Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
 Friday   November  25 Saints of Séptimo Kaléndas Decémbris  
Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас! (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)

  Six Canonized on Feast of Christ the King Nov 23 2014


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

November 25 – Mary Consoler of the Afflicted (Rome, Italy)

Mary steals souls from them
A famous case of possession is Antoine Gay, a good and devout Christian who lived and died in Lyons, France, 1873. His case lasted a long time and ruined the life of this brave carpenter. Sometimes, terrifying scenes occurred during which he, usually of a calm disposition, shouted and blasphemed against God.

As has happened to other possessed people, God forced Antoine, or rather the demon that spoke through his mouth, to talk in an edifying way more than once. One day, Antoine was in the town of Ars praying at the altar of Our Lady. Suddenly, in a fit of possession, the devil made him say this prayer, full of theological terms
well above the intellect of this simple worker:
"O Mary, the masterpiece of God's hands, you are the greatest creature that God ever made... Incomparable creature, all the angels admire you. O Mary, you have received in your virginal womb the One who created you.
I praise you, O Mary, but the homage that I give you in turn goes up to God.
You steal all the souls from us who seek your protection."
La Revue du Rosaire - 1967 Story told by Brother Albert Pfleger
In Fioretti de la Vierge Marie, Ephèse Diffusion

November 25
101 St Clement Hieromartyr, Pope of Rome; at Alexandria meets holy Apostle Barnabas baptized by Apostle Peter
429 Saint Peter of Galatia gift of wonderworking, healing infirmities. expelling devils Life written by Theodoret of Cyrrhus whose mother was healed by the saint.
    441 St. Mesrop Confessor; disciple of St. Nerses the Great of Armenia

1858 Blesseds Louis Martin and Marie-Zélie Guérin Marriage Leads to Heaven  parents of Saint Teresa of Liseux  and her sisters.
1876 St. Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal 

Pope Benedict XVI to The Catholic Church In China {whole article here }
The saints “a cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.

Necessity urges us to pray for ourselves.  Fraternal Charity obliges us to pray for others.
God finds the prayer motivated by charity to be more meritorious than the prayer motivated by necessity.

-- St. John Chrysostom

November 25 - Our Lady of the Rock of Fiesola (Tuscany, Italy, 1028)  Roy H. Schoeman’s own conversion (II)
I continued in this undiscriminating, eclectic path for exactly one year, until one year to the day after the experience on the beach, I received the second great extraordinary grace of my life. I frankly admit that, in all external aspects, what took place was a dream. Yet when I went to sleep I knew little about, and had no special sympathy for, Christianity or any of its aspects; when I awoke I was hopelessly in love with the Blessed Virgin Mary and wanted nothing more than to become as totally Christian as I could.
I the “dream”, I was taken to a room and granted an audience with the most beautiful young woman I could have ever imagined; without it being spoken, I knew that it was the Blessed Virgin Mary. She agreed to answer any questions I might ask her; I clearly remember standing there, weighing a number of possible questions in my mind, and asking her four or five of them. She answered them, then spoke to me for several more minutes, and then the audience was ended.
My experience of the event, and my memory of it, are as of something which took place in full wakefulness. I remember all the details, including of course the questions and the answers, but all pales beside by far the greatest aspect of the experience: the ecstasy of simply being in her presence, in the purity and intensity of her love.
 Excerpt from Roy H. Schoeman, Salvation Is from the Jews:
The Role of Judaism in Salvation History (Ignatius Press April 2003), pp. 359-360
    101 St Clement Hieromartyr, Pope of Rome Alexandria meets holy Apostle Barnabas baptized by Apostle Peter
    250 St. Mercurius Martyr Caesarea in Cappadocia
    251 St. Moses Martyred priest of Rome
    311 St. Peter, Martyr, Bishop Of Alexandria  Erasmus of Antioch M (RM)
          St. Catherine of Alexandria Virgin Martyred by Maxentius
 429 Saint Peter of Galatia gift of wonderworking, healing infirmities. expelling devils Life written by Theodoret of Cyrrhus whose mother was healed by the saint.
    441 St. Mesrop Confessor; disciple of St. Nerses the Great of Armenia
    466 St. Jucunda Virgin Reggio disciple of St. Prosper
615 St. Columbanus of Luxeuil Abbot benefits of trusting obedience to God and those in authority over us OSB (RM)
7th v.  St. Alnoth Herder hermit martyr
    752 St. Imma of Karlburg, OSB Abbess (AC)
 916 Saint Clement Bishop of Ochrid 1st Bulgarian hierarch to serve, preach and write in Slavonic 1st samples of
 Slavonic spiritual literature
Naum, Sava, Gorazd Angelar lavs Equal of Apostles, Sts Cyril Methodius disciples
1045 Adalbert & Guido (Guy) of Casauria, OSB (PC)
1050 Blessed Bernold of Ottobeuren renowned as "the priest"--a wonder worker, especially after his death ( OSB (AC)
1075 Blessed Ekbert of Muensterschwarzach, OSB Abbot (AC)
1200 Blessed Conrad of Heisterbach soldier and a minister to the margraves of Thuringia
1420 Blessed Elisabeth the Good, OFM Tert.  mystical experiences including the stigmata V (AC) OSB Cist. (PC)
1858 Blesseds Louis Martin and Marie-Zélie Guérin Marriage Leads to Heaven
1876 St. Catherine Laboure the Miraculous Medal 

November 25 - Our Lady of the Rock (Italy, 1028)  Mary in the Temple (V)
She resolved to love God with all her heart
   From her childhood, Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit, and as she grew grace increased within her. She then resolved to love God with all her heart, that He may never be offended by her words or actions. Thus she paid no heed to earthly goods and gave all she could to the poor. She was so moderate in her meals that she would take only the bare minimum to sustain her body.
   When she understood through the Holy Scriptures that God was to be born of a virgin to redeem the world, her heart became so engulfed in the flames of divine love that she had no other thought or desire than God. Finding her happiness in God alone, she even avoided her parents, fearing that they would distract her from thinking of God.
Finally, she hoped to live at the time of the Messiah and to become the servant of the holy virgin who would merit to become his mother.
     Saint Bridget - Revelations III, VIII
Quoted by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church   The Glories of Mary - Saint Paul Publisher 1997

November 25 - Mary Comforter of the Afflicted (Rome, Italy)
Terror of Demons- St Seraphim of Sarov
Despite the fact that Satan seduced Eve and lured Adam into the same sin, God not only gave us a Redeemer who by dying defeated death, but in the person of the Woman, the Mother of God, Mary ever-Virgin, who crushed in herself and the whole human race the head of the serpent, he lent us an indefatigable advocate before his Son, Our God, an invincible litigant for the most obdurate sinners. It is because of this that she is called "the Terror of demons," for it is impossible for the devil to cause a man to perish as long as the latter has recourse to the help of the Theotokos.
Saint Seraphim of Sarov Of the Russian Orthodox Church (1759-1833)
After the death of the Apostle Peter, St Linus (67-79) was the next Bishop of Rome, succeeded by St Anacletus (79-91), and then St Clement (92-101).
Mercurius d. 250 was reported to have lent his sword and skills in battles against evil  aided St. George and St. Demetrius during the First Crusade killed Julian the Apostate in Persia in 363
The Twenty-fifth Day of November Martyrology of the Sacred Order of Friars Preachers
At Alexandria, St. Catherine, virgin and martyr. In the reign of the Emperor Maximian, she was cast into prison for confessing the Christian faith. Then she was flogged for a long time with scorpions, and finally completed her martytdom by being beheaded. Her body was miraculously carried by angels to Mount Sinai, and is there piously venerated by huge gatherings of Christians. A totum duplex feast.
At Rome, St. Moses, priest and martyr. While he was detained in prison together with other Christians, he was often encouraged by letters from St. Cyprian. With undiminished courage, he resisted not only the pagans but also the schismatics and Novatian heretics. Eventually, as Pope St. Cornelius testifies, he was crowned with a famous and admirable martyrdom in the persecution of Decius.
At Antioch, St. Erasmus, martyr.
At Caesarea in Cappadocia, the suffering of St. Mercurius, soldier. By the protection of his guardian angel, he conquered barbarians and overcame the cruelty of Decius. Enriched with the trophies of many tortures, he passed into heaven, crowned with martyrdom.
In Emilia, a province of Italy, St. Jucunda, virgin.

