Feast of The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ and Memorials of the Saints – 1 July

The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ – 1 July: The feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, “because the Most Precious Blood of Christ the Redeemer is already venerated in the solemnities of the Passion, of Corpus Christi, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and in the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.”   However, as this is the Month of the Most Precious Blood, this day, is most worthy of celebrating this Feast Day everyday.most precious blood

St Junipero Serra (1713-1784) (Optional Memorial, USA)

St Aaron of Caerleon
St Aaron the Patriarch
Blessed Antonio Rosmini-Serbati (1797-1855)
His Life:
St Arnulf of Mainz
Bl Assunta Marchetti
St Atilano Cruz Alvarado
St Calais of Anisole
St Carilephus
St Castus of Sinuessa
St Cewydd
St Concordius of Toledo
St Cuimmein of Nendrum
St Domitian of Lerins
Bl Elisabeth de Vans
St Eparchius of Perigord
St Eutychius of Umbria
St Esther the Queen
St Gall of Clermont
Bl George Beesley
St Golvinus of Leon
St Gwenyth of Cornwall
St Huailu Zhang
Bl Jan Nepomucen Chrzan
Bl Jean-Baptiste Duverneuil
St Julius of Caerleon
St Justino Orona Madrigal
St Juthware
St Leonorious of Brittany
St Leontius of Autun
Bl Luis Obdulio Navarro
St Martin of Vienne
Bl Montford Scott
Blessed Ignatius “Nazju” Falzon OFS (1813-1865)
St Nicasius of Jerusalem
St Oliver Plunkett (1629-1681) Martyr

Bl Pierre-Yrieix Labrouhe de Laborderie
St Secundinus of Sinuessa
St Servan of Culross
St Theobald of Vicenza
St Theodoric of Mont d’Or
Bl Thomas Maxfield
Bl Tullio Maruzzo
St Veep

Martyrs of Rome – 6 saints: Six Christians who were martyred together. No details have survived except their names – Esicius, Antonius, Processus, Marina, Serenus and Victor. They were martyred in Rome, Italy, date unknown.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 June – Blessed Philip Powell OSB (1594 – 1646) Priest, Martyr, Benedictine Monk

Saint of the Day – 30 June – Blessed Philip Powell OSB (1594 – 1646) Priest, Martyr, Benedictine Monk – born on 2 February 1594 in Tralon, Brecknockshire, England and died by being hang, drawn and quartered on 30 June 1646 at Tyburn, London, England.   He is  also remembered on 4 May with the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. Also known as – Philip Morgan, Philip Powel, Philip Prosser.img-Blessed-Philip-Powell

Philip Powell was the son of Roger and Catherine Powell (nee Morgan) and was brought up to the law by David Baker, afterwards Dom Augustine Baker OSB.   At the age of sixteen he became a student in the Temple, London but went to Douai three or four years later to study for the Priesthood.

He was Ordained a Priest in 1618 and was professed a Monk on 15 August 1619, having studied under Dom Leander Jones OSB.   He was next made Cellarer of St Gregory’s Monastery, Douai and then was sent on the English mission on 7 March 1622.   He lived with Dom Baker OSB for sixteen months in Gray’s Inn Lane, London.   For the following twenty years he was Chaplain to various families in Devon and Somerset until the Civil War broke out.

After serving as a Chaplain to Royalist troops, he tried to make his way to Monmouthshire in 1646.   He was arrested off the Mumbles on 22 February 1646 by Capt Crowther, who kept him confined in his ship for two months in Penarth Roads and then sent him by sea to London.  There he was confined in St Catherine’s Gaol, Southwark, where the harsh treatment he received brought on a severe attack of pleurisy.

His trial, which had been fixed for 30 May, did not take place till 9 June, at Westminster Hall.   He was found guilty of being a Catholic Priest and was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

It is recorded that when informed of his death sentence, Powell exclaimed “Oh what am I, that God thus honours me and will have me to die for His sake?” and called for a glass of sack (or sherry).Portrait_ofbl _Father_Philip_Powel_(4672675)_(cropped)

At the instance of the Common Council of London, his head and quarters were not exposed but were buried in the old churchyard at Moorfields.

The Martyr’s Crucifix, which had formerly belonged to Feckenham, last Abbot of Westminster, is preserved at Downside, with some of his hair and a cloth stained with his blood.

He was Beatified by Pope Pius XI on 15 December 1929.


Our Morning Offering – 29 June – Apostolorum Passio By St Ambrose

Our Morning Offering – 29 June – The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Apostolorum Passio
By St Ambrose (c 340-397)
Father and Doctor

This happy day is sanctified
As Martyr’s glory we recall,
The cross bedewed with Peter’s blood,
The sword that won a crown for Paul.

The triumph of their martyrdom
United these great souls in death,
Whose faith in Christ had crowned their lives
In service to their latest breath.

Saint Peter held the primacy,
Saint Paul would equal him in grace,
When once, as chosen instrument
The cause of Christ he would embrace

Once, Simon, leaving Rome, turned back
To give, by death, full praise to God,
That by the cross he too should tread
The self-same path his Master trod.

Now Rome exults, as well she may
And strives to give devotion’s due
To one who sealed with his own blood
His work as priest and shepherd true.

And who can count the crowds that come
As loving children to her gate,
Where nations’ teacher, holy Paul
Once dwelt and gladly met his fate.

Grant us, O Lord, the final grace
Of sharing in their joy above,
That with such princes we may praise
Your bounty and undying love.

Translation:  The Benedictines of Saint Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, UK

solem of sts peter and paul - apostolorum passio by st ambrose breviary hymn 29 june 2020


Quote/s of the Day – 22 June – St John Fisher

Quote/s of the Day – 22 June – The Memorial of St John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr

“I reckon in this realm no one man,
in wisdom, learning
and long approved virtue together,
meet to be matched and compared with him.”

