Monday  Saints of this Day October  31 Prídie 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
Mary Mother of GOD
Vigília ómnium Sanctórum. 
The Vigil of All Saints.

The fall 40 Days for Life campaign

Pray that we become vessels of hope to all around us,
especially to those who minister in the pro-life movement.


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

October 31

  Saint Ambrose and Theodosius, by van Dyck

Even the heretics appear to have Christ, for none of them denies the name of Christ. Yet, anyone who does not confess all that pertains to Christ does in fact deny Christ.-- St. Ambrose of Milan

Feast Dec 7; 397 St. Ambrose  sent to Milan as Roman governor chosen bishop; while  catechumen Granted gift of wonderworking, healed many from sickness. Doctor of the Church

1617 St. Alphonsus Rodriguez a Jesuit lay-brother porter forty-six years; influenced St. Peter Clavier; left considerable number of manuscripts some published as Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodriguez
1917 The Life of St John Kochurov, Hieromartyr; Missionary in America; First Clergy Martyr of Russian Revolution
October 31 - Pius XII Eugenio Pacelli Consecrates the World
to Mary’s Immaculate Heart (1942)  
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin

October 31 - Miracle at the well of Saint Fort in Chartres (France, 1116)
Saint Ambrose and Theodosius, by van Dyck
Even the heretics appear to have Christ, for none of them denies the name of Christ. Yet, anyone who does not confess all that pertains to Christ does in fact deny Christ.-- St.Ambrose of Milan Feast Dec 7; 397 St. Ambrose  sent to Milan as Roman governor chosen bishop; while  catechumen Granted gift of wonderworking, healed many from sickness. Doctor of the Church

1st v. Ampliatus, Urban & Narcissus 3 disciples of our Lord preachers of the Gospel with Saint Andrew in the Balkans
1st v. Saint Stachys of Byzantius saluted by Saint Paul as“
my beloved.
2nd v. St. Nemesius and Lucilla Two Roman martyrs translation of blessed Nemesius, deacon, and his daughter, the virgin Lucilla
  250 Holy Martyr Epimachus of Alexandria Egypt native; For a long time he lived in seclusion on Mount Peleusium
  287 St. Quentin martyred Roman went to Gaul as missionary with St. Lucian of Beauvais
5th v. Saint Maura pursued asceticism at Constantinople, where she founded a monastery, where she died 5th century.
5th v. Departure of the Great St. John Colobos (the Short) Coptic

  512 Erth of Cornwall Patrick ordained him priest and bishop
 
655 Saint Foillan of Fosses; Foillan is the patron of children's nurses, dentists, surgeons, and truss-makers kept up close relations with Saint Gertrude's establishment at Nivelles OSB Abbot (RM)  (also known as Faillan)
  660 St. Antoninus Archbishop of Milan
  681 St. Bega A princess of Ireland and hermitess-foundress
  714 St. Notburga Benedictine nun in the Abbey of St. Mary
  840 St. Arnulf Benedictine monk martyred by Saracens
  994 St. Wolfgang Benedictine Bishop and reformer of Regensburg  renowned for his charity and aid to the poor
Blessed Are You Because You Believed (II)
Through the Son she conceived, she found the truth; through knowledge,
she came to dwell in the truth; and by the Son's taking flesh, the truth came to dwell in her.
Genesis 28:16 says, Surely the Lord is in this place. Because God has made this place an unfathomable mystery.
While the truth dwells in the hearts of the faithful, in the Blessed Virgin the truth also dwelled in her womb. So let us give no sleep to our eye, to our eyelids let us give no slumber, until we find a place for the Lord, a tabernacle for the God of Jacob
(cf. PS 131:4-5). excerpt from St Albert the Great, In Lucam 1, 45; ed. Borgnet, 22:122
On 31 October 1942, the day of the solemn closing of the Jubilee ceremony of the Apparitions at Fatima, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on a radio broadcast in response to Our Lady’s call from Heaven.
He renewed this important gesture on 8 December 1942.
In 1944, in the midst of World War II, the same sovereign pontiff consecrated all mankind again to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and placed the world under her all-powerful protection. On the occasion of this same ceremony, he declared that the whole Church would celebrate each year a feast in the honor of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, in order to obtain “peace in all nations, liberty in the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtues, through the intercession of Blessed Virgin.  He appointed the date of this feast on August 22, the octave day of the Feast of the Assumption.
Taken from www.magnificat.ca/cal
October 31 - Pius XII Consecrates the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (1942)
You are the Glory of Your Black People (I)
Your black people arrived late. They are in a hurry and full of zeal to take their place in the concert of nations that rises from this land of exile to you, O sweet mother of Jesus. O Mother so loving, the night has been hard and long, difficult and long the slumber of your Black people...The others... friends or foes, who came from afar, talked about your Black people and your Black people listened without understanding. What a nightmare when your Black people understood that they were only bystanders to problems that affected them! Their destiny was set up and discussed about...They were afflicted and mute witnesses, even though they had something to say, something to shout out, a personal stand to make! Loving mother, isn't it true that it was a disconcerting and mortifying mystery for your Black people? The night has been hard and long...
Jacques Amoussou Le culte de Marie dans la spiritualité africaine au Dahomey en Afrique noire, Grand Séminaire Saint Gall, Oudiah 1974
October 31 - Pius XII Consecrated the World to Mary's Immaculate Heart (1942)
 The Dogma of the Assumption
In 1946, Pius XII sent a letter to all the bishops of the world to ask if he should proceed toward defining the Dogma of the Assumption. Since the answer was almost unanimously positive, the pope announced that he was of the mind to confirm the unanimous teaching of the ordinary Magisterium of the Church and the unanimous belief of the Christian people.

On May 1, 1950, a 6 year-old boy who had been receiving visions of Our Lady in Seilhan, France, since 1947, was granted a private audience by Pope Pius XII. The child gave the Holy Father a message Our Lady had confided to him: The Holy Virgin went up to Heaven with her body, and your virginal body will be found to be incorrupt after your death.

Then on October 30 and 31, and November 1st and 8, 1950, the pope, walking outside in the gardens of the Vatican, saw the sun dance in the sky, just as it had happened in Fatima in 1917. The Pope was further encouraged by the mighty ray of the sun which surrounded him when he proclaimed the Dogma.

October 31 - Pius XII Consecrates the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (1942)
Full of Grace (III)
Mary's fullness of grace also produces in her the perfection of all the supernatural moral virtues. The most striking of these is certainly her humility which attributes all that is done in her solely to a gift of God and takes no benefit for herself.
Saint Augustine exclaimed:
O true humility that gave birth to God for mankind, gave life to mortals, renewed the heavens, purified the world, opened Paradise, and freed the souls of men! Indeed, salvation came to us by the fecundity of Mary's humility, which could never have taken place without her yes to God's plan.
Mary's obedience, Saint Irenaeus wrote, untied the knot that Eve's disobedience tied up.
We must also mention Mary's incomparable purity. She never had an inordinate attraction, her entire being was always fully ruled by the love of God. This purity produced a perfect spirit of poverty (i.e. the absence of all attachment to material goods).
Lastly, Mary's fullness of grace encompasses the perfection of the Holy Spirit's gifts: she has always been totally under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Without a doubt, Mary has had the highest possible degree of mystical contemplation. This is why the litanies call her
Throne of Wisdom and Mystical Rose. Her Magnificat proves to what degree she was imbibed with Holy Scripture. She absolutely bursts with joy in the realization of God's eternal plan. This joy grew in peace--the litanies invoke her as Queen of Peace. Her uninterrupted contemplation was fed by her perfect silence.
Saint Luke wrote:
She treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart”. (Lk 2: 19).
Christian Doctrine and Life, John Daujat, Tequi, Nihil Obstat (Claude Gay, o.s.b.) 1979.

October 31 – Pius XII consecrates the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (1942) 
 
The Great Promise of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
 
On December 10, 1925, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Lucia of Fatima with, beside her, hanging on a luminous cloud, the Child Jesus. The Blessed Virgin put her hand on Lucia's shoulder and at the same time showed her a Heart surrounded by thorns that she held in the other hand. Then the Blessed Virgin said:

"My daughter, look at my Heart encircled by thorns that ungrateful men continually pierce by their blasphemies and their ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me and tell the people that those who, for five months, on the first Saturday, will go to confession, receive Holy Communion, recite a Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me… I promise to assist them at the hour of their death with all the graces needed for the salvation of their souls."  Source: www.santorosario.net

1141 Saints Spyridon and Nicodemus, Prosphora-bakers of Kiev Caves, Near Caves  Spyridon glorified by miracles
1227 100,000 Martyrs of Tbilisi by the Mongols; Georgians sacrificed their lives to venerate the holy icons
1272 Blessed Christopher of Romagnola joined Saint Francis of Assisi OFM
1447 Blessed Thomas Bellaci Fransciscan lay-brother made novice master When over 70, he went to preach in Syria and Abyssinia where, to his sorrow, he narrowly escaped martyrdom by the Islamics
1617 St. Alphonsus Rodriguez a Jesuit lay-brother porter forty-six years; influenced St. Peter Clavier; left considerable number of manuscripts some published as Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodriguez
1917 The Life of St John Kochurov, Hieromartyr; Missionary in America; First Clergy Martyr of Russian Revolution

1st v. Ampliatus, Urban & Narcissus 3 disciples of our Lord preachers of the Gospel with Saint Andrew in the Balkans MM (RM)
Romæ sanctórum Ampliáti, Urbáni et Narcíssi, quorum méminit sanctus Paulus ad Romános scribens, qui, ob Evangélium Christi, a Judæis et Gentílibus cæsi sunt.
    At Rome, the Saints Ampliatus, Urbanus, and Narcissus, who are mentioned by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans.  They were put to death by the Jews and Gentiles for the Gospel of Christ.


Saint Paul mentions these three saints in Romans 16:8ff. Later, chiefly Greek, traditions have made Ampliatus a bishop, and all three disciples of our Lord, and preachers of the Gospel with Saint Andrew in the Balkan countries. The Roman Martyrology adds "they were slain by Jews and Gentiles" (Benedictines).

The Holy Apostles of the Seventy: Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles and Aristobulus:  Saint Amplias was a bishop in the city of Diospolis.

Saint Urban, one of the Seventy Apostles, was made a bishop by St Andrew (November 30), and was active in Macedonia. They were killed by Jews and pagan Greeks because of their zeal in preaching the Gospel.

