Saint of the Day – 29 March – Blessed Bertold of Mount Carmel (Died 1195) Priest, Monk, Hermit, Crusader – born in Limoges, France and died in 1195 of natural causes – also known as Bartoldus of Calabria.
Blessed Bertold was born in France, the son of a Count. He excelled at his studies and was Ordained a Priest. Berthold’s brother, Aymeric, became the Latin Patriarch of Antioch. The two joined together to participate in a Crusade to the Holy Land.
While in the Holy Land, Berthold travelled to Mount Carmel and built a Monastery and Church dedicated to the Prophet Elijah. His reputation for holiness spread, other hermits were attracted to the area, including Saint Brocard. Many hermits who were scattered throughout Palestine, followed Bl Bertold and came to live together in imitation of the life of the great prophet as recorded in the Old Testament.
Aymeric appointed Berthold the first Superior and he lived with his community at Mount Carmel for 45 years until his death in 1195. Later the community became known as the Hermit Brothers of St Mary of Mount Carmel.
It was the life and work of Bl Berthold that laid the foundation for the Carmelite Order, which, in 1206 received a written rule from St Albert of Jerusalem, whose rule was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226. In the same century, some members moved to Europe and established similar groups from Sicily to Oxford.
Carmelites returned to Mount Carmel in 1631 and finally completed the Stella Maris Monastery in the 18th century. Its stout walls and small openings reflect the need for defence against hostilities during its establishment.
Later a lighthouse was built, giving a further meaning to the title Stella Maris. Because of its commanding position, the lighthouse has been commandeered as a military establishment.
Inside the church, the décor features vividly coloured Italian marble and dramatic paintings in the dome, one depicting Elijah being swept up to heaven in a fiery chariot. A cedar and porcelain statue of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, is above the altar. Steps lead down to a grotto, with a small altar, where the Prophet Elijah is believed to have occasionally lived. People have lived in caves on Mount Carmel since prehistoric times.
Saint of the Day – 13 February – Blessed Archangela Girlani O.Carm (1460-1494) Virgin, Carmelite Nun, Mystic with the gift of levitation – born Elanor Girliani in 1460 at Trino, on Monte Ferrato in northern Italy and died on 25 January 1494 (aged 33) in Mantua, Milan, Italy. Blessed Archangela founded a new Carmelite monastery in Mantua. Her body is incorrupt.
Eleanor Girlani was born in the small Italian town of Trino (Piedmont). She demonstrated great piety and holiness as a child. Despite her family’s noble heritage, her only ambition in life was to become a Benedictine sister and together with some friends and relatives, she prepared to travel to the monastery of Rocca delle Donne, who had agreed to accept and raise her as a member of the Order. However, this was not to occur . Upon mounting her horse to travel, the animal refused to carry her to the monastery. As this particular horse was one of gentle and obedient spirit, the animal’s refusal to move was interpreted as a sign from the Lord and Eleanor returned home. Despairing, she prayed for guidance and contented herself in her own daily practices of contemplation, penance and service to others.
Eleanor soon encountered a Carmelite monk, who introduced her to the sisters of the Carmelite Order. Understanding this as divine intervention, Eleanor sought admission, and was accepted into the Order on her seventeenth birthday. She lived and served in the convent of Maria Maddalena in Parma, along with her sisters Mary and Scholastica.
Eleanor received the veil as a Carmelite sister at age eighteen, taking the name Archangela as her own. She was made Prioress of the abbey, given her nobility (as was the custom of the time) and became a model of Christian virtue to her sisters. Especially devoted to the Holy Trinity, Archangela spent hours in the chapel praying and contemplating the divinity of the Lord.
Sister Archangela soon was requested to found an additional abbey in Mantua, which was named Santa Maria del Paradiso (The Convent of Mary in Paradise). There, under her direction, sisters of the Order lived as if already absorbed into heaven. The monastery developed a reputation for great holiness, and received many new sisters. As prioress, Archangela experienced great ecstasies, some lasting well over 24 hours and on more than one occasion was discovered by her sisters to be levitating above the ground while contemplating the Holy Trinity. She further performed many miracles.
Only three years after founding the monastery at Mantua, Blessed Archangela fell gravely ill. Strengthened with the Sacraments and with her eyes fixed on an image of the Crucified Christ, she repeated her frequently uttered words: “Jesus, my Love”and peacefully died at the young age of thirty three. In fulfilment of her desire, she was buried in the simplicity of a common grave at the monastery. Three years later, when the tomb was re-opened to commit another sister to the earth, her remains were found incorrupt and exuding the fragrance of holiness. Great miracles were reported and her relics were enclosed in a crystal tomb and placed above the alter at the monastery.
Nearly 300 years after her death, the monastery in Mantua was closed and Archangela’s relics were translated to Trino, where she had been born. Her relics, still venerated today, were placed in the church of Saint Lorenzo. There, her body rests, wearing the habit of Carmelites, in a casket of crystal. Pope Pius IX confirmed her cultus and Beatified her on 1 October 1864.
The life of Blessed Archangela is one of deep faith and commitment to the Lord. Willing to reconsider her own plans for those that the Lord placed before her, Archangela served and followed wherever the Holy Spirit led her.
Father in heaven,
you gave the virgin Blessed Archangela Girlani
particular dedication to the mystery of the eternal Trinity.
Through her prayers
may we taste the delights of Your glory
already here on earth
and look upon You forever in heaven.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
St Julian of Lyon
St Lucinus of Angers
St Martinian the Hermit
St Maura of Ravenna
St Paulus Lio Hanzuo
St Peter I of Vercelli
St Phaolô Lê Van Loc
St Stephen of Lyons
St Stephen of Rieti
One Minute Reflection – 11 February – Tuesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30, Psalm 84:3-5, 10-11, Mark 7:1-13 and the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes
“This people honours me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” … Mark 7:6
REFLECTION – “Well, let us imagine that within us is an extremely rich palace, built entirely of gold and precious stones, in sum, built for a lord such as this. Imagine, too, as is indeed so, that you have a part to play, in order for the palace to be so beautiful, for there is no edifice as beautiful as is a soul pure and full of virtues. The greater the virtues the more resplendent the jewels.
