Feast of the Chair of St Peter: In 1960, Pope John XXIII removed from the General Roman Calendar, the 18 January Feast of the Chair of Peter, Two Liturgical Feasts were celebrated in Rome, in Honour of Chairs of Saint Peter, one of which was kept in the Baptismal Chapel of St Peter’s Basilica, the other at the Catacomb of Priscilla. The dates of these celebrations are 18 January and 22 February. The two Feasts were included in the Tridentine Calendar with the rank of Double, which, in 1604, Pope Clement VIII raised to the rank of Greater Double. Those traditional Catholics. who do not accept the changes made by Pope John XXIII, continue to celebrate both Feast days: “Saint Peter’s Chair at Rome” on 18 January and the “Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch” on 22 February. https://anastpaul.com/2017/02/22/feast-of-the-chair-of-st-peter-22-february/
St Achillas of Sketis St Amoes of Sketis St Antony of Rome Bl Euphemia Domitilla Blessed Gamelbert of Michaelsbuch (c 720-c 802) Priest St Genitus St Genulfus St Jenaro Sánchez Delgadillo St John of Rome Bl Joseph of Freising St Julian Sabas the Elder St Marcellus of Die St Merulus of Rome St Mildgytha St Nennius St Neosnadia St Pior St Richimir
St Juana Maria Condesa Lluch Bl Konrad II of Mondsee St Leobazio St Liberata of Pavia St Pope Marcellus I (Died 309) Martyr, Papal Ascension May-June 308 St Melas of Rhinocolura St Priscilla of Rome St Sigeberht of East Anglia St Titian of Oderzo St Triverius St Valerius of Sorrento
St Blaithmaic of Iona St Bonitus of Clermont St Britta St Ceolwulf of Northumbria St Emebert of Cambrai St Ephysius of Sardinia St Eugyppius St Francis Ferdinand de Capillas Bl Geoffrey of Peronne Bl Giacomo Villa St Gwrnerth St Habakkuk the Prophet St Isidore of Scété St Isidore the Egyptian St Ita of Killeedy St John Calabytes St Liewellyn St Lleudadd of Bardsey St Macarius of Egypt St Malard of Chartres
St Maurus OSB (c 512-584) Benedictine Monk, Abbot and Deacon, miracle-worker. Maurus was the first disciple of Saint Benedict of Nursia (512–584). He is mentioned in Saint Gregory the Great’s biography of the latter as the first oblate, offered to the Monastery by his noble Roman parents as a young boy, to be brought up in the monastic life. The formula and blessing of St Maurus were universally adopted and approved for use in the Blessing of the Sick. His Life and Miracles: https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/15/saint-of-the-day-15-january-saint-maurus-osb-c-512-584/
Bl Peter of Castelnau St Placid St Probus of Rieti St Romedio of Nonsberg St Sawl St Secondina of Anagni St Secundina of Rome St Tarsicia of Rodez St Teath
Martyrs of Suances – 5 Beati: A Priest and four laymen in the Archdiocese of Burgos, Spain who were Martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. • Blessed Donato Rodríguez García • Blessed Emilio Huidobro Corrales • Blessed Germán García y García • Blessed Valentín Palencia Marquina • Blessed Zacarías Cuesta Campo They were martyred on 15 January 1937 near Suances, Cantabria, Spain The Beatification was celebrated in Burgos, Spain, presided by Cardinal Angelo Amato.
St Felix of Rome St Fermin of Mende St Glycerius of Antioch St Godfrey of Cappenberg (c 1097-1127) Monk St Isaias the Martyr St Jesaja of Sinai St Macrina the Elder St Nino of Georgia Bl Odoric of Pordenone
St Potitus Bl Rainer of Arnsberg St Sabas of Sinai St Sava of Serbia St Successus of Africa St Theodolus of Sinai Bl William de Sanjulia
Martyrs of Mount Sinai: A group of Monks on Mount Sinai who were Martyred by desert Bedouins. Their names and exact number have not come down to us. Martyred by Bedouins.
Martyrs of Raithu – 43 saints: A group of 43 Monks in the Raithu Desert near Mount Sinai, Palestine, near the Red Sea. They were Martyred for their faith by desert Bedouins. Their names have not come down to us. Martyred by Bedouins.
St Leontius of Caesarea St Luca Pham Trong Thìn Bl María Francisca Espejo y Martos Bl Matteo de Lana St Peter of Capitolíade St Remigius of Rheims (c 438-533) Bishop “Apostle of the Franks” St Servusdei of Córdoba St Stephen of Liège St Stratonicus
St Probus of Verona St Quinctus the Soldier St Satyrus St Tatiana of Rome St Tigrius St Victorian of Asana Bl Vincent da Cunha
Martyrs of Africa – 44 Saints: A group of 44 Christian soldiers murdered together for their faith in Africa. The only details that survive are four of their names – Castulus, Modestus, Rogatus and Zoticus.
Martyrs of Ephesus – 42 Saints: Forty-two monks martyred at a monastery in Ephesus (modern Turkey) during the persecutions of the Iconoclast Byzantine Emperor Constantine V. Their names have not come down to us. Martyred c 762.
Martyrs of Iona – 38 Saints: Thirty-eight monks martyred in Iona, Ireland. Their names have not come down to us. They were Martyred in 750 at Iona, Ireland.
Madonna della Vetrana / Our Lady of the Vetrana(Castellana Grotte, Bari, Puglia, Italy (1691) – 11 January:
In Castellana from time immemorial, there was a small Chapel dedicated to the Mother of God which contained a miraculous Fresco which was greatly revered ,after the Madonna had rid the region of the plague in the seventeenth century. Since then, the Shrine became a destination for faithful pilgrims reaping countless miracles, which the Virgin Mother obtained from her Divine Son.
In late 1690 the Church was almost ruined when a serious incident came to disturb the Castellana and the surrounding area. A serious disease spread, carrying death and mourning. Casimiro wrote in 1726. “This evil that made a great slaughter among the people, once attacked, all six children of Hadrian (Count of Conversano) and his wife Isabel Caracciolo. He who loved his wife and children, seeing this danger, resorted to the intercession of the Virgin … All his family was spared from evil. “ Two good priests’ recourse to the intercession of Saint Mary of the Vetrana and on 11 January 1691 one of them heard a voice that ordering the scourge to cease. “The Lady also expressed her desire to expand the Church.“ “So – continues Casimiro – “the Castellana people in recognition of the benefits received from the Virgin, immediately agreed to rebuild and expand the Church of St Maria della Vetrana.” The work lasted only a year and all the citizens of the Castellana took part.
Castellana, began to be known around the world after 23 January 1938, when Prof. Franco Anelli, a Caver, discovered a karst cave system. In 1959 because of this fascinating underground world, Castellana changed its name to ‘Castellana Grotte.‘
St Alexander of Fermo St Anastasius of Suppentonia
St Boadin of Ireland St Breandan of Ireland (the name is not an error) St Eithne St Fedelemia Bl Francis Rogaczewski St Francisca Salesia Aviat St Honorata of Pavia St Pope Hyginus (Died 142) Papal Ascension c 138 St Leucius of Alexandria St Leucius of Brindisi St Liberata of Pavia St Lucius the Soldier St Luminosa of Pavia St Mark the Soldier St Michael of Klopsk St Palaemon St Paldo St Peter Balsam St Peter of Alexandria St Peter of Anea St Peter the Soldier
Madonna del Pianto / Madonna of the Lament or the Weeping Madonna, Rome, Italy (1546) – 10 January:
On 10 January1546, two men quarreled violently near the street Shrine of the Madonna del Portico d’Ottavia, on via Arco dei Cenci near the Roman Ghetto. One begged the other to spare him for love of the Virgin Mary, then stabbed that man in the back when he hugged him in forgiveness. The image of the Virgin wept three days. The 15th-century fresco was then moved into the nearby Church of San Salvatore de Cacabariis.
In 1612 the Church reconstruction began and in 1616 the image was re-installed and the Church re-dedicated to the Weeping Madonna. The event is commemorated in a fresco, the Madonna of the Lament, over the high Altar. There is also the painting of the Miracle of the Weeping Madonna opposite the organ on one of the two sides of the Altarpiece. Mother and Child were crowned on 20 May 1643. The ancient image is a representation of Mary nursing the Child.
