  Saint Peter of Rome, November 21, 1964
November 22 – Virgin of Quinche (Equador)
 
Living the revolution of tenderness, like Mary -- Pope Francis Santiago de Cuba, September 22, 2015
 We are asked to live the revolution of tenderness as Mary, our Mother of Charity, did. We are invited to “leave home” and to open our eyes and hearts to others.  Our revolution comes about through tenderness, through the joy which always becomes closeness and compassion…and leads us to get involved in, and to serve, the life of others.

Our faith makes us leave our homes and go forth to encounter others, to share their joys, their hopes and their frustrations.
Our faith, “calls us out of our house,” to visit the sick, the prisoner and to those who mourn. It makes us able to laugh with those who laugh, and rejoice with our neighbors who rejoice.

Like Mary, we want to be a Church which serves, which leaves home and goes forth, which goes forth from its chapels, forth from its sacristies, in order to accompany life, to sustain hope, to be the sign of unity of a noble and worthy people.
Like Mary, Mother of Charity, we want to be a Church which goes forth to build bridges, to break down walls, to sow seeds of reconciliation.
Like Mary, we want to be a Church which can accompany all those “pregnant” situations of our people, committed to life, to culture, to society, not washing our hands but rather walking together with our brothers and sisters.

Pope Francis
Excerpt from Homily in the Minor Basilica of the Shrine “Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre,” Santiago de Cuba, September 22, 2015

Our Lady of the Mystical Rose   Our Lady of the Road
November 9 - Feast of the Icon Mater Domini (Italy, 1060) She is a Sign of Sure Hope and Comfort (I)
Yes, we want to thank you, Virgin Mother of God and our most beloved Mother, for your intercession for the good of the Church. You, who in embracing the divine will without reserve were consecrated with all of your energies to the person and work of your Son, teach us to keep in our heart the mysteries of Christ's life and to meditate upon them in silence, as you did.
May you who reached Calvary, ever-deeply united to your Son who from the Cross gave you as mother to the disciple John, also make us feel you are always near, at each moment of our lives, especially in the times of darkness and trial.
Excerpt from a Prayer of His Holiness Benedict XVI  December 8, 2005
November 22 - St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr in Rome, 2nd or 3rd century - Our Lady of Lavang (Vietnam, 1798) – Our Lady of Soufanieh (Syria,  1982) - Virgin of Quinche (Ecuador)
 
      From Soufanieh to Maaloula
Since November 22, 1982, Soufanieh, a neighborhood in Damascus (Syria) has become the place of events that bring its inhabitants graces similar to those that the early Christians experienced. On that day, Myrna went to pray with her family at the bedside of her sister-in-law who was unwell, when she suddenly felt something impossible to describe: oil started dripping from her hands...

The second incident took place in the home of Myrna and her husband, Nicholas, in Soufanieh. It began on November 27, 1982, a date coinciding with the anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Saint Catherine Labouré in 1830, at the Rue du Bac in Paris. Once again oil started to drip from a small replica of the icon of the Virgin of Kazan, barely larger than a playing card that Nicolas had bought in Sofia, Bulgaria. The exudation of the small icon would eventually follow the liturgical calendar and continued until November 26, 1990.

Let us recall that Damascus was the place of Saint Paul’s conversion (Acts 9:3-6). It is also where we find the Chapel of Saint Ananias (one of the 72 mentioned by Saint Luke) who received the mission from the Lord to lay his hands on Saul of Tarsus so he would regain his eyesight (Acts 9:10-19).

Also near Damascus is the village of Maaloula, where a group of Syrian Christians very recently died as martyrs for the faith …The Mary of Nazareth Team http://www.soufanieh.com/


St Onesimus the Disciple of St Paul

The Holy Apostles of the Seventy Philemon and his wife Apphia lived in the city of Colossa in Phrygia. After they were baptized by the holy Apostle Paul, they converted their house into a house of prayer, where all those who believed in Christ gathered and attended services. They devoted themselves to serving the sick and downcast.

St Philemon became bishop of the city of Gaza, and he preached the Word of God throughout Phrygia. The holy Apostle Paul continued to be his guide, and addressed to him his Epistle filled with love, and in which he sends blessings "to Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow laborer, and to our beloved Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in thy house" (Phil 1:1-3).

St Onesimus (February 15), also mentioned in the Epistle, was St Philemon's former slave.

Sts Philemon and Apphia, and also St Archippus (who also lived at Colossa), all received the crown of martyrdom during the persecution of Nero (54-68). During a pagan festival an enraged crowd rushed into the Christian church when services were going on. All fled in terror, and only Sts Philemon, Archippus and Apphia remained. They seized them and led them off to the city prefect. The crowd beat and stabbed St Archippus with knives, and he died on the way to the court. Sts Philemon and Apphia were stoned to death by order of the prefect.

The memory of the holy Apostles Archippus, Philemon, and Apphia is celebrated also on February 19.

54  Apostle Philemon of the Seventy
Colóssis, in Phrygia, sanctórum Philémonis et Apphíæ, sancti Pauli discipulórum ; qui, sub Neróne Imperatóre, cum Gentíles, in die festo Diánæ, invasíssent Ecclésiam, ambo céteris fugiéntibus, tenti, jussu Artoclis Præsidis verbéribus cæsi sunt, et, usque ad renes in fóveam inclúsi, lapídibus opprimúntur.
    At Colossae in Phrygia, during the reign of Nero, Saints Philemon and Apphias, disciples of St. Paul.  When the heathen rushed into the church on the feast of Diana, they were arrested and the rest of the Christians fled.  By command of the governor Artocles they were scourged, enclosed up to their waists in a pit, then overwhelmed with stones.

The Holy Apostles of the Seventy Philemon and his wife Apphia lived in the city of Colossa in Phrygia. After they were baptized by the holy Apostle Paul, they converted their house into a house of prayer, where all those who believed in Christ gathered and attended services. They devoted themselves to serving the sick and downcast.

St Philemon became bishop of the city of Gaza, and he preached the Word of God throughout Phrygia. The holy Apostle Paul continued to be his guide, and addressed to him his Epistle filled with love, and in which he sends blessings "to Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow laborer, and to our beloved Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in thy house" (Phil 1:1-3).

St Onesimus (February 15), also mentioned in the Epistle, was St Philemon's former slave.

Sts Philemon and Apphia, and also St Archippus (who also lived at Colossa), all received the crown of martyrdom during the persecution of Nero (54-68). During a pagan festival an enraged crowd rushed into the Christian church when services were going on. All fled in terror, and only Sts Philemon, Archippus and Apphia remained. They seized them and led them off to the city prefect. The crowd beat and stabbed St Archippus with knives, and he died on the way to the court. Sts Philemon and Apphia were stoned to death by order of the prefect.

