Quote/s of the Day – 12 October – St Serafino of Montegranaro

Quote/s of the Day – 12 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” and the Memorial of St Serafino of Montegranaro OFM Cap (1540-1604)

Be constant in secret prayers
which God, Who indeed sees in secret,
rewards in the open.
Hold fast to this exercise
of a most excellent way of life.
that you may find hidden treasure
in the day of need.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

I have nothing,
just a Crucifix and a Rosary
but with these,
I hope to benefit the Friars

and become a Saint.

Said by St Serafino upon entering the Novitiate

… [I] resolved to recite a Rosary
for anyone who caused me trouble.
Then I heard the voice
from the Tabernacle say,
‘Your prayers for those
who mortify you,
are very pleasing to Me.
In exchange, I am ready
to grant you many graces.‘”

Saint Serafino prayed each day:

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour Crucified.

St Serafino of Montegranaro (1540-1604)


Saint of the Day – 12 October – St Serafino of Montegranaro OFM Cap (1540-1604)

Saint of the Day – 12 October – St Serafino of Montegranaro OFM Cap (1540-1604) Franciscan Capuchin Lay Friar, Confessor, gifted with the charism of prophecy, mystic, Apostle of the poor, spiritual advisor, devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Rosary and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, wonder-worker . Born as Felice Rapagnano in1540 at Montegranaro, Italy and died on 12 October 1604 at Ascoli Piceno, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Serafino of Ascoli Piceno, Serafinus, Seraphim, Seraphin. Felix, Felice.

The Roman Martyrology states: “At Ascoli, St Seraphinus, Confessor, of the Order of Minorite Capuchins, distinguished by holiness of life and humility. Hre was enrolled among the Saints by the Sovereign Pontiff Clement XIII.”

Born Felice (Felix) Rapagnano at Montegranaro, then in the March of Fermo, he was the second of four children of poor but pious parents, Gerolamo Rapagnano and Teodora Giovannuzzi. His father was a mason. Because of their poverty, the family depended on the productivity of all of its members. The eldest son, Silenzio, followed in his father’s footsteps as a mason. The slighter and less manually adept Felix, was hired out to a local farmer as a shepherd. Felix enjoyed shepherding since it afforded him time for prayer. Even at an early age, he had an inclination toward silence, seclusion and prayer. When their father died, however, he was summoned home. His brother understood that Felix lacked the skills of a mason but hoped to use him as an unskilled laborer. All attempts proved futile. Felix could not even learn how to slake lime. He did learn, however, to put up with the physical and emotional abuse heaped upon him by his irascible brother.

Felix kept in mind stories he had heard about the desert ascetics and of their fasting and penances and dreamed of becoming like them. He confided in a friend, Luisa Vannucci from Loro Piceno, who encouraged him to enter religious life. She specifically mentioned the Capuchins because she was familiar with these Friars and with their reputation for virtue. Immediately, he left for Tolentino and presented himself to the Capuchin Provincial, expecting to be admitted that very day. But such was not the Capuchin custom. Instead, he was sent home, in all likelihood because of his age, he was just eighteen and fragile condition. In 1556, he repeated his request to the Prior Provincial, who this time accepted him and sent him to the Novitiate of the Province at Jesi.

After he completed a year of probation, Felix received the religious name of Serafino (meaning “seraph” or “celestial being or the burning one”). Upon entering the Order, he remarked, “I have nothing, just a Crucifix and a Rosary but with these, I hope to benefit the Friars and become a Saint.” Serafino was distinguished from the first, by his unaffected simplicity, mortification and obedience, as well as a great charity towards the poor. He had a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin. He was assigned to serve variously as a porter or questor at various Friaries throughout the March but most of his religious life was spent at Ascoli Piceno.

Serafino’s physical appearance was described as that of a peasant – hair always rumpled, clumsy at manual tasks and mainly illiterate. But his holiness was recognised by many. At times, he was discouraged by the ridicule of his Capuchin brothers. He would regain his composure through prayer. He explained, “When I entered religious life I was a poor, unskilled labourer, lacking both talent and potential. I remained as I was and this caused so many humiliations and rebukes, which the devil used as opportunities to tempt me to leave religious life and retreat to some desert, withdrawing into myself. I entrusted myself to the Lord and, one night I heard a voice coming from the Tabernacle say, ‘To serve God you must die to yourself and accept adversity, of whatever type.’ So I accepted them and resolved to recite a Rosary for anyone who caused me trouble. Then I heard the voice from the Tabernacle say, ‘Your prayers for those who mortify you are very pleasing to me. In exchange, I am ready to grant you many graces.‘”

A Capuchin custom was to keep rooms near the Porter’s Office available for the use of travelLers and pilgrims. At whatever hour of the night, Serafino would answer the door. Many recounted that, after the City gates had been closed for the night, they had sought refuge at the Capuchin Friary, which were usually located outside the City walls and that they had been welcomed warmly by Serafino. He spent entire nights in Church. Friars testified that, after everyone else had gone to bed, they would often hear him walking toward the Church to spend the night in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. There he was heard praying, “Peace, Lord, I ask peace for so-and-so.” He once confided that the reason he spent so much of the night before the Tabernacle was because, in his room, he was greatly tempted against chastity, even in his old age.

Memories agree, that Serafino was endowed with the gift of reading the secrets of hearts and with that of miracles and prophecy. Although unlettered, Serafino’s advice was sought by secular and ecclesiastical dignitaries. His reputation reached as far as the Dukes of Bavaria and Parma, the nobles of Bologna and Cardinal Ottavio Bandini. The Bishop of Ascoli, the eminent theologian Cardinal Girolamo Bernerio, also sought out his advice.

Serafino was austere in his person. Only once in his life did he accept a new religious habit and then, only out of obedience. For forty continuous years, he ate only soup or salad. In keeping with the spirituality prevalent at the time, Serafino had a personal devotion of serving as many Masses as possible. To avoid having people kiss his hand or tunic to show their respect, he would carry a Crucifix with him, offering it for them to kiss instead.

However, Serafino was also endowed with a great sense of humour. Once, a woman asked him if she would give birth to a boy or a girl. He attempted to avoid answering. But the woman insisted, saying, “How shall I know what name to choose?” Chuckling, Serafino responded, “As far as that goes, choose Ursula and Companions,” indicating that throughout her life the woman would give birth to a succession of girls.

Even before Serafino’s burial in 1604, his first biographer put pen to paper. He was Canonised by Pope Clement XIII on 16 July 1767. Pope Clement Canonised Serafino together with John Cantius, Joseph Calasanz, Joseph of Cupertino, Jerome Emiliani and Jane Frances de Chantal. In the Papal Bull of Canonisation, the illiterate and physically clumsy Capuchin was acclaimed as a person who “knew how to read and understand the great book of life which is our Saviour, Jesus Christ. For that reason, he deserves to be listed among Christ’s principal disciples.”

Serafino’s tomb is in the Capuchin friary at Ascoli Piceno. A Church at San Lorenzo Nuovo is dedicated to him.

Serafino was in love with the mystery of Christ and of Our Lady.  He was enthralled to meditate on them and would go into ecstasy.  He would have liked to be in the fraternity at Loreto or in Rome to be able to serve as many Masses as possible each day. This was the source of his zeal – to work with Christ to save souls. He was remembered and venerated – for his brief and penetrating spiritual exhortations; for his extremely fruitful vocational apostolate; for his veneration for priests; for his compassion for the sick, the troubled and the poor; for his courageous commitment to make peace in society and in families; for his missionary enthusiasm and his desire for martyrdom. Although he was almost illiterate he could speak about the things of God with extraordinary ability and unction. When he was obliged, by obedience, to give a sermon in the refectory, his words in commenting on the psalm Qui habitat in adiutorio Altissimi, or the sequence Stabat Mater dolorosa were so full of feeling that he used to reduce everyone to tears. Dear holy Saint Serafino, pray for us all!


Quote/s of the Day – 4 October – St Francis

Quote/s of the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226)

Alms are an inheritance
and a justice
which is due to the poor
and which Jesus
has levied upon us.

Start by doing what is necessary,
then what is possible
and suddenly, you are doing the impossible!

He who works with his hands,
is a labourer.
He who works with his hands and his head,
is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands
and his head and his heart,
is an artist.

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226)



One Minute Reflection – 4 October – ‘ … The weight by which Your Goodness, overcomes Your Justice. …’

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Jonah 1: 1 – 2: 1-2, 11; Psalm Jonah 2: 3, 4, 5, 8; Luke 10: 25-37 The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226)

But a certain Samaritan being on his journey, came near him and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And going up to him, bound up his wounds …” – Luke 10:33-34

REFLECTION –How good You are, O Divine Samaritan, to gather up this wounded world so sadly fallen along the way, trapped in such mire and so unworthy of Your Goodness!

The more wicked the world, the more Your Mercy shines forth: to be infinitely good to the good, is a thousand times less admirable, than to be infinitely good to souls, who, even though lavished with graces, are simply ungrateful, unfaithful, perverse. The more wicked we are, the more the marvel of Your infinite Mercy gleams and shines. This in itself, suffices to explain, the great good that sin produces on the earth and explains, why You permit it. It makes way for an incomparable greater good – the exercise and manifestation of Your divine Mercy. This divine attribute could not be put into practice without it; goodness could be exercised and shown without sin but failure is needed, if mercy is to be manifested. Ah! My Lord and God, how Good you are! How Merciful! Mercy is, so to speak, the overflow of Your Goodness and what is most passionate in Your Goodness, the weight by which Your Goodness overcomes Your Justice. How divinely good You are! (…)

Be kind to sinners, since God is so kind to us – pray for them, love them. … “Be merciful as our Father is merciful” (cf. Lk 6:36). God “prefers mercy to sacrifice” (cf. Mt 12:7).” – Bl Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) Hermit and Missionary in the Sahara – (Meditations on the psalms 103, psalm 52)

PRAYER – All highest, glorious God,
cast Your light into the darkness of our hearts,
give us true faith, firm hope,
perfect charity and profound humility,
so that with wisdom,
courage and perception, O Lord,
we may do what is truly Your holy will.
Amen. – St Francis of Assisi


Our Morning Offering – 4 October – Prayer to do the Will of God

Our Morning Offering – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (c 1181–1226)

Prayer to do the Will of God
By St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God,
grant us in our misery,
the grace to do for You alone
what we know You want us to do
and always to desire, what pleases You.
Thus, inwardly cleansed,
interiorly enlightened
and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit,
may we be able to follow in the footprints of
Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
And, by Your grace alone,
may we make our way to You,
Most High, Who live and rule in perfect Trinity
and simple Unity
and are glorified God
all-powerful, forever and ever.


