Mary Mother of GOD
 Thursday  November 24 Saints of Octávo 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!)


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

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

November 24
165 Medioláni sancti Protásii Epíscopi, At Milan, St. Protase, bishop, who defended the cause of Athanasius before Emperor Constans in the Council of Sardica.  Having sustained many labours for the church entrusted to him and for religion, he departed this life to go to the Lord.
1591 St John Of The Cross- Doctor Of The Church At twenty-one he took the religious habit among the Carmelite friars at Medina, receiving the name of John-of-St-Matthias. The graces, which he received from the holy Mysteries, gave him a desire of greater retirement,  Miracles
1661 translation of relics of St Protase and St Gervais

3 Attitudes Born of Faith
Faith in the Resurrection should bring Christians to three key attitudes, says Pope Benedict XVI. The first attitude is the certainty that Jesus has risen, is with the Father, and because of that, is with us forever. "Because of this, we are secure and free of fear," the Pontiff said. The second attitude for a faith-filled Christian is the certainty that Christ "is with me," he said. And the third attitude, according to the Holy Father is: "The Judge who returns [...] has left us the task of living in this world according to his way of living." Benedict XVI

Bad Choice
Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)
The U.S. bishops assailed the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) as "bad legislation" that would divide the country. Cardinal Francis George, the president of the U.S. episcopal conference,
said this in a statement published on behalf of the bishops.
Pledging to work with the Obama administration on various issues, the cardinal reminded the president-elect that a "good state protects the lives of all." But Cardinal George warned that under the FOCA,
"Parental notification and informed consent precautions would be outlawed, as would be laws banning procedures such as partial-birth abortion and protecting infants born alive after a failed abortion."

Your life consists in drawing nearer to God. To do this you must endeavor to detach yourself from visible things
and remember that in a short time they will be taken from you. -- Blessed John of Avila, Doctor of the Church



November 24 - Our Lady of Montserrat (Spain, 1535) I went during the night to the altar of the Temple
   Saint Elizabeth, a Benedictine nun from the Schoenau monastery, received this revelation from the Virgin, related by St Bonaventure: "After my parents left me in the Temple, I made a resolution in my heart to take God as my father, and I often wondered what I could do to please him. I also made vows to remain virgin and possess nothing on this earth. I placed my whole will in the hands of God."
   She added: "Of all the divine precepts, the one I constantly beheld was that of love: You shall love the Lord our God. I would go in the middle of the night to the altar of the Temple to ask for the grace of being able to follow the precepts of the Law. I longed for the birth of the Redeemer's mother and eagerly entreated God to preserve my eyes so that I might see her, my tongue so that I might praise her, my hands and feet so that I might serve her, my knees so that I might worship the true Son of God in her womb."
   To which Elizabeth replied: "But my Queen, weren't you already full of grace and virtue?" The Blessed Virgin answered, "You should know that I considered myself to be the vilest creature and most unworthy of divine grace. Therefore I never ceased to ask for virtue and grace."
Excerpt from Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church The Glories of Mary - Saint Paul Publisher 1997

God Wishes to Honor His Mother in this Way November 24 -- Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Italy)
One asks many things to God," Nicephorus observed, "and one doesn't obtain them.
One asks many things to Mary and one obtains them. Why is that?
It isn't that Mary is more powerful than God; but that God wishes to honor his Mother in this way.

St Alphonsus of Liguori The Glories of Mary - St Paul 1997 - p.86

   165      Medioláni  sancti Protásii Epíscopi, 
   300 St. Chrysogonus Martyr beheaded at Aquileia
   303 St. Firmina A Roman virgin martyr in Umbria, Italy
   303 St. Felicissimus Martyr of Perugia, Italy
 The Nun Mastridia lived in Alexandria vow of virginity dwelt in unceasing prayer fasts and silence finished her life in works for the Lord
 The Holy Great Martyr Catherine visions of Mary and Jesus martyred for her faith
   309 St. Crescentian Martyr on Rack with Cyriacus
   361 St. Alexander Martyr in Corinth
   385 St. Romanus of Le Mans  priest in Gaul
5th v. St. Portian, In the territory of Auvergne, abbot renowned for miracles in the time of King Theodoric.
   601 St. Colman of Cloyne born in Munster St. Columba's teacher
   615 St. Columban greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent
7th v. St. Bieuzy Martyr of Brittany
7th v. St. Leopardinus  Abbot and martyr
         St. Marinus Benedictine martyr slain by Saracens Chandor, France
  700 St. Eanfleda Daughter of King St. Edwin and St. Ethelberga of Kent
  731 St. Marinus of Maurienne hermit near the monastery of Chandor death by the Saracens OSB M (AC)
  856 St. Flora & Mary Christian martyrs of Cordoba
1232 Blessed Balsamus of Cava "the gem of the priesthood and the crown of prelates", OSB Abbot (AC)
1239 Blessed Conrad of Frisach died at Magdeburg while singing the Psalm, Cantate Domino canticum novum OP
1239 The Holy Martyr Mercurius of Smolensk saintly soldier secret ascetic life strict fasting chaste nights at prayer
         spiritually preparing to suffer for Christ Mercurius appeared to church warden promising Smolensk people
         constant help intervention in sorrow struggle
14th v. Saint Mercurius of Kiev Caves pursued asceticism deep spiritual friendship with St Paisius
           Sancti Joánnis a Cruce Presbyteri, Confessóris et Ecclesiásticæ Doctóris, sanctæ Terésiæ in Carmelitárum
                     reformatióne sócii, cujus dies natális décimo nono Kaléndas Januárii recensétur.
1591 St John Of The Cross- Doctor Of The Church At twenty-one he took the religious habit among the Carmelite friars at Medina, receiving the name of John-of-St-Matthias. After his profession he asked for and was granted permission to follow the original Carmelite rule, without the mitigations approved by various popes and then accepted in all the friaries. It was John’s desire to be a lay brother, but this was refused him. He had given satisfaction in his course of theological studies, and in 1567 he was promoted to the priesthood. The graces, which he received from the holy Mysteries, gave him a desire of greater retirement, for which purpose he deliberated with himself about entering the order of the Carthusians. Miracles
1823-1856 Blessed Martyrs of China and Cochin-China beatified in 1900 (AC)
1823 Bl. Thaddeus Lieu Chinse martyr native
1838 St. Vincent Diem martyr Vietnamese
1838 St. Peter Domoulin Born Peter Khoa Vincent Diem  Vietnam martyrs
1840 St. Anthony Nam-Quynh Vietnamese martyr physician
        St. Andrew Dun-Lac
1856 Bl. Lawrence PeMan China  Martyr disciple of Blessed Augustine Chapdelaine
1862 Dominican Martyrs by King Tu-Duc in Central Tonkin Vietnam
1798 until 1861 Martyrs of Vietnam Several groups of martyrs called the Martyrs of Annam who were slain for the faith in Vietnam  Over 5,000!