The memory of the holy Apostles Archippus, Philemon, and Apphia is celebrated also on February 19.
Philemon and his wife Apphia

1st v. SS. PHILEMON AND APPHIA, Martyrs
PHILEMON, a citizen of Colossae in Phrygia, a man of rank and wealth, was probably converted by St Paul, whose personal friend he was, when he preached at Ephesus. His house was notable for the devotion and piety of those who composed it, and the assemblies of the faithful seem to have been kept there. But Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, so far from profiting by the good example before his eyes, robbed his master, and fled to Rome, where he met St Paul, who was then prisoner there and the spirit of charity and religion with which the apostle treated him wrought an entire change in his heart, so that he became his spiritual son. St Paul would have liked to keep the converted Onesimus as an assistant, but Philemon had the prior claim on his services and so he sent him back to Colossae, with a letter that appears in the Bible as the Epistle to Philemon. Therein St Paul writes with much tenderness and power of persuasion. He calls Philemon his beloved fellow labourer, commending his charity and faith. He also names Apphia, “our dearest sister”, presumably Philemon’s wife, and Archippus, “our fellow soldier”. He then prefers a request, modestly putting Philemon in mind that, as an apostle, he could command him in Christ but he is content to ask that the obligation which Philemon had to him, the writer, might acquit Onesimus of the wrong he had done:  that he might be received “not now as a servant, but instead of a servant a most dear brother, especially to me but how much more to thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord?” The result of St Paul’s appeal is not known, but Christian tradition says that Philemon granted Onesimus his liberty, forgave him his crime, and made him a worthy fellow labourer in the gospel.
So much about St Philemon can be gleaned from St Paul’s letter to him, and nothing else is known. But there are several legends, as that he became bishop of Colossae, or of Gaza, that he was martyred at Ephesus, or again at Colossae. The story accepted in the East is thus summarized in the Roman Martyrology “When, under the Emperor Nero, the gentiles broke into the church on the feast of Diana at Colossae in Phrygia and the rest fled, the holy Philemon and Apphia were taken. By command of the governor Artoclis they were scourged and then buried in a pit up to the waist, where they were overwhelmed with stones.” A commemoration of these saints occurs in the Greek synaxaries and menaia, though November 23 is the date to which it is commonly assigned, and a third martyr, Archippus, is associated with them. See Delehaye’s edition of the Synaxarium Constantinopolitanum, cc. 247—248. 

The Holy Apostles of the Seventy Philemon and his wife Apphia lived in the city of Colossa in Phrygia. After they were baptized by the holy Apostle Paul, they converted their house into a house of prayer, where all those who believed in Christ gathered and attended services. They devoted themselves to serving the sick and downcast.


St Philemon became bishop of the city of Gaza, and he preached the Word of God throughout Phrygia. The holy Apostle Paul continued to be his guide, and addressed to him his Epistle filled with love, and in which he sends blessings "to Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow laborer, and to our beloved Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in thy house" (Phil 1:1-3).

St Onesimus (February 15), also mentioned in the Epistle, was St Philemon's former slave.

Sts Philemon and Apphia, and also St Archippus (who also lived at Colossa), all received the crown of martyrdom during the persecution of Nero (54-68). During a pagan festival an enraged crowd rushed into the Christian church when services were going on. All fled in terror, and only Sts Philemon, Archippus and Apphia remained. They seized them and led them off to the city prefect. The crowd beat and stabbed St Archippus with knives, and he died on the way to the court. Sts Philemon and Apphia were stoned to death by order of the prefect.
The memory of the holy Apostles Archippus, Philemon, and Apphia is celebrated also on February 19.
70 St Apphia the wife of Philemon and Equal of the Apostles 

The Holy Apostles of the Seventy Philemon and his wife Apphia lived in the city of Colossa in Phrygia. After they were baptized by the holy Apostle Paul, they converted their house into a house of prayer, where all those who believed in Christ gathered and attended services. They devoted themselves to serving the sick and downcast.

St Philemon became bishop of the city of Gaza, and he preached the Word of God throughout Phrygia. The holy Apostle Paul continued to be his guide, and addressed to him his Epistle filled with love, and in which he sends blessings "to Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow laborer, and to our beloved Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in thy house" (Phil 1:1-3).

St Onesimus (February 15), also mentioned in the Epistle, was St Philemon's former slave.

Sts Philemon and Apphia, and also St Archippus (who also lived at Colossa), all received the crown of martyrdom during the persecution of Nero (54-68). During a pagan festival an enraged crowd rushed into the Christian church when services were going on. All fled in terror, and only Sts Philemon, Archippus and Apphia remained. They seized them and led them off to the city prefect. The crowd beat and stabbed St Archippus with knives, and he died on the way to the court. Sts Philemon and Apphia were stoned to death by order of the prefect.

The memory of the holy Apostles Archippus, Philemon, and Apphia is celebrated also on February 19.

Philemon and Apphia (Appia) MM (RM); feast day in the East is February 14 or July 6. Saint Philemon, a wealthy citizen of Colossae, Phrygia, was converted either by Saint Paul when he preached at Ephesus, or by Paul's disciple Saint Epaphras, who evangelized Colossae. He was the recipient of the Epistle to Philemon, a private personal letter in which Paul tells him that he is sending back to him his runaway slave Onesimus so that he could have him back "not as a slave anymore, but . . . [as] a dear brother." According to tradition, Philemon freed Onesimus and was later stoned to death with his wife Apphia, whom Paul called "my dear sister," at Colossae for their Christianity (Benedictines, Coulson, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).
St. Maurus Martyr of Rome
Romæ sancti Mauri Mártyris, qui, cum ex Africa venísset ad sepúlcra Apostolórum, sub Imperatóre Numeriáno et Urbis Præfécto Celeríno agonizávit.
    At Rome, St. Maur, martyr.  He came from Africa to visit the tombs of the apostles, and suffered martyrdom there under Celerinus, prefect of the city in the reign of Emperor Numerian.
He was born in Africa Proconsularis but went to Rome, where he was martyred. Many cities in Italy and France claimed to possess his relics.
Martyr Menignus at Parium a linen-bleacher

The Holy Martyr Menignus was a simple worker, a linen-bleacher. The Lord granted him His special mercy. Twice in his life, he heard a voice from Heaven calling on him to suffer for Christ.

During the persecution of Christians under the emperor Decius (249-251) a miracle occurred: an angel led Christians out of prison. Having learned of this, St Menignus rejoiced and loved the Savior with all his heart. Calling to mind the heavenly summons to suffer for Christ, he tore up the decree of the impious Decius which hung in the city square, and which ordered the persecution of Christians. The saint declared himself a follower of Christ. For this he was arrested and after fierce tortures he was beheaded.
305 St. Mark & Stephen Martyrs of Antioch, in Pisidia
Antiochíæ Pisídiæ pássio sanctórum Marci et Stéphani, sub Diocletiáno Imperatóre.
    At Antioch in Pisidia, the martyrdom of the Saints Mark and Stephen, under Emperor Diocletian.
First bishop of Jerusalem not of Jewish descent. He is reported to have been martyred after two decades.
Mark and Stephen of Antioch MM (RM) Died c. 305. Martyrs in Pisidia, Antioch, under Galerius (Benedictines).
Third Century St. Cecilia patroness of music
Sanctæ Cæcíliæ, Vírginis et Mártyris, quæ ad cæléstem Sponsum, próprio sánguine purpuráta, transívit sextodécimo Kaléndas Octóbris.
    St. Cecilia, virgin and martyr, who on the 16th of September, purpled with her own blood, departed to her heavenly Spouse.

