40 days for Life Day 21
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!)

Make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory
between October 27th and Election Day, in November.
Mary Mother of GOD Her Rosary Here

Six Canonized on Feast of Christ the King Nov 23 2014


Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List

Acts of the Apostles

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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

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

40 days For Life September - November
40 days for Life Day 19
We pray for the conversion of all those who refuse to acknowledge that human life belongs only to God.
October 19
Saint Luke
"Then [Jesus] led them [out] as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God" (Luke 24:50-53).
The icons of Saint Luke
According to tradition, St Luke was the first person to complete three pictures of the holy Mother of God carrying the Child of God in her arms. He showed them to the Holy Virgin for approval, while she was still alive. She received these holy pictures joyfully and said: “May the grace of Him to whom I gave birth be within them!” Later, St Luke made pictures of the Holy Apostles and bestowed upon the Church this pious and holy tradition of venerating the icons of Christ and His Saints.”

“The remedy is simple. You and I must first be what we ought to be: then we shall have cured what concerns ourselves. Let each one do the same, and all will be well. The trouble is that we all talk of reforming others
without ever reforming ourselves.”    St. Peter of Alcantara

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

Father, to defend the Catholic faith and to make all things new in Christ, you filled Saint Pius X with heavenly wisdom and apostolic courage. May his example and teaching lead us to the reward of eternal life. -- Roman Briviary

Our Miraculous Lady of the Abbey of Vezzolano (Italy, 1226) Converted by the Family Rosary
 Louis Francis Budenz, one of the principal leaders of communism in the United States, was born in a very fervent Catholic home in Indiana. At 20, he left home, because he had fallen in love with a divorced woman. Later, the social question moved him to passion.  He became a powerful orator of the proletarian claims and strategist of the struggles of the working class.  He was arrested and imprisoned more than twenty times. From 1935 to 1945, he wrote for the Daily Worker, the big New York communist party newspaper.  He was also an active member of the National Committee of the Communist Party. 
One day in a New York bar in 1936, he found himself face to face with Bishop Fulton Sheen.  He started a heated debate with the priest, when suddenly Sheen retorted,  “And now let's talk a little about the Blessed Virgin!
This long Marian hour gave Louis Francis a moment of the inner peace that reminded him briefly of his First Communion, but the true return of the prodigal son was going to take nine years of badgering by the Virgin of the Rosary. How many times, he later acknowledged, as I was writing one of my newspaper articles, I was surprised to find my hand in the pocket of my jacket touching the beads of my Rosary!
Actually, words of the priest established the contact of a mysterious telepathy with the State of Indiana and New York. In the dear home of his youth, every evening, for over thirty years his family had prayed the Rosary on their knees and repeated so many times pray for us sinners. Since his conversion, the journalist wrote a book called This is My Story, to tell the world about his life under the star of Mary. The book is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.
800 B.C. The Prophet Joel predicted the desolation of Jerusalem. He also prophesied that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon all people, through the Savior of the world (Joel 2:28-32).
         St. Beronicus Syrian martyr with Pelagia 49 companions
  165 St. Ptolomaeus (Ptolemy) and Lucius MM (RM)
3rd v. Hieromartyr Sadoc, Bishop of Persia, and 128 Martyrs with him He was the hierarch of a Persian district.
         St. Altinus Bishop and possible martyr
 307 St. Varus Soldier and martyr Upper Egypt; visited and comforted seven holy monks who were kept in prison
   When one died he accepted in his place, after suffering cruel torments with them he obtained the palm of martyrdom
Antiochíæ sanctórum Mártyrum Beroníci, Pelágiæ Vírginis, et aliórum quadragínta novem.
    At Antioch, the holy martyrs Beronicus, the virgin Pelagia, and forty-nine others.
  319 St. Cleopatra St. Varus miraculously came to comfort her
5th v. Eusterius 
fourth bishop of Salerno  B (RM)
  540 St. Lupus Bishop of Soissons
  590 St. Veranus Bishop of CavailIon charitable works miracles recorded by Gregory of Tours
6th v. St. Ethbin of Kildare, Abbot;
famous for his virtues and miracles (RM)
  695 St Aquilinus of Evreux served Clovis II 40 years; hermit; blind bishop giving alms;  his zeal, which God approved by the gift of miracles B (RM)
  705 St. Desiderius Benedictine monk disciple of St. Sigiranus
  728 St. Theofrid Abbot and martyred by Saracens
  735 St. Frideswide Benedictine hermitess nun founded St. Mary’s Convent in Oxford; "Whatsoever is not God is nothing."
  864 St. Laura a martyr. Born in Cordova
; murdered by Moors
  946 John of Rila, Abbot; one of the earliest native Bulgarian monks; spent 60 years in Rhodope mountains south of Sofia, where he founded the great monastery of Rila
1016 St. Eadnot martyr Bishop of Dorchester; closely associated with Saint Oswald of York. Eadnot died in a battle against the Danes
1066 Saint Prokhore the Georgian, a descendant of the noble Shavteli family; began the reconstruction of the Holy Cross Georgian Monastery near Jerusalem; According to tradition, at this spot Abraham’s nephew Lot planted three trees—a cypress, a pine, and a cedar. Eventually these three trees miraculously grew into one large tree. When the Temple of Solomon was being built, this tree was cut down but left unused. It is said that the Cross on which Christ our Savior was crucified was constructed from the wood of this tree.
1238 Saint John, Abbot of Rila in Bulgaria Today we commemorate the transfer of the relics of St John transferred from the city of Sredets [Sofia] to Trnovo, capital of Bulgarian realm See August 18 for his Life.
1257 Blessed Thomas Hélye, Confessor ascetic; led an ascetic life in his parents' home and devoted part of his time to teaching the catechism to the poor. His bishop requested that he receive presbyterial ordination. Thereafter he was an itinerant preacher throughout Normandy. Later he was appointed almoner to the king (AC) (AC)
1277 Luka of Jerusalem The holy martyr lived in the 13th century at the Holy Cross Monastery
1314 St. Nikoloz Dvali Martyr; pilgrimage to Jerusalem remained in the holy city, settling at the Holy Cross Monastery.
1562 Peter of Alcántara practiced asceticism from 16 until death appeared to Teresa Avila; 1562 Peter of Alcántara practiced asceticism from 16 until death apared to Teresa Avila; Two months after the opening of St Joseph’s St Peter was seized with a mortal sickness, and he was carried to the convent of Arenas that he might die in the arms of his brethren. In his last moments he repeated those words of the psalmist, “I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord”. Then he rose upon his knees, and in that posture calmly died. St Teresa wrote: “his departure our Lord has been pleased to let me enjoy more of him than I did when he was alive; he has given me advice and counsel in many things, and I have frequently seen him in great glory…Our Lord told me once that men should ask nothing in the name of St Peter of Alcantara wherein He would not hear them. I have recommended many things to him that he might beg them of our Lord, and I have always found them granted.” Besides his natural talents and learning God enriched him with an experimental and infused knowledge and sense of spiritual things, which is the fruit only of divine grace gained by an eminent spirit of prayer and habits of virtue. His presence alone seemed a powerful sermon, and it was said that he had but to show himself to work conversions. patron of Brazil; patron of Brazil  At Arenas in Spain, the birthday of St. Peter of Alcantara, confessor and priest of the Order of Friars Minor.  He was canonized by Pope Clement IX because of his admirable penance and many miraclesOFM  (RM)
1595 St. Philip Howard  One of 40 Martyrs of England and Wales
St._Noel_Chabanel_Jesuit_missionary Saint_of_the_DaySeptember26.html#1649_
1646 Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf and Companions  first martyrs of the North America
1775 Paul of the Cross Priest vision of our Lady in a black habit with the name Jesus and a cross in white on the chest Blessed Virgin told him to found a religious order devoted to preaching the Passion of Christ (RM) 

October 19 - Crowning of a statue of Fatima by the Archbishop of Ottawa
(who began a 50-day pilgrimage in 7 Canadian dioceses (1947)  The Rosary of the Virgin Mary (V)
Mary lived with her eyes fixed on Christ, treasuring his every word: “She kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19; cf. 2:51). The memories of Jesus, impressed upon her heart, were always with her, leading her to reflect on the various moments of her life at her Son's side. In a way those memories were to be the “rosary” which she recited unceasingly throughout her earthly life.
John Paul II   Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, #11 (October 2002)

1667-1669 Pope Clement IX;
elected to the papacy by the unanimous Sacred College vote; idol of the Romans erudition application to business, his extreme charity, affability towards great and small; 2 days/week occupied confessional in St. Peter's church heard any one who wished to confess; frequently visited hospitals, lavish in alms to the poor; he did little or nothing to advance or enrich his family; aversion to notoriety, refused to permit his name to be placed on the buildings erected during his reign; declared blessed, Rose of Lima, first American saint, solemnly canonized S. Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi and St. Peter of Alcantara; death of the beloved pontiff was long lamented by Romans, who considered him, if not the greatest, at least the most amiable of the popes.
October 19 - OUR LADY OF VALENCIA (Spain, 1380) 
The Historicity of the Infancy Gospel According to Saint Luke (II)

A close examination of the Infancy gospels manifests their concern to make exact reference to the facts events.
I have detailed the evidence in the Infancy narratives. Here are a few:
Luke wrote the story of the Visitation by re-using, step by step, themes and terms from the transfer of the Ark of the Covenant according to 2 Sm 6. Does he invent this passage following a symbolic process? We have a proof to the contrary: "the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obededom the Gittite for three months," the model-story goes (2 S 6: 11). Luke uses this verse and this figure in 1: 56 to assess the time Mary spent in Zachariah's house. But by adding the word about or approximately, which is absent from the source, he uses the repetition of "about" in the same sentence as a nuance that shows the limitations of the parallel.
Luke doesn't make of Mary a descendant of David, something that would have been quite convenient to strengthen the Davidic links of Christ. From the 2nd century, Christian writers, animated by the same genealogical zeal, won't have the same restraint. They will make Mary a descendant of David, leaving the factual to serve a need for logic and convenience. Luke is more rigorous. He isn't specific about Mary's ancestry. And yet, it would have been easy to give it along with that of Joseph (1: 27): He could have said "both of them," as he repeats twice for the couple Zachariah-Elizabeth. Unlike the latter (1: 5) and unlike the prophetess Anna (2: 36),
Mary is the only woman whose lineage he leaves out.
In order to have the Christ cumulate the traits of the 2 Messiahs of Qumran: "the royal Messiah descended from David and the priestly Messiah descended from Aaron," Luke proves the priestly associations of Jesus:
Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron (1: 5), and Mary, her cousin (1: 36), he says.
But he leaves this connection vague, and doesn't say "Mary, a descendant of Aaron."
René Laurentin The Christmas Gospels, Desclée, 1999

800 B.C. The Prophet Joel predicted the desolation of Jerusalem. He also prophesied that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon all people, through the Savior of the world (Joel 2:28-32).
The hymnographer Anatolius links Joel's prophecy to the Nativity of the Lord. In the Praises at Matins on the Sunday following the Nativity, he refers to Joel 2:30, saying that the blood refers to the Incarnation, the fire to the Divinity, and the pillars of smoke to the Holy Spirit.
     The Book of Joel falls naturally into two parts. In the first, an invasion of locusts lays Judah waste; this calls for a religious ceremony of lamentation and prayer; to this Yahweh replies by promising the cessation of the plague and the return of prosperity, 1:2-2:27. The second part describes in apocalyptic style the judgement on the nations and the final triumph of Yahweh and of Israel, ch. 3-4. The unity of the two parts is demonstrated by reference to the day of Yahweh, the actual theme of ch. 3-4 but mentioned already in 1:15; 2:1-2,10-11.  As the book stands, the plague of locusts is the sign that heralds the great judgement of God. It may be that this connection between the parts existed in the original text, but it is also possible that ch. 3-4 were added by another inspired author. The two parts are in any case of much the same date, since they suppose the same conditions, those of the post-exilic community, namely, no king, prominence given to public worship, borrowings from earlier prophets, especially Ezekiel and Obadiah who is quoted in 3:5. The book must have been written about 400 B.C.
     Joel’s contribution is to prophesy the outpouring of the Spirit on all God’s  people in the messianic age, 3:1-5. This will be fulfilled with the coming of the Spirit on the apostles of Christ, and St Peter quotes the entire passage, Ac 2:16-21; Joel is the prophet of Pentecost. He is also the prophet of penance, and his exhortations to fasting and prayer, either borrowed from the Temple ceremonial or modelled on it, later found a natural place in the Lenten liturgy of the Church.
St. Beronicus Syrian martyr with Pelagia 49 companions
Antiochíæ sanctórum Mártyrum Beroníci, Pelágiæ Vírginis, et aliórum quadragínta novem.
    At Antioch, the holy martyrs Beronicus, the virgin Pelagia, and forty-nine others.
They were slain for the faith in Antioch, Syria.  Beronigus (Veronicus), Pelagia & Comp. MM (RM). 
Part of a group of 51 Christians put to death at Antioch, Syria, in one of the early persecutions (Benedictines).
165 Ptolomaeus (Ptolemy) and Lucius MM (RM)
Romæ natális sanctórum Mártyrum Ptolomǽi et Lúcii, sub Marco Antoníno.  Horum prior (ut scribit Justínus Martyr), cum impúdicam mulíerem ad Christi convertísset fidem, et castitátem cólere docuísset, ídeo, ab impúro viro apud Præféctum Urbícium accusátus, multo témpore squalóre cárceris macerátus est, et ad últimum, cum de Christi magistério pública confessióne testarétur, jussus est duci ad mortem; Lúcius quoque, cum Urbícii senténtiam improbáret et se Christiánum líbere faterétur, símilem senténtiam excépit; quibus et álius tértius adjúnctus est, qui étiam eódem supplício damnátus fuit.
    At Rome, the birthday of the holy martyrs Ptolemy and Lucius, in the time of Marcus Antoninus.  The former, as we learn from the martyr Justin, converted a certain immodest woman to the faith of Christ and induced her to practice chastity.  He was accused by an evil man before the prefect Urbicius and made to undergo a long imprisonment in a foul dungeon.  At length, because he declared by a public confession that Christ was his master, he was led to execution.  Lucius protested against the sentence of Urbicius, and freely proclaimed himself to be a Christian, whereby he received the same sentence.  To them was added still a third martyr, who was condemned to suffer a like punishment.