Saint Aristobulus, one of the Seventy Apostles, was the brother of St Barnabus (June 11) and proclaimed the Gospel in Britain, where he died in peace. He is also commemorated on March 16.
Saint Narcissus, one of the Seventy Apostles, was made Bishop of Athens by the Apostle Philip.
Saint Apelles, one of the Seventy Apostles, was bishop at Heraclion in Trachis.
1st v. Stachys of Byzantius saluted by Saint Paul as "my beloved." B (RM)
Constantinópoli sancti Stachis Epíscopi, qui a beáto Andréa Apóstolo primus ejúsdem civitátis Epíscopus ordinátus est.
    At Constantinople, St. Stachis, bishop who was consecrated first bishop of that city by the blessed apostle Andrew.
Stachys was the Christian saluted by Saint Paul (Rom. 16:9) as
my beloved. The tradition is that Saint Andrew consecrated him bishop of Byzantium (Benedictines).
Saint Stachys, one of the Seventy Apostles, was made Bishop of Byzantium by St Andrew (November 30). He built a church at Argyropolis, and many people gathered there to hear him preach. He was a good shepherd to his flock, tirelessly laboring for their salvation. He died in peace
2nd v. St. Nemesius and Lucilla Two Roman martyrs translation of blessed Nemesius, deacon, and his daughter, the virgin Lucilla
Romæ Translátio beáti Nemésii Diáconi, et fíliæ Lucíllæ Vírginis, qui octávo Kaléndas Septémbris decolláti sunt.
    At Rome, the translation of blessed Nemesius, deacon, and his daughter, the virgin Lucilla, who were beheaded on the 25th of August.

250 Holy Martyr Epimachus of Alexandria Egypt native; For a long time he lived in seclusion on Mount Peleusium
During a persecution against Christians at Alexandria (about the year 250), St Epimachus in his fervent zeal came into the city, destroyed pagan idols, and fearlessly confessed Christ. For this the saint was put to torture. Among the people watching the torture was a woman who was blind in one eye. A drop of blood from the martyr healed her infirmity.
After fierce tortures, the saint was beheaded by the sword.St Epimachus is also commemorated on March 11.
  287 St. Quentin Patron of bombardiers, chaplains, locksmiths, porters, tailors, and surgeons; Invoked against coughs, sneezes, dropsy
martyred Roman went to Gaul as missionary with St. Lucian of Beauvais
Apud Augústam Veromanduórum, in Gállia, sancti Quinctíni, civis Románi et ex órdine Senatório viri, qui sub Maximiáno Imperatóre martyrium passus est; cujus corpus post annos quinquagínta quinque, revelánte Angelo, invéntum est incorrúptum.
    At Saint Quentin in France, the martyr St. Quentin, a Roman citizen and senator, who suffered under Emperor Maximian.  By the revelation of an angel, his body was found incorrupt after a lapse of fifty-five years.

ST QUINTINUS, OR QUENTIN, MARTYR
ST QUINTINUS was Roman who, his legend tells us, left his country and, attended by St Lucian of Beauvais, made his way to Gaul. They preached the faith together in that country till they reached Amiens in Picardy, where they parted. St Quintinus stayed at Amiens, endeavouring by his prayers and labours to make that country a portion of the Lord’s vineyard, and the reward of his labours was the crown of martyrdom.
   The prefect Rictiovarus heard what great progress the Christian faith had made at Amiens, and he ordered Quintinus thrown into prison. The next day the holy preacher was brought before the prefect, who tried to win him over with promises and threats; finding him proof against both, he ordered him to be whipped and confined to a dungeon without the liberty of receiving assistance from the faithful. The passio of St Quintinus is a worthless recital of tortures and marvels. It says that his limbs were stretched with pulleys on the rack till his joints were dislocated; his body torn with iron wire, boiled pitch and oil were poured on his back and lighted torches applied to his sides. By the ministry of an angel he escaped from prison but was taken again while preaching in the market place. When Rictiovarus left Amiens he commanded Quintinus to be conducted to Augusta Veromanduorum (now Saint-Quentin), where he made fresh attacks upon the confessor of Christ.
   Ashamed to see himself vanquished by his courage, Rictiovarus ordered him tortured anew, and at last his head to be cut off, whereupon a dove issued from the gaping neck and flew away into the heavens. The martyr’s body was thrown into the river Somme but it was recovered by the Christians and buried near the town.
Since St Gregory of Tours already speaks of a church dedicated in honour of St Quintinus, there can be little reason for questioning the fact that he was an authentic martyr. But the story has been embellished with all sorts of legendary excrescences and is preserved to us in a great variety of forms, of which a list is given in BHL., nn. 6999—7021. Several of these texts, including accounts of the translations of relics, are reproduced in the long article devoted to St Quintinus in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xiii. Others have since been discovered, notably a number of Carolingian metrical effusions which have been printed in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xx (1905), pp. 1-44. It is interesting to note that Bede already knew the legend of Quintinus for his notice, see the Martyrologes historiques of Dom Quentin, who believes it to be authentic.
Quentin was also known as Quintinus. According to legend, he settled at Amiens in Picardy. He was so successful in preaching that he was imprisoned by prefect Rictiovarus, tortured, and then brought to Augusta Veromanduorum (Saint-Quentin), where he was again tortured and then was beheaded
Quentin of Amiens M (RM) (also known as Quintinus)
Died 287. When we read the lives of the martyrs who offered their lives as a testimony to a grateful heart--a heart that humbly acknowledges the sacrifice of our Lord for a sinner--we are forced to question our own lives. Are we witnesses to God's infinite love at least by lives of self-denial, humility, and self-giving? We may never be called to shed our blood, but what about our time, talent, and treasure?

According to legend Quentin was a Roman, the son of Zeno of senatorial rank. It is said that filled with apostolic zeal, Quentin travelled to Gaul as a missionary with Saint Lucian of Beauvais. Quentin settled at Amiens in Picardy, while Lucian continued to Beauvais, where he won the martyr's crown.

By his multitudinous prayers and continuous hounding of heaven, Quentin wrought many miracles that confirmed the truth of the Gospel he preached among the heathen. He was so successful in preaching that he was imprisoned by Prefect Rictovarus (Rictius Varus), who had travelled there from Trier. Quentin was manacled, tortured repeatedly, and thrown into a dungeon. When Rictovarus left Amiens, he commanded Quentin to be brought to Augusta Veromanduorum (later Somme, now St-Quentin), through which Rictovarus would pass upon his return to Trier. Here Quentin was again tortured, beheaded, and thrown into (or drowned in) the River Somme.

The body was recovered by Christians several days later and buried on a mountainside. One-half century later, it was discovered by a devout woman named Eusebia. A blind women recovered her sight by the sacred relics. During the reign of Julian the Apostate, the place of his burial was again lost to memory, though a chapel which was built near it remained. When Saint Eligius found the relics in 641 after a concerted effort, he distributed the nails with which Quentin's body had been pierced, as well as the saint's teeth and hair. The remainder Eligius placed in a rich shrine made by his own hands. This was placed behind the high altar at Noyon. The relics have been translated several times since then and are now kept in Laon.

There is no doubt that he is a historical person; however, his story has been much embellished (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

He is shown as a young man with two spits (1) as a deacon; (2) with a broken wheel; (3) with a chair to which he is transfixed; (4) with a sword; or (5) beheaded, a dove flying from his severed head. He is venerated at Amiens.
Patron of bombardiers, chaplains, locksmiths, porters, tailors, and surgeons; Invoked against coughs, sneezes, dropsy (Roeder).

5th v. Saint Maura pursued asceticism at Constantinople, where she founded a monastery, where she died in the fifth century.
512 Erth of Cornwall Patrick ordained him priest and bishop (AC)
(also known as Erc, Ercus, Herygh, Urith of Cornwall or Slane)
feast in Ireland is November 2. Saint Erth, the brother of Saint Uny and Saint Ia (Ives), was the only person to give homage to Saint Patrick during the latter's confrontation with the druids on the Hill of Slane. Patrick later ordained him a priest and bishop. A distich ascribed to Saint Patrick relates:
       Bishop Erc,
        Whatever he judged was rightly judged:
        Whosoever gives a just judgment
        Shall receive the blessing of bishop Erc.
Erth is said to have trained the young Saint Brendan the Navigator at his church in Tralee. Saint Erth is also responsible for establishing the famous school at Slane, where King Dagobert II is said to have received his early education. The 12th-century martyrology of Gorman calls him 'Erc of Slane, bishop of Lilcach and from Ferta Fer Feic beside Sid Truim from the West.' He apparently crossed from Ireland to Cornwall, where a church and the village of Saint Erth are dedicated under his patronage (Benedictines, Farmer, Montague).
655 Saint Foillan of Fosses; Foillan is the patron of children's nurses, dentists, surgeons, and truss-makers
kept up close relations with Saint Gertrude's establishment at Nivelles OSB Abbot
(RM)  (also known as Faillan)

St FOILLAN was the brother of St Fursey, of whom an account is given herein under January 16. They came to England, together with another brother, St Ultan, after the year 630 and established a monastery at Burgh Castle, near Yar­mouth, from which they did missionary work among the East Angles.

   After a time Fursey crossed over to Gaul, where he died about the year 648. The Mercians under Penda overran East Anglia, when the invaders had pillaged the monastery at Burgh Castle, and Foillan and Ultan determined to follow the example of their brother.  They came into Neustria where, like Fursey before them, they were well received by Clovis II.  From Péronne St Foillan went to Nivelles, where Bd Itta, widow of Bd Pepin of Landen, who had founded the monastery at Nivelles of which their daughter St Gertrude was abbess, gave him land at Fosses.

   Here he established a monastery, and was in close contact with the abbey of Nivelles, where he exercised a great influence. St Foillan also engaged himself in missionary work among the Brabanters, and left a strong impression upon the religious life of the place and time.  He is one of the best remembered of the lesser Irish missionary monks on the continent.

About the year 655 on the eve of the feast of St Quintinus, St Foillan sang Mass at Nivelles and then set out with three companions. While passing through the forest of Seneffe they were set upon by outlaws, robbed, murdered, and their bodies left lying. These were not found till the following January 16, when St Gertrude ordered them to be buried at the abbey which St Foillan had founded. As he was slain while journeying on the business of the Church, St Foillan is commemorated as a martyr in several places of Belgium; he is said also to have been a bishop, though there appears to be no good authority for this.

A number of texts have been printed in the Acta Sanctorum bearing on the history of St Foillan, but one still more valuable is a short document which appears in some manu­scripts as an appendix to the earliest Life of St Fursey. B. Krusch who has edited it in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. iv, pp. 449—451, believes it to have been written by an eye­witness, probably an Irish monk in the service of the nuns at Nivelles. It describes the death and burial of St Foillan. See also Kenney, Sources for the Early History of Ireland, vol. i, pp. 503—504; Crépin, “Le Monastère des Scots de Fosses” in La Terre Wallonne, vols. viii (1923), pp. 357—385, and ix (1923), pp. 16—26; and L. Gougaud, Christianity in Celtic Lands, pp. 147—148. 