The Holy Great Martyr Mercurius St Basil prayed to Mercurius defend Christians from apostate Julian
The angel of the Lord again appeared to St Mercurius in prison encouraging him endure every suffering for Christ
Many sick healed at his tomb;  A
nswered St Basil and returned from the grave to kill Julian the Apostate.
November 24 - Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Italy)   Roy H. Schoeman’s own conversion (I)
It was early one morning in early June, during a midweek break I had given myself two or three days on Cape Cod before the crowds arrived. I was walking in the dunes between Provincetown and Truro, alone with the singing birds before the world woke up, when I, for lack of better words, “fell into heaven”. That is, I found myself most consciously and tangibly in the presence of God.
      I saw everything that I would be pleased about and everything I would regret. I also knew, from one instant to the next, that the meaning and purpose of my life was to love and serve my Lord and God; I saw how His Love enveloped and sustained me every moment of my existence; I saw how everything I did had a moral content, for good or for ill, and which mattered far more than I would ever know; I saw how everything that had ever happened in my life was the most perfect thing that could be arranged for my own good by an all-good, all-loving God, especially those things which caused me the most suffering at the time; I saw that my two greatest regrets at the moment of death would be all the time and energy I had wasted worrying about not being loved, when every moment of my existence I was held in the sea of God’s unimaginably great love, and every hour I had wasted not doing anything of value in the eyes of God.
      The answer to any question I mentally posed was instantly presented to me; in fact, I could not hold a question in my mind without already being shown the answer, with one, all-important exception - the name of this God Who was revealing Himself to me as the meaning and purpose of my life. I did not think of Him as the God of the Old Testament Whom I held in my imagination from my childhood. I prayed to know His name, to know what religion to follow to serve and worship Him properly. I remember praying, “Let me know your name - I don’t mind if you are Buddha, and I have to become a Buddhist; I don’t mind if you are Apollo, and I have to become a Roman pagan; I don’t mind if you are Krishna, and I have to become a Hindu; as long as you are not Christ and I have to become a Christian!” (…) As a result, although this God Who revealed Himself to me on the beach had heard my prayer to know His name, He also heard, and respected, my refusal to know it, too, and so gave no answer at the time to the question.
Excerpt from Roy H. Schoeman, Salvation Is from the Jews:
The Role of Judaism in Salvation History (Ignatius Press April 2003), pp. 359-360
The Twenty-fourth Day of November Martyrology of the Sacred Order of Friars Preachers
St. John of the Cross, priest, confessor, and Doctor of the Church. He was the associate of St. Teresa in the reform of Carmel.
         His birthday is mentioned on December 14. A duplex feast.
St. Chrysogonus, martyr. On the same day, the birthday of  For his unwavering confession of Christ, he endured for a prolonged period chains and
      imprisonment. By orders of Diocletian, he was brought to Aquileia, beheaded, and thrown into the sea, thus completing his martyrdom. A memory.
St. Crescentian, martyr At Rome. He is mentioned in the martyrdom of Blessed Pope Marcellus.
St. Alexander, martyr At Corinth . Under Julian the Apostate and the governor Sallust, he fought for the faith of Christ, even unto death.
St. Felicissimus, martyr. At Perugia,
St. Firmina, virgin and martyr At Ameria in Umbria. In the persecution of Diocletian,  tortured in various ways. At last, she was hung up and burned with
      flaming torches until she gave up her spotless soul to God.
Flora and Mary At Cordoba in Spain, the holy virgins and martyrs who, in the Arab persecution, after long imprisonment were put to the sword.
St. Protasius, bishop At Milan. At the Council of Sardica and in the presence of the Emperor Constans, he defended the cause of Athanasius. He died in
      the Lord, after he had performed many labors both for the Church committed to him and for religion.
St. Portianus, abbot In the province of Auvergne. He was celebrated for his miracles in the reign of King Theodoric. He has given his name both to the
      monastery of which he had charge, and to the town which afterward was built in that place.
St. Romanus, priest In the district of Blaye in Gau . The praise of his holiness is declared by the glory of his miracles.

165 Medioláni sancti Protásii Epíscopi, qui apud Constántem Imperatórem in Concílio Sardicénsi causam Athanásii deféndit, ac demum, pro Ecclésia sibi commíssa et pro religióne multis perfúnctus labóribus, migrávit ad Dóminum.
    At Milan, St. Protase, bishop, who defended the cause of Athanasius before Emperor Constans in the Council of Sardica.  Having sustained many labours for the church entrusted to him and for religion, he departed this life to go to the Lord.

1661 translation of relics of St Protase and St Gervais
St. Marinus Benedictine martyr slain by Saracens Chandor, France
He was a monk at Maurienne, in Savoy, France, before becoming a hermit at Chandor.

300 St. Chrysogonus Martyr beheaded at Aquileia  one of the saints named in the canon of the Mass
Eódem die natális sancti Chrysógoni Mártyris, qui, post longa víncula et cárceres pro constantíssima Christi confessióne tolerátos, Aquiléjam, jubénte Diocletiáno, perdúctus, tandem, cæsus cápite et in mare projéctus, martyrium consummávit.
    Also, the birthday of St. Chrysogonus, martyr.  After a long imprisonment in chains for the constant confession of Christ, he was ordered by Diocletian to be taken to Aquileia, where he completed his martyrdom by being beheaded and thrown into the sea.
304? St Chrysogonus, Martyr
Although
this martyr is one of those who has the distinction of being named in the canon of the Roman Mass nothing is known of him, except that he appears to have suffered at Aquileia, and he was venerated in northern Italy. His cultus was introduced at Rome the titular church of Chrysogonus in the Trastevere is mentioned in 499, and it is called titulus Sancti Crisogoni in an inscription of
521.   According to the passio of St Anastasia (December 25) St Chrysogonus was a Roman official, who became her spiritual father. When he was imprisoned under Diocletian he continued to direct her by letter until he was sent for by the emperor at Aquileia, condemned and beheaded. His body was cast into the sea, whence it was recovered and buried by the priest St Zoilus, who lived close by in the house of SS. Agape, Chionia and Irene.

The story of St Chrysogonus forms the first part of the Passio S. Anastasiae. The Latin text has been re-edited in Delehaye’s Etude sur le légendier romain (1936), pp. 221—249, but it seems to belong to the class of hagiographical fictions (op. cit., pp. 151 seq.). It may be that the owner of the house in Rome, which was converted into a church (the titular Chrysogoni) in the fourth century, was named Chrysogonus, and that when this was mistaken for a dedication to a Saint Chrysogonus, a legend was invented which identified him with a real martyr who suffered at Aquileia. But all the sacramentaries and calendars give the date November 24, and this does not seem to have been the day assigned to theAquileian martyr. See CMH., pp. 618-619 and also J. P. Kirsch, Die römischen Titelkirchen im Altertum, pp. 108-113; M. Mesnard, La basilique de Saint-Chrysogone a Rome (1935).  

The name of this holy martyr, who was apprehended at Rome, but beheaded at Aquileia in the persecution of Dioclesian, occurs in the canon of the mass, and is mentioned in the ancient Calendar of Carthage of the fifth century, and in all Western Martyrologies since that time. The church in Rome of which he is titular saint, is mentioned in a council held by pope Symmachus, and in the epistles of St. Gregory the Great; it gives title to a cardinal priest. The head of St. Chrysogonus is shown there in a rich case, but his body is at Venice.


Chrysogonus of Aquileia M (RM) Chrysogonus, one of the saints named in the canon of the Mass, was an official at Rome who was converted to Christianity and in turn converted many others to the same faith. He is said to have been particularly close to Saint Anastasia of Sirmium and become her guide in the Christian faith, but nothing is really know about him.

The historically worthless passio of St. Anastasia says that the saint's success as a Christian missionary displeased the authorities who imprisoned him. After festering for many months in squalid conditions, Chrysogonus was beheaded during the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian. His corpse was thrown into the sea, but rescued by a priest named Zoilus. Pope Sylvester I built a church over his tomb in the first half of the 4th century. His tomb was excavated in the early 20th century, 20 feet below the present ground level of the church of San Crisogono in Rome, where Chrysogonus has been venerated at least from the end of the 5th century.

