Sunday  Saints of this Day October  30 Tértio Kaléndas Novémbris  
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, November.


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

October 30 - Italy. Our Lady of Mondevi (1540).
What are the Mysteries of the Rosary Like For You?
The mysteries that Mary was the very first one to taste and that we experience in the Rosary,
they are for us like the light of our life? -- Father Joseph Eyquem

40 days for Life Day 32
Pray that we will each submit ourselves this day as a living sacrifice to God,
giving all that we have in us for those being sacrificed on the altar of convenience.


Six Canonized on Feast of Christ the King Nov 23 2014
 

CAUSES OF SAINTS April  2014

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List

Acts of the Apostles


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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

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


The difference between adversity suffered for God
and prosperity
is greater than between gold and a lump of lead.
Saint Alphonsus.
Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  
 40 days For Life September - November

ABORTION IS A MORAL OUTRAGE
Marian spirituality: all are invited.
October 30

Eating and drinking don't make friendships - such friendship even robbers and murdereds have. But if we are friends, if we truly care for one another, let's help one another spritually...
            Let's hinder those things that lead our friends away to hell.
-- St. John Chrysostom

In 1819, John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson: “Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue?  And without virtue, there can be no political liberty.
Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance, vice and folly? I believe no effort in favour of virtue is lost.
 http://americanminute.com by William J. Federer
October 30 – Our Lady of Mondovi (Italy, 1540)
  Our Lady of the Clumsy Hunter
The Shrine of Vicoforte, in the Italian province of Cuneo, is one of the most famous monuments in the Piedmont region, near the town of Mondovi. It can be traced back to a miracle that took place in 1596. This shrine is dedicated to the Virgin Regina Montis Regalis (Queen of Mount Royal).
It is reported to have been built where a frescoed column depicting the Madonna and Child used to stand.
One day, a clumsy hunter hit the image of the Virgin with a musket-shot, and, mysteriously, it started to bleed.
On account of this miracle and others that followed, the location quickly became a place of Marian veneration.

Later, a shrine, surmounted by the largest elliptical dome in 
Europe, was built over the miraculous column, in honor of the Virgin Mary. Our Lady of Vicoforte (also known as "Our Lady of Mondovi") is still a popular Marian shrine, visited by more than one million pilgrims every year. The MDN Team

Saint Benvenuta's companions called her the sweetest and most spiritual of contemplatives, so lovable in her holiness that her touch and presence inspired gladness and drove away temptations. This is amazing in light of the severe penances that she imposed upon herself--and another sign of blessedness that she didn't judge others by her standards for herself
Blessed Are You Because You Believed (I)  Notice that Elizabeth talks about Mary's blessedness:
Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled. (Lk 1:45).
If being blessed is in conformity with perfect virtue of spirit, then Mary was most blessed, for she was full of virtues and grace. She was so prudent and had such great faith that she became the foundation and pillar of the whole Church.
Excerpt from St Albert the Great, In Lucam 1, 45; ed. Borgnet, 22:121

Saint Mark, also called John, (Acts 12:12), was a nephew of St Barnabas, and was Bishop of Apollonia (Col. 4:10). It was in the house of his mother Maria the persecuted disciples found shelter after Ascension of the Lord \
St. Artemas Bishop disciple of St. Paul
St Justus, called Barsaba, a son of St Joseph the Betrothed, was chosen with Matthias to replace Judas. He was a
bishop and died a martyr's death at Eleutheropolis.

1st v. St Tertius second bishop (after St Sosipater) in Iconium, where he converted many pagans to Christ, ended his life as a martyr. The Apostle Paul mentions him in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16:22).
St Marcian, Bishop of Syracuse, The Holy Hieromartyr a disciple of the Apostle Peter, was sent to Sicily. Here he settled in a cave near the city of Syracuse and successfully spread the faith in Christ. He died a martyr. His relics are in the Italian city of Gaeta. (The Hieromartyr Marcian is the same person as St Marcellus, Bishop of Sicily, commemorated on February 9).
   211 St. Serapion Bishop of Antioch ecclesiastical writer
  
235  In Sardínia natális sancti Pontiáni, Papæ et Mártyris
   250 St. Macarius Martyr with companions at Alexandria
   253 Saint Eutropia of Africa martyred at Alexandria

Saint Anastasia lived in the second half of the third century during the persecutions of Decius, Gallus, Valerian,
and Diocletian. She was executed in Rome between 256-259 after enduring many tortures.

285 Ss Zenobius, Bishop of Aegea The Hieromartyr, and his sister Zenobia suffered a martyr's death in Cilicia
From childhood they were raised in the holy Christian Faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In their mature years, shunning the love of money, they distributed away their inherited wealth giving it to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life the Lord rewarded Zenobius with the gift of healing various maladies. He was also chosen bishop of a Christian community in Cilicia.
285-290 St. Zenobius physician in town of Aegae & Zenobia sister Martyrs
   298 Saint Marcellus of Tangier
   300  Claudius, Lupercus & Victorius 3 brothers sons of centurion Saint Marcellus
 
  303 St. Saturninus Martyr Cagliari, Sardinia
   304 St. Maximus Martyr believed to have suffered at Apamea, Phrygia
   410 Saint Asterius of Amasea renowned preacher encouraged invocation of saints relic veneration pilgrimages to pray before them

Anima Christi: A Prayer for All Centuries
  The name of Mary on their lips October 30 - Our Lady of Mondevi (Italy, 1540)
 As a missionary, Father Louis De Montfort found himself in a boat going up the River Seine packed with at least 200 people, who were joking coarsely and singing lustful songs. Hardly had he spent a few moments in the company of these shady horse dealers and fishmongers, when Father De Montfort adjusted his crucifix to the end of his walking stick. He then prostrated himself on the floor of the boat and exclaimed, May those who love Jesus Christ join me in prayer.
His companions shrugged their shoulders and sniggered at this invitation. So, turning to Brother Nicholas, the Saint ordered, On your knees and we shall recite our Rosary! Under an avalanche of gibes, the two men, their heads bared and their faces solemn, recited the Ave Marias. After the first Rosary, the priest stood up and in a soft voice again invited the assistance to join him in prayer. Nobody moved, but the booing calmed down as the prayers began. After the invocation Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners” had been repeated several times, the face of De Montfort was transfigured.
When the next Rosary had been completed, there was such earnest supplication in the expression on the Saint’s face, and his voice had taken on such sweetness and authority that, when he entreated his companions to recite a third Rosary with him, everyone fell on their knees and repeated the sweet words, which they had forgotten since childhood. The holy priest could only be delighted: from a brothel of obscenities he had made a Marian shrine. On lips accustomed to saying blasphemies, he had brought back the name of Mary.  Taken from the Marian Collection 1975

Full of Grace (II) October 30 - OUR LADY OF MONDEVI (1540, Piedmont, Italy).
We said that Jesus Christ's human nature is the place where grace is found at its fullest: what difference then is there between Jesus Christ and Mary? In Jesus Christ the fullness is the source: because his Human nature is the attribute of the Son of God. He is the only source of grace for all creatures. On the other hand, Mary's fullness is received: Mary is not the source of grace, she receives it from Jesus Christ. She is the recipient and not the source. If the order of grace Mary receives everything she has: all that is in Mary comes from Jesus Christ. Everything in her comes from Jesus Christ. The liturgy calls Jesus Christ the Sun of Justice because he is a source like the sun is a source of light and heat. Mary is called Mirror of Justice because she reflects Christ who is the source.

The fullness of grace in Mary leads to the perfection of the theological virtues. Regarding charity, hers is the highest after Christ. As for faith and hope, we said that Jesus Christ never had them because his human intelligence always had the vision of God in full light, but Mary did not have this vision while on earth, therefore she had faith and hope and in her we find the highest possible degree of both. Elizabeth praised Mary's perfect faith at the Visitation when she told her: Blessed is she who believed that the promise made to her by the Lord would be fulfilled, (Lk 1: 45). And indeed what degree of faith Mary had, to say yes to the announcement of her divine motherhood! Jesus himself praised this faith when he answered a woman who said: Blessed the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you, replying, More blessed still are those who hear the word of God and keep it! (Lk 11: 27-8). The word of God is the formal motive of faith.
As for the formal motive of hope, it is the infinite mercy of God, and Mary expressed this forcefully in her Magnificat.
Christian Doctrine and Life, John Daujat, Tequi, Nihil Obstat (Claude Gay, o.s.b.) 1979.
MULTIMEDIA :
Passion - Les riches heures du duc de Berry : Limbourg - O Virga Ac Diadema : Hildegard von Bingen Passion
    425 St. Theonestus martyr Bishop supposedly of Philippi
          St. Herbert Bishop of Marmoutier
          St. Arilda Virgin, martyr of Gloucestershire
5th v. Saint Lucanus of Lagny
6th v. Talarica of Scotland Mentioned in the Aberdeen Breviary
  545 Bishop Saint Germanus of Capua Saint Benedict saw his soul being carried to heaven
1038 Saint Egelnoth the Good  archbishop of Canterbury
1044 Blessed Nanterius of Saint-Mihiel OSB, Abbot
1119 Saint Gerard of Potenza B
1258 Blessed Bernard de la Tour 13th superior general of the Carthusian order
1292 Blessed Benvenuta Bojani an early age Dominican tertiary on the Vigil of the Feast of Saint Dominic he and Saint Peter Martyr, Mary and Jesus-Child appeared; severe penances; miracle worker
1320 Saint Stephen younger son of King Stephen Urosh I, grandson of First-Crowned King St Stephen (September 24). ruled Serbia from 1275 to 1320; built more than 40 churches, many monasteries hostels for travelers; particularly concerned himself with the Athonite monasteries.
1394 St. Dorothy of Montau visions and spiritual gifts patroness of Prussia
1446 George VIII was crowned ruler of a united Georgian kingdom. Filled with every virtue, valiant warrior, God- fearing king dedicated 20 years of his reign to ceaseless struggle for reunification of his country; constantly warding off foreign invaders, surmounting internal strife, and suffering the betrayal of his fellow countrymen.
1583 Bl. John Slade  Martyr of England
1617 St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Obedient lay brother penintent experienced many spiritual consolations; died still a porter saying only one word: Jesus; the reputation he had was summed up once for all by Father Michael Julian in his exclamation, “That brother is not a man—he is an angel!”; Especially in his later years he suffered from long periods of desolation and aridity, and with terrifying regularity he was seized with pain and sickness whenever he set himself formally to meditate. Added to this, he was beset with violent temptations, just as though for years he had not curbed his body by fierce austerities, which now had to be made even more rigorous. But he never despaired, carrying out every duty with exact regularity, knowing that in God’s own time he would be seized again in an ecstasy of love and spiritual delight.
1739 Bl. Angelus Capuchin of Acri many miracles of healing gifts prophecy bilocation see into men's souls; Meditating on preaching failure and asking God’s help in his trouble, he one day heard a voice saying, “Be not afraid. The gift of preaching shall be yours.” “Who art thou?” asked Father Angelo, the reply, “I am who I am. For the future preach simply and colloquially, so that all may understand you.” Father Angelo did as he was told; laid aside all his books of oratory and with them the flowers of speech and flights of learning, and prepared his discourses only with the help of his Bible and crucifix.


