Wednesday   Saints of this Day September  14  Décimo octávo Kaléndas Octóbris.   
ABORTION IS A MORAL OUTRAGE
Elevation_of_the_Cross.jpg

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,


CAUSES OF SAINTS


Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List

Acts of the Apostles

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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

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

                                             
 

 
       
40 Days for Life  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'

Acts of the Apostles

Pope Benedict XVI The Catholic Church In China {whole article here }


The Lord measures our perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds,
but by the manner in which we perform them.
-- St. John of the Cross

The saints are a “cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.

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

September 14 - Triumph of the Holy Cross – Our Lady of the Three Ears of Wheat (Alsace, France, 1491) 
 
A young girl's heroism
 While playing, a young girl accidentally put some sand into her eyes and got an eye infection.  Several operations were attempted without success. Her father took her to famous ophthalmologists in Sweden, but all was useless. Her vision worsened to the point that she was almost blind.  On their way home from Sweden, father and child stopped at Czestochowa in Poland. He was an atheist but his daughter had been raised in the faith. At six o’clock in the morning they were at the shrine of the Black Madonna.

After mass, the father asked: "Did the Madonna heal you?" The child replied: "I ​​told the Blessed Virgin that I no longer want to see the world, but that you, Dad, would kneel with us when we pray."  The father was so moved upon hearing the girl’s answer that he started to cry.  After regaining his composure, he said to one of the priests: "Please hear my confession."
Bettendes Gottesvolk #137 Story told by Brother Albert Pfleger
in Fioretti de la Vierge Marie, Ephèse Diffusion
 
Triumph of the Cross: Early in the fourth century St. Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. She razed the Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior's tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher over the tomb. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.
 251 St. Caerealis & Sallustia soldier and wife: martyrs Romeconverts of Pope St. Cornelius: slain during persecution conducted by Emperor Trajanus Decius.
 258 St. Crescentian African martyr with Victor, Rosula, Generalis; reported martyred at the same time and in the same place as St. Cyprian.
 258 St. Cyprian of Carthage; What St. Cyprian really says is simply this, that Christ, using the metaphor of an edifice, founds His Church on a single foundation which shall manifest and ensure its unity. And as Peter is the foundation, binding the whole Church together, so in each diocese is the bishop. With this one argument Cyprian claims to cut at the root of all heresies and schisms.  St. Cyprian was the first great Latin writer among the Christians, for Tertullian fell into heresy, and his style was harsh and unintelligible. Until the days of Jerome and Augustine, Cyprian's writings had no rivals in the West. Their praise is sung by Prudentius, who joins with Pacian, Jerome, Augustine, and many others in attesting their extraordinary popularity.  (Thaschus Cæcilius Cyprianus).
300 St. Crescentius Martyred eleven-year-old; son of St. Euthymius. He was brought from Perugia, Italy, to Rome tostand trial. Refusing to deny Christ, Crescentius was beheaded after torture.
 325 St. Maternus First known bishop of Cologne;
modern Germany; involved in effort against Donatist heretics; asked by Emperor Constantine to hear charges against the Donatists in 313.
 407 St. John, bishop of Constantinople At Comana in Pontus, the birthday of , confessor and doctor of the Church, surnamed Chrysostom because of his golden eloquence.  He was cast into exile by a faction of his enemies, but was recalled by a decree of Pope Innocent I.  However, he suffered many evils on the journey at the hands of the soldiers who guarded him, and he rendered up his soul unto God.  His feast is kept on the 27th of January, on which day his holy body was translated to Constantinople by Theodosius the Younger.  Pope Pius X declared and appointed this glorious preacher of the divine Word as heavenly patron of those preaching of holy things.
6th v. St. Cormac Irish abbot who was a friend of St. Columba.
629 The Exaltation Of The Holy Cross, Commonly Called Holy Cross Day
908 St. Cormac of Cashel, King B his learning, piety, charity, valor; probably first bishop of Cashel and compiler of still extant Psalter of Cashel, an Irish history (AC)
1313 St. Notburga Patroness of poor peasants servants in Tyrol; famous for her miracles and concern for the poor.
1815 St. Gabriel du Fresse, Blessed Martyr of China; began his missionary work in China in 1777. In 1800, he was consecrated titular bishop of Tabraca. After 15 years of continual danger, Bishop Gabriel-John was betrayed by a native Christian and beheaded 
"Christianity is not a moral code or a philosophy, but an encounter with a person" -- Benedict XVI

The Richest of the People will Seek Your Smile (I) - OUR LADY OF EINSIEDELN (Switzerland)
On September 15, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to Lourdes addressed the sick,
on the Esplanade of the Rosary:  "Yesterday we celebrated the Cross of Christ, the instrument of our salvation, which reveals the mercy of our God in all its fullness. The Cross is truly the place where God's compassion for our world is perfectly manifested.  Today, as we celebrate the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, we contemplate Mary sharing her Son's compassion for sinners. As Saint Bernard declares, the Mother of Christ entered into the Passion of her Son through her compassion (cf. Homily for Sunday in the Octave of the Assumption). At the foot of the Cross, the prophecy of Simeon is fulfilled: her mother's heart is pierced through (cf. Lk 2:35) by the torment inflicted on the Innocent One born of her flesh.

Just as Jesus cried (cf. Jn 11:35), so too Mary certainly cried over the tortured body of her Son. Her self-restraint, however, prevents us from plumbing the depths of her grief; the full extent of her suffering is merely suggested by the traditional symbol of the seven swords. As in the case of her Son Jesus, one might say that she too was led to perfection through this suffering (cf. Heb 2:10), so as to make her capable of receiving the new spiritual mission that her Son entrusts to her immediately before "giving up his spirit" (cf. Jn 19:30): that of becoming the mother of Christ in his members. In that hour, through the figure of the beloved disciple, Jesus presents each of his disciples to his Mother when he says to her: Behold your Son (cf. Jn 19:26-27)."
Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI, Eucharistic Celebration for the Sick,
Esplanade in front of the Basilica of Notre-Dame du Rosaire, Lourdes  September 15, 2008


Mary's Divine Motherhood
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 Special Consecration of the Shrine of Einsiedeln
September 14 - Foundation of Einsiedeln (Switzerland, 948)
The origins of the first Swiss Catholic Shrine, located about 40 km from Zurich, dates back to the 9th century.
Circa 853, the Abbess Hildegard, daughter of Louis the German, asked Saint Meinrad (+861), monk and poet from Reichenau, to move there and consecrate a chapel to Our Lady of Einsiedeln.
The saint was murdered on the site on January 21, 861. In 906, a Benedictine monastery was established. The following year, Blessed Bennon, bishop of Metz, came to live there. In 947, Emperor Otto I confirmed this foundation in honor of Saint Maurice and Our Lady.

On September 14, 948, Bishop Conrad of Constance, and Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg, journeyed to Einsiedeln to consecrate the new conventual church. Toward midnight, during the night office, Conrad suddenly heard harmonious voices fill up the nave. He raised his eyes and saw a choir of angels (...). Jesus Christ?, clothed with purple ornaments, was celebrating at the altar the office for the dedication. Around him one could see Saint Peter, Saint Gregory, Saint Augustine, Saint Stephen and Saint Lawrence.

In front of the altar, on a throne resplendent with light, sat the august Queen of Heaven. The monks tried to shake Conrad out of his stupor. But no sooner were the monks arrayed at the foot of the altar than a mysterious voice resounded under the vault (...): "Stop, my brother, stop: the chapel has already been divinely consecrated." The abbot of Einsiedeln bears the honorary title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. The current buildings date from 1704-1717. The feast of the "angelic consecration" (Engelweihe) is celebrated on September 14, in Einsiedeln,
the place of the first Swiss pilgrimage.
>From the Dictionary of Apparitions
By Fr. Laurentin, Fayard 2007

The great psalm of the Passion, Chapter 22, whose first verse "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Jesus pronounced on the cross, ended with the vision: "All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him"
For kingship belongs to the LORD, the ruler over the nations.  All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage.  And I will live for the LORD; my descendants will serve you.  The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought.
Triumph of the Cross 
Although believers spoke of the cross as the instrument of salvation, it seldom appeared in Christian art
 unless disguised as an anchor or the Chi-Rho until after Constantine's edict of toleration.
258 Pope St. Sixtus II Elected 31 Aug., 257, martyred at Rome, 6 Aug., 258
(XYSTUS).
  During the pontificate of his predecessor, St. Stephen, a sharp dispute had arisen between Rome and the African and Asiatic Churches, concerning the rebaptism of heretics, which had threatened to end in a complete rupture between Rome and the Churches of Africa and Asia Minor (see SAINT CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE). Sixtus II, whom Pontius (Vita Cyprian, cap. xiv) styles a good and peaceful priest (bonus et pacificus sacerdos), was more conciliatory than St. Stephen and restored friendly relations with these Churches, though, like his predecessor, he upheld the Roman usage of not rebaptizing heretics.  
253 Pope Cornelius; predecessor, Fabian, put to death by Decius, 250. March, 251 persecution slackened, owing to absence of the emperor, (two rivals had arisen); 16 bishops at Rome elected Cornelius against his will was; "What fortitude in his acceptance of the episcopate, what strength of mind, what firmness of faith, that he took his seat intrepid in the sacerdotal chair, at a time when the tyrant in his hatred of bishops was making unspeakable threats, when he heard with far more patience that a rival prince was arising against him, than that a bishop of God was appointed at Rome" (Cyprian, Ep. lv, 24). Is he not, asks St. Cyprian, to be numbered among the glorious confessors and martyrs who sat so long awaiting the sword or the cross or the stake and every other torture?
Cornelius Martyr (251 to 253).
236-250, Pope Saint Fabian succeeded Saint Antheros governed as bishop of Rome 14 peaceful years
Died 250. On January 10, his martyrdom under Decius. He was a layman, who, according to Eusebius, was chosen because a dove flew in through a window during the election and settled on his head. This 'sign' united the votes of the clergy and people for this layman and stranger.

Pope St. Fabian (FABIANUS) Pope (236-250),
extraordinary circumstances of whose election is related by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., VI, 29). After the death of Anterus he had come to Rome, with some others, from his farm and was in the city when the new election began. While the names of several illustrious and noble persons were being considered, a dove suddenly descended upon the head of Fabian, of whom no one had even thought. To the assembled brethren the sight recalled the Gospel scene of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Saviour of mankind, and so, divinely inspired, as it were, they chose Fabian with joyous unanimity and placed him in the Chair of Peter.


Triumph of the Cross: Early in the fourth century St. Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. She razed the Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior's tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher over the tomb. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.
    Exaltátio sanctæ Crucis, quando Heráclius Imperátor, Chósroa Rege devícto, eam de Pérside Hierosólymam reportávit.
    The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, when Emperor Heraclius, after defeating King Chosroes, brought it back to Jerusalem from Persia.