161 Ss. Ptolemaeus, Lucius And Another, Martyrs
The Roman Martyrology mentions today these three martyrs, the circumstances of whose passion at Rome are known from the evidence of a contemporary, St Justin Martyr. A certain married woman of dissolute life was converted to Christianity, and in turn tried to reform her husband and to induce him to become a catechumen. Her efforts failed, and the blasphemies and immoralities of her husband becoming unsupportable, she separated from him. He thereupon denounced her as a Christian, but the woman obtaining permission to delay her defence, the man instead informed against her instructor in the faith, Ptolemaeus. He was therefore arrested, and after being kept in prison for a long time was brought before the magistrate Urbicius. In reply to the question if he were a Christian, Ptolemaeus said that he was, and without more ado was sentenced to death. Thereupon a Christian named Lucius who was present protested to Urbicius, saying, “How is it that this man can be condemned when he is guilty of no crime whatever? Your judgement does no credit to our wise emperor and the senate.” Urbicius turned on him and exclaimed, “You also seem to be one of these Christians”, and when Lucius admitted that he was, he also was condemned. Another man, whose name is not recorded, suffered with the others.
In the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii, the extract is printed which Eusebius has quoted front St Justin’s Apology. See also Urbain, Ein Martyrologium der Christlichen Gemeinde du Rom, but it should be read in the light of Delehaye’s comments in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxi (1902), pp. 89—93.
The Roman Ptolomaeus was sentenced for teaching the catechism and converting a woman who had previously engaged in unspecified sexual sins with her husband. Her husband wanted to continue their indulgence; therefore, the woman requested a divorce. Consistent with Saint Paul's admonition, her friends persuaded her to remain with her husband in the hope of bringing him to faith. Word came from Alexandria that his behavior was worsening, so she finally issued a declaration of dissolution. Her husband filed a complaint against her for leaving him without his consent and reported that she was a Christian. He also persuaded a centurion to ask Ptolomaeus whether he was a Christian. The honest man, upon answering that he was, was put in chains and imprisoned for a long time until he was taken before Urbicius. He again confessed that he was a Christian because he was “fully aware of the benefits he enjoyed because of Christ's doctrine. When Urbicius ordered him to be executed, the Christian bystander, Lucius, protested that Ptolomaeus had not been convicted of adultery, fornication, murder, clothes-stealing, or any crime. Your sentence, Urbicius, does not befit the Emperor Pius nor his philosopher son [Marcus Aurelius] nor the holy senate. Urbicius answered, I think you too are one of them. Lucius responded, Indeed I am. Thereupon, he too was executed. Their passion under Antoninus Pius is recounted by Saint Justin Martyr, their contemporary (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer.
3rd v. Hieromartyr Sadoc, Bishop of Persia, and 128 Martyrs with him He was the hierarch of a Persian district.
When the Persian emperor Sapor learned that Sadoc was preaching faith in Christ, he gave orders to arrest and imprison him together with 128 Christian believers. For several months they attempted to persuade the righteous martyrs to repudiate the holy Faith, but unable to accomplish this, they executed them.
St. Altinus Bishop and possible martyr 1st or 4th century
In one record Altinus was a disciple of Christ, credited with founding the churches of Orleans and Chartres, France. Another states that he was a martyr of the fourth century.
Altinus (Attinus) of Orléans BM (AC). As is the case with many of the early founders of Christian churches, Saint Altinus was alleged to be a disciple of Our Lord--which he was in establishing the churches of Orléans and Chartres. However, it is unlikely that he lived during the time of Christ; more likely he was a martyr of the 4th century (Benedictines)
307 St. Varus Soldier and martyr Upper Egypt visited and comforted seven holy monks who were kept in prison.  When one of them died he wished to be accepted in his place, and after suffering most cruel torments with them he obtained the palm of martyrdom.
In Ægypto sancti Vari mílitis, qui, sub Maximíno Imperatóre, dum sanctos septem Mónachos in cárcere deténtos visitáret atque refíceret, vóluit, uno ex ipsis defúncto, in ejus locum subrogári; atque ita cum illis, sævíssima passus, martyrii palmam adéptus est.
    In Egypt, St. Varus, a soldier, who, under Emperor Maximian, visited and comforted seven holy monks who were kept in prison.  When one of them died he wished to be accepted in his place, and after suffering most cruel torments with them he obtained the palm of martyrdom.
According to his generally reliable and authentic Acts, he was a soldier stationed in Upper Egypt who had the task of guarding a group of monks awaiting execution. When one of the monks died while incarcerated, Varus embraced the Christian faith and asked to be able to fill the place of the deceased. He was taken and hanged from a tree.
Varus of Upper Egypt M (RM). His authenticated acta report that Varus was a Roman soldier in Upper Egypt ordered to guard a prison in which certain monks condemned to death were confined. Upon seeing one of them expire in his dungeon, Varus insisted on taking his place and was immediately hanged from a tree (Benedictines). Varus is depicted as a Roman soldier holding a flail (Roeder)

Martyr Varus lived in Egypt during the period of several persecutions against Christians (late third to early fourth century). Varus (Ouaros) was a military commander and secretly a Christian. He gave assistance to many of the persecuted and imprisoned Christians, and he visited the prisoners at night. He also brought food to the prisoners, dressed their wounds, and gave them encouragement.

Once Varus spent a whole night talking with seven imprisoned monks. These men were Christian teachers who had been beaten and starved. Varus marched with the teachers when they were led to their execution. The judge, seeing Varus' strong faith, had him fiercely beaten. Varus died during the beating. After his death, the monks were beheaded.

319 St. Cleopatra Widow -- St. Varus miraculously came to comfort her
St Varus, Martyr, And St Cleopatra, Widow
The circumstances of the passion of St Varus in Egypt are summarized thus by the Roman Martyrology: “Varus, a soldier, in the time of the Emperor Maximinus, visited and fed seven holy monks while they were kept in prison. When one of them died offered himself as a substitute in his place. And so, after suffering most cruel torments, he received the martyr’s palm with them.”
   The mangled body of St Varus was secured by a Christian woman named Cleopatra, who hid it in a bale of wool and, so disguised, transported it to Adraha (Dera’s, east of Lake Tiberias), where she lived, and many Christians came to visit the martyr’s tomb. When Cleopatra’s son, John, was about to become a soldier, she determined to build a basilica in honour of Varus and to translate his body thereto, and at the same time to put her son and his fortunes under the particular patronage of this martyr who had himself been a soldier. She therefore built a church, and at its dedication she and John themselves carried the bones of St Varus to their new shrine under the altar.
   That same evening John was taken suddenly ill, and during the night he died. Cleopatra had his body carried into the new church and laid before the altar, and she gave way to her grief and reviled the saint in whose honour she had done so much. She called on God to restore to life her only child whose body lay there, and so she remained till the following night, when she sank into a deep sleep, exhausted by weeping and sorrow. While she slept she dreamed that St Varus appeared to her in glory, leading John by the hand, and that she laid hold of their feet in mute supplication. And Varus looked down on her and said, “Have I forgotten all the love you have shown for me? Did I not pray to God that He would give health and advancement to your son? And behold! The prayer is answered.  He has given him health for evermore and raised him to be among the hosts who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.” “I am satisfied”, replied Cleopatra, “but I pray you that I also may be taken, that I may be with my son and you.”
St Varus replied, “No. Leave your son with me, and wait awhile, and then we will fetch you.” When Cleopatra awoke she did as she had been bidden in her dream and had the body of John lain beside that of Varus. And she lived a life of devotion and penitence until, when seven years were passed, she also was called to God, and her body was buried with John and Varus in the basilica she had built.
The Roman Martyrology does not mention either St Cleopatra or her son, but they are referred to in the Greek Menaion under the date October 19. There is a Greek passio edited in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii, but in the absence of early cultus this pathetic story must be regarded with great suspicion.
Widow of Palestine who rescued the remains of St. Varus, martyred in some earlier persecution. She enshrined the saint’s remains in her home in Dera, in Syria. When a church was dedicated to St. Varus, Cleopatra’s young son died, and the saint miraculously came to comfort her.
Cleopatra of Syria, Widow, and Varus M (AC). The Palestine widow Saint Cleopatra secured the body of Saint Varus, and enshrined it in her home at Derâ'a, Syria. On the day it was dedicated as a church, her 12-year-old son died. The grieving mother was comforted, however, when her son and Saint Varus appeared to her in a vision (Benedictines)
Saint Cleopatra and her son John came from the village of Edra near Mount Tabor in Palestine. She was a contemporary of the holy Martyr Varus and witnessed his voluntary suffering. After the execution, St Cleopatra brought the body of the holy martyr to her own country and buried him with reverence. Cleopatra had one beloved son, John, who had attained the honorable rank of officer. To the great sorrow of his mother, John suddenly died. Cleopatra with tears of grief turned to the relics of the holy Martyr Varus, begging him for the return of her son.
Varus and her son appeared to Cleopatra in a dream, radiant in bright attire with crowns upon their heads. She realized that the Lord had received her son into the heavenly Kingdom, and was comforted. After this vision blessed Cleopatra started to live by a church she built over the relics of the holy martyr Varus and her son John, and performed many good deeds. She distributed her property to the poor and spent her time in prayer and fasting. After seven years she fell asleep in the Lord.

5th v. Eusterius  fourth bishop of Salerno  B (RM)
Apud Salérnum sancti Eustérii Epíscopi.    At Salerno, St. Eusterius, bishop.
Died 5th century. All that remains of Eusterius's memory is that he was the fourth bishop of Salerno (Benedictines).
540 St. Lupus Bishop of Soissons
France, and a relative of St. Remigius of Reims.
Lupus of Soissons B (AC) Saint Lupus was a nephew of Saint Remigius of Reims. He became bishop of Soissons (Benedictines)
590 St. Veranus Bishop of CavailIon charitable works miracles recorded by Gregory of Tours
In território Aurelianénsi deposítio sancti Veráni Epíscopi.
    In the diocese of Orleans, the death of St. Veranus, bishop.
France. He was a leader in the development of charitable works and served as a patron to local monastic centers.
Veranus of Cavaillon B (RM) Born at Vaucluse, France. The miracles of Bishop Saint Veranus of Cavaillon were recorded by Gregory of Tours (Benedictines, Encyclopedia)
6th v. Ethbin of Kildare, Abbot; famous for his virtues and miracles (RM)
In monastério Silvæ Necténsis, in Hibérnia, sancti Ethbíni Abbátis.
    In Ireland, in the monastery of the Forest of Kildare, St. Ethbin, abbot.
His father dying when Ethbin was fifteen his mother entrusted him to the care of St Samson, and later he became a monk under St Winwaloe in Brittany. He was one day walking with his master, when they saw a leper lying helpless at the side of the way. “What shall we do with this poor fellow?” asked Winwaloe. “Do as the apostles of Christ did. Bid him to rise up and walk”, replied St Ethbin promptly. Winwaloe had faith both in his monk and in the power of God, and the sufferer was healed. When the monastery was destroyed by the Franks, Ethbin took refuge in Ireland, where he lived for twenty years, and there died, famous for his virtues and miracles. He is named in the Roman Martyrology, but is unknown to Irish calendars. The name Ethbin sounds Anglo-Saxon.
We cannot put trust in the short life, which has been printed in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii. See also LBS., vol. ii, p. 466, and Duine, St Samson (1909).
Born in Great Britain. Saint Ethbin's noble father died when he was only about 15 years old. His widowed mother then entrusted his education to his countryman, the great Saint Samson, at Dol Abbey in Brittany. At Mass one day, he really heard the words: Every one of you that cannot renounce all that he possesses, cannot be my disciple. He immediately resolved to renounce the world.
   Because he was a deacon, Ethbin sought the permission of his bishop to withdraw from the world. Upon receiving it, Ethbin retired to the abbey of Taurac in 554. For his spiritual director, the saint chose another: Saint Winwaloë. The community was dispersed by a Frankish raid in 556 and Winwaloë died soon thereafter. Ethbin then crossed over to Ireland, where he led the life of a hermit in a forest near Kildare called Nectensis (unidentified) for 20 years. There was no cultus for Saint Ethbin in Ireland. His relics are claimed by Montreuil and Pont-Mort (Eure), France. It has been suggested by P. Grosjean that the silva called Necensis could be a corruption of Silvanectensis (i.e., Senlis, France), rather than Ireland (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth)
695 Aquilinus of Evreux served Clovis II 40 years; hermit; blind bishop giving alms;  his zeal, which God approved by the gift of miracles B (RM)
Ebróicis, in Gállia, sancti Aquilíni, Epíscopi et Confessóris.    At Evreux in France, St. Aquilinus, bishop and confessor.

695 St Aquilinus, Bishop of Evreux; his zeal, which God approved by the gift of miracles
Like many other Frankish saints of the Merovingian era, Aquilinus spent years in courts and camps before entering the clerical state and attaining the episcopate. He was a native of Bayeux, born there about the year 620. He fought in the wars of Clovis II, and on returning from a campaign against the Visigoths met his wife at Chartres. They there determined to devote the rest of their days to the direct service of God and His poor, he being then about forty years old. They went to Evreux, where they lived quietly for ten years when, on the death of St Aeternus, St Aquilinus was considered the most worthy to succeed to the see.
  He was frightened of the distractions inseparable from the episcopate and sought to live rather as a hermit than a bishop.  He had a cell built near to his cathedral, whither he retired whenever opportunity offered to spend long hours in prayer and penance on behalf of the flock which he had been called on to govern. During his last years St Aquilinus was deprived of his sight, but it made no difference to his zeal, which God approved by the gift of miracles.