Born in Ireland; died in Belgium, c. 655. Among the brothers of Saint Fursey were Foillan and Saint Ultan, who went to England with Fursey about 630. There they built a monastery at Burgh Castle in Suffolk near Yarmouth, and were missionary monks under him among the East Angles.
When Fursey departed for Gaul, Foillan succeeded him as abbot, but the destruction of their monastery and the depredations of the Mercians under Penda, drove Foillan and Ultan to follow their brother across the sea.
They were welcomed to Neustria by King Clovis II. Abbess Blessed Ida of Nivelles gave Foillan land at Fosses, Belgium, where he set up a monastery and did missionary work among the Brabanters of the surrounding country, on whom he made a lasting impression.
He kept up close relations with Saint Gertrude's establishment at Nivelles, and this was the occasion of his untimely end: It was when returning from saying Mass at Nivelles that he was set upon by robbers in the forest of Seneffe and murdered with three companions. Their bodies were not found until nearly three months later.
Ultan succeeded Foillan as abbot of Fosses, and he too was revered as a saint.
In September every seventh year at Fosses, there is a spectacular procession, called the March of Foillan, to honor the saint. Foillan's relics are honored by an official mounted guard and salutes are fired seven times along the route of the procession. (Attwater, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Montague).
Foillan is depicted as a bishop with two armed men under his feet. Sometimes he is shown (1) refusing the cup at the table of Pepin; (2) carrying hot coals in his vestment for incense; (3) praying before the church while the city burns; (4) kneeling, pierced by a spear; (5) beaten with a club; or (6) with sword and palm (Roeder).

Foillan is the patron of children's nurses, dentists, surgeons, and truss-makers (Roeder).
He is widely honored in both Ireland and northern France (Montague).
660 St. Antoninus Archbishop of Milan
Medioláni sancti Antoníni, Epíscopi et Confessóris.    At Milan, St. Antoninus, bishop and confessor.
Italy, for one year. In 1581, his relics were enshrined in St. Simplician's church in Milan by St. Charles Borromeo.
Antoninus Fontana B (RM). He was archbishop of Milan for one year. In 1581, Saint Charles Borromeo enshrined his relics beneath a magnificent altar in the church of Saint Simplician (Benedictines).

681 St. Bega  A princess of Ireland and hermitess-foundress
also listed as Bee. Bega fled the royal court rather than marry a prince from Norway. Tradition states that she was miraculously transported to Cumberland, in England.There St. Oswald counseled her in a hermitage, and St. Aidan received her vows as a nun. Bega founded St. Bee's Monastery. She served as abbess there until her death. She is also remembered in the village of Kilbees, in Scotland.

Bega V (AC) (also known as Begh, Begha, Begu, Bee)
Died in Cumberland, 681; see also Bega. This is another of those problematic saints, mixing fact and fiction and, perhaps, the stories of more than one person of the same name. One Bega is Irish; the other Anglo-Saxon. As always, there appears to be some basis for the stories, but it is impossible to sort or determine to whom each element of the story relates. So, I give you what each of the sources has said.

The Irish maiden Saint Bega, in legend a princess, fled on the eve of her marriage to a son of the king of Norway with a miraculous bracelet presented by an angel as a token of her betrothal to Jesus. She was miraculously transported across the Irish Sea to Cumberland, England.

She lived as a hermit for a while but on the advice of King Saint Oswald, she received the veil from Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne. Thereafter she founded a convent on the promontory of Saint Bee's Head (Copeland), in Cumberland, which flourished for 900 years with grants from Kings Saint Oswald, Saint Oswin, and others. As an abbess, she was venerated for her aid to the poor and the oppressed. The abbey still perpetuates her memory, as does also the name of the village, Kilbees, in Scotland.

Two other saints of the same name are mentioned by hagiographers in Yorkshire and an abbess at Kilbees. An Anglo-Saxon nun, called Heiu or Begu, was also professed by Saint Aidan. According to Saint Bede, she abdicated her abbacy of Hartlepool Abbey in favor of the royal princess Saint Hilda. He also notes that while Begu was novice mistress in another convent, she saw a vision of her beloved Hilda, surrounded by heavenly light, ascend to heaven as the bells tolled to call the sisters to prayer. The community was immediately gathered in the chapel to pray for the repose of Hilda's soul. The following morning messengers arrived was the news of the death of the abbess of Whitby.

About 1125, the monks of Whitby sought relics to replace those of Hilda, who had been translated to Glastonbury (they possessed those of Saint Caedmon, but few were interested in him). Through a supposed revelation, a sarcophagus was found at Harkness with the inscription Hoc est sepulchrum Begu and its contents transferred to Whitby, where miracles were reported.

The origin of the name of the village of Kilbees and headland on the coast of Cumberland is a matter of uncertainty. It seems more likely that they are named after the Irish Bega than after either of the two 7th century Northumbrian nuns, Begu and Heiu, mentioned by Bede. There is a medieval legend that oaths sworn on her bracelet were accepted without further question (Attwater, Benedictines, D'Arcy, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Montague, Moran).
714 St. Notburga Benedictine nun in the Abbey of St. Mary
in the Capitol, in Calogne.
Notburga of Cologne, OSB V (AC) (also known as Noitburgis) Died c. 714. Notburga, the daughter of Dagobert I, became a Benedictine nun in the convent of Saint Mary in Cologne (Benedictines). In art she is depicted as a princess with one arm missing and a snake in her right hand. Venerated at Hochausen (Baden, Germany) (Roeder). (This may be a different Notburga.)

840 St. Arnulf Benedictine monk martyred by Saracens
Arnulf was at Novalese, in Piedmont, Italy. When the area was overrun by the Saracens, he was put to death.
Arnulfus of Novalese, OSB M (AC). A monk of Novalese, in the Piedmont, Arnulfus was put to death by the Saracens (Benedictines).

5th v. Departure of the Great St. John Colobos (the Short) Coptic
On this day, the great light and saint, the hegumen Abba John (Yoannis) Colobos (the Short), departed. He was a native of Betsa in upper Egypt and he had one brother. His parents were righteous and God-fearing people, rich in faith and good deeds.

When he was 8 years old, his heart turned away from the futility of this world, its lusts and its glory, and he desired the monastic life. The grace of God moved him to go to the desert of Scete and there he came upon a tried and holy man whose name was Abba Pemwah from El-Bahnasa. John asked Abba Pemwah to allow him to stay with him. The old man answered, trying him, "My son, you cannot stay with us for this is a very hard desert and those who dwell in it eat from the work of their hands, besides observing many fasts, prayers, and sleeping on the floor and many other forms of asceticism. Go back to the world and live in the fear of God." Abba John told him, "Do not send me away, for God's sake, because I came to be in your obedience and prayers. If you accept me, I believe that God will make your heart well-pleased with me."


Abba Pemwah was in the habit of not doing anything hastily. He asked the Lord Christ to reveal to him the matter of this young man. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, "Accept him, for he shall become a chosen vessel." Abba Pemwah brought him and he shaved the hair of his head. He laid out the garb of the monk, and he prayed over it for three days and three nights and when he put the garb on him, he saw an angel making the sign of the Cross over it. Saint John started his monastic life with great asceticism and splendid works. One day Abba Pemwah wanted to test him, so he expelled him from his cell saying, "I cannot live with you." Abba John stayed out by the door of his cell for seven days. Every day Abba Pemwah went out and smote him with a palm branch and Abba John bowed down before him saying, "I have sinned." On the seventh day, the old man went out to go to the church and he saw seven angels with seven crowns placing them on the head of Abba John. Since that day, he was held by him in honor and reverence.

One day Abba Pemwah found a piece of dry wood and gave it to Abba John and said to him, "Take this wood, plant and water it." St. John obeyed and went on watering it twice a day even though the water was about 12 miles from where they lived. After three years, that piece of wood sprouted and grew into a fruitful tree. Abba Pemwah took some of that fruit and went around to all the elder monks saying, "Take, eat from the fruit of obedience." This tree still exists in its place in his monastery.

Abba Pemwah fell sick for 12 years and Abba John ministered unto him all this time during which he never heard from his teacher that he fell short in his service. Abba Pemwah was an experienced old man who had been tried much, and sickness had emaciated him until he became like a piece of dry wood, so that he would be a chosen offering.

When Abba Pemwah was about to die, he gathered together the elder monks and he held the hand of Abba John and gave him to them saying, "Take him and keep him, for he is an angel, not a man." He commanded Abba John to stay in the place where he had planted the tree. After that Abba John's older brother came to the monastery and was ordained a monk with him. He also became an honorable monk.

It happened when the father the Patriarch Abba Theophilus was ordaining Abba John hegumen and abbot over his church, and as he placed his hand over his head, a voice from heaven was heard by the people present saying, "Axios, Axios, Axios (That is to say he is worthy)." When this saint consecrated the offering, he was able to know those who were worthy to partake of it and those who were not worthy.

Abba Theophilus the Patriarch built a church for the Three Young Men in Alexandria, and he wished to bring their bodies and place them in it. He brought Abba John and asked him to travel to Babylon, and to bring the holy bodies. After much forebearing, Abba John accepted to go on this mission. When he left the Patriarch, a cloud carried him away to Babylon. He entered the city and saw its monuments, rivers, and palaces and found the bodies of the saints. When he started moving them from their place, a voice came out from the holy bodies and said to him, "This is the Will of God that we do not leave this place until the day of the Resurrection. Nevertheless, because of the love of Abba Theophilus the Patriarch, and your labor, too, you should inform the Patriarch to gather the people in the church and to put oil in the lamps without lighting them and we will appear in the church and a sign will be made manifest to you."

Then Abba John left and went back to Alexandria and told the Patriarch what the saints had said. It happened when the Patriarch and the people were in the church, the lamps were lit up suddenly and they all glorified the Lord.

One day, a monk came into the cell of Abba John. He found him lying down with angels waving their wings over him.

Later on, the Berbers attacked the desert of Scete and he left it. When he was asked why he left, he replied that he did not leave because he was afraid of death, but because he feared a Berber would slay him and go to hell, for though he is against his worship, he is his brother in form. Then he went to the mountain of Abba Anthony on the Red Sea. There he dwelt by the side of a village and God sent him a believer who served him.

When the Lord wished to grant him rest and to end his strife in this world, He sent him His two righteous saints Abba Macarius and Abba Anthony to comfort him and to inform him about his departure. On the eve of Sunday, he fell sick and sent his attendant to bring him something from the village. The angels and the host of saints came and received his pure soul and took it up to heaven.

At that time, his servant came back and saw the soul of the saint surrounded by the host of saints and angels singing before them. Before them all, there was one shining like the sun and singing. The servant marvelled at this magnificent sight. An angel came to him and told him the name of each one of the saints. Then the servant asked the angel, "Who is this one in front of them all, who is shining like the sun?" The angel replied, "This is Abba Anthony, the father of all the monks."

When the servant went into the cell, he found the body of the saint kneeling to the ground, as he had given up his soul while kneeling. The attendant wept sorrowfully over him and went in a hurry to the people of the village and told them what had happened. They came and carried his holy body with great honor. When they brought him into the village, great wonders and miracles were performed through his body.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.
994 St. Wolfgang Benedictine Bishop and reformer of Regensburg; Patron of carpenters, shepherds, woodsmen. Invoked against gout, hemorrhage, lameness, stomach troubles, and wolves  renowned for his charity and aid to the poor,
Wolfgang
994 ST WOLFGANG, Bishop of REGENSBURG
ST WOLFGANG came of a Swabian family and was born about the year 930. In his youth he was sent to the abbey of Reichenau, on an island in Lake Constance, which was at that time a flourishing school of learning; here he became friendly with a young nobleman called Henry, brother to Poppo, Bishop of Würzburg, who had set up a school in that city. This Henry persuaded Wolfgang to bear him company to this new school at Wurzburg, where the ability of the young Swabian
soon provoked jealousy as welt as admiration.

