Author Topic: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church  (Read 40374 times)

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Offline elijahmaria

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Dear Readers of the Orthodox-Catholic section of the OCnet Forum:

I have asked Schultz to place this thread up as a push-pin post.  It is my hope to start a data base of abreviated bits of writing from the saints, doctors, and theological writers of the papal Church.  This thread will not be for the purpose of discussion.  I suppose if you post a text, there would be no harm in posting a comment about why you chose that text or something like that but then if the text or the comment is going to spark discussion then that should happen in another thread.  When posting here please be reverential and kind and generous of spirit, so that it is a font of wisdom and not a wellspring of bitterness, and cite your texts to the best of your ability.

I will begin with a text from St. Anselm of Canterbury: 

St. Anselm, Proslogium, Open Court Classics, 1962, p. 68

Chapter XVI

This is the unapproachable light wherein he dwells.

Truly O Lord this is the unapproachable light in which thou dwellest; for truly there is nothing else which can penetrate this light that it may see thee there.  Truly I see it not, because it is too bright for me.  And yet, whatsoever I see, I see through it, as the weak eye sees what it sees through the light of the sun, which in the sun itself it cannot look upon.  My understanding cannot reach that light, for it shines too bright.  It does not comprehend it, nor does the eye of my soul endure to gaze upon it long.  It is dazzled by the brightness, it is overcome by the greatness, it is overwhelmed by the infinity, it is dazed by the largeness...O  supreme and unapproachable light!!

Offline Schultz

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 11:02:10 AM »
If you want to take a comment off of here and run with it, please start a new thread.  I would like to keep this particular thread to a clearing house, of sorts, of quotes from Roman Catholic theologians, saints, etc.

Thank you


"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2011, 07:13:30 PM »
St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Doubleday, 2003, p. 178

Besides the mental solitude to which you may retreat even in the midst of the highest society, as I have already observed, you must also love real, physical solitude.  You [need] not go out into the desert like St. Mary of Egypt, St. Paul, St. Anthony, Arsenius, and other ancient solitaries did.  You should remain for some time alone with yourself in your room or your garden or some other place.  There you will have liesure to withdraw your spirit into your heart and refresh your soul with pious meditations, holy thoughts, or a little spiritual reading after the example of the great bishop of Nazianzus.  Speaking of himself he says:  "I walk alone by myself about sunset and passed the time on the seashore, for it is my custom to use such recreation to refresh myself and shake off a little of my ordinary troubles."  
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 07:13:58 PM by elijahmaria »

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 12:32:15 PM »
Reproduced from "Rhythmical Prayer to the Sacred Members of Jesus Hanging Upon the Cross," ascribed to St. Bernard, translated by Emily Mary Shapcote, found in "The Life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" by St. Bonaventure, P.J. Kenedy and Sons (New York: 1881). Courtesy of Catholic Information Network (CIN)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        PART I
        TO THE FEET


        I  O Saviour of the world, I cry to Thee; O Saviour, suffering God, I worship Thee; O wounded beauteous Love, I kneel to Thee; Thou knowest, Lord, how I would follow Thee, If of Thyself Thou give Thyself to Me.

        II Thy Presence I Believe; O come to me! Behold me prostrate, Jesus; look on me! How beautiful Thou art! O turn to me! O in Thy tender mercy turn to me, And let Thy untold pity pardon me!

        III  With trembling love and feat I worship Thee; I kiss the grievous nails which entered Thee, And think on those dire wounds which tortured Thee, And, grieving, lift my weeping eyes to Thee, Transfixed and dying all for love of me!

        IV  O wondrous grace! O gracious charity! O love of sinners in such agony! Sweet Father of the poor! O who can be Unmoved to witness this great mystery,-- The Healer smitten, hanging on a tree?

        IV  O wondrous grace! O gracious charity! O love of sinners in such agony! Sweet Father of the poor! O who can be Unmoved to witness this great mystery,-- The Healer smitten, hanging on a tree?

        V  O gentle Jesus, turn Thee unto me; What i have broken do Thou bind in me, And what is crooked make Thou straight in me; What I have lost restore Thou unto me, And what is weak and sickly heal in me.

        VI  O Love! with all my strength I seek for Thee; Upon and in thy Cross I look for Thee; With sorrow and with hope I turn to Thee,-- That through Thy Blood new health may come to me, That washed therein Thy love may pardon me.

        VII   O take my heart, Thou Loved One; let it be Transfixed with those dear wounds for love of Thee, O wound it, Jesus, with pure love of Thee; And let it so be crucified with Thee, that it may be forever joined to Thee.

        VIII  Sweet Jesus, loving God, I cry to Thee; Thou guilty, yet I come for love of Thee; O show Thyself, dear Saviour, kind to me! Unworthy as I am, O turn to me, Nor at thy sacred Feet abandon me!

        IX   Dear Jesus, bathed in tears, I kneel to Thee; In shame and grief I lift my eyes to Thee; Prostrate before Thy Cross I bow to Thee, And thy dear Feet embrace; O look on me, Yea, from Thy Cross, O look, and pardon me.

        X  O my Beloved, stretched against that Thee, Whose arms divine are now enfolding me, whose gracious Heart is now upholding me,-- O my Beloved, let me wholly be Transformed, forgiven, one alone with Thee!

        PART II
        TO THE KNEES


        I   O Jesus, King of Saints, I worship Thee; O hope of sinners, hail! I rest on Thee; True God, true man, Thou hangest on the Tree Transfixed, with quivering flesh and shaking knees, A criminal esteemed,--I worship Thee.

        II  Alas, how poor, how naked, wilt Thou be! How hast Thou stript Thyself for love of me, How made Thyself a gazing-stock to be! Not forced, but, O my God! How willingly In all Thy limbs Thou sufferest on that Tree!

        III   Thy Precious Blood wells forth abundantly From all Thy open wounds incessantly; All bathed therein, O God, in agony Thou standest on the Cross of infamy, Awaiting the appointed hour to die.

        IV  O infinite, O wondrous majesty! O terrible, unheard-of poverty! Ah, who, returning so great charity, I willing, Jesus, thus to give for Thee His blood for Thine, in faithful love for Thee?

        V  O Jesus, how shall I, then, answer Thee, Who am so vile, and have not followed Thee? Or how repay the love that loveth me With such sublime, such awful charity Transfixed, from double death to set me free?

        VI  O Jesus, what Thy love hath been for me! O Jesus, death could never conquer Thee! Ah, with what loving care Thou keepest me Enfolded in Thine arms, lest I should be, By death of sin, a moment torn from Thee!

        VII  Behold, O Jesus, how for love of Thee, With all my soul I trembling cling to Thee, And Thy dear Knees embrace. O pity me! Thou knowest why--in pity bear with me, And overlook the shame that covers me!

        VIII  O let the Blood I worship flow on me, That what I do may never anger Thee; The Blood which flows at every pore from Thee Each imperfection may it wash from me, That I may undefiled and perfect be.

        IX   O force me, best Beloved, to draw to Thee, Transfixed and bleeding on the shameful Tree, Despised and stretched in dying agony! All my desire, O Lord, is fixed on Thee; O call me, then, and I will follow Thee.

        X   I have no other love, dear Lord, but Thee; Thou art my first and last; I cling to Thee. It is no labor, Lord; love sets me free; Then heal me, cleanse me, let me rest on Thee, For love is life, and life is love--in Thee.

        PART III
        TO THE HANDS


        I   Hail, holy Shepherd! Lord, I worship Thee, Fatigued with combat, steeped in misery; Whose sacred Hands, outstretched in agony, All pierced and dislocated on the Tree, Are fastened to the wood of infamy.

        II   Dear holy Hands, I humbly worship ye, With roses filled, fresh blossoms of that Tree; The cruel iron enters into ye, While open gashes yield unceasingly The Precious stream down-dropping from the Tree.

        III   Behold, Thy Blood, O Jesus, flows on me-- The price of my salvation falls on me; O ruddy as the rose, it drops on me. Sweet Precious Blood, it wells abundantly From both Thy sacred Hands to set me free.

        IV   My heart leaps up, O Jesus, unto Thee; Drawn by those nail-pierced Hands it flies to Thee; Drawn by those Blood-stained Hands stretched out for me, My soul breaks out with sighing unto Thee, And longs to slake its thirst, O Love, in Thee.

        V   My God, what great stupendous charity-- Both good and bad are welcomed here by Thee! The slothful heart Thou drawest graciously, The loving one Thou callest tenderly, And unto all a pardon grantest free.

        VI   Behold, I now present myself to Thee, Who dost present thy bleeding Hands to me; The sick Thou healest when they come to Thee; Thou canst not, therefore, turn away from me, Whose love Thou knowest, Lord, is all for Thee.

        VII   O my Beloved, fastened to the Tree, Draw, by Thy love, my senses unto Thee; My will, my intellect, my memory, And all I am, make subject unto Thee, In whose dear arms alone is liberty.

        VIII   O draw me for Thy Cross' sake to Thee; O draw me for Thy so wide charity; Sweet Jesus, draw my heart in truth to Thee, O put an end to all my misery, And crown me with Thy Cross and victory!

        IX   O Jesus, place Thy sacred Hands on me, With transport let me kiss them tenderly, With groans and tears embrace them fervently; And, O for these deep wounds I worship Thee; And for hte blessed drops that fall on me!

        X   O dearest Jesus, I commend to Thee Myself, and all I am, most perfectly; Bathed in Thy Blood, behold, I live for Thee; O, may Thy blessed Hands encompass me, And in extremity deliver me!

       PART IV
        TO THE SIDE


        I   O Jesus, highest Good, I yearn for Thee; O Jesus, merciful, I hope in Thee, Whose sacred Body hands upon the Tree, Whose limbs, all dislocated painfully, Are stretched in torture, all for love of me!

        II   Hail, sacred Side of Jesus! Verily The hidden spring of mercy lies in Thee, The source of honeyed sweetness dwells in Thee, The fountain of redemption flows from Thee, The secret well of love that cleanses me.

        III   Behold, O King of Love, I draw to Thee; If I am wrong, O Jesus, pardon me; Thy love, Beloved, calls me lovingly, As I with blushing cheek gaze willingly Upon the living wound that bleeds for me.

        IV   O gentle opening, I worship Thee; O open door and deep, I look in Thee; O most pure stream, I gaze and gaze on Thee: More ruddy than the rose, I draw to Thee; More healing than all health, I fly to Thee.

        V   More sweet than wine Thine odor is for me; The poisoned breath of sin it drives from me; Thou art the draught of life poured out for me. O ye who thirst, come, drink thereof with me; And Thou, sweet wound, O open unto me.

        VI   O red wound open, let me draw to Thee, And let my throbbing heart be filled from Thee! Ah, see! My heart, Beloved, faints for Thee. O my Beloved, open unto me, That I may pass and lose myself in Thee.

        VII   Lord, with my mouth I touch and worship Thee, With all the strength I have I cling to Thee, With all my love I plunge my heart in Thee, My very life-blood would I drawn from Thee,-- O Jesus, Jesus! Draw me into Thee!

        VIII   How Sweet Thy savor is! Who tastes of Thee, O Jesus Christ, can relish naught but Thee; Who tastes Thy living sweetness lives by Thee; All else is void--the soul must die for Thee; So faints my heart,--so would I die for thee.

        IX   I languish, Lord! O let me hide in Thee! In Thy sweet Side, my Love, O bury me! And may the fire divine consuming Thee Burn in my heart where it lies hid in Thee, Without a fear reposing peacefully!

        X   When in the hour of death Thou callest me, O Love of loves, may my soul enter Thee; May my last breath, O Jesus fly to Thee; So no fierce beast may drive my heart from Thee, But in Thy Side may it remain with Thee!

       PART V
        TO THE BREAST


        I   O God of my salvation, hail to Thee! O Jesus, sweetest Love, all hail to Thee! O venerable Breast, I worship Thee; O dwelling-place of love, I fly to Thee, With trembling touch adore and worship Thee.

        II   Hail, throne of the Most Holy Trinity! Hail, ark immense of tender charity! Thou stay of weakness and infirmity, Sweet rest of weary souls who rest on Thee, Dear couch of loving ones who lean on Thee!

        III   With reverence, O Love, I kneel to Thee, O worthy to be ever sought by me; Behold me, Jesus, looking unto Thee. O, set my heart on fire, dear Love, from Thee, And burn it in the flame that burns in Thee.

        IV   O make my breast a precious home for thee, A furnace of sweet love and purity, A well of holy grief and piety; Deny my will, conform it unto Thee, That grace abundant may be mine in Thee.

        V   Sweet Jesus, loving Shepherd, come to me; Dear Son of God and Mary, come to me; Kind Father come, let Thy Heart pity me, And cleanse the fountain of my misery In that great fountain of Thy clemency.

        VI   Hail, fruitful splendor of the Deity! Hail, fruitful figure of Divinity! From the full treasure of Thy charity, O pour some gift in Thy benignity Upon the desolate who cry to Thee!

        VII   Dear Breast of most sweet Jesus, mine would be All Thine in its entire conformity; Absolve it from all sin, and set it free, That it may burn with ardent charity, And never, never cease to think on Thee.

        VIII   Abyss of wisdom from eternity, The harmonies of angels worship Thee; Entrancing sweetness flows, O Breast, from thee; John tasted it as he lay rapt on Thee; O grant me thus that I may dwell in Thee!

        IX   Hail, fountain deep of God's benignity! The fullness of the immense Divinity Hath found at last a creature home in Thee. Ah, may the counsel that I learn from Thee All imperfection purify in me!

        X   True temple of the Godhead, hail to Thee! O draw me in Thy gracious charity, Thou ark of goodness, full of grace for me. Great God of all, have mercy upon me, And on Thy right hand keep a place for me.

        PART VI
        TO THE FACE


        I   Hail, bleeding Head of Jesus, hail to Thee! Thou thorn-crowned Head, I humbly worship Thee! O wounded Head, I lift my hands to Thee; O lovely Face besmeared, I gaze on Thee; O bruised and livid Face, look down on me!

        II   Hail, beauteous Face of Jesus, bent on me, Whom angel choirs adore exultantly! Hail, sweetest Face of Jesus, bruised for me-- Hail, Holy One, whose glorious Face for me Is shorn of beauty on that fatal Tree!

        III   All strength, all freshness, is gone forth from Thee: What wonder! Hath not God afflicted Thee, And is not death himself approaching Thee? O Love! But death hath laid his touch on Thee, And faint and broken features turn to me.

        IV   O have they thus maltreated Thee, my own? O have they Thy sweet Face despised, my own? And all for my unworthy sake, my own! O in Thy beauty turn to me, my own; O turn one look of love on me, my own!

        V   In this Thy Passion, Lord, remember me; In this Thy pain, O Love, acknowledge me; The honey of whose lips was shed on me, The milk of whose delights hath strengthened me Whose sweetness is beyond delight for me!

        VI   Despise me not, O Love; I long for Thee; Contemn me not, unworthy though I be; But now that death is fast approaching Thee, Incline Thy Head, my Love, my Love, to me, To these poor arms, and let it rest on me!

        VII   The holy Passion I would share with Thee, And in Thy dying love rejoice with Thee; Content if by this Cross I die with Thee; Content, Thou knowest, Lord, how willingly Where I have lived to die for love of Thee.

        VIII   For this Thy bitter death all thanks to Thee, Dear Jesus, and Thy wondrous love for me! O gracious God, so merciful to me, Do as Thy guilty one entreateth Thee, And at the end let me be found with Thee!

        IX   When from this life, O Love, Thou callest me, Then, Jesus, be not wanting unto me, But in the dreadful hour of agony, O hasten, Lord, and be Thou nigh to me, Defend, protect, and O deliver me.

        X   When Thou, O God, shalt bid my soul be free, Then, dearest Jesus, show Thyself to me! O condescend to show Thyself to me,-- Upon Thy saving Cross, dear Lord, to me,-- And let me die, my Lord, embracing Thee!

       PART VII
        TO THE SACRED HEART


        I   Hail, sacred Heart of God's great Majesty! Hail, sweetest Heart, my heart saluteth Thee! With great desire, O Heart, I seek for Thee, And faint for joy, O Heart, embracing Thee; Then give me leave, O Love, to speak to Thee.

        II   With what sweet love Thou languishedst for me! What pain and torment was that love to Thee! How didst Thou all Thyself exhaust for me! How hast Thou wholly given Thyself to me, That death no longer might have hold of me!

        III   O bitter death and cruel! Can it be Thou darest so to enter greedily Into that cell divine? O can it be The Life of life, that lives there gloriously, Should feel thy bite, O death, and yield to thee?

        IV   For Thy death's sake which Thou didst bear for me, When Thou, O sweetest Heart, didst faint for me, O Heart most precious in its agony, See how I yearn, and longing turn to Thee! Yield to my love, and draw me unto Thee!

        V   O sacred Heart, beloved most tenderly, Cleanse Thou my own; more worthy let it be, All hardened as it is with vanity; O make it tender, loving, fearing Thee, And all its icy coldness drive from me.

        VI   O sinner as I am, I come to Thee; My very vitals throb and call for Thee; O Love, sweet love, draw hither unto me! O Heart of Love, my heart would ravished be, And sicken with the wound of love for Thee!

        VII   ilate and open, Heart of love, for me, And like a rose of wondrous fragrance be, Sweet Heart of love, united unto me; Anoint and pierce my heart, O Love, with Thee, How can he suffer, Lord, who loveth Thee?

        VIII   O Heart of Love, who vanquished is by Thee Knows nothing, but beside himself must be; No bounds are set to that sweet liberty, No moderation,--he must fly to Thee, Or die he must of many deaths for Thee.

        IX   My living heart, O Love, cries out for Thee; With all its strength, O Love, my soul loves Thee; O Heart of Love, incline Thou unto me, That I with burning love may turn to Thee, And with devoted breast recline on Thee!

        X   In that sweet furnace let me live for Thee, Nor let the sleep of sloth encumber me; O let me sing to Thee and weep to Thee, Adore, and magnify, and honor Thee, And always take my full delight in Thee.

        XI   Thou Rose of wondrous fragrance, open wide, And bring my heart into Thy wounded Side, O sweet heart, open! Draw Thy loving bride, All panting with desires intensified, And satisfy her love unsatisfied.

        XII   Unite my heart, O Jesus, unto Thine, And let Thy wounded love be found in mine. Ah, if my heart, dear love, be made like Thine O will it not be pierced with darts divine, the sweet reproach of love that thrills through Thine?

        XIII   O Jesus, draw my heart within Thy Breast, That it may be by Thee alone possessed. O Love, in that sweet pain it would find rest, In that entrancing sorrow would be blest, And love itself in joy upon Thy Breast.

        XIV   Behold, O Jesus, how it draws to Thee! O call it, that it may remain in Thee! See with what large desire it thirsts for Thee! Reprove it not, O Love; it loves but Thee: Then bid it live--by one sweet taste of Thee!

        ____________

      
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 12:33:05 PM by elijahmaria »

Offline Papist

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 01:55:08 PM »
"The gift of grace surpasses every capability of created nature, since it is nothing short of a partaking of the Divine Nature, which exceeds every other nature. And thus it is impossible that any creature should cause grace. For it is as necessary that God alone should deify, bestowing a partaking of the Divine Nature by a participated likeness, as it is impossible that anything save fire should enkindle." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I-II, Q. 112, Art. 1.


"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2011, 02:01:01 PM »
"Now, in considering the divine substance, we should especially make use of the method of remotion. For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not."
                                                             -St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Bk. 1, Ch. 14
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2011, 05:17:57 PM »
"Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others."   St John of the Cross, OCD
"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2011, 09:53:39 PM »
Archbishop Joseph Raya, The Face of God, 1979, p.37-8

It is not God's action but God himself in his action who makes himself known to man and gives him the ability to "see" him.  God enters into man's love, remaining there in his intimate reality.  This presence is real, indeed most real.  This communication of God himself is called the "Uncreated Energy."

The uncreated energies of God are not "things" which exist outside of God, not "gifts" of God; they are God himself in his action.  They are the very God who is himself Uncreated.

They are therefore called "uncreated" because their cause and origin is the Essence of God.  In them God, as it were, goes beyond himself and becomes "transradiant" in order really communicate himself.  Thus the Essence and the energies of God are not "parts" of God but two ways by which we human beings can contemplate God's essence.


Offline J Michael

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2011, 11:39:02 AM »
Reportedly written on the wall of Mother Teresa's room:



People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2011, 04:13:44 PM »
Book the First of the Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Chapter 1, St. John of the Cross

On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings -- oh, happy chance! --
I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest.

IN this first stanzas the soul sings of the happy fortune and chance which it experienced in going forth from all things that are without, and from the desires and imperfections that are in the sensual part of man because of the disordered state of his reason. For the understanding of this it must be known that, for a soul to attain to the state of perfection, it has ordinarily first to pass through two principal kinds of night, which spiritual persons call purgations or purifications of the soul; and here we call them nights, for in both of them the soul journeys, as it were, by night, in darkness.

2. The first night or purgation is of the sensual part of the soul, which is treated in the present stanza, and will be treated in the first part of this book. And the second is of the spiritual part; of this speaks the second stanza, which follows; and of this we shall treat likewise, in the second and the third part, with respect to the activity of the soul; and in the fourth part, with respect to its passitivity.

3. And this first night pertains to beginners, occurring at the time when God begins to bring them into the state of contemplation; in this night the spirit likewise has a part, as we shall say in due course. And the second night, or purification, pertains to those who are already proficient, occurring at the time when God desires to bring them to the state of union with God. And this latter night is a more obscure and dark and terrible purgation, as we shall say afterwards.

4. Briefly, then, the soul means by this stanza that it went forth (being led by God) for love of Him alone, enkindled in love of Him, upon a dark night, which is the privation and purgation of all its sensual desires, with respect to all outward things of the world and to those which were delectable to its flesh, and likewise with respect to the desires of its will. This all comes to pass in this purgation of sense; for which cause the soul says that it went forth while its house was still at rest; which house is its sensual part, the desires being at rest and asleep in it, as it is to them. For there is no going forth from the pains and afflictions of the secret places of the desires until these be mortified and put to sleep. And this, the soul says, was a happy chance for it -- namely, its going forth without being observed: that is, without any desire of its flesh or any other thing being able to hinder it. And likewise, because it went out by night -- which signifies the privation of all these things wrought in it by God, which privation was night for it.

5. And it was a happy chance that God should lead it into this night, from which there came to it so much good; for of itself the soul would not have succeeded in entering therein, because no man of himself can succeed in voiding himself of all his desires in order to come to God.

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2011, 04:30:17 PM »
St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part II, Chapter I, paragraph 2.


But especially I commend earnest mental prayer to you, more particularly such as bears upon
the Life and Passion of our Lord. If you contemplate Him frequently in meditation, your whole
soul will be filled with Him, you will grow in His Likeness, and your actions will be moulded on
His. He is the Light of the world; therefore in Him, by Him, and for Him we shall be enlightened
and illuminated; He is the Tree of Life, beneath the shadow of which we must find rest;—He is the
Living Fountain of Jacob’s well, wherein we may wash away every stain. Children learn to speak
by hearing their mother talk, and stammering forth their childish sounds in imitation; and so if we
cleave to the Savior in meditation, listening to His words, watching His actions and intentions, we
shall learn in time, through His Grace, to speak, act and will like Himself. Believe me, my daughter,
there is no way to God save through this door. Just as the glass of a mirror would give no reflection
save for the metal behind it, so neither could we here below contemplate the Godhead, were it not
united to the Sacred Humanity of our Saviour, Whose Life and Death are the best, sweetest and
most profitable subjects that we can possibly select for meditation. It is not without meaning that
the Saviour calls Himself the Bread come down from Heaven;—just as we eat bread with all manner
of other food, so we need to meditate and feed upon our Dear Lord in every prayer and action. His
Life has been meditated and written about by various authors. I should specially commend to you
the writings of S. Bonaventura, Bellintani, Bruno, Capilla, Grenada and Da Ponte.

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2011, 01:11:12 PM »
Saint John Eudes [1601-1680] from The Priest, His Dignity and Obligations,

The priest is a mediator between God and man, causing the Eternal Father to be known, loved, adored and served, as well as feared, by men. His office is to make known the will of God to men, urging them to be faithful to their every duty. His concern is to be devoted unceasingly to "the things that appertain to God" (Heb. 5, 1).

The priest is one of the chief parts of the Mystical Body of Christ because he occupies the principal parts of that Body, namely, the head, the eyes, the mouth, the tongue and the heart. He is the head with the Chief Shepherd, sharing the right to rule and govern in His place. He is the eyes watching over the other members to enlighten and guide them, and to weep over them when they sin.

The priest is the mouth and the tongue to speak the language of heaven, to utter on all occasions the words of eternity. He is the heart circulating the blood stream of Christ's Precious Blood to quicken and vivify the other members, that their works and functions may be ennobled and perfected.

A holy priest is a saviour and another Christ, taking the Master's place on earth, representing Him,clothed with His authority, acting in His name, adorned with His qualifications, exercising His judgment on earth in the tribunal of penance. He is consecrated to exercise the highest functions Christ ever performed on earth, to continue the work of salvation. In imitation of His Redeemer he gives himself, mind, heart, affections, strength, time, all for God. He is ever ready to sacrifice his very blood and even life itself to procure the salvation of souls, particularly those of his own flock.

He is a god, living and walking on earth; a god by grace and by participation, clothed with the perfections and attributes of God, namely, His divine authority, power, justice, mercy, charity, benignity, purity and holiness. He is a god delegated to carry on God's noblest works, the sacerdotal and pastoral duties, as great Saint Dionysius says: Omnium divinorum divinissimum est cooperari Deo in salutem animarum. "The most divine of all divine things is to cooperate with God in the salvation of souls."

Saint Gregory Nazianzen asserts that the priest is a "God who makes gods," Deus deos efficiens, that is, Christians who are given the name of gods in Sacred Scripture.

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2011, 11:00:47 AM »
This passage is from a letter written by Mother Mectilde de Bar (1614-1697) from the Benedictine Abbey of Montmartre, where she lived as refugee and a guest from 1641 to 1642.

http://vultus.stblogs.org/2011/09/i-abandon-myself-to-god-as-muc.html

    I beseech you to offer me mightily and with insistence to God, and to pray Him to mobilize all the powers of my soul, in such a way that I would die a thousand times rather than offend Him. This fear of falling into evil gives me a thousand apprehensions and prevents me from being perfectly resigned to having to go forth from here, although I abandon myself to God as much as I can. Very willingly would I descend into hell rather than than displease God; help me in this by your prayers.

    At the moment, my most habitual thought is the desire to be perfectly annihilated (ennothinged) and configured to the most precious Cross. As for annihilation (ennothingnment), I mean it to be both internal and external, knowing that without this I will not advance towards God. Presently, with regard to the external, it is easy with grace; but I find the internal difficult, because it seems to me that all one's diligence is a very little thing unless God Himself annihilates the [soul's] powers. The vivacity of my spirit gives me a lot to do, and my little constancy deprives me of so many graces.

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 01:14:14 PM »
From Blessed Theresa of Calcutta,

"Mary is our Coredemptrix with Jesus.  She gave Jesus his body and suffered with him at the foot of the cross.
Mary is the Mediatrix of all grace.  She gave Jesus to us, and as our Mother she obtains for us all his graces.
Mary is our Advocate who prays to Jesus for us.  It is only through the Heart of Mary that we come to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.
The papal definition of Mary as Coredemptrix,  Mediatrix, and Advocate will bring great graces to the Church.
All for Jesus through Mary.
God bless you,"
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here's the link: http://www.fifthmariandogma.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=276&Itemid=571
"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)

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Padre Pio

"Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother."
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 06:58:52 AM by Wandile »
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


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Offline Wandile

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Pope Pius XII

"We are not, therefore, teachers of a doctrine drawn from human minds, but-----conscious of our charge-----we ought to embrace and follow that which Christ Our Lord taught and Whose teaching, by a solemn commandment, He committed to His Apostles and to their successors ... Moreover, since We are very certain that this doctrine which we must safeguard in all its integrity is Divinely revealed, We repeat the words of the Apostle of the Nations: "But though we, or an Angel from Heaven, preach to you a Gospel besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema"

During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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St. Vincent of Lerins

It never was, is, or shall be lawful for Catholic Christians to teach any doctrine except that which they have received once and for all time; and it always was, is, and shall be their duty to condemn those who do . . . To detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they arise, and to continue whole and sound in the Catholic faith, we must, God help us, fortify our own belief in two ways: first, by the authority of Divine law, and then by the tradition of the Catholic Church . . . Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and more than sufficient of itself for everything, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church's interpretation? . . . For this reason: because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, not everyone accepts it in one and the same sense ... Therefore, it is very necessary that the rule for the proper understanding of the Prophets and Apostles be framed in accordance with the standard of ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation. Moreover, in the Church itself, every possible care must be taken to hold fast to that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by everyone. For that is truly and in the strictest sense "Catholic" which comprehends all universality . . . He is a true and genuine Catholic who loves the truth of God, who loves the Church, who loves the Body of Christ, who esteems Divine religion and the Catholic faith above everything: above the authority, the regard, the genius, the eloquence, the philosophy of every man whatsoever. He is a genuine Catholic who continues steadfast and well-founded in the faith, who resolves that he will believe those things-----and only those things-----which he is sure the Catholic Church has held universally and from ancient times . . . It is therefore an indispensable obligation for all Catholics who are eager to prove that they are true sons of Holy Mother the Church to adhere to the holy faith of the Fathers, to preserve it, to die for it, and, on the other hand, to detest the profane novelties of profane men, to dread them, to harass them, and to attack them. 
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Pope Leo XIII
Every grace which is communicated to this world has a threefold origin: it flows from God to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin, and from the Virgin to us . . . Nothing comes to us except through the mediation of Mary, for such is the will of God. Thus, just as no man goes to the Father but by the Son, so likewise no one goes to Christ except through His Mother. Whosoever will not have recourse to her is trying to fly without wings . . . O Virgin Most Holy, no one abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; no one, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee!
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Pope John Paul I

" The Ship of the Church is guided by Christ and by His Vicar ... It alone carries the disciples and receives Christ. Yes, it is tossed on the sea but, outside it, one would perish immediately. Salvation is only in the Church; outside it, one perishes."
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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St Robert Bellarmine

"The school of Christ is the school of love. In the last day, when the general examination takes place...Love will be the whole syllabus"
 


During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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St Francis of Assisi

"Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope and perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord, that I might carry out Your holy and true command"

"Preach the gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words"
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Venerable Fulton Sheen

"Far better it is for you to say: "I am a sinner," than to say: "I have no need of religion." The empty can be filled, but the self-intoxicated have no room for God.”
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 07:54:06 AM by Wandile »
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline sakura95

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"It was necessary for our salvation that there be a knowledge revealed by God, besides philosophical science built up by human reason. Firstly, indeed, because the human being is directed to God, as to an end that surpasses the grasp of his reason. "The eye hath not seen, O God, besides Thee, what things Thou hast prepared for them that wait for Thee" (Isaiah 64:4). But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation. "-St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2015, 04:39:15 PM »
St. Isadore of Seville

The more we are afflicted in this world, the greater is our assurance in the next; the more sorrow in the present, the greater will be our joy in the future.
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2015, 04:41:17 PM »
St. Ambrose of Milan


The Lord was Baptized, not to be cleansed Himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of Baptism.
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2015, 04:42:31 PM »
St. Thomas Aquinas

Just as a man cannot live in the flesh unless he is born in the flesh, even so a man cannot have the spiritual life of grace unless he is born again spiritually. This regeneration is effected by Baptism: "Unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" [Jn 3:5].
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2015, 04:44:13 PM »
St. John Bosco

Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?
 
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2015, 04:48:48 PM »
St. Francis of Assisi

We should all realize that no matter where or how a man dies, if he is in the state of mortal sin and does not repent, when he could have done so and did not, the Devil tears his soul from his body with such anguish and distress that only a person who has experienced it can appreciate it.
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2015, 04:51:00 PM »
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend upon material success . . . but on Jesus alone.
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2015, 04:52:21 PM »
St. Teresa of Avila

Anyone who has the habit of speaking before God's majesty as if he were speaking to a slave, careless about how he is speaking, and saying whatever comes into his head and whatever he's learned from saying prayers at other times, in my opinion is not praying. Please, God, may no Christian pray in this way. 
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2015, 04:53:48 PM »
St. Charles Borromeo

Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2015, 04:56:54 PM »
St. Thomas More

Comfort in tribulation can be secured only on the sure ground of faith holding as true the words of Scripture and the teaching of the Catholic Church.
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2015, 04:59:21 PM »
 
St. Thomas More

If we should see two men fighting together over serious matters, we would still think them both crazy if they did not leave off fighting when they saw a ferocious lion coming toward them, ready to devour them both. Now considering that we surely see that death is coming on us all, and will undoubtedly within a short time devour us all-----how soon, we don't know-----isn't it worse than insanity to be angry and bear malice to one another, more often than not over trivial matters, in the same way children fight over cherry stones?
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2015, 05:01:03 PM »
St. Paul of the Cross

Here learn the science of the Saints: All is to be found in the passion of Jesus. Make every effort to remain hidden in the wounds of Jesus, and you will be enriched with every good and every true light, enabling you to fly to that Perfection which is consonant with your way of life.
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline minasoliman

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"I would rather feel compunction of heart for my sins than merely know the definition of compunction."

Thomas à Kempis
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2018, 12:58:14 AM »
Great thread. All the words of the Saints are wonderful and full of wisdom. If nobody has an objection, will it be ok to post a daily meditation from Butler's Lives of the Saints here? Or shall I start another one for that? St. Agnes did not preach much, but she said more with her life than millions ever could with their words. From Rev. Alban Butler.

Quote
1/21: St. Agnes, Virgin, Martyr

January 21.--ST. AGNES, Virgin, Martyr.

ST. AGNES was but twelve years old when she was led to the altar of Minerva at Rome and commanded to obey the persecuting laws of Diocletian by offering incense. In the midst of the idolatrous rites she raised her hands to Christ, her Spouse, and made the sign of the life-giving cross. She did not shrink when she was bound hand and foot, though the gyves slipped from her young hands, and the heathens who stood around were moved to tears. The bonds were not needed for her, and she hastened gladly to the place of her torture. Next, when the judge saw that pain had no terrors for her, he inflicted an insult worse than death: her clothes were stripped off, and she had to stand in the street before a pagan crowd; yet even this did not daunt her. "Christ," she said, "will guard His own." So it was. Christ showed, by a miracle, the value which He sets upon the custody of the eyes. Whilst the crowd turned away their eyes from the spouse of Christ, as she stood exposed to view in the street, there was one young man who dared to gaze at the innocent child with immodest eyes. A flash of light struck him blind, and his companions bore him away half dead with pain and terror.

Lastly, her fidelity to Christ was proved by flattery and offers of marriage. But she answered, "Christ is my Spouse: He chose me first, and His I will be." At length the sentence of death was passed. For a moment she stood erect in prayer, and then bowed her neck to the sword. At one stroke her head was severed from her body, and the angels bore her pure soul to Paradise.

Reflection.--Her innocence endeared St. Agnes to Christ, as it has endeared her to His Church ever since. Even as penitents we may imitate this innocence of hers in our own degree. Let us strictly guard our eyes, and Christ, when He sees that we keep our hearts pure for love of Him, will renew our youth and give us back the years which the canker-worm has wasted.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 12:59:16 AM by Xavier »
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2018, 01:09:06 AM »
Quote
1/22: St. Vincent, Martyr

January 22.--ST. VINCENT, Martyr.

ST. VINCENT was archdeacon of the church at Saragossa. Valerian, the bishop, had an impediment in his speech; thus Vincent preached in his stead, and answered in his name when both were brought before Dacian, the president, during the persecution of Diocletian. When the bishop was sent into banishment, Vincent remained to suffer and to die. First of all, he was stretched on the rack; and, when he was almost torn asunder, Dacian, the president, asked him in mockery "how he fared now." Vincent answered, with joy in his face, that he had ever prayed to be as he was then. It was in vain that Dacian struck the executioners and goaded them on in their savage work. The martyr's flesh was torn with hooks; he was bound in a chair of red-hot iron; lard and salt were rubbed into his wounds; and amid all this he kept his eyes raised to heaven, and remained unmoved. He was cast into a solitary dungeon, with his feet in the stocks; but the angels of Christ illuminated the darkness, and assured Vincent that he was near his triumph. His wounds were now tended to prepare him for fresh torments, and the faithful were permitted to gaze on his mangled body. They came in troops, kissed the open sores, and carried away as relics cloths dipped in his blood. Before the tortures could recommence, the martyr's hour came, and he breathed forth his soul in peace.

Even the dead bodies of the saints are precious in the sight of God, and the hand of iniquity cannot touch them, A raven guarded the body of Vincent where it lay flung upon the earth. When it was sunk out at sea the waves cast it ashore; and his relics are preserved to this day in the Augustinian monastery at Lisbon, for the consolation of the Church of Christ.

Reflection.--Do you wish to be at peace amidst suffering and temptation? Then make it your principal endeavor to grow in habits of prayer and in union with Christ. Have confidence in Him. He will make you victorious over your spiritual enemies and over yourself. He will enlighten your darkness and sweeten your sufferings, and in your solitude and desolation He will draw nigh to you with His holy angels.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2018, 01:50:42 AM »
1/23: St. Raymund of Pennafort

January 23.--ST. RAYMUND OF PENNAFORT.

BORN A. D. 1175, of a noble Spanish family, Raymund, at the age of twenty, taught philosophy at Barcelona with marvellous success. Ten years later his rare abilities won for him the degree of Doctor in the University of Bologna, and many high dignities. A tender devotion to our blessed Lady, which had grown up with him from childhood, determined him in middle life to renounce all his honors and to enter her Order of St. Dominic. There, again, a vision of the Mother of Mercy instructed him to cooperate with his penitent St. Peter Nolasco, and with James, King of Aragon, in founding the Order of Our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives. He began this great work by preaching a crusade against the Moors, and rousing to penance the Christians, enslaved in both soul and body by the infidel. King James of Aragon, a man of great qualities, but held in bond by a ruling passion, was bidden by the Saint to put away the cause of his sin. On his delay, Raymund asked for leave to depart from Majorca, since he could not live with sin. The king refused, and forbade, under pain of death, his conveyance by others. Full of faith, Raymund spread his cloak upon the waters, and, tying one end to his staff as a sail, made the sign of the cross and fearlessly stepped upon it. In six hours he was borne to Barcelona, where, gathering up his cloak dry, he stole into his monastery. The king, overcome by this miracle, became a sincere penitent and the disciple of the Saint till his death. In 1230, Gregory IX. summoned Raymund to Rome, made him his confessor and grand penitentiary, and directed him to compile "The Decretals," a collection of the scattered decisions of the Popes and Councils. Having refused the archbishopric of Tarragona, Raymund found himself in 1238 chosen third General of his Order; which post he again succeeded in resigning, on the score of his advanced age. His first act when set free was to resume his labors among the infidels, and in 1256 Raymund, then eighty-one, was able to report that ten thousand Saracens had received Baptism. He died A. D. 1275.

Reflection.--Ask St. Raymund to protect you from that fearful servitude, worse than any bodily slavery, which even one sinful habit tends to form.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2018, 06:08:49 AM »
1/24: St. Timothy, Bishop, Martyr

January 24.--ST. TIMOTHY, Bishop, Martyr.

ST. TIMOTHY was a convert of St. Paul. He was born at Lystra in Asia Minor. His mother was a Jewess, but his father was a pagan; and though Timothy had read the Scriptures from his childhood, he had not been circumcised as a Jew. On the arrival of St. Paul at Lystra the youthful Timothy, with his mother and grandmother, eagerly embraced the faith. Seven years later, when the Apostle again visited the country, the boy had grown into manhood, while his good heart, his austerities and zeal had won the esteem of all around him; and holy men were prophesying great things of the fervent youth. St. Paul at once saw his fitness for the work of an evangelist. Timothy was forthwith ordained, and from that time became the constant and much-beloved fellow-worker of the Apostle. In company with St. Paul he visited the cities of Asia Minor and Greece--at one time hastening on in front as a trusted messenger, at another lingering behind to confirm in the faith some recently founded church. Finally, he was made the first Bishop of Ephesus; and here he received the two epistles which bear his name, the first written from Macedonia and the second from Rome, in which St. Paul from his prison gives vent to his longing desire to see his "dearly beloved son," if possible, once more before his death. St. Timothy himself not many years after the death of St. Paul, won his martyr's crown at Ephesus. As a child Timothy delighted in reading the sacred books, and to his last hour he would remember the parting words of his spiritual father, "Attende lectioni--Apply thyself to reading."

Reflection.--St. Paul, in writing to Timothy, a faithful and well-tried servant of God, and a bishop now getting on in years, addresses him as a child, and seems most anxious about his perseverance in faith and piety. The letters abound in minute personal instructions for this end. It is therefore remarkable what great stress the Apostle lays on the avoiding of idle talk, and on the application to holy reading. These are his chief topics. Over and over again he exhorts his son Timothy to "avoid tattlers and busybodies; to give no heed to novelties; to shun profane and vain babblings, but to hold the form of sound words; to be an example in word and conversation; to attend to reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2018, 01:42:52 AM »
1/25: The Conversion of St. Paul

January 25.--THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL.