There is a late biography, which is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii. See also Mesnel, Les saints du diocese d’ Évreux, part v (1916); and Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. ii, p. 227.
Born in Bayeux, France, c. 620. Saint Aquilinus served Clovis II for 40 years. Upon returning from the war against the Visigoths, he and his wife retired to Evreux to devote themselves to works of charity. Although Aquilinus was consecrated bishop of the city when his virtue became known, he managed to continue his life as a hermit while fulfilling the duties of this office. In art, Aquilinus is portrayed as a blind bishop giving alms (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Roeder)
A military man who served King Clovis II. Aquilinus was born about 620 in Bayeux, France, and became a soldier, serving for forty years in the military. In 660, he returned to Chartres, in France, and married. He and his wife moved to Evreux and worked for the poor and suffering. In 670, Aquilinus was named bishop of Evreux, but he lived as a hermit most of the time.
705 St. Desiderius Benedictine monk disciple of St. Sigiranus
He was a hermit at La Brenne, near Bourges, France.
Desiderius of Lonrey OSB, Monk (AC). The monk Desiderius of Lonrey became a disciple of Saint Sigiran and a recluse at Le Brenne (Ruriacus) in the diocese of Bourges, France (Benedictines)
728 St. Theofrid Abbot and martyred by Saracens
 He was serving as abbot of Carmery-en-Velay when the community was attacked by a band of Saracens. He died as a result of the injuries he received at their hands and was thereafter venerated as a martyr.
In some lists he is called Chaffre or Theoftoy.
Theofrid of Carmery OSB, Abbot (AC) (also known as Theofroy, Chaffre) Born in Orange, France; died 728. Theofrid, a monk and abbot of Carmery-en-Velay (later renamed Monastier-Saint-Chaffre), died as a result of the ill-treatment of the invading Saracens. He has always been venerated as a martyr (Benedictines)
735 St. Frideswide Benedictine hermitess nun founded the St. Mary’s Convent in Oxford
Oxónii, in Anglia, sanctæ Fredeswíndæ Vírginis.
   At Oxford in England, St. Frideswide, virgin.

735 St Frideswide, Virgin
Frideswide is the patron saint of Oxford. William of Malmesbury, writing just before 1125, first tells her legend in its simplest form. According to it Frideswide, having miraculously got rid of the unwelcome attentions of a king, founded a nunnery at Oxford and there spent the rest of her life. In its more developed form we are told that her kingly father was named Didan and her mother Safrida, and that her upbringing was entrusted to a governess called Algiva. Her inclinations early led her towards the religious state, for she had learned that “whatever is not God is nothing”. But Algar, another prince, smitten with her beauty, tried to carry her off. Frideswide thereupon fled down the Isis with two companions, and concealed herself for three years, using a pig’s cote as her monastic cell. Algar continued to pursue her and eventually, on her invoking the aid of St Catherine and St Cecily, he was struck with blindness and only recovered on leaving the maiden in peace. From which circumstance it was said that the kings of England up to Henry II made a special point of avoiding Oxford!
   In order to live more perfectly to God in closer retirement, St Frideswide built herself a cell in Thornbury wood (now Binsey), where by fervour of her penance and heavenly contemplation she advanced towards God and His kingdom. The spring, which the saint made use of at Binsey, was said obtained by her prayers, and was a place of pilgrimage in the middle ages. Her death is put in 735; her tomb at Oxford was honoured with many miracles and became one of the principal shrines of England.

The extant legend of St Frideswide seems to represent no real tradition, and little reliance can be put on it; but she probably founded a monastery at Oxford in the eighth century, and after various vicissitudes it was refounded in the early twelfth century for canons regular of St Augustine. In 1180 the relics of St Frideswide were solemnly translated to a new shrine in the church of her name; and twice a year, at mid-Lent and on Ascension Day, the chancellor and members of the university visited it ceremonially. By permission of Pope Clement VII the priory of St Frideswide was dissolved by Cardinal Wolsey, who in 1525 founded Cardinal College on its site, the priory church becoming the college chapel.
  In 1546 the college was re-established by King Henry VIII as Christ Church (Aedes Christi: “The House”), and the church, which had been St Frideswide’s, became, as well as college chapel, the cathedral of the new diocese of Oxford (and was so recognized by the Holy See on the reconciliation in Mary’s reign).
   The relics of the saint had by this time been removed from their shrine, but apparently they were not scattered. For in the year 1561 a certain canon of Christ Church, named Calfhill, went to such trouble to desecrate them that it would seem he must have been insane with fanaticism.
   During the reign of Edward VI there had been buried in the church the body of an apostate nun, Catherine Cathie, who had been through a form of marriage with the friar Peter Martyr Vermigli. Calfhill had Catherine’s remains dug up (they had been removed from the church under Mary), mixed them with the alleged relics of St Frideswide, and thus reinterred them in the church. In the following year an account of this performance was published in Latin (and another in German) which contained a number of pseudo-pious reflections on the text Hic jacet religio cum superstitione: “Here lies Religion with Superstition.” It does not appear that these words were actually inscribed on the tomb or coffin, though that they were is asserted by several writers, including Alban Butler, whose comment is, “the obvious meaning of which [epitaph] would lead us to think these men endeavoured to extinguish and bury all religion”.
St Frideswide is named in the Roman Martyrology, and her feast is observed in the archdiocese of Birmingham.
She is said also to have a cultus at Borny in Artois (under the name of Frévisse).
The legend of St Frideswide has been transmitted in several varying texts (see BHL., nn. 3162—3169). The more important have been printed or summarized in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii, and have also been discussed by J. Parker, The Early History of Oxford (1885), pp. 85-101. Cf. also Hardy, Descriptive Catalogue (Rolls Series), vol. i, pp. 459—462; DNB., vol. xx, pp. 275—276; an article by E. F. Jacob, in The Times, October 58, 1935, pp. 15—16; and another by F.M. Stenton in Oxoniensia, vol. i (1936), pp. 103—112 (both reprinted, O.U.P., 1953). There is a popular account by Fr F. Goldie, The Story of St Frideswide (1881); see also E. W. Watson, The Cathedral Church of Christ in Oxford (1935).
Daughter of Prince Didan of the Upper Thames region of England. She is sometimes called Fredeswinda. When Prince Algar of a neighboring kingdom asked for her hand in marriage, Frideswide fled to Thomwry Wood in Birnsey, where she became a hermitess. She founded the St. Mary’s Convent in Oxford and is patroness of the university of that city. Her relics are extant. In liturgical art she is depicted as a Benedictine, sometimes with an ox for companion.

Frideswide of Oxford, OSB V (RM) (also known as Fredeswinda, Frevisse); second feast day is February 12. Her maxim from childhood is said to be: "Whatsoever is not God is nothing."
Little can be said for certain about Frideswide because the earliest written account dates only from the 12th century, when her abbey became an Augustinian foundation. William of Malmesbury recorded the legend from a version attributed to Prior Robert of Cricklade. Nevertheless, recent historical and archeological research has clarified the background and some of the details of the saint's traditional legend.
This account follows the archetypical miracles of God preserving His holy virgins. The story goes that Frideswide was a Mercian princess, the daughter of Didian (or Dida) of Eynsham, whose lands included the upper reaches of the River Thames. Her father, a sub- king under the Mercian overlordship, endowed minster churches at Bampton and Oxford.
Frideswide took a vow of perpetual virginity, but Algar, a local prince, (or Æthelbald of Mercia) could not believe that she would not marry him. Desiring to fulfill her vow, she fled into hiding at Binsey (near the current Oxford), where she remained for three years as Algar continued to search for her. Then Algar was struck blind. When he renounced his desire to marry her, his sight was restored at Bampton upon Frideswide's intercession.
Eventually, Frideswide was appointed the first abbess of the Benedictine Saint Mary's double monastery at Oxford, where she peacefully lived out the balance of her life. The convent flourished becoming the site of Christ Church and her name was not forgotten as the town of Oxford arose around the abbey.
Most of the early records of the monastery were destroyed in a fire set in 1002 while Scandinavians were inside the church in the attempted massacres triggered by the notorious decree of Ethelred II. The existence of her shrine is formally attested by 'On the Resting Places of the Saints' in Die Heiligen Englands in the 11th century. In the twelfth century her convent was refounded for Augustinian canons .
In 1180 in the presence of the archbishop of Canterbury and King Henry II of England, her remains were translated to a new shrine in the monastery church. A yet greater shrine was built nine years later. Countless pilgrims visited her relics. Twice a year Oxford University held a solemn feast in her honor and came to venerate her bones. In 1440, the archbishop of Canterbury declared her patroness of the university.
Then in 1525 Cardinal Wolsey suppressed Saint Frideswide's monastery. Two decades later the monastery church became the new cathedral of Oxford. But the shrine containing Frideswide's relics had been broken up by Protestant reformers to use in other buildings in 1538. Happily some Catholics preserved the saints bones.
Meanwhile Catherine Dammartin, the wife of the Protestant professor Peter Martyr Vermigli, had been buried in the cathedral. About 1558-1561, in an extraordinary burst of fanaticism James Calfhill, a Calvinist canon, dug up her bones and mixed them with those of Saint Frideswide, adding the epitaph Hic jacet religio cum superstitione ('Here lies religion with superstition').
Part of her shrine has been reconstructed from pieces found in a well at Christ Church, where her remains are marked with four elegant candlesticks in Christ Church.
It may be assumed that Frideswide was foundress and abbess of a religious house at Oxford in the 8th century; her shrine was in the church of a monastery there in 1004, on the site of Christ Church. It is unexplained how this obscure saint, under the name of Frevisse, came to have a cultus at the village of Bomy in the middle of Artois (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Farmer, Stenton).
In art she is a crowned abbess with an ox near her. Sometimes she is shown being rowed down the Thames by an angel with her two sisters. Frideswide is the patroness of Oxford and Oxford University (Roeder) .
864 St. Laura widowed; martyr. Born in Cordova; murdered by Moors
St. Laura died in Spain, she became a nun at Cuteclara after she was widowed, and was scalded to death by her Moorish captors. Laura of Córdova, Abbess M (AC) Born in Córdova, Spain. In her widowhood Laura became a nun at Cuteclara, then its abbess. She was martyred by the Moorish conquerors who threw her into a cauldron of boiling pitch or molten lead (Benedictines, Encyclopedia)
946 John of Rila, Abbot;  one of the earliest native Bulgarian monks; spent 60 years in the Rhodope mountains south of Sofia, where he founded the great monastery of Rila
Born in Bulgaria; died at Rila.  Saint John was one of the earliest native Bulgarian monks. He spent 60 years in the Rhodope mountains south of Sofia, where he founded the great monastery of Rila. This monastery survived until the buildings were converted into a meteorological station by the Communist government in 1947. It is unstated, but I believe that Saint John is only on the Orthodox calendars (Attwater)
1016 St. Eadnot martyr Bishop of Dorchester; closely associated with Saint Oswald of York. Eadnot died in a battle against the Danes,
England, who was a champion of St. Oswald of York. He is listed as a martyr in some records, having been slain in an invasion by the Danes.  Eadnot of Dorchester, OSB B. Eadnot, a monk of Worcester and later abbot of Ramsey, was chosen as bishop of Dorchester in 1006. In this office he was closely associated with Saint Oswald of York. Eadnot died in a battle against the Danes, and is sometimes termed a martyr (Benedictines)
1066 Saint Prokhore the Georgian, a descendant of the noble Shavteli family; began the reconstruction of the Holy Cross Georgian Monastery near Jerusalem; According to tradition, at this spot Abraham’s nephew Lot planted three trees—a cypress, a pine, and a cedar. Eventually these three trees miraculously grew into one large tree. When the Temple of Solomon was being built, this tree was cut down but left unused. It is said that the Cross on which Christ our Savior was crucified was constructed from the wood of this tree.

Born at the end of the 10th century and grew up in a monastery. When he reached manhood he was ordained a hieromonk and labored for one year at the Lavra of St. Sabbas in Jerusalem. Then, with the blessing of his spiritual father Ekvtime Grdzeli, he began the reconstruction of the Holy Cross Georgian Monastery near Jerusalem.  According to tradition, at this spot Abraham’s nephew Lot planted three trees—a cypress, a pine, and a cedar. Eventually these three trees miraculously grew into one large tree. When the Temple of Solomon was being built, this tree was cut down but left unused. It is said that the Cross on which Christ our Savior was crucified was constructed from the wood of this tree.

In the 4th century, the land on which the miraculous tree had grown was presented to Holy King Mirian, the first Christian king of Georgia. Then in the 5th century, during the reign of Holy King Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Holy Cross Monastery was founded on that land. The monastery was destroyed several times between the 7th and 9th centuries.
Finally, in the 11th century, King Bagrat Kuropalates offered much of his wealth to Fr. Prokhore for the restoration of the monastery. St. Prokhore beautified the monastery, then gathered eighty monks and established the typicon (the monastic rule) for the community in accordance with that of the St. Sabbas Lavra.

When St. Prokhore had labored long and lived to an advanced age, he chose his disciple Giorgi to be the monastery’s next abbot.  Then he departed for the wilderness with two of his disciples, and after some time the righteous monk yielded up his spirit to God.  Beyond this, little is known about the life of St. Prokhore. According to Georgian researchers and scholars, he was probably born sometime between 985 and 990. He spent the years 1010 to 1015 in Jerusalem, and labored at the Lavra of St. Sabbas until 1025. He reposed in the year 1066, between the ages of 76 and 81.

Luka of Jerusalem The holy martyr lived in the 13th century at the Holy Cross Monastery
He was born to an honorable, pious Georgian family by the name of Mukhaisdze. After the repose of Luka’s father, his mother left her children and went to labor at a monastery in Jerusalem.
When Luka reached the age of twenty, he traveled to Jerusalem to visit his mother and venerate the holy places. After spending some time there he decided to remain and be tonsured a monk. He was later ordained a deacon and became fluent in Arabic. Soon the brothers of the monastery recognized his wisdom and asked him to guide them as abbot. For three years Luka directed the monastery in an exemplary manner.

But the devil was envious of the holy father and provoked a certain Shekh-Khidar, an influential Persian at the court of Sultan Penducht, (Probably Sultan Zakhir-Rukedin-Baibars-Bundukdar of Egypt (1260–1277)) to take up arms against St. Luka. Sultan Penducht then transferred possession of the Holy CrossMonastery to Shekh-Khidar, who “treated the Georgian monks in a beastly manner and finally ousted them from the monastery altogether.” Fulfilling his God-given duty, the blessed Luka insisted on personally confronting Shekh-Khidar in defense of his brotherhood.
Luka’s Christian brothers and sisters warned him, saying, “Shekh-Khidar is threatening you.… Flee and hide fromhim!” But Luka paid no heed to their admonitions, certain that it was more fitting to die for Christ than to live for the world. As he had insisted, he himself approached Shekh-Khidar and asked for the release of the imprisoned fathers.

