ABORTION IS A MORAL OUTRAGE
 Sunday  Saints of  September 25 Septimo Kaléndas Octóbris  
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!)

Mary Mother of GOD

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

Jesus, cleophas_immaus.jpg

Six to Be Canonized on Feast of Christ the King Nov 23 2014

CAUSES OF SAINTS

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List

Acts of the Apostles

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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

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


September 25, 2014
1st v. St. Cleophas met Christ on the road to Emmaus
480 St. Paphnutius Monk and abbot who is much venerated in the Eastern Church. According to tradi­tion, he was  the father of St. Euphrosyne
1013 Bl. Herman the Cripple wrote the hymns Salve Regina and Alma Redemptoris mater
Herman was born a cripple on February 18 at Altshausen, Swabia. He was so terribly deformed he was almost helpless. He spent all his life Reichenau Abbey in Lake Constance Switzerland, known to scholars all over Europe for his keen mind, wrote poetry, a universal chronicle, and a mathematical treatise.
1392 St. Sergius, abbot; foremost Russian saint; mystic; founded 40 monasteries; confidence in God desire to help everybody

September 25 - Mary, Protectress of Orphans  
 
A bedridden man travels to Lourdes
The Bély family used to live in a quiet suburb of Angouleme, France. Jean-Pierre was married to Genevieve and had two children. He worked as a male nurse in a hospital until the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis appeared in 1972.  Eventually, Jean-Pierre’s condition deteriorated to the point that he was declared "100% permanently disabled” and attributed an allowance for a third person to look after him. In October 1987, when he became bedridden at the age of 51, he went to Lourdes for the pilgrimage of the Rosary.

After the anointing the sick on the third day, he felt a deep inner peace. Then, suddenly, he recovered his sense of touch and was able to move his arms. At the time, he did not dare to stand up... The following night, an inner voice told him: "Get up and walk." And he did.  As he himself loved to point out, "The Lord healed my heart first, then He healed my body." After twelve years of medical investigations, the bishop of Angouleme declared that Jean-Pierre’s immediate and complete cure was “an effective sign of Christ the Savior through the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes."
Source: fr.lourdes-france.org

September 25 - Mary, Protectress of Orphans – Our Lady of Saint Peter (Italy, 1751)
 The journey of faith of each one of us 
 Abraham’s journey of faith included the moment of joy in the gift of his son Isaac, but also the period of darkness, when he had to climb Mount Moriah (…): God was asking him to sacrifice the son he had just given him… Abraham's full trust in the God who is faithful to his promises did not fail, even when his word was mysterious and difficult, almost impossible to accept.
So it is with Mary. Her faith experienced the joy of the Annunciation, but also passed through the gloom of the Crucifixion of the Son to be able to reach the light of the Resurrection.
It is exactly the same on the journey of faith of each one of us: we encounter patches of light, but we also encounter stretches in which God seems absent, when his silence weighs on our hearts and his will does not correspond with ours… However, the more we open ourselves to God, welcome the gift of faith and put our whole trust in him… the more capable he will make us, with his presence, of living every situation of life in peace and assured of his faithfulness and his love.
 Benedict XVI General audience, December 19, 2012 www.vatican.va
 
15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary

1st v. St. Cleophas met Christ on the road to Emmaus
2nd v. St. Herculafilis Martyred Roman soldier
        St. Paul and Tatta Martyred husband and wife
4th v. St. Firminus of Amiens martyred missionary
5th v. St. Caian saint of Wales
  480 St. Paphnutius Monk and abbot who is much venerated in the Eastern Church. According to tradi­tion, he was  the father of St. Euphrosyne
 505 St. Principius (born 462), brother of St. Remy of Reims
 542 St. Lupus of Lyons Archbishop of Lyons
 575 ST CADOC, ABBOT
        Bardomian, Eucarpus, and twenty-six others In Asia, the holy martyrs
 604 St. Anacharius Bishop patron of Divine Office and Litany of Saints
 633 St. Finbar founded monastery developed into city of Cork Many extravagant miracles
 633 At Blois in France, St. Solemnius, bishop of Chartres, renowned for miracles.
7th v. St. Fymbert Bishop of western Scotland; The Cluny Reform; was ordained by Pope St. Gregory the Great.
716 St. Ceolfrid Benedictine abbot St. Paul Monastery produced oldest Vulgate Bible
 
870 St. Egelred Benedictine monk died with the abbot and many fellow monks at the hands of invading Danes.
10th v. Aurelia and Neomysia At Anagni, the holy virgins .
aurelia_neomysia.jpg
1013 Bl. Herman the Cripple wrote hymns Salve Regina Alma Redemptoris mater
1215 St. Albert of Jerusalem Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Carmelite Order
1283 St. Elzear and Blessed Delphina Franciscan couple
1392 ST. SERGIUS confidence in God desire to help everybody
1392 St. Sergius abbot foremost Russian saint mystic founded 40 monasteries
1523-1534 Clement VII (GIULIO DE’ MEDICI).
1569 Bl. Mark Criado Trinitarian martyr
1622 Bl. Mancius Shisisoiemon Martyr native Japan
1622 Bl. Augustine Ota native martyr of Japan
1824 St. Vincent Strambi Passionist after attending a retreat given by St. Paul of the Cross;  became a professor of theology, was made provincial in 1781, and in 1801, was appointed bishop of Macera and Tolentino. He was expelled from his See when he refused to take an oath of alliance to Napoleon in 1808,

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

September 25 - Our Lady of Saint Peter (Italy, 1751)
Founder of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The son of a Jewish rabbi, Jacob Libermann embraced Catholicism in 1826, and became a priest. Father Libermann was an energetic missionary who had a very fruitful ministry, in particular by founding the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1841. This congregation merged in the Congregation of the Holy Ghost in 1848, "Mary's Immaculate Heart" being "absorbed" into the "Holy Ghost" who already entirely filled her. Father Libermann readily transmitted his devotion to Our Lady: "Our congregation must be characterized by a strong attachment to Mary's Immaculate Heart, a homage paid with filial tenderness to the love of Mary for her Son and for mankind." His attachment was so strong that he added, "When the water of the baptism ran on my Jewish head, at that moment I loved Mary whom I had hated before."  Francis Libermann helped many people to discover the Virgin Mary. "Since the day that Mary said, I am the maidservant of the Lord, she does not pray like a servant but like a mother."

But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.
-- St. Augustine, Contra epistolam Manichaei

September 24 – Our Lady of Mercy – Cozumel, the first Marian shrine (Haiti, 1518)  
 
The strong bond between the Haitian people and Our Lady of Perpetual Help 
 Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola in the West Indies (now shared by two independent countries, the Dominican Republic and Haiti), when he discovered the Americas on October 12, 1492.From Hispaniola, home of the first European settlements in the Americas, evangelization and Marian devotion quickly spread. In Haiti, four out of the five cathedrals are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and originate more or less directly from the first period of European presence on the island.In the rest of the country, many other parishes are named after the Virgin Mary. From 1882, the time of the great smallpox epidemic, to the nation's consecration in 1942, during World War II, an increasingly strong bond was formed between the people of Haiti and the Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
The Mary of Nazareth Team



1st century St. Cleophas met Christ on the road to Emmaus
Apud castéllum Emmaus natális beáti Cléophæ, qui fuit Christi discípulus, quem et in eádem domo in qua mensam Dómino paráverat, pro confessióne illíus a Judæis occísum tradunt, et gloriósa memória sepúltum.
   
Cleophas, disciple of Christ At Emmaus, the birthday of blessed .  It is related that he was killed by the Jews for the confession of our Lord, and honourably buried in the same house in which he had entertained him.
One of two disciples who met Christ on the road to Emmaus. He was also identified as the father of Mary, one of whom stood with the Mother of God at the foot of the Cross. He has been identified as the father of St. James the Less and as brother of St. Joseph.
St. Paul and Tatta Martyred husband and wife;
Damásci sanctórum Mártyrum Pauli, et Tattæ cónjugis, ac Sabiniáni, Máximi, Rufi et Eugénii filiórum; qui, Christiánæ religiónis accusáti, verbéribus aliísque supplíciis torti sunt, et in cruciátibus ánimas Deo reddidérunt.
    At Damascus, the holy martyrs Paul, his wife Tatta, and their sons Sabinian, Maximus, Rufus, and Eugene.  Accused of professing the Christian religion, they were scourged and tortured in other ways until they gave up their souls unto God.
. Paul and Tatta were a married couple in Damascus who, with their sons were put to death by Roman authorities during the persecution of the Church. The died under torture.
2nd century St. Herculanus Martyred Roman soldier
Eódem die, via Cláudia, sancti Herculáni, mílitis et Mártyris; qui, sub Antoníno Imperatóre, miráculis in passióne beáti Alexándri Epíscopi ad Christum convérsus, atque ob fídei confessiónem, post multa torménta, gládio cæsus est.
    At Rome, on the Claudian Way, under Emperor Antoninus, St. Herculanus, soldier and martyr, who was converted to Christ by the miracle wrought during the martyrdom of the blessed bishop Alexander.  After enduring many torments he was put to the sword.
Martyred Roman soldier reportedly converted by Pope St. Alexander I
.
 4th century St. Firminus of Amiens martyred missionary
Ambiáni, in Gállia, beáti Firmíni Epíscopi, qui, in persecutióne Diocletiáni, sub Rictiováro Præside, post vária torménta, cápitis decollatióne martyrium sumpsit.
    At Amiens in France, in the persecution of Diocletian, blessed Firminus, bishop.  Under the governor Rictiovarus, after many torments he suffered martyrdom by being beheaded.
Two bishops of that name, one celebrated on September 1 and listed as the third bishop of the see; the other is cited as Amien’s first bishop, a native of Spain and a convert of St. Satuminus consecrated by St. Honestus. He went to France as a missionary and built his church at Amiens. He was martyred by beheading
.

