St Cyril of Alexandria (Optional Memorial)
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour: The picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour is painted on wood, with background of gold. It is Byzantine in style and is supposed to have been painted in the thirteenth century. It represents the Mother of God holding the Divine Child while the Archangels Michael and Gabriel present before Him the instruments of His Passion. Over the figures in the picture are some Greek letters which form the abbreviated words Mother of God, Jesus Christ, Archangel Michael and Archangel Gabriel respectively.
It was brought to Rome towards the end of the fifteenth century by a pious merchant, who, dying there, ordered by his will that the picture should be exposed in a church for public veneration. It was exposed in the church of San Matteo, Via Merulana, between Saint Mary Major and Saint John Lateran. Crowds flocked to this church and for nearly three hundred years many graces were obtained through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin. The picture was then popularly called the Madonna di San Matteo. The church was served for a time by the Hermits of Saint Augustine, who had sheltered their Irish brethren in their distress.
These Augustinians were still in charge when the French invaded Rome, Italy in 1812 and destroyed the church. The picture disappeared; it remained hidden and neglected for over forty years but a series of providential circumstances between 1863 and 1865 led to its discovery in an oratory of the Augustinian Fathers at Santa Maria in Posterula. The pope, Pius IX, who as a boy had prayed before the picture in San Matteo, became interested in the discovery and in a letter dated 11 Dececember 1865 to Father General Mauron, C.SS.R., ordered that Our Lady of Perpetual Succour should be again publicly venerated in Via Merulana and this time at the new church of Saint Alphonsus. The ruins of San Matteo were in the grounds of the Redemptorist Convent. This was but the first favour of the Holy Father towards the picture. He approved of the solemn translation of the picture (26 April 1866) and its coronation by the Vatican Chapter (23 June 1867). He fixed the feast as duplex secundae classis, on the Sunday before the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist and by a decree dated May 1876, approved of a special office and Mass for the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. This favour later on was also granted to others. Learning that the devotion to Our Lady under this title had spread far and wide, Pius IX raised a confraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and Saint Alphonsus, which had been erected in Rome, to the rank of an arch-confraternity and enriched it with many privileges and indulgences. He was among the first to visit the picture in its new home and his name is the first in the register of the arch-confraternity.
Two thousand three hundred facsimiles of the Holy Picture have been sent from Saint Alphonsus’s church in Rome to every part of the world. At the present day not only altars but churches and dioceses (e.g. in England, Leeds and Middlesbrough; in the United States, Savannah) are dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. In some places, as in the United States, the title has been translated Our Lady of Perpetual Help but generally Catholics throughout the rest of the world use the proper title.Patronage:
• The Redemptorist Order, Haiti 1 Arch and 7 Diocese around the world, 3 cities in various parts of the world.
Mother of God of Gietrzwald: Our Lady appeared for the first time to Justyna Szafrynska (13) when she was returning home with her mother after having taken an examination prior to receiving the First Holy Communion. The next day, Barbara Samulowska (12) also saw the ‘Bright Lady’ sitting on the throne with Infant Christ among Angels over the maple tree in front of the church while reciting the rosary. The girls asked “Who are you?” she answered, “I am the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception!”. “What do you require, Mother of God?”, they asked, the answer was: “I wish you recite the rosary everyday!” There were 13 more apparitions from 27 June 1877 to 16 September 1877.
2 February 1970 – Pope Paul VI elevated the church in Gietrzwald to the rank of Basilica Minor.
11 September 1977 – One hundredth anniversary of Our Lady apparitions in Gietrzwald. Masses of faithful gathered with the representatives of the Episcopal Conference of Poland headed by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla who prayed: “Remember, the Blessed Virgin Mary, no one has heard that anybody who has entrusted his needs to your maternal kindness has been disappointed. Therefore, full of trust in face of pleading might of your heart, we are laying down in your generous hands, the health of your servant and our Primate. Look at his loyalty and devotion, with which he has been serving you for many years as priest and bishop and restore in full his strength so that he may see your glory in the days of the jubilee of the basilica of Our Lady of Czestochowa and direct the Church in Poland for many years.” The primate who was too ill to attend recovered.
11 September 1977 – During the ceremonies, the decree of the Warmian Bishop, Jozef Drzazga, was read approving the devotion to Our Lady’s apparitions in Gietrzwald as not contradicting Christian faith and morality and recognizing the miraculous and divine nature of the events.
St Adeodato of Naples
St Aedh McLugack
St Anectus of Caesarea
St Arialdus of Milan
St Arianell of Wales
Bl Benvenutus of Gubbio
St Crescens of Galatia
St Crescentius of Mainz
Bl Daniel of Schönau
Bl Davanzato of Poggibonsi
St Desideratus of Gourdon
St Felix of Rome
St Ferdinand of Aragon
St Gudene of Carthage
St Joanna the Myrrhbearer
St John of Chinon
St Ladislas I of Hungary
St Sampson of Constantinople
St Spinella of Rome
St Tôma Toán
St Zoilus of Cordoba
Martyrs Killed Under Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe: Among the thousands of Christians murdered by various Communist regimes in their hatred of the faith, there were 25 members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and Russian Byzantine Catholic Church, priests, bishops, sisters and lay people, whose stories are sufficiently well documented that we know they were murdered specifically for their faith in eastern Europe and whose Causes for Canonization were opened. Their Causes were combined and they were beatified together. They have separate memorials but are remembered together today. They are –
• Andrii Ischak • Hryhorii Khomyshyn • Hryhorii Lakota • Ivan Sleziuk • Ivan Ziatyk • Klymentii Sheptytskyi • Leonid Feodorov • Levkadia Harasymiv • Mykola Konrad • Mykola Tsehelskyi • Mykolai Charnetskyi • Mykyta Budka • Oleksa Zarytskyi • Ol’Ha Bida • Ol’Ha Matskiv • Petro Verhun • Roman Lysko • Stepan Baranyk • Symeon Lukach • Vasyl Vsevolod Velychkovskyi • Volodomyr Bairak • Volodymyr Ivanovych Pryima • Yakym Senkivsky • Yosafat Kotsylovskyi • Zenon Kovalyk
Beatified – 27 June 2001 by Pope John Paul II in Ukraine