Mary the Mother of GOD
Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас! Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!
RDeo grátias. R.  Thanks be to God.

Sanctórum Mártyrum Cornélii Papæ, Cypriáni, Carthaginénsis Epíscopi, quorum memória décimo octávo Kaléndas Octóbris recólitur.

The holy martyrs Cornelius, pope, and Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who were mentioned on the 14th of September.

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

We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend
on material success, but on Jesus alone.
-- St. Frances Xavier Cabrini


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


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

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

1st v. Sebastiana The Holy Martyr a follower of the holy Apostle Paul. During a persecution against Christians under emperor Dometian (81-96), tried as Christian before governor Georgios in Marcianopolis in the Mizea region.
2nd v. Melitina The Holy Martyr lived in the city of Marcianopolis in Thrace during the rule of the emperor Antoninus Pius ((138-161). She was a fervent Christian, and the Lord blessed her with the gift of wonderworking. By the power of her prayers she shattered the idols of Apollo and Herakles.
 255 St. Cornelius elected Pope to succeed Fabian
       St. Cecilia, virgin and martyr Also at Rome, the birthday of
 300 St. Lucy & Geminian Martyrs of Rome
303  ST EUPHEMIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR; miracles during persecution with  soldiers Victor and Sosthenes
 304 St. Abundius martyr and miracle worker in Rome
4th v. Saint Dorotheus, Egyptian Hermit, a native of the Thebaid region in Egypt, labored in asceticism for 60 years in the Skete desert, on the Western side of the River Nile. St Dorotheus led a austere and ascetic life. After finishing his prayers, he went into the noonday heat to gather stones along the seashore to build cells for the other hermits. By night the saint wove baskets, in exchange for which he received the supplies he needed in order to live.  Food for St Dorotheus consisted of bread and the meager grass in the wilderness. Once a day he partook of food and drank a little water. He did not lie down to sleep, but only dozed off sometimes at work, or after eating. "Where the Cross is, there the demonic powers do no harm."
 649-655 St. Martin I, pope and martyr The birthday of feast, however, is observed on the 12th of November
He had called together a council at Rome and condemned the heretics Sergius, Paul and Pyrrhus.  By order of the heretical Emperor Constantius he was taken prisoner through a deceit, brought to Constantinople, and exiled to the Chersonese.  There he ended his life, worn out with his labours for the Catholic faith and favoured with many virtues.  His body was afterwards brought to Rome and buried in the church of Saints Sylvester and Martin.  His feast, however, is observed on the 12th of November.
 680 St. Curcodomus Benedictine abbot successor of St. Humbert at Maroilles, in the diocese of Cambrai, in France.
 808 Isaac and Joseph the Georgians The holy martyrs; “Remember that the flesh is like grass and every glory of this earth is like a flower that grows in the grass. When the grass withers, the flower also dies (c.f. Isaiah 40:6–7). Your threats of torture and death are for us rather absurd, for neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38–9).”
 852 St. Rogellus Martyr with disciple Servus Dei  St. Ninian known for his miracles
921 St. Ludmila Daughter of a Slavic prince;  as widow, led an austere, pious life and continued to be concerned for the Church during the reign of her son Bratislav, which lasted for 33 years
 984 St. Edith of Wilton; became a nun when fifteen; daughter of King Edgar of England and Wulfrida. She was born at Kensing, England, and was brought as a very young child to Wilton Abbey by her mother, who later became a nun there and Abbess. Edith became a nun when fifteen, declined her father's offer of three abbacies, and refused to leave the convent to become queen when her half-brother, King Edward the Martyr was murdered, as many of the nobles requested. She built St. Denis Church at Wilton.
1087 BD VICTOR III, POPE -- Desiderius, one of the greatest abbots of Monte Cassino
        St. Dulcissima virgin martyr known only as patron saint of Sutri, Italy, formerly part of the Papal States.
1400  Saint Cyprian, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia Serb by origin struggled on Mt. Athos
1420 The Icon of the Mother of God, "Support of the Humble", appeared in 1420 at Stony Lake near Pskov. That same year, on September 16, it was transferred to Pskov and placed in the cathedral church. Today's celebration was established in memory of the transfer of this wonderworking icon.
1450 Bd Louis Allemand, Archbishop of Arles and Cardinal;
1628 Bl. Michael Fimonaya Martyr of Japan Dominican tertiary native
1628 Bl. Paul Fimonaya One of Japanese martyrs

15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
The Splendor of Truth
O Mary, Mother of Mercy, watch over all people, that the Cross of Christ may not be emptied of its power, that man may not stray from the path of the good or become blind to sin, but may put his hope ever more fully in God who is "rich in mercy" (Eph 2:4). May he carry out the good works prepared by God beforehand (cf. Eph 2:10) and so live completely "for the praise of His glory" (Eph 1:12).
Prayer of Pope John Paul II from the Encyclical Veritatis Splendor August 6, 1993

The Icon of the Mother of God, "Support of the Humble", appeared in 1420 at Stony Lake near Pskov. That same year, on September 16, it was transferred to Pskov and placed in the cathedral church. Today's celebration was established in memory of the transfer of this wonderworking icon.

"Christianity is not a moral code or a philosophy,
but an encounter with a person" -- Benedict XVI

Flowers of the Church  - Our Lady of the Woods (Italy, 1626) September 16
 Virgins are the flowers of the Church, the adornment and glory of spiritual grace, the joy of youth, the perfect and incorruptible work of praise and honor, the most illustrious portion of Christ's flock.
The glorious fecundity of the Church our Mother rejoices through them and blossoms through them,
and the more virgins there are, the greater is the Mother's joy.
Saint Cyprian Bishop and Martyr of Carthage, 3rd Century

The Richest of the People will Seek Your Smile (III) - OUR LADY OF THE WOODS (Italy, 1626)
"In the smile of the most eminent of all creatures, looking down on us, is reflected our dignity
as children of God, that dignity which never abandons the sick person.
This smile, a true reflection of God's tenderness, is the source of an invincible hope.
Unfortunately we know only too well: the endurance of suffering can upset life's most stable equilibrium; it can shake the firmest foundations of confidence, and sometimes even leads people to despair of the meaning and value of life. There are struggles that we cannot sustain alone, without help of divine grace.
When speech can no longer find the right words, the need arises for a loving presence:
we seek then the closeness not only of those who share the same blood or are linked to us by friendship,
but also the closeness of those who are intimately bound to us by faith.
Who could be more intimate to us than Christ and his holy Mother, the Immaculate One?
More than any others, they are capable of understanding us and grasping how hard we have to fight against evil and suffering. The Letter to the Hebrews says of Christ that he
"is not unable to sympathize with our weaknesses; for in every respect he has been tempted as we are" (cf. Heb 4:15).
I would like to say, humbly, to those who suffer and to those who struggle and are tempted to turn their backs on life: turn towards Mary! Within the smile of the Virgin lies mysteriously hidden the strength to fight against sickness and for life. With her, equally, is found the grace to accept without fear or bitterness to leave this world at the hour chosen by God."
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
September 16 - Our Lady of La Lajas (Latin America)   She is More a Mother than a Queen (I)
If I could have given just one sermon about her as a priest, that would have been enough for me to get across my ideas about her. In the first place, I would have shown how little is actually known about Mary’s life.

Of course, I believe that we must not say incredible or made-up ideas about her; for example, I would have never said that she went to the Temple at the age of three, “to offer herself to God, filled with intense feelings of love and great enthusiasm”, when the truth is that perhaps she only went there to obey her parents…

Why do we say about Simeon’s prophetic words, that the Blessed Virgin had Christ’s passion constantly present before her eyes from that moment on? … “And a sword shall pierce will pierce your soul too…” (Lk 2:35).
It is clear to see, my dear Mother, that that prediction was for much later…
 Saint Therese of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) Last Talks (Derniers entretiens)

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.
September 16 – Our Lady of Las Lajas (Ipialès, Colombia, 1754) 
On the rock wall, the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary was permanently imprinted
 In 1754, Mrs. de Quinones and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa went inside a cave to rest a while, above the river Guaitara—between Ipiales and Potosi—near the border of Ecuador. Suddenly, Rosa cried out: “Mother, look at the Mestiza (the woman) with her little Mestizo (boy) in her arms!” But the mother did not see anything.

One day, Rosa fell ill and died. Her mother decided to carry her body to the foot of the Virgin Mary, by the Guaitara River. And the Virgin Mary obtained from her Son the resurrection of the child!  Overjoyed, the mother went to Ipiales, 4 miles away, at 10 o'clock in the evening. She was so excited that she woke up the inhabitants, who in turn rang the church bells in celebration... At 6 a.m., a small crowd walked to the river, where they saw the image of the Most Blessed Virgin, engraved forever on the rock wall.

The image of Our Lady of “Las Lajas” was mysteriously imprinted on the rock, which is why she is also known as the "Virgin of the Rock." The shrine built around it hangs over the rocky cliffs of the Andes, with the main altar built next to the miraculous image. It is a place of pilgrimage for southern Colombia and Ecuador.
In 1927, the assembly of bishops declared it a national shrine.

1st v. Sebastiana The Holy Martyr was a follower of the holy Apostle Paul. During a persecution against Christians under the emperor Dometian (81-96), she was on trial as a Christian before the governor named Georgios in the city of Marcianopolis in the Mizea region.

St Sebastiana firmly confessed her faith in Christ, and for this she was subjected to cruel tortures. At first they beat her, and then they threw her into a red-hot oven, from which she emerged unharmed. They sent the saint to the city of Heraklea, where sentence was pronounced on her a second time.