San Crisogono contains the head of Chrysogonus and one of his arms, now proudly preserved over the high altar. On the superbly gilded and decorated ceiling of the church, which was created in the 17th century, Giovanni Guencino painted 'The Triumph of Saint Chrysogonus' (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia)
St. Chrysogonus is depicted as a very young knight with a shield bearing IHS. At times his corpse is shown born up by fish (Roeder).
303 St. Firmina A Roman virgin martyr in Umbria, Italy
Amériæ, in Umbria, sanctæ Firmínæ, Vírginis et Mártyris; quæ, in persecutióne Diocletiáni Imperatóris, várie cruciáta est, ac demum, suspénsa et lampádibus ardéntibus adústa, immaculátum spíritum Deo réddidit.
    At Amelia in Umbria, during the persecution of Diocletian, St. Firmina, virgin and martyr.  After being subjected to various torments, to hanging, and to burning with flaming torches, she yielded up her spirit.
Firmina of Amelia VM (RM). The Roman maiden Firmina was tortured to death at Amelia (Ameria) in Umbria, Italy, under Diocletian (Benedictines).
The Nun Mastridia lived in Alexandria vow of virginity dwelt in unceasing prayer fasts and silence finished her life in works for the Lord
The pure life of the holy virgin was beset by trials. A certain young man, attracted to her with impure desire, began to pursue her so that she could not even leave her home to go to church.  Grieving because she had unwillingly led the youth into temptation, and being zealous for his salvation, the saint invited him into her home. She sked what it was about her that made him bother her so much. He replied, "Your beautiful eyes!" Hearing this, she gouged them out with a needle she used for sewing. Thus she saved herself and the youth from temptation.
He then repented and became a monk, living as a strict ascetic. St Mastridia finished her life in works for the Lord.
303 St. Felicissimus Martyr of Perugia, Italy
Perúsiæ sancti Felicíssimi Mártyris.    At Perugia, St. Felicissimus, martyr.
Died at Perugia, Italy. Felicissimus was probably martyred under Diocletian (Benedictines). In art St. Felicissimus is represented as an elegantly dressed young man with a book and a palm. Venerated at Perugia (Roeder).
4th v. Catherine The Holy Great Martyr possessed of a rare beauty and intellect; Again St Catherine had a vision of the Most Holy Theotokos with Her Child. Now the Lord looked tenderly at her and gave her a beautiful ring, a wondrous token of her betrothal to the Heavenly Bridegroom (This ring is still on her hand); the emperor ordered fifty of the most learned philosophers and rhetoricians of the Empire to dispute with her, but the saint got the better of the wise men, so that they came to believe in Christ themselves. St Catherine made the Sign of the Cross over the martyrs, and they bravely accepted death for Christ and were burned alive by order of the emperor.

Daughter of Constus, the governor of Alexandrian Egypt during the reign of the emperor Maximian (305-313). Living in the capital, the center of Hellenistic knowledge, and possessed of a rare beauty and intellect, Catherine received an excellent education, studying the works of the greatest philosophers and teachers of antiquity. Young men from the most worthy families of the empire sought the hand of the beautiful Catherine, but she was not interested in any of them. She told her parents that she would enter into marriage only with someone who surpassed her in nobility, wealth, comeliness and wisdom.

Catherine's mother, a secret Christian, sent her to her own spiritual Father, a saintly Elder living in a cave outside the city, for advice. After listening to Catherine, the Elder said that he knew of a Youth who surpassed her in everything. "His countenance is more radiant than the shining of the sun, and all of creation is governed by His wisdom. His riches are given to all the nations of the world, yet they never diminish. His compassion is unequaled."

This description of the Heavenly Bridegroom produced in the soul of the holy maiden an ardent desire to see Him. "If you do as I tell you," said the monk, "you will gaze upon the countenance of this illustrious man." In parting, the Elder handed Catherine an icon of the Theotokos with the divine Child Jesus on Her arm and told her to pray with faith to the Queen of Heaven, the Mother of the Heavenly Bridegroom, and She would hear Catherine and grant her heart's desire.

Catherine prayed all night and was permitted to see the Most Holy Virgin, Who said Her Divine Son, "Behold Thy handmaiden Catherine, how fair and virtuous she is." But the Child turned His face away from her saying, "No, she is ugly and unbelieving. She is a foolish pauper, and I cannot bear to look at her until she forsakes her impiety."

Catherine returned again to the Elder deeply saddened, and told him what she had seen in the dream. He lovingly received her, instructed her in the faith of Christ, admonished her to preserve her purity and integrity and to pray unceasingly. She then received the Mystery of holy Baptism from him. Again St Catherine had a vision of the Most Holy Theotokos with Her Child. Now the Lord looked tenderly at her and gave her a beautiful ring, a wondrous token of her betrothal to the Heavenly Bridegroom (This ring is still on her hand).

At that time the emperor Maximian was in Alexandria for a pagan festival. Therefore, the celebration was especially splendid and crowded. The cries of the sacrificial animals, the smoke and the smell of the sacrifices, the endless blazing of fires, and the bustling crowds at the arenas defiled the city of Alexandria. Human victims also were brought, the confessors of Christ, those who would not deny Him under torture. They were condemned to death in the fire. The saint's love for the Christian martyrs and her fervent desire to ease their sufferings compelled Catherine to speak to the pagan priest and to the emperor Maximian.

Introducing herself, the saint confessed her faith in the One True God and with wisdom exposed the errors of the pagans. The beauty of the maiden captivated the emperor. In order to convince her and to show the superiority of pagan wisdom, the emperor ordered fifty of the most learned philosophers and rhetoricians of the Empire to dispute with her, but the saint got the better of the wise men, so that they came to believe in Christ themselves. St Catherine made the Sign of the Cross over the martyrs, and they bravely accepted death for Christ and were burned alive by order of the emperor.

Maximian, no longer hoping to convince the saint, tried to entice her with the promise of riches and fame. Receiving an angry refusal, the emperor gave orders to subject the saint to terrible tortures and then throw her in prison. The Empress Augusta, who had heard much about the saint, wanted to see her. She prevailed upon the military commander Porphyrius to accompany her to the prison with a detachment of soldiers. The empress was impressed by the strong spirit of St Catherine, whose face was radiant with divine grace. The holy martyr explained the Christian teaching to them, and they were converted to Christ.

On the following day they again brought the martyr to the judgment court where, under the threat of being broken on the wheel, they urged that she renounce the Christian Faith and offer sacrifice to the gods. The saint steadfastly confessed Christ and she herself approached the wheels; but an angel smashed the instruments of execution, which shattered into pieces with many pagans standing nearby.

Having beheld this wonder, the Empress Augusta and the imperial courtier Porphyrius with 200 soldiers confessed their faith in Christ in front of everyone, and they were beheaded. Maximian again tried to entice the holy martyr, proposing marriage to her, and again he was refused. St Catherine firmly confessed her fidelity to the heavenly Bridegroom Christ, and with a prayer to Him she herself lay her head on the block beneath the executioner's sword.

The relics of St Catherine were taken by the angels to Mount Sinai. In the sixth century,, the venerable head and left hand of the holy martyr were found through a revelation and transferred with honor to a newly-constructed church of the Sinai monastery, built by the holy Emperor Justinian (November 14).
St Catherine is called upon for relief and assistance during a difficult childbirth.
Pilgrims to her monastery on Mt Sinai are given souvenir rings as a remembrance of their visit.
309 St. Crescentian Martyr with Cyriacus  Largus, Smaragdus
Romæ sancti Crescentiáni Mártyris, qui in passióne beáti Marcélli Papæ memorátur.
    At Rome, St. Crescentian, martyr, whose name is mentioned in the Acts of blessed Pope Marcellus.
 Largus, and Smaragdus in Rome. They died on the rack. Crescentian of Rome M (RM)
Crescentian suffered martyrdom under Maxentius at Rome in the company of Saints Cyriacus, Largus, Smaragdus, expiring on the rack in their presence (Benedictines).

361 St. Alexander Martyr in Corinth
Apud Corínthum sancti Alexándri Mártyris, qui sub Juliáno Apóstata et Sallústio Præside, pro Christi fide certávit usque ad mortem.
    At Corinth, St. Alexander, martyr, who fought unto death for the faith of Christ, under Julian the Apostate and the governor Sallust.
Alexander died for the faith in Corinth in the reign of Julian the Apostate
385 St. Romanus of Le Mans  priest in Gaul whose holiness is proclaimed by glorious miracles.
In castro Blávio, in Gállia, sancti Románi Presbyteri, cujus sanctitátis præcónium glória miraculórum declárat.
    In the town of Blaye in France, St. Romanus, priest, whose holiness is proclaimed by glorious miracles.
Was remarkably successful in converting many local pagans at the mouth of the Gironde River. Among his most notable converts were many of the sailors who lived in the region.
5th v. St. Portian,  In the territory of Auvergne, an abbot who was renowned for miracles in the time of King Theodoric. His name was given to the monastery that he had governed and also the town which was later built there.
      In território Arvernénsi sancti Portiáni Abbátis, qui, sub Theodoríco Rege, miráculis cláruit; cujus étiam nomen índitum mansit tam monastério cui Sanctus ipse præfuit, quam óppido quod in eódem loco póstea constrúctum fuit.