Saint Mark, also called John, (Acts 12:12), was a nephew of St Barnabas, and was Bishop of Apollonia (Col. 4:10). It was in the house of his mother Maria that the persecuted disciples found shelter after the Ascension of the Lord.
St Justus, called Barsaba, a son of St Joseph the Betrothed, was chosen with Matthias to replace Judas. He was a bishop and died a martyr's death at Eleutheropolis.
St. Artemas Bishop disciple of St. Paul
He is mentioned by St. Paul in his letter to Titus [Titus 3:12 “When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.]. Artemas is believed to serve as the bishop of Lystra.
Saint Artemas  numbered among the Seventy Disciples of the Lord, Bishop of the Lycian city of Lystra and died in peace.
Artemas of Lystra B (AC) 1st century. The Greeks venerated this disciple of Saint Paul, who is mentioned by the apostle in his letter to Titus (3:12). A later tradition has made of him a bishop of Lystra (Benedictines).
Marcian, Bishop of Syracuse,The Holy Hieromartyr a disciple of the Apostle Peter, was sent to Sicily. Here he settled in a cave near the city of Syracuse and successfully spread the faith in Christ. He died a martyr. His relics are in the Italian city of Gaeta. (The Hieromartyr Marcian is the same person as St Marcellus, Bishop of Sicily, commemorated on February 9).
1st v. St Tertius was the second bishop (after St Sosipater) in Iconium, where he converted many pagans to Christ, and ended his life as a martyr. The Apostle Paul mentions him in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16:22).
211 St. Serapion Bishop of Antioch; ecclesiastical writer
Antiochíæ sancti Serapiónis Epíscopi, eruditióne claríssimi.
    At Antioch, St. Serapion, a bishop very celebrated for his learning.
He was much praised by St. Jerome and Eusebius of Caesarea for his theological writings, and he was considered one of the chief theologians of his era. He became bishop of Antioch, Syria, in 190, and. was revered as a theologian. Only fragments of his work have survived. Among the extant writings are a letter to the Church of Rhossus forbidding the reading of the non-canonical Gospel of St. Peter and a letter against the heresy of Montanism.

212 ST SERAPION, BISHOP OF ANTIOCH
THE late fourth-century Syriac document called the Doctrine of Addai refers to Serapion as having been consecrated by Zephyrinus, Bishop of Rome, but he seems to have been bishop of Antioch for some years before the pontificate of St Zephyrinus began. The Roman Martyrology says he was famous for his learning, and it is for his theological writings that he is remembered. Eusebius gives an extract from a private letter written to Caricus and Pontius, in which he condemns Montanism, which was being propagated by the pseudo-prophecies of two hysterical women. He also wrote expostulating with a certain Domninus who had apostatized under persecution and turned to Jewish “will-worship”.
During the episcopate of Serapion trouble arose in the church of Rhossos in Cilicia about the public reading of the so-called Gospel of Peter, an apocryphal work of gnostic provenance. At first Serapion, not knowing its contents and trusting to the orthodoxy of his flock permitted it to be read. Then he borrowed a copy from the sect who used it, “whom we call Docetae” (that is, illusionists, because they affirmed that our Lord’s manhood was not real but an illusion), and
having read it wrote to the church at Rhossos to forbid its use; for he found in it, he says, “some additions to the true teaching of the Saviour”, and tells them he will soon be visiting them to expound the true faith.
This Serapion has no cultus in the East; but he is named in the Roman Martyr­ology, and the Carmelites, who make the surprising claim that he belonged to their order, keep his feast.

All, practically speaking, that is known concerning St Serapion of Antioch is recounted and commented upon by the Bollandists in vol. xiii for October. The references to this name, however, contained in the Doctrine of Addai, had apparently not attracted their attention but these, as pointed out under St Addai (August 5), are quite unreliable, it is interesting to note that in the early Syriac breviarium we have mention on May 14 of “Serapion, Bishop of Antioch”.
235  In Sardínia natális sancti Pontiáni, Papæ et Mártyris, qui, ab Alexándro Imperatóre, una cum Hippólyto Presbytero, in eam ínsulam deportátus, ibídem, mactátus fústibus, martyrium consummávit.  Ejus corpus a beáto Fabiáno Papa Romam delátum est, atque in cœmetério Callísti sepúltum.  Ipsíus tamen festum recólitur tertiodécimo Kaléndas Decémbris.
    In Sardinia, the birthday of St. Pontian, pope and martyr.  In the company of the priest Hippolytus, he was exiled by Emperor Alexander, and achieved martyrdom by being scourged.  His body was brought to Rome by blessed Pope Fabian and buried in the cemetery of Callistus.  His feast, however, is celebrated on the 19th of November.
235 Pope Saint Pontian or Pontianus, was pope from July 21, 230 to September 28.
ST PONTIAN, POPE AND MARTYR
PONTIAN, who is said to have been Roman, followed St Urban I as bishop of Rome about the year 230. The only known event of his pontificate is the synod held at Rome that confirmed the condemnation already pronounced at Alexandria of certain doctrines attributed to Origen. At the beginning of the persecution by the Emperor Maximinus the pope was exiled to Sardinia, an island described as nociva,
unhealthy, whereby perhaps the mines were meant; here he resigned his office. How much longer he lived and the manner of his death are not known: traditionally life was beaten out of him with sticks. Some years later Pope St Fabian translated his body to the cemetery of St Callistus in Rome, where in 1909 his original epitaph was found: PONTIANOC EPICK MPT, the last word having been added later. 
250 St. Macarius Martyr with companions at Alexandria
In Africa natális sanctórum Mártyrum ducentórum vigínti.
    In Africa, the birthday of two hundred and twenty holy martyrs.
Alexandríæ sanctórum trédecim Mártyrum, qui, cum sanctis Juliáno, Euno et Macário, passi sunt sub Décio Imperatóre.
    At Alexandria, in the reign of Decius, thirteen holy martyrs who suffered with Saints Julian, Eunus, and Macarius.
Egypt. They may be identical with the martyr commemorated on February 28.
Julian, Eunus, Macarius & Comps. MM (RM). Saint Julian and Saint Eunus are identical with the martyrs of that name commemorated on February 27; Saint Macarius is again mentioned on December 8. The duplication has been caused by the insertion in the Roman Martyrology of another group of 16 Alexandrian martyrs that includes the above. This larger group is commemorated in the Greek calendar on this day (Benedictines).
253 Saint Eutropia of Africa martyred at Alexandria M (RM)
Alexandríæ sanctæ Eutrópiæ Mártyris, quæ, Mártyres vísitans, apprehénsa est, et, cum illis sævíssime cruciáta, réddidit spíritum.
    At Alexandria, the martyr St. Eutropia, who was arrested while visiting the martyrs, and rendered up her soul after being cruelly tortured with them.
Saint Eutropia was martyred at Alexandria, probably under Valerian (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
The Martyr Eutropia suffered for Christ in Alexandria in about the year 250. Often visiting Christians locked up in prison, she encouraged them to endure suffering with patience. For this, the saint was arrested. At her trial she firmly confessed her faith in Christ. As she was being burned with candles, a man appeared beside her and soothed her sufferings. He bedewed her so that she did not feel the heat of the flames. She died after these grievous tortures.
Saint Anastasia lived in the second half of the third century during the persecutions of Decius, Gallus, Valerian, and Diocletian. She was executed in Rome between 256-259 after enduring many tortures.
285 Zenobius, St Zenobius is invoked by those suffering from breast cancer.
Bishop of Aegea
The Hieromartyr, and his sister Zenobia suffered a martyr's death in Cilicia
From childhood they were raised in the holy Christian Faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In their mature years, shunning the love of money, they distributed away their inherited wealth giving it to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life the Lord rewarded Zenobius with the gift of healing various maladies. He was also chosen bishop of a Christian community in Cilicia.
As bishop, St Zenobius zealously spread the Christian Faith among the pagans. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began a persecution against Christians, Bishop Zenobius was the first one arrested and brought to trial to the governor Licius.
I shall only speak briefly with you, said Licius to the saint, for I propose to grant you life if you worship our gods, or death, if you do not. The saint answered, This present life without Christ is death. It is better that I prepare to endure the present torment for my Creator, and then with Him live eternally, than to renounce Him for the sake of the present life, and then be tormented eternally in Hades.
By order of Licius, they nailed him to a cross and began the torture. The bishop's sister, seeing him suffering, wanted to stop it. She bravely confessed her own faith in Christ before the governor, therefore, she also was tortured.
By the power of the Lord they remained alive after being placed on a red-hot iron bed, and then in a boiling kettle. The saints were then beheaded. The priest Hermogenes secretly buried the bodies of the martyrs in a single grave.
St Zenobius is invoked by those suffering from breast cancer.
298 Saint Marcellus of Tangier M (RM) (also known as Marcellus the Centurion).
Tingi, in Mauritánia, pássio sancti Marcélli Centuriónis, qui, sanctórum Cláudii ac Lupérci et Victórii Mártyrum pater, cápitis abscissióne martyrium complévit sub Agricoláo, agénte vices Præfécti prætório.
    At Tangier in Morocco, St. Marcellus, a centurion, the father of Saints Claudius, Lupercus, and Victorius.  He achieved martyrdom by beheading under Agricola, deputy praetor for Praefectus.

298 ST MARCELLUS THE CENTURION, MARTYR
PARTICULARS of the passion of St Marcellus, one of the isolated martyrs before the outbreak of the great persecution of Diocletian, are preserved for us in a trustworthy account. Father Delehaye points out that the case of the centurion Marcellus is analogous to that of the conscript Maximilian (March 12). Though they were not urged to sacrifice or to do some other act of idolatry, both of them judged— contrary to the opinion of most—that military service was incompatible with the practice of the Christian religion. Both of them were condemned to death for breach of discipline. Their contemporaries, without making subtle inquiries into the determining cause of the sentence, looked only to the religious motive that animated these heroes, and judged them worthy of the glorious name of martyr
The brief document runs as follows.
   In the city of Tingis [Tangier], during the administration of the president Fortunatus, when all were feasting on the emperor’s birthday, a certain Marcellus, one of the centurions, condemning these banquets as heathen, cast away his soldier’s belt in front of the standards of the legion which were there. And he testified in a loud voice, saying, “I serve Jesus Christ the eternal king. I will no longer serve your emperors, and I scorn to worship your gods of wood and stone, which are deaf and dumb idols.”
The soldiers were dumbfounded at hearing such things; they laid hold on him, and reported the matter to the president Fortunatus, who ordered him to be thrown into prison. When the feasting was over, he gave orders, sitting in council that the man should be brought in. When this was done, Astasius Fortunatus the president said to Marcellus, “What did you mean by ungirding yourself contrary to military discipline, and casting away your belt and vine-switch?”
[The distinctive badge of the centurion].
Marcellus: On July 21, in the presence of the standards of your legion, when you celebrated the festival of the emperor, I made answer openly and clearly that I was a Christian and that I could not accept this allegiance, but could serve only Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father Almighty.
FORTUNATUS: I cannot pass over your rash conduct, and therefore I shall report this matter to the emperors and Caesar. You shall be sent to my lord Aurelius Agricolan, deputy for the praetorian prefects.
On October 30 at Tingis, the centurion Marcellus having been brought into court, it was officially reported: “Fortunatus the president has referred Marcellus, a centurion, to your authority. There is here a letter from him, which at your command I will read.” Agricolan said, Let it be read.” The official report was read: “From Fortunatus to you, my lord”, et reliqua. Then Agricolan asked, “Did you say these things as set out in the president’s official report?”