The governor, named Pompian, gave orders to tie the saint to a tree and lacerate her body with roof-tiles. The martyr remained unbroken in her faith. Then the governor gave her to be eaten by wild beasts. There too, the Lord preserved the holy martyr, and the beasts refused to touch her. Then, by order of the governor, St Sebastiana was beheaded.
Her body, thrown into the sea, was taken by angels to the island of Rhodes (in Thrace, in the Sea of Marmara).
2nd v. Melitina The Holy Martyr lived in the city of Marcianopolis in Thrace during the rule of the emperor Antoninus Pius ((138-161). She was a fervent Christian, and the Lord blessed her with the gift of wonderworking. By the power of her prayers she shattered the idols of Apollo and Herakles.

Her fiery preaching converted many pagans to Christ. Antiochus, the governor of the city of Marcianopolis, ordered that she be tortured, since this holy woman could not be persuaded to deny Christ. She was handed over to the governor's women who tried to convert her by flattery and kindness. Not only was St Melitina not deceived or softened by their efforts, but she made Christians of the governor's women. When the governor learned of this, he had St Melitina brought to trial, and sentenced her to be beheaded.

A Christian named Acacius reverently took the martyr's body with the intention of burying her in his homeland of Macedonia. During the voyage, however, Acacius fell sick and died. The ship stopped at the island of Limnos, where the body of St Melitina was buried. The martyr-loving Acacius was laid to rest beside her grave.

255 St. Cornelius elected Pope to succeed Fabian

St. Cornelius (d. 253) 
There was no pope for 14 months after the martyrdom of St. Fabian because of the intensity of the persecution of the Church. During the interval, the Church was governed by a college of priests.
St. Cyprian, a friend of Cornelius, writes that Cornelius was elected pope "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men."

The greatest problem of Cornelius's two-year term as pope had to do with the Sacrament of Penance and centered on the readmission of Christians who had apostatized during the time of persecution.
Two extremes were finally both condemned.
Cyprian, primate of Africa, appealed to the pope to confirm his stand that the relapsed could be reconciled only by the decision of the bishop (against the very indulgent practice of Novatus).
In Rome, however, Cornelius met with the opposite view.
After his election, a priest named Novatian (one of those who had governed the Church) had himself consecrated a rival Bishop of Rome—the first antipope. He denied that the Church had any power to reconcile not only the apostates, but also those guilty of murder, adultery, fornication or second marriage! Cornelius had the support of most of the Church (especially of Cyprian of Africa) in condemning Novatianism, though the sect persisted for several centuries. Cornelius held a synod at Rome in 251 and ordered the "relapsed" to be restored to the Church with the usual "medicines of repentance."

The friendship of Cornelius and Cyprian was strained for a time when one of Cyprian's rivals made accusations about him. But the problem was cleared up.

A document from Cornelius shows the extent of organization in the Church of Rome in the mid-third century: 46 priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons. It is estimated that the number of Christians totaled about 50,000.
Cornelius died as a result of the hardships of his exile in what is now Civitavecchia (near Rome).

Comment: It seems fairly true to say that almost every possible false doctrine has been proposed at some time or other in the history of the Church. The third century saw the resolution of a problem we scarcely consider—penance to be done before reconciliation with the Church after mortal sin. Men like Cornelius and Cyprian were God's instruments in helping the Church find a prudent path between extremes of rigorism and laxity. They are part of the Church's ever-living stream of tradition, ensuring the continuance of what was begun by Christ, and evaluating new experiences through wisdom and experience of those gone before (Roliner).
Quote: "There is one God and one Christ and but one episcopal chair, originally founded on Peter, by the Lord's authority.
There cannot, therefore, be set up another altar or another priesthood. Whatever any man in his rage or rashness shall appoint, in defiance of the divine institution, must be a spurious, profane and sacrilegious ordinance"
(St. Cyprian, The Unity of the Catholic Church).

A Roman priest, Cornelius was elected Pope to succeed Fabian in an election delayed fourteen months by Decius' persecution of the Christians. The main issue of his pontificate was the treatment to be accorded Christians who had been apostasized during the persecution. He condemned those confessors who were lax in not demanding penance of these Christians and supported St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, against Novatus and his dupe, Felicissimus, whom he had set up as an antibishop to Cyprian, when Novatus came to Rome. On the other hand, he also denounced the Rigorists, headed by Novatian, a Roman priest, who declared that the Church could not pardon the lapsi (the lapsed Christians), and declared himself Pope - the first antipope. The two extremes eventually joined forces, and the Novatian movement had quite a vogue in the East. Meanwhile, Cornelius proclaimed that the Church had the authority and the power to forgive repentant lapsi and could readmit them to the sacraments and the Church after they had performed proper penances. A synod of Western bishops in Rome in October 251 upheld Cornelius, condemned the teachings of Novatian, and excommunicated him and his followers. When persecutions of the Christians started up again in 253 under Emperor Gallus, Cornelius was exiled to Centum Cellae (Civita Vecchia), where he died a martyr probably of hardships he was forced to endure.


Owing to the violence of the Decian persecution the Roman see was vacant for over twelve months after the martyrdom of Pope St Fabian, when at length the priest Cornelius was elected, “ by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men, to the vacant place of Peter", says St Cyprian. “He bravely accepted the episcopate, courageously seating himself in the sacerdotal chair, strong of mind, firm of faith, at a time when the tyrant [Decius] was, in his hatred of bishops, uttering unspeakable threats against them and was more concerned about a new bishop of God in Rome than about a rival prince in the empire.” But the immediate troubles of the new pope were due not so much to the secular power as to internal dissension, though that dissension was brought about by persecution, or rather, by its temporary cessation.
  During the papal vacancy a dispute had arisen in Africa concerning the way in which repentant apostates should be treated, and an indulgent party had arisen which threatened both canonical discipline and episcopal authority. The bishop of Carthage, St Cyprian, had written to Rome for support of his contention that such penitents could be readmitted to communion only by a free decision of the bishop; and a certain priest called Novatian, a leader among the Roman clergy, had replied approvingly, but with a hint of a more severe attitude. A few weeks after the election of Cornelius, this Novatian set himself up as bishop of Rome in opposition; and he denied that the Church had any power at all to pardon lapsi, however repentant they might be and whatever penance they had undergone Murder, adultery, fornication and a second marriage were by him added to apostasy as “unforgivable sins “. Like Hippolytus before him, Novatian was superior in natural ability to the pope whom he opposed; but he was undone by pride and ambition, and thus became the first formal antipope and the leader of an heretical sect that persisted for several centuries, at any rate in Africa, stand that the Church has the power to forgive repentant apostates, and that she should readmit them to communion after due penance. Pope Cornelius had the support of St Cyprian and the other African bishops, and of most of those of the East; and at a synod of Western bishops in Rome the teaching of Novatian was condemned, and he and his followers excommunicated.

Persecution of Christians was intensified again at the beginning of 253, and the pope was banished to Centumcellae (Civita Vecchia). Cyprian, who had a great admiration for St Cornelius, wrote him a congratulatory letter upon his happiness in suffering for Christ, and even more upon the glory of his church, for not a single Roman Christian had apostatized: “With one heart and one voice, the whole Roman church confessed. Then was seen, most dear brother, that faith which the blessed Apostle praised in you [Cf Romans i 8], for even then he foresaw in spirit your glorious fortitude and firm strength.” He clearly foretells the approaching conflicts of them both, and adds: “Whoever of us shall be first taken hence, let our charity persevere in never-ceasing prayer to the Father for our brethren and sisters.” St Cornelius was the first to be called, in June of the same year, 253. St Cyprian often refers to him as a martyr, but, though later accounts say he was beheaded, he was probably not put directly to death but died of hardships at Centumcellae. His body was taken to Rome and buried, not in the papal cemetery proper but in the near-by crypt of Lucina, which was perhaps the burying-place of the gens Cornelia, to which this pope is said to have belonged.

The great supporter of Pope St Cornelius, both as supreme pontiff and as defender of the Church against Novatian’s rigorism, was Cyprian of Carthage, and their close association has ever since been recognized. St Cyprian’s memory was kept at the tomb of Cornelius in the fourth century and his image painted on the wall of the crypt in the eighth; they are named together in the canon of the Mass and in the Roman Martyrology on September 14, the date of Cyprian’s martyrdom; and two days later their joint feast is kept by the whole Western church.

The story of St Cornelius forms an important episode in ecclesiastical history, and from Eusebius downwards it has engaged the attention of all writers who deal with the Christian Church in the early centuries. Besides the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. iv, and the works of Grisar, Duchesne, J. P. Kirsch, etc., see especially A. d’Alès, Novatien (1925) and J. Chapman, Studies on the Early Papacy (1928), pp. 28 seq. As for the “martyrdom”, the place of interment, and the inscription and fresco of St Cornelius in the catacombs, see Wilpert, La cripta dei Papi e la cappella di santa Cecilia (1910) ; Franchi de’ Cavalieri, Note agiografiche, vol. vi, pp. 181—210 ; and Delehaye in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxix (1910), pp. 185-186. Leclercq in DAC. (vol. iii, cc. 2968—2985) reproduces several illustrations from de Rossi and Wilpert. The so-called passio of St Cornelius (the various redactions of which are catalogued in BHL., nn. 1958—1966) is an historically worthless document.


ST CYPRIAN played an important part in the history of the Western church and the development of Christian thought in the third century, particularly in Africa where his influence was preponderant.  By his personal prestige, even more than by that of his see, he became recognized as in fact the primate of the African church, and he is daily named in the canon of the Roman Mass.   He was called officially Caecilius Cyprianus, popularly known as Thascius, and was born about the year 200, probably at Carthage certainly he was, according to St Jerome, a native of  Proconsular Africa. Very little is known of his pre-Christian life he was a public orator, teacher of rhetoric, and pleader in the courts, and engaged to the full in the life of Carthage, both public and social. God’s instrument of his conversion, somewhere about middle age, was an old priest, Caecilian, and Cyprian ever after reverenced him as his father and guardian angel. Caecilian, in turn, had the greatest confidence in his virtue and on his deathbed recommended his wife and children to Cyprian’s care and protection. A complete change came over Cyprian’s life. Before his baptism he made a vow of perfect chastity, which greatly astonished the Carthaginians and drew even from his biographer St Pontius the exclamation, “Who ever saw such a miracle!”

