Tuesday, August 31, 2010

St. Raymond Nonnatus

Born in the very beginning of the thirteenth century .

Your name leaves gaping to anyone who hears or reads it first . Nonnatus - Nonnatus however brief , suggests a saint only potential , as if the word were an advertising slogan that was inviting to anyone who reads or hears it decided to start a program that would end the sanctity of the predetermined script . In fact , it means the unborn. " pretend that the strange name , was not born yet the saint who complete the full application of their qualities and virtues, is like expecting the Church to have one it decides when to reproduce ? That would , of course , to confuse holiness as something that springs from the will and human decision when she is actually the result of the action of the Holy Spirit who freely cooperates . It would simply Pelagianism.

The term , which has already become -name Raymond comes to the fact that it was removed from the womb through surgery , when her mother died . Why was not born as children are born normally , he extracted . It was in Portell , Lérida , when initiating the thirteenth century.

The good and high status of his father enabled him to grow in good environment and training, but without the love and care of a mother. Tell of his early youth very special devotion to the Blessed Virgin often led him to visit the shrine of St. Nicholas where he spent times while their flocks grazed . Then his father wanted watching it gradually incorporating the tasks of managing their possessions and that was the reason he is in Barcelona in an attempt to learn letters and numbers. He had the opportunity to make friends with Peter Nolasco , who by then was a merchant , and to share each other 's desires to be faithful to the Christian faith lived in a radical , even to consider entering the clerical state.

As the father enjoys a great practicality, it rejoins the soil of Portell and instruct it to operate several of its farms. But the ancient chronicle goes on to say that the Virgin Mary told him his wish of joining the newly founded Order of Mercy and there is again in Barcelona made available to complete the hands of his friend before Peter Nolasco.

Novitiate , profession, ordination and ministry in the hospital of St. Eulalia is occurring with normal characteristic of those in a hurry to meet the fourth vow of Mercy consisting redeem captives and be held hostage in place if applicable.

In the north of the black continent preaches , comforts , heals , strengthens, and transmits patient attends the captives of the Barbary pirates , well understood the situation and takes care that they are surrounded by all the dangers to their faith. Even he himself had endured imprisonment and torture to seal his lips for eight months with a padlock to prevent him from preaching.

On his return to Spain from the clamor of the crowds, the church appointed Cardinal by Pope Gregory IX , in recognition of his merits and virtue of charity practiced in a heroic manner , but had no time to go to Rome to die before fortieth birthday , he was preparing to do so.

In the effort to take care of your body as much as the friars of Mercy Cardona noble lords , they agreed to bury him wherever he decides a blind mule that carried him to the back who wanted to stand before the church of San Nicolas, Portell .

Gone were the relics for veneration and sunk in 1936.

What has not been relegated to oblivion by his countrymen is the figure of the saint and his charitable work . This devotion is reflected secular parties and even in folklore. Do not say anything about the professional devotion to him all women in labor who have it as a special pattern for trance.

Spread through the world of painting that shows him with his right hand Custody expressing the source of his love to men.

Father almighty may the
life of your servant Raymond
be an example of strength so
we can preach the gospel where
ever we go so we to reach heaven like he
did. We ask this through Christ our lord,


Monday, August 30, 2010

St. Felix and Adauctus

ST. Felix was a holy priest in Rome, no less happy in his life and virtue than in his name. Being apprehended in the beginning of Dioclesian’s persecution, he was put to cruel torments, which he suffered with admirable constancy, and was at length condemned to lose his head. As he was going to execution he was met by a stranger, who, being a Christian, was so inflamed at the sight of the martyr, and the lively prospect of the glory to which he was hastening, that he was not able to contain himself, but cried out aloud: “I confess the same law which this man professeth; I confess the same Jesus Christ; and it is also my desire to lay down my life in this cause.” The magistrates hearing this, caused him forthwith to be seized, and the martyrs were both beheaded together about the year 303. The name of this latter not being known, he was called by the Christians Adauctus, because he was joined to Felix in martyrdom.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

St. Mark 's Gospel tells follows the death of the great forerunner , John the Baptist : "Herod had sent to prisoner John the Baptist, and had been chained to the prison because of Herodias , his brother Philip 's wife With which Herod had gone to live in free union. For John said to Herod, " You are not allowed to go live with the wife of his brother. " Herodias you had a great hatred for this and wanted to Juan Bautista him killed , but could not because Herod had a deep respect for John and consider him a holy man, and protected him and stayed to hear him speak thoughtfully and fearful, and listened with pleasure . "
"But the day came when appropriate, when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet to all the main city . He came to the party and the daughter of Herodias danced the dance she pleased Herod , and promised with an oath : " Ask me what you and I will give , if only half of my kingdom. "

The girl went to his mother and asked : "What should I ask? " . She said : " Ask the head of John the Baptist. " She ran to where the king and said : " I want you to give me a tray, the head of John the Baptist. "

The king was filled with sadness, but not to offend the girl and because it seemed to be satisfied that vain oath, he sent one of his guard to go to jail and bring him the head of John . The other went to prison , cut off his head and brought in a tray and handed to the girl and the girl gave her mother. Upon learning of John's disciples came and they buried him (Mark 6:17) .

Herod Antipas had committed a sin that shocked the Jews because it is so forbidden by the Holy Bible and the moral law. He had gone to live with the wife of his brother. Juan Bautista denounced him publicly. It takes courage to make a report like this because those kings of the east were very despots and would be killed without further ado who dared to reproach them their mistakes.

Herod at first contented himself put in prison only to John, because he had great respect for him. But the adulterous Herodias was alert to send to kill at the first opportunity that comes before him, to which she told her partner that life was a sin that they were carrying.

When they asked the head of John the Baptist the king felt great sadness because very fond of John and was convinced he was a saint and every time I heard him talk about God and the soul was deeply moved. But do not look bad with his buddies that he had heard his foolish vow (which really could not oblige, because he swears to do something bad, never forces him to accomplish that which is sworn ) and not to displease the wicked , She ordered the holy compound.

This is a typical case of how one sin leads to commit another sin. Herod and Herodias began as adulterous and ended up being murderers. The sin of adultery led to the crime , the murder of a saint.

John died a martyr to his duty because he had read the recommendation that the prophet Isaiah makes the preachers: "Caution: not intended to be mute dogs do not bark when the thieves come to steal. " The Baptist saw the enemy coming to steal the soul 's salvation to Herod and his concubine and spoke loudly. That was his duty. And he had the great joy of dying for proclaiming the need to enforce the laws of God and morality. He was a true martyr.

An ancient tradition says that Herodias years later he was walking on a frozen river and the ice was opened and she was consumed to the neck and closed ice and killed . It may have been true or not . But what is historical is that Herod Antipas after he was banished to a distant country , with his concubine . And the father of his first wife ( to which he had moved away to stay with Herodias ) invaded with the territory of Antipas Nabataeans and made enormous damage. Is there no sin that is without regard to its punishment.

Father almighty you gave us
John the Baptist so we can live as
holy as he did. Father may the life and
death of John the Baptist so we can
preach the gospel around the world like
he did so we to can die loving the Church.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

References: Catholic.Net

Saturday, August 28, 2010

St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his conversion from a former life of loose living, which included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. His complete turnaround and conversion has been an inspiration to many who struggle with a particular vice or habit they long to break.

This famous son of St. Monica was born in Africa and spent many years of his life in wicked living and in false beliefs. Though he was one of the most intelligent men who ever lived and though he had been brought up a Christian, his sins of impurity and his pride darkened his mind so much, that he could not see or understand the Divine Truth anymore. Through the prayers of his holy mother and the marvelous preaching of St. Ambrose, Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Yet he did not become a Christian then, because he thought he could never live a pure life. One day, however, he heard about two men who had suddenly been converted on reading the life of St. Antony, and he felt terrible ashamed of himself. "What are we doing?" he cried to his friend Alipius. "Unlearned people are taking Heaven by force, while we, with all our knowledge, are so cowardly that we keep rolling around in the mud of our sins!"

Full of bitter sorrow, Augustine flung himself out into the garden and cried out to God, "How long more, O Lord? Why does not this hour put an end to my sins?" Just then he heard a child singing, "Take up and read!" Thinking that God intended him to hear those words, he picked up the book of the Letters of St. Paul, and read the first passage his gaze fell on. It was just what Augustine needed, for in it, St. Paul says to put away all impurity and to live in imitation of Jesus. That did it! From then on, Augustine began a new life.

He was baptized, became a priest, a bishop, a famous Catholic writer, Founder of religious priests, and one of the greatest saints that ever lived. He became very devout and charitable, too. On the wall of his room he had the following sentence written in large letters: "Here we do not speak evil of anyone." St. Augustine overcame strong heresies, practiced great poverty and supported the poor, preached very often and prayed with great fervor right up until his death. "Too late have I loved You!" he once cried to God, but with his holy life he certainly made up for the sins he committed before his conversion. His feast day is August 28th.

Friday, August 27, 2010

St. Monica of Hippo

Today we celebrate Santa Monica , whose testimony was able to convert her husband, her mother and her son, St. Augustine , who also is a great saint of the Church.