500 Kenan of Damleag first bishop in Ireland to build his own cathedral (Damleag or Duleek in Meath) of stone B (AC)
(also known as Cianan, Kea, Kay, Quay)
Kenan was an Irish bishop, who with Saint Patrick, was a disciple of Saint Martin of Tours. He was the first bishop in Ireland to build his own cathedral (Damleag or Duleek in Meath) of stone. His writing was acknowledged by Saint Patrick to be better than his own (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

 615 St. Columban greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent
 

Columban was the greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent. As a young
{b.543?} man he was greatly tormented by temptations of the flesh, and sought the advice of a religious woman who had lived a hermit’s life for years. He saw in her answer a call to leave the world. He went first to a monk on an island in Lough Erne, then to the great monastic seat of learning at Bangor.

After many years of seclusion and prayer, he traveled to Gaul with 12 companion missionaries. They won wide respect for the rigor of their discipline, their preaching, and their commitment to charity and religious life in a time characterized by clerical slackness and civil strife. Columban established several monasteries in Europe which became centers of religion and culture.

Like all saints, he met opposition. Ultimately he had to appeal to the pope against complaints of Frankish bishops, for vindication of his orthodoxy and approval of Irish customs. He reproved the king for his licentious life, insisting that he marry. Since this threatened the power of the queen mother, Columban was ordered deported back to Ireland. His ship ran aground in a storm, and he continued his work in Europe, ultimately arriving in Italy, where he found favor with the king of the Lombards. In his last years he established the famous monastery of Bobbio, where he died. His writings include a treatise on penance and against Arianism, sermons, poetry and his monastic rule.

Comment:   Now that public sexual license is approaching the extreme, we need the Church's jolting memory of a young man as concerned about chastity as Columban. And now that the comfort-captured Western world stands in tragic contrast to starving millions, we need the challenge to austerity and discipline of a group of Irish monks. They were too strict, we say; they went too far. How far shall we go?
Quote:   Writing to the pope about a doctrinal controversy in Lombardy, Columban said: “We Irish, living in the farthest parts of the earth, are followers of St. Peter and St. Paul and of the disciples who wrote down the sacred canon under the Holy Spirit. We accept nothing outside this evangelical and apostolic teaching.... I confess I am grieved by the bad repute of the chair of St. Peter in this country.... Though Rome is great and known afar, she is great and honored with us only because of this chair.... Look after the peace of the Church, stand between your sheep and the wolves.”
601 St. Colman of Cloyne born in Munster St. Columba's teacher
St. Colman of Cloyne, Ireland, son of Lenin. He became a poet and later, royal bard at Cashel. He was baptized by St. Brendan when he was fifty years old with the name Colman. He was ordained, and was reputed to be St. Columba's teacher. He became the first bishop of Cloyne, of which he is patron, in eastern Cork.
He was endowed with extraordinary poetic powers, being styled by his contemporaries "Royal Bard of Munster". The Ardrigh of Ireland gave him Cloyne, in the present County Cork, for his cathedral abbey, in 560, and he laboured for more than forty years in his extensive diocese. Several of his Irish poems are still extant, notably a metrical panegyric on St. Brendan. Colgan mentions a metrical life of St. Senan by him.
Another St. Colman is also venerated on the same day, as recorded by St. Aengus in his "Felire": —
    Mac Lenine the most excellent
    With Colman of Duth-chuilleann.

6th v, ST COLMAN OF CLOYNE, BISHOP

St. Colman Mac Lenine {Mac Lenine the most excellent}
Saint Colman Mac Lenine, founder and patron of the See of Cloyne, born in Munster, c. 510; died 24 November, 601. He was endowed with extraordinary poetic powers, being styled by his contemporaries "Royal Bard of Munster". The Ardrigh of Ireland gave him Cloyne, in the present County Cork, for his cathedral abbey, in 560, and he laboured for more than forty years in his extensive diocese. Several of his Irish poems are still extant, notably a metrical panegyric on St. Brendan. Colgan mentions a metrical life of St. Senan by him. His feast is observed on 24 November. Another St. Colman is also venerated on the same day, as recorded by St. Aengus in his "Felire": — With Colman of Duth-chuilleann.

COLMAN OF CLOYNE, the “sun-bright bard”, was son of Lenin, born in Munster near the beginning of the sixth century. He was a poet of great skill and became royal bard (that is, chronicler and genealogist as well as poet laureate) at Cashel. He was nearly fifty years old before he became a Christian, and the circumstances of his conversion are said to have been as follows. St Brendan came to Cashel to help in the settlement of a dispute about the succession, and while he was there the grave and relics of St Ailbhe were found. Colman took part in this discovery, and St Brendan observed that hands, which had been hallowed by the touch of such holy remains, should not remain the hands of a pagan. So the bard was baptized by Brendan, and received from him the name of Colman, which was extraordinarily common in the early Irish church. In the Life of St Columba of Terryglass we hear that the boy Columba was given to the care of this Colman, who taught him to read. Having been ordained priest and afterwards consecrated bishop, St Colman preached in Limerick and the eastern pans of Cork, where he was granted land for a church at Cloyne, of which he is venerated as the first bishop. The feast of this St Colman is kept throughout Ireland.

There seems to be an absolute dearth of biographical material. An article by “J. C.” in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeol. Soc., vol. xvi (1910), pp. 132—140, serves only to reveal the penury of data. But St Colman is mentioned in the Félire of Oengus under November 24, and there is a good paper on him by R. Thurneysen, “Colman mac Lenene und Senchan Torpeist”, in Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, vol. xix (1933), pp. 193-209.

Colman of Cloyne B (AC)(also known as Colman MacLenini)Born in Munster, Ireland, 522-530; died c. 600; cultus approved 1903. Son of Lenin, he became a poet and later royal bard at Cashel. The job of bard entailed the roles not only poet and musician, but also chronicler and genealogist. It is said that he became a Christian after rescuing from a lake the stolen shrine of Saint Ailbhe.

And what does this have to do with conversion? Saint Brendan came to Cashel to resolve a dispute. While he was there the grave and relics of Saint Ailbhe were discovered. Colman took part in that finding. Saint Brendan said that hands that had been sanctified by touching such holy remains should not remain the hands of a pagan. So it happened that at age 50 Colman was baptized Colman by Saint Brendan.

Thereafter, he embraced the monastic life, was ordained, and preached in Limerick and Cork. In the Life of Saint Columba of Terryglass, Colman is said to have been Saint Columba's teacher and guardian. Late in life he founded the church of Cloyne and became its first bishop. Colman is the patron saint of Cloyne in eastern Cork (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Montague, Walsh).

7th v. St. Bieuzy Martyr of Brittany
A native of Britam followed St. Gildas to Brittany France There he was martyred.  While Bieuzy was a native of Britain, he is venerated in Brittany to which he followed Saint Gildas. (Benedictines).

700 St. Eanfleda Daughter of King St. Edwin and St. Ethelberga of Kent
 St. Paulinus baptized her as an infant. A supporter of St. Wilfrid, Eanfleda became a Benedictine nun at Whitby as a widow. Her daughter, St. Elfieda, was abbess there

Eanfleda of Whitby, OSB Widow (AC). Eanfleda, daughter of King Saint Edwin of Northumbria and his wife Saint Ethelburga of Kent, baptized as an infant by Saint Paulinus. She was a great benefactress of Saint Wilfrid. In her widowhood she became a nun at Whitby under her own daughter, Saint Elfleda (Benedictines).

7th v. St. Leopardinus  Abbot and martyr 
He was the abbot of the monastery of St. Symphorian in Vivaris, France. Assassins killed him.
Leopardinus of Vivaris, Abbot M (AC). Monk and abbot of the monastery of St. Symphorian of Vivaris in the province of Berry, France. He perished at the hands of assassins and was forthwith venerated as a martyr (Benedictines).

731 Marinus of Maurienne hermit near the monastery of Chandor death by the Saracens OSB M (AC)
Born in Italy; Marinus became a Benedictine at Maurienne in Savoy, and afterwards a hermit near the monastery of Chandor, where he was put to death by the Saracens (Benedictines).