   In 956 Henry was elected arch­bishop of Trier, and took Wolfgang with him, making him a teacher in the cathedral school. At Trier he came under the influence of the reforming monk Ramuold, and entered wholeheartedly into Henry’s efforts for the improvement of religion in his diocese. Upon the death of the archbishop in 964 Wolfgang became a Benedictine in the monastery of Einsiedeln, governed at that time by Gregory, an Englishman. The abbot soon found the reputation of Wolfgang to be less than his merit, and appointed him director of the school of the monastery.

   St Ulric, Bishop of Augsburg, now ordained St Wolfgang priest; and with his ordination he received an apostolic missionary spirit, and was sent to preach the gospel to the Magyars in Pannonia. The results of this undertaking did not correspond to his zeal, and he was recommended to the Emperor Otto II as a person qualified to fill the see of Regensburg (Ratisbon) which was then vacant. He was conducted to the emperor at Frankfurt, who gave him the investiture of the temporalities, though Wolfgang entreated him to allow him to return to his monastery.

Being sent back to Regensburg, at Christmas 972 he was consecrated.

St Wolfgang never quitted the monastic habit, and practised all the austerities of Conventual life when in the episcopal dignity. The first thing he did after regulation of his own household was to settle a thorough reformation among all his clergy, and in all the monasteries of his diocese, especially two disorderly nunneries. One of the sources of revenue of the see was the abbey of St Emmeram at Regens­burg, which the bishops held in commendam, with the usual bad results.

    Wolfgang restored its autonomy and called Ramuold from Trier to be its abbot. He was indefatigable in preaching and, being a man of prayer, possessed the art of touching the hearts of his hearers. Every duty of his office he discharged with vigilance and fidelity during twenty-two years’ administration. Several miracles are recorded of him and his generosity to the poor was proverbial. Once when the vintage had failed, some ignorant priests took to using water in the chalice at Mass. The bishop was naturally horrified, and distributed wine from his household stocks throughout the diocese.

   At one time St Wolfgang deserted his see and retired to a solitary place, where he was found by some huntsmen and brought back. But his desire for a monastic quiet did not prevent him from a careful discharge of his secular duties, and he attended several imperial diets as well as accompanying the emperor on a campaign into France. The territory of Bohemia being part of his vast diocese, he gave up a part of it for a bishopric in that country, the see being set up at Prague. Henry, Duke of Bavaria, held St Wolfgang in the highest veneration, and entrusted to him the education of his son Henry, afterwards emperor and canonized saint. Wolf­gang was taken ill while travelling down the Danube into Lower Austria and died at a little place called Puppingen, not far from Linz. He was canonized in 1052. The Canons Regular of the Lateran keeps his feast in many dioceses of central Europe, and also because he restored the canonical life for his clergy.

We are well informed regarding St Wolfgang. The book of Arnold the monk concerning St Emmeram and the biography of Wolfgang by Othlo, with some other supplementary materials, are reliable sources, and they have been edited very carefully in the Acta Sanctorum, November, vol. ii, pt 1. See also a popular, but not uncritical, volume by Otto Häfner De, hi. Wolfgang, an Stern des X. Jahrhunderts (1930); and also the archaeological study of J. A. Endres, Beiträge zur Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte des, mittelalterlichen Regensburgs, as well as I. Zibermayr, Die St Wolfganslegende in ihrem, Entstehen und Einflusse auf die österreichische Kunst (1924). 

  Born in Swabia, Germany, he studied at Reichenau under the Benedictines and at Wurzburg before serving as a teacher in the cathedral school of Trier. He soon entered the Benedictines at Einsiedeln (964) and was appointed head of the monastery school, receiving ordination in 971. He then set out with a group of monks to preach among the Magyars of Hungary, but the following year (972) was named bishop of Regensburg by Emperor Otto II (r. 973-983). As bishop, he distinguished himself brilliantly for his reforming zeal and his skills as a statesman. He brought the clergy of the diocese into his reforms, restored monasteries, promoted education, preached enthusiastically, and was renowned for his charity and aid to the poor, receiving the title Eleemosynarius Major (Grand Almoner). He also served as tutor to Emperor Henry II (r. 1014-1024) while he was still king. Wolfgang died at Puppingen near Linz, Austria. He was canonized in 1052 by Pope St. Leo IX (r. 1049-1054).

October 31, 2009 St. Wolfgang of Regensburg (c. 924-994)
Wolfgang was born in Swabia, Germany, and was educated at a school located at the abbey of Reichenau. There he encountered Henry, a young noble who went on to become Archbishop of Trier. Meanwhile, Wolfgang remained in close contact with the archbishop, teaching in his cathedral school and supporting his efforts to reform the clergy.

At the death of the archbishop, Wolfgang chose to become a Benedictine monk and moved to an abbey in Einsiedeln, now part of Switzerland. Ordained a priest, he was appointed director of the monastery school there. Later he was sent to Hungary as a missionary, though his zeal and good will yielded limited results.

Emperor Otto II appointed him Bishop of Regensburg (near Munich). He immediately initiated reform of the clergy and of religious life, preaching with vigor and effectiveness and always demonstrating special concern for the poor. He wore the habit of a monk and lived an austere life.

The draw to monastic life never left him, including the desire for a life of solitude. At one point he left his diocese so that he could devote himself to prayer, but his responsibilities as bishop called him back.

In 994 he became ill while on a journey; he died in Puppingen near Linz, Austria. His feast day is celebrated widely in much of central Europe. He was canonized in 1052.

Comment:  Wolfgang could be depicted as a man with rolled-up sleeves. He even tried retiring to solitary prayer, but taking his responsibilities seriously led him back into the service of his diocese. Doing what had to be done was his path to holiness—and ours.


Wolfgang of Ratisbon, OSB B (RM) (also known as Wolfgang of Regensburg)
Born in Swabia (Germany) c. 925; died at Puppingen near Linz (Austria) in 994; canonized 1052 by Pope Leo IX.

 As a little boy, Wolfgang was taught by a friendly priest. Thereafter, he was sent to the abbey of Reichenau on Lake Constanz to continue his schooling. There he became the best friend of a young nobleman named Henry whose elder brother Poppo was bishop of Würzburg. The bishop set up a great school there, employing a brilliant Italian named Stefano of Novara to teach in it, and Henry persuaded Wolfgang to journey with him to study at the Italian's feet.

Wolfgang was incomparably the better pupil, though both young men were devout. After finishing his formal studies, Wolfgang taught at the school. When, in 956, Henry was made archbishop of Trier (Trèves), he asked Wolfgang to go there with him to teach in the cathedral school. In Trier, Wolfgang met the reforming monk, Saint Rambold, and Wolfgang joined Henry in his efforts to strengthen the faith of the see.

Henry died in the year 964. Wolfgang had stayed by his side faithfully, but now left Trier to become a Benedictine monk at Einsiedeln. The abbot, an English Benedictine named George, soon saw that he had with him a teacher of genius, and he put Wolfgang in charge of the abbey school. It became the best in the land.

In 971, Wolfgang was ordained to the priesthood by Saint Ulric, after which he engaged in a short and discouraging mission in Pannonia (Hungary). But the Emperor Otto II recognized his worth, and, upon the recommendation of Saint Rambold, named Wolfgang to fill the vacant see of Regensburg. Although Wolfgang would have preferred to retire to his monastery, he was taken to the emperor at Frankfurt and invested in the temporalities. On Christmas Day 972 he was consecrated bishop of the city over which he presided until his death.

He at once initiated a reform of the clergy and the monasteries in his diocese, including two disorderly convents. He encouraged the canons to return to a regular life. One of the sources of revenue for the see was the abbey of Saint Emmeram at Regensburg, which the bishops held in commendam, with the usual bad results. Wolfgang restored ts autonomy and made Rambold its abbot.

Saint Wolfgang earned the love of his people. He continued to preach widely and vigorously. Known for his generosity to the poor, he became known as "Eleemosynarius Major" (the "Great Almoner"). He never abandoned his monastic habits. On one occasion he attempted to leave his see in order to seek a life as a hermit but was compelled to return by popular demand. He ceded part of his see in Bohemia to set up a new diocese--Prague.
He also earned the respect of the imperial court. He accompanied the emperor on a trip to France. He was for a time tutor to the future emperor, Saint Henry II of Bavaria.

Wolfgang became ill while travelling down the Danube into Lower Austria and died at a little place called Puppingen, not far from Linz (Attwater, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Walsh, White).

In art Saint Wolfgang is portrayed as a bishop with a hatchet and model cathedral. Sometimes he is shown (1) with the little emperor (Henry II) near him with words 'post sex' over him; (2) with the devil who holds the book while Wolfgang reads the Gospel; (3) building the church of Saint Wolfgang, Regensburg; (4) giving alms; (5) tormented by devils; or (6) striking a fountain from the ground with his crosier (Roeder, White); or (7) praying for a miracle (by Michael Pacher).
    St. Wolfgang Image of Saint Wolfgang courtesy of Saint Charles Borromeo Church
Patron of carpenters, shepherds, woodsmen. Invoked against gout, hemorrhage, lameness, stomach troubles, and wolves (Roeder).
1141 Saints Spyridon and Nicodemus, the Prosphora-bakers of the Kiev Caves, Near Caves  Spyridon was glorified by miracles
fulfilled their obedience of baking prosphora for thirty years. St Spyridon came to the monastery in the time of Igumen Pimen (1132-1141), when he was no longer a young man. The ascetic combined his work with unceasing prayer and the singing of Psalms. Even during his life St Spyridon was glorified by miracles. He was illiterate, but knew the entire Psalter by heart.

Once, his mantle caught fire from the oven. The fire was put out, but the mantle remained whole. St Nicodemus labored with St Spyridon and led a very strict life. Their relics are in the Kiev Caves of St Anthony. The fingers of St Spyridon's right hand are positioned to make the Sign of the Cross with three fingers. They are also commemorated on September 28, and the second Sunday of Great Lent.

1227 One hundred thousand Georgians sacrificed their lives to venerate the holy icons
In 1227 Sultan Jalal al-Din of Khwarazm and his army of Turkmen attacked Georgia. On the first day of the battle the Georgian army valorously warded off the invaders as they were approaching Tbilisi. That night, however, a group of Persians who were living in Tbilisi secretly opened the gates and summoned the enemy army into the city.

  According to one manuscript in which this most terrible day in Georgian history was described: “Words are powerless to convey the destruction that the enemy wrought: tearing infants from their mothers’ breasts, they beat their heads against the bridge, watching as their eyes dropped from their skulls.…”

A river of blood flowed through the city. The Turkmen castrated young children, raped women, and stabbed mothers to death over their children’s lifeless bodies. The whole city shuddered at the sound of wailing and lamentation. The river and streets of the city were filled with death.

The sultan ordered that the cupola of Sioni Cathedral be taken down and replaced by his vile throne. And at his command the icons of the Theotokos and our Savior were carried out of Sioni Cathedral and placed at the center of the bridge across the Mtkvari River. The invaders goaded the people to the bridge, ordering them to cross it and spit on the holy icons. Those who betrayed the Christian Faith and mocked the icons were spared their lives, while the Orthodox confessors were beheaded.