St Thomas More speaking of St John Fisher

i-reckon-in-this-realm-st-thomas-more-speaking-of-st-john-fisher-22-june-2018 and 22 june 2020

“A good man is not a perfect man;
a good man is an honest man,
faithful and unhesitatingly responsive
to the voice of God in his life.”

_a good man is not a perfect man - 22 june 2020

“Contrition is to have sorrow at heart
and great repentance of all his sins
and to have steadfast purpose to keep
and abstain him from all deadly sins.
For who has intention to return him to deadly sin,
his confession avails him nothing!”

contrition is to have sorrow at heart - st john fisher 22 june 2020

“Penance is a needful thing to the sinner,
who desires to recover health of his soul.
And, in doing penance, there be three things
to be considered:
serious compunction of heart,
confession of mouth
and satisfaction by deed.”

penance is a needful thing to the sinner - st john fisher 22 june 2020

“As St Paul has said,
for our justification,
He [Christ], gave to man
all that was necessary –
His Blood to wash us,
His Body to redeem us.
In His Passion,
Justice and peace
have met each other.”

as st paul has said, for our justification - st john fisher 22 june 2020

“Beware of those prophets who speak unto you
and deceive you!
They prophecy nothing
but the imaginations and forgings
of their own minds
and not the truth of Holy Scripture!”

St John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr

beware of those prophets - st john fisher 22 june 2020

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 June – Saint John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr

Saint of the Day – 22 June – Saint John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr, Cardinal, Theologian, Academic, Writer – born in 1469 at Beverly, Yorkshire, England and died on 22 June 1535, aged 65, on Tower Hill, Tyburn, London, England, by beheading.   Fisher was executed by order of Henry VIII during the English Reformation for refusing to accept him as the supreme head of the Church of England and for upholding the Catholic Church’s doctrine of Papal supremacy.  Patronages – Diocese of Rochester, Catholic students at Cambridge.

st john fisher header

He was condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, however, a public outcry was brewing among the London populace who saw a sinister irony in the parallels between the conviction of Fisher and that of his patronal namesake, Saint John the Baptist, who was executed by King Herod Antipas for challenging the validity of Herod’s marriage to his brother’s divorcée Herodias.   For fear of John Fisher’s living through his Patronal feast day, that of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist on 24 June and of attracting too much public sympathy, King Henry commuted the sentence to that of beheading, to be accomplished before 23 June, the Vigil of the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist.   He was executed on Tower Hill on 22 June 1535. The execution had the opposite effect from that which King Henry VIII intended, as it created yet another parallel with that of the martyrdom of St John the Baptist, who was also beheaded;  his death also happened on the feast day of Saint Alban, the first martyr of Britain.

St John Fisher by Gerard Valck, after Adriaen van der Werff, 1697.

John Fisher was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, in 1469, the eldest son of Robert Fisher, a modestly prosperous merchant of Beverley and Agnes, his wife.   He was one of four children.   His father died when John was eight.   His mother remarried and had five more children by her second husband, William White.   Fisher seems to have had close contacts with his extended family all his life.   Fisher’s early education was probably received in the school attached to the collegiate church in his home town.

He was educated at Cambridge, from which he received his Master of Arts degree in 1491.  John received a Papal dispensation to enter the Priesthood despite being under canonical age.   He was Ordained into the Priesthood on 17 December 1491 – the same year that he was elected a fellow of his college.  He occupied the vicarage of Northallerton, 1491-1494, then he became Proctor of Cambridge University.   In 1497, he was appointed Confessor to Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII and became closely associated in her endowments to Cambridge with which he created scholarships, introduced Greek and Hebrew into the curriculum and brought in the world-famous Erasmus (1466-1536) to visit Cambridge,  as professor of Divinity and Greek.   As a Catholic priest, Erasmus was an important figure in classical scholarship who wrote in a pure Latin style.  (english_school_16th_century_portrait_of_john_fisher_bishop_of_rocheste) smaller

By papal bull dated 14 October 1504, Fisher was appointed the Bishop of Rochester at the personal insistence of Henry VII.   Rochester was then the poorest Diocese in England and usually seen as a first step on an ecclesiastical career.   Nonetheless, Fisher stayed there, presumably by his own choice, for the remaining 31 years of his life.   At the same time, like any English Bishop of his day, Fisher had certain state duties. In particular, he maintained a passionate interest in the University of Cambridge.   In 1504 he was elected the university’s Chancellor.   Re-elected annually for 10 years, Fisher ultimately received a lifetime appointment.   At this date he also acted as tutor to the future King, Henry VIII.ST john-fisher3a bishop smaller

As a preacher his reputation was so great, that Fisher was appointed to preach the funeral oration for King Henry VII and the Lady Margaret, both of whom died in 1509, the texts being extant.   Besides his share in the Lady Margaret’s foundations, Fisher gave further proof of his zeal for learning, by inducing Erasmus.

Despite his fame and eloquence, it was not long before Fisher came into conflict with the new King, his former pupil.   The dispute arose over funds left by the Lady Margaret, the King’s grandmother, for financing foundations at Cambridge.ST JOHN FISHER POSTER

In 1512 Fisher was nominated as one of the English representatives at the Fifth Council of the Lateran, then sitting, but his journey to Rome was postponed, and finally abandoned.

Fisher has also been named, as the true Author of the royal Treatise against Martin Luther entitled “Assertio septem sacramentorum” Defence of the Seven Sacraments, published in 1521, which won for King Henry VIII the title “Fidei Defensor”Defender of the Faith.   On 11 February 1526, at the King’s command, he preached a famous sermon against Luther at St Paul’s Cross, the open-air pulpit outside St Paul’s Cathedral in Fisher John sketch

From 1527, this humble servant of God actively opposed the King’s divorce proceedings against Catherine, his wife in the sight of God and steadfastly resisted the encroachment of Henry on the Church.   Unlike the other Bishops of the realm, St John refused to take the oath of succession which acknowledged the issue of Henry and Anne as the legitimate heir to the throne and he was imprisoned in the tower in April 1534.