MARCELLUS:  I did.
AGRICOLAN : Were you serving as a regular centurion

MARCELLUS: I was

AGRIC0LAN: What madness possessed you to throw away the badges of your allegiance and to speak as you did

MARCELLUS: There is no madness in those who fear God.

AGRICOLAN; Did you say each of the things contained in the president’s report
MARCELLUS: I did.
AGRICOLAN: Did you cast away your arms?

MARCELLUS: I did. For it was not right for a Christian man, who serves the Lord Christ, to serve in the armies of the world.

“The doings of Marcellus are such as must be visited with disciplinary punish­ment”, said Agricolan, and he pronounced sentence: Marcellus, who held the rank of a regular centurion, having admitted that he degraded himself by openly throwing off his allegiance, and having moreover used insane speech, as appears in the official report, it is our pleasure that he be put to death by the sword.”
When he was being led to execution, Marcellus said, “May God be good to you, Agricolan”. In so seemly a way did the glorious martyr Marcellus pass out of this world.

It is generally admitted that the Acts of Marcellus are representative of the most trust­worthy class of such documents (cf. for example, Harnack, Chronologie, vol. ii, pp. 473—474). In Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xli (1923), pp. 257—287, Father Delehaye edited and commented the two texts, a setting which has been taken into account in G. Kruger’s 3rd edition of Knopf’s Ausgewählte Martyrerakten (1929). See also P. Franchi de’ Cavalieri in Nuovo Bullettino di Arch. Grist., 1906, pp. 237—267 and B. de Gaiffier, Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxi (1943), pp. 116—139. Cf. St Cassian, December 3. 

During the festivities held by a Roman legion at Tingis (Tangiers) in celebration of Emperor Maximian's birthday the centurion Marcellus, regarding such festivities as idolatrous, refused to sacrifice to the gods. He threw off his military belt and tossed away his arms and vine-branch, the insignia of his rank. When the festival was over, he was brought before a judge named Fortunatus. When questioned, Marcellus declared, I serve only the eternal king, Jesus Christ.
Fortunatus remanded Marcellus to lay his case before Emperor Maximian and Constantius Caesar, who was then in Spain and favorably disposed to Christians. Instead Marcellus taken under guard before the deputy praetorian prefect, Aurelius Agricolan, who was then at Tangier. After an exchange between the two that is still preserved, Marcellus pleaded guilty to repudiating his allegiance to an earthly leader, and was executed by sword for impiety.
It was afterwards said that the official shorthand writer, Saint Cassian, was so indignant at the sentence that he refused to report the proceedings, and that he too was executed in consequence. In all probability this is a fictitious addition to the authentic account of Saint Marcellus, though there seems to have been a martyr at Tangier named Cassian.
The relics of Saint Marcellus were translated to León, Spain, were they are kept in a rich shrine. Marcellus is the patron of the city (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Husenbeth).

285-290 St. Zenobius physician in town of Aegae & Zenobia sister Martyrs
Ægéæ, in Cilícia, pássio sanctórum Zenóbii Epíscopi, et Zenóbiæ soróris, sub Diocletiáno Imperatóre et Lysia Præside.
    At Aegea in Cilicia, in the reign of Diocletian, under the governor Lysias, the martyrdom of Saints Zenobius, bishop, and his sister Zenobia.
Zenobius and Zenobia (d. late third century) + Martyrs slain during the persecutions of co-Emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305). Zenobius was a physician in the town of Aegae, in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and Zenobia was his sister. There is a strong possibility that Zenobius may have been a bishop or may be Zenobius of Antioch.

Zenobius and Zenobia MM (RM) Died . Bishop Zenobius, a physician at Aegae (now Alexandretta) on the coast of Asia Minor, is probably identical with the saint of the same name from Antioch, whose body was torn with hooks. If this is so, his martyrdom took place somewhat later under Diocletian. Zenobia is said to have been his sister (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
300 Claudius, Lupercus & Victorius 3 brothers sons of centurion Saint Marcellus MM (RM)
Legióne, in Hispánia, sanctórum Mártyrum Cláudii, Lupérci et Victórii, filiórum sancti Marcélli Centuriónis; qui, in persecutióne Diocletiáni et Maximiáni, sub Diogeniáno Præside, jussi sunt decollári.
    At Leon in Spain, the holy martyrs Claudius, Lupercus, and Victorius, the sons of St. Marcellus the centurion.  They were condemned to be beheaded by Diogenian, the governor, in the persecution of Diocletian and Maximian.
These three brothers, sons of the centurion Saint Marcellus, were martyred at León, Spain, during the reign of Diocletian. They are the titular saints of Saint Claudius in Galicia, one of the earliest Benedictine abbeys in Spain (Benedictines).

303 Saint Saturninus of Cagliari M (RM)
Cárali, in Sardínia, sancti Saturníni Mártyris, qui, in persecutióne Diocletiáni, sub Bárbaro Præside, cápite truncátus est.
    At Cagliari in Sardinia, St. Saturninus, martyr, who was beheaded under the governor Barbarus, during the persecution of Diocletian.
According to his untrustworthy acta, Saint Saturninus was beheaded during a pagan festival of Jupiter at Cagliari, Sardinia, under Diocletian (Benedictines).

304 St. Maximus Martyr believed to have suffered at Apamea, Phrygia
Apaméæ, in Phrygia, sancti Máximi Mártyris, sub eódem Diocletiáno
    At Apamea in Phrygia, St. Maximus, martyr, under the same Diocletian.
 in modern Turkey. He may have been martyred at Cuma, in Campania, Italy.
Maximus of Cumae M (RM). According to the Roman Martyrology, Saint Maximus was martyred at Apamea in Phrygia under Diocletian. However, it is more likely that he died at Cuma (the ancient Cumae) in Campania, Italy (Benedictines).

410 Saint Asterius of Amasea; renowned preacher; encouraged invocation of saints relic veneration; pilgrimages to pray before them B (AC)
410 ST ASTERIUS, Bishop OF AMASEA
ALL that is known about the life of this saint, apart from his episcopate, is from his own statement that he was educated by a very able Scythian or Goth, who had himself been educated at Antioch, and that he was a rhetor before receiving holy orders.

  
St Asterius was a preacher of considerable power, and twenty-one of his homilies are extant.
In his panegyric of St Phocas he established the invocation of saints, the honouring of their relics, pilgrimages to pray before them, and miracles wrought through them. In the following sermon, on the holy martyrs, he says, “We keep their bodies decently enshrined as precious pledges vessels of benediction, the organs of their blessed souls, the tabernacles of their holy minds. We put ourselves under their protection. The martyrs defend the Church as soldiers guard a citadel. The people flock from all quarters and keep great festivals to honour their tombs. All who labour under the heavy load of afflictions fly to them for refuge. We employ them as intercessors in our prayers...”
     St Asterius describes with what magnificence and crowds of people the feasts of martyrs were celebrated. He says some people condemned the honours paid to them and their relics, and answers, “We by no means worship the martyrs, but we honour them as the true worshippers of God. We lay their bodies in rich sepulchre and put up stately shrines of their repose that we may be stirred to an emulation of their honours.”
This St Asterius is not named in the Roman Martyrology, but there is another therein on October 21, who is said to have taken the body of St Callistus from the well into which it was thrown. He himself was cast into the Tiber and so gave his life.
There is no formal Life of St Asterius, but various references to him have been brought together in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xiii. Some of his discourses have been made the subject of separate discussion. See, for example, A. Bretz, Studien und Texte zu Asterius von Amasea, and M. Richard in Revise biblique, 1935, pp. 538—548. 

Bishop Asterius of Amasea in Pontus, Asia Minor ( part of the Persian Empire), was renowned as a preacher. 
The extant writings of Asterius are twenty-one scriptural homilies on penance, the beginning of the fasts, various spiritual and doctrinal matters as well as a work on the life of his predecessor, Saint Basil. From his writings we know that he studied rhetoric (under  classic Greek orator Demosthenes) and law in his youth. Although he practiced as a barrister for a time, he could not long ignore his calling to the priesthood, which eventually led to his elevation to the see of Amasea.
Saint Gregory the Great describes this good pastor as overflowing with the Holy Spirit.
His sermons highly recommend charity to the poor, revealing his own favorite virtue. His place in time is known because of the references he makes in his sermons to Julian the Apostate and the Consul Eutropius. They also show that the Church already kept the feasts of Christmas, Easter, Epiphany, and martyrs. His reflections are just and solid; the expression natural, elegant, and animated. They abound with lively images and descriptions both of persons and things.
In his homily on Saints Peter and Paul, Saint Asterius repeatedly teaches the pre-eminent jurisdiction Saint Peter received over all Christians.
His panegyric to Saint Phocas encourages the invocation of saints, the veneration of their relics, and pilgrimages to pray before them.

The following passage is from his sermon, On the Holy Martyrs:
  
We keep through every age their bodies decently enshrined, as most precious pledges; vessels of benediction, the organs of their blessed souls, the tabernacles of their holy minds. We put ourselves under their protection. The martyrs defend the church, as soldiers guard a citadel. The people flock in crowds from all quarters, and keep great festivals to honor their tombs.

All who labor under the heavy load of afflictions fly to them for refuge. We employ them as intercessors in our prayers and suffrages. In these refuges the hardships of poverty are eased, diseases cured, the threats of princes appeased. A parent, taking a sick child in his arms, postpones physicians, and runs to one of the martyrs, offering by him his prayer to the Lord, and addressing him whom he employs for his mediator in such word as these.

'You who have suffered for Christ, intercede for one who suffers by sickness. By that great power and confidence you have, offer a prayer on behalf of fellow-servants. Though you are now removed from us, you know what men on earth feel in their sufferings and diseases. You formerly prayed to martyrs, before you were yourself a martyr. You then obtained your request by asking; now you are possessed of what you asked, in your turn assist me. By your crown ask what may be our advancement. If another is going to be married, he begins his undertaking by soliciting the prayers of the martyrs. Who, putting to sea, weighs anchor before he has invoked the Lord of the sea by the martyrs?'

The saint describes with what magnificence and concourse of people the feasts of martyrs were celebrated over the whole world. He says, the Gentiles and the Eunomian heretics, whom he calls New Jews, condemned the honors paid to martyrs, and their relics; to whom he answers:
We by no means adore the martyrs, but we honor them as the true adorers of God. We lay their bodies in rich shrines and sepulchers, and erect stately tabernacles of their repose, that we may be stirred up to an emulation of their honors. Nor is our devotion to them without its recompense; for we enjoy their patronage with God.
He says the New Jews, or Eunomians, do not honor the martyrs, because they blaspheme the King of martyrs, making Christ unequal to his Father. He tells them that they ought at least to respect the voice of the devils, who are forced to confess the power of the martyrs:

Those whom we have seen bark like dogs, and who were seized with frenzy, and are now come to their senses, prove by their cure how effectual the intercession of martyrs is.
He closes this sermon with a devout and confident address to the martyrs (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

Asterius of Amasea  fame spread among the Greeks and Romans. He became famous because his amazing skill as an orator and demonstrated a striking power of expression and riveting  eloquence.  The homilies of Asterius, like those of Zeno of Verona, offer many insights into the moral theology and doctrine of early Church of the late fourth and early fifth centuries. They show, for instance,  that the Church already established the tradition of celebrating the feasts of Christmas, Easter, Epiphany, and of the martyrs. Asterius repeatedly taught the pre-eminent authority and jurisdiction of Saint Peter and his successors as head of the visible Church with authority over all Christians.