One hundred thousand Georgians sacrificed their lives to venerate the holy icons. One hundred thousand severed heads and headless bodies were carried by the bloody current down the Mtkvari River.

1272 Blessed Christopher of Romagnola joined Saint Francis of Assisi OFM (AC)
Born c. 1172; died at Cahors, Gascony, 1272; cultus approved in 1905. Christopher was a parish priest in the diocese of Cesena, who resigned his office, and joined Saint Francis of Assisi. He was sent to establish the order in Gascony, where he died (Benedictines).

1447 Blessed Thomas Bellaci Fransciscan lay-brother made novice master When over 70, he went to preach in Syria and Abyssinia where, to his sorrow, he narrowly escaped martyrdom by the Islamics  OFM
Born in Florence, Italy, in 1370; cultus approved 1771. Thomas joined the Franciscan friary at nearby Fiesole, where, though only a lay-brother, he was made novice master. Later he worked successfully to introduce the Franciscan Observance into Corsica and southern Italy, and combatted the condemned Fraticelli in Tuscany. When over 70, he went to preach in Syria and Abyssinia where, to his sorrow, he narrowly escaped martyrdom by the Islamics (Benedictines).

1617 St. Alphonsus Rodriguez a Jesuit lay-brother porter forty-six years; influenced St. Peter Clavier; left a considerable number of manuscripts some published as Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodriguez   See Also October 30 here
Palmæ, in Majórca ínsula, sancti Alfónsi Rodríguez, Coadjutóris temporális formáti e Societáte Jesu et Confessóris, humilitáte ac jugi mortificatiónis stúdio insígnis; quem Leo Décimus tértius, Póntifex Maximus, Sanctórum fastis adscrípsit.
    At Palma, in the island of Majorca, St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, a lay brother of the Society of Jesus, whom Leo XIII canonized because of his remarkable humility and constant love of mortification.


Born at Segovia in Spain, 25 July, 1532; died at Majorca, 31 October, 1617. On account of the similarity of names he is often confounded with Father Rodriguez the author of Christian Perfection, who though eminent in his holiness was never canonized. The Saint was a Jesuit lay-brother who entered the Society at the age of forty. He was the son of a wool merchant who had been reduced to poverty when Alfonso was still young. At the age of twenty-six he married Mary Francisco Suárez, a woman of his own station, and at thirty-one found himself a widower with one surviving child, the other two having died previously. From that time he began a life of prayer and mortification, although separated from the world around him. On the death of his third child his thoughts turned to a life in some religious order.

Previous associations had brought him into contact with the first Jesuits who had come to Spain, Bl. Peter Faber among others, but it was apparently impossible to carry out his purpose of entering the Society, as he was without education, having only had an incomplete year at a new college begun at Alcalá by Francis Villanueva. At the age of thirty-nine he attempted to make up this deficiency by following the course at the College of Barcelona, but without success. His austerities had also undermined his health. After considerable delay he was finally admitted into the Society of Jesus as a lay-brother, 31 January, 1571. Distinct novitiates had not as yet been established in Spain, and Alfonso began his term of probation at Valencia or Gandia -- this point is a subject of dispute -- and after six months was sent to the recently-founded college at Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for forty-six years, exercising a marvelous influence on the sanctification not only of the members of the household, but upon a great number of people who came to the porter's lodge for advice and direction. Among the distinguished Jesuits who came under his influence was St. Peter Clavier, who lived with him for some time at Majorca, and who followed his advice in asking for the missions of South America.

The bodily mortifications which he imposed on himself were extreme, the scruples and mental agitation to which he was subject were of frequent occurrence, his obedience absolute, and his absorption in spiritual things even when engaged on most distracting employments, continual. It has often been said that he was the author of the well known
Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, and the claim is made by Alegambe, Southwell, and even by the Fathers de Backer in their Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus. Apart from the fact that the brother did not have the requisite education for such a task, Father Costurer says positively that the office he used was taken from an old copy printed out of Spain, and Father Colin asserts that it existed before the Saint's time. It may be admitted, however, that through him it was popularized.

He left a considerable number of manuscripts after him, some of which have been published as
Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodriguez (Barcelona, 1885, 3 vols., octavo, complete edition, 8 vols. in quarto). They have no pretense to style; they are sometimes only reminiscences of domestic exhortations; the texts are often repeated; the illustrations are from every-day life; the treatment of one virtue occasionally trenches on another; but they are remarkable for the correctness and soundness of their doctrine and the profound spiritual knowledge which they reveal. They were not written with a view to publication, but put down by the Saint himself, or dictated to others, in obedience to a positive command of his superiors. He was declared Venerable in 1626. In 1633 he was chosen by the Council General of Majorca as one of the special patrons of the city and island. In 1760 Clement XIII decreed that the virtues of the Venerable Alonso were proved to be of a heroic degree; but the expulsion of the Society from Spain in 1773, and its suppression, delayed his beatification until 1825. His canonization took place 6 September, 1887. His remains are enshrined at Majorca.
1917 The Life of St John Kochurov, Hieromartyr Missionary in America First Clergy Martyr of the Russian Revolution
On October 31, 1917, in Tsarskoye Selo, a bright new chapter, full of earthly grief and heavenly joy, was opened in the history of sanctity in the Russian Church: the holiness of the New Martyrs of the twentieth century. The opening of this chapter is linked to the name of the Russian Orthodox pastor who became one of the first to give his soul for his flock during this twentieth century of fighters against God: Archpriest John Kochurov.

Exactly five months after Fr. John's death, on March 31, 1918, by which time the number of murdered clergymen known to the Holy Synod had already reached fifteen, the first Memorial Liturgy for the New Hieromartyrs and Martyrs in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in the twentieth century was served in the church of the Moscow Theological Seminary, by the Most Holy Patriarch Tikhon, four other hierarchs, and ten archimandrites and protopresbyters.
At the Memorial Liturgy and Memorial Service, when the supplicatory prayer was pronounced "For the repose of the servants of God who have perished for the Faith and the Orthodox Church, after mentioning the first-slain hierarch, Metropolitan Vladimir, the first-slain Archpriest, Father John Kochurov was remembered, who by his passion-bearing death ushered in the service offered by the confessors, the assembly of the Russian New-Martyrs of the twentieth century.


Father John Kochurov was born on July 13, 1871, in the village of Bigildino-Surka of the district of Danky in the Ryazan region, into a pious family with many children. His parents were the priest Alexander Kochurov and his wife Anna (Perehvalskaya). Father Alexander Kochurov served almost all his life in the Church of Theophany in Bigildino-Surka village in the Diocese of Ryazan from the time of his ordination on March 2, 1857, combining his years of service in the parish with the fulfillment of his obligations as a teacher of God's Law in the Bigildino public school. His example was imprinted in the conscience of his sons, and particularly John, the most spiritually sensitive of them.
They regarded their father as a radiant image of the parish priest, full of deep humility and high inspiration.
Fr John's upbringing, based on the remarkable traditions of many generations of the clergy and bound with the people's natural following after Orthodox piety, foretold that he would set out on the path of preparation for pastoral service.
Father John's study (initially at Danky Theological School and afterward at Ryazan Theological Seminary) was marked not only with outstanding success in the mastery of theological and secular disciplines, but with remarkable examples of churchly piety which he demonstrated at a time when the everyday life of a provincial theological school was not always spotless in the moral sense.


The future Father John successfully graduated from the Theological Seminary in Ryazan in 1891. Having passed the entrance exams for the St Petersburg Theological Academy, he became a student at one of the best theological schools in Russia.

During the time that Fr John studied at the St Petersburg Theological Academy, his inclination to regard theological education as a preparation primarily for future service as a parish priest became clearly defined. Already during his student days Fr John combined the possibility of his service as a parish priest with that of missionary activity, which he saw as the embodiment of the ideal of an Orthodox pastor. After his graduation from St Petersburg Theological Academy (1895) with the distinction of a true student, Fr John was sent to the Diocese of the Aleutians and Alaska in accordance with his long-standing desire for missionary service.

Soon after his marriage to Alexandra Chernisheva, Fr John's arrival in Protestant America put him in touch with a life dissimilar in many respects to his accustomed life in Orthodox Russia. For his first sojourn in the U.S.A. Fr John arrived in New York, which with its mundane ways, was so different from the spiritual life of the Russian cities. Though he had not yet learned the English language, Fr John, thanks to the brotherly support of the New York Orthodox community (of modest size at that time) did manage to adjust himself to the life of the country, till then unknown to him, without any particular psychological or other complications. It must be noted that Church life in the Diocese of Alaska and the Aleuts was very different in character from that in other parts of the country, which was vast in its territory but rather small in the number of clergy. Specifically, the Russian Orthodox missions in Northern California, on the Aleutian Islands, and in Alaska had at that time already existed for about a hundred years, and Church life was conducted on a foundation of rather numerous parish communities which possessed significant financial resources. After several generations in America, the parishes had become accustomed to life in their new home. Orthodox life in the rest of the country, however, was only in its initial stages. It required a great deal of evangelical activity by the clergy to create normal Orthodox parishes within the multinational and multi-confessional local population. It was precisely to that part of the diocese that Fr John was destined to be sent when he was ordained to the holy priesthood on August 27, 1895, by the Most Reverend Nicholas, Bishop of Alaska and the Aleuts.

The beginning of Fr John's parish service was associated with the opening of an Orthodox parish in Chicago in 1892 by Bishop Nicholas. Assigned in 1895 by order of the Holy Synod to be a parish priest at St Vladimir's Cathedral in Chicago.  Fr John was put in touch with a parish life that was strikingly different from the Orthodox parishes in Russia, which were organized and rooted in a living tradition many centuries old.

Being a remote island of Orthodox Christian life, many hundreds of miles from the other scattered Orthodox parishes in North America, St Vladimir's Church in Chicago, and the Church of the Three Hierarchs in the town of Streator with which it was affiliated, required heroic labors from the young Fr John to be established in a proper way. Almost three years after its founding, the parish still had not managed to achieve full parish status.

Beginning his work at the parish of Chicago and Streator, which was rather small and multinational in its constituency, Fr John nourished these people, who represented a rather poor class of immigrants, in the Orthodox faith. He was never able to be supported in his work by a sound parish community with sufficient material resources at its disposal.

In an article written in December 1898, Fr John gave the following vivid description of the Chicago-Streator parish community: The Orthodox parish of St Vladimir's Church in Chicago consists of a small number of the original Russians, Galician and Hungarian Slavs, Arabs, Bulgarians, and Aravians. The majority of the parishioners are working people who earn their bread by toiling not far from where they live, on the outskirts of the city. Affiliated with this parish in Chicago is the Church of the Three Hierarchs in the city of Streator. This place, together with the town called Kengley, are situated ninety-four miles from Chicago, and they are famous for their coal mines. The Orthodox parish there consists of the Slovaks who work there who have been converted from the Unia.