The cross immediately became an object of veneration. At a Good Friday celebration in Jerusalem toward the end of the fourth century, according to an eyewitness, the wood was taken out of its silver container and placed on a table together with the inscription Pilate ordered placed above Jesus' head: Then "all the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross and the inscription, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and, after kissing the cross, they move on."
To this day the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox alike, celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the September anniversary of the basilica's dedication. The feast entered the Western calendar in the seventh century after Emperor Heraclius recovered the cross from the Persians, who had carried it off in 614, 15 years earlier. According to the story, the emperor intended to carry the cross back into Jerusalem himself, but was unable to move forward until he took off his imperial garb and became a barefoot pilgrim.

Comment:  The cross is today the universal image of Christian belief. Countless generations of artists have turned it into a thing of beauty to be carried in procession or worn as jewelry. To the eyes of the first Christians, it had no beauty. It stood outside too many city walls, decorated only with decaying corpses, as a threat to anyone who defied Rome's authority—including the heretic sect which refused sacrifice to Roman gods. Although believers spoke of the cross as the instrument of salvation, it seldom appeared in Christian art unless disguised as an anchor or the Chi-Rho until after Constantine's edict of toleration.

Quote: "How splendid the cross of Christ! It brings life, not death; light, not darkness; Paradise, not its loss. It is the wood on which the Lord, like a great warrior, was wounded in hands and feet and side, but healed thereby our wounds. A tree has destroyed us, a tree now brought us life" (Theodore of Studios)
.

629 THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS, COMMONLY CALLED HOLY CROSS DAY

ON this day the Western church celebrates, as we learn from the Roman Martyrology and the lessons at Matins, the veneration of the great relics of Christ’s cross at Jerusalem after the Emperor Heraclius had recovered them from the hands of the Persians, who had carried them off in 614, fifteen years before.

According to the story, the emperor determined to carry the precious burden upon his own shoulders into the city, with the utmost pomp; but stopped suddenly at the entrance to the Holy Places and found he was not able to go forward. The patriarch Zachary, who walked by his side, suggested to him that his imperial splendour was hardly in agreement with the humble appearance of Christ when He bore His cross through the streets of that city. Thereupon the emperor laid aside his purple and his crown, put on simple clothes, went along barefoot with the pro­cession, and devoutly replaced the cross where it was before. It was still in the silver case in which it had been carried away, and the patriarch and clergy, finding the seals whole, opened the case with the key and venerated its contents. The original writers always speak of this portion of the cross in the plural number, calling it the pieces of the wood of the true cross. This solemnity was carried out with the most devout thanksgiving, the relics were lifted up for the veneration of the people, and many sick were miraculously cured.

In the Eastern church the feast of the World-wide Exaltation of the Holy and Life-giving Cross is one of the greatest of the year, and principally commemorates the finding of the cross and (now on the previous day) the dedication of Constan­tine’s churches at the Holy Sepulchre and Calvary. The pilgrim Etheria in the fourth century tells us that these dedications were fixed for the same day as that on which the cross was found and in early times in the East the feasts of the cross were connected more with the finding, the dedications, and a vision accorded to St Cyril of Jerusalem in 351, rather than with the recovery by Heraclius. It would appear certain that September 14 was the original date of the commemoration of the finding even at Rome, but that the Exaltation under Heraclius took its place and the Finding was fixed for May 3, according to a Gallican usage. Mgr Duchesne states that this Holy Cross day in September was a festival of Palestinian origin, “on the anniversary of the dedication of the basilicas erected by Constantine on the sites of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre”, and he adds: “This dedication festival was celebrated in 335 by the bishops attending the Council of Tyre, who had pronounced upon Athanasius the sentence of deposition. There was associated with it also the commemoration of the discovery of the true cross”, which was “exalted” before the assembled people.

See L. Duchesne, Christian Worship (1919), pp. 274—275, 522—523 and 570—571; and Bludau, Die Pilgerreise der Etheria (1927), pp. 185—190. The earliest mention in the West of the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, under this name, appears to be in the notice of Pope St Sergius I (d. 701) in the Liber pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, vol. i, pp. 374—378. See also K. A. Kellner, Heortology (1908), pp. 333—341; DAC., vol. iii, cc. 3131—3139 ; and a most useful summary in Baudot and Chaussin, Vies des saints… t. v. (1947), pp. 63—78. Cf. also what is said herein under May 3.

251 St. Caerealis & Sallustia soldier and wife martyrs Rome: converts of Pope St. Cornelius slain during persecution conducted by Emperor Trajanus Decius.
Romæ, via Appia, beáti Cornélii, Papæ et Mártyris; qui, in persecutióne Décii, post exsílii relegatiónem, jussus est plumbátis cædi, et sic, cum áliis vigínti et uno promíscui sexus, decollári.  Sed et Cæreális, miles cum Sallústia uxóre, quos idem Cornélius in fide instrúxerat, eódem die sunt cápite plexi.
    At Rome, on the Appian Way, during the persecution of Decius, blessed Cornelius, pope and martyr.  After being banished, he was scourged with leaded whips and then beheaded with twenty-one others of both sexes.  On the same day were condemned to capital punishment Caerealis, a soldier, and his wife Sallustia, who had been instructed in the faith by the same Cornelius.
Caerealis and Sallustia MM (RM).  Pope Saint Cornelius instructed the soldier Caerealis and his wife Sallustia in the faith before they were martyred at Rome under Decius (Benedictines).
253 Pope Cornelius; predecessor, Fabian, put to death by Decius, 250. March, 251 persecution slackened, owing to absence of the emperor, (two rivals had arisen); 16 bishops at Rome elected Cornelius against his will was; "What fortitude in his acceptance of the episcopate, what strength of mind, what firmness of faith, that he took his seat intrepid in the sacerdotal chair, at a time when the tyrant in his hatred of bishops was making unspeakable threats, when he heard with far more patience that a rival prince was arising against him, than that a bishop of God was appointed at Rome" (Cyprian, Ep. lv, 24). Is he not, asks St. Cyprian, to be numbered among the glorious confessors and martyrs who sat so long awaiting the sword or the cross or the stake and every other torture?
Cornelius Martyr (251 to 253).

We may accept the statement of the Liberian catalogue that he reigned two years, three months, and ten days, for Lipsius, Lightfoot, and Harnack have shown that this list is a first-rate authority for this date. His predecessor, Fabian, was put to death by Decius, 20 January, 250. About the beginning of March, 251 the persecution slackened, owing to the absence of the emperor, against whom two rivals had arisen. It was possible to assemble sixteen bishops at Rome, and Cornelius was elected though against his will (Cyprian, Ep. lv, 24), "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the vote of the people then present, by the consent of aged priests and of good men, at a time when no one had been made before him, when the place of Fabian, that is the place of Peter, and the step of the sacerdotal chair were vacant". "What fortitude in his acceptance of the episcopate, what strength of mind, what firmness of faith, that he took his seat intrepid in the sacerdotal chair, at a time when the tyrant in his hatred of bishops was making unspeakable threats, when he heard with far more patience that a rival prince was arising against him, than that a bishop of God was appointed at Rome" (ibid., 9). Is he not, asks St. Cyprian, to be numbered among the glorious confessors and martyrs who sat so long awaiting the sword or the cross or the stake and every other torture?

A few weeks later the Roman priest Novatian made himself antipope, and the whole Christian world was convulsed by the schism at Rome. But the adhesion of St. Cyprian secured to Cornelius the hundred bishops of Africa, and the influence of St. Dionysius the Great, Bishop of Alexandria, brought the East within a few months to a right decision. In Italy itself the pope got together a synod of sixty bishops. (See NOVATIAN.) Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, seems to have wavered. Three letters to him from Cornelius were known to Eusebius, who gives extracts from one of them (Hist. Eccl., VI, xliii), in which the pope details the faults in Novatian's election and conduct with considerable bitterness. We incidentally learn that in the Roman Church there were forty-six priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, fifty-two ostiarii, and over one thousand five hundred widows and persons in distress. From this Burnet estimated the number of Christians in Rome at fifty thousand, so also Gibbon; but Benson and Harnack think this figure possibly too large. Pope Fabian had made seven regions; it appears that each had one deacon, one subdeacon and six acolytes.
   Of the letters of Cornelius to Cyprian two have come down to us, together with nine from Cyprian to the pope. Mgr. Merrati has shown that in the true text the letters of Cornelius are in the colloquial "vulgar-Latin" of the day, and not in the more classical style affected by the ex-orator Cyprian and the learned philosopher Novatian. Cornelius sanctioned the milder measures proposed by St. Cyprian and accepted by his Carthaginian council of 251 for the restoration to communion, after varying forms of penance, of those who had fallen during the Decian persecution (see CYPRIAN).

Beginning 252 a new persecution suddenly broke out. Cornelius was exiled to Centumcellæ (Civita Vecchia). There were no defections among the Roman Christians; all were confessors. The pope "led his brethren in confession", writes Cyprian (Ep. lx, ad Corn.), with a manifest reference to the confession of St. Peter. "With one heart and one voice the whole Roman Church confessed. Then was seen, dearest Brother, that faith which the blessed Apostle praised in you (Romans 1:8); even then he foresaw in spirit your glorious fortitude and firm strength."
   In June Cornelius died a martyr, as St. Cyprian repeatedly calls him. The Liberian catalogue has ibi cum gloriâ dormicionem accepit, and this may mean that he died of the rigours of his banishment, though later accounts say that he was beheaded. St. Jerome says that Cornelius and Cyprian suffered on the same day in different years, and his careless statement has been generally followed. The feast of St. Cyprian was in fact kept at Rome at the tomb of Cornelius, for the fourth century "Depositio Martirum" has "XVIII kl octob Cypriani Africæ Romæ celebratur in Callisti". St. Cornelius was not buried in the chapel of the popes, but in an adjoining catacomb, perhaps that of a branch of the noble Cornelii. His inscription is in Latin: CORNELIUS* MARTYR* whereas those of Fabian and Lucius are in Greek (Northcote and Brownlow, "Roma sotteranea", I, vi).
His feast is kept with that of St. Cyprian on 14 September, possibly the day of his translation from Centumcellæ to the catacombs.

258 St. Cyprian of Carthage; What St. Cyprian really says is simply this, that Christ, using the metaphor of an edifice, founds His Church on a single foundation which shall manifest and ensure its unity. And as Peter is the foundation, binding the whole Church together, so in each diocese is the bishop. With this one argument Cyprian claims to cut at the root of all heresies and schisms.  St. Cyprian was the first great Latin writer among the Christians, for Tertullian fell into heresy, and his style was harsh and unintelligible. Until the days of Jerome and Augustine, Cyprian's writings had no rivals in the West. Their praise is sung by Prudentius, who joins with Pacian, Jerome, Augustine, and many others in attesting their extraordinary popularity. (Thaschus Cæcilius Cyprianus).