4th v. ST FIRMINUS, BISHOP AND MARTYR
ACORDING to his worthless “acts”, he was a native of Pampeluna, in Navarre, initiated in the Christian faith by St Honoratus, a disciple of St Saturninus of Toulouse, and consecrated bishop of Toulouse by St Honoratus to preach the gospel in the remoter parts of Gaul. Being arrived at Amiens, Firminus there chose his residence and founded a church of faithful disciples. He received the crown of martyrdom in that city, where the bishop St Firminus II (who is honoured on September 1) built a church over his tomb, dedicated under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, but now known as St Acheul’s. It is possible that Firminus I and Firminus II were only one man; they are both unheard of before the ninth century, the first known bishop of Amiens being Eulogius in the middle of the fourth century. Firminus was probably simply a missionary bishop in Gaul.
Two texts are known which claim to represent the “acts” of St Firminus. The Bollandists (September, vol. vii) print one entire with extracts from the other. See also C. Salmon, Histoire de S. Firmin (1861), and Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. iii, pp. 122—127. For Firminus II, see Duchesne, bc. cit.; the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. i. For both a popular account is provided by J. Corblet, Hagiographie du diocese d’Amiens (1870), vol. ii, pp. 31—216.
5th century St. Caian saint of Wales
A saint of Wales, England. He was the son or grandson of the local king of Brecknock. A church at Tregaian in Anglesey is named after him
.
480 St. Paphnutius Monk and abbot who is much venerated in the Eastern Church. According to tradi­tion, he was the father of St. Euphrosyne.
505 St. Principius (born 462), brother of St. Remy of Reims
Eódem die sancti Princípii, qui fuit Epíscopus Suessionénsis et frater beáti Remígii Epíscopi.
    On the same day, St. Principius, bishop of Soissons, brother of the blessed bishop Remigius.
542 St. Lupus of Lyons Archbishop of Lyons
Lugdúni, in Gállia, deposítio sancti Lupi, qui ex Anachoréta factus est Epíscopus.
    At Lyons in France, the death of St. Lupus, at one time an anchoret, but later a bishop.
France, suffered considerably from the political upheavals in the region following the death of Sigismund, King of Burgundy.
In Asia pássio sanctórum Bardomiáni, Eucárpi et aliórum vigínti sex Mártyrum.
    In Asia, the holy martyrs Bardomian, Eucarpus, and twenty-six others.
575 ST CADOC, ABBOT
ST CADOC (Cadog, Catwg) was one of the most celebrated of the Welsh saints, but the earliest accounts of him were not written till some 600 years after the events they claim to record. According to these he was the son of St Gundleus and St Gwladys, and was baptized by the Irish St Tatheus, to whom Gundleus entrusted the boy’s education, “ in preference to all the other teachers of Britain”, in his school at Caerwent. At Llancarfan (formerly Nantcarfan), between Cardiff and Llantwit Major, Cadoc founded a monastery, and then passed over to Ireland, where he spent three years in study. On his return he went into Brecknock, for further study under a rhetor named Bachan; here he miraculously relieved a famine by the discovery of an unknown store of wheat, and at the scene of this find founded the church of Llanspyddid, which still bears his name.
Cadoc then went back to Llancarfan, which was the resort of many because. of its fame for holiness and learning. We are particularly told that he gave his disciples (St Gildas is said to have been one of them) the example of living by the work of his own hands and not those of others, for “he who does not work shall not eat”. His biographer Caradoc gives some details of the teaching methods at the monastery, which clearly represent his own practice in the eleventh century at Llancarfan, not Cadoc’s. The monastery fed five hundred dependants and poor every day, and its abbot had authority over all the surrounding country. During Lent Cadoc would retire from all this activity to the solitude of the islands of Barry and Flatholm, but always came back to his monastery in time for Easter. Another place of retreat, bearing his name, is now called Cadoxton, by Neath.
There is evidence that St Cadoc visited Brittany, Cornwall, and Scotland, founding a monastery at Cambuslang; and he is said to have been present at the synod of Liandewi Frefi, and to have made the common-form pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem. Very surprising are the circumstances of his death, as reported by his biographer Lifris. Warned by an angel in a dream on the eve of Palm Sunday, he was transported “in a white cloud” to Benevento in Italy, where he was made bishop and met his death by martyrdom. Caradoc, too, takes him to Benevento, not miraculously but by road, and says nothing about martyrdom: he died peacefully, and all the city accompanied him to burial, “with hymns and songs and lights”. It is not unlikely that the actual place of St Cadoc’s death was at Llansannor, a few miles from Llancarfan. His feast is observed today throughout Wales.
St Cadoc’s biographers were both clerics of Llancarfan : Lifris wrote his vita (text and translation in A. W. Wade-Evans, Vitae sanctorum Britanniae, 1944) between 1073 and 1086, and Caradoc his about 1100. This long-lost life by Caradoc, found in the Gotha MS. I. 81, is printed in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lx (1942), pp. 35—67, with an introduction by Father. P. Grosjean. There are two interesting notices of "King" Arthur in Lifris. See A. W. Wade-Evans, Welsh Christian Origins (1934), pp. 126--132; LBS., vol. ii, pp. 14-42; G. H. Doble, St Cadoc in, Cornwall and Brittany (1937); KSS., pp. 292-293; J. Barrett Davies in Blackfriars, vol. xxix (1948), pp. 121 seq.; J. S. P. Tatlock, Caradoc of Llancarfan in Speculum, vol. xiii (1938), pp. 138-152. For the influence of Cadoc in Ireland, see J. Ryan's Irish Monasticism (1931).
604 St. Anacharius Bishop; patron of Divine Office and Litany of Saints
Antisiodóri sancti Anachárii, Epíscopi et Confessóris.    At Auxerre, St. Anacharius, bishop and confessor.
Bishop and patron of the Divine Office and the Litany of the Saints. Anacharius was born near Orleans, France, and was educated at the court of King Guntram of Burgundy. Taking vows, he was made bishop of Auxerre, France, in 561, and promoted litanies and prayers.
605 ST AUNACHARIUS, OR AUNAIRE, BISHOP OF AUXERRE
HE was born of a family of the Orléanais distinguished alike for its nobility and virtue; his sister St Austregildis was the mother of St Lupus of Sens. Aunacharius passed his youth at a royal court, but renounced the world and put himself under the direction of St Syagrius, Bishop of Autun. By him he was ordained priest, and in 561 was elected to the see of Auxerre. St Aunacharius was one of the most influential and respected bishops of his time in France in both civil and religious affairs, but it was in ecclesiastical discipline that he was particularly active. He attended the synod of Paris under St Germanus in the year 573, and those at Macon in 583 and 585, which among other things forbade clerics to summon one another before the civil courts, established the right of bishops to interfere on behalf of widows, orphans and freed slaves, and enforced Sunday observance and the payment of tithes.
Aunacharius, zealous for discipline in his own diocese, tireless in his vigilance over public morals, and anxious to instruct his people in everything that affected their lives as Christians, himself held two synods at Auxerre in which the above legislation was applied to his own church. In the first of these forty-five canons were enacted, some of which throw interesting light on the manners and customs of the place and time, when superstitious survivals of paganism and abuse of Christian practices had not yet attained the harmless respectability of
folk¬survivals. People were forbidden, for example, to use churches for dancing and to sing ribald songs or give entertainments therein; they were not to dress them¬selves up as stags or calves on New Year's day or to exchange evil gifts, or to make vows or oaths before holy bushes, trees and wells, or to practise sympathetic magic, or to meet together in private houses to celebrate the vigils of feasts (cf. the abuse of wakes in England and Ireland). For the edification and encouragement of the faithful St Aunacharius caused biographies of his two distinguished predecessors St Amatus and St Germanus to be written, and he increased the revenues of his church in order that divine worship might be conducted with more order and decency.
Secular clergy as well as monks were bound to assist at the Divine Office daily, and solemn litanies of intercession were to be carried out by each church and monastery in turn, by the larger ones once every month. St Aunacharius died on September 25 in the year 605.
There are two short lives printed in the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. vii, with the usual prolegomena. See also Cochard, Les Saints d'Orleans, pp. 272-277, and Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. ii, pp. 435-437. Cf. R. Louis, Antessiodorum Christianum (1952), and in St Germain d'Auxerre et son temps (1948), pp.39 seq.
633 St. Finbar Bishop founded monastery developed into city of Cork Many extravagant miracles
FINBAR, or Bairre, founder of the city and see of Cork, is said to have been the natural son of a royal lady and of a master smith. He was baptized Lochan, but the monks who educated him at Kilmacahill in Kilkenny changed his name to Fionnbharr, Whitehead, because of his fair hair. Legends say that he went to Rome on pilgrimage with one of his preceptors, and on his way back passed through Wales and visited St David in Pembrokeshire. As he had no means of getting to Ireland, David lent him a horse for the crossing, and in the channel he sighted and signalled St Brendan the Navigator, voyaging eastward. St Finbar is fabled to have gone again to Rome, in company with St David and others, when Pope St Gregory would have made him a bishop but was deterred hy a vision in which he learned that Heaven had reserved this prerogative for itself.
     Accordingly when Finbar returned to Ireland our Lord brought a miraculous flow of oil from the ground, caught him up into Heaven, and there consecrated him bishop, anointing him with the oil which flowed round the feet of the onlookers. After preaching in various parts of southern Ireland, and living as a hermit on a small island at Lough Eiroe, he established a monastery on low marshy ground on the south side of the mouth of the river Lee, the carcagh mar from which the city of Cork takes its name. The monastery soon attracted disciples and its school exerted an influence all over the south of Ireland;
to this house, as an abode of wisdom and sacred storehouse of all Christian virtues, so many came through zeal of leading a holy life that it changed a desert into a great city, from the number of its cells and of the holy men inhabiting them.
Accounts of St Finbar are full of conflicting statements and decorated with surprising wonders. There is a charming story that when he was visited by St Laserian the two monks sat together under a hazel bush, talking of the things of God. Presently Laserian asked Finbar for a sign that God was with him. Finbar prayed, and the spring catkins on the bush above them fell off, nuts formed, grew and ripened, and he gathered them in handfuls and poured them into Laserian's lap. The death of St Finbar was the occasion of a very unusual marvel, for when he was taken to God the sun did not set for a fortnight. It would appear that the saint visited and preached in Scotland. There was formerly considerable devotion to him there, and the island of Barra in the Western Isles, as well as other places, has its name from him. Kintyre was apparently the scene of his labours. He is said to have died at Cloyne, and his body was taken for burial back to his church in Cork. The feast of St Finbar is kept on this day throughout Ireland.
There are both Irish and Latin lives of St Finbar. The primary Irish text has been edited by C. Plummer in his Bethada Ndem nÉrenn, with a translation in vol. ii, pp. 11-21. The best Latin life has also been edited by Plummer, VSH vol. i, pp. 65-74, See further Caulfield, Life of St Fin Barre (1864). Some other Latin materials, more or less dependent upon these, will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. vii. See also Forbes, KSS., pp, 275-276; O'Hanlon, LIS., vol. ix, pp. 547 seq.; and J. F. Kenney, Sources for the Early History of Ireland, vol. i. Cf. W. D. Simpson, The Origins of Christianity in Aberdecnshire (1925); and for the lives of the saint, P. Grosjean in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxix (1951), pp. 324-347.
Blesis, in Gállia, sancti Solémnii, Epíscopus Carnuténsis, miráculis clari.
    633 At Blois in France, St. Solemnius, bishop of Chartres, renowned for miracles.

7th v. St. Fymbert Bishop of western Scotland; He was ordained by Pope St. Gregory the Great. 
St. Mewrog A saint of Wales
 of whom no details are extant
.
716 St. CEOLFRID, ABBOT OF WEARMOUTH Ceolfrid Benedictine abbot St. Paul Monastery produced oldest Vulgate Bible at Wearmouth-Jarrow, England,

CEOLFRID was born in the year 642, probably in Northumbria. When he was eighteen he became a monk in his kinsman Tunbert's monastery at Gilling, but soon migrated to St Wilfrid's monastery at Ripon, where the Rule of St Benedict had been introduced, and was ordained there. Soon afterwards he went to Canterbury to visit the communities of Christ Church and SS. Peter and Paul's, and then spent some time with St Botulf at his newly founded monastery at Icanhoe in East Anglia. He returned to Ripon
so well instructed that no one could be found more learned than he in either ecclesiastical or monastic traditions”. He was made novice-master, and the fame of his virtues and learning presently reached the ears of St Benedict Biscop at Wearmouth. At St Benedict's request St Wilfrid released Ceolfrid from his obedience at Ripon, and he went to Wearmouth, where he was soon appointed prior. When the abbot left on a journey to Rome, Ceolfrid was put in sole charge, a responsibility that accorded ill with his personal preferences. Some of the monks complained of the strictness with which he administered the house, and in consequence of the dissension so caused St Ceolfrid went back for a time to Ripon. St Benedict induced him to return, and about the year 678 took him with him to Rome.
   In 685 Benedict founded another monastery, dedicated in honour of St Paul, at Jarrow, on the Tyne six miles from Wearmouth. The two houses in effect were one abbey, under the rule of St Benedict Biscop, but it was necessary to have a local superior at the new foundation. Ceolfrid was therefore appointed deputy abbot of St Paul's, and given seventeen monks from St Peter's at Wearmouth as the nucleus of a community. While St Benedict was absent in Rome for the fifth time an epidemic ravaged Tyneside. In it perished St Esterwine, deputy-abbot at St Peter's and a great part of his community, and at Jarrow every single monk died except St Ceolfrid and a young alumnus who was being educated at the monastery. It is recorded that Ceolfrid could not bear to give up celebrating the Divine Office in choir, so he and the boy continued to sing it alone together until a new community was formed.
In the year 690 St Benedict Biscop died, after having, with the agreement of the monks, nominated Ceolfrid as his successor. St Ceolfrid was diligent and active in everything he took in hand, of a sharp wit, mature in judgement and fervent in zeal.