With the study of the Holy Scriptures St Cyprian joined that of their best expositors, and in a short time became acquainted with the works 0f the greatest religious writers. He particularly delighted in the writings of his countryman Tertullian, scarce passed a day without his reading something in them, and when he wanted them he used to say, “Reach hither my master.
Not the least of his sacrifices was the renouncement of all profane literature, and in his own extensive writings there is not a single quotation from any pagan author; in earlier centuries of Christianity such a policy had a value, it no longer has today.

Cyprian was soon made priest, and in 248 he was designated for the bishopric of Carthage. At first he refused and sought to fly, but finding it in vain he yielded and was consecrated. A few priests with some of the people opposed his election, which, however, was validly carried out, after the divine judgment, the choice of the people, and the consent of the episcopate”. Cyprian administered his office with charity, goodness, and courage mixed with vigor and steadiness. His aspect was reverent and gracious beyond what can be expressed, says Pontius, and no one could look him in the face without awe his countenance had a mixture in it of cheerfulness and gravity, so that a person who beheld him might doubt whether he should love or respect him most: but this was certain, that he deserved the highest degree both of respect and love.

The Church continued to enjoy peace for about a year after St Cyprian’s pro­motion to the see of Carthage, till the Emperor Decius began his reign by raising a persecution. Years of quietness and prosperity had had a weakening effect among the Christians, and when the edict reached Carthage there was a stampede to the capitol to register apostasies with the magistrates, amid cries of “Cyprian to the lions! from the pagan mob. The bishop was proscribed, and his goods ordered to be forfeited, but Cyprian had already retired to a hiding-place, a proceeding that brought upon him much adverse criticism both from Rome and in Africa. He felt put on his defense, and set out justifying reasons for his action in several letters to the clergy. And there is no doubt that he did right to hide in the cir­cumstances. He supplied the want of his personal presence with his flock by frequent letters. He exhorted them to continual prayer, saying, “What has moved me more particularly to write to you in this manner was an admonition which I received in a vision from Heaven saying to me: Ask and you shall receive.

Let each of us , he wrote, “pray to God not for himself only but for all the brethren, according to the pattern which our Lord gave us wherein we are taught to pray as a common brotherhood, for all, and not as individuals, for ourselves alone. When the Lord shall see us humble, peaceable, in unity among ourselves, and made better by our present sufferings, he will deliver us from the hands of our perse­cutors.”

 He assured them that God had revealed this storm, before ihappened, to a devout person at Carthage in a vision of the enemy under the figure of a retiarius* watching to destroy the faithful, because they did not stand upon their guard. In the same letter he mentions another revelation of God, which he himself had concerning the end of the persecution and the restoration of peace to the Church. By such letters he warned and encouraged his flock, heartened the confessors in prison, and took care that priests in turns should visit them and give them Holy Communion in their dungeons.t

During the absence of St Cyprian one of the priests who had opposed his episcopal election, named Novatus, went into open schism. Some among the lapsed, and confessors who were displeased at St Cyprian’s discipline towards the former, adhered to him, for Novatus received, without any canonical penance, all apostates who desired to return to the communion of the Church. St Cyprian denounced Novatus, and at a council convened at Carthage when the persecution slackened he read a treatise on the unity of the Church.

 “There is, said he, one God and one Christ and but one episcopal chair, originally founded on Peter, by the Lord’s authority. There cannot therefore be set up another altar or another priesthood. Whatever any man in his rage or rashness shall appoint, in defiance of the divine institution, must be a spurious, profane and sacrilegious ordinance” as Peter is the earthly foundation of the whole Church, so is its lawful bishop of each diocese.

The leaders of the schematics were excommunicated, and Novatus departed to Rome to help stir up trouble there, where Novatian had set himself up as antipope. Cyprian recognized Cornelius as the true pope and was active in his support both in Italy and Africa during the ensuing schism; with St Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, he rallied the bishops of the East to Cornelius, making it clear to them that to adhere to a false bishop of Rome was to be out of communion with the Church. In connection with these disturbances he added to his treatise on Unity one on the question of the Lapsed.

St Cyprian complains in many parts of his works that the peace which the Church had enjoyed had enervated in some Christians the watchfulness and spirit of their profession, and had opened a door to many converts who had not the true spirit of faith, so that there was much relaxation and, their virtue being put to the test in the persecution raised by Decius, many lacked courage to stand the trial. These, whether apostates who had sacrificed to idols or libellaticii who, without sacrificing, had purchased for money certificates that they had offered sacrifice, were the lapsed (lapsi), concerning the treatment of whom so great a controversy raged during and after the Decian persecution: on the side of excessive lenience Novatus went into schism, while Novatian’s severity crystallized into the heresy that the Church cannot absolve an apostate at all. At this time those guilty of less heinous sins than apostasy were not admitted to assist at the holy Mysteries before they had gone through a rigorous course of public penance, consisting of four degrees and of several years’ continuance. Relaxations of these penances were granted on certain extraordinary occasions, and it was also customary to grant “indulgences” to penitents who received a recommendation from some martyr going to execution, or from some confessor in prison for the faith, containing a request on their behalf, which the bishop and his clergy examined and often ratified.

* A gladiator who was armed with a net (rete) wherein he tried to entangle his opponent +The terms of time (300 days, 7 years, etc.) in which indulgences are granted today is a survival from the days when the discipline of public penance was still in force in the Church.

+ In St Cyprian’s time this custom degenerated in Africa into an abuse, by the number of such libelli martyrum, and their often being given in too vague or peremptory terms, and without examination or discernment.

Cyprian condemned these abuses severely, but though it would appear that he himself tended to severity he in fact pursued a middle way, and in practice was considerate and lenient. After he had consulted the Roman clergy he insisted that his episcopal rulings must be followed without question until the whole matter could be brought up for discussion by all the African bishops and priests. This was eventually done in 251, at the council at Carthage mentioned above, and it was decided that, whereas libellaticii might he restored after terms of penance varying in length according to the case, sacrificati could receive communion only at death. But in the following year the persecution of Gallus and Volusian began, and another African council decreed that “all the penitents who professed themselves ready to enter the lists afresh, there to abide the utmost heat of battle and manfully to fight for the name of the Lord and for their own salvation, should receive the peace of the Church. This, said the bishop, was necessary and desirable in order  “to make a general rendezvous of Christ’s soldiers within His camp for those who are desirous to have arms put into their hands and seem eager for the engagement. So long as we had peaceable times there was reason for a longer continuance of peni­tents under a state of mortification, to be relaxed only in the case of sickness and danger. Now the living have as much need of communion as the dying then had, otherwise we should leave naked and defenseless those whom we are exhorting and encouraging to fight the Lord’s battle: whereas we should rather support and strengthen them with the Body and Blood of Christ. The object of the Eucharist being to be a defense and security for those who partake of it, we should fortify those for whose safety we are concerned with the armor of the Lord’s banquet. How shall they be able to die for Christ if we deny them the Blood of Christ low shall we fit them for drinking the cup of martyrdom, if we do not first admit them to the chalice of the Lord?

Between the years 252 and 254 Carthage was visited by a terrible plague, of the ravages of which St Pontius has left a vivid description. In this time of terror and desolation St Cyprian organized the Christians of the city and spoke to them strongly on the duty of mercy and charity, teaching them that they ought to extend their care not only to their own people, but also to their enemies and persecutors. The faithful readily offered themselves to follow his directions. Their services were severally distributed: the rich contributed alms in money; the poor gave their personal labor and attendance. How much the poor and necessitous were, not only during this pestilence, but at all times the objects of Cyprian’s care appears from the concern he expressed for them and the orders he frequently gave about them in his letters during his absence. It was one of his sayings: “Do not let that sleep in your coffers which may be profitable to the poor. That which a man must of necessity part with some time or other it is well for him to distribute volun­tarily that God may recompense him in eternity.” To comfort and fortify his flock during the plague, Cyprian wrote his treatise De mortalitate.

Whereas St Cyprian so strongly supported Pope St Cornelius, in the closing years of his life he was moved to oppose Pope St Stephen I in the matter of baptism conferred by heretics and schismatics—he and the other African bishops refused to recognize its validity. This disagreement is referred to under St Stephen I, on August 2 above. Though during its course Cyprian published a treatise on the goodness of patience, he displayed considerable warmth during this controversy, an excess for which, as St Augustine says, he atoned by his glorious martyrdom. For in August 257 was promulgated the first edict of Valerian’s persecution, which forbade all assemblies of Christians and required bishops, priests and deacons to take part in official worship under pain of exile, and on the 30th the bishop of Carthage was brought before the proconsul. The source for what followed com­prises three distinct documents, namely, a report from official sources of his trial in 257, which resulted in banishment; the same of the second trial, in 258, at which he was condemned; and a short account of his passion : the compiler adds a few words to connect the three parts into one narrative. It runs as follows

“When the Emperor Valerian was consul for the fourth time and Gallienus for the third, on August 30 [AD 257], Paternus the proconsul said to Cyprian the bishop, in the audience-chamber: ‘The most sacred emperors Valerian and Gallienus have deigned to give me letters in which they command those who do not follow the Roman religion to observe that ceremonial henceforth. For this reason I have enquired about you. What do you answer me?’