(Date Unknown) St Cecilia, or Cecily, Virgin and Martyr
For over a thousand years St Cecilia (the more traditional English form of her name is Cecily) has been one of the most greatly venerated of the maiden martyrs of the early Church and is one of those named in canon of the Mass. Her “acts” state that she was a patrician girl of Rome and that she was brought up a Christian. She wore a coarse garment beneath the clothes of her rank, fasted from food several days a week, and determined to remain a maiden for the love of God. But her father had other views, and gave her in marriage to a young patrician named Valerian. On the day of the marriage, amid the music and rejoicing of the guests, Cecilia sat apart, singing to God in her heart and praying for help in her predicament. When they retired to their room, she took her courage in both hands and said to her husband gently, “I have a secret to tell you. You must know that I have an angel of God watching over me. If you touch me in the way of marriage he will be angry and you will suffer; but if you respect my maidenhood he will love you as he loves me.” “Show me this angel,” Valerian replied. “If he be of God, I will refrain as you wish.” And Cecilia said, if you believe in the living and one true God and receive the water of baptism, then you shall see the angel”. Valerian agreed and was sent to find Bishop Urban among the poor near the third milestone of the Apian Way. He was received with joy and there appeared a venerable old man bearing a writing: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all, above all, and in us all.” “Do you believe this I” Valerian was asked, and he assented and was baptized by Urban. Then he returned to Cecilia, and found standing by her side an angel, who put upon the head of each a chaplet of roses and lilies. Then appeared his brother, Tiburtius, and he, too, was offered a deathless crown if he would renounce his false gods. At first he was incredulous. “Who”, he asked, has returned from beyond the grave to tell us of this other life?” Cecilia talked long to him, until he was convinced by what she told him of Jesus, and he, too, was baptized and at once experienced many marvels. 

From that time forth the two young men gave themselves up to good works. Because of their zeal in burying the bodies of martyrs they were both arrested. Almachius, the prefect before whom they were brought, began to cross-examine them.

Answers he received from Tiburtius he set down as the ravings of a madman, and, turning to Valerian, he remarked that he hoped to hear more sense from him than from his crazy brother. Valerian replied that he and his brother were under the charge of one and the same physician, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who could impart to them His own wisdom. He then proceeded at some length to compare the joys of Heaven with those of earth. Almachius told him to cease prating and to tell the court if he would sacrifice to the gods and go forth free. Tiburtius and Valerian both replied: “No, not to the gods, but to the one God to whom we offer sacrifice daily.” The prefect asked whether Jupiter were the name of their god. “No, indeed”, said Valerian. “Jupiter was a corrupt libertine and, according to the testimony of your own writers, a murderer as well as a criminal.”

Valerian rejoiced when they were delivered over to be scourged, and cried out to the Christians present: “Roman citizens, do not let my sufferings frighten you away from the truth, but cling to the one holy God, and trample under your feet the idols of wood and stone which Almachius worships.” Even then the prefect was disposed to allow them a respite in which to reconsider their refusal, but his assessor assured him that they would only use the time to distribute their possessions, thus preventing the state from confiscating their property. They were accordingly condemned to death and were beheaded in a place called Pagus Triopius, four miles from Rome. With them perished one of the officials, a man called Maximus, who had declared himself a Christian after witnessing their fortitude.

Cecilia gave burial to the three bodies, and then she in turn was called on to repudiate her faith. Instead she converted those who came to induce her to sacrifice; and when Pope Urban visited her at home he baptized over 400 persons there: one of them, Gordian, a man of rank, established a church in her house, which Urban later dedicated in her name. When she was eventually brought into court, Almachius argued with Cecilia at some length, and was not a little provoked by her attitude she laughed in his face and tripped him up in his words. At length she was sentenced to be suffocated to death in the bathroom of her own house.

But though the furnace was fed with seven times its normal amount of fuel, Cecilia remained for a day and a night without receiving any harm, and a soldier was sent to behead her. He struck at her neck three times, and then left her lying. She was not dead and lingered three days, during which the Christians flocked to her side and she formally made over her house to Urban and committed her household to his care. She was buried next to the papal crypt in the catacomb of St Callistus.

This well-known story, familiar to and loved by Christians for many ages, dates back to about the end of the fifth century, but unfortunately can by no means be regarded as trustworthy or even founded upon authentic materials. It must be regretfully admitted that of St Valerian and St Tiburtius nothing beyond the fact of their martyrdom, place of burial (the Praetextatus cemetery) and date of commemoration (April 14) is certainly known St Cecilia perhaps owed her original cultus to her specially honourable place of burial as foundress of a church, tile titulus Caeciliae. Nor are we any better informed about when she lived. The dates suggested for her martyrdom vary from 177 (de Rossi) to the middle of the fourth century (Kellner).

Pope St Paschal 1 (817—824) translated the supposed relics of St Cecilia (found, in consequence of a vision or dream, not in the cemetery of Callistus but in that of Praetextatus), together with those of SS. Valerian, Tiburtius and Maximus, to the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. In 1599 Cardinal Sfondrati in repairing this church reinterred the relics of the four martyrs, the body of Cecilia being alleged to be then still incorrupt and complete, although Pope Paschal had en­shrined the head separately, and between 847 and 855 it was mentioned among the relics at the church of the Four Crowned Ones. The story goes that in 1599 the sculptor Maderna was allowed to see the body and made a life-size statue of what he is said to have seen, naturalistic and very moving: “not lying upon her back like a body in a tomb, but upon the right side, as a maiden in her bed, her knees drawn together, and seeming to be asleep.” This statue is in the church of St Cecilia, under the altar contiguous to the place where the relics were reburied in a silver coffin; it bears the sculptor’s inscription: “Behold the most holy virgin Cecilia, whom I myself saw lying incorrupt in her tomb. I have made for you in this marble an image of that saint in the very posture of her body.” De Rossi located the original burying-place of Cecilia in the cemetery of Callistus, and a replica of Maderna’s statue now occupies the recess.

However, Father Delehaye and others are not satisfied that there is any justi­fication for the common belief that the body of the saint was found entire in 1599 just as Maderna has sculptured it. Both he and Dom Quentin call attention to the inconsistencies in the accounts the contemporaries as Baronius and Bosio have left us of the discovery. Another difficulty is caused by the fact that no mention is made of a Roman virgin martyr named Cecilia in the period immediately following the persecutions. There is no reference to her in the poems of Damasus or Prudentius, in the writings of Jerome or Ambrose, and her name does not occur in the Depositio martyrum (fourth century). Moreover, what was later called the titulus Sanctae Caeciliae was originally known simply as the titulus Caeciliae, i.e. the church founded by a lady named Cecilia.

  Today perhaps St Cecilia is most generally known as the patron saint of music and musicians. At her wedding, the acta tell us, while the musicians played, Cecilia sang to the Lord in her heart. In the later middle ages she was represented as actually playing the organ and singing aloud; and in the first antiphon of Lauds on her feast, referring to this incident, the words “in her heart” are omitted. 