St Bede, who had the happiness to live under this great man, has left authentic testimonies of his learning, abilities and sanctity. He was a great lover of sacred literature, and enriched the libraries of his two monasteries with a large number of books. To how high a pitch he carried the sacred sciences in his monasteries St Bede himself is the foremost example. He says of St Ceolfrid that:
“Whatever good works his predecessor had begun he with no less energy took pains to finish.

In the year 716 Ceolfrid, finding himself old and infirm and no longer able to teach his subjects by word and example, decided to resign his office and told his unwilling and protesting monks that they must elect somebody in his place. He himself was determined to end his days in Rome and, fearful that he would die before arriving there, as in fact happened, he set out only three days after his decision was made known. Early in the morning of Wednesday, May 4, after the six hundred monks had assisted at Mass and received communion, they all assembled in St Peter's church at Wearmouth. St Ceolfrid, when he had lighted the incense and sung a prayer, gave his blessing to them all, standing at the altar-steps with the thurible in his hand. Then in the chapel of St Larence he addressed them for the last time, urging them to keep charity with one another and lovingly to correct those who were in fault; he forgave whatever wrongs might have been done him, and asked them all to pray for him and to pardon him if he had ever reprimanded them too harshly. They then went down to the shore where, amid tears and lamentation, he gave them the kiss of peace and prayed aloud for them, and went aboard a boat, preceded by mimsters with lighted candles and a golden crucifix. Having crossed the river, he kissed the cross, mounted his horse, and departed.
   Among the treasures which St Benedict Biscop had brought from Rome, or received from his friend St Adrian of Canterbury, was a copy of St Jerome's Vulgate, and of this precious manuscript St Ceolfrid had had three copies made. One was given to the library at Wearmouth, one to that at Jarrow, and the third he now took with him as a present to the pope. But he was not destined to deliver it. During his journey in spite of his weakness and the rigours of travel he relaxed none of his old discipline. Every day he said the Divine Office, and even when he had to be carried in a horse-litter he celebrated Mass,
except one day which was passed at sea and the three days immediately before his death. After travelling for just on fifteen weeks he reached Langres in Champagne, where he died on the day of his arrival, September 25, 716. He was buried the next day, amid the sorrow not only of his companions but also of the people of the place, for it was almost impossible not to weep at the sight of part of his company continuing their journey without their holy father, whilst part returned home to relate his death and burial, and others again lingered in grief at his grave among strangers speaking an unknown tongue.
   The immediate fate of the Bible which St Ceolfrid was taking to St Gregory II is not known; in all probability it never reached the pope. But there is in the Bibliotheca Laurentiana at Florence a manuscript, called Codex Amiatinus, which has been known since the sixteenth century as one of the finest books in the world and as probably the purest text of the Vulgate extant. It was given by a Lombard abbot called Peter to the monastery of St Saviour on Monte Amiata, near Siena, in the ninth century and remained there till 1786 when, on the dissolution of the abbey, it was taken to Florence. For a time it was accepted that this codex was written in southern Italy during the sixth century, it having been found that the donor's inscription was partly written over, partly composed of, an older one. But the archaeologist J. B. de Rossi was not satisfied with the received reconstruction of the original dedication; about 1885 he came to connect it with Ceolfrid. His conjectures were confirmed by the researches of the Cambridge exegete, Dr. F. J. E. Hort, and it is now established beyond doubt that Codex Amiatinus was written (not necessarily by an Englishman) in the abbey of Wearmouth or Jarrow at the beginning of the eighth century and is the very book which St Ceolfrid carried with him to give to Pope St Gregory II.
St Ceolfrid was buried at Langres; thence his relics were later translated to Wearmouth, and finally, during the Danish invasions, to Glastonbury. His feastday is still kept, by a commemoration on this day, in the diocese of Langres, where he is known as St Ceufroy; it is the only place where his memory is observed liturgically.
Besides the account which Bede gives of Ceolfrid in his Historia Abbatum, we have the anonymous original from which he largely drew his information. Both texts are printed at the conclusion of C. Plummer's edition of the Ecclesiastical History, vol. i, pp. 364-404. Little can be added to these sources and to the material collected in Plummer's notes. A certain amount of further illustration, chiefly archaeological, may be obtained from Sir Henry Howorth's The Golden Days of Early English History, vol. ii. Of the Codex Amiatinus an exact description is given in the new critical edition of the Vulgate, vol. i (1926), pp. xx -xxvi. Cj. the DAC., vol. ii, cc. 3260-3267.
Also called Geoffrey. He was born in Northumbria in 642 and became a monk at Ripon. St. Benedict Biscop named him prior of Wearmouth, but he was too strict and was forced to leave. Accompanying St. Benedict to Rome in 678, Ceolfrid became the deputy abbot of St. Paul’s in 685. He and one young student were the only ones to survive the regional plague. He became the abbot in 690 and developed the twin monasteries into cultural centers. The Codex Amatianus, the oldest known copy of the Vulgate Bible in one volume, was produced at his command. He also trained St. Bede. In 716, Ceolfrid retired and started for Rome, dying on September 25 at Longres, in Champagne, France.
870 St. Egelred Benedictine monk died with the abbot and many fellow monks at the hands of invading Danes.
at Crayland Abbey, Great Britain
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Anágniæ sanctárum Vírginum Auréliæ et Neomísiæ.
   
10th v. Aurelia and Neomysia At Anagni, the holy virgins .
1013 Bl. Herman the Cripple wrote the hymns Salve Regina and Alma Redemptoris mater
Herman was born a cripple on February 18 at Altshausen, Swabia. He was so terribly deformed he was almost helpless. He was placed in Reichenau Abbey in Lake Constance Switzerland, in 1020 when he was seven and spent all his life there. He was professed at twenty, became known to scholars all over Europe for his keen mind, wrote the hymns Salve Regina and Alma Redemptoris mater to Our Lady, poetry, a universal chronicle, and a mathematical treatise. He died at Reichenau on September 21 and is sometimes called Herman Contractus
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1054 BD HERMAN THE CRIPPLE
A BRIEF notice must be given to this well-known Herman for he is commonly called Blessed and his feast is observed in certain Benedictine monasteries, this being allowed by the Holy See.
He was born in Swabia of the house of Altshausen in 1013, and from his birth was not simply a cripple but was practically helpless, so deformed (Contractus) was he. As a child, charge was taken of him by the abbey of Reichenau on an island of Lake Constance, where he spent all his forty years, being professed a monk at the age of twenty. As not infrequently happens with the physically disabled, Herman’s mind was as good an instrument as his body was a useless one, and his will bent it to the service of learning and of God. Among his works was one of the earliest medieval world-chronicles, a long unfinished poem on the deadly sins, and a mathematico_astronomical treatise which begins, “Herman, the rubbish of Christ’s little ones, lagging behind the apprentices of philosophy more slowly than a donkey or a slug.” But the unforgotten and unforgettable things that we owe to this bedridden monk are the two anthems of our Lady, “Alma Redemptoris mater” and, probably, “Salve Regina”. It is only fitting that he also made, as well as astronomical, musical instruments.
This holy monk, whom his own age admired as “the wonder of the times”, died in 1054.

See Die Kultur der Abtei Reichenau (a vols., 1925). The best text of the chronicle is in MGH, Scriptores, vol. v, and it has been translated into German. F. A. Yeldham contributed an article on Herman’s fraction-tables to Speculum, vol. iii (1928), PP. 240 seq. There is a short essay on Herman in Fr C. C. Martindale’s What are Saints? (1939). For the authorship of “Salve regina”, see H. Thurston, Familiar Prayers (1953), PP. 119—125.
1068 St. Austindus Archbishop and Benedictine
Austindus was a native of Bordeaux, France. He entered the Benedictines at St. Oren's Abbey, in Auch. When elected abbot, he instituted the Cluniac reform in the abbey. Austindus became the archbishop of Auch, France, in 1041.
The Cluny Reform
The earliest reform, which became practically a distinct order, within the Benedictine family. It originated at Cluny, a town in Saone-et-Loire, fifteen miles north-west of Macon, where in 910 William the Pious, Duke of Aquitaine, founded an abbey and endowed it with his entire domain. Over it he placed St. Berno, then Abbot of Gigny, under whose guidance a somewhat new and stricter form of Benedictine life was inaugurated. The reforms introduced at Cluny were in some measure traceable to the influence of St. Benedict of Aniane, who had put forward his new ideas at the first great meeting of the abbots of the order held at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) in 817, and their development at Cluny resulted in many departures from precedent, chief among which was a highly centralized form of government entirely foreign to Benedictine tradition. The reform quickly spread beyond the limits of the Abbey of Cluny, partly by the founding of new houses and partly by the incorporation of those already existing, and as all these remained dependent upon the mother-house, the Congregation of Cluny came into being almost automatically.
1215 St. Albert of Jerusalem Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Carmelite Order

1214 ST ALBERT, PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM
WHEN the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem was set up in 1099 by the crusaders under Godfrey de Bouillon, the Greek hierarchs were driven from their principal sees and churches and replaced by bishops from the West, whose only subjects were in the ranks of the crusaders themselves. Thus there came to be a Latin patriarch in Jerusalem, and it must be regretfully recorded that most of the prelates who held this office in crusading times were as equivocal in character as they were in position. When therefore the Patriarch Michael died in the year 1203 the canons regular of the Holy Sepulchre, supported by King Amaury II de Lusignan, petitioned Pope Innocent III to send to succeed him a prelate whose holiness and abilities were well known even in Palestine. This was Albert, Bishop of Vercelli. He belonged to a distinguished family of Parma, and after brilliant theological and legal studies had become a canon regular in the abbey of the Holy Cross at Mortara in Lombardy. When he was about thirty-five years old, namely in 1184, he was made bishop of Bobbio and almost at once translated to Vercelli. His diplomatic ability and trustworthiness caused him to be chosen as a mediator between Pope Clement Ill and Frederick Barbarossa. By Innocent III he was made legate in the north of Italy, and in that capacity he brought about peace between Parma and Piacenza in 1199. Innocent did not want to spare him for Jerusalem, but approved the choice of the canons; he invested him with the pallium and created him his legate in Palestine, and in 1205 St Albert set out.
 
Already in 1187 the Saracens had retaken Jerusalem, and the see of the Latin patriarch had been moved to Akka (Ptolemais), where the Frankish king had set up his court. At Akka accordingly St Albert established himself, and set out to gain the respect and trust not only of Christians but of the Mohammedans as well, which his predecessors had conspicuously failed to do.
As patriarch and legate he took a foremost part in the ecclesiastical and civil politics of the Levant, and over a period of nine years had to deal with a variety of matters which exercised his patience and prudence to the utmost; in the first place and continually he was faced with the almost impossible task of keeping the peace between the Frankish leaders and their followers, within the factions themselves, and between the invaders and the natives of the country. 

But Albert is best remembered now for a quite different work. Between 1205 and 1210 St Brocard, prior of the hermits living on Mount Carmel, asked him to embody the life they were leading in a rule for the observance of himself and his subjects. This St Albert did in a document of sixteen very short and definite “chapters”. He provided for complete obedience to an elected superior; a separate dwelling for each hermit, with a common oratory; manual work for all; long fasts and perpetual abstinence from flesh-meat; and daily silence from Vespers till after Terce. “Let each hermit remain in or near his cell, meditating day and night on the law of the Lord and persevering in prayer, unless engaged in some legitimate occupation.” This rule was confirmed by Pope Honorius III in 1226, and modified by Innocent IV twenty years later. Whoever may have been the founder of the Carmelite Order, there is no doubt that St Albert of Jerusalem, an Augustinian canon, was its first legislator.