Santa Monica was a woman of great faith and gave us a testimony of fidelity and trust in God , so who achieved sainthood in keeping with his vocation as wife and mother.

A little history

Monica, the mother of St. Augustine , was born in Tagaste (North Africa ) about 100 km from the city of Carthage in 332 .


Her parents entrusted the training of their daughters to a very religious woman and strict discipline. She would not let them drink between meals (though those lands are very hot weather ) because he said: " Now whenever you are thirsty will drink to calm her. And when they are older and have the keys to the room where wine, liquor and this will make them much harm. " Monica obeyed the early years but after elderly , began to go to hidden tank and whenever he was thirsty drank a glass of wine. More happened that one day a worker strongly scolded and shouted it to defend himself Drunk ! This impressed him deeply and he never forgot in his life , and vowed never ever again take alcoholic beverages. A few months later he was baptized (at that time and people baptized in years ) and his conversion from his baptism was admirable.

Her husband

She wanted to pursue a life of prayer and solitude , but her parents had arranged for handcuffing a man named Patrick. This was a good worker , but terrible temper , as well as a womanizer , gambler and pagan, did not have any taste for the spiritual . He made a lot of suffering and for thirty years she had to put up with his outbursts of anger and crying at the slightest disappointment, but he never dared to raise his hand against it. They had three children: two boys and a girl . The two children were their joy and consolation, but the biggest Augustine , made to suffer for decades.

The formula to avoid confrontation.
In that region of northern Africa where people were very aggressive , the other wives Monica asked him why her husband was one of the worst men of genius in the whole city, but never beat her, and instead of them spouses beat them mercilessly. Monica replied, " is that when my husband is in a bad mood , I strive to be in a good temper. When he cries, I'll shut up . And as for
Monica Santa
It takes two to fight and I fight I do not accept to enter , then .... do not fight . "

Widowed, and a rebellious son

Patrick was not a Catholic , and although much criticized the prayer of his wife and his generosity to the poor so great , never objected to devote their time to this good oficios.y Perhaps the example of his wife's life achievement conversion . Monica prayed and offered sacrifices for her husband and finally reached the grace of God that in the year 371 baptized Patrick did , and that the same did his mother , wife getting terribly angry that too in the home of her daughter had greatly embittered the lives of the poor Monica. A year after his baptism , Patrick died , leaving the widow with the problem of his eldest son.

The boy hard

Patrick and Monica had realized that Augustine was extraordinarily intelligent, and so decided to send him to the state capital to Carthage, to study philosophy , literature and oratory. But Patrick, at the time, was only concerned that Augustine excelled in school, was recognized and celebrated socially and excel in physical exercises . Nothing mattered the spiritual life or lack thereof of his son and Augustine , who was not lazy, went farther and farther away from the faith and falling into more and worse sins and mistakes.

A mother nature

When his father died, Augustine was 17 and Monica began to reach increasingly worrying news of their child's behavior . In a disease , fearing death, was instructed about religion and proposed to be Catholic, but to be healed of the disease left her intention to do so . Adopted beliefs and practices of a Manichaean sect , who claimed that the world had not God but the devil. And Monica, who was kind but not a coward, or weak of character, to turn his son on vacation and alsedades hear arguments against the true religion , he threw no more than the house and locked the doors , because under his roof harbored no enemies of God.

The hopeful vision

It happened that at that time Monica had a dream in which he was in a forest spirit crying for the loss of his son approached him a very bright and he Dijon your child will return to you "and then saw Augustine with it. He told his son 's dream and he said proudly , that meant that meant that he would return Manichaean like him. To this she replied : " In the dream he told me , the mother will go where the son, but the son returns to the mother. " His answer was very impressed so skilled her son Augustine, who later saw the vision as an inspiration from heaven. This happened in 437 . Still missing for nine years Augustine became .

The famous response of a Bishop

Once Monica was a bishop who had for years and years praying , sacrificing and making friends to pray for priests and for the conversion of Augustine. The bishop replied: "Be quiet , it is impossible to lose the son of so many tears. " This admirable response and what he heard in the dream , gave him comfort and filled with hope, even though Augustine did not give the slightest sign of repentance.

The son fled, and the mother is behind him

At 29 , Augustine decided to go to Rome to teach . It was all a teacher. Monica decides to try to keep away from bad influences but Augustine to reach the port of embarkation , his son by a deception is shipped without it and goes to Rome without it. But Monica did not allow himself to defeat so easily take another boat and go after him.

An influential

In Milan , Monica knows the most famous saint of the time in Italy , the famous St. Ambrose , Archbishop of the city. It found a true father , full of kindness and wisdom gave him wise. In addition to Monica, St. Ambrose also had a great impact on Augustine , who was initially attracted by his great knowledge and personal power. Little by little started to operate a marked change in Augustine , listened with great attention and respect to St. Ambrose , he developed a deep affection for him and finally opened his mind and heart to the truths of the Catholic faith.

The long-awaited conversion

In the year 387, Augustine's conversion occurred , it was instructed in religion and in the feast of Easter that year was baptized .

You can die in peace

Augustine, and become prepared to return to her mother and brother , their land , Africa, and left the port of Ostia to wait for the boat. But Monica had already achieved everything we want is this life, it was to see the conversion of her son. He could die in peace . And it came to be there in a house by the sea, while mother and son admiring the starry sky and talked about the joys come when you go to heaven , Monica exclaimed enthusiastically : "And to me I'm most tied to the earth? I've God found my great desire, to see Christian. " Soon after he felt a fever, which was aggravated in a few days and killed him . He died at age 55 of 387 .

Throughout the centuries, thousands have been entrusted to Santa Monica 's most beloved family members and have achieved remarkable conversions .

In some piture , is dressed in a nun costume , because of habit and dressed at that time women who were dedicated to the spiritual life , despising vain ornaments and clothing . We also see a walking stick for his many trips after the son of her tears. Others have painted with a book in hand , to commemorate the time for it so desired , the final conversion of his son, when by divine inspiration randomly opened and read one page of the Bible .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

St. Alexander of Bergamo

Alexander may simply have been a Roman soldier or resident of Bergamo who was tortured and killed for not renouncing his Christian faith. Details of his life are uncertain, but subsequent Christian legends consider him a centurion of the Theban Legion commanded by Saint Maurice. He was a survivor of the decimation, that is, the killing of every tenth man. He escaped to Milan.

At Milan, he was recognized and imprisoned, and it was demanded that he renounce his Christian faith. However, he was visited in jail by Saint Fidelis and Bishop Saint Maternus. Fidelis managed to organize Alexander's escape. Alexander fled to Como but was captured again.

Brought back to Milan, he was once more condemned to death by decapitation, but during the execution the executioner's arms went stiff. He was imprisoned again, but Alexander once again managed to escape, and ended up in Bergamo after passing through Fara Gera d'Adda and Capriate San Gervasio. At Bergamo, he was the guest of the lord Crotacius, who bid him to hide from his persecutors. However, Alexander decided to become a preacher instead and converted many natives of Bergamo, including Firmus and Rusticus, who were later martyred. Alexander was once again captured and was finally decapitated on August 26, 303, on the spot now occupied by the church of San Alessandro in Colonna

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

St. Louis IX of France

He was born April 25, 1214 Poissy, France. During his second crusade, Louis died at Tunis, 25 August 1270, and was succeeded by his son, Philip III. Louis was traditionally believed to have died from bubonic plague but the cause is thought by modern scholars to have been dysentery. The Bubonic Plague did not strike Europe until 1348, so the likelihood of his contracting and ultimately dying from the Bubonic Plague was very slim. Christian tradition states that some of his entrails were buried directly on the spot in Tunisia, where a Tomb of Saint-Louis can still be visited today, whereas other parts of his entrails were sealed in an urn and placed in the Basilica of Monreale, Palermo, where they still remain. His corpse was taken, after a short stay at the Basilica of Saint Dominic in Bologna, to the French royal necropolis at Saint-Denis, resting in Lyon on the way. His tomb at Saint-Denis was a magnificent gilt brass monument designed in the late 14th century. It was melted down during the French Wars of Religion, at which time the body of the king disappeared. Only one finger was rescued and is kept at Saint-Denis.Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed the canonisation of Louis in 1297; he is the only French monarch to be declared a saint. Louis IX is often considered the model of the ideal Christian monarch. Because of the aura of holiness attached to his memory, many kings of France were called Louis, especially in the Bourbon dynasty, which directly descended from one of his younger sons. The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Louis is a Roman Catholic religious order founded in 1842 and named in his honour. He is also honoured as co-patron of the Third Order of St. Francis, which claims him as a member of the Order. It is heard he found the Crown of Thorns which was used fir Jesus' Death.

References: Wikipedia.Org

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

St. Bartholomew

In the East, where Bartholomew's evangelical labours were expended, he was identified with Nathanael, in works by Ebedjesu, the fourteenth century Nestorian metropolitan of Soba, and Elias, the bishop of Damascus. Nathanael is mentioned only in the Gospel according to John. In the Synoptic gospels, Philip and Bartholomew are always mentioned together, while Nathanael is never mentioned; in John's gospel, on the other hand, Philip and Nathanael are similarly mentioned together, but nothing is said of Bartholomew. Giuseppe Simone Assemani specifically remarks, "the Chaldeans confound Bartholomew with Nathaniel". Some Biblical scholars reject this identification, however.