In Africa pássio sancti Cypriáni, Epíscopi Carthaginénsis, sanctitáte et doctrína claríssimi; qui, sub Valeriáno et Galliéno Princípibus, post durum exsílium, cápitis detruncatióne martyrium consummávit, sexto milliário a Carthágine, juxta mare.  Eorúndem vero sanctórum Cornélii et Cypriáni memória sextodécimo Kaléndas Octóbris festíve celebrátur.
    In Africa, in the time of Emperors Valerian and Gallienus, St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, most renowned for holiness and learning.  It was near the seashore, six miles from the city, that he completed his martyrdom by beheading, after enduring a most painful exile.  The feast of the Saints Cornelius and Cyprian is kept on the 16th of this month.

Bishop and martyr. Of the date of the saint's birth and of his early life nothing is known. At the time of his conversion to Christianity he had, perhaps, passed middle life. He was famous as an orator and pleader, had considerable wealth, and held, no doubt, a great position in the metropolis of Africa. We learn from his deacon, St. Pontius, whose life of the saint is preserved, that his mien was dignified without severity, and cheerful without effusiveness. His gift of eloquence is evident in his writings. He was not a thinker, a philosopher, a theologian, but eminently a man of the world and an administrator, of vast energies, and of forcible and striking character. His conversion was due to an aged priest named Caecilianus, with whom he seems to have gone to live. Caecilianus in dying commended to Cyprian the care of his wife and family. While yet a catechumen the saint decided to observe chastity, and he gave most of his revenues to the poor. He sold his property, including his gardens at Carthage. These were restored to him (Dei indulgentiâ restituti, says Pontius), being apparently bought back for him by his friends; but he would have sold them again, had the persecution made this imprudent. His baptism probably took place c. 246, presumably on Easter eve, 18 April.

   Cyprian's first Christian writing is "Ad Donatum", a monologue spoken to a friend, sitting under a vine-clad pergola. He tells how, until the grace of God illuminated and strengthened the convert, it had seemed impossible to conquer vice; the decay of Roman society is pictured, the gladiatorial shows, the theatre, the unjust law-courts, the hollowness of political success; the only refuge is the temperate, studious, and prayerful life of the Christian. At the beginning should probably be placed the few words of Donatus to Cyprian which are printed by Hartel as a spurious letter. The style of this pamphlet is affected and reminds us of the bombastic unintelligibilty of Pontius. It is not like Tertullian, brilliant, barbarous, uncouth, but it reflects the preciosity which Apuleius made fashionable in Africa.
   In his other works Cyprian addresses a Christian audience; his own fervour is allowed full play, his style becomes simpler, though forcible, and sometimes poetical, not to say flowery. Without being classical, it is correct for its date, and the cadences of the sentences are in strict rhythm in all his more careful writings. On the whole his beauty of style has rarely been equalled among the Latin Fathers, and never surpassed except by the matchless energy and wit of St. Jerome.

   Another work of his early days was the "Testimonia ad Quirinum", in two books. It consists of passages of Scripture arranged under headings to illustrate the passing away of the Old Law and its fulfillment in Christ.
  A third book, added later, contains texts dealing with Christian ethics. This work is of the greatest value for the history of the Old Latin version of the Bible. It gives us an African text closely related to that of the Bobbio manuscript known as k (Turin). Hartel's edition has taken the text from a manuscript which exhibits a revised version, but what Cyprian wrote can be fairly well restored from the manuscript cited in Hartel's notes as L.
   Another book of excerpts on martyrdom is entitled "Ad Fortunatum"; its text cannot be judged in any printed edition. Cyprian was certainly only a recent convert when he became Bishop of Carthage c. 218 or the beginning of 249, but he passed through all the grades of the ministry. He had declined the charge, but was constrained by the people. A minority opposed his election, including five priests, who remained his enemies; but he tells us that he was validly elected "after the Divine judgment, the vote of the people and the consent of the bishops".

The Decian persecution
The prosperity of the Church during a peace of thirty-eight years had produced great disorders. Many even of the bishops were given up to worldliness and gain, and we hear of worse scandals. In October, 249, Decius became emperor with the ambition of restoring the ancient virtue of Rome. In January, 250, he published an edict against Christians. Bishops were to be put to death, other persons to be punished and tortured till they recanted. On 20 January Pope Fabian was martyred, and about the same time St. Cyprian retired to a safe place of hiding. His enemies continually reproached him with this. But to remain at Carthage was to court death, to cause greater danger to others, and to leave the Church without government; for to elect a new bishop would have been as impossible as it was at Rome.
   He made over much property to a confessor priest, Rogatian, for the needy. Some of the clergy lapsed, others fled; Cyprian suspended their pay, for their ministrations were needed and they were in less danger than the bishop. From his retreat he encouraged the confessors and wrote eloquent panegyrics on the martyrs. Fifteen soon died in prison and one in the mines. On the arrival of the proconsul in April severity of the persecution increased. St. Mappalicus died gloriously on the 17th. Children were tortured, women dishonoured. Numidicus, who had encouraged many, saw his wife burnt alive, and was himself half burnt, then stoned and left for dead; his daughter found him yet living; he recovered and Cyprian made him a priest. Some, after being twice tortured, were dismissed or banished, often beggared.

But there was another side to the picture.
At Rome terrified Christians rushed to the temples to sacrifice. At Carthage the majority apostatized. Some would not sacrifice, but purchased libelli, or certificates, that they had done so. Some bought the exemption of their family at the price of their own sin. Of these libellatici there were several thousands in Carthage. Of the fallen some did not repent, others joined the heretics, but most of them clamoured for forgiveness and restoration. Some, who had sacrificed under torture, returned to be tortured afresh. Castus and Æmilius were burnt for recanting, others were exiled; but such cases were necessarily rare. A few began to perform canonical penance. The first to suffer at Rome had been a young Carthaginian, Celerinus. He recovered, and Cyprian made him a lector. His grandmother and two uncles had been martyrs, but his two sisters apostatized under fear of torture, and in their repentance gave themselves to the service of those in prison. Their brother was very urgent for their restoration. His letter from Rome to Lucian, a confessor at Carthage, is extant, with the reply of the latter. Lucian obtained from a martyr named Paul before his passion a commission to grant peace to any who asked for it, and he distributed these "indulgences" with a vague formula: "Let such a one with his family communicate". Tertullian speaks in 197 of the "custom" for those who were not at peace with the Church to beg this peace from the martyrs. Much later, in his Montanist days (c. 220) he urges that the adulterers whom Pope Callistus was ready to forgive after due penance, would now get restored by merely imploring the confessors and those in the mines. Correspondingly we find Lucian issuing pardons in the name of confessors who were still alive, a manifest abuse. The heroic Mappalicus had only interceded for his own sister and mother. It seemed now as if no penance was to be enforced upon the lapsed, and Cyprian wrote to remonstrate.

Meanwhile official news had arrived from Rome of the death of Pope Fabian, together with an unsigned and ungrammatical letter to the clergy of Carthage from some of the Roman clergy, implying blame to Cyprian for the desertion of his flock, and giving advice as to the treatment of the lapsed. Cyprian explained his conduct (Ep. xx), and sent to Rome copies of thirteen of the letters written from his hiding-place to Carthage. The five priests who opposed him were now admitting at once to communion all who had recommendations from the confessors, and the confessors themselves issued a general indulgence, in accordance with which the bishops were to restore to communion all whom they had examined. This was an outrage on discipline, yet Cyprian was ready to give some value to the indulgences thus improperly granted, but all must be done in submission to the bishop. He proposed that libellatici should be restored, when in danger of death, by a priest or even by a deacon, but the rest should await the cessation of persecution, when councils could be held at Rome and at Carthage, and a common decision be agreed upon.
   Some regard must be had for the prerogative of the confessors, yet the lapsed must surely not be placed in a better position than those who had stood fast, and had been tortured, or beggared, or exiled. The guilty were terrified by marvels that occurred. A man was struck dumb on the very Capitol where he had denied Christ. Another went mad in the public baths, and gnawed the tongue which had tasted the pagan victim. In Cyprian's own presence an infant who had been taken by its nurse to partake at the heathen altar, and then to the Holy Sacrifice offered by the bishop, was though in torture, and vomited the Sacred Species it had received in the holy chalice. A lapsed woman of advanced age had fallen in a fit, on venturing to communicate unworthily. Another, on opening the receptacle in which, according to custom, she had taken home the Blessed Sacrament for private Communion, was deterred from sacrilegiously touching it by fire which came forth. Yet another found nought within her pyx save cinders.
  About September, Cyprian received promise of support from the Roman priests in two letters written by the famous Novatian in the name of his colleagues. Beginning 251 the persecution waned, owing to the successive appearance of two rival emperors. The confessors were released, and a council was convened at Carthage. By the perfidy of some priests Cyprian was unable to leave his retreat till after Easter (23 March). But he wrote a letter to his flock denouncing the most infamous of the five priests, Novatus, and his deacon Felicissimus (Ep. xliii). To the bishop's order to delay the reconciliation of the lapsed until the council, Felicissimus had replied by a manifesto, declaring that none should communicate with himself who accepted the large alms distributed by Cyprian's order. The subject of the letter is more fully developed in the treatise "De Ecclesiae Catholicae Unitate" which Cyprian wrote about this time (Benson wrongly thought it was written against Novatian some weeks later).

This celebrated pamphlet was read by its author to the council which met in April, that he might get the support of the bishops against the schism started by Felicissimus and Novatus, who had a large following. The unity with which St. Cyprian deals is not so much the unity of the whole Church, the necessity of which he rather postulates, as the unity to be kept in each diocese by union with the bishop; the unity of the whole Church is maintained by the close union of the bishops who are "glued to one another", hence whosoever is not with his bishop is cut off from the unity of the Church and cannot be united to Christ; the type of the bishop is St. Peter, the first bishop.
  Protestant controversialists have attributed to St. Cyprian the absurd argument that Christ said to Peter what He really meant for all, in order to give a type or picture of unity.
  What St. Cyprian really says is simply this, that Christ, using the metaphor of an edifice, founds His Church on a single foundation which shall manifest and ensure its unity. And as Peter is the foundation, binding the whole Church together, so in each diocese is the bishop. With this one argument Cyprian claims to cut at the root of all heresies and schisms.
It has been a mistake to find any reference to Rome in this passage (De Unit., 4).
About the time of the opening of the council (251), two letters arrived from Rome. One of these, announcing the election of a pope, St. Cornelius, was read by Cyprian to the assembly; the other contained such violent and improbable accusations against the new pope that he thought it better to pass it over. Two bishops, Caldonius and Fortunatus, were dispatched to Rome for further information, and the whole council was to await their return-such was the importance of a papal election. Meantime another message arrived with the news that Novatian, the most eminent among the Roman clergy, had been made pope. Happily two African prelates, Pompeius and Stephanus, who had been present at the election of Cornelius, arrived also, and were able to testify that he had been validly set "in the place of Peter", when as yet there was no other claimant. It was thus possible to reply to the recrimination of Novatian's envoys, and a short letter was sent to Rome, explaining the discussion which had taken place in the council. Soon afterwards came the report of Caldonius and Fortunatus together with a letter from Cornelius, in which the latter complained somewhat of the delay in recognizing him. Cyprian wrote to Cornelius explaining his prudent conduct. He added a letter to the confessors who were the main support of the antipope, leaving it to Cornelius whether it should be delivered or no. He sent also copies of his two treatises, "De Unitate" and "De Lapsis" (this had been composed by him immediately after the other), and he wishes the confessors to read these in order that they may understand what a fearful thing is schism. It is in this copy of the "De Unitate" that Cyprian appears most probably to have added in the margin an alternative version of the fourth chapter. The original passage, as found in most manuscripts and as printed in Hartel's edition, runs thus:

 If any will consider this, there is no need of a long treatise and of arguments. 'The Lord saith to Peter: 'I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; to thee I will give the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and what thou shalt have bound on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what thou shalt have loosed shall be loosed in heaven.'
   Upon one He builds His Church, and though to all His Apostles after His resurrection He gives an equal power and says: 'As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you: Receive the Holy Ghost, whosesoever sins you shall have remitted they shall be remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins you shall have retained they shall be retained', yet that He might make unity manifest, He disposed the origin of that unity beginning from one. The other Apostles were indeed what Peter was, endowed with a like fellowship both of honour and of power, but the commencement proceeds from one, that the Church may be shown to be one. This one Church the Holy Ghost in the person of the Lord designates in the Canticle of Canticles, and says, One is My Dove, My perfect one, one is she to her mother, one to her that bare her. He that holds not this unity of the Church, does he believe that he holds the Faith? He who strives against and resists the Church, is he confident that he is in the Church?
The substituted passage is as follows:
. . . bound in heaven. Upon one He builds His Church, and to the same He says after His resurrection, 'feed My sheep'. And though to all His Apostles He gave an equal power yet did He set up one chair, and disposed the origin and manner of unity by his authority. The other Apostles were indeed what Peter was, but the primacy is given to Peter, and the Church and the chair is shown to be one. And all are pastors, but the flock is shown to be one, which is fed by all the Apostles with one mind and heart. He that holds not this unity of the Church, does he think that he holds the faith? He who deserts the chair of Peter, upon whom the Church is founded, is he confident that he is in the Church?
   These alternative versions are given one after the other in the chief family of manuscripts which contains them, while in some other families the two have been partially or wholly combined into one. The combined version is the one which has been printed in man editions, and has played a large part in controversy with Protestants. It is of course spurious in this conflated form, but the alternative form given above is not only found in eighth- and ninth-century manuscripts, but it is quoted by Bede, by Gregory the Great (in a letter written for his predecessor Pelagius II), and by St. Gelasius; indeed, it was almost certainly known to St. Jerome and St. Optatus in the fourth century. The evidence of the manuscripts would indicate an equally early date. Every expression and thought in the passage can be paralleled from St. Cyprian's habitual language, and it seems to be now generally admitted that this alternative passage is an alteration made by the author himself when forwarding his work to the Roman confessors. The "one chair" is always in Cyprian the episcopal chair, and Cyprian has been careful to emphasize this point, and to add a reference to the other great Petrine text, the Charge in John, xxi. The assertion of the equality of the Apostles as Apostles remains, and the omissions are only for the sake of brevity. The old contention that it is a Roman forgery is at all events quite out of the question. Another passage is also altered in all the same manuscripts which contain the "interpolation"; it is a paragraph in which the humble and pious conduct of the lapsed "on this hand (hic) is contrasted in a long succession of parallels with the pride and wickedness of the schismatics "on that hand" (illic), but in the delicate manner of the treatise the latter are only referred to in a general way. In the "interpolated" manuscripts we find that the lapsed, whose caused had now been settled by the council, are "on that hand" (illic), whereas the reference to the schismatics -- meaning the Roman confessors who were supporting Novatian, and to whom the book was being sent -- are made as pointed as possible, being brought into the foreground by the repeated hic, "on this hand".

Novatianism
The saint's remonstrance had its effect, and the confessors rallied to Cornelius. But for two or three months the confusion throughout the Catholic Church had been terrible. No other event in these early times shows us so clearly the enormous importance of the papacy in East and West.
   St. Dionysius of Alexandria joined his great influence to that of the Carthaginian primate, and he was very soon able to write that Antioch, Caesarea, and Jerusalem, Tyre and Laodicea, all Cilicia and Cappadocia, Syria and Arabia, Mesopotamia, Pontus, and Bithynia, had returned to union and that their bishops were all in concord (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., VII, v). From this we gauge the area of disturbance. Cyprian says that Novatian "assumed the primacy" (Ep. lxix, 8) and sent out his new apostles to very many cities; and where in all provinces and cities there were long established, orthodox bishops, tried in persecution, he dared to create new ones to supplant them, as though he could range through the whole world (Ep. lv, 24). Such was the power assumed by a third-century antipope. Let it be remembered that in the first days of the schism no question of heresy was raised and that Novatian only enunciated his refusal of forgiveness to the lapsed after he had made himself pope. Cyprian's reasons for holding Cornelius to be the true bishop are fully detailed in Ep. lv to a bishop, who had at first yielded to Cyprian's arguments and had commissioned him to inform Cornelius that "he now communicated with him, that is with the Catholic Church", but had afterwards wavered. It is evidently implied that if he did not communicate with Cornelius he would be outside the Catholic Church. Writing to the pope, Cyprian apologizes for his delay in acknowledging him; he had at least urged all those who sailed to Rome to make sure that they acknowledged and held the womb and root of the Catholic Church (Ep. xlviii, 3). By this is probably meant "the womb and root which is the Catholic Church", but Harnack and many Protestants, as well as many Catholics, find here a statement that the Roman Church is the womb and root. Cyprian continues that he had waited for a formal report form the bishops who had been sent to Rome, before committing all the bishops of Africa, Numidia, and Mauretania to a decision, in order that, when no doubt could remain all his colleagues "might firmly approve and hold your communion, that is the unity and charity of the Catholic Church". It is certain that St. Cyprian held that one who was in communion with an antipope held not the root of the Catholic Church, was not nourished at her breast, drank not at her fountain.
So little was the rigorism of Novatian the origin of his schism, that his chief partisan was no other than Novatus, who at Carthage had been reconciling the lapsed indiscriminately without penance. He seems to have arrived at Rome just after the election of Cornelius, and his adhesion to the party of rigorism had the curious result of destroying the opposition to Cyprian at Carthage. It is true that Felicissimus fought manfully for a time; he even procured five bishops, all excommunicated and deposed, who consecrated for the party a certain Fortunatus in opposition to St. Cyprian, in opposition to St. Cyprian, in order not to be outdone by the Novatian party, who had already a rival bishop at Carthage. The faction even appealed to St. Cornelius, and Cyprian had to write to the pope a long account of the circumstances, ridiculing their presumption in "sailing to Rome, the primatial Church (ecclesia principalis), the Chair of Peter, whence the unity of the Episcopate had its origin, not recollecting that these are the Romans whose faith was praised by St. Paul (Romans 1:8), to whom unfaith could have no access". But this embassy was naturally unsuccessful, and the party of Fortunatus and Felicissimus seems to have melted away.

The lapsed
With regard to the lapsed the council had decided that each case must be judged on its merits, and that libellatici should be restored after varying, but lengthy, terms of penance, whereas those who had actually sacrificed might after life-long penance receive Communion in the hour of death. But any one who put off sorrow and penance until the hour of sickness must be refused all Communion. The decision was a severe one. A recrudescence of persecution, announced, Cyprian tells us, by numerous visions, caused the assembling of another council in the summer of 252 (so Benson and Nelke, but Ritsch and Harnack prefer 253), in which it was decided to restore at once all those who were doing penance, in order that they might be fortified by the Holy Eucharist against trial.
   In this persecution of Gallus and Volusianus, the Church of Rome was again tried. This time Cyprian was able to congratulate the pope on firmness shown.  The whole Church of Rome, he says, confessed unanimously, and once again its faith, praised by the Apostle, was celebrated throughout the whole world (Ep. lx). About June 253, Cornelius was exiled to Centumcellae (Civitavecchia), and died there, being counted as a martyr by Cyprian and the rest of the Church. His successor Lucius was at once sent to the same place on his election, but soon was allowed to return, and Cyprian wrote to congratulate him. He died 5 March, 254, and was succeeded by Stephen, 12 May, 254.

Rebaptism of heretics
Tertullian had characteristically argued long before, that heretics have not the same God, the same Christ with Catholics, therefore their baptism is null. The African Church had adopted this view in a council held under a predecessor of Cyprian, Agrippinus, at Carthage. In the East it was also the custom of Cilicia, Cappadocia, and Galatia to rebaptize Montanists who returned to the church. Cyprian's opinion of baptism by heretics was strongly expresses: "Non abluuntur illic homines, sed potius sordidantur, nec purgantur delicta sed immo cumulantur. Non Deo nativitas illa sed diabolo filios generat" ("De Unit.", xi). A certain bishop, Magnus, wrote to ask if the baptism of the Novatians was to be respected (Ep. lxix). Cyprian's answer may be of the year 255; he denies that they are to be distinguished from any other heretics. Later we find a letter in the same sense, probably of the spring of 255 (autumn, according to d'Ales), from a council under Cyprian of thirty-one bishops (Ep. lxx), addressed to eighteen Numidian bishops; this was apparently the beginning of the controversy. It appears that the bishops of Mauretania did not in this follow the custom of Proconsular Africa and Numidia, and that Pope Stephen sent them a letter approving their adherence to Roman custom.

Cyprian, being consulted by a Numidian bishop, Quintus, sent him Ep. lxx, and replied to his difficulties (Ep. lxxi).
The spring council at Carthage in the following year, 256, was more numerous than usual, and sixty-one bishops signed the conciliar letter to the pope explaining their reasons for rebaptizing, and claiming that it was a question upon which bishops were free to differ.
   This was not Stephen's view, and he immediately issued a decree, couched apparently in very peremptory terms, that no "innovation" was to be made (this is taken by some moderns to mean "no new baptism"), but the Roman tradition of merely laying hands on converted heretics in sign of absolution must be everywhere observed, on pain of excommunication.
   This letter was evidently addressed to the African bishops, and contained some severe censures on Cyprian himself. Cyprian writes to Jubainus that he is defending the one Church, the Church founded on Peter. Why then is he called a prevaricator of the truth, a traitor to the truth;? (Ep. lxxiii, 11). To the same correspondent he sends Epp. lxx, lxxi, lxxii; he makes no laws for others, but retains his own liberty.
  He sends also a copy of his newly written treatise "De Bono Patientiae". To Pompeius, who had asked to see a copy of Stephen's rescript, he writes with great violence: "As you read it, you will note his error more and more clearly: in approving the baptism of all the heresies, he has heaped into his own breast the sins of all of them; a fine tradition indeed! What blindness of mind, what depravity!" -- "ineptitude", "hard obstinacy" -- such are the expressions which run from the pen of one who declared that opinion on the subject was free, and who in this very letter explains that a bishop must never be quarrelsome, but meek and teachable.
   In september, 256, a yet larger council assembled at Carthage.
All agreed with Cyprian; Stephen was not mentioned; and some writers have even supposed that the council met before Stephen's letter was received (so Ritschl, Grisar, Ernst, Bardenhewer). Cyprian did not wish the responsibility to be all his own. He declared that no one made himself a bishop of bishops, and that all must give their true opinion. The vote of each was therefore given in a short speech, and the minutes have come down to us in the Cyprianic correspondence under the title of "Sententiae Episcoporum".