CYPRIAN:    I am a Christian and a bishop. I know no other gods but the one and true God who made leaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them. This God we Christians serve; to Him we pray day and night, for ourselves and for all men and for the safety of the emperors themselves.
PATERNUS:      Do you persist in this intention?
CYPRIAN:    A good intention which acknowledges God cannot change.
PATERNUS:   You will, then, according to the edict of Valerian and Gallienus, go into exile at Curubis.
CYPRIAN:    I will go.
PATERNUS:      The emperors have deigned to write to me not only about the bishops but also about the priests. I wish therefore to know from you who are the priests who live in this town.
CYPRIAN:    By your laws you have wisely forbidden any to be informers, so I am not able to reveal their names. But they can be found in their towns.
PATERNUS:   I will to-day seek them out here.
CYPRIAN:    Our discipline forbids that any should voluntarily give himself up, and this is contrary to your principles; but you will find them if you look for them.
PATERNUS:   I will find them. The emperors have also forbidden any assemblies to be held in any place, and also access to the cemeteries. If any one then has not observed this salutary decree, he incurs the penalty of death.
CYPRIAN:    Do what is ordered you.
“Then Paternus the proconsul ordered the blessed Cyprian to be exiled, and when he had already been some time in his place of exile, the proconsul Galerius Maximus succeeded to Aspasius Paternus. The first-named ordered the holy bishop Cyprian to be recalled from exile and brought before him [August 258]. When Cyprian, the holy martyr chosen by God, had returned from the city of Curubis* [* Curubis was a small town fifty miles from Carthage, on a peninsula of the coast of the Libyan sea, not far from Pentapolis. The place was pleasant and healthy, with goad air and, though in desert country, green fields and plenty of fresh water. His deacon, St Pontius, and others accompanied Cyprian, and his banishment was attended with that consideration which characterized the official attitude towards him throughout.]  (where he had been in exile according to the decree of the then proconsul Aspasius Paternus), he remained in his own gardens according to the imperial decree, hoping daily that they would come for him as had been revealed to him in a dream.* * He had been brought back in accordance with a further edict which ordered that bishops, priests and deacons should be at once put to death (Pope St Sixtus II was one of the first to suffer) and the persecution in other ways aggravated.

And while he was staying there, suddenly on September 13, in the consulship of Tuscus and Bassus, two officers came to him: one was the chief gaoler of the proconsul Galerius Maximus, and the other was marshal of the guard of the same office. They put him between them in a carriage, and took him to Villa Sexti; whither Galerius Maximus the proconsul had retired to recover his health. This same proconsul ordered the trial to be deferred to the next day, and the blessed Cyprian was taken to the house of the chief gaoler and remained as a guest with him in the quarter called Saturn, between the temple of Venus and the temple of Public Welfare. Thither all the brethren came together. And when the holy Cyprian learnt this he ordered that the young girls should be protected, since all remained together in that quarter before the gate of the officer’s house. The next day, September 14, in the morning, a great crowd came together to Villa Sexti according to the command of Galerius Maximus, who ordered Cyprian on that same day to be brought before him in the court called Sauciolum. When he was brought in, Galerius Maximus the proconsul said to Cyprian the bishop: ‘you are Thascius Cyprianus?

CYPRIAN:    I am.
MAXIMUS:    You are the father (papa) of these sacrilegious men
CYPRIAN:    Yes.
Maximus:     The most sacred emperors order you to sacrifice.
CYPRIAN:     I will not sacrifice.
Maximus:     Think about it.
CYPRIAN:     Do what is required of you; there is no room for reflexion in so clear a matter.

Galerius Maximus consulted his assessors, and then gave sentence, most reluctantly, as follows: ‘You have lived long in sacrilege; you have gathered round you many accomplices in unlawful association; you have made yourself an enemy of the Roman gods and their religion: and our most pious and sacred princes, Valerian and Gallienus the Augusti and Gallienus the most noble Caesar, have not been able to recall you to the practice of their rites. Therefore, since you are found to be the author and ringleader of shameful crimes, you yourself shall be made an example to those whom you have joined with you in your wickedness: your blood shall be the confirmation of the laws.’ At these words he read the decree from a tablet: ‘Thascius Cyprianus shall be put to death by the sword.’ Cyprian answered, ‘Thanks be to God.’

   When this sentence was passed the assembled brethren said: ‘Let us be beheaded with him.’ A great crowd followed him tumultuously to the place of execution, which was surrounded by trees into which some climbed to get a better view. So was Cyprian led out into the plain of Sextus, and there he took off his cloak and knelt down and bowed himself in prayer to God. And when he had taken off his dalmatic + {+A pattern of tunic originating in Dalmatia. At this time it had not yet become a distinctively ecclesiastical garment.} and given it to his deacons, he stood up in his linen under­garment and waited for the executioner. When he had come, Cyprian ordered his friends to give him twenty-five pieces of gold. Linen cloths and napkins were laid down before Cyprian by the brethren, and then he bandaged his eyes with his own hand.

When he could not himself fasten the ends of the handkerchief Julian the priest and Julian the subdeacon fastened them for him. So suffered blessed Cyprian and his body was laid in a place near by to satisfy the curiosity of the pagans. It was carried away thence by night with candles and torches, with prayers and with great triumph, to the graveyard of Macrobius Candidianus the procurator, which is on the road to Mappalia near the reservoirs. A few days later Galerius Maximus the proconsul died.”

The letters of St Cyprian, a brief notice in the De viris illustribus of St Jerome, the porno of the saint, and a biographical sketch ascribed to his deacon Pontius, form the main sources of our information. The passio and the Pontius life have been much discussed. Harnack in the thirty-ninth volume of Texte und Untersuchungen has devoted a paper to “Das Leben Cyprians von Pontius, and describes it as the earliest Christian biography in existence. Reizenstein, on the other hand) in the Heidelberg Sitzungsberichte, Phil.-Hist. Klasse, 1913, takes a less favorable view. For him it is unimportant as a historical source. See upon the whole matter H. Delehaye, Les pardons des martyrs et les genres littéraires (1921), pp. 82—104.  If Delehaye is right, we cannot describe the so-called “Proconsular Acts of St Cyprian as “an unique record of the trials and death of a martyr in its authenticity and purity”. Trustworthy as the document may be, it is not an exact copy of the official record. The same writer, in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxix (1921), pp. 314-322, has also drawn attention to the curious confusion which has arisen between the story of St Cyprian of Carthage and the fictitious legend of Cyprian of Antioch. See also the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. iv; P. Monceaux, St Cyprien, in the series “Les Saints; and J. H. Fichter, St Cecil Cyprian (1942). The literature which has grown up around the writings of St Cyprian is extensive and highly controversial. In connexion with the well-known work, St Cyprian, of Archbishop Benson, consult Abbot J. Chapman’s articles on the De unitate ecclesiae in the Revue Bénédictine for 1902 and 1903. A fuller bibliography is provided in Bardenhewer, in DTC., and in the Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, vol. iii, pp. 99—102.

Romæ item natális sanctæ Cæcíliæ, Vírginis et Mártyris, quæ sponsum suum Valeriánum et fratrem ejus Tibúrtium ad credéndem in Christum perdúxit, et ad martyrium incitávit.  Hanc Almáchius, Urbis Præféctus, post eórum martyrium tenéri, atque illústri passióne post ignem superátum, fecit gládio consummári, témpore Marci Aurélii Sevéri Alexándri Imperatóris.  Ejus vero festum recólitur décimo Kaléndas Decémbris.
St. Cecilia, virgin and martyr Also at Rome, the birthday of .  She brought her husband and brother Tiburtius to the faith of Christ and afterwards encouraged them on to martyrdom.  Almachius, prefect of the city, after their martyrdom, had her arrested and slain by the sword, after she had endured many trials and had passed through fire unhurt.  This was in the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander.  Her feast is celebrated on the 22nd of November.
300 St. Lucy & Geminian Martyrs of Rome
Romæ sanctórum Mártyrum Lúciæ, nóbilis matrónæ, et Geminiáni; quos ambos Diocletiánus Imperátor, pœnis gravíssimis afflíctos diúque tortos, tandem, post laudábilem martyrii victóriam, gládio animadvérti præcépit.
    At Rome, the holy martyrs Lucy, a noble matron, and Geminian, who were subjected to grievous afflictions and were for a long time tortured by the command of Emperor Diocletian.  Finally, being put to the sword, they obtained the glorious victory of martyrdom.
Italy. Lucy was an elderly widow and Geminian a young catechist. Their cult was suppressed in 1969.

303  ST EUPHEMIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR; miracles during persecution with  soldiers Victor and Sosthenes
Chalcédone natális sanctæ Euphémiæ, Vírginis et Mártyris; quæ, sub Diocletiáno Imperatóre et Prisco Procónsule, torménta, cárceres, vérbera, arguménta rotárum, ignes, póndera lápidum, béstias, plagas virgárum, serras acútas, sartágines ignítas pro Christo superávit.  Sed, rursus in theátrum ad béstias ducta, ibi, cum orásset ad Dóminum ut jam spíritum suum suscíperet, una ex iis morsum sancto córpori infigénte, céteris pedes ejus lambéntibus, immaculátum spíritum Deo réddidit.
    At Chalcedon, the birthday of St. Euphemia, virgin and martyr, under Emperor Diocletian and the proconsul Priscus.  For her faith in our Lord she was subjected to tortures, imprisonment, blows, the torment of the wheel, fire, the crushing weight of stones, the teeth of the beasts, scourging with rods, the cutting of sharp saws, and burning pans, all of which she survived.  But when she was again exposed to the beasts in the amphitheatre, praying to our Lord to receive her spirit, one of the animals inflicted a bite on her holy body although the rest of them licked her feet, and she yielded her unspotted soul unto God.
THE city of Chalcedon was the scene of St Eupheinia’s martyrdom; when she refused to attend a pagan festival in honour of the god Ares, she was apprehended by the persecutors and cruelly tortured by the command of an inhuman judge named Priscus. The torment; she underwent were represented in a series of frescoes in her church at Chalcedon, described by St Asterius of Amasea in his panegyric of the saint. Whilst one soldier pulled her head back, another with a mallet beat out her teeth and bruised her mouth, so that her face, her hair and her clothes were covered with blood. After having suffered many other torments, she was killed by a bear, while the other beasts fawned harmlessly around her feet. The acta of St Euphemia are worthless, consisting principally of a catalogue of the tortures which she miraculously overcame ; the Roman Martyrology summarizes them, imprisonments, stripes, the wheel, fire, heavy stones, beasts, scourging, sharp nails and burning pans
. But there undoubtedly was a martyr at Chalcedon of this name, whose cultus was formerly exceedingly popular throughout the Church.