Luka told him that he was prepared to accept any demands. The wicked Persian leader demanded nothing from Luka except that he convert to Islam, promising to make him emir if he consented. When he refused, the furious Shekh-Khidar ordered St. Luka’s beheading.  After the terrible deed had been performed, St. Luka’s severed head turned toward the east and gave thanks to God with an expression of pure peace. Soon after, his precious body was set on fire at the command of the bewildered Shekh-Khidar. This occurred in 1277.
1314 St. Nikoloz Dvali the Martyr; pilgrimage to Jerusalem and remained in the holy city, settling at the Holy Cross Monastery.
Born at the end of the 13th century to a God-fearing couple who directed his path toward the spiritual life.
At the age of twelve Nikoloz traveled to the Klarjeti Wilderness and was tonsured a monk. From there he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and remained in the holy city, settling at the Holy Cross Monastery. Burning with desire for the apostolic life, Monk Nikoloz was determined to die a martyr’s death.

In Jerusalem a group of godless men arrested and tormented St. Nikoloz for publicly confessing the Christian Faith, but a group of Christians succeeded in rescuing him from prison. Then, in accordance with his abbot’s counsel, St. Nikoloz relocated to a Georgian monastery on Cyprus. There the pious monk beseeched the Lord to make him worthy of the crown of martyrdom. One day, while he was praying before the icon of St. John the Baptist, he heard a voice saying, “Nikoloz! Arise and go to Jerusalem. There you will find a Georgian monk who will teach you the way of righteousness and encourage you on the path of martyrdom. He has been appointed to guide you.”

Accordingly, St. Nikoloz returned to Jerusalem, met the monk whom God had appointed, and informed him of what had been revealed. The Most Holy Theotokos and St. John the Baptist appeared to St. Nikoloz’s spiritual father, who had been praying intensely for guidance, and told him that it was the Lord’s will for Nikoloz to journey to Damascus.

While in Damascus, the holy father entered a mosque and openly confessed Christ to be the Savior, reproving those present for their folly. The angry Muslims seized St. Nikoloz, beat him, and cast him into prison. After a great struggle, the metropolitan and local Christians succeeded in recovering him from captivity, but he immediately returned to the Muslims and began again to denounce their ungodly ways. Again they beat him mercilessly, lashed him five hundred times, and cast him in prison for a second time. But the holy martyr’s wounds were healed through the miraculous intercession of St. John the Baptist, and after two months he was released from prison.

By chance the emir of the city caught a glimpse of St. Nikoloz as he was preparing to return to Jerusalem. The emir recognized him and sent him to Dengiz, the emir of emirs. Dengiz flattered him and offered to convert him to Islam, but St. Nikoloz bravely defended his faith in Christ. In response, Dengiz ordered his execution.

At the hour appointed by Dengiz, the blessed martyr turned to the east, joyfully bowed his neck to the sword, and prayed, “Glory to Thee, O Christ God, Who hast accounted me worthy to die for Thy name’s sake.” The sword pierced his neck, but the severed head glorified God seven times, crying out, “Glory to Thee, O Christ our God!”
The Persians burned the saint’s body, and for three days a pillar of light shone at the place where it lay.
When St.Nikoloz’s spiritual father heard about his martyrdom, he prayed to God to reveal to him whether Nikoloz would be numbered among the saints. Then one day while he was reading, he saw a vision of a host of saints standing atop a mountain, illumined and surrounded by a cloud of incense. Among them the Great-martyr George shone especially brightly, and he called St. Nikoloz, saying, “Nikoloz! Come and see the monk, your spiritual father. He has shed many tears for you.”
Nikoloz greeted his spiritual father, saying,
“Behold me and the place where I am, and from this day cease your sorrowing for me.”
St. Nikoloz Dvali was tortured to death on Tuesday, October 19, in the year 1314. The Georgian Church continues to commemorate him on that date.
1238 Saint John, Abbot of Rila in Bulgaria Today we commemorate the transfer of the relics.
The relics of St John were transferred from the city of Sredets [Sofia] to Trnovo, the capital of the Bulgarian realm, in the year 1238. See August 18 for his Life.

1257 Blessed Thomas Hélye, Confessor ascetic; led an ascetic life in his parents' home and devoted part of his time to teaching the catechism to the poor. His bishop requested that he receive presbyterial ordination. Thereafter he was an itinerant preacher throughout Normandy. Later he was appointed almoner to the king (AC)

1257 Bd Thomas of Biville
Around the district of Biville in Normandy, where he was born about the year 1187, Thomas Hélye is known as “the Wonder-worker” and enjoys a widespread cultus that was confirmed in 1859. His parents seem to have been people of some local importance particularly to please his mother, Thomas was sent to school. When he was a young man he decided to put the fruits of this privilege at the disposal of other children, and he became a sort of village schoolmaster and catechist in his native place. The good results of his teaching reached the ears of the citizens of Cherbourg, the nearest town, and he was invited to go and instruct the children there, which he did until sickness drove him home again. When he was recovered he continued to live in his father’s house, in a manner more like that of monk than of a layman, and he soon became known to the bishop of Coutances, who ordained him deacon. Thomas then undertook pilgrimages to Rome and to Compostela, before going to Paris to complete his studies; after four years he was made priest. He increased his austerities, spending pan of the night in prayer that he might have the more time in the day for pastoral care and preaching, for which he had a great gift. Thomas was presented to the parochial benefice of Saint-Maurice, but he was by nature a missionary and, appointing a vicar for his cure, he took up his former work of preaching, catechizing, visiting the sick and sinners, encouraging the poor and oppressed, exhorting the lukewarm and indifferent, wherever it seemed that God was calling him, not only in Coutances but in the neighbouring dioceses of Avranches, Bayeux and Lisieux as well. In the midst of these missionary journeys Bd Thomas was taken ill at the castle of Vauville in La Manche, and died there on October 19, 1257 the first miracle after his death was the healing of the withered hand of his hostess.
   Relics of Bd Thomas
Hélye have an interesting history. His body was buried in the cemetery of Biville, and later translated to the church itself. At the Revolution the church was profaned and the tomb of Thomas, left in situ, used as a desk, when M. Lemarié, vicar general of Coutances, determined to save the relics before it was too late. At 10.15 in the evening of July 13, 1794, he, with the parish priest and several of the faithful, secretly opened the shrine. The skeleton of the saint was found with nearly all the bones in place. It was quickly wrapped in linen and transferred to a wooden coffin, together with an affidavit of the proceedings, sealed up, and conveyed to the church at Virandeville, where it was hidden. The revolutionary authorities of Biville were unable to fix the responsibility for the “crime” and visited their annoyance on the “constitutional” curé, who was imprisoned for neglect of duty and for concealing the names of the delinquents, which he did not know. The relics were returned to their proper shrine in 1803. There, seven hundred years after the death of Bd Thomas, they still rest.
There is a valuable medieval life by a certain Clement, a contemporary, who was an actual witness of much that he records. Four years after the death of Bd Thomas an investigation was held at which Clement assisted, and he quotes in his biography from the depositions made regarding the holy missionary’s virtues and miracles. The text has been edited both in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii, and by L. Delisle in the Mémoirs de la Soc. Acad. de Cherbourg, 1861, pp. 203—238. See also lives by L. Couppey (1903) and P. Pinel (1927). There seems, however, as Fr Van Ortroy has pointed out, no adequate evidence for the statement that Bd Thomas was ever appointed chaplain to St Louis IX cf the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxii (1903), p. 505.
Born at Biville, Normandy, in 1187; died at the castle of Vauville, Manche, in 1257; cultus confirmed in 1859. Blessed Thomas led an ascetic life in his parents' home and devoted part of his time to teaching the catechism to the poor. His bishop requested that he receive presbyterial ordination. Thereafter he was an itinerant preacher throughout Normandy. Later he was appointed almoner to the king (Benedictines).
1562 Peter of Alcántara practiced asceticism from 16 until death; apeared to Teresa Avila; Two months after the opening of St Joseph’s St Peter was seized with a mortal sickness, and he was carried to the convent of Arenas that he might die in the arms of his brethren. In his last moments he repeated those words of the psalmist,

“I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord”. Then he rose upon his knees, and in that posture calmly died. St Teresa wrote: “his departure our Lord has been pleased to let me enjoy more of him than I did when he was alive; he has given me advice and counsel in many things, and I have frequently seen him in great glory…Our Lord told me once that men should ask nothing in the name of St Peter of Alcantara wherein He would not hear them. I have recommended many things to him that he might beg them of our Lord, and I have always found them granted.”

Besides his natural talents and learning God enriched him with an experimental and infused knowledge and sense of spiritual things, which is the fruit only of divine grace gained by an eminent spirit of prayer and habits of virtue. His presence alone seemed a powerful sermon, and it was said that he had but to show himself to work conversions.
patron of Brazil  OFM  (RM)

Arénis, in Hispánia, natális páriter sancti Petri de Alcántara, Sacerdótis ex Ordine Minórum et Confessóris; quem, propter admirábilem pæniténtiam múltaque mirácula, Clemens Nonus, Póntifex Máximus, Sanctórum número adscrípsit.  Ejus autem festum sequénti die celebrátur.
    At Arenas in Spain, the birthday of St. Peter of Alcantara, confessor and priest of the Order of Friars Minor.  He was canonized by Pope Clement IX because of his admirable penance and many miracles, and his feast is observed on the day following.
Born at Alcántara, Estremadura, Spain, in 1499; died at Arenas, 1562; canonized in 1669.
1562 St Peter Of Alcantara
Peter Garavita the younger was born at Alcantara, a small town in the province of Estremadura in Spain in 1499. His father was a lawyer and governor of that town; his mother was of good family; and both were eminent for their piety and personal merit. Peter was sent to school locally, and had not finished his philosophy when his father died. His stepfather sent him to Salamanca University, where he decided to become a Franciscan, and at 16 he took the habit of that order in the convent of Manjaretes, situated in the mountains that run between Castile and Portugal. An ardent spirit of penance determined his choice of this friary, for it was a house of those who, among the friars of the Observance, aimed at a yet stricter observance.
  During his novitiate he had first the care of the sacristy, then refectory, and afterwards the gate, all which offices he discharged without prejudice to his recollection, but not always with exactitude; he seems, indeed, to have been rather absent-minded. After having charge of the refectory for half a year he was chidden for never having given the friars any fruit. To which he answered that he had not seen any: he had never, in fact, lifted his eyes to the ceiling, where fruit was hanging in bunches.
   In time he seemed by long habits of mortification to have lost the sense of taste, for when vinegar and salt was thrown into a porringer of warm water, he took it for his usual bean soup. He had no other bed than a skin lain on the floor, on which he knelt a part of the night and slept sitting, leaning his head against a wall. His watches were the most difficult and remarkable of all austerities he practised, and in consequence of them he has been regarded in after-ages as the patron saint of night watchmen. He inured himself gradually to them, that they might not be prejudicial to his health.
   A few years after his profession, Peter was sent to Badajoz to establish a small friary there, though he was at that time but twenty-two years old and not yet a priest. When the three years of his guardianship were elapsed he was promoted to the priesthood, in 1524, and soon after employed in preaching. The ensuing year he was made guardian of Robredillo and later of Plasencia. In all stations of superiority he set the strictest example by the literal acceptance of evangelical counsels, as in the matter of having only one coat: when his habit was being washed or mended he had to seek a warm retired spot in the garden, and wait there with nothing on.

   During this period he preached much throughout Estremadura, and great was the fruit his sermons produced. Besides his natural talents and learning God enriched him with an experimental and infused knowledge and sense of spiritual things, which is the fruit only of divine grace gained by an eminent spirit of prayer and habits of virtue. His presence alone seemed a powerful sermon, and it was said that he had but to show himself to work conversions.