   The messengers sent to Rome with this document were refused an audience and even denied all hospitality by the pope.
They returned incontinently to Carthage, and Cyprian tried for support from the East. He wrote to the famous Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Firmilian, sending him the treatise "De Unitate" and the correspondence on the baptismal question. By the middle of November Firmilian's reply had arrived, and it has come down to us in a translation made at the time in Africa. Its tone is, if possible, more violent than that of Cyprian. (See FIRMILIAN.) After this we know no more of the controversy.

Stephen died on 27 August, 257, and was succeeded by Sixtus II, who certainly communicated with Cyprian, and is called by Pontius "a good and peace-loving bishop". Probably when it was seen at Rome that the East was largely committed to the same wrong practice, the question was tacitly dropped. It should be remembered that, though Stephen had demanded unquestioning obedience, he had apparently, like Cyprian, considered the matter as a point of discipline. St. Cyprian supports his view by a wrong inference from the unity of the Church, and no one thought of the principle afterwards taught by St. Augustine, that, since Christ is always the principal agent, the validity of the sacrament is independent of the unworthiness of the minister: Ipse est qui baptizat. Yet this is what is implied in Stephen's insistence upon nothing more than the correct form, "because baptism is given in the name of Christ", and "the effect is due to the majesty of the Name". The laying on of hands enjoined by Stephen is repeatedly said to be in poenitentiam, yet Cyprian goes on to argue that the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands is not the new birth, but must be subsequent to it and implies it. This has led some moderns into the notion that Stephen meant confirmation to be given (so Duchesne), or at least that he has been so misunderstood by Cyprian (d'Alès).
   But the passage (Ep. lxxiv, 7) need not mean this, and it is most improbable that confirmation was even thought of in this connection. Cyprian seems to consider the laying on of hands in penance to be a giving of the Holy Ghost. In the East the custom of rebaptizing heretics had perhaps arisen from the fact that so many heretics disbelieved in the Holy Trinity, and possibly did not even use the right form and matter. For centuries the practice persisted, at least in the case of some of the heresies.
   But in the West to rebaptize was regarded as heretical, and Africa came into line soon after St. Cyprian. St. Augustine, St. Jerome, and St. Vincent of Lérins are full of praise for the firmness of Stephen as befitting his place. But Cyprian's unfortunate letters became the chief support of the puritanism of the Donatists. St. Augustine in his "De Baptismo" goes through them one by one. He will not dwell on the violent words quae in Stephanum irritatus effudit, and expresses his confidence that Cyprian's glorious martyrdom will have atoned for his excess.

Appeals to Rome
Ep. lxviii was written to Stephen before the breach. Cyprian has heard twice from Faustinus, Bishop of Lyons, that Marcianus, Bishop of Arles, has joined the party of Novatian. The pope will certainly have been already informed of this by Faustinus and by the other bishops of the province. Cyprian urges:
   You ought to send very full letters to our fellow-bishops in Gaul, not to allow the obstinate and proud Marcianus any more to insult our fellowship...Therefore send letters to the province and to the people of Arles, by which, Marcianus having been excommunicated, another shall be substituted in his place...for the whole copious body of bishops is joined together by the glue of mutual concord and the bond of unity, in order that if any of our fellowship should attempt to make a heresy and to lacerate and devastate the flock of Christ, the rest may give their aid...For though we are many shepherds, yet we feed one flock.
 
It seems incontestable that Cyprian is here explaining to the pope why he ventured to interfere, and that he attributes to the pope the power of deposing Marcanus and ordering a fresh election. We should compare his witness that Novatian usurped a similar power as antipope.

Another letter dates perhaps somewhat later. It emanates form a council of thirty seven bishops, and was obviously composed by Cyprian. It is addressed to the priest Felix and the people of Legio and Asturica, and to the deacon Ælius and the people of Emerita, in Spain. It relates that the bishops Felix and Sabinus had come to Carthage to complain. They had been legitimately ordained by the bishops of the province in the place of the former bishops, Basilides and Martialis, who had both accepted libelli in the persecution. Basilides had further blasphemed God, in sickness, had confessed his blasphemy, had voluntarily resigned his bishopric, and had been thankful to be allowed lay communion.
   Martialis had indulged in pagan banquets and had buried his sons in a pagan cemetery. He had publicly attested before the procurator ducenarius that he had denied Christ. Wherefore, says the letter, such men are unfit to be bishops, the whole Church and the late Pope Cornelius having decided that such men may be admitted to penance but never ordination; it does not profit them that they have deceived Pope Stephen, who was afar off and unaware of the facts, so that they obtained to be unjustly restored to their sees; nay, by this deceit they have only increased their guilt.
  The letter is thus a declaration that Stephen was wickedly deceived. No fault is imputed to him, no any claim to reverse his decision or to deny his right to give it; it is simply pointed out that it was founded on false information, and was therefore null. But it is obvious that the African council had heard only one side, whereas Felix and Sabinus must have pleaded their cause at Rome before they came to Africa On this ground the Africans seem to have made too hasty a judgment. But nothing more is known of the matter.

Martyrdom
The empire was surrounded by barbarian hordes who poured in on all sides. The danger was the signal for a renewal of persecution on the part of the Emperor Valerian. At Alexandria St. Dionysius was exiled. On 30 August, 257, Cyprian was brought before the Proconsul Paternus in his secretarium. His interrogatory is extant and forms the first part of the "Acta proconsularia" of his martyrdom. Cyprian declares himself a Christian and a bishop. He serves one God to Whom he prays day and night for all men and for the safety of the emperor. "Do you persevere in this?" asks Paternus. "A good will which knows God cannot be altered." "Can you, then, go into exile at Curubis?" "I go."
  He is asked for the names of the priests also, but replies delation is forbidden by the laws; they will be found easily enough in their respective cities. On September he went to Curubis, accompanied by Pontius. The town was lonely, but Pontius tells us it was sunny and pleasant, and that there were plenty of visitors, and citizens were full of kindness. He relates at length Cyprian's dream on his first night there, that he was in the proconsul's court and condemned to death, but was reprieved at his own request until the morrow. He awoke in terror, but once awake he awaited that morrow with calmness. It came to him on the very anniversary of the dream. In Numidia the measurers were more severe. Cyprian writes to nine bishops who were working in the mines, with half their hair shorn, and with insufficient food and clothing. He was still rich and able to help them.
Their replies are preserved, and we have also the authentic Acts of several African martyrs who suffered soon after Cyprian.

   In August, 258, Cyprian learned Pope Sixtus had been put to death in the catacombs on the 6th of that month, together with four of his deacons, in consequence of a new edict that bishops, priests, and deacons should be at once put to death; senators, knights, and others of rank are to lose their goods, and if they still persist, to die; matrons to be exiled; Caesarians (officers of the fiscus) to become slaves.
   Galerius Maximus, successor of Paternus, sent for Cyprian back to Carthage, and in his own gardens the bishop awaited the final sentence. Many great personages urged him to fly, but he had now no vision to recommend this course, and he desired above all to remain to exhort others. Yet he hid himself rather than obey the proconsul's summons to Utica, for he declared it was right for a bishop to die in his own city. On the return of Galerius to Carthage, Cyprian was brought from his gardens by two principes in a chariot, but the proconsul was ill, and Cyprian passed the night in the house of the first princeps in the company of his friends. Of the rest we have a vague description by Pontius and a detailed report in the proconsular Acts.
   On the morning of the 14th a crowd gathered "at the villa of Sextus", by order of the authorities. Cyprian was tried there. He refused to sacrifice, and added that in such a matter there was no room for thought of the consequences to himself. The proconsul read his condemnation and the multitude cried, "Let us be beheaded with him!" He was taken into the grounds, to a hollow surrounded by trees, into which many of the people climbed. Cyprian took off his cloak, and knelt down and prayed. Then he took off his dalmatic and gave it to his deacons, and stood in his linen tunic in silence awaiting the executioner, to whom he ordered twenty-five gold pieces to be given. The brethren cast cloths and handkerchiefs before him to catch his blood. He bandaged his own eyes with the help of a priest and a deacon, both called Julius. So he suffered. For the rest of the day his body was exposed to satisfy the curiosity of the pagans. But at night the brethren bore him with candles and torches, with prayer and great triumph, to the cemetery of Macrobius Candidianus in the suburb of Mapalia. He was the first Bishop of Carthage to obtain the crown of martyrdom.

Writings
The correspondence of Cyprian consists of eighty-one letters. Sixty-two of them are his own, three more are in the name of councils. From this large collection we get a vivid picture of his time. The first collection of his writings must have been made just before or just after his death, as it was known to Pontius. It consisted of ten treatises and seven letters on martyrdom. To these were added in Africa a set of letters on the baptismal question, and at Rome, it seems, the correspondence with Cornelius, except Ep. xlvii. Other letters were successively aggregated to these groups, including letters to Cyprian or connected with him, his collections of Testimonies, and many spurious works. To the treatises already mentioned we have to add a well-known exposition of the Lord's Prayer; a work on the simplicity of dress proper to consecrated virgins (these are both founded on Tertullian); "On the Mortality", a beautiful pamphlet, composed on the occasion of the plague which reached Carthage in 252, when Cyprian, with wonderful energy, raised a staff of workers and a great fund of money for the nursing of the sick and the burial of the dead. Another work, "On Almsgiving", its Christian character, necessity, and satisfactory value, was perhaps written, as Watson has pointed out, in reply to the calumny that Cyprian's own lavish gifts were bribes to attach men to his side. Only one of his writings is couched in a pungent strain, the "ad Demetrianum", in which he replies in a spirited manner to the accusation of a heathen that Christianity had brought the plague upon the world. Two short works, "On Patience" and "On Rivalry and Envy", apparently written during the baptismal controversy, were much read in ancient times.
   St. Cyprian was the first great Latin writer among the Christians, for Tertullian fell into heresy, and his style was harsh and unintelligible. Until the days of Jerome and Augustine, Cyprian's writings had no rivals in the West. Their praise is sung by Prudentius, who joins with Pacian, Jerome, Augustine, and many others in attesting their extraordinary popularity.