THE great apostle Paul, named Saul at his circumcision, was born at Tarsus, the capital of Silicia, and was by privilege a Roman citizen, to which quality a great distinction and several exemptions were granted by the laws of the empire. He was early instructed in the strict observance of the Mosaic law, and lived up to it in the most scrupulous manner. In his zeal for the Jewish law, which he thought the cause of God, he became a violent persecutor of the Christians. He was one of those who combined to murder St. Stephen, and in the violent persecution of the faithful which followed the martyrdom of the holy deacon, Saul signalized himself above others. By virtue of the power he had received from the high priest, he dragged the Christians out of their houses, loaded them with chains, and thrust them into prison. In the fury of his zeal he applied for a commission to take up all Jews at Damascus who confessed Jesus Christ, and bring them bound to Jerusalem, that they might serve as examples for the others. But God was pleased to show forth in him His patience and mercy. While on his way to Damascus, he and his party were surrounded by a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, and suddenly struck to the ground. And then a voice was heard saying, "Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute Me?" And Saul answered, "Who art Thou, Lord?" and the voice replied, "I am Jesus, Whom thou dost persecute." This mild expostulation of Our Redeemer, accompanied with a powerful interior grace, cured Saul's pride, assuaged his rage, and wrought at once a total change in him. Wherefore, trembling and astonished, he cried out, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" Our Lord ordered him to arise and to proceed on his way to the city, where he should be informed of what was expected from him. Saul, arising from the ground, found that, though his eyes were open, he saw nothing. He was led by hand into Damascus, where he was lodged in the house of a Jew named Judas. To this house came by divine appointment a holy man named Ananias, who, laying his hands on Saul, said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to thee on thy journey, hath sent me that thou mayest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost." Immediately something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he recovered his sight. Then he arose and was baptized; he stayed some few days with the disciples at Damascus, and began immediately to preach in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God. Thus a blasphemer and a persecutor was made an apostle, and chosen as one of God's principal instruments in the con. version of the world.

Reflection.--Listen to the words of the "Imitation of Christ," and let them sink into your heart: "He who would keep the grace of God, let him be grateful for grace when it is given, and patient when it is taken away. Let him pray that it may be given back to him, and be careful and humble, lest he lose it."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2018, 09:46:40 AM »
1/26: St. Polycarp, Bishop, Martyr

January 26.--ST. POLYCARP, Bishop, Martyr.

ST. POLYCARP, Bishop of Smyrna, was a disciple of St. John. He wrote to the Philippians, exhorting them to mutual love and to hatred of heresy. When the apostate Marcion met St. Polycarp at Rome, he asked the aged Saint if he knew him. "Yes," St. Polycarp answered, "I know you for the first-born of Satan." These were the words of a Saint most loving and most charitable, and specially noted for his compassion to sinners. He hated heresy, because he loved God and man so much. In 167, persecution broke out in Smyrna. When Polycarp heard that his pursuers were at the door, he said, "The will of God be done; " and meeting them, he begged to be left alone for a little time, which he spent in prayer for "the Catholic Church throughout the world." He was brought to Smyrna early on Holy Saturday; and, as he entered, a voice was heard from heaven, "Polycarp, be strong." When the proconsul besought him to curse Christ and go free, Polycarp answered, "Eighty-six years I have served Him, and He never did me wrong; how can I blaspheme my King and Saviour?" When he threatened him with fire, Polycarp told him this fire of his lasted but a little, while the fire prepared for the wicked lasted forever. At the stake he thanked God aloud for letting him drink of Christ's chalice. The fire was lighted, but it did him no hurt; so he was stabbed to the heart, and his dead body was burnt. "Then," say the writers of his acts, "we took up the bones, more precious than the richest jewels or gold, and deposited them in a fitting place, at which may God grant us to assemble with joy to celebrate the birthday of the martyr to his life in heaven!"

Reflection.--If we love Jesus Christ, we shall love the Church and hate heresy, which rends His mystical body, and destroys the souls for which He died. Like St. Polycarp, we shall maintain our constancy in the faith by loves of Jesus Christ, Who is its author and its finisher.

...

1/27: St. John Chrysostom

January 27.--ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM.

ST. JOHN was born at Antioch in 344. In order to break with a world which admired and courted him, he in 374 retired for six years to a neighboring mountain. Having thus acquired the art of Christian silence, he returned to Antioch, and there labored as priest, until he was ordained Bishop of Constantinople in 398. The effect of his sermons was everywhere marvellous. He was very urgent that his people should frequent the holy sacrifice, and in order to remove all excuse he abbreviated the long Liturgy until then in use. St. Nilus relates that St. John Chrysostom was wont to see, when the priest began the holy sacrifice, "many of the blessed ones coming down from heaven in shining garments, and with bare feet, eyes intent, and bowed heads, in utter stillness and silence, assisting at the consummation of the tremendous mystery." Beloved as he was in Constantinople, his denunciations of vice made him numerous enemies. In 403 these procured his banishment; and although he was almost immediately recalled, it was not more than a reprieve. In 404 he was banished to Cucusus in the deserts of Taurus. In 407 he was wearing out, but his enemies were impatient. They hurried him off to Pytius on the Euxine, a rough journey of nigh 400 miles. He was assiduously exposed to every hardship, cold, wet, and semi-starvation, but nothing could overcome his cheerfulness and his consideration for others. On the journey his sickness increased, and he was warned that his end was nigh. Thereupon, exchanging his travel-stained clothes for white garments, he received Viaticum, and with his customary words, "Glory be to God for all things. Amen," passed to Christ.

Reflection.--We should try to understand that the most productive work in the whole day, both for time and eternity, is that involved in hearing Mass. St. John Chrysostom felt this so keenly that he allowed no consideration of venerable usage to interfere with the easiness of hearing Mass.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2018, 02:19:50 AM »
1/28: St. Cyril of Alexandria

January 28.--ST. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA.

ST. CYRIL became Patriarch of Alexandria in 412. Having at first thrown himself with ardor into the party politics of the place, God called him to a nobler conflict. In 428, Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, began to deny the unity of Person in Christ, and to refuse to the Blessed Virgin the title of "Mother of God." He was strongly supported by disciples and friends throughout the East. As the assertion of the divine maternity of Our Lady was necessary to the integrity of the doctrine of the Incarnation, so, with St. Cyril, devotion to the Mother was the necessary complement of his devotion to the Son. St. Cyril, after expostulating in vain, accused Nestorius to Pope Celestine. The Pope commanded retraction, under pain of separation from the Church, and intrusted St. Cyril with the conduct of the proceedings. The appointed day, June 7, 431, found Nestorius and Cyril at Ephesus, with over 200 bishops. After waiting twelve days in vain for the Syrian bishops, the council with Cyril tried Nestorius, and deposed him from his see. Upon this the Syrians and Nestorians excommunicated St. Cyril, and complained of him to the emperor as a peace-breaker. Imprisoned and threatened with banishment, the Saint rejoiced to confess Christ by suffering. In time it was recognized that St. Cyril was right, and with him the Church triumphed. Forgetting his wrongs, and careless of controversial punctilio, Cyril then reconciled himself with all who would consent to hold the doctrine of the Incarnation intact. He died in 444.

Reflection.--The Incarnation is the mystery of God's dwelling within us, and therefore should be the dearest object of our contemplation. It was the passion of St. Cyril's life; for it he underwent toil and persecution, and willingly sacrificed credit and friends.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2018, 09:55:17 AM »
January 29.—ST. FRANCIS OF SALES.
FRANCIS was born of noble and pious parents, near Annecy, 1566, and studied with brilliant success at Paris and Padua. On his return from Italy he gave up the grand career which his father had marked out for him in the service of the state, and became a priest. When the Duke of Savoy had resolved to restore the Church in the Chablais, Francis offered himself for the work, and set out on foot with his Bible and breviary and one companion, his cousin Louis of Sales. It was a work of toil, privation, and danger. Every door and every heart was closed against him. He was rejected with insult and threatened with death. But nothing could daunt or resist him, and ere long the Church burst forth into a second spring. It is stated that he converted 72,000 Calvinists. He was then compelled by the Pope to become Coadjutor Bishop of Geneva, and succeeded to the see in 1602. At times the exceeding gentleness with which he received heretics and sinners almost scandalized his friends, and one of them said to him, "Francis of Sales will go to Paradise, of course; but I am not so sure of the Bishop of Geneva: I am almost afraid his gentleness will play him a shrewd turn." "Ah," said the Saint, "I would rather account to God for too great gentleness than for too great severity. Is not God all love? God the Father is the Father of mercy; God the Son is a Lamb; God the Holy Ghost is a Dove—that is, gentleness itself. And are you wiser than God?" In union with St. Jane Frances of Chantal he founded at Annecy the Order of the Visitation, which soon spread over Europe. Though poor, he refused provisions and dignities, and even the great see of Paris. He died at Avignon, 1622.

Reflection.—"You will catch more flies," St. Francis used to say, "with a spoonful of honey than with a hundred barrels of vinegar. Were there anything better or fairer on earth than gentleness, Jesus Christ would have taught it us; and yet He has given us only two lessons to learn of Him—meekness and humility of heart."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2018, 11:35:45 PM »
1/30: St. Bathildes, Queen

January 30.--ST. BATHILDES, Queen.

ST. BATHILDES was an Englishwoman, who was carried over whilst yet young into France, and there sold for a slave, at a very low price, to Erkenwald, mayor of the palace under King Clovis II. When she grew up, her master was so much taken with her prudence and virtue that he placed her in charge of his household. The renown of her virtues spread through all France, and King Clovis II. took her for his royal consort. This unexpected elevation produced no alteration in a heart perfectly grounded in humility and the other virtues; she seemed to become even more humble than before. Her new station furnished her the means of being truly a mother to the poor; the king gave her the sanction of his royal authority for the protection of the Church, the care of the poor, and the furtherance of all religious undertakings. The death of her husband left her regent of the kingdom. She at once forbade the enslavement of Christians, did all in her power to promote piety, and filled France with hospitals and religious houses. As soon as her son Clotaire was of an age to govern, she withdrew from the world and entered the convent of Chelles. Here she seemed entirely to forget her worldly dignity, and was to be distinguished from the rest of the community only by her extreme humility, her obedience to her spiritual superiors, and her devotion to the sick, whom she comforted and served with wonderful charity. As she neared her end, God visited her with a severe illness, which she bore with Christian patience until, on the 30th of January, 680, she yielded up her soul in devout prayer.

Reflection.--In all that we do, let God and His holy will be always before our eyes, and our only aim and desire be to please Him.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2018, 02:39:19 AM »
These are very good, thanks for sharing them. Have you ever read the Prologue of Ohrid? It has daily lives of the saints, scripture readings and meditations.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2018, 12:41:11 AM »
Thanks RaphaCam. Got these from the iPieta app. There's a treasure of prayers and writings from the Fathers and Saints on there. Fr. Butler's Saint of the day has daily meditations. Haven't heard of the Prologue till you mentioned it. Will check it out. : )

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1/31: St. Marcella, Widow

January 31.--ST. MARCELLA, Widow.

ST. MARCELLA, whom St. Jerome called the glory of the Roman women, became a widow in the seventh month after her marriage. Having determined to consecrate the remainder of her days to the service of God, she rejected the hand of Cerealis, the consul, uncle of Gallus Caesar, and resolved to imitate the lives of the ascetics of the East. She abstained from wine and flesh-meat, employed all her time in pious reading, prayer, and visiting the churches, and never spoke with any man alone. Her example was followed by many who put themselves under her direction, and Rome was in a short time filled with monasteries. When the Goths under Alaric plundered Rome in 410, our Saint suffered severely at the hands of the barbarian, who cruelly scourged her in order to make her reveal the treasures which she had long before distributed in charity. She trembled only, however, for the innocence of her dear spiritual daughter, Principia, and falling at the feet of the cruel soldiers, she begged with many tears that they would offer no insult to that pure virgin. God moved them to compassion, and they conducted our Saint and her pupil to the Church of St. Paul, to which Alaric had granted the right of sanctuary, with that of St. Peter. St. Marcella, who survived this but a short time, closed her eyes by a happy death, in the arms of St. Principia, about the end of August, 410.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2018, 03:12:11 AM »
2/1: St. Bridgid; St. Ignatius

February 1.--ST. BRIDGID, Abbess, and Patroness of Ireland.

NEXT to the glorious St. Patrick, St. Bridgid, whom we may consider his spiritual daughter in Christ, has ever been held in singular veneration in Ireland. She was born about the year 453, at Fochard in Ulster. During her infancy, her pious father saw in a vision men clothed in white garments pouring a sacred unguent on her head, thus prefiguring her future sanctity. While yet very young, Bridgid consecrated her life to God, bestowed everything at her disposal on the poor, and was the edification of all who knew her. She was very beautiful, and fearing that efforts might be made to induce her to break the vow by which she had bound herself to God, and to bestow her hand on one of her many suitors, she prayed that she might become ugly and deformed. Her prayer was heard, for her eye became swollen, and her whole countenance so changed that she was allowed to follow her vocation in peace, and marriage with her was no more thought of. When about twenty years old, our Saint made known to St. Mel, the nephew and disciple of St. Patrick, her intention to live only to Jesus Christ, and he consented to receive her sacred vows. On the appointed day the solemn ceremony of her profession was performed after the manner introduced by St. Patrick, the bishop offering up many prayers, and investing Bridgid with a snow-white habit, and a cloak of the same color. While she bowed her head on this occasion to receive the veil, a miracle of a singularly striking and impressive nature occurred: that part of the wooden platform adjoining the altar on which she knelt recovered its original vitality, and put on all its former verdure, retaining it for a long time after. At the same moment Bridgid's eye was healed, and she became as beautiful and as lovely as ever.

Encouraged by her example, several other ladies made their vows with her, and in compliance with the wish of the parents of her new associates, the Saint agreed to found a religious residence for herself and them in the vicinity. A convenient site having been fixed upon by the bishop, a convent, the first in Ireland, was erected upon it; and in obedience to the prelate Bridgid assumed the superiority. Her reputation for sanctity became greater every day; and in proportion as it was diffused throughout the country the number of candidates for admission into the new monastery increased. The bishops of Ireland, soon perceiving the important advantages which their respective dioceses would derive from similar foundations, persuaded the young and saintly abbess to visit different parts of the kingdom, and, as an opportunity offered, introduce into each one the establishment of her institute.

While thus engaged in a portion of the province of Connaught, a deputation arrived from Leinster to solicit the Saint to take up her residence in that territory; but the motives which they urged were human, and such could have no weight with Bridgid. It was only the prospect of the many spiritual advantages that would result from compliance with the request that induced her to accede, as she did, to the wishes of those who had petitioned her. Taking with her a number of her spiritual daughters, our Saint journeyed to Leinster, where they were received with many demonstrations of respect and joy. The site on which Kildare now stands appearing to be well adapted for a religious institute, there the Saint and her companions took up their abode. To the place appropriated for the new foundation some lands were annexed, the fruits of which were assigned to the little establishment. This donation indeed contributed to supply the wants of the community, but still the pious sisterhood principally depended for their maintenance on the liberality of their benefactors. Bridgid contrived, however, out of their small means to relieve the poor of the vicinity very considerably; and when the wants of these indigent persons surpassed her slender finances, she hesitated not to sacrifice for them the movables of the convent. On one occasion our Saint, imitating the burning charity of St. Ambrose and other great servants of God, sold some of the sacred vestments that she might procure the means of relieving their necessities. She was so humble that she sometimes attended the cattle on the land which belonged to her monastery.

The renown of Bridgid's unbounded charity drew multitudes of the poor to Kildare; the fame of her piety attracted thither many persons anxious to solicit her prayers or to profit by her holy example. In course of time the number of these so much increased that it became necessary to provide accommodation for them in the neighborhood of the new monastery, and thus was laid the foundation and origin of the town of Kildare.

The spiritual exigencies of her community, and of those numerous strangers who resorted to the vicinity, having suggested to our Saint the expediency of having the locality erected into an episcopal see, she represented it to the prelates, to whom the consideration of it rightly belonged. Deeming the proposal just and useful, Conlath, a recluse of eminent sanctity, illustrious by the great things which God had granted to his prayers, was, at Bridgid's desire, chosen the first bishop of the newly erected diocese. In process of time it became the ecclesiastical metropolis of the province to which it belonged, probably in consequence of the general desire to honor the place in which St. Bridgid had so long dwelt.

After seventy years devoted to the practice of the most sublime virtues, corporal infirmities admonished our Saint that the time of her dissolution was nigh. It was now half a century since, by her holy vows, she had irrevocably consecrated herself to God, and during that period great results had been attained; her holy institute having widely diffused itself throughout the Green Isle, and greatly advanced the cause of religion in the various districts in which it was established. Like a river of peace, its progress was steady and silent; it fertilized every region fortunate enough to receive its waters, and caused it to put forth spiritual flowers and fruits with all the sweet perfume of evangelical fragrance. The remembrance of the glory she had procured to the Most High, as well as the services rendered to dear souls ransomed by the precious blood of her divine Spouse, cheered and consoled Bridgid in the infirmities inseparable from old age. Her last illness was soothed by the presence of Nennidh, a priest of eminent sanctity, over whose youth she had watched with pious solicitude, and who was indebted to her prayers and instructions for his great proficiency in sublime perfection. The day on which our abbess was to terminate her course, February 1, 523, having arrived, she received from the hands of this saintly priest the blessed body and blood of her Lord in the divine Eucharist, and, as it would seem, immediately after her spirit passed forth, and went to possess Him in that heavenly country where He is seen face to face and enjoyed without danger of ever losing Him. Her body was interred in the church adjoining her convent, but was some time after exhumed, and deposited in a splendid shrine near the high altar.

In the ninth century, the country being desolated by the Danes, the remains of St. Bridgid were removed in order to secure them from irreverence; and, being transferred to Down-Patrick, were deposited in the same grave with those of the glorious St. Patrick. Their bodies, together with that of St. Columba, were translated afterwards to the cathedral cf the same city, but their monument was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII. The head of St. Bridgid is now kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisbon.

Reflection.--Outward resemblance to Our Lady was St. Bridgid's peculiar privilege; but all are bound to grow like her in interior purity of heart. This grace St. Bridgid has obtained in a wonderful degree for the daughters of her native land, and will never fail to procure for all her devout clients.

February 1.--ST. IGNATIUS, Bishop, Martyr.

ST. IGNATIUS, Bishop of Antioch, was the disciple of St. John. When Domitian persecuted the Church, St. Ignatius obtained peace for his own flock by fasting and prayer. But for his part he desired to suffer with Christ, and to prove himself a perfect disciple. In the year 107, Trajan came to Antioch, and forced the Christians to choose between apostasy and death. "Who art thou, poor devil," the emperor said when Ignatius was brought before him, "who settest our commands at naught?" "Call not him 'poor devil,'" Ignatius answered, "who bears God within him." And when the emperor questioned him about his meaning, Ignatius explained that he bore in his heart Christ crucified for his sake. Thereupon the emperor condemned him to be torn to pieces by wild beasts at Rome. St. Ignatius thanked God, Who had so honored him, "binding him in the chains of Paul, His apostle."

He journeyed to Rome, guarded by soldiers, and with no fear except of losing the martyr's crown. He was devoured by lions in the Roman amphitheatre. The wild beasts left nothing of his body, except a few bones, which were reverently treasured at Antioch, until their removal to the Church of St. Clement at Rome, in 637. After the martyr's death, several Christians saw him in vision standing before Christ, and interceding for them.

Reflection.--Ask St. Ignatius to obtain for you the grace of profiting by all you have to suffer, and rejoicing in it as a means of likeness to your crucified Redeemer.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2018, 07:27:13 AM »
2/2: The Purification, Commonly Called Candlemas-Day

February 2.--THE PURIFICATION, COMMONLY CALLED CANDLEMAS-DAY.

THE law of God, given by Moses to the Jews, ordained that a woman, after childbirth, should continue for a certain time in a state which that law calls unclean, during which she was not to appear in public, nor presume to touch anything consecrated to God. This term was of forty days upon the birth of a son, and double that time for a daughter. On the expiration of the term, the mother .vas to bring to the door of the tabernacle, or Temple, a lamb and a young pigeon, or turtle-dove, as an offering to God. These being sacrificed to Almighty God by the priest, the woman was cleansed of the legal impurity and reinstated in her former privileges.

A young pigeon, or turtle-dove, by way of a sin-offering, was required of all, whether rich or poor; but as the expense of a lamb might be too great for persons in poor circumstances, they were allowed to substitute for it a second dove.

Our Saviour having been conceived by the Holy Ghost, and His blessed Mother remaining always a spotless virgin, it is evident that she did not come under the law; but as the world was, as yet, ignorant of her miraculous conception, she submitted with great punctuality and exactness to every humbling circumstance which the law required. Devotion and mal to honor God, by every observance prescribed by His law, prompted Mary to perform this act of religion, though evidently exempt from the precept. Being poor herself, she made the offering appointed for the poor; but; however mean in itself, it was made with a perfect heart, which is what God chiefly regards in all that is offered to Him. Besides the law which obliged the mother to purify herself, there was another which ordered that the first-born son should be offered to God, and that, after its presentation, the child should be ransomed with a certain sum of money, and peculiar sacrifices offered on the occasion.

Mary complies exactly with all these ordinances. She obeys not only in the essential points of the law, but has strict regard to all the circumstances. She remains forty days at home; she denies herself, all this time, the liberty of entering the Temple; she partakes not of things sacred; and on the day of her purification she walks several miles to Jerusalem, with the world's Redeemer in her arms. She waits for the priest at the gate of the Temple, makes her offerings of thanksgiving and expiation, presents her divine Son by the hands of the priest to His Eternal Father, with the most profound humility, adoration, and thanksgiving. She then redeems Him with five shekels, as the law appoints, and receives Him back again as a sacred charge committed to her special care, till the Father shall again demand Him for the full accomplishment of man's redemption.

The ceremony of this day was closed by a third mystery--the meeting in the Temple of the holy persons Simeon and Anne with Jesus and His parents. Holy Simeon, on that occasion, received into his arms the object of all his desires and sighs, and praised God for being blessed with the happiness of beholding the so-much-longed-for Messias. Re foretold to Mary her martyrdom of sorrow, and that Jesus brought redemption to those who would accept of it on the terms it was offered them; but a heavy judgment on all infidels who should obstinately reject it, and on Christians, also, whose lives were a contradiction to His holy maxims and example. Mary, hearing this terrible prediction, did not answer one word, felt no agitation of mind from the present, no dread for the future; but courageously and sweetly committed all to God's holy will. Anne, also, the prophetess, who in her widowhood served God with great fervor, had the happiness to acknowledge and adore in this great mystery the Redeemer of the world. Simeon, having beheld Our Saviour, exclaimed: "Now dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word, because my eyes have seen Thy salvation." This feast is called CANDLEMAS, because the Church blesses the candles to be borne in the procession of the day.

Reflection.--Let us strive to imitate the humility of the ever-blessed Mother of God, remembering that humility is the path which leads to abiding peace and brings us near to the consolations of God.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2018, 07:04:14 AM »
2/3: St. Blase, Bishop and Martyr

February 3.--ST. BLASE, Bishop and Martyr.

ST. BLASE devoted the earlier years of his life to the study of philosophy, and afterwards became a physician. In the practice of his profession he saw so much of the miseries of life and the hollowness of worldly pleasures, that he resolved to spend the rest of his days in the service of God, and from being a healer of bodily ailments to be- come a physician of souls. The Bishop of Sebaste, in Armenia, having died, our Saint, much to the gratification of the inhabitants of that city, was appointed to succeed him. St. Blase at once began to instruct his people as much by his example as by his words, and the great virtues and sanctity of this servant of God were attested by many miracles. From all parts the people came flocking to him for the cure of bodily and spiritual ills. Agricolaus, Governor of Cappadocia and the Lesser Armenia, having begun a persecution by order of the Emperor Licinius, our Saint was seized and hurried off to prison. While on his way there, a distracted mother, whose only child was dying of a throat disease, threw herself at the feet of St. Blase and implored his intercession. Touched at her grief, the Saint offered up his prayers, and the child was cured; and since that time his aid has often been effectually solicited in cases of a similar disease. Refusing to worship the false gods of the heathens, St. Blase was first scourged; his body was then torn with hooks, and finally he was beheaded in the year 316.

Reflection.--There is no sacrifice which, by the aid of grace, human nature is not capable of accomplishing. When St. Paul complained to God of the violence of the temptation, God answered, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for power is made perfect in infirmity."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2018, 08:30:31 PM »
2/4: St. Jane of Valois

February 4.--St. JANE OF VALOIS.

BORN of the blood royal of France, herself a queen, Jane of Valois led a life remarkable for its humiliations even in the annals of the Saints. Her father, Louis XI., who had hoped for a son to succeed him, banished Jane from his palace, and, it is said, even attempted her life. At the age of five the neglected child offered her whole heart to God, and yearned to do some special service in honor of His blessed Mother. At the king's wish, though against her own inclination, she was married to the Duke of Orleans. Towards an indifferent and unworthy husband her conduct was ever most patient and dutiful. Her prayers and tears saved him from a traitor's death and shortened the captivity which his rebellion had merited. Still nothing could win a heart which was already given to another. When her husband ascended the throne as Louis XII., his first act was to repudiate by false representations one who through twenty-two years of cruel neglect had been his true and loyal wife. At the final sentence of separation, the saintly queen exclaimed, "God be praised Who has allowed this, that I may serve Him better . than I have heretofore done." Retiring to Bourges, she there realized her long-formed desire of founding the Order of the Annunciation, in honor of the Mother of God.

Under the guidance of St. Francis of Paula, the director of her childhood, St. Jane was enabled to overcome the serious obstacles which even good people raised against the foundation of her new Order. In 1501 the rule of the Annunciation was finally approved by Alexander VI. The chief aim of the institute was to imitate the ten virtues practised by Our Lady in the mystery of the Incarnation, the superioress being called "Ancelle," handmaid, in honor of Mary's humility. St. Jane built and endowed the first convent of the Order in 1502. She died in heroic sanctity, 1505, and was buried in the royal crown and purple, beneath which lay the habit of her Order.

Reflection.--During the lifetime of St. Jane, the Angelus was established in France. The sound of the thrice each day gave her hone in her sorrow, and fostered in her the desire still further to honor the Incarnation. How often might we derive grace from the same beautiful devotion, so enriched by the Church, yet neglected by so many Christians!
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #50 on: February 06, 2018, 01:24:00 PM »
2/5: St. Agatha; Martyrs of Japan; St. Philip of Jesus

February 5.--ST. AGATHA, Virgin, Martyr.

ST. AGATHA was born in Sicily, of rich and noble parents--a child of benediction from the first, for she was promised to her parents before her birth, and consecrated from her earliest infancy to God. In the midst of dangers and temptations she served Christ in purity of body and soul, and she died for the love of chastity. Quintanus, who governed Sicily under the Emperor Decius, had heard the rumor of her beauty and wealth, and he made the laws against the Christians a pretext for summoning her from Palermo to Catania, where he was at the time. "O Jesus Christ!" she cried, as she set out on this dreaded journey, "all that I am is Thine; preserve me against the tyrant."

And Our Lord did indeed preserve one who had given herself so utterly to Him. He kept her pure and undefiled while she was imprisoned for a whole month under charge of an evil woman. He gave her strength to reply to the offer of her life and safety, if she would but consent to sin, "Christ alone is my life and my salvation." When Quintanus turned from passion to cruelty, and cut off her breasts, Our Lord sent the Prince of His apostles to heal her. And when, after she had been rolled naked upon potsherds, she asked that her torments might be ended, her Spouse heard her prayer and took her to Himself.

St. Agatha gave herself without reserve to Jesus Christ; she followed Him in virginal purity, and then looked to Him for protection. And down to this day Christ has shown His tender regard for the very body of St. Agatha. Again and again, during the eruptions of Mount Etna, the people of Catania have exposed her veil for public veneration, and found safety by this means; and in modern times, on opening the tomb in which her body lies waiting for the resurrection, they beheld the skin still entire, and felt the sweet fragrance which issued from this temple of the Holy Ghost.

Reflection.--Purity is a gift of God: we can gain it and preserve it only by care and diligence in avoiding all that may prove an incentive to sin.

February 5.--THE MARTYRS OF JAPAN.

ABOUT forty years after St. Francis Xavier's death a persecution broke out in Japan, and all Christian rites were forbidden under pain of death. A confraternity of martyrs was at once formed, the object of which was to die for Christ. Even the little children joined it. Peter, a Christian child six years old, was awakened early and told that he was to be beheaded, together with his father. Strong in grace, he expressed his joy at the news, dressed himself in his gayest clothing, and took the hand of the soldier who was to lead him to death. The headless trunk of his father first met his view; calmly kneeling down, he prayed beside the corpse, and, loosening his collar, prepared his neck for the stroke. Moved by this touching scene, the executioner threw down his sabre and fled. None but a brutal slave could be found for the murderous task; with unskilled and trembling hand he hacked the child to pieces, who at last died without uttering a single cry. Christians were branded with the cross, or all but buried alive, while the head and arms were slowly sawn off with blunt weapons. The least shudder under their anguish was interpreted it into apostasy. The obstinate were put to the most cruel deaths, but the survivors only envied them. Five noblemen were escorted to the stake by 40,000 Christians with flowers and lights, singing the litanies of Our Lady as they went. In the great martyrdom, at which thousands also assisted, the martyrs sent up a flood of melody from the fire, which only died away as one after another went to sing the new song in heaven. Later on, a more awful doom was invented. The victims were lowered into a sulphurous chasm, called the "mouth of hell," near which no bird or beast could live. The chief of these, Paul Wiborg, whose family bad been already massacred for the faith, was thrice let down; thrice he cried, with a loud voice, "Eternal praise be to the ever-adorable Sacrament of the Altar." The third time he went to his reward.

Reflection.--If mere children face torture and death with joy for Christ, can we begrudge the slight penance He asks us to bear?

February 5.--ST. PHILIP OF JESUS, Martyr, Patron of the City of Mexico.

(From Rev. Butler's section titled: "Lives Of Certain Saints Contained In The Calendar Of Special Feasts For The United States And Of Some Others Recently Canonized")

PHILIP DE LAS CASAS was born in the city of Mexico. Brought up piously, Philip at first showed little care for the pious teaching of his parents, but at last resolved to enter the Reformed Franciscan Convent of Santa Barbara at Pueblo. He was not yet weaned from the world and soon left the novitiate. Grieved at the inconstancy of his son, de las Casas sent him to the Philippine Islands on a business errand. In vain did Philip seek to satisfy his heart with pleasure. He could not but feel that God called him to a religious life. Gaining courage by prayer, he entered the Franciscan Convent of Our Lady of the Angels at Manila, and persevered, taking his vows in 1594. The richest cargo that he could have sent to Mexico would not have gratified his pious father as much as the tidings that Philip was a professed friar. Alonso de las Casas obtained from the Commissary of the Order directions that Philip should be sent to Mexico. He embarked on the St. Philip in July, 1596, with other religious. Storms drove the vessel to the coast of Japan, and it was wrecked while endeavoring to enter a port. Amid the storm Philip saw over Japan a white cross, in the shape used in that country, which after a time became blood-red, and remained so for some time. It was an omen of his coming victory. The commander of the vessel sent our Saint and two other religious to the emperor to solicit permission to continue their voyage, but they could not obtain an audience. He then proceeded to Macao, to a house of his Order, to seek the influence of the Fathers there; but the pilot of the vessel by idle boasts had excited the emperor's fears of the Christians, and the heathen ruler resolved to exterminate the Catholic missionaries. In December, officers seized a number of the Franciscan Fathers, three Jesuits, and several of their young pupils. St. Philip was one of those arrested and heard with holy joy that sentence of death had been passed on them all. His left ear was cut off, and he offered this first-fruit of his blood to God for the salvation of that heathen land. The martyrs were taken to Nagasaki, where crosses had been erected on a high hill. When St. Philip was led to that on which he was to die, he knelt down and clasped it, exclaiming: "O happy ship! O happy galleon for Philip, lost for my gain! Loss--no loss for me, but the greatest of all gain!" He was bound to the cross, but the rest under him gave way, so that he was strangled by the cords. While repeating the holy name of Jesus he was the first of the happy band to receive the death-stroke. Miracles attested the power before God of these first martyrs of Japan. Pope Urban VIII. granted permission to say an Office and Mass in their honor, and Pope Pius IX. formally canonized them.

St. Philip died at the age of twenty-five and his feast is celebrated February 5th.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2018, 01:06:43 AM »
2/6: St. Dorothy, Virgin, Martyr

February 6.--ST. DOROTHY, Virgin, Martyr.

ST. DOROTHY was a young virgin, celebrated at Caesarea, where she lived, for her angelic virtue. Her parents seem to have been martyred before her in the Diocletian persecution, and when the Governor Sapricius came to Caesarea he called her before him, and sent this child of martyrs to the home where they were waiting for her.

She was stretched upon the rack, and offered marriage if she would consent to sacrifice, or death if she refused. But she replied that "Christ was her only Spouse, and death her desire." She was then placed in charge of two women who had fallen away from the faith, in the hope that they might pervert her; but the fire of her own heart rekindled the flame in theirs, and led them back to Christ. When she was set once more on the rack, Sapricius himself was amazed at the heavenly look she wore, and asked her the cause of her joy. "Because," she said, "I have brought back two souls to Christ, and because I shall soon be in heaven rejoicing with the angels." Her joy grew as she was buffeted in the face and her sides burned with plates of red-hot iron. "Blessed be Thou," she cried, when she was sentenced to be beheaded,--"blessed be Thou, O Thou Lover of souls! Who dost call me to Paradise, and invitest me to Thy nuptial chamber."

St. Dorothy suffered in the dead of winter, and it is said that on the road to her passion a lawyer called Theophilus, who had been used to calumniate and persecute the Christians, asked her, in mockery, to send him "apples or roses from the garden of her Spouse." The Saint promised to grant his request, and, just before she died, a little child stood by her side bearing three apples and three roses. She bade him take them to Theophilus and tell him this was the present which he sought from the garden of her Spouse. St. Dorothy had gone to heaven, and Theophilus was still making merry over his challenge to the Saint when the child entered his room. He saw that the child was an angel in disguise, and the fruit and flowers of no earthly growth. He was converted to the faith, and then shared in the martyrdom of St. Dorothy.

Reflection.--Do you wish to be safe in the pleasures and happy in the troubles of the world? Pray for heavenly desires, and say, with St. Philip, "Paradise, Paradise!"
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2018, 06:20:45 AM »
2/7: St. Romuald, Abbot

February 7.--ST. ROMUALD, Abbot.

IN 976, Sergius, a nobleman of Ravenna, quarrelled with a relative about an estate, and slew him in a duel. His son Romuald, horrified at his father's crime, entered the Benedictine monastery at Classe, to do a forty days' penance for him. This penance ended in his own vocation to religion. After three years at Classe, Romuald went to live as a hermit near Venice, where he was joined by Peter Urseolus, Duke of Venice, and together they led a most austere life in the midst of assaults from the evil spirits. St. Romuald founded many monasteries, the chief of which was that at Camaldoli, a wild desert place, where he built a church, which he surrounded with a number of separate cells for the solitaries who lived under his rule. His disciples were hence called Camaldolese. He is said to have seen here a vision of a mystic ladder, and his white-clothed monks ascending by it to heaven. Among his first disciples were Sts. Adalbert and Boniface, apostles of Russia, and Sts. John and Benedict of Poland, martyrs for the faith. He was an intimate friend of the Emperor St. Henry, and was reverenced and consulted by many great men of his time. He once passed seven years in solitude and complete silence.

In his youth St. Romuald was much troubled by temptations of the flesh. To escape them he had recourse to hunting, and in the woods first conceived his love for solitude. His father's sin, as we have seen, first prompted him to undertake a forty days' penance in the monastery, which he forthwith made his home. Some bad example of his fellow monks induced him to leave them and adopt the solitary mode of life. The penance of Urseolus, who had obtained his power wrongfully, brought him his first disciple; the temptations of the devil compelled him to his severe life; and finally the persecutions of others were the occasion of his settlement at Camaldoli, and the foundation of his Order. He died, as he had foretold twenty years before, alone, in his monastery of Val Castro, on the 19th of June, 1027.

Reflection.--St. Romuald's life teaches us that, if we only follow the impulse of the Holy Spirit, we shall easily find good everywhere, even on the most unlikely occasions. Our own sins, the sins of others, their ill will against us, or our own mistakes and misfortunes, are equally capable of leading us, with softened hearts, to the feet of God's mercy and love.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #53 on: February 10, 2018, 06:53:33 AM »
2/8: St. John of Matha

February 8.--ST. JOHN OF MATHA.

THE life of St. John of Matha was one long course of self-sacrifice for the glory of God and the good of his neighbor. As a child, his chief delight was serving the poor; and he often told them he had come into the world for no other end but to wash their feet. He studied at Paris with such distinction that his professors advised him to become a priest, in order that his talents might render greater service to others; and, for this end, John gladly sacrificed his high rank and other worldly advantages. At his first Mass an angel appeared, clad in white, with a red and blue cross on his breast, and his hands reposing on the heads of a Christian and a Moorish captive. To ascertain what this signified, John repaired to St. Felix of Valois, a holy hermit living near Meaux, under whose direction he led a life of extreme penance. The angel again appeared, and they then set out for Rome, to learn the will of God from the lips of the Sovereign Pontiff, who told them to devote themselves to the redemption of captives. For this purpose they founded the Order of the Holy Trinity. The religious fasted every day, and gathering alms throughout Europe took them to Barbary, to redeem the Christian slaves. They devoted themselves also to the sick and prisoners in all countries. The charity of St. John in devoting his life to the redemption of captives was visibly blessed by God. On his second return from Tunis he brought back one hundred and twenty liberated slaves. But the Moors attacked him at sea, over- i powered his vessel, and doomed it to destruction, with all on board, by taking away the rudder and sails, and leaving it to the mercy of the winds. St. John tied his cloak to the mast, and prayed, saying, "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered. O Lord, Thou wilt save the humble, and wilt bring down the eyes of the proud." Suddenly the wind filled the small sail, and, without guidance, carried the ship safely in a few days to Ostia, the port of Rome, three hundred leagues from Tunis. Worn out by his heroic labors, John died in 1213, at the age of fifty-three.

Reflection.--Let us never forget that our blessed Lord, bade us love our neighbor not only as ourselves, but as He loved us, Who afterwards sacrificed Himself for us.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2018, 07:36:22 AM »
Quote
2/9: St. Apollonia and The Martyrs of Alexandria

February 9.--ST. APOLLONIA AND THE MARTYRS OF ALEXANDRIA.

AT Alexandria, in 249, the mob rose in savage fury against the Christians. Metras, an old man, perished first. His eyes were pierced with reeds, and he was stoned to death. A woman named Quinta was the next victim. She was led to a heathen temple and bidden worship. She replied by cursing the false god again and again, and she too was stoned to death. After this the houses of the Christians were sacked and plundered. They took the spoiling of their goods with all joy.

St. Apollonia, an aged virgin, was the most famous among the martyrs. Her teeth were beaten out; she was led outside the city, a huge fire was kindled, and she was told she must deny Christ, or else be burned alive. She was silent for a while, and then, moved by a special inspiration of the Holy Ghost, she leaped into the fire and died in its flames. The same courage showed itself the next year, when Decius became emperor, and the persecution grew till it seemed as if the very elect must fall away. The story of Dioscorus illustrates the courage of the Alexandrian Christians, and the esteem they had for martyrdom. He was a boy of fifteen. To the arguments of the judge he returned wise answers: he was proof against torture. His older companions were executed, but Dioscorus was spared on account of his tender years; yet the Christians could not bear to think that he had been deprived of the martyr's crown, except to receive it afterwards more gloriously. "Dioscorus," writes Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria at this time, "remains with us, reserved for some longer and greater combat." There were indeed many Christians who came, pale and trembling, to offer the heathen sacrifices. But the judges themselves were struck with horror at the multitudes who rushed to martyrdom. Women triumphed over torture, till at last the judges were glad to execute them at once and put an end to the ignominy of their own defeat.

Reflection.--Many saints, who were not martyrs, have longed to shed their blood for Christ. We, too, may pray for some portion of their spirit; and the least suffering for the faith, borne with humility and courage, is the proof that Christ has heard our prayer.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2018, 11:01:52 PM »
2/10: St. Scholastica, Abbess

February 10.--ST. SCHOLASTICA, Abbess.

OF this Saint but little is known on earth, save that she was the sister of the great patriarch St. Benedict, and that, under his direction, she founded and governed a numerous community near Monte Casino. St. Gregory sums up her life by saying that she devoted herself to God from her childhood, and that her pure soul went to God in the likeness of a dove, as if to show that her life had been enriched with the fullest gifts of the Holy Spirit. Her brother was accustomed to visit her every year, for "she could not be sated or wearied with the words of grace which flowed from his lips." On his last visit, after a day passed in spiritual converse, the Saint, knowing that her end was near, said, "My brother, leave me not, I pray you, this night, but discourse with me till dawn on the bliss of those who see God in heaven." St. Benedict would not, break his rule at the bidding of natural affection; and then the Saint bowed her head on her hands and prayed; and there arose a storm so violent that St. Benedict could not return to his monastery, and they passed the night in heavenly conversation. Three days later St. Benedict saw in a vision the soul of his sister going up in the likeness of a dove into heaven. Then he gave thanks to God for the graces He had given her, and for the glory which had crowned them. When she died, St. Benedict, her spiritual daughters, and the monks sent by St. Benedict mingled their tears and prayed, "Alas! alas! dearest mother, to whom dost thou leave us now? Pray for us to Jesus, to Whom thou art gone." They then devoutly celebrated holy Mass, "commending her soul to God;" and her body was borne to Monte Casino, and laid by her brother in the tomb he had prepared for himself." And they bewailed her many days;" and St. Benedict said, "Weep not, sisters and brothers; for assuredly Jesus has taken her before us to be our aid and defence against all our enemies, that we may stand in the evil day and be in all things perfect." She died about the year 543.

