Saint John‘s Eve
Vigil of the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Madonna del Sasso, Bibbiena, Arezzo, Toscana, Italy (1347) – 23 June:
The little seer , Caterina, 7 years old, while her mother was washing clothes in the Vessa stream, moved away a little, placing herself near a stone . Here she saw a beautiful lady dressed all in white who, having entered the nearby field of beans, collected several and placed them in the bosom of the girl. Meanwhile, the mother was busy and the little girl ran to tell her of the lady and showed her the beans she had received but the mother paid no attention to her daughter’s meeting.
Returning to the village, Caterina complained to her mother because the beans had grown so much that their weight was difficult for her to bear but her mother told her to be patient as they would soon be home. In the evening, the mother wanted to cook some of those beans but she noticed that they were full of blood. The whole country ran to see the prodigy. The following morning, everyone went in procession to the stone and here they decided to build a Chapel in honour of the Madonna.
The apparition of the Madonna del Sasso was preceded and followed by two further miraculous events.
Also in 1347, shortly before the vision, a white dove appeared on the top of the stone and was approached only by children and an old hermit , Beato Martino da Poppi, a Camaldolese Monk, who had his hermitage nearby . When the children approached it, the dove pecked at their fingers and hands but if adults approached, it flew away. In 1444, several people saw golden-blue light globes inside and outside the C hurch these appeared for about three months The podestà, together with some family and friends, returning from a hunting party, about 300 meters away from the sacred stone, saw a crowd of white-dressed young men heading in procession to the Church.
A small Chapel was immediately built next to the boulder, later enlarged to include the entire boulder. It now host sthe beautiful image of the Madonna del Sasso, painted by Bicci di Lorenzo in 1435 .
This image miraculously remained intact in the fire that completely destroyed the Church in 1486.
The Dominican Fathers were custodians of the Sanctuary since 1468,. They immediately worked on the construction of the current Sanctuary, in pure Renaissance style, based on a design by Giuliano da Maiano. A great amount of funds for the construction of the Sanctuary and Convent, came from Savonarola in 1495, who solicited help from noble families of Florence and from the Medici in particular.
St Agrippina of Rome
St Bilio of Vannes
St Etheldreda (c 636-679) Abbess and widow, an East Anglian Princess, a Fenland and Northumbrian Queen, who left all for a life of service to Christ. Abbess of Ely Monastery.
Bl Félix of Cîteaux
St Felix of Sutri
Bl Frances Martel
Bl Francis O’Sullivan
St Hidulphus of Hainault
St James of Toul
St John of Rome
St Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860) “Priest of the Gallows”, Priest, Theology Lecturer, Social Reformer, Confessor, Spiritual Director (of St John Bosco and quite a few other Saints), Rector of a post-Ordination Theological College, member of the Third Order of St Francis. His will bequeathed everything to aid the Little House of Divine Providence which was the religious order founded by St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1786-1842). St John Bosco (1815-1888) preached the funeral Mass homily. Patronages – Italian prisons, Prison chaplains, Prisoners, those condemned to death.
St Joseph Cafasso’s Biography:
St Lanfranco Beccari (c 1134-1198) Bishop of Pavia, Italy, Defender of the Rights of the Church, Apostle of prayer of the poor and those in situations of distress, miracle-worker.
Bl Lupo de Paredes
Blessed Marie of Oignies (1167-1213) Recluse, Mystic, Ascetic
St Moeliai of Nendrum
Bl Peter of Juilly
Bl Thomas Corsini of Orvieto
St Thomas Garnet
Bl Walhere of Dinant
St Zenas of Philadelphia
St Zeno of Philadelphia
Martyrs of Ancyra: A family of converts who were arrested, tortured and sent in chains to Ancyra, Galatia (modern Ankara, Turkey) where he was tortured more by order of governor Agrippinus during the persecutions of Diocletian. Martyr. They were – Eustochius, Gaius, Lollia, Probus, Urban. They were roasted over a fire and finally beheaded c 300 in Ancyra, Galatia (modern Ankara, Turkey).
Martyrs of Nicomedia: During the persecutions of Diocletian, many Christians fled their homes to live in caves in the area of Nicomedia. In 303 troops descended on the area, systematically hunted them down and murdered all they could find.