He loved particularly to preach to the poor and from the words of the sapiential books and the prophets of the Old Law. The love of retirement was always St Peter’s predominant inclination, and he made petition to his superiors that he might be placed in some remote convent, where he could give himself up to contemplation. Accordingly, he was sent to the friary at Lapa, a solitary place, but at the same time he was commanded to take up the charge of guardian. In that house he composed his book on prayer. This famous treatise was justly esteemed a masterpiece by St Teresa, Louis of Granada, St Francis of Sales and others, and has been translated into most European languages.
   St Peter was himself a proficient in the school of divine love, and his union with God was habitual; his ecstasies in prayer were frequent, sometimes of long continuance and accompanied by remarkable phenomena. The reputation of St Peter reached the ears of John III, King of Portugal, who summoned him to the court at Lisbon and tried in vain to keep him there.
   St Peter was in 1538 chosen minister provincial of the stricter observance friars’ province of St Gabriel of Estremadura. Whilst he discharged this office he drew up even more severe rules, which he wished the whole province to accept in a chapter held at Plasencia in 1540, but his ideas met with strong opposition. He therefore resigned, and went to join Friar Martin-of-St-Mary, who interpreted the Rule of St Francis as an eremitical life, and was building his first hermitage upon a barren mountain called Arabida, at the mouth of the Tagus on the opposite bank to Lisbon. St Peter animated the fervour of these religious, and suggested many regulations that were adopted. They wore nothing on their feet, slept on vine-twigs or on the bare ground, never touched flesh or wine, and would have no library. A number of Spanish and Portuguese friars were attracted to this way of life, and other small communities were formed. That of Palhaes being appointed for the novitiate, St Peter was nominated guardian and charged with the direction of the novices.
   Peter was greatly distressed at the trials, which the Church was then undergoing, and to oppose prayer and penance to the effects of ill-living and false doctrine he in 1554 formed a design of establishing a congregation of friars upon a yet stricter plan. His project was disapproved by the minister provincial of Estremadura, but welcomed by the bishop of Coria, in whose diocese the saint, with one companion, made an essay of this manner of living in a hermitage.
   A short time after he went to Rome, travelling barefoot all the way, to obtain the support of Pope Julius III.  He got no encouragement from the minister general of the Observance, but he prevailed on the pope to put him under the minister general of the Conventuals and was authorized to build a friary according to his plan. At his return a friend built such a one, as he desired near Pedrosa, which is the beginning of the group of Franciscans called of the observance of St Peter of Alcantara. The cells were exceedingly small, and half of each was filled with a bed, consisting of three boards; the church was of a piece with the rest. It was impossible for persons to forget their engagement in a penitential life while their habitations seemed rather to resemble graves than rooms.
Among the supporters of this “reform” was a friend of St Peter to whom, when he one day bewailed the wickedness of the world, the saint replied, “The remedy is simple. You and I must first be what we ought to be: then we shall have cured what concerns ourselves. Let each one do the same, and all will be well. The trouble is that we all talk of reforming others without ever reforming ourselves.”
   Other houses received the new observance, and in the statutes which he drew up for them St Peter orders that each cell should be only seven feet long; that the number of friars in a convent should never exceed eight; that they should always go barefoot; that they should employ three hours every day in mental prayer, and never receive any stipend for offering Mass; and reenacted the other extreme points of the observance of Arabida. In 1561 this new custody was made a province with the title of St Joseph, and Pope Pius IV removed it from the jurisdiction of the Conventuals to that of the Observants. (These “Alcantarines” disappeared as a separate body when Pope Leo XIII united the different branches of the Observants in 1897.)
   As is usual in affairs of this sort, the action of St Peter was not well received by those he had left, in this case, the province of St Gabriel. He was a hypocrite, traitor, disturber of peace, ambitious, and was sent for to be told so. “My fathers and brothers”, he replied, “make allowance for the good intention of my zeal in this matter, and if you are convinced it were better that it should not succeed, spare no pains to stop it.” They did not spare them, but the “reform” nevertheless spread.
   During the course of a visitation towards the year 1560, St Peter came to Avila, according to some in consequence of a direct instruction from Heaven. Here St Teresa, still at the Incarnation convent, was suffering exterior and interior trials from scruples and anxiety, for many told her that an evil spirit deluded her. A friend of St Teresa got leave that she might pass eight days in her house, and arranged that St Peter should there talk with her at leisure. From his own experience and knowledge in heavenly communications he understood hers, cleared her perplexities, gave her strong assurances that her visions and prayer were from God, and spoke to her confessor in their favour.
It is from St Teresa’s autobiography that we learn much concerning St Peter’s life and miraculous gifts, for he told her in confidence many things concerning the way in which he had lived for seven-and-forty years. “He told me”, says she, “that, to the best of my remembrance, he had slept but one hour and a half in twenty-four hours for forty years together; and that in the beginning it was the greatest and most troublesome mortification of all to overcome himself against sleep, and that for this he was obliged to be always either kneeling or standing…In all these years he never put up his hood, however hot the sun or heavy the rain; nor did he ever wear anything upon his feet or any other garment than his habit of thick coarse cloth (without anything next his skin) and this short and scanty and as straight as possible, with a cloak of the same over it. He told me that when the weather was extremely cold, he was wont to put off his mantle and to leave the door and the window of his cell open, that when he put it on again and shut his door his body might be somewhat refreshed with this additional warmth. It was usual with him to eat but once in three days, and he asked me why I wondered at it: for it was quite possible to one who had accustomed himself to it. One of his companions told me that sometimes he ate nothing at all for eight days. But that perhaps might be when he was in prayer:  for he used to have great raptures and vehement transports of divine love, of which I was once an eyewitness. His poverty was as extreme as his mortification, even from his youth…When I came to know him he was very old, and his body so shrivelled and weak that it seemed to be composed as it were of the roots and dried bark of a tree rather than flesh. He was very pleasant but spoke little unless questions were asked him; and he answered in a few words, but in these he was worth hearing, for he had an excellent understanding.”
   When St Teresa returned from Toledo to Avila in 1562 she found St Peter there. He spent much of the last months of his life and what strength remained to him in helping her carry through the foundation of her first house of reformed Carmelites. Her success was in good measure due to his encouragement and advice, and to the use which he made of his influence with the bishop of Avila and others. On August 24 he was present when the first Mass was celebrated in the chapel of the new convent of St Joseph. In the troublous times, which followed, St Teresa was strengthened and comforted by several visions of St Peter of Alcantara, who was by then dead. According to her testimony, quoted in the decree of his canonization, it was St Peter who did more for her nascent reform than anyone else. That he approached things in a way that would appeal to her may be judged from the opening of his letter to her defending absolute poverty for the new foundation:
“I confess I am surprised that you have called in learned men to solve a question which they are not competent to judge. Litigation and cases of conscience belong to canonists and theologians, but questions of the perfect life must be left to those who lead it. To be able to deal with a matter one must know something about it, and it is not for a learned man to decide if you and I shall or shall not practise the evangelical counsels…He who gives the counsel will provide the means…The abuses in monasteries which have given up revenues arise from this—that poverty in them is endured rather than desired.”
Two months after the opening of St Joseph’s St Peter was seized with a mortal sickness, and he was carried to the convent of Arenas that he might die in the arms of his brethren. In his last moments he repeated those words of the psalmist, “I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord”. Then he rose upon his knees, and in that posture calmly died. St Teresa wrote: “his departure our Lord has been pleased to let me enjoy more of him than I did when he was alive; he has given me advice and counsel in many things, and I have frequently seen him in great glory…Our Lord told me once that men should ask nothing in the name of St Peter of Alcantara wherein He would not hear them. I have recommended many things to him that he might beg them of our Lord, and I have always found them granted.”  St Peter of Alcantara was canonized in 1669.
As compared with such mystics as St Teresa of Avila and St John-of-the-Cross, the life of St Peter of Alcantara seems only to have aroused languid interest. The earliest printed biography which we now possess did not appear until 1615, fifty-three years after the saint’s death. It was written by Fr John-of-St-Mary and a Latin version of it is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii. With this the Bollandists have coupled a somewhat longer life by Fr Laurence-of-St-Paul, first published in 1669.  In 1667 Fr Francis Marchese brought out a life in Italian in which he claims to have made use of the depositions of wit­nesses in the process of canonization. This has been translated into many languages, and an English version in two volumes was printed in the Oratorian Series in 1856. See also Leon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iv; and S. J. Piat’s short account in the “Profils franciscains” series (1942).
Sixteenth century Spain provided the Church with a wealth of heroes--most of whom seemed to know one another. I hope you enjoy this story of a man who truly fell in love with God at an early age.  Peter Garavito's father, who was a lawyer and governor of the province, died in 1513 and two years later, after studying law in Salamanca, 16-year-old Peter entered the Observant Franciscans at Manxarretes (Manjaretes). At 22 he was sent to Badajoz to found a friary.
He was ordained at the age of 25 (1524), and preached missions in Spain and Portugal. After serving as superior at Robredillo, Plasencia, and Estremadura, Peter finally had his request for solitude granted with an appointment to the friary at Lapa, though he was also named its superior. For a time he served as chaplain to the court of King John III of Portugal. This period of his life is uneventful, but all the time he was longing for a yet more rigorous following of the Franciscan rule.
After he was elected provincial for Saint Gabriel at Estremadura in 1538, he was able to take definite steps to begin the reform, but his efforts were not well received during the provincial chapter at Placensia in 1540. So, he resigned as minister provincial. For two years (1542-44) he lived as a hermit with Friar Martin of Saint Mary on Arabida Mountain near Lisbon and was named superior of Palhaes community for novices when numerous friars were attracted to their way of life. During that period he had become convinced of the need for a vigorous Catholic reform, a Counter-Reformation with which to oppose the Protestant Reformation.
Unable to secure approval for a stricter congregation of friars from his provincial, his idea was accepted by the bishop of Coria. Finally, with the approval of Pope Julius III, c. 1556, he founded the Reformed Friars Minor of Spain, usually called the Alcatarine Franciscans, which established not only monasteries but also Houses of Retreat where anyone could go and try to live according to the Rule of Saint Francis. The friars lived in small groups, in great poverty and austerity, going barefoot, abstaining from meat and wine, spending much time in solitude and contemplation.
Three years later, in 1559, the new order was enlarged with the addition of a new province, that of Saint Joseph. But the Reformed Franciscans failed to win the support of the other Franciscans; Conventuals and Observants, both jealous of their privileges, continued to quarrel over the inheritance of Saint Francis.

At the time of his death in 1562, Saint Peter was still uncertain of the future of his work, which had been placed under the Conventuals. But the example which he set was followed by Saint Teresa of Ávila and there was thus born Saint Joseph of Ávila, the first Reformed Carmel in Spain. Even if Peter's work was surpassed by that of Saint Teresa, it was instrumental in releasing in Spain, and then throughout Europe, a movement of vigorous revival which gave strength to the Church at a time when it was sorely needed.
Teresa and Peter were intimate friends for the last four years of her life. After they met in 1560, he became her confessor, advisor, and admirer. His ferocious and almost unbelievable asceticism is not myth, but rather described by Teresa in a celebrated chapter of her autobiography. She wrote with awe that his penances were “incomprehensible to the human mind. They had reduced him, she tells us, to a condition in which he looked as if he had been made of the roots of trees.
He practiced asceticism from the age of 16 until his death, opposing a will of iron against the doubtlessly acute temptations of his body. He slept for no more than two hours each night, and even then he did not lie down, but slept either in a hard wooden chair or kneeling against the wall. His cell was no more than 4- ½ feet long. He ate extremely little, at first going for three days, and then for a week without food. When he did eat, he destroyed the taste of the food by sprinkling it with ashes or earth. He never drank wine.
He never wore shoes, or even sandals, and went about barefoot. He never wore a hat or a hood, and exposed his head to the icy rains of winter or the scorching sun of summer. He wore a hair shirt, and though he possessed a cloak, he never wore it in cold weather. He went everywhere on foot, or at the most would ride on a donkey.
Consumed with fever, he refused a glass of water, saying Jesus was ready to die of thirst on the cross.  For three years he never raised his eyes from the ground. And yet, With all his holiness, wrote Saint Teresa of Ávila, he was very kindly, though spare of speech except when asked a question, and then he was delightful, for he had a keen understanding.

