Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 13 August – The Memorial of Sts Pontian (Died 235) & Hippolytus (170 – 235) Martyrs

Thought for the Day – 13 August – The Memorial of Sts Pontian (Died 235) & Hippolytus (170 – 235) Martyrs

Two men died for the faith after harsh treatment and exhaustion in the mines of Sardinia.   One had been pope for five years, the other an antipope for 18. They died reconciled.

Pontian:   Pontian was a Roman who served as pope from 230 to 235.   During his reign he held a synod in Alexandria which confirmed the excommunication of the great theologian Origen.   Pontian was banished to exile by the Roman emperor in 235 and resigned so that a successor could be elected in Rome.   He was sent to the “unhealthy” island of Sardinia, where he died that same year of harsh treatment.   With him was Hippolytus with whom he was reconciled.   The bodies of both were brought back to Rome and buried as martyrs with solemn rites.

Hippolytus:   As a priest in Rome, Hippolytus—the name means “a horse turned loose”—was at first “holier than the Church.”   He censured the pope for not coming down hard enough on a certain heresy—calling him a tool in the hands of one Callistus, a deacon—and coming close to advocating the opposite heresy himself.   When Callistus was elected pope, Hippolytus accused him of being too lenient with penitents and had himself elected antipope by a group of followers.   He felt that the Church must be composed of pure souls uncompromisingly separated from the world, Hippolytus evidently thought that his group fitted the description.   He remained in schism through the reigns of three popes.   In 235, he also was banished to the island of Sardinia.   Shortly before or after this event, he was reconciled to the Church and died in exile with Pope Pontian.

Hippolytus was a rigourist, a vehement and intransigent man for whom even orthodox doctrine and practice were not purified enough.   He is, nevertheless, the most important theologian and prolific religious writer before the age of Constantine.   His writings are the fullest source of our knowledge of the Roman liturgy and the structure of the Church in the second and third centuries.   His works include many Scripture commentaries, polemics against heresies and a history of the world.   A marble statue dating from the third century, representing the saint sitting in a chair, was found in 1551.   On one side is inscribed his table for computing the date of Easter; on the other, a list of how the system works out until the year 224. St Pope John XXIII installed the statue in the Vatican library.

Hippolytus was a strong defender of orthodoxy and admitted his excesses by his humble reconciliation.   He was not a formal heretic but an overzealous disciplinarian.   What he could not learn in his prime as a reformer and purist, he learned in the pain and desolation of imprisonment.   It was a fitting symbolic event that Pope Pontian shared his martyrdom.

Sts Pontian and Hippolytus, pray for the Church, pray for those who have divided themselves into factions, forsaking unity in Christ, pray for us all that we may granted the virtue of humility!sts pontian and hippolytus pray for us 13 aug 2018

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 13 August – The Memorial of Sts Pontian (Died 235) & Hippolytus (170 – 235) Martyrs

Quote of the Day – 13 August – The Memorial of Sts Pontian (Died 235)

& Hippolytus (170 – 235) Martyrs

“Fly to the Catholic Church!

Adhere to the only faith

which continues to exist from the beginning,

that faith which was preached by Paul

and is upheld by the Chair of Peter.”

St Hippolytus

(170 – 235) 

Father of the Churchfly to the catholic church - st hippolytus - 13 aug 2018


One Minute Reflection – 13 August -The Memorial of Blessed Mark of Aviano OFM Cap (1631-1699)

One Minute Reflection – 13 August -The Memorial of Blessed Mark of Aviano OFM Cap (1631-1699) – Today’s Psalm 148(147) 11-12

Let the kings of the earth and all peoples … Praise the name of the LORD... Psalm 148(147): 11-12

REFLECTION – “God knows that the scope of all of my works is only to do His will.   My only interest is God’s glory and the good of souls.   I am always an obedient son of Holy Mother Church and am ready to shed my blood and give my life for Her.”…. Blessed Mark of Avianolet the kings of the earth and all the peoples - psalme 148 11-12 and god knows that the scope of all - bl mark of aviano - 13 aug 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, who bestowed Your spirit of truth and of love in full measure on Blessed Mark of Aviano, grant that we, who are celebrating his feast, may be supported by his prayer and grow in perfection, as we follow his example.   We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, mark of aviano - pray for us - 13 august 2018