Imagine, also, that in this palace dwells this mighty King who has been gracious enough to become your Father and, that He is seated upon an extremely valuable throne, which is your heart. (…)
You will laugh at me, perhaps and say that what I’m explaining is very clear and you’ll be right, for me, though, it was obscure for some time. I understood well that I had a soul. But what this soul deserved and who dwelt within it I did not understand because I had covered my eyes with the vanities of the world. For, in my opinion, if I had understood as I do now, that, in this little palace of my soul dwelt so great a King, I would not have left Him alone so often. I would have remained with Him at times and striven more so as not to be so unclean.
But what a marvellous thing, that He who would fill a thousand worlds and many more with His grandeur, would enclose Himself in something so small!” … St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church – The Way of Perfection, ch. 28, 9-11
PRAYER – Grant us, O merciful God, protection in our weakness, that we, who keep the Memorial of the Immaculate Mother of God, may, with the help of her intercession, rise up from our iniquities. Grant, we pray that our lives may be gifts to all those who cry out in pain. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 14 January – Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A
Before Jesus Crucified (Sweet Jesus, please, abide with me!) By Blessed Titus Brandsma OCD (1881-1942) Martyr
Dear Lord, when looking up at Thee,
I see Thy loving eyes on me,
Love overflows my humble heart,
Knowing what a faithful friend Thou are.
A cup of sorrow I foresee,
Which I accept for love of Thee,
Thy painful way I wish to go,
The only way to God I know.
My soul is full of peace and light,
Although in pain, this light shines bright.
For here, Thou keepest to Thy breast.
My longing heart to find there rest.
Leave me here freely all alone,
In cell where never sunlight shone.
Should no-one ever speak to me,
This golden silence makes me free!
For though alone, I have no fear,
Never were Thou, O Lord, so near.
Sweet Jesus, please, abide with me!
My deepest peace I find in Thee.
One Minute Reflection – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, Readings: Numbers 6:22-27, Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 2:16-21
But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. … Luke 2:19
REFLECTION – “You will pray to the Virgin Mother that she obtain for you a perfect renewal of life and that, by this grace, she herself, the venerable rose, become your mother and godmother in such a way, that you may be her true daughter in conduct. And pray that this very gem of decency, may envelop your soul, in the mantle of her cleanliness, preserving you without any spot, under her most dulcet tutelage, for her Son, the Lord King. And pray that your name may be numbered among Israel, the choicest lot, so that you have share with those who walk in innocence of heart, always seeing the Lord before them in all of their ways. (cf. Ps 15:8)
Greetings, Mary, queen of clemency, olive tree of mercy, through whom life’s remedy has come to us. Queen of clemency, Virgin Mother of the divine offspring, through whom the Child of supernal light came to us, the scented offspring of Israel. Ah! Just as you became the true mother of us all, through your Son, who Himself, your one and only Son, did not scorn to become our Brother, now then, for the sake of His love take me, an unworthy woman, into your motherly care. Aid my faith, keep and instruct it and become so much the godmother of my renewal and faith now, that you may be my only mother and closest to my heart for eternity, always caring for me with loving-kindness in this life and taking me, into your full motherliness, at the hour of death. Amen.” … St Gertrude the Great of Helfta (1256-1301)
PRAYER – God, our Father, since You gave mankind a Saviour through the blessed Mary, virgin and mother, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession, when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the author of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave
“These then, whom Herod’s cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers’ bosom, are justly hailed as “infant martyr flowers”; they were the Church’s first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.”
St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church
“The star of Bethlehem shines forth in the dark night of sin. Upon the radiance that goes forth from the manger, there falls the shadow of the cross. In the dark of Good Friday, the light is extinguished but it rises more brightly, as the sun of grace. on the morning of the resurrection. The road of the incarnate Son of God, is through the cross and suffering. to the splendour of the resurrection. To arrive with the Son of Man, through suffering and death, at this splendour of the resurrection, is the road for each one of us, for all mankind.”
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
[Edith Stein] (1891-1942)
Quote/s of the Day – 26 December – Feast of St Stephen the ProtoMartyr and The Second Day in the Christmas Octave
“Love, indeed, is the source of all good things, it is an impregnable defence and the way that leads to heaven. He who walks in love can neither go astray, nor be afraid, love guides him, protects him and brings him to his journey’s end.”
St Fulgentius of Ruspe (460-533)
“He [St Stephen], followed the Lord in what may be, by nature, the most difficult and even, apparently, impossible for the human heart. He fulfilled the command to love one’s enemies, as did the Saviour Himself. The Child in the manger, who has come to fulfill His Father’s will, even to death on the Cross, sees before Him in spirit, all who will follow Him on this way. His heart goes out to the youth whom He will one day await with a palm as the first to reach the Father’s throne. His little hand points him out to us, as an example, as if to say, “See the gold that I expect of you.”
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
[Edith Stein] (1891-1942)
“For believers, the day of death and even more so, the day of martyrdom, is not the end of everything but rather, the “passage” to immortal life, it is the day of the final birth, the “dies natalis.” Thus is understood, the link that exists between the “dies natalis” of Christ and the “dies natalis” of St Stephen. If Jesus had not been born on earth, men would not have been able to be born for heaven. Precisely because Christ was born, we are able to be “reborn.”
Advent Reflection – Saturday of Advent 21 December, Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Luke 1:26-38
The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.
“Mary set out… in haste” … Luke 1:26
REFLECTION – “Our Lady’s strength was her gaiety and joy. This is what made her God, her son’s attentive servant, because as soon as He came to her she “set out in haste.” Joy alone could have given her the strength to set out in all haste across the hill country of Judah to become the servant of her cousin. It is just the same for us. Like her, we must be true servants of the Lord and after holy communion each day we must hurry over the mountains of the difficulties we encounter, offering our service to the poor with all our heart. Give to Jesus in the poor, as a servant of the Lord.