101 Hieromartyr Clement, Pope of Rome Alexandria St Clement meets holy Apostle Barnabas baptized by the holy Apostle Peter
born at Rome into a rich and illustrious family. Separated from his parents from childhood by force of circumstances, Clement was raised by strangers. Living in Rome, the youth received a fine education, he was surrounded by luxury, and had access to the imperial court. But these comforts brought him no joy, and pagan wisdom failed to attract him. He began to ponder the meaning of life.

When the news of Christ and His teaching began to reach the capital, St Clement left his home and estate and went to the lands where the Apostles were preaching. At Alexandria St Clement met the holy Apostle Barnabas, listening to his words with deep attention, and perceiving the power and truth of the Word of God. Arriving in Palestine, St Clement was baptized by the holy Apostle Peter and became his zealous disciple and constant companion, sharing his toil and sufferings with him. Shortly before his own sufferings and death, St Peter consecrated St Clement as Bishop of Rome. After the death of the Apostle Peter, St Linus (67-79) was the next Bishop of Rome, succeeded by St Anacletus (79-91), and then St Clement (92-101).

The virtuous life, charitable works and prayerful activity of St Clement converted many to Christ. He once baptized 424 people on the day of Pascha. Among the baptized were people of all social classes: slaves, officials, and even members of the imperial family.

The pagans, seeing the success of his apostolic preaching, denounced St Clement to the emperor Trajan (98-117), accusing the saint of insulting the pagan gods. The emperor banished St Clement from the capital, sending him to the Crimea, to work at a stone quarry near the city of Cherson. Many of the saint's disciples followed after him voluntarily, preferring to go into exile rather than live without their spiritual Father.

When he arrived at the place of exile, St Clement found many Christian believers there, sentenced to labor under harsh conditions amidst a scarcity of water. He prayed together with the condemned, and the Lord appeared to him in the form of a lamb and revealed the location of a spring, from which gushed forth a veritable river of water. This miracle attracted a multitude of people to St Clement. Hearing the zealous preacher, hundreds of pagans were converted to Christ. Each day 500 or more men were baptized. And there in the stone quarry, a church was built, in which he served as priest.

The apostolic activity of the saint aroused the wrath of the emperor Trajan, and he ordered that St Clement be drowned. They threw the martyr into the sea with an anchor tied to his neck. This occurred in the year 101.

The saint's faithful disciples Cornelius and Fibius asked the people to pray that the Lord would permit them to see the martyr's body. The sea drew back a distance of three miles from the shore and the people walked out on the seabed until they found a marble cave shaped like a church. There they found the incorrupt body of their archpastor in this "Angelic Church" formed by God. After this, each year on the anniversary of St Clement's martyric death the sea receded, and for seven days Christians were able to venerate his holy relics.

During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus (802-811), by divine providence, the sea failed to withdraw, and the relics of St Clement became inaccessible for fifty years. In the time of the emperor Michael and his mother Theodora (855-867), Sts Cyril and Methodius visited Cherson. When they learned of the concealed relics of St Clement, they asked Bishop George of Cherson to pray that the Lord would show them the relics of the hieromartyr.

Sts Cyril and Methodius walked along the shore in procession with the clergy who came with them from Constantinople. Through the fervent prayers of everyone gathered there, the holy relics of St Clement miraculously appeared on the surface of the sea at midnight. They solemnly took them to the Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople. A portion of the relics were then brought to Rome by Sts Cyril and Methodius, but a large portion of the relics was later brought to Kiev by the holy Prince Vladimir (July 15) and placed in the Desyatin-Tithe church, together with the relics of St Fibius, where a chapel dedicated to St Clement had been built. The hieromartyr Clement is widely venerated in Russia. From ancient times, many churches have been dedicated to him.

St Clement, who belongs to the Apostolic Fathers, has left to us a spiritual legacy (two Epistles to the Corinthians) the first written examples of Christian teaching after the writings of the holy Apostles.
251 ST MOSES, MARTYR; a priest at Rome and leader of a group of clergy who, according to St Cyprian, were the first confessors in the Decian persecution. They exchanged letters of encouragement with St Cyprian and the clergy of Carthage, and withdrew themselves from communion with Novatian, the danger of whose rigorism St Moses perceived

Romæ sancti Móysis, Presbyteris et Mártyris; quem, cum áliis deténtum in cárcere, sanctus Cypriánus per lítteras sæpe est consolátus.  Ipse autem Móyses, cum non tantum advérsus Gentíles, sed étiam advérsus schismáticos et hæréticos Novatiános infrácto ánimo stetísset, demum (ut sanctus Cornélius Papa testátur), in persecutióne Décii, exímio et admirábili martyrio decorátus est.

251 ST MOSES, MARTYR; a priest at Rome and leader of a group of clergy who, according to St Cyprian, were the first confessors in the Decian persecution. They exchanged letters of encouragement with St Cyprian and the clergy of Carthage, and withdrew themselves from communion with Novatian, the danger whose rigorism St Moses perceived.

Moses, perhaps of Jewish origin, was a priest at Rome and leader of a group of clergy who, according to St Cyprian, were the first confessors in the Decian persecution. They exchanged letters of encouragement with St Cyprian and the clergy of Carthage, and withdrew themselves from communion with Novatian, the danger of whose rigorism St Moses perceived. After he had been in prison with his companions for eleven months and eleven days, that is to say, about January 1, 251 Moses died and was accounted a martyr: made illustrious, says the Roman Martyrology, by an excellent and wonderful martyrdom after he had stood with undaunted spirit as well against schismatics and Novatianist heretics as against the heathen.

It is from the letters of St Cyprian that our information is principally derived, but we also find Moses spoken of in Eusebius, bk vi, ch. 43, n. 20, and in the Liber Pontificalis (ed. Duchesne), vol. i, pp. 148 and 150. The question is discussed by Tillemont, Mémoires vols. iii and iv; and there is a good article in DCB., vol. iii, pp. 948—949. 

    At Rome, St. Moses, priest and martyr, who, along with others detained in prison, was often consoled by the letters of St. Cyprian.  He withstood with unbending courage not only the heathen, but also the Novatian schismatics and heretics, and according to the words of Pope St. Cornelius, he was finally crowned with a martyrdom which fills the mind with admiration in the persecution of Decius.
Probably of Jewish heritage. He corresponded with St. Cyprian and opposed the Novatian heresy. Moses was imprisoned for a year during the persecution instituted by Emperor Trajanus Decius. He was executed in Rome on January 1.
Moses of Rome M (RM)

Roman priest possibly of Jewish origin, was noted for his zeal in preaching the Gospel and for his firm stand against the rigorism of Novatianism. He was one of the first victims under Decius according to the testimony of Saint Cyprian. Moses and Cyprian exchanged letters of encouragement. After he had been in prison for eleven months and eleven days, about January 1, 251, Moses died and was accounted a martyr for the faith (Benedictines, Walsh) .
250 St. Mercurius Martyr Caesarea in Cappadocia Asia Minor.
Cæsaréæ, in Cappadócia, pássio sancti Mercurii mílitis, qui custodiéntis se Angeli patrocínio et bárbaros vicit, et Décii sævítiam superávit; multísque auctus tormentórum trophæis, martyrio coronátus migrávit in cælum.
    At Caesarea in Cappadocia, St. Mercury, a soldier, who vanquished the barbarians and triumphed over the cruelty of Decius through the protection of his guardian angel.  Finally, having acquired great glory from his sufferings, he was crowned with martyrdom and went to reign forever in heaven.

The Holy Great Martyr Mercurius St Basil 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; answered St Basil and returned from the grave to kill Julian the Apostate.