The next year he was made a Cardinal by Paul III and Henry retaliated by having him beheaded within a month.   A half hour before his execution, this dedicated scholar and churchman opened his New Testament for the last time and his eyes fell on the following words from St John’s Gospel:  “Eternal life is this – to know You, the only true God and Him Whom You have sent, Jesus Christ.   I have given you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.   Do you now, Father, give me glory at your side.”   Closing the book, he observed:  “There is enough learning in that to last me the rest of my life.”

St John’s last moments were in keeping with his life.   He met death with a calm dignified courage which profoundly impressed those present.  His body was treated with particular rancour, apparently on Henry’s orders, being stripped and left on the scaffold until the evening, when it was taken on pikes and thrown naked into a rough grave in the churchyard of All Hallows’ Barking, also known as All Hallows-by-the-Tower.   There was no funeral prayer.   A fortnight later, his body was laid beside that of Sir Thomas More in the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the Tower of London.

st john fisher cardinal


A stern and austere man, Fisher was known to place a human skull on the altar during Mass and on the table during meals.   Erasmus said of John Fisher:  “He is the one man at this time, who is incomparable for uprightness of life, for learning and for greatness of soul.”beautiful statue bust st john-fisher4

John was Beatified by Pope Leo XIII with Thomas More and 52 other English Martyrs on 29 December 1886.   In the Decree of Beatification issued on 29 December 1886 by Pope Leo XIII, when 53 English martyrs were Beatified, the greatest place was given to Fisher.   He was Canonised, with Thomas More, on 19 May 1935 by Pope Pius XI.   His feast day, for celebration jointly with St Thomas More, is today, 22 June (the date of St John Fisher’s execution).

ST JOHN fisher-final

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 22 June – A day of 3 Great Saints

St Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431) (Optional Memorial)
About St Paulinus:

St John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr (Optional Memorial)

St Thomas More (1478-1535) Martyr (Optional Memorial)
His Life:

St Aaron of Brettany
St Aaron of Pais-de-Laon
St Alban of Britain
Bl Altrude of Rome
St Consortia
St Cronan of Ferns
St Eberhard of Salzburg
St Eusebius of Samosata
St Exuperantius of Como
St Flavius Clemens
St Gregory of Agrigento
St Heraclius the Soldier
St Hespérius of Metz
Bl Pope Innocent V
St John IV of Naples
St Julius of Pais-de-Laon
Bl Kristina Hamm
Bl Marie Lhuilier
St Nicetas of Remesiana
St Precia of Epinal
St Rotrudis of Saint-Omer
St Rufinus of Alexandria

Martyrs of Samaria – 1480 saints: 1480 Christians massacred in and near Samaria during the war between the Greek Emperor Heraclius and the pagan Chosroas of Persia. c 614 in the vicinity of Samaria, Palestine.


Memorial of The Immaculate Heart of Mary and of the Saints – 20 June

The Immaculate Heart of Mary (Memorial) +2020
Celebrated on the Saturday following the Feast of the Sacred Heart

St Adalbert of Magdeburg (910-981)

St Bagne of Thérouanne
St Edburga of Caistor
St Gemma of Saintonge
St Goban of Picardie
St Helen of Öehren
St John of Matera (c 1070-1139)
St Macarius of Petra
Bl Margareta Ebner
St Methodius of Olympus
Bl Michelina of Pesaro
St Novatus of Rome
St Pope Silverius (Died 538) Martyr

Irish Martyrs – 17 beati – This is the collective title given to the 260 or more persons who are credited with dying for the faith in Ireland between 1537 and 1714. Seventeen of them were beatified together on 27 September 1992 by St Pope John Paul II.
• Blessed Conn O’Rourke• Blessed Conor O’Devany• Blessed Dermot O’Hurley• Blessed Dominic Collins• Blessed Edward Cheevers• Blessed Francis Taylor• Blessed George Halley• Blessed John Kearney• Blessed Matthew Lambert• Blessed Maurice Eustace• Blessed Patrick Cavanagh• Blessed Patrick O’Healy• Blessed Patrick O’Loughran• Blessed Peter Higgins• Blessed Robert Meyler• Blessed Terrence Albert O’Brien• Blessed William Tirry

Martyrs of Lower Moesia:
Martyred on the Black Sea at Lower Moesia (in modern Bulgaria), date unknown.
St Cyriacus
St Paul

Martyred in Nagasaki: 9 Beati : burned alive on 20 June 1626 in Nagasaki, Japan. Their ashes were thrown into the sea and no relics remain. They were Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
• Blessed Baltasar de Torres Arias
• Blessed Francisco Pacheco
• Blessed Gaspar Sadamatsu
• Blessed Giovanni Battista Zola
• Blessed Ioannes Kisaku
• Blessed Michaël Tozo
• Blessed Paulus Shinsuke
• Blessed Petrus Rinsei
• Blessed Vincentius Kaun


Memorials of the Saints – 15 June

St Abraham of Saint-Cyriacus
St Achaicus of Corinth
Bl Albertina Berkenbrock
St Barbara Cui Lianshi
St Benildis of Córdoba
St Bernard of Montjoux/Menthon CRSA (c 1020-1081)

St Constantine of Beauvais
St Domitian of Lobbes
St Edburgh of Winchester
St Eigil
St Eutropia of Palmyra
St Fortunatus of Corinth
St Germaine Cousin (1579–1601) Incorrupt

St Hadelinus of Lobbes
St Hesychius of Durostorum
St Hilarion of Espalion
Bl Juan Rodriguez
St Julius of Durostorum
St Landelin of Crespin
St Leonides of Palmyra
St Libya of Palmyra
St Lotharius of Séez
St Melan of Viviers
St Orsisius
Bl Pedro da Teruel
Bl Peter Snow
St Pierre de Cervis
Bl Ralph Grimston
St Tatian of Cilicia
Bl Thomas Scryven
St Trillo of Wales
St Vaughen of Ireland
St Vitus (c 290-c 303) – Martyr, One of the Seven Holy Helpers
His very short life:

St Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic:
St Vouga of Lesneven

Martyr of Lucania – 11 saints: Eleven Christians martyred together. We known nothing else about them but the names – Anteon, Candidus, Cantianilla, Cantianus, Chrysogonus, Jocundus, Nivitus, Protus, Quintianus, Silvius, Theodolus in Lucania (modern Basilicata), Italy, date unknown.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 13 June – Blessed Marianna Biernacka (1888-1943) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 13 June – Blessed Marianna Biernacka (1888-1943) Martyr, Laywoman, Mother, Grandmother, Widow – Born as Marianna Czokala in 1888 in Lipsk, Podlaskie, Poland and died by being shot by firing squad on 13 June 1943 in Naumovichi (aka Naumowicze), Belarus.   She was 54-55.   She is also remembered on 12 June as one of the 108 Martyrs of World War marianna-biernacka-c652b309-41a0-4511-964c-d298e58d472-resize-750 header

Blessed Marianna Biernacka is described, in many reports, as leading a “simple” life.   But it’s my experience that there are really no simple lives. Marianna knew heartbreak.   She knew fear.   She knew backbreaking work.   She knew loss.   And she knew God’s love.

bl marianna-biernacka-6d7a5b8e-c6ca-4748-acc5-dae5e53a3c8-resize-750
This may be or not, Blessed Marianna, sources are uncertain

Marianna was born in 1888.   At the age of twenty she married a local man, Louis Biernacki.   Together, they had six children, four of whom died shortly after birth.   The only source of survival for the family was their family farm.

After the death of Louis in 1929, Marianna lived with her son Stanislaw.   Stanislaw eventually married a young woman, Anna Szymczyk and they all lived together.   Prayer and song were a large part of their lives.   Soon after the couple were married, the two had a marianna-biernacka-3fb4b62c-3f57-44ba-b2e6-28b149d5a58-resize-750

Bishop Jerzy Mazur, Bishop of Elk, said on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the death of Bl Marianna Biernacka that “Staring at her ordinary life, we see that it was imbued with faith, love, prayer, work and suffering.   Each day began with prayer and common singing Hours. Everyday life was filled with a difficult job in summer in a field and in winter, spun flax and hemp and weaving on a loom.   Recitation of the Rosary prayer and devotional singing songs allowed the dignity to endure the pain of bereavement, hard work and daily poverty.”

In 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland.   To understand, the Nazi occupation of Poland is to label it as one of the worst and most brutal genocides in the history of the world.   Adolf Hitler himself is reported to have authorised his commanders to kill “without pity or mercy, all men, women and children of Polish decent or language.”   When a German soldier was killed by any resistance, the Gestapo made it a practice to round up a large number of Polish civilians randomly and kill them in retaliation.   It was just such an incident that brought the Nazis to the door of Marianna Marianna_Biernacka

In July of 1943, the Nazis arrested many people in and around the city of Lipsk as retribution for a German killed by the resistance. Randomly, Stanislaw Biernacka, along with his pregnant wife Anna, were selected to be killed.   Nobody believed they had anything to do with the resistance but they were to be killed for events outside of their control.   When the armed soldiers came to arrest them, Stanislaw’s mother, Marianna, reportedly dropped to her knees and begged the Nazis to take her instead of Anna.

“She is already in the last weeks of her pregnancy,” she pleaded. “I will go for her.”   Her daughter-in-law begged her not to make this sacrifice but Marianna insisted, reportedly saying “You are young, you must live.”   As the Nazis didn’t particularly care who they killed, as they were simply filling a quota, so they took Marianna and her son instead of the pregnant Anna.

The Nazis took Marianna and her son to the prison in Grodno.   While in the prison, she only requested a pillow and a rosary.   After two weeks in prison in which she spent much of her time praying, Marianna was shot and killed on 13 July 1943 in Naumowicze along with her son.   Their bodies were thrown into a common marianna-biernacka-8142620a-48fd-41d5-b2c0-7a00a35d599-resize-750

Around that time, Anna gave birth to a son.  She named his Stanislaw.

On 13 June 1999, Marianna was Beatified and recognised as a Martyr, along with 107 other victims, by Pope John Paul II.   The liturgical feast day of the 108 Martyrs of World War II is June marianna-biernacka-5022b6e5-7567-4fff-990e-ef2b463afbf-resize-750

Sadly, the child, Stanislaw, only lived for about a year, according to reports.   Anna lived to age 98 and her daughter, Eugenia, still lives in the family home, according to some Polish websites.   She said that her mother, Anna, would often say that she had been given life twice.   Once by her own mother and then from her mother-in-law.1024px-Lipsk_Monument_bl Marianny_Biernackiej


13 June 1917 – The Second Apparition of our Lady of Fatima and Memorials of the Saints – 13 June

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

St Anthony of Padua OFM (1195-1231) (Memorial) (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church
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 Augustine Phan Viet Huy
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

Bl Gerard of Clairvaux – was the 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

Below is a video I believe features Anna herself.   I, of course, do not know Polish, but another website had a picture of Anna and it was the same woman, so I believe I am correct in this supposition.   It’s in Polish and throughout much of the video she is singing a song.   It’s quite beautiful.   If any of you know Polish I’d be grateful for information about what’s she’s saying and singing or if it is in fact Anna.

St Maximus of Cravagliana
St Nicolas Bùi Ðuc The
St Peregrinus of Amiterno
St Rambert
St Salmodio
Bl Servatius Scharff
St Thecla
St Tryphillius of Leucosia
St Victorinus of Assisi
St Wilicarius of Vienne

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 11 June -Blessed Ignazio Maloyan ICPB (1869-1915) Bishop and Martyr

Saint of the Day – 11 June -Blessed Ignazio Shoukrallah Maloyan ICPB (1869-1915) Bishop and Martyr – born as Shoukrallah Maloyan on 18 April 1869 at Mardin, Turkey and died by being shot to death on 11 June 1915 by Mamdooh Bek at Zerzevan Castle, Çinar, Diyarbakir, ignazio maloyan footer

Ignazio Maloyan (Shoukrallah), son of Melkon and Faridé, was born in 1869, in Mardin, Turkey.   His parish priest, noticed in him signs of a priestly vocation, so he sent him to the convent of Bzommar-Lebanon; he was fourteen years old.