Reflection.--Our relatives must be loved in and for God; otherwise the purest affection becomes inordinate and is so much taken from Him.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2018, 04:55:03 AM »
2/11: St. Severinus, Abbot of Agaunum

February 11.--ST. SEVERINUS, Abbot of Agaunum.

ST. SEVERINUS, of a noble family in Burgundy, was educated in the Catholic faith, at a time when the Arian heresy reigned in that country. He forsook the world in his youth, and dedicated himself to God in the monastery of Agaunum, which then only consisted of scattered cells, till the Catholic King Sigismund built there the great abbey of St. Maurice. St. Severinus was the holy abbot of that place, and had governed his community many years in the exercise of penance and charity, when, in 504, Clovis, the first Christian king of France, lying ill of a fever, which his physicians had for two years ineffectually endeavored to remove, sent his chamberlain to conduct the Saint to court; for it was said that the sick from all parts recovered their health by his prayers. St. Severinus took leave of his monks, telling them he should never see them more in this world. On his journey he healed Eulalius, Bishop of Nevers, who had been for some time deaf and dumb; also a leper, at the gates of Paris; and coming to the palace he immediately restored the king to perfect health, by putting on him his own cloak. The king, in gratitude, distributed large alms to the poor and released all his prisoners. St. Severinus, returning toward Agaunum, stopped at Chateau-Landon in Gatinois, where two priests served God in a solitary chapel, among whom he was admitted, at his request, as a stranger, and was soon greatly admired by them for his sanctity. He foresaw his death, which happened shortly after, in 507. The place is now an abbey of reformed canons regular of St. Austin. The Huguenots scattered the greater part of his relics when they plundered this church.

Reflection.--God loads with His favor those who delight in exercising mercy. "According to thy ability be merciful: if thou hast much, give abundantly; if thou hast little, take care even so to bestow willingly a little."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2018, 08:16:20 AM »
2/12: St. Benedict of Anian

February 12.--ST. BENEDICT OF ANIAN.

BENEDICT was the son of Aigulf, Governor of Languedoc, and was born about 750. In his early youth he served as cup-bearer to King Pepin and his son Charlemagne, enjoying under them great honors and possessions. Grace entered his soul at the age of twenty, and he resolved to reek the kingdom of God with his whole heart. Without relinquishing his place at court, he lived there a most mortified life for three years; then a narrow escape from drowning made him vow to quit the world, and he entered the cloister of St. Seine. In reward for his heroic austerities in the monastic state, God bestowed upon him the gift of tears, and inspired him with a knowledge of spiritual things. As procurator, he was most careful of the wants of the brethren, and most hospitable to the poor and to guests. Declining to accept the abbacy, he built himself a little hermitage on the brook Anian, and lived some years in great solitude and poverty; but the fame of his sanctity drawing many souls around him, he was obliged to build a large abbey, and within a short time governed three hundred monks. He became the great restorer of monastic discipline throughout France and Germany. First, he drew up with immense labor a code of the rules of St. Benedict, his great namesake, which he collated with those of the chief monastic founders, showing the uniformity of the exercises in each, and enforced by his "Penitential" their exact observance; secondly, he minutely regulated all matters regarding food, clothing, and every detail of life; and thirdly, by prescribing the same for all, he excluded jealousies and insured perfect charity. In a Provincial Council held in 813, under Charlemagne, at which he was present, it was declared that all monks of the West should adopt the rule of St. Benedict. He died February 11, 821.

Reflection.--The decay of monastic discipline and its restoration by St. Benedict prove that none are safe from loss of fervor, but that all can regain it by fidelity to grace.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #58 on: April 02, 2018, 03:16:23 AM »
Just going to continue with the Saints for April and will complete the remaining next year.

Quote
4/1: St. Hugh, Bishop

April 1.--ST. HUGH, Bishop.

IT was the happiness of this Saint to receive from his cradle the strongest impressions of piety by the example and care of his illustrious and holy parents. He was born at Chateau-neuf, in the territory of Valence in Dauphine, in 1053. His father, Odilo, who served his country in an honorable post in the army, labored by all the means in his power to make his soldiers faithful servants of their Creator, and by severe punishments to restrain vice. By the advice of his son, St. Hugh, he afterwards became a Carthusian monk, and died at the age of a hundred, having received Extreme Unction and Viaticum from the hands of his son. Our Saint likewise assisted, in her last moments, his mother, who had for many years, under his direction, served God in her own house, by prayer, fasting, and plenteous alms-deeds. Hugh, from the cradle, appeared to be a child of benediction. He went through his studies with great applause, and having chosen to serve God in an ecclesiastical state, he accepted a canonry in the cathedral of Valence. His great sanctity and learning rendered him an ornament of that church, and he was finally made Bishop of Grenoble. He set himself at once to reprove vice and to reform abuses, and so plentiful was the benediction of Heaven upon his labors that he had the comfort to see the face of his diocese in a short time exceedingly changed. After two years he privately resigned his bishopric, presuming on the tacit consent of the Holy See, and, putting on the habit of St. Bennet, he entered upon a novitiate in the austere abbey of Casa-Dei in Auvergne. There he lived a year, a perfect model of all virtues to that house of Saints, till Pope Gregory VII. commanded him, in virtue of holy obedience, to resume his pastoral charge.

He earnestly solicited Pope Innocent II. for leave to resign his bishopric, that he might die in solitude, but was never able to obtain his request. God was pleased to purify his soul by a lingering illness before He called him to Himself. Some time before his death he lost his memory for everything but his prayers. He closed his penitential course on the 1st of April in 1132, wanting only two months of being Eighty years old, of which he had been fifty-two years bishop. Miracles attested the sanctity of his happy death, and he was canonized by Innocent II. in 1134.

Reflection.--Let us learn from the example of the Saints to shun the tumult of the world as much as our circumstances will allow, and give ourselves up to the exercises of holy solitude, prayer, and pious reading.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #59 on: April 03, 2018, 04:59:52 AM »
4/2: St. Francis of Paula

April 2.--ST. FRANCIS OF PAULA.

AT the age of fifteen Francis left his poor home at Paula in Calabria, to live as a hermit in a cave by the sea-coast. In time disciples gathered round him, and with them, in 1436, he founded the "Minims," so called to show that they were the least of monastic Orders. They observed a perpetual Lent, and never touched meat, fish, eggs, or milk. Francis himself made the rock his bed; his best garment was a hair-shirt, and boiled herbs his only fare. As his body withered his faith grew powerful, and he "did all things in Him Who strengthened him." He cured the sick, raised the dead, averted plagues, expelled evil spirits, and brought sinners to penance. A famous preacher, instigated by a few misguided monks, set to work to preach against St. Francis and his miracles. The Saint took no notice of it, and the preacher, finding that he made no way with his hearers, determined to see this poor hermit and confound him in person. The Saint received him kindly, gave him a seat by the fire, and listened to a long exposition of his own frauds. He then quietly took some glowing embers from the fire, and closing his hands upon them unhurt, said, "Come, Father Anthony, warm yourself, for you are shivering for want of a little charity" Father Anthony, falling at the Saint's feet, asked for pardon, and then, having received his embrace, quitted him, to become his panegyrist and attain himself to great perfection. When the avaricious King Ferdinand of Naples offered him money for his convent, Francis told him to give it back to his oppressed subjects, and softened his heart by causing blood to flow from the ill-gotten coin. Louis XI. of France, trembling at the approach of death, sent for the poor hermit to ward off the foe whose advance neither his fortresses nor his guards could check. Francis went by the Pope's command, and prepared the king for a holy death. The successors of Louis showered favors on the Saint, his Order spread throughout Europe, and his name was reverenced through the Christian world. He died at the age of ninety-one, on Good Friday, 1507, with the crucifix in his hand, and the last words of Jesus on hiss lips, "Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit."

Reflection.--Rely in all difficulties upon God. That which enabled St. Francis to work miracles will in proportion do wonders for yourself, by giving you strength and consolation.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #60 on: April 03, 2018, 02:59:34 PM »
4/3: St. Richard of Chichester

April 3.--ST. RICHARD OF CHICHESTER.

RICHARD was born, 1197, in the little town of Wyche, eight miles from Worcester, England. He and his elder brother were left orphans when young, and Richard gave up the studies which he loved, to farm his brother's impoverished estate. His brother, in gratitude for Richard's successful care, proposed to make over to him all his lands; but he refused both the estate and the offer of a brilliant marriage, to study for the priesthood at Oxford. In 1235 he was appointed, for his learning and piety, chancellor of that University, and afterwards, by St. Edmund of Canterbury, chancellor of his diocese. He stood by that Saint in his long contest with the king, and accompanied him into exile. After St. Edmund's death Richard returned to England to toil as a simple curate, but was soon elected Bishop of Chichester in preference to the worthless nominee of Henry III. The king in revenge refused to recognize the election, and seized the revenues of the see. Thus Richard found himself fighting the same 1 battle in which St. Edmund had died. He went to Lyons, was there consecrated by Innocent IV. in 1245, and returning to England, in spite of his poverty and the king's hostility, exercised fully his episcopal rights, and thoroughly reformed his see. After two years his revenues were restored. Young and old loved St. Richard. He gave all he had, and worked miracles, to feed the poor and heal the sick; but when the rights or purity of the Church were concerned he was inexorable. A priest of noble blood polluted his office by sin; Richard deprived him of his benefice, and refused the king's petition in his favor. On the other hand, when a knight violently put a priest in prison, Richard compelled the knight to walk round the priest's church with the same log of wood on his neck to which he had chained the priest; and when the burgesses of Lewes tore a criminal from the church and hanged him, Richard made them dig up the body from its unconsecrated grave, and bear it back to the sanctuary they had violated. Richard died in 1253, while preaching, at the Pope's command, a crusade against the Saracens.

Reflection.--As a brother, as chancellor, and as bishop, St. Richard faithfully performed each duty of his state without a thought of his own interests. Neglect of duty is the first sign of that self-love which ends with the loss of grace.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2018, 08:13:32 AM »
St. Isidore of Seville, Doctor of the Church: "He was undoubtedly the most learned man of his age and exercised a far-reaching and immeasurable influence on the educational life of the Middle Ages. His contemporary and friend, Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa, regarded him as a man raised up by God to save the Spanish people from the tidal wave of barbarism that threatened to inundate the ancient civilization of Spain, The Eighth Council of Toledo (653) recorded its admiration of his character in these glowing terms: "The extraordinary doctor, the latest ornament of the Catholic Church, the most learned man of the latter ages, always to be named with reverence, Isidore". This tribute was endorsed by the Fifteenth Council of Toledo, held in 688."(Catholic Encyclopedia)

4/4: St. Isidore, Archbishop

April 4.--ST. ISIDORE, Archbishop.

ISIDORE was born of a ducal family, at Carthagena in Spain. His two brothers, Leander, Archbishop of Seville, Fulgentius, Bishop of Ecija, and his sister Florentina, are Saints. As a boy he despaired at his ill success in study, and ran away from school. Resting in his flight at a roadside spring, he observed a stone, which was hollowed out by the dripping water. This decided him to return, and by hard application he succeeded where he had failed. He went back to his master, and with the help of God became, even as a youth, one of the most learned men of the time. He assisted in converting Prince Recared, the leader of the Arian party; and with his aid, though at the constant peril of his own life, he expelled that heresy from Spain. Then, following a call from God, he turned a deaf ear to the entreaties of his friends, and embraced a hermit's life. Prince Recared and many of the nobles and clergy of Seville went to persuade him to come forth, and represented the needs of the times, and the good he could do, and had already done, among the people. He refused, and, as far as we can judge, that refusal gave him the necessary opportunity of acquiring the virtue and the power which afterwards made him an illustrious Bishop and Doctor of the Church. On the death of his brother Leander he was called to fill the vacant see. As a teacher, ruler, founder, and reformer, he labored not only in his own diocese, but throughout Spain, and even in foreign countries. He died in Seville on April 4, 636, and within sixteen years of his death was declared a Doctor of the Catholic Church.

Reflection.--The strength of temptation usually lies in the fact that its object is something flattering to our pride, soothing to our sloth, or in some way attractive to the meaner passions. St. Isidore teaches us to listen neither to the promptings of nature nor the plausible advice of friends when they contradict the voice of God.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 08:14:21 AM by Xavier »
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #62 on: April 05, 2018, 09:10:18 AM »
4/5: St. Vincent Ferrer

April 5.--ST. VINCENT FERRER.

CH's wonderful apostle, the "Angel of the Judgment," was born at Valencia in Spain, in 1350, and at the age of eighteen professed in the Order of St. Dominic. After a brilliant course of study he became master of sacred theology. For three years he read only the Scriptures, and knew the whole Bible by heart. He converted the Jews of Valencia, and their synagogue became a church. Grief at the great schism then afflicting the Church reduced him to the point of death; but Our Lord Himself in glory bade him go forth to convert sinners, "for My judgment is nigh." This miraculous apostolate lasted twenty-one years. He preached throughout Europe, in the towns and villages of Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland. Everywhere tens of thousands of sinners were reformed; Jews, infidels, and heretics were converted. Stupendous miracles enforced his words. Twice each day the " miracle bell " summoned the sick, the blind, the lame to be cured. Sinners the most obdurate became Saints; speaking only his native Spanish, he was understood in all tongues. Processions of ten thousand penitents followed him in perfect order. Convents, orphanages, hospitals, arose in his path. Amidst all, his humility remained profound, his prayer constant. He always prepared for preaching by prayer. Once, however, when a person of high rank was to be present at his sermon he neglected prayer for study. The nobleman was not particularly struck by the discourse which had been thus carefully worked up; but coming again to hear the Saint, unknown to the latter, the second sermon made a deep impression on his soul. When St. Vincent heard of the difference, he remarked that in the first sermon it was Vincent who had preached, but in the second, Jesus Christ. He fell ill at Vannes in Brittany, and received the crown of everlasting glory in 1419.

Reflection.--"Whatever you do," said St. Vincent, "think not of yourself, but of God." In this spirit he preached, and God spoke by him; in this spirit, if we listen, we shall hear the voice of God.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #63 on: April 12, 2018, 01:20:55 AM »
4/6: Pope St. Celestine

HE was a native of Rome, and held a distinguished place among the clergy of that city, when, upon the demise of Pope Boniface, he was chosen to succeed him, in September, 422, by the wonderful consent of the whole city, as St. Austin writes. That father congratulated him upon his exaltation, and conjured him, by the memory of St. Peter, who abhorred all violence and tyranny, not to patronize Antony, bishop of Fussala, who had been convicted of those crimes, and on that account condemned in a council of Numidia, to make satisfaction to those whom he had oppressed by rapine and extortion. This Antony was a young man, and was formerly a disciple of St. Austin, by whom he had been recommended to the episcopal dignity. This promotion made him soon forget himself, and lay aside his virtuous dispositions: and falling, first by pride, he abandoned himself to covetousness and other passions. St. Austin, fearing lest by the share he had in his promotion his crimes would be laid to his own charge, was of all others the most zealous and active to see them checked. Antony had gained his primate, the metropolitan of Numidia, who presided in the council by which he was condemned. Hoping also to surprise the pope by his artful pretences, he appealed to Rome. Boniface seeing the recommendation of his primate, wrote to the bishops of Numidia, requiring them to reinstate him in his see, provided he had represented matters as they truly were. Antony returning to Fussala, threatened the inhabitants that, unless they consented to receive him as their lawful bishop, in compliance with the orders of the apostolic see, he would call in the imperial troops and commissaries to compel them. Pope Boniface dying, St. Austin informed St. Celestine of these proceedings, who finding Antony fully convicted of the crimes with which he was charged, confirmed the sentence of the council of Numidia, and deposed him. “From these letters, that were written by the Africans on this occasion,” says Mr. Bower, 1 “it appears, that the bishops of Rome used in those days to send some of their ecclesiastics into Africa, to see the sentences which they had given executed there; and that those ecclesiastics came with orders from the court for the civil magistrates to assist them, where assistance should be required.” St. Celestine wrote to the bishops of Illyricum, confirming the archbishop of Thessalonica, vicar of the apostolic see in those parts. To the bishops of the provinces of Vienne and Narbonne in Gaul, he wrote, to correct several abuses, and ordered, among other things, that absolution or reconciliation should never be refused to any dying sinner, who sincerely asked it; for repentance depends not so much on time, as on the heart. In the beginning of this letter he says: “By no limits of place, is my pastoral vigilance confined: it extendeth itself to all places where Christ is adored.” He received two letters from Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, in which his heresy was artfully couched; also an information from St. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, concerning his errors. Wherefore he assembled a synod at Rome, in 430, in which the writings of that heresiarch were examined, and his blasphemies in maintaining in Christ a divine and a human person were condemned. The pope denounced an excommunication against him, if he did not repent of his errors within ten days after the sentence should be notified to him, and wrote to St. Cyril, commissioning him, in his name, and by the authority of his see, to execute the same. 2 Nestorius remaining obstinate, a general council was convened at Ephesus, to which St. Celestine sent three legates from Rome, Arcadius and Projectus, bishops, and Philip, priest, with instructions to join themselves to St. Cyril. He also sent a letter to the council, in which he said that he had commissioned his legates to see executed what had been already decreed by him in his council at Rome. He exhorts the fathers to charity, so much recommended by the apostle St. John, “whose relics,” as he writes, “were there the object of their veneration.” 3 This letter was read in the council with great acclamations. The synod was held in the great church of the Blessed Virgin, on the 22nd of June, 431: in the first session one hundred and ninety-eight bishops were present. St. Cyril sat first as president, 4 in the name of St. Celestine. 5 Nestorius refused to appear, though in the city; and showing an excess of madness and obstinacy, was excommunicated and deposed. It cost the zeal of the good pope much more pains to reconcile the Oriental bishops with St. Cyril; which, however, was at length effected. Certain priests in Gaul continued still to cavil at the doctrine of St. Austin, concerning the necessity of divine grace. St. Celestine therefore wrote to the bishops of Gaul, ordering such scandalous novelties to be repressed; highly extolling the piety and learning of St. Austin, whom his predecessors had honoured among the most deserving and eminent doctors of the church, and whose character rumour could never asperse nor suspicion tarnish. 6 Being informed that one Agricola, the son of a British bishop called Severianus, who had been married before he was raised to the priesthood, had spread the seeds of the Pelagian heresy in Britain, he sent thither, in quality of his vicar, St. Germanus of Auxerre, whose zeal and conduct happily prevented the threatening danger. 7 He also sent St. Palladius, a Roman, to preach the faith to the Scots, both in North-Britain and in Ireland. Many authors of the life of St. Patrick say, that apostle likewise received his commission to preach to the Irish from St. Celestine, in 431. This holy pope died on the 1st of August, in 432, having sat almost ten years. He was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla, which, to testify his respect for the council of Ephesus, he had ornamented with paintings, in which that synod was represented. His remains were afterward translated into the church of St. Praxedes. His ancient original epitaph testifies that he was an excellent bishop, honoured and beloved of every one, who for the sanctity of his life now enjoys the sight of Jesus Christ, and the eternal honours of the saints. The same is the testimony of the Roman Martyrology on this day. See Tillemont, t. 14. p. 148. Ceillier, t. 13. p. 1.   
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2018, 01:21:24 AM »
4/7: St. Hegesippus; Bl. Herman Joseph of Steinfeld

April 7.--ST. HEGESIPPUS, a Primitive Father.

HE was by birth a Jew, and belonged to the Church of Jerusalem, but travelling to Rome, he lived there nearly twenty years, from the pontificate of Anicetus to that of Eleutherius, in 177, when he returned into the East, where he died at an advanced age, probably at Jerusalem, in the year of Christ 180, according to the chronicle of Alexandria. He wrote in the year 133 a History of the Church in five books, from the Passion of Christ down to his own time, the loss of which work is extremely regretted. In it he gave illustrious proofs of his faith, and showed the apostolical tradition, and that though certain men had disturbed the Church by broaching heresies, yet down to his time no episcopal see or particular church had fallen into error. This testimony he gave after having personally visited all the principal churches, both of the East and the West.

Reflection.--Do not approach our Blessed Mother with set prayers only. Be intimate with her; confide in her; commend to her every want and every project, small as well as great. It is a childlike reliance and a trustful appeal which she delights to reward.

April 7.--BLESSED HERMAN JOSEPH OF STEINFELD.

HERMAN from his earliest years was a devoted client of the Mother of God. As a little child he used to spend all his playtime in the church at Cologne before an image of Mary, where he received many favors. One bitter winter day, as little Herman was coming barefooted into church, his heavenly Mother appearing to him, asked him lovingly why his feet were bare in such cold weather. "Alas! dear Lady," he said, "it is because my parents are so poor." She pointed to a stone, telling him to look beneath it; there he found four silver pieces wherewith to buy shoes. He did not forget to return and thank her. She enjoined him to go to the same spot in all his wants and disappeared. Never did the supply fail him; but his comrades, moved by a different spirit, could find nothing. Once Our Lady stretched out her hand, and took an apple which the boy offered her in pledge of his love. Another time he saw her high up in the tribune, with the Holy Child and St. John; he longed to join them, but saw no way of doing so; suddenly he found himself placed by their side, and holding sweet converse with the Infant Jesus. At the age of twelve he entered the Premonstratensian house at Steinfeld, and there led an angelic life of purity and prayer. His fellow-novices, seeing what graces he received from Mary, called him Joseph; and when he shrank from so high an honor, Our Lady in a vision took him as her spouse, and bade him bear the name. Jealously she reproved the smallest faults in her betrothed, and once appeared to him as an old woman, to upbraid him for some slight want of devotion. As her dowry, she conferred en him the most cruel sufferings of mind and body, which were especially severe on the great feasts of the Church. But with the cross Mary brought him the grace to bear it bravely, and thus his heart was weaned from earthly things, and he was made ready for his early and saintly death, which took place about the year 1230.

Reflection.--Do not approach our Blessed Mother with set prayers only. Be intimate with her; confide in her; commend to her every want and every project, small as well as great. It is a childlike reliance and a trustful appeal which she delights to reward.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #65 on: April 12, 2018, 01:21:40 AM »
4/8: St. Perpetuus, Bishop

April 8.--ST. PERPETUUS, Bishop.

ST. PERPETUUS was the eighth Bishop of Tours from St. Gatian, and governed that see above thirty years, from 461 to 491, when he died on the 8th of April. During all that time he labored by zealous sermons, many synods, and wholesome regulations, to lead souls to virtue. St. Perpetuus had a great veneration for the Saints, and respect for their relics, adorned their shrines, and enriched their churches. As there was a continual succession of miracles at the tomb of St. Martin, Perpetuus finding the church built by St. Bricius too small for the concourse of people that resorted thither, directed its enlargement. When the building was finished, the good bishop solemnized the dedication of this new church, and performed the translation of the body of St. Martin, on the 4th of July in 473. Our Saint made and signed his last will, which is still extant, on the 1st of March, 475, fifteen years before his death. By it he remits all debts that were owing to him; and having bequeathed to his church his library and several farms, and settled a fund for the maintenance of lamps, and the purchase of sacred vessels, as occasion might require, he declares the poor his heirs. He adds most pathetic exhortations to concord and piety; and bequeaths to his sister, Fidia Julia Perpetua, a little gold cross, with relics; he leaves legacies to several other friends and priests, begging of each a remembrance of him in their prayers. His ancient epitaph equals him to the great St. Martin.

Reflection.--The smart of poverty, says a spiritual writer, is allayed even more by one word of true sympathy than by the alms we give. Alms coldly and harshly given irritate rather than soothe. Even when we cannot give, words of kindness are as a precious balm; and when we can give, they are the salt and seasoning of our alms.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #66 on: April 13, 2018, 07:36:03 AM »
4/9: St. Mary of Egypt; St. John The Almoner

April 9.--ST. MARY OF EGYPT.

AT the tender age of twelve, Mary left her father's house that she might sin without restraint, and for seventeen years she lived in shame at Alexandria. Then she accompanied a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and entangled many in grievous sin. She was in that city on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and went with the crowd to the church which contained the precious wood. The rest entered and adored; but Mary was invisibly held back. In that instant her misery and pollution burst upon her. Turning to the Immaculate Mother, whose picture faced her in the porch, she vowed thenceforth to do penance if she might enter and stand like Magdalen beside the Cross. Then she entered in. As she knelt before Our Lady on leaving the church, a voice came to her which said, "Pass over Jordan, and thou shalt find rest." She went into the wilderness, and there, in 420, forty-seven years after, the Abbot Zosimus met her. She told him that for seventeen years the old songs and scenes had haunted her; ever since, she had had perfect peace. At her request he brought her on Holy Thursday the sacred body of Christ. She bade him return again after a year, and this time he found her corpse upon the sand, with an inscription sayings "Bury here the body of Mary the sinner."

Reflection.--Blessed John Colombini was converted to God by reading St. Mary's life. Let us, too, learn from her not to be content with confessing and lamenting our sins, but to fly from what leads us to commit them.

April 9.--ST. JOHN THE ALMONER.

ST. JOHN was married, but when his wife and two children died he considered it a call from God to lead a perfect life. He began to give away all he possessed in alms, and became known throughout the East as the Almoner. He was appointed Patriarch of Alexandria; but before he would take possession of his see he told his servants to go over the town and bring him a list of his lords--meaning the poor. They brought word that there were seventy-five hundred of them, and these he undertook to feed every day. On Wednesday and Friday in every week he sat on a bench before the church, to hear the complaints of the needy and aggrieved; nor would he permit his servants to taste food until their wrongs were redressed. The fear of death was ever before him, and he never spoke an idle word. He turned those out of church whom he saw talking, and forbade all detractors to enter his house. He left seventy churches in Alexandria, where he had found but seven. A merchant received from St. John five pounds weight of gold to buy merchandise. Having suffered shipwreck and lost all, he had again recourse to John, who said, "Some of your merchandise was ill-gotten," and gave him ten pounds more; but the next voyage he lost ship as well as goods. John then said, "The ship was wrongfully acquired. Take fifteen pounds of gold, buy corn with it, and put it on one of my ships." This time the merchant was carried by the winds without his own knowledge to England, where there was a famine; and he sold the corn for its weight in tin, and on his return he found the tin changed to finest silver. St. John died in Cyprus, his native place, about the year 619.

Reflection.--What sacrifices can we make for the poor which will seem enough, when we reflect that mercy to them is our only means of repaying Jesus Christ, Who sacrificed His life for us?
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #67 on: April 13, 2018, 07:36:25 AM »
4/10: St. Bademus, Martyr

April 10.--ST. BADEMUS, Martyr.

BADEMUS was a rich and noble citizen of Bethlapeta in Persia, who founded a monastery near that city, which he governed with great sanctity. He conducted his religious in the paths of perfection with sweetness, prudence, and charity. To crown his virtue, God permitted him, with seven of his monks, to be apprehended by the followers of King Sapor, in the thirty-sixth year of his persecution. He lay four months in a dungeon, loaded with chains, during which lingering martyrdom he every day received a number of stripes. But he triumphed over his torments by the patience and joy with which he suffered them for Christ. At the same time, a Christian lord named Nersan, Prince of Aria, was cast into prison because he refused to adore the sun. At first he showed some resolution; but at the sight of tortures his constancy failed him, and he promised to conform. The king, to try if his change was sincere, ordered Bademus to be introduced into the prison of Nersan, which was a chamber in the royal palace, and sent word to Nersan that if he would despatch Bademus, he should be restored to his liberty and former dignities. The wretch accepted the condition; a sword was put into his hand, and he advanced to plunge it into the breast of the abbot. But being seized with a sudden terror, he stopped short, and remained some time without being able to lift up his arm to strike. He had neither courage to repent, nor heart to accomplish his crime. He strove, however, to harden himself, and continued with a trembling hand to aim at the sides of the martyr. Fear, shame, remorse, and respect for the martyr made his strokes forceless and unsteady; and so great was the number of the martyr's wounds, that the bystanders were in admiration at his invincible patience. After four strokes, the martyr's head was severed from the trunk. Nersan a short time after, falling into public disgrace, perished by the sword. The body of St. Bademus was reproachfully cast out of the city by the infidels, but was secretly carried away and interred by the Christians. His disciples were released from their chains four years afterward, upon the death of King Sapor. St. Bademus suffered on the 10th of April in the year 376.

Reflection.--Oh! what ravishing delights does the soul taste which is accustomed, by a familiar habit, to converse in the heaven of its own interior with the Three Persons of the adorable Trinity! Worldlings wonder how holy solitaries can pass their whole time buried in the most profound solitude and silence. But those who have had any experience of this happiness are surprised, with far greater reason, how it is possible that any souls which are created to converse eternally with God should here live in constant dissipation, seldom entertaining a devout thought of Him Whose charms and sweet conversation eternally ravish all the blessed.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #68 on: April 13, 2018, 07:37:51 AM »
04/11: Pope St. Leo the Great:

ST. LEO, surnamed the Great, was descended of a noble Tuscan family, but born at Rome, as he himself and St. Prosper assure us. 1 The quickness of his parts, and the maturity of his judgment, appeared in the rapid progress which he made in his studies. Having rendered himself a great master in the different branches of polite literature, especially eloquence, he turned his thoughts entirely to the study of the holy scriptures and theology, to which he made the profane sciences only subservient. “God, who destined him to gain great victories over error, and to subject human wisdom to the true faith, had put into his hands the arms of science and truth,” as an ancient general council says. 2 Being made archdeacon of the church of Rome, he had the chief direction of the most important affairs under Pope Celestine, as appears from St. Prosper, a letter of St. Cyril to him, and Cassian’s book against Nestorius. To his penetration and zeal it was owing afterward that Sixtus III. discovered the dissimulation of Julian the Pelagian, and rejected his false repentance. It happened that Aëtius and Albinus, the two generals of the Emperor Valentinian III., were at variance in Gaul, and no one being so well qualified to compose their differences as the eloquent and virtuous Archdeacon Leo, he was sent upon that important commission. During his absence, Sixtus III. died in 440, and the Roman clergy cast their eyes on him for their pastor, judging that he, who for sanctity, learning, prudence, and eloquence was the first man of his age, was the most worthy and fit to be seated in the first chair of the church. The qualifications and virtues, which we admire when found single in others, were all united in him to a very great degree. This justly raised, throughout the Christian world, the highest expectations from his administration, which yet his great actions far surpassed. He was invited to Rome by a public embassy, and expected with impatience; but it was forty days before he could arrive. The joy with which he was received, is not to be expressed, and he received the episcopal consecration on Sunday the 29th of September, in 440. We learn from himself what were his sentiments at the news of his exaltation. He considered a high dignity as a place where falls are most frequent, and always most dangerous; and he cried out: 3 “Lord, I have heard your voice calling me, and I was afraid: I considered the work which was enjoined me, and I trembled. For what proportion is there between the burden assigned to me and my weakness, this elevation and my nothingness? What is more to be feared than exaltation without merit, the exercise of the most holy functions being intrusted to one who is buried in sin? O you who have laid upon me this heavy burden, bear it with me, I beseech you: be you my guide and my support: give me strength, you who have called me to the work; who have laid this heavy burden on my shoulders.”     1
  A heart thus empty of itself could not fail to be supported and directed by the divine grace. He was called to the government of the church in the most difficult times, and he diligently applied himself without delay to cultivate the great field committed to his care, and especially to pluck up the weeds of errors, and to root out the thorns of vices wherever they appeared. He never intermitted to preach to his people with great zeal; which he often mentions as the most indispensable duty of pastors, and the constant practice of his predecessors. 4 A hundred and one sermons preached by this pope on the principal festivals of the year are still extant. He often inculcates in them the practice of holy fasting and alms-deeds, as good works which ought to be joined to and support each other. We have among his works nine sermons on the fast of the tenth month, or of Ember-days in December. He says, the church has instituted the Ember-days in the four seasons of the year to sanctify each season by a fast: 5 also to pay to God a tribute of thanksgiving for the fruits and other blessings which we continually receive from his bounty: 6 and to arm us constantly against the devil. He sets forth the obligation of alms, which is so great, that for this alone God gives riches, and not to be hoarded up, or lavished in superfluities: and at the last day he seems in his sentence chiefly to recompense this virtue, and to punish the neglect of it, to show us how much alms-deeds are the key of heaven, and of all other graces. 7 He says, this obligation binds all persons, though it is not to be measured by what a man has, but by the heart; for all men are bound to have the same benevolence, and desire of relieving others. 8 That the rich are obliged to seek out the bashful poor, who are to be assisted without being put to the blush in receiving. 9 He shows the institution of Collects or gatherings for the poor to be derived from the apostles, and ever to have been continued in the church for the relief of the indigent. 10 He surpasses himself in sentiment and eloquence whenever he speaks of the sweetness of the divine love which is displayed to us in the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God. His one hundred and forty-one epistles are wholly employed in treating on important subjects of discipline and faith, and alone suffice to show his pastoral vigilance and immense labours in every part of the Christian world, for the advancement of piety. He brought many infidels to the faith, and took great delight in instructing them himself. His signal victories over the Manichees, Arians, Apollinarists, Nestorians, Eutychians, Novatians, and Donatists, are standing proofs of his zeal for the purity of the faith. Carthage being taken by the Vandals in 439, a great number of Manichees fled out of Africa to Rome: but there, to escape the rigour of the imperial laws against their sect, feigned themselves Catholics. They called wine the gall of the dragon, produced by the devil or their evil god: on which account they always refrained from that liquor, which they regarded as, of its own nature, unclean. To conceal themselves, they received the holy communion from the Catholic priests, but under one kind alone, which it was left to every one’s discretion then to do. This affectation of the heretics passed some time unobserved, as we learn from St. Leo, 11 in the year 433. 12 But he no sooner discovered this sacrilegious abuse, than he took the utmost care to prevent the contagion from infecting his flock. He detected several of these heretics, and among them one whom they called their bishop, and to manifest the impiety of this sect, he assembled several bishops and priests, and the most illustrious persons of the senate and empire, and caused the elect of the Manichees, that is, those that were initiated in their mysteries, to be introduced. 13 They confessed publicly many impious tenets, 14 superstitions, and a crime which modesty forbids to be named. 15 St. Prosper says their books were burned; but many of them repented, and abjured their heresy. St. Leo, in receiving them into the church, exhorted his people to pray and sigh with him for them. 16 Those who remained obstinate were banished. St. Leo, about the same time crushed Pelagianism, which began again to show its head about Aquileia. 17 His watchfulness put a stop to the growing evil, both in those parts and in Rome itself, where St. Prosper detected some remains of the same leaven. For this pope, who was a true judge of merit, and drew many learned men about his person, had chosen St. Prosper of Aquitain his secretary, to write his letters and dispatch the like business. The Priscillianist heretics reigned almost uncontrolled in Spain: only St. Turibius, bishop of Astorga, zealously opposed them. St. Leo wrote to commend his zeal, and to awaken the attention of the other bishops of that country, whom he ordered to convene a council for the extirpation of the spreading cancer. 18 He examined the cause of Chelidonius, bishop of Besançon, deposed by St. Hilary of Arles, and restored him to his see. 19 He transferred the dignity of primate from the see of Arles to that of Vienne in Gaul, which Zosimus had formerly adjudged to Arles, 20 “Out of respect,” as he said, “for the blessed Trophimus, (first bishop of Arles,) from the fountain of whose preaching all the Gauls had received the streams of faith.” 21 The learned De Marca thinks that St. Leo did not deny the jurisdiction of Hilary over Besançon before that time; but he judged Chelidonius not to have been guilty of that which had been laid to his charge, adding “that the sentence would have stood firm, if the things objected had been true.” 22 St. Leo laid down this important maxim for the rule of his conduct, never to give any decision, especially to the prejudice of another, before he had examined into the affair with great caution and exactness, and most carefully taken all informations possible. He was very careful in the choice of persons whom he promoted to holy orders, as his writings show; yet the author of the Spiritual Meadow relates, that he heard Amos, patriarch of Jerusalem, say to the abbots: “Pray for me. The dreadful weight of the priesthood affrights me beyond measure, especially the charge of conferring orders. I have found it written, that the blessed Pope Leo, equal to the angels, watched and prayed forty days at the tomb of St. Peter, begging through the intercession of that apostle to obtain of God the pardon of his sins. After this term, St. Peter, in a vision, said to him: Your sins are forgiven you by God, except those committed by you in conferring holy orders: of these you still remain charged to give a rigorous account.” 23 St. Leo, with regard to those who are to be ordained ministers of the altar, lays down this rule, inserted in his words into the body of the canon law: “What is it not to lay hands upon any one suddenly, according to the precept of the apostle, but not to raise to the honour of the priesthood any who have not been thoroughly tried, or before a mature age, a competent time of trial, the merit of labour in the service of the church, and sufficient proofs given of their submission to rule, and their love of discipline and zeal for its observance.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #69 on: April 14, 2018, 12:21:47 PM »
4/12: St. Julius, Pope

April 12.--ST. JULIUS, Pope.

ST. JULIUS was a Roman, and chosen Pope on the 6th of February in 337. The Arian bishops in the East sent to him three deputies to accuse St. Athanasius, the zealous Patriarch of Alexandria. These accusations, as the order of justice required, Julius imparted to Athanasius, who thereupon sent his deputies to Rome; when, upon an impartial hearing, the advocates of the heretics were confounded and silenced upon every article of their accusation. The Arians then demanded a council, and the Pope assembled one in Rome in 341. The Arians instead of appearing held a pretended council at Antioch in 341, in which they presumed to appoint one Gregory, an impious Arian, Bishop of Alexandria, detained the Pope's legates beyond the time mentioned for their appearance; and then wrote to his Holiness, alleging a pretended impossibility of their appearing, on account of the Persian war and other impediments. The Pope easily saw through these pretences, and in a council at Rome examined the cause of St. Athanasius, declared him innocent of the things laid to his charge by the Arians, and confirmed him in his see. He also acquitted Marcellus of Ancyra, upon his orthodox profession of faith. He drew up and sent by Count Gabian to the Oriental Eusebian bishops, who had first demanded a council and then refused to appear in it, an excellent letter, which is looked upon as one of the finest monuments of ecclesiastical antiquity. Finding the Eusebians still obstinate, he moved Constans, Emperor of the West, to demand the concurrence of his brother Constantius in the assembling of a general council at Sardica in Illyricum. This was opened in May 347, and declared St. Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra orthodox and innocent, deposed certain Arian bishops, and framed twenty-one canons of discipline. St. Julius reigned fifteen years, two months, and six days, dying on the 12th of April, 352.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #70 on: April 18, 2018, 12:16:48 AM »
4/13: St. Hermenegild, Martyr

April 13.--ST. HERMENEGILD, Martyr.

LEOVIGILD, King of the Visigoths, had two sons, Hermenegild and Recared, who reigned conjointly with him. All three were Arians, but Hermenegild married a. zealous Catholic, the daughter of Sigebert, Ring of France, and by her holy example was converted to the faith. His father, on hearing the news, denounced him as a traitor, and marched to seize his person. Hermenegild tried to rally the Catholics of Spain in his defence, but they were too weak to make any stand, and, after a two years fruitless struggle, he surrendered on the assurance of a free pardon. When safely in the royal camp, the king had him loaded with fetters and cast into a foul dungeon at Seville. Tortures and bribes were in turn employed to shake his faith, but Hermenegild wrote to his father that he held the crown as nothing, and preferred to lose sceptre and life rather than betray the truth of God. At length, on Easter night, an Arian bishop entered his cell, and promised him his father's pardon if he would but receive Communion at his hands. Hermenegild indignantly rejected the offer, and knelt with joy for his depth-stroke. The same night a light streaming from his cell told the Christians who were watching near that the martyr had won his crown, and was keeping his Easter with the Saints in glory.

Leovigild on his death-bed, though still an Arian, bade Recared seek out St. Leander, whom he had himself cruelly persecuted, and, following Hermenegild's example, be received by him into the Church. Recared did so, and on his father's death labored so earnestly for the extirpation of Arianism that he brought over the whole nation of the Visigoths to the Church. "Nor is it to be wondered," says St. Gregory, "that he came thus to be a preacher of the true faith, seeing that he was brother of a martyr, whose merits did help him to bring so many into the lap of God's Church."

Reflection.--St. Hermenegild teaches us that constancy and sacrifice are the hest arguments for the Faith, and the surest way to win souls to God.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #71 on: April 18, 2018, 12:17:29 AM »
4/14: St. Benezet, or Little Bennet

April 14.--ST. BENEZET, or Little Bennet.

ST. BENEZET kept his mother's sheep in the country, and as a mere child was devoted to practices of piety. As many persons were drowned in crossing the Rhone, Benezet was inspired by God to build a bridge over that rapid river at Avignon. He obtained the approbation of the bishop, proved his mission by miracles, and began the work in 1177, which he directed during seven years. He died when the difficulty of the undertaking was over, in 1184. This is attested by public monuments drawn up at that time and still preserved at Avignon, where the story is in everybody's month. His body was buried upon the bridge itself, which was not completely finished till four years after his decease, the structure whereof was attended with miracles from the first laying of the foundations till it was completed in 1188. Other miracles wrought after this at his tomb induced the city to build a chapel upon the bridge, in which his body lay nearly five hundred years. But in 1669 a greater part of the bridge falling down through the impetuosity of the waters, the coffin was taken up, and being opened in 1670 in presence of the grand vicar, during the vacancy of the archiepiscopal see, the body was found entire, without the least sign of corruption; even the bowels were perfectly sound, and the color of the eyes lively and sprightly, though, through the dampness of the situation, the iron bars about the coffin were much damaged with rust. The body was found in the same condition by the Archbishop of Avignon in 1674, when, accompanied by the Bishop of Orange and a great concourse of nobility, he performed the translation of it, with great pomp, into the Church of the Celestines, this Order having obtained of Louis XIV. the honor of being intrusted with the custody of his relics till such time as the bridge and chapel should be rebuilt.