The legendary passio is printed at full length in Mombritius and summarized by Delehaye in his book cited below, while those portions of the text which are of more practical interest may be found in Dom Quentin’s article in DAC., vol. ii, cc. 2712—2738. There is a considerable literature, and in particular the whole matter has been very fully discussed by H. Delehaye in his book Etude su, le légendier romain (1936), pp. 73—96. He mentions, besides Quentin’s article just referred to, the following authorities as particularly worth consulting De Rossi, Roma sotterranea, vol. ii, pp. xxxii—xliii; Erbes, Die Heilige Caecilia in Zusammen­hang mit der Papstcrypta, in the Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 1888, pp. 1—66 J. P. Kirsch, Die Heilige Caecilia in der römischen Kirche (i 91 o), and Die römischen Titelkirchen im Altertum (1918), pp. 113—116 and 155—156; P. Franchi de’ Cavalieri, Recenti studi intorno a S. Cecilia In Note agiografiche, vol. iv (1912), pp. 3—38 F. Lanzoni in Rivista di archeologia cristiana, vol. ii, pp. 220—224 Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, vol. i, p. 297, and vol. ii, pp. 52-68 P. Styger, Römischen Märtyrergrüfte (1935), pp. 83—84 and 88 and L. de Lacger in Bulletin de littérature ecclésiastique (1923), pp. 21—29. There is a full summary of Mgr J. P. Kirsch’s views, written by himself, in the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. iii, pp. 471—473.

In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the Loves of Cecilia and Valerian, written, like those of Chrysanthus and Daria, Julian and Basilissa, in glorification of the virginal life, and with the purpose of taking the place of the sensual romances of Daphnis and Chloe, Chereas and Callirhoe, etc., which were then popular. There may have been a foundation of fact on which the story was built up; but the Roman Calendar of the fourth century, and the Carthaginian Calendar of the fifth make no mention of Cecilia.

It is said, however, that there was a church dedicated to S. Cecilia in Rome in the fifth century, in which Pope Symmachus held a council in 500. But Symmachus held no council in that year. That held at Easter, 502, was in the "basilica Julii"; that on September 1, 505, was held in the "basilica Sessoriana"; that on October 23, 501, was in "porticu beati Petri apostoli que appelatur Palmaria."
The next synod, November 6, 502, met in the church of St. Peter; that in 533, "ante confessionem beati Petri"; and that in 503 also in the basilica of S. Peter. Consequently, till better evidence is produced, we must conclude that S. Cecilia was not known or venerated in Rome till about the time when Pope Gelasius (496) introduced her name into his Sacramentary.
In 821, however, there was an old church fallen into decay with the dedication to S. Cecilia; but Pope Paschal I dreamed that the body of the saint lay in the cemetery of S. Celestas, along with that of her husband Valerian. He accordingly looked for them and found them, or, at all events, some bodies, as was probable, in the catacombs, which he was pleased to regard as those of Cecilia and Valerian. And he translated these relics to the church of S. Cecilia, and founded a monastery in their honor.

The story of S. Cecilia is not without beauty and merit. There was in the city of Rome a virgin named Cecilia, who was given in marriage to a youth named Valerian. She wore sackcloth next to her skin, and fasted, and invoked the saints and angels and virgins, beseeching them to guard her virginity. And she said to her husband, "I will tell you a secret if you will swear not to reveal it to anyone." And when he swore, she added, "There is an angel who watches me, and wards off from me any who would touch me." He said, "Dearest, if this be true, show me the angel." "That can only be if you will believe in one God, and be baptized."

She sent him to Pope S. Urban (223-230), who baptized him; and when he returned, he saw Cecilia praying in her chamber, and an angel by her with flaming wings, holding two crowns of roses and lilies, which he placed on their heads, and then vanished. Shortly after, Tibertius, the brother of Valerian, entered, and wondered at the fragrance and beauty of the flowers at that season of the year.

When he heard the story of how they had obtained these crowns, he also consented to be baptized. After their baptism the two brothers devoted themselves to burying the martyrs slain daily by the prefect of the city, Turcius Almachius. [There was no prefect of that name.] They were arrested and brought before the prefect, and when they refused to sacrifice to the gods were executed with the sword.

In the meantime, S. Cecilia, by preaching had converted four hundred persons, whom Pope Urban forthwith baptized. Then Cecilia was arrested, and condemned to be suffocated in the baths. She was shut in for a night and a day, and the fires were heaped up, and made to glow and roar their utmost, but Cecilia did not even break out into perspiration through the heat. When Almachius heard this he sent an executioner to cut off her head in the bath. The man struck thrice without being able to sever the head from the trunk. He left her bleeding, and she lived three days. Crowds came to her, and collected her blood with napkins and sponges, whilst she preached to them or prayed. At the end of that period she died, and was buried by Pope Urban and his deacons.

Alexander Severus, who was emperor when Urban was Pope, did not persecute the Church, though it is possible some Christians may have suffered in his reign. Herodian says that no person was condemned during the reign of Alexander, except according to the usual course of the law and by judges of the strictest integrity. A few Christians may have suffered, but there can have been no furious persecutions, such as is described in the Acts as waged by the apocryphal prefect, Turcius Almachius.

Urbanus was the prefect of the city, and Ulpian, who had much influence at the beginning of Alexander's reign as principal secretary of the emperor and commander of the Pretorian Guards, is thought to have encouraged persecution. Usuardus makes Cecilia suffer under Commodus. Molanus transfers the martyrdom to the reign of Marcus Aurelius. But it is idle to expect to extract history from romance.
In 1599 Cardinal Paul Emilius Sfondrati, nephew of Pope Gregory XIV, rebuilt the church of S. Cecilia.
St. Cecilia is regarded as the patroness of music [because of the story that she heard heavenly music in her heart when she was married], and is represented in art with an organ or organ-pipes in her hand.
Martyr Cecilia at Rome
The Holy Virgin Martyr Cecilia and the Holy Martyrs Valerian, Tiburtius and Maximus: St Cecilia was born in Rome of wealthy and illustrious parents. From her youth she was raised in the Christian Faith. She prayed fervently, she helped those in need, and beneath her fine clothing she wore a hairshirt.
Though she had vowed to preserve her virginity for Christ, her parents decided to give her in marriage to the noble pagan Valerian. The saint did not dare oppose the will of her parents, but with tears she prayed to God that her betrothed would believe in Christ, and that He would send an angel to preserve her virginity.
On the night of their marriage, Cecilia told her husband that an angel stood by to guard her. She warned him that he would be slain if he dared to touch her. Valerian asked to see this angel, but his bride told him that he could not see the angel until he had been cleansed of the impurity of unbelief.
"How may I be cleansed?" he asked. She said that if he asked Bishop Urban for Baptism, he would be able to see the angel. The saint persuaded her fiancé to go with her to Bishop Urban, who was hiding from the persecution in a cave along the Appian Way. The instructions of the wise bishop permeated the soul of Valerian, and both he and his brother Tiburtius believed in Christ and were converted to Christianity. The brothers distributed part of their inheritance to the poor, cared for the sick, and buried Christians tortured to death by the persecutors.

The governor Almachius, having learned of this, gave orders to arrest the brothers and bring them to trial. He demanded that the saints renounce Christ and offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, and the brothers refused. Then they mercilessly began to scourge the brothers. St Valerian under torture urged Christians not to be afraid of torments, but to stand firm for Christ.