In the Gospel of John,[1:45-51] Nathanael is introduced as a friend of Philip. He is described as initially being skeptical about the Messiah coming from Nazareth, saying: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?", but nonetheless, follows Philip's invitation. Jesus immediately characterizes him as "Here is a man in whom there is no deception." Some scholars hold that Jesus' quote "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you", is based on a Jewish figure of speech referring to studying the Torah. Nathanael recognizes Jesus as "the Son of God" and "the King of Israel". Nathanael reappears at the end of John's gospel[21:2] as one of the disciples to whom Jesus appeared at the Sea of Galilee after the Resurrection.

Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History states that after the Ascension, Bartholomew went on a missionary tour to India, where he left behind a copy of the Gospel of Matthew. Other traditions record him as serving as a missionary in Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Parthia, and Lycaonia.

Along with his fellow apostle Jude, Bartholomew is reputed to have brought Christianity to Armenia in the 1st century. Thus both saints are considered the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

He is said to have been martyred in Albanopolis in Armenia. According to one account, he was beheaded, but a more popular tradition holds that he was flayed alive and crucified, head downward. He is said to have converted Polymius, the king of Armenia, to Christianity. Astyages, Polybius' brother, consequently ordered Bartholemew's execution.

Monday, August 23, 2010

St. Rose of Lima

Santa Rosa de Lima was born on April 20 1586, in Peru. Her father was Spanish businessman Gaspar de Flores and her mother, Maria d'Olivia, was a mestiza of Spanish and Incan ancestry. She was baptized as Isabel de Herrara.

The infant Isabel was first baptized at home because of her poor health at birth. Eventually she was baptized at the church of San Sebastian. Isabel's complexion and features were both a problem and source of praise. The praise caused her name to be casually changed to Rose over the years, eventually becoming her name at her confirmation ceremony in 1597. Some say her face was transformed as a child when exposed to a mystical rose. But the praise and concentration on her extreme beauty vexed Rose throughout her life. She feared that the praise would make her proud and be a source of distraction to those who should be thinking of God, including herself.

Over the years, she used mortification to refocus herself on God and remove distractions. This process that often includes pain is common among mystics and ascetics of various religions, but is in no way encouraged by the Church.

Rose modeled herself after St. Catherine of Siena. Both St. Rose and St. Catherine experienced an overwhelming love when in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Her parents, who lost much of their wealth in a failed mining venture, looked forward to seeing their daughter's love placed in a marriage. To make herself less attractive to suitors, she rubbed very hot peppers into her face to change her complexion and smoothness of her skin. When someone complimented her on her hands, it is said she filled them with hot lime. She used many methods to fight any source of vanity or any temptation to give her life to anyone but God.

With her family fortune lost, she helped support the household by selling her embroidery. She lived in a small home in the garden that her brother built for her. There she spent nights in prayer and penance and hours meditating in devotion before the Blessed Mother and Christ. After experiencing vast desolation in her spirit and still receiving temptations, she took more extreme measures to stay focused. Throughout her life, she cut her hair, wore coarse closing and worked to keep her hands rough through labor.

As a final solution to the temptation of marriage, St Rose joined the Third Order of St. Dominic. She wore the modest clothes of the order and took an eternal vow of chastity. Joining a Third Order showed she was willing to still recognize her love and respect for her parent's wishes. It allowed her to work as a member of the church, while still living at home with her family.

This dedication also marked the beginning of an increase in her penance. She wore a metal spiked crown on her head, which was covered by roses and an iron chain around her waist. Her fasting became more frequent and her sleep less frequent. Her diet included only what she saw as the bare essentials, usually including only coarse foods and never including meat. She sometimes only drank water with bitter herbs as sustenance, other times her only meal was the Holy Communion. Even in her weakened state, she wouldn't be comforted by recovery. The bed she made for herself was made of broken glass, thorns and stone.

While her body was suffering, her spiritual consolation was raised. She often experienced the revelations of God, which left her in a state of ecstasy for hours.

In her final days, at the age of 31, she prayed through her pain, "Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart."

After her death on August 30, 1617, her life beyond her problems of beauty and pain became more obvious to the world. Massive crowds attended her funeral, preventing the burial rite and usual burial of the body. Throughout her life, she offered much charity, time and energy to the poorest people in Lima. She had advocated for the indigenous who lived in poverty while the gold they mined was shipped to enrich the Spanish kingdom. Eventually her body rested in a Dominican convent. Later, it was moved to a special chapel in the church of San Domingo, where it exists today.

Her death was soon followed by many conversions and miracles attributed to her intercession. Pope Clement canonized her in 1671, assigning August 30 as her feast day. She is also celebrated on August 23rd. She was the first canonized Saint to be born n the Americas.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Queenship of Mary

Queenship of Mary is a Marian feast day in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church, created by Pope Pius XII. On 11 October 1954, the Pontiff pronounced the new feast in his encyclical Ad caeli reginam. The feast was celebrated on May 31, the last day of the Marian month. In 1969, Pope Paul VI moved the feast day to August 22.

The movement to officially recognise the Queenship of Mary was initially promoted by several Catholic Mariological congresses in Lyon France, Freiburg Germany, and Einsiedeln Switzerland. Gabriel Roschini founded in Rome, Italy, an international society to promote the Queenship of Mary, Pro Regalitate Mariae. Several Popes had described Mary as Queen and Queen of Heaven, which was documented by Gabriel Roschini. Pope Pius XII repeated the title in numerous encyclicals and Apostolic Letters, especially during World War II

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pope St. Pius X

On June 2, 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto saw the light of earth at Riesi, Province of Treviso, in Venice; on August 20, 1914, he saw the light of heaven; and on May 29, 1954, he who had become the two hundred fifty-ninth pope was canonized St. Pius X.

Two of the most outstanding accomplishments of this saintly Pope were the inauguration of the liturgical renewal and the restoration of frequent communion from childhood. He also waged an unwavering war against the heresy and evils of Modernism, gave great impetus to biblical studies, and brought about the codification of Canon Law. His overriding concern was to renew all things in Christ.

Above all, his holiness shone forth conspicuously. From St. Pius X we learn again that "the folly of the Cross", simplicity of life, and humility of heart are still the highest wisdom and the indispensable conditions of a perfect Christian life, for they are the very source of all apostolic fruitfulness.

His last will and testament bears the striking sentence: "I was born poor, I have lived in poverty, and I wish to die poor."

References: Catholic.Net

Friday, August 20, 2010

St. Bernand of Clairvaux

Saint Bernard, the founding abbot of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgundy, was one of the most commanding Church leaders in the first half of the twelfth century as well as one of the greatest spiritual masters of all times and the most powerful propagator of the Cistercian reform. He was born in Fontaines-les-Dijon in 1090 and entered the Abbey of Citeaux in 1112, bringing thirty of his relatives with him, including five of his brothers-- his youngest brother and his widowed father followed later. After receiving a monastic formation from St. Stephen Harding, he was sent in 1115 to begin a new monastery near Aube: Clairvaux, the Valley of Light. As a young abbot he published a series of sermons on the Annunciation. These marked him not only as a most gifted spiritual writer but also as the "cithara of Mary," especially noted for his development of Mary's mediatorial role.
Bernard's spiritual writing as well as his extraordinary personal magnetism began to attract many to Clairvaux and the other Cistercian monasteries, leading to many new foundations. He was drawn into the controversy developing between the new monastic movement which he preeminently represented and the established Cluniac order, a branch of the Benedictines. This led to one of his most controversial and most popular works, his Apologia. Bernard's dynamism soon reached far beyond monastic circles. He was sought as an advisor and mediator by the ruling powers of his age. More than any other he helped to bring about the healing of the papal schism which arose in 1130 with the election of the antipope Anacletus II. It cost Bernard eight years of laborious travel and skillful mediation. At the same time he labored for peace and reconciliation between England and France and among many lesser nobles. His influence mounted when his spiritual son was elected pope in 1145. At Eugene III's command he preached the Second Crusade and sent vast armies on the road toward Jerusalem. In his last years he rose from his sickbed and went into the Rhineland to defend the Jews against a savage persecution.

Although he suffered from constant physical debility and had to govern a monastery that soon housed several hundred monks and was sending forth groups regularly to begin new monasteries (he personally saw to the establishment of sixty-five of the three hundred Cistercian monasteries founded during his thirty-eight years as abbot), he yet found time to compose many and varied spiritual works that still speak to us today. He laid out a solid foundation for the spiritual life in his works on grace and free will, humility and love. His gifts as a theologian were called upon to respond to the dangerous teachings of the scintillating Peter Abelard, of Gilbert de la Porree and of Arnold of Brescia. His masterpiece, his Sermons on the Song of Songs, was begun in 1136 and was still in composition at the time of his death. With great simplicity and poetic grace Bernard writes of the deepest experiences of the mystical life in ways that became normative for all succeeding writers. For Pope Eugene he wrote Five Books on Consideration, the bedside reading of Pope John XXIII and many other pontiffs through the centuries.