Feast of the Stigmata of St Francis of Assisi and Memorials of the Saints – 17 September

St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church, Bishop, Confessor, Theologian, Professor, Writer, Preacher, Mediator. (Optional Memorial) Feast day – 13 May (General Roman Calendar, 1932–1969)
St Robert’s life here:

Stigmata of St Francis of Assisi:
Two years before the great Saint Francis of Assisi died and when he was forty-two years old — one year after he had built the first crib in honour of Our Lord — he went off to a lonely mountain called Mount Alvernia, to prepare himself by forty days of fasting and prayer for the Feast of Saint Michael, the greatest of God’s Angels, whose Feast day is 29 September. On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14 September, Saint Francis received in his hands, feet and side the Sacred Wounds from Our Lord’s own body.

Never was a Saint more beautifully loved by Jesus than Saint Francis of Assisi. The wounds Jesus gave him stayed in his hands, feet and side and continually bled for two more years, until he died in 1226. The day on which Saint Francis received the Five Wounds of Our Lord was 14 September but so, that this beautiful event might have a feast day for itself, the Stigmata of Saint Francis is commemorated today, on 17 September. The simple liturgy of this holy Saint’s life might be put this way – the crib in 1223 and the Cross in 1224.

St Agathoclia
St Brogan of Ross Tuirc
St Columba of Cordova
St Crescentio of Rome
St Emmanuel Nguyen Van Trieu
St Flocellus

St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179) Doctor of the Church, German Benedictine Abbess, Theologian, Writer, Composer, Philosopher, Poet, Mystic, Visionary, Founder, Scientist, Artist and Polymath. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.

St Justin of Rome

St Lambert (c 635-c 700) Bishop & Martyr, Bishop of Maastricht, Confessor, Missionary.
His Life and Death:

St Narcissus of Rome
St Peter Arbues OSA (1442-1485) Priest Martyr
St Rodingus
St Satyrus of Milan
St Socrates
Bl Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary
St Stephen
St Theodora
St Uni of Bremen
St Zygmunt Sajna

St Zygmunt Szcesny Felinski TOSF (1822-1895) Archbishop of Warsaw and founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary, Apostle of poor, Confessor, Professor, Writer, Reformer.
His Life:

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
• Blessed Álvaro Santos Cejudo Moreno Chocano
• Blessed Juan Ventura Solsona
• Blessed Timoteo Valero Pérez


Saint of the Day – 17 August – Saint Beatrice da Silva Meneses OIC (1424-1492)

Saint of the Day – 17 August – Saint Beatrice da Silva Meneses OIC (1424-1492) Virgin, Founder of The Order of the Immaculate Conception known as the Conceptionists, a contemplative Order of Nuns. Born in 1424 as Beatriz de Menezes da Silva, in Campo Maior, Portalegre, Portugal and died on 17 August 1492 in Toledo, Spain of natural causes. Also known as – Brites, Beatrix da Silva, Beatriz da Silva Meneses. Patronage – prisoners. Additional Memorial – 1 September in the Franciscan Order.

Beatrice da Silva was a Portuguese noble woman, one of eleven children born to Rui Gomes da Silva – first Governor of Campo Major, Portugal, after it was reconquered from Arab rule – and of Isabel de Menezes, the Countess of Portalegre. One of her brothers was the Blessed Amadeus of Portugal, OFM, a noted Confessor and Reformer of the Order of Friars Minor. (His life here:

She was raised in the Castle of Infante John, Lord Reguengos de Monsaraz. In 1447 Beatrice accompanied his daughter, Princess Isabel of Portugal, as her Lady in Waiting when Isabel went to marry King John II of Castile and Leon. She became a close friend of the Queen but unfortunately her beauty made Isabel jealous. It is said that a suitor, whom Beatrice had rejected, insinuated to the Queen that Beatrice was a rival for the King’s affections and she imprisoned Beatrice in a tiny cell. There is a story that she shut her in a chest. After a few days a relative, concerned about Beatrice’s welfare, persisted in questioning Isabel – the Queen showed him the chest where, expecting to find a body, he found Beatrice in perfect health. While imprisoned, Beatrice had a vision of Our Lady, who told her to found a new Order in her name.

Beatrice escaped and went to Toledo. On the journey she met two Franciscan Friars who told her she would be the mother of many children. She protested that she had taken a vow of purity to the Queen of Heaven. “What we have said will come to be,” they told her and then they vanished. Beatrice believed that Mary had sent St Francis and St Anthony to give her consolation.

In Toledo she took refuge with the Dominican nuns and for 37 years led a life of holiness without becoming a member of the Order. In 1484 Beatrice and a few companions took possession of a Palace in Toledo set apart for them by the new Queen Isabella (who married Ferdinand of Aragon). Isabella of Castile was a devout woman and took a great interest in Beatrice’s work. The Monastery was named Santa Fe, which was dedicated to honouring the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In 1489, with the permission of Pope Innocent VIII, the Nuns adopted the Cistercian rule, bound themselves to daily recitation of the Divine Office of the Immaculate Conception and were placed under obedience to the ordinary of the Diocese. Beatrice chose the habit, which is white with a white scapular and blue mantle with a medallion of Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception.

Beatrice died in 1492 in the Monastery which she had founded. Her remains are still venerated in the Chapel of that Monastery.

In 1501 Pope Alexander VI united the Nuns of Sante Fe, which Beatrice had founded, with the neighbouring Benedictine Monastery of San Pedro de las Duenas and put them all under the Rule of St Clare. Through this, the Order became connected with the Franciscans. Pope Julius II gave the Order a rule of life of its own in 1511 and special constitutions were drawn up by the Franciscan Cardinal Francisco de Quinones, establishing the community as the Monastery of the Immaculate Conception. The Order spread in Europe and South America. At its height, there were some 2,000 Monasteries of the Order throughout the world.

Beatrice was Beatified on 28 July 1926 by Pope Pius XI and Canonised on 21 January 1974 by Pope Paul VI (decree on heroic virtues). Recorded miracles involved the instantaneous and perfect healing of Sister Mary of Saint Anne, 22, from a hemorrhage subretinica, retinicis and a secondary lesions of the eye on 25 March 1923 in Mexico City;and Elizabeth Orozco Estrada, 63, from the small intestine and colon malignant neoplasia in September 1945 in Mexico City.


Quote/s of the Day – 12 August – St Clare and St Jane Frances de Chantal

Quote/s of the Day – 12 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Memorial of St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) and St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641

“Go forth in peace,
for you have followed the good road.
Go forth without fear,
for He who created you has made you holy,
has always protected you
and loves you as a mother.
Blessed be you, my God, for having created me.”

“Love[ing] one another
with the charity of Christ,
let the love you have in your hearts,
be shown outwardly in your deeds …”

St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

MORE St Clare:
St Jane Frances:


Our Morning Offering – 12 August – I Come, O Lord

Our Morning Offering – 12 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” Memorial of St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

I Come, O Lord
By St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

I come, O Lord,
unto Thy sanctuary
to see the life and food of my soul.
As I hope in Thee, O Lord,
inspire me with that confidence
which brings me to Thy holy mountain.
Permit me, Divine Jesus,
to come closer to Thee,
that my whole soul may do homage
to the greatness of Thy majesty,
that my heart,
with its tenderest affections,
may acknowledge Thy infinite love,
that my memory may dwell
on the admirable mysteries,
here renewed everyday
and that the sacrifice,
of my whole being,
may accompany Thine.


Saint of the Day – 7 August – Blessed Vincent de L’Aquila OFM (c 1435-1504)

Saint of the Day – 7 August – Blessed Vincent de L’Aquila OFM (c 1435-1504) Lay Brother Friar of the Order of the Friars Minor of St Francis, gifted with the charism of prophecy, Mystic, known to levitate whilst in prayer, miracle-worker. He was sought out by nobility, future saints and ordinary people for spiritual advice and prophecy. Born in c 1435 in L’Aquilaand died on the evening of 7 August 1504 in his hut in the forest outside the convent of San Giualiano near L’Aquila, Italy of natural causes. His body is incorrupt. Patronage – L’Aquila, Italy. Also known as Vicente.

The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “In L’Aquila, in the Vestina region (today Abruzzo), Italy, Blessed Vincent, a religious of the Order of Friars Minor, famous for his humility and his prophetic spirit”

Vincent was born in L’Aquila, in Abruzzo, a City that at that time was part of the kingdom of Naples..

At the age of 14 he entered the Order of Friars Minor in the Convent of San Julián, founded by Blessed Antonio de Stroncone, near the City gates. After the profession of perpetual vows, he spent the first years of his conventual life retired in a hut in the forest of the Convent, which he only left to fulfill the offices assigned to him. He preferred humble jobs, he helped the brothers with their domestic chores and fixed their sandals because, to be more useful, he had learned the trade of shoemaker. Other times he would dedicate himself to the work of the fields and, in the rest periods, he would retire to the roughness of the rocky ground, about a hundred paces from the Convent, to devote himself to prayer.

Although educated at home with great care, Vincent wanted, out of humility, to remain a lay brother.  One of the characteristics of his holiness was the spirit of mortification.  So much was his austerity, that he did not even wear the sandals permitted but always remained barefoot.  His brown habit, which can still be seen today, was the heaviest and coarsest of all;  He did not take it off day or night.  In addition, he wore sackcloth and inflicted frequent and prcticed floggings.  His food was reduced to bread and water with some raw herbs, and if he was sometimes obliged, by obedience, to eat like the community, he nevertheless found a means of mortifying himself, taking only a part of his portion and adding dust or bitter substances to it.

His application to prayer was so great that Fray Marcos de Lisboa wrote about him: “Vicente remained abstracted and elevated in the air and his body was as deprived of the senses as if he were dead.” The superiors, seeing him as exemplary, to keep him away from excessive mortification, dedicated him to begging in which Vincent undoubtedly found many sacrificial occasions, given his fondness for solitude and the hidden life.  His main concern, in the daily walks, was always the good of souls. Among the people who were inspired by his holiness we must remember the young girl Mattia Ciccarelli, who later became an Augustinian nun in L’Aquila, with the name of Blessed Sister Cristina Ciccarelli and today she is venerated on Altars with the title of Blessed.