The governor, wanting to prevent the holy preacher from influencing the people, ordered that the martyrs be taken outside the city limits and executed there. The detachment of soldiers accompanying the martyrs to execution was commanded by Maximus. He was amazed at the courage of the saints, and asked them why they did not fear death. The holy brothers answered that they were relinquishing this temporal life for life eternal. Maximus wanted to learn the teaching of Christians in detail. He took Sts Valerian and Tiburtius to his own house and conversed with them all night. When she heard of this, St Cecilia went with a priest to Maximus, and he with all his family accepted holy Baptism.

On the following day when they beheaded the Martyrs Valerian and Tiburtius, St Maximus confessed before everyone that he saw how their holy souls had gone up to Heaven. For this confession the holy Martyr Maximus was scourged to death with whips.

The governor wanted to confiscate the property of the executed, but when he was told that St Cecilia had already distributed all her remaining wealth to the poor and by her preaching had converted 400 men, he ordered her execution. For three days they tormented her with fire and smoke in a red-hot bath-house, but the grace of God helped her. Then they decided to behead her. The executioner struck the saint three times with a sword, but only wounded her. The holy Martyr lived three more days in full consciousness, encouraging those around her, and died with prayer on her lips.
Cecilia of Rome VM (RM) (also known as Caecilia, Celia, Cecily)
2nd-3rd century (?). Cecilia is another of the problem saints, though greatly revered from a very early time. Her name is even mentioned in the canon of the first Eucharistic Prayer together with several other saints with questionable elements in their stories.
St. Cecilia
Image of Saint Cecilia courtesy of Saint Charles Borromeo Church

First: "Cecilia, though wedded, according to Roman law, to a nobleman by the name of Valerian, is always listed as a virgin, as well as a martyr, because her husband respected her private vow to become the bride of Christ and never exercised his marital rights" (Keyes).

Second: The Latin of first words of antiphon at Lauds on her feast day are `cantantibus organis,' so since the 16th century she is depicted as playing an organ and is the patron of church music and musicians. But it means music made in her heart to God at her wedding to Valerian, not that she herself played her own wedding music on the organ. The image is particularly anachronistic because she would not be playing the pipe organ with which we are familiar but an instrument similar to a calliope, which the early Christians would have associated with the Roman circus and spectacles. Therefore, she would have been more likely to trample such an instrument underfoot than to play it.

Third: She is commonly listed as a martyr, but there is no evidence of her martyrdom in Rome.
Cecilia is not mentioned in the early Deposito Martyrum of the 4th century, nor any of the early saints who were especially interested in the martyrs (e.g., Saints Ambrose, Jerome, Damasus, and Prudentius). The first mentioned of her name comes about the year 545 when the Passion of Saint Cecilia was written. The author of her Life may be an African refugee who came to Rome c. 488. He uses the argumentation of Augustine and Tertullian that Saint Valerian and his brother Saint Tiburtius were real martyrs, but Saint Cecilia is unconnected to them.

Even the date of her death is uncertain--estimated at anywhere between 177 to the fourth century, though the martyrdom of her supposed husband (according to the Roman Martyrology) was under Emperor Alexander, who ruled 222-35.

It is more likely that Saint Cecilia was the founder of parish church of that name in the Trastevere section of Rome. Founders of churches were often later turned into saints, not just in Rome. See Vie des Saints by the monks of Abbaye Sainte-Marie for further details on this aspect.

Her name, that she founded a church, and that she was buried in the cemetery of Saint Callixtus (donated to the Church by Cecilia) is all that is really known about Saint Cecilia. Her tomb in the cemetery was the prominent feature of a crypt adjoining the papal crypt according to inscriptions found there.

Her unreliable story, constructed of legends, tells us that Saint Cecilia was born of a patrician family in Rome and raised as a Christian. She wore a coarse horsehair garment beneath her clothes of rank, fasted, and vowed herself to God.

Against her will she was married by her father to a young, pagan patrician named Valerian. While everyone sang and danced at their wedding, Cecilia sat apart, saying only the Psalms. Valerian turned out to be a man of great understanding. On their wedding night, she told Valerian, "I have an angel of God watching over me. If you touch me in the way of marriage, he will be angry and you will suffer. But if you respect my maidenhood, he will love you as he loves me."

Valerian replied, "Show me this angel." She told him that if he believed in the living and one true God and was baptized, he would see the angel. Thus, she persuaded Valerian to respect her vow of virginity.

He was impressed and attracted by his wife's Christian graces, and so Valerian was baptized by Pope Saint Urban (which would be c. 222-230). When he returned to Cecilia, he found her standing by the side of an angel as she promised. The angel told him: "I have a crown of flowers for each of you. They have been sent from paradise as a sign of the life you are both to lead. If you are faithful to God, He will reward you with the everlasting perfumes of heaven."

The angel then crowned Cecilia with roses, and Valerian with a wreath of lilies. The delightful fragrance of the flowers filled the whole house. At this point Valerian's brother, Tiburtius, appeared. He, too, was offered salvation if he would renounce false gods. Cecilia converted him, and he was baptized.

From that time the two young men dedicated themselves to good works. Because of their ardor in burying the bodies of martyred Christians, they were arrested. The prefect Almachius told them that if they would sacrifice to the gods, they could go free. They refused, and Valerian rejoiced when he was handed over to be scourged.

The prefect wanted to give them another chance, but his assessor warned him that they would simply use the interim to give away their possessions so that they couldn't be confiscated. They were beheaded in Pagus Triopius, four miles from Rome. With them was an officer named Maximus, who had declared himself a Christian after witnessing their fortitude.

Cecilia buried the three and then decided to turn her home into a place of worship. Her religion was discovered and she herself asked to refute her faith. She converted those who were sent to convince her to sacrifice to the gods. When Pope Urban visited her at home, he baptized over 400 people.

In court, Almachius debated with her for some time. She was sentenced to be suffocated to death in the bathroom of her own house. The furnace was fed seven times its normal amount of fuel, but the steam and heat failed to stifle her. A soldier sent to behead her struck at her neck three times, and she was left dying on the floor. She lingered for three days, during which time the Christians thronged to her side, and she formally made over her house to Urban and committed her household to his care.

She was buried next to the papal crypt in the catacombs of Saint Callixtus. In 817, Pope Saint Paschal I discovered her grave, which had been concealed from the Lombard invader Aistulf in 756, and translated her body to beneath the main altar of what was later called the titulus Sanctae Caeciliae, which translates as "the church founded by a lady named Cecilia." In 1599, during the renovation of the church, Cardinal Sfondrati opened her tomb and found her holy remains incorrupt. Even the green and gold of her rich robe had not been injured by time. Thousands had the privilege of seeing her in her coffin, and many have been blessed by miracles. The body disintegrated quickly after meeting with the air.

Under the high altar in Saint Cecilia's Church is a beautiful marble statue by Maderna portraying the "martyr" bathed in her own blood as she fell after the stroke of the sword. A replica of this statue occupies the the original resting place of the saint in the catacomb of Callixtus. Other artists were allowed to paint pictures of her after her tomb was opened.