   Evagrius, the historian, testifies that emperors, patriarchs and all ranks of people resorted to Chalcedon to be partakers of the blessings which God conferred on men through her patronage, and that manifest miracles were wrought. A great church was erected there in her honour and in it was held in the year 451 the fourth general council, which condemned Monophysism. A legend says that at this council the Catholic fathers agreed with their opponents that each side should write down its views in a book, lay them down, and ask Almighty God to show by a sign which expressed the truth. This was done and the two books were sealed up in the shrine of St Euphemia. After three days of prayer the shrine was opened the monophysite hook lay at the feet of the martyr but the Catholic book was held in her right hand. It is hardly necessary to say that this great council reached its conclusions by no such methods; but it seems that the fact that this epoch-making synod was held in the church of St Euphemia accounts for some of the remarkable prestige that she formerly enjoyed, and Pope Pius XII invoked her name in his encyclical letter “Sempiternus Christus rex on the fifteen hundredth anniversary of the council in 1951. The martyr is often referred to in the East as Euphemia the Far-renowned, and she is among the saints named in the canon of the Milanese Mass and in the preparation according to Russian usage of the Byzantine rite.

Famous as St Euphemia was, her acta, from which some particulars are given above, are correctly described as worthless. Beyond the fact of her martyrdom we know nothing whatever about her, except that her cultus from an early date was widespread. Pope St Sergius (687—701) restored in Rome the church dedicated to her, which even in his time had fallen into ruin. See the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. v, and CMH., pp. 187, 515.

The Holy Great Martyr Euphemia the All-Praised was the daughter of Christians, the senator Philophronos and Theodosia. She suffered for Christ in the year 304 in the city of Chalcedon, on the banks of the Bosphorus opposite Constantinople.

The Chalcedon governor Priscus circulated an order to all the inhabitants of Chalcedon and its surroundings to appear at a pagan festival to worship and offer sacrifice to an idol of Ares, threatening grave torments for anyone who failed to appear. During this impious festival, 49 Christians were hidden in one house, where they secretly attended services to the True God.

The young maiden Euphemia was also among those praying there. Soon the hiding place of the Christians was discovered, and they were brought before Priscus to answer for themselves. For nineteen days the martyrs were subjected to various tortures and torments, but none of them wavered in their faith nor consented to offer sacrifice to the idol. The governor, beside himself with rage and not knowing any other way of forcing the Christians to abandon their faith, sent them for trial to the emperor Diocletian. He kept the youngest, the virgin Euphemia, hoping that she would not remain strong if she were all alone.

St Euphemia, separated from her brethren in faith, fervently prayed the Lord Jesus Christ, that He strengthen her in her impending ordeal. Priscus at first urged the saint to recant, promising her earthly blessings, but then he gave the order to torture her.

The martyr was tied to a wheel with sharp knives, which cut her body. The saint prayed aloud, and as it happened, the wheel stopped by itself and would not move even with all the efforts of the executioners. An angel of the Lord, came down from Heaven, removed Euphemia from the wheel and healed her of her wounds. The saint gave thanks unto the Lord with gladness.

Not perceiving the miracle that had occurred, the torturer ordered soldiers Victor and Sosthenes to take the saint to a red-hot oven. The soldiers, seeing two fearsome angels in the midst of the flames, refused to carry out the order of the governor and became believers in the God Whom Euphemia worshipped. Boldly proclaiming that they too were Christians, Victor and Sosthenes bravely went to suffering. They were sent to be eaten by wild beasts. During their execution, they cried out for mercy to God, asking that the Lord would receive them into the Heavenly Kingdom. A heavenly Voice answered their cries, and they entered into eternal life. The beasts, however, did not even touch their bodies.

St Euphemia, cast into the fire by other soldiers, remained unharmed. With the help of God she emerged unharmed after many other tortures and torments. Ascribing this to sorcery, the governor gave orders to dig out a new pit, and filling it with knives, he had it covered over with earth and grass, so that the martyr would not notice the preparation for her execution.

Here also St Euphemia remained safe, easily passing over the pit. Finally, they sentenced her to be devoured by wild beasts at the circus. Before execution the saint began to implore that the Lord deem her worthy to die a violent death. None of the beasts, set loose at her in the arena, attacked her. Finally, one of the she-bears gave her a small wound on the leg, from which came blood, and immediately the holy Great Martyr Euphemia died. During this time there was an earthquake, and both the guards and the spectators ran in terror, so that the parents of the saint were able to take up her body and reverently bury it not far from Chalcedon.

A majestic church was afterwards built over the grave of the Great Martyr Euphemia. At this temple the sessions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council took place in the year 451. At that time, the holy Great Martyr Euphemia confirmed the Orthodox confession in a miraculous manner, and exposed the Monophysite heresy. Details of this miracle are related under July 11.

With the taking of Chalcedon by the Persians in the year 617, the relics of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia were transferred to Constantinople (in about the year 620). During the Iconoclast heresy, the reliquary with the relics of St Euphemia appears to have been thrown into the sea. Pious sailors recovered them. They were afterwards taken to the Island of Lemnos, and in the year 796 they were returned to Constantinople.

304 St. Abundius martyr and miracle worker in Rome Abundius was a priest who was arrested with his deacon, St. Abundatius ABUNDANTIUS AND THEIR COMPANIONS

IN the Lateran museum is part of an epitaph found at Rignano, twenty-six miles from Rome, which the archaeologist de Rossi believed to appertain to the martyr Abundius referred to in the Roman Martyrology on this day. “At Rome, on the Flaminian Way, the holy martyrs Abundius the priest and Abundantius the deacon, whom, together with the distinguished man Marcian and his son John, who had been raised from the dead by Abundius, the Emperor Diocletian ordered to be slain by the sword at the tenth milestone from the City.” The unhistorical “acts of these martyrs relate that St Abundius and his deacon were ordered to worship Hercules and refused; they were then thrown into the Mamertine prison, and a month later were brought out, tortured and condemned. While on their way to the place of execution they met the senator Marcian, who was mourning the death of his son, John. St Abundius asked for the boy’s body to be brought, and when this was done he prayed over it and life returned. Marcian and John thereupon both confessed Christ, and were beheaded on the same day and in the same place as Abundius and Abundantius. They were buried in the cemetery of the matron Theodora, near Rignano on the Via Flaminia. Their relics with those of St Theo­dora (whom the Roman Martyrology names on September 17) were afterwards translated to Rome, and SS. Abundius and Abundantius eventually found a resting-place in the church of the Holy Name of Jesus in 1583. It was at their shrine here that St Aloysius Gonzaga assisted at Mass before entering the Society of Jesus two years later,

A summery, with a discussion of the relics, will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, Sep­tember, vol. v. Of greater interest is the inscription now preserved in the Christian Museum at she Lateran its authenticity is accepted by de Rassi, but rejected by Mgr Wilpert. See Delehaye, Origines des cultic des martyrs, p. 322.
4th v. Saint Dorotheus, Egyptian Hermit, a native of the Thebaid region in Egypt, labored in asceticism for 60 years in the Skete desert, on the Western side of the River Nile. St Dorotheus led a austere and ascetic life. After finishing his prayers, he went into the noonday heat to gather stones along the seashore to build cells for the other hermits. By night the saint wove baskets, in exchange for which he received the supplies he needed in order to live.  Food for St Dorotheus consisted of bread and the meager grass in the wilderness. Once a day he partook of food and drank a little water. He did not lie down to sleep, but only dozed off sometimes at work, or after eating. "Where the Cross is, there the demonic powers do no harm."
  Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis and author of the renowned LAUSIAC HISTORY, had been a disciple of St Dorotheus in his youth, and has preserved memories of him.
Once, St Dorotheus sent his disciple to fetch water, but he returned saying that he saw a snake in the well and that the water in the well was now poisoned. St Dorotheus went to the well himself, took up a ladle of water, and making the Sign of the Cross over it he drank it, saying: "Where the Cross is, there the demonic powers do no harm." St Dorotheus died peacefully at an advanced age.


The Church in Scotland, and the English dioceses of Hexham and Lancaster, today keep the feast of St Ninian (Ninias, Ninnidh, Ringan, etc.), “the first authentic personage that meets us in the succession of Scottish missionaries", of whom the most reliable source of information is a short passage in St Bede’s Ecclesiastical History “The southern Picts who dwell on this side of those mountains had, it is reported, long before forsaken the errors of paganism and embraced the truth by the preaching of Ninias, a most reverend bishop and holy man of the British nation, who had been regularly instructed at Rome in the faith and mysteries of the truth. His episcopal see, named after St Martin the Bishop and famous for a church dedicated in his honour (wherein Ninias himself and many other saints rest in the body), is now in the possession of the English nation. The place belongs to the province of the Bernicians and is commonly called the White House, because he there built a church of stone, which was not usual amongst the Britons.” St Bede states definitely that St Ninian was a Briton, and there is no good reason for believing that he was ever in Ireland, but some Irish writers have identified him with Moineun of Cluain Conaire in county Kildare.

St Aelred gives more details of the life of St Ninian in the twelfth century, who claims to have had the help of “a book of his life and miracles, barbarously written, but Aelred’s vita is clearly untrustworthy. He states that St Ninian was the son of a converted chieftain of the Cumbrian Britons, and that he spent some years studying in Rome. Before returning home to preach the gospel to his countrymen he was consecrated bishop by the pope. St Ninian came back by way of Tours, where he made the acquaintance of St Martin, who greatly befriended him. Ninian had already determined to build a church of stone, in the likeness of those he had seen at Rome, and while at Tours borrowed some masons from St Martin for the purpose. When he got back he established his see and built his church at the place now called Whithorn or Whitern, in Wigtownshire, “which place, situated on the shore, while it runs far into the sea on the east, west and south, is closed in thereby. From the north only can it be approached by land. There he built the first stone church in Britain...