Joy is prayer, joy is strength, joy is love. It is love’s net with which to catch souls. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). Those who give with joy give twice over. If you meet up with difficulties and accept them with joy, with a big smile, in this, as in many other things, people will realise that your works are good and the Father will be glorified in them. The best way, of showing God and others your gratitude, is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart comes from a heart that is burning with love.” … St Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) – Founder of the Missionary Sisters of Charity – Jesus, the Word to Be Spoken
MEDITATION –“A soul united to Jesus, is a living smile that radiates Him and, gives Him.” … St Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906)
ADVENT ACTION – “God is interested in even the smallest events in the lives of His creatures – in your affairs and mine — and He calls each of us by name. This certainty that the faith gives, enables us to look at everything in a new light. And everything, while remaining exactly the same, becomes different, because it is an expression of God’s love. Our life is turned into a continuous prayer, we find ourselves with good humour and a peace that never ends and everything we do is an act of thanksgiving, running through all our day. ‘My soul magnifies the Lord,’ Mary sang, ‘and my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.’” …St Josemaría Escrivá (1902-1975) – “To Jesus through Mary,” Christ is Passing By, 144
O Radiant Dawn,
splendour of eternal light, sun of justice!
Come and shine on those
who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.
Saint of the Day – 16 December – Blessed Mary of the Angels Fontanella OCD (1661-1717) “The Fragrant Rose of Turin,” Discalced Carmelite, Mystic, Stigmatist, Marian devotee and client of St Joseph, Prioress, Spiritual director – born as Marianna Fontanella on 7 January 1661 at Balderino, Italy and died on 16 December 1717 of natural causes at Turin, Iraly. Also known as Maria degli Angeli, Maria Fontanella of the Angels. Bl Mary studied with the Cistercians as a child and entered the Discalced Carmelites despite the protests of her mother and siblings – she soon became a noted abbess and prioress and in 1703 inaugurated a new convent she herself oversaw the establishment of and later, instigated the building of a beautiful Basilica in honour of the Blessed Virgin.
Marianna Fontanella came into the world on January 7, 1661. She was the youngest of 11 children born to Count Giovanni of Turin and his wife, Lady Maria Tana. The mother had among her close relatives, the mother of St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591), a youthful aristocrat who renounced a life of privilege to become a holy Jesuit. The fact that there was an official Saint counted among her kin was undoubtedly a source of pride for the family but it wasn’t enough to impress Marianna to want to become one too. It was related that this Blessed initially lived her early years in a manner typical of her high social status – she was well-educated, pampered and exposed to all sorts of social niceties and assemblies … and she enjoyed it all, especially the fancy outfits and the dances.
However, on one particular day, while still a young child, she sat in front of a mirror admiring herself when her own reflection vanished to be replaced by a vision – Christ appeared in the mirror, sadly staring back at her, battered and crowned with thorns. The experience so shocked Marianna that it had the immediate effect of a lasting conversion. From that moment on she shunned her elaborate wardrobe and jewellery and began exercising a devout mode of living despite her tender age. In 1667 she schemed with a little brother to imitate the saints and to run off to live “in the desert” though, at the time they were meant to begin this journey, the two were so fast asleep that their plan was spoiled.
Due to her familial relationship with him, she adopted Saint Luigi Gonzaga as a model for personal holiness and made an effort to imitate the late saint’s example. In 1673 as a 12-year-old, Marianna accompanied one of her sisters to the Cistercian Monastery in Saluzzo where the latter was entering into religious life. Somehow, Marianna was able to persuade her parents to allow her to board with the nuns and she remained with them for over a year until her mother recalled her home due to the unexpected death of her father. Back at the family villa, she resisted her family’s efforts to marry her off and she practised a regimen of prayer and self-mortification. Apparently, while with the Cistercians, an earlier resolve she made to become a nun had strengthened but she was undecided as to which order to join.
After providentially meeting and speaking with a venerable Carmelite priest during one of the rare public exhibitions of the Holy Shroud of Turin, Marianna applied with the local Discalced Carmelite Monastery of Santa Cristina. Lady Maria reluctantly consented when it became clear that her daughter could not be dissuaded, so Marianna made her entrance into Carmel on 19 November 1675, she was 14-years-old and took the name Maria of the Angels.
The first year in the monastery was not easy for the aspiring nun. The sweetness of spirit and the divine favours she had started to enjoy before entering, evaporated, leaving Sr Maria with a terrible dryness in her soul. She clung desperately to her faith and, guided by a meticulous novice mistress, she managed to reach profession on 26 December 1676… but the sense of separation from God – the “dark night of the soul” – continued to torment her for the next 15 years. The devil aggravated the situation, via severe temptations and diabolic assaults.
Fortunately, the beleagured nun weathered her personal storm through the consistent practice of virtue, especially humility and obedience towards her superiors. All that she suffered, served to purify her spirit, as Jesus was leading her on a singular path of extraordinary mystical union with Himself, as was proven later on.
By 1691 Sr Maria was finally free of the darkness and began experiencing supernatural lights with greater intensity. Sublime visions of Christ and heavenly inhabitants resumed, along with other mystical gifts such as Prophecy, the Stigmata and the Fragrance of Sanctity. It was reported that the beautiful scent that constantly surrounded her was so obvious, that the other nuns could track her whereabouts by following the aroma she left in her wake. The Blessed, on her part, took to carrying small bundles of flowers and spices to try to disguise the heavenly scent but to no avail – it increased on feast days and during times when she was ill and unable to take precautions, to disguise the fragrance. Even things she handled, were imbued with the delightful scent!
Noting her many virtues and fine example of Carmelite spirituality, the community elected Sr Maria to the post of novice mistress in 1691 then prioress in 1694. Word soon spread outside of the monastery about the extraordinary prioress and people began seeking her counsel and prayers, including the reigning king of the region, Vittorio Amadeo II of the royal house of Savoy and other members of the nobility. Vocations to the Carmel of St Cristina increased, which necessitated the founding of another monastery in nearby Moncalieri in 1703, with the encouragement from Blessed Sebastian Valfrè CO (1629-1710). Sr Maria had hoped to transfer there, to be away from the centre of the limelight but the king explicitly forbade her to ever leave Turin, due to his dependence on her advice and his devotion to her.
Public esteem for the prioress reached a pinnacle in 1696 when the city was besieged by an invading army. She publicly announced that the city would be saved if people turned to St Joseph, for help, which they did. Turin was liberated and, in gratitude, St Joseph was proclaimed the Patron Saint of the city by the king. Similarly, in 1706 when the French besieged the city, the citizens and royals turned to the intercession of their resident mystic – the nun invoked the Holy Virgin’s protection and the city’s army was again victorious. At Sr Mary’s urging, a church – the great Basilica of the Superga (Superga is a Hill in Turin) – was built to commemorate the victory and to honour Our Lady.