From a homily by Saint Asterius of Amasea 
Source:  The Liturgy of the Hours - Office of Readings
Be shepherds like the Lord
You were made in the image of God. If then you wish to resemble him, follow his example. Since the very name you bear as Christians is a profession of love for men, imitate the love of Christ. Reflect for a moment on the wealth of his kindness. Before he came as a man to be among men, he sent John the Baptist to preach repentance and lead men to practice it.

John himself was preceded by the prophets, who were to teach the people to repent, to return to God and to amend their lives. Then Christ came himself, and with his own lips cried out: Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. How did he receive those who listened to his call? He readily forgave them their sins; he freed them instantly from all that troubled them. The Word made them holy; the Spirit set his seal on them. The old Adam was buried in the waters of baptism; the new man was reborn to the vigor of grace.
What was the result? Those who had been God's enemies became his friends, those estranged from him became his sons, those who did not know him came to worship and love him.


Let us then be shepherds like the Lord. We must meditate on the Gospel, and as we see in this mirror the example of zeal and loving kindness, we should become thoroughly schooled in these virtues.  For there, obscurely, in the form of a parable, we see a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. When one of them was separated from the flock and lost its way, that shepherd did not remain with the sheep who kept together at pasture. No, he went off to look for the stray. He crossed many valleys and thickets, he climbed great and towering mountains, he spent much time and labor in wandering through solitary places until at last he found his sheep.  When he found it, he did not chastise it; he did not use rough blows to drive it back, but gently placed it on his own shoulders and carried it back to the flock. He took greater joy in this one sheep, lost and found, than in all the others. Let us look more closely at the hidden meaning of this parable. The sheep is more than a sheep, the shepherd more than a shepherd. They are examples enshrining holy truths. They teach us that we should not look on men as lost or beyond hope; we should not abandon them when they are in danger or be slow to come to their help. When they turn away from the right path and wander, we must lead them back, and rejoice at their return, welcoming them back into the company of those who lead good and holy lives.

425 St. Theonestus martyr Bishop supposedly of Philippi
Altíni, in Venetórum fínibus, sancti Theonésti, Epíscopi et Mártyris, qui ab Ariánis occísus est.
    At Altino, in the neighbourhood of Venice, St. Theonestus, bishop and martyr, who was slain by the Arians.
Macedonia, and was forced to leave his see because of the threats and savagery of the Arians. Sent by the pope ( Celestine I 422-432  ) to help evangelize a part of Germany, he was again compelled to flee because of the peril of the invading Vandals. He may have been martyred on his return journey, in Veneto, northern Italy. It is possible that another saint, Theonestus of Veneto, may have been a local martyr merely confused with the bishop.

Theonestus of Altino BM (RM). Saint Theonestus, reputed bishop of Philippi, Macedonia. is said to have been driven from his see by the Arians and to have been sent by the pope with several companions (among whom was Saint Alban of Mainz) to evangelize Germany. When they arrived at Mainz, they were obliged to flee from the invading Vandals, and on their way home Theonestus was martyred at Altino in the Veneto. Probably Theonestus is a local martyr of Altino having no connection with the others (Benedictines).

St. Herbert Bishop of Marmoutier
 France, and archbishop of Tours, France. No details of his life survive.
Herbert of Tours, OSB B (AC) Dates unknown. Abbot Herbert of Marmoûtier was later elevated to archbishop of Tours, France (Benedictines).
5th v. Saint Lucanus of Lagny M (RM)
Lutétiæ Parisiórum sancti Lucáni Mártyris.    At Paris, St. Lucanus, martyr.
Saint Lucanus is reputed to have been martyred at Lagny, near Paris, where his relics are enshrined and where he is venerated as patron (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art, he carries his own head (Roeder).
St. Arilda Virgin, martyr of Gloucestershire
England. She was slain while defending her chastity. St. Arilda is honored by a church on Oldbury on the Hill.
Arilda of Gloucestershire VM (AC) Date unknown. Saint Arilda, Gloucestershire virgin, died in defense of her chastity. The church at Oldbury-on-the-Hill is dedicated to her (Benedictines).
6th v.  Talarica of Scotland Mentioned in the Aberdeen Breviary B (AC)
(also known as Talarican) A bishop, probably Pictish, in whose honor various Scottish churches were dedicated. Mentioned in the Aberdeen Breviary (Benedictines).
545 Bishop Saint Germanus of Capua Saint Benedict saw his soul being carried to heaven B (RM)
Cápuæ sancti Germáni, Epíscopi et Confessóris, magnæ sanctitátis viri; cujus ánimam, in hora óbitus ejus, ab Angelis in cælum deférri sanctus Benedíctus aspéxit.
    At Capua, St. Germanus, bishop and confessor, a man of great sanctity, whose soul, at the very hour of death, was seen by St. Benedict taken to heaven by angels.

Bishop Saint Germanus of Capua (Italy) was a great friend of Saint Benedict. In 519, Pope Saint Hormisdas sent Germanus to Constantinople as papal legate to heal the 40-year-old Acacian schism. Although the schism was abolished, Germanus appears to have met with ill-treatment at the hands of the schismatics, but escaped. At the hour of Germanus's death, Saint Benedict saw his soul being carried to heaven.
Pope Saint Gregory the Great relates (Dialogues, 4, 40):
While I was young and still a layman, I heard told to the seniors, who were well-informed men, how the Deacon Paschasius appeared to Germanus, bishop of Capua. Paschasius, deacon of the Apostolic See, whose books on the Holy Spirit are still extant, was a man of eminent sanctity, devoted to works of charity, zealous for the relief of the poor, and most forgetful of self.
    A dispute having arisen concerning a pontifical election, Paschasius separated himself from the bishops, and joined the party disapproved by the episcopacy. Soon after this he died, with a reputation for sanctity which God confirmed by a miracle: an instantaneous cure was effected on the day of the funeral by the simple touch of his dalmatic.
    Long after this, Germanus, bishop of Capua, was sent by the physicians to the baths of Saint Angelo. What was his astonishment to find the same Deacon Paschasius employed in the most menial offices at the baths!
        'Here I expiate,' said the apparition, 'the wrong I did by adhering to the wrong party. I beseech of you, pray to the Lord for me: you will know that you have been heard when you shall no longer see me in these places.'
    Germanus began to pray for the deceased, and after a few days, returning to the baths, sought in vain for Paschasius, who had disappeared. He had but to undergo a temporary punishment because he had sinned through ignorance, and not through malice.  (Benedictines, Husenbeth, Schouppe).
540 ST GERMANUS, Bishop of CAPUA; bishop’s prayers released Paschasius from Purgatory; personal friend of St Benedict who saw Germanus carried by the ministry of angels to eternal bliss


THIS holy prelate was sent by Pope St Hormisdas with other legates to the Emperor Justin in 519 to persuade the Byzantines to put an end to the “Acacian schism” which had continued thirty-five years. The embassy was attended with success; and the signature of the pope’s famous “Formula” ended the schism.

St Gregory the Great relates on the authority of  “his elders” that Germanus saw Paschasius, deacon of Rome, in Purgatory long after his death for having adhered to the schism of Laurence against Pope St Symmachus, and that he was purging his fault as an attendant at the hot springs, whither Germanus had been sent to bathe for the good of his health. Within a few days the bishop’s prayers released Paschasius.

St Germanus was a personal friend of St Benedict who, again according to the account of St Gregory, when he was at Monte Cassino saw in a vision the soul of Germanus, at the hour of his departure, carried by the ministry of angels to eternal bliss. His death happened about the year 540.

A manuscript of the eleventh century at Monte Cassino preserves a short Life of St Germanus, which has been printed in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xiii. It is not entirely certain, though it is no doubt probable, that this Germanus is identical with the envoy sent to Constantinople by Pope Hormisdas. See, further, Lanzoni, Diocesi d’Italia, vol. i, p. 203.
6th v. St. Talacrian Bishop of Scotland
also called Tarkin. He was probably of Pictish descent, serving as a bishop in Caledonia (Scotland). His name was listed in the Aberdeen Breviary.

1038 Saint Egelnoth the Good; archbishop of Canterbury OSB B (AC) (also known as Ethelnoth). 

1038 ST ETHELNOTH, ARCHBISHOP of CANTERBURY
WHILE dean of the cathedral church of Christ at Canterbury his learning and holi­ness caused Ethelnoth to be known as “the Good”, and on the death of the metropolitan Living in 1020 he was appointed in his place. Two years later Ethelnoth was in Rome, where Pope Benedict VIII received him “with great worship and very honorably hallowed him archbishop”, by which may be under­stood that he invested him with the pallium. In the following year Ethelnoth translated the relics of his predecessor St Alphege, martyred by the Danes in 1012, from London to Canterbury. The cost of a worthy shrine was defrayed by King Canute, at the instance of his wife and the archbishop, his father’s men having been guilty of the murder. St Ethelnoth enjoyed the favour of Canute, and he encouraged the king’s liberality to promote several other religious undertakings, among them the rebuilding of Chartres cathedral.
Ethelnoth is one of those Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastics whose claim to saintship is very contestable. His name does not seem to occur in any medieval calendar, and there is no other evidence of cultus. The Bollandists, however, following the example of Mabillon (vol. vi, pt I, pp. 394-397) have devoted a notice to him (under the spelling “Aedelnodus”), October, vol. xiii. In the absence of any early biography they have pieced together an account from contemporary and later chroniclers. See further DNB., vol. xvii, p. 25 and Stanton’s Menology, pp. 517—518.

 The monk Saint Egelnoth of Glastonbury was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury from 1020 and served in that capacity until his death (Benedictines).
1044 Blessed Nanterius of Saint-Mihiel OSB, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Nantier, Nantere) Nanterius was abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Mihiel (S. Michaelis ad Mosam) in Lorraine, diocese of Verdun, France (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

1119 Saint Gerard of Potenza B (RM)
Poténtiæ, in Lucánia, sancti Gerárdi Epíscopi.    At Potenza in Lucania, St. Gerard, bishop.
Born in Piacenza, Italy; canonized by Pope Callistus II. Gerard was enrolled among the clergy of Potenza and elected bishop there at an advanced age (Benedictines).
1258 Blessed Bernard de la Tour 13th superior general of the Carthusian order  O. Cart. (PC)
A Carthusian monk of Portes, diocese of Belley, who became the 13th superior general of the order (Benedictines).

1292 Blessed Benvenuta Bojani; an early age Dominican tertiary; on the Vigil of the Feast of Saint Dominic he and Saint Peter Martyr, Mary and Jesus-Child appeared; severe penances; miracle worker OP Tert. V (AC)
Born in Cividale, Friuli, Italy, 1254; cultus approved in 1763.