Doctrine
The little that can be extracted from St. Cyprian on the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation is correct, judged by later standards. On baptismal regeneration, on the Real Presence, on the Sacrifice of the Mass, his faith is clearly and repeatedly expressed, especially in Ep. lxiv on infant baptism, and in Ep. lxiii on the mixed chalice, written against the sacrilegious custom of using water without wine for Mass. On penance he is clear, like all the ancients, that for those who have been separated from the Church by sin there is no return except by a humble confession (exomologesis apud sacerdotes), followed by remissio facta per sacerdotes. The ordinary minister of this sacrament is the sacerdos par excellence, the bishop; but priests can administer it subject to him, and in case of necessity the lapsed might be restored by a deacon. He does not add, as we should at the present day, that in this case there is no sacrament; such theological distinctions were not in his line. There was not even a beginning of canon law in the Western Church of the third century. In Cyprian's view each bishop is answerable to God alone for his action, though he ought to take counsel of the clergy and of the laity also in all important matters. The Bishop of Carthage had a great position as honorary chief of all the bishops in the provinces of Proconsular Africa, Numidia, and Mauretania, who were about a hundred in number; but he had no actual jurisdiction over them. They seem to have met in some numbers at Carthage every spring, but their conciliar decisions had no real binding force. If a bishop should apostatize or become a heretic or fall into scandalous sin, he might be deposed by his comprovincials or by the pope. Cyprian probably thought that questions of heresy would always be too obvious to need much discussion. It is certain that where internal questions of heresy would always be too obvious to need much discussion. It is certain that where internal discipline was concerned he considered that Rome should not interfere, and that uniformity was not desirable -- a most unpractical notion. We have always to remember that his experience as a Christian was of short duration, that he became a bishop soon after he was converted, and that he had no Christian writings besides Holy Scripture to study besides those of Tertullian. He evidently knew no Greek, and probably was not acquainted with the translation of Irenaeus. Rome was to him the centre of the Church's unity; it was inaccessible to heresy, which had been knocking at its door for a century in vain. It was the See of Peter, who was the type of the bishop, the first of the Apostles. Difference of opinion between bishops as to the right occupant of the Sees of Arles or Emerita would not involve breach of communion, but rival bishops at Rome would divide the Church, and to communicate with the wrong one would be schism. It is controverted whether chastity was obligatory or only strongly urged upon priests in his day. The consecrated virgins were to him the flower of his flock, the jewels of the Church, amid the profligacy of paganism.

Spuria
A short treatise, "Quod Idola dii non sint", is printed in all editions as Cyprian's. It is made up out of Tertullian and Minucius Felix. Its genuineness is accepted by Benson, Monceaux, and Bardenhewer, as it was anciently by Jerome and Augustine. It has been attributed by Haussleiter to Novatian, and is rejected by Harnack, Watson, and von Soden. "De Spectaculis" and "De bono pudicitiae" are, with some probability, ascribed to Novatian. They are well-written letters of an absent bishop to his flock. "De Laude martyrii" is again attributed by Harnack to Novatian; but this is not generally accepted. "Adversus Judaeos" is perhaps by a Novatianist and Harnack ascribes it to Novatian himself. "Ad Novatianum" is ascribed by Harnack to Pope Sixtus II. Ehrhard, Benson, Nelke, and Weyman agree with him that it was written in Rome. This is denied by Julicher, Bardenhewer, Monceaux. Rombold thinks it is by Cyprian. "De Rebaptismate" is apparently the work attributed by Genadius to a Roman named Ursinus, c. 400. He was followed by some earlier critics, Routh, Oudin, and lately by Zahn. But it was almost certainly written during the baptismal controversy under Stephen. It comes from Rome (so Harnack and others) or from Mauretania (so Ernst, Monceaux, d'Arles), and is directed against the view of Cyprian. The little homily "De Aleatoribus" has had quite a literature of its own within the last few years, since it was attributed by Harnack to Pope Victor, and therefore accounted the earliest Latin ecclesiastical writing. The controversy has at least made it clear that the author was either very early or not orthodox. It has been shown to be improbable that he was very early, and Harnack now admits that the work is by an antipope, either Novatianist or Donatist. References to all the brochures and articles on the subject will be found in Ehrhard, in Bardenhewer, and especially in Harnack (Chronol., II, 370 sqq.).

"De Montibus Sina et Sion" is possibly older than Cyprian's time (see Harnack, and also Turner in Journal of Theol. Studies, July 1906). "Ad Vigilium Episcopum de Judaica incredulitate" is by a certain Celsus, and was once supposed by Harnack and Zahn to be addressed to the well-known Vigilius of Thapsus, but Macholz has now convinced Harnack that it dates from either the persecution of Valerian or that of Maxentius. The two "Orationes" are of uncertain date and authorship. The tract "De Singularitate clericorum" has been attributed by Dom Morin and by Harnack to the Donatist Bishop Macrobius in the fourth century. "De Duplici Martyrio ad Fortunatum" is found in no manuscript, and was apparently written by Erasmus in 1530. "De Paschâ computus" was written in the year preceding Easter, 243. All the above spuria are printed in Hartel's edition of Cyprian. The "Exhortatio de paenitentia" (first printed by Trombelli in 1751) is placed in the fourth or fifth century by Wunderer, but in Cyprian's time or Monceaux. Four letter are also given by Hartel; the first is the original commencement of the "Ad Donatum". The others are forgeries; the third, according to Mercati, is by a fourth-century Donatist. The six poems are by one author, of quite uncertain date. The amusing "Cena Cypriani" is found in a large number of Cyprianic manuscripts. Its date is uncertain; it was re-edited by Blessed Rhabanus Maurus. On the use of it at pageants in the early Middle Ages, see Mann, "History of the Popes", II, 289.

The principal editions of the works of St. Cyprian are: Rome, 1471 (the ed. princeps), dedicated to Paul II; reprinted, Venice, 1471, and 1483; Memmingen, c. 1477; Deventer, c. 1477; Paris, 1500; ed. by Rembolt (Paris, 1512); by Erasmus (Basle, 1520 and frequently; the ed. of 1544 was printed at Cologne). A careful critical edition was prepared by Latino Latini, and published by Manutius (Rome, 1563); Morel also went to the manuscripts (Paris, 1564); so did Pamele (Antwerp, 1568), but with less success; Rigault did somewhat better (Paris, 1648, etc.). John Fell, Bishop of Oxford and Dean of Christ Church, published a well-known edition from manuscripts in England (Oxford, 1682). The dissertations by Dodwell and the "Annales Cyprianici" by Pearson, who arranged the letters in chronological order, make this edition important, though the text is poor. The edition prepared by Etienne Baluze was brought out after his death by Dom Prudence Maran (Paris, 1726), and has been several times reprinted, especially by Migne (P.L., IV and V). The best edition is that of the Vienna Academy (C.S.E.L., vol. III, in 3 parts, Vienna, 1868-1871), edited from the manuscripts by Hartel. Since then much work has been done upon the history of the text, and especially on the order of the letters and treatises as witnessing to the genealogy of the codices.

Sources
A stichometrical list, probably made in 354, of the Books of the Bible, and of many works of St. Cyprian, was published in 1886 from a manuscript then at Cheltenham by MOMMSEN, Zur lat. Stichometric; Hermes, XXI, 142; ibid. (1890), XXV, 636, on a second MS. at St. Gall. See SANDAY and TURNER in Studia Biblica (Oxford, 1891), III; TURNER in Classical Review (1892), etc.), VI, 205. On Oxford MSS., see WORDSWORTh in Old Lat. Biblical Texts (Oxford, 1886), II, 123; on Madrid MSS., SCHULZ, Th. Lit. Zeitung (1897), p. 179. On other MSS., TURNER in Journal of Th. St., III, 282, 586, 579; RAMSAY, ibid., III, 585, IV, 86. On the significance of the order, CHAPMAN, ibid., IV, 103; VON SODEN, Die cyprianische Briefsammlung (Leipzig, 1904). There are many interesting points in MERCATI, D'alcuni nuovi sussidi per la critica del testo di S. Cipriano (Rome, 1899).

On the life of St. Cyprian: PEARSON, Annales Cyprianici, ed. FELL; Acta SS., 14 Sept; RETTBERG, Th. Caec. Cyprianus (Gottingen, 1831); FREPPEL, Saint Cyprien et l'Eglise d'Afrique (Paris, 1865, etc.); PETERS, Der hl. Cypr. v. Karth. Ratisbon, 1877); Freppel and Peters occasionally exaggerate in the Catholic interest. FECHTRUP, Der hl. Cyprian (Munster, 1878); RITSCHL, Cyprian v. K. und die Verfassung der Kirche (Gottingen, 1885); BENSON, Cyprian, his life, his times, his work (London, 1897). (This is the fullest and best English life; it is full of enthusiasm, but marred by odium theologicum, and quite untrustworthy when controversial point arise, whether against Nonconformists or against Catholics.) MONCEAUX, Hist. litt. de l'Afrique chret. (Paris, 1902), II, a valuable work. Of the accounts in histories, encyclopedias, and patrologies, the best is that of BARDENHEWER, Gesch. der altkirchl. Lit. (Freiburg, 1903), II. PEARSON's chronological order of the letters is given in HARTEL's edition. Rectifications are proposed by RITSCHL, De Epistulis Cyprianicis (Halle, 1885), and Cyprian v. Karthago (Gottingen, 1885); by NELKE, Die Chronologie der Korresp. Cypr. (Thorn, 1902); by VON SODEN, op. cit.; by BENSON and MONCEAUX. These views are discussed by BARDENHEWER. loc. cit., and HARNACK, Chronol., II. BONACCORSI, Le lettere di S. Cipriano in Riv. storico-critica delle scienze teol. (Rome, 1905), I, 377; STUFLER, Die Behandlung der Gefallenen zur Zeit der decischen Verfolgung in Zeitschrift fur Kathol. Theol., 1907, XXXI, 577; DWIGHT, St. Cyprian and the libelli martyrum in Amer. Cath. Qu. Rev. (1907), XXXII, 478. On the chronology of the baptismal controversy, D'ALES, La question baptismale au temps de Saint-Cyprien in Rev. des Questions Hist. (1907), p. 353.