Bernard died at Clairvaux on 20 August 1153. He was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174. Pope Pius VII declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1830.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

St. John Eudes

John Eudes was born at Ri, Normandy, France, on November 14, 1601, the son of a farmer. He went to the Jesuit college at Caen when he was 14, and despite his parents' wish that he marry, joined the Congregation of the Oratory of France in 1623. He studied at Paris and at Aubervilliers, was ordained in 1625, and worked as a volunteer, caring for the victims of the plagues that struck Normandy in 1625 and 1631, and spent the next decade giving Missions, building a reputation as an outstanding preacher and confessor and for his opposition to Jansenism. He became interested in helping fallen women, and in 1641, with Madeleine Lamy, founded a refuge for them in Caen under the direction of the Visitandines. He resigned from the Oratorians in 1643 and founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (the Eudists) at Caen, composed of secular priests not bound by vows but dedicated to upgrading the clergy by establishing effective seminaries and to preaching missions. His foundation was opposed by the Oratorians and the Jansenists, and he was unable to obtain Papal approval for it, but in 1650, the Bishop of Coutances invited him to establish a seminary in that diocese. The same year the sisters at his refuge in Caen left the Visitandines and were recognized by the Bishop of Bayeux as a new congregation under the name of Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge.

John founded seminaries at Lisieux in 1653 and Rouen in 1659 and was unsuccessful in another attempt to secure Papal approval of his congregation, but in 1666 the Refuge sisters received Pope Alexander III's approval as an institute to reclaim and care for penitent wayward women. John continued giving missions and established new seminaries at Evreux in 1666 and Rennes in 1670. He shared with St. Mary Margaret Alacoque the honor of initiating devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (he composed the Mass for the Sacred Heart in 1668) and the Holy Heart of Mary, popularizing the devotions with his "The Devotion to the Adorable Heart of Jesus" (1670) and "The Admirable Heart of the Most Holy Mother of God", which he finished a month before his death at Caen on August 19th. He was canonized in 1925.

References: Catholic.Net

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

St. Helena

St. Helena was the mother of Constantine the Great. This made her the Queen to the Roman Empire, it was because of Helena that Constantine converted to Christianity and thus creating the Holy Roman Empire. According to St. Ambrose, Helena was an inn-keeper when Constantius lifted her from her lowly position and made her his consort. There exists a legend that she was the daughter of a British king, but there is no historical foundation for this. It is, however, true that Constantius spent some time in Britain putting down a rebellion among the Picts and Scots, and died at York, but it is thought that he had cast off Helena and taken a new wife long before this time. On the death of his father, the young Constantine brought his mother to live at court at Byzantium, the capital of the Eastern Empire. He honored her by giving her the Roman title of Augusta and also had coins struck bearing her image.
Everyone knows the story of Constantine's dramatic conversion. The Church historian, Eusebius, whose is a chief source of information for the period, relates that on the eve of a great battle in the year 312 Constantine had a dream (by some accounts the dream was preceded by a day-time vision) of a flaming cross in the sky, and beneath it were the words, in Greek, "In this sign conquer." He thereupon embraced Christianity and proceeded south to the Tiber, where his victory over the Emperor Maxentius gave him control of the Western Empire. Constantine now effected his mother's conversion, and had his children reared as Christians. Helena became zealous for the faith, using her influence and wealth to extend Christianity. She built many churches and restored shrines; her name is particularly associated with churches at Rome and at Trier, in Gaul. But it is in the Holy Land itself that we have the most authentic record of her activities, which included the construction of great basilicas at Bethlehem and Jerusalem. To clear the Holy Places of the accumulated debris of three centuries was Helena's dearest aim. According to some of the chroniclers, when she was an old woman of nearly eighty, with the help of St. Judas Cyriacus, she cleared the mound that covered the Holy Sepulchre, and in doing so uncovered the True Cross, on which Jesus was crucified. The treasure was then removed to Byzantium, and in the life of of France we shall read something of its later history. There is, however, no record of this discovery in Eusebius.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

St. Hyacint

Dominican missionary called “the Apostle of Poland.” Born in Oppeln, Poland, he received the Dominican habit in 1217 or 1218 from St. Dominic. Hyacinth preached in Poland, Pomerania, Denmark, Prussia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Russia, China, and Tibet. He died in Cracow, Poland, on August 15. Hyacinth was canonized in 1594. His feast is now confined to local calendars.

Monday, August 16, 2010

St. Roch

This saint has become famous in the world by getting great favors for poor and sick. Its popularity has been extraordinary when towns or regions have come pests or epidemics, because it gets rid of the disease and spread to many of those who entrust themselves to him. Maybe he can get rid of dangerous epidemics. St. Roch was born in Montpellier , an extremely wealthy family . Killed his parents, he sold all his possessions, divided the money among the poor and went like a poor pilgrim to Rome to visit shrines. And in that time typhus fever broke out and people were dying in droves everywhere. Roch then quit to attend to the most abandoned. A cure many achievements just make the sign of the Holy Cross on his forehead. A good death helped many , and he himself was the grave, because no one dared to approach them for fear of contagion. With all the finest practicing charity. It came to Rome, and in that city was dedicated to serving the most dangerous of the infected . People said to him : "There goes the holy." One day while tending to a seriously ill , he was also the spread of the disease. His body was filled with black spots and ulcers. To not bother anyone , he retired to a lonely wood, and the place where he took refuge, there was born a cistern of clear water, with which he refreshed. It happened that a dog from a major house in the city began to take daily bread on the table of his master and go into the forest to bring it to Roque. After several days of repeating the fact, the landlord became curious , and followed the steps of the dog, until he found the poor waunded man in the forest. Roque then carried home and recovered from his wounds and diseases. Just felt healed ordered back to the holy city of Montpellier. But upon arriving in the city, which was at war , the military mistook him for a spy and jailed. And that was five years in prison , comforting the other prisoners and offering their punishment and humiliation for the salvation of souls. And an August 15 of 1378 , the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, died as a saint. In preparing to throw the coffin discovered in his chest a sign of the cross that her father had little path and realized that he was the son of who had been governor of the city. All the people of Montpellier attended his funeral , and since then started to get God's wonderful miracles and has not failed to get them in bunches in so many centuries. People paint him with his staff and pilgrim's hat , pointing with his hand at one of his wounds and with his dog next to him, offering him bread.

References: Catholic.Net

Sunday, August 15, 2010

St. Tarcisius

He died a martyr during the persecution of Valerian. His figure of the child hero has encouraged Christian and an example for eighteen centuries generations have been baptized since waking up to the faith. Your generosity in helping others and his willingness to serve, loaded with a generous love for Jesus Christ in the Eucharist have helped the imagination of later believers to renew their devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Also, seniors have learned from him to live with consistency Eucharistic faith and invigorate the attitudes of adoration and worship that for centuries have practiced the Lord's disciples .

The story of the events with all the features of historical verisimilitude is as follows:

The Christians could not live the faith with external manifestations. They had no right to express the joyous explosion of happiness I had inside by knowing they are children of God with an external worship . It was necessary to hide to worship the one true God as disciples of Jesus Christ , for lack of local comprehensive where they could meet, did the banks of the Tiber, in the cemeteries. Galleries long and very intertwined , from time to time is a lamp which was recalled that the body of a martyr, was the signal lamp . They were well aware of the long corridors and the many twists and turns , there, in a widening have had the good taste to put on a stone inscription and the figure of the shepherd carrying a sheep on his shoulders , and later , in another place , can be seen in rock something that looks like a basket full of loaves and fish are symbols of a history that comes alive every Sunday and gives more life , joy and strength to the disciples of Jesus. Now is a kind of spacious living room, enlarged by the galleries that it converge, where there is a large table covered with very white tablecloths , with lighted candles on a silver candelabra or at least so it seems.

It is a special day. Sixtus is the priest , yea , he was named as successor to Pope Stephen that the pursuers had been killed . All sing psalms , amid a great silence read some passages from the Gospel and make a wise reflection Sixto . Deacon Lorenzo puts bread and wine on the table and the old priest begins the formula of consecration. Before communion every given the kiss of peace.

Shortly before dispersing a remembrance for the incarcerated , these are the confessors of the faith did not want to deny ; love Jesus more than their lives. It is appropriate to pray for them and assist their families in hardship . It is also appropriate to share with you the mysteries to be served with strength in the passion and torment .

Who can and wants to confront the danger? It takes a generous soul. Everybody wants , they ask with eyes: old, mature women and young girls with their faces covered with a veil. Before the new Pope Sixtus a child has reached out , there is some strangeness in the priest who seems to understand so great decision, at first sight absurd . " Why not, Father? No one will suspect with my few years. "

Eucharisted Jesus is wrapped in a thin cloth and placed in the hands of children St. Tarcisius that only eleven years and is well known in the group for their faith and piety , has not been intimidated in the fury of the persecution that saw more than how they killed the night while he was Pope Stephen the mysteries of the Lord.