Vincent was sent to the Penne Convent, then for 10 years, to that of Sulmona; from there here turned to San Julián del Aquila. The Prince of Capua, Queen Juana, second wife of Ferdinand I and sister of Ferdinand the Catholic, King of Spain, became acquainted with him for advice. He predicted the royal crown to the Duke of Calabria, the eldest son of Ferdinand I of Aragon.

An illness which had afflicted Vincent for a long time was getting worse and worse, until it prevented him from leaving his poor cell. He endured everything with great resignation and with the serenity of the Saints. On the afternoon of 7 August 1504, he expired serenely in the Lord, lovingly assisted by his confreres. Blessed Cristina Ciccarelli, from her window, saw the Convent of San Julián illuminate with great splendour and the soul of her spiritual director fly to heaven accompanied by a crowd of Angels.

In life, Vincent performed several miracles.  In L´Aquila he returned speech to a mute.  In another City, he cured a child who, due to his misshapen legs, could not walk and in Sant’Angelo three people owed him the cure of a similar disease.  But the most admirable prodigy attributed to the power of his prayers was the resurrection of the Bishop of Sulmona, Bartolomé della Scala, of the Order of Preachers.  This latter miracle had a great impact in Abruzzo and visits flowed to the Convent of San Nicolás de Sulmona, the residence of the miracle-worker at that time. They brought him sick to pray for them and they were cured.

He was 69 years old. He was buried in the Church of San Julián next to the Convent. His incorrupt body is preserved in  in a walnut and glass chest.. Since then it began to shine with miracles attested by donations and votive inscriptions. After more than a century, in 1634, the preservation of the body was still evident. A new inscription was added: “In this tomb rests the body of Blessed Vincent de L’Aquila, who passed away on 7 August 1504.” Pope Pius VI approved his cult by Beatification on 19 September 1787.


Quote/s of the Day – 4 August – St Dominic de Guzman

Quote/s of the Day – 4 August – The Memorial of St Dominic de Guzman OP(1170-1221)

“Arm yourself with prayer,
instead of a sword;
be clothed with humility,
instead of fine raiment.

“You are my companion
and must walk with me.
For if we hold together,
no earthly power can withstand us.”

— Upon meeting St Francis of Assisi.

“I am not capable of doing big things
but I want to do everything,
even the smallest things,
for the greater glory of God.”

St Dominic de Guzman (1170-1221)



Santa Maria degli Angelis / Our Lady of Angels, Assisi, Italy (13th Century) Feast Day and Portiuncula Indulgence and Memorials of the Saints – 2 August

Santa Maria degli Angelis / Our Lady of Angels, Assisi, Italy (13th Century) Feast Day and Portiuncula Indulgence: 2 August

Our Lady of Angels, or of the Portiuncula, is located on the outskirts of the City of Assisi, in Italy. It was a desolate locality and apparently an unsettled one where robbers and the lawlessness flourished, for the Benedictines who had lived at the Monastery felt it was too hazardous to remain there. They abandoned the Monastery, relocating to Mount Subasio, which was a fortified Monastery.
The original Chapel is thought to date from the 4th Century and was built by holy hermits who had come from the Valley of Josaphat. It is said that they brought relics of the Blessed Virgin with them to the region when they constructed the Chapel.
The history of the feast is inspiring. St Francis of Assisi, in the early days of his conversion, while he was still uncertain as to what path to pursue, was praying earnestly for enlightenment before the Crucifix at the Church of San Damiano, when he heard within himself the command of the Crucified: “Build up my house, for it is nearly falling down.” Taking the words literally, Francis began to restore San Damiano and other dilapidated Churches in and near Assisi. The most famous of these was the Church of Our Lady of the Angels.
Some time after the restoration of this little Chapel, an Angel told St Francis to come to the Church of Our Lady of Angels, or Portiuncula. There he found Our Lord, His Blessed Mother and the Angels waiting for him. Our Lord commended Francis because of his zeal for the salvation of souls and promised to grant him whatever he should ask on behalf of sinners. St Francis asked for this great favour – that all those who came to this Church to pray and, truly sorry for their sins, confessed them, should “Obtain in perpetuity a Plenary Indulgence” so that they would have nothing to account for when God called them. This was the great favour he asked, but Our Lord granted it to him through Mary.
When Saint Francis came upon the little, run down and abandoned Chapel of Our Lady of Angels, or Santa Maria degli Angelis, in the year 1208, it was almost completely hidden in shrubs and bush. Saint Francis entered the hidden Church, which measured only (7 x 4 metres) twenty-two feet by thirteen feet and saw the ancient fresco that had been placed above the main Altar. It was an image of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin surrounded by Angels. Some say that this is why the Chapel was named Our Lady of Angels, although there are also legends that Angels could often be heard singing there.

The place took its name, the Little Portion, or Portiuncula in the native Italian, from the small section of fertile land that was gifted to the Monks to work for their support. It is said that this was the place where Saint Francis first understood his vocation, received visions and was also where the saint desired to live. The Benedictines had lived at that location for hundreds of years but the Benedictine Monks gave this Chapel to Saint Francis upon his request. It was certainly here that the Franciscan Order was founded.
At first Saint Francis wished the convent which he built there to be the principal one of his Order. He assembled the first General Chapter there, where there were five thousand religious. It was also where he yielded up his spirit on 3 October 1226, the twentieth of his conversion and the forty-fourth of his age. The cell in which the poor man of Assisi died can still be seen where it rests against one of the columns of the cupola under the choir bay.

St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
St Alphonsus:
And more:
The Roman Martyrology states of St Alphonsus today: “At Nocera-de-Pagani, Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Bishop of St Agatha of the Goths and Founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists), distinguished by his zeal for the salvation of souls, by his writings, his preaching and his example.
He was inscribed on the Calendar of the Saints by Pope Gregory XVI in the year 1839, the 52nd after his happy death and , in 1871, was declared Doctor of the Universal Church by Pius IX, according to a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites.

St Eusebius of Vercelli (c 283-371) Bishop (Optional Memorial) Bishop, Confessor, Founder of monasticism in his region of Italy.
St Eusebius:

St Peter Julian Eymard SSS (1811-1868) – “Apostle of the Eucharist”Priest, Founder of two religious institutes, Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers and Brothers and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.

St Auspicius of Apt
St Betharius of Chartres
St Centolla of Burgos
St Etheldritha of Croyland
Bl Frederic Campisani
Bl Giustino Maria Russolillo
Bl Gundekar of Eichstätt
Bl Joanna of Aza
Bl John of Rieti
St Maximus of Padua
St Pedro de Osma

St Peter Faber SJ (1506-1546) the “Second Jesuit” – as co-Founder with St Ignatius. He was the first Priest and theologian of the Order.

St Plegmund
St Rutilius
St Serenus of Marseilles (Died c 606) Bishop of Marseilles
St Sidwell
St Pope Stephen I

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Fernando Olmedo Reguera
Bl Miguel Amaro Rodríguez


Quote/s of the Day – 15 July – St Bonaventure

Quote/s of the Day – 15 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” and the Memorial of St Bonaventure OFM (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church

“As “pride is the beginning of all sin,” (Eccl. 10:15)
so humility is the foundation of all virtue.
Learn to be really humble and not,
as the hypocrite, humble merely in appearance.”

“Run with eager desire
to this Source of Life and Light,
all you who are vowed
to God’s service.”

St Bonaventure’s Sermon of 4 October 1255

“When we pray,
the voice of the heart
must be heard ,
more than that proceeding
from the mouth.”

Have Mercy on Me, O Lady

Have mercy on me, O Lady,
for thou art called the Mother of Mercy.
And according to thy mercy,
cleanse me from all my iniquities.
Pour forth thy grace upon me
and withdraw not from me
thine accustomed clemency.
For I will confess my sins to thee
and I will accuse myself of all my crimes before thee.
Reconcile me to the Fruit of thy womb:
and make peace for me with Him,
Who has created me.

The Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary by St Bonaventure

“Mary seeks for those
who approach her devoutly and with reverence,
for such she loves, nourishes,
and adopts as her children. ”


Quote/s of the Day – 15 July – St Bonaventure


St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church


Saint of the Day – 15 July – Blessed Bernard of Baden TOSF (1428-1458)

Saint of the Day – 15 July – Blessed Bernard of Baden TOSF (1428-1458) Margrave of Baden (Margrave was originally the medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the border provinces of the Holy Roman Empire.) Tertiary of the Order of St Francis, apostle of the poor and the needy. Born in c 1428 in Hohenbaden Castle, Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany and died on 15 July 1458 in Moncalieri, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Bernard of Marchio, Bernard II, Margrave of Baden-Baden, Bernhard of Baden, Bernardo, Bernardus, Bernhard. Patronages – Baden, Germany, Baden-Baden, Germany, together with Saint Konrad of Constance , he is the Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany, Moncalieri, Italy.

Blessed Bernard was born in late 1428 or early 1429 (his exact birthday is not known) at Hohenbaden Castle near Baden-Baden in the present state of Baden- Baden. Württemberg in Germany. This Castle was the then tribal seat of the Margraves of Baden and Bernhard was the second son of Margrave James I and his wife Catherine of Lorraine, who was the daughter of Blessed Margaret of the Palatinate and Duke Charles II of Lorraine (1364-1431) .

Berrnard grew up in a deeply religious family. His father,had founded Fremersberg Abbey and expanded the Collegiate Church in Baden-Baden. The Margrave’s house was characterised by a deep devotion and religious practices and a great sense of responsibility towards the family members and subjects.

Bernard received a careful education, which would prepare him for his later role as a sovereign. The intent was that he would be Margrave of Pforzheim, Eberstein, Besigheim and several districts in the northern part of the Margraviate.

He was related to the Habsburg dynasty via his older brother Karl I, who had married Catherine of Austria, a sister of Emperor Frederick III. This relationship should give Bernard access to the imperial Court. But first, he assisted his uncle René of Anjou in an armed conflict in northern Italy. According to contemporary sources, he fought bravely. After his father’s death in 1453, he returned to Baden, where he agreed with his brother to give up his claim to part of the margraviate. Instead, he became Frederick III’s personal envoy, despite his young age.

Bernard saw a number of disgraceful situations and tried to alleviate hardship and poverty wherever he could. He spent most of his income assisting the poor and those in need. Even during his lifetime, he impressed his contemporaries with his unusual and deep piety.