After finishing his superior studies in 1896, the day dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, he was Ordained Priest in the Church of Bzommar convent, became a member of the Bzommar Institute and adopted the name of Ignatius in remembrance of the famous Martyr of Antioch.   During the years 1897-1910, Father Ignazio was appointed as Parish Priest in Alexandria and Cairo, where his good reputation was wide-spread.

His Beatitude Patriarch Boghos Bedros XII appointed him as his assistant in 1904.   Because of a disease that hit his eyes and suffocating difficulty in breathing, he returned to Egypt and stayed there till 1910.

The Diocese of Mardin was in a state of anarchy, so Patriarch Sabbaghian sent Father Ignazio Maloyan to restore order.

On 22 October 1911, the Bishops’ Synod assembled in Rome elected Father Ignazio Archbishop of Mardin.   He took over his new assignment and planned on renewing the wrecked Diocese, encouraging especially the devotion to the Sacred

Unfortunately, at the outbreak of the First World War, the Armenians resident in Turkey (which was allied with Germany) began to endure unspeakable sufferings.   In fact, 24 April 1915 marked the beginning of a veritable campaign of extermination.  On 30 April 1915, the Turkish soldiers surrounded the Armenian Catholic Bishopric and church in Mardin on the basis that they were hide-outs for arms.

At the beginning of May, the Bishop gathered his priests and informed them of the dangerous situation.   On 3 June 1915, Turkish soldiers dragged Bishop Maloyan in chains to court with twenty seven other Armenian Catholic personalities.   The next day, twenty five Priests and eight hundred and sixty two believers were held in chains.   During trial, the chief of the police, Mamdooh Bek, asked the Bishop to convert to Islam.   The Bishop answered that he would never betray Christ and His Church.   The good shepherd told him that he was ready to suffer all kinds of ill-treatments and even death and in this, will be his happiness.

Mamdooh Bek hit him on the head with the rear of his pistol and ordered to put him in jail.   The soldiers chained his feet and hands, threw him on the ground and hit him mercilessly.   With each blow, the Bishop was heard saying “Oh Lord, have mercy on me, oh Lord, give me strength,” and asked the Priests present for absolution.   With that, the soldiers went back to hitting him and they extracted his toe nails.

On 9 June, his mother visited him and cried for his state.   But the valiant Bishop encouraged her.   On the next day, the soldiers gathered four hundred and forty seven Armenians.   The soldiers along with the convoys took the desert route.

The Bishop encouraged his parishioners to remain firm in their faith. Then all knelt with him.   He prayed to God that they accept Martyrdom with patience and courage.   The Priests granted the believers absolution.   The Bishop took out a piece of bread, blessed it, recited the words of the Eucharist and gave it to his Priests to distribute among the people.

One of the soldiers, an eye witness, recounted this scene:  “That hour, I saw a cloud covering the prisoners and from all, emitted a perfumed scent.   There was a look of joy and serenity on their faces.”   As they were all going to die out of love for Jesus.   After a two-hour walk, hungry, naked and chained, the soldiers attacked the prisoners and killed them before the Bishop’s eyes.   After the massacre of the two convoys came the turn of Bishop Maloyan.

Mamdooh Bek then asked Maloyan again to convert to Islam.    The soldier of Christ answered:  “I’ve told you I shall live and die for the sake of my faith and religion.   I take pride in the Cross of my God and Lord.”   Mamdooh got very angry, he drew his pistol and shot Maloyan. Before he breathed his last breath he cried out loud:   “My God, have mercy on me, into your hands I commend my spirit.”   Bl Ignazio was 46 years old. …

Ignazio was Beatified on 7 October 2001 at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, by St Pope John Paul II, when he said:

“Archbishop Ignatius Maloyan, who died a Martyr when he was 46, reminds us of every Christian’s spiritual combat, whose faith is exposed to the attacks of evil.   It is in the Eucharist that he drew, day by day, the force necessary to accomplish his Priestly ministry with generosity and passion, dedicating himself to preaching, to a pastoral life connected with the celebration of the sacraments and to the service of the neediest.

Throughout his existence, he fully lived the words of St Paul:  “God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of courage, of love and self control” (II Tim 1,14. 7).   Before the dangers of persecution, Bl Ignatius did not accept any compromise, declaring to those who were putting pressure on him, “It does not please God that I should deny Jesus my Saviour. To shed my blood for my faith is the strongest desire of my heart.”   May his example enlighten all those who today wish to be witnesses of the Gospel, for the glory of God and for the salvation of their neighbour.”bl ignaziomaloyan


Memorial of St Barnabas Apostel, Feast of Our Lady of Mantara/Awaiting and Memorials of the Saints – 11 June

St Barnabas the Apostle (Memorial) (Martyred in c 61 at Salamis)
St Barnabas!

Our Lady of Mantara/Awaiting:
Our Lady of Mantara, also known as Our Lady of Awaiting, is a Melkite Greek Catholic Marian shrine in Maghdouché, Lebanon, discovered on 8 September 1721 by a young shepherd.   The grotto, which according to a legend dates to ancient times, was subsequently cared after by Monsignor Eftemios Saïfi, Melkite Catholic bishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Sidon.   The shrine consists of a tower crowned with the statue of the Virgin and Child, a cathedral, a cemetery and a sacred cave believed to be the one where the Virgin Mary rested while she waited for Jesus.   Since its discovery, it has been steadily visited by families particularly each year on the occasion of the feast of the Nativity of Mary on 8 September.