Between the Tiber malls will as the bearer of Christ , we know a living shrine , is a strange feeling in it , between the joy and pride that I had never experienced. Come in, without saying hello , enraptured with her treasure. Some friends invite you to participate in the game; Tarsicio refuses , they approach him ; Tarsicio push the envelope , you make a fence and get the dreaded question: "What you got there ? We want to see it. " Terrified wants to run, but it's late . Grab him and force to release the bundle that increasingly grips with more determination and strength, buffeted and thrown to the ground , give slaps and kicks but does not want for anything in the world to uncover the Lord , among the insults and threats accompanied of shoving and fists , St. Tarcisius still says " Never, never ! " . One that is near riot group is responsible for the situation and says : "It is a Christian who has spells of prisoners . " Young and old use now, under pretext of curiosity, anger and fury , sticks and stones.

They collected the broken body and buried St. Tarcisius in the catacomb of Callistus .

When persecution came , Pope Damasus ordered to put on his tomb this verse :

" Wanting to St. Tarcisius brutal souls
take the sacrament of Christ ,
chose to deliver his young life
before the heavenly mysteries . "

References: Catholic.Net

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Assumption
The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15 August; also called in old liturgical books Pausatio , Nativitas (for heaven ), Mors , Depositio , Dormitio S. Mariae .

This feast has a double object: (1) the happy departure of Mary from this life ; (2) the assumption of her body into heaven. It is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin.

Regarding the day, year, and manner of Our Lady's death, nothing certain is known. The earliest known literary reference to the Assumption is found in the Greek work De Obitu S. Dominae . Catholic faith, however, has always derived our knowledge of the mystery from Apostolic Tradition. Epiphanius (d. 403) acknowledged that he knew nothing definite about it (Haer., lxxix, 11). The dates assigned for it vary between three and fifteen years after Christ's Ascension. Two cities claim to be the place of her departure: Jerusalem and Ephesus. Common consent favours Jerusalem, where her tomb is shown; but some argue in favour of Ephesus. The first six centuries did not know of the tomb of Mary at Jerusalem.

The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae , bearing the name of St. John , which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. It is also found in the book De Transitu Virginis , falsely ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis, and in a spurious letter attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite. If we consult genuine writings in the East, it is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete , St. John Damascene , St. Modestus of Jerusalem and others. In the West, St. Gregory of Tours (De gloria mart., I, iv) mentions it first. The sermons of St. Jerome and St. Augustine for this feast, however, are spurious. St. John of Damascus (P. G., I, 96) thus formulates the tradition of the Church of Jerusalem :

St. Juvenal, Bishop ofJerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all theApostles, but that her tomb, when opened, upon the request ofSt. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven.
Today, the belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is universal in the East and in the West ; according to Benedict XIV (De Festis B.V.M., I, viii, 18) it is a probable opinion, which to deny were impious and blasphemous.

Regarding the origin of the feast we are also uncertain. It is more probably the anniversary of the dedication of some church than the actual anniversary of Our Lady's death. That it originated at the time of the Council of Ephesus , or that St. Damasus introduced it in Rome is only a hypothesis.

According to the life of St. Theodosius (d. 529) it was celebrated in Palestine before the year 500, probably in August ( Baeumer, Brevier, 185). In Egypt and Arabia, however, it was kept in January, and since the monks of Gaul adopted many usages from the Egyptian monks ( Baeumer, Brevier, 163), we find this feast in Gaul in the sixth century, in January [ mediante mense undecimo (Greg. Turon., De gloria mart., I, ix)]. The Gallican Liturgy has it on the 18th of January, under the title: Depositio, Assumptio, or Festivitas S. Mariae (cf. the notes of Mabillon on the Gallican Liturgy, P. L., LXXII, 180). This custom was kept up in the Gallican Church to the time of the introduction of the Roman rite. In the Greek Church, it seems, some kept this feast in January, with the monks of Egypt ; others in August, with those of Palestine; wherefore the Emperor Maurice (d. 602), if the account of the "Liber Pontificalis" (II, 508) be correct, set the feast for the Greek Empire on 15 August.

In Rome (Batiffol, Brev. Rom., 134) the oldest and only feast of Our Lady was 1 January, the octave of Christ's birth. It was celebrated first at Santa Maria Maggiore, later at Santa Maria ad Martyres. The other feasts are of Byzantine origin. Duchesne thinks (Origines du culte chr., 262) that before the seventh century no other feast was kept at Rome, and that consequently the feast of the Assumption, found in the sacramentaries of Gelasius and Gregory, is a spurious addition made in the eighth or seventh century. Probst, however (Sacramentarien, 264 sqq.), brings forth good arguments to prove that the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, found on the 15th of August in the Gelasianum, is genuine, since it does not mention the corporeal assumption of Mary ; that, consequently, the feast was celebrated in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Rome at least in the sixth century. He proves, furthermore, that the Mass of the Gregorian Sacramentary, such as we have it, is of Gallican origin (since the belief in the bodily assumption of Mary, under the influence of the apocryphal writings, is older in Gaul than in Rome ), and that it supplanted the old Gelasian Mass. At the time of Sergius I (700) this feast was one of the principal festivities in Rome ; the procession started from the church of St. Hadrian. It was always a double of the first class and a Holy Day of obligation.

The octave was added in 847 by Leo IV ; in Germany this octave was not observed in several dioceses up to the time of the Reformation. The Church of Milan has not accepted it up to this day (Ordo Ambros., 1906). The octave is privileged in the dioceses of the provinces of Sienna, Fermo, Michoacan, etc.

The Greek Church continues this feast to 23 August, inclusive, and in some monasteries of Mount Athos it is protracted to 29 August (Menaea Graeca, Venice, 1880), or was, at least, formerly. In the dioceses of Bavaria a thirtieth day (a species of month's mind ) of the Assumption was celebrated during the Middle Ages, 13 Sept., with the Office of the Assumption (double); today, only the Diocese of Augsburg has retained this old custom.

Some of the Bavarian dioceses and those of Brandenburg, Mainz, Frankfort, etc., on 23 Sept. kept the feast of the "Second Assumption", or the "Fortieth Day of the Assumption" (double) believing, according to the revelations of St. Elizabeth of Schönau (d. 1165) and of St. Bertrand, O.C. (d. 1170), that the B.V. Mary was taken up to heaven on the fortieth day after her death (Grotefend, Calendaria 2, 136). The Brigittines kept the feast of the "Glorification of Mary" (double) 30 Aug., since St. Brigitta of Sweden says (Revel., VI, l) that Mary was taken into heaven fifteen days after her departure (Colvenerius, Cal. Mar., 30 Aug.). In Central America a special feast of the Coronation of Mary in heaven (double major) is celebrated 18 August. The city of Gerace in Calabria keeps three successive days with the rite of a double first class, commemorating: 15th of August, the death of Mary ; 16th of August, her Coronation.

At Piazza, in Sicily, there is a commemoration of the Assumption of Mary (double second class) the 20th of February, the anniversary of the earthquake of 1743. A similar feast (double major with octave ) is kept at Martano, Diocese of Otranto, in Apulia, 19th of November.

[ Note: By promulgating the Bull Munificentissimus Deus, 1 November, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared infallibly that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a dogma of the Catholic Faith. Likewise, the Second Vatican Council taught in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium that "the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things (n. 59)."]

Saturday, August 14, 2010

St. Maximilan Kolbe

Maximilian Kolbe also known as Maksymilian or Massimiliano Maria Kolbe and “Apostle of Consecration to Mary,” born as Rajmund Kolbe, was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland.

He was canonized by the Catholic Church as Saint Maximilian Kolbe on October 10, 1982 by Pope John Paul II, and declared a martyr of charity. He is the patron saint of drug addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, prisoners and the pro-life movement. Pope John Paul II declared him the “The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century”.

Maximilian Kolbe was born in January 1894 in Zduńska Wola, which was at that time part of Russian Empire. Maximilian was the second son of Julius Kolbe and Maria Dabrowska. His father was an ethnic German and his mother of Polish origins. He had four brothers, Francis, Joseph, Walenty (who lived a year) and Andrew (who lived 4 years). His parents moved to Pabianice where they worked first as basket weavers. Later his mother worked as a midwife (often donating her services), and owned a shop in part of her rented house which sold groceries and household goods. Julius Kolbe worked at the Krushe and Ender Mill and also worked on rented land where he grew vegetables. In 1914 Julius joined Józef Piłsudski’s Polish Legions and was captured by the Russians for fighting for the independence of a partitioned Poland.