Until the middle ages, Pope Saint Gregory had been the patron of music and musicians, but when the Roman Academy of Music was established in 1584, it was put under the protection of Saint Cecilia; thus, her patronage of music originated. Dryden wrote a "Song for Saint Cecilia Day" and Pope an "Ode for Music on Saint Cecilia Day."

Valerian, Tiburtius, and Maximus are historical characters; they were Roman martyrs, buried in the cemetery of Praetextatus, but nothing else is known of them. Their story as outlined above may is a fabrication; but it wasn't until recently that scholars were able to elucidate it, and from the 6th century onwards Saint Cecilia, virgin and martyr, was held in high honor by Christians in the West. Her legend was the basis for the Second Nun's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Whatever the true story of Saint Cecilia, the virtues assigned to her can be found in authoritative acta of other saints and, thus, are worthy of our heeding and following the example set down in the response and antiphon in the old Roman breviary for the Office of Saint Cecilia:
     "In the midst of the concert of instruments, the virgin Cecilia sang to God alone in her heart: 'May my heart and my body remain pure, O God. Let me not be confounded.'

"She imposed on herself fasts of three and four days. She prayed and gave into God's keeping that for which she feared.

"Saint Cecilia, you triumphed over Almachius, the prefect, and converted two brothers by showing them bishop Urban of the angelic face. Like an industrious bee, you served the Lord.

"The glorious virgin forever carried the Gospel in her heart. Day and night she prayed and communed with God. She stretched out her hands to the Lord. Her heart was on fire with heavenly love.

"With her hairshirt, Cecilia subdued her body. She groaned and cried out to God. She brought Tiburtius and Valerian to share the crown. She was a wise virgin, to be numbered among the discreet.
"O Lord Jesus Christ, our good Shepherd, author of chaste vows, receive the fruit of the seed that you sowed in Saint Cecilia. Your servant Cecilia, like an industrious bee, spent herself in your service. The husband that came to her like a fierce lion, she brought to you like a most gentle lamb.

"There is a secret, Valerian, that I wish to tell you: 'I have as my friend an angel of God who watches over my body with jealous care.
"Saint Cecilia said to Tiburtius: 'Today I greet you as my brother, for the love of God has made you spurn idols.'
"We believe that Christ, the son of God, who chose unto himself such a servant, is the true God.
"As the dawn was breaking, Cecilia cried: 'Awake, soldiers of Christ. Cast away the works of darkness and clothe yourselves with the arms of light.
"I asked the Lord to spare me yet for three days that I might consecrate my house as a church." (Appleton, Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Keyes, Melady, Sheppard, Walsh, White)

Saint Cecilia's emblem is, of course, the organ in images dating after the 15th century. She is shown with an organ, harp, or other musical instrument. Sometimes she is (1) crowned with roses carrying a palm; (2) converting her husband, Saint Valerian; (2) dragged by oxen (this is also told of Saint Lucy); (4) in a cauldron; (5) pierced through the throat by a sword (a common attribute of many virgin martyrs); (6) with Saint Valerian, crowned by angels; or (7) shown in ways similar to Saint Dorothy (Husenbeth quotes several English rood-screens on which her attributes seem to be similar) (Roeder). Representations without musical instruments can be found in S. Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna (6th century), Roman frescoes in the catacomb of Callixtus, and in Santa Maria Antiqua (Farmer). After she was depicted by Raphael as an organist, her image has been a favorite subject for stained glass in the choir loft (Appleton). Saint Cecilia is the patroness of musicians (Roeder, White) and Albi cathedral.
Martyr Maximus at Rome led the detachment of soldiers accompanying St Cecilia

Saint Maximus led the detachment of soldiers accompanying St Cecilia and those with her to execution. He was amazed at the courage of the saints, and asked them why they did not fear death. The holy brothers answered that they were relinquishing this temporal life for life eternal. Maximus wanted to learn the teaching of Christians in detail. He took Sts Valerian and Tiburtius to his own house and conversed with them all night. When she heard of this, St Cecilia went with a priest to Maximus, and he with all his family accepted holy Baptism.

On the following day when they beheaded the Martyrs Valerian and Tiburtius, St Maximus confessed before everyone that he saw how their holy souls had gone up to Heaven. For this confession the holy Martyr Maximus was scourged to death with whips.

The governor wanted to confiscate the property of the executed, but when he was told that St Cecilia had already distributed all her remaining wealth to the poor and by her preaching had converted 400 men, he ordered her execution. For three days they tormented her with fire and smoke in a red-hot bath-house, but the grace of God helped her. Then they decided to behead her. The executioner struck the saint three times with a sword, but only wounded her. The holy Martyr lived three more days in full consciousness, encouraging those around her, and died with prayer on her lips.

Martyr Valerian at Rome and the Holy Martyrs  Tiburtius Maximus: St Cecilia

The Holy Virgin Martyr Cecilia and the Holy Martyrs Valerian, Tiburtius and Maximus: St Cecilia was born in Rome of wealthy and illustrious parents. From her youth she was raised in the Christian Faith. She prayed fervently, she helped those in need, and beneath her fine clothing she wore a hairshirt.

Though she had vowed to preserve her virginity for Christ, her parents decided to give her in marriage to the noble pagan Valerian. The saint did not dare oppose the will of her parents, but with tears she prayed to God that her betrothed would believe in Christ, and that He would send an angel to preserve her virginity.

On the night of their marriage, Cecilia told her husband that an angel stood by to guard her. She warned him that he would be slain if he dared to touch her. Valerian asked to see this angel, but his bride told him that he could not see the angel until he had been cleansed of the impurity of unbelief.

"How may I be cleansed?" he asked. She said that if he asked Bishop Urban for Baptism, he would be able to see the angel. The saint persuaded her fiancé to go with her to Bishop Urban, who was hiding from the persecution in a cave along the Appian Way. The instructions of the wise bishop permeated the soul of Valerian, and both he and his brother Tiburtius believed in Christ and were converted to Christianity. The brothers distributed part of their inheritance to the poor, cared for the sick, and buried Christians tortured to death by the persecutors.

The governor Almachius, having learned of this, gave orders to arrest the brothers and bring them to trial. He demanded that the saints renounce Christ and offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, and the brothers refused. Then they mercilessly began to scourge the brothers. St Valerian under torture urged Christians not to be afraid of torments, but to stand firm for Christ.

The governor, wanting to prevent the holy preacher from influencing the people, ordered that the martyrs be taken outside the city limits and executed there. The detachment of soldiers accompanying the martyrs to execution was commanded by Maximus. He was amazed at the courage of the saints, and asked them why they did not fear death. The holy brothers answered that they were relinquishing this temporal life for life eternal. Maximus wanted to learn the teaching of Christians in detail. He took Sts Valerian and Tiburtius to his own house and conversed with them all night. When she heard of this, St Cecilia went with a priest to Maximus, and he with all his family accepted holy Baptism.

On the following day when they beheaded the Martyrs Valerian and Tiburtius, St Maximus confessed before everyone that he saw how their holy souls had gone up to Heaven. For this confession the holy Martyr Maximus was scourged to death with whips.