On Cyprian's Biblical text: CORSSEN, Zur Orientierung uber die bisherige Erforschung der klass. Altertumswiss. (1899); SANDAY in Old Latin Bibl. Texts (1886), II; TURNER in Journ. Theol. St., II, 600, 610; HEIDENREICH, Der ntl. Text bei Cyprian (Bamberg, 1900); MONCEAUX, op. cit.; CORSSEN, Der cypr. Text der Acta Ap. (Berlin, 1892); ZAHN, Forschungen (Erlangen, 1891), IV, 79 (on Cyprian's text of the Apoc.). A new edition (Oxford Univ. Press) is expected of the Testimonia by SANDAY and TURNER. Tentative prolegomena to it by TURNER in Journal Theological Studies (1905), VI, 246, and (1907), IX, 62. The work has been interpolated; see RAMSAY, On early insertions in the third book of St. Cyprian's Text in Journal of Theol. St. (1901), II, 276. Testimonies of the ancients to Cyprian in HARNACK, Gesch. der altchristl. Lit., I; GOTZ, Gesch. der cyprianischen Literatur bis zu der Zeit der ersten erhaltenen Handschriften (Basle, 1891). On the Latin of St. Cyprian an excellent essay by WATSON, The Style and Language of St. Cyprian in Stud. Bibl. (Oxford, 1896), IV; BAYARD, Le Latin de Saint Cyprien (Paris, 1902). The letters of Cornelius are in Vulgar Latin (see MERCATI, op. cit.), and so are Epp. viii (anonymous) and xxi-xxiv (Celerinus, Lucian, Confessors, Caldonius); they have been edited by MIODONSKI, Adversus Alcatores (Erlangen and Leipzig, 1889). On the interpolations in De Unitate Eccl., see HARTEL, Preface; BENSON, pp. 200-21, 547-552; CHAPMAN, Les interpolations dans le traite de Saint Cyprien sur l'unite de l'Eglise in Revue Benedictine (1902), XIX, 246, 357, and (1903), XX, 26; HARNACK in Theo. Litt. Zeitung (1903), no. 9, and in Chronol., II; WATSON in Journal Theol. St. (1904), p. 432; CHAPMAN, ibid., p. 634, etc. On particular points see HARNACK in Texte und Untersuch., IV, 3, VIII, 2; on the letters of the Roman clergy HARNACK in Theol. Abhandl. Carl v. Weisacker gewidmet (Freiburg, 1896).

On Cyprian's theology much has been written. RITSCHL is fanciful and unsympathetic, BENSON untrustworthy. GOTZ, Das Christentum Cyprians (Giessen, 1896). On his trust in visions, HARNACK, Cyprian als Enthusiast in Zeitschr. fur ntl. Wiss. (1902), III, ibid. On the baptismal controversy and Cyprian's excommunication, see GRISAR in Zeitschr. fur kath. Theol. (1881), V; HOENSBROECH, ibid. (1891), XV; ERNST, ibid., XVII, XVIII, XIX. POSCHMANN, Die Sichtbarkeit der Kirche nach der Lehre des h. Cypr. (Breslau, 1907); RIOU, La genese de l'unite catholique et la pensee de Cyprien (Paris, 1907). To merely controversial works it is unnecessary to refer.

The above is only a selection from an immense literature on Cyprian and the pseudo-Cyprianic writings, for which see CHEVALIER, Bio-Bibl., and RICHARDSON, Bibliographical Synopsis. Good lists in VON SODEN, and in HARNACK, Chronol., II; the very full references in BARDENHEWER are conveniently classified.

About this page
APA citation. Chapman, J. (1908). St. Cyprian of Carthage. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved September 13, 2008 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04583b.htm
MLA citation. Chapman, John. "St. Cyprian of Carthage." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 13 Sept. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04583b.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Michael T. Barrett. Dedicated to JoAnn Smull.
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258 St. Crescentian African martyr with Victor, Rosula, Generalis; reported martyred at the same time and in the same place as St. Cyprian.
In Africa pássio sanctórum Mártyrum Crescentiáni, Victóris, Rósulæ et Generális.
    In Africa, the passion of the holy martyrs Crescentian, Victor, Rosula, and Generalis.
300 St. Crescentius Martyred eleven-year-old the son of St. Euthymius. He was brought from Perugia, Italy, to Rome to stand trial. Refusing to deny Christ, Crescentius was beheaded after torture.
Romæ sancti Crescéntii púeri, qui sancti Euthymii fílius éxstitit; atque, in persecutióne Diocletiáni, sub Turpílio Júdice, via Salária, gládio percússus, occúbuit.
    On the Salarian Way at Rome, during the persecution of Diocletian, St. Crescentius, the young son of St. Euthymius, whose life was ended by the sword, under the judge Turpilius.
Crescentius of Perugia M (RM)
Saint Crescentius, the 11-year-old son of Saint Euthymius, was captured at Perugia and returned to Rome, where he was tortured and beheaded for confessing his faith under Diocletian (Benedictines)
.
325 St. Maternus First known bishop of Cologne modern Germany. He was involved in the effort against the Donatist heretics and was asked by Emperor Constantine to hear charges against the Donatists in 313.
Tréviris sancti Matérni Epíscopi, qui fuit discípulus beáti Petri Apóstoli; ac Tungrénses Coloniénses et Trevirénses, aliósque finítimos pópulos ad Christi fidem perdúxit.
    At Treves, the holy bishop Maternus, a disciple of the blessed apostle Peter, who brought to the faith of Christ the inhabitants of Tongres, Cologne, Treves, and of the neighbouring country.
 In a legend defended by St. Peter Canisius, Maternus is labeled a disciple of St. Peter and the son of the widow of Naim, resurrected to serve the faith once more. Maternus died at Trier, Germany, where it is believed he also served as a bishop at one time.
Maternus of Cologne B (RM) Died c. 325. Saint Maternus is the first known bishop of Trèves (Trier, Germany), and some say also the bishop of Cologne and Tongern. His name is mentioned in connection with the Donatus controversy. Saint Peter Canisius defends the medieval identification of Saint Maternus with the son of the widow of Naim who was raised from the dead by Jesus. He was said to have been a disciple of Saint Peter (Benedictines). In art, Saint Maternus is a bishop holding a large key. He may also be shown holding three churches combined as one or with a crozier and pilgrim's staff or hermit's crutch (Roeder).

4th v. ST MATERNUS, BISHOP OF COLOGNE
MATERNUS was the first bishop of Cologne of whom there is any certain knowledge:  he is heard of in connexion with the Donatist controversy. The schismatic bishops in Africa presented to the Emperor Constantine a petition against the Catholic bishop, Caecilian, asking that the case might he judged by bishops from Gaul, who had no practical interest in the matters at issue. Constantine sent for three Gallic bishops to assist at the trial in Rome: these were Reticius of Autun, Marinus of Arles and St Maternus of Cologne. In the year 353 Caecilian was unanimously vindicated. The Donatists demanded a fresh trial and the emperor directed that a council be held to deal with the matter. This took place in the follow­ing year, at Arles, and St Maternus was again one of the bishops present. It is possible that at one time he was bishop at Trier, where he seems to have died.

But the legends of Cologne and Trier, accepted in their liturgical books and referred to by the Roman Martyrology, make of St Maternus a very different figure. Many ancient sees have naturally sought to find for themselves an apostolic or sub-apostolic origin, and among those that have associated themselves with St Peter are Cologne and Trier—the first named claims two bishops called Maternus, in the first and the fourth centuries. He was, asserts the apocryphal story, the resurrected son of the widow of Naim, who was sent by St Peter himself with St Eucharius and St Valerius to evangelize the Gauls. When they got so far as Ehl, in Alsace, Maternus died, and his companions returned to Rome, where St Peter gave them his staff, with instructions to lay it upon the dead man. This was done, and St Maternus underwent another resurrection, and lived to bring the gospel to “the peoples of Tongres, Cologne and Trier and other neighbouring parts”. Almost exactly the same tale is related of other apostolic missionaries to Gaul, and it is of course quite worthless. There is no reason for supposing that this St. Maternus is other than the bishop who attended the Synod of Arles in 314.

The extravagant legend summarized above seems to have been fabricated towards the close of the ninth century by one Eberhard, a monk at Trier. It is discussed at some length in the Acta Sanctorum for September, vol. iv. The text is printed in January, vol. ii (January 29). See also DCB., vol. iii, p. 86z ; Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, vol. i, pp. 46—47; W. Neuss, Die Anfänge des Christentums im Rheinlande (1923), pp. 13—20, and Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. iii, pp. 34 and 178.
Apud Cománam, in Ponto, natális sancti Joánnis, Epíscopi Constantinopolitáni, Confessóris et Ecclésiæ Doctóris, propter áureum eloquéntiæ flumen cognoménto Chrysóstomi; qui, ab inimicórum factióne in exsílium ejéctus, et, cum e sancti Innocéntii Primi, Summi Pontíficis, decréto inde revocarétur, in itínere, a custodiéntibus milítibus multa mala perpéssus, ánimam Deo réddidit.  Ejus autem festívitas sexto Kaléndas Februárii celebrátur, quo die sacrum ipsíus corpus a Theodósio junióre Constantinópolim fuit translátum.  Hunc vero præclaríssimum divíni verbi præcónem Pius Papa Décimus cæléstem Oratórum sacrórum Patrónum declarávit atque constítuit.
    At Comana in Pontus, the birthday of St. John, bishop of Constantinople, confessor and doctor of the Church, surnamed Chrysostom because of his golden eloquence.  He was cast into exile by a faction of his enemies, but was recalled by a decree of Pope Innocent I.  However, he suffered many evils on the journey at the hands of the soldiers who guarded him, and he rendered up his soul unto God.  His feast is kept on the 27th of January, on which day his holy body was translated to Constantinople by Theodosius the Younger.  Pope Pius X declared and appointed this glorious preacher of the divine Word as heavenly patron of those preaching of holy things.

6th v. St. Cormac Irish abbot An Irish abbot who was a friend of St. Columba.  
629 The Exaltation Of The Holy Cross, Commonly Called Holy Cross Day
Exaltátio sanctæ Crucis, quando Heráclius Imperátor, Chósroa Rege devícto, eam de Pérside Hierosólymam reportávit.
    The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, when Emperor Heraclius, after defeating King Chosroes, brought it back to Jerusalem from Persia.
   On this day the Western church celebrates, as we learn from the Roman Martyrology and lessons at Matins, the veneration of the great relics of Christ’s cross at Jerusalem after the Emperor Heraclius had recovered them from the hands of the Persians, who had carried them off in 614, fifteen years before. According to the story, the emperor determined to carry the precious burden upon his own shoulders into the city, with the utmost pomp; but stopped suddenly at the entrance to the Holy Places and found he was not able to go forward. The patriarch Zachary, who walked by his side, suggested to him that his imperial splendour was hardly in agreement with the humble appearance of Christ when He bore His cross through the streets of that city. Thereupon the emperor laid aside his purple and his crown, put on simple clothes, went along barefoot with the procession, and devoutly replaced the cross where it was before. It was still in the silver case in which it had been carried away.  The patriarch and clergy, finding the seals whole, opened the case with the key and venerated its contents. The original writers always speak of this portion of the cross in the plural number, calling it the pieces of the wood of the true cross. This solemnity was carried out with the most devout thanksgiving, the relics were lifted up for the veneration of the people, and many sick were miraculously cured.
     In the Eastern church feast of the World-wide Exaltation of the Holy and Life-giving Cross is one of the greatest of the year, and principally commemorates the finding of the cross and (now on the previous day) the dedication of Constantine’s churches at the Holy Sepulchre and Calvary. The pilgrim Etheria in the fourth century tells us that these dedications were fixed for the same day as that on which the cross was found. In early times in the East the feasts of the cross were connected more with the finding, the dedications, and a vision accorded to St Cyril of Jerusalem in 351, rather than with the recovery by Heraclius.
  It would appear certain that September 14 was the original date of the commemoration of the finding even at Rome hut that the Exaltation under Heraclius took its place and the Finding was fixed for May 3, according to a Gallican usage. Mgr Duchesne states that this Holy Cross day in September was a festival of Palestinian origin, ‘‘on the anniversary of the dedication of the basilicas erected by Constantine On the sites of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre”, and he adds: “This dedication festival was celebrated in 335 by the bishops attending the Council of Tyre, who had pronounced upon Athanasius the sentence of deposition. There was associated with it also the commemoration of the discovery of the true cross”, which was “exalted” before the assembled people.