St Mercurius, Martyr
This martyr is one of the so-called warrior-saints so popular in the East, and he doubtless was a real person who died for the faith, but his various acta are all versions of a pious romance. These relate that he was the son of a Scythian officer at Rome, and himself a successful soldier, who attained the rank of primi­cerius. When the City was threatened by barbarians and the Emperor Decius in great fear, Mercurius encouraged him and himself led the imperial troops, armed with a sword which had been given him by an angel. After a great victory Decius noticed that Mercurius was absent from the sacrifices to the gods, and sent for him to know the reason. Whereupon Mercurius threw his military cloak and belt in the emperor’s face, saying, “I will not deny my Lord Jesus”. Fearing the anger of the people of Rome, Decius sent him to Caesarea in Cappadocia to be grievously tortured and then beheaded. According to the Eastern legend, one hundred and thirteen years later St Basil invoked the aid of St Mercurius against Julian the Apostate, and he was made the instrument of divine wrath. For Mercurius appeared from the heavens, girded with a sword and brandishing a spear, with which he transfixed and killed the infidel emperor.
St Mercurius is called in Egypt Abu Saifain, “the Father of Swords”, on account of the weapons with which he is always represented and his alleged military prowess, and many churches are dedicated in his honour in that country.
St Mercurius was said to have appeared with St George and St Demetrius to the soldiers of the First Crusade at Antioch.

Fr Delehaye has dealt very fully with the legend of St Mercurius. In his book, Les légendes grecques des saints militaires (1909) he has not only discussed (pp. 91—101) the incidents of this quite unreliable narrative, but in an appendix (pp. 234—258) he has edited the two Greek texts which are of more notable interest. The statement of the pilgrim Theodosius (c. 525) that the martyr Mercurius reposes at Caesarea seems to be the earliest sure attestation we possess of the saint’s real existence. As might be expected from the popularity of his cult in Egypt, we find his name constantly recurring in the Ethiopic synaxaries. Sir E. Wallis Budge’s translation of-these last (4 vols., 1928) has a full index in which the references to St Mercurius are numerous. - Budge has also published a Coptic version of the passio in his Miscellaneous Coptic Texts (1915). See also S. Binon, Essai sur le cycle de St Mercure (1937), and Documents grecs inédits relatifs…(1937).

A Scythian by descent, served as a soldier in the Roman army. The impious emperors Decius (249-251) and Valerian (253-259) issued a decree ordering all Roman citizens to worship the pagan gods, and condemning Christians to torture and death unless they obeyed the decree.

At that time barbarians attacked the Roman empire, and the emperor Decius went on campaign with a large army. In one of the battles an angel of the Lord appeared to Mercurius in the guise of a nobleman and presented him a sword saying, "Fear not, Mercurius. Go forth bravely against the enemy, and when you are victorious, do not forget the Lord your God." With this sword the holy warrior cut through the ranks of the barbarians. He also killed their king, winning victory for the Romans.
The grateful Emperor Decius rewarded St Mercurius for his bravery, and made him commander of the entire army.
   The angel of the Lord appeared again to the holy warrior, who had received great honors and riches, and reminded him by Whom the victory had been given. He also told General Mercurius that he would suffer for Christ, and would receive a crown of victory in His Kingdom. Mercurius recalled that his father Gordian had also confessed the Christian Faith. Although the saint had been baptized, he felt he had not devoted his life to God as his father and grandfather had done.
Thus, he was weeping and lamenting when he was summoned before the emperor.
Decius consulted Mercurius on matters of state, then suggested that they offer sacrifice in the temple of Artemis. Not wishing to do this, the saint returned to his home. He was denounced as a Christian by a nobleman, whose name was Catullus. The emperor would not believe this, however, until he himself had questioned the saint. Openly declaring himself a Christian, Mercurius threw down his military belt and cloak at the emperor's feet, and he repudiated all the honors he had received.

The angel of the Lord again appeared to St Mercurius in the prison, encouraging him to endure every suffering for Christ.
They stretched the holy martyr between four pillars and lit a fire beneath him. They cut his body with knives, and so much blood flowed from his wounds that it extinguished the fire. When they threw him back into the prison nearly dead from his wounds, St Mercurius was healed by the Lord, demonstrating the great power of Christ to the impious pagans. Condemned to death, the saint was deemed worthy of a vision of the Lord, Who promised him a quick release from his sufferings. The Great Martyr Mercurius was beheaded at Caesarea in Cappadocia.
His holy body emitted a fragrance like myrrh and incense. Many of the sick were healed at his tomb.

Even after his death the warrior of Christ performed a soldier's service for the good of the earthly Church.
St Basil the Great (January 1) once prayed before an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, upon which St Mercurius was depicted as a soldier holding a spear. He asked God not to permit the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) to return from his war against the Persians and resume his oppression of Christians.

The image of the holy Great Martyr Mercurius, depicted on the icon beside the image of the Most Holy Theotokos, became invisible. It reappeared later with a bloodied spear. At this very moment Julian the Apostate, on his Persian campaign, was wounded by the spear of an unknown soldier, who immediately disappeared.
The mortally wounded Julian, as he lay dying, cried out, "Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!"
The Most Holy Theotokos, through the prayers of St Basil, had sent St Mercurius to defend the Christians from the apostate Julian. May we also be preserved from God's foes, overcoming them through the prayers and assistance of St Mercurius.

    He was reported son of a Scythian officer of the Roman army and became a military hero when barbarians assaulted Rome. When Mercurius refused to take part in sacrifices to the pagan gods during the persecution launched by Emperor Trajanus Decius, he was sent to Caesarea and beheaded. Mercurius was reported to have lent his sword and skills in battles against evil. He supposedly aided St. George and St. Demetrius during the First Crusade and is counted traditionally as a warrior saint.

Mercurius of Caesarea M (RM) (also known as Mercury) Died in Cappadocia, c. 250. All that is really known of St. Mercury is that he was a real martyr. Pious fiction makes him the son of a Scythian officer in the Roman army, who became a soldier himself, and led the army to a great victory with a sword an angel had given him in a battle against the barbarians attacking Rome. He fought so well that he gained the eye of Emperor Decius, which was not a blessing when he hesitated to make a thanksgiving sacrifice to Artemis. When the emperor asked him why he did not participate in sacrifices to the gods after the victory, Mercury proclaimed his Christianity. After torture and angelic visions, Decius sent Mercury home to Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he was tortured and beheaded for his faith.

Another legend says that Saint Basil the Great learned in a dream that St. Mercury was sent from heaven to kill Emperor Julian the Apostate in Persia in 363.  He was venerated as a warrior saint since the 6th century and is reputed to have appeared at various times in history to lend his sword to worthy causes, notably, with Saint George and Saint Demetrius, at Antioch during the First Crusade (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia)  St. Mercury is portrayed on horseback piercing Julian the Apostate with a lance (from a vision of St. Basil). Sometimes the angel is shown bringing him the miraculous sword. He is venerated in the Eastern Church (Roeder).

Erasmus of Antioch M (RM)
Antiochíæ sancti Erásmi Mártyris.    At Antioch, St. Erasmus, martyr.
Erasmus was a Syrian martyred at Antioch. It is probable that he is a duplicate of Saint Erasmus of Formiae (Benedictines).
311 St. Peter, Martyr, Bishop Of Alexandria 16th Archbishop from St. Mark
From Eusebius, Theodoret, &c. See Tillemont, t.v.; Ceillier, t. iv. p. 17; Orsi, t. iv. lib. x.) 

Eusebius calls this great prelate the excellent doctor of the Christian religion, and the chief and divine ornament of bishops; and tells us that he was admirable both for his extraordinary virtue and for his skill in the sciences and profound knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.

In the year 300 he succeeded Theonas in the see of Alexandria, being the sixteenth Archbishop from St. Mark; he governed that church with the highest commendation, says the same historian, during the space of twelve years, for the nine last of which he sustained the fury of the most violent persecutions carried on by Diocletian and his successors. Virtue is tried and made perfect by sufferings; and Eusebius observes that the fervour of our saint's piety and the rigour of his penance increased with the calamities of the church. That violent storm, which affrighted and disheartened several bishops and inferior ministers of the church, did but awake his attention, inflame his charity, and inspire him with fresh vigour. He never ceased begging of God for himself and his flock necessary grace and courage, and exhorting them to die daily to their passions, that they might be prepared to die for Christ. The confessors he comforted and encouraged by word and example, and was the father of many martyrs who sealed their faith with their blood. His watchfulness and care were extended to all the churches of Egypt, Thebais, or Upper Egypt and Lybia, which were under his immediate inspection. Notwithstanding the activity of St. Peter's charity and zeal, several in whom the love of this world prevailed basely betrayed their faith to escape torments and death.