Reflection.--Let us pray for perseverance in good works. St. Augustine says, "When the Saints pray in the words which Christ taught, they ask for little else than the gift of perseverance."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #72 on: April 19, 2018, 09:32:50 AM »
4/15: St. Paternus, Bishop

April 15.--ST. PATERNUS, Bishop.

ST. PATERNUS was born at Poitiers, about the year 482. His father, Patranus, with the consent of his wife, went into Ireland, where he ended his days in holy solitude. Paternus, fired by his example, embraced a monastic life in the abbey of Marnes. After some time, burning with a desire of attaining to the perfection of Christian virtue, he passed over to Wales, and in Cardiganshire founded a monastery called Llan-patern-vaur, or the church of the great Paternus. He made a visit to his father in Ireland, but being called back to his monastery of Marnes, he soon after retired with St. Scubilion, a monk of that house, and embraced an austere anchoretical life in the forests of Scicy, in the diocese of Coutances, near the sea, having first obtained leave of the bishop and of the lord of the place. This desert, which was then of great extent, but which has been since gradually gained upon by the sea, was anciently in great request among the Druids. St. Paternus converted to the faith the idolaters of that and many neighboring parts, as far as Bayeux, and prevailed upon them to demolish a pagan temple in this desert, which was held in great veneration by the ancient Gauls. In his old age he was consecrated Bishop of Avranches by Germanus, Bishop of Rouen.

Some false brethren having created a division of opinion among the bishops of the province with respect to St. Paternus, he preferred retiring rather than to afford any ground for dissension, and, after governing his diocese for thirteen years, he withdrew to a solitude in France, and there ended his days about the year 550.

Reflection.--The greatest sacrifices imposed by the love of peace will appear as naught if we call to mind the example of Our Saviour, and remember His words, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #73 on: April 19, 2018, 09:33:07 AM »
4/16: Martyrs of Saragossa; St. Encratis, or Engratia

April 16.--EIGHTEEN MARTYRS OF SARAGOSSA, and ST. ENCRATIS, or ENGRATIA, Virgin, Martyr.

ST. OPTATUS and seventeen other holy men received the crown of martyrdom on the same day, at Saragossa, under the cruel Governor Dacian, in the persecution of Diocletian, in 304. Two others, Caius and Crementius, died of their torments after a second conflict.

The Church also celebrates on this day the triumph of St. Encratis, or Engratia, Virgin. She was a native of Portugal. Her father had promised her in marriage to a man of quality in Rousillon; but fearing the dangers and despising the vanities of the world, and resolving to preserve her virginity, in order to appear more agreeable to her heavenly Spouse and serve Him without hindrance, she stole from her father's house and fled privately to Saragossa, where the persecution was hottest, under the eyes of Dacian. She even reproached him with his barbarities, upon which he ordered her to be long tormented in the most inhuman manner: her sides were torn with iron hooks, and one of her breasts was cut off, so that the inner parts of her chest were exposed to view, and part of her liver was pulled out. In this condition she was sent back to prison, being still alive, and died by the mortifying of her wounds, in 304. The relics of all these martyrs were found at Saragossa in 1389.

Reflection.--Men do not pursue temporal goods at haphazard, or by fits and starts. Let us be as punctual and orderly in the service of God, not casting about for new paths, but perfecting our ordinary devotions. If we persevere in these, Paradise is ours.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #74 on: April 20, 2018, 08:52:31 AM »
4/17: St. Anicetus, Pope, Martyr

April 17.--ST. ANICETUS, Pope, Martyr.

ST. ANICETUS succeeded St. Pius, and sat about eight years, from 165 to 173. If he did not shed his blood for the Faith, he at least purchased the title of martyr by great sufferings and dangers. He received a visit from St. Polycarp, and tolerated the custom of the Asiatics in celebrating Easter on the 14th day of the first moon after the vernal equinox, with the Jews. His vigilance protected his flock from the wiles of the heretics Valentine and Marcion, who sought to corrupt the faith in the capital of the world.

The first thirty-six bishops at Rome, down to Liberius, and, this one excepted, all the popes to Symmachus, the fifty-second, in 498, are honored among the Saints; and out of two hundred and forty-eight popes, from St. Peter to Clement XIII. seventy-eight are named in the Roman Martyrology. In the primitive ages, the spirit of fervor and perfect sanctity, which is nowadays so rarely to be found, was conspicuous in most of the faithful, and especially in their pastors. The whole tenor of their lives breathed it in such a manner as to render them the miracles of the world, angels on earth, living copies of their divine Redeemer, the odor of whose virtues and holy law and religion they spread on every side.

Reflection.--If, after making the most solemn protestations of inviolable friendship and affection for a fellow-creature, we should the next moment revile and contemn him, without having received any provocation or affront, and this habitually, would not the whole world justly call our protestations hypocrisy, and our pretended friendship a mockery? Let us by this rule judge if our love of God be sovereign, so long as our inconstancy betrays the insincerity of our hearts.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #75 on: April 20, 2018, 08:52:50 AM »
4/18: St. Apollonius, Martyr

April 18.--ST. APOLLONIUS, Martyr.

MARCUS AURELIUS had persecuted the Christians, but his son Commodus, who in 180 succeeded him, showed himself favorable to them out of regard to his Empress Marcia, who was an admirer of the Faith. During this calm the number of the faithful was exceedingly increased, and many persons of the first rank, among them Apollonius, a Roman senator, enlisted themselves under the banner of the cross. He was a person very well versed both in philosophy and the Holy Scripture. In the midst of the peace which the Church enjoyed, he was publicly accused of Christianity by one of his own slaves. The slave was immediately condemned to have his legs broken, and to be put to death, in consequence of an edict of Marcus Aurelius, who, without repealing the former laws against convicted Christians, ordered by it that their accusers should be put to death. The slave being executed, the same judge sent an order to St. Apollonius to renounce his religion as he valued his life and fortune. The Saint courageously rejected such ignominious terms of safety, wherefore Perennis referred him to the judgment of the Roman senate, to give an account of his faith to that body. Persisting in his refusal to comply with the condition, the Saint was condemned by a decree of the Senate, and beheaded about the year 186.

Refection.--It is the prerogative of the Christian religion to inspire men with such resolution, and form them to such heroism, that they rejoice to sacrifice their life to truth. This is not the bare force and exertion of nature, but the undoubted power of the Almighty, Whose strength is thus made perfect in weakness. Every Christian ought, by his manner, to bear witness to the sanctity of his faith. Such would be the force of universal good example, that no libertine or infidel could withstand it.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #76 on: April 24, 2018, 03:25:33 AM »
4/19: St. Elphege, Archbishop

April 19.--ST. ELPHEGE, Archbishop.

ST. ELPHEGE was born in the year 954, of a noble Saxon family. He first became a monk in the monastery of Deerhurst, near Tewkesbury, England, and afterwards lived as a hermit near Bath, where he founded a community under the rule of St. Benedict, and became its first abbot. At thirty years of age he was chosen Bishop of Winchester, and twenty-two years later he became Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1011, when the Danes landed in Kent and took the city of Canterbury, putting all to fire and sword, St. Elphege was captured and carried off in the expectation of a large ransom. He was unwilling that his ruined church and people should be put to such expense, and was kept in a loathsome prison at Greenwich for seven months. While so confined some friends came and urged him to lay a tax upon his tenants to raise the sum demanded for his ransom. "What reward can I hope for," said he, "if I spend upon myself what belongs to the poor? Better give up to the poor what is ours, than take from them the little which is their own." As he still refused to give ransom, the enraged Danes fell upon him in a fury, beat him with the blunt sides of their weapons, and bruised him with stones until one, whom the Saint had baptized shortly before, put an end to his sufferings by the blow of an axe. He died on Easter Saturday, April 19, 1012, his last words being a prayer for his murderers. His body was first buried in St. Paul's, London, but was afterwards translated to Canterbury by King Canute. A church dedicated to St. Elphege still stands upon the place of his martyrdom at Greenwich.

Reflection.--Those who are in high positions should consider themselves as stewards rather than masters of the wealth or power intrusted to them for the benefit of the poor and weak. St. Elphege died rather than extort his ransom from the poor tenants of the Church lands.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #77 on: April 24, 2018, 03:26:04 AM »
4/20: St. Marcellinus, Bishop

April 20.--ST. MARCELLINUS, Bishop.

ST. MARCELLINUS was born in Africa, of a noble family; accompanied by Vincent and Domninus, he went over into Gaul, and there preached the Gospel, with great success, in the neighborhood of the Alps. He afterwards settled at Embrun, where he built a chapel in which he passed his nights in prayer, after laboring all the day in the exercise of his sacred calling. By his pious example as well as by his earnest words, he converted many of the heathens among whom he lived. He was afterwards made bishop of the people whom he had won over to Christ, but the date of his consecration is not positively known. Burning with zeal for the glory of God, he sent Vincent and Domninus to preach the faith in those parts which he could not visit in person. He died at Embrun about the year 374, and was there interred. St. Gregory of Tours, who speaks of Marcellinus in terms of highest praise, mentions many miracles as happening at his tomb.

Reflection.--Though you may not be called upon to preach, at least endeavor to set a good example, remembering that deeds often speak louder than words.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #78 on: April 24, 2018, 03:28:42 AM »
4/21: St. Anselm, Archbishop

April 21.--ST. ANSELM, Archbishop.

ANSELM was a native of Piedmont. When a boy of fifteen, being forbidden to enter religion, he for a while lost his fervor, left his home, and went to various schools in France. At length his vocation revived, and he became a monk at Bec in Normandy. The fame of his sanctity in this cloister led William Rufus, when dangerously ill, to take him for his confessor, and to name him to the vacant see of Canterbury. Now began the strife of Anselm's life. With new health the king relapsed into his former sins, plundered the Church lands, scorned the archbishop's rebukes, and forbade him to go to Rome for the pallium. Anselm went, and returned only to enter into a more bitter strife with William's successor, Henry I. This sovereign claimed the right of investing prelates with the ring and crozier, symbols of the spiritual jurisdiction which belongs to the Church alone. The worldly prelates did not scruple to call St. Anselm a traitor for his defence of the Pope's supremacy; on which the Saint rose, and with calm dignity exclaimed, "If any man pretends that I violate my faith to my king because I will not reject the authority of the Holy See of Rome, let him stand forth, and in the name of God I will answer him as I ought" No one took up the challenge; and to the disappointment of the king, the barons sided with the Saint, for they respected his courage, and saw that his cause was their own. Sooner than yield, the archbishop went again into exile, till at last the king was obliged to submit to the feeble but inflexible old man. In the midst of his harassing cares, St. Anselm found time for writings which have made him celebrated as the father of scholastic theology; while in metaphysics and in science he had few equals. He is yet more famous for his devotion to our blessed Lady, whose Feast of the Immaculate Conception he was the first to establish in the West. He died in 1109.

Reflection.--Whoever, like St. Anselm, contends for the Church's rights, is fighting on the side of God against the tyranny of Satan.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #79 on: April 25, 2018, 01:20:56 AM »
4/22: St. Soter; St. Leonides

April 22.--ST. SOTER, Pope, Martyr.

ST. SOTER was raised to the papacy upon the death of St. Anicetus, in 173. By the sweetness of his discourses he comforted all persons with the tenderness of a father, and assisted the indigent with liberal alms, especially those who suffered for the faith. He liberally extended his charities, according to the custom of his predecessors, to remote churches, particularly to that of Corinth, to which he addressed an excellent letter, as St. Dionysius of Corinth testifies in his letter of thanks, who adds that his letter was found worthy to be read for their edification on Sundays at their assemblies to celebrate the divine mysteries, together with the letter of St. Clement, pope. St. Soter vigorously opposed the heresy of Montanus, and governed the Church to the year 177.

April 22.--ST. LEONIDES, Martyr.

THE Emperor Severus, in the year 202, which was the tenth of his reign, raised a bloody persecution, which filled the whole empire with martyrs, but especially Egypt. The most illustrious of those who by their triumphs ennobled and edified the city of Alexandria was Leonides, father of the great Origen. He was a Christian philosopher, and excellently versed both in the profane and sacred sciences. He had seven sons, the eldest of whom was Origen, whom he brought up with abundance of care, returning God thanks for having blessed him with a son of such an excellent disposition for learning, and a very great zeal for piety. These qualifications endeared him greatly to his father, who, after his son was baptized, would come to his bedside while he was asleep, and, opening his bosom, kiss it respectfully, as being the temple of the Holy Ghost. When the persecution raged at Alexandria, under Laetus, governor of Egypt, in the tenth year of Severus, Leonides was cast into prison. Origen, who was then only seventeen years of age, burned with an incredible desire of martyrdom, and sought every opportunity of meeting with it. But his mother conjured him not to forsake her, and his ardor being redoubled at the sight of his father's chains, she was forced to lock up all his clothes to oblige him to stay at home. So, not being able to do any more, he wrote a letter to his father in very moving terms, strongly exhorting him to look on the crown that was offered him with courage and joy, adding this clause, "Take heed, sir. that for our sakes you do not change your mind." Leonides was accordingly beheaded for the faith in 202. His estates and goods being all confiscated, and seized for the emperor's use, his widow was left with seven children to maintain in the poorest condition imaginable; but Divine Providence was both her comfort and support.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #80 on: April 27, 2018, 07:18:02 AM »
4/23: St. George, Martyr

April 23.--ST. GEORGE, Martyr.

ST. GEORGE was born in Cappadocia, at the close of the third century, of Christian parents. In early youth he chose a soldier's life, and soon obtained the favor of Diocletian, who advanced him to the grade of tribune. When, however, the emperor began to persecute the Christians, George rebuked him at once sternly and openly for his cruelty, and threw up his commission. He was in consequence subjected to a lengthened series of torments, and finally beheaded. There was something so inspiriting in the defiant cheerfulness of the young soldier, that every Christian felt a personal share in this triumph of Christian fortitude; and as years rolled on St. George became a type of successful combat against evil, the slayer of the dragon, the darling theme of camp song and story, until "so thick a shade his very glory round him made" that his real lineaments became hard to trace. Even beyond the circle of Christendom he was held in honor, and invading Saracens taught themselves to except from desecration the image of him they hailed as the "White-horsed Knight." The devotion to St. George is one of the most ancient and widely spread in the Church. In the East, a church of St. George is ascribed to Constantine, and his name is invoked in the most ancient liturgies; whilst in the West, Malta, Barcelona, Valencia, Arragon, Genoa, and England have chosen him as their patron.

Reflection.--"What shall I say of fortitude, without which neither wisdom nor justice is of any worth? Fortitude is not of the body, but is a constancy of soul; wherewith we are conquerors in righteousness, patiently bear all adversities, and in prosperity are not puffed up. This fortitude he lacks who is overcome by pride, anger, greed, drunkenness, and the like. Neither have they fortitude who when in adversity make shift to escape at their souls' expense; wherefore the Lord saith, 'Fear not those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.' In like manner those who are puffed up in prosperity and abandon themselves to excessive joviality cannot be called strong. For how can they be called strong who cannot hide and repress the heart's emotion? Fortitude is never conquered, or if conquered, is not fortitude."--St. Bruno.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #81 on: April 28, 2018, 02:49:56 AM »
4/24: St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

April 24.--ST. FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN.

FIDELIS was born at Sigmaringen in 1577, of noble parents. In his youth he frequently approached the sacraments, visited the sick and the poor, and spent moreover many hours before the altar. For a time he followed the legal profession, and was remarkable for his advocacy of the poor and his respectful language towards his opponents. Finding it difficult to become both a rich lawyer and a good Christian, Fidelis entered the Capuchin. Order, and embraced a life of austerity and prayer. Hair shirts, iron-pointed girdles, and disciplines were penances too light for his fervor; and being filled with a desire of martyrdom, he rejoiced at being sent to Switzerland by the newly-founded Congregation of Propaganda, and braved every peril to rescue souls from the diabolical heresy of Calvin. When preaching at Sevis he was fired at by a Calvinist, but the fear of death could not deter him from proclaiming divine truth. After his sermon he was waylaid by a body of Protestants headed by a minister, who attacked him and tried to force him to embrace their so-called. reform. But he said, "I came to refute your errors, not to embrace them; I will never renounce Catholic doctrine, which is the truth of all ages, and I fear not death." On this they fell upon him with their poignards, and the first martyr of Propaganda went to receive his palm.

Reflection.--We delight in decorating the altars of God with flowers, lights, and jewels, and it is right to do so; but if we wish to offer to God gifts of higher value, let us, in imitation of St. Fidelis, save the souls who but for us would be lost; for so we shall offer Him, as it were, the jewels of paradise.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #82 on: April 28, 2018, 02:50:54 AM »
4/25: St. Mark, Evangelist

April 25.--ST. MARK, Evangelist.

ST. MARK was converted to the Faith by the Prince of the Apostles, whom he afterwards accompanied to Rome, acting there as his secretary or interpreter. When St. Peter was writing his first epistle to the churches of Asia, he affectionately joins with his own salutation that of his faithful companion, whom he calls "my son Mark." The Roman people entreated St. Mark to put in writing for them the substance of St. Peter's frequent discourses on Our Lord's life. This the Evangelist did under the eye and with the express sanction of the apostle, and every page of his brief but graphic gospel so bore the impress of St. Peter's character, that the Fathers used to name it "Peter's Gospel" St. Mark was now sent to Egypt to found the Church of Alexandria. Here his disciples became the wonder of the world for their piety and asceticism, so that St. Jerome speaks of St. Mark as the father of the anchorites, who at a later time thronged the Egyptian deserts. Here, too, he set up the first Christian school, the fruitful mother of many illustrious doctors and bishops. After governing his see for many years, St. Mark was one day seized by the heathen, dragged by ropes over stones, and thrown into prison. On the morrow the torture was repeated, and having been consoled by a vision of angels and the voice of Jesus, St. Mark went to his reward.

It is to St. Mark that we owe the many slight touches which often give such vivid coloring to the Gospel scenes, and help us to picture to ourselves the very gestures and looks of our blessed Lord. It is he alone who notes that in the temptation Jesus was "with the beasts;" that He slept in the boat "on a pillow;" that He "embraced" the little children. He alone preserves for us the commanding words "Peace, be still!" by which the storm was quelled; or even the very sounds of His voice, the "Ephpheta" and "Talitha cumi," by which the dumb were made to speak and the dead to rise. So, too, the "looking round about with anger," and the "sighing deeply," long treasured in the memory of the penitent apostle, who was himself converted by his Saviour's look, are here recorded by his faithful interpreter.

Reflection.--Learn from St. Mark to keep the image of the Son of man ever before your mind, and to ponder every syllable which fell from His lips.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #83 on: April 29, 2018, 09:10:51 AM »
4/26: Ss. Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes, Martyrs

April 26.--STS. CLETUS and MARCELLINUS, Popes, Martyrs.

ST. CLETUS was the third Bishop of Rome, and succeeded St. Linus, which circumstance alone shows his eminent virtue among the first disciples of St. Peter in the West. He sat twelve years, from 76 to 89. The canon of the Roman Mass, Bede, and other martyrologists, style him a martyr. He was buried near St. Linus, in the Vatican, and his relics still remain in that church.

St. Marcellinus succeeded St. Coins in the bishopric of Rome in 296, about the time that Diocletian set himself up for a deity, and impiously claimed divine honors. In those stormy times of persecution Marcellinus acquired great glory. He sat in St. Peter's chair eight years, three months, and twenty-five days, dying in 304, a year after the cruel persecution broke out, in which he gained much honor. He has been styled a martyr, though his blood was not shed in the cause of religion.

Reflection.--It is a fundamental maxim of the Christian morality, and a truth which Christ has established in the clearest terms and in innumerable passages of the Gospel, that the cross or sufferings and mortification are the road to eternal bliss. They, therefore, who lead not here a crucified and mortified life are unworthy ever to possess the unspeakable joys of His kingdom. Our Lord Himself, our model and our he-ad, walked in this path, and His great Apostle puts us in mind that He entered into bliss only by His blood and by the cross.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #84 on: April 29, 2018, 09:11:12 AM »
4/27: St. Zita; St. Turribius

April 27.--ST. ZITA, Virgin.

ZITA lived for forty-eight years in the service of Fatinelli, a citizen of Lucca. During this time she rose each morning, while the household were asleep, to hear Mass, and then toiled incessantly till night came, doing the work of others as well as her own. Once Zita, absorbed in. prayer, remained in church past the usual hour of her bread-making. She hastened home, reproaching herself with neglect of duty, and found the bread made and ready for the oven. She never doubted that her mistress or one of her servants had kneaded it, and going to them, thanked them; but they were astonished. No human being had made the bread. A delicious perfume rose from it, for angels had made it during her prayer. For years her master and mistress treated her as a mere drudge, while her fellow-servants, resenting her diligence as a reproach to themselves, insulted and struck her. Zita united these sufferings with those of Christ her Lord, never changing the sweet tone of her voice, nor forgetting her gentle and quiet ways. At length Fatinelli, seeing the success which attended her undertakings, gave her charge of his children and of the household. She dreaded this dignity more than the worst humiliation, but scrupulously fulfilled her trust. By her holy economy her master's goods were multiplied, while the poor were fed at his door. Gradually her unfailing patience conquered the jealousy of her fellow-servants, and she became their advocate with their hot-tempered master, who dared not give way to his anger before Zita. In the end her prayer and toil sanctified the whole house, and drew down upon it the benediction of Heaven. She died in 1272, and in the moment of her death a bright star appearing above her attic showed that she had gained eternal rest.

Reflection.--"What must I do to be saved?" said a certain one in fear of damnation. "Work and pray, pray and work," a voice replied, "and thou shalt be saved." The whole life of St. Zita teaches us this truth.

April 27.--ST. TURRIBIUS, Archbishop of Lima.

(From Rev. Butler's section titled: "Lives Of Certain Saints Contained In The Calendar Of Special Feasts For The United States And Of Some Others Recently Canonized")

TURRIBIUS ALPHONSUS MOGROBEJO, whose feast the Church honors on April 27th, was born on the 6th of November, 1538, at Mayorga in the kingdom of Leon in Spain. Brought up in a pious family where devotion was hereditary, his youth was a model to all who knew him. All his leisure was given to devotion or to works of charity. His austerities were great, and he frequently made long pilgrimages on foot. The fame of Turribius as a master of canon and civil law soon reached the ears of King Philip II., who made him judge at Granada. About that time the see of Lima, in Peru, fell vacant, and among those proposed Philip found no one who seemed better endowed than our Saint with all the qualities that were required at that city, where much was to be done for religion. He sent to Rome the name of the holy judge, and the Sovereign Pontiff confirmed his choice. Turribius in vain sought to avoid the honor. The Pope, in reply, directed him to prepare to receive Holy Orders and be consecrated. Yielding at last by direction of his confessor, he was ordained priest and consecrated. He arrived at Lima in 1587, and entered on his duties. All was soon edification and order in his episcopal city. A model of all virtue himself, he confessed daily and prepared for Mass by long meditation. St. Turribius then began a visitation of his vast diocese, which he traversed three times, his first visitation lasting seven years and his second four. He held provincial councils, framing decrees of such wisdom that his regulations were adopted in many countries. Almost his entire revenues were bestowed on his creditors, as he styled the poor. While discharging with zeal his duties he was seized with a fatal illness during his third visitation, and died on the 23d of March, 1666, at Santa, exclaiming, as he received the sacred Viaticum: "I rejoiced in the things that were said to me: 'We shall go into the house of the Lord.'"

The proofs of his holy life and of the favors granted through his intercession induced Pope Innocent XI. to beatify him, and he was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII. in the year 1726.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #85 on: April 29, 2018, 09:11:34 AM »
4/28: St. Paul of The Cross; St. Vitalis

April 28.--ST. PAUL OF THE CROSS.

THE eighty-one years of this Saint's life were modelled on the Passion of Jesus Christ. In his childhood, when praying in church, a heavy bench fell on his foot, but the boy took no notice of the bleeding wound, and spoke of it as "a rose sent from God." A few years later, the vision of a scourge with "love" written on its lashes assured him that his thirst for penance would be satisfied. In the hope of dying for the faith, he enlisted in a crusade against the Turks; but a voice from the Tabernacle warned him that he was to serve Christ alone, and that he should found a congregation in His honor. At the command of his bishop he began while a layman to preach the Passion, and a series of crosses tried the reality of his vocation. All his first companions, save his brother, deserted him; the Sovereign Pontiff refused him an audience; and it was only after a delay of seventeen years that the Papal approbation was obtained, and the first house of the Passionists was opened on Monte Argentario, the spot which Our Lady had pointed out. St. Paul chose as the badge of his Order a heart with three nails, in memory of the sufferings of Jesus, but for himself he invented a more secret and durable sign. Moved by the same holy impulse as Blessed Henry Suso, St. Jane Frances, and other Saints, he branded on his side the Holy Name, and its characters were found there after death. His heart beat with a supernatural palpitation, which was especially vehement on Fridays, and the heat at times was so intense as to scorch his shirt in the region of his heart. Through fifty years of incessant bodily pain, and amidst all his trials, Paul read the love of Jesus everywhere, and would cry out to the flowers and grass, "Oh! be quiet, be quiet," as if they were reproaching him with ingratitude. He died whilst the Passion was being read to him, and so passed with Jesus from the cross to glory.

April 28.--ST. VITALIS, Martyr.

ST. VITALIS was a citizen of Milan, and is said to have been the father of Sts. Gervasius and Protasius. The divine providence conducted him to Ravenna, where he saw a Christian named Ursicinus, who was condemned to lose his head for his faith, standing aghast at the sight of death, and seeming ready to yield. Vitalis was extremely moved at this spectacle. He knew his double obligation of preferring the glory of God and the eternal salvation of his neighbor to his own corporal life: he therefore boldly and successfully encouraged Ursicinus to triumph over death, and after his martyrdom carried off his body, and respectfully interred it. The judge, whose name was Paulinus, being informed of this, caused Vitalis to be apprehended, stretched on the rack, and, after other torments, to be buried alive in a place called the Palm-tree, in Ravenna. His wife, Valeria, returning from Ravenna to Milan, was beaten to death by peasants, because she refused to join them in an idolatrous festival and riot.

Reflection.--We are not all called to the sacrifice of martyrdom; but we are all bound to make our lives a continued sacrifice of ourselves to God, and to perform every action in this perfect spirit of sacrifice. Thus we shall both live and die to God, perfectly resigned to His holy will in all His appointments.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #86 on: April 30, 2018, 08:52:03 AM »
4/29: St. Peter; St. Hugh

April 29.--ST. PETER, Martyr.

IN 1205 the glorious martyr Peter was born at Verona of heretical parents. He went to a Catholic school, and his Manichean uncle asked what he learnt. "The Creed," answered Peter; "I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth." No persuasion could shake his faith, and at fifteen he received the habit from St. Dominic himself at Bologna. After ordination, he preached to the heretics of Lombardy, and converted multitudes. St. Peter was constantly obliged to dispute with heretics, and although he was able to confound them, still the devil took occasion thence to tempt him once against faith. Instantly he had recourse to prayer before an image of Our Lady, and heard a voice saying to him the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel, "I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith may not fail; and thou shalt confirm thy brethren in it." Once when exhorting a vast crowd under the burning sun, the heretics defied him to procure shade. He prayed, and a cloud overshadowed the audience. In spite of his sanctity, he was foully slandered and even punished for immorality. He submitted humbly, but complained in prayer to Jesus crucified. The crucifix spoke, "And I, Peter, what did I do?" Every day, as he elevated at Mass the precious blood, he prayed, "Grant, Lord, that I may die for Thee, Who for me didst die." His prayer was answered. The heretics, confounded by him, sought his life. Two of them attacked him as he was returning to Milan, and struck his head with an axe. St. Peter fell, commended himself to God, dipped his finger in his own blood, and wrote on the ground, "I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth." They then stabbed him in the side, and he received his crown.

Reflection.--From a boy St. Peter boldly professed his faith among heretics. He spent his life in preaching the faith to heretics, and received the glorious and long-desired crown of martyrdom from heretics. We are surrounded by heretics. Are we courageous, firm, zealous, full of prayer for their conversion, unflinching in our profession of faith?

April 29.--ST. HUGH, Abbot of Cluny.

ST. HUGH was a prince related to the sovereign house of the dukes of Burgundy, and had his education under the tuition of his pious Mother, and under the care of Hugh, Bishop of Auxerre, his great-uncle. From his infancy he was exceedingly given to prayer and meditation, and his life was remarkably innocent and holy. One day, hearing an account of the wonderful sanctity of the monks of Cluny, under St. Odilo, he was so moved that he set out that moment, and going thither, humbly begged the monastic habit. After a rigid novitiate, he made his profession in 1039, being sixteen years old. His extraordinary virtue, especially his admirable humility, obedience, charity, sweetness, prudence, and zeal, gained him the respect of the whole community; and upon the death of St. Odilo, in 1049, though only twenty-five years old, he succeeded to the government of that great abbey, which he held sixty-two years. He received to the religious profession Hugh, Duke of Burgundy, and died on the twenty-ninth of April, in 1109, aged eighty-five. He was canonized twelve years after his death by Pope Calixtus II.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #87 on: April 30, 2018, 08:56:44 AM »
4/30: St. Catherine of Siena

April 30.--ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA.

CATHERINE, the daughter of a humble tradesman, was raised up to be the guide and guardian of the Church in one of the darkest periods of its history, the fourteenth century. As a child, prayer was her delight. She would say the "Hail Mary" on each step as she mounted the stairs, and was granted in reward a vision of Christ in glory. When but seven years old, she made a vow of virginity, and afterwards endured bitter persecution for refusing to marry. Our Lord gave her His Heart in exchange for her own, communicated her with His own hands, and stamped on her body the print of His wounds. At the age of fifteen she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic, but continued to reside in her father's shop, where she united a life of active charity with the prayer of a contemplative Saint. From this obscure home the seraphic virgin was summoned to defend the Church's cause. Armed with Papal authority, and accompanied by three confessors, she travelled through Italy, reducing rebellious cities to the obedience of the Holy See, and winning hardened souls to God. In the face well-nigh of the whole world she sought out Gregory XI. at Avignon, brought him back to Rome, and by her letters to the kings and queens of Europe made good the Papal cause. She was the counsellor of Urban VI., and sternly rebuked the disloyal cardinals who had part in electing an antipope. Long had the holy virgin foretold the terrible schism which began ere she died. Day and night she wept and prayed for unity and peace. But the devil excited the Roman people against the Pope, so that some sought the life cf Christ's Vicar. With intense earnestness did St. Catherine beg Our Lord to prevent this enormous crime. In spirit she saw the whole city full of demons tempting the people to resist and even slay the Pope. The seditious temper was subdued by Catherine's prayers; but the devils vented their malice by scourging the Saint herself, who gladly endured all for God and His Church. She died at Rome, in 1380, at the age of thirty-three.

Reflection.--The seraphic St. Catherine willingly sacrificed the delights of contemplation to labor for the Church and the Apostolic See. How deeply do the troubles of the Church and the consequent loss of souls afflict us? How often do we pray for the Church and the Pope?
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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"The Glories of St. Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is one of the most loved and powerful saints of the Church.  As the guardian and protector of the Holy Family, St. Joseph was entrusted by God with the greatest of responsibilities – earthly provision for the Son of God Incarnate and the Immaculate Conception — a very noble task indeed!

Because of his faithfulness to this responsibility he is one of the greatest intercessors in heaven, a supreme model for doing God’s will in humility, faith, and obedience.  His mission continues in heaven as the patron and protector of the Universal Church.

THE FEAST

The Catholic Church officially celebrates St. Joseph twice in the liturgical year. March 19th commemorates his vocation as the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and May 1sthis vocation as a worker and provider.

Why this second feast day? Why is his role as a humble carpenter something to be celebrated over 2,000 years later?

St. Joseph’s most obvious mark in salvation history was his role as foster father to Jesus and husband to Mary. In this vocation he served those he loved with all his heart and strength. But it is also his humility and loving diligence as a hardworking yet poor provider that serves as an example to all who work to fulfill a vocation or provide for a family.

St. Joseph is also a model of trust in God. In spite of the fact that he could not completely understand God’s will, we know that he listened to God’s voice. In taking the pregnant Mary as his wife, and later in abandoning his home to flee into Egypt, he shows us the importance of pure obedience to God’s call. (Imagine where we would be had he not listened!)

Pope Pius XII declared the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955 as a response to the increasingly communist climate of the time. It served as a reminder to the faithful of the true dignity and value of work for human beings, and the role of our labor in sanctifying us and in glorifying God with St. Joseph as our model. Among other things, St. Joseph is also the patron saint of workers/laborers and of social justice.

PAPAL ENCYCLICALS ON WORK

Work is something we can all relate to, whether that work is at home with children, at a carpenter’s bench, or in the office. To learn more about Catholic teachings on labor and work ethics, see Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum: On Capital and Labor and Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical Laborem Exercens: On Human Work.

PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER

O glorious Joseph!

Who concealed your incomparable and regal dignity of custodian of Jesus and of the Virgin Mary under the humble appearance of a craftsman and provided for them with your work, protect with loving power your sons, especially entrusted to you.

You know their anxieties and sufferings, because you yourself experienced them at the side of Jesus and of His Mother.

Do not allow them, oppressed by so many worries, to forget the purpose for which they were created by God.

Do not allow the seeds of distrust to take hold of their immortal souls.

Remind all the workers that in the fields, in factories, in mines, and in scientific laboratories, they are not working, rejoicing, or suffering alone, but at their side is Jesus, with Mary, His Mother and ours, to sustain them, to dry the sweat of their brow, giving value to their toil.

Teach them to turn work into a very high instrument of sanctification as you did. Amen."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/1: Ss. Philip and James, Apostles

May 1.--STS. PHILIP and JAMES, Apostles.

PHILIP was one of the first chosen disciples of Christ. On the way from Judea to Galilee Our Lord found Philip, and said, "Follow Me" Philip straightway obeyed; and then in his zeal and charity sought to win Nathaniel also, saying, "We have found Him of Whom Moses and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth;" and when Nathaniel in wonder asked, "Can any good come out of Nazareth?" Philip simply answered, "Come and see," and brought him to Jesus. Another characteristic saying of this apostle is preserved for us by St. John. Christ in His last discourse had spoken of His Father; and Philip exclaimed, in the fervor of his thirst for God, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough"

St. James the Less, the author of an inspired epistle, was also one of the Twelve. St. Paul tells us that he was favored by a special apparition of Christ after the Resurrection. On the dispersion of the apostles among the nations, St. James was left as Bishop of Jerusalem; and even the Jews held in such high veneration his purity, mortification, and prayer, that they named him the Just. The earliest of Church historians has handed down many traditions of St. James's sanctity. He was always a virgin, says Hegesippus, and consecrated to God. He drank no wine, wore no sandals on his feet, and but a single garment on his body. He prostrated himself so much in prayer that the skin of his knees was hardened like a camel's hoof. The Jews, it is said, used out of respect to touch the hem of his garment. He was indeed a living proof of his own words, "The wisdom that is from above first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, full of mercy and good fruits." He sat beside St. Peter and St. Paul at the Council of Jerusalem; and when St. Paul at a later time escaped the fury of the Jews by appealing to Caesar, the people took vengeance on James, and crying, "The just one hath erred," stoned him to death.

Reflection.--The Church commemorates on the same day Sts. Philip and James, whose bodies lie side by side at Rome. They represent to us two aspects of Christian holiness. The first preaches faith, the second works; the one holy aspirations, the other purity of heart.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/2: St. Athanasius, Bishop

May 2.--ST. ATHANASIUS, Bishop.

ATHANASIUS was born in Egypt towards the end of the third century, and was from his youth pious, learned, and deeply versed in the sacred writings, as befitted one whom God had chosen to be the champion and defender of His Church against the Arian heresy. Though only a deacon he was chosen by his bishop to go with him to the Council of Nicaea, in 325, and attracted the attention of all by the learning and ability with which he defended the faith. A few months later, he became Patriarch of Alexandria, and for forty-six years he bore, often well-nigh alone, the whole brunt of the Arian assault. On the refusal of the Saint to restore Arius to Catholic communion, the emperor ordered the Patriarch of Constantinople to do so. The wretched heresiarch took an oath that he had always believed as the Church believes; and the patriarch, after vainly using every effort to move the emperor, had recourse to fasting and prayer, that God Would avert from the Church the frightful sacrilege. The day came for the solemn entrance of Arius into the great church of Sancta Sophia. The heresiarch and his party set out glad and in triumph. But before he reached the church, death smote him swiftly and awfully, and the dreaded sacrilege was averted. St. Athanasius stood unmoved against four Roman emperors; was banished five times; was the butt of every insult, calumny, and wrong the Arians could devise, and lived in constant peril of death. Though firm as adamant in defence of the Faith, he was meek and humble, pleasant and winning in converse, beloved by his flock, unwearied in labors, in prayer, in mortifications, and in zeal for souls. In the year 373 his stormy life closed in peace, rather that his people would have it so than that his enemies were weary of persecuting him. He left to the Church the whole and ancient Faith, defended and explained in writings rich in thought and learning, clear, keen, and stately in expression. He is honored as one of the greatest of the Doctors of the Church.

Reflection.--The Catholic Faith, says St. Augustine, is more precious far than all the riches and treasures of earth; more glorious and greater than all its honors, all its possessions. This it is which saves sinners, gives light to the blind, restores penitents, perfects the just, and is the crown of martyrs.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/3: The Discovery of The Holy Cross

May 3.--THE DISCOVERY OF THE HOLY CROSS.

GOD having restored peace to His Church, by exalting Constantine the Great to the imperial throne, that pious prince, who had triumphed over his enemies by the miraculous power of the cross, was very desirous of expressing his veneration for the holy places which had been honored and sanctified by the presence and sufferings of our blessed Redeemer on earth, and accordingly resolved to build a magnificent church in the city of Jerusalem. St. Helen, the emperor's mother, desiring to visit the holy places there, undertook a journey into Palestine in 326, though at that time near eighty years of age; and on her arrival at Jerusalem was inspired with a great desire to find the identical cross on which Christ had suffered for our sins. But there was no mark or tradition, even amongst the Christians, to show where it lay. The heathens, out of an aversion to Christianity, had done what they could to conceal the place where Our Saviour was buried, by heaping on it a great quantity of stones and rubbish, and building on it a temple to Venus. They had, moreover, erected a statue of Jupiter in the place where Our Saviour rose from the dead. Helen, to carry out her pious design, consulted every one at Jerusalem and near it whom she thought likely to assist her in finding out the cross; and was credibly informed that, if she could find out the sepulchre, she would likewise find the instruments of the punishment; it being the custom among the Jews to make a hole near the place where the body of a criminal was buried, and to throw into it whatever belonged to his execution. The pious empress, therefore, ordered the profane buildings to be pulled down, the statues to be broken in pieces, and the rubbish to be removed; and, upon digging to a great depth, the holy sepulchre, and near it three crosses, also the nails which had pierced Our Saviour's body, and the title which had been fixed to His cross, were found. By this discovery they knew that one of the three crosses was that which they were in quest of, and that the others belonged to the two malefactors between whom Our Saviour had been crucified. But, as the title was found separate from the cross, it was difficult to distinguish which of the three crosses was that on which our divine Redeemer consummated His sacrifice for the salvation of the world. In this perplexity the holy Bishop Macarius, knowing that one of the principal ladies of the city lay extremely ill, suggested to the empress to cause the three crosses to be carried to the sick person, not doubting but God would discover which was the cross they sought for. This being done, St. Macarius prayed that God would have regard to their faith, and, after his prayer, applied the crosses singly to the patient, who was immediately and perfectly recovered by the touch of one of the three crosses, the other two having been tried without effect. St. Helen, full of joy at having found the treasure which she had so earnestly sought and so highly esteemed, built a church on the spot, and lodged the cross there with great veneration, having provided an extraordinarily rich case for it. She afterwards carried part of it to the Emperor Constantine, then at Constantinople, who received it with great veneration; another part she sent or rather carried to Rome, to be placed in the church which she had built there, called Of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, where it remains to this day. The title was sent by St. Helen to the same church, and placed on the top of an arch, where it was found in a case of lead in 1492. The inscription in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin is in red letters, and the wood was whitened. Thus it was in 1492; but these colors are since faded. Also the words Jesus and Judaeorum are eaten away. The board is nine, but must have been twelve, inches long. The main part of the cross St. Helen inclosed in a silver shrine, and committed it to the care of St. Macarius, that it might be delivered down to posterity, as an object of veneration. It was accordingly kept with singular care and respect in the magnificent church which she and her son built in Jerusalem. St. Paulinus relates that, though chips were almost daily cut off from it and given to devout persons, yet the sacred wood suffered thereby no diminution. It is affirmed by St, Cyril of Jerusalem, twenty-five years after the discovery, that pieces of the cross were spread all over the earth; he compares this wonder to the miraculous feeding of five thousand men, as recorded in the Gospel. The discovery of the cross must have happened about the month of May, or early in the spring; for St. Helen went the same year to Constantinople, and from thence to Rome, where she died in the arms of her son on the 18th of August, 326.

Reflection.--In every pious undertaking the beginning merely does not suffice. "Whoso shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/4: St. Monica

May 4.--ST. MONICA.