The unique characteristics of the Chicago-Streator parish community demanded of Fr John a deft combination of pastoral-liturgical skills, as well as missionary ones. These abilities would permit him not only to stabilize the membership of his parish community spiritually and administratively, but to enlarge his flock continually by means of conversions, or by the return to Orthodoxy of the ethnically diverse Christians living in Illinois. Already during the first three years of Fr John's parish service 86 Uniates and five Catholics were added to the Orthodox Church, bringing the number of permanent parishioners up to 215 men in Chicago, and 88 in Streator. There were two functioning church schools affiliated with the parishes, with more than twenty pupils enrolled in them. The course consisted of Saturday classes during the school year, and daily classes during the school vacations.

In his work, Fr John continued the best traditions of the Russian Orthodox Diocese in North America. He organized, in Chicago and Streator, the St Nicholas and Three Hierarchs Brotherhoods, which established a goal of setting up a program of social and material mutual aid among the parishioners of the Chicago-Streator parish, as members of the Orthodox Mutual Aid Society.

Father John's abundant labors for the building of a healthy, flourishing parish life in the communities entrusted to him did not hinder him from fulfilling other important diocesan responsibilities that were laid upon him. So it was that on April 1, 1897, Fr John was appointed to be one of the members of the newly-created Censorship Committee of the Diocese of Alaska and the Aleutians to review texts in the Russian, Ukrainian, and English languages. On May 22, 1899, Fr John was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Mutual Aid Society by a decree of Bishop Tikhon of Alaska and the Aleutians, who had recently arrived in the diocese.

The varied labors of Fr John were soon rewarded; after just the first years of his pastoral service, he received awards of priestly distinction from the Most Reverend Bishop Nicholas.

A significant obstacle to the normal functioning of the Church liturgical cycle at the Chicago-Streator parish was the condition of the buildings, which were unfit for the purpose. St Vladimir's Church in Chicago occupied a small part of a rented edifice located in the southwestern part of the city. On the ground floor of the house a wall separated the church from the kitchen and a room where an attendant lived. On the first floor there were several small rooms which were occupied by Fr John together with his family, and by the church Reader. The church of the Three Hierarchs in Streator employed the lobby of the Russian section of the Chicago World Exhibition the Columbian Exposition of 1892.

The assignment of Bishop Tikhon, the future Patriarch of Moscow, to the Diocese of Alaska and the Aleutians on November 30, 1898, was especially significant for the resolution of problems of church life in the parish entrusted to Fr John.

Zealously fulfilling his hierarchal obligations, Bishop Tikhon in his first months as diocesan bishop had already managed to visit almost all the Orthodox parishes scattered throughout the vast territory of the Diocese of Alaska and the Aleutians, in an effort to discern the most fundamental needs of the diocesan clergy.

Arriving in Chicago for the first time on April 28, 1899, Bishop Tikhon gave his archpastoral blessing to Fr John and to his flock. By the next day he had already inspected a plot of land proposed as the site where the new church, so necessary for the parish in Chicago, would be constructed. On April 30, Bishop Tikhon visited the Three Hierarchs Church in Streator and presided at the Vigil service at St Vladimir's Church in Chicago. On the following day, after serving the Divine Liturgy, he approved the minutes of the meeting of the committee for the construction of the new church in Chicago, which was chaired by Fr John.

The limited financial resources of the Chicago-Streator parish, where the people being ministered to were primarily poor, did not permit Fr John to begin construction immediately. And since more than five years had passed from the time of Fr John's arrival in North America, his great desire to visit his beloved Orthodox Russia, at least for a brief time, prompted him to submit an application to Bishop Tikhon requesting leave for the journey to his motherland.

Mindful of the needs of the parish entrusted to him, Fr John decided to use the vacation granted to him from January 15 to May 15, 1900, to collect money in Russia which would allow the Chicago parish to begin construction of the new church building, and of the first Orthodox cemetery in the city. Successfully combining his journey to his motherland with raising significant funds for the parish, Fr John began the construction of the church soon after his return from leave. Bishop Tikhon arrived on March 31, 1902, for the ceremony of the laying of its foundation.

With true pastoral inspiration, combined together with sober, practical record-keeping, Fr John managed to build the new church, which was completed in 1903. The church cost fifty thousand dollars, a very significant sum of money for that time.

The consecration of the new temple, which was named in honor of the Holy Trinity, was performed by Bishop Tikhon, and it became a real festival for the whole Russian Orthodox diocese in North America. Two years later, in greeting Fr John on the occasion of his first ten years of service as a priest in the Church, the highest praise went to his careful pastoral labors in the construction of the Holy Trinity Church, which had become one of the most remarkable Orthodox churches in America. "The year has been filled with the most vivid of impressions, sometimes agonizing, sometimes good. A year of endlessly trying fund-raising in Russia, a year of sleepless nights, worn-out nerves, and countless woes; and here is the testimonial of your care: a temple made with hands, in the image of a magnificent Russian Orthodox temple, shining with its crosses in Chicago, and the peace and love not made with hands that are springing up in the hearts of your flock!"

For his inspiring labors, Fr John was awarded the Order of St Anna (Third Class) on May 6, 1903 at Bishop Tikhon's recommendation.

Zealously fulfilling his numerous obligations as a parish priest, he was the only priest there during the first nine years of his service in the parishes of Chicago and Streator. At the same time, Fr John continued to participate actively in resolving various issues in the life of the North American diocese. In February 1904, Fr John was assigned as a chairman of the Censor Committee of the Diocese of Alaska and the Aleutians, where he had already participated as a member of the council for seven years.  In June 1905, he was an active participant in the preparatory meetings of diocesan clergy, held in Old Forge PA. under the guidance of Bishop Tikhon, where issues were discussed in connection with preparation for the first Council in the history of the Diocese of North America and the Aleutians. It was in the solemn atmosphere of the sessions of this Council, on July 20, 1905, that Fr John celebrated his first decade of priestly service The actual date of the anniversary was August 27.

In St Michael's Church in Old Forge, before a large group of diocesan clergy with the Most Reverend (now St) Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn presiding, Fr John was awarded a gold pectoral cross, and the speeches offered a perceptive and thoroughly objective description of the whole period of Fr John's pastoral service in North America.

 "Directly after your study at seminary, having left the motherland, you came to this strange land to expend all your youthful energy, to devote all your strength and inspiration to that holy concern to which you were attracted in your vocation. A hard legacy was left for you: the church in Chicago was then located in an untidy church setting, in a wet, half-ruined building. The parish, with its loosely defined parish membership, was scattered over the huge city with a heterodox population torn asunder by the wild beasts. All that might fill the soul of a young laborer with great confusion, but you bravely accepted the task of selecting a precious spark from the pile of rubbish, to fan the sacred fire into a small group of faithful! You were forgetful of yourself: calamities, illnesses, the poor location of your house, with its ramshackle walls, floors, and cracks that gave open access to the outer elements, with destructive effects on your health, and the health of your family members.... Your babies were sick, your wife was not quite healthy, and bitter bouts of rheumatism seemed to wish to destroy your confidence, to exhaust your energy.... We greet you, remembering another of your good deeds, the performance of which is plaited as an unfading laurel in the crown of honor of your decade of sacred service: we have in mind here your sacrificial service in the office of Chairman of our beloved Mutual Aid Society, in the office of Censor to our enlightening missionary publishing house, and in extending our evangelical efforts, organizing the parishes in Madison [IL] and Hartshorne [OK]. To complete your tribute, let us mention another circumstance, which magnifies the valor of your labor and the grandeur of its results. The remoteness of your parish in Chicago has torn you from your bonds with your colleagues in America, depriving you during these years of the chance to see your brother-pastors.... You were bereft of that which, for the majority of us, adorns the missionary service through which we pass. How touching, and how great a degree of isolation was yours, is witnessed by the fact that you had to baptize your children yourself, because of the absence of the other priests around you.... Let this Holy Cross we present serve you as a sign of our brotherly love, and the image of our Lord's Crucifixion on it permit you to accept the hardships, misfortunes, and sufferings that are so often met with in the life of a missionary priest, and let it encourage you to more and more labors for the glory of the Giver of Exploits and the Chief Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ."


Less than a year after the celebration of the tenth anniversary of Fr John's priestly service, the highest Church authority granted him one of the most honorable priestly orders, which deservedly crowned his genuine exploits in the Diocese of North America and the Aleutians. By order of the Holy Synod, Fr John was elevated to the dignity of Archpriest on May 6, 1906.

Now a new period in Fr John's service began. As one of the most respected archpriests of the Diocese, thanks to his outstanding pastoral work in his parish and in diocesan administrative activities, Fr John, at the initiative of Bishop Tikhon, who valued him highly, became more and more deeply involved in resolving the most pressing issues of diocesan administration. In May 1906, Fr John was appointed Dean of the New York area of the Eastern States, and in February 1907, he was destined to be one of the most energetic participants of the first North American Orthodox Council in Mayfield, which dealt with the rapidly increasing conversions within the Diocese of North America and the Aleutians in the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in America, which was the basis on which the Orthodox Church in America was later founded.

During the period 1903-1907, the Chicago-Streator parish, built by his labors, was transformed into one of the most self-sufficient and flourishing diocesan parishes. But however successful the external circumstances of Fr John's service in North America may have seemed, his deep, fervent homesickness for his beloved Russia, which he had only seen once for a few months' leave since he came to America, and the necessity of providing his three elder children with an undergraduate education in Russia, compelled Fr John to think about the possibility of continuing his priestly ministry in his native Russian land. A rather significant circumstance furthering Fr John's submission of an application for transfer back to Russia was the insistent request of his elderly and seriously ailing father-in-law, who was a clergyman of the Diocese of St Petersburg, and who dreamed of handing over his parish to the guidance of such a deserving priest as Fr John had shown himself to be. In accordance with his application, Fr John received a release from his service in the Diocese of North America and the Aleutians on May 20, 1907, whereupon he began preparing himself for his move back to Russia. The week before their departure, however, Fr John and his family had to bear some sudden startling news from Russia: Alexandra's beloved parent had succumbed before they could return.

In July 1907, leaving the Chicago-Streator parish which was so dear to his heart, and where he had given twelve years of missionary service, Fr John set out for the unknown future that awaited him in his motherland, where he would spend the rest of his priestly service.

Fr John's return to Russia in the summer of 1907 signified for him not only the beginning of his service in the Diocese of St Petersburg, familiar to him from his student years, but it challenged him with the need to apply the pastoral skills he had earlier acquired in America in the field of theological education. By order of the St Petersburg Church Consistory, in August 1907 Fr John was assigned to the clergy of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Neva, and beginning August 15, 1907, he began to perform his duties as a teacher of Law in the male and the female gymnasia in Narva. By order of the chief of the St Petersburg Area Educational Department, effective October 20, 1907, Fr John was confirmed in his service in the male gymnasium as a teacher of God's Law [this Russian term refers to the totality of Orthodox teaching - Ed.] and was a hired teacher of the same subject in the female gymnasium of Narva, which became the main sphere of his Church service for the next nine years of his life.

The common way of life in small, provincial Neva, where the Russian Orthodox inhabitants made up scarcely half the population, reminded Fr John, in some measure, of the atmosphere familiar to him in America, where he performed his pastoral service in a social environment permeated with heterodox influences. However, the circumstances of his work as a teacher of God's Law in two secondary schools where the Russian cultural element and Orthodox religious ethos indisputably dominated, permitted Fr John to feel that he was breathing an atmosphere of Russian Orthodox life reminiscent of his childhood.