St Aldo of Carbonari St Pope Agatho Bl Anna of the Angels Monteagudo St Arcontius of Viviers Bl Benincasa of Cava St Dermot of Inis Clothrann St Domitian of Melitene Blessed Pope Gregory X TOSF (1210-1276) Bishop of Rome 1272-1276 Bl Giles of Lorenzana
St Maurilius of Cahors St Nicanor of Cyprus St Paul the Hermit (c 230-342) The First Desert Hermit “In Thebais, the birthday of St Paul, the first Hermit, who lived alone in the desert from the sixteenth to the one hundred and thirteenth year of his age. His soul was seen by St Anthony Abbot, carried by Angels among the choirs of Apostles and Prophets. His Feast is celebrated on the 15th day of this Month. (Roman Martyrology)”
St Philip Berruyer St Polyeucte St Teresa Kim St Waningus of Fécamp (Died c 688) Monk, Abbot
Martyrs of Africa – 21 Saints: A group of 21 Christians murdered together for their faith in the persecutions of Decius. The only details to survive are 14 of their names – Artaxes, Epictetus, Felicitas, Felix, Fortunatus, Jucundus, Pictus, Quietus, Quinctus, Rusticus, Secundus, Sillus, Vincent and Vitalis. They were Martyred in c 250. Martyrs of Antioch – 6 saints: A group of Christians Martyred together during the persecutions of Diocletian – Anastasius, Anthony, Basilissa, Celsus, Julian and Marcionilla.
Our Morning Offering – 8 January – Octave of Epiphany and Mary’s Day
Mother of Salvation, Blessed Lady By Anselm (1033-1109) Magnificent Doctor Marian Doctor
Mother of Salvation, Blessed Lady, you are the Mother of Justification and those who are justified; the Mother of Reconciliation and those who are reconciled; the Mother of Salvation and those who are saved. What a blessed trust and what a secure refuge! The Mother of God is our Mother. The Mother of the One in Whom alone, we hope and Whom alone, we fear, is our Mother! … The One Who partook of our nature and by restoring us to life, made us children of His Mother, invites us by this grace, to proclaim that we are His brothers and sisters. Therefore, our Judge, is also our Brother. The Saviour of the world, is our Brother. Our God has become – through Mary – our Brother! Anen
St Abo of Tblisi St Albert of Cashel St Apollinaris the Apologist (Died 2nd Century) Bishop, Apologist St Athelm of Canterbury St Atticus of Constantinople St Carterius of Caesarea Bl Edward Waterson St Ergnad of Ulster St Erhard of Regensburg St Eugenian of Autun
St Garibaldus of Regensburg St Gudule of Brussels St Helladius St Julian of Beauvais St Lawrence Giustiniani St Lucian of Beauvais St Maximian of Beauvais St Maximus of Pavia Bl Nathalan of Aberdeen St Patiens of Metz St Pega of Peakirk
The above film was the winner of the International “Festival dobrých správ” (of Good News) honoured a short film about the life of Blessed Titus Zeman SDB. The video entitled “Titus Zeman – a Martyr for Spiritual Freedom to Follow Oneʹs Vocation” was first place in the category of short films under 15 minutes and takes a closer look at the heroic sacrifice of the Salesian. The author of the winning film is Salesian past pupil Roman Maturkanič from Slovakia who currently works as a film director. “Probably the biggest challenge was to narrate the very eventful life of Titus in such a short time. We won the first place prize but we could say that this is Titusʹ victory,” said the director of the film’s achievement in the competition.
St Wulsin of Sherborne
Martyrs of Greece – 9 saints: A group of Christians honored in Greece as martyrs, but we have no details about their lives or deaths – Euctus, Felix, Januarius, Lucius, Palladius, Piscus, Rusticus, Secundus and Timotheus
Martyrs of Terni – 4 saints: A group of Christian soldiers in the imperial Roman army. Executed during the persecutions of emperor Claudius. Martyrs. – Carbonanus, Claudius, Planus and Tibudianus. They were martyred in 270 in Terni, Italy.
Madonna delle Grazie / Our Lady of Grace, Costa Folgaria, Italy (1588) – 7 January, 8 September:
Brother Pietro Dal Dosso di Folgaria – a young Hermit Friar of the Order, Saint Jerome of Vicenza – was inspired directly by the Virgin Mary into building a small Church in her honour on the Echen Peak during the second half of the 16th century. Obediently, the Friar began his work and built a small Chapel, occupying what is now the Apse of the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie. In the 17th Century, the Magnifica Comunità di Folgaria expanded the small building and endowed it with a Bell Tower (1662). The Sanctuary currently hosts the miraculous Madonna, which was declared Holy Patron of Skiers by Papal Decree. The Terracotta statue of the Virgin Mary dates to the second half of the 16th century and is venerated by thousands of believers, who hold an ancient feast – as well as a solemn procession – on the 8th of September every year, when the Statue is carried by ski instructors. All along its age-old history, the Sanctuary of Echen has always been a pilgrimage destination and numerous faithful have put up their own votive offers for graces received in the small Church. The Sanctuary is approximately 2 km away from Folgaria, near the hamlet of Costa and can be easily reached on foot after an easy walk. I am not sure why this Title is listed for today, 7 January but there must be a good reason.
St Aldric of Le Mans Bl Ambrose Fernandez St Anastasius of Sens St Brannock of Braunton St Candida of Greece St Canute Lavard St Cedd St Clerus of Antioch St Crispin I of Pavia St Cronan Beg St Emilian of Saujon St Felix of Heraclea Bl Franciscus Bae Gwan-gyeom St Januarius of Heraclea St Julian of Cagliari St Kentigerna
St Lucian of Antioch Bl Marie-Thérèse Haze Blessed Matthew of Agrigento OFM (1377-1450) “Apostle of the Holy Name of Jesus,” Franciscan Priest and Friar, Bishop, Missdionary Preacher often with St Bernardine of Siena. St Pallada of Greece St Polyeuctus of Melitene St Reinhold of Cologne St Spolicostus of Greece St Theodore of Egypt St Tillo of Solignac St Valentine of Passau St Virginia of Ste-Verge Bl Wittikund of Westphalia
The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord – 6 January: Epiphany celebrates the visit of the three kings or wise men to the Christ Child, signifying the extension of salvation to the Gentiles. The date of Epiphany, one of the oldest Christian Feasts, is 6 January, the 12th day after Christmas. However, in some countries, the celebration of Epiphany is transferred to the Sunday that falls between 2 January and 8 January (inclusive). Greece, Ireland, Italy and Poland continue to observe Epiphany on 6 January as do some Dioceses ithroughout the world. Because Epiphany is one of the most important Christian Feasts, it is a Holy Day of Obligation in most countries.
Nostra Signora di Cana / Our Lady of Cana – 6 January:
The title recalls the First Miracle of Our Lord through the intercession of His Mother at the Marriage at Cana in Judea, commemorated annually on 6 January. Christ turns water in wine at the request ofHhis Mother (Gospel of John 2:1-10).
Two days of festivities preceded the wedding, which was followed by an evening banquet. It was here that Mary noticed the wine was scarce. She reminded Jesus that He had promised to supply the wine. The Divine Saviour replied “What is that to you or to me, Woman? My hour has not yet come.” Entirely relieved of anxiety for the guests and trusting the Father would reveal the Lord’s power at the right moment, she went to the worried servants and said to them with quiet modesty and confidence: “Do whatever He tells you.” The servants brought in six large, stone jars, which when full were so heavy, two men had to carry one. That they were now empty was evident. Then Jesus said to the waiters: “Fill the jars with water.” After this was done, Jesus went to the jars and blessed them; then He said to the waiters: “Draw out now and take them to the chief steward.” When the chief steward, who did not know where the wine came from, tasted the water after it had become wine, he went to the bridegroom, exclaiming in surprise: “Every man first sets forth the good wine, and when they have drunk freely, then that which is poorer in quality. But you have kept the good wine until now!” When the bridegroom and the bride’s father tasted the miraculous wine, they too were amazed, for the servants insisted they had just filled the jars with nothing but water from the well. Then all the guests drank the new wine and were silent with awe and reverence as they realized they had just witnessed a striking miracle wrought by the Master, Jesus of Nazareth, at the request of His beloved Mother.
Mary Mother of Mercy willingly assists all the poor and afflicted who fear God. From this incident, St. Bonaventure judges of the many graces which we can hope for through Mary, now that she reigns in Heaven; “For,” he says, “if Mary while yet on earth was so compassionate, how much more so is she now, reigning in Heaven!” He gives the reason by adding: “Mary, now that she sees the face of God, knows our necessities far better than when she was on earth and in proportion to the increase of her compassion, her power to aid us has been augmented.” Ah! Why do we not take refuge in all our necessities to this merciful Mother, who, assists the needly?
St Demetrius of Philadelphia St Diman Dubh of Connor St Edeyrn St Eigrad St Erminold of Prüfening St Felix of Nantes (c 515-584) Bishop Bl Frederick of Saint-Vanne Bl Gertrud of Traunkirchen Bl Gertrude van Oosten St Guarinus of Sion St Guy of Auxerre St Honorius St Hywyn of Aberdaron
St Julian of Antinoë St Julius Bl Luc of Roucy Bl Macarius the Scot St Macra of Rheims St Merinus St Nilammon of Geris St Petran of Landévennec St Peter of Canterbury St Pia of Quedlinburg St Pompejanus St Rafaela Porras y Ayllón Bl Raymond de Blanes Bl Rita Amada de Jesus St Schotin St Wiltrudis of Bergen
Martyrs in Africa: Unknown number of Christian men and women who were martyred in the persecutions of Septimus Severus. They were burned to death c 210.