856 St. Flora & Mary Christian martyrs of Cordoba Spain.
Córdubæ, in Hispánia, sanctárum Vírginum et Mártyrum Floræ et Maríæ; quæ, post diutúrnos cárceres, in persecutióne Arábica, gládio interémptæ sunt.
    At Cordova in Spain, the holy virgins and martyrs Flora and Mary, who after a long imprisonment were slain with the sword in the Arab persecution.

851 Ss. Flora And Mary, Virgins And Martyrs
In the reign of Abdur Rahman II, king of the Moors at Cordova in Spain, Flora, being of Mohammedan birth by her father but secretly brought up in the Christian faith by her mother, was impeached by her own brother before the judge of the city. This magistrate had her scourged brutally, and then put her into the hands of her brother that he might overcome her resolution. Later she made her escape and took shelter with a sister. Having lain concealed some time, she ventured back to Cordova and prayed publicly in the church of St Acisclus the martyr. There she met with Mary, sister to a deacon who had lately received the crown of martyrdom, and they agreed to give themselves up as Christians to the magistrate, by whose order they were confined where no one had access to them but some loose women. St Eulogius, who was at that time detained in another prison, wrote them an exhortation to martyrdom, in which he told them that no involuntary infamy could harm their souls and that to yield temporarily in hope of better things must not be considered.
   The two girls were eventually beheaded together, declaring they would intercede in Heaven for the release of St Eulogius and the other brethren; and they were in fact set free a week later.
 

These Spanish martyrs belong to the group of whom we know practically nothing but what has been recorded in the narrative of St Eulogius, which may be most conveniently consulted in Migne, PL., vol. cxv, cc. 835—845. 

 
Flora was raised a Christian in secret by her mother, who was married to a Muslim. Betrayed by her brother, she was beaten and given to him to abuse because of her faith. Escaping, Flora met Mary, the sister of a martyred deacon. They surrendered to Muslim authorities and were placed in a brothel. Still clinging to the faith, Flora and Mary were beheaded.

Flora and Mary VM (RM). The story of Flora and Mary is told by Saint Eulogius of Cordova in his Exhortation to Martyrdom. Flora was the daughter of an Islamic father, born in Cordova, Spain, and secretly raised a Christian by her mother.

Flora was betrayed by her brother, scourged, and put into his custody that he might persuade her to apostatize. She escaped, but later while praying in St. Acislus Church she met Mary, sister of a deacon who had been martyred, and they both decided defiantly to give themselves up to the magistrate as Christians. The magistrate locked them up in a cell, threatening to sell them to a brothel if they did not defy Christ. St. Eulogius wrote to them, "They threaten you with a shameful slavery, but do not fear: no harm can touch your souls whatever infamy in inflicted on your bodies." When their ordeal failed to shake their constancy, they were beheaded by order of Abderrahman (Abd ar-Rahman) II (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).

Flora and Mary are depicted as two maidens beheaded by Moors; flowers spring from Flora's severed head. Venerated at Cordova (Roeder).

14th v. Saint Mercurius of Kiev Caves pursued asceticism deep spiritual friendship with St Paisius
in the Farther Caves in the fourteenth century, and was strict in fasting. During his lifetime St Mercurius had a deep spiritual friendship with St Paisius, and when they died, they were buried in the same grave.

The November 24 commemoration of the saint is made because of his namesake, the holy Great Martyr Mercurius. He is also remembered on August 28, the Synaxis of the Saints of the Far Caves; and on the second Sunday of Great Lent, the Synaxis of all the monastic Fathers of the Kiev Caves.

1232 Blessed Balsamus of Cava "gem of the priesthood and the crown of prelates" OSB Abbot (AC)
cultus approved 1928. The tenth abbot of Cava (1208- 1232) is described by John of Capua, as "the gem of the priesthood and the crown of prelates" (Benedictines).

1239 Blessed Conrad of Frisach died at Magdeburg while singing the Psalm, Cantate Domino canticum novum OP (PC)
Died in Magdeburg, Germany. A doctor at the university of Bologna whom Saint Dominic received into the order and sent to Germany. He died at Magdeburg while singing the Psalm, Cantate Domino canticum novum (Sing a new song unto the Lord) (Benedictines).

1239 The Holy Martyr Mercurius of Smolensk saintly soldier secret ascetic life strict fasting chaste nights at prayer spiritually preparing to suffer for Christ St Mercurius appeared to church warden promising Smolensk people constant help and intervention in every sorrow and struggle
Slav by birth, probably from Moravia, the descendant of a princely line. Brought up in Orthodoxy, St Mercurius in zeal for the true Faith left his own native land for Russia, where he served in the army of the Prince of Smolensk. The saintly soldier secretly led an ascetic life. He was strict in fasting, he was chaste, spending his nights at prayer, and spiritually preparing himself to suffer for Christ.

 In the year 1239 a horde of Tatars [Mongols], already having laid waste to many Russian cities, appeared in the vicinity of Smolensk and set up camp 25 versts away at Dolgomost, threatening to destroy the city and its holy places.

A church warden, praying by night in the Smolensk cathedral before a wonderworking icon of the Theotokos, heard the voice of the Queen of Heaven commanding him to find the holy warrior and say to him: "Mercurius, go forth into battle, for the Sovereign Lady summons you."
The soldier went himself to the cathedral and heard the voice of the All-Pure Virgin, sending him to fight the enemy and promising him heavenly assistance.


The warrior of Christ set off that very night to the Tatar camp at Dolgomost. He fought there with the leader of the Tatar army, a giant possessed of immense strength. He killed him and entered into single-combat with the enemy host. Invoking the name of the Lord and of the All-Pure Theotokos, the holy warrior destroyed many of the enemy.
The Tatar warriors watched with terror as lightning-bearing men and a radiant Woman aided St Mercurius in the fight.
Unable to stand against the warrior of Christ, they retreated in flight. St Mercurius was himself killed in the battle by the son of the Tatar giant he had killed.

The inhabitants of Smolensk, saved through the miraculous intervention of the Lord and the Most Holy Theotokos, reverently buried the body of the soldier-martyr in the cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. Soon after his death, St Mercurius appeared in a vision to the church warden and ordered that his armor be hung over his grave, promising the Smolensk people constant help and intervention in every sorrow and struggle.
Even today the sandals of the holy Martyr Mercurius are still preserved in the Smolensk cathedral church.
His Feast was established at the end of the sixteenth century, and in 1509 the inhabitants of Smolensk were already calling him their special patron.
1562 Saint Simon of Soiga belonged to the Komel disciples of St Sergius of Radonezh
He was born at Solvychegodsk, and was tonsured at the Komel monastery under St Cornelius (May 19). He passed through his obediences with such ascetics and disciples of Cornelius of Komel as Gennadius of Liubimsk (January 23), Cyril of New Lake (February 4), Herodion of Iloezersk (September 28), Adrian of Poshekhonsk (March 5), Laurence of Komel (May 16).

After the death of his mentor St Cornelius, St Simon was, for a certain time, the companion of St Longinus (February 10), the founder of the Koryazhemsk monastery, and went with him to dwell in the wilderness. After this he settled at the River Soiga, 60 versts from Koryazhma. There he established a church in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord, consecrated on May 17, 1541. After founding a monastery by this church, the saint was chosen igumen by the brethren.

St Simon died on November 24, 1562 and was buried in the monastery he founded, in the church dedicated to the holy Great Martyr Catherine, whose Feast is also observed on November 24.

1591 St John Of The Cross- Doctor Of The Church At twenty-one he took the religious habit among the Carmelite friars at Medina, receiving the name of John-of-St-Matthias. After his profession he asked for and was granted permission to follow the original Carmelite rule, without the mitigations approved by various popes and then accepted in all the friaries. It was John’s desire to be a lay brother, but this was refused him. He had given satisfaction in his course of theological studies, and in 1567 he was promoted to the priesthood. The graces, which he received from the holy Mysteries, gave him a desire of greater retirement, for which purpose he deliberated with himself about entering the order of the Carthusians. Miracles

Sancti Joánnis a Cruce Presbyteri, Confessóris et Ecclesiásticæ Doctóris, sanctæ Terésiæ in Carmelitárum reformatióne sócii, cujus dies natális décimo nono Kaléndas Januárii recensétur.
    St. John of the Cross, priest and confessor, and doctor of the Church, companion of St. Teresa in the reform of Carmel, and whose birthday is the 14th of December.