In those years, Father John's teaching load usually consisted of sixteen hours a week in the male gymnasium and ten hours in the female gymnasium. This required of him a fairly significant effort, taking into account that to teach God's Law in the different classes, because of the breadth of the subject, a teacher had to be familiar with various matters of theological as well as of a mundane character. However, inasmuch as the twelve years of his labors at the Chicago-Streator parish had transformed Fr John from an inexperienced beginner into one of the most authoritative pastors in the diocese, his nine years service of teaching God's Law (not marked by any spectacular events, but filled with concentrated work in imparting spiritual enlightenment) was one in which Fr John became a most conscientious practical Church teacher and learned Orthodox preacher. After just five years of teaching Divine Law in the Neva schools, Fr John was awarded the Order of St Anna (Second Class) on May 6, 1912. Four years later, Fr John's achievements in the field of theological education were recognized by his award of the Order of St Vladimir (Fourth Class) which (added to his numerous Church and State awards) gave the deserving archpriest the right of receiving the title of nobility.

The manifest successes of Fr John in his activity as a teacher during all these years were supplemented by his joy at the fact that all of his four elder sons, while studying in Neva gymnasium, had the opportunity to receive their spiritual upbringing under his immediate guidance.

However, along with undeniable advantages of this new period of the pastoral service of Fr John, after his return to his fatherland following many years of absence, there still existed a circumstance which could not help but burden the heart of such a genuine parish pastor as Fr John was for the whole of his life. Being only attached to the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in dreamed, and not being a member of its staff clergy, Fr John, because of the peculiarity of this situation, on account of his fulfilling his duties as a teacher of Gods Law at the gymnasium, was deprived not only of the chance to lead, but even to participate fully in the parish life of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Narva. Only in November of 1916, by order of the St Petersburg Church Consistory, was Fr John assigned as a parish priest to the vacant second position at St Catherine's Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo, whereby his dream of resuming service as a parish pastor in the motherland was fulfilled.

Tsarskoye Selo, which had become the remarkable incarnation of a whole epoch in the history of Russian culture, happily combined in itself the qualities of a quiet provincial town with those of the resplendent capital of St Petersburg. St Catherine's Cathedral occupied a special place in the town; of the parish churches there, which were predominantly parishes of the imperial court and of the military, it was the largest. In becoming a member of the clergy at St Catherine's Cathedral, and taking up residence there together with his matushka and five children (the oldest son, Vladimir, was at the time fulfilling his military service), Fr John received, at last, his longed-for chance to be immersed fully in the life of a parish priest in one of the most notable churches of the St Petersburg diocese. Having been warmly and respectfully received by the flock of St Catherine's, Fr John, from the first months of his service there, showed himself to be zealous and inspiring not only as a celebrant of the divine service, but also as an eloquent and well-informed preacher, who gathered under the eaves of St Catherine's Cathedral Orthodox Christians from all around the town of Tsarskoye Selo. It seemed that so successful a beginning of parish service at St Catherine's Cathedral would open for Fr John a new period in his priestly service. In this period, Fr John's pastoral inspiration and sacrificial demeanor, so characteristic of him in his former activity, might be combined with the daily routine of the outward conditions of his service and with the spiritual and harmonious personal relationships between a diligent pastor and his numerous pious flock. But the cataclysms of the February Revolution that burst out in Petrograd just three months after Fr John's assignment to St Catherine's began little by little to involve Tsarskoye Selo in the treacherous vortex of revolutionary events.
The soldiers' riots that had taken place in the military headquarters at Tsarskoye Selo already during the first days of the Revolution, and the imprisonment of the royal family at Alexandrovsky palace over a period of many months, brought the town to the attention of representatives of the most extreme revolutionary elements. These circles had propelled the country toward the path of civil war, and eventually, complete internal political division, the beginnings of which lay in Russia's participation in the bloodshed of World War I. These developments gradually changed the quiet atmosphere of Tsarskoye Selo, diverting the inhabitants' attention, day by day, from the conscientious fulfillment of their Christian and civil responsibilities to Church and fatherland. And during all these troubled months the inspiring message of Fr John continued to sound forth from the ambo of St Catherine's Cathedral, as he strove to instill feelings of reconciliation into the souls of the Orthodox Christians of Tsarskoye Selo, calling them to the spiritual perception of their own inner life, so that they might understand the contradictory changes taking place in Russia.

For several days after the October 1917 seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in Petrograd, reverberations from the momentous events happening in the capital were felt in Tsarskoye Selo. Attempting to drive Gen. Paul Krasnov's Cossack troops, which were still loyal to the Provisional Government, out of Tsarskoye Selo, the armored groups of the Red Guard (the soldiers and sailors supporting the Bolshevik upheaval) were on their way from Petrograd.

On the morning of October 30, 1917, stopping at the outskirts of Tsarskoye Selo, the Bolshevik forces subjected the town to artillery fire. The inhabitants of Tsarskoye Selo, like those in all of Russia, still did not suspect that the country was involved in a civil war. A tumult erupted, with many people running to the Orthodox churches, including St Catherine's, in hopes of finding prayerful serenity at the services, and of hearing a pastoral exhortation from the ambo pertaining to the events taking place. All the clergy of St Catherine's Cathedral eagerly responded to their flock's spiritual entreaties. A special prayer service, seeking an end to the civil conflict, was offered beneath the arches of the church, which was jammed with worshipers Later, the dean of the Cathedral, Archpriest N. Smirnov, with two other priests, Fr John and Fr Steven Fokko, reached a decision to organize a sacred procession in the town, with the reading of fervent prayers for a cessation of the fratricidal civil strife.

For several days, the newspaper All-Russian Church Social Messenger presented the testimony of a certain Petrograd newspaper correspondent describing the events which had taken place, as follows: "The Sacred Procession had to be relocated under the conditions of an artillery bombardment, and notwithstanding any predictions it was rather crowded. The lamentations and cries of women and children drowned out the words of the prayer for peace. Two priests delivered sermons during the procession, calling the people to preserve tranquility in view of the impending trials. I was fortunate enough to understand clearly that the priests' sermons did not contain any political tinges."

"The Holy Procession lingered. Twilight changed into darkness. Candles were lit in the hands of the praying people. Everybody was singing."

"Precisely at that time the Cossacks were withdrawing from the town. The priests were warned about it. 'Isn't it time to stop the prayers?' 'We shall carry our duties to completion,' they declared. 'These have departed from us, and those who are coming are our brothers! What kind of harm will they do us?'"

Wishing to prevent an outbreak of fighting in the streets of Tsarskoye Selo, the Cossack leadership began to withdraw troops from the town on the evening of October 30, and on the morning of the 31st the Bolshevik forces entered Tsarskoye Selo, encountering no opposition. One of the anonymous witnesses to the aftermath of these tragic events wrote a letter to the prominent St Petersburg Archpriest F. Ornatsky, who himself was destined to receive martyrdom at the hands of the godless authorities. The writer told in simple but profound words of the passion-bearing that became Fr John's destiny. "Yesterday (on October 31)," he wrote, "when the Bolsheviks entered Tsarskoye Selo with the Red Guard, they began to make the rounds of the apartments of the military officers, making arrests. Fr John (Alexandrovich Kochurov) was conveyed to the outskirts of the town, to St Theodore's Cathedral, and there they assassinated him because of the fact that those who organized the sacred procession had allegedly been praying for a victory by the Cossacks, which surely was not, and could not have been, what actually happened. The other clergymen were released yesterday evening. Thus, another Martyr for the Faith in Christ has appeared. The deceased, though he had not been in Tsarskoye Selo for long, had gained the utmost love of all, and many people used to gather to listen to his preaching."

The Petrograd journalist mentioned earlier reconstructed a terrifying picture of Fr John's martyrdom and its aftermath, ascertaining these details: "The priests were captured and sent to the headquarters of the Council of the Workers and Soldier Deputies. A priest, Fr John Kochurov, was trying to protest and to clarify the situation. He was hit several times on his face. With cheers and yelling the enraged mob conveyed him to the Tsarskoye Selo aerodrome. Several rifles were raised against the defenseless pastor. A shot thundered out, then another, after which the priest fell down on the ground, and blood spilled upon his cassock. Death did not come to him immediately... He was pulled by his hair, and somebody suggested, Finish him off like a dog. The next morning the body was brought into the former palace hospital. According to the newspaper The Peoples' Affair, the head of the State Duma, and one of its members, saw the priest's body, but his pectoral cross was already gone...."

This latter circumstance accompanying Fr John's martyrdom, as mentioned by the reporter, takes on a particular spiritual significance when viewed against the background of some words spoken by Fr John twelve years before his death, which proved to be prophetic. In faraway America, when he received his gold pectoral cross at the ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of his priestly service, he said with emphasis, "I kiss this Holy Cross, a gift of your brotherly love for me. Let it be my support in times of tribulation. I will utter no pathetic comments about my intention not to be separated from it even till my grave.That would have a grandiloquent sound, but would not be prudent. It does not have any place in a grave. Let it remain here on earth for my children and posterity as a holy family relic, and as a clear proof that brotherhood and friendship are the most sacred things on the earth...."

In this manner did Fr. John express his gratitude towards his colleagues and his flock, not suspecting that this very prayer about that brotherhood and friendship would descend on the Russian Orthodox people at a time when love and clemency were scarce in long-suffering Russia, provoking a pitiless hatred toward him on the part of the apostates, who deprived him of his earthly life and snatched away the pectoral cross from his chest, but were not able to rob him of the imperishable glory of Orthodox martyrdom.

At the beginning of November 1917, the Bolshevik power could not yet secure unfettered control even over the suburbs of Petrograd, and terror on a state level had not yet become an unavoidable part of Russian life. So, with the populace of Tsarskoye Selo and Petrograd in a state of complete horror and exasperation, this first malicious execution of a Russian Orthodox priest inspired the former organs of power, who were not yet ousted by the Bolsheviks, to form an investigating commission which included the two representatives of the Petrograd city council. It was soon abolished by the Bolsheviks, without having managed to identify Fr. John's murderers.

For Russian Church life, however, this first martyrdom of a Russian Orthodox pastor in the twentieth century was deeply significant.

It aroused a profound spiritual response within the hearts of many laity, clergy, and hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Church service for the departed, and his burial in the crypt of St Catherine's Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo[39] were served by the shocked local clergy in an atmosphere of great dismay and anxiety. At the time, the Most Reverend Benjamin, Metropolitan of Petrograd, the future Holy Martyr, was attending the All-Russian Church Council being held in Moscow. Within a few days after the burial, the leadership of the Petrograd diocese, with Metropolitan Benjamin's blessing, published the following announcement in the newspaper All-Russian Church-Social Herald:

"On Wednesday, November 8, the ninth day after the death of Fr. John Kochurov who was murdered October 31 in Tsarskoye Selo, a hierarchal Memorial Service will be served in Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral at 3 p.m. for the eternal memory of Archpriest John and of all the Orthodox Christians who have perished in a time of civil conflict. Parish clergy free of serving obligations are invited for the Memorial Service. Vestments should be white."