Benvenuta was the last of seven daughters. Her parents, too, must have been amazing people in comparison with so many in our time. When the silence of the midwife proclaimed that her father had been disappointed once again in his desire for a son, he exclaimed, She too shall be welcome! Remembering this she was christened by her parents Benvenuta (welcome), although they had asked for a son.
A vain older sister unsuccessfully tried to teach the pious little Benvenuta to dress in rich clothing and use the deceits of society. Benvenuta hid from such temptations in the church where she developed a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. By the age of 12, Benvenuta was wearing hairshirts and a rope girdle. As she grew the rope became embedded in her flesh. When she realized the rope must be removed, she couldn't get it off, so she prayed and it fell to her feet. For this reason she is often pictured in art holding a length of rope in her hands.

Having become a Dominican tertiary at an early age, she added the penances practiced by the sisters to those she had appropriated for herself. All her disciplines, fasting, and lack of sleep soon caused her health to fail and she was confined to bed for five years. Thereafter, she was too weak to walk, so a kind older sibling carried her to church once a week for Compline (Night Prayer) in the Dominican church, her favorite liturgy after the Mass.

After evening prayer on the Vigil of the Feast of Saint Dominic, Dominic and Saint Peter Martyr appeared to Benvenuta. Dominic had a surprise for her. The prior was absent at the Salve procession, but at the beginning of Compline she saw Dominic in the prior's place. He passed from brother to brother giving the kiss of peace, then went to his own altar and disappeared. At the Salve procession, the Blessed Virgin herself came down the aisle, blessing the fathers while holding the Infant Jesus in her arms.

Benvenuta spent her whole life at home in Cividale busy with her domestic duties, praying, and working miracles. She was often attacked by the devil, who sometimes left her close to discouragement and exhaustion. When someone protested against the death of a promising young child, Benvenuta commented, It is much better to be young in paradise than to be old in hell.
 The devil often appeared to her in horrifying forms but was banished when Benvenuta called upon the Virgin.
Benvenuta's companions called her the sweetest and most spiritual of contemplatives, so lovable in her holiness that her touch and presence inspired gladness and drove away temptations. This is amazing in light of the severe penances that she imposed upon herself--and another sign of blessedness that she didn't judge others by her standards for herself (Benedictines, Dorcy).

1292 BD BENVENUTA OF CIVIDALE, VIRGIN
It has been said that the life of Benvenuta Bojani was “a poem of praise to our Blessed Lady, a hymn of light, purity and joy, which was lived rather than sung in her honour”. This life began in the year 1254, at Cividale in Friuli, and there were already six young Bojani, all girls. Her father naturally hoped for a boy this time, and when he learned he had yet another daughter he is said to have exclaimed, “Very well! Since it is so, let her too be welcome.” And so she was called Benvenuta.

   Her devotion to our Lady was noticeable from very early years, and she would repeat the Hail Mary, in the short form ending at “Jesus”, as then used, many times in the day, accompanying each repetition with a profound inclination such as she saw the Dominican friars make so often in their church. Like Bd Magdalen Panattieri, commemorated this month (13th), Benvenuta was happy in belonging to a family whose members were as truly religious as herself, rejoicing in her goodness and devotion, and who, when she wished to hind herself to perfect chastity and become a tertiary of the Dominicans, put no obstacles in her way.
   But unlike Bd Magdalen she took no part in the public life of her town, emphasizing the contemplative rather than the active side of the Dominican vocation. Her spirit of penitence, in particular, made her inflict most severe austerities on herself. She would sometimes discipline herself three times in a night, and when she was only twelve she tied a rope (the “cord of St Thomas”?) so tightly round her loins that the flesh grew around it.
   The suffering it caused became intolerable, and she feared that the only way to remove it was by a surgical operation, till one day when she was asking God to help her about it she found the rope lying unbroken at her feet. Benvenuta confided this miracle to her confessor, Friar Conrad, who mitigated her penances and forbade her to undertake any without his approval.
   For five years she suffered from serious bad health and could scarcely leave her room, during which time she was furiously tempted to despair, and in other ways but the worst trial was being unable to assist at Mass, except when occasionally carried, and at Compline with its daily singing of Salve Regina.
   Eventually she was suddenly and publicly cured in church on the feast of the Annunciation, having vowed to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of St Dominic at Bologna if she recovered. This she carried out with her sister Mary and her youngest brother.
   Benvenuta’s patience and perseverance in sickness and temptation were rewarded by numerous graces, visions and raptures in prayer. A delightful story is told (though belonging to her youth) that she went into a church one day just after her mother had died, and saw there a child, to whom she said, “Have you got a mother?” “He said he had. “ “I haven’t now”, said she, “But since you have, perhaps you can already say the Hail Mary?” “Oh yes”, replied the child, “can you?”  “Yes, I can.” “Very well then, say it to me.” Benvenuta began the Hail Mary in Latin, and as she ended on the name Jesus, “It is I”, interrupted the child, and disappeared from sight.

   Cheerfulness and confidence were the marks of the life of Bd Benvenuta, but she had to go through one more assault of the Devil, tempting her to despair and infidelity as she lay dying. She overcame triumphantly, and died peacefully on October 30, 1292. Her cultus was approved in 1765, but her burial-place at Cividale is lost.

As we may learn from the full account in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xiii, a life of this beata, written in Latin shortly after her death, was translated into Italian and published in 1589. This biography figured largely in the process, which ended in the formal confirmatio cultus, and the original Latin is printed in full by the Bollandists. See also M. C. de Ganay, Les Bienheureuses Dominicaines (1913), pp. 91—108; and Procter, Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 302—306.

1320 Saint Stephen was the younger son of King Stephen Urosh I, and grandson of First-Crowned King St Stephen (September 24). He ruled Serbia from 1275 to 1320; built more than forty churches, and also many monasteries and hostels for travelers. The saint particularly concerned himself with the Athonite monasteries.
Stephen Milutin received the throne from his elder brother Dragutin, a true Christian, who after a short reign transferred power over to his brother, and he himself in loving solitude withdrew to Srem, where he secretly lived as an ascetic in a grave, which he dug with his own hands. During his righteous life, St Dragutin toiled much over converting the Bogomil heretics to the true Faith. His death occurred on March 2, 1316.

St Stephen Milutin, after he became king, bravely defended, by both word and by deed, the Orthodox Serbs and other Orthodox peoples from their enemies. St Stephen did not forget to thank the Lord for His beneficence. He built more than forty churches, and also many monasteries and hostels for travelers. The saint particularly concerned himself with the Athonite monasteries.
Dragutin.jpg
When the Serbian kingdom fell, the monasteries remained centers of national culture and Orthodoxy for the Serbian nation. St Stephen died on October 29, 1320 and was buried at the Bansk monastery. After two years his incorrupt relics were uncovered.

Saint Dragutin was the brother of St Stephen Milutin, the son of King Stephen Urosh I, and the grandson of First-Crowned King St Stephen (September 24). Dragutin, a true Christian, after a short reign, abdicated in favor of his brother Stephen. He withdrew to Srem, secretly living as an ascetic in a grave which he dug with his own hands. During his righteous life, St Dragutin toiled much over converting the Bogomil heretics to the true Faith. He surrendered his soul to God on March 2, 1316.

Saint Helen, a pious mother to her sons Stephen Milutin and Dragutin, devoted her whole life to pious deeds after the death of her husband. She built a shelter for the poor, and a monastery for those who wished to live in purity and virginity. Near the city of Spich, she built the Rechesk monastery and endowed it with the necessities.
Before her death, St Helen received monastic tonsure and departed to the Lord on February 8, 1306.
1394 St. Dorothy of Montau, WIDOW visions and spiritual gifts patroness of Prussia
 
BD DOROTHY OF MONTAU, WIDOW (AD. 1394)
SHE takes her name from Montau (Marienburg) in Prussia, where she was born in 1347. At the age of seventeen Dorothy married one Albert, a swordsmith of Danzig, by whom she had nine children, of whom only the youngest survived. Albert was an ill-tempered and overbearing man, and during their twenty-five years of married life his wife suffered much on this account but her own kindli­ness and courage modified his disposition considerably, and in 1384 she induced him to take her on a pilgrimage to Aachen. Thenceforward they often went on pilgrimage together, to Einsiedeln, Cologne and elsewhere, and they were planning to go to Rome when Albert fell ill. Dorothy therefore went alone, and at her return her husband had just died.

   Thus left a widow at the age of forty-three, she went to live at Marienwerder, and in 1393 became a recluse in a cell by the church of the Teutonic Knights. She was there only a year before her death, on May 25, 1394, but long enough to gain a great repute for holiness and supernatural enlighten­ment. Numerous visitors sought her cell, to ask advice or in hope of obtaining a miraculous cure of their ills.

   Her confessor, from whom we learn that Dorothy had a very intense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and was often supernaturally enabled to look upon it, which she greatly desired to do, wrote her life, in Latin and German, with an account of her visions and revelations. In the middle ages great importance was attached to seeing the Body of the Lord, especially at the elevation at Mass, and the “life” of Bd Dorothy shows that in her time it was exposed all day for this purpose in some churches of Prussia and Pomerania. She was greatly revered by the people and soon after her death the cause of canonization was begun, but as soon dropped. Nevertheless the cultus spread, and Dorothy was popularly regarded as the patroness of Prussia.

Regarding this interesting mystic a good deal of information is available. In the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xiii, more than a hundred folio pages are devoted to her, and this was supplemented by the publication in the Analecta Bollandiana of the work called the Septililium, compiled from the revelations and utterances of Bd Dorothy by her confessor John of Marienwerder. This was printed by installments in vols. ii, iii and iv of the Analecta (1883—85). More than one biographical sketch seems to have survived, for the most part written shortly after her death, and compiled with a view to the process of her canonization. See also F. Hipler, Johannes Marienwerder und die Klauserin Dorothea (1865); Ringholtz, Geschichte von Einsiedeln (1906), pp. 268 seq., and 689 seq. and a sketch by H. Westpfahl, Dorothea von Montau (1949). For bibliography of recent work, see Westpfahl in Geist und Leben, vol. xxvi (1953), pp. 231—236.
Widow and hermitess. She was born a peasant on February 6, 1347, in Montau, Prussia. After marrying a wealthy swordsmith, Albrecht of Danzig, Poland, she bore him nine children and changed his gruff character. He even accompanied her on pilgrimages. However, when she went to Rome in 1390, Albrecht remained at home and died during her absence. A year later Dorothy moved to Marienswerder, where she became a hermitess. She had visions and spiritual gifts. Dorothy died on June 25 and is the patroness of Prussia. She was never formally canonized.