Sr Maria of the Angels died peacefully in her monastery on 16 December 1717, after living a productive life of prayer, self-sacrifice and service to her beloved people. She was 56-years-old at the time of her death and all of Turin mourned the passing of she, who had saved them from wars and even a plague in 1714.
At the instigation of King Vittorio, the holy nun’s Cause for Canonisation was started just a few years after the death of Sr Maria. Pope Pius IX declared her a Blessed on 25 April 1865 but a second miracle has yet to be officially recognised for the prioress to reach sainthood. Let us pray for her speedy Canonisation.
Saint of the Day – 11 December – Blessed Francesco Lippi O.Carm (1211-1291) also known as Blessed Franco of Siena – Carmelite Hermit, Mystic, Penitent, with the gift of prophesy. Born in c 1211 at Grotti-Siena, Italy and died on 11 December 1291 in Siena, Italy of natural causes, aged 80.
Blessed Francesco was born at Grotti, Italy of the noble parents, Matteo and Dorotea Lippi.
He spent his dissolute adolescence as a soldier who indulged in many vices. His military unit captured Sarteano from the Orvientani but, during the fighting, he was blinded in 1261. In his supplication in prayer, he promised to change his life if he was healed and regained his sight. After praying fervently to Saint James for his intercession, his sight was indeed restored.
He travelled on a pilgrimage to Campostella and to the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari to visit the tomb of Saint Nicholas. He also travelled to both Loreto, Rome and Siena, where he heard the preaching of Blessed Ambrose Sansedoni OP, a renowned preacher whose oratory, simple rather than elegant, was most convincing and effective. Thereafter, Blessed Francesco resolved to live the remainder of his life as a hermit and to do penance for his earlier life. He shut himself in a small cell and remained there from 1261 to 1266.
Then he entered the Carmelite Order and continued to live as a hermit. He experienced visions of Jesus Christ and the Madonna as well as seeing angels and experiencing the temptations of demons. He became well-known for his prophetic gifts.
He died on 11 December 1291. Part of his relics were relocated to a Carmelite convent in Cremona in 1341.
The confirmation of the late Lippi’s ‘cultus’ (or popular devotion) allowed for Pope Clement X to approve his Beatification in 1670.
Our Lady of Divine Providence: The title of “Mary, Mother of Divine Providence” is often traced to her intervention at the wedding in Cana. Christ’s first public miracle was occasioned in part by the intercession of his mother. She helped through her foresight and concern to avoid an embarrassing situation for the newlywed couple. Our Lady of Providence is sometimes also identified as Queen of the Home.
Devotion to Our Lady of Divine Providence originated in Italy and spread to France and Spain. The devotion was brought to Puerto Rico in the early 1850s by the Servite Fathers. According to tradition, Philip Benizi (1233 – 1285) prayed to Mary for help in providing food for his friars and subsequently found several baskets of provisions left at the door of the convent. Our Lady of Providence was declared the patroness of Puerto Rico by Pope Paul VI on 19 November 1969. Her feast day is celebrated in many immigrant Puerto Rican communities.
Around 1580, the Italian painter Scipione Pulzone created a work titled “Mater Divinae Providentiae,” which depicted the Blessed Mother cradling the Infant Jesus. Devotion to Mary, Mother of Divine Providence in the first house of the Congregation of the Clerics Regular of St Paul (Barnabites) in Rome at San Carlo ai Catinari church began around year 1611, when one of the clerics travelled to Loreto to pray for assistance in finding the financial resources to complete the Church of San Carlo. Upon his return, they received the necessary assistance and the Barnabites began to promote devotion to Our Lady of Providence.
Pulzone’s painting was given to the Barnabites in 1663. It was placed on the altar of a chapel on the first floor of the Saint Charles rectory behind the main altar. In 1732, a copy of the painting was placed in a location adjacent to the main altar of the church of San Carlo ai Catinari in Rome, where it drew many faithful visitors.
In 1774, Pope Benedict XIV authorised the Confraternity of Our Lady of Providence, a lay organisation created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety. Pope Gregory XVI elevated it to an Archconfraternity in 1839. In 1888, Pope Leo XIII ordered the solemn crowning of the “Miraculous Lady” and approved the Mass and Office of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence. On 5 August 1896, Superior General of the Barnabites, Father Benedict Nisser decreed that every Barnabite have a copy of the painting in their home.
Our Lady of Providence is the patroness of the Barnabite Order.
Our Lady of Providence is the patroness of Indiana and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island. The chapel of Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts is dedicated to Our Lady of Providence.
Our Lady of Divine Providence is the patroness of St Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, Kansas.
Our Lady of Divine Providence is also the patroness of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico.
Quote/s of the Day – 8 November – The Memorial of Blessed John Duns Scotus OFM (c 1265-1308) and St Elizabeth of the Trinity O.Carm (1880-1906)
O Lord our God! You are one in nature. You are one in number. Truly have You said that besides You there is no God. For though many may be called gods or thought to be gods, You alone are by nature God. You are the true God from whom, in whom and through whom, all things are, You are blessed forever. Amen!
Blessed John Duns Scotus (c 1265-1308)
“A soul united to Jesus, is a living smile that radiates Him and, gives Him.”
“I have found heaven on earth, since heaven is God and God is in my soul.”
One Minute Reflection – 8 November – Friday of the Thirty First week in Ordinary Time week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 16:1–8 and The Memorial of St Elizabeth of the Trinity O.Carm (1880-1906)
“The master commended the dishonest steward for his prudence”…Luke 16: 8
REFLECTION – “But what does Jesus wish to tell us with this parable? And with its surprising conclusion? The Evangelist follows the parable of the dishonest steward with a short series of sayings and recommendations on the relationship we must have with money and the goods of this earth. These short sentences are an invitation to a choice that presupposes a radical decision, a constant inner tension. Life is truly always a choice – between honesty and dishonesty, between fidelity and infidelity, between selfishness and altruism, between good and evil.