"Soon after this hierarchal Memorial Service served in Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral, the diocesan council of Petrograd published a proclamation "To the Clergy and the Parish Councils of the Diocese of Petrograd." This became the first official recognition of the martyric character of the Fr. John's death pronounced in the name of the Church, but also the first Church statement to specify concrete measures of assistance to the families of clergymen persecuted and assassinated by the theomachists in Russia. In this remarkable document of church history, eloquently expressed with deep humility in the face of the anticipated future persecution of the Church, and embodying genuine sympathy for Fr. John's bereaved family, the leadership of the Petrograd diocese reacted to the death of the first diocesan Holy Martyr.

"Dear brothers," the statement by the Petrograd diocesan council began. "On October 31 of this year the town of Tsarskoye Selo suffered the martyrdom of one of the good shepherds of the Petrograd diocese, the Archpriest of the local Cathedral, John Alexandrovich Kochurov. Without any blame or justification for this on his part, he was seized in his apartment, conveyed to the suburbs, and there, in an open field, was shot by the possessed mob...."

"It was with feelings of profound sorrow that the Petrograd diocesan council received this news; the grief has been considerably augmented by the realization that, with the Archpriest's demise, a large family is left behind, consisting of six members who now are without food, shelter, or any means of subsistence."

"God is the Judge of the cunning villains who violently ended the life that was still young. Even if they flee unpunished from trial at the hands of men, they can never elude the judgment of God. But our obligation now is not only to pray for the peace of this innocent sufferer's soul, but with all our sincere love, attempt to treat the deep and incurable wound that has been inflicted on the very hearts of the poor, bereaved family. The diocese and the diocesan clergy are directly obligated to provide for the martyred pastor's orphaned family, to give them the opportunity to live in material comfort, and to provide the children with a proper education."

"The diocesan Church Council, being moved by the loftiest of sentiments, now appeals to the clergy, parish councils, and all the Orthodox faithful of the diocese of Petrograd with an ardent entreaty, asking most earnestly, for the sake of Christ's love, that you stretch forth a brotherly helping hand, and by whatever amount you can offer, support a poor family left to be at the mercy of fate. Great is the need, and it should not be delayed!"

". . . His martyrdom is, for each of us, a dire reminder, an ominous warning. Therefore, we must be ready for anything. And to prevent such situations of destitution as we now have, we must prepare, between the times of trial, an assistance fund to be allotted for the defenseless, persecuted, and tormented clergy that those in such cases, and in similar ones, may have material aid from their kindred in spirit."

". . . Though the deans, special lists will be sent to each parish in the diocese for the collection of donations, those that are voluntary and from the Church funds, to help the family of the deceased Archpriest John Kochurov, and also for the establishment of the special fund for the assistance of clergy in all similar cases."

"...An immense task requires means commensurate with it. The Diocesan Church Council hopes that with God's help such means will be found. The modest offering of the diocese and clergy, made voluntarily and laid on the Christian conscience of each person, will provide an opportunity to dry the tears of unhappy orphans, and to make a beginning of that concern for good brotherly assistance, for which our clergy have a great need particularly now...." "It has thundered; now is the time to make the sign of the Cross!"

On one of his regular visits to his diocese during the All-Russian Church Council in Moscow, Metropolitan Benjamin served the Divine Liturgy on November 26, for the patronal feast at St Catherine's Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo. "The Liturgy ended with a fervent exhortation from the hierarch, during which he appealed to the people for unity, love, and brotherhood," wrote a correspondent for the All Russian Church-Social Herald. "The Metropolitan also mentioned the terrible event, the assassination of the beloved pastor of the local Church, Fr. John Kochurov. He noted that though it is a very sad occasion, it has been a cause of reconciliation as well, through the realization that the pastor had laid down his life for love of God and of neighbor, providing an example of martyrdom."

The archpastoral message had a strong effect on everyone, and tears were seen on many faces. Following the liturgy, the Litya for the departed took place at Fr. John's tomb in the burial vault of the cathedral. After the service the Metropolitan visited the rectory, where he met the family of the deceased. Thus, for a second time, and now from the mouth of the diocesan hierarch who remembered the slain clergyman of his diocese, the Russian Orthodox Church characterized Fr. John's death as a martyrdom.

The All-Russian Church Council was just then taking place in Moscow, and this death had deeply touched the hearts of the delegates, arousing loud lamentation. Archpriest P. Mirtov was commissioned to compose a proclamation expressing the sense of the Council, giving information about the untimely death of the deceased Fr. John Kochurov, who fell victim (to violence) while zealously fulfilling the obligations of his rank.

The Most Holy Patriarch Tikhon had become well acquainted with Fr. John during the many years they worked together in the diocese of North America and the Aleutians, and therefore felt a deep respect for him. Expressing a genuine conviction formed at the Council that the Russian Orthodox Church had gained a new martyr saint by Fr. John's death, the Patriarch sent a letter of sympathy to Alexandra Kochurova, the deceased pastor's widow: "With great sadness the Most Holy Council of the Russian Orthodox Church has received a report concerning the martyrdom of Father John Alexandrovich Kochurov, who has fallen victim (to violence) while zealously fulfilling the obligations of his rank," wrote the future Confessor, the Most Holy Patriarch Tikhon. "Joining our prayers with those of the Holy Council for the repose of the soul of the slain Archpriest John, we share your great grief, and we do so with a special love, because we knew the deceased Archpriest well, and have always held his inspiring and strong pastoral activity in high esteem."

"We bear in our hearts the sure hope that the deceased pastor, adorned with the wreath of martyrdom, now stands at the Throne of God among the elect of Christ's true flock. The holy Council, with earnest sympathy for your bereaved family, has decided to petition the Holy Synod to give you the proper assistance."

"May the Lord help you to endure the trial sent to you by God's Providence, and preserve you and your children unharmed amid the storms and calamities of our time."
"We invoke God's blessing on you and on your family." - Patriarch Tikhon[44]
Exactly five months after Fr. John's death, on March 31, 1918, by which time the number of murdered clergymen known to the Holy Synod had already reached fifteen, the first Memorial Liturgy for the New Hieromartyrs and Martyrs in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in the twentieth century was served in the church of the Moscow Theological Seminary, by the Most Holy Patriarch Tikhon, four other hierarchs, and ten archimandrites and protopresbyters. At the Memorial Liturgy and Memorial Service, when the supplicatory prayer was pronounced "For the repose of the servants of God who have perished for the Faith and the Orthodox Church, after mentioning the first-slain hierarch, Metropolitan Vladimir, the first-slain Archpriest, Father John Kochurov was remembered, who by his passion-bearing death ushered in the service offered by the confessors, the assembly of the Russian New-Martyrs of the twentieth century.[45]

Translated from the Russian by Anatoly Antonov

Sources and Literature [1]The Central State Historical Archive of St. Petersburg (CSHA of S.-P.), F. 14 University of Petrograd, 3, f.31575, 1.8, 10. The personal folder of the student Dmitry Alexandrovich Kochurov. [2]CSHA of S.-P., F. 277, 1, f. 3220, par. 1,2,3,4,5,6,8. [3]CSHA of S.-P., F. 19, 113, f. 4167, par. 37. [4]American Orthodox Messenger (AOM), 1907, N14, p. 269. [5]CSHA of S.-P., F. 19, 113, f. 4167, par. 37. [6]AOM, 1898, N24, pp. 681-682. [7]AOM, 1896, N7, p. 117 [8]AOM, 1898, N24, p. 682. [9]Ibid. [10]AOM, 1897, N14, p. 290. [11]AOM, 1900, N10, p. 215. [12]AOM, 1896, N1, p. 14; CSHA of S.-P., F. 19, 113, f. 4167, par. 38-39. [13]AOM, 1898, N24, p. 682. [14]AOM, 1899, N11, pp. 305-306. [15]AOM, 1901, N1, pp. 26, 32. [16]AOM, 1902, N8, pp. 171-173. [17]A. Maltsev, The Russian Orthodox Churches and Institutions Abroad. St. Petersburg, 1906, p. 419 (in Russian) [18]AOM, 1905, N17, pp. 340-341. [19]CSHA of S.-P., F.19, 113, f.4167, par. 40. [20]AOM, 1904, N5, p. 81. [21]AOM, 1905, N17, pp. 340-342. [22]AOM, 1906, N10, p. 206. [23] AOM, 1906, N10, p.206. [24] AOM, 1907, N14, pp. 269-270. [25]CSHA of S.-P., F. 19, 113, f. 4167, par. 37. [26] Circular of the Department of Education of St. Petersburg, from 1907, p. 294. [27]CSHA of S.-P., F.139, 1, f. 11305, par. 28. [28]Tserkovniye Vedomosty, a newspaper, 1912, N18, p. 128. [29]Ibid, 1916, N18-19, p. 167. [30]CSHA of S.-P., F. 19, 113, f. 4333, par. 12. [31]Tsarskoselskoye Delo, 1916, 18 Nov. [32]CSHA of S.-P., F. 19, 113, f. 4366, 1.20. [33]Vserosiysky Tserkovno-Obschestvenniy Vestnik (VTOV), 1917, 5 Nov. [34]Ibid. [35]Ibid. [36]Ibid. [37] AOM, 1905, N17, pp. 340-342. [38]VTOV, 1917, 5 Nov. [39] VTOV, 1917, 1 Dec. [40] VTOV, 1917, 7 Nov. [41] Tserkovniye Vedomosty, 1917, N48-50, pp. 2-3. [42] VTOV, 1917, 1 Dec. [43] VTOV, 1917, 2 Nov. [44] VTOV, 1917, 15 Dec. [45] Pribavleniye k Tserkovnym Vedomostyam, 1918, N15-16, p. 519.


 Monday  Saints of this Day October  31 Prídie Kaléndas Novémbris.   40 days for Life Day 3
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 33
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.
(3) THE ROSARY: The Rosary mentioned here was indicated by the Portuguese word 'terco' which is commonly employed to denote a Rosary of five decades, since it forms a fourth of the full Rosary of 20 decades. This too must recited in a spirit of reparation.
(4) MEDITATION FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES: Here the meditation on one mystery or more is to be made without simultaneous recitation of the Rosary decade. As indicated, the meditation may be either on one mystery alone for 15 minutes, or on all 20 mysteries, spending about one minute on each mystery, or again, on two or more mysteries during the period. This can also be made before each decade spending three minutes or more in considering the mystery of the particular decade. This meditation has likewise to be made in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart.
(5) THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION: All these acts, as said above, have to be done with the intention of offering reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the offences committed against Her. Everyone who offends Her commits, so to speak, a two-fold offence, for these sins also offend her Divine Son, Christ, and so endanger our salvation. They give bad example to others and weaken the strength of society to withstand immoral onslaughts. Such devotions therefore make us consider not only the enormity of the offence against God, but also the effect of sins on human society as well as the need for undoing these social effects even when the offender repents and is converted. Further, this reparation emphasises our responsibility towards sinners who, themselves, will not pray and make reparation for their sins.