MONICA, the mother of St. Augustine, was born in 332. A, a girlhood of singular innocence and piety, she was given in marriage to Patritius, a pagan. She at once devoted herself to his conversion, praying for him always, and winning his reverence and love by the holiness of her life and her affectionate forbearance. She was rewarded by seeing him baptized a year before his death. When her son Augustine went astray in faith and manners her prayers and tears were incessant. She was once very urgent with a learned bishop that he would talk to her son in order to bring him to a better mind, but he declined, despairing of success with one at once so able and so headstrong. However, on witnessing her prayers and tears, he bade her be of good courage; for it might not be that the child of those tears should perish. By going to Italy, Augustine could for a time free himself from his mother's importunities; but he could not escape from her prayers, which encompassed him like the providence of God. She followed him to Italy, and there by his marvellous conversion her sorrow was turned into joy. At Ostia, on their homeward journey, as Augustine and his mother sat at a window conversing of the life of the blessed, she turned to him and said, "Son, there is nothing now I care for in this life. What I shall now do or why I am here, I know not. The one reason I had for wishing to linger in this life a little longer was that I might see you a Catholic Christian before I died. This has God granted me superabundantly in seeing you reject earthly happiness to become His servant. What do I here?" A few days afterwards she had an attack of fever, and died in the year 387.

Reflection.--It is impossible to set any bounds to what persevering prayer may do. It gives man a share in the Divine Omnipotence. St. Augustine's soul lay bound in the chains of heresy and impurity, both of which had by long habit grown inveterate. They were broken by his mother's prayers.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/5: St. Pius V

May 5.--ST. PIUS V.

A DOMINICAN friar from his fifteenth year, Michael Ghislieri, as a simple religious, as inquisitor, as bishop, and as cardinal, was famous for his intrepid defence of the Church's faith and discipline, and for the spotless purity of his own life. His first care as Pope was to reform the Roman court and capital by the strict example of his household and the severe punishment of all offenders. He next endeavored to obtain from the Catholic powers the recognition of the Tridentine decrees, two of which he urgently enforced--the residence of bishops, and the establishment of diocesan seminaries. He revised the Missal and Breviary, and reformed the ecclesiastical music. Nor was he less active in protecting the Church without. We see him at the same time supporting the Catholic King of France against the Huguenot rebels, encouraging Mary Queen of Scots, in the bitterness of her captivity, and excommunicating her rival the usurper Elizabeth, when the best blood of England had flowed upon the scaffold, and the measure of her crimes was full. But it was at Lepanto that the Saint's power was most manifest; there, in October, 1571, by the holy league which he had formed, but still more by his prayers to the great Mother of God, the aged Pontiff crushed the Ottoman forces, and saved Christendom from the Turk. Six months later, St. Pius died, having reigned but six years. St. Pius was accustomed to kiss the feet of his crucifix on leaving or entering his room. One day the feet moved away from his lips. Sorrow filled his heart, and he made acts of contrition, fearing that he must have committed some secret offence, but still he could not kiss the feet. It was afterwards found that they had been poisoned by an enemy.

Reflection.--"Thy cross, O Lord, is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces: by it the faithful find strength in weakness, glory in shame, life in death."--St. Leo.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/6: St. John Before The Latin Gate

May 6.--ST. JOHN BEFORE THE LATIN GATE.

IN the year 95, St. John, who was the only surviving apostle, and governed all the churches of Asia, was apprehended at Ephesus, and sent prisoner to Rome. The Emperor Domitian did not relent at the sight of the venerable old man, but condemned him to be cast into a caldron of boiling oil. The martyr doubtless heard, with great joy, this barbarous sentence; the most cruel torments seemed to him light and most agreeable, because they would, he hoped, unite him forever to his divine Master and Saviour. But God accepted his will and crowned his desire; He conferred on him the honor and merit of martyrdom, but suspended the operation of the fire, as He had formerly preserved the three children from hurt in the Babylonian furnace. The seething oil was changed in his regard into an invigorating bath, and the Saint came out more refreshed than when he had entered the caldron. Domitian saw this miracle without drawing from it the least advantage, but remained hardened in his iniquity. However, he contented himself after this with banishing the holy apostle into the little island of Patmos. St. John returned to Ephesus, in the reign of Nerva, who by mildness, during his short reign of one year and four months, labored to restore the faded lustre of the Roman Empire. This glorious triumph of St. John happened without the gate of Rome called Latina. A church which since has always borne this title was consecrated in the same place in memory of this miracle, under the first Christian emperors.

Reflection.--St. John suffered above the other Saints a martyrdom of love, being a martyr, and more than a martyr, at the foot of the cross of his divine Master. All his sufferings were by love and compassion imprinted in his soul, and thus shared by him. O singular happiness, to have stood under the cross of Christ! O extraordinary privilege, to have suffered martyrdom in the person of Jesus, and been eye-witness of all He did or endured! If nature revolt within us against suffering, let us call to mind those words of the divine Master: "Thou knowest not now wherefore; but thou shalt know hereafter."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/7: St. Stanislas, Bishop, Martyr

May 7.--ST. STANISLAS, Bishop, Martyr.

STANISLAS was born in answer to prayer when his parents were advanced in age. Out of gratitude they educated him for the Church, and from a holy priest he became in time Bishop of Cracow. Boleslas II. was then King of Poland--a prince of good disposition, but spoilt by a long course of victory and success. After many acts of lust and cruelty, he outraged the whole kingdom by carrying off the wife of one of his nobles. Against this public scandal the chaste and gentle bishop alone raised his voice. Having commended the matter to God, he went down to the palace and openly rebuked the king for his crime against God and his subjects, and threatened to excommunicate him if he persisted in his sin. To slander the Saint's character, Boleslas suborned the nephews of one Paul, lately dead, to swear that their uncle had never been paid for land bought by the bishop for the Church. The Saint stood fearlessly before the king's tribunal, though all his witnesses forsook him, and guaranteed to bring the dead man to witness for him within three days. On the third day, after many prayers and tears, he raised Paul to life, and led him in his grave-clothes before the king. Boleslas made a show for a while of a better life. Soon, however, he relapsed into the most scandalous excesses, and the bishop, finding all remonstrance useless, pronounced the sentence of excommunication. In defiance of the censure, on May 8, 1079, the king went down to a chapel where the bishop himself was saying Mass, and sent in three companies of soldiers to dispatch him at the altar. Each in turn came out, saying they had been scared by a light from heaven. Then the king rushed in and slew the Saint at the altar with his own hand.

Reflection.--The safest correction of vice is a blameless life. Yet there are times when silence would make us answerable for the sins of others. At such times let us, in the name of God, rebuke the offender without fear.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/8: The Apparition of St. Michael The Archangel

May 8.--THE APPARITION OF ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL.

IT is manifest, from the Holy Scriptures, that God is pleased to make frequent use of the ministry of the heavenly spirits in the dispensations of His providence in this world, and especially towards man. Hence the name of Angel (which is not properly a denomination of nature, but office) has been appropriated to them. The angels are all pure spirits; they are, by a property of their nature, immortal, as every spirit is. They have the power of moving or conveying themselves from place to place, and such is their activity that it is not easy for us to conceive it. Among the holy archangels, there are particularly distinguished in Holy Writ Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. St. Michael, whom the Church honors this day, was the prince of the faithful angels who opposed Lucifer and his associates in their revolt against Gad. As the devil is the sworn enemy of God's holy Church, St. Michael is its special protector against his assaults and stratagems. This holy archangel has ever been honored in the Christian Church as her guardian under God, and as the protector of the faithful; for God is pleased to employ the zeal and charity of the good angels and their leader against the malice of the devil. To thank His adorable goodness for this benefit of His merciful providence is this festival instituted by the Church in honor of the good angels, in which devotion she has been encouraged by several apparitions of this glorious archangel. Among others, it is recorded that St. Michael, in a vision, admonished the Bishop of Siponto to build a church in his honor on Mount Gargano, near Manfredonia, in the kingdom of Naples. When the Emperor Otho III. had, contrary to his word, put to death, for rebellion, Crescentius, a Roman senator, being touched with remorse he cast himself at the feet of St. Romuald, who, in satisfaction for his crime, enjoined him to walk barefoot, on a penitential pilgrimage, to St. Michael's on Mount Gargano, which penance he performed in 1002. It is mentioned in particular of this special guardian and protector of the Church that, in the persecution of Antichrist, he will powerfully stand up in her defence: "At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people."

Reflection.--St. Michael is not only the protector of the Church, but of every faithful soul. He defeated the devil by humility: we are enlisted in the same warfare. His arms were humility and ardent love of God: the same must be our weapons. We ought to regard this archangel as our leader under God: and, courageously resisting the devil in all his assaults, to cry out, Who can be compared to God?
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/9: St. Gregory Nazianzen

May 9.--ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN.

GREGORY was born of saintly parents, and was the chosen friend of St. Basil. They studied together at Athens, turned at the same time from the fairest worldly prospects, and for some years lived together in seclusion, self-discipline, and toil. Gregory was raised, almost by force, to the priesthood; and was in time made Bishop of Nazianzum by St. Basil, who had become Archbishop of Caesarea. When he was fifty years old, he was chosen, for his rare gifts and his conciliatory disposition, to be Patriarch of Constantinople, then distracted and laid waste by Arian and other heretics. In that city he labored with wonderful success. The Arians were so irritated at the decay of their heresy that they pursued the Saint with outrage, calumny, and violence, and at length resolved to take away his life. For this purpose they chose a resolute young man, who readily undertook the sacrilegious commission. But God did not allow him to carry it out. He was touched with remorse, and cast himself at the Saint's feet, avowing his sinful intent. St. Gregory at once forgave him, treated him with all kindness, and received him amongst his friends, to the wonder and edification of the whole city, and to the confusion of the heretics, whose crime had served only as a foil to the virtue of the Saint. St. Jerome boasts that he had sat at his feet, and calls him his master and his catechist in Holy Scripture. But his lowliness, his austerities, the insignificance of his person, and above all his very success, drew down on him the hatred of the enemies of the Faith. He was persecuted by the magistrates, stoned by the rabble, and thwarted and deserted even by his brother bishops. During the second General Council he resigned his see, hoping thus to restore peace to the tormented city, and retired to his native town, where he died in 390. He was a graceful poet, a preacher at once eloquent and solid; and as a champion of the Faith so well equipped, so strenuous, and so exact, that he is called St. Gregory the Theologian.

Reflection.--"We must overcome our enemies," said St. Gregory, "by gentleness; win them over by forbearance. Let them be punished by their own conscience, not by our wrath. Let us not at once wither the fig-tree, from which a more skilful gardener may yet entice fruit."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/10: St. Antoninus, Bishop

May 10.--ST. ANTONINUS, Bishop.

ANTONINUS, or Little Antony, as he was called from his small stature, was born at Florence in 1389. After a childhood of singular holiness, he begged to be admitted into the Dominican house at Fiesole; but the Superior, to test his sincerity and perseverance, told him he must first learn by heart the book of the Decretals, containing several hundred pages. This apparently impossible task was accomplished within twelve months; and Antoninus received the coveted habit in his sixteenth year. While still very young, he filled several important posts of his Order, and was consulted on questions of difficulty by the most learned men of his day; being known, for his wonderful prudence, as "the Counsellor." He wrote several works on theology and history, and sat as Papal Theologian at the Council of Florence. In 1446 he was compelled to accept the archbishopric of that city; and in this dignity earned for himself the title of "the Father of the Poor," for all he had was at their disposal. St. Antoninus never refused an alms which was asked in the name of God. When he had no money, he gave his clothes, shoes, or furniture. One day, being sent by the Florentines to the Pope, as he approached Rome a beggar came up to him almost naked, and asked him for an alms for Christ's sake. Outdoing St. Martin, Antoninus gave him his whole cloak. When he entered the city, another was given him; by whom he knew not. His household consisted of only six persons; his palace contained no plate or costly furniture, and was often nearly destitute of the necessaries of life. His one mule was frequently sold for the relief of the poor, when it would be bought back for him by some wealthy citizen. He died embracing the crucifix, May 2d, 1459, often repeating the words, "To serve God is to reign."

Reflection.--"Alms-deeds," says St. Augustine, "comprise every kind of service rendered to our neighbor who needs such assistance. He who supports a lame man bestows an alms on him with his feet; he who guides a blind man does him a charity with his eyes; he who carries an invalid or an old man upon his shoulders imparts to him an alms of his strength. Hence none are so poor but they may bestow an alms on the wealthiest man in the world."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/11: St. Mammertus, Archbishop

May 11.--ST. MAMMERTUS, Archbishop.

ST. MAMMERTUS, Archbishop of Vienne in Dauphin, was a prelate renowned for his sanctity, learning, and miracles. He instituted in his diocese the fasts and supplications called the Rogations, on the following occasions. Almighty God, to punish the sins of the people, visited them with wars and other public calamities, and awaked them from their spiritual lethargy by the terrors of earthquakes, fires, and ravenous wild beasts, which last were sometimes seen in the very market-place of cities. These evils the impious ascribed to blind chance; but religious and prudent persons considered them as tokens of the divine anger, which threatened their entire destruction. Amidst these scourges, St. Mammertus received a token of the divine mercy. A terrible fire happened in the city of Vienne, which baffled the efforts of men; but by the prayers of the good bishop the fire on a sudden went out. This miracle strongly affected the minds of the people. The holy prelate took this opportunity to make them sensible of the necessity and efficacy of devout prayer, and formed a pious design of instituting an annual fast and supplication of three days, in which all the faithful should join, with sincere compunction of heart, to appease the divine indignation by fasting, prayer, tears, and the confession of sins. The Church of Auvergne, of which St. Sidonius was bishop, adopted this pious institution before the year 475, and it became in a very short time a universal practice. St. Mammertus died about the year 477.

Reflection.--"Know ye that the Lord will hear your prayers, if you continue with perseverance in fastings and prayers in the sight of the Lord" (Judith iv. 11).
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/12: St. Epiphanius, Archbishop

May 12.--ST. EPIPHANIUS, Archbishop.

ST. EPIPHANIUS was born about the year 310, in Palestine. In his youth he began the study of the Holy Scriptures, embraced a monastic life, and went into Egypt to perfect himself in the exercises of that state, in the deserts of that country. He returned to Palestine about the year 333, and built a monastery near the place of his birth. His labors in the exercise of virtue seemed to some to surpass his strength; but his apology always was: "God gives not the kingdom of heaven but on condition that we labor; and all we can do bears no proportion to such a crown." To his corporal austerities he added an indefatigable application to prayer and study. Most books then in vogue passed through his hands; and he improved himself very much in learning by his travels into many parts.

Although the skilful director of many others, St. Epiphanius took the great St. Hilarion as his master in a spiritual life, and enjoyed the happiness of his direction and intimate acquaintance from the year 333 to 356. The reputation of his virtue made St. Epiphanius known to distant countries, and about the year 367 he was chosen Bishop of Salamis in Cyprus. But he still wore the monastic habit, and continued to govern his monastery in Palestine, which he visited from time to time. He sometimes relaxed his austerities in favor of hospitality, preferring charity to abstinence. No one surpassed him in tenderness and charity to the poor. The veneration which all men had for his sanctity exempted him from. the persecution of the Arian Emperor Valens. In 376 he undertook a journey to Antioch in the hope of converting Vitalis, the Apollinarist bishop; and in 382 he accompanied St. Paulinus from that city to Rome, where they lodged at the house of St. Paula; our Saint in return entertained her afterward ten days in Cyprus in 385. The very name of an error in faith, or the shadow of danger of evil, affrighted him, and the Saint fell into some mistakes on certain occasions, which proceeded from zeal and simplicity. He was on his way back to Salamis, after a short absence, when he died in 403, having been bishop thirty-six years.

Reflection.--"In this is charity: not as though we had loved God, but because He hath first loved us."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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5/13: St. John The Silent

May 13.--ST. JOHN THE SILENT.

JOHN was born of a noble family at Nicopolis, in Armenia, in the year 454; but he derived from the virtue of his parents a much more illustrious nobility than that of their pedigree. After their death, he built at Nicopolis a church in honor of the Blessed Virgin, as also a monastery, in which, with ten fervent companions, he shut himself up when only eighteen years of age, with a view of making the salvation and most perfect sanctification of his soul his only and earnest pursuit. Not only to shun the danger of sin by the tongue, but also out of sincere humility and contempt of himself, and the love of interior recollection and prayer, he very seldom spoke; and when obliged to, it was always in a very few words, and with great discretion. To his extreme affliction, when he was only twenty-eight years old, the Archbishop of Sebaste obliged him to quit his retreat, and ordained him Bishop of Colonian in Armenia, in 482. In this dignity John preserved always the same spirit, and, as much as was compatible with the, duties of his charge, continued his monastic austerities and exercises. Whilst he was watching one night in prayer, he saw before him a bright cross formed in the air, and heard a voice which said to him, "If thou desirest to be saved, follow this light." It seemed to move before him, and at length point out to the monastery of St. Sabas. Being satisfied what the sacrifice was which God required at his hands, he found means to abdicate the episcopal charge, and retired to the neighboring monastery of St. Sabas, which at that time contained one hundred and fifty fervent monks. St. John was then thirty-eight years old. After living there unknown for some years, fetching water, carrying stones, and doing other menial work, St. Sabas, judging him worthy to be promoted to the priesthood, presented him to the Patriarch Elias. St. John took the patriarch aside, and, having obtained from him a promise of secrecy, said, "Father, I have been ordained bishop; but on account of the multitude of my sins have fled, and am come into this desert to wait the visit of the Lord." The patriarch was startled, but God revealed to St. Sabas the state of the affair, whereupon, calling for John, he complained to him of his unkindness in concealing the matter from him. Finding himself discovered, John wished to quit the monastery, nor could St. Sabas prevail on him to stay, but on a promise never to divulge the. secret. In the year 503, St. John withdrew into a neigh, boring wilderness, but in 510 went back to the monastery, and confined himself for forty years to his cell. St. John, by his example and counsels, conducted many fervent souls to God, and continued to emulate, as much as this mortal state will allow, the glorious employment of the heavenly spirits in an uninterrupted exercise of love and praise, till he passed to their blessed company, soon after the year 558; having lived seventy-six years in the desert, which had only been interrupted by the nine years of his episcopal dignity.

Reflection.--A love of Christian silence is a proof that a soul makes it her chiefest delight to be occupied on God, and finds no comfort like that of conversing with Him. This is the paradise of all devout souls.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #102 on: June 04, 2018, 12:27:57 PM »
5/14: St. Pachomius, Abbot

May 14.--ST. PACHOMIUS, Abbot.

IN the beginning of the fourth century great levies of troops were made throughout Egypt for the service of the Roman emperor. Among the recruits was Pachomius, a young heathen, then in his twenty-first year. On his way down the Nile he passed a village, whose inhabitants gave him food and money. Marvelling at this kindness, Pachomius was told they were Christians, and hoped for a reward in the life to come. He then prayed God to show him the truth, and promised to devote his life to His service. On being discharged, he returned to a Christian village in Egypt, where he was instructed and baptized. Instead of going home, he sought Palemon, an aged solitary, to learn from him a perfect life, and with great joy embraced the most severe austerities. Their food was bread and water, once a day in summer, and once in two days in winter; sometimes they added herbs, but mixed ashes with them. They only slept one hour each night, and this short repose Pachomius took sitting upright without support. Three times God revealed to him that he was to found a religious order at Tabenna; and an angel gave him a rule of life. Trusting in God, he built a monastery, although he had no disciples; but vast multitudes soon flocked to him, and he trained them in perfect detachment from creatures and from self. One day a monk, by dint of great exertions, contrived to make two mats instead of the one which was the usual daily task, and set them both out in front of his cell, that Pachomius might see how diligent he had been. But the Saint, perceiving the vainglory which had prompted the act, said, "This brother has taken a great deal of pains from morning till night to give his work to the devil" Then, to cure him of his delusion, Pachomius imposed on him as a penance to keep his cell for five months and to taste no food but bread and water. His visions and miracles were innumerable, and he read all hearts. His holy death occurred in 348.

Reflection.--"To live in great simplicity," said St. Pachomius, "and in a wise ignorance, is exceeding wise."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #103 on: June 10, 2018, 05:39:11 AM »
5/15: Ss. Peter and Dionysia

May 15.--STS. PETER and DIONYSIA.

IN the Decian persecution the blood of the Christians flowed at Lampsacus, a city of Asia Minor. St. Peter was the first who was led before the proconsul and condemned to die for the name of Christ. Young though he was, he went joyfully to his torments. He was bound to a wheel by iron chains, and his bones were broken, but he raised his eyes to heaven with a smiling countenance and said, "I give Thee thanks, O Lord Jesus Christ, because Thou hast given me patience, and made me victorious over the tyrant." The proconsul saw how little suffering availed, and ordered the martyr to be beheaded. But a little later, in the same city, the virgin Dionysia showed a like eagerness to suffer. St. Dionysia gained the crown which an apostate lost, and his history may teach us that those who lose Christ rather than suffer with Him lose all. With the strength that was left he cried out, "I never was a Christian. I sacrifice to the gods." Therefore he was taken down, and he offered sacrifice. But he was possessed by the devil, whom he had chosen for his master. He fell to the earth in a fit, bit out his tongue, and so expired. He escaped a little pain, and instead he went to the endless torments of hell, and forfeited eternal rest. "O wretched man!" Dionysia cried, "why have you feared a little suffering and chosen eternal pain instead?" She was seized and led away to horrible outrage, but her angel guardian appeared by her side and protected the spouse of Christ. Escaping from prison, she still burned with the desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ. She threw herself upon the bodies of the martyrs, saying, "I would fain die with you on earth, that I may live with you in heaven." And Christ, Who is the crown of virgins and the strength of martyrs, gave her the desire of her heart.

Reflection.--The martyrs were even like us, with natures which shrank from suffering. They were patient under it because they looked to the eternal recompense, and endured as seeing Him Who is invisible.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #104 on: June 19, 2018, 07:34:01 PM »
Are there any other examples of Latin fools-for-Christ?

Quote
So he sent for him, and asked him privately: “Hast thou cut off the foot of a swine in the forest?” To which Father Juniper answered quite joyfully, not as one who has committed a fault, but believing he had done a great act of charity: “It is true, sweet Father, that I did cut off that swine’s foot; and if thou wilt listen compassionately, I will tell thee the reason. I went out of charity to visit the brother who is sick.” And so he related the matter in order, adding: “I tell thee, dear father, that this foot did the sick brother so much good, that if I had cut off the feet of a hundred swine instead of one, I verily believe that God would have been pleased therewith.”
From CCEL
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #105 on: June 20, 2018, 11:50:57 AM »
Are there any other examples of Latin fools-for-Christ?

Quote
So he sent for him, and asked him privately: “Hast thou cut off the foot of a swine in the forest?” To which Father Juniper answered quite joyfully, not as one who has committed a fault, but believing he had done a great act of charity: “It is true, sweet Father, that I did cut off that swine’s foot; and if thou wilt listens compassionately, I will tell thee the reason. I went out of charity to visit the brother who is sick.” And so he related the matter in order, adding: “I tell thee, dear father, that this foot did the sick brother so much good, that if I had cut off the feet of a hundred swine instead of one, I verily believe that God would have been pleased therewith.”
From CCEL

what a fool for Christ! 

btw in Slavonic, we say юродивый which mean holy fool but you probably already know that don't you!
"Two Romes fell, a third stands, and there will not be a fourth one."-Philotheus of Pskov

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life!- Paschal troparion

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #106 on: July 28, 2018, 07:08:10 AM »
Just continue for now from today's date and will complete the rest or anything pending next year.

July 28.--STS. NAZARIUS and CELSUS, Martyrs.

ST. NAZARIUS's father was a heathen, and held a considerable post in the Roman army. His mother, Perpetua, was a zealous Christian, and was instructed by St. Peter, or his disciples, in the most perfect maxims of our holy faith. Nazarius embraced it with so much ardor that he copied in his life all the great virtues he saw in his teachers; and out of zeal for the salvation of others, he left Rome, his native city, and preached the Faith in many places with a fervor and disinterestedness becoming a disciple of the apostles. Arriving at Milan, he was there beheaded for the Faith, together with Celsus, a youth whom he carried with him to assist him in his travels. These martyrs suffered soon after Nero had raised the first persecution. Their bodies were buried separately in a garden without the city, where they were discovered and taken up by St. Ambrose, in 395. In the tomb of St. Nazarius, a vial of the Saint's blood was found as fresh and red as if it had been spilt that day. The faithful stained handkerchiefs with some drops, and also formed a certain paste with it, a portion of which St. Ambrose sent to St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia. St. Ambrose conveyed the bodies of the two martyrs into the new church .of the apostles, which he had just built. A woman was delivered of an evil spirit in their presence. St. Ambrose sent some of these relics to St. Paulinus of Nola, who received them with great respect, as a most valuable present, as he testifies.

Reflection.--The martyrs died as the outcasts of the world, but are crowned by God with immortal honor. The glory of the world is false and transitory, and an empty bubble or shadow, but that of virtue is true, solid, and permanent, even in the eyes of men.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #107 on: July 29, 2018, 06:20:19 AM »
7/29: St. Martha, Virgin

July 29.--ST. MARTHA, Virgin.

ST. JOHN tells us that "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus," and yet but few glimpses are vouchsafed us of them. First, the sisters are set before us with a word. Martha received Jesus into her house, and was busy in outward, loving, lavish service, while Mary sat in silence at the feet she had bathed with her tears. Then, their brother is ill, and they send to Jesus, "Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick." And in His own time the Lord came, and they go out to meet Him; and then follows that scene of unutterable tenderness and of sublimity unsurpassed: the silent waiting of Mary; Martha strong in faith, but realizing so vividly, with her practical turn of mind, the fact of death, and hesitating: "Canst Thou show Thy wonders in the grave?" And then once again, on the eve of His Passion, we see Jesus at Bethany. Martha, true to her character, is serving; Mary, as at first, pours the precious ointment, in adoration and love, on His divine head. And then we find the tomb of St. Martha, at Tarascon, in Provence. When the storm of persecution came, the family of Bethany, with a few companions, were put into a boat, without oars or sail, and borne to the coast of France. St. Mary's tomb is at St. Baume; St. Lazarus is venerated as the founder of the Church of Marseilles; and the memory of the virtues and labors of St. Martha is still fragrant at Avignon and Tarascon.

Reflection.--When Martha received Jesus into her house, she was naturally busy in preparations for such a Guest. Mary sat at His feet, intent alone on listening to His gracious words. Her sister thought that the time required other service than this, and asked our Lord to bid Mary help in serving. Once again Jesus spoke in defence of Mary. "Martha, Martha," He said, "thou art lovingly anxious about many things; be not over-eager; do thy chosen work with recollectedness. Judge not Mary. Hers is the good part, the one only thing really necessary. Thine will be taken away, that something better be given thee." The life of action ceases when the body is laid down; but the life of contemplation endures and is perfected in heaven.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #108 on: July 30, 2018, 03:04:58 AM »
THE EMPEROR Dioclesian, by the first edicts which he issued out against the Christians in 303, declared them infamous, and debarred from all protection of the laws, and from all the privileges of citizens. By thus putting arms into the hands of every one against them, the tyrant hoped to see their very name extinguished; but he was not sensible that this divine religion then triumphs when its professors seem to be overcome by death, and that by it human weakness is made victorious over the power of the world and hell. Of this St. Julitta is an instance. She was a rich lady of Cæsarea, in Cappadocia, and was possessed of many farms, cattle, goods, and slaves. A powerful man of the town, by open violence, got possession of a considerable part of her estate; and when he could not otherwise maintain his suit before the pretor, charged her with being a Christian. The judge caused fire and incense to be immediately brought into the court, and commanded her to offer sacrifice to the idols; but she courageously made him this answer: “May my estates perish, or be disposed of to strangers; may I also lose my life, and may this my body be cut in pieces, rather than that by the least impious word I should offend God who made me. If you take from me a little portion of this earth, I shall gain heaven for it.” The judge was extremely exasperated at the undaunted resolution with which she spoke, and without more ado confirmed to the usurper the estates to which he unjustly laid, claim, and condemned the servant of Christ to the flames. Upon hearing this sentence, a kind of heavenly joy and most amiable cheerfulness flushed her countenance, which she could not refrain from expressing by continual thanksgiving to God to her last breath. She exhorted the Christians in the most moving manner to constancy and fervour. The Pagans were amazed to see a lady of her rank, age, and fortune, possessed of all the advantages necessary to please the world, and yet in a condition to enjoy all that is in it most flattering, to contemn all this, and life itself, with such an heroic constancy.     1
  When all things were ready for the execution, Julitta laid herself cheerfully upon the pile, and there expired, being, as it seems, stifled by the smoke; for the flame rising in an arched vault round her body, did not touch it, and the Christians took it up entire. It was afterwards interred in the porch of the principal church in the city; and St. Basil, speaking of this treasure about the year 375, wrote as follows: “It enriches with blessings both the place and those who come to it.” He assures us that “the earth which received the body of this blessed woman sent forth a spring of most pleasant water, whereas all the neighbouring waters are brackish and salt. This water preserves health, and relieves the sick.” Both the Greeks and Latins honour St. Julitta on this day. See St. Basil’s homily on St. Julitta, t. 2, p. 33, hom. 5; also in Ruinart’s collection, p. 515.

July 30
SS. Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs
 
THEY were Persians, but coming to Rome, courageously confessed the faith of Christ in the persecution of Decius in 250. They were cruelly tormented, but the more their bodies were mangled and covered with ghastly wounds, the more were their souls adorned and beautified with divine grace, and rendered glorious in the sight of heaven. The Christians at Rome did not treat them as strangers, but as brethren united to them in the hope of the same blessed country; and after their death carefully deposited their bodies in the house of a subdeacon called Quirinus. In the reign of Constantine the Great, their relics were removed into the ancient burying place of Pontian, so called from some rich man who built it: called also, from some sign, Ad Ursum Pileatum. It afterwards received its name from SS. Abdon and Sennon. It was situated near the Tiber, on the road to Porto near the gates of Rome. The images of these martyrs with Persian bonnets and crowns on their heads, and their names, are to be seen there at this day in ancient sculpture. 1 SS. Abdon and Sennen are mentioned in the ancient Liberian Calendar, and in other Martyrologies; though their modern acts deserve no notice, as Cardinal Noris has demonstrated. 2     1
  The martyrs preferred torments and death to sin, because the love of God above all things reigned in their breasts. “We say we are Christians,” says Tertullian; 3 “we proclaim it to the whole world, even under the hands of the executioner, and in the midst of all the torments you inflict upon us to compel us to unsay it. Torn and mangled, and weltering in our blood, we cry out as loud as we are able to cry, That we are worshippers of God through Christ.” Upon which Mr. Reeves observes, that no other religion ever produced any considerable number of martyrs except the true one. Do we ever read of any generation of men so greedy of martyrdom, who thought it long till they were upon the rack, and were so patient, so cheerful and steadfast under the most intolerable torments? Socrates was the only philosopher who can be said to have died for his doctrine; and what a restless posture of mind does he betray, who was esteemed the best and the wisest of the heathens! With what misgivings, and fits of hope and fear, does he deliver himself in that most famous discourse, supposed to have been made by him a little before his death, about a future state? 4 And neither Phædo, Cebes, Crito, Simmias, nor any other of his greatest friends who were present at his death, durst maintain either his innocence, or that doctrine for which he died, in the Areopagus. With what reserve did Plato himself dogmatize concerning the gods whom he worshipped in public, but denied in private! How did he dodge about, disguise himself, and say and unsay the same excellent truths! Only the Christians suffered at this rate, and they held on suffering for several hundred years together, till they had subdued the world by dying for their religion. What could engage such a number of men in such a religion, and support them in it, in defiance of death in the most shocking forms, but evident truth, and a superior grace and strength from above?
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #109 on: August 01, 2018, 05:33:28 AM »
July 31.—ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA.

ST. IGNATIUS was born at Loyola in Spain, in the year 1491. He served his king as a courtier and a soldier till his thirtieth year. At that age, being laid low by a wound, he received the call of divine grace to leave the world. He embraced poverty and humiliation, that he might become more like to Christ, and won others to join him in the service of God. Prompted by their love for Jesus Christ, Ignatius and his companions made a vow to go to the Holy Land, but war broke out, and prevented the execution of their project. Then they turned to the Vicar of Jesus Christ, and placed themselves under his obedience. This was the beginning of the Society of Jesus. Our Lord promised St. Ignatius that the precious heritage of His Passion should never fail his Society, a heritage of contradictions and persecutions. St. Ignatius was cast into prison at Salamanca, on a suspicion of heresy. To a friend who expressed sympathy with him on account of his imprisonment, he replied, "It is a sign that you have but little love of Christ in your heart, or you would not deem it so hard a fate to be in chains for His sake. I declare to you that all Salamanca does not contain as many fetters, manacles, and chains as I long to wear for the love of Jesus Christ." St. Ignatius went to his crown on the 31st July, 1556.

Reflection.—Ask St. Ignatius to obtain for you the grace to desire ardently the greater glory of God, even though it may cost you much suffering and humiliation.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #110 on: August 01, 2018, 05:35:30 AM »
August 1.—ST. PETER'S CHAINS.

HEROD AGRIPPA, King of the Jews, having put to death St. James the Great in the year 44, in order to gain the affection and applause of his people, caused St. Peter, the prince of the sacred college, to be cast into prison. It was his intention to put him publicly to death after Easter. The whole Church at Jerusalem put up its prayers to God for the deliverance of the chief pastor of His whole flock, and God favorably heard them. The king took all precautions possible to prevent the escape of his prisoner. St. Peter lay fast asleep, on the very night before the day intended for his execution, when it pleased God to deliver him out of the hands of his enemies. He was guarded by sixteen soldiers, four of whom always kept sentry in their turns: two in the same dungeon with him, and two at the gate. He was fastened to the ground by two chains, and slept between the two soldiers. In the middle of the night, a bright light shone in the prison, and an angel appeared near him, and, striking him on the side, awaked him out of his sleep, and bade him instantly arise, gird his coat about him, put on his sandals and his cloak, and follow him. The apostle did so, for the chains had dropped off from his hands. Following his guide, he passed after him through the first and second wards of watches, and through the iron gate which led into the city, which opened to them of its own accord. The angel conducted him through one street, then, suddenly disappearing, left him to seek some asylum. The apostle went directly to the house of Mary the mother of John, surnamed Mark, where several disciples were met together, and were sending up their prayers to heaven for his deliverance. As he stood knocking without, a young woman, knowing Peter's voice, ran in and informed the company that he was at the door; they concluded it must be his guardian angel, sent by God upon some extraordinary account, until, being let in, he related to them the whole manner of his miraculous escape; and having enjoined them to give notice thereof to St. James and the rest of the brethren, he withdrew to a place of more retirement and security, carrying, wherever he went, the heavenly blessing and life.

Reflection.—This miracle affords a confirmation of the divine promise, "If two of you shall consent upon earth concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by My Father Who is in heaven."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #111 on: August 02, 2018, 06:44:47 AM »
August 2.—ST. STEPHEN, Pope and Martyr.

ST. STEPHEN was by birth a Roman, and, being promoted to holy orders, was made archdeacon under the holy Popes St. Cornelius and St. Lucius. The latter having suffered martyrdom, St. Stephen was chosen to succeed him, and was elected Pope on the 3d of May, 253. The controversy concerning the rebaptism of heretics gave St. Stephen much trouble. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church, that Baptism given in the Name of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity is valid, though it be conferred by a heretic. St. Stephen suffered himself patiently to be traduced as a favorer of heresy in approving heretical baptism, not doubting but those great men who by mistaken zeal were led astray would, when the heat of the dispute had subsided, calmly open their eyes to the truth. Thus by his zeal he preserved the integrity of faith, and by his toleration and forbearance saved many souls. The persecutions becoming violent, he assembled the faithful together in the underground tombs of the martyrs, to celebrate Mass and to exhort them to remain true to Christ. On the 2d of August, 257, while seated in his pontifical chair, he was beheaded by the satellites of the emperor; and the chair is still shown, stained with his blood.

ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI.

ST. ALPHONSUS was born of noble parents, near Naples, in 1696. His spiritual training was intrusted to the Fathers of the Oratory in that city, and from his boyhood Alphonsus was known as a most devout Brother of the Little Oratory. At the early age of sixteen he was made doctor in law, and he threw himself into this career with ardor and success. A mistake, by which he lost an important cause, showed him the vanity of human fame, and determined him to labor only for the glory of glory. He entered the Priesthood, devoting himself to the most neglected souls; and to carry on this work he founded later the missionary Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. At the age of sixty-six he became Bishop of St. Agatha, and undertook the reform of his diocese with the zeal of a Saint. He made a vow never to lose time, and, though his life was spent in prayer and work, he composed a vast number of books, filled with such science, unction, and wisdom that he has been declared one of the Doctors of the Church. St. Alphonsus wrote his first book at the age of forty-nine, and in his eighty-third year had published about sixty volumes, when his director forbade him to write more. Very many of these books were written in the half-hours snatched from his labors as missionary, religious superior, and Bishop, or in the midst of continual bodily and mental sufferings. With his left hand he would hold a piece of marble against his aching head while his right hand wrote. Yet he counted no time wasted which was spent in charity. He did not refuse to hold a long correspondence with a simple soldier who asked his advice, or to play the harpsichord while he taught his novices to sing spiritual canticles. He lived in evil times, and met with many persecutions and disappointments. For his last seven years he was prevented by constant sickness from offering the Adorable Sacrifice; but he received Holy Communion daily, and his love for Jesus Christ and his trust in Mary's prayers sustained him to the end. He died in 1787, in his ninety-first year.

Reflection.—Let us do with all our heart the duty of each day, leaving the result to God, as well as the care of the future.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #112 on: August 03, 2018, 12:24:35 AM »
August 3.—THE FINDING OF ST. STEPHEN'S RELICS.

THE second festival in honor of the holy protomartyr St. Stephen was instituted by the Church on the occasion of the discovery of his precious remains. His body lay long concealed, under the ruins of an old tomb, in a place twenty miles from Jerusalem, called Caphargamala, where stood a church which was served by a venerable priest named Lucian. In the year 415, on Friday, the 3d of December, about nine o'clock at night, Lucian was sleeping in his bed in the baptistery, where he commonly lay in order to guard the sacred vessels of the church. Being half awake, he saw a tall, comely old man of a venerable aspect, who approached him, and, calling him thrice by his name, bid him go to Jerusalem and tell Bishop John to come and open the tombs in which his remains and those of certain other servants of Christ lay, that through their means God might open to many the gates of His clemency. This vision was repeated twice. After the second time, Lucian went to Jerusalem and laid the whole affair before Bishop John, who bade him go and search for the relics, which, the Bishop concluded, would be found under a heap of small stones which lay in a field near his church. In digging up the earth here, three coffins or chests were found. Lucian sent immediately to acquaint Bishop John with this. He was then at the Council of Diospolis, and, taking along with him Eutonius, Bishop of Sebaste, and Eleutherius, Bishop of Jericho, came to the place. Upon the opening of St. Stephen's coffin the earth shook, and there came out of the coffin such an agreeable odor that no one remembered to have ever smelled anything like it. There was a vast multitude of people assembled in that place, among whom were many persons afflicted with divers distempers, of whom seventy-three recovered their health upon the spot. They kissed the holy relics, and then shut them up. The Bishop consented to leave a small portion of them at Caphargamala; the rest were carried in the coffin with singing of psalms and hymns, to the Church of Sion at Jerusalem. The translation was performed on the 26th of December, on which day the Church hath ever since honored the memory of St. Stephen, commemorating the discovery of his relies on the 3d of August probably on account of the dedication of some church in his honor.

Reflection.—St. Austin, speaking of the miracles of St. Stephen, addresses himself to his flock as follows: "Let us so desire to obtain temporal blessings by his intercession that we may merit, in imitating him, those which are eternal."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #113 on: August 03, 2018, 12:44:21 AM »
Pope Francis Admits ‘Like 97%’ Of Past Church Leadership ‘Probably Burning In Hell’
https://www.theonion.com/pope-francis-admits-like-97-of-past-church-leadershi-1828066013
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #114 on: August 04, 2018, 01:01:30 AM »
Onion is a satirical website that parodies clickbait sites. I expect better from you, Sharbel.

August 4 ST. DOMINIC was born in Spain, in 1170. As a student, he sold his books to feed the poor in a famine, and offered himself in ransom for a slave. At the age of twenty-five he became superior of the Canons Regular of Osma, and accompanied his Bishop to France. There his heart was well-nigh broken by the ravages of the Albigenian heresy, and his life was henceforth devoted to the conversion of heretics and the defence of the Faith. For this end he established his threefold religious Order. The convent for nuns was founded first, to rescue young girls from heresy and crime. Then a company of apostolic men gathered around him, and became the Order of Friar Preachers. Lastly came the Tertiaries, persons of both sexes living in the world. God blessed the new Order, and France, Italy, Spain, and England welcomed the Preaching Friars. Our Lady took them under her special protection, and whispered to St. Dominic as he preached. It was in 1208, while St. Dominic knelt in the little chapel of Notre Dame de la Prouille, and implored the great Mother of God to save the Church, that Our Lady appeared to him, gave him the Rosary, and bade him go forth and preach. Beads in hand, he revived the courage of the Catholic troops, led them to victory against overwhelming numbers, and finally crushed the heresy. His nights were spent in prayer; and, though pure as a virgin, thrice before morning broke he scourged himself to blood. His words rescued countless souls, and three times raised the dead to life. At length, on August 6, 1221, at the age of fifty-one, he gave up his soul to God.