In 1907 Kolbe and his elder brother Francis decided to join the Conventual Franciscans. They illegally crossed the border between Russia and Austria-Hungary and joined the Conventual Franciscan junior seminary in Lwów. In 1910 Kolbe was allowed to enter the novitiate. He professed his first vows in 1911, adopting the name Maximilian, and the final vows in 1914, in Rome, adopting the names Maximilian Maria, to show his veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In 1912 he was sent to Kraków, and in the same year to a college in Rome, where he studied philosophy, theology, mathematics, and physics. He earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1915 at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and the doctorate in theology in 1919 at the Pontifical University of St. Bonaventure. During his time as a student, he witnessed vehement demonstrations against Popes St. Pius X and Benedict XV in Rome and was inspired to organize the Militia Immaculata, or Army of Mary, to work for conversion of sinners and the enemies of the Catholic Church through the intercession of the Virgin Mary. The Immaculata friars utilized the most modern printing and administrative techniques in publishing catechetical and devotional tracts, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000 and a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million.
In 1918 Kolbe was ordained a priest. In 1919 he returned to the newly independent Poland, where he was very active in promoting the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, founding and supervising the monastery of Niepokalanów near Warsaw, a seminary, a radio station and several other organizations and publications. Between 1930 and 1936 he took a series of missions to Japan, where he founded a monastery at the outskirts of Nagasaki, a Japanese paper and a seminary. The monastery he founded remains prominent in the Roman Catholic Church in Japan. Kolbe decided to build the monastery on a mountain side that, according to Shinto beliefs, was not the side best suited to be in tune with nature. When the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Kolbe’s monastery was saved because the blast of the bomb hit the other side of the mountain, which took the main force of the blast. Had Kolbe built the monastery on the preferred side of mountain as he was advised, his work and all of his fellow monks would have been destroyed.

During the Second World War he provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary in Niepokalanów. He was also active as a radio amateur, with Polish call letters SP3RN, vilifying Nazi activities through his reports.

On February 17, 1941 he was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison, and on May 25 was transferred to Auschwitz I as prisoner #16670.

In July 1941 a man from Kolbe’s barracks vanished, prompting SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch, the deputy camp commander, to pick 10 men from the same barracks to be starved to death in Block 13 (notorious for torture), in order to deter further escape attempts. (The man who had disappeared was later found drowned in the camp latrine.) One of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, lamenting his family, and Kolbe volunteered to take his place.

During the time in the cell he led the men in songs and prayer. After three weeks of dehydration and starvation, only Kolbe and three others were still alive. Finally he was murdered with an injection of carbolic acid.

Father Kolbe was beatified as a confessor by Pope Paul VI in 1971 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 10, 1982 in the presence of Franciszek Gajowniczek. Upon canonization, the Pope declared St. Maximilian Kolbe not a confessor, but a martyr.

Although the canonization of St. Maximilan Kolbe is uncontroversial, his recognition as a martyr is, given that a Christian martyr is one who is killed in odium Fidei, and Kolbe wasn’t assassinated strictly out of hatred for the Faith.

Thanks to Catholic.net

Friday, August 13, 2010

St. Cassian of Imola

One day the poet Aurelio Prudencio went to Rome . It is in the early fifth century On his way to the imperial capital stops at the Forum Cornelius, Imola today . Take a heavy heart , because the solution of business, purpose of travel , perhaps depends the security of your future and your family. profoundly Christian spirit , is urged to commend the Redeemer and goes to pray in a church. Kneels before the tomb of the martyr Cassian, whose relics are venerated there, and sinks into deep prayer. A prayer is a count contrite sins and sufferings. When , in tears, he lifts his eyes to heaven , his eye is caught in the contemplation of a painting of vivid colors. We see in him the image of a naked man , covered with wounds and blood, his skin torn by a thousand sites. In a crowd of kids around wield against him exalted school instruments and strive to stab him in the flesh lacerated and stilettos used to write. Moved by this tragic poet pictorial vision , which certainly is a move of its own internal tearing , asked the sexton of the church for its meaning. This , perhaps with the usual indifferent voice , explains that the painting depicts the martyrdom of St. Cassian, and tells the history and details of his death much earlier and witnessed by documents. Concludes by recalling that he subscribes to their pleas if you have any need, because the martyr gives gracious he considers worthy of being heard. Prudencio do so and check the veracity of the words of the clerk, because his business in Rome is resolved satisfactorily. Returning to Spain, composed in honor of St. Cassian, as a votive offering of thanks , a beautiful hymn, which is the ninth of his Peristephanon. It explains the history of his trip to Rome and puts on the lips of the sexton 's story of the martyrdom of Saint. Certainly the words of the sexton , despite the tone of sufficiency that could have, must have been simpler . But a poet Prudentius . It is the most sublime singer of the Christian martyrs. His spirit leaves his take on the wings of god and of his enthusiasm. And it gives us a splendid poetic- dramatic version. Cassian was a school teacher . A stern and effective teacher , according to this interpretation. Teach your children the rudiments of grammar, while a special art : the shorthand , the art of signs to condense in a few words. He is accused of being a Christian . And the occurrence malignant persecutors are putting into the hands of the same children , his disciples, to die tormented by them, and that the instruments of martyrdom are the same as that used to be worth to learn. These circumstances, with all its dramatic, are exploited by the poet to highlight the cruelty of the martyrdom: "Some will throw the fragile tablets and break them in your head , the wood chips, leaving the forehead wound . I hit the bloody cheek with waxed tablets, and small blood wet page to the coup. Other brandishing their punches. .. For some parts is drilled , the martyr of Jesus Christ , for others it is torn , some kneel to the depths of the bowels , others amuse themselves tear the skin . All members, including hands , were a thousand needles, and a thousand drops blood flow at the time of each member. verduguito More cruel was amused to sail on the surface of meat that you kneel down to the bottom of the bowels." The reader is shaken , not so much torment in herself to see them come from whom they come : the children and disciples. But the poet seems carried in the arms of a tragic fire . He delights in picturing the state of mind of the young executioners, imagining a horrible malice filled with an air of sarcasm: "Why are you crying?" asks one, " yourself, teacher, gave us these irons and you put together our hands. Look, I 've done more than return the thousands of letters we get up and crying in your school. No airarte because you have reason to write in your body, you yourself commanded : never be down the stylus in hand. I do not ask you , maestro cheap , holidays we always negabas . Now we like to tap with the style and draw parallels grooves to others, and weaving in the chain dashed lines . You can amend asoplados in long lines tiramira , if I have missed the hand unfaithful. Exercise your authority, you are entitled to punish the guilty if any of your students has been slow in trace his features." Hard to imagine so much treachery in the tender hearts of children. Prudentius seems to have sensed , that's why before has given us explanations for this attitude , as if to justify or at least motivate: "It is known that the master is always intolerable to the young scholar , and that the subjects are always unbearable for the kids ... the kids love it greatly to the same severe master is the scorn of the disciples whom held in harsh discipline . However, despite these reasons , our heart is overwhelmed . And it sings Prudencio , especially here, the horrific cruelty of the martyrdom . Absorbed perhaps only by the impressive realism of the picture, and transported on the wings of its tragic force , there has been more than the pile of multiplying indefinitely pains on the body of the martyr. And around this axis has built in concentric circles , the magical unity of his poem: buy pain scale because some children are angry , children are exacerbated because they feel a black pleasure in revenge for the severity of the teacher. There is no doubt that this provision helps intimate grandeur of the poem, and, consequently, the martyr. But do not be carried away the poet by the desire of exaggeration? First, with regard to children . It is true that in the human heart who long hidden resentments in exceptional cases. It is true that there may exist , which undoubtedly exist in the hearts of children . The image of childhood innocence does not absorb all the creases of shadow. It is likely therefore that in the circumstances of this martyrdom dammed overwhelms the dark forces of goodness all docks . Add to this the pressure exerted by the cheerleader and the strong presence of the court mandate persecutor, and the ease of contamination of the collective fury . But even so , one is reluctant to generalize. Is it possible that all the children were possessed by the diabolical fury , that none of them had even a glimmer of compassion, strength, tears? Second, compared with the same teacher. The image gives us Prudencio St. Cassian as a teacher , is not too severe ? They are full of edges sharply features : "Many times the hard precepts and the stark face had stirred anger and fear their prepubescent children." Of course , sometimes have had to take the seriousness and even punishment. But always? Was it just the giant enemy, stunning to the smallness and inability of the weak children? Do not be differentiated precisely by its quality -minded Christian love, a greater smoothness of the current in the other schools ? Would have exceeded , no doubt, ever , drawn by anger or impatience. Who does not ? And it's so easy in those who rule this outburst of sufficiency, that can not stand being beaten by the insolence or worth of subordinates ! But , no doubt , in times of prayer and humble recognition of sin would have taken the impetus for a sweeter deal , more paternal, more loving. In addition, and above all, we noticed , in the beautiful hymn of Prudentius, that we lack something: the soul of Cassian. The inner attitude of your mind in trance painful martyrdom. The poet , obsessed by the body lacerated by the blood bubbling seething , broken through the skin into a thousand tears , has cheated the source. This rich store hidden in the depths of being, receptacle of all impressions and source of all strength. Only once put into the mouth of Cassian all impressions and source of all strength. "Be brave , I pray , and to overcome the few years with your efforts , that mitigates the ferocity what is lacking in age." But this is not just a piece of mind : the tip of the heroic spirit that beats in the chest of the martyr. And it is used only as a grace note for the exaltation of the external. There must be more. The martyr was bound to see the children . A swarm of angry wasps struggling to cleave in the softness of her flesh the sharp spear of the stings . A confused uproar , a lot of curling hair , a forest of hands , tender hands , agitated , a flaming eyes, thousands of eyes to multiply in this frenetic dance . Also some hands reluctant , hesitant , shyly hiding, and some moist eyes , trembling , frightened, grieving ... And I could not but see in the children to their disciples. Were they the same who was devoting his patience, his knowledge , his life. All there. Would force to scroll through them one by one? That , the complexion bruna , how expressively recited Homer, that other , whose tiny hand was often rebellious teacher guide on the wax tablet , and one that made him spend so patiently until he learned the Greek declensions and it over here, the concentrated , now half the punch wielded in secret , but with deep thuds , and the other , the mischievous red-faced , the worst hit , but not the least wanted , and this little boy , who participated in the killing as a game ... And one and another and another. All waves would pass in quick by the imagination of the teacher , their faces , their souls, their names as known and so often repeated in a thousand different shades. Perhaps the moans that escaped from the lips of the martyr , but names were not students , delivered quietly with an air of surprise, complaint , with palpitations last agridulzura. And this whirl of names and faces, in the prolongation of his agony , had to be to the teacher tormented as a mirror that reflected her life, efforts , hopes , joys, failures. Days filled with the most monotonous routine , moments of desperate sense of futility , gusts of anger or helplessness , minutes nitidísima full of joy, impatience , tears , voices compelling , persuasive words , multiplying through generations of kids who spent their hands as shapeless and out of them with a light on in the front. Everything for this failure lead to the end : being killed slowly by them to which he had striven to educate for righteousness and love. Although it was this indeed a failure? Humanly , indeed. But it was through this torment as Cassian getting their true glory. Because this was not the end , the horrific death and discouraging. The final was beyond the frontier of death in a field that opened with clear horizons of peace. The target that this arrow was directed sore meat was the same God. Only God gave meaning to his death , as he had given meaning to his life. Therefore we can not believe that the soul of Cassian was absent of God in this terrible time. necessarily had to be anchored in Him Every beat of his veins, every groan from his throat , every thought of his mind would be an aspiration and a prayer to the Lord. The same move from their imagination for faces and hands , and names, and days, have their echoes in God. He could not be summarized in a concise synthesis of grace and fervor , of sin and contrition, droughts and efforts, the journey of his life to the Father's house. What about pain? These sharp pains now, which followed one another helter-skelter , leaving no room to breathe, was already a prayer force of blood. Cassian and receive a sense of the Holocaust. And the Redeemer humbly offer as compensation for the trail of shadows , including flashing lights , leave the man on earth. And remember Jesus died on Calvary. That mob of kids in a crazed dance looking for his body suggest that other imposing mass of Jews shouting insults thundered in the ears of the Cross. Those were the people of God. These were the family of the teacher. And , just as Christ prayed to the Father for his executioners , Casiano ask for their children , that God would forgive them , they did not know what they were doing, that he really wanted , that God will cleanse their souls from the deep black crack open for this crime, that transforms , that he gave his own sacrifice for them, that ... And, also like Jesus , he put his spirit into the hands of the Father. A breath ending that was born from the bottom and dragged him into the bosom of God. Not that I wanted to break with life, with this his final failure, as he pulled to the shoulder of the road litter or unpleasant , the tearing of clothing. No. The same failure -which his martyrdom was human failure , " was what he wanted to take , as the last sip of the bitter cup , and with it at the very tip of the lips, go up to God, to the glory which he was inviolable : the Father's heart. And so deliver his soul. Prudencio tells us these beautiful , naive words: "Finally , pity the martyr Christ from heaven , send to untie the bonds of the chest, and cuts off the painful delays and ties of life, leaving all their hiding expedited . The blood, following the paths open vein since his close source, leaving the heart , and soul longing came out all the holes in the fibers of the body shot." Is it so complete and the image of St. Cassian ? The poet Prudentius has described with a masterful sense of realism and dramatic physical torture of the martyr and the children's animosity raging . We have tried to get closer to your soul. It is a bold daring, though rarely as reasonably credible as here. In fact, what we know about Saint Cassian can be reduced to a mere assertions : that was a school teacher , expert in shorthand , who died at the hands of his disciples, and that certainly happened on martyrdom under the persecution of Diocletian (303-304) . But it is lawful for a man 's adventure to understand man. Moreover, human. And when done with respect and justice , despite all risks, gets to the heart of reality with greater precision , perhaps, that a plethora of raw data. In the narrative of history and martyrdom of Saint Cassian Prudencio has also drawn a conclusion. A very simple conclusion , but deliciously comforting : that the martyr 's prayers heard gracious men's troubled heart . For us, after that, we would be sufficient to us rather timidly ventured - course - in the lake inside the human soul, and at a time of such deep resonances , when the waters of being are all shaken by a tremor of full decision. We suffice with this, because it moves , deepens and purifies our own being. And if we are not satisfied with this essential purification , we can still derive a long trail lesson practice. Cassian of Imola was not tormented by having fulfilled its mission of teaching bad , or the rebellion of the children and their relentless desire to murder was a direct blast , but caused by a fire fueled from outside. However, the reality of his death meant to him the wound in the most painful. In his martyrdom there was nothing knew to human satisfaction . What other martyrs gives them a certain aura of land - the heroic victors , with a haughty bearing , upright facing the same challenge to the judges or executioners are here ...- overshadowed . For Cassian, after refusing to sacrifice to idols, and not before a tyrant who rebuke , against whom he said , but their children, their dear students , their fragile children. Against what opposing force strength? It remains only to let go , conquer, destroy, sink. And here's the lesson. The open book of this martyrdom God teaches us how to climb up to him, hurt us in the dearest , sweeping a breath of our most cherished illusions, sink into the appearance of futility, hoisted the flag of our individual failure. And perhaps not all that blood, in the pure vulgarity of anonymity. Although this would not be an excuse for discouragement , but one reason for total determination to fight , while for an active and vital offering. And that until the end. That end is only in God's hands and they always run the hands of God. The relics of St. Cassian is venerated in the cathedral of the Italian town of Imola , which prides itself with its sponsorship. Honored first in a basilica, were taken to the cathedral , recently built in the thirteenth century, and then encased in a lead box and placed under the crypt in the center of the sanctuary, the Cathedral restored in 1704.