Martyrs of Sirmium – 8 saints: A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. The only surviving details are the names of eight of them – Anastasius VIII, Florianus, Florus, Jucundus, Peter, Ratites, Tatia and Tilis. They were martyred in the 4th century at Syrmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Vojvodina, Serbia).
Bl Jacques Ledoyen Bl Joan Grau Bullich St Kiara St Lomer of Corbion Bl Marcelina Darowska Bl Maria Repetto Bl Paula of Tuscany Nl Pierre Tessier Bl Pietro Bonilli St Simeon Stylites St Syncletica St Talida of Antinoë
Martyrs of Africa – 14 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown, exact location unknown. We know nothing more than their names – Acutus, Anastasia, Candidus, Coelifloria, Felix, Honorius, Januaria, Jucundus, Lucianus, Marcus, Petrus, Secundus, Severus and Telesphorus.
Martyrs of Sais: A group of Christians martyred for their faith, but about whom no details have survived. They were martyred by drowning near Sais, Egypt.
Martyrs of Upper Egypt: There were many martyrs who suffered in the persecutions of Diocletian in the Thebaid region. Though we know these atrocities occurred, to the point that witnesses claim the torturers and executioners were exhausted by the work, we do not know the names of the saints and we honour them as a group. Many were beheaded and or burned alive in 303 in Upper Egypt.
Madonna delle Rose / Our Lady of the Rose s(Albano Sant’Alessandro, Italy) (1417) – 4 January:
A few kilometers from Bergamo, on the way to Trescore Balneario , in a pleasant plain, lies Albano St. Alexander , a Town famous for its Roman origin and for many historical events and bloody battles between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. Today it is famous for the beautiful Shrine of Our Lady of the Roses.
Until 1855, anyone travelling along this road came upon a small, rustic Chapel that appeared to manifest nothing special, neither painted nor written, which makes the unique devotion it attracted even more amazing. The Parish Priest of Albano, zealous and pious , devoted himself to research among the ancient documents the history of this powerful devotion. From this story , printed in Bergamo in 1880 , we are able to establish the origin of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Roses in Albano St. Alexander.
The events of the night between 3 and 4 January 1417, are as follows: – two Roman merchants travelling from Bergamo to Brescia, got lost and found themselves in a thicket near the Village called Albano. Bergamo is only eight miles away but for them, in the dark, between bushes and marshes covered by snow, they felt as if they would never find their way and would die of cold and fear . They turned so fervently to the Madonna with invocations and a vow to build a Chapel, if they would be rescued. Suddenly rays of bright light penetrated the darkness and a strip of luminous light shows them the way. With hearts relieved and grateful, they followed the light to the path and heard “This is the way, walk in it,” until its junction with the main road. Accompanied by a friendly glow they very quickly reached the City of Bergamo .
Desiring to thank the Blessed Virgin , they went to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore but given the hour of the night, it was closed. They found shelter in the nearby ruined tower, ruined by war. There, a great light stopped them and they saw the Immaculate Virgin sitting on a wreath of roses, which surrounded her completely, quite high up from the ground. The Blessed Virgin held the Divine Child close to her breast and the Child Jesus held, in one hand, a small bouquet of white roses, in the act of offering them to His Mother. The eyes of the Blessed Virgin and of the Divine Child, were turned compassionately towards the two merchants, who prostrated themselves at this heavenly vision.
Since that night, the site of the apparition was called “the Hill of Roses.” When day came, the merchants spread the news and attended at the Bishop’s house. After much investigation and many miracles at the Hill of Roses, the Bishop confirmed the miraculous event, judging it as a heavenly sign of mercy and protection for the City of Bergamo beset by many problems, for Italy plagued by discord and enmity, for the Church, torn by division and schism.
St Bernardine of Siena, who at this time was in Bergamo, was appointed as the final arbiter of the Blessing of Our Lady of the Night and of the Hill of Roses. The same Saint also had a vision of the Madonna in the same year, in Siena . The Holy Virgin appeared with great splendour to him, promising to help him in his mission to convert sinners.
All were eager to erect a Church in gratitude for so many graces from the Virgin Mary, The new Pope, Martin V also appointed in 1417, authorised the construction of a new Church. The two blessed visionaries returned to Albano to the site where they had been lost and seen the immense light. ,They bought the land at the place where the path of light guided them to Bergamo and there built the Chapel that would, for 438 years, in future generation,s attract the devotion of countless numbers of the faithful , until 1855. Then a terrible cholera epidemic ravaged the area and by unanimous vote of the population , they erected a new Sanctuary to the Blessed Virgin in thanksgiving and veneration. The epidemic subsided and on 20 September 1855 the construction of the Sanctuary began. The apse and dome of the Church are decorated with frescoes by Luigi Tagliaferri, the walls are adorned with paintings of the Nativity of Mary and the Descent of Jesus from the Cross by Vittorio Manini, the central painting above the High Altar depicting the Apparition to the two merchants and the medallions of the vault, are by Arturo Compagnoni. The Madonna of the Roses was canonically crowned in 1917. The terrible war that plagues the whole world prevented the solemn ceremony, which only occurred on 14 September 1920 celebrated by Don Mario Morra SDB.
St Celsus of Trier Bl Chiara de Ugarte St Chroman St Dafrosa of Acquapendente St Ferreolus of Uzès St Gaius of Moesia St Gregory of Langres St Hermes of Moesia St Libentius of Hamburg Bl Louis de Halles
St Mavilus of Adrumetum St Neophytos St Neopista of Rome St St St Oringa of the Cross Bl Palumbus of Subiaco St Pharaildis of Ghent (c 650-c 740) Virgin St Rigobert of Rheims Bl Roger of Ellant St Stephen du Bourg St Theoctistus
Martyrs of Africa – 7 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal king Hunneric. Saint Bede wrote about them. – Aquilinus, Eugene, Geminus, Marcian, Quintus, Theodotus and Tryphon. In 484 in North Africa.
Martyrs of Rome – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Julian the Apostate for refusing to renounce Christianity as ordered. – Benedicta, Priscillianus and Priscus. In 362 in Rome, Italy.
Notre-dame de Montaigu-Zichem / Our Lady of Sichem / Our Lady of Montaigu (474) – 3 January:
The Shrine in Brabant in the Duchy of Louvain, is a replacement of the one below Mount Garizim, Israel. Hadrian restored the temple on Mount Garizim and dedicated it to Jupiter. A small Christian community settled there and on several occasions they suffered greatly at the hands of the pagans. In 474 the Emperor, to avenge an unjust attack on the community, gave Mount Garizim to the Christians, who built on it a Church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. After the Mohammedan conquest, Christianity practically disappeared from the district. The French made amends by erecting a Shrine to Mary in the Duchy of Louvain. The ancient Statue of Our Lady of Sichem, or as Our Lady of Montaigu-Zichem,which is the title more commonly used today, has been venerated in Belgium from very early times. The Mother of God rewarded the faithful magnanimously for their pious attention. According to legend, a shepherd boy originally found the Statue of Our Lady after it had apparently fallen from a niche cut in an old oak tree. The Statue was mysteriously too heavy for him to lift alone, so he ran to find his master, and have him return to help him replace the statue in its place in the old oak. It is said that in 1306 the Blessed Virgin Mary moved the hearts of the people by causing four drops of blood to flow from the eyes of the Statue. This revived the faith of the people and increased their fervour. A small Chapel was built beneath the tree, which was rebuilt in 1602 and the dedication of Our Lady of Sichem took place in the year 1604 by the Archbishop of Mechlin, Mathias Hovius. From that time forward, there were many miracles as Our Lady seemed to demonstrate her appreciation by granting many favours. The Statue was soon venerated as miraculous, and there have been many pilgrimages to the site during the centuries, continuing even until this day.
Bl Arnold Wala St Athanasius of Cilicia St Bertilia of Mareuil St Bertille of Thuringia St Blitmund of Bobbio (Died 660) Monk, Abbot St Constant of Gap St Cyrinus of Cyzicus St Daniel Himmerod the Younger Bl Daniel of Padua St Eustadius St Finlugh St Fintan of Doon St Florentius of Vienne St Florentius of Vienne the Martyr
Bl Gerard Cagnoli St Gordius of Cappadocia St Imbenia St Kuriakose Elias Chavara St Lucian of Lentini St Melorius St Peter of Palestine St Primus of Cyzicus St Salvator of Belluno St Theogenes of Cyzicus St Theonas St Theopemptus of Nicomedia St Wenog Bl William Vives St Zosimus of Cilicia
Martyrs of Africa – 12 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown, exact location unknown. We know nothing more than their names – Acuta, Candidus, Constantius, Eugenia, Firmus, Hilarinus, Lucida, Martial, Poenica, Possessor, Rogatianus and Statutianus.