Among those who fell during this storm, none was more considerable than Meletius, Bishop of Lycopolis, in Thebais. That bishop was charged with several crimes; but apostasy was the main article alleged against him. St. Peter called a council, in which Meletius was convicted of having sacrificed to idols and of other crimes, and sentence of deposition was passed against him. The apostate had not humility enough to submit, or to seek the remedy of his deep wounds by condign repentance, but put himself at the head of a discontented party which appeared ready to follow him to any lengths. To justify his disobedience, and to impose upon men by pretending a holy zeal for discipline, he published many calumnies against St. Peter and his council; and had the assurance to tell the world that he had left the archbishop's communion, because he was too indulgent to the lapsed in receiving them too soon and too easily to communion.
Thus he formed a pernicious schism, which took its name from him, and subsisted a hundred and fifty years. The author laid several snares for St. Peter's life, and though by an overruling providence these were rendered ineffectual, he succeeded in disturbing the whole church of Egypt with his factions and violent proceedings; for he infringed the saint's patriarchal authority, ordained bishops within his jurisdiction, and even placed one in his metropolitical see.
Sozomen tells us these usurpations were carried on with less opposition during a certain time when St. Peter was obliged to retire to avoid the fury of the persecution. Arius, who was then among the clergy of Alexandria, gave signs of his pride and turbulent spirit by espousing Meletius's cause as soon as the breach was open, but soon after quitted that party, and was ordained deacon by St. Peter.
It was not long before he relapsed again to the Meletians, and blamed St. Peter for excommunicating the schismatics and forbidding them to baptize. The holy bishop, by his knowledge of mankind, was by this time convinced that pride, the source of uneasiness and inconstancy, had taken deep root in the heart of this unhappy man; and that so long as this evil was not radically cured the wound of his soul was only skinned over by a pretended conversion, and would break out again with greater violence than ever. He therefore excommunicated him, and could never be prevailed with to revoke that sentence.

St. Peter wrote a book on the Divinity, out of which some quotations are preserved in the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. Also a paschal treatise, of which some fragments are extant. From St. Epiphanius it appears that St. Peter was in prison for the faith in the reign of Diocletian, or rather of Galerius Maximian; but after some time recovered his liberty.
Maximin Daia, Casar in the East, renewed the persecution in 311, which had been considerably abated by a letter written the same year by the Emperor Galerius in favour of the Christians.
Eusebius informs us that Maximin coming himself to Alexandria, St. Peter was immediately seized, when no one expected such a storm and, without any form of trial, by the sole order of the tyrant, hurried to execution. With him were beheaded three of his priests, Faustus, Dio, and Ammonius. This Faustus seems, by what Eusebius writes, to be the same person of that name who, sixty years before, was deacon to St. Dionysius and companion of his exile.

The canons of the church are holy laws, framed by the wisest and most experienced pastors and saints for the regulation of the manners of the faithful, according to the most pure maxims of our divine religion and the law of nature, many intricate rules of which are frequently explained, and many articles of faith expounded in them. Every clergyman is bound to be thoroughly acquainted with the great obligations of his state and profession; for it is one of the general and most just rules of the canon law, and even of the law of nature, that " No man is excused from a fault by his ignorance in things which, by his office, he is bound to know."
That anyone amongst the clergy should be a stranger to those decrees of the Universal Church and statutes of his own diocese, which regard the conduct and reformation of the clergy, is a neglect and an affected ignorance which aggravates the guilt of every transgression of which it is the cause, according to a well-known maxim of morality.

After the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, of the articles of faith, and the rules of a sound Christian morality, everyone who is charged with the direction of others, is obliged to have a competent tincture of those parts of the canon law which may fall in the way of his practice; bishops and their assistants stand in need of a more profound and universal skill, both in what regards their own office (in which Barbosa may be a manuduction), and others.

1 Conc. Ephes. Act. I, p. 508, Act. 7, p. 836 (Conc. t. iii.); Conc. Chalced. Act. I, p. 286.  2 Ap. Du Fresne, Lord Du Cange Pref. in Chran. Pasch. n. 7, pp. 4, 5.  3 St. Epiph. haer. 68.  4 Barbosa, De Officio Episcopi. Item De Officio Barochi.  (Taken from Vol. III of "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler.)   Provided Courtesy of: Eternal Word Television Network 5817 Old Leeds Road Irondale, AL 35210  
Peter Martyr of Alexandria BM (RM) Nov 26
Born at Alexandria, Egypt; died 311. Peter was a young 'confessor' during the Decian persecution. Later he became known for his extraordinary virtue, skill in the sciences, and learning and knowledge of Scripture. Peter was named head of the catechetical school in Alexandria, and in 300 was elected patriarch of the city to succeed Saint Theonas.

As bishop Saint Peter fought Arianism and extreme Origenism and spent the last nine years of his episcopate encouraging his flock to stand fast against the persecution of Christians launched by Emperor Diocletian. As the fury of the persecutions increased, Peter, according to Eusebius, heightened the rigor of his penances. He perceived the need for some rules that would lovingly, but sternly, welcome back into the Christian fold those who--under persecution and even torture--had lapsed from the faith and then wanted to return. These rules were eventually accepted throughout the Eastern Church; but others criticized Peter of Alexandria for being far too lenient.

One of those who apostatized was Bishop Meletius of Lycopolis in the Thebaid. Meletius was convicted by a council of having sacrificed to idols and other crimes. The sentence was deposition.

About that time Peter was forced into hiding; whereupon Meletius installed himself at the head of a discontent party. He began to usurp Peter's authority as metropolitan and, in order to justify his disobedience, he accused Peter in writing of treating the lapsi too leniently. Peter excommunicated Meletius, but still hoped to reconcile him. His letter of excommunication reads: "Now take heed to this and hold no communion with Meletius until I meet him, in company with some wise and discreet men, to find out what he has been plotting." Nevertheless, this led to a schism in the Egyptian church that lasted for several generations.

Peter continued administering his see from hiding and returned to Alexandria when the persecutions were temporarily suspended. In 311, Emperor Maximinus Daia unexpectedly renewed the persecution. Peter was arrested and then executed--the last Christian martyr put to death in Alexandria by the authorities. Martyred with him were three of his priests: Dio, Ammonius, and Faustus, who appears to have been the companion of Saint Dionysius during his exile 60 years earlier. The Coptic Church calls him 'the seal and complement of the martyrs,' because he was the last Christian to die for the faith before Constantine granted religious toleration throughout the empire.

Eusebius calls him 'an inspired Christian teacher . . . a worthy example of a bishop, both for the goodness of his life and his knowledge of the Scriptures.' Among Peter's fragmentary writings are some regulations of great interest, drawn up in 306; they deal with the treatment of those Christians who in varying degrees had failed under persecution. Portions of a book he wrote on the Divinity are preserved in the councils of Ephesus (Act. 1 and 7) and Chalcedon (Act. 1). Several related items of interest are available on the Internet: The Genuine Acts of Peter, The Canonical Epistle, and a document entitled Peter, Archbishop of Alexandria (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, Delaney, Husenbeth).

Saint Peter is depicted as a bishop enthroned between angels in Sienese paintings. Sometimes he is shown (1) holding the city of Siena while wearing a tiara rather than a mitre; (2) with Christ appearing to him as a child in rags; or (3) embracing his executioner. He is the patron of Siena, Italy (Roeder).

The Holy Hieromartyr Peter, Archbishop of Alexandria, was born and raised at Alexandria. He was a highly educated man, and was head of the school of Alexandria. In the year 300 he became the archpastor of the Alexandrian Church, succeeding his teacher and spiritual guide, the holy Bishop Theonas.

Forced into exile from the city during the anti-Christian persecutions under the emperors Diocletian and Maximian, St Peter traveled through many lands, encouraging his flock by letter. Again returned to his city, in order to guide the Alexandrian Church personally during this dangerous period. The saint secretly visited Christians locked up in prison, encouraging them to be steadfast in faith, assisting the widows and orphans, preaching the Word of God, constantly praying and officiating at the divine services. And the Lord kept him safe from the hands of the persecutors.