… As a result, it is necessary to make a fundamental decision between God and mammon, it is necessary to choose between the logic of profit as the ultimate criterion for our action and the logic of sharing and solidarity. If the logic of profit prevails, it widens the gap between the poor and the rich, as well as increasing the ruinous exploitation of the planet. On the other hand, when the logic of sharing and solidarity prevails, it is possible to correct the course and direct it to a fair development for the common good of all. Basically, it is a matter of choosing between selfishness and love, between justice and dishonesty and ultimately, between God and Satan. If loving Christ and one’s brethren is not to be considered as something incidental and superficial but, rather, the true and ultimate purpose of our whole existence, it will be necessary to know how to make basic choices, to be prepared to make radical renouncements, if necessary, even to the point of martyrdom. Today, as yesterday, Christian life demands the courage to go against the tide, to love like Jesus, who even went so far as to sacrifice Himself on the Cross.
We could then say, paraphrasing one of St Augustine’s thoughts, that through earthly riches we must procure for ourselves those true and eternal riches – indeed, if people exist who are prepared to resort to every type of dishonesty to assure themselves an always unpredictable material well-being, how much more concerned we Christians must be to provide for our eternal happiness with the goods of this earth (cf. Discourses, 359, 10). Now, the only way of bringing our personal talents and abilities and the riches we possess to fruition for eternity is to share them with our brethren, thereby showing that we are good stewards of what God entrusts to us . Jesus said: “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much” (Lk 16: 10).
PRAYER – My Lord and my God, You have prayed that we may be in You and You in us. This is the guiding consolation of our life and the source of our prayer. Lead us to Yourself, guide us and teach us, that we may never stray from You and the way You set out. May we share and build the unity of Your people and the goods of the earth. Holy St Elizabeth of the Trinity, in your young life you followed the way of the Lord, the way of the Cross, doing all for God by the love of the Holy Spirit. Please pray for us, amen.
St Giuse Nguyen Ðình Nghi St Godfrey of Amiens OSB (1066–1115)
St Gregory of Einsiedeln
St John Baptist Con
Bl Maria Crucified Satellico
St Martinô Tho
St Martinô Ta Ðuc Thinh
St Maurus of Verdun
St Moroc of Scotland
St Phaolô Nguyen Ngân
St Tysilio of Wales
St Willehad of Bremen
St Wiomad of Trèves
All Deceased Dominicans
All Saints of Wales
All Saints of the Diocese of Evry: A regional memorial of all the saints and beati of the calendar who have a connection to the Diocese of Evry-Corbeil-Essonnes, France.
• Blessed Isabella of France, founded the Longchamp monastery
• Blessed Nicolas Gaudreau, pastor of Vert-le-Petit
• Blessed Pierre Bonse, pastor of Massy
• Our Lady of Good Guard, patron saint of the diocese, venerated in Longpont-sur-Orge, France
• Saint Corbinian, born in Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon
• Saint Denis of Paris, evangelizer of part of Essonne and revered ni Longpont-sur-Orge
• Saint Eloi, who lived in Chilly-Mazarin
• Saint Germain of Paris
• Saint William of Bourges, son of Count Baldwin IV of Corbeil
• Saint William of Aebelholt, pastor of Brunoy
• Saint Wulfran of Sens, born in Milly-la-Forêt
• Blessed Nativelle, vicar of Longjumeau
• Blessed René Le Bris, pastor of Bris-sous-Forges
• Saint Spire of Bayeux, whose relics are in Corbeil in the cathedral that bears his name
All Saints of Wales
Augustinian Martyrs of Spain
Four Crowned Martyrs: Saint Castorus, Saint Claudius, Saint Nicostratus, and Saint Simpronian. Skilled stone carvers in the 3rd century quarries. Martyred when they refused to carve an idol of Aesculapius for Diocletian. They were drowned in the River Sava in 305. Patronages – • against fever• cattle• sculptors• stone masons, stonecutters.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
• BlessedAntolín Pablos Villanueva
• BlessedLaureano Pérez Carrascal
• BlessedManuel Sanz Domínguez
• BlessedMaximino Serrano Sáiz
Thought for the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer”
Let us Always be Mindful of Christ’s Love
Saint Teresa of Jesus of Avila Doctor of the Church
An excerpt from her On the Book of Life
If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see, that if we expect to please Him and receive an abundance of His graces, God desires, that these graces, must come to us from the hands of Christ, through His most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.
Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen, that we must enter by this gate if we wish His Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us, great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation, on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding His life we find that He is the best example.
What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, He will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves Him and always keep Him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul – it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives and found that they took no other path – Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God’s hands. If God should desire, to raise us, to the position of one who is an intimate and shares His secrets, we ought to accept this gladly.
Whenever we think of Christ, we should recall the love that led Him to bestow on us so many graces and favours and, also, the great love God showed, in giving us in Christ, a pledge of His love, for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love Him. For, if at some time, the Lord should grant us the grace, of impressing His love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.
Jesus, What a True Friend You are By St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582)
Jesus, what a true friend You are
and how powerful.
May You be blessed forever, Lord,
for offering Your hand of love
in my darkest,
most lonely moments,
for loving me
more than I love myself
and for putting up with
such a stubborn soul as mine.
Our Morning Offering – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church
A Love Song By St Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church
Majestic sovereign, timeless wisdom,
Your kindness melts my hard, cold soul.
Handsome lover, selfless giver,
Your beauty fills my dull, sad eyes.
I am Yours, You made me.
I am Yours, You called me.
I am Yours, You saved me.
I am Yours, You loved me.
I will never leave Your presence.
Give me death, give me life.
Give me sickness, give me health.
Give me honour, give me shame.
Give me weakness, give me strength.
I will have whatever You give.
Saint of the Day – 15 October – Saint Teresa of Avila OCD (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer” Seraphic Virgin, Reverend Mother, Prioress.
St Teresa of Jesus, honoured by the Church as the “seraphic virgin,” virgo seraphica and reformer of the Carmelite Order, ranks first among women for wisdom and learning. She is called doctrix mystica, doctor of mystical theology; in a report to Pope Paul V the Roman Rota declared: “Teresa has been given to the Church by God as a teacher of the spiritual life. The mysteries of the inner mystical life which the holy Fathers propounded unsystematically and without orderly sequence, she has presented with unparalleled clarity.” Her writings are still the classic works on mysticism and from her, all later teachers have drawn, e.g., Francis de Sales, Alphonsus Liguori. Characteristic of her mysticism is the subjective-individualistic approach; there is little integration with the liturgy and social piety and thus, she reflects the spirit of the sixteenth and following centuries.