Dorothy of Montau, Widow (PC) Born at Montau near Marienburg, Prussia, Germany, on February 6, 1347; died June 25, 1394. Though she was never canonized, Saint Dorothy is widely venerated in central Europe, particularly among the Prussians, who have selected her as their patron saint. Like Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Bridget of Sweden, who were her contemporaries, she was favored by divine grace with many visions, revelations, and ecstasies, especially during the last years of her life.
As a 17-year-old peasant girl, she married a wealthy swordsmith from Danzig named Albert (Albrecht) by whom she had nine children. Of these only the youngest survived, a daughter who later became a Benedictine nun. Albert appears to have been surly and bad- tempered, and it seems likely that their married life, at least in its early years, was far from ideal. However, Dorothy's gentleness, fortitude, and kindness gradually softened him, and in 1384, he agreed to accompany her on a pilgrimage to Aachen.
After other pilgrimages to Einsiedeln and Cologne, they planned to make one to Rome for the jubilee that was to be held in 1390; but while they were making their preparations, Albert fell ill and so Dorothy went alone, travelling on foot and begging her food. By the time she returned from Rome, where she had been delayed by a sickness, her husband had died.
Now that she had become a widow, Dorothy was able to fulfill a dream she had long cherished of retiring from the world. In 1391, she went to Marienwerder where, after spending two years on probation, she became a recluse in the church of the Teutonic Knights.
On May 2, 1393, she had herself walled up in a cell that measured 6' x 6' and was about 9' tall. Of the three windows one opened to the sky, the second to a cemetery (and through which she also received food) and the third on to the altar of the church where, as was often the custom in those regions, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed all day.
Like many others, Dorothy had an intense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and was often favored with mystic visions of it. Her reputation for holiness grew rapidly and many people came to her seeking counsel or miraculous cures.
However, the rigors of her mode of life, added to the severe austerities she practiced, soon broke her health and she died in May 1394, after living only a little more than a year in her cell. Many miracles were attributed to her, and an account of her visions and ecstasies has been left by her confessor (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).

Dorothy's emblem is a lantern and a rosary. Sometimes she is surrounded by arrows in paintings of her. Venerated at Montau and Marienwerder, Prussia (Roeder).
In 1446 George VIII was crowned ruler of a united Georgian kingdom. Filled with every virtue, the valiant warrior and God-fearing king dedicated the twenty years of his reign to a ceaseless struggle for the reunification of his country. He was constantly warding off foreign invaders, surmounting internal strife, and suffering the betrayal of his fellow countrymen.

One of the separatists was the ruler of Samtskhe, the atabeg Qvarqvare Jakeli II (1451–1498). In 1465 King George led his troops toward southern Georgia to attack the rebellious atabeg.
Near Lake Paravani the traitors dispatched assassins to the king’s camp.

Among those who served in the royal court was a certain Jotham Zedgenidze, a man deeply devoted to his king. He heard about the dreadful conspiracy and warned the king, but the noble and fearless George did not believe that such a loathsome betrayal could ever take place.
Desperate to convince the king of the very real and imminent danger, the devoted Jotham told him, “Allow me to spend this night in your bed and prove the truth of my words!”
Certain that his beloved courtier was mistaken and that his unmeasured love and dedication were the reasons for his suspicions, King George permitted him to spend the night in the royal bed.
The next morning King George entered his tent and found his beloved Jotham lying in a pool of blood. Immediately he began weeping bitterly over his error. He arrested and executed the conspirators and buried his faithful servant with great honor.
The Georgian Church numbers Jotham Zedgenidze among the saints for his devotion to God’s anointed king.
1583 Bl. John Slade  Martyr of England

1583 BD JOHN SLADE, MARTYR
  JOHN SLADE was born in Dorsetshire, educated at New College, Oxford, and became a schoolmaster. His zeal in upholding the faith led to his arrest on a charge of denying the royal supremacy in spirituals, and he was brought up for trial at Winchester, together with Bd John Bodey, in April 1583. They were both condemned, but there was a re-trial on the same indictment at Andover four months later, which Cardinal Allen imputed to a consciousness in their prosecutors of the first sentence having been unjust and illegal. But the result was the same, the sentence was repeated, and Bd John Slade was hanged, drawn and quartered at Winchester on this day in the year 1583.
  See MMP., pp. 83—85 and Burton and Pollen, LEM., vol. 1, pp. 1—7.
 

He was a native of Manston, Dorchestershire, and was educated at Oxford. John denied King Henry VIII’s supremacy in religious matters and was arrested and tried with Blessed John Bodey. They were hanged, drawn, and quartered at Winchester. He was beatified in 1929.

Blessed John Slade M (AC) Born in Manston, Dorset, England; died 1583; beatified in 1929. John Slade was a student at New College, Oxford. He became a schoolmaster, and was martyred at Winchester for denying the royal supremacy in spiritual matters (Benedictines).

1617 St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Obedient penintent experienced many spiritual consolations he died in 1617 still a porter saying only one word: Jesus; the reputation he had was summed up once for all by Father Michael Julian in his exclamation, “That brother is not a man—he is an angel!”; Especially in his later years he suffered from long periods of desolation and aridity, and with terrifying regularity he was seized with pain and sickness whenever he set himself formally to meditate. Added to this, he was beset with violent temptations, just as though for years he had not curbed his body by fierce austerities, which now had to be made even more rigorous. But he never despaired, carrying out every duty with exact regularity, knowing that in God’s own time he would be seized again in an ecstasy of love and spiritual delight; trials of ill-health and physical suffering; at last he was practically confined to his bed. But his invincible perseverance and patience brought consolations “to such a degree that he could not raise his eyes in spirit to Jesus and Mary without their being at once before him”.

1617 ST ALPHONSUS RODRIGUEZ
THERE are two well-known canonized lay brothers commemorated this month, but in other external circumstances there were considerable differences between St Gerard Majella and St Alphonsus Rodriguez. For instance, at the age when Gerard was dead, Alphonsus was still a married man, living with his family while the one died before he was thirty, the other lived to be nearly ninety during his three years of profession Gerard served in several houses of his congregation and was employed in a variety of ways, but Alphonsus was porter at the same college for forty-five years.

Diego Rodriguez was a well-to-do wool-merchant in Segovia, and Alphonsus, born about 1533 was his third child in a big family. When Bd Peter Favre and another Jesuit came to preach a mission at Segovia they stayed with Diego, and at the end accepted his offer of a few days’ holiday at his country house. Young Alphonsus, then about ten, went with them and was prepared for his first communion by Bd Peter.

When he was fourteen he was sent with his elder brother to study under the Jesuits at Alcala, but before the first year was out their father died, and it was decided that Alphonsus must go into the business, which his mother was going to carry on. She retired and left him in sole charge when he was twenty-three, and three years later he married a girl called Mary Suarez.

The business had been doing badly and his wife’s dowry did not do much to improve it Alphonsus was not an incapable businessman, but “times were bad”.  Then he lost his little daughter, and, after a long illness following the birth of a boy, his wife too. Two years later his mother died, and this succession of mis­fortunes and losses made Alphonsus give very serious thought to what God was calling him to do in the world.

   He had always been a man of devout and righteous life, but he began to realize that he was meant to be something different from the numerous commercial men who led exemplary but unheroic lives in Segovia. If he sold his business he would have enough for himself and his little son to live on, so he did this and went to live with his two maiden sisters. These two, Antonia and Juliana, were a pious couple and taught their brother the rudiments of mental prayer, so that he was soon meditating two hours every morning and evening on the mysteries of the rosary.

    Alphonsus began to see his past life as very imperfect when regarded in the light of Christ and, following a vision of the glories of Heaven, he made a general confession and set himself to practise considerable austerities, Confession and communion every week. After some years his son died, and the edge of Alphonsus’s sorrow was turned by the consideration that the boy had been saved from the danger and misery of ever offending God.

He now contemplated, not for the first time, the possibility of becoming a religious and applied to the Jesuits at Segovia. They unhesitatingly refused him he was nearly forty, his health was not good, and he had not finished an education good enough to make him fit for sacerdotal studies. Undaunted, he went off to see his old friend Father Louis Santander, s.j., at Valencia. Father Santander recommended him to get ordained as soon as possible, and as a first step to learn Latin. So, like St Ignatius Loyola before him, and with like mortifications, he put himself to school with the little boys. As he had given nearly all his money to his sisters and to the poor before leaving Segovia, he had to take a post as a servant and supplement his earnings by begging to support himself.

   He met at the school a man of his own age and inclinations, who induced him to consider giving up all idea of becoming a Jesuit and to be instead a hermit. Alphonsus went to visit this man at his hermitage in the mountains, but suddenly seeing the suggestion as a temptation to desert his real vocation, he returned to Valencia and confessed his weakness to Father Santander, saying, I will never again follow my own will for the rest of my life. Do with me as you think best.” In 1571 the Jesuit provincial, over-ruling his official consultors, accepted Alphonsus Rodriguez as a lay brother, or temporal coadjutor, as such is called in the Society. Six months later he was sent from Spain to the College of Montesione in the island of Majorca, and soon after his arrival was made hall-porter.
   St Alphonsus carried out the duties of this post till he became too old and infirm, and the reputation he had in it was summed up once for all by Father Michael Julian in his exclamation, “That brother is not a man—he is an angel!”  Every minute left free by his work and what it entailed was given to prayer, but though he achieved a marvellous habitual recollection and union with God his spiritual path was far from an easy one.
   Especially in his later years he suffered from long periods of desolation and aridity, and with terrifying regularity he was seized with pain and sickness whenever he set himself formally to meditate. Added to this, he was beset with violent temptations, just as though for years he had not curbed his body by fierce austerities, which now had to be made even more rigorous. But he never despaired, carrying out every duty with exact regularity, knowing that in God’s own time he would be seized again in an ecstasy of love and spiritual delight.
   Priests who had known him for forty years used to say that they had never noticed a word or action of Brother Alphonsus that could justly receive adverse criticism. In 1585 when he was fifty-four years old, he made his final vows, which he used to renew every day at Mass. A hall-porter is not to be envied at the best of times, and when a boys’ school is part of the establishment he needs to have a firm hand and an extra fund of patience; but the job has its compensations the porter meets a variety of people and is a link between the public world without and the private world within.

  
At Montesione, in addition to the students, there was a constant coming and going of clergy of all sorts, of nobles and professional men and members of their families having business with the Jesuit fathers, of the poor wanting help and merchants and tradesmen from Palma wanting orders. All these people got to know, to respect and to love Brother Alphonsus, whose opinions and advice were sought and valued as well by the learned and holy as by the simple, and his reputation was known far beyond the boundaries of the college. The most famous of his “pupils” was St Peter Claver, who was studying at the college in 1605. For three years he put himself under the direction of St Alphonsus who, enlightened by Heaven, fired his enthusiasm for and urged him on to that work in America which was eventually to gain for St Peter the title of “Apostle of the Negroes”.

St Alphonsus had always a very deep devotion towards the Mother of God as conceived free from original sin, a truth that had been defended in Majorca three hundred years before by Bd Raymund Lull.
For a time it was believed by many that Al­phonsus had composed the Little Office of the Immaculate Conception; he had a great regard for this office and popularized its use among others, from which arose the mistake that he was its author.

Nor did he write the famous treatise on the Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtues this was the work of another Jesuit of the same name, who has not been canonized.
   But St Alphonsus left some fugitive writings, set down at the command of his superiors, full of the simple, solid doctrine and exhortation that one would look for from such a man, showing too that he was indeed a mystic favoured of Heaven. When he was over seventy and very infirm, his rector told him one day, just to see what he would do, to go on duty to the Indies. St Alphonsus went straight down to the gate and asked for it to be opened for him. “I am ordered to the Indies”, he said, and was going there and then to look for a ship at Palma, but was told to go back to the rector.
 