During this time of unrest the iniquitous heretic Arius, who denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, sowed the tares of his impious teaching. When Arius refused to be corrected and submit to the truth, St Peter anathematized the heretic and excommunicated him from the Church. Arius then sent two of St Peter's priests to beg the saint to lift the excommunication from him, pretending that he had repented and given up his false teachings. This was not true, for Arius hoped to succeed St Peter as Archbishop of Alexandria. St Peter, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, saw through the wickedness and deceit of Arius, and so he instructed his flock not to believe Arius nor to accept him into communion.

Under the wise nurturing of St Peter the Church of Alexandria strengthened and grew in spite of the persecutions. But finally, on orders from the emperor Maximian (305-311), the saint was arrested and sentenced to death. A multitude of people gathered at the entrance of the prison, expressing their outrage. Wanting to avoid bloodshed and a riot by the people, the saint sent a message to the authorities, in which he suggested that they make an opening in the back wall of the prison, so that he might be taken away secretly to execution.

In the dark of the night St Peter went with the executioners, who took him beyond the city walls and beheaded him at the same spot where formerly St Mark had been executed. That night a certain pious virgin heard a Voice from heaven saying, "Peter was first among the Apostles; Peter is the last of the Alexandrian Martyrs." This took place in the year 311. In the morning, when people learned of the death of their bishop, a crowd gathered at the place of execution. They took up the body and head of the martyr and went to the church, dressing him in his bishop's vestments, they sat him in his throne at the high place in the altar. During his life St Peter never sat on it, but sat on a footstool instead. The saint once explained that whenever he approached his throne he beheld a heavenly light shining on it, and he sensed the presence of a divine power. Therefore, he didn't dare to sit there.

The Lord Jesus Christ once appeared to St Peter as a twelve-year-old child wearing a robe that was torn from top to bottom. St Peter asked the Savior who had torn his garment, and He replied, "That madman Arius has torn it by dividing the people whom I have redeemed by My blood. Do not receive him into Communion with the Church, for he has worked evil against Me and My flock."

St Peter, a great champion of Orthodoxy, is known also as a profound theologian. Passages from his book, "On the Divinity (of Jesus Christ)", were consulted at the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. Of all his works, the most widely known and highly esteemed by the Church are his "Penitential Canons".
St. Catherine of Alexandria Virgin Martyred by Maxentius
Alexandríæ sanctæ Catharínæ, Vírginis et Mártyris, quæ, ob fídei Christiánæ confessiónem, sub Maximíno Imperatóre, in cárcerem trusa, et póstmodum scorpiónibus diutíssime cæsa, tandem cápitis obtruncatióne martyrium complévit.  Ipsíus corpus, in montem Sínai mirabíliter ab Angelis delátum, ibídem, frequénti Christianórum concúrsu, pia veneratióne cólitur.
    At Alexandria, St. Catherine, virgin and martyr, in the time of Emperor Maximinus.  For the confession of the Christian faith she was cast into prison, endured a long scourging with whips set with metal, and finally ended her martyrdom by having her head cut off.  Her body was miraculously carried by angels to Mount Sinai, where pious veneration is paid to it by great gatherings of Christians.
She is the patroness of philosophers and preachers.
The Holy Great Martyr Catherine visions of Mary and Jesus martyred for her faith

St Catherine Of Alexandria, Virgin And Martyr
Since about the tenth century or earlier veneration for St Catherine of Alexandria has been marked in the East, but from the time of the Crusades until the eighteenth century her popularity was even greater in the West.

Numerous churches were dedicated in her honour and her feast was kept with great solemnity; she was included among the Fourteen Holy Helpers and venerated as the patroness of maidens and women students, of philosophers, preachers and apologists, of wheelwrights, millers and others. Adam of Saint-Victor wrote a poem in her honour. Hers was one of the heavenly voices claimed heard by St Joan of Arc, and to her Bossuet devoted one of his most celebrated panegyrics. But not a single fact about the life or death of Catherine of Alexandria has been established.

It is said in her completely worthless acta that she belonged to a patrician family of Alexandria and devoted herself to learned studies, in the course of which she learnt about Christianity. She was converted by a vision of our Lady and the Holy Child. When Maxentius began persecuting, Catherine, still only eighteen years old and of great beauty, went to him and rebuked him for his tyranny. He could not answer her arguments against his gods, so summoned fifty philosophers to oppose her. These confessed themselves convinced by the learning of the Christian girl, and were therefore burned to death by the infuriated emperor. Then he tried to seduce Catherine with an offer of a consort’s crown, and on her indignant refusal she was beaten and imprisoned, and Maxentius went off to inspect a camp. On his return he discovered that his wife and an officer had gone to see Catherine out of curiosity and had both been converted, together with two hundred soldiers of the guard. They accordingly were all slain and Catherine was sentenced to death on a spiked wheel (whence our “Catherine-wheel”). When she was placed on it, her bonds were miraculously loosed and the wheel broke, its spikes flying off and killing many of the onlookers. Then she was beheaded, and there flowed from her severed veins a white milk-like liquid.

   There are variations of the story, including Catherine’s conversion in Armenia, and the details introduced by the Cypriots when they claimed the saint for their island in the middle ages.

All the texts of the “acts” of St Catherine state her body was carried by angels to Mount Sinai, where a church and monastery were built afterwards, but the legend was not known to the earliest pilgrims to the mountain.

   In 527 the Emperor Justinian built a fortified monastery for the hermits of this place, and the supposed body of St Catherine was said taken there in the eighth or ninth century, since when it has borne her name. The great monastery of Mount Sinai, once a famous pilgrim-shrine, is now only a shadow of what it was. But the alleged relics of St Catherine still repose there, in the care of monks of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

   Alban Butler quotes Archbishop Falconio of Santa Severina as saying,
 “As to what is said, that the body of this saint was conveyed by angels to Mount Sinai, the meaning is that it was carried by the monks of Sinai to their monastery, that they might devoutly enrich their dwelling with such a treasure. It is well known that the name of angelical habit was often used for a monastic habit, and those monks on account of their heavenly purity and functions were anciently called angels.” “Angelical life” and “angelical habit” are still current and usual expressions in Eastern monasticism.
“The female sex is not less capable of the sublime sciences nor less remarkable for liveliness of genius” than the male, comments Alban Butler elsewhere; and St Catherine because of her traditional erudition is still regarded as the patroness of Christian philosophers and students of philosophy.
The story of St Catherine is perpetuated in many texts, oriental as well as Greek and Latin, and so far as regards the outstanding features of the narrative there is not much variation. The Greek of Simeon the Metaphrast dating from the latter part of the tenth century may be read in Migne, PG., vol. cxvi, pp. 276—301; there is also a somewhat earlier Greek text; see BHG., n. 31. That the long-standing opinion among scholars as to the unreliability of the legend summarized above is general may be illustrated by the lone notice in Cardinal Schuster’s book, The Sacramentary (1930), vol. v, p. 302. He tells us that the story of St Catherine “is unfortunately unsupported by any authority. The ancient Eastern and Egyptian calendars do not mention her name. In the West the cultus of the saint began only about the eleventh century.” Cf. H. Delehaye, Les martyrs d’Égypte (1923), pp. 35—36, 123—124, and his Legends of the Saints, p. 57; and W. L. Schreiber, Die Legende des hl. Catherine von Alexandria (1931). St Catherine in art is dealt with in Künstle, Ikonographie, vol. ii, pp. 369—374, and in Drake, Saints and their Emblems (1916), p. 24. For the folklore aspects consult Bächtold-Stäubli, Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens, vol. iv, pp. 1074—1084. There is a good account of the whole matter in Baudot and Chaussin, Vies des saints, vol. xi (1954), pp. 854—872. Katharine, rather than the French Catherine, seems the preferable spelling in English.
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.

St. Catherine is believed to have been born in Alexandria of a noble family. Converted to Christianity through a vision, she denounced Maxentius for persecuting Christians. Fifty of her converts were then burned to death by Maxentius.

Maxentius offered Catherine a royal marriage if she would deny the Faith. Her refusal landed her in prison. While in prison, and while Maxentius was away, Catherine converted Maxentius' wife and two hundred of his soldiers. He had them all put to death.
Catherine was likewise condemned to death. She was put on a spiked wheel, and when the wheel broke, she was beheaded. She is venerated as the patroness of philosophers and preachers.
St. Catherine's was one of the voices heard by St. Joan of Arc.