Teresa was born at Avila, Spain, in the year 1515. At the age of seven she set out for Africa to die for Christ but was brought back by her uncle. When she lost her mother at twelve, she implored Mary for her maternal protection. In 1533 she entered the Carmelite Order; for eighteen years she suffered physical pain and spiritual dryness. Under divine inspiration and with the approval of Pope Pius IV, she began the work of reforming the Carmelite Order. In spite of heavy opposition and constant difficulties, she founded thirty-two reformed convents.
Truly wonderful were the exterior and interior manifestations of her mystical union with God, especially during the last decade of her life. These graces reached a climax when her heart was transfixed (transverberatio cordis), an event that is commemorated in the Carmelite Order by a special feast on 27 August.
Indeed, Teresa was said to have been observed levitating during Mass on more than one occasion.
Teresa is regarded as one of the foremost writers on mental prayer, and her position among writers on mystical theology as unique. Her writings on this theme, stem from her personal experiences, thereby manifesting considerable insight and analytical gifts. Her definitions have been used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Teresa states: “Contemplative prayer, in my opinion is nothing other than a close sharing between friends. It means frequently taking time to be alone with Him whom we know loves us.” Throughout her writings, Teresa returns to the image of watering one’s garden as a metaphor for mystical prayer.
She practised great devotion to the foster-father of Jesus, whose cult was greatly furthered throughout the Church through her efforts. When dying, she often repeated the words: “Lord, I am a daughter of the Church!” Her holy body rests upon the high altar of the Carmelite church in Ala, Spain, her heart with its mysterious wound is reserved in a precious reliquary on the Epistle side of the altar.
Below are the statues of St Teresa at the Vatican, the first on the Colonnade and the second inside St Peter’s.
One Minute Reflection – 3 October – Thursday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 10:1-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Szilárd István Bogdánffy (1911-1953) Martyr
After this the Lord appointed seventy* others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place … Luke 10:1
REFLECTION – “Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which, the compassion of Christ, looks out to the world.
Yours are the feet, with which, He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands, with which, He is to bless others now. … St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, increase our love and trust for and in You, every day. Teach us total abandonment to Your loving providence and thus enable us to do Your will in all things. Blessed Szilárd István Bogdánffy you who suffered great persecutions and trials but always abandoned yourself to the Divine Will, please pray for us that we learn to do the same. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, OCD (1873 – 1897) Virgin and Doctor of the Church
In the Heart of the Church I will be Love
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Doctor of the Church
An excerpt from her autobiography
Since my longing for martyrdom was powerful and unsettling, I turned to the epistles of Saint Paul in the hope of finally finding an answer. By chance, the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of the first epistle to the Corinthians caught my attention and, in the first section, I read that not everyone can be an apostle, prophet or teacher, that the Church is composed of a variety of members and, that the eye cannot be the hand. Even with such an answer revealed before me, I was not satisfied and did not find peace.
I persevered in the reading and did not let my mind wander, until I found this encouraging theme – Set your desires on the greater gifts. And I will show you the way which surpasses all others. For the Apostle insists that the greater gifts are nothing at all without love and that this same love is surely the best path leading directly to God. At length I had found peace of mind.
When I had looked upon the mystical body of the Church, I recognised myself in none of the members, which Saint Paul described and, what is more, I desired to distinguish myself more favourably within the whole body. Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation. Indeed, I knew that the Church had a body composed of various members but in this body the necessary and more noble member was not lacking, I knew that the Church had a heart and that such a heart, appeared to be aflame with love. I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I saw and realised, that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love, embraces every time and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting.
Then, nearly ecstatic with the supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed –
O Jesus, my Love, at last I have found my calling, my call is love. Certainly I have found my place in the Church and You gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love and thus, I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction.
One Minute Reflection – 1 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 9:51–56 and The Memorial of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus OCD (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church
“Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. … Luke 9:54-55
REFLECTION – “When someone has been made worthy to taste God’s love, he usually forgets everything else by reason of its sweetness. For once that person has tasted that love, anything visible seems of no interest. The soul joyfully draws near to the beautiful love of all people without distinction. It is never troubled by their weaknesses, which do not frighten it. Just like the blessed apostles who, in the midst of all the evils which they had to bear from their torturers were completely incapable of hating them and did not tire of loving them, this was shown by the fact that, in the end, they even bore death so as to meet them again one day in heaven.
And yet these were the very same people who, a little earlier, had begged Christ to make fire come down from heaven on the Samaritans, who had only refused to welcome them in their village. But once they had received the gift of tasting God’s love, they were made perfect even to the point of loving the wicked.” … St Isaac the Syrian (c 613-c 700) – Spiritual Discourses, 2nd Series, no. 10,36
PRAYER – God, our Father, Your promised Your Kingdom to the little ones and the humble of heart. May we love You and our neighbour, even those who hate us. Give us grace to walk confidently in the way of St Thérèse, so that helped by her prayers, we may see Your eternal glory. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen
St Aizan of Abyssinia
St Albaud of Toul
Bl Andrew Sushinda
Bl Antoni Rewera
St Aretas of Rome
St Bavo of Ghent
Bl Cecilia Eusepi
Bl Christopher Buxton
St Crescens of Tomi
Bl Dominic of Villanova
Bl Edward James
St Evagrius of Tomi
Bl Gaspar Fisogiro
St Gregory the Illuminator
St John Kukuzelis
Bl John Robinson Bl Juan de Palafox Mendoza (1600–1659)
St Julia of Lisbon Bl Luigi Maria Monti CFIC “Sons of the Immaculate Conception” (1825-1900)
About Blessed Luigi: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/saint-of-the-day-1-october-blessed-luigi-maria-monti-1825-1900/
St Maxima of Lisbon
Bl Nikita Budka
St Piaton of Tournai
St Priscus of Tomi
Bl Ralph Crockett
Bl Robert Widmerpool
Bl Robert Wilcox
St Romanos the Melodist
St Sazan of Abyssinia
St Verissimus of Lisbon
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Carmelo Juan Pérez Rodríguez
• Blessed Higinio Mata Díez
• Blessed Juan Mata Díez
• Blessed Álvaro Sanjuán Canet
• Blessed Florencia Caerols Martínez
Thought for the Day – 26 August – The Memorial of St Mary of Jesus Crucified OCD (1846-1878)
From the Writings of St Mary of Jesus Crucified
Holy Spirit, inspire me. Love of God, consume me. Along the true road lead me. Mary, my mother, look upon me. With Jesus bless me. From all evil, from all illusion, from all danger, preserve me.