That during the later part of his life he suffered from spiritual dereliction and diabolical assaults has been mentioned above, and to these were added the trials of ill-health and physical suffering; at last he was practically confined to his bed. But his invincible perseverance and patience brought consolations “to such a degree that he could not raise his eyes in spirit to Jesus and Mary without their being at once before him”.

    In May of 1617 the rector of Montesione, Father Julian, was down with rheumatic fever, and asked for the prayers of St Alphonsus. He spent the night interceding for him, and in the morning Father Julian was able to celebrate Mass. In October Alphonsus knew that his end was at hand, and after receiving Holy Communion on the 29th all pain of mind and body ceased. He lay as it were in an unbroken ecstasy until, at midnight of the 31st, a terrible agony began. At the end of half an hour composure returned, he looked around lovingly at his brethren, kissed the crucifix, uttered the Holy Name in a loud voice, and died. The Spanish viceroy and nobility of Majorca, by the bishop, and by crowds of the poor, sick and afflicted whose love and faith were rewarded by miracles, attended his funeral. He was canonized in 1888 with St Peter Claver.

The documents printed for the Congregation of Sacred Rites in view of the beatification and canonization of St Alphonsus are very copious owing to the objections raised by the promotor fidei in connection with the saint’s early occupations and his writings. These documents, with the autobiographical notes, which he wrote down by order of obedience between the years 1601 and 1616, supply the most valuable materials for his life. The notes in question are printed at the beginning of his Obras Espirituales, which were edited in three volumes by Fr J. Nonell at Barcelona in 1885—1887. The same Fr Nonell wrote in Spanish what is still perhaps the best biography of the saint, Vida de San Alonso Rodriguez (1888) and Father Goldie largely used this in the English life that he published in 1889. In the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xiii, is reprinted the earliest published life of Alphonsus, that by Father Janin which appeared in 1644 and was written in Latin.  On the saint’s connection with the Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, often errone­ously printed under his name, see Uriarte, Obras anonimas y seudonimas, S.J., vol. i, pp. 512—515 and on his ascetical teaching see Viller, Dictionnaire de Spiritualité, vol. i (1933), cc. 395—402. The latest biographies seem to be that of M. Dietz, Der hl. Alfons Rodriguez (1925), and a popular account by M. Farnum, The Wool Merchant of Segovia (1945).

Confessor and Lay brother, also called Alonso. He was born in Segovia, Spain, on July 25, 1532, the son of a wealthy merchant, and was prepared for First Communion by Blessed Peter Favre, a friend of Alphonsus' father. While studying with the Jesuits at Alcala, Alphonsus had to return home when his father died. In Segovia he took over the family business, was married, and had a son. That son died, as did two other children and then his wife. Alphonsus sold his business and applied to the Jesuits. His lack of education and his poor health, undermined by his austerities, made him less than desirable as a candidate for the religious life, but he was accepted as a lay brother by the Jesuits on January 31, 1571. He underwent novitiate training and was sent to Montesion College on the island of Majorca. There he labored as a hall porter for twenty-four years. Overlooked by some of the Jesuits in the house, Alphonsus exerted a wondrous influence on many. Not only the young students, such as St. Peter Claver, but local civic tad and social leaders came to his porter's lodge for advice and and direction. Obedience and penance were the hallmarks of his life, as well as his devotion to the Immaculate Conception. He experienced many spiritual consolations, and he wrote religious treatises, very simple in style but sound in doctrine. Alphonsus died after a long illness on October 31, 1617, and his funeral was attended by Church and government leaders. He was declared Venerable in 1626, and was named a patron of Majorca in 1633. Alphonsus was beatified in 1825 and canonized in September 1888 with St. Peter Claver.

Alphonsus Rodriguez, SJ (RM) (also known as Alonso) Born in Segovia, Spain, July 25, 1533; died at Palma de Majorca in 1617; beatified 1825; canonized 1888; feast formerly on October 31."The difference between adversity suffered for God and prosperity is greater than that between gold and a lump of lead." --Saint Alphonsus.

Brother Alphonsus proves Mother Teresa's axiom that small things done with great love is the call of the Christian. Every day Alphonsus Rodriguez prayed to more than 20 confessors, martyrs, and Church Fathers. He had a great veneration for Saint Ursula, and though modern scholarship has done much to revise and alter the story of her martyrdom, the fact remains that a liturgy might be clumsy and inaccurate and yet represent a far more fertile and living expression of religious life than one which has been cleaned and scoured to the point of rendering it sterile.

Surely the candor and devotion of Saint Alphonsus is of greater value than the scientific researches of our professors of liturgy. He was a bit mad perhaps--when he was told to eat his plate, he took his knife and tried to cut it into pieces and swallow them. Perhaps that sounds stupid, but it was he who was in the right for he had, on entering the Jesuits, made his vow of obedience, and his obedience was so perfect that he obeyed hasty or perhaps joking orders to the letter.

Alphonus was the third child of a large family of wool merchants. When Blessed Peter Favre and another Jesuit came to preach a mission at Segovia, they stayed with Alphonus's family and took up the invitation for a short holiday at their country house. Young Alphonsus, then about 10, went with them and was prepared for his First Communion by Blessed Peter.

When he was 14, Alphonsus was sent with his elder brother to study under the Jesuits at Alcala. Before the year was out, their father Diego was dead and it fell to Alphonsus interrupt his studies to manage the family business. When he was 23, his mother retired and Alphonus inherited his father's business. Like Saint Francis of Assisi, he sold cloth all day long, buying with one hand and selling with the other.

He married Maria Suarez when he was 27. Soon the business was failing due to hard economic times. Then his little daughter died. When he was about 35, his wife died shortly after giving birth to their only son. Two years later his mother died. The business didn't prosper either. This succession of misfortunes forced Alphonsus to seriously consider God's plan for his life. He began to realize that he was meant to do something different from the numerous businessmen who led exemplary but unheroic lives in Segovia. So he sold his business and took his son to live with the boy's two maiden aunts, Antonia and Juliana.

From these two ladies, Alphonsus learned to meditate for at least two hours a day. He was an assiduous communicant. His life was austere and happy, though he still longed to devote himself to God. So, after abandoning his business, he resumed his studies at the point where he had broken them off. He had always taken religion seriously so when his son died, Alphonsus decided it was finally time to become a Jesuit, if possible, as an ordained priest.

Alphonsus was nearly 40, barely literate, and his health tenuous. It's no wonder that the Jesuits of Segovia unhesitatingly refused him entry. Undaunted, Alphonsus presented himself to Father Luis Santander, SJ, at the novitiate of the Jesuits of Aragon at Valencia. Father Santander recommended him to be ordained as soon as possible, and requested that he learn Latin. He had given away most of his money by now, so he became a hired servant, hoping to pay for his necessary extra education by this and by begging. Thus, he put himself through school with the young boys.

Happily the provincial of the order spotted the saintliness of Alphonsus's life, and, in 1571, overruled those who had refused him permission to join them. He was admitted as a lay brother and six months later was sent to Palma de Majorca, where, after serving in various capacities, he became door-keeper at Montesión College.

He was diligent in carrying out his assignments, but every spare moment was given to prayer. Though he achieved a marvelous habitual recollection and union with god, his spiritual path was far from an easy one. Especially in his later years he suffered from long periods of aridity. Yet he never despaired, knowing that in God's own time he would be seized again in an ecstasy of love and spiritual delight. Persevering, Brother Alphonsus professed his final vows in 1585, at the age of 54.

Many of the varied people who were thus brought into contact with him learned to respect him and value his advice; in particular Saint Peter Claver as a student used to consult him frequently and received from Brother Alphonsus the impetus for his future work among the slaves of South America.

In May 1617, the rector of Montesión, Father Julian, was struck with rheumatic fever. Alphonsus spent the night interceding for the priest. In the morning, Father Julian was able to celebrate Mass.

After receiving Communion on October 29, Alphonsus lay as if dead, but he was in ecstasy. At midnight on October 31, the ecstasy ended and the final death pangs began. One-half hour later the brother regained his composure, lovingly looked at his brethren, and kissed the crucifix. Still a porter, he died in 1617, saying only one word: Jesus.

A collection of his notes, reflections, thoughts, which he wrote down at the request of his superiors, along with some quotations that he borrowed from the spiritual classics but which were mistakenly attributed to him, was frequently copied and widely circulated during his lifetime. Many people found true spiritual nourishment in them.
There is a sonnet on Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez among Gerard Manley Hopkins' Poems (2nd ed., 1930).

Alphonsus bears considerable resemblance to the Carmelite Brother Lawrence, of the next generation. He was a man of practically no education, but he had deep religious sensibility of a mystical kind. His faith was uncomplicated and simple, untroubled either by Protestantism or the threat of Islam. He had cultivated the Spanish faith of his father and mother, he believed in Jesus Christ, the Holy Church, and in the communion of saints (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Walsh, Yeomans).

This Alphonsus Rodriguez must not be confused with two Jesuit contemporaries of the same names, one a writer of well-known religious books, the other a martyr in Paraguay. Neither of these has been canonized, though the second is venerated as a beatus. 
In art he is depicted as an old Jesuit with two hearts on his breast, connected by rays of light to Christ and the Virgin. Venerated at Majorca (Roeder).  
1669-1739 Bl. Angelus Capuchin of Acri; many miracles of healing; gifts prophecy; bilocation; see into men's souls; Meditating on his failure and asking God’s help in his trouble, he one day seemed to hear a voice saying, “Be not afraid. The gift of preaching shall be yours.” “Who art thou?” asked Father Angelo, and the reply came, “I am who I am. For the future preach simply and colloquially, so that all may understand you.” Father Angelo did as he was told; he laid aside all his books of oratory and with them the flowers of speech and flights of learning, and prepared his discourses only with the help of his Bible and crucifix.

1739 BD ANGELO OF ACRI
THE fame of St Leonard of Port Maurice as a mission-preacher in Tuscany and northern Italy during the first half of the eighteenth century has gone far beyond the boundaries of his own order and country, but his contemporary preacher in Calabria, Angelo of Acri, also a Franciscan, is not so well known, though he was as famous in the south as St Leonard in the north.
 
   He was born at Acri in the diocese of Bisignano in 1669, and when he was eighteen was accepted as a postulant by the Capuchins, but the austerity of their life was too much for him and he left. But he was not satisfied, and after a time was permitted again to try his vocation in the same order. And again he failed to persevere. Thereupon his uncle, a priest, pointed out to him that he was obviously intended by God for a secular life and had better marry. Angelo was still unconvinced: he had a strong attraction to the religious life and a corresponding aversion from trying to settle down “in the world”, and in 1690 he made a third attempt with the Capuchins. This time he overcame his difficulties by the aid of urgent prayer, and after a rather stormy novitiate was professed and began his studies for the priesthood.
  
His superiors saw that he still stood in need of strict discipline and treated Angelo with considerable severity, and at the same time he was greatly tried by temptations against chastity. He overcame both trials and so profited by them that it is said that during the celebration of his first Mass he was rapt in ecstasy.


