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First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

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Many martyrs who suffered death under Emperor Nero . Owing to their executions during the reign of Emperor Nero, they are called the Neronian Martyrs, and they are also termed the Protomartyrs of Rome, being honored by the site in Vatican City called the Piazza of the Protomartyrs. These early Christians were disciples of the Apostles, and they endured hideous tortures and ghastly deaths following the burning of Rome in the infamous fire of 62.Their dignity in suffering, and their fervor to the end, did not provide Nero or the Romans with the public diversion desired. Instead, the faith was firmly planted in the Eternal City. This all that is known about these Martyrs.

Prayer
Father,
you sanctified the Church of Rome
with the blood of its first martyrs.
May we find strength from their courage
and rejoice in their triumph.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
AMEN

References: Catholic.Org

Ss. Peter and Paul

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This feast day commemorates the martyrdom of the two great Apostles, assigned by tradition to the same day of June in the year 67. They had been imprisoned in the famous Mamertine Prison of Rome and both had foreseen their approaching death. Saint Peter was crucified; Saint Paul, a Roman citizen, was slain by the sword. Tomorrow the Church commemorates the Apostle of the Gentiles; today is dedicated primarily to Saint Peter.

The Chief of the Apostles was a native of Galilee like Our Lord. As he was fishing on its large lake he was called by Our Lord to be one of His apostles. Peter was poor and unlearned, but candid, eager, and loving. In his heart, first of all, his conviction grew, and then from his lips came the spontaneous confession: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” Our Lord chose him and prepared him to be the Rock on which He would build His Church, His Vicar on earth, the Head and Prince of His Apostles, the center and indispensable bond of the Church’s unity, …

St. Irenaeus of Lyon

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Peacemaker and actually name (the name " Irenaeus " in Greek means peaceful and calming ) , Saint Irenaeus was presented to the Pope by the Christians of Gaul with great words of praise: "Guardian of the will of Christ. " In Rome honored its name suggests moderation to Pope Victor , respectfully advising not excommunicate the churches of Asia that wanted to celebrate Easter on the same date as the otherChristian communities. With the same purpose this man Weighted peacekeepers insisted the bishops of other Christian communities to work for the triumph of concord and unity , especially clinging to apostolic tradition to combat Gnostic rationalism . From his writings are in fact the five books of Adversus haereses, in which Irenaeus appears not only as the most balanced and insightful theologian of the redemptive Incarnation , but also as one of the pastors more complete, more and more Catholic Apostolic have served the Church. One can see that his arguments against …

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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In 1498, the picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was in a church on the island of Crete, in Greece. The picture had been there for some time and was known to be miraculous. One day a merchant from Crete stole the picture of Our Lady. He hid the picture among his things, boarded a ship and set out to sea. When a great storm arose the terrified sailors begged God and Our Lady to save them. Their prayers were heard and they were saved from shipwreck.

A year later, the merchant went to Rome with the picture. There he got a disease and became terribly sick. He asked his Roman friend to take care of him. The merchant grew worse and realized that he would soon die. He called on his friend and with tears in his eyes, begged his friend to do him one last favour. When the Roman promised to do so, the weeping merchant continued, “Some time ago I stole a beautiful, miraculous picture of Our Lady from a church in Crete! You will find it with my belongings. I beg you, please place it …

St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer

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Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer was born in Barbastro (Huesca , Spain) on January 9, 1902 . Her parents named Joseph and Dolores. He had five siblings: Carmen (1899-1957) , Santiago (1919-1994) and three sisters younger than he , who died as children. Marriage Escrivá gave his children a deep Christian education. In 1915 the business went bankrupt father, a textile industrialist , and had moved to Logroño , where he found another job. In this city , Josemaría first notice his vocation after seeing footprints in the snow bare feet of a religious , senses that God wants something from him, but do not know exactly what it is. Think you can find out more easily if it is a priest and begins to prepare first in Logrono and later in the seminar of Zaragoza. Following an advice from his father, at the University of Zaragoza also consider civilian career as a student of law free. D. Escriva died in 1924 , and Josemaria remains as head of household. He was ordained priest on March 28, 1925 , he b…

St. William of Montevergine

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He was born into a noble family of Vercelli in north-west Italy and brought up by a relation after the death of his parents. He undertook a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Catholic tradition states that on his pilgrimage to Compostela, William encircled his body with iron bands to increase his suffering.
He then lived as a hermit on the summit of Monte Vergine (then known as Monte Vergiliana) between Nola and Benevento. Here he attracted a number of followers and founded the Monastery of Montevergine.