The governor wanted to confiscate the property of the executed, but when he was told that St Cecilia had already distributed all her remaining wealth to the poor and by her preaching had converted 400 men, he ordered her execution. For three days they tormented her with fire and smoke in a red-hot bath-house, but the grace of God helped her. Then they decided to behead her. The executioner struck the saint three times with a sword, but only wounded her. The holy Martyr lived three more days in full consciousness, encouraging those around her, and died with prayer on her lips.
Martyr Tiburtius at Rome the brother of St Valerian, and the brother-in-law of St Cecilia

The Holy Martyr Tiburtius was the brother of St Valerian, and the brother-in-law of St Cecilia.

When St Valerian and his brother Tiburtius converted to Christianity, they distributed part of their inheritance to the poor, cared for the sick, and buried Christians who had been killed by the persecutors.

The governor Almachius ordered the arrest of the brothers and brought them to trial. He demanded that the saints renounce Christ and offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, but the brothers refused. Then they mercilessly began to scourge the brothers. St Valerian urged Christians not to be afraid of torments, but to stand firm for Christ.

The governor, hoping to prevent the holy preacher from influencing the people, ordered that the martyrs be taken outside the city limits and executed there. The detachment of soldiers accompanying the martyrs to execution was commanded by Maximus. He was amazed at the courage of the saints, and asked them why they did not fear death. The holy brothers answered that they were relinquishing this temporal life for life eternal. Maximus wanted to learn the teaching of Christians in detail. He took Sts Valerian and Tiburtius to his own house and conversed with them all night. When she heard of this, St Cecilia went with a priest to Maximus, and he and his whole family received holy Baptism.

On the following day when they beheaded the Martyrs Valerian and Tiburtius, St Maximus confessed before everyone that he saw how their holy souls had gone up to Heaven. For this testimony the holy Martyr Maximus was scourged to death with whips.

The governor wanted to confiscate the property of the executed, but when he was told that St Cecilia had already distributed all her remaining wealth to the poor and by her preaching had converted 400 men, he ordered her execution. For three days they tormented her with fire and smoke in a red-hot bath-house, but the grace of God helped her. Then they decided to behead her. The executioner struck the saint three times with a sword, but only wounded her. The holy Martyr lived three more days in full consciousness, encouraging those around her, and died with prayer on her lips.

306 St. Lucretia Virgin martyr of western Spain  
 who was put to death in Merida during the Roman persecutions.

340 St Agabbas of Syria novice under the Monk Eusebius

Saint Agabbas was by birth an Ishmaelite (Arab) and pursued asceticism in Syria. He was a novice under the Monk Eusebius, from whom he learned inner prayer and silence, and he lived thirty-eight years as a hermit. The saint always went barefoot, wore chains on his loins and never sat nor lay down. St Agabbas spent both day and night standing or kneeling, constantly at prayer. He finished his ascetic life in peace.

520 Pragmatius of Autun His diocese suffered much during the war between the sons of Clovis B (RM)
Augustodúni sancti Pragmátii, Epíscopi et Confessóris.    At Autun, St. Pragmatius, bishop and confessor.
Bishop Pragmatius of Autun was something of an intriguer. His diocese suffered much during the war between the sons of Clovis (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
621 St. Devniolin Abbot, also called Deiniol or Daniel the Younger.
He ruled Bangor Monastery in Wales, when King Aethelfrith of Northumbria slaughtered the two thousand monk residents.

Dayniol the Younger (AC) (also known as Deiniol, Deyniolen). Saint Dayniol was abbot of Bangor at the time of the slaughter of his monks and the destruction of their monastery by King Ethelfrid of Northumbria in 616. The saint appears to have escaped the massacre (Benedictines).

770 Savinian of Ménat Third abbot of Moûtier-Saint-Chaffre (Ménat), OSB Abbot (AC)  
(also known as Sabinian) Died c. 720 or c. 770 ? Third abbot of Moûtier-Saint-Chaffre (Ménat) (Benedictines).

873 Blessed Christian of Auxerre Thirty-seventh bishop of Auxerre (Benedictines). B (AC)  
New Hieromartyr Alexis (Benemanskii) of Tver

  New Hieromartyr Elias (Gromoglasov) of Tver
900 Saint Righteous Michael the soldier of Potouka, Bulgaria many miracles after death,

Saint Michael the Soldier of Bulgaria, was among the first of the Bulgarians to become Christian, and lived in the city of Potuka during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Michael III (855-867). While still an infant, he was known as a "saintly child." From his youth he led a blameless life, possessed the fear of God, fasted, generously distributed alms to the poor, visited the sick, and was meek and humble.

At twenty-four years of age St Michael was made commander of a troop of soldiers. At that time, the Turks were warring against Christians, and St Michael inspired his troops by his bravery in battle. When the allies of the Bulgarians, the Greeks, fled from the field of battle, he fell to the ground and prayed with tears for the deliverance of the Christians. Then he led his own soldiers against the enemy. Rushing into the center of the enemy formation, he put them into disarray, and remained unharmed himself.

Returning homeward after a battle, he rescued the inhabitants of a certain city in the Raipha wilderness from a huge beast which emerged from a lake and attacked children. People came to see this brave soldier when they heard that he had slain the beast they once worshiped as a god. He preached the Gospel to them, and turned them from demon worship and human sacrifice.

Soon after he returned home, St Michael surrendered his soul to the Lord, Whom he had loved since his youth. He wrought many miracles after death, healing those who came to him with faith.

The transfer of the relics of the saint from Potuka to Trnovo occurred in the year 1206, and at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they were transferred to Wallachia.

925 St. Tigridia Benedictine abbess
The daughter of Count Sancho Garcia of Castile, she entered the religious life at a convent near Burgos, Spain, which her father founded. She is especially venerated in Burgos.

1093 Blessed Eugenia of Matera, OSB Abbess (PC)
Abbess of the convent of SS Lucy and Agatha at Matera in southern Italy (Benedictines).

1086 Blessed Yaropolk the Prince of Vladimir-Volhynia, in Holy Baptism Peter

Holy Prince Yaropolk Izyaslavich, in Holy Baptism Peter, was the grandson of Yaroslav the Wise, and great-grandson of St Vladimir. He shared the sad fate of his father, the Kievan Great Prince Izyaslav, expelled by his brothers from Kiev.

Yaropolk journeyed on various missions for his father to the Polish king, the German emperor, and the Bishop of Rome St Gregory VII (1073-1085). Upon the death of Great Prince Svyatoslav in 1078, Prince Izyaslav was restored to his principality, and Yaropolk received Vyzhgorod. After the death of his father, he was given as his appanage the city of Vladimir-Volynsk, from which the Rostislavichi attempted to displace him.

On the way from Vladimir to Zvenigorod-Galitsk, Yaropolk was treacherously murdered by Neryadets, one of his retainers (+1086). The murderer indeed had been bribed by the Rostislavichi. The body of Yaropolk was transferred to Kiev and on December 5 was buried at the monastery of St Demetrius in the church of St Peter, which he himself had begun to build. Many Church memorials, beginning with the Chronicle of St Nestor, testify that the murdered Prince Yaropolk be venerated in the rank of saints well-pleasing to God.