Innocent III summoned St Albert to the forthcoming council of the Lateran; but he did not live to be present at that great assembly, which opened in November 1215. For twelve months he faithfully supported the pope’s hopeless efforts to get back Jerusalem, and then his life was suddenly and violently cut short. He had found it necessary to depose from his office the master of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost at Akka, and the man was nursing his resentment. On the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross in 1214 St Albert officiated at a procession in the church of the Holy Cross at Akka, and in the course of it he was attacked and stabbed to death by the deposed hospitaller. His feast was first intro­duced among the Carmelites in 1411. The anomaly to which the Bollandists draw attention by which he was not honoured liturgically in his own order no longer exists, for the Canons Regular of the Lateran now keep his feast on April 8.

A short early Life of St Albert is printed with ample prolegomena in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. i. See also the Analecta Ordinis Carmelitarum Discalceatorum, vol. iii (1926), pp. 212 seq. and DTC., vol. i, cc. 662—663. Some other data are supplied by B. Zimmer­man, Monumenta historica Carmelitarum (1907), pp. 277—281. The rule compiled by St Albert is also edited in this last-named work, pp. 20—554; and see Fr Francois de Ste-Marie, La Règle du Carmel et son esprit (1949).
He was an outstanding ecclesiastical figure in the era in which the Holy See faced opposition from Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. Serving as a mediator in the dispute between the emperor and Pope Clement III, Albert was made an imperial prince, a sign of favor from Barbarossa. Albert was born in Parma, Italy, about 1149, probably to a noble family. He became a canon at the Holy Cross Abbey in Mortoba. In 1184 he was appointed as the bishop of Bobbio, Italy, and soon after he was named to the see of Vercelli. It was during this period of service as the bishop of Vereelli that he served as mediator between the pope and emperor. In 1205, Albert was appointed the patriarch of Jerusalem, a post established in 1099 when Jerusalem became a Latin kingdom in the control of Christian crusaders. Jerusalem, however, was no longer in Christian hands, as the Saracens recaptured the city in 1187. The Christians needed a patriarch, but the position was open not only to persecution but to martyrdom at the hands of the Muslims. Albert accepted and he proved himself not only diplomatic but winning in his ways.
The Muslims of the area respected him for his sanctity and his intelligence. Because of the Muslim presence in Jerusalem, Albert took up residence in Acre (now called Akko), a northern port. There he became involved in a concern that assured his place in religious history. Overlooking the city and bay of Acre is the holy mountain called Carmel. At the time, a group of holy hermits lived on Mount Carmel in separate caves and cells. Albert was approached by St. Brocard, who was the prior or superior of the group of hermits. In 1209, the hermits asked Albert to draw up a rule of life for them, a rule that would constitute the beginning of the Carmelite Order. Albert's rule regulating the monastic life of these men included severe fasts, a perpetual abstinence from meat, silence, and seclusions. Pope Innocent IV mitigated the rule in 1254, allowing that it was too rigorous. Albert mediated the dispute among various groups in Palestine and conducted Church affairs. He was called to the general council of the Lateran in 1215 but was assassinated before leaving Palestine. A madman that he had discharged from a local hospital stabbed him during the procession on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
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1283 St. Elzear and Blessed Delphina Franciscan couple (1286-1323) (1283-1358)
This is the only Franciscan couple to be canonized or beatified formally.

Elzear came from a noble family in southern France. After he married Delphina, she informed him that she had made a vow of perpetual virginity; that same night he did the same. For a time Elzear, Count of Ariano, was a counselor to Duke Charles of Calabria in southern Italy. Elzear ruled his own territories in the kingdom of Naples and in southern France with justice.
Elzear and Delphina joined the Secular Franciscans and dedicated themselves to the corporal works of mercy. Twelve poor people dined with them every day. A statue of Elzear shows him curing several people suffering from leprosy.
Their piety extended to the running of their household. Everyone there was expected to attend Mass daily, go to confession weekly and be ready to forgive injuries.
After Elzear’s death, Delphina continued her works of charity for 35 more years. She is especially remembered for raising the moral level of the king of Sicily’s court.
Elzear and Delphina are buried in Apt, France. He was canonized in 1369, and she was beatified in 1694.
Comment: Like Francis, Elzear and Delphina came to see all creation as pointing to its source. Therefore, they did not try ruthlessly to dominate any part of creation but used all of it as a way of returning thanks to God.
Though childless, their marriage was life-giving for the poor and the sick around them.
Quote: St. Bonaventure wrote: “Francis sought occasion to love God in everything. He delighted in all the works of God's hands and from the vision of joy on earth his mind soared aloft to the life-giving source and cause of all. In everything beautiful, he saw him who is beauty itself, and he followed his Beloved everywhere by his likeness imprinted on creation; of all creation he made a ladder by which he might mount up and embrace Him who is all-desirable” (Legenda Major, IX, 1).
1392 St. Sergius, abbot; foremost Russian saint; mystic; founded 40 monasteries

1392 ST SERGIUS OF RADONEZH, ABBOT

WHEN in 1940 the Holy See authorized a liturgical calendar for the use of the few Russian Catholics it included, among other Slav modifications of the Byzantine calendar, the feasts of some thirty Russian saints, twenty-one of whom had not previously figured in any calendar in use today among Catholics. These last all lived after the trouble between Rome and Constantinople in 1054. Their ad­mission to Catholic recognition is a further example of the Holy See’s practical judgement that the separation of the Eastern Orthodox Church was not fully consummated till long after the excommunication of the patriarch Cerularius of Constantinople in that year, and in any case the consummation became complete in different places at different times. The choice of these saints, as Father Cyril Korolevsky has remarked (in Eastern Churches Quarterly, July 1946, p. 394), “based upon impartial judgement, does not exclude the possibility of still other Russian saints being admitted when more progress has been made in the study of Slav hagiography.”

According to Father Korolevsky this has no connexion, whether direct or indirect, with canonization. “When a dissident Eastern church [or part thereof] comes into the Catholic Church she brings into it all her rites and all her liturgy; so also her menology or liturgical calendar. Only what is directly or indirectly against faith is excluded—but this does not prevent the need for there being well-chosen critical standards for the moral, historical and hagiographical aspects, so that the inclusion or exclusion of certain saints in a Catholic calendar can be decided upon, and so that the position of others can be submitted to fresh examination in accordance with developments in hagiographical studies.”

This of course is true. Nevertheless, from the point of view of the Church’s present practice, it would canonically seem to be a case either of equivalent (“equipollent”) canonization or of confirmation of cultus.

Of these twenty-one Russians, the best known and most important is certainly St Sergius of Radonezh, a monk. In its earlier days the great centres of Russian monasticism were in or near the towns; but the Tartar invasion of the thirteenth century destroyed the urban culture of the southern part of the country, and the state of the monasteries suffered accordingly. Many of them continued to exist, but their life was weak and degenerate, and those men looking for a more perfect life began to move out into the country, particularly to the vast solitudes of the northern forests. These sylvan hermits were called pustiniky, that is to say, men of the wilderness. St Sergius of Radonezh is often looked on as the beginner of this movement. Actually he was only one in a general movement that broke out in several places simultaneously and gave rise to a number of new centres of monastic life. But if only one among many, he was the outstanding figure, and many regard him as the most resplendent of all Russian saints.

And he was not only a great monk. The imposition of Tartar sovereignty and the continuance of waves of invasion, massacre and plunder (they went on from 1237 for a century) had reduced the Russian people to the depths of misery and demoralization; and St Sergius probably more than any other single man was able by his example and influence to unify them in the face of their oppressors and to restore their self-respect and trust in God. The historian Kluchevsky declared that the Russians owe their liberation to the moral education and spiritual influence of Sergius of Radonezh.

He was born into a noble family round about 1315 near Rostov, and was christened Bartholomew; and of three boys he seems to have been the least bright and quick. This preyed on his mind, so that when a monk whom he had met in the fields asked him what gift he desired, he replied that he wanted to be able to learn to read and write, especially in order to study the Bible. Whereupon the monk gave him a piece of sweet-tasting bread to eat, and from that hour he could read and write, as the biographer tells us.

This was the time of the beginning of the growth of the principality of Moscow, one step in which was the destruction of the power and influence of Rostov, and among the victims of this policy were Bartholomew’s parents, Cyril and Mary. When he was still little more than a boy the whole family had to flee, and eventually found a refuge in the little village of Radonezh, fifty miles north-east of Moscow. Henceforward they had to live the life, not of nobles, but of peasant farmers working in the fields. Then, in 1335 his parents being dead, Bartholomew carried out his long-cherished plan of pursuing a solitary life. He was accompanied by his widowed brother, Stephen.

The place they chose for their hermitage was a piece of rising ground called Makovka, in the forest and several miles from the nearest neighbour. They built a hut and a chapel of timber, and at their request the metropolitan of Kiev sent a priest to dedicate it to the Most Holy Trinity, a very unusual dedication in Russia at that time. Shortly afterwards Stephen went away to live in a monastery at Moscow, and for years the now completely solitary Bartholomew almost disappears from sight.

His biographer tells us of onslaughts by demonic powers successfully beaten off, of threatening wild beasts reduced to docility, of hunger and hard tillage, of nights of prayer and growth in holiness. It is all very reminiscent of the early desert fathers. But there is one important point of difference. We in the West, associating the eremitical life chiefly with St Antony and other saints of Egypt and Syria, think of one of its hardships in terms of sandy and rocky wastes, of fierce heat and lack of water. For Bartholomew, or Sergius as we may now call him, for he had received the monastic tonsure from a visiting abbot, it was very different:  his physical foes were ice and snow, fierce winds and lashing rain and dripping trees. The attitude of these hermits to wild nature has been likened to that of St Francis of Assisi. Paul of Obnorsk made friends with the birds, St Sergius with bears, and he called fire and light his friends (as well he might). But physically they were of a different type from Francis (at any rate as shown in his later repre­sentations), a big strong northern peasant type, bearded, sparing of speech and gesture. St Sergius “smells of fresh fir wood “

As in so many other similar instances, it was only a matter of time before the young hermit’s reputation spread and disciples gathered round him. Each built his own hut, and the monastery of the Holy Trinity had begun. When they numbered twelve, at their request and by direction of the nearest bishop, Sergius agreed to be their abbot; he was ordained priest at Pereyaslav Zalesky, and there he offered the Bloodless Sacrifice for the first time. “Brethren”, he said, epitomizing a whole chapter of the Rule of St Benedict, “pray for me. I am completely ignorant, and I have received a talent from on high for which I shall have to give an account and of the flock committed to me.”

The monastery flourished in all but worldly goods and increased in numbers, among its recruits being the archimandrite of a monastery at Smolensk. The forest was cleared, a village grew up and, most unwelcome, a road was beaten out along which visitors began to arrive. And in all this development the abbot remembered that he was only first among equals, and set a shining example of assiduity whether at work or in the church.

Then the question arose which of the two forms of monastic life prevalent in the East should be followed at the Holy Trinity. Hitherto the monks had followed the individual pattern, “hermits in community”, each having a separate free-standing cell and plot of ground. Sergius, however, was in favour of properly cenobitical, communal, life, and in 1354 this reform was carried out, partly as a result of a personal letter of recommendation of this course from the oecumenical patriarch at Constantinople, Philotheus. Unhappily this led to trouble. Some of the monks were discontented at the change, and found a leader in Sergius’s brother Stephen, who had come back to the monastery. The upshot was that, one Saturday after Vespers, whereat there had been an “incident”, St Sergius, rather than quarrel with his brother, quietly left the monastery and did not return. He settled down by the river Kerzhach, near the monastery of Makrish.