Under pressure, after the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, the imperial Habsburg family began preparing a Crusade against the expanding Ottoman Empire. In March 1453, the Turks captured Constantinople, the capital of the Greek Empire, after a terrible battle and the City was lost to Christianity. This was the main reason that Frederick III, in particular, saw the need to attempt to rout the Turks. Thus, Bernard left soldier life and embarked on a diplomatic career, which was more in line with his peaceful nature. Emperor Frederick III sent him to various Courts in Germany, France and Italy to arouse interest and raise money for a new Crusade. He was so attracted to this mission to save Christianity, that he soon after handed over the office of Margrave of Baden with all rights to his brother Karl for a period of ten years.

Bernard had, since childhood, lived a very religious life and wanted to support his brother-in-law the Emperor by all means. At the imperial Court he also became an ardent intercessor for the needy, following the teachings of Christ and His Church and seeing the Face of Christ in the poor. Bernard rightly believed, that Godliness should lead to mercy for those in most need. He himself lived as he taught and divided his guaranteed annual income into three: one-third was to be used for the poor, one-third was to benefit the Church, and one-third was for himself. In addition, he led a strictly religious life and gave up all worldly pleasures, which earned him deep respect even during his young lifetime.

Emperor Frederick III held two parliaments in 1455, where he appointed delegations of German Princes to recruit rulers outside Germany to take part in a crusade against the Turks. Bernard’s intention was to work on behalf of Emperor Frederick III for the good of Christianity in the areas that the Turks had occupied.  His last voyage as an imperial envoy began in late May 1458 and led him and his companions to the Duchy of Orléans and on to Genoa.

He was on his way to Rome, to meet Pope Callistus III (1455-1458), who himself tried to encourage support for a Crusade with great enthusiasm but little success . But shortly after Bernard left Turin in northern Italy, he and his companions were infected by an epidemic, probably the plague. He tried to get home to Baden but even before reaching the village of Moncalieri on the Po River south of Turin in Piedmont, two of his companions were dead. In a hostel next to the Franciscan Monastery in Moncalieri, Bernard died on 15 July 1458, not yet thirty years old.

Due to his position as Prince and Emperor’s envoy, Margrave Bernard was buried in front of the High Altar in the dormitory Church of Santa Maria della Scala in Moncalieri.  He was not a citizen of Moncalieri but was, nevertheless, solemnly carried to the grave in the presence of numerous clergy and local citizens, which was probably due more to his privileged status, than the strongly believing and holy life he had led.

During the mourning ceremony, Bernard’s life was told, which led to a citizen of Moncalieri asking Bernhard for prayer and help, as he had only been able to move with a cane and crutches for a long time the result of a bone disease. Already, during the mourning ceremony, this man recovered, which led to general astonishment and joy and was immediately attributed to the prayers of the newly buried Badian Margrave.  Bernard’s cult and calls for help and support had begun.  He already had a reputation for holiness and for a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, and many miracles were reported at his tomb.  In Moncalieri and the surrounding area, accounts spread of his effective intercession.  His tomb and his relics became a pilgrimage site which it still is.  Pilgrimages were and are held there, prayers are said, vows are made and sacrifices are offered. Bernhard has, for many centuries, been the Patron Saint of Moncalieri, which is probably the only City in Italy, that has a German Prince as their Protector.

His cult spread rapidly in Piedmont and the surrounding areas of France and Germany.  In Vic near Nancy and Metz in Lorraine, where Bernhard’s brother Georg had been Bishop, an Altar and Statue were rected in St. Stephan’s Collegiate Church.  Of course, he was also remembered in his home county.  There, Margaret, daughter of Margrave Charles I, who from 1477 to 1496 was Abbess of the Monastery of Lichtenthal, had a wooden Statue made in honour of her uncle, which was erected in the princely Chapel.

The wooden Statue erected by Bleseed Bernard’s niece

Bernard was Beatifed on 16 September 1769 by Pope Clement XIV. His Canonisation process continues, at present, the second miracle required is being investigated.


Saint of the Day – 5 July – Blessed Elias of Bourdeilles OFM (c 1423-1484)

Saint of the Day – 5 July – Blessed Elias of Bourdeilles OFM (c 1423-1484) Archbishop of Tours and Cardinal, Defender of the Church against the State and a political prisoner because of it, devout son of St Francis of Assisi, living a life of poverty and caring for the poor. Born in c 1423 at Périgord, France and died on 5 July, 1484, at Artannes near Tours, France of natural causes. Also known as – Elie, Hélie.

You know enough about Saint Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) to understand that she was a victim of international politics and rival patriarchal systems. Within twenty-five years of her death, Pope Callixtus III concluded an inquiry with a declaration of her innocence and Martyrdom. One of the advocates who worked on the report that vindicated her was a Bishop named Elias of Bourdeilles.

Elia was the son of the Viscount Arnaud de Bourdeilles and was born at the Castle of Bourdeilles in Périgord,

Having entered the Franciscan Order at an early age, he was only twenty four years old when, at the request of King Charles VII, he was appointed to the See of Périgueux in 1447.

During the wars between France and England he was held prisoner for several years by the English, in consequence of his defence of ecclesiastical immunity.

In 1468 he was appointed to the Archepiscopal See of Tours and in 1483 he was raised to the Cardinalate by Pope Sixtus IV.

He was a devout Franciscan and he lived in personal poverty and used the Church’s available resources to aid the poor. Elias was an intimate friend of St Frances of Paola.

He is mentioned among the Blessed in the Franciscan Martyrology for the 5th day of July. A stanch defender of the rights of the Church against the encroachments of the State, Cardinal Elias advocated the abolition of the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, as may be seen from his treatise, “Pro Pragmaticæ Sanctionis Abrogatione” (Rome, 1486). He also wrote “Libellus in Pragmaticam Sanctionem Gallorum” (Rome, 1484) and a Latin defence of Jeanne d’Arc which is attached in manuscript to the process of her rehabilitation.


Saint of the Day – 2 July – Servant of God Bernard of Quintavalle OFM ( Died 1241) “The First Follower of St Francis of Assisi.

Saint of the Day – 2 July – Servant of God Bernard of Quintavalle OFM ( Died 1241) The First fruits of the Minor Orders,”The First Follower of St Francis of Assisi,” his faithful and devout companion who received. from St Francis on his deathbed, custody of the Friars Minor. \he died nearly 20 years after St Francis.

Bernard, one of the wealthiest young men of Assisi, became intrigued by reports about one of his peers—Francesco di Bernardone, previously known as something of a dandy and carouser—who had recently aroused wonder, as well as ridicule, by his ostentatious embrace of poverty. His curiosity piqued, Bernard who invited Francis to dine with him and spend the night in his home.

During the course of the night, he was so moved by the sound of his guest’s ardent prayers that he confronted Francis the next day and asked his help in discerning God’s will. Opening the Missal at random, Francis alighted on the text, “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell all you own, and give it to the poor.” A second time he opened the book and found, “Take nothing for your journey.” On a third attempt, he found, “If anyone would follow me, let him deny himself.” “This is the advice that the Lord has given us,” Francis proclaimed. “Go and do as you have heard.” Taking these instructions to heart, Bernard disposed of his property and adopted Francis’s way of life.

This image shows Bernard peeking out from behind the curtains on the right. as St Francis prays.

Becoming one of Francis’s most trusted companions, Bernard accompanied him on many journeys. He established a house in Bologna and undertook a special mission to the Shrine at Santiago de Compostela. When Francis was on his deathbed in 1226, “like the patriarch Jacob, with his devoted sons standing around him, grieving and weeping over the departure of so beloved a father,” he asked, “Where is my firstborn son?” Placing his hand on Bernard, he bestowed a special blessing, and enjoined him to “be the head of all your Brothers.”

Bernard himself died about 20 years later, around 1241 and was buried near his spiritual father in the Basilica of Saint Francis. His last words were, “I find this in my soul – not for a thousand worlds equal to this one, would I want not to have served Our Lord Jesus Christ…. My dearest brothers, I beg you to love one another.”

“Of Bernard, St Francis said that he was worthy of all reverence and that he had founded this Order because he was the first who had left the world, keeping back nothing for himself but giving everything to Christ’s poor.” — From The Little Flowers of St. Francis.


Saint of the Day – 27 June – Blessed Benvenutus of Gubbio OFM ) (Died 1232)

Saint of the Day – 27 June – Blessed Benvenutus of Gubbio OFM ) (Died 1232) Lay Brother of the Order of the Friars Minor of St Francis, ex-Soldier, apostle of the sick and of lepers. Benvenutus was graced with an ardent and mystical devotion to the Blessed Eucharist and to the Mother of God. So ardent was his faith and contemplation that he was seen to hold the Divine Infant in his arms. Born in the 12th-century Gubbio, Italy and died in 1232 in Corneto, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Benvenuto.

In the Umbrian town of Gubbio, north of Assisi, there lived a Knight named Benvenutus, who had achieved great martial fame for his valour. When St Francis came to Gubbio in 1222 in order to preach in that vicinity, Benvenutus saw him and listened to him with astonishment. His martial spirit took great pleasure in the Saint’s perfect mortification and contempt of the world.

The grace of God so touched his heart, that, after a few days, Benvenutus presented himself to St Francis in complete knightly attire and entreated him humbly to admit him as a lay brother. Francis always had great esteem for soldiers who distinguished themselves in obedience, self-denial and fearless courage, for he considered such training a very good preparation for the religious life. Since Benvenutus evinced, in addition to these good qualities, a very profound humility, Francis recognised in him, the true soldier of Jesus Christ and gladly received him among his brethren.

Clad in a poor garment and girded with a cord, the stately warrior was now seen heroically overcoming himself. The poorest in clothing, dwelling and food was his choice. The purity of his heart shone in his countenance and in his entire external appearance. He seemed to have no will whatsoever of his own, so perfect in obedience was he at all times.

St Francis charged him with the care of the sick in a leper hospital. There he had, in truth, daily and hourly opportunities to practice heroic charity and self-denial. But Benvenutus was always seen, to wait upon the patients, even the most repulsive among them, with such cheerful devotion and care, as if he were serving his Divine Lord. Jesus Himself. Otherwise very serious and reserved, he was very sociable when he spoke to the sick and the depressed in order to cheer them up.

Benvenutus was also favoured by God with a high degree of contemplation. Sometimes he spent whole nights in prayer, pleading with God with burning tears ,for the conversion of sinners. Towards the Blessed Sacrament he entertained an ardent devotion filled with lively faith and frequently, our Diving Lord descended into his arms in the form of a charming child. He also had a very special devotion to Mary, the Blessed Mother of God.