While at Montevergine, William of Vercelli is stated as having performed miracles. Roger I of Sicily served as a patron to William, who founded many monasteries for men and women in Sicily. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that Roger built a monastery opposite his palace at Salerno in order to have William always near him.

He died at Santa Maria di Guglieto, a daughter house of Montevergine near Nusco, province of Avellino. Catholic tradition states that William foresaw his own immin…

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

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When Mary was three months pregnant with Jesus Elizabeth was six months pregnant with John The Baptist.When mary got to Elizabeth's house, Elizabeth said "Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.""How could I deserve the visit of the mother of my Lord?""I heard your salutations and the baby jumped in my womb!"When Mary heard this she recited the Magnificat.During that time Zacharias had lost his voice. Zacharias was a Jewish priest he was blessing the altar when an angel told him he was going to have son. Zacharias didn't believe the angel because he was an elderly person. The angel told him his son was going to be named John. Three months later John The Baptist was born. A lot of people said the baby should be named like his father. After three months Zacharias finally spoke He said The baby would be named John.

Prayer
Almighty and eternal GOD
you gave us St. John the Baptist
to so we also can have a holy life
like his.
AME…

Saint Etheldreda

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Sister of Saint Jurmin. Relative of King Anna of East Anglia, England. Princess. Widowed after three years marriage; rumor had it that the marriage was never consumated as Etheldrda had taken a vow of perpetual virginity. She married again for political reasons. Her new husband knew of her vow, but grew tired of living as brother and sister, and began to make advances on her; she refused him. He tried to bribe the local bishop, Saint Wilfrid of York, to release her from her vow; Wilfrid refused, and instead helped Audrey escape to a promontory called Colbert’s Head. A high tide then came in - and stayed high for seven days; it kept her separated from her husband and was considered divine intervention. The young man gave up; the marriage was annulled, and Audrey took the veil. She spent a year with her neice, Saint Ebbe the Elder. Founded the great abbey of Ely, where she lived an austere life.

Etheldreda died of an enormous and unsightly tumor on her neck. She gratefully accepted this …

St. Thomas More

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Saint, knight, Lord Chancellor of England, author and martyr, born in London, 7 February, 1477-78; executed at Tower Hill, 6 July, 1535. He was the sole surviving son of Sir John More, barrister and later judge, by his first wife Agnes, daughter of Thomas Graunger. While still a child Thomas was sent to St. Anthony's School in Threadneedle Street, kept by Nicholas Holt, and when thirteen years old was placed in the household of Cardinal Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor. Here his merry character and brilliant intellect attracted the notice of the archbishop, who sent him to Oxford, where he entered at Canterbury Hall (subsequently absorbed by Christ Church) about 1492. His father made him an allowance barely sufficient to supply the necessaries of life and, in consequence, he had no opportunity to indulge in "vain or hurtful amusements" to the detriment of his studies. At Oxford he made friends with William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre, the latter becomi…

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

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At age seven he experienced a profound spiritual quickening. His prayers included the Office of Mary, the psalms and other devotions. At age nine he came from his hometown of Castiglione to Florence to be educated; by age 11 he was teaching catechism to poor children, fasting three days a week and practicing great austerities. When he was 13 years old he traveled with his parents and the Empress of Austria to Spain and acted as a page in the court of Philip II. The more Aloysius saw of court life, the more disillusioned he became, seeking relief in learning about the lives of saints.

A book about the experience of Jesuit missionaries in India suggested to him the idea of entering the Society of Jesus, and in Spain his decision became final. Now began a four-year contest with his father. Eminent churchmen and laypeople were pressed into service to persuade him to remain in his “normal” vocation. Finally he prevailed, was allowed to renounce his right to succession and was received into…

St. Silverius

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Dates of birth and death unknown. He was the son of Pope Hormisdas who had been married before becoming one of the highest clergy. Silverius entered the service of the Church and was subdeacon at Rome when the Pope Agapitus died in Constantinople on 22 April of the year 536.La Empress Theodora, who favored the Monophysite tried to induce the election as pope of the Roman deacon Vigilius who was then in Constantinople and had given the desired guarantees as to the Monophysite. However, Teodato, King of the Ostrogoths, who wanted to prevent the election of a pope connected to Constantinople, anticipate, and influence the subdeacon Silverio was chosen. The choice of a subdeacon as bishop of Rome was unusual. Consequently, it is easy to understand that, as the author of the first part of the life of Silverio in the "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 210) recounts, appeared strong opposition among the clergy. This, however, was repressed by Teodato so finally, after Silverio …

St. Gervasius and Protasius

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They are the Patron saints of Milan and of haymakers and are invoked for the discovery of thieves. Their Feast day in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church is on June 19, the day marking the translation of their relics. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and in the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, their feast takes place on October 14 October 24 , the traditional day of their death. In Christian Iconography their emblems are the scourge, the club and the sword.