Martyrs of Tomi – 7 saints: A group of Christians martyred together, date unknown. We know nothing more than their names – Claudon, Diogenius, Eugene, Eugentus, Pinna, Rhodes and Rhodo. They were martyred at Tomi, Exinius Pontus, Moesia (modern Constanta, Romania).
Nuestra Señora del Pilar / Our Lady of the Pillar (Zaragoza, Spain) (40) – 2 January, 12 October (originally 4 October), 15 August – (This Apparition it is considered the first Marian Apparition, and is unique because it happened while Mary was still living on Earth):
According to ancient Spanish history, on 2 January in the year 40, in the early days of Christianity, James the Greater, one of the original Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, was preaching the Gospel in what was then the pagan land of Caesaraugusta (now Zaragoza), in the Roman Province of Hispania.
St James was disheartened with his mission, having made only a few converts. While he was praying by the banks of the Ebro River with some of his disciples, the Blessed Virgin Mary miraculously appeared before him atop a pillar accompanied by Angels. Mary assured James that the people would eventually be converted, becoming a stronghold of the Faith due to his efforts and their faith would be as strong as the pillar she was standing on. She gave him the pillar as a symbol and a wooden image of herself. James was also instructed to build a Chapel on the spot where she left the pillar which he did, making it the first Church in Spain.
It is generally believed, that Mary appeared to James through bilocation, as she was still living, either in Ephesus or Jerusalem, at the time of this event, as she is believed to have died three to fifteen years after Jesus ascended into Heaven. After establishing the church, James returned to Jerusalem with some of his disciples where he became a Martyr, beheaded in 44 under Herod Agrippa. His disciples returned his body to Spain. The pillar left by the Virgin Mary is presently enshrined in the same but larger Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar. It is believed to be the same pillar given and promised by Mary, in spite of numerous disasters that beset the Church. A fire in 1434 razed the Church that preceded the present Basilica Cathedral, see below.
The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary may or may not be the original. Some reports state that the original wooden image was destroyed when the Church burned down in 1434, contradicting other reports, that it is still the original Statue. The Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is made of wood and stands 39 centimetres tall while the 1.8 m pillar is made of jasper.quartz. The Statue depicts Mother Mary with the Child Jesus on her left arm, Who has a dove sitting on His left palm. Since the 16th century, the pillar is usually draped in a skirt-like cover called manto (in English: mantle). As a whole, it is protected by a bronze case and then another case of silver. The image was canonically crowned in 1905 during the reign of Pope Pius X. The crown was designed by the Marquis of Griñi, valued at 450,000 pesetas (£18,750, in1910). During the three Marian festivities of today, 15 August and 12 October, the faithful adorn the base of the Pillar and Statue with flowers – see below (both our Blessed Mother and St James would be thrilled by this display of such immense faith and piety!)
The apparition of Our Lady of the Pillar is a widely accepted sacred tradition. Popes from earliest times issued Papal Bulls attesting to the authenticity of the Shrine and the appearance of the Virgin Mary. Pope Calixtus III issued a Bull in 1456 encouraging pilgrimage to the Lady of the Pillar. It acknowledged the miracle of its foundation and the miracles that had taken place at the Spanish Shrine. It was also through this Bull that the name “Our Lady of the Pillar” was confirmed. So many contradictions had arisen concerning the miraculous origin of the Church that during the reign of Pope Innocent XIII , the Bishops of Spain appealed to the Holy See to settle the controversy. After careful investigation, the twelve Cardinals, in whose hands the affair rested, adopted the following account, which was approved by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on 2 August 1723 and has since been inserted in the lessons of the Office of the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, celebrated on 12 October.
“Of all the places that Spain offers for the veneration of the devout, the most illustrious is doubtless the Sanctuary consecrated to God under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, under the title of Our Lady of the Pillar, at Saragossa. According to ancient and pious tradition, St James the Greater, led by Providence into Spain, spent some time at Saragossa. He there received a signal favour from the Blessed Virgin. As he was praying with his disciples one night, upon the banks of the Ebro, as the same tradition informs us, the Mother of God, who still lived, appeared to him and commanded him to erect an oratory in that place. The Apostle delayed not to obey this injunction,and with the assistance of his disciples, soon constructed a small Chapel. In the course of time, a larger Church was built and dedicated, which, with the dedication of Saint Saviour’s, is kept as a festival in the City and Diocese of Saragossa on the 4th of October.“
In 1730, Pope Clement XII allowed the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar all over the Spanish Empire. As the date coincides with the discovery of the Americas, the Lady was later named as Patroness of the Hispanic World although her Patronages include all of the following: Zaragoza, Spain, Melo, Uruguay, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Diocese of Imus, Cavite, Zamboanga City, Santa Cruz, Manila, Alaminos, Laguna, San Simon, Pampanga, Libmanan, Camarines Sur, Pilar and Morong in Bataan, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro, Sibonga, Cebu, Baleno, Masbate, Cauayan, Isabela.
Prayer: Hail, Mary, Our Lady of the Pillar, conceived without sin, I come to venerate and honour you. above all the Angels and Saints in Heaven, as my Queen, my Lady and my dearest Mother. I firmly resolve to serve you always and to do whatever I am able, that all may render faithful service to you. Most Holy Mary, through your kind intercession and by your own merits, obtain for me from your Divine Son Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, all the graces I need for the eternal salvation of my soul. Therefore, most devoted Mother of mothers, through the Precious Blood which your Son shed for us, I humbly beseech thee to receive me among your devotees and to accept me as your servant forever. Help me in my every thought, action word and deed, never to be displeasing in your sight and in the sight of your Son, our Lord and Redeemer. Think of me always, my dear Lady of the Pillar and do not forsake me in the hour of my death. Amen.
Saint Macarius the Younger of Alexandria (Died c 401) Priest, Monk, Desert Hermit.
St Maximus of Vienne Bl Odino of Rot St Paracodius of Vienne St Seiriol Blessed Sylvester of Troina St Telesphorus, Pope St Theodota St Theopistus St Vincentian of Tulle
Many Martyrs Who Suffered in Rome: There were many Martyrs who suffered in the persecutions of Diocletian for refusing to surrender the holy books. Though we know these atrocities occurred, we do not know the names of the Saints and we honour them as a group. c 303 in Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Antioch – 5 saints: A group of Christian soldiers Martyred together for their faith. We know the names of five – Albanus, Macarius, Possessor, Starus and Stratonicus. They were born in Greece and were Martyred in Antioch (modern Antakya, Turkey).
Many Martyrs of Britain: The Christians of Britain appear to have escaped unharmed in the earlier persecutions which afflicted the Church but the cruel edicts of Diocletian were enforced in every corner of the Roman Empire and the faithful inhabitants of this land, whether native Britons or Roman colonists, were called upon to furnish their full number of holy Martyrs and Confessors. The names of few are on record but the British historian, Saint Gildas, after relating the Martyrdom of Saint Alban, tells us, that many others were seized, some put to the most unheard-of tortures and others immediately executed, while not a few hid themselves in forests and the caves of the earth, where they endured a prolonged death until God called them to their reward. The same writer attributes it to the subsequent invasion of the English, then a pagan people, that the recollection of the places, sanctified by these Martyrdoms, has been lost and so little honour paid to their memory. It may be added, that, according to one tradition, a thousand of these Christians were overtaken in their flight near Lichfield and cruelly massacred and that the name of Lichfield, or Field of the Dead, is derived from them.
Martyrs of Ethiopia – 3 saints: A group of Christians Martyred together for their faith. We know the names of three – Auriga, Claudia and Rutile.
Martyrs of Jerusalem – 2 saints: A group of Christians Martyred together for their faith. We know the names of two – Stephen and Vitalis.
Martyrs of Lichfield: Many Christians suffered at Lichfield (aka Lyke-field, meaning field of dead bodies), England in the persecutions of Diocletian. Though we know these atrocities occurred, we do not know the names of theSsaints and we honour them as a group. Their Martyrdom occurred in 304 at Lichfield, England.
Martyrs of Piacenza: A group of Christians who died together for their faith in the persecutions of Diocletian. No details about them have survived. They were Martyred on the site of Church of Madonna di Campagna, Piacenza, Italy.
Martyrs of Puy – 4 saints: Missionaries, sent by Saint Fronto of Périgueux to the area of Puy, France. Tortured and Martyred by local pagans. We know the names – Frontasius, Severinus, Severian and Silanus. They were beheaded in Puy (modern Puy-en-Velay), France and buried together in the Church of Notre Dame, Puy-en-Velay by Saint Fronto, their bodies laid out to form a cross.