But some of the brethren of the Holy Trinity soon followed him there, and the parent monastery began to degenerate, so that the Metropolitan Alexis at Moscow sent two archimandrites with a message asking St Sergius to return. This he did, after appointing an abbot for the new settlement at the Kerzhach, and after four years’ absence he arrived back at the Holy Trinity where the brethren came out to meet him, “so filled with joy that some of them kissed the father’s hands, others his feet, while others caught hold of his clothing and kissed that”.

Like St Bernard of Clairvaux two centuries earlier, and like other holy monks in East and West before and since, St Sergius came to be consulted by the great ones of church and state; he was appealed to as a peace-maker and arbitrator, and more than one vain attempt was made to get him to accept the primatial see of the Russian church. Then, between 1367 and 1380, came the great “show-down” between Dmitry Donskoy, Prince of Moscow, and Khan Mamai, leader of the Tartar overlords. Dmitry was faced with making a decision of final defiance which, should it fail, would bring greater miseries on Russia than it had ever known before. He went to ask the advice of St Sergius, and St Sergius blessed him and said, “It is your duty, sir, to care for the flock which God has entrusted to you. Go forth against the heathen, and conquer in the might of God’s arm. And may you return in safety, giving God the glory.”

So Prince Dmitry set out, accompanied by two of Sergius’s monks who had formerly been fighting men. At the last moment, seeing the enemy’s strength, he again hesitated. But at that moment arrived a messenger from St Sergius, saying, “Do not fear, sir. Go forward with faith against the foe’s ferocity. God will be with you.” And so on September 8, 1380, was fought the battle of Kulikovo Polye, which has an equal significance for Russia with Tours and Poitiers for western Europe (and in reverse, Kossovo for the Balkans nine years later): for the Tartars were beaten and scattered. “At that same time the blessed Sergius with his brethren was praying to God for victory. And within an hour of the overthrow of the heathen he had announced to the community what had happened—for he was a seer.”

Thus did Sergius of Radonezh have a decisive part in beginning the break-down of Tartar power in Russia. But he was not then allowed to remain in his monastery in peace, for his services were required for both political and ecclesiastical missions the one particularly to help on peace and concord amid the rivalries of the Russian princes, the other particularly in connection with other monastic foundations to which his own community gave rise in one way or another. And it is recorded of all these journeyings that he made them on foot.

His biographer speaks in general terms of Sergius’s “many incomprehensible miracles” but particularizes only a few marvels in the course of his narrative, emphasizing that the saint commanded reticence about these things. But he gives a clear and convincing account of a vision of the all-holy Mother of God (one of the earliest recorded in Russian hagiography), when with the apostles Peter and John she appeared to Sergius and another monk and assured him of the flourishing future that was before his monastery. The objectiveness of this vision is charac­teristic of Russian hagiology: we hear rarely of rapts and ecstasies but rather of the Holy Spirit enabling people to see realities, whether earthly or heavenly, hidden from the eyes of those less holy.

Six months before his death St Sergius saw his approaching end. He resigned his office, appointed a successor, and was then taken ill for the first time in his life. “As his soul was about to leave his body, he received the sacred Body and Blood, supported in the arms of his disciples; and, raising his hands to Heaven with a prayer on his lips, he gave up his pure and holy spirit to the Lord, in the year 1392, September 25, probably at the age of seventy-eight.”

In the words of Dr Zernov, “It is difficult to define exactly what made people crowd round St Sergius. He was neither an eloquent preacher nor a man of great learning, and although there were several cases when people were cured by his prayers yet he could not be described as a popular healer. It was primarily the quality of his personality which attracted everybody to him. It was the warmth of his loving attention which made him so indispensable to others. He possessed those gifts which they lacked, he had the confidence in God and trust in men which the world around him was seeking in vain, and without which it could not find rest.”

Like so many monks in Christian history from the earliest to the latest times, St Sergius looked on direct active service for others as part of his monastic vocation. And so he, like then, was sought out by high and low as a healer of soul and body, a friend of those who suffer, as one who fed the hungry, defended the unprotected, and counselled the wavering. The emphasis of these northern monks was laid particularly on poverty, both personal and corporate, and solitude, so far as a communal life and the requirements of brotherly charity would allow.

Sergius urged them “to keep before their eyes the example of those great light-bearers the monks of Christian antiquity, who while still in this world lived like the angels: such men as Antony, Euthymius, Sabas. Plain men and monarchs came to them; they healed disease and helped the suffering; they fed the needy and were the widows’ and orphans’ treasure-house.”

The body of St Sergius was enshrined in the principal church of his monastery, where it remained until the revolution of 1917. The monastery was then forcibly closed by the bolshevists, and the saint’s relics deposited in the local “antireligious museum”. In 1945 permission was given to the authorities of the Russian Orthodox Church to reopen the monastery, and the relics were restored. The Russians mention St Sergius of Radonezh in the preparation of the holy things at the Eucharistic Liturgy.

There is a large manuscript literature of Russian saints’ lives, of which the medieval ones belong to three distinct areas. Those of Kiev and the Ukraine are the earliest, and are concerned particularly with the “holy princes” and the “holy monks”. The monastery of the Caves at Kiev led in this work, and there was produced the first paterik, that is, a collection of short lives of saints concerned with one particular district or monastery. But there are extant only two detailed lives of pre-Mongol saints, viz, of St Theodosius and of St Abraham of Smolensk. After the Tartar conquest a new hagiographical “school” developed in the North, with its centres at Novgorod and further north. Its accounts are distinguished by their shortness and austerity of manner, often containing no more than is said in the proper office “hymn”. The third, Central, school grew up around Moscow

One of the foremost Russian saints and mystics. Born to a noble family near Rostov, he was christened Bartholomew. At the age of fifteen, he fled with his family to Radonezh, near Moscow, to escape a campaign against Rostov by the rulers of Moscow. As their wealth was all but wiped out, the family became peasant farmers until 1335 when, after the death of his parents, he and his brother Stephen became hermits at Makovka. Stephen left to become a monk, and Sergius received a tonsure (received into the clerical order by the shearing of his hair and the investment with the surplice) from a local abbot.
Increasingly well-known as a profoundly spiritual figure in the Russian wilderness, he attracted followers and eventually organized them into a community that became the famed Holy Trinity Monastery. He was ordained at Pereyaslav Zalesky.
Serving as abbot, he thus restored the great monastic tradition which had been destroyed some time before during the Mongol invasions of Russia.
Sergius was soon joined by Stephen, who opposed his stern cenobitical  because he gathered together the ascetic monks, who had been living in their own separate cells, under one roof. Each of these ascetics became a cenobite. A cenobite is therefore the opposite of a hermit (eremite). That caused Sergius to leave the community and to become a hermit again. As his departure brought swift decline to the monastery, Sergius was asked to return by none other than Alexis, metropolitan of Moscow. As he was respected by virtually every segment of society, Sergius was consulted by Prince flirnitry Donskoi of Moscow encouraging the ruler to embark upon the campaign against the Mongols which culminated in the triumphant Battle of Kulikovo (1380), thus breaking the Mongol domination of Russia, Sergius sought to build upon this victory by promoting peace among the ever-feuding Russian princes and building monasteries; in all he founded around forty monastic communities. In 1378 he declined the office of Metropolitan, resigning his abbacy in 1392 and dying six months later on September 25, Canonized in 1449, he is venerated as the fore-most saint in Russian history
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1392 ST. SERGIUS confidence in God desire to help everybody
ST SERGIUS OF RADONEZH, ABBOT     (A.D. 1392)
When in 1940 the Holy See authorized a liturgical calendar for the use of the few Russian Catholics it included, among other Slav modifications of the Byzantine calendar the feasts of some thirty Russian saints twenty-one of whom had not previously figured in any calendar in use today among Catholics. These last all lived after the trouble between Rome and Constantinople in 1054. Their admission to Catholic recognition is a further example of the Holy Sec's practical judgement that the separation of the Eastern Orthodox Church was not fully consummated till long after the excommunication of the patriarch Cerularius of Constantinople in that year, and in any case the consummation became complete in different places at different times. The choice of these saints, as Father Cyril Korolevsky has remarked (in Eastern Churches Quarterly, July 1946, p. 394), based upon impartial judgement, does not exclude the possibility of still other Rus:Ian saints being admitted when more progress has been made in the study of Slav hagiography.