St Aleydis of Schaerbeek
St Blitharius of Seganne
St Herebald of Bretagne
Bl Hugh of Marchiennes
Blessed Ignazio Shoukrallah Maloyan ICPB (1869-1915) Bishop and Martyr
Bl Jean de Bracq
St Juan de Sahagun OESA (1419-1479)
Biography:  His Memorial was on 12 June but moved in 1969.
Bl Kasper of Grimbergen
St Maximus of Naples
St Parisius
St Paula Frasinetti
St Riagail of Bangor
St Tochumra of Kilmore
St Tochumra of Tuam

Martyrs of Tavira – 7 beati: Members of the Knights of Santiago de Castilla. During the re-conquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims by Christian forces, in a period of truce between the armies, the group was allowed to leave the Portuguese camp to hunt. Near Tavira, Portugal, he and his companions were ambushed and killed by a Muslim force. Making a reprisal attack, the Portuguese army took the city of Tavira. The murdered knights were considered to be martyrs as they died in an action defending the faith. They were –
• Blessed Alvarus Garcia
• Blessed Beltrão de Caia
• Blessed Damião Vaz
• Blessed Estêvão Vasques
• Blessed Garcia Roiz
• Blessed Mendus Valle
• Blessed Pedro Rodrigues
They were martyred in 1242 outside Tavira, Faro, Portugal. Their relics are enshrined under the altar of Saint Barnabas in the Church of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels (modern Santa Maria do Castelo) in Tavria

Mercedarian Martyrs of Damietta: Three Mercedarian lay knights who worked to ransom Christians enslaved by Muslims. During the 7th Crusade, a plague swept through the Christian army and these knights volunteered to work with the sick. During this work they were captured by Muslims and ordered to convert to Islam; they refused. They were tortured, taken to Damietta, Egypt where they were murdered for their faith. They were thrown from a tower in the mid-13th century in Damietta, Egypt.


St Aleydis of Schaerbeek
St Blitharius of Seganne
St Herebald of Bretagne
Bl Hugh of Marchiennes
Blessed Ignazio Shoukrallah Maloyan ICPB (1869-1915) Bishop and Martyr
Bl Jean de Bracq
St Juan de Sahagun OESA (1419-1479)
Bl Kasper of Grimbergen
St Maximus of Naples
St Parisius
St Paula Frasinetti
St Riagail of Bangor
St Tochumra of Kilmore
St Tochumra of Tuam

Martyrs of Tavira – 7 beati: Members of the Knights of Santiago de Castilla. During the re-conquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims by Christian forces, in a period of truce between the armies, the group was allowed to leave the Portuguese camp to hunt. Near Tavira, Portugal, he and his companions were ambushed and killed by a Muslim force. Making a reprisal attack, the Portuguese army took the city of Tavira. The murdered knights were considered to be martyrs as they died in an action defending the faith. They were –
• Blessed Alvarus Garcia
• Blessed Beltrão de Caia
• Blessed Damião Vaz
• Blessed Estêvão Vasques
• Blessed Garcia Roiz
• Blessed Mendus Valle
• Blessed Pedro Rodrigues
They were martyred in 1242 outside Tavira, Faro, Portugal. Their relics are enshrined under the altar of Saint Barnabas in the Church of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels (modern Santa Maria do Castelo) in Tavria

Mercedarian Martyrs of Damietta: Three Mercedarian lay knights who worked to ransom Christians enslaved by Muslims. During the 7th Crusade, a plague swept through the Christian army and these knights volunteered to work with the sick. During this work they were captured by Muslims and ordered to convert to Islam; they refused. They were tortured, taken to Damietta, Egypt where they were murdered for their faith. They were thrown from a tower in the mid-13th century in Damietta, Egypt.


Saint of the Day – 6 June – Blessed Innocenty Józef Wojciech Guz OFM (1890-1940) Priest and Martyr

Saint of the Day – 6 June – Blessed Innocenty Józef Wojciech Guz OFM (1890-1940) Priest of the Franciscan Conventual and Martyr of the Nazi Regime – born as Józef Adalbert Guz on 8 March 1890 in n Lemberg, Austria (present-day Poland) and died from trauma resulting from having a charged fire hose stuffed down his throat on 6 June 1940 in the prison camp at Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg, Oberhavel, Germany.   He was 50 years old.   Additional Memorial – 12 June as one of the 108 Polish Martyrs of World War II.Blessed-Józef-Wojciech-Guz

After high school Jozef tried to join the Jesuits but was turned down. On 25 August 1908 be joined the Franciscans, taking the name Innocenty.   He studied philosophy and theology in Krakow, Poland and was ordained on 2 June 1914.   He served as a Parish Priest in a number of cities and worked with Saint Maximilian Kolbe.

He was a confessor to a Franciscan monastery at Niepokalanów, Poland from 1933 to 1936, vice-master of clerics and singing teacher in the minor seminary and Parish Priest in Grodno, Poland.

He was imprisoned by invading Russia troops on 21 March 1940 for the crime of being a Polish Priest but he managed to escape and went to the German zone, where he was arrested by the Gestapo.   He was sent to several prisons before finally ending at the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen where he was severely beaten and put to forced labour.   When he could not work, owing to a broken leg, he was nearly drowned and finally j-zef-innocenty-guz-4_orig

He was Beatified on 13 June 1999 by St Pope John Paul II at Warsaw, Poland.   Below are the Franciscan Martyrs of the World War j-zef-innocenty-guz-5_origbl j-zef-innocenty-guz-6_orig

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 6 June

St Norbert (c 1080-1134) (Optional Memorial)
His amazing life:

St Agobard of Lyon
St Alexander of Fiesole
St Alexander of Noyon
St Amantius of Noyon
St Anoub of Skete
St Artemius of Rome
St Bazalota of Abyssinia
St Bertrand of Aquileia
St Candida of Rome
St Ceratius of Grenoble
St Claudius of Besançon
St Cocca
St Colmán of Orkney
Bl Daniel of Bergamo
St Euphemia of Abyssinia
St Eustorgius II of Milan
Bl Falco of La Cava
Bl Gerard Tintorio
Bl Gilbert of Neufontaines
St Grazia of Germagno
St Gudwall
Bl Gundisalvus of Azebeyro
St Hilarion the Younger
Blessed Innocenty Józef Wojciech Guz OFM (1890-1940) Priest and Martyr of the Nazi Regime
St Jarlath of Tuam
St John of Verona
Bl Lorenzo de Masculis
St Marcellin Champagnat (1789-1840)
Wonderful St Marcellin:

St Paulina of Rome
St Phêrô Dung
St Phêrô Thuan
St Rafael Guízar y Valencia
St Vincent of Bevagna
St Vinh-Son Duong
Bl William Greenwood

Marytrs of Tarsus: A group of 20 martyrs who were killed together during the persecutions of Diocletian. They were martyred in Tarsus (in modern Turkey).

Mercedarian Fathers of Avignon: Several Mercedarians from the Santa Maria convent of Avignon, France who worked with plague victims in that city and died of the disease themselves. They died in Avignon, France of plague.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 5 June

St Boniface and Companions (Memorial)
The Life of St Boniface:

St Adalar of Erfurt
Bl Adalbert Radiouski
Bl Adam Arakawa
St Austrebertus of Vienne
St Claudius of Egypt and Companions
St Ðaminh Huyen
St Ðaminh Toai
St Dorotheus of Tyre
St Elleher
St Eoban of Utrecht
St Eutichius of Como
St Evasius of Africa
St Felix of Fritzlar
Bl Ferdinand of Portugal
St Franco of Assergi
St Genesius, Count of Clermont
St Gregory of Lilybaeum
St Gundekar
St Hadulph
St Luke Loan
Blessed Malgorzata Lucja Szewczyk (1828-1905)
Bl Meinwerk of Paderborn
St Privatus of Africa
St Sanctius of Córdoba
St Tudno of Caernarvon
St Waccar

Martyrs of Caesarea:
A group of Christians who converted together, were imprisoned together, tortured together, and martyred together. We know nothing more about them but their names – Cyria, Marcia, Valeria and Zenaides.
Caesarea, Palestine, date unknown.

Martyrs of Egypt:
A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Galerius Maximian. The only other information was have is three of their names – Apollonius, Marcian and Nicanor.
in Egypt, date unknown.

Martyrs of Perugia:
A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than their names – Cyriacus, Faustinus, Florentius, Julian and Marcellinus.
beheaded in 250 in Perugia, Italy

Martyrs of Rome:
26 Christians martyred together. We have no details about them but their names – Candida, Castula, Fappa, Felician, Felicitas (2 of), Felicula, Fortunatus, Gagus, Gregor, Hilarius, Ingenuus, Juliana, Martialis, Maurus, Mustilus, Nicander, Prima, Rogata, Rutianus, Sacrinus, Saturnin, Secundian, Secundus, Urbicus, Victurus.
• Rome, Italy, date unknown
• relics transferred to Antwerp, Belgium, date unknown

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 3 June

Martyrs of Uganda (Memorial) – 22 saints: Twenty-two (22) Ugandan converts martyred in the persecutions of King Mwanga. They are –
• Achileo Kiwanuka • Adolofu Mukasa Ludigo
• Ambrosio Kibuuka • Anatoli Kiriggwajjo
• Anderea Kaggwa • Antanansio Bazzekuketta
• Bruno Sserunkuuma • Charles Lwanga
• Denis Ssebuggwawo • Gonzaga Gonza
• Gyavire • James Buzabaliao
• John Maria Muzeyi • Joseph Mukasa
• Kizito • Lukka Baanabakintu
• Matiya Mulumba • Mbaga Tuzinde
• Mugagga • Mukasa Kiriwawanvu
• Nowa Mawaggali • Ponsiano Ngondwe
They were Canonised on 18 October 1964 by Pope Paul VI at Rome, Italy.
The Lives and Martyrdom of the Ugandan Martyrs:

Bl Adam of Guglionesi
St Albert of Como
St Athanasius of Traiannos
St Auditus of Braga
Bl Beatrice Bicchieri
St Caecilius of Carthage
St Charles Lwanga & Companions (see the Martyrs of Uganda above)
Bl Charles-René Collas du Bignon
St Clotilde of France
St Conus of Lucania
St Cronan the Tanner
St Davinus of Lucca
Bl Diego Oddi
Bl Francis Ingleby
St Gausmarus of Savigny
St Genesius of Clermont
St Glunshallaich
St Hilary of Carcassone
St Isaac of Córdoba
St Juan Grande Román OH (1546-1600)
St Kevin of Glendalough (c 498-618)
St Laurentinus of Arezzo
St Liphardus of Orléans
St Morand of Cluny
St Moses of Arabia
St Oliva of Anagni
St Paula of Nicomedia
St Pergentinus of Arezzo
St Phaolô Vu Van Duong
St Urbicius

Dominicans Martyred in China

Martyrs of Africa – 156 saints: 156 Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown; the only other information to survive are some of their names –
• Abidianus• Demetria• Donatus• Gagus• Januaria• Juliana• Nepor• Papocinicus• Quirinus• Quirus
Martyrs of Byzantium – 5 saints: A group of Christians, possibly related by marriage, who were martyred together. They were –
• Claudius• Dionysius• Hypatius• Lucillian• Paul
They were Martyred in 273 in Byzantium.

Martyrs of Rome – 8 saints: A group of Christians martyred together. We know nothing else about them but the names –
• Amasius• Emerita• Erasmus• Lucianus• Orasus• Satuaucnus• Septiminus• Servulus
They were Martyred in Rome, Italy, date unknown.