  
It was not till 1702 that he was first entrusted with public preaching, when he was sent to preach the Lent at San Giorgio. He prepared his course with great care, but in the pulpit his confidence and memory deserted him and he failed so lament­ably that he gave up and returned to his friary before it was over. Meditating on his failure and asking God’s help in his trouble, he one day seemed to hear a voice saying, “Be not afraid. The gift of preaching shall be yours.” “Who art thou?” asked Father Angelo, and the reply came, “I am who I am. For the future preach simply and colloquially, so that all may understand you.” Father Angelo did as he was told; he laid aside all his books of oratory and with them the flowers of speech and flights of learning, and prepared his discourses only with the help of his Bible and crucifix.  His new manner was immediately successful with the common people; but these were the days before St Alphonsus Liguori and his Redemptorists had simplified the style of preaching prevalent in Italy, and more refined people were contemptuous of the straightforwardness and familiar phrasing of Father Angelo. The attention of these was won in a rather dramatic way when, in 1711, Cardinal Pignatelli invited him to preach the Lent at Naples. His first sermon there provoked the usual superior amusement among the gentry, and the two following days the church was almost empty. The parish priest asked him to discontinue the course, but Cardinal Pignatelli said he was to continue, and this “incident” stimulated curiosity, so that the church was crowded next day. At the end of his sermon Father Angelo asked the congregation to pray for the soul of somebody in the church who was about to die. As they left the building, speculating about the prophecy, a well-known lawyer, who had made himself conspicuous by his raillery at the preacher, fell dead from a stroke. This happening, which was followed by others equally remarkable, made Father Angelo’s reputation in Naples for the future there were more listeners than the church could hold, and many
who came merely from curiosity received the grace of God and were brought to their knees.
   For the next twenty-eight years Bd Angelo preached as a missioner in the kingdom of Naples and particularly up and down his own province of Calabria, where he brought thousands to penance and amendment of life.
  His mission was emphasized by many miracles, especially of healing the sick, and examples of seeming supernatural agility or of bilocation are recorded of him.


He had insight into the souls of men, reminding them of forgotten or concealed sins, and several times, as at Naples, predicted future events with exactness.
   He continued his labours to within six months of his death, when he became blind, but was able to celebrate Mass daily till the end, which came peacefully at the friary of Acri on October 30, 1739. A flow of blood in the veins and movement of an arm at the word of the father guardian, similar to the phenomena reported of Bd Bonaventure of Potenza (October 26), are stated to have taken place three days after death. Bd Angelo of Acri was beatified in 1825.

The Bollandists have supplied a full account in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xiii, drawing almost entirely upon the evidence presented in the beatification process. See, however, also the lives written by Ernest de Beaulieu (1899) and Giacinto da Belmonte (1894). English summary may be read in Leon, Aureole.Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iv, pp. 1—7.

Born at Acri, Italy, he was refused admission to the Capuchins twice but was accepted on his third attempt in 1690, and was ordained. Unsuccessful in his first sermons, he eventually became a famous preacher after a tremendous success preaching in Naples during Lent in 1711.
For the rest of his life, he preached missions in Calabria and Naples, converting thousands and performing many miracles of healing. He was reputed to have had the gifts of prophecy and bilocation, experienced visions and ecstasies and was a sought after confessor with the ability to see into men's souls. He died in the friary at Acri on October 30, and was beatified in 1825.

Blessed Angelus of Acri, OFM Cap. (AC) Born at Acri (diocese of Bisignano), Calabria, Italy, in 1669; died in 1739; beatified in 1825. Angelus twice attempted unsuccessfully to become a religious. The third time, after a tempestuous novitiate, he was professed as a Capuchin. His public life as a preacher was again quite unsuccessful in the beginning and "tempestuously successful" afterwards (Benedictines).

Anima Christi: A Prayer for All Centuries
by Friar Jack Wintz, O.F.M.

Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.  Body of Christ, save me.  Blood of Christ, inebriate me.  Water from the side of Christ, wash me.  Passion of Christ, strengthen me.  O good Jesus, hear me.  Within your wounds, hide me.  Let me never be separated from you.  From the malignant enemy, defend me.  In the hour of my death, call me,  And bid me come to you,  That with your saints I may praise you  Forever and ever. Amen.

 This prayer touches us on emotional and mystical levels. The words are most sacred and, with the Spirit’s help, happily lead us into an immediate union with Christ and, through him, with those we love, as we shall discuss later.
The Anima Christi (Soul of Christ) has been attributed at times to St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), but historians say that the prayer predates Ignatius by as much as a century and-a-half. A long tradition tells us, moreover, that it was a favorite prayer of Ignatius’. Indeed, in many cases, it has served as the opening prayer of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The prayer is so sacred and sublime that it transcends all time, all centuries. We ask the Spirit to guide us into the sacredness and hope spelled out by these ancient words:

Although there are many translations of this prayer, the wording here is a literal translation of the original Latin. Let me share how this prayer inspires me at this juncture of my life’s journey:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Jesus, risen one, let your soul, which is as vast as the universe, invade my whole being and make me holy. Breathe your Holy Spirit, the sanctifier, upon me just as you breathed upon the first disciples after you rose from the dead. Set me free of sin, and fill me with the holiness that fills your own soul.

Body of Christ, save me. I open myself to your love. Embrace me with your healing and transforming power. Jesus, this prayer moves me especially when I say it after receiving your body and blood in holy Communion or after Mass has ended. But the prayer is meaningful at any time. I believe you are with me always and ever standing at my door knocking (Rv 3:20)—inviting me to open the door and enjoy a mystical union with you, the risen one.

Blood of Christ, inebriate me. You have redeemed us, Jesus, by your blood shed upon the cross. At the Eucharist, we receive that blood in the form of wine. Your burning love is so overwhelming that one becomes intoxicated by the intensity of your care for each one of us. Such love prompted St. Anthony of Padua to proclaim, “The humanity of Christ is like the grape because it was crushed in the winepress of the cross so that his blood flowed forth over all the earth…. How great is the charity of the beloved! How great the love of the bridegroom for his spouse, the Church!”

Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Yes, Jesus, let the water flowing from your side cleanse me, as did the life-giving water that flowed over me at baptism. And this saving stream never stops flowing through me—unless I separate myself from your love. You are the vine, I am the branch. If I remain in you, your abundant life continues flowing into me. As St. Paul attested long ago, “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

Passion of Christ, strengthen me. It is your power, and not my own, which heals me and makes me strong. As the psalmist says, “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Ps 127:1). Your strength alone is my source of hope.

O good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds hide me. There is something so mystical, and dare I say intimate, Jesus, in our hiding in those holy wounds through which we are saved. As Isaiah tells us, “by his bruises we are healed” (Is 53:5). Draw us into this most loving mystery—this sacred fountainhead of our salvation!

Let me never be separated from you. Loving savior, this expresses, perhaps, the most central theme of Anima Christi. Keep reminding me that the best part of prayer is not so much gaining information about you, O Jesus, as it is growing into a more intimate love union with you. So, loving savior, hold us close to you.

From the malignant enemy, defend me. This line is similar to the closing line of that special prayer that you yourself taught us—the Our Father: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.” We rely on your healing power, O Lord, to set us free of any malignant force that might cause us to be separated from you—from life itself.

In the hour of my death, call me, and bid me come to you, that with your saints I may praise you forever and ever. Amen. Jesus, I need your help to reach my final destiny in your Kingdom. Stay with me to the end—until I can join in singing your praises with all those saved by your immense love.

Additional thoughts
No doubt you have noticed how my reflections on the Anima Christi have strayed from the “me” and “my” vocabulary of this very personal prayer—and I have begun to use words like “we” and “us” and “our.” The Anima Christi is very much a prayer focused on my personal relationship with Christ. We also know from the changes ushered into the Church by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) that we have come to more communal ways of celebrating the sacraments and of praying together as Church. This in no way contradicts the importance of recognizing those times in our lives when the Spirit calls us to more personal styles of prayer.

I have found it very fruitful in my own praying of the Anima Christi to alternate between the personal and the communal—and I’ve heard others also speak very favorably of doing the same. Perhaps you will find this fruitful as well. A number of people have the prayer memorized and may say the Anima Christi first personally in the traditional form quoted above, and afterwards in the “us” and “our” form, so to speak, by including coworkers, family members or a sick relative, spouse or loved one in the prayer. Thus, in the same prayer, individuals can contemplate their personal love relationship and union with Christ and, at the same time, think lovingly of a sick relative, dear friend or other persons in need. One might focus simply upon one special person or, on the other hand, a whole assembly of people.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night or before dawn and am unable to sleep for maybe an hour or more. I sometimes find great peace and meaning in contemplating my union with Christ as well as with those I include in my prayer. Having memorized the Anima Christi, I keep going through the prayer and meditating on it, phrase by phrase, perhaps while fingering rosary beads. At times, it becomes a profound mystical experience. This cherished experience doesn’t come from me, but from the goodness of God. After all, the Anima Christi expresses nothing less than Christ’s incredible love not only for me but also for any others (and all others) who come into my consciousness. Lord Jesus, may we never be separated from you and from those we love! Amen.


 Sunday  Saints of this Day October  30 Tértio Kaléndas Novémbris   40 days for Life Day 32
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
ewtnmissionaries.com

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

                                                                           
       40 days for Life Day 32
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.

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

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

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

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

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

The Five Reasons
Lucia once asked this question of Our Lord and received as an answer: 'MY DAUGHTER, THE MOTIVE IS SIMPLE, THERE ARE FIVE KINDS OF OFFENCES AND BLASPHEMIES UTTERED AGAINST THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY: (1) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: (2) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HER VIRGINITY: (3) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HER DIVINE MATERNITY: (4) BLASPHEMIES OF THOSE WHO OPENLY SEEK TO FOSTER IN THE HEARTS OF CHILDREN INDIFFERENCE OR EVEN HATRED FOR THIS IMMACULATE MOTHER: (5) THE OFFENCES OF THOSE WHO DIRECTLY OUTRAGE HER IN HOLY IMAGES.'
From the above, it is easy to see that each of the Five Saturdays can correspond to a specific offence. By offering the graces received during each First Saturday as reparation for the offence being prayed for, the participant can hope to help remove the thorns from Our Lady's Heart.
What Do I Have To Do?
The devotion of First Saturdays, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, carries with it the assurance of salvation. However, to derive profit from such a great promise of Our Lady, the devotion must be properly understood and duly performed.
The requirements as stipulated by Our Lady are as follows:
(1) CONFESSION, (2) COMMUNION, (3) FIVE DECADES OF THE ROSARY, (4) MEDITATION ON ONE OR MORE OF THE ROSARY MYSTERIES FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES, (5) TO DO ALL THESE THINGS IN THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, and (6) TO OBSERVE ALL THESE PRACTICES ON THE FIRST SATURDAY OF FIVE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS.
(1) CONFESSION: A reparative confession means that the confession should not only be good (valid and licit), but also be offered in the spirit of reparation, in this case, to Mary's Immaculate Heart. This confession may be made on the First Saturday itself or some days before or after the First Saturday within the preceding octave would suffice.
(2) COMMUNION: The communion of reparation must be sacramental duly received with the intention of making reparation. This offering, like the confession, is an interior act and so no external action to express the intention is needed.