The more completely, to purify his soul and increase his merit, God allowed Blessed Benvenutus to be seized with a severe illness, after he had himself tended the sick for many years. As his active charity formerly edified everybody, so his patience and perfect resignation to God’s holy will did so now in a greater degree. Blessed Benvenutusof Gubbio died ten years after his entrance into the Order, in 1232, in the City of Corneto.

Astonishing miracles wrought at the grave of Blessed Benvenutus gave evidence of his holiness, and attracted a great concourse of pilgrims, so that only a few years after his death, Pope Gregory IX sanctioned his public veneration in Corneto and the surrounding country. Pope Innocent XI extended the devotion to the entire Franciscan Order in the year 1697.


Matka Boża Tęskniąca / Longing Mother of God, Warsaw, Poland and Memorials of the Saints – 26 June

Matka Boża Tęskniąca / Longing Mother of God, Warsaw, Poland – 26 June:

One of the oldest Churches in the Archdiocese of Warsaw is St Elizabeth Powsin Located on the main Altar is a painting of th Longing Mother of God– artist unknown – from the first half of the seventeenth century. At either side, the image is surrounded by statues of Saints Adalbert and Stanislaus – Polish Bishops and Martyrs.
The testimony of miracles and graces relating to the Longing Mother of God icon, have been collected at least since the mid-seventeenth century.
On 28 June 1998, the image became the fourth image of Mary in the Archdiocese of Warsaw to be canonically Crowned.

St Acteie of Rome
St Albinus of Rome

Blessed Andrea Giacinto Longhin OFM. Cap (1863 – 1936) Bishop of Treviso, Italy from 1904 until his death.
His Life:

Bl Andrii Ischak
St Anthelm of Belley O. Cart. (c 1105-1178) Bishop, Prior
St Babolenus of Stavelot-Malmédy
St Barbolenus of Fossés
Bl Bartholomew of Vir
St Corbican
St David of Thessalonica
St Deodatus of Nola
St Dionysius of Bulgaria
St Edburga of Gloucester
St Hermogius of Tuy
St Iosephus Ma Taishun
St John of Rome
St John of the Goths
St José Maria Robles Hurtado

St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975) “The Saint of Ordinary Life” – Priest, Founder of Opus Dei.

Blessed Jacques Ghazir Haddad OFM Cap (1875-1954) the “St Vincent de Paul of Lebanon,“the Apostle of the Cross” and “the Apostle of Lebanon.” Priest, Religious of the Order of Friars Minor as a Capuchin Friar, Founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Cross of which he is the Patron, noted Preacher and founder of many orphanages and schools across Lebanon.
Beautiful Blessed Jacques:

St Maxentius of Poitou
St Medico of Otricoli
Bl Mykola Konrad
St Paul of Rome
St Pelagius of Oviedo
St Perseveranda of Poitiers
Bl Raymond Petiniaud de Jourgnac
St Salvius
Bl Sebastian de Burgherre
St Soadbair
St Superius
St Terence of Rome
St Vigilius of Trent
Bl Volodymyr Ivanovych Pryima

Martyrs of Africa – 4 saints: Four Christians who were martyred together – Agapitus, Emerita, Felix and Gaudentius at an unknown location in Africa, date unknown.

Martyrs of Alexandria – 3 saints: Three Christians who were martyred together, but we really know little more that the names – Agatho, Diogenes and Luceja. They were martyred in Alexandria, Egypt, date unknown.

Martyrs of Cambrai – 4 beati: Four Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul nuns at Arras, France. Imprisoned together in 1792 and executed together two years later in the anti-Catholic excesses of the French Revolution. They were:
• Jeanne Gerard
• Marie-Françoise Lanel
• Marie-Madeleine Fontaine
• Thérèse-Madeleine Fantou
They were guillotined on 26 June 1794 at Cambrai, Nord, France and Beatified in June 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.


Thought for the Day – 13 June – St Anthony

Thought for the Day – 13 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

St Anthony

“On the 13th of June in the year 1231, a crowd of children set out from the nearby Convent of Arcella and entered Padua crying out: “The Saint is dead!”
The entire City was -plunged into mourning because it’s Saint was dead.

Anthony had traversed Italy, converting heretics, recalling innumerous sinners to repentance, working miracles and giving peace to souls and to strife-torn cities.
Soon he had felt that his young life was already running out as the result of these labours and austerities and he had determined to hide himself in a little Franciscan Monastery at Camposampiero near Padua.
In order to shelter himself from the world ,as far as possible, he built a little cell in the bifurcation of the branches of a giant walnut tree.
Here he spent his last days in prayer and contemplation, joining with the birds in their songs of praise to God.
He was no longer a man but an angel in human form.
Crowds of the faithful flocked around the tree to hear, once again, the voice of the Saint calling on them to practise virtue and to follow the road to Heaven.

It was in this little nest, at only thirty six years of age, that his life slowly flickered out, consumed, not so much by disease as by a burning love for God and for his fellowman.

Let us pray that we may obtain a spark of this love, which will detach us from the world, cause us to belong entirely to God and make us generous apostles in our work for the salvation of souls.
Jesus, my God, I love You above all things. Amen.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart , 13 June 1917 – The Second Apparition of our Lady of Fatima, Madonna della Cava/ Our Lady of the Cave, Latera, Viterbo, Latium, Italy and Memorials of the Saints – 13 June

Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart +2021

13 June 1917 – The Second Apparition of our Lady of Fatima

Madonna della Cava/ Our Lady of the Cave, Latera, Viterbo, Latium, Italy – 13 June:

The Church of the Madonna della Cava is a small Church located in an area of tufa quarries in one of the roads leading to the agricultural areas of the country.
It is the Church and above all, a painting depicting the Madonna and child, ae the subject of particular devotion on the part of the inhabitants of Latium. The Church, rebuilt today, was bombed during World War II and reduced to ruins, ruined from flying debris and explosions with only the framework surviving behind the Altar and the painting.

St Anthony of Padua OFM (1195-1231) (Memorial) (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church
The wonderful St Anthony:
Actions Speak Louder than Words:

Bl Achilleo of Alexandria
Bl Alfonso Gomez de Encinas
Bl Anthony of Ilbenstadt
St Aquilina of Syria
St Aventino of Arbusto
St Damhnade
St Diodorus of Emesa
St Eulogius of Alexandria
St Fandilas of Penamelaria
St Felicula of Rome
St Fortunatus of North Africa

Blessed Gerard of Clairvaux (Died 1138) – was the elder brother of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. He was a Soldier. When he was wounded in combat at the siege of Grancy, Gerard resolved to become a Monk. He became a Benedictine Cistercian Monk at Citeaux. He worked with Saint Bernard at Clairvaux and became his closest confidant. He died in 1138 of natural causes.

St Lucian of North Africa
St Mac Nissi of Clonmacno

Blessed Marianna Biernacka (1888-1943) Martyr of the Nazi Regime, Laywoman, Mother, Grandmother, Widow
Her Life and Death:

St Maximus of Cravagliana
St Nicolas Bùi Ðuc The
St Peregrinus of Amiterno
St Rambert
St Salmodio
Bl Servatius Scharff
St Thecla
St Tryphillius (Died 370) Bishop
St Victorinus of Assisi
St Wilicarius of Vienne


Saint of the Day – 4 June – Blessed Pacificus of Cerano OFM (c 1424-1482)

Saint of the Day – 4 June – Blessed Pacificus of Cerano OFM (c 1424-1482) Priest of the Order of the Friars, renowned Preacher, called the “very famous apostolic orator,” Writer of spiritual works. Born as Pacifico Ramati in c 1424 at Cerano, Novara, Lombardy, Italy and died on 14 June 1482 in Sassari, Sardinia, Italy of natural causes. He was considered by scholars to be “outstanding for doctrine and holiness, the care and protection of his homeland.” Patronage – Cerano, Italy. Also known as – Pacifico Ramati, Pacificus of Ceredano, Pacificus Ramota.

The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “In Sassari, blessed Pacifico Ramati, priest of the Order of Minors, who preached in defense of Christians and died in the Lord.”

A native of Cerano in the Province of Novara, Pacifico Ramati was orphaned at an early age and welcomed in the Monastery of St Lorenzo dei Benedettini were he was educated by the Superior in all necessary studies and in love of God and neighbour.

On the death of the Superior, his benefactor, he chose to remain in the religious state but preferring the Franciscan Order of Minors, thus entering the famous Observants Convent of St Nazario della Costa, already the cradle of future Saints of the Order.

After being Ordained as a Priest and having excelled in his studies, he was sent to the Sorbonne in Paris, where he obtained his doctorate. He returned to Italy and dedicated himself to preaching with fervour and competence, so as to be considered another St Bernardine and nicknamed the “very famous apostolic orator.”

He fought the religious ignorance of both the faithful and the clergy, especially in matters of penance. Pacificus became very active against religious ignorance and wrote the “Summa Pacifica,” a dissertation written in Italian and named after him ,as the Summa Pacifica which elaborates on the proper method of hearing Confessions. It was published in 1474 in the vernacular in order to reach as many as possible. The work was also published in Latin at Venice on two occasions first in 1501 and then in 1513.

His work took place in particular in Piedmont and Lombardy and in Cerano where he often returned and where he had a Chapel built to the Madonna to increase her devotion.

In 1471 Pope Sixtus IV sent him on a special mission to Sardinia and then a second time in 1480 during the Arab invasion of Mohammed II, with the task of organising a special Crusade against the Turks.

After two years of fruitful missionary efforts, on 4 June 1482, he died in Sassari consumed by apostolic labours. Fulfilling his wishes, his body was buried in the Franciscan Church in Cerano and some of his relics were given to the Parish Church as Patron of the Town. He was immediately honoured as a Saint and Pope Benedict XIV approved the cult on 12 May 1746.


Virgen María Sembradora / Virgin Mary the Planter, Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Memorials of the Saints – 4 June

Virgen María Sembradora / Virgin Mary the Planter, Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina – 4 June :

She is a great sower in the world of the best Seed, that of her Son.
She was chosen to be the door of that great Seed that has changed the colour and flavour of all things and peoples of this world, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
A planter of the Gospel as a woman in her home, in that family of Nazareth where Jesus grew in wisdom and truth.
She sowed silence around her Son, a silence of listening, of following, of accepting God’s will.
But she also sowed commitment to the need of Elizabeth her relative and at that wedding in Cana.
She again put seeds of the Kingdom at the foot of the Cross, welcoming that disconsolate disciple, becoming a Mother to him and to us all.
Her seeds of unity, affection and advice in the midst of the community bore fruit … Today she continues to plant all this in our hearts to love her Son Jesus and God our Father who chose her as His Masterpiece.