The Acta may have been expanded from a letter to the bishops of Italy, falsely ascribed to Saint Ambrose. They are written in a very simple style; it has not been possible to establish the date of their composition. According to these, Gervasius and Protasius were the twin sons of martyrs. Their father Saint Vitalis of Milan, a man of consular dignity, suffered martyrdom at Ravenna, possibly under Nero. The mother Saint Valeria died for her faith at Milan. Gervasius and Protasius were imprisoned, and visited in prison by Saint …

St. Elizabeth of Schönau

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Born in the year 1126 in Germany, based and educated in a Benedictine monastery near Bonn, Germany, from 12 years of age.

Elizabeth came to see the monastery as their own home, and hoped in 1147.

She was sighted, starting in 1152 began to have mystical ecstasies and visions, had the gift of prophecy, and suffered attacks from demonic forces.

With the help of his brother Egbert, a monk and abbot, wrote three volumes describing their visions.

Schönau was abbess from 1157 until his death on June 18, 1164.

This is all that is known of Elizabeth of Schönau.

References: Catholic.Net

Saint Gondulphus of Berry

Saint Gondulphus of Berry who is honoured with the title of bishop, is a person of whom history gives a still more legendary account than of his namesake, Gondulf of Maastricht.

According to the biography in which he is comparatively lately treated by a monk of Berry, he was Archbishop of Milan in the seventh century. Not succeeding in appeasing the troubles which had arisen in his church, he resolved to submit to the inevitable, and retired to Berry with a number of his disciples. It is not known, however, that any Archbishop of Milan had to deal with these conditions. It is true that it has been thought that Gondulphus lived at the time of the Milanese schism regarding the affair of the Three Chapters, that he was consecrated in 555, but that he was never received as bishop in his diocese. These are merely hypotheses and in fact it must be said that the history of the St. Gondulphus who is honoured in Berry is unknown.

The attestation of his cult in Berry appears late among the additi…

Ss. Julitta and Cyriacus of Iconium

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A Turkish widow, Julitta and her very young baby son, Cyriacus, moved to tarsus to escape persecution of Christians in Turkey. She was denounced to a ruling governor there, who questioned her while he played with Cyriacus. When she refused to give up her faith, she was given a death sentence. her son told the governor he was also Christian, the man was so enraged he threw the Cyriacus down the stairs, killing him before his mother. His dead corpse landed in front of his mother was about to be killed. When she saw her baby she was grieved but full of joy that her son had received the crown of martyrdom. Then she died by being beheaded.They died 304 AD. Julitta's body, along with that of Cyriacus, was flung outside the city, on the heap of bodies belonging to criminals, but two maids rescued the corpses of the mother and child and buried them in a nearby field. Their relics are at Nevers and in the monastery of Saint-Amand, Tournai. Centuries later, Cyriacus appeared to the Emperor …

St. Germaine Cousin

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Saint Germaine Cousin is a French saint. She was born in 1579 of humble parents at Pibrac, a village about ten miles from Toulouse.

Of her, the Catholic Encyclopedia writes:

"From her birth she seemed marked out for suffering; she came into the world with a deformed hand and the disease of scrofula, and, while yet an infant, lost her mother. Her father soon married again, but his second wife treated Germaine with much cruelty. Under pretence of saving the other children from the contagion of scrofula she persuaded the father to keep Germaine away from the homestead, and thus the child was employed almost from infancy as a shepherdess. When she returned at night, her bed was in the stable or on a litter of vine branches in a garret. In this hard school Germaine learned early to practise humility and patience. She was gifted with a marvellous sense of the presence of God and of spiritual things, so that her lonely life became to her a source of light and blessing. To poverty, bodily …

St. Eliseus

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St. Eliseus is a key figure in the ninth century BC. We know the name of his father, Safat, Abel Meholah originating in southern bewteen-Shan, and know that your family was wealthy (1 Kings 19, 16-19). Caramel has always been considered a disciple of St. Elijah, from whom he inherited his double spirit, as his second spiritual father. God chooses a direct and particular (1 Kings 19:16) to go in pursuit of Elijah (1 Kings 19, l9ss), which will happen after the mysterious disappearance of their brother, inheriting the spirit to the extent provided by law for the firstborn: double the other heirs [2 Re 2.1 to 15]. Their status as "man of God" is revealed mainly in the wonders of every kind that is woven with his life. The work itself, for individuals and entire communities. Lived about 850-800, successor of St. Elias, which certainly exceeds the number and striking miracles, but not by his personality and his religious influence. So, Elijah is mentioned in the New Testament, si…

St. Anthony of Padua

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Anthony was born at Lisbon in Portugal in 1195. He was baptised "Fernando" in the Cathedral Church of old Lisbon. On the font is written: "Here the waters of holy baptism cleansed Anthony from all stain of original sin. The world rejoices in his light, Padua in his body, heaven in his soul."