13th v. Blessed Benedict de Ponte shed blood to bring the light of faith to Poland among the Tartars OP (PC)
13th century. Benedict was one of the many Dominican missionaries who shed their blood to bring the light of faith to Poland among the Tartars. He died immediately after preaching a sermon (Benedictines).

1318 Martyr Michael the Prince of Tver

The Holy Right-Believing Prince Michael of Tver was born in the year 1272, already after the death of his father Great Prince Yaroslav Yaroslavich, a brother of holy Prince Alexander Nevsky (November 23). On the journey to the Horde, Prince Yaroslav fell ill, and was tonsured a monk with the name Athanasius, then died. Michael's mother, Xenia, raised her son in fervent love for God. Michael was educated and studied under the guidance of the Archbishop (probably Clement) of Novgorod. He took the place of his older brother Svyatoslav in the principality of Tver.

In 1285 he built a stone church in honor of the Savior's Transfiguration in place of the wooden church of Sts Cosmas and Damian. Upon the death of Great Prince Andrew Alexandrovich (+1305), Michael went to the Horde and received the grant to the great princely throne by right of seniority. But Prince Yurii Danilovich of Moscow would not submit to this, because he sought the princely rule for himself. He was often at the Golden Horde of the new Khan Uzbek, who had accepted Mohammedanism and was distinguished by his cruelty and fanaticism. Prince Yurii knew how to please the Khan, and he married his sister Konchaka and became Great Prince.

Even then he did not calm down, but instead began an internecine war with Tver. In Yurii's army was a detachment of Tatars sent by Uzbek, with Kavgadi at the head. But the men of Tver, with holy Prince Michael at the head, on December 22, 1317 defeated Yurii. Many captives were taken, including Kavgadi, whom St Michael released, and the Moscow prince's wife Konchaka, who unexpectedly died at Tver.

Prince Yurii slandered St Michael before the Khan, accusing him of poisoning Konchaka. The Khan became enraged, threatening to destroy St Michael's princely holding, and demanded that he appear to give an account. Not wishing to spill Russian blood in an unequal struggle with the Khan, St Michael humbly went to the Horde, knowing that this meant death for him. He bid his his family and the Tver people farewell, and received a blessing for his exploit of martyrdom from his spiritual Father Igumen John.

"Father," said the saint, "I was much concerned for the peace of Christians, but through my sins, I was not able to stop internecine war. Now give me your blessing, so that if my blood is spilled for them, they might have some respite, and that the Lord will forgive my sins."

At the Horde an unjust trial was held, which found the saint guilty of disobedience to the Khan, and sentenced him to death. They removed him under guard and put him in a heavy wooden stock. As was his habit, St Michael constantly read the Psalter in prison and blessed the Lord for granting him to suffer for Him. He asked not to be abandoned in his present torments. Since the hands of the holy sufferer were secured in the stock, a boy sat before him and turned the pages of the Psalter. The holy captive languished at the Horde for a long time, enduring beatings and ridicule. They suggested that he flee, but the saint bravely answered, "In all my life I never fled from an enemy. If I save myself and my people remain in peril, what glory is that to me? No, let it be as the Lord wills."

Through the mercy of God, he was not deprived of Christian solace: Orthodox priests attended to him, the igumens Alexander and Mark. Each week he made his Confession and received the Holy Mysteries of Christ, thus receiving a Christian preparation for his death. At the instigation of Prince Yurii and Kavgadi, who took revenge on the holy prince for their defeat, assassins rushed into the encampment where the captive was held. They fiercely beat the martyr and kicked him with their feet, then one of them stabbed St Michael with a knife.

The holy martyr's naked body was exposed for abuse, and later they covered him with a cloth and placed him on a large board attached to a cart. By night two guards were set to watch the body, but fear seized them and they fled. In the morning, his body was not on the board.

On the previous night many, not only Orthodox but also Tatars, had seen two radiant clouds shining over the place where the body of the martyr lay. Although many wild animals roamed the steppes, not one of them had touched him. In the morning everyone said, "Prince Michael is a saint, and was innocently murdered." From the Horde the body of the prince was transferred to Moscow, where they buried him in the church of the Savior-Wood in the Kremlin.

Just a year later, in 1319, the people of Tver learned the fate of their prince. At the wish of his wife, the right-believing Princess Anna of Kashin (October 2), and at the request of the people of Tver, the relics of St Michael were transferred to his native city, and on September 6, 1320 were placed in the church he built in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Local veneration of the holy Prince began soon after the transfer of his relics to Tver, and the general Church glorification of the saint took place at a 1549 Council.

On November 24, 1632 the incorrupt relics of St Michael were uncovered. The holy Prince has often helped the Russian land. In 1606 the Polish and Lithuanians besieging Tver repeatedly saw a wondrous horseman ride out from the city upon a white horse with sword in hand , turning them to flight. Later, when they saw an icon of holy Prince Michael, they affirmed with an oath to Archbishop Theoctistus of Tver that the horseman was indeed St Michael himself.
1400 Venerable Callistus Xanthopoulos of Mt Athos

Saint Callistus II, pursued asceticism at the Magul skete on Holy Mount Athos (opposite the monastery of Philotheou), living there for twenty-eight years. He was the disciple of St Gregory of Sinai (August 8), whose Life he wrote.

Working with his fellow ascetic Ignatius of Xanthopoulos, he compiled the "Directions to Hesychasts in One Hundred Chapters" found in the second part of the Slavonic edition of the PHILOKALIA (English translation in Kadlubovsky and Palmer, WRITINGS FROM THE PHILOKALIA ON PRAYER OF THE HEART). As their contemporary, St Simeon of Thessalonica (September 15) asserts, Sts Callistus and Ignatius of Xanthopoulos beheld the Uncreated Light, as the apostles had done on Mount Tabor. Their faces seemed to "shine like the sun."

In 1397 he was elevated to the patriarchal throne, and was hierarch during the days of Manuel Paleologos (1391-1425). He agreed to journey to Serbia in order to bring peace to that church, stopping along the way at Mt Athos. There, the Patriarch was told that he would not see his flock again. Upon reaching Serbia, he exchanged this temporal life for life eternal.



 Tuesday  Saints of November  22 Décimo 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 mystery of the particular decade. This meditation has likewise to be made in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart.
(5) THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION: All these acts, as said above, have to be done with the intention of offering reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the offences committed against Her. Everyone who offends Her commits, so to speak, a two-fold offence, for these sins also offend her Divine Son, Christ, and so endanger our salvation. They give bad example to others and weaken the strength of society to withstand immoral onslaughts. Such devotions therefore make us consider not only the enormity of the offence against God, but also the effect of sins on human society as well as the need for undoing these social effects even when the offender repents and is converted. Further, this reparation emphasises our responsibility towards sinners who, themselves, will not pray and make reparation for their sins.
(6) FIVE CONSECUTIVE FIRST SATURDAYS: The idea of the Five First Saturdays is obviously to make us persevere in the devotional acts for these Saturdays and overcome initial difficulties. Once this is done, Our Lady knows that the person would become devoted to Her immaculate Heart and persist in practising such devotion on all First Saturdays, working thereby for personal self-reform and for the salvation of others.

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