Maxentius' blind fury against St. Catherine is symbolic of the anger of the world in the face of truth and justice. When we live a life of truth and justice, we can expect the forces of evil to oppose us. Our perseverance in good, however, will be everlasting.

Catherine of Alexandria VM (RM) (also known as Æcatherina) Died c. 310; removed from the general Roman calendar in 1969 (which doesn't necessarily mean she didn't exist, just that her feast is no longer celebrated liturgically throughout the world).
Catherine symbolizes the ideal marriage of philosophy and religion--the "mystical" marriage. Did she ever exist? We don't know. She may have been a fabrication of a 9th-century Greek writer in an edifying romance. But if she didn't exist, we would have to invent her. She would be an 'end' as the philosophers would call it, so that when they have completed all their enquiries and speculations they can come to lay them at the feet of religion. Philosophy joined with religion is theology.    
St. Catherine
Image of Saint Catherine courtesy of Saint Charles Borromeo Church
The monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai is renowned as being the oldest continuously occupied monastery in Christendom. Yet it was first dedicated not to St. Catherine but to the Transfiguration of Jesus. Its architect began building the monastery walls in 542. Three centuries later, guided by a dream, the monks of this monastery found on the mountain the body of a woman, whom they took to be Saint Catherine--a body presumably miraculously flown there from Alexandria.

Falconius, archbishop of San Severino, speaks of the translation of the body of Catherine to the top of Mount Sinai. "As to what is said, that the body of this saint was conveyed by angels to Mount Sinai, the meaning is that it was carried by the monks of Sinai to their rich dwelling with such a treasure--It is well known that the name of an angelic habit, and that monks, on account of their heavenly purity and functions, were anciently called 'angels'" (Husenbeth).

Nothing is known for sure about her except that she was a maiden martyred at Alexandria under Maximinus Daza as related in the History of the Church (viii, c. 14) by Eusebius. Her acta, which are considered worthless, say she was the daughter of king Costos of Cyprus, who had been called to Alexandria to be a counselor to Emperor Maximinus. Philosophy was very fashionable in Alexandria's high society and Catherine was devoted to study, so that she had a good dose of it before she reached 18. During the course of her studies she learned about Christ. Then Catherine was converted by a vision of Our Lady and the Holy Child.

When Emperor Maximinus began his persecutions, the 18-year-old Catherine, who was very beautiful, went to the emperor and rebuked him for his tyranny as he stood in the middle of a pagan temple. Unable to answer her arguments, he called in fifty philosophers to confront her. After they admitted themselves to be convinced by her arguments, the furious emperor sentenced them to be burned.

The emperor offered to marry her, but she refused because Christ had already appeared to her in person and placed his gold ring on her finger (like St. Catherine of Siena); for this reason Greek Christians call her 'Ækatharina,' that is, 'ever pure.' She was beaten for two solid hours and then imprisoned, and the emperor departed to inspect a camp. In her cell she was fed by a dove, and Christ appeared to her in a vision.

When he returned, he found that his wife, Faustina, and an officer, Porphyrius, had gone to visit Catherine out of curiosity and were converted, and that Porphyrius had converted 200 men of the imperial guard. All were condemned to death.

Catherine was sentenced to be killed by means of a wheel set with spikes or razors, now known as "St. Catherine's wheel." When she was placed upon its rim, her bonds were miraculously loosened, the wheel broke, and the spikes flew off, killing onlookers. Finally, she was beheaded, as she called down blessings on all who should remember her. From her severed veins flowed a white, milk-like liquid instead of blood. It is claimed that for many years oil oozed from her bones; this oil was prized as medicine and for lamps in holy sanctuaries.

In 527 Emperor Justinian built a fortified monastery for the hermits of Mt. Sinai, and the body of Catherine is supposed to have been taken there in the 8th or 9th century; since then it has borne her name. In the 11th century, Simeon, a monk of Sinai, went to Rouen to receive an annual alms of Duke Richard of Normandy. He brought with him some of Catherine's relics, which he left there. She was one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, who were highly venerated individually and as a group during the Middle Ages.

Saint Joan of Arc heard and faithfully followed the voice of Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret. Perhaps the Lord gave Catherine to Joan to help her in her debate with the famous theologians. The real Passion of Catherine is the same as Joan of Arc's, which fortunately we know in all its details. Joan is the Catherine of modern times, indeed of all times. And so to be a woman, a saint, and a philosopher like Catherine, there is no need to be a king's daughter; the Hail Mary and Our Father are enough. No doubt Catherine had the simplicity of a shepherdess. Though philosophy and religion will never be found in perfect harmony, what matters is faith, pure and simple faith, and we rejoice that it is so (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth, Sheppard, White).

Because she all the arguments of the philosophers, she is considered the patroness of philosophers. St. Catherine also has patronage over philosophy, learning, students (esp. female students), Christian apologists, librarians and libraries, young women, and wheelwrights. She is the patroness of nurses because when she bled, her blood was said to be milk (White). Additionally, she is patroness of saddlers, spinsters, rope-makers (Roeder), lawyers, theology students at the University of Paris (Encyclopedia), and preachers (Delaney).

Her emblem is the spiked wheel, which may be broken, on which she was martyred. St. Catherine is depicted as a martyr maiden, often a beautiful, young princess, with a book and a broken wheel:

Sometimes she is shown (1) with sword and wheel; (2) crowned, carrying her own head on a charger; (3) beheaded with sword (Fernando Gallego); (4) with a book, crowned by the angels (Melchiore Caffa); (5) with her body transported by angels to Mount Sinai (Limbourg Brothers); (6) as a hermit shows her a picture of the Virgin; (7) mystically married to the Infant Christ (occasionally to an adult Christ); (8) disputing with doctors; (9) encouraging others as they are burned; (10) visited by Christ in prison; (11) visited by the Empress Faustina in prison; (12) encouraging Faustina at her execution; or (13) with Christ placing a ring upon her finger as in the paintings by Cranach the Elder, Lorenzo Lotto, and Corregio (Roeder, White).
429  Saint Peter of Galatia gift of wonderworking, healing infirmities and expelling devils; Life written by Theodoret of Cyrrhus whose mother was healed by the saint.
Left home at the age of seven, then spent the rest of his life in ascetical labors as a monk. At first, he remained in Galatia, then went to Palestine. Later, he went to Antioch. There he enclosed himself in a tomb, devoting himself to deeds of prayer and strict abstinence. He partook of bread and water only every other day. In these exploits he was granted from God the gift of wonderworking, healing infirmities and expelling devils. St Peter died around the year 429 at the age of ninety-nine. His Life was written by Theodoret of Cyrrhus, whose mother had been healed by the saint.

441 St. Mesrop Confessor disciple of St. Nerses the Great of Armenia
called “the Teacher.” Mesrop was born in Taron, Armenia, and became a hermit under St. Nerses the Great. He served as a missionary with St. Isaac the Great and helped compose the Armenian alphabet and translations of the Holy Scriptures. Mesrop, sometimes listed as Mesrob, was proficient in Greek, Syriac, and Persian.  He founded schools in Armenia and Georgia, and reportedly succeeded Patriarch Sahak in 440. Mesrop was beloved for his many contributions to Armenian education and died at Valarshapat on February 19 at age eighty.

466 St. Jucunda Virgin Reggio disciple of St. Prosper
In Æmília, Itáliæ província, sanctæ Jucúndæ Vírginis.    In Emilia, a province of Italy, St. Jucunda, virgin.
Italy. She was a disciple of St. Prosper and received instruction from him in the eremitical life. Jucunda of Reggio V (RM) Born in Reggio, Emilia, Italy; died there in 466. The virgin Jucunda was the spiritual daughter of Saint Prosper, bishop of that city (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
7th v.  St. Alnoth Herder hermit martyr
mentioned in the life of St. Werburga. Alnoth tended cows on the lands of St. Werburga's monastery at Weedon, in Northhampton, England. He was badly used by a local official, earning a reputation for holiness and patience. Alnoth retired from active life and became a hermit. Two robbers accosted him in his hermitage, slaying him. He is honored locally as a martyr, and his tomb at Stowe, near Bubrook in Northhampton, became a popular shrine for pilgrims.
Alanus, OSB Abbot (AC) (also known as Alain, Ala)  Abbot-founder of Lavaur in Gascony his relics are preserved in the hospice (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

752 Imma of Karlburg, OSB Abbess (AC)
(also known as Immina) Born in Wuoumlrzburg, Germany, c. 700; died c. . Duchess Imma of Wuoumlrzburg became abbess of a convent at Karlburg, Franconia (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

916 Saint Clement Bishop of Ochrid, first Bulgarian hierarch to serve, preach and write in the Slavonic language, first samples of Slavonic spiritual literature; Equal of the Apostles, Naum, Sava, Gorazd and Angelar were Slavs, disciples of Sts Cyril and Methodius (May 11)

At first they lived as ascetics in Moravia, where St Gorazd succeded St Methodius as bishop. He was fluent in Slavonic, Greek and Latin. Sts Clement, Naum, Angelar and Sava were priests.  The Enlighteners of the Slavs were opposed by German missionaries, who had the support of the Pope and the patronage of the Moravian prince Svyatopolk.