According to Father Korolevsky this has no connexion, whether direct or indirect, with canonization. When a dissident Eastern church [or part thereof] comes into the Catholic Church she brings into it all her rites and all her liturgy; so also her menology or liturgical calendar. Only what is directly or indirectly against faith is cxcluded--but this does not prevent the need for there being well chosen critical standards for the moral, historical and hagiographical aspects, so that the inclusion or exclusion of certain saints in a Catholic calendar can be decided upon, and so that the position of others can be submitted to fresh examination in accordance with developments in hagiographical studies. This of course. is true. Nevertheless from the point of view of the Church's present practice, It would canonically seem to be a case either of equivalent (equipollent) canonization or of confirmation of cultus.
   Of these twenty-one Russians, the best known and most important is certainly St Sergius of Radonezh, a monk. In its earlier days the great centres of Russian monasticism were in or near the towns; but the Tartar invasion of the thirteenth century destroyed the urban culture of the southern part of the country, and the state of the monasteries suffered accordingly. Many of them continued to exist, but their life was weak and degenerate, and those men looking for a more perfect life began to move out into the country, particularly to the vast solitudes of the northern forests. These sylvan hermits were called pustiniky, that is to say, men of the wilderness. St Sergius of Radonezh is often looked on as the beginner of this movement. Actually he was only one in a general movement that broke out in several places simultaneously and gave rise to a number of new centres of monastic life. But if only one among many, he was the outstanding figure, and many regard him as the most resplendent of all Russian saints. And he was not only a great monk. The imposition of Tartar sovereignty and the continuance of waves of invasion, massacre and plunder (they went on from 1237 for a century) had reduced the Russian people to the depths of misery and dernoralization; and St Sergius probably more than any other single man was able by his example and influence to unify them in the face of their oppressors and to restore their self-respect and trust in God. The historian Kluchevsky declared that the
Russians owe their liberation to the moral education and spiritual influence of Sergius of Radonezh.
  He was born into a noble family round about 1315 near Restov, and was christened Bartholomew; and of three boys he seems to have been the least bright and quick. This preyed on his mind, so that when a monk whom he had met in the fields asked him what gift he desired, he replied that he wanted to be able to learn to read and write, especially in order to study the Bible. Whereupon the monk gave him a piece of sweet-tasting bread to eat, and from that hour he could read and write, as the biographer tells us.
This was the time of the beginning of the growth of the principality of Moscow, one step in which was the destruction of the power and influence of Rostov, and among the victims of this policy were Bartholomew's parents, Cyril and Mary. When he was still little more than a boy the whole family had to flee, and eventually found a refuge in the little village of Radonezh, fifty miles north-east of Moscow. Henceforward they had to live the life, not of nobles, but of peasant farmers working in the fields. Then, in 1335, his parents being dead, Bartholomew carried out his long-cherished plan of pursuing a solitary life. He was accompanied by his widowed brother, Stephen.
The place they chose for their hermitage was a piece of rising ground called Makovka, in the forest and several miles from the nearest neighbour. They built a hut and a chapel of timber, and at their request the metropolitan of Kiev sent a priest to dedicate it to the Most Holy Trinity, a very unusual dedication in Russia at that time. Shortly afterwards Stephen went away to live in a monastery at Moscow, and for years the now completely solitary Bartholomew almost disappears from sight.
  His biographer tells us of onslaughts by demonic powers successfully beaten off, of threatening wild beasts reduced to docility, of hunger and hard tillage, of nights of prayer and growth in holiness. It is all very reminiscent of the early desert fathers. But there is one important point of difference. We in the West, associating the eremitical life chiefly with St Antony and other saints of Egypt and Syria, think of one of its hardships in terms of sandy and rocky wastes, of fierce heat and lack of water. For Bartholomew, or Sergius as we may now call him, for he had received the monastic tonsure from a visiting abbot, it was very different: his physical foes were ice and snow, fierce winds and lashing rain and dripping trees. The attitude of these hermits to wild nature has been likened to that of St Francis of Assisi. Paul of Obnorsk made friends with the birds, St Sergius with bears, and he called fire and light his friends (as well he might). But physically they were of a different type from Francis (at any rate as shown in his later representations), a big strong northern peasant type, bearded, sparing of speech and gesture. St Sergius “smells of fresh fir wood”.
As in so many other similar instances, it was only a matter of time before the young hermit's reputation spread and disciples gathered round him. Each built his own hut, and the monastery of the Holy Trinity had begun. When they numbered twelve, at their request and by direction of the nearest bishop, Sergius agreed to be their abbot; he was ordained priest at Pereyaslav Zalesky, and there he offered the Bloodless Sacrifice for the first time.
Brethren, he said, epitomizing a whole chapter of the Rule of St Benedict, “”pray for me. I am completely ignorant, and I have received a talent from on high for which I shall have to give an account and of the flock committed to me.
The monastery flourished in all but worldly goods and increased in numbers, among its recruits being the archimandrite of a monastery at Smolensk. The forest was cleared, a village grew up and, most unwelcome, a road was beaten out along which visitors began to arrive. And in all this development the abbot remembered that he was only first among equals, and set a shining example of assiduity whether at work or in the church.
   Then the question arose which of the two forms of monastic life prevalent in the East should be followed at the Holy Trinity. Hitherto the monks had followed the individual pattern,
hermits in community, each having a separate free-standing cell and plot of ground. Sergius, however, was in favour of properly cenobitical, communal, life, and in 1354 this reform was carried out, partly as a result of a personal letter of recommendation of this course from the oecumenical patriarch at Constantinople, Philotheus. Unhappily this led to trouble. Some of the monks were discontented at the change, and found a leader in Sergius's brother Stephen, who had come back to the monastery. The upshot was that, one Saturday after Vespers, whereat there had been an incident, St Sergius, rather than quarrel with his brother, quietly left the monastery and did not return. He settled down by the river Kerzhach, near the monastery of Makrish. But some of the brethren of the Holy Trinity soon followed him there, and the parent monastery began to degenerate, so that the Metropolitan Alexis at Moscow sent two archimandrites with a message asking St Sergius to return. This he did, after appointing an abbot for the new settlement at the Kerzhach, and after four years' absence he arrived back at the Holy Trinity where the brethren came out to meet him, so filled with joy that some of them kissed the father's hands, others his feet, while others caught hold of his clothing and kissed that.
   Like St Bernard of Clairvaux two centuries earlier, and like other holy monks in East and West before and since, St Sergius came to be consulted by the great ones of church and state; he was appealed to as a peace-maker and arbitrator, and more than one vain attempt was made to get him to accept the primatial see of the Russian church. Then, between 1367 and 1380, came the great
show-down between Dmitry Donskoy, Prince of Moscow, and Khan Mamai, leader of the Tartar overlords. Dmitry was faced with making a decision of final defiance which, should it fail, would bring greater miseries on Russia than it had ever known before. He went to ask the advice of St Sergius, and St Sergius blessed him and said, It is your duty, sir, to care for the flock which God has entrusted to you. Go forth against the heathen, and conquer in the might of God's arm. And may you return in safety, giving God the glory.
   So Prince Dmitry set out, accompanied by two of Sergius's monks who had formerly been fighting men. At the last moment, seeing the enemy's strength, he again hesitated. But at that moment arrived a messenger from St Sergius, saying, Do not fear, sir. Go forward with faith against the foe's ferocity. God will be with you. And so on September 8, 1380, was fought the battle of Kulikovo Polye, which has an equal significance for Russia with Tours and Poitiers for western Europe (and in reverse, Kossovo for the Balkans nine years later): for the Tartars were beaten and scattered. At that same time the blessed Sergius with his brethren was praying to God for victory. And within an hour of the overthrow of the heathen he had announced to the community what had happened-for he was a seer.
   Thus did Sergius of Radonezh have a decisive part in beginning the break-down of Tartar power in Russia. But he was not then allowed to remain in his monastery in peace, for his services were required for both political and ecclesiastical missions: the one particularly to help on peace and concord amid the rivalries of the Russian princes, the other particularly in connection with other monastic foundations to which his own community gave rise in one way or another and it is recorded of all these journeyings that he made them on foot.
His biographer speaks in general terms of Sergius's
many incomprehensible miracles but particularizes only a few marvels in the course of his narrative, emphasizing that the saint commanded reticence about these things. But he gives clear and convincing account of a mision of the all-holy Mother of God (one of the earliest recorded in Russian hagiography), when with the apostles Peter and John she appeared to Sergius and another monk and assured him of the flourishing future that was before his monastery. The objectiveness of this vision is characteristic of Russian hagiology: we hear rarely of rapts and ecstasies but rather of the Holy Spirit enabling people to see realities, whether earthly or heavenly, hidden from the eyes of those less holy. Six months.before his death St Sergius saw his approaching end. He resigned ~IS offi:e, appointed a successor, and was then taken ill for the first time in his life.
As his soul was about to leave his body, he received the sacred Body and Blood, supported In the arms of his disciples; and, raising his hands to Heaven with a prayer on his lips, he gave up his pure and holy spirit to the Lord, in the year 1392, September 25, probably at the age of seventy-eight.
In the words of Dr Zernov,
It is difficult to define exactly what made people crowd round St Sergius. He was neither an eloquent preacher nor a man of great learning, and although there were several cases when people were cured by his prayers yet he could not be descnbed as a popular healer. It was primarily the quality of his personality which attracted everybody to him. It was the warmth of his loving attention which made him so indispensable to others. He possessed those gifts which they lacked, he had the confidence in God and trust in men which the world around him was seeking in vain, and without which it could not find rest.
Like so many monks in Christian history from the earliest to the latest times? St Sergius looked on direct active service for others as part of his monastic vocation. And so he, like them, was sought out by high and low as a healer of soul and body, a friend of those who suffer, as one who fed the hungry, defended the unprotected, and counselled the wavering. The emphasis of these northern monks was laid particularly on poverty, both personal and corporate, and solitude, so far as a communal, life and the requirements of brotherly charity would allow.
Sergius urged them to keep before their eyes the example of those great light¬bearers the monks of Christian antiquity, who while still in this world lived like the angels: such men as Antony, Euthymius, Sabas. Plain men and monarchs came to them; they healed disease and helped the suffering; they fed the needy and were the widows' and orphans' treasure-house.
The body of St Sergius was enshrined in the principal church of his monastery, where it remained until the revolution of 1917. The monastery was then forcibly closed by the bolshevists, and the saint's relics deposited in the local antireligious museum. In 1945 permission was given to the authorities of the Russian Orthodox Church to reopen the monastery, and the relics were restored. The Russians mention St Sergius of Radonezh in the preparation of the holy things at the Eucharistic Liturgy.
 
There is a large manuscript literature of Russian saints' lives, of which the medieval ones belong to three distinct areas. Those of Kiev and the Ukraine are the earliest and are concerned particularly with the
holy princes and the holy monks. The monestery of the Caves at Kiev led in this work, and there was produced the first paterik, that is, a collection of short lives of samts concerned with one particular district or monastery. But there are extant only two detailed lives of pre-Mongol saints, viz. of St Theodosius and of St Abrahan of Smolensk. After the Tartar conquest a new hagiographical school developed in the North, with its centres at Novgorod and further north. Its accounts are didtinguished by their shortness and austerity of manner, often containing no more than is said in the proper office hymn. The third, Central, school grew up around Moscow with that city's rise to power, and it eventually popularized the dressing-up of a few facts with devotional rhetoric and edifying commonplaces, in the manner so familiar in the medieval West. It was in this form that the lives were in the sixteenth century collected into the Cety Miney (Menology for Reading). Though these accounts were often written by contemporaries and friends of their subjects, they are nevertheless generally conventional and uninformative, lacking in personal and historical information-Russian hagiography has indeed been aptly likened to Russian eikonography. Most of these ancient documents were carefully studied, edited and printed during the nineteenth century; but this work being in Russian it is still virtually unknown outside Slavonic-speaking lands, and the Western contribution to Russian hagiology is negligible. It is regrettable that the Bollandist fathers have not extended their work in Byzantine hagiography further north-east. The notices of Russian saints in their Acta Sanctorum, volume xi of October, Annus ecclesiasticus graeco-slavicus, were the work of a Russian, Father Ivan Martynov (d. 1894), and have been subjected to unfavourable criticism; but this he in a measure met by anticipation in his explanation of his method of work. A far better work is said to be that by an Old¬Catholic priest, L. Götz, Das kiewer Höhlenkloster als Kulturzentrum des vormongolischen Russlands (1904). So far as St Sergius of Radonezh is concerned, his biography was written at length, and soberly if rather conventionally, by one of his own monks, Epiphanius the Wise. This work was shortened and rewritten in the fifteenth century by a Serbian monk, Pakhomius, whose version is still current. We are fortunate to have in English a book by an Orthodox writer, Dr Nicholas Zernov, on St Sergius, Builder of Russia (1939); the third part of this book is an English translation of the Pakhomian life, made by Miss Adeline Delafeld from Professor Fedotov's modern Russian version of the original. There is a still more abbreviated version, by Helen Iswolsky, in G. P. Fedotov's Treasury of Russian Spirituality (1950). For Russian saints in general, there is an excellent series of articles by Mrs E. Behr-Sigel in Irenikon, vol. xii, nos. 3 and 6, vol. xiii, nos. 1 and 3, vol. xiv, no. 4, and vol. xv, no. 6 (1935-38), to which the present writer is ,indebted for the substance of this note. These articles, with additions, were published in book form by Editions du Cerf, in 1950, Priere et Sainteté dans l'Église russe. See also articles by Arseniev in Der christliche Osten (1939) and by Danzas in Russie et Chrétienté, no. 3 of 1937, and Menologium der Orthodox-Katholischen Kirche des Morgenlandes (1900), by Alexis Maltsev. The pertinent parts of vol. iii of Leroy-Beaulieu's La Russie et l'empire des Tsars (Eng. trans., 1896) are superficial and misleading in the light of later knowledge. See, too, Sipiaguin, Aux sources de la piété russe, Irenikon Collection, vol. i, no. 2 (1927), for the Kievan saints. The so-called Chronicle of Nestor, often referred to in early Russian ecclesiastical history, is now generally called the “Russian Primary Chronicle” (ed. S. H. Cross, 1930; contains the Kiev paterik). In 1946 there was published G. P. Fedotov's The Russian Religious Mind: Kievan Christianity. This is valuable for SS. Abraham of Smolensk, Antony and Theodosius Pechersky, Boris and Gleb, Cyril of Turov and Vladimir and for the pre-Mongol saints in general. In reading and writing of such men as St Sergius and St Theodosius one is very conscious of how suited to Alban Butler's style they would have been, and of how he would have delighted in men so obviously absorbed in “the one thing necessary: but no doubt he had not even heard the names of most of them. The only Russians to whom he accorded a notice were SS. Romanus and David (i.e. Boris and Gleb) on July 24. In the course of it he mentions St Olga, St Vladimir, St Antony Pechersky, St Sergius and the revered prince Alexander Nevsky; but it is only to be expected that Butler's information about the Russians (now called Muscovites) is far from satisfactory. Two valuable books were published in 1953: Essai sur la sainteté en Russie, by Fr Ivan Kologrivof, and Russische Heiligenlegenden, translations and notes by E. Benz and others.