The image of Virgen Maria Sembradora / Virgin Mary the Planter is housed in the Parish “San Carlos Borromeo” in Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Virgin carries in her right hand the Seed of the Word, planting it in the hearts of the faithful.

A Novena is begun on 25 May and on 4 June every year, the Statue is carried out in procession.

St Aldegrin of Baume
St Alexander of Verona
St Alonio
Bl Antoni Zawistowski
St Aretius of Rome
Bl Boniface of Villers
St Breaca of Cornwall
St Buriana of Cornwall
St Christa of Sicily
St Clateus of Brescia
St Cornelius McConchailleach
St Croidan
St Cyrinus of Aquileia
St Dacian of Rome
St Degan
St Edfrith of Lindisfarne
St Elsiar of Lavedan
St Ernin of Cluain

St Filippo Smaldone (1848-1923) Priest and Founder of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts, Preacher, Catechist, Apostle of Eucharistic Adoration and Our Lady, Apostle of Charity and especially of orphans, the blind and the deaf.

Bl Francesco Pianzola

St Francis Caracciolo CRM (1563-1608) Priest, Co-Founder of the Congregation of the Clerics Regular Minor with Venerable John Augustine (1551-1587) the “Adorno Fathers,” Confessor, Apostle of the Eucharistic Adoration.
His body was given enough preparation for a long journey to Naples. Truly, God has left His own sign on him. When the body was lanced, the blood spouted a red and scented fluid and his vital organs were uncorrupted. Around his heart were printed the words of the Psalm: “The zeal of your house consumes me” (Ps 69:10).

Bl Francis Ronci
Bl Margaret of Vau-le-Duc
St Medan
Bl Menda Isategui
St Metrophanes of Byzantium
St Nennoc
St Nicolo of Sardinia
St Optatus of Milevis
Blessed Pacificus of Cerano OFM (c 1424-1482) Priest of the Order of the Friars Minor of St Francis
St Petroc of Cornwall
St Quirinus of Croatia
St Quirinus of Tivoli
St Rutilus of Sabaria
Saturnina of Arras
Bl Stanislaw Kostka Starowieyski
St Trano of Sardinia
St St Walter of Fontenelle
Walter of Serviliano

Martyrs of Cilicia – 13 saints: A group of 13 Christians who were martyred together. The only details about them that have survived are their names –
• Cama• Christa• Crescentia• Eiagonus• Expergentus• Fortunus• Italius
• Jucundian• Julia• Momna• Philip• Rustulus• Saturnin
They were martyred in in Cilicia, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey), date unknown

Martyrs of Nyon – 41 saints: A group of 41 Christians martyred together for refusing to sacrifice to imperial Roman idols. We know the names of some but no other details.
• Amatus• Attalus• Camasus• Cirinus• Dinocus• Ebustus• Euticus• Eutychius
• Fortunius• Galdunus• Julia• Quirinus• Rusticus• Saturnina• Saturninus
• Silvius• Uinnita• Zoticus
Martyred by being beheaded in Noviodunum (modern Nyon, Switzerland).


Quote/s of the Day – 17 May – St Paschal Baylon

Quote/s of the Day – 17 May – The Memorial of St Paschal Baylon OFM (1540-1592) “Seraph of the Eucharist,” “Saint of the Blessed Sacrament,” “Servant of the Blessed Sacrament.”

“God is as really present
in the consecrated Host,
as He is, in the glory of Heaven.”

“There is no more efficacious means than this,
(Eucharistic Adoration)
for nourishing and increasing
the piety of the people,
toward this admirable pledge of love,
which is a bond of peace and of unity.”

St Paschal Baylon (1540-1592)


Our Morning Offering – 15 May – Mother of Mercy By St Bonaventure

Our Morning Offering – 15 May – “Mary’s Month” – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter, C

Mother of Mercy
By St Bonaventure (1217-1274)
Serpahic Doctor

Virgin full of goodness,
Mother of Mercy,
I entrust to you my body and soul,
my thoughts, my actions,
my life and my death.
O my Queen, help me,
and deliver me from all
the snares of the devil.
Obtain for me the grace
of loving my Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son,
with a true and perfect love,
and after him, O Mary,
to love you with all my heart
and above all things.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, The 3rd Glorious Mystery - DESCENT of the HOLY SPIRIT, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 May – “If I go, I will send him to you.” – John 16:7

One Minute Reflection – 11 May – “Mary’s Month” – Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter,Readings: Acts 16: 22-34, Psalms 138: 1-2, 2-3, 7-8, John 16: 5-11

“But I tell you the truth, it is expedient to you that I go; for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you but if I go, I will send him to you.” – John16:7

REFLECTION – “The Holy Spirit is the wheat that comforts us along the road to the fatherland, the wine that gives us joy in tribulation, the oil that sweetens life’s sorrows. This threefold support, was needed by the apostles who had to go out to preach through the whole world. This is why Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to them. They are filled with Him – filled, so that no impure spirits might gain entrance into them; when a container is completely full, nothing else can enter into it.

The Holy Spirit “will teach you.” (Jn 16,13) so that you can know; he will prompt you. so that you can will. He gives both knowledge and will, add to this our “ability,” according to the measure of our strength and we shall be temples of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6,19).” – St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Franciscan, Doctor of the Church – Sermons

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, Your ways are not our ways, teach us to willingly agree to them, for You know which way we should go. Help us to say “yes” always to Your plan and to render ourselves, as a sacrament of Your divine love to all we meet. Fill us with the Your grace and Your Spirit, to make us Your tools, to bring glory to Your kingdom. Our Father, who art in heaven, may Your Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Mary Mother of God, pray for us! Through our Our Lord Jesus Christ together with the Holy Ghost ✠ in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Saint of the Day – 4 May – Blessed Ladislas of Gielniów OFM Cap (c 1440-1505)

Saint of the Day – 4 May – Blessed Ladislas of Gielniów OFM Cap (c 1440-1505) “The Apostle of Lithuania,” Priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, zealous and tireless Evangeliser, renowned Preacher, Poet and Hymnist, disciple of St Bernardine of Siena and his charism of the Most Holy Name of Jesus and a devotee of the Passio of Christ. Ladislas served his Order in various capacities which included both a Doorkeeper and as its Provincial. He travelled across Poland to evangelise and was a noted preacher. Born in c 1440 in Gniezno, Poland and died on 4 May 1505 of natural causes. Patronages – Lithuania (chosen in August 1753), Poland (chosen in August 1753)m Galicia (eastern Europe), Warsaw, Poland (chosen in August 1753). He is also known as – “The Apostle of Lithuania,” Lithuanian Apostle,” Wladyslaw of Gielniów.

The Roman Martyrology states of him: “In Warsaw in Poland, Blessed Ladislaus of Gielniów, Priest of the Order of Minors, who preached the Passion of the Lord with extraordinary zeal and celebrated it with pious hymns.”

He worked to build up the fledgling Order in Poland and Lithuania, often in the face of resistance from the larger and more established Conventual Franciscans, with their considerably more relaxed way of religious life. The Observants’ very rigorous asceticism and strict interpretation of Franciscan poverty, constantly threatened to open old wounds among the followers of St. Francis and public controversies, between the two groups, often broke out in the fifteenth century.

Blessed Ladislas was born in the Polish City of Gielniow. He attended the University of Warsaw and then entered the City Convent of the Franciscan Friars Minor reformed by St John of Capestrano.

Within a few years ,he was elected Provincial Superior of the Order, a position he held for a long time, promoting the revision of the constitutions, which were then approved by the General Chapter of the Order, which was held in Urbino in 1498.

He carefully selected the most suitable Friars to send to Lithuania for the evangelisation of that Country. However, he reminded them of the greater importance to be attributed to personal holiness, which must always be placed before the proclamation of the Gospel to others. This initiative succeeded in reconciling several schismatics with the Church and also obtained the conversion of numerous pagans,

Ladislas was an ardent and eloquent preacher, He was much sought after and appreciated by the people. His homilies, as the Martyrologium Romanum also recalls, used to emphasise, in a particular way, the salvific value intrinsic to the Passion of Christ. Below is one of his devotional Hymns on the Passion:

Jesus, Judas sold away, for just wretched money
God the Father gave His Son, for our souls’ salvation
Jesus at the paschal feast, gave out His own body,
soothed His sad Apostles’ grief, with His very life blood.

To the garden Jesus went, with His friends, His loved ones
Thrice His Father he implored, on behalf of sinners
Bloody sweat out from Him poured, in His heavy struggle
O my soul, so very loved, look on Him, who loves you so.

He was the author of various hymns on this theme, intended for singing in Vespers. It was precisely religious song and poetry, in fact, that would become Ladislas’s most lasting legacy to Polish religious culture. He is the first major Polish Poet known by name, to write sometimes in the vernacular, rather than exclusively in the learned language of Latin.

His songs and verse represent well, his own piety, as well as those of his Order. Frequently, they illustrate the popular orientation of both. For instance, the simple poverty of Christ and Mary ,is sometimes stressed, in a gentle and colourful way, which, nonetheless, puts across the Gospel story’s emotional weight. Consider these verses from his vernacular song on the Nativity:

A town not large called Bethlehem
Around that time had many guests,
There Joseph with his new-found bride
Arrived, his Mary great with child.

Because these two possessed no wealth
No welcome could they find in town,
So to a stable off they went,
And there they dwelt in poverty

The purest Virgin Mary thus
To Jesus Christ the Lord gave birth.
At midnight, God Himself was born,
And all the universe rejoiced.

And when the Babe began to cry,
Upon bare earth itself He lay
Before Him there, His Mother knelt
And so to her small Child gave praise.

‘Wa, wa, wa, wa,’ the baby cried,
Lamenting all our human sins,
His mom then took Him up from earth,
And wrapped Him up in swaddling bands.

Because the stable was too tight,
A manger into crib she made.
No nursemaid there was found with her,
To come to that poor Mother’s aid.

Some, lying, have been known to claim
(And thus that Mother they insult!)
That serving maids abounded there
And gave that Mother lots of help.