This famous church may have been the first built of stone in Strathclyde, but it was certainly not the first in Britain. It became known as the White House (Whitem); it was the centre of the most ancient ecclesiastical foundation in Scot­land, and Candida Casa is still the official name of the Catholic diocese of Galloway. The monastery attached was distinguished as the Great Monastery, and from it St Ninian and his monks set out not only to preach to the Britons of the neighbourhood but also to the Picts of the former Roman province of Valentia; they may even have penetrated to the northern Picts beyond the Grampians. The mission received an impetus from Ninian’s cure of the blindness and subsequent conversion of a local chieftain. The Britons and Picts received baptism in large numbers and Ninian consecrated bishops to minister to them; St Aelred recounts many miracles by which the saint was reported to confirm his message. Through the foundation of Whitem, St Ninian’s effect on Celtic Christianity was considerable, but his success among the Picts seems to have been rather short-lived St Patrick in his letter to Coroticus refers to them as apostates. But he had paved the way for St Columba and St Kentigern, and it has been suggested that he had indirect influence on Wales, by the conversion of the family of Cunedda, which probably came from the district of Kyle, in Ayrshire.

The notes in C. Plummer’s edition of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History (vol. ii, pp. 128—130) tell us all that is to be known about St Ninian. See, however, A. P. Forbes, Lives of St Ninnian and St Kentigern (1874); L. Gougaud, Christianity in the Celtic Lands, (1932) pp. 26-27 and passim; J. Ryan, Irish Monasticism (1931), pp. 105—107; and W. D. Simpson, St Ninian and the Origins of the Christian Church in Scotland (1940). Cf. N. K. Chadwick, preliminary study of the sources in the Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Nat. Hist. and Ant. Socy., vol. xxvii (1950) 0. Chadwick’s reference in Studies in Early British History (ed. N. K. Chadwick, 1954), pp. 177 seq.; and S. G. A. Luff in Irish Eccl. Record, July—December 1953. See also W. Levison’s edition of an eighth-century poem on Ninian, and his conclusions therefrom, in Antiquity, 1940, pp. 280—291. Aelred’s statement that Ninian dedicated his church at Whithorn in honour of St Martin, a confessor, can hardly be true at so early a date.

649-655 Natális sancti Martíni Primi, Papæ et Mártyris, qui, cum Sérgium ac Paulum et Pyrrhum hæréticos, Romæ coácta Synodo, condemnásset, ídeo, jussu Constántis, Imperatóris hærétici, per fraudem captus et Constantinópolim perdúctus, in Chersonésum relegátus est, ibíque, ob cathólicam fidem ærúmnis conféctus, vitam finívit, multísque miráculis cláruit.  Ejus corpus, póstea Romam translátum, in Ecclésia sanctórum Silvéstri et Martíni cónditum fuit.  Ipsíus tamen festívitas prídie Idus Novémbris celebrátur.
649-655 St. Martin I, pope and martyr The birthday of.  He had called together a council at Rome and condemned the heretics Sergius, Paul and Pyrrhus.  By order of the heretical Emperor Constantius he was taken prisoner through a deceit, brought to Constantinople, and exiled to the Chersonese.  There he ended his life, worn out with his labours for the Catholic faith and favoured with many virtues.  His body was afterwards brought to Rome and buried in the church of Saints Sylvester and Martin.  His feast, however, is observed on the 12th of November.
680 St. Curcodomus Benedictine abbot successor of St. Humbert at Maroilles, in the diocese of Cambrai, in France.
852 St. Rogellus Martyr with disciple Servus Dei
He was a monk in Spain who was put to death at Cordoba by the Moors for publicly attacking the Muslim faith. His young disciple suffered with him
808 Isaac and Joseph the Georgians The holy martyrs; “Remember that the flesh is like grass and every glory of this earth is like a flower that grows in the grass. When the grass withers, the flower also dies (c.f. Isaiah 40:6–7). Your threats of torture and death are for us rather absurd, for neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38–9).”

They were born into a Muslim family, but their Georgian mother, a Christian, secretly raised them according to the Christian tradition. The brothers were so firmly dedicated to the Faith that they journeyed to Byzantium to request that Emperor Nicephorus I Phocas (802–811) permit them to settle in his capital. The pious ruler extended a warm welcome to the brothers, who were already well known and respected by the nobility of Theodosiopolis (Karnu).

Learning of the brothers’ intention, the emir of Theodosiopolis demanded to know the reason for their journey to Constantinople. The brothers answered him openly, citing their Christian Faith as the reason for their journey. Hearing this, the emir was infuriated, but he did not want to kill the brothers, since they were deeply respected by the people of his city. Instead he resolved to convert them from the Christian Faith.

Isaac and Joseph’s elderly father tearfully pleaded with them to deny Christ, while the emir promised them every honor and reward for betraying Him, and terrible suffering and death in the case of their refusal. But the holy brothers answered the emir, saying, “Remember that the flesh is like grass and every glory of this earth is like a flower that grows in the grass. When the grass withers, the flower also dies (c.f. Isaiah 40:6–7). Your threats of torture and death are for us rather absurd, for neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38–9).”
The young men’s boldness enraged the emir, and he ordered his servants to execute them.
Before the holy brothers gave up their souls, they knelt to the ground and prayed: “O Holy King and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, look down upon Thy servants with mercy and receive us as a holy sacrifice. Number us among Thy martyrs and make us worthy of the crown of righteousness, for every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from Thee, the Father of lights (c.f. James 1:17)!”
Then they bowed their necks beneath the sword.
The executioners chopped off their heads, leaving their bodies untouched. That night their holy remains shone with a radiant light.  This miracle frightened the godless persecutors, and they ordered the local Christians to bury the holy martyrs’ remains. The local bishop and clergy committed their bodies to the earth with great reverence.
A church was later erected over the place where Sts. Isaac and Joseph were laid to rest.
921 St. Ludmila Daughter of a Slavic prince;  as a widow, led an austere, pious life and continued to be concerned for the Church during the reign of her son Bratislav, which lasted for 33 years

St. Ludmilla; Wife of Boriwoi, the first Christian Duke of Bohemia, b. at Mielnik, c. 860; d. at Tetin, near Beraun, 15 September, 921. She and her husband were baptized, probably by St. Methodius, in 871. Pagan fanatics drove them from their country, but they were soon recalled, and after reigning seven more years they resigned the throne in favour of their son Spitignev and retired to Tetin. Spitignev died two years later and was succeeded by Wratislaw, another son of Boriwoi and Ludmilla. Wratislaw was married to Drahomira, a pretended Christian, but a secret favourer of paganism. They had twin sons, St. Wenceslaus and Boleslaus the Cruel, the former of whom lived with Ludmilla at Tetin. Wratislaw died in 916, leaving the eight-year-old Wenceslaus as his successor. Jealous of the great influence which Ludmilla wielded over Wenceslaus, Drahomira instigated two noblemen to murder her. She is said to have been strangled by them with her veil. She was at first buried in the church of St. Michael at Tetin, but her remains were removed to the church of St. George at Prague before the year 1100, probably by St. Wenceslaus, her grandson. She is venerated as one of the patrons of Bohemia, and her feast is celebrated on 16 September.

Married Duke Borivoy of Bohemia, whom she followed into the Church. They built a church near Prague and tried unsuccessfully to force Christianity on their subjects. On the death of Borivoy, his sons Spytihinev and Ratislav, who had married Drahomira, succeeded him, and Ludmila brought up the latters son Venceslaus. On the death of Ratislav, Drahomira became regent, kept Wenceslaus from Ludmila and reportedly caused her to be strangled at Tetin.

The Holy Martyr Ludmilla, a Czech (Bohemian) princess, was married to the Czech prince Borivoy. Both spouses received holy Baptism from St Methodius, Archbishop of Moravia and Enlightener of the Slavs (Comm. 11 May). As Christians, they showed concerned for the enlightening of their subjects with the light of the true Faith, they built churches and invited priests to celebrate the divine services. Prince Borivoy died early at age 36. St Ludmilla, as a widow, led an austere, pious life and continued to be concerned for the Church during the reign of her son Bratislav, which lasted for 33 years.
Bratislav was married to Dragomira, with whom he had a son, Vyacheslav. After the death of Bratislav, eighteen-year-old Vyacheslav came on the throne. Taking advantage of the inexperience and youth of her son, Dragomira began to introduce pagan manners and customs in the country.
St Ludmilla, of course, opposed this. Dragomira came to hate her mother-in-law and tried to destroy her. When St Ludmilla moved away to the city of Techin, Dragomira sent two boyars in secret to murder her. St Ludmilla was praying at the time, and the two assassins entered the house and carried out Dragomira's orders. The relics of the holy Martyr Ludmilla was buried in Techin in the city wall. Numerous healings occurred at her grave. Prince Vyacheslav transferred the body of St Ludmilla to the city of Prague and placed it in the church of St George.
LUDMILA was born about the year 860, the daughter of a Slav prince in the country between the confluence of the Elbe and the Moldau. She married Borivoy, Duke of Bohemia, and when her husband was baptized by St Methodius she followed him into the Church. They built the first Christian church in Bohemia, at Levy Hradec to the north of Prague. The princely neophytes had a very difficult time, for most of the leading families were utterly opposed to the new religion. In accordance with the all-too-common practice of those days Borivoy tried to force Christianity on his people, which led to much discontent and increased his difficulties. After his death his sons Spytihinev and Ratislav succeeded him. The latter had married a Slav “princess”, Drahomira, who was only nominally Christian, and when a son, Wenceslaus, was born to them, Ludmila was entrusted with his upbringing. She was now about fifty years of age, a woman of virtue and learning, and it was to her unfailing care and interest that Wenceslaus in a large measure owed his own sanctity.
   The premature death of Ratislav and the consequent regency of Drahomira removed Wenceslaus from Ludmila’s immediate charge. The regent was in the hands of the anti-Christian party in Bohemia, and moreover, not unnaturally, jealous of the responsibility which had been confided to Ludmila and of the influence she exercised over her grandson. St Ludmila’s gentleness and charity had made her greatly beloved among the people, arid probably she hoped that, if young Wenceslaus could be persuaded to seize the government before his time, they would rally to him, and Christianity in Bohemia, now threatened, be saved. The opposing party saw this possibility clearly, and every effort was made to keep Wenceslaus and Ludmila apart. The more desperate characters decided to take no risks on September 16, 921, two of them came to the castle of Tetin, near Podybrad, and there strangled Ludmila. That Drahomira instigated this crime is often asserted, but it is not certain, nor is she surely known to have been privy to it. St Ludmila was acclaimed as a martyr, and her body was translated, perhaps by St Wenceslaus himself, to St George’s church at Prague. She is still venerated in Czechoslovakia.