The struggle centered around the questions of the need for divine services in Slavonic, the Filioque and Saturday fasting. Pope Stephen VI prohibited the use of Slavonic in church.

The proponents of the three-tongued heresy (who wanted to use only Hebrew, Greek, or Latin for Church purposes), after setting aside the ancestral language of the Slavic peoples, brought the disciples of St Methodius to trial, including St Clement. They subjected them to fierce torture: dragging them through thorns, and holding them in prison for a long time, just as they had done with their spiritual Father, St Methodius.

In 886, some of the prisoners were sold to slave-traders, and ended up in the Venice marketplace. The ambassador of the Byzantine Emperor Basil the Macedonian went to Venice, ransomed the saints and brought them to Constantinople. The older confessors were banished. It is not known where St Gorazd went, nor where St Sava found shelter. Naum and Angelar went to Bulgaria.

In 907 Moravia collapsed under the onslaught of the Magyars, and Moravian refugees escaped along those same paths followed earlier by the saints they had exiled.

The Bulgarians received the Slavonic confessors with respect and requested them to conduct divine services in the Slavonic language. The Bulgarian prince Boris sought out such people as the disciples of St Methodius, who labored for the enlightenment of his nation. The saints immediately began to study Slavonic books collected by the Bulgarian nobles.

St Angelar soon died, and St Clement received the appointment to teach at Kutmichivitsa, a region in southwest Macedonia. In the Eastern Church a worthy man was chosen to be a teacher, someone known for his pious life, and possessed with a gift of words. St Clement was a teacher while he was still in Moravia. In Bulgaria, St Clement worked as an instructor until 893. He organized a school at the princely court, which attained high esteem during the reign of Simeon. In southwest Macedonia he created separate schools for adults and for children.

St Clement instructed the children in reading and in writing. The total number of his students was enormous. Those chosen and accepted for the clergy amounted to 3500 men. In the year 893, St Clement became Bishop of Dremvitsa, or Velitsa, and St Naum took his place.

St Clement was the first Bulgarian hierarch to serve, preach and write in the Slavonic language. To this end he systematically prepared clergy from among the Slavic people. The holy bishop labored for the glory of God into his old age. When his strength failed, and he was unable to fulfill his responsibilities in the cathedral, he asked Tsar Simeon to let him retire.

The Tsar urged the saint not to forsake the cathedral, and St Clement agreed to continue his episcopal service. After this he went to Ochrid, to a monastery he founded. There the saint continued with his translation activities and translated important parts of the PENTEKOSTARION {The Pentekostarion is a service book containing the special services for the saints commemorated during the first fifty days after Easter or before All Saints Sunday. Later the matins lections for all the Sundays of the year were added. The Pentekostarion has been published many times since the first edition, in Venice in 1525. So far 45 editions have been found for the period up to 1800. The present copy is the only one on Mount Athos.
Soon the saint became seriously ill and departed to the Lord in the year 916. The saint's body was placed in a coffin he made with his own hands, and was buried in Ochrid's St Panteleimon monastery.

St Clement is considered the first Slavonic author. He not only continued the translation work begun by Sts Cyril and Methodius, but also left behind works of his own composition, the first samples of Slavonic spiritual literature. Many of the lessons and sermons of St Clement were brought to Russia, where they were read and lovingly copied by pious Russian Christians. St Clement is also commemorated on July 27
1045 Adalbert & Guido (Guy) of Casauria, OSB (PC)
Guy was a Benedictine of Farfa, who was promoted to abbot of Cassoria (Cassauria, Pescara) in the Abruzzi, Italy. There Adalbert was a monk until he retired to Mount Caramanico near Chieti and founded the abbey of St. Nicholas (Benedictines).

1075 Blessed Ekbert of Muensterschwarzach, OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as Egbert) Ekbert was a monk of Gorze and later the abbot of Munsterschwarzach, Bavaria, Germany (Benedictines).

1200 Blessed Conrad of Heisterbach; soldier and a minister to the margraves of Thuringia  OSB Cist. (PC)
 A soldier and a minister to the margraves of Thuringia until his fiftieth year, when he became a Cistercian at Heisterbach (Benedictines).

1420 Blessed Elisabeth the Good, OFM Tert.  mystical experiences including the stigmata V (AC)
Born in Waldsee, Wurtemberg, Germany, 1386, died there; cultus confirmed in 1766. Elisabeth lived her whole life in a small community of Franciscan tertiaries near Waldsee. She was subject to mystical experiences including the stigmata, and went for long periods without any natural food (Benedictines).

1876 St. Catherine Laboure the Miraculous Medal
Born on May 2, 1806. At an early age she entered the community of the Daughters of Charity, in Paris, France. Three times in 1830 the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, who then was a twenty-four year old novice.
   On July 18, the first apparition occurred in the community's motherhouse. St. Catherine beheld a lady seated on the right side of the sanctuary. When St. Catherine approached her, the heavenly visitor told her how to act in time of trial and pointed to the altar as the source of all consolation.
   Promising to entrust St. Catherine with a mission which would cause her great suffering, the lady also predicted the anticlerical revolt which occurred at Paris in 1870.
  On November 27, the lady showed St. Catherine the medal of the Immaculate Conception, now universally known as the "Miraculous Medal." She commissioned St. Catherine to have one made, and to spread devotion to this medal. At that time, only her spiritual director, Father Aladel, knew of the apparitions. Forty-five years later, St. Catherine spoke fully of the apparitions to one of her superiors. She died on December 31, 1876, and was canonized on July 27, 1947.

1858 Blesseds Louis Martin and Marie-Zélie Guérin Marriage Leads to Heaven
By Miriam Díez i Bosch ROME, NOV. 25, 2008
As if to emphasize that marriage is a vocation to holiness, the Church will commemorate the feast of Blesseds Louis Martin and Marie-Zélie Guérin, St. Thérèse's parents, on their wedding anniversary. The Martins were beatified in Lisieux, the second married couple the Church has raised together to the altar.
Portrait of Thérèse's mother at the Basilica of St. Thérèse Lisieux

Louis and Marie-Azélie Martin were declared "venerable" on 26 March 1994 by Pope John Paul II. They were beatified on 19 October 2008 by Jose Cardinal Saraiva Martins, the legate of Pope Benedict XVI in the Basilique de Sainte-Thérèse, Lisieux. Canonized as saints of the Catholic Church on 18 October 2015
; they can be counted among the saints of God.

1 Marie Louise (22 February 1860 – 19 January 1940), as a nun, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, Carmelite at Lisieux;
2. Marie Pauline (7 September 1861 – 28 July 1951), as a nun, Mother Agnès of Jesus, Carmelite at Lisieux;
3 .Marie Léonie (3 June 1863 – 16 June 1941), as a nun, Sister Françoise-Thérèse, Visitandine at Caen; candidate for sainthood since January 2015;
4 Marie Céline (28 April 1869 – 25 February 1959), as a nun, Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face, Carmelite at Lisieux;
5 Marie Françoise-Thérèse (2 January 1873 – 30 September 1897), as a nun, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, Carmelite at Lisieux, canonised in 1925.

ZENIT spoke with Eva Carlota Rava, a consecrated virgin and spiritual theology professor at the Pontifical Lateran University, about the beatification and what it means for married couples around the world.