When in 1498 Poland found itself having to face an invasion by the Tartars and Turks, an army of 70,000 men in all, Ladislas led a prayer crusade to invoke divine intervention. Tradition attributes the consequent extraordinary floods of the Dnepr and Prut rivers to this, which blocked the foreign invaders. This particular intercession, increased his reputation as a great man of prayer.

He strongly upheld the Bernadine mission of preaching to the laity and poor in accessible, moving and often colourful and even entertaining sermons, although always with forceful appeal to keep and live the Christian faith in all its rigour.

It is also reported that, during the last Good Friday of his life, while he was meditating, he levitated into the air, assuming the position of Christ on the Cross. When he returned to the ground, he collapsed and was confined to his bed. He remained bed-ridden until his death on 4 May 1505 a few weeks later.

Ladislas was Beatified in 1586 by Pope Sixtus V and on 11 February 1750, Pope Benedict XIV his cult received official confirmation.

His relics are interred in the Chapel of Blesed Ladislas in Warsaw, see below.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Notre-Dame de Gray, Gray, Haute-Saône, Franche-Comté, France (1400s) and Memorials of the Saints – 4 May

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter +2021

Notre-Dame de Gray, Gray, Haute-Saône, Franche-Comté, France / Our Lady of Gray (1400s) – 4 May

By the 1200s, a cruciform oak tree had become a place of devotion in the Flemish Town of Scherpenheuvel.(Montaigu in French) In the early 1400s, the Shrine became famous after a Statue of the Virgin placed on the tree, fell down and could not be moved from the spot.

The copy of the orginal Statue, made in 1613

But Protestants destroyed the Sanctuary in 1568 and in 1604 the tree was cut down. In 1613, a poor widow, Jeanne Bonnet, made a pilgrimage to Montaigu at the age of 70. She brought a piece of the sacred oak home to Salins-les-Bains in eastern France, where sculptor Jean Brange, carved a Statue of the Virgin from it, copying the Belgian original from the description.

From 1616 until the French Revolution, this Statue presided over a long series of miracles at the Capuchin Monastery in the Town of Gray, 37 miles away. When the revolutionaries expelled the Monks and pillaged the Monastery, a family hid the holy image until it could be safely installed in the Basilica at Gray.

In thanksgiving for the end of the 1849 cholera epidemic, Cardinal Mathieu, Archbishop of Besançon, gave the Shrine a silver Statue covered in gold and jewels, which he dedicated on 4 May 1851, at a ceremony attended by 92 Priests, throngs of the faithful, artillery salvos and the ringing of all the bells in Town. Afterwards, the Parish celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Gray with a procession every 4 May.

The new Statue dating from 1849

St Albian of Albée
Bl Angela Bartolomea dei Ranzi
Bl Angela Isabella dei Ranzi
St Antonia of Constantinople
St Antonina of Nicaea
St Antonia of Nicomedia
St Antonius of Rocher
St Arbeo of Freising
St Augustine Webster
St Cunegund of Regensburg
St Curcodomus of Auxerre
St Cyriacus of Ancona
St Enéour
St Ethelred of Bardney
St Florian of Lorch
Bl Hilsindis

Blessed Jean-Martin Moyë (1730-1793) Priest, Missionary, Founder

St Jose Maria Rubio y Peralta SJ (1864-1929) “the Apostle of Madrid” and “Father of the Poor,” Confessor
His Life:

St Judas Cyriacus
Blessed Ladislas of Gielniów OFM Cap (c 1440-1505) Priest
St Luca da Toro
Bl Margareta Kratz
Bl Michal Giedroyc
St Nepotian of Altino
Bl Paolino Bigazzini
St Paulinus of Cologne
St Paulinus of Senigallia
St Pelagia of Tarsus
St Porphyrius of Camerino Rino
St Richard Reynolds
St Robert Lawrence
St Silvanus of Gaza

Blessed Tommaso da Olera OFM Cap (1563-1631) Lay Brother of the the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Spiritual Advisor, Confessor, Apostle of Charity, Writer, Mystic, Penitent and Ascetic.
His Life:

Carthusian Martyrs: A group of Carthusian monks who were hanged, drawn and quartered between 19 June 1535 and 20 September 1537 for refusing to acknowledge the English royalty as head of the Church:
• Blessed Humphrey Middlemore
• Blessed James Walworth
• Blessed John Davy
• Blessed John Rochester
• Blessed Richard Bere
• Blessed Robert Salt
• Blessed Sebastian Newdigate
• Blessed Thomas Green
• Blessed Thomas Johnson
• Blessed Thomas Redyng
• Blessed Thomas Scryven
• Blessed Walter Pierson
• Blessed William Exmew
• Blessed William Greenwood
• Blessed William Horne
• Saint Augustine Webster
• Saint John Houghton
• Saint Robert Lawrence

Martyrs of Cirta: Also known as
• Martyrs of Cirtha
• Martyrs of Tzirta
A group of clergy and laity martyred together in Cirta, Numidia (in modern Tunisia) in the persecutions of Valerian. They were – Agapius, Antonia, Emilian, Secundinus and Tertula, along with a woman and her twin children whose names have not come down to us.

Martyrs of England: 85 English, Scottish and Welsh Catholics who were martyred during the persecutions by Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are commemorated together on 22 November.
• Blessed Alexander Blake • Blessed Alexander Crow • Blessed Antony Page • Blessed Arthur Bell • Blessed Charles Meehan • Blessed Christopher Robinson • Blessed Christopher Wharton • Blessed Edmund Duke • Blessed Edmund Sykes • Blessed Edward Bamber • Blessed Edward Burden • Blessed Edward Osbaldeston • Blessed Edward Thwing • Blessed Francis Ingleby • Blessed George Beesley • Blessed George Douglas • Blessed George Errington • Blessed George Haydock • Blessed George Nichols • Blessed Henry Heath • Blessed Henry Webley • Blessed Hugh Taylor • Blessed Humphrey Pritchard • Blessed John Adams • Blessed John Bretton • Blessed John Fingley • Blessed John Hambley • Blessed John Hogg • Blessed John Lowe • Blessed John Norton • Blessed John Sandys • Blessed John Sugar • Blessed John Talbot • Blessed John Thules • Blessed John Woodcock • Blessed Joseph Lambton • Blessed Marmaduke Bowes • Blessed Matthew Flathers • Blessed Montfort Scott • Blessed Nicholas Garlick • Blessed Nicholas Horner • Blessed Nicholas Postgate • Blessed Nicholas Woodfen • Blessed Peter Snow • Blessed Ralph Grimston • Blessed Richard Flower • Blessed Richard Hill • Blessed Richard Holiday • Blessed Richard Sergeant • Blessed Richard Simpson • Blessed Richard Yaxley • Blessed Robert Bickerdike • Blessed Robert Dibdale • Blessed Robert Drury • Blessed Robert Grissold • Blessed Robert Hardesty • Blessed Robert Ludlam • Blessed Robert Middleton • Blessed Robert Nutter • Blessed Robert Sutton • Blessed Robert Sutton • Blessed Robert Thorpe • Blessed Roger Cadwallador • Blessed Roger Filcock • Blessed Roger Wrenno • Blessed Stephen Rowsham • Blessed Thomas Atkinson • Blessed Thomas Belson • Blessed Thomas Bullaker • Blessed Thomas Hunt • Blessed Thomas Palaser • Blessed Thomas Pilcher • Blessed Thomas Pormort • Blessed Thomas Sprott • Blessed Thomas Watkinson • Blessed Thomas Whitaker • Blessed Thurstan Hunt • Blessed William Carter • Blessed William Davies • Blessed William Gibson • Blessed William Knight • Blessed William Lampley • Blessed William Pike • Blessed William Southerne • Blessed William Spenser • Blessed William Thomson •
They were Beatified on 22 November 1987 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Novellara: A bishop and several his flock who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian and whose relics were kept and enshrined together. We know nothing else about them but the names – Apollo, Bono, Cassiano, Castoro, Damiano, Dionisio, Leonida, Lucilla, Poliano, Tecla, Teodora and Vespasiano. They were Martyred on 26 March 303. Their relics were enshrined in the parish of Saint Stephen in Novellara, Italy in 1603.


Saint of the Day – 30 April – Blessed Benedict Passionei of Urbino OFM Cap (1560– 1625)

Saint of the Day – 30 April – Blessed Benedict Passionei of Urbino OFM Cap (1560– 1625) Priest of the Order of the Friars Minor of St Francis, Capuchin, Missionary, apostle of the poor, renowned preacher, doctor of civil and canon law. Born on 13 September 1560 in Urbino, Duchy of Urbino, Papal States (part of modern Italy) as Marco Passionei and died on 30 April 1625 in Fossombrone, Pesaro-Urbino, Italy of complications following surgery. Also known as – Benedetto da Urbino, Benito of Urbino. Marco Passionei. Patronage – Missionaries.

It is most striking today, to see a scion of one of the richest and noblest families of Umbria give himself to strenuous manual work in various Friaries. He was sensitive to the poor and full of compassion for them, without distinction. He wanted to preach only in insignificant little towns. He abounded in piety and devotion, poverty and penance, humility and simplicity. He was indeed a ‘classic’ Capuchin friar.

Marco was born into the noble family of the Passioneis in the duchy of Urbino. He was baptised Marco in 1560. He was orphaned by the age of seven and was put into the care of tutors with his ten brothers and sisters. He received the Doctor of Law at the University of Perugia and then rejoined his family, now living at Fossombrone. He made friends with the Capuchin brother questors and was attracted by their charism. Because of his poor health this was opposed by the local superior but, after waiting a year, the newly elected Provincial allowed him to join in 1584. Named Benedict he soon found his place among the preachers and joined St Lawrence of Brindisi in his missionary work in Bohemia. He thrived on it especially when preaching to the poor. He died in Fossombrone in 1625 and was Beatified by Blessed Pius IX on 15 January 1867.

Nearly all the information we have for the life of Blessed Benedict derives from a manuscript biography compiled by Brother Ludovico da Rocca Contrada (†1654) immediately after Benedetto’s death. This biography is the one and only actual contemporary witness and was used in the processes necessary for his Beatification. It is has an enormous documentary value thanks to its reliability and the seriousness of the information gathered, from the most direct sources, whom the author often consulted personally. And the author was, moreover, guardian of the Friary of San Giovanni Battista in Fossombrone. He was present for the happenings at the end of his holy confrere’s life and was present at his deathbed. Therefore, his account is very detailed in its telling of Benedetto’s final sickness and death and of the uninhibited expressions of popular piety regarding Benedetto’s body.