Martyrs of Syrmium – 7 saints: Group of Christians Martyred together, date unknown. We know the names of seven – Acutus, Artaxus, Eugenda, Maximianus, Timothy, Tobias and Vitus – but very little else. This occurred in the 3rd or 4th century at Syrmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia).
Martyrs of Tomi – 3 saints: Three brothers, all Christian soldiers, in the Imperial Roman army and all three Martyred in the persecutions of Emperor Licinius Licinianus. We know their names – Argeus, Marcellinus and Narcissus – but little else. They were Martyred in 320 at Tomi, Exinius Pontus, Moesia (modern Constanta, Romania).
The Feast was celebrated in the East before it was in the West but by the 5th Century it was celebrated in France and Spain on the Sunday before Christmas. In Rome, even before the 7th Century, 1 January was used as a celebration of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the 13th and 14th Centuries, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ had come to replace the Marian Feast on 1 January. The celebration of the Feast of the Circumcision on 1 January was expanded to the entire Catholic Church in 1570 when Pope Pius V promulgated the Missal. In 1914, the Feast of the “Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary” was established in Portugal, occurring on 11 October. In 1931, this Feast was extended to the entire Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI and maintained on 11 October. Following the Second Vatican Council in 1974, Pope Paul VI removed the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ from the Liturgical Calendar and replaced it with the Feast of the “Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.” In the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, Catholics continue to celebrate this Feast day with the old name “The Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary” on 11 October, and 1 January is the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the Feast of the Circumcision. The feast is a celebration of Mary’s motherhood of Jesus. The title “Mother of God” is a western derivation from the Greek: Theotokos, the God-bearer. The term was adopted at the First Council of Ephesus as a way to assert the Divinity of Christ, from which it follows, that what is predicated of Christ is predicated of God. So, if Mary is the Mother of Jesus, she is the Mother of God. Therefore, the title “Mother of God” which celebrates her under this title, are at once both Mariological and Christological.
Titular Feast of the Society of Jesus – But now celebrated on 3 January, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Bl Adalbero of Liege St Baglan of Wales St Basil of Aix Bl Bonannus of Roio St Brogan St Buonfiglio Monaldi Bl Catherine de Solaguti St Clarus of Vallis Regia St Clarus of Vienne St Colman mac Rónán St Colman Muillin of Derrykeighan St Concordius of Arles St Connat St Cuan St Demet of Plozévet St Elvan St Eugendus of Condat St Euphrosyne of Alexandria St Fanchea of Rossory St Felix of Bourges St Frodobert of Troyes
St Gisela of Rosstreppe St Gregory Nazianzen the Elder Bl Hugolinus of Gualdo Cattaneo Bl Jean-Baptiste Lego Bl Jean of Saint-Just-en-Chaussée St Joseph Mary Tomasi CR (1649-1713) Cardinal, of the Order of Clerics Regular Theatine St Justin of Chieti Bl Lojze Grozde St Maelrhys St Magnus the Martyr Bl Marian Konopinski St Mydwyn
St Odilo of Stavelot St Peter of Atroa St Peter of Temissis Bl René Lego St Sciath of Ardskeagh St Severino Gallo St Telemachus St Thaumastus of Mainz St Theodotus St Tyfrydog Bl Valentin Paquay St Vincent Strambi St William of Dijon St Zedislava Berka St Zygmunt Gorazdowski — Breton Missionaries to Britain Martyred Soldiers of Rome: Thirty soldiers martyred in Rome as a group during the persecutions of Diocletian. We don’t even known their names. They were martyred c 304 at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Africa – 8 saints: Eight Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown. The only details we have are four of their names – Argyrus, Felix, Narcissus and Victor.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Andrés Gómez Sáez
Santa María la Real de Uxue / Our Lady of Uxue (Uxue, Spain) (8th Century) – 31 December:
The Town of Uxue formed, according to legend, around the site of the discovery of the image of Our Lady of Uxue, whose site was designated by the flight of a dove. By the 8th century, the image was well-known. The settlement takes the form of a fortress and the 11th Century, Church of St Mary, is a medieval jewel of Romanesque art of Navarra, which is very popular and protected by successive Monarchs.
The strong medieval devotion to this image has remained to our times. Among the celebrations and devotions, are the festivities of an annual pilgrimage and the pilgrimage of the Brotherhood of the Twelve of Uxué. Uxué is a small medieval Town full of charm, located in the eastern middle of Navarra (north of Spain and on the border with France), 53 km from Pamplona and 20 km from Tafalla. Its location is unique, as it is located on the top of a mountain overlooking the Sierra de Uxué. With an altitude of 815 meters above sea level, Uxué constitutes an authentic watchtower from which on clear days you can see from the Pyrenean ridge to the north to the banks of the Ebro and the silhouette of the Moncayo to the south. The origins of this Town are unclear, the exact date of its foundation being unknown but the beginnings are attributed to the Virgin Mary accompanied by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.
Legend has it that a dove went in and out of the hole in a rock. A boy who was herding sheep, moved by curiosity, approached with the intention of scare the dove away. But the dove continued with its insistent flapping, he approaches and found a beautiful Romanesque image of the Virgin Mary. This is how the Uxué was born. The name of the town comes from Uxua, the Basque language word for “dove“. Already before Roman domination, there was a Basque population scattered throughout the mountains, as recent archaeological discoveries attest. A Sanctuary honouring the Blessed Virgin was immediately built and has retained it’s popularity amongst the pious faithful across the ages. Many miraculous graces and cures have been granted there. A total of 44 members of the Brotherhood of the Twelve Apostles of Our Lady of Uxué, including the Chaplain, participate each year in their traditional night march to the sanctuary of the Virgin of Uxué. This Brotherhood has its origins in 1607 and therefore 2007 commemorated the fourth centenary of its foundation.
Blessed Alain de Solminihac OSA (1593-1659) Bishop of Cahors, Abbot, Reformer, Marian devotee most especially to Our Lady of Rocamadour, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist especially by his promotion of Adoration, he was also a member of the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement. His Story: https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/31/saint-of-the-day-31-december-blessed-alain-de-solminihac-osa-1593-1659/ St Anton Zogaj St Barbatian of Ravenna St Columba of Sens (c 256-273) Virgin Martyr Bl Dominic de Cubells St Festus of Valencia St Gelasius of Palestine Bl Giuseppina Nicoli St Hermes the Exorcist
St Offa of Benevento Bl Peter of Subiaco St Pinian St Potentian of Sens St Sabinian of Sens St Theophylact of Ohrid Bl Walembert of Cambrai Bl Wisinto of Kremsmünster St Zoticus of Constantinople — Martyrs of Catania – 10 saints: A group of early Christians martyred together, date unknown. The only other information to survive are ten of their names – Attalus, Cornelius, Fabian, Flos, Minervinus, Pontian, Quintian, Sextus, Simplician and Stephen. They were martyred in Catania, Sicily, Italy.
Martyrs of Rome – 10 saints: A group of Roman women martyred in an early persecution, date unknown. We known the names of ten of them – Dominanda, Donata, Hilaria, Nominanda, Paolina, Paulina, Rogata, Rustica, Saturnina and Serotina. Their relics were enshrined in the catacombs of Via Salaria, Rome, Italy.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Leandro Gómez Gil • Blessed Luis Vidaurrázaga González
Madonna of San Luca / Nostra Signora della Guardia / Our Lady of Saint Luke of La Guardia, Bologna, Italy (433) – 30 December:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “This picture was in the Church of Santa Sophia, at Constantinople, with this inscription: “This picture, painted by Saint Luke, must be taken to the mountain of La Garde and placed over the Altar of the Church.” A Greek monk set out for Italy about the year 433, with the picture entrusted to him and deposited it on the mountain of La Garde.”
The account mentioned by the Abbot above, is also told in the chronicle of Graziolo Accarisi, who wrote of a Greek hermit who went on pilgrimage to Constantinople where he received from the Priests of the Church of Santa Sofia, the icon of Our Lady of La Guardia. This image was attributed to Saint Luke the Evangelist and there was an inscription on the painting itself that it should one day be taken to the “mountain of the guard.” The hermit took the Icon,and walked throughout Italy in search of the place where the Icon was meant to be,but it was not until he reached the City of Emilia near Bologna that the authorities of the City came out to greet him and processed with the icon back to the mountain. The Icon had finally found its home and it is now more commonly known as the Madonna of San Luca. Among the many miracles attributed to the image is especially noted the “miracle of the rain,” which occurred on 5 July 1433. An extremely heavy spring rain came late in the season, threatening to destroy the crops. Facing the prospect of famine, the people turned to the Blessed Virgin for assistance. The storm and rain stopped suddenly, with the arrival into the City, of a procession carrying the miraculous Icon. Since that time these processions have been repeated annually. There is even an incredible arched walkway that is only a little short of four kilometers in length, that is meant to protect the Icon from the elements, as well as those on procession. The Icon shows the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Infant Jesus in blessing. She wears a blue-green robe, with a red tunic. The nose, eyes and fingers appear somewhat elongated. The Divine Child wears a tunic of the same colour as His Mothers’, with His right hand in a gesture of giving a blessing and his left hand being closed. In 1625 the image was covered with a silver panel which leaves only the faces of the figures uncovered. The Icon was crowned in 1603 by the Archbishop Alfonso Paleotti. The Sanctuary of Saint Luke, where the Icon is kept, was declared a national monument in the year 1874. In 1907 the Church was raised to the dignity of a Minor Basilica by the holy Pope Saint Pius X.
