Author Topic: Wisdom: Saints, Doctors and Theological Writers of the Catholic Church  (Read 24653 times)

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Offline Xavier

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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.

"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 #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

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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
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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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.

"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 #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.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

Offline Alpha60

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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.
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This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

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 daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.