Our Morning Offering – 13 August

Our Morning Offering – 13 August – Monday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, B

The Day is Filled with Splendour, is a hymn written by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey. It is sung during Morning Prayer in the Divine Office. It is set to the hymn tune: Paderborn, first published in the Katholische Kirchengesänge of 1616.   Psalter Week 3.

The Day is Filled with Splendour

The day is filled with splendour
When God brings light from light,
And all renewed creation
Rejoices in His sight. —
The Father gives His children
The wonder of the world
In which His power and glory
Like banners are unfurled. —
With every living creature,
Awaking with the day,
We turn to God our Father,
Lift up our hearts and pray: —
O Father, Son and Spirit,
Your grace and mercy send,
That we may live to praise You
Today and to the end.the day is filled with splendour - 13 august 2018 - breviary hymn psalter week 3


Saint of the Day – 13 August – Blessed Mark of Aviano OFM Cap (1631-1699)

Saint of the Day – 13 August – Blessed Mark of Aviano OFM Cap (1631-1699) – Franciscan Capuchin Friar, Priest, Preacher, Spiritual Advisor, Political Advisor, Peace-maker, Miracle worker and the inventor of Cappuccino – born on 17 November 1631 at Aviano, Italy as Carlo Domenico Cristofori and died on 13 August 1699 of cancer in Vienna, mark - header 1

Carlo Domenico Cristofori was born in Aviano, a small community in the Republic of Venice (Italy).   Educated at the Jesuit College in Gorizia, at 16 he tried to reach the island of Crete, where the Venetians were at war with the Ottoman Turks, in order to preach the Gospel and convert the Muslims to Christianity.   On his way, he sought asylum at a Capuchin convent in Capodistria, where he was welcomed by the Superior, who knew his family and who, after providing him with food and rest, advised him to return home.

Inspired by his encounter with the Capuchins, he felt that God was calling him to enter their Order.   In 1648, he began his novitiate.   A year later, he professed his vows and took his father’s name, Marco, becoming Fra’ Marco d’Aviano.   On 18 September 1655 he was ordained a priest in Chioggia.   His ministry entered a new phase in 1664, when he received a licence to preach throughout the Republic of Venice and other Italian states, particularly during Advent and Lent.   He was also given more responsibility when he was elected Superior of the convents of Belluno in 1672 and Oderzo in 1674.

His life took an unexpected turn in 1676, when he gave his blessing to a nun, bedridden for some 13 years, she was miraculously healed.   The news spread far and wide and it was not long before the sick and many others from all social strata, began to seek him out.

header bl mark

Among those who sought his help was Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, whose wife had been unable to conceive a male heir.   From 1680 to the end of his life, Marco d’Aviano became a close confidant and adviser to him, providing the irresolute and often indecisive emperor with guidance and advice for all problems, political, economic, military or spiritual.   His forceful, energetic and sometimes passionate and fiery personality proved a good complement for Leopold’s Hamlet-like tendency to allow endless doubts and scruples to paralyse his capacity for action.

As the danger of war with the Ottoman Turks grew near, Marco d’Aviano was appointed by Pope Innocent XI (Memorial yesterday) as his personal envoy to the Emperor.   An impassioned preacher and a skillful mediator, Marco d’Aviano played a crucial role in resolving disputes, restoring unity and energising the armies of the Holy League, which included Austria, Poland, Venice and the Papal States under the leadership of the Polish king Jan III Sobieski.   In the decisive Battle of Vienna (1683), the Holy League succeeded in inflicting a defeat on the invading Ottoman Turks.   This marked the end of the last Turkish attempt to expand their power in Europe and the beginning of the long European counter-offensive that was to continue ultimately until the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.   This may therefore be considered one of the decisive battles of history.   It also put an end to the period of Ottoman revival in Europe.