The Sanctuary is situate some 300 metres above the City plain, just south-west of the historical centre of the City. While a road now leads up to the Sanctuary, it is also possible to reach it along a 3.8 km monumental roofed arcade (Portico di San Luca) consisting of 666 arches, which was built in 1674–1793. It was meant to protect the Icon as it was paraded up the hill. A yearly procession from the Cathedral of San Pietro in the centre of Bologna to the Sanctuary goes along this path. The arches held sacred images or Chapels erected by patron families. There is also a cable car which takes tourists up to the Basilica.
St Anysia of Thessalonica St Anysius of Thessalonica
St Hermes of Moesia St Jucundus of Aosta St Liberius of Ravenna Blessed Margherita Colonna (c 1255-1284) Virgin, Nun
St Perpetuus of Tours Bl Raoul of Vaucelles St Raynerius of Aquila Bl Richard of Wedinghausen St Ruggero of Canne St Sebastian of Esztergom
Martyrs of Alexandria – (5 saints): A group of Christians martyred in the unrest caused by Monophysite heretics. We know the names for five of them – Appian, Donatus, Honorius, Mansuetus and Severus. They were martyred in c 483 at Alexandria, Egypt.
Martyrs of Oia – (6 saints): A group of Christians martyred together, date unknown. The only details to have survived are the names – Cletus, Florentius, Papinianus, Paul, Serenusa and Stephen. They were martyred in Oia, Greece.
Martyrs of Spoleto – (4 saints): A group of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian – Exuperantius, Marcellus, Sabinus and Venustian. They were martyred in 303 in Spoleto, Italy.
Unsere Liebe Frau vom Speyer / Our Lady of Speyer, Germany Featuring the Salve Regina and St Bernard (1146) – 29 December:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of Spire (Speyer), in Germany. Saint Bernard, entering this Church on the 29th of December, 1146, was honourably received there by the Canons, who conducted him to the choir, singing the Salve Regina. The antiphon being finished, Saint Bernard saluted the image of the Blessed Virgin in these terms: “O clems, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria!” and she answered: “Salve Bernarde!” The words of this Saint to the image are seen engraved in a circle on the pavement of the Church, on the same spot where he pronounced them and they have since been added to the Salve Regina, which was composed in the year 1040, by Herman, surnamed Contractus, a Benedictine monk.” [He is Blessed Herman of Reichenau (often known as Blessed Herman the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) – his Biography here: https://anastpaul.com/2019/09/25/saint-of-the-day-blessed-herman-of-reichenau-the-cripple-osb-1013-1054-the-wonder-of-his-age/ ]
This date on the Marian calendar, Our Lady of Speyer, actually refers to the Cathedral of Speyer, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and known as Kaiserdom zu Speyer in Germany. Construction began on the Romanesque style Cathedral in the year 1030 and was completed in 1106. It is 134 metres long and 43 metres wide, which made it one of the largest buildings constructed at that time and is now thought to be, the largest surviving Romanesque building in the world.
During the Nine Years’ War the entire Town of Speyer was burned to the ground and the heat from the inferno caused part of the nave to collapse. In 1792 the Town was occupied by the French revolutionary troops and the Church pillaged. It was in that century that the ruins of the Chapel of Saint Bernard were removed. The Cathedral was subsequently used as a warehouse and hospital. In 1957 the Cathedral was restored and, although much of the plaster and 19th century paintings were removed, the scenes of the life of the Blessed Virgin were left undisturbed. n 1981 the Cathedral was added to the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
St Aileran of Clonard St Albert of Gambron St Aproniano de Felipe González St David the King St Ebrulf of Ouche (c 626-c 706) Abbot, Hermit St Enrique Juan Requena St Florent of Bourges Bl Francis Ruiz St Girald of Fontenelle St Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado Bl José Aparicio Sanz Bl José Perpiñá Nácher St Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda St Libosus of Vaga St Marcellus the Righteous St Martinian of Milan Bl Paul Mary Bl Peter the Venerable St Quartillosa of Carthage St Thaddeus of Scythia St Trophimus of Arles St Trophimus of Ephesus
Martyrs of North Africa – (8 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. The only details to survive are eight names – Crescentius, Dominic, Honoratus, Lybosus, Primian, Saturninus, Secundus and Victor.
Martyrs of Rome – (3 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. The only details to survive are three names – Boniface, Callistus and Felix.
Martyrs of Seoul – (7 saints): Additional Memorial – 20 September as part of the Martyrs of Korea. A group of seven lay woman in the apostolic vicariate of Korea who were martyred together. • Barbara Cho Chung-I • Barbara Ko Sun-I • Benedicta Hyong Kyong-Nyon • Elisabeth Chong Chong-Hye • Magdalena Han Yong-I • Magdalena Yi Yong-Dok • Petrus Ch’oe Ch’ang-Hub They were born in South Korea and were martyred by beheading on 29 December 1839 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea. They were Canonised on 6 May 1984 by St Pope John Paul II.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939. • Blessed Aproniano de Felipe González • Blessed Enrique Juan Requena • Blessed Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado • Blessed Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda
Notre-Dame de Pontoise / Our Lady of Pontoise, France (13th Century) – 28 December:
Pontoise is an old Town built around a bridge across the Oise and its Shrine dates from around the 13th Century, as is evidenced by a charter of donation from the year 1231. Our Lady of Pontoise is about seven leagues from Paris. This image, is celebrated for many miracles which are wrought there. The Statue of Our Lady of Pontoise is of marble and stands over 1,8 metres in height. The Madonna wears a short veil and a dress with long tight sleeves. Our Lady’s face is framed by her hair. The Divine Child lays His hands on an orb that His mother holds. The Statue was, according to tradition, carved by a pious youth in the quarry at Blangis, near Abbeville and brought to Pontoise. In 1226 the Archbishop of Rouen dedicated a Chapel there and in 1249 it was made a Parish Church, and the sSatue was placed outside, over the main entrance. The Church was visited by the Saint-king, Louis IX. In around 1434 the Church was destroyed by the English soldiers fighting in the area. The faithful Catholic, determined to rebuild the Shrined. It was partly finished when the French reconquered the territory. They finished the rebuilding in 1484. During the years of 1580 and 1650, when the plague was destroying the country, people flocked to Our Lady of Pontoise and the danger was averted. Again in 1849 a cholera epidemic was averted through her intercession, so that the Shrine had the name of being powerful against plagues. In Reformation times, a devout Protestant tried to steal the Statue and failing that, knocked off the head of the Infant and threw it into the river. A fisherman had spread his nets just below the bridge and the severed head was saved and returned to the Statue. In 1585 the Church was destroyed again by the English; in 1790 by the revolutionaries. Each time the Statue was saved and returned; the last time by a man who bid on it at an auction-house and kept it until the troubled days were over. The Church was rebuilt in 1800 and a century later was still extant; the yearly thanksgiving procession for Our Lady’s protection from the plague is held annually. The Statue now resides inside the Church. Replicas of the statue were placed over many doorways of the City after the plague of 1640 and some are still there today.
Bl Nicolas Mello Bl Otto of Heidelberg St Romulus St Simon the Myroblite St Theonas of Alexandria St Theodore of Tabenna St Troadius of Pontus — 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia: 20,000 Christians who were murdered during in 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey) during the persecutions of Diocletian. Many of them were killed en masse when they were ordered, during Christmas Mass, to sacrifice to idols; when they refused, they were locked in the churches and the buildings burned around them. We know some details of a few of them, but most are known only to God. The names we have are – Agape, Anthimos, Domna, Domna, Dorotheus, Esmaragdus, Eugene, Euthymius, Glykerios, Gorgonius, Hilary, Indes, Mardonius, Mardonius, Maximus, Migdonius, Migdonus, Peter, Peter, Theophila, Theophilus and Zeno. 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).
Martyrs of Africa – (3 saints): Three Christians murdered together in Africa for their faith. The only details to survive are their names – Castor, Rogatian and Victor.
Nossa Senhora do Rosário / Our Lady of the Rosary (Atibaia, São Paulo, Brazil) (1817) – 27 December:
In 1763, slaves who couldn’t attend St John the Baptist’s, the main Church in Atibaia, began building their own. Completed in 1817, the Church is often called Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos, Our Lady of the Rosary of the Blacks. This agricultural City is home to the oldest and most active tradition in the region. The five indigenous groups in Atibaia combine African and Portuguese religious practices, centered around devotion to St Benedict and Our Lady of the Rosary. On 27 December, as they have for over 200 years, the locals gather outside Our Lady’s Church at dawn, dressed in brilliant uniforms of scarlet, green, blue, pink, or white and carrying swords, banners and musical instruments.