“Holy Spirit, enlighten me. To find Jesus, what am I to do and how am I to do it? The disciples were very ignorant, they were with Jesus yet did not understand Him. I, too, live in the same house with Jesus yet did not understand Him. The least thing troubles and upsets me. I am too sensitive, I have not generosity enough to make sacrifices for Jesus. O Holy Spirit, when You gave them a ray of light, the disciples disappeared – they were no longer what they were before. They found new strength, they found it easy to make sacrifices. They knew Jesus better than they had ever known Him when with them. Source of peace and light, come and enlighten me. I am hungry, come and feed me; thirsty, come and refresh me; blind, come and give me sight; poor, come and enrich me; ignorant, come and instruct me. Holy Spirit, I abandon myself to You!
Lord, how good You are to hold a weak reed in Your Hand! I am that reed, I am even weaker. But I shall always remain with You, like that reed. I f You dropped it, it would get broken. You carry it, it is not the reed that carries You.
My enraptured spirit contemplates all your works. Who can speak of You, O God so great! Omnipotent One, my soul is carried away! His wonderful beauty delights my soul. Who can tell what the Almighty looks upon? One look! You who gaze at me, come to me, a little nothing. I cannot remain here on earth, my soul longing. Call me close to You, awaken me. You alone, my God, my All. The heavens, the earth, the sun rejoice at your Name so great. I see You, supreme goodness, Your gaze is maternal. My Father, my Mother, it is in You, that I sleep. It is in You, that I breathe. Awaken! My soul is mad with yearning, it can do no more, take it! When will we see Him forever world without end!
What are You like , my God? The ocean? That comparison is too feeble. One single raindrop is not enough to refresh the whole earth, so. too, the love of all hearts is not enough for You, my God. The drop of water is myself, the ocean is You, I wish to have a heart greater than earth.
Lord, if You abandon me , I am like a cinder. The cinder will not produce any fruit It hinders vegetable growth. But if You Lord look down on me, I become a good earth, a fertile soil that brings forth good fruits and plants producing flowers. O Lord, look down on me always!
Thank You, My God, for making me aware of what I am. I prefer to know my weakness than to perform miracles. That is better for me, for when people see me fall I have nothing then to nourish my pride upon. It is better for me because it makes me see You are my only strength, better for me to fall a thousand times, if it makes me say to You two thousand times ” “I hope in You, O Lord. Thank You, thank You, Lord.”
Inscribed on Blessed Mary’s tombstone
“Here in the peace of the Lord reposes Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified, professed religious of the white veil. A soul of singular graces, she was conspicuous for her humility, her obedience and her charity. Jesus, the sole love of her heart called her to Himself in the 33rd year of her age and the 12th year of her religious life at Bethlehem, 26 August 1878.”
Quote/s of the Day – 26 August – The Memorial of St Mary of Jesus Crucified OCD (1846-1878)
“Everything passes here on earth. What are we? Nothing but dust, nothingness and God is so great, so beautiful, so lovable and He is not loved.”
“The proud person is like a grain of wheat thrown into water – it swells, it gets big. Expose that grain to the fire – it dries up, it burns. The humble soul, is like a grain of wheat, thrown into the earth – it descends, it hides itself, it disappears, it dies but to revive in heaven.”
Saint of the Day – 26 August – St Mary of Jesus Crucified OCD (1846-1878) Discalced Carmelite nun of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Virgin, Stigmatist, Mystic, apostle of charity. Born on 5 January 1846 at Galilee, Palestine as Mariam Baouardy and died on 26 August 1878, aged 32, at Bethlehem of gangrene following an injury received at the construction site of the Bethlehem monastery.
Mariam Baouardy was born on 5 January 1846 at Ibillin, a village in the Holy Land near Nazareth. Her parents were George Baouardy and Mariam Shashyn, they were Greek Catholics in a predominantly Muslin area. They were both persecuted for their faith and George spent some time in pri son. Their first 12 children, all boys, died in infancy so they decided to go on pilgrimage to Bethlehem, to beg Our Lady for a daughter and they promised to call her Mariam. Their prayers were answered when little Mariam was born, followed two years later by her only surviving brother, Paul. Mariam was baptised and confirmed when she was ten days old according to the Greek Catholic Rite. Sadly before she was three years old both her parents died from an infectious illness, within a few days of each other. When her father was dying he commended Mariam to the care of St Joseph, looking lovingly at a picture of him, he said ‘Great saint, here is my child, the Blessed Virgin is her mother, deign to look after her also, be her father’.
The siblings were then each taken in by relatives on different sides of her family living in different villages, she being taken in by a paternal uncle who lived in the same village and her brother went to live with a maternal aunt. The brother and sister would never see one another again. She was raised in a loving home in comfortable circumstances. As a child she had a marked spirit of religious fervour and at the age of five began to fast on Saturdays in honour of the Blessed Virgin.
When Mariam was eight, her uncle and his wife moved to Alexandria, Egypt, to improve their situation. Five years later, in 1858 when she was aged 13, in keeping with tradition, she was engaged by her uncle to his wife’s brother, who lived in Cairo. The night before the wedding, she had a religious experience in which she felt called not to marry but to offer her life to God. Upon being told this the following morning, her uncle flew into a rage and beat her severely. Despite this and the subsequent ill treatment she began to experience from her uncle, she stayed firm in her decision.
Mariam felt depressed and alone. She wrote her brother, then living in Nazareth, asking him to visit her. The young male servant she asked to deliver the letter drew out of her the cause for her sadness. Upon learning of this, he attempted to woo her for himself, inviting her to convert to Islam. She rejected his proposal, which caused the young man to fly into a rage, in which he drew a knife and cut her throat. He then dumped her body in a nearby alley. And then a miracle saved her. As she related later, a “nun dressed in blue” brought her to a grotto, which she could never identify, stitched her wounds and took care of her. Her voice was affected for the rest of her life as a result of the cut, which a French doctor later measured as being 10 cm wide. After being cared for by this mysterious figure for a month, she recovered enough to leave and find work as a domestic servant in the home of an Arab Christian family in the city.