This famous Russian saint lived in the fourteenth century. He was given the name of Bartholomew when he was baptized. He was not as bright as his two brothers, but he did learn to read and write. This made him very happy because he greatly desired to read the Bible. Bartholomew's parents were nobles. While he was still a boy, the family had to flee from enemies. They had to go to work as peasants. After his parents died, Sergius and his brother Stephen went off to live as hermits. They built a little church from trees they had cut down. The church was dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity.
When his brother went to Moscow to enter a monastery, Bartholomew lived alone. He wore the habit of a monk and took the name Sergius. He was a tall, husky young man. He was strong enough to stand the biting cold and fierce winds of his forest home. He was happy praying to God and loving him with all his heart. He called fire and light his companions, and even made friends with bears.
Before too long, other young men came to share St. Sergius's holy life. They asked him to be their abbot and he did. He was ordained a priest and ruled his monastery very wisely. Once when some of the monks together with his own brother Stephen-who had come back-disagreed with Sergius, he went away so as to keep peace. Four years later, he was asked to return. The monks were so happy to see him that they kissed his hands, his feet and even his robe. Powerful rulers often went to ask St. Sergius for advice. He became so famous that he was asked to become bishop of the greatest Russian diocese. But he was too humble to accept. The prince of Moscow was not sure if he should try to fight the terrible pagan Tartars. St. Sergius said, "Do not fear, sir. Go forward with faith against the foe. God will be with you." And the Russians were victorious.
It was not great learning that made people trust and love St. Sergius. It was his confidence in God and his desire to help everybody. St. Sergius died in 1392
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1523-1534 Clement VII (GIULIO DE’ MEDICI); Cardinal, Pope 1523-1534.
Born 1478; died 25 September, 1534. Giulio de' Medici was born a few months after the death of his father, Giuliano, who was slain at Florence in the disturbances which followed the Pazzi conspiracy. Although his parents had not been properly married, they had, it was alleged, been betrothed per sponsalia de presenti, and Giulio, in virtue of a well-known principle of canon law, was subsequently declared legitimate. The youth was educated by his uncle, Lorenzo the Magnificent. He was made a Knight of Rhodes and Grand Prior of Capua, and, upon the election of his cousin Giovanni de' Medici to the papacy as Leo X, he at once became a person of great consequence. On 28 September, 1513, he was made cardinal, and he had the credit of being the prime mover of the papal policy during the whole of Leo's pontificate. He was one of the most favoured candidates in the protracted conclave which resulted in the election of Adrian VI; neither did the Cardinal de' Medici, in spite of his close connection with the luxurious regime of Leo X, altogether lose influence under his austere successor. Giulio, in the words of a modern historian, was "learned, clever, respectable and industrious, though he had little enterprise and less decision" (Armstrong, Charles V, I, 166).
After Adrian's death (14 September, 1523) the Cardinal de' Medici was eventually chosen pope, 18 November, 1523, and his election was hailed at Rome with enthusiastic rejoicing. But the temper of the Roman people was only one element in the complex problem which Clement VII had to face. The whole political and religious situation was one of extreme delicacy, and it may be doubted if there was one man in ten thousand who would have succeeded by natural tact and human prudence in guiding the Bark of Peter through such tempestuous waters. Clement was certainly not such a man. He had unfortunately been brought up in all the bad traditions of Italian diplomacy, and over and above this a certain fatal irresolution of character seemed to impel him, when any decision had been arrived at, to hark back upon the course agreed on and to try to make terms with the other side.

The early years of his pontificate were occupied with the negotiations which culminated in the League of Cognac. When Clement was crowned, Francis I and the Emperor Charles V were at war. Charles had supported Clement's candidature and hoped much from his friendship with the Medici, but barely a year had elapsed after his election before the new pope concluded a secret treaty with France. The pitched battle which was fought between Francis and the imperial commanders at Pavia in February, 1525, ending in the defeat and captivity of the French king, put into Charles' hands the means of avenging himself. Still he used his victory with moderation. The terms of the Treaty of Madrid (14 January, 1526) were not really extravagant, but Francis seems to have signed with the deliberate intention of breaking his promises, though confirmed by the most solemn of oaths. That Clement, instead of accepting Charles' overtures, should have made himself a party to the French king's perfidy and should have organized a league with France, Venice, and Florence, signed at Cognac, 22 May, 1526, must certainly have been regarded by the emperor as almost unpardonable provocation. No doubt Clement was moved by genuine patriotism in his distrust of imperial influence in Italy and especially by anxiety for his native Florence. Moreover, he chafed under dictation which seemed to him to threaten the freedom of the Church. But though he probably feared that the bonds might be drawn tighter, it is hard to see that he had at that time any serious ground of complaint. We cannot be much surprised at what followed. Charles' envoys, obtaining no satisfaction from the pope, allied themselves with the disaffected Colonna who had been raiding the papal territory. These last peretended reconciliation until the papal commanders were lulled into a sense of security. Then the Colonna made a sudden attack upon Rome and shut up Clement in the Castle of Sant’ Angelo while their followers plundered the Vatican (20 September, 1526). Charles disavowed the action of the Colonna but took advantage of the situation created by their success. A period of vacillation followed. At one time Clement concluded a truce with the emperor, at another he turned again despairingly to the League, at another, under the encouragement of a slight success, he broke off negotiations with the imperial representatives and resumed active hostilities, and then again, still later, he signed a truce with Charles for eight months, promising the immediate payment of an indemnity of 60,000 ducats.

In the mean time the German mercenaries in the north of Italy were fast being reduced to the last extremities for lack of provisions and pay. On hearing of the indemnity of 60,000 ducats they threatened mutiny, and the imperial commissioners extracted from the pope the payment of 100,000 ducats instead of the sum first agreed upon. But the sacrifice was ineffectual. It seems probable that the Landsknechte, a very large proportion of whom were Lutherans, had really got completely out of hand, and that they practically forced the Constable Bourbon, now in supreme command, to lead them against Rome. On the 5th of May they reached the walls, which, owing to the pope's confidence in the truce he had concluded, were almost undefended. Clement had barely time to take refuge in the Castle of Sant’ Angelo, and for eight days the "Sack of Rome" continued amid horrors almost unexampled in the history of war. "The Lutherans", says an impartial authority, "rejoiced to burn and to defile what all the world had adored. Churches were desecrated, women, even the religious, violated, ambassadors pillaged, cardinals put to ransom, ecclesiastical dignitaries and ceremonies made a mockery, and the soldiers fought among themselves for the spoil" (Leathes in "Camb. Mod. History", II, 55). It seems probable that Charles V was really not implicated in the horrors which then took place. Still he had no objection against the pope bearing the full consequences of his shifty diplomacy, and he allowed him to remain a virtual prisoner in the Castle of Sant’ Angelo for more than seven months. Clement's pliability had already given offence to the other members of the League, and his appeals were not responded to very warmly. Besides this, he was sorely in need of the imperial support both to make head against the Lutherans in Germany and to reinstate the Medici in the government of Florence from which they had been driven out. The combined effect of these various considerations and of the failure of the French attempts upon Naples was to throw Clement into the emperor's arms. After a sojourn in Orvieto and Viterbo, Clement returned to Rome, and there, before the end of July, 1529, terms favourable to the Holy See were definitely arranged with Charles. The seal was set upon the compact by the meeting of the emperor and the pope at Bologna, where, on 24 February, 1530, Charles was solemnly crowned. By whatever motives the pontiff was swayed, this settlement certainly had the effect of restoring to Italy a much-needed peace.

Meanwhile events, the momentous consequence of which were not then fully foreseen, had been taking place in England. Henry VIII, tired of Queen Catherine, by whom he had no heir to the throne, but only one surviving daughter, Mary, and passionately enamoured of Anne Boleyn, had made known to Wolsey in May, 1527, that he wished to be divorced. He pretended that his conscience was uneasy at the marriage contracted under papal dispensation with his brother's widow. As his first act was to solicit from the Holy See contingently upon the granting of the divorce, a dispensation from the impediment of affinity in the first degree (an impediment which stood between him and any legal marriage with Anne on account of his previous carnal intercourse with Anne's sister Mary), the scruple of conscience cannot have been very sincere. Moreover, as Queen Catherine solemnly swore that the marriage between herself and Henry's elder brother Arthur had never been consummated, there had consequently never been any real affinity between her and Henry but only the impedimentum publicæ honestatis. The king's impatience, however, was such that, without giving his full confidence to Wolsey, he sent his envoy, Knight, at once to Rome to treat with the pope about getting the marriage annulled. Knight found the pope a prisoner in Sant’ Angelo and could do little until he visited Clement, after his escape, at Orvieto. Clement was anxious to gratify Henry, and he did not make much difficulty about the contingent dispensation from affinity, judging, no doubt, that, as it would only take effect when the marriage with Catherine was concelled, it was of no practical consequence. On being pressed, however, to issue a commission to Wolsey to try the divorce case, he made a more determined stand, and Cardinal Pucci, to whom was submitted a draft instrument for the purpose, declared that such a document would reflect discredit upon all concerned. A second mission to Rome organized by Wolsey, and consisting of Gardiner and Foxe, was at first not much more successful. A commission was indeed granted and taken back to England by Foxe, but it was safeguarded in ways which rendered it practically innocuous. The bullying attitude which Gardiner adopted towards the pope seems to have passed all limits of decency, but Wolsey, fearful of losing the royal favour, egged him on to new exertions and implored him to obtain at any cost a "decretal commission". This was an instrument which decided the points of law beforehand, secure from appeal, and left only the issue of fact to be determined in England. Against this Clement seems honestly to have striven, but he at last yielded so far as to issue a secret commission to Cardinal Wolsey and Cardinal Campeggio jointly to try the case in England. The commission was to be shown to no one, and was never to leave Compeggio's hands. We do not know its exact terms; but if it followed the drafts prepared in England for the purpose, it pronounced that the Bull of dispensation granted by Julius for the marriage of Henry with his deceased brother's wife must be declared obreptitious and consequently void, if the commissioners found that the motives alleged by Julius were insufficient and contrary to the facts. For example, it had been pretended that the dispensation was necessary to cement the friendship between England and Spain, also that the young Henry himself desired the marriage, etc.

Camapeggio reached England by the end of September, 1528, but the proceedings of the legatine court were at once brought to a standstill by the production of a second dispensation granted by Pope Julius in the form of a Brief. This had a double importance. Clement's commission empowered Wolsey and Campeggio to pronounce upon the sufficiency of the motives alleged in a certain specified document, viz., the Bull; but the Brief was not contemplated by, and lay outside, their commission. Moreover, the Brief did not limit the motives for granting the dispensation to certain specified allegations, but spoke of "aliis causis animam nostram moventibus". The production of the Brief, now commonly admitted to be quite authentic, though the king's party declared it a forgery, arrested the proceedings of the commission for eight months, and in the end, under pressure from Charles V, to whom his Aunt Catherine had vehemently appealed for support as well as to the pope, the cause was revoked to Rome. There can be no doubt that Clement showed much weakness in the concessions he had made to the English demands; but it must also be remembered, first, that in the decision of this point of law, the technical grounds for treating the dispensation as obreptitious were in themselves serious and, secondly, that in committing the honour of the Holy See to Campeggio's keeping, Clement had known that he had to do with a man of exceptionally high principle.