The day begins with a serenade and ends with fireworks. In between, to the sound of drums, guitars and pealing bells, the faithful process dancing through the City: young, old, male, female, black and white. The festa of Our Lady of the Rosary is part of a Christmas celebration beginning on 25 December with the erection of two towering poles topped with images of the Saints in Rosary Plaza and concluding 28 December with processions and Holy Mass honouring St Benedict.
Bl Adelheidis of Tennenbach Bl Alejo Pan López Bl Alfredo Parte-Saiz Bl Christina Ebner
Madonna della Acheropita, Maria Santissima Acheropita / Our Lady of Acheropita, Rossano, Italy (1140) – 26 December:
The Abbot Orsini relates: “Tradition has it that one night, a woman in great brightness appeared to a watchman on duty where a new Church was being built in Rossano, Italy. She asked him to withdraw from the place. The next morning there was seen in the building a picture of the Blessed Virgin, painted but not by the hand of man. For that reason it came to be called “Acheropita,” not made by human hands.”
The latest historical research has established that the image of Acheropita – a fresco on a pillar – was found in a small Chapel near the cave of one of the many hermits who formed the aura of Saint Nicholas of Vallone in the 6th century. It seems a holy hermit named Ephrem was very devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the year 580, a certain Captain Mauricio, was deflected from his course by the winds and landed near present day Rossano. The hermit Ephrem went to meet him with the strange sounding greeting of: “It was not the winds that brought you here but Our Lady, for once you are appointed emperor, you will build a Church here.” A mere two year later, in the year 582, Mauritius was crowned Emperor and remembering the prophesy, had artists brought to the cave to paint a fitting image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Although the artists toiled all day, during the night their work always mysteriously disappeared. The Governor, unsure of what was happening, ordered that the cave be guarded at night. That night as the guards went about their duty in front of the cave, a young woman of rare beauty came out of nowhere amidst a bright light wearing a white silk cape. She asked the guard to depart from the site, which they did. Informed the next morning of what had happened, the Governor went to the Church. To everyone’s surprise he observed an image that perplexed him, for painted on the bottom of the inner wall was a beautiful picture of Our Lady, similar to the Byzantine icons he had seen before. It was exactly where his artists had been trying in vain to draw the image. The news of the miracle soon spread throughout the City. The faithful began arriving to the place, shouting in wonder and cheering in tears with songs of praise, “Acheropita! Acheropita!” The image became an object of veneration for the people of Rossano and a new Church had to be built to satisfy popular piety in a more worthy manner. That Church is now known as the Rossano Cathedral, and it was built next to the grotto where the image is still preserved. It is also said, that later, the Saracens attacked, trying to surprise the City of Rossano but they were repulsed by Our Lady, who appeared dressed in purple and holding in her hand a lighted torch. The sight of her majesty terrified the Saracens, who turned and fled. On 26 May 1949, the Diocesan Cathedral was erected at the Shrine. From 16 August to 16 October 1949, a silver Statue of Our Lady was carried on a triumphal pilgrimage through the Archdiocese. 15 August is the annual date for the celebration of the Madonna Acheropita and it is said that during the celebration a wonderful atmosphere envelops the whole of the City, with the festival offering an opportunity for the faithful to demonstrate their love for the Blessed Virgin. On 18 June 1950, Cardinal Micara crowned the image of the Blessed Virgin.
St Abadiu of Antinoë Bl Agata Phutta Bi Bl Agnès Phila St Amaethlu of Anglesey St Archelaus of Mesopotamia Bl Bibiana Khamphai Bl Cecilia Butsi Bl Daniel of Villiers
St Euthymius of Sardis St Evaristo of Constantinople Bl Giovanni Orsini Bl Jean of Hainaut Bl Lucie Khambang St Margaret of Hohenfels Bl Maria Phon Bl Marinus of Rome Bl Paganus of Lecco Bl Pierre Boffet St Tathai of Wales St Theodore the Sacristan
Notre-Dame de Ardilliers de Saumur / Our Lady of Ardilliers, Saumur, Anjou, France (1454) – 23 December:
Our Lady of Ardilliers, located at Saumur, in Anjou, France. Its name is illustrious throughout France, as well on account of the concourse of people who were attracted there, as from a fountain which cured several maladies. This image represents Our Lady of Pity, who holds in her arms her dead Son, whose head is supported by an Angel. Notre Dame Ardilliers has a Statue, a fountain and a Church dedicated to Our Ladye. In 1454 a farmer, while ploughing his field, discovered in the “ardille” ( meaning “clay” – a word which will give its name, according to the legend, to Notre-Dame-des-Ardilliers) a stone Statuette of about thirty centimeters high representing a Pietà . The peasant took it home. On two occasions he discovered the Pietà had returned to its place of discovery, near a fountain already known for its beneficial virtues. From then on, devotions began. It was placed in a niche under a stone arch at its place of discovery. Jean Olivier , Bishop of Angers , laid the foundations of the Notre-Dame-des-Ardilliers Chapel in Saumur on1 August 1534 in the presence of Jean de Castagnier, Mayor of Saumur and Guillaume Bourdeau, Alderman. Msgr Gabriel Bouvery , Bishop of Angers, Consecrated the new Church on 30 July1553 Crowds of people were attracted to the Shrine and its name was illustrious throughout that country, for there Our Lady cured many maladies. The Sanctuary attained magnificent proportions as successive additions were made, notably by Cardinal Richelieu. Devotion to Our Lady became widespread as many miracles occurred. Mary’s clients at Ardilliers number such illustrious persons as Louis XII, Anne of Austria, Marie de Medici, Henrietta of England, Cardinal Richelieu and others. The Founders of the Sulpician Company went there for inspiration; Saint Louis de Montfort begged blessings and Mary’s help on the Institute of the Fathers of the Holy Ghost and the Daughters of Wisdom he was about to found. Cities placed themselves under the protection of Notre-Dame des Ardilliers and promised annual pilgrimages. During the Revolution the Church and Shrine were despoiled of their treasures but not destroyed and the image was left unharmed. In 1849 the ravages of time necessitated the renovation of the Chapel and pilgrimages became more frequent than ever.
And today? We hardly speak of the Pilgrimages to Ardilliers but guided tours of the remarkable architectural continue. In July and August, except on Sundays, the Association Patrimoine Religieux en Saumurois, in partnership with the City of Saumur, provides guided tours of the Notre-Dame des Ardilliers Chapel. We are very saddened aren’t we, that this former great Marian Shrine has become today, above all a tourist destination. So why shouldn’t one of our readers launch a Pilgrimage to Notre-Dame des Ardilliers. This would justify its second name, Notre-Dame de Bon Retour, Our Lady of Good Return.
St Besa of Egypt Bl Bincema St Dagobert II of Austrasia Bl Epifanio Gómez Alvaro St Frithbert of Hexham Bl Hartmann of Brixen Bl Herman of Scheda Bl James Aymerich St Ivo of Chartres (c 1040-1115) Bishop, Confessor St John Cirita St John Stone St Joseph Cho Yun-ho St Mardonius of Rome St Mazota of Abernethy St Migdonius of Rome
St Servulus (Died c 590) Layman, Beggar, paralysed by Palsy from birth. Saint Servulus was a perfect model of submission to the divine Will; it would be difficult to offer a more consoling example to persons afflicted by poverty, illnesses and the other miseries of life. It is Saint Gregory the Great who narrates for us his edifying story. St Servulus’ Life of devotion: https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/23/saint-of-the-day-23-december-saint-servulus-died-c-590/
Martyred Dominicans of Santander – (9 beati) – Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Bernardino Irurzun Otermín • Blessed Eleuterio Marne Mansilla • Blessed Eliseo Miguel Lagro • Blessed Enrique Cañal Gómez • Blessed Enrique Izquierdo Palacios • Blessed Epifanio Gómez Alvaro • Blessed José María García Tabar • Blessed Manuel Gutiérrez Ceballos • Blessed Miguel Rodríguez González • Blessed Pedro Luís y Luís
Martyrs of Crete – (10 saints): A group of ten Christians who died in the persecutions of Decius. They were – • Agathopus • Basilides • Cleomenes • Eunician • Euporus • Evaristus • Gelasius • Saturninus • Theodulus • Zeticus They were martyred in 250 on the island of Crete.