What purports to be the passio of St Ludmila exists in more than one form and has been printed in the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. v, and in Pertz, MGU., Scriptores, vol. xv, pp. 573—574. An account in much greater detail (which is attributed to one Christian de Scala, alleged to have been a great-grandnephew of the saint, but which many scholars believe to date only from the thirteenth century) has been edited by the Bollandists in the same 5th volume for September. For a sober and reasoned defence of the authenticity of these materials see J. Pekar, Die Wenzels und Ludmila Legenden und die Echtheit Christians (1906). The question has given rise to much controversy, but see the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxv (1906), pp. 512—513, and vol. xlviii (1930), pp. 218-221. A little book on St Wenceslaus by F. Dvornik (1929) also touches on the Ludmila legend.
St. Dulcissima virgin martyr known only as patron saint of Sutri, Italy, formerly part of the Papal States.
984 St. Edith of Wilton became a nun when fifteen daughter of King Edgar of England and Wulfrida. She was born at Kensing, England, and was brought as a very young child to Wilton Abbey by her mother, who later became a nun there and Abbess. Edith became a nun when fifteen, declined her father's offer of three abbacies, and refused to leave the convent to become queen when her half-brother, King Edward the Martyr was murdered, as many of the nobles requested. She built St. Denis Church at Wilton.

St. Edith of Wilton (AD 961-984)
St. Edith of Wilton was the illegitimate daughter of King Edgar the Peaceable, born AD 961 at Kemsing in Kent. Her mother was St. Wulfthrith, a nun of noble birth, whom Edgar forcibly carried off from her monastery at Wilton. Under St. Dunstan's direction, he did penance for this crime by not wearing his crown for seven years. As soon as Wulfthrith could escape from him, she returned to her cell and, there, Edith was brought up. Educated with great care, she became a wonder of beauty, learning and piety. After his wife's death, Edgar would have married Wulfthrith, but she preferred to remain a nun at Wilton. Edith took the veil very early, with her father's consent. He made her abbess of three different communities, but she chose to remain under her mother at Wilton, where she was a Martha with regard to her sister nuns, and a Mary in her devotion to Christ.

In AD 979 Edith dreamt that she lost her right eye and knew the dream was sent to warn her of the death of her brother, who, in fact, was murdered at that very time, while visiting his step-mother, Queen Aelfthritha, at Corfe Castle in Dorset. The nobles then offered the crown to Edith, but she declined. Notwithstanding her refusal of all Royal honours and worldly power, she always dressed magnificently and, as St. Aethelwold remonstrated, she answered that purity and humility could exist as well under Royal robes as under rags. She built a church at Wilton, and dedicated it in the name of St. Denis. St. Dunstan was invited to the dedication and wept much during mass. Being asked the reason, he said it was because Edith would die in three weeks, which actually happened, on 15th September AD 984.

A month afterwards, she appeared in glory, to her mother, and told her the devil had tried to accuse her, but she had broken his head. Many years after, King Canute laughed at the idea that the daughter of the licentious Edgar could be a saint. St. Dunstan took her out of her coffin and set her upright in the church, whereupon Canute was terrified, and fell down in a faint. He had a great veneration for St. Edith ever after.

984 St Edith Of Wilton, Virgin
St Edith was the daughter of King Edgar and Wulfrida (also sometimes called Saint) in circumstances that are obscure and, according to some reports, exceedingly scandalous. * Soon after she was born, in the year 962 at, according to tradition, Kemsing in Kent, she was taken by her mother to Wilton Abbey which she never left, so that the words of the Roman Martyrology are literally true “ She was dedicated to God from her earliest years in a monastery and rather knew not this world than forsook it.”
*King Edgar too was venerated at Glastonbury. He was a notable sovereign hut his elevation to sainthood seems to have been no more than part of what the usually temperate Dr Plummer calls “that huge system of monastic lying in which Glastonbury had a bad pre-eminence” (Plummer’s “Bede”, vol. ii, p. 167).

   When she was less than fifteen years old, her royal father visited Wilton on the occasion of her profession. He had a carpet laid down before the altar on which were put gold and silver ornaments and jewels, while Wulfrida stood by with a nun’s veil, a psalter, a chalice and paten. “All prayed that God, who knows all things, would show to one still at so wayward an age what life she should choose.” Perhaps Edgar was trying to avoid the foregone conclusion. Certainly he shortly after offered Edith the abbacy of three different houses (Winchester, Barking and another) which she obviously was not old enough to govern other than nominally. But she declined all superiority and chose to remain in her own community, subject to her mother, who was now abbess there. But the nuns insisted on giving her the honorary title of abbess, though she remained as before “serving her sisters in the most menial offices like a very Martha”. Soon after, King Edgar died, and was succeeded by his son, Edward the Martyr. Upon the death of the latter, the nobility who adhered to the murdered king wanted Edith, his half-sister, to quit her monastery and ascend the throne but she preferred a state of humility and obedience to the prospect of a crown. Edith built the church of St Denis at Wilton, to the dedication of which she invited the archbishop of Canterbury, St Dunstan. He was observed to weep exceedingly during Mass, the reason of which he afterwards said was because he learned that Edith would shortly be taken out of this world, whilst we, said he, shall still continue sitting here below in darkness and in the shadow of death. According to this prediction, forty-three days after this solemnity, she happily reposed in the Lord, on September 16, 984, being but twenty-two years old. A pleasing story is told of St Edith appearing after her death at the baptism of a child for whom she had promised to stand godmother, holding the baby in her arms at the font. She also appeared, but rather indignantly, to King Canute, who had had the temerity to doubt some of the marvels attributed to her. St Edith is commemorated today in the diocese of Clifton.
Our main authorities are William of Malmesbury, Simeon of Durham and Capgrave. But see Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lvi (1938), pp. 5—101 and 265—309, where Dom A. Wilmart prints and discusses the legend, in prose and verse, by Goscelin (dedicated to Lanfranc of Canterbury), from the Rawlinson MS. in the Bodleian, which is quite different from the short version in the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. v, p. 369.
THE young man who was to become pope as Victor III was known in secular life as Daufar, and he belonged to the Lombard family of the dukes of Benevento.
   As he was an only son his father was particularly anxious for him to marry, but Daufar, whose “nobility of soul was greater even than that of his birth”, was confident that he was called to serve God as a monk. His father was killed in battle in 1047 and Daufar, who was about twenty years old, took the opportunity to slip away from his family and take up his residence with a hermit. His relatives found him, tore his religious habit off his back, and forced him to return to his home at Benevento. A sharp watch was kept on him, but after twelve months he managed to escape and entered the monastery of La Cava. His family then accepted the fact of his vocation, only stipulating that he should leave La Cava and come to the abbey of St Sophia at Benevento. To this he agreed, and his new abbot gave him the name of Desiderius. But for some years the young monk seemed unable to find stability: he was at a monastery on an island in the Adriatic, he studied medicine at Salerno, he was a hermit in the Abruzzi. He had attracted the favourable notice of Pope St Leo IX, and about 1054 he was at the court of Victor II.
  Here he met monks from Monte Cassino, went on a pilgrimage to that cradle of Benedictine monasticism, and joined the community. In the year 1057 Pope Stephen X summoned Desiderius to Rome, intending to send him as his legate to Constantinople.  Stephen had been abbot of Monte Cassino and retained the office on his elevation to the papacy, but now, believing himself to be dying, he ordered the election of a successor.  The choice fell on Desiderius, and he had got to Bari on his way to the East when he learned of the pope’s death and was told to return. There was a disputed succession to Stephen X, in which Desiderius supported Pope Nicholas II, who made him a cardinal before he was permitted to go and take up his duties at his monastery.
   Desiderius was one of the greatest of the abbots of Monte Cassino, and under his rule the archcoenobium reached the height of its glory. He rebuilt first the church and then the whole range of buildings on a larger and more convenient scale than those of St Petronax and Abbot Aligernus, who had restored them after the Lombard and Saracenic spoliations. The basilica in particular Desiderius made of the greatest beauty; “by influence and money” he procured fine materials from Rome and sent for workmen from Lombardy, from Amalfi, from Constantinople itself. Under the combined Lombard and Byzantine influences new forms emerged which had far-reaching effect on building, mosaic, painting and illuminating, the activity of the monks of Monte Cassino themselves doing much to spread it. All this magnificence was no empty show or to house “vile bigots, hypocrites externally devoted”. The number of monks at Monte Cassino rose to two hundred, and Desiderius insisted on the strictest observance of the rule. Among those whom he attracted thither was Constantine Africanus, the best known physician of the early Salerno school and a personal friend of Desiderius. On the side of manual work the buildings gave continual employment, and the Cassinese scriptorium was famous both for its illuminating and for the books copied therein. As well as abbot and cardinal, Desiderius was papal vicar for Campania, Apulia, Calabria and Capua, and so well was he regarded by the Holy See that he was authorized to appoint prelates for vacant bishoprics and abbeys.
   Desiderius was much used by Pope St Gregory VII as intermediary with the Normans in Italy. He was a very different type of man from Gregory, gentle by nature and afterwards much weakened by ill health, but he had shown himself a determined upholder of the papacy against the emperor, and perhaps was one of the people named by Gregory on his death-bed as a suitable successor.
   During the vacancy Desiderius fled from Rome to Month Cassino in order to avoid election, but in May 1086 he was chosen by acclamation and the papal red cape forced upon his shoulders in the church of Santa Lucia. He was given the name of Victor. Four days later a rising gave him the excuse again to flee to his monastery, where he laid aside the papal insignia and could not be induced finally to take up the office until Easter of the following year.
    Rome was by then occupied by the imperial antipope, Guibert of Ravenna (“Clement III”). Norman troops drove him out of St Peter’s long enough for Victor to be consecrated there, after which he went back again to Monte Cassino. He was again in Rome, for the last time, a few weeks later when the Countess Matilda of Tuscany made a strong effort to dislodge Guibert. The peace-loving pope, so ill that he rarely celebrated Mass, could not bear to see the apostolic city turned into a battlefield, and left it finally towards the end of the summer. After a synod over which he presided at Benevento, Victor was carried back dying to his monastery. Stretched on a couch in the chapter-house he gave final directions to be observed by his monks, and recommended Eudes, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, to fill the apostolic see; and two days later died, September 16, 1087. He had been pope for four months. The cultus of Bd Victor III was approved by Pope Leo XIII, who added his name to the Roman Martyrology.
A detailed account of Bd Victor occupies considerable space in the Chronica Monasterii Casinensis, bk iii. The text has been published in MGH., Scriptores, vol. vii, pp. 698—754; and also in the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. v. See further Mgr H. K. Mann, Lives of the Popes, vol. vii, pp. 218—244.
1400  Saint Cyprian, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia Serb by origin struggled on Mt. Athos
By his pious life and education he came to the attention of Patriarch Philotheus of Constantinople (1354-1355, 1364-1376), who in 1375 consecrated Cyprian as Metropolitan of Kiev and Lithuania.
At the Constantinople Council it was decided to avoid a fragmentation of the Russian metropolia, and that "upon the death of St Alexis (February 12), he should become the Metropolitan of All Rus." At Moscow, St Cyprian endured many sorrows from the Great Prince, so at first he lived either in Lithuania or at Constantinople.