Reflection.—"God has never," said St. Dominic, "refused me what I have asked;" and he has left us the Rosary, that we may learn, with Mary's help, to pray easily and simply in the same holy trust.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #115 on: August 04, 2018, 05:42:28 AM »
Onion is a satirical website that parodies clickbait sites. I expect better from you, Sharbel.
Do you really lack any sense of humor or you only suppress it when posting here?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 05:42:36 AM by Sharbel »
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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #116 on: August 04, 2018, 07:27:26 AM »
Onion is a satirical website that parodies clickbait sites. I expect better from you, Sharbel.

Okay then, here's a Catholic quote from a Catholic site by a Catholic doctor of the Catholic church:

"I do not think there are many among Bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish" - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 3 on Acts
Alexa, what religion should I be a part of?

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #117 on: August 04, 2018, 08:41:06 AM »
Well, to each his own. I didn't find the spoof article particularly funny.

Asteriktos, feel free to post anything you find edifying or instructive from Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church, after all that's what the op said was the purpose of this thread. If you are asking for my opinion on whether many Bishops will be saved or not, then, it's a complex issue, but here it is: unfortunately I fear and dread that St. Chrysostom's sentiments may turn out to to be true, and St. Chrysostom's beautiful reflections on the duties of the Episcopate and the Priesthood remind me of St. Alphonsus's Duties and Dignity of a Priest, where he warns of similar things. But at any rate, as long as life lasts, and until the end of time, we have the right and the obligation to pray and hope for the salvation of all our Bishops, Priests, and fellow brother and sister Christians, and finally all humanity. St. Pio used to say, "I can pray even now for the happy death of my great grandfather". This is possible because God is outside of time, so until time ends, there is always a possibility that foreseen prayers may have some hidden effects unknown to us. Source: "The doctor knew that some time had passed since he had received the letter and the girl was at death’s door. He was perplexed by Padre Pio’s assurance that all was done, that the request for prayer would work.

Padre Pio continued, "Maybe you don’t know that I can pray even now for the happy death of my great-grandfather." https://www.spiritdaily.org/tassonepio.htm

But St. Chrysostom's warnings for Priests not to desire to advance to the Episcopate unless specially required to do so by God, because many Bishops may well be lost in eternity, are excellent and worth reading in full, from your link: "Did you but know that a Bishop is bound to belong to all, to bear the burden of all; that others, if they are angry, are pardoned, but he never; that others, if they sin, have excuses made for them, he has none; you would not be eager for the dignity, would not run after it. So it is, the Bishop is exposed to the tongues of all, to the criticism of all, whether they be wise or fools. He is harassed with cares every day, nay, every night. He has many to hate him, many to envy him. Talk not to me of those who curry favor with all, of those who desire to sleep, of those who advance to this office as for repose. We have nothing to do with these; we speak of those who watch for your souls, who consider the safety and welfare of those under them before their own ... As for the fear of God, it does not influence people, as regards them, in the least degree. Why speak of the anxiety connected with the word and doctrine? The painful work in Ordinations? Either, perhaps, I am a poor wretched incompetent creature, or else, the case is as I say. The soul of a Bishop is for all the world like a vessel in a storm: lashed from every side, by friends, by foes, by one's own people, by strangers ... a Bishop's anxieties are as much beyond those of the emperor, as the waters of a river simply moved, by the wind are surpassed in agitation by the swelling and raging sea. And why? Because in the one case there are many to lend a hand, for all goes on by law and by rule; but in the other there is none of this, nor is there authority to command; but if one be greatly moved, then he is harsh; if the contrary, then he is cold! And in him these opposites must meet, that he may neither be despised, nor be hated. Besides, the very demands of business preoccupy him: how many is he obliged to offend, whether he will or not! How many to be severe with! I speak not otherwise than it is, but as I find it in my own actual experience. I do not think there are many among Bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish: and the reason is, that it is an affair that requires a great mind. Many are the exigencies which throw a man out of his natural temper; and he had need have a thousand eyes on all sides ... And if in this present life he who is cause of another's destruction is worthy of death, much more in the next world. Do not tell me, that the presbyter is in fault, or the deacon. The guilt of all these comes perforce upon the head of those who ordained them."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #118 on: August 04, 2018, 11:09:34 AM »
Where are the sources of all your copy and paste, Xavier?
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #119 on: August 04, 2018, 01:39:59 PM »
Where are the sources of all your copy and paste, Xavier?
What do you mean by copy and paste?  Do you mean that instead of speaking from years of study Xavier just search stuff up on the Internet when he's challenged and dumps incongruent verbiage in posts?
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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #120 on: August 04, 2018, 01:48:15 PM »
Where are the sources of all your copy and paste, Xavier?
What do you mean by copy and paste?  Do you mean that instead of speaking from years of study Xavier just search stuff up on the Internet when he's challenged and dumps incongruent verbiage in posts?

It is entirely plausible.  What say you?
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #121 on: August 04, 2018, 06:48:35 PM »
What do you mean by copy and paste?  Do you mean that instead of speaking from years of study Xavier just search stuff up on the Internet when he's challenged and dumps incongruent verbiage in posts?
It is entirely plausible.  What say you?
I say I'm shocked, SHOCKED! ::)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 06:48:52 PM by Sharbel »
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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #122 on: August 04, 2018, 10:33:10 PM »
My apologies, Xavier, for being snarky and rude.
Alexa, what religion should I be a part of?

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #123 on: August 05, 2018, 02:31:59 AM »
No worries, dear friend. God bless you, Asteriktos.

Well, Hecma, if you mean the last post, the excerpt from St. Pio's life was from the spiritdaily link given there as the source. The excerpt from St. Chrysostom's Third Homily on Acts was from the New Advent link posted by Asteriktos. If you mean the Lives of the Saints daily devotional, as Raphacam and I discussed earlier, that is from Fr. Alban Butler's work. https://www.amazon.com/Lives-Saints-Everyday-Alban-Butler/dp/0895555301

August 5.—THE DEDICATION OF ST. MARY AD NIVES.

THERE are in Rome three patriarchal churches, in which the Pope officiates on different festivals. These are the Basilics of St. John Lateran, St. Peter's on the Vatican Hill, and St. Mary Major. This last is so called because it is, both in antiquity and dignity, the first church in Rome among those that are dedicated to God in honor of the Virgin Mary. The name of the Liberian Basilic was given it because it was founded in the time of Pope Liberius, in the fourth century; it was consecrated, under the title of the Virgin Mary, by Sixtus III., about the year 435. It is also called St. Mary ad Nives, or at the snow, from a popular tradition that the Mother of God chose this place for a church under her invocation by a miraculous snow that fell upon this spot in summer, and by a vision in which she appeared to a patrician named John, who munificently founded and endowed this church in the pontificate of Liberius. The same Basilic has sometimes been known by the name of St. Mary ad Præsepe, from the holy crib or manger of Bethlehem, in which Christ was laid at His birth. It resembles an ordinary manger, is kept in a case of massive silver, and in it lies an image of a little child, also of silver. On Christmas Day the holy Manger is taken out of the case, and exposed. It is kept in a sumptuous subterraneous chapel in this church.

Reflection.—To render our supplications the more efficacious, we ought to unite them in spirit to those of all fervent penitents and devout souls, in invoking this advocate for sinners.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #124 on: August 07, 2018, 10:12:38 AM »
8/6: The Transfiguration of Our Lord

August 6.--THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD.

OUR divine Redeemer, being in Galilee about a year before His sacred Passion, took with Him St. Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, Sts. James and John, and led them to a retired mountain. Tradition assures us that this was Mount Thabor, which is exceedingly high and beautiful, and was anciently covered with green trees and shrubs, and was very fruitful. It rises something like a sugar-loaf, in a vast plain in the middle of Galilee. This was the place in which the Man-God appeared in His glory. Whilst Jesus prayed, He suffered that glory which was always due to His sacred humility, and of which, for our sake, He deprived it, to diffuse a ray over His whole body. His face was altered and shone as the sun, and His garments became white as snow. Moses and Elias were seen by the three apostles in His company on this occasion, and were heard discoursing with Him of the death which He was to suffer in Jerusalem. The three apostles were wonderfully delighted with this glorious vision, and St. Peter cried out to Christ, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three tents: one for Thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias" Whilst St. Peter was speaking, there came, on a sudden, a bright shining cloud from heaven, an emblem of the presence of God's majesty, and from out of this cloud was heard a voice which said, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him" The apostles that were present, upon hearing this voice, were seized with a sudden fear, and fell upon the ground; but Jesus, going to them, touched them, and bade them to rise. They immediately did so, and saw no one but Jesus standing in his ordinary state. This vision happened in the night. As they went down the mountain early the next morning, Jesus bade them not to tell any one what they had seen till He should be risen from the dead.

Reflection.--From the contemplation of this glorious mystery we ought to conceive a true idea of future happiness; if this once possess our souls, we will think nothing of any difficulties or labors we can meet with here, but regard with great indifference all the goods and evils of this life, provided we can but secure our portion in the kingdom of God's glory.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #125 on: August 07, 2018, 10:15:20 AM »
8/7: St. Cajetan

August 7.--ST. CAJETAN.

CAJETAN was born at Vicenza, in 1480, of pious and noble parents, who dedicated him to our blessed Lady. From childhood he was known as the Saint, and in later years as "the hunter of souls" A distinguished student, he left his native town to seek obscurity in Rome, but was there forced to accept office at the court of Julius II. On the death of that Pontiff he returned to Vicenza, and disgusted his relatives by joining the Confraternity of St. Jerome, whose members were drawn from the lowest classes; while he spent his fortune in building hospitals, and devoted himself to nursing the plague-stricken. To renew the lives of the clergy, he instituted the first community of Regular Clerks, known as Theatines. They devoted themselves to preaching, the administration of the sacraments, and the careful performance of the Church's rites and ceremonies. St. Cajetan was the first to introduce the Forty Hours' Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as an antidote to the heresy of Calvin. He had a most tender love for our blessed Lady, and his piety was rewarded, for one Christmas eve she placed the Infant Jesus in his arms. When the Germans, under the Constable Bourbon, sacked Rome, St. Cajetan was barbarously scourged, to extort from him riches which he had long before securely stored in heaven. When St. Cajetan was on his death-bed, resigned to the will of God, eager for pain to satisfy his love, and for death to attain to life, he beheld the Mother of God, radiant with splendor and surrounded by ministering seraphim. In profound veneration, he said, "Lady, bless me!" Mary replied, "Cajetan, receive the blessing of my Son, and know that I am here as a reward for the sincerity of your love, and to lead you to paradise." She then exhorted him to patience in fighting an evil spirit who troubled him, and gave orders to the choirs of angels to escort his soul in triumph to heaven. Then, turning her countenance full of majesty and sweetness upon him, she said, "Cajetan, my Son calls thee. Let us go in peace." Worn out with toil and sickness, he went to his reward in 1547.

Reflection.--Imitate St. Cajetan's devotion to our blessed Lady, by invoking her aid before every work.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #126 on: August 08, 2018, 07:57:02 AM »
8/8: St. Cyriacus et al.; Bl. Peter Favre

August 8.--ST. CYRIACUS and His Companions, Martyrs.

ST. CYRIACUS was a holy deacon at Rome, under the Popes Marcellinus and Marcellus. In the persecution of Diocletian, in 303, he was crowned with a glorious martyrdom in that city. With him suffered also Largua and Smaragdus, and twenty others. Their bodies were first buried near the place of their execution, on the Salarian Way, but were soon after removed to a farm of the devout Lady Lucina, on the Ostian Road, on the eighth day of August.

Reflection.--To honor the martyrs and duly celebrate their festivals, we must learn their spirit and study to imitate them according to the circumstances of our state. We must, like them, resist evil, must subdue our passions, suffer afflictions with patience, and bear with others without murmuring or complaining. The cross is the ladder by which we must ascend to heaven.

August 8.--BLESSED PETER FAVRE.

BORN in 1506 of poor Savoyard shepherds, Peter, at his earnest request, was sent to school, and in after years to the University of Paris. His college friends were St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier. Ignatius found the young man's heart ready for his thoughts of apostolic zeal; Peter became his first companion, and in the year of England's revolt was ordained the first priest of the new Society of Jesus. From that day to the close of his life he was ever in the van of the Church's struggles with falsehood and sin. Boldly facing heresy in Germany, he labored not less diligently to rouse up the dormant faith and charity of Catholic courts and Catholic lands. The odor of Blessed Peter's virtues drew after him into religion the Duke of Gandia, Francis Borgia, and a young student of Nimeguen, Peter Canisius, both to become Saints like their master. The Pope, Paul III., had chosen Blessed Favre to be his theologian at the Council of Trent, and King John III., of Portugal, wished to send him as patriarch and apostle into Abyssinia. Sick and worn with labor, but obedient unto death, the father hastened back to Rome, where his last illness came upon him. He died, in his fortieth year, as one would wish to die, in the very arms of his best friend and spiritual father, St. Ignatius.

Deflection.--As the body sinks under fatigue unless supported by food, so external works, however holy, wear rut the soul which is not regularly nourished by prayer. In the most crowded day we can make time briefly and secretly to lift our soul to God and draw new strength from Him.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #127 on: August 12, 2018, 10:06:19 AM »
8/9: St. Romanus, Martyr

August 9.--ST. ROMANUS, Martyr.

ST. ROMANUS was a soldier in Rome at the time of the martyrdom of St. Laurence. Seeing the joy and constancy with which that holy martyr suffered his torments, he was moved to embrace the Faith, and addressing himself to St. Laurence, was instructed and baptized by him in prison. Confessing aloud what he had done, he was arraigned, condemned, and beheaded the day before the martyrdom of St. Laurence. Thus he arrived at his crown before his guide and master. The body of St. Romanus was first buried on the road to Tibur, but his remains were translated to Lucca, where they are kept under the high altar of a beautiful church which bears his name.

Reflection.--We are bound to glorify God by our lives, and Christ commands that our good works shine before men. It was the usual saying of the apostle St. Matthias, "The faithful sins if his neighbor sins." Such ought to be the zeal of every one to instruct and edify his neighbor by word and example.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #128 on: August 13, 2018, 03:11:56 AM »
August 10.—ST. LAURENCE, Martyr.

ST. LAURENCE was the chief among the seven deacons of the Roman Church. In the year 258 Pope Sixtus was led out to die, and St. Laurence stood by, weeping that he could not share his fate. "I was your minister," he said, "when you consecrated the blood of Our Lord; why do you leave me behind now that you are about to shed your own?" The holy Pope comforted him with the words, "Do not weep, my son; in three days you will follow me." This prophecy came true. The prefect of the city knew the rich offerings which the Christians put into the hands of the clergy, and he demanded the treasures of the Roman Church from Laurence, their guardian. The Saint promised, at the end of three days, to show him riches exceeding all the wealth of the empire, and set about collecting the poor, the infirm, and the religious who lived by the alms of the faithful. He then bade the prefect "see the treasures of the Church" Christ, whom Laurence had served in his poor, gave him strength in the conflict which ensued. Roasted over a slow fire, he made sport of his pains. "I am done enough," he said, "eat, if you will." At length Christ, the Father of the poor, received him into eternal habitations. God showed by the glory which shone around St. Laurence the value He set upon his love for the poor. Prayers innumerable were granted at his tomb; and he continued from his throne in heaven his charity to those in need, granting them, as St. Augustine says, "the smaller graces which they sought, and leading them to the desire of better gifts"
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #129 on: August 13, 2018, 06:59:17 AM »
It would be nice Xavier if you could denote which saints are also venerated by the Orthodox.  Most saints and feasts you have recently posted are also on our calendar.

I am more interested in RC saints who are worthy of veneration, who in the joyous and much desired event of the restoration of communion, we could venerate in the Orthodox church.  If you were also able to image-link to Eastern or Western style iconography of aforesaid that would be most edifying.

Council of Nicea:
Εθη ἀρχαῖα κρατείτω. 
Mores antiqui obtineant.
The ancient ways shall prevail.

The sentiment of Nicea in Greek and Latin, translated into English.

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #130 on: August 15, 2018, 08:01:03 AM »
Dear Alpha, iconography is a great idea, though I am not sure I'll be very good at it. I will try to post the icons of Saints or of the Feast Day's after the daily reflection. I will also indicate as you asked whether these Saints are venerated in Oriental and Greek Orthodoxy.

8/11: Ss. Tiburtius and Susanna, Martyrs: (Venerated in Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy also)

August 11.--STS. TIBURTIUS and SUSANNA, Martyrs.

AGRESTIUS CHROMATIUS was vicar to the prefect of Rome, and had condemned several martyrs in the reign of Carinus; and in the first years of Diocletian, St. Tranquillinus, being brought before him, assured him that, having been afflicted with the gout, he had recovered a perfect state of health by being baptized. Chromatius was troubled with the same distemper, and being convinced by this miracle of the truth of the Gospel, sent for a priest, and, receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, was freed from that corporal infirmity. Chromatius's son, Tiburtius, was ordained subdeacon, and was soon after betrayed to the persecutors, condemned to many torments, and at length beheaded on the Lavican Road, three miles from Rome, where a church was afterward built. His father, Chromatius, retiring into the country, lived there concealed, in the fervent practice of all Christian virtues.

ST. SUSANNA was nobly born in Rome, and is said to have been niece to Pope Caius. Having made a vow of virginity, she refused to marry, on which account she was impeached as a Christian, and suffered with heroic constancy a cruel martyrdom. St. Susanna suffered towards the beginning of Diocletian's reign, about the year 295.

Reflection.--Sufferings were to the martyrs the most distinguishing mercy, extraordinary graces, and sources of the greatest crowns and glory. All afflictions which God sends are in like manner the greatest mercies and blessings; they are the most precious talents to be improved by us to the increasing of our love and affection to God, and the exercise of the most heroic virtues of self-denial, patience, humility, resignation, and penance.

"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #131 on: August 15, 2018, 08:05:48 AM »
8/12: St. Clare, Abbess

August 12.--ST. CLARE, Abbess.

ON Palm Sunday, March 17, 1212, the Bishop of Assisi left the altar to present a palm to a noble maiden, eighteen years of age, whom bashfulness had detained in her place. This maiden was St. Clare. Already she had learnt from St. Francis to hate the world, and was secretly resolved to live for God alone. The same night she escaped, with one companion, to the Church of the Portiuncula, where she was met by St. Francis and his brethren. At the altar of Our Lady, St. Francis cut off her hair, clothed her in his habit of penance, a piece of sack-cloth, with his cord as a girdle. Thus she was espoused to Christ. In a miserable house outside Assisi she founded her Order, and was joined by her sister, fourteen years of age, and afterwards by her mother and other noble ladies. They went barefoot, observed perpetual abstinence, constant silence, and perfect poverty. While the Saracen army of Frederick II. was ravaging the valley of Spoleto, a body of infidels advanced to assault St. Clare's convent, which stood outside Assisi. The Saint caused the Blessed Sacrament to be placed in a monstrance, above the gate of the monastery facing the enemy, and kneeling before it, prayed, "Deliver not to beasts, O Lord, the souls of those who confess to Thee." A voice from the Host replied, "My protection will never fail you." A sudden panic seized the infidel host, which took to flight, and the Saint's convent was spared. During her illness of twenty-eight years the Holy Eucharist was her only support and spinning linen for the altar the one work of her hands. She died in 1253, as the Passion was being read, and Our Lady and the angels conducted her to glory.

Reflection.--In a luxurious and effeminate age, the daughters of St. Clare still bear the noble title of poor, and preach by their daily lives the poverty of Jesus Christ.


"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #132 on: August 15, 2018, 08:10:45 AM »
8/13: St. Radegundes, Queen(Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church)

August 13.--ST. RADEGUNDES, Queen.

ST. RADEGUNDES was the daughter of a king of Thuringia who was assassinated by his brother; a war ensuing, our Saint, at the age of twelve, was made prisoner and carried captive by Clotaire, King of Soissons, who had her instructed in the Christian religion and baptized. The great mysteries of our Faith made such an impression on her tender soul that she gave herself to God with her whole heart, and desired to consecrate to him her virginity; she was obliged at last, however, to yield to the king's wish that she should become his wife. As a great queen, she continued no less an enemy to sloth and vanity than she was before, and divided her time chiefly between her oratory, the Church, and the care of the poor. She also kept long fasts, and during Lent wore a hair-cloth under her rich garments. Clotaire was at first pleased with her devotions, and allowed her full liberty in them, but afterward used frequently to reproach her for her pious exercises, saying he had married a nun rather than a queen, who converted his court into a monastery. Seeing that Clotaire was inflamed by bad passions, our Saint asked and obtained his leave to retire from court. She went to Noyon, and was consecrated deaconess by St. Medard. Radegundes first withdrew to Sais, and some time after she went to Poitiers, and there built a great monastery. She had a holy virgin, named Agnes, made the first abbess, and paid to her an implicit obedience in all things, not reserving to herself the disposal of the least thing. King Clotaire, repenting of his evil conduct, wished her to return to court, but, through the intercession of St. Germanus of Paris, she was allowed to remain in her retirement, where she died on the 13th of August, 587.

"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #133 on: August 15, 2018, 08:13:31 AM »
8/14: St. Eusebius, Priest(Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church)

August 14.--ST. EUSEBIUS, Priest.

THE Church celebrates this day the memory of St. Eusebius, who opposed the Arians, at Rome, with so much zeal. He was imprisoned in his room by order of the Emperor Constantius, and sanctified his captivity by constant prayer. Another Saint of the same name, a priest and martyr, is commemorated on this day. In the reign of Diocletian and Maximian, before they had published any new edicts against the Christians, Eusebius, a holy priest, a man eminently endowed with the spirit of prayer and all apostolical virtues, suffered death for the Faith, probably in Palestine. The Emperor Maximian happening to be in that country, complaint was made to Maxentius, president of the province, that Eusebius distinguished himself by his zeal in invoking and preaching Christ, and the holy man was seized. Maximian was by birth a barbarian, and one of the roughest and most brutal and savage of all men. Yet the undaunted and modest virtue of this stranger, set off by a heavenly grace, struck him with awe. He desired to save the servant of Christ, but, like Pilate, would not give himself any trouble or hazard incurring the displeasure of those whom on all other occasions he despised. Maxentius commanded Eusebius to sacrifice to the gods, and on the Saint refusing, the president condemned him to be beheaded. Eusebius, hearing the sentence pronounced, said aloud, "I thank Your goodness and praise Your power, O Lord Jesus Christ, that, by calling me to the trial of my fidelity, You have treated me as one of Yours." He at that instant heard a voice from heaven saying to him, "If you had not been found worthy to suffer, you could not be admitted into the court of Christ or to the seats of the just." Being come to the place of execution, he knelt down, and his head was struck off.

Reflection.--Let us learn, from the example of the Saints, courage in the service of God. He calls upon us to endure suffering of body and of mind, if it is necessary, to prove our fidelity to Him; and He promises to support us by His strength, His light, and His heavenly consolation.

"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #134 on: August 15, 2018, 08:22:16 AM »
8/15: The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary (kept in all Apostolic Churches)

August 15.--THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.

IN this festival the Church commemorates the happy departure from life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her translation into the kingdom of her Son, in which she received from Him a crown of immortal glory, and a throne above all the other Saints and heavenly spirits. After Christ, as the triumphant Conqueror of death and hell, ascended into heaven, His blessed Mother remained at Jerusalem, persevering in prayer with the disciples, till, with them, she had received the Holy Ghost. She lived to a very advanced age, but finally paid the common debt of nature, none among the children of Adam being exempt from that rigorous law. But the death of the Saints is rather to be called a sweet sleep than death; much more that of the Queen of Saints, who had been exempt from all sin. It is a traditionary pious belief, that the body of the Blessed Virgin was raised by God soon after her death, and taken up to glory, by a singular privilege, before the general resurrection of the dead. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the greatest of all the festivals which the Church celebrates in her honor. It is the consummation of all the other great mysteries by which her life was rendered most wonderful; it is the birthday of her true greatness and glory, and the crowning of all the virtues of her whole life, which we admire single in her other festivals.

Reflection.--Whilst we contemplate, in profound sentiments of veneration, astonishment, and praise, the glory to which Mary is raised by her triumph on this day, we ought, for our own advantage, to consider by what means she arrived at this sublime degree of honor and happiness, that we may walk in her steps. No other way is open to us. The same path which conducted her to glory will also lead us thither; we shall be partners in her reward if we copy her virtues.





"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #135 on: August 15, 2018, 08:38:04 AM »
For the Feast of the Dormition/Assumption, a more detailed description.

The Mystical City of God - Ven Mary of Agreda on the Assumption.

CHAPTER VII.

BURIAL AND ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN.

In order that the Apostles, the disciples, and many others of the faithful might not be too deeply oppressed by sorrow, and in order that some of them may not die of grief caused by the passing away of the blessed Mary, it was necessary that the divine power, by an especial providence, furnish them with consolation and dilate their heart for new influences in their incomparable affliction. For the feeling, that their loss was irretrievable in the present life, could not be repressed; the privation of such a Treasure could never find recompense; and as the most sweet, loving and amiable intercourse and conversation of their great Queen had ravished the heart of each one, the ceasing of her protection and company left them as it were without the breath of life. But the Lord, who well knew how to estimate the just cause of their sorrow, secretly upheld them by his encouragements and so they set about the fitting burial of the sacred body and whatever the occasion demanded.

Accordingly the holy Apostles, on whom this duty specially devolved, held a conference concerning the burial of the most sacred body of their Queen and Lady. They selected for that purpose a new sepulchre, which had been prepared mysteriously by the providence of her divine Son. As they remembered, that, according to the custom of the Jews at burial, the deified body of the Master had been anointed with precious ointments and spices and wrapped in the sacred burial cloths; they thought not of doing otherwise with the virginal body of His most holy Mother. Accordingly they called the two maidens, who had assisted the Queen during her life and who had been designated as the heiresses of her tunics, and instructed them to anoint the body of the Mother of God with highest reverence and modesty and wrap it in the winding-sheets before it should be placed in the casket. With great reverence and fear the two maidens entered the room, where the body of the blessed Lady lay upon its couch; but the refulgence issuing from it barred and blinded them in such a manner that they could neither see nor touch the body, nor even ascertain in what particular place it rested.

In fear and reverence still greater than on their entrance, the maidens left the room; and in great excitement and wonder they told the Apostles what had happened. They, not without divine inspiration, came to the conclusion, that this sacred Ark of the covenant was not to be touched or handled in the common way. Then saint Peter and saint John entered the oratory and perceived the effulgence, and at the same time they heard the celestial music of the angels who were singing: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee." Others responded: "A Virgin before childbirth, in childbirth and after childbirth." From that time on many of the faithful expressed their devotion toward the most blessed Mary in these words of praise; and from them they were handed down to be repeated by us with the approbation of the holy Church. The two holy Apostles, saint Peter and saint John, were for a time lost in admiration at what they saw and heard of their Queen; and in order to decide what to do, they sank on their knees, beseeching the Lord to make it known ...

If on this account the glory even of the least of the saints is eneffable, what shall we say of the glory of the most blessed Mary, since among the saints She is the most holy and She by Herself is more like to her Son than all the saints together, and since her grace and glory exceed those of all the rest, as those of an empress or sovereign over her vassals? This truth can and should be believed; but in mortal life it cannot be understood, or the least part of it be explained; for the inadequacy and deficiency of our words and expressions rather tend to obscure than to set forth its greatness. Let us in this life apply our labor, not in seeking to comprehend it, but in seeking to merit its manifestation in glory, where we shall experience more or less of this happiness according to our works.

Our Redeemer Jesus entered heaven conducting the purest soul of his Mother at his right hand. She alone of all the mortals deserved exemption from particular judgment; hence for Her there was none; no account was asked or demanded of Her for what She had received; for such was the promise that had been given to Her, when She was exempted from the common guilt and chosen as the Queen privileged above the laws of the children of Adam. For the same reason, instead of being judged with the rest, She shall be seated at the right hand of the Judge to judge with Him all the creatures. If in the first instant of her Conception She was the brightest Aurora, effulgent with the rays of the sun of the Divinity beyond all the brightness of the most exalted seraphim, and if afterwards She was still further illumined by the contact of the hypostatic Word, who derived his humanity from her purest substance, it necessarily follows that She should be His Companion for all eternity, possessing such a likeness to Him, that none greater can be possible between a Godman and a creature. In this light the Redeemer himself presented Her before the throne of the Divinity; and speaking to the eternal Father in the presence of all the blessed, who were ravished at this wonder ...

To the eminence and majesty of that position, inaccessible to all other creatures, correspond her gifts of glory, comprehension, vision and fruition; because She enjoys, above all and more than all, that infinite Object, which the other blessed enjoy in an endless variety of degrees. She knows, penetrates and understands much deeper the eternal Being and its infinite attributes; She lovingly delights in its mysteries and most hidden secrets, more than all the rest of the blessed.

Just as little can be explained the extra joy, which the blessed experienced on that day in singing the new songs of praise to the Omnipotent and in celebrating the glory of his Daughter, Mother and Spouse; for in Her He had exalted all the works of his right hand. Although to the Lord himself could come no new or essential glory because He possessed and possesses it immutably infinite through all eternity; yet the exterior manifestations of His pleasure and satisfaction at the fulfillment of his eternal decrees were greater on that day.

On the third day after the most pure soul of Mary had taken possession of this glory never to leave it, the Lord manifested to the saints His divine will, that She should return to the world, resuscitate her sacred body and unite Herself with it, so that She might in body and soul be again raised to the right hand of her divine Son without waiting for the general resurrection of the dead. The appropriateness of this favor, its accordance with the others received by the most blessed Queen and with her supereminent dignity, the saints could not but see; since even to mortals it is so credible, that even if the Church had not certified it, we would judge those impious and foolish, who would dare deny it. But the blessed saw it with greater clearness, together with the determined time and hour as manifested to them in God himself. When the time for this wonder had arrived, Christ our Savior himself descended from heaven bringing with Him at His right hand the soul of his most blessed Mother and accompanied by many legions of the Angels, the Patriarchs and ancient Prophets. They came to the sepulchre in the valley of Josaphat, and all being gathered in sight of the virginal temple, the Lord spoke the following words to the saints.

"My Mother was conceived without stain of sin, in order that from Her virginal substance I might stainlessly clothe Myself in the humanity in which I came to the world and redeemed it from sin. My flesh is her flesh; She co-operated with Me in the works of the Redemption; hence I must raise Her, just as I rose from the dead, and this shall be at the same time and hour. For I wish to make Her like Me in all things." All the ancient saints of the human race then gave thanks for this new favor in songs of praise and glory to the Lord. Those that especially distinguished themselves in their thanksgiving were our first parents Adam and Eve, saint Anne, saint Joachim and saint Joseph, as being the more close partakers in this miracle of his Omnipotence. Then the purest soul of the Queen, at the command of the Lord, entered the virginal body, reanimated it and raised it up, giving it a new life of immortality and glory and communicating to it the four gifts of clearness, impassibility, agility and subtlety, corresponding to those of the soul and overflowing from it into the body.

Endowed with these gifts the most blessed Mary issued from the tomb in body and soul, without raising the stone cover and without disturbing the position of the tunic and the mantle that had enveloped her sacred body. Since it is impossible to describe her beauty and refulgent glory, I will not make the attempt. It is sufficient to say, that just as the heavenly Mother had given to her divine Son in her womb the form of man, pure, unstained and sinless, for the Redemption of the world, so in return the Lord, in this resurrection and new regeneration, gave to Her a glory and beauty similar to his own. In this mysterious and divine interchange each One did what was possible: most holy Mary engendered Christ, assimilating Him as much as possible to Herself, and Christ resuscitated Her, communicating to Her of his glory as far as She was capable as a creature.

Then from the sepulchre was started a most solemn procession, moving with celestial music through the regions of the air and toward the empyrean heaven. This happened in the hour immediately after midnight, which also the Lord had risen from the grave; and therefore not all of the Apostles were witness of this prodigy, but only some of them, who were present and watching at the sepulchre. The saints and angels entered in the order in which they had started; and in the last place came Christ our Savior and at his right hand the Queen, clothed in the gold of variety (as David says Ps. 44, 10), and so beautiful that She was the admiration of the heavenly court. All of them turned toward Her to look upon Her and bless Her with new jubilee and songs of praise. Thus were heard those mysterious eulogies recorded by Solomon: Come, daughters of Sion, to your Queen, who is praised by the morning stars and celebrated by the sons of the Most High. Who is She that comes from the desert, like a column of all aromatic perfumes? Who is She, that rises like the aurora, more beautiful than the moon, elect as the sun, terrible as many serried armies? Who is She that comes up from the desert resting upon her Beloved and spreading forth abundant delights? (Cant. 3,6-9; 8,5). Who is She in whom the Deity itself finds so much pleasure and delight above all other creatures and whom He exalts above them all in the heavens! O novelty worthy of the infinite Wisdom! O prodigy of his Omnipotence, which so magnifies and exalts Her!

Amid this glory the most blessed Mary arrived body and soul at the throne of the most blessed Trinity. And the three divine Persons received Her on it with an embrace eternally undissoluble. The eternal Father said Her: "Ascend higher, my Daughter and my Dove." The incarnate Word spoke: "My Mother, of whom I received human being and full return of my work in thy perfect imitation, receive now from my hand the reward thou hast merited." The Holy Ghost said: "My most beloved Spouse, enter into the eternal joy, which corresponds to the most faithful love; do Thou now enjoy thy love without solicitude; for past is the winter of suffering for Thou hast arrived at our eternal embraces." There the most blessed Mary was absorbed in the contemplation of the three divine Persons and as it were overwhelmed in the boundless ocean and abyss of the Divinity, while the saints were filled with wonder and new accidental delight. Since, at the occasion of this work of the Omnipotent happened other wonders, I shall speak of them as far as possible in the following chapter."
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #136 on: August 28, 2018, 06:45:59 AM »


August 16.—ST. HYACINTH. (Not venerated (as far as I know) outside the Catholic Church)

"HYACINTH, the glorious apostle of Poland and Russia, was born of noble parents in Poland, about the year 1185. In 1218, being already Canon of Cracow, he accompanied his uncle, the bishop of that place, to Rome. There he met St. Dominic, and received the habit of the Friar Preachers from the patriarch himself, of whom be became a living copy. So wonderful was his progress in virtue that within a year Dominic sent him to preach and plant the Order in Poland, where he founded two houses. His apostolic journeys extended over numerous regions. Austria, Bohemia, Livonia, the shores of the Black Sea, Tartary, and Northern China on the east, and .Sweden and Norway to the west, were evangelized by him, and he is said to have visited Scotland. Everywhere multitudes were converted, churches and convents were built; one hundred and twenty thousand pagans and infidels were baptized by his hands. He worked numerous miracles, and at Cracow raised a dead youth to life. He had inherited from St. Dominic a most filial confidence in the Mother of God; to her he ascribed his success, and to her aid he looked for his salvation. When St. Hyacinth was at Kiev the Tartars sacked the town, but it was only as he finished Mass that the Saint heard of the danger. Without waiting to unvest, he took the ciborium in his hands, and was leaving the church. As he passed by an image of Mary a voice said: "Hyacinth, my son, why dust thou leave me behind? Take me with thee, and leave me not to mine enemies." The statue was of heavy alabaster, but when Hyacinth took it in his arms it was light as a reed. With the Blessed Sacrament and the image he came to the river Dnieper, and walked dry-shod over the surface of the waters. On the eve of the Assumption he was warned of his coming death. In spite of a wasting fever, he celebrated Mass on the feast, and communicated as a dying man. He was anointed at the foot of the altar, and died the same day,

Reflection.—St. Hyacinth teaches us to employ every effort in the service of God, and to rely for success not on our own industry, but on the prayer of His Immaculate Mother."
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 06:48:02 AM by Xavier »
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Dominika

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #137 on: August 28, 2018, 06:53:02 AM »
^^ since it was time of brushing Orthodoxy (and Cyrlo-Methodian heritage) in Poland and increasing of Germanic influences there (law, cities, religion) and seeing the area of his activity, there is no way that he may be considered as a saint by non-Catholics i.e Orthodox Christians.
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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #138 on: August 28, 2018, 10:25:10 AM »
St Charles Lwanga and the Martyrs of Uganda



In 1879 Catholicism began spreading in Uganda when the White Fathers, a congregation of priests founded by Cardinal Lavigerie were peacefully received by King Mutesa of Uganda.

The priests soon began preparing catechumens for baptism and before long a number of the young pages in the king’s court had become Catholics.

However, on the death of Mutesa, his son Mwanga, a corrupt man who ritually engaged in pedophilic practices with the younger pages, took the throne.

When King Mwanga had a visiting Anglican Bishop murdered, his chief page, Joseph Mukasa, a Catholic who went to great length to protect the younger boys from the king’s lust, denounced the king’s actions and was beheaded on November 15, 1885.

The 25 year old Charles Lwanga, a man wholly dedicated to the Christian instruction of the younger boys, became the chief page, and just as forcibly protected them from the kings advances.

On the night of the martyrdom of Joseph Mukasa, realizing that their own lives were in danger, Lwanga and some of the other pages went to the White Fathers to receive baptism. Another 100 catechumens were baptized in the week following Joseph Mukasa’s death.

The following May, King Mwanga learned that one of the boys was learning catechism. He was furious and ordered all the pages to be questioned to separate the Christians from the others.  The Christians, 15 in all, between the ages of 13 and 25, stepped forward. The King asked them if they were willing to keep their faith. They answered in unison:

“Until death!”

They were bound together and taken on a two day walk to Namugongo where they were to be burned at the stake.  On the way, Matthias Kalemba, one of the eldest boys, exclaimed:

”God will rescue me. But you will not see how he does it, because he will take my soul and leave you only my body.”

The executioners cut him to pieces and left him to die alone on the road. When they reached the site where they were to be burned, they were kept tied together for seven days while the executioners prepared the wood for the fire.

On June 3, 1886, the Feast of the Ascension, Charles Lwanga was separated from the others and burned at the stake. The executioners slowly burnt his feet until only the charred remained. Still alive, they promised him that they would let him go if he renounced his faith. He refused saying,:

”You are burning me, but it is as if you are pouring water over my body.”

He then continued to pray silently as they set him on fire. Just before the flames reached his heart, he looked up and said in a loud voice,

“Katonda! – My God!,”

and died. His companions were all burned together the same day all the while praying and singing hymns until they died. Many miracles have been attributed to the intercession of the Martyrs of Uganda :

Quote
In 1941, Sr. Philothy from Bannabikira, Bwanda in Masaka was struck by a strange disease and had to be sent to her brother for treatment. Her brother, Andrew Ziryawulamu of Kisubi Parish in Wakiso district, took her to one Dr. Ahmed, who confirmed that it was bubonic plague (kawumpuli). The nuns who were healed of bubonic plague through the intercession of the Uganda Martyrs. There was no treatment for bubonic plague and so, Philothy had to be quarantined at Rubaga convent in Kampala. When she passed on, she was buried at Rubaga by only two nuns, Sr. M. Aloyse Criblet and Sr. Richildis. However, soon after the burial, the two nuns contracted the disease. Dr. Ahmed and his colleague, Dr. Reynolds, prescribed a  quarantine. Msgr. Edward Michaud and Pere Joseph Cabana, who was the parish priest of Rubaga, called for a novena through the martyrs over the sick nuns. After protracted prayers for three days, the doctors were amazed to find both nuns had recovered
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 10:35:52 AM by Wandile »
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #139 on: August 28, 2018, 11:04:35 AM »
Late have I loved you,
Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong,
I, misshapen.
You were with me but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being
were they not in you.

You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance,
I gasped, and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.



St. Augustine
Sanctus Deus
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ
Άγιος ο Θεός

Offline Wandile

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #140 on: August 28, 2018, 03:19:25 PM »
St John Vianney


He was a holy priest. A true example. The devil fought him viciously and vistied him regularly. The holy man ended by getting inured to them, so much so that he often poked fun at their author who showed himself in a very poor light indeed. With a smile the Saint once remarked: "Oh! the and myself—we are almost chums." As a sample of Satan's sense of humour the following is characteristic of one whom somebody called "God's ape." The devil would go on for hours producing a noise similar to that made by striking a glass tumbler with the blade of a steel knife; or he would sing, "with a very cracked voice," the Saint said, or whistle for hours on end; or he would produce a noise as of a horse champing and prancing in the room, so that the wonder was that the worm-eaten floor did not give way; or he would bleat like a sheep, or miaow like a cat, or shout under the Cure's window: "Vianney! Vianney! potato-eater." The purpose of these horrible or grotesque performances was to prevent the servant of God from getting that minimum of rest which his poor body required and thus to render him physically unfit to go on with his astonishing work in the confessional by which he snatched so many souls from the clutches of the fiend. But from 1845 these external attacks ceased almost entirely.

The Saint's constancy amid such trials was rewarded by the extraordinary power God gave him to cast out devils from the possessed. Nevertheless, horrible as may be the condition of one whose body is possessed by the devil, it is as nothing by comparison with the wretched plight of a soul which, by mortal sin, sells itself, as it were, to Satan. The holy priest may be said to have spent the best part of his priestly career in a direct contest with sin through his unparalleled work in the confessional. The Cure's confessional was the real miracle of Ars, one that was not merely a passing wonder, or the sensation of a few weeks. Great as were his penances, assuredly the greatest of them all was the endless hours spent by him within the narrow confinement of a rugged, comfortless, unventilated confessional. This miracle went on for forty years. The astonishing thing about M. Vianney is that he himself personally became the object of a pilgrimage, people flocking to Ars in hundreds of thousands just to get a glimpse of him, to hear him, to exchange but a few words with him, above all, to go to confession to him.

It is said that the Devil told St. John Vianney, “If there were three such priests as you, my kingdom would be ruined.” The Saint, for his part, developed a remarkable sense of humor about the supernatural assaults, saying, “Oh! the grappin” – his nickname for the Devil – “and myself? We are almost chums.”