Quote of the Day – 22 December – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations,
“If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the road pregnant with the Holy and say: “I need shelter for the night. Please take me inside your heart. My time is so close.” Then, under the roof of your soul, you will witness the sublime intimacy, the Divine, the Christ, taking birth forever. As she grasps your hand for help, for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us. Yes, there, under the dome of your being, does creation come into existence eternally– through your womb, dear pilgrim–the sacred womb of your soul! As God grasps our arms for help; for each of us is His beloved servant never far. If you want, the Virgin will come, walking down the street, pregnant with Light and sing!”
St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Mystical Doctor of the Church
Notre-Dame de Chartres / Our Lady of Chartres, (Pèlerinage de Chartres / The Chartres Pilgrimage) Mother of Youth (1935): also known as the Pilgrimage of Christendom, has been gathering thousands of people on the Solemnity of Pentecost for a three-day trek from the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris to the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres.
Our Lady of Chartres, or Notre-Dame de Chartres, is a beautiful Gothic style Cathedral located in Beauce, France, which is about 80 kilometres southwest of Paris. This Cathedral, which was first built in the time of the Apostles, was demolished several times over the centuries. It was re-erected in its present state by Saint Fulbert, the fifty-fifth Bishop of Chartres at the end of the 12th Century into the beginning of the 13th century. The Pilgrimage was inspired by French-Catholic writer Charles Péguy, who made a solitary Pilgrimage from Notre Dame of Paris to the Marian Sanctuary of Chartres in 1912, covering more than 136 kilometres in four days, 14-17 June, to ask the intercession of the Virgin Mary to help his ill son. He undertook the same Pilgrimage a year later, shortly before losing his life on the battlefield at the beginning of World War I in 1914.
The student’s Pilgrimage to Chartres started in 1935 with a group of fifteen young men and girls of the Sorbonne, who sacrificed their Pentecostal holidays in prayer to the Holy Spirit and to Mary. They marched 100 kilometres to the Shrine in Chartres and prayed there together. The next year there were 36 who went and in the following year 150. Then the war came but during the eight hard years that followed, the Pilgrimages were not deserted. The numbers increased, until in 1948, about 6,500 students formed a line to march to Mary. Most of the Pilgrims were in their early twenties or late teens, from the universities, colleges and schools of Paris and the Provinces, although some were from foreign countries. The number of unbelievers, atheists and Communists has always been high even among the students; while Protestants and Jews also make up a goodly portion of the number (very much like the Santiago de Compostela). Some come out of curiosity, some following the persistent urgings of a friend; some for the sport of hiking, or to answer an invitation to test their grit and endurance but whatever their reasons for starting, few end, without a definite spiritual “joy.” Many make the Pilgrimage in bare feet over gravel roads; the sick and crippled go, too. In our day there are thousands, perhaps 10,000 Pilgrims who walk through the French countryside to Chartres. Their trek is an open act of faith and reparation, something almost never seen in modern times.
In making the Chartres Pilgrimage, these young people help to give France a new birth of devotion to Mary; something new and spotless has been born as in the warmth of endless glorious Saints – re-lit in the hearts of young moderns. France must now place her hope in youth, the youth of France and the youth of the Church, through Our Blessed Mother, Mary the Lady of Chartres. Although this is primarily a Pentecost Pilgrimage, many smaller groups commence a Pilgrimage on 22 December to be in time for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and, in fact, all year round. Below, a French flag displaying the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus with ‘Hope and Salvation of France.’ A Priest hears confession while other Pilgrims participate in Adoration in the background (at the final campsite of the pilgrimage in Gas, France, about 12 miles from Chartres).
St Abban of New Ross Bl Adam of Saxony St Amaswinthus of Málaga St Athernaise of Fife St Bertheid of Münster St Chaeremon of Nilopolis St Flavian of Acquapendente (Died 363) Martyr Layman St Honoratus of Toulouse
Martyrs of Ostia – (3 saints): A group of Christians martyred together. The only details about them to survive are three names – Demetrius, Florus and Honoratus. They were martyred at Ostia, Italy.
Martyrs of Rhaitu – (43 saints): 43 monks martyred by Blemmyes, in Raíthu, Egypt, date unknown.
Martyrs of Via Lavicana – (30 saints): A group of 30 Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. c 303 in Rome, Italy and were buried between two bay trees on the Via Lavicana outside Rome.
Notre-Dame de Saint-Acheul / Our Lady of Saint Acheul, Amiens, France, founded by Saint Firmin, Bishop (4th Century) – 21 December:
The Church containing the Shrine of Our Lady of Acheul, was located near Amiens. In fact, Saint Acheul was once considered the Mother-Church of the Cathedral of Amiens and was sometimes called the “Old Cathedral of Amiens,” although this is no longer the case, as there is now a larger Cathedral Church in Amiens. The Church stands on the very place where once a Roman temple stood, and tradition tells that Saint Firminus (Died 303) was the Apostle of Amiens, arriving there before the close of the third century after Christ. It is said that by the eloquence of his preaching and the number of his miracles, Saint Firminus (or Saint Firmin) converted many idolaters to the True Faith and Baptised three thousand men in forty days. The early Church, built around the year 300, contained the remains of the Martyred Saint. This Church was devastated repeatedly by the invasions of the Normans, and was finally totally destroyed in 1218. The relics of Saint Firmin were transferred to the Cathedral of Amiens during the Middle Ages. The Shrine of the Virgin of Saint Acheul, is noteworthy for a singular miracle – an apparition which occurred during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The celebrant, after the Consecration, saw a hand appear from within a luminous cloud and the hand of Christ took the Sacred Host and dropped it into the Chalice. Some of the faithful present likewise witnessed the same thing – a certain skeptic was brought to his knees in humble acceptance of the fact, that the Holy Sacrifice is truly the same as that of Calvary. The armorial bearings of the Abbey of Saint-Acheul, displays a hand in remembrance of this miracle.
The present Cathedral of Saint Acheul was not finished until the fifteenth century. After the erection of the new Cathedral at Amiens, Saint Acheul was known as the Church of Our Lady of Acheul. Miracles took place frequently and pilgrimages continued. The Church of Saint Acheul was destroyed by a natural phenomenon, probably a strong storm, in about the year 1751. It was rebuilt and completed in 1760. A few short years later, during the Terror of the French Revolution, the Church was used as a stable. Today, the Church is protected as an historical monument, the decree given in 1969. The Abbey buildings are now occupied by a private party but the Church is used as a Parish Church.
St Festus of Tuscany St Glycerius of Nicomedia St James of Valencia St John of Tuscany St John Vincent St Micah the Prophet St Phêrô Truong Van Thi St Severin of Trèves (Died c 300) Bishop, Confessor Bl Sibrand of Marigård St Themistocles of Lycia
Notre-Dame de Bon Retour à Île-Molène / Our Lady of Molene, France (1075) – 20 December
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “The Shrine of Our Lady of Molene is in the Abbey of the Order of Saint Benedict in Langres. It was founded on the 20th of December, 1075, by Saint Robert who was the Abbot.”
The Benedictine Monastery in the Diocese of Langres founded by Saint Robert was actually the famous Molesme Abbey. As the Abbot Orsini mentioned, it was indeed founded by Saint Robert, henceforth known as Saint Robert of Molesme O.Cist (1028-1111), in the year 1075. He had been the Abbot of Saint Michael Abbey but left and founded a new Abbey when they refused to accept his necessary reforms. Saint Robert was born in the year 1029 and had a deep, childlike devotion to the Mother of God – by reason of a vision his mother saw, before Robert was born – and he instilled the same into the hearts of his Monks. Saint Robert’s holiness attracted many sincere men to join him, and as many of them were also noblemen, they provided Saint Robert with the financial means necessary to build a magnificent Abbey. Among those who flocked to Saint Robert was St Bruno of Cologne, who was the future Founder of the Carthusian Order. When Saint Robert died in the year 1111, he was buried in the Ahurch at the Abbey he founded. St Alberic, Robert’s Successor, decided that the Order should be dedicated to Mary. According to legend, Mary bestowed on Alberic a white mantle; for that reason, the Monks changed their black habit and wore white. All their Churches were dedicated to the Virgin and each had its Mary Altar before which the office of Mary was chanted every Saturday. The Church and Monastery were destroyed and any remaining property stolen in 1472 during the war between Burgundy and France. The Huguenots burned what had been rebuilt the following century during the French Wars of Religion. The end came during the French Revolution when the Abbey was suppressed and the buildings and Church destroyed. The small Church pictured is the Church of Sainte-Croix, built in the 13th century as a Chapel for the novices at the Abbey. Even this building was damaged in 1940 during combat between the French and German troops and some of that damage can still be seen. However, this is now a thriving Parish with an annual pilgrimage to honour Our Lady. The Grotto above and below, stands in the open field previously the site of the Monastery. The Abbey site has been an historical monument since 1985. The once thriving community is gone and the site now is only accessible by prior arrangement. The Monastery seal pictured the Virgin Mary crowned.
St Attala of Strasbourg St Bajulus of Rome St Crescentius of Africa St Dominic of Brescia