Only in the year 1390, in the time of Great Prince Basil Dimitrievich, was he accepted as primate at Moscow.

St Cyprian concerned himself with the correction of the service books. There are preserved autographic manuscripts of certain Slavonic translations by the saint, witnessing to his great scientific work. And by his pastoral epistles he encouraged the faith of the Church. His activity in the translation of liturgical literature is widely known.
1420 The Icon of the Mother of God, "Support of the Humble", appeared in 1420 at Stony Lake near Pskov. That same year, on September 16, it was transferred to Pskov and placed in the cathedral church. Today's celebration was established in memory of the transfer of this wonderworking icon.
1450 Bd Louis Allemand, Archbishop of Arles and Cardinal
   The history of this holy prelate is a striking example of how the Church, looking so far as possible at the souls rather than the exterior actions of men, raises to the honours of her altars those whom she judges to have been interiorly holy, whatever and however serious the errors of action or of judgement apparent in their lives always provided that she finds those errors to have been due to bona-fide mistake, inculpable ignorance, or otherwise made in good faith.
  This particular example, Louis Allemand (or Aleman) was born near the end of the fourteenth century in the diocese of Belley. He read law at the University of Avignon and, having taken his degrees, he received through the influence of his uncle, a chamberlain at the papal court, a number of ecclesiastical benefices. Young Louis in 1409 accompanied his uncle to the Synod of Visa, an assembly which vainly tried to cure the scandalous and terrible rivalry between claimants to the papal throne (the “Great Schism of the West”) by deposing both Gregory XII and Benedict “XIII” and electing a third “pope” and in 1414 he was present at the gathering, summoned by King Sigismund and John “XXIII”, which was to become the oecumenical Council of Constance, and two years later was vice-chamberlain in charge of the conclave that elected Pope Martin V and put an end to the “great schism”.
   Louis was attached to the court of the new pope, who named him bishop of Maguelonne and entrusted him with very responsible missions. In 1423 he was promoted to the archbishopric of Arles, appointed governor of Romagna, Bologna and Ravenna, and soon after his services were recognized by making him cardinal-priest of St Cecilia-in-Trastevere.
   But a rising of the Canetoli faction drove him from Bologna, he was unable to retake the city, and retired to Rome in political disgrace. An envoy of the Order of Teutonic Knights writes at this time of five cardinals who were well disposed towards his order, but “they dare not speak before the pope, save what he likes to hear, for he has so crushed the cardinals that they say nothing before him except as he wishes, and they turn red and white when they speak in his hearing”. Louis Allemand was one of these five cardinals.
   When Martin V died in 1431 he was succeeded by Eugenius IV, who had been Louis’s predecessor at Bologna and with whom he was at variance both personally and in policy. Louis had come more and more to identify himself with the party, now waxing very strong, that maintained the supremacy of a general council over the pope and practically reduced him to the position of a servant of the council. During the last year of his pontificate Martin V had convened a general council at Basle, and one of the first acts of Eugenius was to issue a bull dissolving it. The few fathers assembled refused to separate and announced their intention of carrying on the council.
   Louis was then in Rome, and, on account of his known sympathies, was forbidden to leave. But he made an adventurous escape, boarded a Genoese ship in the Tiber, and went to his episcopal city of Arles. Perhaps his object was to avoid having to declare himself openly against the Holy See, in the hope that the troubles would blow over. But in 1434 he was at Bask, daily becoming more clearly the leader of the extreme majority who opposed Cardinal Cesarini, the pope’s representative—for Eugenius had withdrawn his decree of dissolution.
  The anti-papal activities of the council became so strong that in 1437 the pope himself was summoned to appear before it to answer charges. He refused, and ordered the council to reassemble at Ferrara. Cardinal Cesarini and his other adherents obeyed, leaving an illegal assembly at Bask under the skilful direction of Cardinal Allemand. In 1439 it went to the extreme length of declaring Eugenius deposed in consequence of his opposition to the council, and electing Amadeus of Savoy in his stead as Felix “V”, the last of the antipopes. This was the work principally of Cardinal Allemand and only eleven bishops, and Louis himself consecrated Amadeus bishop and crowned him. In the following year Eugenius IV pronounced Louis Allemand to be excommunicated and deprived of his Cardinalate.
  It cannot be questioned that many of the “conciliar party” at the Council of Basle were sincerely animated by zeal for the improvement of the condition of the Church, for the conversion of those in error, and for the restoration of peace and unity. Nor must it be supposed that Bd Louis was the only good man to be grossly mistaken as to the right methods to be employed to attain these ends. For a long time he had the support of the holy and learned Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, and also of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who, though at that time a layman and certainly not a holy one, afterwards himself became pope, as Pius II.
   The council, after it had become a rebellious assembly, discussed the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady, and with the vigorous encouragement of Bd Louis declared it to be consonant with Catholic faith and worship, right reason and Holy Scripture. Basle for a time was visited by the plague, and Cardinal Allemand was foremost in organizing relief for the victims, encouraging the other bishops to join with him in ministering to the sick and dying.
    During all this time he disregarded the suspension that had been pronounced against him by Pope Eugenius, and was zealous in the service of the antipope Felix. But in 1447 Eugenius died, and Felix declared his willingness to resign in favour of the duly elected Nicholas V. Thereupon Nicholas with a magnificent gesture of peace revoked all suspensions, excommunications and other penalties incurred by the antipope, the recalcitrant council and their adherents, and Bd Louis was restored to his cardinalatial dignity.
   He was profoundly repentant for the part he had taken in involving the Church in schism, and retired to his see of Arles where he spent the remaining year of his life in those exercises of prayer and penance that had always characterized his private life. He was buried in the church of St Trophimus, where his tomb was the scene of many miracles, and the cultus that then began was approved by Pope Clement VII in 1527. The feast of Bd Louis Allemand is observed in several dioceses of southern France.
Some considerable biographical materials will be found, with prolegomena, in the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. v. But see more particularly G. Pérouse, Le Cardinal Louis Aleman (1904) N. Valois, Le Pape et le Concile (1909); and the various writings of Professor H. Finke on the period of the schism.
1628 Bl. Paul Fimonaya One of Japanese martyrs
the son of Blessed Michael Fimonaya. Paul was a Dominican tertiary who was arrested for being a Christian and was beheaded at Nagasaki. He was beatified in 1867

1628 Bl. Michael Fimonaya Martyr of Japan Dominican tertiary native
convert, he was beheaded at Nagasaki for refusing to abjure the faith. Michael was beatified in 1867 by Pope Pius IX

Mary's Divine Motherhood

Parishes. That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit,
may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.

Marian spirituality: all are invited.
God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016

On Death and Life
"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!    (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
  Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

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

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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications

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

May 9 – Our Lady of the Wood (Italy, 1607) 
Months of Dedication
January is the month of the Holy Name of Jesus since 1902;

March is the month of Saint Joseph since 1855;

May, the month of Mary, is the oldest and most well-known Marian month, officially since 1724;
June is the month of the Sacred Heart since 1873;
July is the month of the Precious Blood since 1850;
August is the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary;
September is the month of Our Lady of Sorrows since 1857;
October is the month of the Rosary since 1868;
November is the month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory since 1888;
December is the month of the Immaculate Conception.

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

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

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

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

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

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