How far the pope was influenced by Charles V in his resistance, it is difficult to say; but it is clear that his own sense of justice disposed him entirely in favour of Queen Catherine. Henry in consequence shifted his ground, and showed how deep was the rift which separated him from the Holy See, by now urging that a marriage with a deceased husband's brother lay beyond the papal powers of dispensation. Clement retaliated by pronouncing censure against those who threatened to have the king's divorce suit decided by an English tribunal, and forbade Henry to proceed to a new marriage before a decision was given in Rome.

  The king on his side (1531) extorted a vast sum of money from the English clergy upon the pretext that the penalties of præmunire had been incurred by them through their recognition of the papal legate, and soon afterwards he prevailed upon Parliament to prohibit under certain conditions the payment of annates to Rome. Other developments followed. The death of Archbishop Warham (22 August, 1532) allowed Henry to press for the institution of Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury, and through the intervention of the King of France this was conceded, the pallium being granted to him by Clement. Almost immediately after his consecration Cranmer proceeded to pronounce judgment upon the divorce, while Henry had previously contracted a secret marriage with Anne Boleyn, which marriage Cranmer, in May, 1533, declared to be valid. Anne Boleyn was consequently crowned on June the 1st. Meanwhile the Commons had forbidden all appeals to Rome and exacted the penalties of præmunire against all who introduced papal Bulls into England. It was only then that Clement at last took the step of launching a sentence of excommunication against the king, declaring at the same time Cranmer's pretended decree of divorce to be invalid and the marriage with Anne Boleyn null and void. The papal nuncio was withdrawn from England and diplomatic relations with Rome broken off. Henry appealed from the pope to a general council, and in January, 1534, the Parliament pressed on further legislation abolishing all ecclesiastical dependence on Rome. But it was only in March, 1534, that the papal tribunal finally pronounced its verdict upon the original issue raised by the king and declared the marriage between Henry and Catherine to be unquestionably valid. Clement has been much blamed for this delay and for his various concessions in the matter of the divorce; indeed he has been accused of losing England to the Catholic Faith on account of the encouragement thus given to Henry, but it is extremely doubtful whether a firmer attitude would have had a more beneficial result. The king was determined to effect his purpose, and Clement had sufficient principle not to yield the one vital point upon which all turned.

With regard to Germany, though Clement never broke away from his friendship with Charles V, which was cemented by the coronation at Bologna in 1530, he never lent to the emperor that cordial co-operation which could alone have coped with a situation the extreme difficulty and danger of which Clement probably never understood. In particular, the pope seems to have had a horror of the idea of convoking a general council, foreseeing, no doubt, grave difficulties with France in any such attempt. Things were not improved when Henry, through his envoy Bonner, who found Clement visiting the French king at Marseilles, lodged his appeal to a future general council on the divorce question.

In the more ecclesiastical aspects of his pontificate Clement was free from reproach. Two Franciscan reforms, that of the Capuchins and that of the Recollects, found in him a sufficiently sympathetic patron. He was genuinely in earnest over the crusade against the Turks, and he gave much encouragement to foreign missions. As a patron of art, he was much hampered by the sack of Rome and the other disastrous events of his pontificate. But he was keenly interested in such matters, and according to Benvenuto Cellini he had excellent taste. By the commission given to the last-named artist for the famous cope-clasp of which we hear so much in the autobiography, he became the founder of Benvenuto's fortunes. (See CELLINI, BENVENUTO.) Clement also continued to be the patron of Raphael and of Michelangelo, whose great fresco of the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel was undertaken by his orders.

In their verdict upon the character of Pope Clement VII almost all historians are agreed. He was an Italian prince, a de’ Medici, and a diplomat first, and a spiritual ruler afterwards. His intelligence was of a high order, though his diplomacy was feeble and irresolute. On the other hand, his private life was free from reproach, and he had many excellent impulses, but despite good intention, all qualities of heroism and greatness must emphatically be denied him.
1569 Bl. Mark Criado Trinitarian martyr
He was born in Andujar, Spain, in 1522, and joined the Trinitarians in 1536 . Mark was martyred by the Moors in Almeria. Mark joined the Order of the Holy Trinity and was later assigned to the apostolate of preaching.  He set out for the provinces of Almeria and Granada, where he zealously proclaimed the Gospel to the Moors as well as to the Christians.  Captured by the Moors, he died a martyr near the town of La Peza in 1569.  Mark Criado was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 24 July 1899
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1622 Bl. Augustine Ota native martyr of Japan
Augustine aided the Catholic missions as a catechist and was caught up in the persecution. Imprisoned at Iki, Augustine was received into the Jesuits before his death by beheading. His beatification was declared in 1867
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1622 Bl. Mancius Shisisoiemon Martyr native Japan
He was an Augustinian tertiary, native born.Mancius was beheaded at Nagasaki, Japan. He was beatified in 1867
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1824 St. Vincent Strambi Passionist after attending a retreat given by St. Paul of the Cross;  became a professor of theology, was made provincial in 1781, and in 1801, was appointed bishop of Macera and Tolentino. He was expelled from his See when he refused to take an oath of alliance to Napoleon in 1808,

VINCENT STRAMBI, the son of a druggist in Civita Vecchia, was born on January I, 1745. He seems to have been a very lively child who loved to play boyish pranks, but amongst these pranks we are told that he would take off his own overcoat or his shoes to give to some little ragamuffin whom he saw going barefoot. His parents, seconding the religious bent of mind which soon became manifest in Vincent, decided that he should study for the diocesan priesthood. However, when making a retreat before his ordination, he came under the influence of St Paul-of-the-Cross, the founder of the Passionists, and on September 20, 1768, after a painful struggle with parental opposition, he entered the noviceship of that congregation. Important charges were confided to him almost from the outset. After many public missions attended with immense gain of souls, he was made professor of theology and sacred eloquence, but from the age of thirty-five onwards he filled one post of authority after another in the congregation. He was made provincial in 1781, and after twenty years of labour, during which he had to contend with endless difficulties caused by the distracted state of Italy, he was in 1801, sorely against his will, appointed bishop of Macerata and Tolentino.
The indefatigable zeal for God's glory and for regular discipline which St Vincent displayed as a bishop led to a wonderful renewal of fervour both among clergy and laity in that part of Italy. Refusing to take the oath of allegiance to Napoleon in 1808, he was expelled from his diocese and had to carry on the administration as best he could by letter. After the fall of Napoleon in 1813, his return to Macerata was marked by popular demonstrations of joy: but his troubles were not at an end. After Napoleon's escape from Elba, Murat, with an army of 30,000 men, made Macerata his headquarters. His troops were defeated by the Austrians, and would have sacked the town in their disorderly retreat had not Bishop Strambi gone out, like another St Leo, and pleaded with their commander. The intrepidity of this devoted pastor was successful both with Murat and with the Austrians, who followed in pursuit; to him alone Macerata owed its safety.
Later there was an outbreak of typhus and a dearth of provisions which bordered on famine, but in all these emergencies the bishop set an heroic example. In the fierce resentment excited by some of his reforms his life is said to have been more than once attempted. On the death of Pope Pius VII he resigned his see, and at the instance of Leo XII, who was Strambi's devoted friend, he took up his quarters at the Quirinal, where he acted as the pope's confidential adviser. During all these vicissitudes he had never relaxed anything of the austerity of his private life; but his strength was now exhausted, and, as Bd Anna Maria Taigi, his penitent, had prophesied, he received holy communion for the last time on December 31, and passed away on his seventy-ninth birthday, on January 1, 1824. St Vincent Strambi was canonized in 1950.
See biographies in Italian by Father Stanislaus (1925) and Mgr F. Cento (1950), and in French by the same (1950) and by Father Joachim (1925).

Vincent Strambi was the son of a druggist, and was born on January 1 at Civitavecchia, Italy. He resisted his parents' wish that he become a diocesan priest, and though he studied at the diocesan seminary and was ordained in 1767, he joined the Passionists in 1768 after attending a retreat given by St. Paul of the Cross.
   Vincent became a professor of theology, was made provincial in 1781, and in 1801, was appointed bishop of Macera and Tolentino. He was expelled from his See when he refused to take an oath of alliance to Napoleon in 1808, but returned in 1813 with the downfall of Napoleon. When Napoleon escaped from Elba, Murat made Macerta his headquarters, and when his troops were defeated by the Austrians, Vincent dissuaded him from sacking and destroying the town. He imposed reform in his See that caused threats to his life, labored for his people during a typhus epidemic, and resigned his See on the death of Pope Pius VII to become one of the advisers of his old friend Pope Leo XII in Rome. Vincent died on January 1, and was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950
.

 Sunday  Saints of  September 25 Septimo Kaléndas Octóbris  

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

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016
ewtnmissionaries.com

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

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

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

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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Five Reasons
Lucia once asked this question of Our Lord and received as an answer: 'MY DAUGHTER, THE MOTIVE IS SIMPLE, THERE ARE FIVE KINDS OF OFFENCES AND BLASPHEMIES UTTERED AGAINST THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY: (1) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: (2) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HER VIRGINITY: (3) BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HER DIVINE MATERNITY: (4) BLASPHEMIES OF THOSE WHO OPENLY SEEK TO FOSTER IN THE HEARTS OF CHILDREN INDIFFERENCE OR EVEN HATRED FOR THIS IMMACULATE MOTHER: (5) THE OFFENCES OF THOSE WHO DIRECTLY OUTRAGE HER IN HOLY IMAGES.'
From the above, it is easy to see that each of the Five Saturdays can correspond to a specific offence. By offering the graces received during each First Saturday as reparation for the offence being prayed for, the participant can hope to help remove the thorns from Our Lady's Heart.
What Do I Have To Do?
The devotion of First Saturdays, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, carries with it the assurance of salvation. However, to derive profit from such a great promise of Our Lady, the devotion must be properly understood and duly performed.
The requirements as stipulated by Our Lady are as follows:
(1) CONFESSION, (2) COMMUNION, (3) FIVE DECADES OF THE ROSARY, (4) MEDITATION ON ONE OR MORE OF THE ROSARY MYSTERIES FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES, (5) TO DO ALL THESE THINGS IN THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, and (6) TO OBSERVE ALL THESE PRACTICES ON THE FIRST SATURDAY OF FIVE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS.
(1) CONFESSION: A reparative confession means that the confession should not only be good (valid and licit), but also be offered in the spirit of reparation, in this case, to Mary's Immaculate Heart. This confession may be made on the First Saturday itself or some days before or after the First Saturday within the preceding octave would suffice.
(2) COMMUNION: The communion of reparation must be sacramental duly received with the intention of making reparation. This offering, like the confession, is an interior act and so no external action to express the intention is needed.
(3) THE ROSARY: The Rosary mentioned here was indicated by the Portuguese word 'terco' which is commonly employed to denote a Rosary of five decades, since it forms a fourth of the full Rosary of 20 decades. This too must recited in a spirit of reparation.
(4) MEDITATION FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES: Here the meditation on one mystery or more is to be made without simultaneous recitation of the Rosary decade. As indicated, the meditation may be either on one mystery alone for 15 minutes, or on all 20 mysteries, spending about one minute on each mystery, or again, on two or more mysteries during the period. This can also be made before each decade spending three minutes or more in considering the mystery of the particular decade. This meditation has likewise to be made in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart.
(5) THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION: All these acts, as said above, have to be done with the intention of offering reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the offences committed against Her. Everyone who offends Her commits, so to speak, a two-fold offence, for these sins also offend her Divine Son, Christ, and so endanger our salvation. They give bad example to others and weaken the strength of society to withstand immoral onslaughts. Such devotions therefore make us consider not only the enormity of the offence against God, but also the effect of sins on human society as well as the need for undoing these social effects even when the offender repents and is converted. Further, this reparation emphasises our responsibility towards sinners who, themselves, will not pray and make reparation for their sins.
(6) FIVE CONSECUTIVE FIRST SATURDAYS: The