Gonzalo De Yepes belonged to a good Toledan family, but having married beneath him he was disinherited and had to earn his living as a silk-weaver. On his death his wife, Catherine Alvarez, was left destitute with three children, of whom John, born at Fontiveros in Old Castile 1542, was the youngest. He went to a poor-school at Medina del Campo and was then apprenticed to a weaver, but he showed no aptitude for the trade and was taken on as a servant by the governor of the hospital at Medina.

He stopped there for seven years, already practising bodily austerities, and continuing his studies in the college of the Jesuits. At twenty-one he took the religious habit among the Carmelite friars at Medina, receiving the name of John-of-St-Matthias. After his profession he asked for and was granted permission to follow the original Carmelite rule, without the mitigations approved by various popes and then accepted in all the friaries. It was John’s desire to be a lay brother, but this was refused him. He had given satisfaction in his course of theological studies, and in 1567 he was promoted to the priesthood. The graces, which he received from the holy Mysteries, gave him a desire of greater retirement, for which purpose he deliberated with himself about entering the order of the Carthusians.

St Teresa was then establishing her reformation of the Carmelites and, coming to Medina del Campo, heard of Brother John. Whereupon she desired to see him, admired his spirit, and told him that God had called him to sanctify himself in the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; that she had received authority from the prior general to found two reformed houses of men and that he himself
should be the first instrument of so great a work.

    Soon after the first monastery of discalced (i.e. barefooted) Carmelite friars was established in a small and dilapidated house at Duruelo. St John entered this new Bethlehem in a perfect spirit of sacrifice, and two others, who renewed their profession on Advent Sunday, 1568, St John taking the new religious name of John-of-the-Cross, joined about two months after. It was a prophetic choice. The fame of the sanctity of this obscure house spread, and St Teresa soon established a second at Pastrana, a third at Mancera, whither she translated that from Duruelo, and in 1570 a fourth, at Alcalá, a college of the university, of which John was made rector.

   His example inspired the religious with a perfect spirit of solitude, humility and mortification, but Almighty God, to purify his heart from all natural weaknesses and attachments, made him pass through the most severe interior and exterior trials. St John, after tasting the first joys of contemplation, found himself deprived of all sensible devotion. This spiritual dryness was followed by interior trouble of mind, scruples and a disrelish of spiritual exercises, and, while the Devil assaulted him with violent temptations, men persecuted him by calumnies. The most terrible of all these pains was that of scrupulosity and interior desolation, which he describes in his book called The Dark Night of the Soul. This again was succeeded by another more grievous trial of spiritual darkness, accompanied with interior pain and temptations in which God seemed to have forsaken him. But in the calm, which followed this terrible tempest, he was wonderfully repaid with divine love and new light. On one occasion an unrestrained young woman of considerable attraction subjected St John to a barefaced attempt. Instead of the burning brand that St Thomas Aquinas used on a like occasion, John used gentle words to persuade her of the error of her ways. By like means but in other circumstances he got the better of another lady, whose temper was so fierce that she was known as Robert the Devil.

 In 1571 St Teresa undertook, under obedience, the office of prioress of the unreformed convent of the Incarnation at Avila, and she sent for St John to be its spiritual director and confessor. He is doing great things here”, she wrote to her sister, and to Philip II. “The people take him for a saint in my opinion he is one, and has been all his life”. He was sought out by seculars as well as religi­ous, and God confirmed his ministry by evident miracles.
But grave troubles were arising between the Discalced and the Mitigated Carmelites.
  The old friars looked on this reformation, though undertaken with the licence and approbation of the prior general given to St Teresa, as a rebellion against their order. On the other hand, some of the Discalced were tactless and exceeded their powers and rights. Moreover, the prior general, the general chapter and the papal nuncios pursued confusing and contradictory policies respectively. At length, in 1577, the provincial of Castile ordered St John to return to his original friary at Medina. He refused, on the ground that he held his office from the papal nuncio and not from the order. Whereupon armed men were sent, who broke open his door and carried him off. Knowing the veneration people at Avila had for him, they removed him to Toledo, where he was pressed to abandon the reform. When he refused he was locked up in a small cell that had practically no light, and treated in a way that shows only too clearly how little, nearly sixteen hundred years after the Incarnation, the spirit of Jesus Christ had penetrated into the hearts of many who claimed His name.

St John’s cell measured some ten feet by six, and the one window was so small and high up that he had to stand on a stool by it to see to read his office. He was bloodily beaten—he bore the marks to his dying day—publicly in chapter, by order of Jerome Tostado, vicar general of the Carmelites in Spain and a Consultor of the Inquisition. St John’s were all those sufferings described in St Teresa’s “Sixth Mansion”—insults, slanders, physical pain, agony of soul and temptation to give in. But, “Do not be surprised”, he said in after years, “if I show a great love of suffering; God gave me a high idea of its value when I was in prison at Toledo”. And his immediate answer was his earliest poems, a voice crying in the wilderness:

Ah! I Where art thou gone hiding
My Love, and leavest me alone with moaning
Fleet as the deer thou fleddest
When thou hadst me sore stricken,
And thou art gone. I follow thee with outcry.

In the intolerable atmosphere of the cell, stinking in the summer heat, the prior Maldonato visited Brother John on the eve of the Assumption, stirring him up with his foot as he lay prostrate. John apologized for the weakness that did not allow him to get up more promptly when his superior entered.
“You were very absorbed,” said Maldonato,” What were you thinking about?”

I was thinking,” replied John, “that it is our Lady’s feast tomorrow, and what a happiness it would be to say Mass.”
“Not in my time,” retorted the prior.

On the night of the feast-day the Mother of God appeared to her suffering servant. “Be patient, my son,” she seemed to say, “Your trials will soon be over,” A few days later she appeared again, and showed him in vision a window overlooking the river Tagus. “You will go out that way”, she said, “and I will help you.” And so it happened, nine months after his imprisonment began, that John had his opportunity when he was allowed a few minutes exercise. He walked through the building, looking for that window; he recognized it, and went back to his cell. He had already begun to loosen the screws of the door lock that night he broke if off and, though two visiting friars were sleeping close by the window, he let himself down from it on a rope of twisted coverlets and clothes. The rope was too short, he fell down the ramparts to the river bank, picked himself up unhurt, and followed a dog which jumped into an adjoining courtyard. And so he got away, with attendant circumstances that on the face of it appear miraculous.* {*Prescinding from the methods used, it should be borne in mind that juridically opponents of St John had a case. There was a conflict of jurisdiction, but from their point of view Friar John came within the provision in Bd John Soreth’s constitutions concerning rebels, fugitives and the like.}

John made his way to the reformed friary of Beas de Segura and then to the near-by hermitage of Monte Calvario. In 1579 he became head of the college at Baeza, and in 1581 he was chosen prior of Los Martires, near Granada.

   Though the male founder and spiritual leader of the Discalced friars he took little part during these years, when their continued existence hung in the balance, in negotiations and events which led up to the establishment of a separate province for the Discalced in 1580. Instead he began those writings which have made him  a doctor of the Church in mystical theology. In his teaching he was a faithful follower of ancient tradition human life on earth is ordered to an end, which is the perfection of charity and transformation in God, by love. Contemplation is not an end in itself, it does not stop at understanding, but it is for love and for union with God by love, and ultimately involves the experience itself of that union towards which everything is ordered. “There is no better or more necessary work than love”, he says. “We have been created for love.” “God uses nothing but love.” “As love is the union of the Father with the Son, so it is of the human soul with God.”