His famous quotes of wisdom:

”The sign of the cross is the most terrible weapon against the devil. Thus the Church wishes not only that we have it continually in front of our minds to recall to us just what our souls are worth and what they cost Jesus Christ, but also that we should make it at every juncture ourselves: when we go to bed, when we awaken during the night, when we get up, when we begin any action, and, above all, when we are tempted.”

“If you invoke the Blessed Virgin when you are tempted, she will come at once to your help, and Satan will leave you”

“A priest goes to Heaven or a priest goes to Hell with a thousand people behind.”

“We put pride into everything like salt. We like to see that our good works are known. If our virtues are seen, we are pleased; if our faults are perceived, we are sad. I remark that in a great many people; if one says anything to them, it disturbs them, it annoys them. The saints were not like that - they were vexed if their virtues were known, and pleased that their imperfections should be seen.”

“Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there: If you set it on fire it makes a lot of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; public prayer is like that.”
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 03:19:51 PM by Wandile »
During the Iconoclastic Crisis, Stephen the Faster challenged the assembled Bishops at Hiereia:

"How can you call a council ecumenical when the bishop of Rome has not given his consent, and the canons forbid ecclesiastical affairs to be decided without the pope of Rome?"
-Stephen the Faster

Venerable Benedict Daswa, Blessed Isidore Bakanja and St Charles Lwanga, martyrs, pray for the Church today


I won’t be posting for the year so I can focus on my studies. God bless you.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #141 on: August 30, 2018, 07:38:58 AM »
^^ since it was time of brushing Orthodoxy (and Cyrlo-Methodian heritage) in Poland and increasing of Germanic influences there (law, cities, religion) and seeing the area of his activity, there is no way that he may be considered as a saint by non-Catholics i.e Orthodox Christians.

I agree; what is more, several of the areas he “evangelized” were areas that were predominantly Russian/Ukrainian Orthodox, for example, Livonia and Tartary.  Bohemia was also partially Orthodox in those days, before Orthodoxy was brutally repressed.  :(

Council of Nicea:
Εθη ἀρχαῖα κρατείτω. 
Mores antiqui obtineant.
The ancient ways shall prevail.

The sentiment of Nicea in Greek and Latin, translated into English.

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #142 on: August 30, 2018, 07:55:42 AM »
It would be nice Xavier if you could denote which saints are also venerated by the Orthodox.  Most saints and feasts you have recently posted are also on our calendar.

I am more interested in RC saints who are worthy of veneration, who in the joyous and much desired event of the restoration of communion, we could venerate in the Orthodox church.  If you were also able to image-link to Eastern or Western style iconography of aforesaid that would be most edifying.

Thank you Xavier by the way for including iconography.  I do still find myself wishing however that you could focus on saints who are venerated in the Roman church, who could be venerated in Orthodoxy, who are not already obviously in our synaxaria (or martyrologies).  For example, articles on established Orthodox saints like St. Athanasius, who I greatly love, seem redundant, but I would love to see articles on saints who did things in the Catholic Church that, if our two churches are reunited in the future, would potentially endear them to the Orthodox, as well as saints who are venerated by the RC primarily, who are not well known in Orthodoxy, but who predated the Great Schism and thus could be venerated immediately.   I would propose as a hypothetical example of the former, St. Bernard, who formed the Cistercian monastic communities in response to a laxity and decadence which had infiltrated many of the Benedictine monasteries; St. Benedict is venerated among the Orthodox, and the work of St. Bernard is analogous to that of several Orthodox monastic reformers, who tightened things up at monasteries which had become sloppy (one such saint was a monastic who reformed the Studite monastery, with very positive effects; his name escapes me, then St. Nicodemus and St. Macarius helped save Athonite monasticism by popularizing the Jesus Prayer, which had in their time fallen into disuse; I think St. Bernard could be venerated on similiar terms).  As a hypothetical example of the latter, St. Guillame of Tours, who stopped the Moorish invasion of France in the Pyrennes as a military leader, and who then spent his money building a Benedictine monastery which he retired to, in order to atone for the violence and bloodshed, in the 7th century, comes to mind.  He is substantially under-venerated in the Orthodox church, in my opinion, and it would be nice to see him more venerated, for the benefit of prospective converts named “William.”

Relatively few people, aside from a famous Star Trek character, are named Odo, but St. Odo of Cluny is another pre-schism saint who I find inspiring, who could be venerated in Orthodoxy today, but is not well known.  As he travelled around the countryside, he would encourage children to sing the hymns of the church, and would reward them for singing by giving them gold coins (the Cluniac monasteries had substantial financial endowments); this reminds me of St. Nicholas, and I suspect his efforts saved many children from starvation or other unpleasant fates during the otherwise cruel and unforgiving Dark Ages in Western Europe, in which St. Odo lived, and in which monasteries like his were bastions of civilization.

Council of Nicea:
Εθη ἀρχαῖα κρατείτω. 
Mores antiqui obtineant.
The ancient ways shall prevail.

The sentiment of Nicea in Greek and Latin, translated into English.

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #143 on: September 09, 2018, 12:25:19 AM »
"THE BLESSED BIRTH OF MARY IMMACULATE

(Taken from the Mystical City of GOD by Venerable Mary of Agreda)

CHAPTER VII

The most holy Mary, being conceived without sin as described above, was entirely absorbed in spirit and entranced by her first vision of the Divinity. At the first instant, and in the narrow dwelling of the maternal womb, began the love of God in her most blessed soul, never to be interrupted, but to continue through all the eternities of that high glory, which She now enjoys at the right hand of her divine Son.

The most happy mother, holy Anne passed the days of her pregnancy altogether spiritualized by the divine operations and by the sweet workings of the Holy Ghost in all her faculties. Divine Providence, however, in order to direct her course to greater merit and reward, ordained, that the ballast of trouble be not wanting, for without it the cargo of grace and love is scarcely ever secure. In order to understand better, what happened to this holy woman, it must be remembered, that satan, after he was hurled with the other bad angels from heaven into the infernal torments, never ceased, during the reign of the old Law, to search through the earth hovering with lurking vigilance above the women of distinguished holiness, in order to find Her, whose sign he had seen (Gen. 3, 15) and whose heel was to bruise and crush his head. Lucifer’s wrath against men was so fierce, that he would not trust this investigation to his inferiors alone; but leaving them to operate against the virtuous women in general, he himself attended to this matter and assiduously hovered around those, who signalized themselves more particularly in the exercise of virtue and in the grace of the Most High.

Filled with malice and astuteness, he observed closely the exceeding great holiness of the excellent matron Anne and all the events of her life; and although he could not estimate the richness of the Treasure, which was enclosed in her blessed womb (since the Lord has concealed this as well as many mysteries from him), yet he felt a powerful influence proceeding from saint Anne. The fact that he could not penetrate into the source of this activity, threw him at times into greater fury and rage. At other times he quieted himself with the thought, that this pregnancy arose from the same causes as others in the course of nature and that there was no special cause for alarm; for the Lord left him to his own hallucinations and to the vagaries of his own fury. Nevertheless the whole event was a source of great misgiving to this perverse spirit, when he saw how quietly her pregnancy took its course and especially, when he saw, that many angels stood in attendance. Above all he was enraged at his weakness in resisting the force, which proceeded from the blessed Anne and he suspected that it was not she alone, who was the cause of it.

Filled with this mistrust, the dragon determined, if possible, to take the life of the most felicitous Anne; or, if that was impossible, to see that she should obtain little satisfaction from her pregnancy. For the pride of Lucifer was so boundless as to persuade him of his ability to overcome or take away the life of Her, who was to be the Mother of the incarnate Word, or even the life of the Messias and Redeemer of the world, if only he could obtain knowledge of their whereabouts. His arrogance was founded upon the superiority of his angelic nature to the condition and power of mere human nature; as if both were not subject to grace and entirely dependent upon the will of their Creator. Audaciously therefore he set himself to tempt holy Anne, with many suggestions, misgivings, doubts and diffidences about the truth of her pregnancy, alleging her protracted years. All this the demon attempted in order to test the virtue of the saint, and to see, whether these temptations would not afford some opening for the perversion of her will.

But the invincible matron resisted these onslaughts with humble fortitude, patience, continued prayer and vivid faith in the Lord. She brought to naught the perplexing lies of the dragon and on account of them gained only additional grace and protection from on high. For besides the protection abundantly merited by her past life She was defended and freed from the demons by the great princes, who were guarding her most holy Daughter. Nevertheless in his insatiable malice the enemy did not desist on that account; and since his arrogance and pride far exceeds his powers, he sought human aid; for with such help he always promises himself greater ease of victory. Having at first tried to overthrow the dwelling of saint Joachim and Anne, in order that she might be frightened and excited by the shock of its fall, but not being able to succeed on account of the resistance of the holy angels, he incited against saint Anne one of the foolish women of her acquaintance to quarrel with her. This the woman did with great fury, insolently attacking saint Anne with reproach and scorn; she did not hesitate to make mockery of her pregnancy, saying, that she was the sport of the demon in being thus found pregnant at the end of so many years and at so great an age.

The blessed Anne did not permit herself to be disturbed by this attack, but in all meekness and humility bore the injuries and treated her assailants with kindness. From that time on she looked with greater love upon these women and lavished upon them so much the greater benefits. But their wrath was not immediately pacified, for the demon had taken possession of them, filling them with hate against the saint; and, as any concession to this cruel tyrant always increases his power over his victims, he incited these miserable dupes to plot even against the person and life of saint Anne. But they could not put their plots into execution, because divine power interfered to foil their natural womanly weakness. They were not only powerless against the saint, but they were overcome by her admonitions and brought to the knowledge and amendment of their evil course by her prayers.

The dragon was repulsed, but not vanquished; for he immediately availed himself of a servant, who lived in the house with Joachim and Anne, and exasperated her against the holy matron. Through her he created even a greater annoyance than through the other women, for she was a domestic enemy and more stubborn and dangerous than the others. I will not stay to describe, what the enemy attempted through this servant, since it was similar to that of the other woman, only more annoying and malicious. But with the help of God saint Anne won a more glorious victory than before; for the watcher of Israel slumbered not, but guarded his holy City (Ps. 120, 4) and furnished it so well with sentinels, chosen from the strongest of his hosts, that they put to ignominious flight Lucifer and his followers. No more were they allowed to molest the fortunate mother, who was already expecting the birth of the most blessed Princess of heaven, and who, enriched by heroic acts of virtue and many merits in these conflicts, had now arrived at the fulfillment of all her highest wishes.

The day destined for the parturition of saint Anne and for the birth of Her, who was consecrated and sanctified to be the Mother of God, had arrived: a day most fortunate for the world. This birth happened on the eighth day of September, fully nine months having elapsed since the Conception of the soul of our most holy Queen and Lady. Saint Anne was prepared by an interior voice of the Lord, informing Her, that the hour of her parturition had come. Full of the joy of the Holy Spirit at this information, she prostrated herself before the Lord and besought the assistance of his grace and his protection for a happy deliverance. The most blessed child Mary was at the same time by divine providence and power ravished into a most high ecstasy. Hence Mary was born into the world without perceiving it by her senses, for their operations and faculties were held in suspense.

She was born pure and stainless, beautiful and full of grace, thereby demonstrating, that She was free from the law and the tribute of sin. Although She was born substantially like other daughters of Adam, yet her birth was accompanied by such circumstances and conditions of grace, that it was the most wonderful and miraculous birth in all creation and will eternally redound to the praise of her Maker. At twelve o’clock in the night this divine Luminary issued forth, dividing the night of the ancient Law and its pristine darknesses from the new day of grace, which now was about to break into dawn. She was clothed, handled and dressed like other infants, though her soul dwelt in the Divinity; and She was treated as an infant, though She excelled all mortals and even all the angels in wisdom. Her mother did not allow Her to be touched by other hands than her own, but she herself wrapped Her in swaddling clothes: and in this Saint Anne was not hindered by her present state of childbirth; for she was free from the toils and labors, which other mothers usually endure in such circumstances.

So then saint Anne received in her arms Her, who was her Daughter, but at the same time the most exquisite Treasure of all the universe, inferior only to God and superior to all other creatures. With fervent tears of joy she offered this Treasure to his Majesty, saying interiorly "Lord of infinite wisdom and power, Creator of all that exists, this Fruit of my womb, which I have received of thy bounty, I offer to Thee with eternal thanks, for without any merit of mine Thou hast vouchsafed it to me. Dispose Thou of the mother and Child according to thy most holy will and look propitiously down upon our lowliness from thy exalted throne. Be Thou eternally blessed, because Thou hast enriched the world with a Creature so pleasing to thy bounty and because in Her Thou hast prepared a dwelling-place and a tabernacle for the eternal Word (Sap. 9, 8). I tender my congratulations to my holy forefathers and to the holy Prophets, and in them to the whole human race, for this sure pledge of Redemption, which Thou hast given them. But how shall I be able to worthily to treat Her, whom Thou hast given me as a Daughter? I that am not worthy to be her servant? How shall I handle the true ark of the Testament? Give me, O my Lord and King, the necessary enlightenment to know thy will and to execute it according to thy pleasure in the service of my Daughter."

The Lord answered the holy matron interiorly, that she was to treat her heavenly Child outwardly as mothers treat their daughters, without any demonstration of reverence; but to retain this reverence inwardly, fulfilling the laws of a true mother toward Her, and rearing Her up with all motherly love and solicitude. All this the happy mother complied with; making use of this permission and her mother’s rights without losing her reverence, she regaled herself with her most holy Daughter, embracing and caressing Her in the same way as other mothers do with their daughters. But it was always done with a proper reverence and consciousness of the hidden and divine sacrament known only to the mother and Daughter. The guardian angels of the sweet Child with others in great multitudes showed their veneration and worship to Mary as She rested in the arms of her mother; they joined in heavenly music, some of which was audible to blessed Anne. The thousand angels appointed as guardians of the great Queen offered themselves to her service. This was also the first time, in which the heavenly Mistress saw them in a corporeal form with their devises and habiliments, as I shall describe in another chapter and the Child asked them to join with Her in the praise of the Most High and to exalt Him in her name.

At the moment of the birth of our Princess Mary the Most High sent the archangel Gabriel as an envoy to bring this joyful news to the holy Fathers in limbo. Immediately the heavenly ambassador descended, illumining that deep cavern and rejoicing the just who were detained therein. He told them that already the dawn of eternal felicity had commenced and that the reparation of man, which was so earnestly desired and expected by the holy Patriarchs and foretold by the Prophets, had been begun, since She, who was to be the Mother of the Messias, had now been born; soon they would now see the salvation and glory of the Most High. The holy prince gave them an understanding of the excellence of the most holy Mary and of what the Omnipotent had begun to work in Her, in order that they might better comprehend the happy beginning of the mystery, which was to end their prolonged imprisonment. Then all the holy Patriarchs and Prophets and the rest of the just in limbo rejoiced in spirit and in new canticles praised the Lord for this benefit.

All these happenings at the birth of our Queen succeeded each other in a short space of time. The first exercise of her senses in the light of the material sun, was to recognize her parents and other creatures. The arms of the Most High began to work new wonders in Her far above all conceptions of men, and the first and most stupendous one was to send innumerable angels to bring the Mother of the eternal Word body and soul into the empyrean heaven for the fulfilling of his further intentions regarding Her. The holy princes obeyed the divine mandate and receiving the child Mary from the arms of her holy Mother Anne, they arranged a new and solemn procession bearing heavenward with incomparable songs of joy the true Ark of the covenant, in order that for a short time it might rest, not in the house of Obededon, but in the temple of the King of kings and of the Lord of lords, where later on it was to be placed for all eternity. This was the second step, which most holy Mary made in her life, namely, from this earth to the highest heaven.

Who can worthily extol this wonderful prodigy of the right hand of the Almighty? Who can describe the joy and the admiration of the celestial spirits, when they beheld this new and wonderful work of the Most High, and when they gathered to celebrate it in their songs? In these songs they acknowledged and reverenced as their Queen and Mistress, Her, who was to be the Mother of their Lord, and the source of the grace and glory, which they possessed; for it was through his foreseen merits, that they had been made the recipients of the divine bounty. But above all, what human tongue, or what mortal could ever describe or comprehend the heart-secrets of that tender Child during these events? I leave the imagination of all this to Catholic piety, and still more to those who in the Lord are favored with an understanding of it, but most of all to those who, by divine bounty shall have arrived at the beatific vision face to face.

Borne by the hands of the angels the child Mary entered the empyrean heaven where She prostrated Herself full of love before the royal throne in the presence of the Most High. Then (according to our way of understanding), was verified what long before had happened in figure, when Bethsabee entered into the presence of her son Solomon, who, while presiding over his people of Israel, arose from his throne, received her with honor and reverence, and seated her at his side as queen. Similarly, but in a more glorious and admirable manner, the person of the divine Word now received the child Mary, whom He had chosen as Mother, as Queen of the universe. Although her real dignity and the purpose of these ineffable mysteries were unknown to Mary, yet her infant faculties were strengthened by divine power for the reception of these favors. New graces and gifts were bestowed upon Her, by which her faculties were correspondingly elevated. Her powers of mind, besides being illumined and prepared by new grace and light, were raised and proportioned to the divine manifestation, and the Divinity displayed Itself in the new light vouchsafed, revealing Itself to Her intuitively and clearly in a most exalted manner. This was the first time in which the most holy soul of Mary saw the blessed Trinity in unveiled beatific vision.

The sole witnesses of the glory of Mary in this beatific vision, of the sacraments then again revealed to Her, of the divine effect that overflowed into her most pure soul, was God the Author of this unheard of wonder, and the astounded angels, who in some measure perceived these mysteries in God Himself. The Queen seated at the side of the Lord, who was to be her Son, and seeing Him face to face, was more successful in her prayer than Bethsabee (III Kings 2, 21). For She prayed that He bestow the untouched Sunamite Abisag, his inaccessible Divinity, upon his sister, human nature by the hypostatic union be fulfilled in the person of the Word. Many times He had pledged Himself to it among men through the ancient Patriarchs and Prophets and now Mary besought Him to accelerate the reparation of the human race, expected for so many ages amid the multiplied iniquity and the ruin of souls. The Most High heard this most pleasing petition of his Mother, and acting more graciously than Solomon of old toward his mother, He assured Her that soon his promises should be fulfilled, and that He should descend to the world in order to assume and redeem human nature.

In this divine consistory and tribunal of the most holy Trinity it was determined to give a name to the Child Queen. As there is no proper and legitimate name, except it be found in the immutable being of God himself (for from it are participated and determined according to their right weight and measure all things in infinite wisdom) his Majesty wished himself to give and impose that name in heaven. He thereby made known to the angelic spirits, that the three divine Persons, had decreed and formed the sweet names of Jesus and Mary for the Son and Mother from the beginning before the ages, and that they had been delighted with them and had engraved them on their eternal memories to be as it were the Objects for whose service They should create all things. Being informed of these and many other mysteries, the holy angels heard a voice from the throne speaking in the person of the Father: "Our chosen One shall be called MARY, and this name is to be powerful and magnificent. Those that shall invoke it with devout affection shall receive most abundant graces; those that shall honor it and pronounce it with reverence shall be consoled and vivified, and will find in it the remedy of their evils, the treasures for their enrichment, the light which shall guide them to heaven. It shall be terrible against the power of hell, it shall crush the head of the serpent and it shall win glorious victories over the princes of hell." The Lord commanded the angelic spirits to announce this glorious name to saint Anne, so that what was decreed in heaven might be executed on earth. The heavenly Child, lovingly prostrate before the throne, rendered most acceptable and human thanks to the eternal Being; and She received the name with most admirable and sweet jubilation. If the prerogatives and graces, which She then was favored with, were to be described, it would necessitate an extra book of many volumes. The holy angels honored and acknowledged most holy Mary as the future Mother of the Word and as their Queen and Mistress enthroned at the right hand of her Son; they showed their veneration of her holy name, prostrating themselves as it proceeded from the throne in the voice of the eternal Father, especially those, who had it written on the devises over their breast. All of them gave forth canticles of praise for these great and hidden mysteries. In the meanwhile the infant Queen remained ignorant of the real cause of all that She thus experienced, for her dignity of Mother of the incarnate Word was not revealed to Her till the time of the Incarnation. With the same reverential jubilee did the angels return in order to replace Her into the arms of holy Anne, to whom this event remained a secret, as was also the absence of her Daughter; for a guardian angel, assuming an aerial body, supplied her place for this very purpose. More than that, during a great part of the time in which the heavenly Child remained in the empyrean heaven, her mother was wrapped in ecstasy of highest contemplation, and in it, although she did not know what was happening to the Child, exalted mysteries concerning the dignity of the Mother of God, to which She was to be chosen, were revealed to her. The prudent matron kept them enshrined within her breast, conferring them in her thoughts with the duties she owed to her Child.

On the eighth day after the birth of the great Queen multitudes of most beautiful angels in splendid array descended from on high bearing an escutcheon on which the name of MARY was engraved and shone forth in great brilliancy. Appearing to the blessed mother Anne, they told her, that the name of her daughter was to be MARY, which name they had brought from heaven, and which divine Providence had selected and now ordained to be given to their child by Joachim and herself. The saint called for her husband and they conferred with each other about this disposition of God in regard to the name of their Daughter. The more than happy father accepted the name with joy and devout affection. They decided to call their relatives and a priest and then, with much solemnity and festivity, they imposed the name of MARY on their Child. The angels also celebrated this event with most sweet and ravishing music, which, however, was heard only by the mother and her most holy Daughter."
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 12:25:48 AM by Xavier »
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #144 on: September 15, 2018, 09:19:27 AM »
Fr. Garrigou Lagrange, The Mother of Our Savior and the Interior Life, Article III, p.214
The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrjx -How Did Mary Make Satisfaction For us?


"The purpose of satisfaction is to repair the offence offered to God and to make Him once more favourable to the sinner. The offence offered by mortal sin has about it a certain infinity, since offence is measured by the dignity of the person offended. Mortal sin, by turning the sinner away from God, his final end, denies in practice to God His infinite rights as the Supreme Good and destroys His reign in souls.

It follows from this that only the Incarnate Word could offer to the Father perfect and adequate satisfaction for the offence of mortal sin (45). For satisfaction to be perfect, it must proceed from a love and oblation which are as pleasing to God as, or more pleasing than, all sins united are displeasing to Him (46). But every act of charity elicited by Jesus had these qualities for His Divine Person gave them infinite satisfactory and meritorious value. A meritorious work becomes satisfactory (or one of reparation and expiation) when there is something painful about it.

Hence, in offering His life in the midst of the greatest physical and moral sufferings, Jesus offered satisfaction of an infinite and superabundant value to His Father. He alone could make satisfaction in strict justice since the value of satisfaction, like that of merit, comes from the person, and the Person of Jesus, being divine, was of infinite dignity.

It was, however, possible to associate a satisfaction of becomingness (de congruo) to Jesus' satisfaction, just as a merit of becomingness was associated to His merit. In explaining this point, we shall show all the more clearly the depth and extent of Mary's sufferings.

Mary offered for us a satisfaction of becomingness (de convenientia) which was the greatest in value after that of Her Son.

When a meritorious work is in some way painful it has value as satisfaction as well. Thus theologians commonly teach, following upon what has been explained in the previous section, that Mary satisfied for all sins de congruo in everything in which Jesus satisfied de condigno. Mary offered God a satisfaction which it was becoming that He should accept: Jesus satisfied for us in strict justice.

As Mother of the Redeemer, Mary was closely united to Jesus by perfect conformity of will, by humility, by poverty, by suffering— and most particularly by Her compassion on Calvary. That is what is meant when it is said that She offered satisfaction along with Him. Her satisfaction derives its value from Her dignity as Mother of God, from Her great charity, from the fact that there was no fault in Herself which needed to be expiated, and from the intensity of Her sufferings.

The Fathers treat of this when they speak of Mary "standing " at the foot of the Cross, as St. John says (John xix, 25). They recall the words of Simeon, "Thy own soul a sword shall pierce " and they show that Mary suffered in proportion to Her love for Her crucified Son; in proportion also to the cruelty of His executioners, and the atrocity of the torments inflicted on Him Who was Innocence itself (47). The liturgy also has taught many generations of the faithful that Mary merited the title of Queen of Martyrs by Her most painful martyrdom of Heart.

That is the lesson of the Feasts of the Compassion of the Blessed Virgin and of the Seven Dolours, as well as of the Stabat Mater ...

Footnotes:

(45) It is easier to knock down than to build up. The offence of a creature's mortal sin has a certain infinity from the side of the Person offended, whereas the creature's love is limited because of the limitations of its principle. Besides, mortal sin destroys the life of grace, and once that has been lost, we cannot be restored to it by ourselves.

(46) Ilia, q.l, a.2, ad 2; q 48, a.2.

(47) Cf St. Ephrem, Oratio ad Virginem; St. Ambrose, De Instit. Virg., c.V. Epist. 25 ad Eccles. Vercell.; St. Bernard, Sermo de Passione, Sermo de duodecim stellis, Sermo Dom. infra Oct. Ass.; St. Albert the Great, MaHale, q.42; St. Bonaventure, Sermo I de B. V.-; St. Laurence Justinian, Sermo de nativ. Virginis. "
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 09:22:56 AM by Xavier »
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #145 on: January 07, 2019, 05:55:00 AM »
Happy Christmas to all! I am going to continue Fr. Butler's Lives of the Saints, from a slightly more detailed 1903 edition. I'm not so good at the iconography, I'll leave that to anyone else interested. The Lives of the Saints are devotional reading, because it reminds us what great things God's Grace has done in the lives of others for millenia, and inspires us to make use of the same channels of grace to strive to imitate them as best we can. God bless.

JAN7 - ST. LUCIAN, PRIEST AND MARTYR

[From. his panegyric by St. Chrysostom, at Antioch, in 387, and pronounced on his festival, T. 2, p. 524. A. also from St. Jerom de script, c. 77. Eusebius,1. 8, c. 12,1. 9, c. 6, and Rufinus. See Tillemont, T. 5. p. 474. Pagi, an. 311.

A. D. 312.]

ST. LUCIAN, surnamed of Antioch, was born at Samosata, in Syria. He lost his parents while very young; and being come to the possession of his estate, which was very considerable, he distributed all among the poor. He became a great proficient in rhetoric and philosophy, and applied himself to the study of the holy scriptures under one Macarius at Edessa. Convinced of the obligation annexed to the character of priesthood, which was that of devoting himself entirely to the service of God and the good of his neighbor, he did not content himself with inculcating the practice of virtue both by word and example; he also undertook to purge the scriptures, that is, both the Old and New Testament, from the several faults that had crept into them, either by reason of the inaccuracy of transcribers, or the malice of heretics. Some are of opinion, that as to the Old Testament, he only revised it, by comparing different editions of the Septuagint: others contend, that he corrected it upon the Hebrew text, being well versed in that language. Certain, however, it is that St. Lucian’s edition of the scriptures was much esteemed, and was of great use to St. Jerom. 1*

S. Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, says that Lucian remained some years separated from the catholic communion,* at Antioch, under three successive bishops, namely, Domnus, Timæus, and Cyril. If it was for too much favoring Paul of Samosata, condemned at Antioch in the year 269, he must have been deceived, for want of a sufficient penetration into the impiety of that dissembling heretic. It is certain, at least, that he died in the catholic communion; which also appears from a fragment of a letter written by him to the church of Antioch, and still extant in the Alexandrian Chronicle. Though a priest of Antioch, we find him at Nicomedia, in the year 303, when Dioclesian first published his edicts against the Christians. He there suffered a long imprisonment for the faith; for the Paschal Chronicle quotes these words from a letter which he wrote out of his dungeon to Antioch, “All the martyrs salute you. I inform you that the pope Anthimus (bishop of Nicomedia) has finished his course by martyrdom.” This happened in 303. Yet Eusebius informs us, that St. Lucian did not arrive himself at the crown of martyrdom till after the death of St. Peter of Alexandria, in 311, so that he seems to have continued nine years in prison. At length he was brought before the governor, or, as the acts intimate, the emperor himself, for the word† which Eusebius uses may imply either. On his trial, he presented to the judge an excellent apology for the Christian faith. Being remanded to prison, an order was given that no food should be allowed him; but, when almost dead with hunger, dainty meats that had been offered to idols were set before him, which he would not touch. It was not in itself unlawful to eat of such meats, as St. Paul teaches, except where it would give scandal to the weak, or when it was exacted as an action of idolatrous superstition, as was the case here. Being brought a second time before the tribunal, he would give no other answer to all the questions put to him, but this: “I am a Christian.” He repeated the same while on the rack, and he finished his glorious course in prison, either by famine, or, according to St. Chrysostom, by the sword. His acts relate many of his miracles, with other particulars, as that, when bound and chained down on his back in prison, he consecrated the divine mysteries upon his own breast, and communicated the faithful that were present: this we also read in Philostorgius,[2] the Arian historian. St. Lucian suffered at Nicomedia, where Maximinus II. resided.

His body was interred at Drepanum, in Bithynia, which, in honor of him, Constantine the Great soon after made a large city, which he exempted from all taxes, and honored with the name of Helenopolis, from his mother. St. Lucian was crowned in 312, on the 7th of January, on which day his festival was kept at Antioch immediately after his death, as appears from St. Chrysostom.‡ It is the tradition of the church of Arles, that the body of St. Lucian was sent out of the East to Charlemagne, who built a church undo his invocation at Arles, in which his relics are preserved.[3]

The first thing that is necessary in the service of God, is earnestly to search his holy will, by devoutly reading, listening to, and meditating on his eternal truths. This will set the divine law in a clear and full light, and conduct us, by unerring rules, to discover and accomplish every duty. It will awake and continually increase a necessary tenderness of conscience, which will add light and life to its convictions, oblige us to a more careful trial and examination of all our actions, keep us not only from evil, but from every appearance of it, render us steadfast and immoveable in every virtuous practice, and always preserve a quick and nice sense of good and evil. For this reason, the word of God is called in holy scripture, Light, because it distinguisheth between good and evil, and, like a lamp, manifesteth the path which we are to choose, and disperseth that mist with which the subtilty of our enemy and the lusts of our heart have covered it. At the same time, a daily repetition of contrition and compunction washes off the stains which we discover in our souls, and strongly incites us, by the fervor and fruitfulness of our following life, to repair the sloth and barrenness of the past Prayer must be made our main assistant in every step of this spiritual progress. We must pray that God would enable us to search out and discover our own hearts, and reform whatever is amiss in them. If we do this sincerely, God will undoubtedly grant our requests; will lay open to us all our defects and infirmities, and, showing us how far short we come of the perfection of true holiness of life, will no suffer any latent corruptions in our affections to continue undiscovered, nor permit us to forget the stains and ruins which the sins of our life past have left behind them.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #146 on: January 08, 2019, 11:39:33 AM »
Jan 8 ST. APOLLINARIS, THE APOLOGIST, BISHOP

[From Eusebius, Theodoret, St. Jerom. &c. See Tillemont, Mem. t. 2, p. 492, and Hist. des Emp. t. 2, p. 306.

A. D. 175.]

CLAUDIUS APOLLINARIS, bishop of Hierapolis, in Phrygia, was one of the most illustrious prelates of the second age. Notwithstanding the great encomiums bestowed on him by Eusebius, St. Jerom, Theodoret, and others, we know but very little of his actions; and his writings, which then were held in great esteem, seem now to be all lost. Photius,[1] who had read them, and who was a very good judge, commends them both for their style and matter. He wrote against the Encratites, and other heretics, and pointed out, as St. Jerom testifies,[2] from what philosophical sect each heresy derived its errors. The last of these works was against the Montanists and their pretended prophets, who began to appear in Phrygia about the year 171. But nothing rendered his name so illustrious, as his noble apology for the Christian religion, which he addressed to the emperor Marcus Aurelius, about the year 175, soon after the miraculous victory that prince had obtained over the Quadi by the prayers of the Christians, of which the saint made mention.

Marcus Aurelius having long attempted, without success, to subdue the Germans by his generals, resolved in the thirteenth year of his reign, and of Christ 171, to lead a powerful army against them. He was beyond the Danube, (for Germany was extended much further eastward than it is at present,) when the Quadi, a people inhabiting that tract now called Moravia, surrounded him in a very disadvantageous situation, so that there was no possibility that either he or his army could escape out of their hands, or subsist long where they were, for want of water. The twelfth legion, called the Melitine, from a town of that name in Armenia, where it had been quartered a long time, was chiefly composed of Christians. These, when the army was drawn up, but languid and perishing with thirst, fell upon their knees, “as we are accustomed to do at prayer,” says Eusebius, and poured forth earnest supplications to God in this public extremity of their state and emperor, though hitherto he had been a persecutor of their religion. The strangeness of the sight surprised the enemies, who had more reason to be astonished at the event; for all on a sudden the sky was darkened with clouds, and a thick rain showered down with impetuosity just as the Barbarians had assailed the Roman camp. The Romans fought and drank at the same time, catching the rain, as it fell, in their helmets, and often swallowing mingled with blood. Though by this means exceedingly refreshed, the Germans were much too strong for them; but the storm being driven by a violent wind upon their faces, and accompanied with dreadful flashes of lightning, and loud thunder, the Germans were deprived of their sight beaten down to the ground, and terrified to such a degree, that they were entirely routed and put to flight. Both heathen and Christian writers give this account of the victory. The heathens ascribe it, some to the power of magic, others to their gods, as Dio Cassius;[3] but the Christians unanimously recount it as a miracle obtained by the prayers of this legion, as St. Apollinaris in his apology to this very emperor, who adds, that as an acknowledgment, the emperor immediately gave it the name of the Thundering Legion, and from him it is so called by Eusebius,[4] Tertullian,[5] St. Jerom,[6] and St. Gregory of Nyssa.[7]

The Quadi and Sarmatians brought back thirteen thousand prisoners, whom they had taken, and begged for peace on whatever conditions it should please the emperor to grant it them. Marcus Aurelius hereupon took the title of the seventh time emperor, contrary to custom, and without the consent of the senate, regarding it as given him by heaven. Out of gratitude to his Christian soldiers, he published an edict, in which he confessed himself indebted for his delivery to the shower obtained, PERHAPS, by the prayers of the Christians;* and more he could not say without danger of exasperating the pagans. In it he forbade, under pain of death, any one to accuse a Christian on account of his religion; yet, by a strange inconsistency, especially in so wise a prince, being overawed by the opposition of the senate, he had not the courage to abolish the laws already made and in force against Christians. Hence, even after this, in the same reign, many suffered martyrdom, though their accusers were also put to death; as in the case of St. Apollonius and of the martyrs of Lyons. Trajan had in like manner forbid Christians to be accused, yet commanded them to be punished with death if accused, as may be seen declared by him in his famous letter to Pliny the Younger. The glaring injustice of which law Tertullian demonstrates by an unanswerable dilemma.

St. Apollinaris, who could not see his flock torn in pieces and be silent, penned his apology to the emperor, about the year 172, to remind him of the benefit he had received from God by the prayers of the Christians, and to implore his protection. We have no account of the time of this holy man’s death, which probably happened before that of Marcus Aurelius. The Roman Martyrology mentions him on the 8th of January.

We believe the same great truths, and divine mysteries,—we profess the same faith which produced such wonderful fruits in the souls of the saints. Whence comes it that it has not the like effects in us?—that though we acknowledge virtue to be the richest treasure of the soul of man, we take little pains about it, passionately seek the things of this world, are cast down and broken under every adversity, and curb and restrain our passions only by halves?—that the most glorious objects, God and heaven, and the amazing and dreadful truths, a judgment to come, hell, and eternity, strike us so feebly, and operate so little in us? The reason is plain: because we meditate not sufficiently on these great truths. Our notions of them are dim and imperfect; our thoughts pass so slightly over them, that they scarce retain any print or traces of them. Otherwise it is impossible that things so great and terrible should excite in us no fear, or that things in their own nature infinitely amiable, should enkindle in us no desire. Slight and faint images of things move our minds very weakly, and affect them very coldly, especially in such matters as are not subject to our senses. We therefore grossly deceive ourselves in not allotting more time to the study of divine truths. It is not enough barely to believe them, and let our thoughts now and then glance upon them: that knowledge which shows us heaven, will not bring us to the possession of it, and will deserve punishments, not rewards, if it remain slight, weak, and superficial. By serious and frequent meditation it must be concocted, digested, and turned into the nourishment of our affections, before it can be powerful and operative enough to change them, and produce the necessary fruit in our lives. For this all the saints affected solitude and retreats from the noise and hurry of the world, as much as their circumstances allowed them.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #147 on: January 09, 2019, 01:53:32 PM »
Jan9 ST. PETER OF SEBASTE, B. C.

From the life of his sister St. Macrina, composed by their brother St. Gregory of Nyssa; and from St. Gregory Naz. Or. 20. See also Theodoret, Hist. Ecc[1].1. 4, c. 30. Rufin,1. 2, c. 9, and the judicious compilation of Tillemont, in his life of St. Gregory of Nyssa, art. 6, t. 9, p. 572.

About the year 387.

THE family of which St. Peter descended, was very ancient and illustrious; St. Gregory Nazianzen tells us, that his pedigree was made up of a list of celebrated heroes: but their names are long since buried in oblivion, while those of the saints which it gave to the church, and who despised the world and its honors, are immortal in the records of the church, and are written in the book of life; for the light of faith, and the grace of the Almighty, extinguishing in their breasts the sparks of worldly ambition, inspired them with a most vehement ardor to attain the perfection of Christian virtue, and changed their family into a house of saints; three brothers were at the same time eminently holy bishops, St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Peter of Sebaste; and their eldest sister, St. Macrina, was the spiritual mother of many saints and excellent doctors; their father and mother, St. Basil the Elder, and St. Emclia, were banished for their faith in the reign of the emperor Galerius Maximian, and fled into the deserts of Pontus; they are recorded together in the Roman Martyrology, on the 30th of May: the grandmother of our pious and fruitful family of saints, was the celebrated St. Macrina the Elder, who was instructed in the science of salvation, by St. Gregory Thaumaturgus. St. Peter of Sebaste was the youngest of ten children, and lost his father in his cradle, some think before he was born; and his eldest sister, Macrina, took care of his education, in which it was her only aim to instruct him in the maxims of religion, and form him to perfect piety; profane studies she thought of little use, to one who designed to make salvation the sole end of all his inquiries and pursuits, nor did he ever make them any part of his employment, confining his views to a monastic state. His mother had founded two monasteries, one for men, the, other for women; the former she put under the direction of her son Basil, the latter under that of her daughter Macrina. Peter, whose thoughts, were wholly bent on cultivating the seeds of piety that had been sown in him, retired into the house governed by his brother, situated on the bank of the river Iris; when St. Basil was obliged to quit that post, in 362, he left the abbacy in the hands of St. Peter, who discharged this office for several years with great prudence and virtue. When the provinces of Pontus and Cappadocia were visited by a severe famine, he gave a remarkable proof of his charity; human prudence would have advised him to be frugal in the relief of others, till his own family should be secured against that calamity; but Peter had studied the principles of Christian charity in an other school, and liberally disposed of all that belonged to his monastery, and whatever be could raise, to supply with necessaries the numerous crowds that daily resorted to him, in that time of distress. Soon after St. Basil was made bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, in 370, he promoted his brother Peter to the priesthood; the holy abbot looked on the holy orders he had received as a fresh engagement to perfection. His brother St. Basil died on the 1st of January, in 379, and his sister Macrina in November, the same year. Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste, in Armenia, a violent Arian and a furious persecutor of St. Basil, seems to have died soon after them, for St. Peter was consecrated bishop of Sebaste in 380, to root out the Arian heresy in that diocess, where it had taken deep root; the zeal of a saint was necessary, nor can we doubt but God placed our saint in that dignity for this purpose. A letter which St. Peter wrote, and which is prefixed to St. Gregory of Nyssa’s books against Eunomius, has entitled him to a rank among the ecclesiastical writers, and is a standing proof, that though he had confined himself to sacred studies, yet by good conversation and reading, and by the dint of genius, and an excellent understanding, he was inferior to none but his incomparable brother Basil, and his colleague Nazianzen, in solid eloquence. In 381, he attended the general council held at Constantinople, and joined the other bishops in condemning the Macedonian heretics. Not only his brother St. Gregory, but also Theodoret, and all antiquity, bear testimony to his extraordinary sanctity, prudence, and zeal. His death happened in summer, about the year 387, and his brother of Nyssa mentions, that his memory was honored at Sebaste (probably the very year after his death) by an anniversary solemnity, with several martyrs of that city.[1] His name occurs in the Roman Martyrology, on the 9th of January.

We admire to see a whole family of saints! This prodigy of grace, under God, was owing to the example, prayers, and exhortations of the elder St. Macrina, which had this wonderful influence and effect; from her they learned most heartily and deeply to imbibe the true spirit of self-denial and humility, which all Christians confess to be the fundamental maxim of the gospel; but this they generally acknowledge in speculation only, whereas it is in the heart that this foundation is to be laid: we must entertain no attachment, says St. Gregory of Nyssa,[2] to any thing, especially where there is most danger of passion, by some sensual pleasure annexed, and we must begin by being upon our guard against sensuality in eating, which is the most ancient enemy, and the father of vice: we must observe in our whole life the most exact rule of temperance, never making the pleasure of sense our end, but only the necessity of the use we make of things, even those in which a pleasure is taken. In another treatise he says,[3] he who despises the world, must also renounce himself, so as never to follow his own will, but purely to seek in all things the will of God; we are his in justice, his will must be the law and rule of our whole life. This precept of dying to ourselves, that Christ may live in us, and all our affections and actions governed by his spirit, is excellently inculcated by St. Basil the Great.[4]
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #148 on: January 10, 2019, 06:57:33 AM »
Jan 10 SAINT WILLIAM, CONFESSOR, ARCHBISHOP OF BOURGES

[From his if written by a faithful acquaintance at Bourges, (abridged by Surius,) and again by Peter, a monk of Chaalis, both soon after his death: collected by Dom le Nain, in his history of the Cistercians, t. 7. See also the notes of Bollandus, with a fragment of a third life, and Gallia Christ. Nov. t. 2. p. 63.