We must first clarify -- as has been done on several occasions -- that the basis of Thérèse's parents' beatification is not their daughter's holiness but the heroic virtues they lived in their lives as spouses and parents.
However, the beatification of the Martin spouses manifests the importance of the family environment and the concrete education given, for the formation of the children -- an integral education sealed by the life of faith, undoubtedly transmitted with words, but above all by daily example.

 If, as Pius XI said, Thérèse is "the greatest saint of modern times," this is explained in part by the extraordinary father and mother she had.  I was given the grace of being able to go to Lisieux for the beatification and I think the joy of that day will remain forever in those who were present. Although I have participated in other beatifications, it was always in Rome. This was the first time I could attend one in the blessed's place of origin, and that made it more intimate.  What impressed me most was the family atmosphere of that day: There were people from very different places and continents, not only from Europe but also from Africa and Asia -- all united by their common devotion to Thérèse and her parents, as well as many young people and married couples with their children. It seemed to be the celebration of one great family. Added to this is the fact it was a brilliant day, mild, really spring-like, as Thérèse would have liked.

During the first centuries of the Church there were laypeople, young people of different professions, families recognized as saints such as St. Cecilia, her husband Valerian and her brother-in-law; or St. Vitalis and his wife St. Valeria and their sons, Gervase and Protase, martyrs.  However, in the course of the centuries, though holiness was always a universal vocation, in pastoral practice withdrawal from the world was favored, and the practice of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the profession of these as the state of perfection.  The layman, to the degree that he is immersed in the world and has obligations of a temporal character, seemed relegated to a less exacting and committed Christianity.  In the history of spirituality, it is only with St. Francis of Sales and later St. Thérèse herself that in the pastoral order, holiness was increasingly a universal call addressed to all and accessible to all. This is the "novelty" of Vatican II.

Beginning with Pope John Paul II's pontificate, the Church became increasingly interested in promoting the causes of laypeople who lived their Christian faith by assuming all their temporal commitments in a heroic way.

In general, blesseds and saints are remembered in the liturgy on the day of their death. With the beatification of the Martin spouses, the Church has established for the first time that the commemoration of these spouses not be the day of their death, but of their marriage. With this I understand that the Church wishes to point out the importance of marital union as a way of sanctification and source of elevation of society.

Although the Martins lived in a historic time and circumstances that are very different from our own, their experience is an example for us in many aspects.  Above all, they teach us the truth of Jesus' words: "Seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice and all the rest will be given unto you." Indeed, they experienced the happiness of profound and generous spousal and family Christian love and had the fortitude necessary to face all the sacrifices. Although they suffered the loss of four small children, the difficulties and demands of indispensable work to support the family, and serious illnesses -- she died of cancer at 46 and her husband, then widowed, suffered from cerebral arteriosclerosis -- love, trust and gratitude among them and toward God always prevailed.

Also an example for us is the way they were able to reconcile and face the demands of often exhausting work with the family, educating each one of their children with loving and firm dedication in religious practice to overcome all obstacles.

Moreover, the Martin spouses’ show that the family is not an ambit closed in on itself but open to others. They showed solicitude and help to all those who entered into contact with them; women laborers who worked for the family business, the domestic servants, the city's poor. In addition, they gave witness of their Christian spirit by living the harsh moments of the Franco-German war when it affected Alençon and its surroundings, with patriotism and compassion, free of hatred.

Louis Martin and Marie-Zélie Guérin can give light and strength to Christian spouses and parents to make their marital life a source of joy and a way of holiness. They give witness to the fact that, when the Christian family is animated by reciprocal love it is the ambit where everyone -- parents and children -- can grow and develop to the point of attaining holiness and thus make an irreplaceable contribution to society and the Church.

 Friday   November  25 Saints of Séptimo Kaléndas Decémbris  

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

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

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

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016

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

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

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

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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Called in the Gospel the Mother of Jesus, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as the Mother of my Lord (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son,  the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart ... From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to me, His unworthy slave, if I mistake not:
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment.
Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish the Holy Hour and to pray lying prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven till midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness.
He endured when abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony, and to receive holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the first great revelation, He made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Heart with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation.
He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the feast of the Sacred Heart; He called her the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart, and the heiress of all Its treasures. The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire which consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings. In her last illness she refused all alleviation, repeating frequently: What have I in heaven and what do I desire on earth, but Thee alone, O my God, and died pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus.
With regard to this promise it may be remarked: (1) that our Lord required Communion to be received on a particular day chosen by Him; (2) that the nine Fridays must be consecutive; (3) that they must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord; (4) that our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather He implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end; (5) that perseverance in receiving Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Firdays helps the faithful to acquire the habit of frequent Communion, which our Lord eagerly desires; and (6) that the practice of the nine Fridays is very pleasing to our Lord He promises such great reward, and all Catholics should endeavor to make nine Fridays.
How do I start the Five First Saturdays? by Fr. Tom O'Mahony.
On July 13,1917, Our Lady appeared for the third time to the three children of Fatima an showed them the vision of hell and made the now - famous thirteen prophecies. In this vision Our Lady said that 'GOD WISHES TO ESTABLISH IN THE WORLD DEVOTION to Her Immaculate Heart and that She would come TO ASK FOR THE COMMUNION OF REPARATION ON THE FIRST SATURDAYS...'  Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Our Lady did indeed come back. She appeared (with the Child Jesus) to Lucia in the convent of the Dorothean Sisters in Pontevedra.
The Child Jesus spoke first:


The Five Reasons
From the above, it is easy to see that each of the Five Saturdays can correspond to a specific offence. By offering the graces received during each First Saturday as reparation for the offence being prayed for, the participant can hope to help remove the thorns from Our Lady's Heart.
What Do I Have To Do?
The devotion of First Saturdays, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, carries with it the assurance of salvation. However, to derive profit from such a great promise of Our Lady, the devotion must be properly understood and duly performed.
The requirements as stipulated by Our Lady are as follows:
(1) CONFESSION: A reparative confession means that the confession should not only be good (valid and licit), but also be offered in the spirit of reparation, in this case, to Mary's Immaculate Heart. This confession may be made on the First Saturday itself or some days before or after the First Saturday within the preceding octave would suffice.
(2) COMMUNION: The communion of reparation must be sacramental duly received with the intention of making reparation. This offering, like the confession, is an interior act and so no external action to express the intention is needed.
(3) THE ROSARY: The Rosary mentioned here was indicated by the Portuguese word 'terco' which is commonly employed to denote a Rosary of five decades, since it forms a fourth of the full Rosary of 20 decades. This too must recited in a spirit of reparation.
(4) MEDITATION FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES: Here the meditation on one mystery or more is to be made without simultaneous recitation of the Rosary decade. As indicated, the meditation may be either on one mystery alone for 15 minutes, or on all 20 mysteries, spending about one minute on each mystery, or again, on two or more mysteries during the period. This can also be made before each decade spending three minutes or more in considering the mystery of the particular decade. This meditation has likewise to be made in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart.
(5) THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION: All these acts, as said above, have to be done with the intention of offering reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the offences committed against Her. Everyone who offends Her commits, so to speak, a two-fold offence, for these sins also offend her Divine Son, Christ, and so endanger our salvation. They give bad example to others and weaken the strength of society to withstand immoral onslaughts. Such devotions therefore make us consider not only the enormity of the offence against God, but also the effect of sins on human society as well as the need for undoing these social effects even when the offender repents and is converted. Further, this reparation emphasises our responsibility towards sinners who, themselves, will not pray and make reparation for their sins.
(6) FIVE CONSECUTIVE FIRST SATURDAYS: The idea of the Five First Saturdays is obviously to make us persevere in the devotional acts for these Saturdays and overcome initial difficulties. Once this is done, Our Lady knows that the person would become devoted to Her immaculate Heart and persist in practising such devotion on all First Saturdays, working thereby for personal self-reform and for the salvation of others.

Unless Russia is converted, the movement against God and for sin will continue to spread, promoting wars and persecutions, and making the attainment for peace and justice impossible for this world. One means of obtaining Russia's conversion is to practise the Fatima Message. The stakes are so great that to encourage Catholics to practise the devotion of the First Saturdays, Our Lady has assured us that She will obtain salvation for all those who observe the first Saturdays for five consecutive months in accordance with Her conditions.
At the supreme moment the departing person will be either in the state of grace or not. In either