References: Catholic.Net

Thursday, August 12, 2010

St. Euplius

The Passion of Saint Euplius states that he was a deacon and that he was arrested for owning and reading from a copy of the Bible during the Diocletian persecution. He was brought before the governor of the city, Calvinianus (Calvinian, Calvinianus), who asked the saint to read him extracts from the book. He was then tortured and beheaded. He is also the patron saint of Francavilla di Sicilia and Trevico. Ruins of the old church of Saint Euplius are located in Catania near Piazza Stesicoro. This urban site coincides with the place of his martyrdom.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

St. Philomena

According to history St. Philomena was born January 10, 291 in Corfu, Greece. She was the daughter of a king in Greece who, with his wife had converted to Christianity. Philomena was thirteen she took a vow that she consecrated herself to God as a virgin. When Emperor Diocletian threatened to declare war on her father, he went with his family to Rome to ask for peace. The Emperor fell in love with the young and beautiful Philomena. He proposed that Philomena marry him, but she refused to marry him. After she refused, he subjected her to a series of torments such as scourging, from whose effects two angels cured her; drowning with an anchor attached to her, but two angels cut the rope and raised her to the river bank; being shot with arrows, but on the first occasion her wounds were healed, on the second the arrows turned aside, and on the third, they returned and killed six of the archers, and several of the others became Christians. Finally the Emperor had her decapitated, which occurred on a Friday at three in the afternoon, as with the death of Jesus. The two anchors, three arrows, the palm and the ivy leaf on the tiles found in the tomb were interpreted as symbols of her martyrdom. In these visions she also revealed that her birthday was 10 January, that her martyrdom occurred on 10 August (the date also of the arrival of her relics in Mugnano del Cardinale), and that her name "Filumena" meant "daughter of light". (It is usually taken to be derived from a Greek word meaning "beloved".)

References: Wikipedia.Org

St. Clare of Assisi

St. Clare was born in the town of Assisi, in the Umbrian region of Italy, in 1193. Chiara or Clare meaning clear-radiant light was born of nobility and grew up with the privileges of wealth. Francis was born twelve years earlier. We can't tell the story of Clare without including Francis. He was her greatest inspiration, her mentor, her model.

The only thing that Clare and Francis had in common at this time was that they were both from Assisi. There was a great distinction in those days placed on those who were nobility and those who were rich. They were not always the same people. Clare's family was noble; Francis' family was rich. The nobility always looked down upon the rich as being beneath them; while the rich knew they could very often buy and sell the nobility.

Clare had two sisters, Agnes and Beatrice. Her mother was Ortulana and her father Faverone Offreduccio. There is not too much know about Clare's childhood and teenage years. We do know that Clare was a good and spiritual young girl, even before she gave her life over to Jesus through Francis.