His father, was a revenue officer and knight at the court of Alfonso II, king of Portugal. When Fernando was 15 years old, he joined the community of Canons Regular of St Augustine in Lisbon. However, because of the constant visits of his family, he asked to be moved to another house of the Order.

At seventeen he was transferred, more than 175km away, to the Augustinian Monastery of Santa Cruz at Coimbra which was renowned for its biblical scholarship. Here he spent nine years in intense study. There is every indication that during this time he learned the Sacred Scriptures off by heart. However, it is possible that he was not ordained during this period as it was a custom of the…

St. John of Sahagun

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John Gonzales de Castrillo was born at Sahagun, Leon Spain. He was educated by the Benedictine monks of Fagondez monastery there and when twenty, received a canonry from the bishop of Burgos, though he already had several benefices. He was ordained in 1445; concerned about the evil of pluralism, he resigned all his benefices except that of St. Agatha in Burgos. He spent the next four years studying at the University of Salamanca and then began to preach. In the next decade he achieved a great reputation as a preacher and spiritual director, but after recovering after a serious operation, became an Augustinian friar in 1463 and was professed the following year. He served as master of novices, definitor, prior at Salamanca, experienced visions, was famous for his miracles, and had the gift of reading men's souls. He denounced evil in high places and several attempts were made on his life. He died at Sahagun on June 11, reportedly poisoned by the mistress of a man he had convinced to…

St. Barnabas

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WE read that in the first days of the Church, " the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul; neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed was his own." Of this fervent company, one only is singled out by name, Joseph, a rich Levite, from Cyprus. "He having land sold it, and brought the price and laid it at the feet of the Apostles." They now gave him a new name, Barnabas, the son of consolation. " He was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and of faith," and was soon chosen for an important mission to the rapidly-growing Church of Antioch. Here he perceived the great work which was to be done among the Greeks, so hastened to fetch St. Paul from his retirement at Tarsus. It was at Antioch that the two Saints were called to the apostolate of the Gentiles, and hence they set out together to Cyprus and the cities of Asia Minor. Their preaching struck men with amazement, and some cried out, " The gods are come down to…

St. Landericus

St. Landericus (or Landry) was a sincere and dedicated servant of God who, like his Lord Jesus Christ, had great love for the poor and the lowly. As Bishop of Paris, from 650-661, he labored zealously to improve their lot. And when the proceeds from the sale of all his possessions did not suffice to relieve their hungry during a famine, he went so far as to sell some of the Church vessels and furniture. St. Landericus became increasingly aware that the sick poor of his diocese were not really cared for by the custom then in vogue of housing them in little hostels dependent on the casual alms of charitable persons. This led him to erect the city's first real hospital, dedicated to St. Christopher, which in time became the famous Hotel-Dieu. Always on the alert to provide spiritual help for his people, this saintly bishop welcomed the Benedictines into his diocese and encouraged them to set up the Abbey of Denis. In 653, in company with twenty-three other bishops, he signed the foun…

St. Columba

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Columba, the most famous of the saints associated with Scotland, was actually an Irishman of the O'Neill or O'Donnell clan, born about the year 521 at Garton, County Donegal, in north Ireland. Of royal lineage on both sides, his father, Fedhlimidh, or Phelim, was great-grandson to Niall of the Nine Hostages, Overlord of Ireland, and connected with the Dalriada princes of southwest Scotland; his mother, Eithne, was descended from a king of Leinster. The child was baptized Colum, or Columba.[1] In later life he was given the name of Columcille or Clumkill, that is, Colum of the Cell or Church, an appropriate title for one who became the founder of so many monastic cells and religious establishments.
As soon as he was old enough, Columba was taken from the care of his priest-guardian at Tulach-Dugblaise, or Temple Douglas, to St. Finnian's training school at Moville, at the head of Strangford lough. He was about twenty, and a deacon, when he left to study in the school of Lei…