Born on 13 November 1560 in the duchy of Urbino, he was the seventh of the eleven children in the noble family of Domenico Passionei and Maddalena Cibo. He was orphaned while still young and led his life in Cagli where he did his first study at home. At seventeen he then went to Perugia and onto Padua for higher studies. On 28 May 1582, at just twenty two years, he received a degree in Civil and Church law. His career began in the Roman court of Cardinal Pier Girolamo Albani. He found this disagreeable.

Marco Passionei returned to the Marches and settled in Fossombrone where his family had meanwhile taken up residence. He was nourishing a secret call of the spirit and longed for the humble and austere life of the Capuchins. Above Metauro the Capuchins had built a devout hermitage. However, it was not easy for him to get permission both from the family and from the friars until the new provincial minister, Giacomo da Pietrarubbia who, according to the wish of the chapter, admitted him to the novitiate of San Cristina in Fano. His fragile health made his novitiate year difficult. In fact, after a few months, he became ill to the point that his superiors had him leave Fano to go to the friary in Fossombrone. After three months it was considered to send him home but his indomitable will won out in the end. He said that he had been clothed in the habit to live and to die as a Capuchin: “If they had sent him out from one door he would have come back in again through another.” He entrusted himself to prayer and obtained the grace of healing. And so he was able to make his religious profession at the end of May 1585, much to the consolation of the poor who, on the occasion, benefitted economically. He continued his religious formation in Ancona. By 1590 he was already a Priest, a humble preacher, in various Friaries such as Fano and Ostra.

In 1600 the General Minister, Girolamo da Castelferretti, included him in the mission band led by Saint Lorenzo da Brindisi to spread the Order in Bohemia and reinforce there the Catholic faith. Although he had not asked to go he was ready to leave immediately. Exemplary and capable men were needed and the General Minister, also from the Marches, knew him well and considered him suitable for the difficult undertaking. Benedetto confided his difficulties to a letter. However he was very obedient under the guidance of Lorenzo da Brindisi. He had to endure many injuries from heretics who hated him. At the end of the triennium (1602) he was called back to the province where he travelled around various Friaries as preacher, superior and as a simple Friar. He also went questing, both in the city and in the countryside. He said, “It is better to carry the weight of bread rather than sins.” He was so humble, and loved silence so much, that he seemed naïve and uneducated. When he was guardian in the friary in Pesaro the duke of Urbino went to visit him. Accustomed to help in the kitchen after lunch, Benedetto let the illustrious visitor wait until he had finished washing the dishes.

His devotion was carefully organised around night and daylight hours of prayer which extended beyond the pious exercises of the fraternity. As all his biographers relate, he used to begin his day with one or two hours of prayer in the Church before the community recitation of matins. After the office he returned to his cell to rest for half an hour. Then he would be in the church again where he prayed the rosary on his knees. After the rosary he did the discipline and then immersed himself in mental prayer until dawn. He never tired of prayer. Each day he recited the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as the seven penitential psalms, the Office of the Holy Spirit and of the Holy Cross, many decades of the rosary and Our Fathers. He spent most of his time in spiritual reading, making the Stations of the Cross, visiting the tabernacle and the Our Lady altar. Frail, emaciated and weak he seemed to derive his strength from prayer. If sometimes he arrived late to meditation, he would turn the hour glass the recoup the time for prayer. In this he was very exacting, even with the others. As superior he never dispensed the Friars from the two hours of mental prayer each day. Even when he was not in the Friary he maintained his strict and austere style.

For his preaching he said he preferred the towns that had a public clock that struck the hours day and night. In this way he was able to organise his practices of prayer and penance as he did in the friary. He was enamoured of the Crucifix, the Passion, the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin who he affectionately called “mamma.” He invented many gestures of love, such as an hour of prostration on the ground, his “prayer in the garden” with his arms open and face down on the floor. His continuous meditation on the Passion filled his heart with an intense contrition which urged him to go often to confession, as often as three times a week. His confessors however did not see sufficient matter for absolution.

Austere and heroic in his bodily penance he never gave into himself in anything. He was emaciated and weak in appearance, with hunger pangs and kidney stones that prostrated him. His first biographer noted that “he seemed to suck in his breath through his teeth, as they say. But as for his spiritual exercises he seemed like a man of steel.” Always on his feet in his frequent preaching, he had to drag himself along with annoying wounds on his legs. He had to undergo fifteen hernia operations. But he never stopped. He always started up again with courage.

He did not like big cities. If, rarely, he had to preach in Pesaro (1612), and in Urbino and Genoa (1619), he preferred those remote, humble and “little places” hardly mentioned on the general maps. More than once he took on the task of building or restoring churches, as in Barchi and Castelleone. He did not write his talks. He confined himself to brief schemas on scraps of paper. His preaching came from the heart, like a humble exhortation for the humble, but nonetheless all was the word of God, able to move and convert. He preached his last Lent in Saccorvaro.

The journey was all on foot and he had to stop in Urbania due to starvation. After about ten sermons in Saccorvaro he had to stop. He was taken to Urbino and then to Fossombrone. He had to undergo yet another hernia operation which this time brought him to the end of his life. He had a crucifix placed on a little table. He kept his gaze fixed on it, his spirit focused there. If anyone blocked his view he immediately gestured that they should move. He remained silent in this way as if he were resting quietly, so much so that the Friars barely realised when his life faded like a gently quenched candle on 30 April 1625 in the light of the Passion which he wanted read to him. He was nearly sixty five years old, and had lived forty one years of religious life with immense love and joy.


Holy Father,
the depth of Your love for us,
revealed in the Cross of Jesus,
transformed Benedict
into a warm and loving minister of your Gospel.
May we experience Your love
and be eager to share it with others.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ver and ever.


Quote/s of the Day – 21 April – The Bread of Life

Quote/s of the Day – 21 April – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:1-8, Psalm 66:1-7, John 6:35-40 and the Memorial of St Conrad of Parzham OFM Cap. (1818-1894)

“I am the bread of life;
he who comes to me,
shall not hunger
and he who believes in me,
shall never thirst.”

John 6:35

“May Jesus be known, loved and adored by all
and be, in every moment,
the receiver of thanksgiving,
in the most holy and most divine Sacrament.”

Bl Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation (1770-1824)

Prayer of Adoration and Repentance/Night Prayer
By St Conrad of Parzham (1818-1894)

I have come to spend
a few moments with You, O Jesus
and in spirit I prostrate myself in the dust
before Your Holy Tabernacle to adore You,
my Lord and God, in deepest humility.
Once more, a day has come to its close, dear Jesus,
another day which brings me nearer to the grave
and my beloved heavenly home.
Once more, O Jesus, my heart longs for You,
the true Bread of Life, which contains
all sweetness and relish.
O my Jesus,
mercifully grant me pardon for the faults
and ingratitude of this day
and come to me,
to refresh my poor heart which longs for You.
As the heart pants for the waters,
as the parched earth longs for the dew of heaven,
even so does my poor heart long for You,
You Fount of Life.
I love You, O Jesus,
I hope in You,
I love You
and out of love for You,
I regret sincerely all my sins.
May Your peace and Your benediction be mine,
now and always and for all eternity.

St Conrad of Parzham (1818-1894)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Institution of the Confraternity of the Immaculate conception, Toledo, Spain – The Conceptionists (1506) and Memorials of the Saints – 21 April

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter +2021

Institution of the Confraternity of the Immaculate conception, Toledo, Spain – The Conceptionists (1506) – 21 April:

St Beatrice da Silva

The Order of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Conceptionists, was founded in 1484 at Toledo, Spain, by Saint Beatrice da Silva. OIC (c 1424-1492) A contemplative religious order of Nuns, for some years they followed the Poor Clare’s Rule but in 1511, were recognised as a separate religious order, taking a new Rule and the name of the Order of Immaculate Conception.
Saint Beatrice da Silva was a Portuguese noblewoman and sister of the Franciscan Friar, Blessed Amadeus of Portugal. Her great beauty aroused the jealousy of the Queen, her cousin, for which she was cast into prison. It was while she was in prison that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her, telling her that she wanted her to found a new Order of Nuns in her honour.
In 1484, Beatrice, with twelve companions, established themselves in a Monastery in Toledo (now the Monastery of the Order of the Immaculate Conception) set apart for them by Queen Isabel. A few years earlier the Blessed Virgin had shown, in a vision, Saint Beatrice da Silva that she should wear a habit consisting of a white tunic and scapular with a light blue mantle. This was the origin of the Order of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Conceptionist Poor Clare’s.
In 1489, by permission of Pope Innocent VIII, the Nuns adopted the Cistercian Rule, bound themselves to the daily recitation of the Divine Office of the Immaculate Conception and were placed under obedience to the Ordinary of the Diocese. In 1501, Pope Alexander VI united this community with the Benedictine community of San Pedro de las Duenas, under the Rule of St Clare, but in 1511 Pope Julius II gave it a Rule of its own and put them under the protection of General Minister of Friars Minor and for this reason. the Nuns are called Franciscan Conceptionists. Special constitutions were drawn up for the Order in 1516 by Cardinal Francis Quiñones. It was the foundress, Beatrice da Silva, who chose the habit: white, with a white scapular and blue mantle.
A second Monastery was founded in 1507 at Torrigo, from which, in turn, were established seven others. The congregation soon spread through Portugal, Spain, Italy, France; Spain’s colony of New Spain (Mexico), starting in 1540 and as well as in Portugal’s colony of Brazil.

St Anselm (of Canterbury) OSB (1033-1109) Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
St Anselm!

St Abdechalas
St Anastasius I of Antioch
St Anastasius of Sinai
St Apollo of Nicomedia
St Apollonius the Apologist
St Arator of Alexandria
St Beuno Gasulsych (c 545-c 640) Monk
St Conrad of Parzham OFM Cap (1818-1894) Lay Friar

St Crotates of Nicomedia
St Cyprian of Brescia
St Felix of Alexandria
St Fortunatus of Alexandria
St Frodulphus
St Isacius of Nicomedia
Bl John Saziari
St Maelrubba of Applecross
St Román Adame Rosales (1859-1927) Priest and Martyr of the Cristero War
His Life and Death:
St Silvius of Alexandria
St Simeon of Ctesiphon
St Vitalis of Alexandria
Bl Vitaliy Bayrak
Bl Wolbodó of Liège