It is by love that contemplation is attained, and since this love is produced by faith—which alone can bridge the gulf between our understanding and the infinity of God—it is a living and lived faith that is the principle of mystical experience. Such traditional doctrine St John was never wearied of inculcating in his own lofty way and burning words; but that he was at the same time a characteristic son of his age and country a glance at his own design for a “crucifixion” (now preserved in the Carmelite convent at Avila) at once shows. Sometimes the austerities, which he practised, seemed to exceed bounds; he only slept two or three hours in a night, employing the rest in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Three things he frequently asked of God that he might not pass one day of his life without suffering something, that he might not die in office, and that he might end his life in humiliation and contempt.
   His confidence in God earned miraculous supplies for his monasteries, which firm confidence in divine providence he called the patrimony of the poor. He was frequently so absorbed in God that he was obliged to do violence to himself to treat of temporal affairs. This love appeared in a certain brightness, which was seen in his countenance on many occasions, especially when he came from the altar. His heart seemed a fire of love that could not be contained within his breast, but showed itself by these exterior marks. By experience in spiritual things and an extraordinary light of the Holy Ghost he had the gift of discerning spirits, and could not be easily imposed upon in what came from God.

After the death of St Teresa in 1582 a disagreement within the ranks of the Discalced friars themselves became more pronounced, St John favouring the moderate policy of the prior provincial, Father Jerome Gracián, against the extremist Father Nicholas Doria, who aimed at separating the Discalced completely from the old stock. After Father Nicholas himself became provincial, the chapter made St John vicar for Andalusia and he applied himself to the correction of certain abuses, especially those arising from the necessity of religious going out of their monasteries for the purpose of preaching. It was his opinion that their vocation and life was primarily contemplative. Thus opposition was raised against him. He founded more friaries, and on the expiry of his term of office went as prior to Granada. The policy of Father Nicholas had so prospered that a chapter held at Madrid in 1588 received a brief from the Holy See authorizing a further separation of the Discalced Carmelites from the Mitigated. In spite of protests the venerable Father Jerome Gracián was deprived of all authority; Father Nicholas Doria was made vicar general; and the one province was divided into six, with a Consultor for each (St John himself was one) to help him in the government of the new congregation. This innovation caused grave discontent, especially among the nuns, and the Venerable Anne-of-Jesus, then prioress at Madrid, obtained from the Holy See a brief confirming their constitutions, without reference to the vicar general. The consequent troubles were eventually composed, but at a chapter held at Whitsun 1591, St John spoke in defence both of Father Jerome Gracián and of the nuns. Father Nicholas Doria had suspected him all along of being in league with them, and he now took the opportunity of reducing St John from all offices to the status of a simple friar and sending him to the remote friary of La Peñuela. Here he spent some months, passing his days in meditation and prayer among the mountains, “for I have less to confess when I am among these rocks than when I am among men.”

But there were those who would not leave St John alone even here. When visiting Seville as vicar provincial he had had occasion to restrict the preaching activities of two friars and to recall them to the observance of their rule. They submitted at the time, but the rebuke had rankled, and now one of them, Father Diego, who had become a Consultor of the congregation, went about over the whole province making inquiries about St John’s life and conduct, trumping up accusations, and boasting that he had sufficient proofs to have him expelled from the order. Many at that time forsook him, afraid of seeming to have any dealings with him, and burnt his letters lest they might be involved in his disgrace. St John in the midst of all this was taken ill, and the provincial ordered him to leave out-of-the-way Peñuela and gave him the choice to go either to Baeza or Ubeda. The first was a convenient convent and had for prior a friend of the saint. At the other Father Francis was prior, the other person whom he had corrected with Father Diego. St John chose this house of Ubeda. The fatigue of his journey made him worse; he suffered great pain, and submitted cheerfully to several operations. But the unworthy prior treated him with inhumanity, forbade any one to see him, changed the infirmarian because he served him with tenderness, and would not allow him any but the ordinary food, refusing him even what seculars sent in for him. This state of affairs was brought to the notice of the provincial who came to Ubeda, did all he could for the saint, and reprimanded Father Francis so sharply that he was brought to repentance for his malice. After suffering acutely for nearly three months, St John died on December 14, 1591, still under the cloud which the ambition of Father Nicholas and the revengefulness of Father Diego had raised against him in the congregation of which he was co-founder and whose life he had been the first to take up.

Immediately after his death there was an outburst of recognition on all hands, and clergy and laity flocked to his funeral. His body was removed to Segovia, the last house of which he had been prior. He was canonized in 1726. St John-of-the-Cross was not learned when compared with some learned doctors, but St Teresa saw in him a most pure soul to whom God had communicated great treasures of light and whose understanding was filled from on high. Her judgement is amply borne out by his writings, principally the poems and their accompanying commentaries, the Ascent of Mount Cannel, the Dark Night of the Soul, the Living Flame of Love and a Spiritual Canticle; and its rightness was superlatively recognized by the Church when, in 1926, he was proclaimed a doctor of the Church for his mystical works. St John’s doctrine was one of ever more suffering and complete abandonment of the soul to God, and that made him harsh and hard to himself; but to others he could be kind, gentle, and forbearing, nor did he pass by or fear material things “Natural things”, he said, “are always lovely; they are the crumbs that fall from God’s table”. He lived the complete renunciation which he preached so powerfully, but, unlike so many lesser ones, he was “free as the spirit of God is free” not tending to reiterated negation and emptiness but positive and full with the fullness of divine love, God and the soul in substantial communion. He united in himself the ecstatic light of the Divine Wisdom with the shattering folly of the despised Christ.
 
 

Whoever wishes to arrive at an understanding of the facts, which so long impeded an adequate setting out of the history of St John-of-the-Cross, may be recommended to read the Postscript with which Father Benedict Zimmerman has enriched the translation of Father Bruno’s St Jean de la Croix (1932). The depositions taken in view of the beatification of the saint still exist at Rome in manuscript. The lives published in the first half of the seventeenth century, notably those by Joseph Quiroga and Jerome-of-St-Joseph, together with Reforma de los Descalzos, vol. i and ii, written by Francis- of- St- Mary tell us a great deal, but leave many points obscure. Besides these we have St Teresa’s correspondence and spiritual works, as well as the records of the Carmelites, and even state-papers and diplomatic despatches, for the administration of Philip XI was greatly interested in all that affected the reform of the religious orders. The most authoritative edition of the writings of St John himself in the original Spanish is that edited by Father Silverio (5 vols., 1929-31) Eng. trans. from this text by F. A. Peers (3 vol., new edn., 1953). David Lewis, revised by Fr B. Zimmerman, has also translated most of the works into English. Besides the excellent life by Father Bruno which has been based upon a very wide study of the sources, we have also an earlier life in English by D. Lewis (1897), that in Spanish by M. M. Garnica, San Juan de la Cruz (1875), and the shorter work of Mgr Demimuid, St Jean de la Croix (1916) in the collection “Les Saints”. See also J. Baruzi, Saint Jean de la Croix et le problème de l’expérience mystique (1931); and Father Wenceslaus, Fisonomia de un Doctor (1913); as well as a number of articles which since 1932 have appeared in Etudes Carmélitaines. See also FF. Crisogono and Lucinio, Vida y Obras de San Juan de la Cruz (1946); Father Gabriel, St John of the Cross (1946), an introduction to his works and doctrine F. A. Peers, St John of the Cross (essays; 1946) and the translations of the poems by Roy Campbell (1951) and by Peers (1948). The best popular introduction is perhaps Spirit of Flame (1943), also by Professor Peers. See also his Studies of the Spanish Mystics (2 vols. 1927-30), an important essay in his St Teresa of Jesus and Other Essays and Addresses (1953), examining the second edition (1950) the Spanish life of St John by Fr Crisogono Garrachón and A Handbook to the Life and Times of St Teresa and St John of the Cross (1954).

1823-1856 Blessed Martyrs of China and Cochin-China beatified in 1900(AC)

Antony Quinh-Nam was born in 1768. He was a native catechist and physician of Cochin-China, who became attached to the Foreign Missions of Paris. He was imprisoned for the faith in 1838 and was strangled to death two years later.

Laurence Pe-Man was a laborer, who became a convert of Blessed Augustus Chapdelaine. He was beheaded in 1856 after being tortured at Su-Lik-Hien in the province of Kwang-Si.