Such asceticism may seem self-centered and excessive to us today. Some may think that there are sufficient mortifications in the normal course of life without adding to them. But asceticism has been in the Church since the days of the Desert Fathers, and though the practices of the ascetics might seem horrible, unnecessary, or even ridiculous to us, the Church has never reproved them; indeed, they are to be recommended for the active as well as for the contemplative. And who is to say that the present unhappy state of the world would not be greatly changed for the better if people did follow ascetic practices?
Peter's asceticism, however, is only one aspect of his life of great holiness and incessant labor devoted to the restoration in Spain of the primitive Franciscan rule.
Saint Peter was one of the great Spanish mystics and his Treatise on Prayer and Meditation (1926 English translation) was said by Pope Gregory XV to be a shining light to lead souls to heaven and a doctrine prompted by the Holy Spirit. This treatise was used later by Saint Francis de Sales. His mystical works, intended purely for edification, follow traditional lines.
He had already appeared to me twice since his death, wrote Teresa of Ávila, and I witnessed the greatness of his glory. Far from causing me the least fear, the sight of him filled me with joy. He always showed himself to me in the state of a body which was glorious and radiant with happiness; and I, seeing him, was filled with the same happiness. I remember that when he first appeared to me he said, to show me the extent of his felicity, 'Blessed be the penitence which has brought me such a reward' (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Underhill).
In art he is depicted as a Franciscan in radiance levitated before the Cross, angels carry a girdle of nails, chain, and discipline. Sometimes he is shown (1) walking on water with a companion, a star over his head; (2) praying before a crucifix, discipline (scourge), and hairshirt; or (3) with a dove at his ear, cross and discipline in the picture. He is venerated at Alcántara and Pedrosa (Roeder).  In 1862, he was declared the patron of Brazil (Delaney).
St. Paul Danei was one of the outstanding home missionaries of the 18th century, and the Passionists, the religious order that he founded, have since then continued his tradition of parish missions around the world.
Paul Francis Danei was born near Genoa, Italy, on January 3, 1694. His parents, though of noble background, had to struggle to raise their 16 children, and because of their budgetary problems, Paul, the second oldest, had to curtail his schooling, and even, on one occasion, had to pawn his own possessions to assist them. Yet Luke and Anna Maria Danei gave to their brood a still greater treasure: a strong religious sense. His mother, in fact, taught Paul Francis to fervently love the cross. Whenever he was pained or frustrated, she would show him a crucifix and remind him how Jesus bore His own cross to Calvary.
When he was 15, young Danei heard a sermon that made him aware that he was not corresponding sufficiently to God's grace. He therefore made a general confession and began a program of intensive prayer and mortification. His gift of leadership now began to show itself. He induced his younger brother, John Baptist Danei, to join him in his project, and soon he had persuaded several other teenagers to join them. Of these recruits several eventually entered religious orders.
Just where God was leading Paul, however, did not at once appear. In 1714 he enlisted in the Venetian army to fight against the Moslem Turks, a cause promoted by Pope Clement XI. But a year of soldiering convinced him that he was not called to the military life. He decided against marrying, declined to accept a generous inheritance, and began to lead the life of a quasi-hermit in his own home, devoting himself to constant prayer. During the summer of 1720, Paul received three extraordinary visions. In them he was shown a black religious habit bearing a breastbadge inscribed with a white heart and cross and the words, "The Passion of Jesus Christ."  Our Lady, dressed in this garb, appeared to him and instructed him to found a religious congregation dedicated to constant mourning for the passion and death of her Son.
Now the career of Paul Danei became clear. He wrote a monastic rule of life, and in 1727, with papal permission, having received, with his brother, ordination to the priesthood, he launched the Passionists, officially called "The Congregation of Discalced Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of our Lord."
This religious order aimed to preserve the austerity of the hermit life and at the same time to heal souls by reminding them of the debt they owed to the passion and death of Jesus. In preaching parish missions internationally and by offering their own austere example as well as the word of God, the Passionist Fathers achieved amazing success in bringing people back to God. One interesting phase of their campaign was their constant prayer for the conversion of England, begun by the founder in 1720. Significantly, it was a Passionist, B1. Dominic Barberi, who in 1845 received the Anglican convert John Henry Newman into the Church.
St. Paul of the Cross also established the Passionist nuns, a strictly cloistered congregation. An able administrator and an influential guide of souls, he continued to be the recipient of astonishing spiritual graces up to the end of his life - a life fraught, incidentally, with great difficulties, but fortified by faith. The self-sacrificing priest, both organizer and mystic, died at 80, and was canonized in 1867, eight years short of the centenary of his death.
In reading the lives of the male and female saints who have received mystical graces and powers like healing and prophecy, we may wonder why God has not given more of us a share of such gifts.  One reason, doubtless, is that you and I are not so prayerful as the canonized saints have been. A surer reason is that God gives graces as He chooses, and is not bound to explain His generosities to the rest of us. But finally, we must remember that the more "extravagant" graces are bestowed not for the benefit of the recipients so much as for the benefit of others. Thus the visions God granted to Paul of the Cross did not make him holier per se, but impelled him to remind all of us of what too often we forget, that Christ died a bitter death to save us. --Father Robert F. McNamara.
1562 St. Peter of Alcantara Observant Franciscans Church reform
Born at Alcántara, Spain, 1499; died 18 Oct., 1562. [Note: In 1826, St. Peter of Alcántara was named Patron of Brazil, and in 1962 (the fourth centenary of his death), of Estremadura. Because of the reform of the general Roman calendar in 1969, his feast on 19 October is observed only in local and particular liturgical calendars.] His feast is 19 Oct.
Peter was a contemporary of well-known 16th-century Spanish saints, including Ignatius of Loyola and John of the Cross.
He served as confessor to St. Teresa of Avila. Church reform was a major issue in Peter’s day, and he directed most of his energies toward that end. His death came one year before the Council of Trent ended.
Born 1499 into a noble family (his father was the governor of Alcantara in Spain), Peter studied law at Salamanca University and, at 16, joined the so-called Observant Franciscans (also known as the discalced, or barefoot, friars). While he practiced many penances, he also demonstrated abilities which were soon recognized. He was named the superior of a new house even before his ordination as a priest; at the age of 39, he was elected provincial; he was a very successful preacher. Still, he was not above washing dishes and cutting wood for the friars. He did not seek attention; indeed, he preferred solitude.
Peter’s penitential side was evident when it came to food and clothing. It is said that he slept only 90 minutes each night. While others talked about Church reform, Peter’s reform began with himself.
His patience was so great that a proverb arose: "To bear such an insult one must have the patience of Peter of Alcantara."
In 1554, Peter, having received permission, formed a group of Franciscans who followed the Rule of St. Francis with even greater rigor. These friars were known as Alcantarines. Some of the Spanish friars who came to North and South America in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were members of this group. At the end of the 19th century, the Alcantarines were joined with other Observant friars to form the Order of Friars Minor.
As spiritual director to St. Teresa, Peter encouraged her in promoting the Carmelite reform. His preaching brought many people to religious life, especially to the Secular Franciscan Order, the friars and the Poor Clares.
He was canonized in 1669.
Comment:  Poverty was a means and not an end for Peter. The goal was following Christ in ever greater purity of heart. Whatever obstructed that path could be eliminated with no real loss. The philosophy of our consumer age—you are worth what you own—may find Peter of Alcantara’s approach severe. Ultimately his approach is life-giving while consumerism is deadly.
Quote:  "I do not praise poverty for poverty's sake; I praise only that poverty which we patiently endure for the love of our crucified Redeemer and I consider this far more desirable than the poverty we undertake for the sake of poverty itself; for if I thought or believed otherwise, I would not seem to be firmly grounded in faith" (Letter of Peter to Teresa of Avila).
St. Peter of Alcántara
His father, Peter Garavita, was the governor of the place, and his mother was of the noble family of Sanabia. After a course of grammar and philosophy in his native town, he was sent, at the age of fourteen, to the University of Salamanca. Returning home, he became a Franciscan in the convent of the Stricter Observance at Manxaretes in 1515. At the age of twenty-two he was sent to found a new community of the Stricter Observance at Badajoz. He was ordained priest in 1524, and the following year made guardian of the convent of St. Mary of the Angels at Robredillo. A few years later he began preaching with much success. He preferred to preach to the poor; and his sermons, taken largely from the Prophets and Sapiential Books, breathe the tenderest human sympathy. The reform of the "Discalced Friars" had, at the time when Peter entered the order, besides the convents in Spain, the Custody of Sta. Maria Pietatis in Portugal, subject to the General of the Observants.
Having been elected minister of St. Gabriel's province in 1538, Peter set to work at once. At the chapter of Plasencia in 1540 he drew up the Constitutions of the Stricter Observants, but his severe ideas met with such opposition that he renounced the office of provincial and retired with John of Avila into the mountains of Arabida, Portugal, where he joined Father Martin a Santa Maria in his life of eremitical solitude. Soon, however, other friars came to join him, and several little communities were established. Peter being chosen guardian and master of novices at the convent of Pallais. In 1560 these communities were erected into the Province of Arabida. Returning to Spain in 1553 he spent two more years in solitude, and then journeyed barefoot to Rome, and obtained permission of Julius III to found some poor convents in Spain under the jurisdiction of the general of the Conventuals. Convents were established at Pedrosa, Plasencia, and elsewhere; in 1556 they were made a commissariat, with Peter as superior, and in 1561, a province under the title of St. Joseph. Not discouraged by the opposition and ill-success his efforts at reform had met with in St. Gabriel's province, Peter drew up the constitutions of the new province with even greater severity. The reform spread rapidly into other provinces of Spain and Portugal.
In 1562 the province of St. Joseph was put under the jurisdiction of the general of the Observants, and two new custodies were formed: St. John Baptist's in Valencia, and St. Simon's in Galicia (see Friars Minor). Besides the above-named associates of Peter may be mentioned St. Francis Borgia, John of Avila, and Ven. Louis of Granada. In St. Teresa, Peter perceived a soul chosen of God for a great work, and her success in the reform of Carmel was in great measure due to his counsel, encouragement, and defence. (See Carmelites.) It was a letter from St. Peter (14 April, 1562) that encouraged her to found her first monastery at Avila, 24 Aug. of that year. St. Teresa's autobiography is the source of much of our information regarding Peter's life, work, and gifts of miracles and prophecy.
Perhaps the most remarkable of Peter's graces were his gift of contemplation and the virtue of penance. Hardly less remarkable was his love of God, which was at times so ardent as to cause him, as it did St. Philip Neri, sensible pain, and frequently rapt him into ecstasy. The poverty he practised and enforced was as cheerful as it was real, and often let the want of even the necessaries of life be felt. In confirmation of his virtues and mission of reformation God worked numerous miracles through his intercession and by his very presence. He was beatified by Gregory XV in 1622, and canonized by Clement IX in 1669. Besides the Constitutions of the Stricter Observants and many letters on spiritual subjects, especially to St. Teresa, he composed a short treatise on prayer, which has been translated into all the languages of Europe. His feast is 19 Oct.

1595 St. Philip Howard  One of 40 Martyrs of England and Wales
1595 Bd Philip Howard, Martyr
Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk, was beheaded by order of Queen Elizabeth in 1572, and in consequence of the attainder his son Philip did not succeed to the dukedom of Norfolk; but he became earl of Arundel and Surrey by right of his mother. His early education was partly under John Foxe and partly under Dr Gregory Martin, but the Protestant influence predominated and he went to Cambridge for two years, where “he received no small detriment”. At the age of twelve he had been married to Anne, daughter of Thomas, Lord Dacre of Gillesland. When he went to the court of Elizabeth, Philip suffered yet more detriment: he neglected his admirable wife, impoverished his estates, and earned the brief favour of the queen. But in 1581 he was deeply impressed by hearing a disputation in the Tower of London between Bd Edmund Campion and others and some Protestant divines; he returned and became devoted to his wife, and in 1584 they were both reconciled to the Church by Father William Weston, S.J.
   Before this event they had begun to be under suspicion, and Philip was for a time imprisoned in his own house in London. After that, the manifest change in his way of life gave a further handle by intrigues of his enemies. Then he determined, with his family and his brother William, to flee to Flanders. Philip wrote a long letter to the queen, explaining his conduct—he was come to the point “in which he must consent either to the certain destruction of his body or the manifest endangering of his soul”—and embarked in Sussex. But all his movements had been watched. He was captured at sea, brought back to London, and committed to the Tower. After twelve months, a charge of treason not being able to be substantiated, he was arraigned on lesser charges, vindictively fined £10,000, and sentenced to imprisonment during the royal pleasure.

 During the Armada scare he was again brought to trial, before his peers, for high treason in favouring the Queen’s enemies. The evidence was partly fraudulent, partly worthless (extorted by fear of torture), but Philip was sentenced to death. The sentence was never executed; why, is not known. He was instead held a prisoner in the Tower for another six years, and he died there on October 19, 1595 (not without suspicion of poison). His dying request that he might see his wife and son, born after his imprisonment, was refused because he would not comply with a condition of attending Protestant worship, which would have also bought his release.
   Bd Philip Howard was thirty-eight years old at his death, and had been for ten years uninterruptedly in prison, wherein his patience and conduct were not merely exemplary but heroic. His conversion had been whole-hearted, and he spent much of his time in writing and translating works of devotion. As if close confinement were not sufficient mortification, until his health failed he fasted three days a week, and got up every day for morning prayers at five o’clock. He was particularly penitent for the way he had treated his faithful wife. To Bd Robert Southwell he wrote: “I call our Lord to witness that no sin grieves me anything so much as my offences to that party”; and to her: “He that knows all things knows that which is past is a nail in my conscience and burden the greatest I feel there; my will is to make satisfaction if my ability were able.” He died “in a most sweet manner, without any sign of grief or groan, only turning his head a little aside, as one falling into a pleasing sleep”. In a declaration prepared for his expected execution he wrote: “The Catholic and Roman faith which I hold is the only cause (as far as I can any way imagine) why either I have been thus long imprisoned or why I am now ready to be executed.”
In the Beauchamp tower of the Tower of London may be seen two inscriptions cut in the wall by the hand of Bd Philip in May and June 1587, and one referring to him after his death by another Catholic prisoner named Tucker. Philip Howard’s relics are at Arundel.
Vol. xxi (1919) of the publications of the Catholic Record Society is entirely devoted to Philip Howard, and these documents, taken in conjunction with the narrative printed in 1857 from the original manuscript under the title Life’s of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, and of Anne Dacres his wife, afford a more perfect insight into the career and character of the earl than is perhaps available in the ease of any other of the Elizabethan martyrs. The biography of the earl and countess, as Father Newdigate has shown in The Month (March 1931, p. 247), was written in 1635, five years after Lady Arundel’s death; the author was a Jesuit who acted as her chaplain but his name is not recorded.
Philip was the earl of Arundel and Surrey and, although a Catholic, led a religiously apathetic life until his personal conversion, after which he was a zealous Catholic in the midst of Elizabethan England. Arrested by authorities, he was placed in the Tower of London in 1585 and condemned to death in 1589. The sentence was never carried out, and Philip languished in the Tower until his death at the age of thirty eight. Beatified in 1929, he was included among the English martyrs canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

Philip Howard M (RM)  Born in 1557; died October 19, 1595; beatified in 1929; canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.  Philip was the eldest son of Thomas Howard, fourth duke of Norfolk, who had been beheaded under Queen Elizabeth I in 1572. Philip's godfather was Philip II of Spain. On his mother's side, Philip was earl of Arundel and Surrey. His life's story is not so surprising given this heritage of high-birth and martyrdom.
Although Philip was baptized as a Catholic, he was raised as a Protestant. For years he was an indifferent Christian, neglectful of his faith. At the tender age of 12 or 14, he was married to Anne Dacre, his foster sister. He studied at Cambridge for two years. Although Queen Elizabeth had executed his father, she made Philip one of her favorites. The son was dazzingly handsome, witty, and a good dancer. Philip became a wastrel at Elizabeth's court, involved in many love affairs, refusing to set eyes on his young wife who waited patiently at Arundel House.
Even during this period of dissipation, Philip was extravagant in helping the poor and sick. He servants worshipped him because he treated every individual courteously. About this time his grandfather died and he inherited the title and estates of the earl of Arundel. Deeply impressed by Saint Edmund Campion when he debated theology with the deans of Windsor at London, Philip reformed his life, was reconciled to his neglected wife, and eventually fell deeply in love with her.
About the same time as Campion's defense of the faith, Anne Dacre and Philip's favorite sister, Lady Margaret Sackville, were reconciled to the Catholic Church. Elizabeth immediately banished Anne Dacre and placed her under house arrest in Surrey, where she gave birth to their first daughter. Philip was imprisoned in the Tower of London for a short time. Upon his release, he, too, returned to the Catholic Church in 1584 with fervor and conscientiousness.
In late April 1585, Philip tried to escape across the English Channel to Flanders with his family and brother William as so many Catholics of his country had done before. But the captain of the ship he had hired betrayed him. Again, he was thrown into the Tower, where he was severely beaten and accused of treason for working with Mary, Queen of Scots. The charge was not provable, but he was fined 10,000 pounds. His pleas for mercy and to be allowed to see his wife, daughter, and newborn son went unanswered by the queen .
On various occasions it was reported to his wife that the earl was drinking in prison, that he had affairs with all kinds of loose women, and was entirely indifferent to religious concerns. Even where he was at the point of death in 1596, it was made a condition that he must renounce his faith if he wanted to see Anne and the children before he died.
At the time of the Spanish Armada, he was again accused of treason (though he was in the Tower of London at the time) and ordered executed--a sentence that was never carried out. He was kept imprisoned in the Tower and died there six years later, on October 19, perhaps poisoned (Benedictines, Delaney, Undset).
1646 Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf Companions first martyrs of the North America