In May 1863 a generous patron made it possible for Baouardy to move to Marseille, France, where she became the cook for an Arab family. While there, she felt called to enter a religious order. Rejected by the first groups to which she sought admission, in May 1865 she was accepted as a postulant by the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition, who had communities in the Holy Land and already had several Palestinian candidates. It was at this point, that she received the stigmata of Christ.
During the last month of this period of candidacy, the Mistress of novices, Mother Honorine who had drawn Baouardy’s life story from her, was replaced by Mother Veronica of the Passion. After two years as a postulant, Baouardy was up for a vote by the community regarding her admission to the congregation. To her dismay, she was rejected by the sisters charged with making the decision. But Divine Providence came to her aid for just then, Mother Veronica had just received permission to transfer to the Discalced Carmelite monastery at Pau to prepare for her forming a new congregation of Religious Sisters serving in India, the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel. She invited Baouardy to go with her, writing to the prioress of that community and recommending that they accept the young Arab woman. The prioress accepted Mother Veronica’s advice and, in June 1867, both women went together to Pau, where they received the Carmelite religious habit and Baourdy was given the religious name of Mary of Jesus Crucified.
In 1870, Baouardy went with the first group of Carmelite Apostolic Sisters to Mangalore, India. She served there for two years before returning to Pau. It was there she made her profession of solemn vows as a member of the Order in November 1871. In September 1875 she helped to found a new monastery in Bethlehem, the first of the Order in that region, where she lived until her death. During her whole life, she experienced periods of religious ecstasy frequently throughout the day.
St Pope John Paul II declared Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified, Blessed on 13 November 1983 and she was Canonised on 15 May 2015 by Pope Francis. She became the second Greek Catholic to be Canonised, the first being St Josaphat Kuntsevych in 1867.
St Abundius the Martyr
St Alexander of Bergamo
St Anastasius the Fuller
St Bregwin of Canterbury
St Elias of Syracuse
St Eleutherius of Auxerre
St Felix of Pistoia
Bl Ioachim Watanabe Jirozaemon
St Irenaeus of Rome
Bl Jacques Retouret
St Jeanne Elizabeth des Bichier des Anges
Bl Jean Bassano
Bl Jean of Caramola
Bl Juan Urgel
Bl Levkadia Herasymiv
Bl Margaret of Faenza St Mary of Jesus Crucified/Mariam Baouardy OCD (1846-1878)
St Maximilian of Rome
St Melchizedek the Patriarch
St Orontius of Lecce
St Rufinus of Capua
St Secundus the Theban
Bl Stanislaus Han Jeong-Heum
St Teresa de Gesu, Jornet y Ibars
St Victor of Caesarea
St Victor the Martyr
St Vyevain of York St Pope Zephyrinus (died 217) Martyr Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/26/saint-of-the-day-25-august-st-pope-zephyrinus-died-217/
Martyrs of Celano – 3 saints: Three Christians, Constantius, Simplicius and Victorinus, martyred in the same area at roughly the same time. That’s really all we know, though it didn’t stop writers in later centuries from inventing colourful histories, making them a father and sons, adding saintly family members, earthquakes, close escapes, etc.
They were martyred in c 159 in the Marsica region of Italy. At some point their relics were interred under the main altar of the San Giovanni Vecchio church in the Collegiata di Celano and were authenticated in 1057 by Pope Stephen IX. The city was depopulated in 1222; when it was re-built, the relics were re-enshrined in the church of San Vittorino on 10 June 1406. Patronage – Celano, Italy.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Emilio Serrano Lizarralde
• Blessed Francesc Casademunt Ribas
• Blessed Josep Maria Tolaguera Oliva
• Blessed Luis Valls Matamales
• Blessed María de Los Ángeles Ginard Martí
• Blessed Pere Sisterna Torrent
Saint of the Day – 16 August – Blessed Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi O. Carm (1385-1438) was an Italian Priest and a professed member of the Carmelite order. He was a noted preacher, prior and reformer, teacher of theology and was known for his pious devotion to the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Carmelite Rule of Life and to the profession of the Gospel. Patronage – Preachers.
Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi was born in Florence in 1385 to Augustin Mazzinghi.
He entered the Carmelite order in 1413 and after he made his solemn profession was ordained to the priesthood. He began to teach theological studies in both Florence and Frascati (in Rome) and was also a preacher in the former. He was the first member of the reformed observance of Our Lady of the Wood and was made as the prior of several of the Carmelite houses. He launched the reform of the convent of Santa Maria delle Salve and was appointed as the convent’s Prior from 1419 until 1430 and then once again in 1437.
Mazzinghi preached a series of Lenten retreats in Florence from 1431 and was to preach his final retreat in 1436 before he retired to a Carmelite convent. On one particular occasion of preaching – according to fellow Carmelite Nicholas Calciuri – who was a witness of the miracle, roses and lilies poured from Angelo’s mouth, which two angels wove into a crown for the latter.
Angelo was known for his humble and pious demeanour as well as for his ardent devotion to both the Holy Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Before his death he retired to a Carmelite house where he spent the remainder of his life in contemplation and meditation. Bl Angelo died on 17 August 1438 in Florence at the age of 53. He was buried in Santa Maria del Carmine but his relics were moved to the Banacacci Chapel in 1739 and moved to the main altar in 1930 in what was the final transferral of his remains.
Pope Clement XIII approved his cultus and Beatified Blessed Angelo on 7 March 1761.
Bl Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi O.Carm. (1385-1438)
St Armagillus of Brittany
St Arsacius of Nicomedia
Bl Iacobus Bunzo Gengoro
Bl Jean-Baptiste Menestrel
Bl John of Saint Martha
Bl Laurence Loricatus
Bl Magdalena Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Maria Gengoro
Bl Ralph de la Futaye St Roch (1295-1327) “Pilgrim”
The story of St Roch here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/saint-of-the-day-16-august-st-roch/
Bl Simon Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Thomas Gengoro
St Titus the Deacon
Martyrs of Palestine – 33 saints: Thirty-three Christians martyred in Palestine; they are commemorated in old martyrologies, but the date and exact location have been lost.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Amadeu Monje Altés
Bl Antonio María Rodríguez Blanco
Bl José María Sanchís Mompó
Bl Laurentí Basil Matas
Bl Plácido García Gilabert