See L. Duchesne, Christian Worship (1919), pp. 274—275, 522—523 and 570—571 and Bludau, Die Pilgerreise der Etheria (1927), pp. 185—190. The earliest mention in the West of the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, under this name, appears to be in the notice of Pope St Sergius I (d. 701) in Liber pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, vol. i, pp. 374—378. See also K. A. Kellner, Heortology (1908), pp. 333-345; DAC., vol. iii, cc. 3131—3139; and a most useful summary in Baudot and Chaussin, Vies des saints… t. V (1947), pp. 63—78. Cf. also what is said herein under May 3.
908 Cormac of Cashel, King his learning, piety, charity, and valor; probably the first bishop of Cashel and the compiler of the still extant Psalter of Cashel, an Irish history (AC)
Saint Cormac, king of Munster, Ireland, was the son of Cuillenan and descended from King Aengus who Saint Patrick (f.d. March 17) baptized. Cormac was probably the first bishop of Cashel and the compiler of the still extant Psalter of Cashel, an Irish history. Irish writers have celebrated him for his learning, piety, charity, and valor. He was killed in a battle against King Flan of Meath (Benedictines, Delaney, Husenbeth)
.
1313 St. Notburga Patroness of poor peasants servants in Tyrol; famous for her miracles and concern for the poor.

1313 ST NOTBURGA, VIRGIN
SOME fourteen years before the death of St Zita at Lucca there was born at Ratten­berg in Tirol a girl who was to become as well known as a patron of domestic servants in her own neighbourhood as is St Zita in a more extended area. This girl, Notburga by name, was the daughter of a peasant, and at the age of eighteen entered the service of Count Henry of Rattenberg and was employed in the kitchen. There was a good deal of food left over from the tables of this feudal establishment, and Notburga used to take it to one of the side doors of the castle and give it away to the poor people who daily waited there. Not content with this, she would even stint her own meals to increase the portion of the poor. When Count Henry’s mother died, his wife, the Countess Ottilia, looked less favourably on the charity of the kitchen-maid, and gave orders that the broken food was to go into the pigbuckets as heretofore, and be fed to the swine. For a time Notburga did as she was told, and gave to the poor only what she could save from her own food and drink, but she soon began secretly to continue her old practice, till one day her mistress caught her at it and she was dismissed. The Countess Ottilia died shortly after, and the victims of her parsimony, with that whimsical realism with which the poor watch the antics of the rich, said that her ghost haunted the pigsties of Rattenberg castle, and that the count had had to have the place exorcized.

Notburga now hired herself to a farmer at Eben, and a legendary incident during her time with him is familiar to all good Tirolese children. One Saturday after­noon in the harvest-time Notburga was reaping, when the church bell rang for Vespers, indicating that Sunday was begun. Notburga stopped work and was preparing to go to church, when her employer came along and told her to go on working. She refused: Sunday begins with Saturday Vespers, and good Christians do not reap on Sundays in fine weather. The farmer argued; the weather might change. “Very well”, replied St Notburga, “let this decide it.” Picking up the sickle, she threw it into the air—and there it remained suspended, looking like the first quarter of the harvest moon against the evening sky.

Count Henry in the meantime had been suffering considerably in the strife between the count of Tirol and the duke of Bavaria, and St Notburga’s biographer, who wrote in the seventeenth century and had a lively and credulous imagination, says that Henry attributed all his misfortunes to the meanness of his late wife and the consequent dismissal of Notburga. So, when he married a second time and somebody was required to manage the household, she was installed as housekeeper and lived a happy and holy life at Rattenberg for the rest of her days.

Before she died she particularly recommended her beloved poor to her master, and asked him to lay her body on a farm-wagon and bury it wherever the oxen should finally rest. This was done, and after a journey of which the usual miraculous accompaniments are recorded, the oxen brought the burden to a halt before the door of the church of St Rupert at Eben. Here accordingly St Notburga was buried. In 1862. Pope Pius IX confirmed her local cultus as patroness of poor peasants and hired servants.

Although we are dependent almost entirely upon the life originally published in German in 1646 by H. Guarinoni, still there seem, as we learn from Rader’s Bavaria Sancta and other sources, to have been materials of earlier date. In the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. iv, Guarinoni’a narrative is translated into Latin, and accompanied with full prolegomena and a number of curious engravings of the cultus of St Notburga.

Born in Rattenberg, in the Tyrol, daughter of peasants. At eighteen she became a servant in the household of Count Henry of Rattenberg When Notburga repeatedly gave food to the poor, she was dismissed by Count Henry’s wife, Ottilia, and took up a position as a servant to a humble farmer. Meanwhile, Henry suffering a run of misfortune and setbacks, wasted no time restoring Notburga to her post after his wife died. Notburga remained his housekeeper for the rest of her life, and was famous for her miracles and concern for the poor.
St. Notburga
Patroness of servants and peasants, b. c. 1265 at Rattenberg on the Inn; d. c. 16 September, 1313. She was cook in the family of Count Henry of Rothenburg, and used to give food to the poor. But Ottilia, her mistress, ordered her to feed the swine with whatever food was left. She, therefore, saved some of her own food, especially on Fridays, and brought it to the poor. One day, according to legend, her master met her, and commanded her to show him what she was carrying. She obeyed, but instead of the food he saw only shavings, and the wine he found to be vinegar. Hereupon Ottilia dismissed her, but soon fell dangerously ill, and Notburga remained to nurse her and prepared her for death.

Notburga then entered the service of a peasant in the town of Eben, on condition that she be permitted to go to church evenings before Sundays and festivals. One evening her master urged her to continue working in the field. Throwing her sickle into the air she said: "Let my sickle be judge between me and you," and the sickle remained suspended in the air. Meantime Count Henry of Rothenburg was visited with great reverses which he ascribed to the dismissal of Notburga. He engaged her again and thenceforth all went well in his household. Shortly before her death she told her master to place her corpse on a wagon drawn by two oxen, and to bury her wherever the oxen would stand still. The oxen drew the wagon to the chapel of St. Rupert near Eben, where she was buried. Her ancient cult was ratified on 27 March, 1862, and her feast is celebrated on 14 September. She is generally represented with an ear of corn, or flowers and a sickle in her hand; sometimes with a sickle suspended in the air.

1313 Notburga of Tyrol peasant kitchen servant constantly caring for poor several miracles after death buried at Saint Rupert's church - Eben V (AC)
Born Rattenburg; Tyrol, Germany, 1265; cultus confirmed in 1862.

Some saints are high-born nobles, prelates of the Church, or exceptional scholars; Saint Notburga was none of these. This peasant fulfilled God's plan for her life as a kitchen servant in the household of Count Henry of Rattenburg. Each day she would give the abundant food left from her master's table to the poor who waited at the side door of the castle. Not content with this, she would even stint her own meals to increase the portion available for the poor.

All was well as long as the count's mother was alive. When his wife, Countess Ottila became mistress of the household, she disapproved of this charity. Ottila gave orders that the broken food was to go into the buckets to feed the pigs. For a time Notburga followed the orders of her mistress and gave to the poor only what she could save from her own food and drink. But soon she again began her old practice secretly until her mistress caught her and dismissed Notburga. The saint then worked for a time for a farmer at Eben, and continued her benefactions.

Notburga's biographer tells us that soon thereafter the count was caught up in the strife between the count of Tyrol and the duke of Bavaria, and attributed his troubles to the meanness of Ottila, who had died shortly after firing Notburga. Henry remarried and Notburga was again hired, this time as housekeeper. She maintained that position until her death, at which point she recommended her beloved poor to her master. She asked Count Henry to lay her body on a farm-wagon and bury her wherever the oxen should finally rest. When this was accomplished, after several miracles en route, the oxen stopped at the doors of Saint Rupert's church at Eben, where she was buried.

By the time her biography was written in 1646, Notburga's story was considerably embellished. There is a charming legend that does not make sense in context that a sickle suspended itself in the air in confirmation of her refusal to reap corn on a Sunday. In art, her emblem is a sickle. Notburga is the patron of hired hands in the Tyrol and Bavaria (Attwater, Benedictines, Walsh)

1815 St. Gabriel du Fresse, Blessed Martyr of china; began his missionary work in China in 1777. In 1800, he was consecrated titular bishop of Tabraca. After 15 years of continual danger, Bishop Gabriel-John was betrayed by a native Christian and beheaded
he was born in Ville de Lezoux, near Clermont, France, in 1750. After entering the seminary for foreign missions, he was sent to China in 1777. Ordained, he was soon betrayed by a Chinese Christian and beheaded. Gabriel was beatified in 1900.
Blessed Gabriel-John Taurin Dufresse M (AC) Born at Ville-de-Lezoux, diocese of Clermont, France, 1750; died in China, 1815; beatified in 1900. Blessed Gabriel-John completed his studies at the seminary for foreign missions, and began his missionary work in China in 1777. In 1800, he was consecrated titular bishop of Tabraca. After 15 years of continual danger, Bishop Gabriel-John was betrayed by a native Christian and beheaded (Benedictines)
.

 Wednesday   Saints of this Day September  14  Décimo octávo Kaléndas Octóbris.   

Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  September 2016
Universal:   Centrality of the Human Person
That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center
.
Evangelization:   Mission to Evangelize
That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize
.

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  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.
(6) FIVE CONSECUTIVE FIRST SATURDAYS: The idea of the Five First Saturdays is obviously to make us persevere in the devotional acts for these Saturdays and overcome initial difficulties. Once this is done, Our Lady knows that the person would become devoted to Her immaculate Heart and persist in practising such devotion on all First Saturdays, working thereby for personal self-reform and for the salvation of others.

Unless Russia is converted, the movement against God and for sin will continue to spread, promoting wars and persecutions, and making the attainment for peace and justice impossible for this world. One means of obtaining Russia's conversion is to practise the Fatima Message. The stakes are so great that to encourage Catholics to practise the devotion of the First Saturdays, Our Lady has assured us that She will obtain salvation for all those who observe the first Saturdays for five consecutive months in accordance with Her conditions.
At