When France laid claim to Canada, she sent over missionaries to preach the Faith to the Native Americans.  Most numerous of these missionaries were the Jesuits, who began their official apostolate in 1633.  Some of the Jesuits who were working among the Indians north of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River eventually crossed the border into New York State, and established missions among the Iroquois nations.  Their sojourn here eventually had some success, but it was inaugurated in bloodshed.  Father Isaac Jogues and his two lay companions, killed on New York State soil by the Iroquois, are today honored as martyrs by the Church.
Isaac Jogues was born in Orleans, France, in 1607.  He entered the Society of Jesus in 1624, taught literature in Rouen, France, for a few years, and in 1636 was sent on the Canadian Mission.  Destined for work with fellow Jesuits among the Hurons near Georgian Bay, Ontario, he first spent some time traveling through the Great Lakes country to see where to project future Indian missions.
     Thus he and his companions were apparently the first white men to view Lake Superior. On the basis of what he saw, he proposed, on his return to Quebec, that mission centers be set up among the Indians of the western Great Lakes, and even among the Sioux, near the headwaters of the Mississippi.
With the landing at Quebec on July 15, 1632, of Fathers Paul le Jeune and Anne de None, with a lay brother, the Jesuits resumed the task of christianizing the aborigines, and the Huron mission became one of the glories of the Church in the New World by the fervent faith and heroic virtue of the neophytes, one of whom, Kateri Tekakwitha, awaits the cachet of canonization before her statue will occupy a niche in our sanctuaries. The hatred and fury of the Iroquois drove the Hurons westward and the missionaries followed them.
In 1641 Fathers Jogues and Raymbaut were the first white men to pass through Sault Ste. Marie and stand on the shore of Lake Superior whence they could turn their gaze to the land of the Ojibways in the upper valley of the Mississippi. Here, as Shea writes, “the two Jesuits planted the Cross of Christianity, looking still further west, and forming plans for the conversion of the Dakotas, of whom they had heard by their Algonquin name, Nadouessis”. With the exception of Father Joseph de la Roche Daillon, a Recollect, they were the first priests from Canada to penetrate into the present territory of the United States. The Jesuits continued their missionary work among the Hurons. Jogues and his companions were taken prisoners by the warlike Iroquois and were among the eight sons of Ignatius, six priests and two lay brothers, who fertilized the soil of New France with martyr blood during the decade prior to 1650.
Leaving Quebec for the Huron country, Father Jogues and his party, on August 3, 1642, were attacked and seized by a band of Iroquois guerrillas raiding the St. Lawrence River.  The Indians tortured them and marched the priest and his lay assistant, Rene Goupil, all the way down to the Mohawk capital Ossernenon, near the present Auriesville, N.Y.
Here they were again cruelly tortured, and their forefingers chewed off.  On September 29, Goupil, a paramedic (born May 13, 1008), was killed by an Iroquois for making the sign of the cross on the forehead of a native child.  Father Jogues was allowed to live, but as a slave. Ready for martyrdom, he was also ready to accept slavery, for it gave him at least an opportunity to baptize 69 dying children and to stand as a symbol of Christianity.
After 13 months, however, Dutch Protestant traders from Albany (Fort Orange) warned him that his death was being planned.  He therefore accepted their help in escaping. The Dutch sent him down the Hudson River to New Amsterdam. (He thus became the first priest to set foot in Manhattan.) They shipped him thence to France, where he landed on Christmas morning 1643.
France hailed the tortured missionary as a hero, and the Queen Regent, Anne of Austria, received him with honor.  Pope Urban VIII also gave Jogues permission to say Mass despite the loss of his fingertips.  It would be unjust, the pope said, that a martyr for Christ should not drink the blood of Christ.
But Father Jogues ached to return to Canada, and he was able to do so finally in 1644.  In 1646, the Iroquois sought peace with the French.  The missionary was sent back to his old killing field on the Mohawk River as a government representative. (On the trip downward he viewed and gave the name Lake of the Blessed Sacrament to the lovely body of water now called Lake George.) When he arrived at Ossernenon his former captors received him well, and an agreement of peace was reached.  Jogues then started back to Quebec on June 16.  But since he planned to come back as an accredited missionary, he left at Ossernenon a box of religious articles. That box was to be his doom.
On September 27, 1646, the priest set out for Ossernenon once more, with another lay aide, John Lalande.  Meanwhile sickness and blight had stricken the Mohawks.  Although the other clans refused to think that Jogues's box was to blame for the pestilences, the Bear Clan insisted that Isaac was a sorcerer.
A band of Bear clansmen captured the priest, his aide, and a Huron, near Lake George, tortured them, and brought them back to Ossernenon.  On the evening of October 18, 1646, one of the Mohawks invited the priest to dine in his lodge.  As soon as Isaac stepped inside, a brave split his skull with a tomahawk.  They then cut off his head and mounted it on a pole facing north.  John Lalande was killed in the same way on October 19.  His body was thrown into the river.
Five Jesuits working within the present Canada were likewise martyred in 1648-49, during the course of the Iroquois-Huron War.  In 1930 Pope Pius XI canonized these five, along with SS. Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil, and John Lalande.
The blood shed at Ossernenon may not have produced a great harvest, but out of that reddened soil there sprang, a decade later, the wonderful little Mohawk saint, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. --Father Robert F. McNamara

Isaac Jogues (1607-1646): Isaac Jogues and his companions were the first martyrs of the North American continent. As a young Jesuit, Isaac Jogues, a man of learning and culture, taught literature in France. He gave up that career to work among the Huron Indians in the New World, and in 1636 he and his companions, under the leadership of John de Brébeuf, arrived in Quebec. The Hurons were constantly warred upon by the Iroquois, and in a few years Father Jogues was captured by the Iroquois and imprisoned for 13 months. His letters and journals tell how he and his companions were led from village to village, how they were beaten, tortured and forced to watch as their Huron converts were mangled and killed.

An unexpected chance for escape came to Isaac Jogues through the Dutch, and he returned to France, bearing the marks of his sufferings. Several fingers had been cut, chewed or burnt off. Pope Urban VIII gave him permission to offer Mass with his mutilated hands: It would be shameful that a martyr of Christ be not allowed to drink the Blood of Christ. Welcomed home as a hero, Father Jogues might have sat back, thanked God for his safe return and died peacefully in his homeland. But his zeal led him back once more to the fulfillment of his dreams. In a few months he sailed for his missions among the Hurons.

In 1642 the Huron country was in great distress. Harvests were poor, sickness abounded, and clothing was scarce. Quebec was the only source of supplies, and Isaac Jogues was chosen to lead an expedition. It reached its objective safely and started back well supplied with goods for the mission, but the Iroquois, the bitter enemies of the Hurons, and fiercest of all Indian tribes, were on the war-path and ambushed the returning expedition.  Jogues and his assistant, Rene Goupil, besides being beaten to the ground and assailed several times with knotted sticks and fists, had their hair, beards and nails torn off and their forefingers bitten through. What grieved them far more, was the cruelty practiced on their Christian converts.

The first of all the martyrs to suffer death was Rene Goupil, who was tomahawked on September 29, 1642. This Rene Goupil was a remarkable man. He had tried hard to be a Jesuit and had even entered the Novitiate, but his health forced him to give up the attempt. He then studied surgery and found his way to Canada, where he offered his services to the missionaries, whose fortitude he emulated. Rene Goupil is one of the North American martyrs who died at the hands of the Indians between the years 1642-1649.
In 1646 he and Jean de Lalande, who had offered his services to the missioners, set out for Iroquois country in the belief that a recently signed peace treaty would be observed. They were captured by a Mohawk war party, on October 18 Father Jogues was tomahawked and beheaded. Jean de Lalande was killed the next day at Ossernenon, a village near Albany, New York.

Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649): Jean de Brébeuf was a French Jesuit who came to Canada at the age of 32 and labored there for 24 years. He went back to France when the English captured Quebec (1629) and expelled the Jesuits, but returned to his missions four years later. Although medicine men blamed the Jesuits for a smallpox epidemic among the Hurons, Jean remained with them.
He composed catechisms and a dictionary in Huron, and saw 7,000 converted before his death. He was captured by the Iroquois and died after four hours of extreme torture at Sainte Marie, near Georgian Bay, Canada.
Father Anthony Daniel, working among Hurons who were gradually becoming Christian, was killed by Iroquois on July 4, 1648. His body was thrown into his chapel, which was set on fire.

     On October 19 Catholics in the United States and Canada observe the feast of the North American Jesuit Martyrs: eight priests and two laymen killed by the Indians in the mid-17th century.
     In many ways the most remarkable of these men was the priest Father Jean de Brébeuf, who pioneered the mission to the Hurons then residing in Ontario south of Lake Huron's Georgian Bay.
     Brébeuf was a native of Condé-sur-Vire in Normandy, France.  He entered the Jesuits in 1617.  His request to be admitted as a simple lay brother was denied; but then he took ill, and it seemed for a while that he might not make it to priestly ordination.  He recovered, however, and was ordained in 1622.  In 1625 he and a few other priests set sail for Quebec, pledged to work among the Indians in Canada.  His sickness disappearing along the line, this very tall man would become noted among the Indians for his physical and spiritual strength and vigor.   The Hurons would nickname him "Echon, the man who drags the loads."
     After a year working among the Algonquins, Father John set out in 1626 for Huron country, traveling by canoe down the Ottawa River.  Left alone among these pagan Indians, he quickly developed real expertise in their language.  This impressed the Hurons, as did his physical prowess, but except for baptizing a few dying infants, he made no converts.  When in 1629 the English captured Quebec, he and the other French missionaries were obliged to return to France.
     Political winds having changed by 1630, he went back to Canada and began anew in Huronia.  It was a bitterly hard life.  The climate was demanding and the Hurons were long inhospitable and often threatening.  In fact, when Father John prepared a list of instructions for future missionaries to Huronia, he told them that they must expect to give until it hurts, and beyond.
     He had to wait until 1636 before he had his first adult convert.   This was a Seneca Indian from New York State who had been condemned to death.  A year later, however, he received a healthy adult Huron into the Faith, and "Peter" proved to be a model Christian.  Even so, the Hurons remained antagonistic to Christ.  Indeed, in 1637 John and the four other Jesuits by then working with him, sent a letter to their superior in Quebec stating that they expected to be killed any minute.  Actually, the threat passed.  By that time, Brébeuf knew his people so well that he could put them in their place with a calm smile.
     The Hurons began to yield only when their pride was broken. They were finally humbled by the Iroquois invaders, who at mid-century declared total war on their nation.  Raiding parties of Iroquois from New York State killed off or scattered the Huron nation forever.  One whole Huron village, St. Michel, migrated to near Victor, N.Y., as a captive community.  All but one of the Canadian Jesuit martyrs were killed by these Iroquois invaders.  In the face of war, many Hurons asked Brébeuf for baptism.  The enemy came upon him and his newly arrived associate Father Gabriel Lalemant, at St. Joseph village on March 16, 1649.  Them they reserved for the most fierce torture-deaths.  They flayed them, roasted their flesh, "baptized" them with boiling water.  The veteran missionary spoke out to the bystanding Christians, urging them not to falter in their faith.  Despite the exquisite torments, this giant of a man never winced, infuriating and amazing his persecutors by his fortitude.  Finally they split his skull, tore out his heart, and drank its blood, thinking to imbibe his courage.
    Providence made good use of the Missionaries' sacrifice.  By taking Christian Hurons back to western New York, they gave Christianity a bridge-head on U.S. soil.  From 1656 on, for the next fifty years, Jesuit missionaries were able to preach the Good News among the Iroquois themselves. The exiled Hurons welcomed them, and many who had refused baptism in Huronia now asked for it.  One of the missionaries' chief aides was a grand old Christian Huron whom St.Jean de Brébeuf had baptized, Francis Tehoronhiongo.  A natural leader and one well instructed in the Faith, he served as catechist.  He eventually moved to Montreal, where he died in 1690.  His granddaughter, Marie-Therese Gannensagouas, became a nun and achieved a reputation for great holiness.  What a thrilling story! --Father Robert F. McNamara

Gabriel Lalemant had taken a fourth vow—to sacrifice his life to the Indians. He was horribly tortured to death along with Father Brébeuf.  Father Charles Garnier was shot to death as he baptized children and catechumens during an Iroquois attack.
Father Noel Chabanel was killed before he could answer his recall to France. He had found it exceedingly hard to adapt to mission life. He could not learn the language, the food and life of the Indians revolted him, plus he suffered spiritual dryness during his whole stay in Canada. Yet he made a vow to remain until death in his mission.
These eight Jesuit martyrs of North America were canonized in 1930.

Comment:   Faith and heroism planted belief in Christ's cross deep in our land. The Church in North America sprang from the blood of martyrs. Are we as eager to keep that cross standing in our midst? Do we bear witness to deep-seated faith in us, the Good News of the cross (redemption) into our home, our work, our social world?
Quote:   My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs. Our single endeavor should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings (from a letter of Isaac Jogues to a Jesuit friend in France, September 12, 1646, a month before he died).
1775 Paul of the Cross; Priest, vision of our Lady in a black habit with the name Jesus and a cross in white on the chest Blessed Virgin told him to found a religious order devoted to preaching the Passion of Christ (RM)
Romæ item natális sancti Pauli a Cruce, Presbyteri et Confessóris; qui Congregatiónis a Cruce et Passióne Dómini nostri Jesu Christi nuncupátæ Institútor fuit.  Ipsum vero, mira innocéntia ac pæniténtia conspícuum et singulári in Christum crucifíxum caritáte incénsum, Pius Papa Nonus fastis Sanctórum adjúnxit, et ejúsdem festivitátem quarto Kaléndas Maji recoléndam indíxit.
    At Rome, the birthday of St. Paul of the Cross, priest, confessor, and founder of the Congregation of the Cross and Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Known for his remarkable innocency of life and his penitential spirit, and aflame with love for Christ crucified, he was canonized by Pope Pius IX, and the 28th of April was assigned as his feast day.
quintodécimo Kaléndas Novémbris.       His feast occurs on 28 April. [Editor's note: It was later transferred to 19 October.]
 St. Paul of the Cross, priest and confessor, founder of the Congregation of the Cross and Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He went to his repose in the Lord on the 18th of October.
St. Paul of the Cross Paul Francis Daneii, born at Ovada, Genoa, Italy, 3 January, 1694; died in Rome, 18 October, 1775.

1775 St Paul Of The Cross, Founder Of The Barefooted Clerks Of The Holy Cross And Passion
THE founder of the Passionists, St Paul-of-the-Cross, was born at Ovada in the republic of Genoa in 1694—the year which saw also the birth of Voltaire. Paul Francis, as he was called, was the eldest son of Luke Danei, a business man of good family, and his wife, both exemplary Christians. Whenever little Paul shed tears of pain or annoyance his mother used to show him the crucifix with a few simple words about the sufferings of our Lord, and thus she instilled into his infant mind the germs of that devotion to the Sacred Passion which was to rule his life. The father would read aloud the lives of the saints to his large family of children, whom he often cautioned against gambling and fighting. Although Paul seems to have been one of those chosen souls who have given themselves to God almost from babyhood, yet at the age of fifteen he was led by a sermon to conclude that he was not corresponding to grace. Accordingly, after making a general confession, he embarked on a life of austerity, sleeping on the bare ground, rising at midnight, spending hours in prayer, and scourging himself. In all these practices he was imitated by his brother John Baptist, his junior by two years. He also formed a society for mutual sanctification among the youths of the neighbourhood, several of whom afterwards joined religious communities.
In 1714 Paul went to Venice in response to the appeal of Pope Clement XI for volunteers to fight in the Venetian army against the Turks, but a year later he obtained his discharge, having discovered that the army was not his vocation. Convinced that he was not meant to lead the ordinary life in the world he refused a good inheritance and a promising marriage; but before he or his directors could perceive his true vocation he was to spend (at Castellazzo in Lombardy, then his home) several years in almost unbroken prayer which sometimes attained to the highest degree of contemplation.
During the summer of 1720, in three extraordinarily vivid visions, Paul beheld a black habit with the name of Jesus in white characters, surmounted by a white cross, emblazoned upon the breast. On the third occasion our Lady, attired in the tunic, told him that he was to found a congregation, the members of which would wear that habit and would mourn continually for the passion and death of her Son. A written description of these visions was submitted to the bishop of Alessandria, who consulted several spiritual guides, including Paul’s former director, the Capuchin Father Columban of Genoa. In view of the heroic life of virtue and prayer led by the young man since his childhood, all agreed that the call must have come from God. The bishop therefore authorized him to follow his vocation and invested him with the black habit, stipulating, however, that the badge was not to be worn until papal approval had been obtained. Paul’s next step was to compose a rule for the future congregation. He retired for a forty days’ retreat into a dark, damp, triangular cell adjoining the sacristy of St Charles’s church at Castellazzo, where he lived on bread and water and slept on straw. The rules which he drew up at that time, without book or earthly guide, are substantially the regulations followed by the Passionists to-day. It was during this retreat that the saint first felt impelled to pray for the conversion of England: “That country is always before my eyes”, he said in later years. “If England again becomes Catholic, immeasurable will be the benefits to Holy Church.”