From 1683 to 1689 Marco participated in the military campaigns, playing a crucial role in promoting good relations within the Imperial army and encouraging the soldiers.   He was present at the liberation of Buda in 1686 and at the siege of Belgrade in 1688.   He always maintained a strictly religious spirit, to which any violence and cruelty were repugnant.   As a result, at the siege of Belgrade several hundred Muslim soldiers successfully appealed to him personally, in order to avoid being massacred upon capture.

In the 2012 Polish and Italian historical drama film The Day of the Siege: September Eleven 1683 about the Battle of Vienna, Marco d’Aviano is portrayed by F. Murray Abraham.


bl mark aviano statue

Legend has it that when the Ottomans fled before the European army, they left behind a lot of their strong, bitter coffee.   The Christian soldiers, to make this liberated coffee more palatable, mixed it with honey and milk and named the drink after Mark’s Order, the Capuchins and thus Cappuccino was created.    It is probably just a fable but I favour believing it, allowing the reminder of a quick prayer to Blessed Mark whenever I drink one.   We can never have too many intercessors, can we?

In the judgement of historians, Marco’s influence over Leopold was exercised responsibly, in the sole interests of Christianity and of the House of Austria.   In one of his private letters to the Emperor, Marco actually scolds him quite forcefully for granting a benefit to one of his brothers, reminding him that, by so doing, he was only providing ammunition for the enemies of their cause.

Blessed Mark died of cancer on August 13, 1699 in Vienna.   He is buried in the Kapuzinerkirche, in whose vault the Habsburg emperors are buried.   He was Beatified on 27 April 2003 by St Pope John Paul II.

garments and relics - bl mark
Relics of Blessed Mark

Feast of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners/Refugium Peccatorum and Memorials of the Saints – 13 August

St Pope Pontian Martyr (Died 235) (Optional Memorial)
St Hippolytus (170 – 235) Martyr (Optional Memorial)

Details of St Pope Pontian & St Hippolytus here:

Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners/Refugium Peccatorum:   St John Damascene calls Mary a city of refuge to all who flee to Her.   This idea of a city of refuge is an old Scriptural fact calling attention to the humanity, the pity, of the old Jewish Law, which established certain cities of refuge where criminals might find escape from the arm of the authorities.   For instance there were no less than six Levitical Cities, three on either side of the Jordan, where men who had been guilty of the act of involuntary homicide might find protection and immunity, until they were released from banishment by the death of the High Priest.   These six cities were obliged to receive the homicides and to lodge them without any charge.   But there were at least 48 cities which had this privilege of asylum. Nor was it a peculiarly Jewish custom.   Even the Greeks and Romans had their cities of asylum.   The Jewish idea was brought into Christianity. One of the beautiful customs in the Middle Ages was “the right of sanctuary,” by which those who ran foul of the law could not be taken so long as they remained in the Church, or sanctuary.   And this is Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners!
Refugium Peccatorum is one part of four Marian advocations in the Litany of Loreto, the others being Salus Infirmorum (healer of the sick) Consolatrix Afflictorum (consoler of the afflicted) and Auxilium Christianorum (help of Christians).   Each advocation extolling Mary’s role as advocate for spiritual and corporeal mercy has a rich history but in general, the notion of asking the Blessed Virgin Mary for help in temporal needs dates back to Saints Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Ambrose of Milan.
The 18th century Jesuit preacher, Blessed Antonio Baldinucci (1665-1717) had a particular devotion to the Refugium Peccatorum image of Virgin Mary in the Church of the Gesu (Frascati) in Italy and commissioned a copy which he considered miraculous and carried it with him in his travels.   The Jesuits spread copies of the image of the Madonna of Refuge in Mexico by the 19th century and it began to be depicted in missions there, often with clouds surrounding the lower portion of the image of the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus.