The first accounts we have of Clare are when she was eighteen years old. At that time, young women carried a high price in the marriage market. They were not bought or sold, but a marriage partner was arranged based upon the "attributes" of the girl and the "wealth" of the boy's family. Clare had a mind of her own. Clare didn't know why, but she was determined not to marry. The Lord had touched her heart from childhood. He was to be her spouse. Clare's father had died so the uncles assumed the role of father and together with Clare's mother tried to interest her in various young men. Clare kept asking about Francis. This infuriated her family. They became angry at the mere mention of his name. After all, he had disgraced his family, stolen from his father to give to beggars and lepers. What outraged them even more was that other noble men were leaving their homes and possessions, putting on the course tunic and following Francis. Clare found Francis fascinating. What he had done and was preaching was so contrary to anything she had heard before.

One day Clare walked on a road she knew Francis would be taking. She wanted to meet him to talk with him. They talked. Francis saw in Clare a special quality Jesus would use some day. Francis spoke in a spiritual language that Clare could not understand, but yet she felt an unexplained excitement within her. Over the next several months Clare frequently met with Francis listening in awe at the love he had for Jesus. She knew in her heart that she too was being called to live the Gospel and asked Francis to help her achieve her goal.

When Clare confided to her parents that she was thinking about joining St. Francis in his life of poverty, her parents refused to grant her permission. Clare and St. Francis obtained permission from the local Bishop, however, and on Palm Sunday, 1212, Clare was received by Francis. Her hair was cut, a coarse robe and cord were given to her to wear and a woolen cloth was placed upon her head. She was consecrated into the Second Order of Franciscans and placed under the protection of the Benedictine Sisters of St. Paul until Francis could set up a convent for her. Eventually Francis turned over the grounds of San Damiano over to Clare. This was the church where the Lord spoke to Francis from the cross to "go out and repair My church." Clare knew how important this Church was to Francis and the tremendous sacrifice it would be for him to give it away to her. (See photo of the courtyard of the Church of San Damiano, above)

San Damiano had been a parish church in the valley below Assisi, but now became the home of the Poor Clare sisters, as they would become known. Clare attracted many young women to follow the ways of Jesus in a simple life of poverty and prayer. Her best friend Pacifica, her sister Agnes and even her mother, Ortulana joined the convent. When the Order of Poor Clares was formed, Francis suggested that Clare be the Superior. It took her three years to accept this responsibility and privilege. She lived at San Damiano until her death.

Following the ways of Francis, Clare lived an austere life of prayer and fasting. She expected her sisters to do the same. As tough and hard as Clare was on herself, she was also that tender and sensitive to her sisters. She wrote a "Rule" for the community to follow and presented it to the Holy Father for approval. She prayed that
"Sister Death" would not take her until the Rule was approved. The Lord had a sense of humor. He knew who He was dealing with. If He were to call her home without the Rule being accepted, she would only insist that she come back to earth to get the final approval. So He waited for her while she waited for the Pope. Finally the approval came. Now Clare could "Go Home". She died two days later, on August 11, 1253 at the age of 59. By the time Clare died, 150 communities of Poor Clare sisters existed in several European countries.

St. Clare was buried at San Damiano Church. She was canonized a saint of the Church in 1255 by Pope Alexander IV. In 1260 the people of Assisi built a larger monastery for Clare's sisters and her body was transferred to the Basilica of Santa Chiara in the town of Assisi. Her body lies today in the Basilica. St. Clare is what we know as an "incorruptible"; that is, her body has not corrupted over the years. Her body clothed in the simple garments of her Order can be seen at the Basilica of St. Clare of Assisi.

Today communities of Poor Clares continue to live, worship, and minister in the name of St. Clare throughout the world. And parishes such as ours claim her as our patroness and ask her to intercede that we may remain faithful to God's will.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

St. Lawrence of Rome

Lawrence was born in Huesca, Spain which is located in what is now known as Northern Aragon. Lawrence spent most of his life in Huesca and recieved religious guidance from local priests and deacons. Until he was brought to Rome by Pope Sixtus II, who at the time was the Archdeacon of Rome. When Sixtus was ordained Bishop of Rome, Pope, Lawrence was ordained a deacon in 257. Sixtus then stationed him as the first Archivist of the Catholic Church.
And under his job he had to take care of the holiest chalice known to Christians everywhere, he was given the Holy Grail so he could keep it far away for the Persecution of Christians under Valerian was starting to heat up. Lawrence sent the Chalice away to Huesca with a letter to his parents to give it to a Monk who was a friend of Lawrence and the family. The Chalice was taken to the monastery where it remained hidden for centuries, and many believe that the Chalice is now in the Cathedral of Valencia.

In the persecutions under Valerian in 258 A.D., numerous priests and deacons were put to death, while Christians belonging to the nobility or the Roman Senate were deprived of their goods and exiled. Pope Sixtus II was one of the first victims of this persecution, being beheaded on August 6. A legend cited by St Ambrose of Milan says that Lawrence met the Pope on his way to his execution, where he is reported to have said, "Where are you going, my dear father, without your son? Where are you hurrying off to, holy priest, without your deacon? Before you never mounted the altar of sacrifice without your servant, and now you wish to do it without me?" The Pope is reported to have prophesied that "after three days you will follow me".

After the death of Sixtus, the prefect of Rome demanded that Lawrence turn over the riches of the Church. Ambrose is the earliest source for the tale that Lawrence asked for three days to gather together the wealth. Lawrence worked swiftly to distribute as much Church property to the poor as possible, so as to prevent its being seized by the prefect. On the third day, at the head of a small delegation, he presented himself to the prefect, and when ordered to give up the treasures of the Church, he presented the poor, the crippled, the blind and the suffering, and said that these were the true treasures of the Church. One account records him declaring to the prefect, "The Church is truly rich, far richer than your emperor." This act of defiance led directly to his martyrdom. Lawrence is said to have been martyred on a gridiron as a part of Valerian's persecution. During his torture Lawrence cried out "This side’s done, turn me over and have a bite."

Monday, August 9, 2010

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

She was born on October 12, 1891 in Breslau , Germany (now the Polish city of Wroclaw) . Her father , Siegfried , died when she was only 2 years old and her mother, Auguste , took over the family business to raise her seven children. Clever, studious , vivacious , had to struggle against the prejudices of one's family to pursue their studies at a time when not considered necessary that the woman had intellectual formation. Upon reaching the youth was declared atheist and began a determined and sustained effort to find the truth. She became one of the first women in college , she studied Germanic Philology , History and Psychology , was a member of the Prussian Association for women's suffrage " which won the female vote in 1918. "As a young university student, was a radical feminist " openly declared that it was unwilling to leave the profession because of marriage, family and children . Since 1913, he was a student of Edmund Husserl , graduated in philosophy in 1915 and did his PhD in 1916 in "The Problem of Intuition , " Husserl 's assistant becoming the University of Freiburg. She returned to Breslau in 1918 and ran for a professorship at the university , which was denied by a woman. This led her to engage in a struggle to open the teaching at all educational levels for women of future generations. In 1920 the government published a decree in favor of access to examinations for university professorship for women. She devoted herself to teaching, especially aimed at women who urged them not to settle for a mediocre education and strive to be present in all fields of acting and thinking. For her no profession was denied them and was much that could contribute to society . Personally attending to each of her students and their quest to support and help as many women as possible published its Monthly Letter for professional women." In 1932 she was named to the German Institute for Scientific Pedagogy in Munster. Shortly after the riots began that preceded World War II and was expelled from the Institute for its known Jewish ancestry and was open defense of their people. It was useless his conversion to Catholicism occurred 10 years earlier. Between 1928 and 1933 gave a series of major conferences on women .Presenting an image of her that was revolutionary for its time. She was convinced that the solution of world problems that women needed to help her grow humanly and spiritually. Urged to promote education based on values for both men and women , since the building society to both compete and to be carried out together. She stressed the need to eliminate discrimination against women in education and to overcome male intellectualism adding to the moral education , training of virtues , the will , feelings and emotions , because, for her, the person mature is one that has integrated all its powers. She continued by stating that women should exercise all professions and enter fully into the world of work because it has the mission to humanize the world by reminding everyone that a human person is worth more than all things, and that any profession, any vocation, any work being the service of mankind. At the beginning of the persecution of the Jews, rejected the possibility of seeking refuge in South America and decided to realize something I wanted for several years, enter the Caramel of Cologne " by the fate of my people, because they foresaw what would happen." She devoted herself to philosophy again and wrote some world-renowned works . In 1938 increased persecution and attacks against Jews in Germany , which fought not even those converted to Christianity. In this situation some friends decided to take it as a precaution to the Caramel of Echt in the Netherlands. It was not enough and, on August 2, 1942 , the Germans imprisoned in retaliation for the attitude of the Netherlands bishops who denounced the violence committed by Hitler 's army and directed primarily at Jews, priests and religious. She was taken to Westernork concentration camp where, according to testimony from survivors , tried to give hope and encouragement to the Jewish prisoners. Shortly afterwards he was transferred to Auschwitz and died in the gas chamber possibly the August 9, 1942.Her name was , Edith Stein , today we recongize her as, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

References: Catholic.Net