For a short time after the retreat he remained with John Baptist and another disciple in the neighbourhood of Castellazzo, rendering assistance to the local clergy by catechizing the children and giving missions, which were very successful. Nevertheless he soon realized that if he wished to carry out his vocation he must seek the highest sanction. Bareheaded, barefoot and penniless, he set out for Rome, refusing the escort of John Baptist beyond Genoa. Upon his arrival he presented himself at the Vatican, but as he had not thought of providing himself with an introduction or credentials he was turned away. He accepted the rebuff as a sign that his hour was not yet come, and started on his homeward journey, visiting on the way the solitary slopes of Monte Argentaro, which the sea almost severs from the mainland. So great was the attraction he felt to this spot that he soon returned to it, accompanied by John Baptist, to lead in one of its derelict hermitages a life almost as austere as that of the fathers in the desert. They left for a time to stay in Rome, where they were ordained to the sacred ministry, but in 1727 they made their way back to Monte Argentaro, prepared to start their first house of retreat on the strength of the papal permission Paul had received to accept novices.
Numerous were the difficulties with which they had to contend. Their first recruits found the life too hard and all withdrew; war was threatening; benefactors who had offered assistance declared themselves unable to fulfil their undertakings; a serious epidemic broke out in the nearest villages. Paul and John Baptist, who had received faculties for missionary work soon after they had left Rome: went about fearlessly ministering to the dying, nursing the sick, and reconciling sinners to God. The missions they thus inaugurated proved so fruitful that more distant towns applied for the services of the missioners. Fresh novices came—not all of whom remained—and in 1737 the first Passionist Retreat (as their monasteries are called) was completed. The little band could now move from its inadequate quartets in the old hermitage. From this time onwards there was a steady progress, although many trials and disappointments had still to be faced. In 1741 Pope Benedict XIV granted a general approbation to the rules after their severity had been somewhat mitigated, and immediately a number of promising candidates offered themselves. Six years later, when the congregation had three houses, the first general chapter was held. By this time the fame of the Passionists, of their missions and of their austerity, was spreading throughout Italy. St Paul himself evangelized in person nearly every town in the Papal States as well as a great part of Tuscany, taking always as his theme the Sacred Passion. When, cross in hand, with arms outstretched, he preached about the sufferings of Christ, his words seemed to pierce the stoniest hearts and when he scourged himself pitilessly in public for the offences of the people, hardened soldiers and even bandits wept, confessing their sins. “Father, I have been in great battles without ever flinching at the cannon’s roar”, exclaimed an officer who was attending one of the missions. “But when I listen to you I tremble from head to foot.” Afterwards in the confessional the apostle would deal tenderly with his penitents, confirming them in their good resolutions, leading them on to amendment of life and suggesting practical aids to perseverance.
St Paul-of-the-Cross was endowed with extraordinary gifts. He prophesied future events, healed the sick, and even during his lifetime appeared on various occasions in vision to persons far away. In the cities which he visited crowds followed him, desiring to touch him or to carry off some fragment of his habit as a relic, but he deprecated all tokens of esteem. In 1765 he had the grief of losing John Baptist, from whom he had scarcely ever been separated and to whom he was united by a bond of love as rare as it was beautiful. Unlike in disposition, the one brother seemed the complement of the other as they strove side by side to attain to perfection. Since their ordination they had been each other’s confessors, inflicting penances and reproofs in turn. Once only had a shadow of disagreement ever arisen between them, and that was upon the only occasion John Baptist ever ventured to praise his brother to his face. St Paul’s humility was so deeply wounded that he put them both to penance, forbidding his brother to approach him. Not until the third day, when John Baptist crept on his knees to implore pardon, did the cloud lift—never to descend again. It was in memory of the close association between the two men that Pope Clement XIV long afterwards bestowed upon St Paul-of-the-Cross the Roman basilica dedicated in the names of Saints John and Paul.
The new institute in 1769 received from Clement XIV the final authorization which placed it on the same footing as other approved religious institutes. Now St Paul would fain have retired into solitude, for his health was failing and he thought that his work was done. His sons, however, would have no other superior, whilst the pope, who was greatly attached to him, insisted upon his spending part of the year in Rome. During the latter part of his life, he was much preoccupied by arrangements for the establishment of Passionist nuns. After many disappointments the first house was opened at Corneto in 1771, but the founder was not well enough to be present, nor did he ever see his spiritual daughters in their habit. So ill was he indeed during this year, that he sent to ask for the papal blessing, only to be told by Pope Clement that he must live a little longer because he could not yet be spared. The saint actually rallied and survived for three years, dying in Rome on October 18, 1775, at the age of eighty. His canonization took place in 1867.
Apart from the depositions of witnesses in the process of beatification, the most important contribution which has been made to the history of the founder of the Passionists is the publication in 1924 of his letters, in four volumes Lettere di S. Paolo della Croce, disposte ed annotate dal P. Amadeo della Madre del Buon Pastore. In particular the spiritual journal of the forty days’ retreat made at Castellazzo in 1720 is worthy of attention as enabling the reader better than any other document to enter into the workings of St Paul’s soul. Other biographies are numerous in most European languages. The earliest was that written by St Vincent Strambi of which an English version in three volumes was published in 1853 in the Oratorian series. A revised edition of the English life by Father Pius a Spiritu Sancto was issued in 1924, and there is a study by Father Edmund, c.p., Hunter of Souls (1946). Several others might be cited, but the religious names of their authors, such as “Father Pius of the Name of Mary”, “Father Louis of Jesus Agonizing”, not to speak of “Father Amadeus of the Mother of the Good Shepherd”, mentioned above, do not encourage the bibliographer to make a long catalogue.
His parents, Luke Danei and Anna Maria Massari, were exemplary Catholics. From his earliest years the crucifix was his book, and the Crucified his model. Paul received his early education from a priest who kept a school for boys, in Cremolino, Lombardy. He made great progress in study and virtue; spent much time in prayer, heard daily Mass, frequently received the Sacraments, faithfully attended to his school duties, and gave his spare time to reading good books and visiting the churches, where he spent much time before the Blessed Sacrament, to which he had an ardent devotion. At the age of fifteen he left school and returned to his home at Castellazzo, and from this time his life was full of trials. In early manhood he renounced the offer of an honourable marriage; also a good inheritance left him by an uncle who was a priest. He kept for himself only the priest's Breviary.

Inflamed with a desire for God's glory he formed the idea of instituting a religious order in honour of the Passion. Vested in a black tunic by the Bishop of Alessandria, his director, bearing the emblem of our Lord's Passion, barefooted, and bareheaded, he retired to a narrow cell where he drew up the Rules of the new congregation according to the plan made known to him in a vision, which he relates in the introduction to the original copy of the Rules. For the account of his ordination to the priesthood, of the foundation of the Congregation of the Passion, and the approbation of the Rules, see PASSIONISTS. After the approbation of the Rules and the institute the first general chapter was held at the Retreat of the Presentation on Mount Argentaro on 10 April, 1747. At this chapter, St. Paul, against his wishes, was unanimously elected first superior general, which office he held until the day of his death. In all virtues and in the observance of regular discipline, he became a model to his companions.
Although continually occupied with the cares of governing his religious society, and of founding everywhere new houses for it, yet he never left off preaching the word of God, burning as he did with a wondrous desire for the salvation of souls (Brief of Pius IX for St. Paul's Beatification, 1 Oct., 1852). Sacred missions were instituted and numerous conversions were made. He was untiring in his Apostolic labours and never, even to his last hour, remitted anything of his austere manner of life, finally succumbing to a severe illness, worn out as much by his austerities as by old age.

Among the distinguished associates of St. Paul in the formation and extension of the congregation were: John Baptist, his younger brother and constant companion from childhood, who shared all his labours and sufferings and equaled him in the practice of virtue; Father Mark Aurelius (Pastorelli), Father Thomas Struzzieri (subsequently Bishop of Amelia and afterwards of Todi), and Father Fulgentius of Jesus, all remarkable for learning, piety, and missionary zeal; Venerable Strambi, Bishop of Macerata and Tolentino, his biographer. Constant personal union with the Cross and Passion of our Lord was the prominent feature of St. Paul's sanctity. But devotion to the Passion did not stand alone, for he carried to a heroic degree all the other virtues of a Christian life. Numerous miracles, besides those special ones brought forward at his beatification and canonization, attested the favour he enjoyed with God. Miracles of grace abounded, as witnessed in the conversion of sinners seemingly hardened and hopeless. For fifty years he prayed for the conversion of England, and left the devotion as a legacy to his sons. The body of St. Paul lies in the Basilica of SS. John and Paul, Rome. He was beatified on 1 October, 1852, and canonized on 29 June, 1867. His feast occurs on 28 April. [Editor's note: It was later transferred to 19 October.] The fame of his sanctity, which had spread far and wide in Italy during his life, increased after his death and spread into all countries. Great devotion to him is practiced by the faithful wherever Passionists are established.

Born at Ovada, Piedmont, Italy, in 1694; died in Rome, Italy, October 18, 1775; canonized in 1867; feast day formerly on April 28. Paolo Francesco Danei was well brought up by devout, middle-class parents (a.k.a. impoverished nobility). At 15, while still living with his parents in Castellazzo, Lombardy, Paul adopted a lifestyle of rigorous austerity and great mortifications. When he was 20 he volunteered for the Venetian army to fight against the Turks, but he soon found he was not meant to be a soldier. After his discharge, he resumed his life of prayer and penance. He refused marriage, and spent several years in retreat at Castellazzo.
In 1720, had a vision of our Lady in a black habit with the name Jesus and a cross in white on the chest. In the vision, the Blessed Virgin told him to found a religious order devoted to preaching the Passion of Christ (hence their name, Passionists). Paul experienced such mystical communications all his life, and came to distrust them; however, he acted promptly on these first ones.
The bishop of Alessandria discerned that Paul's visions were authentic, and gave him permission to proceed to draw up a rule for the new order. Thus, Paul wrote the Passionist rule during a 45- day retreat. With his brother, Giovanni Baptista, who became his inseparable companion and closest confidant, he went to Rome to seek papal approval, which was refused at first. On their return to Rome in 1725, they were granted permission by Pope Benedict XIII to accept novices. Two years later (1727), the holy father ordained the two brothers as priests in the Vatican basilica.
After their ordination he and his brother started the first Passionist house, on the Monte Argentaro peninsula (near Orbitello) in Tuscany. The first ten years were difficult, for both internal and external reasons. Many of their first novices left because of the severity of the rule. Perseverance won. In the end austere life of the missioners and the fervent preaching of their founder made their mark.
The first monastery was opened in 1737. In 1741, Pope Benedict XIV approved a modified rule, and the "Barefoot Clerks of the Holy Cross and Passion" began to spread throughout Italy. They were in great demand for their missions, which became famous.
Paul was elected first superior general, against his will, at the first general chapter at Monte Argentaro and held that position the rest of his life. He preached all over the Papal States to tremendous crowds, raised them to a fever pitch as he scourged himself in public, and brought back to the faith the most hardened sinners and criminals (What would Saint Hippolytus say to that!).
He was blessed with supernatural gifts--prophecy, miracles of healing, appearances to people in visions at a distance--and was one of the most celebrated preachers of his day. People fought to touch him and to get a piece of his tunic as a relic. Though the two main objectives of the order were service to the sick and the dying, Paul's special concern was the conversion of sinners, for which he prayed for 50 years.
The Passionists received final approbation from Pope Clement XIV in 1769. Two years later, Paul's efforts to create an institute of nuns came into being with the opening of the first house of Passionist nuns at Corneto. Paul lived to see the congregation firmly established. After a three-year illness, Paul died and was buried in the Basilica of SS John and Paul, given to the order by Pope Clement.
Saint Paul of the Cross was always interested in the religious state of England. Thus, it is heartening to note that the leader of the first Passionists to work there, Father Dominic Barberi (d. 1849), who received John Henry Newman into the Catholic Church, was also beatified in 1963 (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, White).

 Wednesday  Saints of October  19 Quartodécimo Kaléndas Novémbris  
40 days for Life Day 21
Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  October 2016
Universal:   Universal: Journalists
That journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for truth and a strong sense of ethics.
Evangelization:  Evangelization: World Mission Day
That World Mission Day may renew within all Christian communities the joy of the Gospel and the responsibility to announce it.

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!)

       40 days for Life Day 21
40 Days for Life  11,000+ saved lives in 2015
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
40 days for Life Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director www.40daysforlife.com
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

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

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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
Feasts of Our Lady.html January to December    ICONS
   stlukeorthodox.com/html/saints/  usccb.org  ewtn.com  St Patricks 10 21
domcentral.org/life/martyr Dec syriac   oca.org   glaubenszeugen.de/tage/kai/10 21

 Serbian   http://www.copticchurch.net  Melkite
Monthly Saints with pics here http://www.stfrancisenid.com/memorials.htm  antiochian.org/AW-WomenSaints--wonderful icons
Lutheran Saints  One Saint per day stthomasirondequoit.com/SaintsAlive/index.htm    stjohndc.org  God's Humourous Saints

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
How to Stay Out of PURGATORY -- How to Get others Out     POPES html    Parents of Saints html   
The_Litany_of_the_Blessed_Virgin.html   Patron_Saints.html    Angels and Archangels html
Widowed Saints  html  Monsignor James Michael Reardon
Marian Apparitions. html  Doctors_of_the_Church  
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.