The term “Refugium peccatorum” is also used other works of Roman Catholic Marian art. For instance, there is a marble statue representing the Virgin Mary, on the grand staircase of the old municipal palace in Venice, Italy.   The name came from the fact that the convicts were allowed to stop in front of the Virgin Mary’s statue to pray for their soul on the way to the scaffold.
The traditional feast day of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners is today, 13 August.refuge-of-sinners

St Anastasius the Monk
St Anastasius the Priest
St Benildus
St Cassian of Imola
St Cassian of Todi
St Concordia
St Conn O’Rourke
Bl Gertrude of Altenberg
St Helen of Burgos
St Herulph of Langres
Bl Jakob Gapp
Bl John of Alvernia
St John Berchmans S.J. (1599-1621)

St Junian of Mairé
St Ludolph
Bl Marco d’Aviano/Mark of Aviano OFM Cap (1631-1699)
St Maximus the Confessor
St Nerses Glaietsi
St Patrick O’Healy
Bl Pierre Gabilhaud
St Radegund
St Radegunde
St Wigbert of Fritzlar
Bl William Freeman

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Francesc Castells Areny
• Blessed Inocencio García Díez
• Blessed José Bonet Nadal
• Blessed José Boher y Foix
• Blessed José Juan Perot y Juanmarti
• Blessed Jose Tàpies y Sirvant
• Blessed Josep Alsina Casas
• Blessed Luciano Hernández Ramírez
• Blessed Maria de Puiggraciós Badia Flaquer
• Blessed Mateo Despóns Tena
• Blessed Modesto García Martí
• Blessed Pascual Araguàs y Guàrdia
• Blessed Pedro Martret y Molet
• Blessed Silvestre Arnau y Pascuet

Martyred Claretians of Barbastro – 51 beati:
• Blessed Agustín Viela Ezcurdia
• Blessed Alfons Miquel Garriga
• Blessed Alfons Sorribes Teixidó
• Blessed Antolín Calvo y Calvo
• Blessed Antoni Dalmau Rosich
• Blessed Atanasio Vidaurreta Labra
• Blessed Eduardo Ripoll Diego
• Blessed Esteve Casadevall Puig
• Blessed Eusebi Maria Codina Millà
• Blessed Felipe de Jesús Munárriz Azcona
• Blessed Francesc Roura Farró
• Blessed Francisco Castán Meseguer
• Blessed Gregorio Chirivas Lacamba
• Blessed Hilario Llorente Martín
• Blessed Jaume Falgarona Vilanova
• Blessed Joan Baixeras Berenguer
• Blessed Joan Codinachs Tuneu
• Blessed José Amorós Hernández
• Blessed José Blasco Juan
• Blessed José Figuero Beltrán
• Blessed José Pavón Bueno
• Blessed Josep Maria Badía Mateu
• Blessed Josep Ormo Seró
• Blessed Josep Ros Florensa
• Blessed Juan Díaz Nosti
• Blessed Juan Echarri Vique
• Blessed Juan Sánchez Munárriz
• Blessed Leoncio Pérez Ramos
• Blessed Lluís Escalé Binefa
• Blessed Lluís Lladó Teixidor
• Blessed Lluís Masferrer Vila
• Blessed Manuel Buil Lalueza
• Blessed Manuel Martínez Jarauta
• Blessed Manuel Torras Sais
• Blessed Miquel Masip González
• Blessed Nicasio Sierra Ucar
• Blessed Pedro García Bernal
• Blessed Pere Cunill Padrós
• Blessed Rafael Briega Morales
• Blessed Ramon Illa Salvia
• Blessed Ramon Novich Rabionet
• Blessed Salvador Pigem Serra
• Blessed Sebastià Riera Coromina
• Blessed Sebastián Calvo Martínez
• Blessed Secundino Ortega García
• Blessed Teodoro Ruiz de Larrinaga García
• Blessed Tomàs Capdevila Miró
• Blessed Wenceslau Clarís Vilaregut
They were martyred on 2 August through 18 August 1936 in Barbastro, Huesca, Spain and Beatified on 25 October 1992 by Pope John Paul II.