Blessed Peter Dumoulin was born at Cors, diocese of Tulle, France, in 1808, and entered the seminary for Foreign Missions of Paris in 1829, being sent to Tonkin after his ordination in 1832. In 1836 he was arrested. While in prison he was appointed titular bishop and vicar apostolic of western Tonkin. Bishop Dumoulin was beheaded in 1838.

Blessed Peter Choa and Vincent Diem were Tonkinese priests. They were strangled at Dong-Hoi in 1838 (Benedictines).

1823 Bl. Thaddeus Lieu Chinse martyr native
he was ordained a priest and served in the Chinese missions until his arrest by anti-Christian authorities. He was strangled in prison after two years of incarceration and terrible torment.

1856 Bl. Lawrence PeMan China  Martyr disciple of Blessed Augustine Chapdelaine.
 He was beheaded, and in 1900 was beatified.

1838 St. Vincent Diem martyr Vietnamese.
 who was martyred at Tonkin with his companions by beheading.

1840 St. Anthony Nam-Quynh Vietnamese martyr physician.
serving as well as a catechist for the faith. In 1838, he was arrested and kept in prison for two years, then strangled. He was canonized in 1988.

1838 St. Peter Domoulin Bori Peter Khoa Vincent Diem  Vietnam martyrs
Peter Domoulin Bori was originally from France, and joined the Foreign Missions of Paris in 1829. He was assigned to Vietnam in 1832 after his ordination. Arrested in 1836, he was imprisoned and was appointed a titular bishop and vicar apostolic while incarcerated. He was beheaded, and two native priests who shared his imprisonment, Peter Khoa and Vincent Diem, were strangled. All three were canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

1862 Dominican Martyrs by King Tu-Duc in Central Tonkin Vietnam 1856-1862
Christians who died in the persecution conducted by King Tu-Duc in Central Tonkin, Vietnam. Five martyrs were beatified in 1906. The following were canonized in 1988: Joseph Diaz Sanjurjo, Meichior Garcia Sampedro, Dominic Ninh, Laurence Ngon, Dominic An-Kham, Luke Cai-Thin, Joseph Cai-Ta, Dominic Mao, Vincent Tuong, Dominic Nguyen, Andrew Tuoung Dominic Nhi, Peter Da, Joseph Tuan, Peter Dung, Peter Tuan, Vincent Duong, Dominic Mau, Dominic Toai, Dominic Huyen, Joseph Tuan, Dominic Cam, Thomas Khuong, Paul Duong and Joseph Tuc. Some were or­dained priests and others Dominican tertiari
e
St. Andrew Dun-Lac
Through the missionary efforts of various religious families beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing until 1866, the Vietnamese people heard the message of the gospel, and many accepted it despite persecution and even death. On June 19, 1988, Pope John Paul II canonized 117 persons martyred in the eighteenth century. Among these were ninety-six Vietnamese, eleven missionaries born in Spain and belonging to the Order of Preachers, and ten French missionaries belonging to the Paris Foreign Mission Society.
Among these saints are eight Spanish and French bishops, fifty priests (thirteen European and thirty-seven Vietnamese), and fifty-nine lay people. These martyrs gave their lives not only for the Church but for their country as well. They showed that they wanted the gospel of Christ to take root in their people and contribute to the good of their homeland.
On June 1, 1989, these holy martyrs were inscribed in the liturgical calendar of the Universal Church on November 24th.

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions St. Andrew was one of 117 martyrs who met death in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. Now all have been canonized by Pope John Paul II.

Christianity came to Vietnam (then three separate kingdoms) through the Portuguese. Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615. They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan.
The king of one of the kingdoms banned all foreign missionaries and tried to make all Vietnamese apostatize by trampling on a crucifix. Like the priest-holes in Ireland during English persecution, many hiding places were offered in homes of the faithful.
Severe persecutions were again launched three times in the 19th century. During the six decades after 1820, between 100,000 and 300,000 Catholics were killed or subjected to great hardship. Foreign missionaries martyred in the first wave included priests of the Parish Mission Society, and Spanish Dominican priests and tertiaries.
Persecution broke out again in 1847 when the emperor suspected foreign missionaries and Vietnamese Christians of sympathizing with the rebellion of one of his sons. The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862. That year a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecution.
By 1954 there were over a million and a half Catholics—about seven percent of the population—in the north. Buddhists represented about 60 percent. Persistent persecution forced some 670,000 Catholics to abandon lands, homes and possessions and flee to the south. In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in the north, but many were in prison. In the south, Catholics were enjoying the first decade of religious freedom in centuries, their numbers swelled by refugees.
During the Vietnamese war, Catholics again suffered in the north, and again moved to the south in great numbers. Now the whole country is under Communist rule.
Comment:  It may help a people who associate Vietnam only with a recent war to realize that the cross has long been a part of the lives of the people of that country. Even as we ask again the unanswered questions about United States involvement and disengagement, the faith rooted in Vietnam's soil proves hardier than the forces which would destroy it.
Quote: “The Church in Vietnam is alive and vigorous, blessed with strong and faithful bishops, dedicated religious, and courageous and committed laypeople.... The Church in Vietnam is living out the gospel in a difficult and complex situation with remarkable persistence and strength” (statement of three U.S. archbishops returning from Vietnam in January 1989).
Martyrs of Vietnam Several groups of martyrs called the Martyrs of Annam who were slain for the faith in Vietnam from 1798 until 1861.

Between 1798 and 1853, sixty-four were martyred, receiving beatification in 1900. Those who died in a second group, between 1859 and 1861, were beatified in 1909. There were twenty-eight courageous men and women who died for the faith during a long period of persecution.
A Portuguese missionary arrived in Vietnam, once called Annam, Indo-China, Cochin-China, and Tonkin, in 1533. An imperial edict in Vietnam forbade Christianity, and it was not until 1615 that the Jesuits were able to establish a permanent mission there, in the central region of the country. In 1627, a Jesuit went north to establish another mission. By the time this missionary, Father Alexander de Rhodes, was expelled from the land in 1630, he had baptized 6,700 Vietnamese. In that same year the first Christian martyr was beheaded, and more were executed in 1644 and 1645 . Father Rhodes returned to Vietnam but was banished again in 1645. He then went to Paris, France, where the Paris Seminary for Foreign Missions was founded. Priests arrived in Vietnam, and the faith grew. Between 1798 and 1853, a period of intense political rivalry and civil wars, sixty-four known Christians were executed. These were beatified in 1900. In 1833, all Christians were ordered to renounce the faith, and to trample crucifixes underfoot. That edict started a persecution of great intensity that was to last for half a century. Some twenty-eight martyrs from this era were beatified in 1909. The bishop, priests, and Europeans were given “a hundred wounds,” disemboweled, beaten, and slain in many other grisly fashions. For a brief period in 1841 the persecution abated as France threatened to intervene with warships. However, in 1848, prices were placed on the heads of the missionaries by a new emperor. Two priests, Father Augustin Schoffier and Father Bonnard, were beheaded as a re­sult. In 1855, the persecution raged, and the following year wholesale massacres began. Thousands of Vietnamese Christians were martyred, as well as four bish­ops and twenty-eight Dominicans. It is estimated that between 1857 and 1862, 115 native priests, 100 Vietnamese nuns, and more than 5,000 of the faithful were martyred. Convents, churches, and schools were razed, and as many as 40,000 Catholics were dispossessed of their lands and exiled from their own regions to starve in wilderness areas. The martyrdoms ended with the Peace of 1862, brought about by the surrendering of Saigon and other regions to France and the payment of indemnities to France and Spain. It is now reported that the “Great Massacre,” the name given to the persecution of the Church in Vietnam, resulted in the following estimated deaths:

Eastern Vietnam - fifteen priests, 60 cathechists, 250 nuns, 24,000 Catholic lay men and women. Southern Vietnam - ten priests, 8,585 Catholic men and women. Southern Tonkin region - eight French missionaries, one native priest, 63 cathechists, and 400 more Christians slain - in all, an estimated 4,799 were martyred and 1,181 died of starvation. Some 10,000 Catholics were forced to flee the area. Pope John Paul II canonized 117 Martyrs of Vietnam on June 19,1988. 


 Thursday  November 24 Saints of Octávo 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.