The Vigil of the Epiphany of Our Lord
Madonna dell’Abbondanza / Our Lady of Abundance, Cursi, Italy (1641) – 5 January:
The Blessed Virgin under the above title is venerated at Cursi, Italy. The story begins in the first half of the seventeenth century. At that time the Puglia region of Italy was suffering from a severe drought. For almost three years not a drop of rain had fallen. By the spring of 1641, matters were desperate. April had arrived and the heat was as in mid-summer. Thus prospects for relief and a good harvest that year appeared dim.
Then the people of Cursi and vicinity prayed fervently to the Blessed Mother, begging her to come to their aid and save them from the famine that drew ever nearer.
The Blessed Virgin heard their plea. She appeared to a shepherd, Baglio Orlando Natali on 5 January. Thoroughly frightened by the appearance of the lovely lady, he ran away.
The Mother of God called him back, reassured him gently and told him who she was. The Queen of Heaven said that she felt compassion toward Baglio and the people of that region, for the misfortune that had befallen them.
The Blessed Virgin told Baglio to go to the Priest of the parish and tell him, in her name, to assemble all the people of Cursi and come back with them, to that very place, where she wished a Church to be erected. When it was completed she would take Cursi and the surrounding area under her protection. As a token of her deep regard, she promised Baglio that at the end of that same year, there would be a harvest of such abundance as none had ever seen before. Finally, she told Baglio that he was to change his way of life, for she had selected him to be her true follower and that he was to serve in the new Church when it would be completed. So saying she vanished as suddenly as she had appeared. Her wishes were followed and today still, in the Church erected in her honour and the Shrine created there, today is celebrated as a veneration of this Apparition.
St John Nepomucene Neumann CSsR (1811-1860) (Memorial)
Bl Alacrinus of Casamari
St Apollinaris Syncletica
St Cera of Kilkeary
St Charles of Mount Argus CP (1821-1893)
Bl Convoyon of Redon
St Deogratias of Carthage (Died 457) Bishop
St Dorotheus the Younger
Bl François Peltier
St Gaudentius of Gnesen
St Genoveva Torres Morales (1870-1956)
St Gerlach (c 1100-c 1170) Hermit
Bl Jacques Ledoyen
Bl Joan Grau Bullich
St Lomer of Corbion
Bl Marcelina Darowska
Bl Maria Repetto
Bl Paula of Tuscany
Nl Pierre Tessier
Bl Pietro Bonilli
St Simeon Stylites
St Talida of Antinoë
Martyrs of Africa – 14 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown, exact location unknown. We know nothing more than their names – Acutus, Anastasia, Candidus, Coelifloria, Felix, Honorius, Januaria, Jucundus, Lucianus, Marcus, Petrus, Secundus, Severus and Telesphorus.
Martyrs of Sais: A group of Christians martyred for their faith, but about whom no details have survived. They were martyred by drowning near Sais, Egypt.
Martyrs of Upper Egypt: There were many martyrs who suffered in the persecutions of Diocletian in the Thebaid region. Though we know these atrocities occurred, to the point that witnesses claim the torturers and executioners were exhausted by the work, we do not know the names of the saints and we honour them as a group. Many were beheaded and or burned alive in 303 in Upper Egypt.