A. D. 1209.]

WILLIAM BERRUYER, of the illustrious family of the ancient counts of Nevers, was educated by Peter the Hermit, archdeacon of Soissons, his uncle by the mother’s side. He learned from his infancy to despise the folly and emptiness of the riches and grandeur of the world, to abhor its pleasures, and to tremble at its dangers. His only delight was in exercises of piety and in his studies, in which he employed his whole time with indefatigable application. He was made canon, first of Soissons, and afterwards of Paris; but he soon took the resolution of abandoning all commerce with the world, and retired into the solitude of Grandmont, where he lived with great regularity in that austere order, till seeing its peace disturbed by a contest which arose between the fathers and lay-brothers, he passed into the Cistercian, then in wonderful odor of sanctity. He took the habit in the abbey of Pontigny, and shining as a perfect model of monastic perfection, was after some time chosen prior of that house, and afterwards abbot, firs of Fountaine-Jean, in the diocess of Sens, (a filiation of Pontigny, founded in 1124, by Peter de Courtenay, son of king Louis the Fat,) and some time after, of Chaalis, near Senlis, a much more numerous monastery, also a filiation of Pontigny, built by Louis the Fat in 1136, a little before his death. St. William always reputed himself the last among his brethren. The universal mortification of his senses and passions, laid in him the foundation of an admirable purity of heart, and an extraordinary gift of prayer; in which he received great heavenly lights, and tasted of the sweets which God has reserved for those to whom he is pleased to communicate himself. The sweetness and cheerfulness of his countenance testified the uninterrupted joy and peace that overflowed his soul, and made virtue appear with the most engaging charms in the midst of austerities.

On the death of Henry de Sully, archbishop of Bourges, the clergy of that church requested his brother Eudo, bishop of Paris, to come and assist them in the election of a pastor. Desirous to choose some abbot of the Cistercian Order, then renowned for holy men, they put on the altar the names of three, written on as many billets. This manner of election by lots would have been superstitious, and a tempting of God, had it been done relying on a miracle without the warrant of divine inspiration. But it deserved not this censure when all the persons proposed seemed equally worthy and fit, as the choice was only recommended to God, and left to this issue by following the rules of his ordinary providence, and imploring his light, without rashness, or a neglect of the usual means of scrutiny: prudence might sometimes even recommend such a method, in order to terminate a debate when the candidates seemed equally qualified. God, in such cases is said sometimes to have miraculously interposed.

Eudo, accordingly, having written three billets, laid them on the altar, and having made his prayer drew first the name of the abbot William, on whom, at the same time, the majority of the votes of the clergy had made the election fall, the 23d of November, 1200. This news overwhelmed William with grief. He never would have acquiesced, had he not received a double command in virtue of obedience, from the pope, and from his general the abbot of Citeaux. He left his dear solitude with many tears, and was received at Bourges as one sent by heaven, and soon after was consecrated. In this new dignity his first care was to conform both his exterior and interior to the most perfect rules of sanctity; being very sensible that a man’s first task is to honor God perfectly in his own soul. He redoubled all his austerities, saving, it was now incumbent on him to do penance for others, as well as for himself. He always wore a hair-shirt under his religious habit, and never added, nor diminished, any thing in his clothes, either winter or summer. He never ate any flesh-meat, though he had it at his table for strangers. His attention to feed his flock was no less remarkable, especially in assisting the poor both spiritually and corporally, saying, that he was chiefly sent for them. He was most mild to penitent sinners; but inflexible towards the impenitent, though he refused to have recourse to the civil power against them, the usual remedy of that age. Many such he at last reclaimed by his sweetness and charity. Certain great men, abusing his lenity, usurped the rights of his church; but the saint strenuously defended them even against the king himself, notwithstanding his threats to confiscate his lands. By humility and resolution he overcame several contradictions of his chapter and other clergy. By his zeal he converted many of the Albigenses, contemporary heretics, and was preparing himself for a mission among them, at the time he was seized with his last illness. He would, notwithstanding, preach a farewell sermon to his people, which increased his fever to such a degree that he was obliged to set aside his journey, and take to his bed. Drawing near his end, he received first extreme unction, according to the discipline of that age;[1] then, in order to receive the viaticum, he rose out of bed, fell on his knees melting in tears, and prayed long prostrate with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross. The night following, perceiving his last hour approach, he desired to anticipate the nocturns, which are said at midnight; but having made the sign of the cross on his lips and breast, was able to pronounce no more than the two first words. Then, according to a sign made by him, he was laid on ashes in the hair-cloth which he always privately wore. In this posture he soon after expired, a little past midnight, on the morning of the 10th of January, in 1209. His body was interred in his cathedral; and being honored by many miracles, was taken up in 1217; and in the year following he was canonized by pope Honorius III. His relics were kept with great veneration till 1562, when they were burnt, and scattered in the winds by the Huguenots, on occasion of their plundering the cathedral of Bourges, as Baillet and Bollandus mention. A bone of his arm is shown with veneration at Chaalis, whither it had been sent soon after the saint’s body was taken up; and a rib is preserved in the church of the college of Navarre, at Paris, on which the canons of St. Bourges bestowed it in 1399.2 His festival is kept in that church with great solemnity, and a great concourse of devout persons; St. William being regarded in several parts of France as one of the patrons of the nation, though his name is not mentioned in the Roman Martyrology. The celebrated countess Maud, his niece, out of veneration for his memory, bestowed certain lands in the Nivemois, on the church of Bourges.[3] B. Philip Berruyer, a nephew of St. William, was archbishop of Bourges from the year 1236 to 1260, in which he died in the odor of sanctity. Nangi ascribes to him many miracles, and other historians bear testimony to his eminent virtue.[4] Dom Martenne has published his edifying original life.[5]

If we look into the lives of all the saints, we shall find that it was by a spirit and gift of prayer that the Holy Ghost formed in their hearts the most perfect sentiments of all virtues. It is this which enlightens the understanding, and infuses a spiritual knowledge, and a heavenly wisdom, which is incomparably more excellent than that in which philosophers pride themselves. The same purifies the affections, sanctifies the soul, adorns it with virtues, and enriches it with every gift of heaven. Christ, who is the eternal wisdom, came down among us on earth to teach us more perfectly this heavenly language, and he alone is our master in it. He vouchsafed also to be our model. In the first moment in which his holy soul began to exist, it exerted all its powers in contemplating and adorning the divine Trinity, and employed his affections in the most ardent acts of praise, love, thanksgiving, oblation, and the like. His whole moral life was an uninterrupted prayer; more freely to apply himself to this exercise, and to set us an example, he often retired into mountains and deserts, and spent whole nights in prayer; and to this employment he consecrated his last breath upon the cross. By him the saints were inspired to conceive an infinite esteem for holy prayer, and such a wonderful assiduity and ardor in this exercise, that many renounced altogether the commerce of men to only that of God, and his angels; and the rest learned the art of conversing secretly with heaven even amidst their exterior employments, which they only undertook for God. Holy pastors have always made retirement and a life of prayer their apprenticeship or preparation for the ministry, and afterward, amidst its functions were still men of prayer in them, having God always present to their mind, and setting apart intervals in the day, and a considerable part of the nights, to apply themselves with their whole attention to this exercise, in the silence of all creatures.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #149 on: January 12, 2019, 08:12:49 AM »
Jan 11 ST. THEODOSIUS, THE CENOBIARCH

[From his life by Theodorus, bishop of Petra, some time his disciple, in Surius and Bollandus, and commended by Fleury, Baillet, &c.

A. D. 529.]

ST. THEODOSIUS was born at Mogariassus, called in latter ages Marissa, in Cappadocia, in 423. He imbibed the first tincture of virtue from the fervent example and pious instructions of his virtuous parents. He was ordained reader, but some time after being moved by Abraham’s example to quit his country and friends, he resolved to put this motion in execution. He accordingly set out for Jerusalem, but went purposely out of his road, to visit the famous St. Simeon Stylites on his pillar, who foretold him several circumstances of his life, and gave him proper instructions for his behavior in each. Having satisfied his devotion in visiting the holy places in Jerusalem, he began to consider in what manner he should dedicate himself to God in a religious state. The dangers of living without a guide, made him prefer a monastery to a hermitage; and he therefore put himself under the direction of a holy man named Longinus, to whom his virtue soon endeared him in a very particular manner. A pious lady having built a church under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, on the high road to Bethlehem, Longinus could not well refuse her request, that his pupil should undertake the charge of it; but Theodosius, who loved only to obey, could not be induced by any entreaties to consent to this proposal: absolute commands were necessary to force him to a compliance. Nor did he govern long; for dreading the poison of vanity from the esteem of men, he retired into a cave at the top of a neighboring desert mountain, and employed his time in fasting, watching, prayers, and tears, which almost continually flowed from his eyes. His food was coarse pulse and wild herbs: for thirty years he never tasted so much as a morsel of bread. Many desired to serve God under his direction: he at first determined only to admit six or seven, but was soon obliged to receive a greater number, and at length came to a resolution, which charity extorted from him, never to reject any that presented themselves with dispositions that seemed sincere. The first lesson which he taught his monks was, that the continual remembrance of death is the foundation of religious perfection; to imprint this more deeply in their minds, he caused a great grave or pit to be dug, which might serve for the common burial-place of the whole community, that by the presence of this memorial of death, and by continually meditating on that object, they might more perfectly learn to die daily. The burial-place being made, the abbot one day, when he had led his monks to it, said, “The grave is made, who will first perform the dedication?” Basil, a priest, who was one of the number, falling on his knees, said to St. Theodosius, “I am the person, be pleased to give me your blessing.” The abbot ordered the prayers of the church for the dead to be offered up for him, and on the fortieth day, Basil wonderfully departed to our Lord in peace, without any apparent sickness. When the holy company of disciples were twelve in number, it happened that at the great feast of Easter they had nothing to eat; they had not even bread for the sacrifice: some murmured; the saint bid them trust in God and he would provide: which was soon remarkably verified, by the arrival of certain mules loaded with provisions. The lustre of the sanctity and miracles of St. Theodosius, drawing great numbers to him who desired to serve God under his direction, his cave was too little for their reception; therefore, having consulted heaven by prayer, he, by its particular direction, built a spacious monastery at a place called Cathismus, not far from Bethlehem, at a small distance from his cave, and it was soon filled with holy monks. To this monastery were annexed three infirmaries; one for the sick, the gift of a pious lady in that neighborhood; the two others St. Theodosius built himself, one for the aged and feeble, the other for such as had been punished with the loss of their senses, or by falling under the power of the devil, for rashly engaging in a religious state through pride, and without a due dependence on the grace of God to carry them through it. All succours, spiritual and temporal, were afforded in these infirmaries with admirable order, care, and affection. He erected also several buildings for the reception of strangers, in which he exercised an unbounded hospitality, entertaining all that came, for whose use there were one day above a hundred tables served with provisions: these, when insufficient for the number of guests, were more than once miraculously multiplied by his prayers. The monastery itself was like a city of saints in the midst of a desert, and in it reigned regularity, silence, charity, and peace. There were four churches belonging to it, one for each of the three several nations of which his community was chiefly composed, each speaking a different language; the fourth was for the use of such as were in a state of penance, which those that recovered from their lunatic or possessed condition before mentioned, were put into, and detained till they had expiated their fault. The nations into which his community was divided, were the Greeks, which were far the most numerous, and consisted of all those that came from any provinces of the empire; the Armenians, with whom were joined the Arabians and Persians; and, thirdly, the Bessi, who comprehended all the northern nations below Thrace, or all who used the Runic or Sclavonian tongue. Each nation sung the first part of the mass to the end of the gospel, in their own church, but after the gospel, all met in the church of the Greeks, where they celebrated the essential part of the sacrifice in Greek and communicated all together.[1]

The monks passed a considerable part of the day and night at their devotions in the church, and at the times not set apart for public prayer and necessary rest, every one was obliged to apply himself to some trade, on manual labor, not incompatible with recollection, that the house might be supplied with conveniences. Sallust, bishop of Jerusalem, appointed St. Sabas superior general of the hermits, and our saint of the Cenobites, or religious men living in community throughout all Palestine, whence he was styled the Cenobiarch. These two great servants of God lived in strict friendship, and had frequent spiritual conferences together; they were also united in their zeal and sufferings for the church.

The emperor Anastasius patronized the Eutychian heresy, and used all possible means to engage our saint in his party. In 513 he deposed Elias, patriarch of Jerusalem, as he had banished Flavian II., patriarch of Antioch, and intruded Severus, an impious heretic, into that see, commanding the Syrians to obey and hold communion with him. SS. Theodosius and Sabas maintained boldly the right of Elias, and of John his successor; whereupon the imperial officers thought it most advisable to connive at their proceedings, considering the great authority they had acquired by their sanctity. Soon after, the emperor sent Theodosius a considerable sum of money, for charitable uses in appearance, but in reality to engage him in his interest. The saint accepted of it, and distributed it all among the poor. Anastasius now persuading himself that he was as good as gained over to his cause, sent him an heretical profession of faith, in which the divine and human natures in Christ were confounded into one, and desired him to sign it. The saint wrote him an answer full of apostolic spirit; in which, besides solidly confuting the Eutychian error, he added, that he was ready to lay down his life for the faith of the church. The emperor admired his courage and the strength of his reasoning, and returning him a respectful answer, highly commended his generous zeal, made some apology for his own inconsiderateness, and protested that he only desired the peace of the church. But it was not long ere he relapsed into his former impiety and renewed his bloody edicts against the orthodox, dispatching troops everywhere to have them put in execution. On the first intelligence of this, Theodosius went over all the deserts and country of Palestine, exhorting every one to be firm in the faith of the four general councils. At Jerusalem, having assembled the people together, he from the pulpit cried out with a loud voice: “If any one receives not the four general councils as the four gospels, let him be anathema.” So bold an action in a man of his years, inspired with courage those whom the edicts had terrified. His discourses had a wonderful effect on the people, and God gave a sanction to his zeal by miracles: one of these was, that on his going out of the church at Jerusalem, a woman was healed of a cancer on the spot, by only touching his garments. The emperor sent an order for his banishment, which was executed; but dying soon after, Theodosius was recalled by his Catholic successor, Justin; who, from a common soldier, had gradually ascended the imperial throne.

Our saint survived his return eleven years, never admitting the least relaxation in his former austerities. Such was his humility, that seeing two monks at variance with each other, he threw himself at their feet, and would not rise till they were perfectly reconciled; and once having excommunicated one of his subjects for a crime, who contumaciously pretended to excommunicate him in his turn, the saint behaved as if he had been really excommunicated, to gain the sinner’s soul by this unprecedented example of submission, which had the desired effect. During the last year of his life he was afflicted with a painful distemper, in which he gave proof of an heroic patience, and an entire submission to the will of God; for being advised by one that was an eye-witness of his great sufferings, to pray that God would be pleased to grant him some ease, he would give no ear to it, alleging that such thoughts were impatience, and would rob him of his crown. Perceiving the hour of his dissolution at hand, he gave his last exhortation to his disciples, and foretold many things, which accordingly came to pass after his death: this happened in the one hundred and fifth year of his age, and of our Lord 529. Peter, patriarch of Jerusalem, and the whole country, assisted with the deepest sentiments of respect at the solemnity of his interment, which was honored by miracles. He was buried in his first cell, called the cave of the magi, because the wise men, who came to adore Christ soon after his birth, were said to have lodged in it. A certain count being on his march against the Persians, begged the hair shirt which the saint used to wear next his skin, and believed that he owed the victory which he obtained over them, to the saint’s protection through the pledge of that relic. Both the Roman and Greek calendars mention his festival on the 11th of January.

The examples of the Nazarites and Essenes among the Jews, and of many excellent and holy persons among the Christians through every age, demonstrate that many are called by God to serve him in a retired contemplative life; may, it is the opinion of St. Gregory the Great, that the world is to some persons so full of ambushes and snares, or dangerous occasions of sin, that they cannot be saved but by choosing a safe retreat. Those who from experience are conscious of their own weakness, and find themselves to be no match for the world, unable to countermine its policies, and oppose its power, ought to retire as from the face of too potent an enemy; and prefer a contemplative state to a busy and active life: not to indulge sloth, or to decline the service of God and his neighbor, but to consult his own security, and to fly from dangers of sin and vanity. Yet there are some who find the greatest dangers in solitude itself; so that it is necessary for every one to sound his own heart, take a survey of his own forces and abilities, and consult God, that he may best be able to learn the designs of his providence with regard to his soul; in doing which, a great purity of intention is the first requisite. Ease and enjoyment must not be the end of Christian retirement, but penance, labor, and assiduous contemplation; without great fervor and constancy in which, close solitude is the road to perdition. If greater safety, or an unfitness for a public station, or a life of much business (in which several are only public nuisances) may be just motives to some for embracing a life of retirement, the means of more easily attaining to perfect virtue may be such to many. Nor do true contemplatives bury their talents, or cease either to be members of the republic of mankind, or to throw in their mite towards its welfare. From the prayers and thanksgivings which they daily offer to God for the peace of the world, the preservation of the church, the conversion of sinners, and the salvation of all men, doubtless more valuable benefits often accrue to mankind, than from the alms of the rich, or the labors of the learned. Nor is it to be imagined, how far and how powerfully their spirit, and the example of their innocence and perfect virtue, often spread their influence; and how serviceable persons who lead a holy and sequestered life may be to the good of the world; nor how great glory redounds to God, by the perfect purity of heart and charity to which many souls are thus raised.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #150 on: January 13, 2019, 11:40:29 PM »
Jan 12 ST. ARCADIUS, MARTYR

[From his ancient acts, much esteemed by Baronius and inserted by Ruinart in his authentic collection St. Zeno of Verona made use of them in his forty-ninth sermon on this martyr. See Tillemont, t. 5, p. 557.]

THE time of this saint’s martyrdom is not mentioned in his acts; some place it under Valerian, others under Dioclesian: he seems to have suffered in some city of Mauritania, probably the capital, Cæsarea. The fury of the tyrants raged violently, and the devil had instigated his soldiers to wage, like so many wolves, a bloody war against the servants of Jesus. Upon the least suspicion they broke into houses, made rigorous searches, and if they found a Christian, they treated him upon the spot with the greatest cruelty, their impatience not suffering them to wait the bringing him before a judge. Every day new sacrileges were committed; the faithful were compelled to assist at superstitious sacrifices, to lead victims crowned with flowers through the streets, to burn incense before idols, and to celebrate the enthusiastic feasts of Bacchus. Arcadius, seeing his city in great confusion, left his estate and withdrew to a solitary place in the neighboring country, serving Jesus Christ in watching, prayer, and other exercises of a penitential life. His flight could not be long a secret; for his not appearing at the public sacrifices made the governor send soldiers to his house, who surrounded it, forced open the doors, and finding one of his relations in it, who said all he could to justify his kinsman’s absence, they seized him, and the governor ordered him to be kept in close custody till Arcadius should be taken. The martyr, informed of his friend’s danger, and burning with a desire to suffer for Christ, went into the city, and presenting himself to the judge, said: “If on my account you detain my innocent relation in chains, release him; I, Arcadius, am come in person to give an account of myself, and to declare to you, that he knew not where I was.” “I am willing,” answered the judge, “to pardon not only him, but you also, on condition that you will sacrifice to the gods.” Arcadius replied, “How can you propose to me such a thing? Do you not know the Christians, or do you believe that the fear of death will ever make me swerve from my duty? Jesus Christ is my life, and death is my gain. Invent what torments you please; but know that nothing shall make me a traitor to my God.” The governor, in a rage, paused to devise some unheard-of torment for him. Iron hooks seemed too easy; neither plummets of lead, nor cudgels could satisfy his fury; the very rack he thought by much too gentle. At last, imagining he had found a manner of death suitable to his purpose, he said to the ministers of his cruelty, “Take him, and let him see and desire death, without being able to obtain it. Cut off his limbs joint by joint, and execute this so slowly, that the wretch may know what it is to abandon the gods of his ancestors for an unknown deity.” The executioners dragged Arcading to the place, where many other victims of Christ had already suffered; a place dear and sweet to all who sigh after eternal life. Here the martyr lifts up his eyes to heaven, and implores strength from above; then stretches out his neck, expecting to have his head cut off; but the executioner bid him hold out his hand, and joint after joint chopped off his fingers, arms, and shoulders. Laying the saint afterward on his back, he in the same barbarous manner cut off his toes, feet, legs, and thighs. The holy martyr held out his limbs and joints, one after another, with invincible patience and courage, repeating these words, “Lord, teach me thy wisdom:” for the tyrants had forgot to cut out his tongue. After so many martyrdoms, his body lay a mere trunk weltering in its own blood. The executioners themselves, as well as the multitude, were moved to tears and admiration at this spectacle, and at such an heroic patience. But Arcadius, with a joyful countenance, surveying his scattered limbs all around him, and offering them to God, said, “Happy members, now dear to me, as you at last truly belong to God, being all made a sacrifice to him!” Then turning to the people, he said, “You who have been present at this bloody tragedy, learn that all torments seem as nothing to one who has an everlasting crown before his eyes. Your gods are not gods; renounce their worship. He alone for whom I suffer and die, is the true God. He comforts and upholds me in the condition you see me. To die for him is to live; to suffer for him is to enjoy the greatest delights.” Discoursing in this manner to those about him, he expired on the 12th of January, the pagans being struck with astonishment at such a miracle of patience. The Christians gathered together his scattered limbs, and laid them in one tomb. The Roman and other Martyrologies make honorable mention of him on this day.

We belong to God by numberless essential titles of interest, gratitude, and justice, and are bound to be altogether his, and every moment to live to him alone, with all our powers and all our strength: whatever it may cost us to make this sacrifice perfect and complete, if we truly love him, we shall embrace it with joy and inexpressible ardor. In these sentiments we ought, by frequent express acts, and by the uninterrupted habitual disposition of our souls, to give all we are and have to God, all the powers of our souls, all the senses and organs of our bodies, all our actions, thoughts, and affections. This oblation we may excellently comprise in any of the first petitions of our Lord’s prayer: the following is a form of an oblation to our divine Redeemer, which St. Ignatius of Loyola drew up and used to repeat: “O sovereign king, and absolute Lord of all things, though I am most unworthy to serve you, nevertheless, relying on your grace and boundless mercy, I offer myself up entire to you, and subject whatever belongs to me to your most holy will; and I protest, in presence of your infinite goodness, and in presence of the glorious Virgin your mother, and your whole heavenly court, that it is my most earnest desire, and unshaken resolution, to follow and imitate you the nearest I am able, in bearing all injuries and crosses with meekness and patience, and in laboring to die to the world and myself in a perfect spirit of humility and poverty, that I may be wholly yours and you may reign in me in time and eternity.”
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #151 on: January 13, 2019, 11:43:40 PM »
Jan 13 ST. VERONICA, OF MILAN

[From her life, in Bollandus, t. 1, p. 890.

A. D. 1497.]

ALL states furnish abundant means for attaining to sanctity and Christian perfection, and it is only owing to our sloth and tepidity that we neglect to make use of them. This saint could boast of no worldly advantages either by birth or fortune.* Her parents maintained their family by hard labor in a village near Milan, and were both very pious: her father never sold a horse, or any thing else he dealt in, without being more careful to acquaint the purchaser with all that was secretly faulty in it, than to recommend its good qualities. His narrow circumstances prevented his giving his daughter any schooling, so that she never learned to read; but his own, and his devout wife’s example, and fervent though simple instructions, filled her tender heart from the cradle with lively sentiments of virtue. The pious maid from her infancy applied herself to continual prayer, was very attentive to the instructions given in the catechism; and the uninterrupted consideration of the holy mysteries, and the important truths of religion, engrossed her whole soul to themselves. She was, notwithstanding, of all others, the most diligent and indefatigable in labor; and so obedient to her parents and masters, even in the smallest trifles, so humble and submissive to her equals, that she seemed to have no will of her own. Her food was coarse and very sparing, and her drink the same which the poorer sort of people used in that country, water, except sometimes whey, or a little milk. At her work she continually conversed in her heart with God; insomuch that in company she seemed deaf to their discourses, mirth, and music. When she was weeding, reaping, or at any other labor in the fields, she strove to work at a distance from her companions, to entertain herself the more freely with her heavenly spouse. The rest admired her love of solitude, and on coming to her, always found her countenance cheerful, yet often bathed in tears, which they sometimes perceived to flow in great abundance; though they did not know the source to be devotion: so carefully did Veronica conceal what passed in her soul between her and God.

Through a divine call to a religions and conventual state of life, she conceived a great desire to become a nun, in the poor, austere, and edifying convent of St. Martha, of the order of St. Austin in Milan. To qualify herself for this state, being busied the whole day at work, she sat up at night to learn to read and write, which the want of an instructor made a great fatigue to her. One day being in great anxiety about her learning, the Mother of God, to whom she had always recommended herself, in a comfortable vision bade her banish that anxiety; for it was enough if she knew three letters: The first, purity of the affections, by placing her whole heart on God alone, loving no creature but in him and for him; the second, never to murmur, or be impatient at the sins, or any behavior of others, but to bear them with interior peace and patience, and humbly to pray for them; the third, to set apart some time every day to meditate on the passion of Christ. After three years’ preparation, she was admitted to the religious habit in St. Martha’s. Her life was entirely uniform, perfect, and fervent in every action, no other than a living copy of her rule, which consisted in the practice of evangelical perfection reduced to certain holy exercises. Every moment of her life she studied to accomplish it to the least tittle, and was no less exact in obeying the order or direction of any superior’s will. When she could not obtain leave to watch in the church so long as she desired, by readily complying, she deserved to hear from Christ, that obedience was a sacrifice the most dear to him, who, to obey his Father’s will, came down from heaven, becoming obedient even unto death.[1]

She lay three years under a lingering illness, all which time she would never be exempted from any duty of the house, or part of her work, or make use of the least indulgence, though she had leave; her answer always was, “I must work while I can, while I have time.” It was her delight to help and serve every one. She always sought with admirable humility the last place, and the greatest drudgery. It was her desire to live always on bread and water. Her silence was a sign of her recollection and continual prayer, in which her gift of abundant and almost continual tears was most wonderful. She nourished them by constant meditation on her own miseries, on the love of God, the joys of heaven, and the sacred passion of Christ. She always spoke of her own sinful life, as she called it, though it was most innocent, with the most feeling sentiments of compunction She was favored by God with many extraordinary visits and comforts. By moving exhortations to virtue, she softened and converted several obdurate sinners. She died at the hour which she had foretold, in the year 1497, and the fifty-second of her age. Her sanctity was confirmed by miracles. Pope Leo X., by a bull in 1517, permitted her to be honored in her monastery in the same manner as if she had been beatified according to the usual form. The bull may be seen in Bollandus.[2] Her name is inserted on this day in the Roman Martyrology, published by Benedict XIV., in the year 1719; but on the 28th of this month, in that of the Austin friars, approved by the same pope.

Christian perfection consists very much in the performance of our ordinary actions, and the particular duties of our respective stations. God, as the good father and great master of the family of the world, allots to every one his proper place and office in it; and it is in this variety of states by which it subsists; and in their mutual dependence upon each other, that its good order and beauty consist. It is the most holy and wise appointment of providence and the order of nature, that the different stations in the world be filled. Kings and subjects, rich and poor, reciprocally depend upon each other; and it is the command of God that every one perform well the part which is assigned him. It is, then, by the constant attendance on all the duties of his state, that a person is to be sanctified. By this all his ordinary actions will be agreeable sacrifices to God, and his whole life a continued chain of good works. It is not only in great actions, or by fits and starts, but in all that we do, and in every moment, that we are bound to live to God. The regulation of this point is of essential importance in a virtuous life, that every action may be performed with regularity, exactitude in all its circumstances, and the utmost fervor, and by the most pure motive, referred solely to divine honor, in union with the most holy actions and infinite merits of Christ. Hence St. Hilary says,[3] “When the just man performs all his actions, with a pure and simple view to the divine honor and glory, as the apostle admonishes us,[4] his whole life becomes an uninterrupted prayer; and as he passes his days and nights in the accomplishment of the divine will, it is true to say, that the whole course of a holy life is a constant meditation on the law of God.” Nevertheless this axiom, that the best devotion is the constant practice of a person’s ordinary duties, is abused by some, to excuse a life of dissipation. Every one is bound to live to himself in the first place, and to reserve leisure for frequent exercises of devotion; and it is only by a spirit of perfect self-denial, humility, compunction, and prayer, and by an assiduous attention of the soul to God, that our exterior ordinary actions will be animated by the motives of divine faith and charity, and the spirit of true piety nourished in our breasts; in this consists the secret of a Christian life in all states.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"Pray the Rosary every day to obtain Peace for the world"

Offline Xavier

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Re: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church
« Reply #152 on: January 17, 2019, 11:13:11 AM »
Jan 14 ST. HILARY, BISHOP

[From his own writings, and the histories of that age, which furnish the most authentic memoirs of his life. See what Dom Coutant, the Benedictin monk, has recorded of him in his excellent edition of his works; as also Tillemont, t. 7, Cellier, t. 5, and Rivet, Hist. Lit. t. 1, part 2, p. 139. The two books, the one of his life, the other of his miracles, by Fortunatus of Poictiers, 600, are inaccurate. Both the Fortunatuses were from Italy; and probably one was the author of the first, and the other of the second book.]

A. D. 368.

ST. AUSTIN, who often urges the authority of St. Hilary against the Pelagians, styles him the illustrious doctor of the churches.[1] St. Jerom says[2] that he was a most eloquent man, and the trumpet of the Latins against the Arians; and in another place, that in St. Cyprian and St. Hilary, God had transplanted two fair cedars out of the world into his church.[3]

St. Hilary was born at Poictiers, and his family one of the most illustrious in Gaul.[4] He spent his youth in the study of eloquence. He himself testifies that he was brought up in idolatry, and gives us a particular account of the steps by which God conducted him to the knowledge of his saving faith.[5] He considered by the glimmering or faint light of reason, that man, who is created a moral and free agent, is placed in this world for the exercise of patience, temperance, and other virtues, which he saw must receive from God a recompense after this life. He ardently set about learning what God is; and after some researches into the nature of the Supreme Being, quickly discovered the absurdity of polytheism, or a prutality of gods; and was convinced that there can be only one God, and that he same is eternal, unchangeable, all-powerful, the first cause and author of all things. Full of these reflections, he met with the holy scriptures, and was wonderfully affected with that just and sublime description Moses gives of God in those words, so expressive of his self-existence,[6] I AM WHO AM: and was no less struck with the idea of his immensity and supreme dominion, illustrated by the most lively images in the inspired language of the prophets. The reading of the New Testament put an end to, and completed his inquiries; and he learned from the first chapter of St. John, that the Divine Word, God the Son, is coeternal and consubstantial with the Father. Here he checked his natural curiosity, avoided subtilties, and submitted his understanding to divine revelation, resolving what seemed incomprehensible into the veracity and power of God; and not presuming to measure divine mysteries by his shallow capacity. Being thus brought to the knowledge of faith, he received the heavenly regeneration by baptism From that time forth he so squared his whole life by the rules of piety, and so zealous were his endeavors to confirm others in the faith of the holy Trinity, and to encourage all to virtue, that he seemed, though a layman, already to possess the grace of the priesthood.

He was married before his conversion to the faith; and his wife, by whom he had a daughter named Apra, or Abram, was yet living, when he was chosen bishop of Poictiers, about the year 353; but from the time of his ordination he lived in perpetual continency.* He omitted no endeavors to escape this promotion: but his humility only made the people the more earnest to see him vested with that dignity; and indeed their expectations were not frustrated in him, for his eminent virtue and capacity shone forth with such a lustre, as soon drew upon him the attention, not only of all Gaul, but of the whole church. Soon after he was raised to the episcopal dignity he composed, before his exile, elegant comments on the gospel of Saint Matthew, which are still extant. Those on the Psalms he compiled after his banishment.[7] Of these comments on the Psalms, and on St. Matthew, we are chiefly to understand St. Jerom, when he recommends, in a particular manner, the reading of the works of St. Hilary to virgins and devout persons.[8] From that time the Arian controversy chiefly employed his pen. He was an excellent orator and poet. His style is lofty and noble, beautified with rhetorical ornaments and figures, but somewhat studied; and the length of his periods renders him sometimes obscure to the unlearned,† as St. Jerom takes notice.[9] It is observed by Dr. Cave, that all his writings breathe an extraordinary vein of piety. Saint Hilary solemnly appeals to God,[10] that he held it as the great work of his life, to employ all his faculties to announce God to the world, and to excite all men to the love of him. He earnestly recommends the practice of beginning every action and discourse by prayer,‡ and some act of divine praise;[11] as also to meditate on the law of God day and night, to pray without ceasing, by performing all our actions with a view to God their ultimate end, and to his glory.[12] He breathes a sincere and ardent desire of martyrdom, and discovers a soul fearless of death and torments. He had the greatest veneration for truth, sparing no pains in its pursuit, and dreading no dangers in its defence.

The emperor Constantius, having labored for several years to compel the eastern churches to embrace Arianism, came into the West: and after the overthrow of the tyrant Magnentius, made some stay at Arles, while his Arian bishops held a council there, in which they engaged Saturninus, the impious bishop of that city, in their party, in 353. A bolder Arian council at Milan, in 355, held during the residence of the emperor in that city, required all to sign the condemnation of St. Athanasius. Such as refused to comply were banished; among whom were St. Eusebius of Vercelli, Lucifer of Cagliari, and St. Dionysius of Milan, into whose see Auxentius, the Arian, was intruded. St. Hilary wrote on that occasion his first book to Constantius, in which he mildly entreated him to restore peace to the church. He separated himself from the three Arian bishops in the West, Ursacius, Valens, and Saturninus, and exhibited an accusation against the last in a synod at Beziers. But the emperor, who had information of the matter from Saturninus, sent un order to Julian, then Cæsar, and surnamed afterwards the Apostate, who at that time commanded in Gaul, for St. Hilary’s immediate banishment into Phrygia, together with St. Rhodanius, bishop of Toulouse. The bishops in Gaul being almost all orthodox, remained in communion with St. Hilary, and would not suffer the intrusion of any one into his see, which in his absence he continued to govern by his priests. The saint went into banishment about the middle of the year 356, with as great alacrity as another would take a journey of pleasure, and never entertained the least disquieting thought of hardships, dangers, or enemies, having a soul above both the smiles and frowns of the world, and fixed only on God. He remained in exile somewhat upwards of three years, which time he employed in composing several learned works. The principal and most esteemed of these is that On the Trinity, against the Arians, in twelve books. In them he proves the consubstantiality of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He teaches that the church is one, out of which all heresies spring; out that by this she is distinguished, as standing always one, always alone against them all, and confounding them all: whereas they by perpetual divisions tear each other in pieces, and so become the subject of her triumph.[13] He proves that Arianism cannot be the faith of Christ, because not revealed to St. Peter, upon whom the church was built and secured forever; for whose faith Christ prayed, that it might never fail; who received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whose judiciary sentence on earth is that of heaven:[14] all which arguments he frequently urges.[15] He proves the divinity of Christ by the miracles wrought at the sepulchres of the apostles and martyrs, and by their relics: for the devils themselves confess Christ’s godhead, and roar and flee at the presence of the venerable bones of his servants,[16] which he also mentions and urges in his invective against Constantius.[17] In 358, he wrote his book On Synods, or On the Faith of the Orientals. to explain the terms and variation of the eastern Arians in their synods.

In his exile he was informed that his daughter Apra, whom he had left on Gaul, had thoughts of embracing the married state; upon which he implored Christ, with many tears, to bestow on her the precious jewel of virginity. He sent her a letter that is still extant, in which he acquaints her, that if she contemned all earthly things, spouse, sumptuous garments, and riches, Christ had prepared for her, and had shown unto him, at his prayers and tears, an inestimable never-fading diamond, infinitely more precious than she was able to frame to herself an idea of. He conjures her by the God of heaven, and entreats her not to make void his anxiety for her, nor to deprive herself of so incomparable a good. Fortunatus assures us that the original letter was kept with veneration in the church of Poictiers, in the sixth century, when he wrote, and that Apra followed his advice, and died happily at his feet after his return.* St. Hilary sent to her with this letter two hymns, composed by himself; one for the evening, which does not seem to have reached our times; the other for the morning, which is the hymn Lucis largiton splendide.

The emperor, by an unjust usurpation in the affairs of the Church, assembled a council of Arians at Seleucia, in Isauria, to undermine the great council of Nice. St. Hilary, who had then passed four years in banishment, in Phrygia, was invited thither by the Semi-Arians, who hoped from his lenity that he would be useful to their party in crushing the stanch Arians, that is, those who adhered strictly to the doctrine of Arius. But no human considerations could daunt his courage. He boldly defended the decrees of Nice, till at last, tired out with hearing the blasphemies of the heretics, he withdrew to Constantinople. The weak emperor was the dupe sometimes of the Arians, and at other times of the Semi-Arians. These last prevailed at Seleucia, in September, 359, as the former did in a council held at Constantinople in the following year, 360, where having the advantage, they procured the banishment of the Semi-Arians, less wicked than themselves. St. Hilary, who had withdrawn from Seleucia to Constantinople, presented to the emperor a request, called his second book to Constantius, begging the liberty of holding a public disputation about religion with Saturninus, the author of his banishment. He presses him to receive the unchangeable apostolic faith, injured by the late innovations, and smartly rallies the fickle humor of the heretics, who were perpetually making new creeds, and condemning their old ones, having made four within the compass of the foregoing year; so that faith was become that of the times, not that of the gospels, and that there were as many faiths as men, as great a variety of doctrine as of manners, as many blasphemies as vices.[18] He complains that they had their yearly and monthly faiths; that they made creeds to condemn and repent of them; and that they formed new ones to anathematize those that adhered to their old ones. He adds, that every one had scripture texts, and the words Apostolic Faith, in their mouths, for no other end than to impose on weak minds: for by attempting to change faith, which is unchangeable, faith is lost; they correct and amend, till weary of all, they condemn all. He therefore exhorts them to return to the haven from which the gusts of their party spirit and prejudice had driver them, as the only means to be delivered out of their tempestuous and perilous confusion. The issue of this challenge was, that the Arians, dreading such a trial, persuaded the emperor to rid the East of a man that never ceased to disturb its peace, by sending him back into Gaul; which he did, but without reversing the sentence of his banishment, in 360.

St. Hilary returned through Illyricum and Italy to confirm the weak. He was received at Poictiers with the greatest demonstrations of joy and triumph, where his old disciple, St. Martin, rejoined him, to pursue the exercises of piety under his direction. A synod in Gaul, convoked at the instance of St. Hilary, condemned that of Rimini, which, in 359, had omitted the word Consubstantial. Saturninus, proving obstinate, was excommunicated and deposed for his heresy and other crimes. Scandals were removed, discipline, peace, and purity of faith were restored, and piety flourished. The death of Constantius put an end to the Arian persecution. St. Hilary was the mildest of men, full of condescension and affability to all: yet seeing this behavior ineffectual, he composed an invective against Constantius, in which he employed severity, and the harshest terms; and for which undoubtedly he had reasons that are unknown to us. This piece did not appear abroad till after the death of that emperor. Our saint undertook a journey to Milan, in 364, against Auxentius, the Arian usurper of that see, and in a public disputation obliged him to confess Christ to be true God, of the same substance and divinity with the Father. St. Hilary indeed saw through his hypocrisy; but this dissembling heretic imposed so far on the emperor Valentinian, as to pass for orthodox. Our saint died at Poictiers, in the year 368, on the thirteenth of January, or on the first of November, for his name occurs in very ancient Martyrologies on both these days. In the Roman breviary his office is celebrated on the fourteenth of January. The one is probably that of some translation of his relics. The first was made at Poictiers in the reign of Clovis[1]., on which see Cointe.[19] From St. Gregory of Tours, it appears that before his time some part of St. Hilary’s relics was honored in a church in Limousin.[20] Alcuin mentions the veneration of the same at Poictiers;[21] and it is related that his relics were burned by the Huguenots at Poictiers.[22] But this we must understand of some small portion, or of the dust remaining in his tomb. For his remains were translated from Poictiers to the abbey of St. Denys, near Paris, as is proved by the tradition of that abbey, a writer of the abbey of Richenow, in the ninth century,[23] and other monuments.[24] Many miracles performed by St. Hilary are related by Venantius Fortunatus, bishop of Poictiers, and are the subject of a whole book added to his life, which seems to have been written by another Fortunatus. St. Gregory of Tours, Flodoard and others, have mentioned several wrought at his tomb. Dom Coutant, the most judicious and learned Maurist monk, has given an accurate edition of his works, in one volume in folio, at Paris, in 1693, which was reprinted at Verona by the Marquis Scipio Maffei, in 1730, together with additional comments on several Psalms.

St. Hilary observes, that singleness of heart is the most necessary condition of faith and true virtue, “For Christ teaches that only those who become again as it were little children, and by the simplicity of that age cut off the inordinate affections of vice, can enter the kingdom of heaven. These follow and obey their father, love their mother; are strangers to covetousness, ill-will, ha