Martyrs of Rome – 86 saints: 85+ Christians martyred together in Rome, Italy, date unknown. The only details that have survived are some of their names –
• Apinus • Apronus • Aurelius • Avidus • Cassianus • Criscens • Cyprus • Domitius • Donata • Donatus • Emeritus • Extricatus • Exuperia • Faustina • Felicitas • Felix • Flavia • Florus • Fortunata • Fortunatus • Fructus • Gagia • Gagus • Gallicia • Gorgonia • Honorata • Januaria • Januarius • Justa • Justus • Libosus • Luca • Lucia • Matrona • Matura • Mesomus • Metuana • Nabor • Neptunalis • Obercus • Paula • Peter • Pompanus • Possemus • Prisca • Procula • Publius • Quintus • Rogatian • Romanus • Rufina • Saturnin • Saturnus • Secundus • Severa • Severus • Sextus • Silvana • Silvanus • Sinereus • Tertula • Titonia • Toga • Urban • Valeria • Veneria • Veranus • Victor • Victoria • Victorinus • Victuria • Victurina • Virianus • Weneria • Zetula.
They were Martyred in Rome date unknown.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 2 June – Blessed Alexandru Rusu (1884-1963) Bishop and Martyr of the Soviet Regime

Saint of the Day – 2 June – Blessed Alexandru Rusu (1884-1963) Bishop and Martyr of the Soviet Regime, Professor, Activist – born on 22 November 1884 in Saulia de Câmpie, Mures, Romania and died on 9 May 1963 in Gherla Prison, Cluj, alexandru rusu header

Alexandru Rusu was one of twelve children born to a Priest in Șăulia Commune, Mureş County.   He was the first Bishop of the Greek-Catholic Diocese of Maramureş and after the Church’s leadership fell vacant in 1941, he was chosen its new head (Major Archbishop of Fagaraş and Alba Iulia) in 1946, a decision approved by the Holy See but not by the Communist-dominated Petru Groza government.

He studied in Bistrita, Targu Mures, Bla and Budapest where he obtained his Doctorate in Theology.   On 20 July 1910, he was Ordained a Priest.   He was a Professor at Blaj, a Metropolitan Secretary, a Canonist and Rector of the Seminary in Blaj.   From 1931, after being installed as first Bishop of Maramures he was a senator in the Romanian alexandru rusu

For defying the anti–Christian authorities, Bishop Alexandru was arrested on 28 October 1948 and imprisoned firstly in monasteries and he was then sent to Sighet prison.   He was finally “tried” by a military tribunal in 1957 who found him guilty of treason for remaining faithful to the Catholic Church and sentenced him to 25 years in prison (he had already been imprisoned for 9 years when this so-called trial took place).   He was sent to Gherla prison where he died due to the inhuman conditions.   Bishop Rusu was buried in the prison cemetery without any religious rite.

bl alexandru-rusu

Bl Alexandru was Beatified on 2 June 2019 by Pope Francis in Romania along with 6 other Bishop Martyrs.   Declaring their Beatification, Pope Francis said the seven martyred Greek-Catholic Bishops gave their lives for fidelity to the Church and in defence of the right to freedom of religion.

BL Alexandru_Rusu_2019_stamp_of_Romania
Series of Postage Stamps issued for the Beatification

stamps issued for the Beatification

“The new blesseds endured suffering and gave their lives to oppose an illiberal ideological system that oppressed the fundamental rights of the human person. … With great courage and interior fortitude, they accepted harsh imprisonment and every kind of mistreatment, in order not to deny their fidelity to their beloved Church,” the pope said, adding that “in the face of fierce opposition from the regime, they demonstrated an exemplary faith and love for their people.”

New-Romanian-martryrs icon of the 7 bishop martyrs-2019
Icon of the Seven Blesseds

Today, Catholics make up less than 6% of the population of Romania, which is a majority of Orthodox Christians.   Most of the Catholics in the country are of the Latin rite and come from Romanian, Hungarian and German language and ethnic groups.

The Romanian Greek-Catholic Church, to which the new Blesseds belonged, is a Byzantine rite Church in communion with the Holy alex rusu beatification


beatification ad beatification 7 bishops

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints -2 June

St Marcellinus (Optional Memorial)
St Peter the Exorcist (Optional Memorial)
(Martyred in 304)
Their Stories:

St Ada of Ethiopia
St Adalgis of Thiérarche
Blessed Alexandru Rusu (1884-1963) Bishop and Martyr of the Soviet Regime
St Armin of Egypt
St Barbarinus
St Blandina the Slave
St Bodfan of Wales
St Daminh Ninh
Bl Demetrios of Philadelphia
St Dorotheus of Rome
St Erasmus (Died c 303) Martyr
St Pope Eugene I,
St Evasius
Bl Giovanni de Barthulono
Bl Guy of Acqui
St Honorata
St Humatus
St John de Ortega
St Joseph Tien
St Nicholas Peregrinus
St Photinus of Lyons
St Rogate
Bl Sadoc of Sandomierz
St Stephen of Sweden

Martyrs of Lyons and Vienne: A group of 48 Christians from the areas of Vienne and Lyon, France, who were attacked by a pagan mob, arrested and tried for their faith, and murdered in the persecutions of Marcus Aurelius.   A letter describing their fate, possibly written by Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, was sent to the churches in the Middle East.   Only a few names and details of their lives have survived; some of them have separate entries on this date –
• Alexander of Vienne
• Attalus of Pergamos
• Biblis of Lyons
• Blandina the Slave
• Cominus of Lugdunum
• Epagathus of Lugdunum
• Maturus the Novice
• Photinus of Lyons
• Ponticus of Lugdunum
• Sanctius of Vienne
• Vettius of Lugdunum
They were martyred in assorted ways on on various during 177.

Martyrs of Sandomierz: A group of 49 Dominicans, some of whom received the habit from Saint Dominic de Guzman himself.   They worked separately and together to bring the faith and establish the Dominican Order in Poland, basing their operations in and around Sandomierz.   In 1260 they were all martyred by the Tartars as they were singing the Salve Regina at Compline; the custom of singing the Salve Regina at the deathbed of Dominicans stems from this incident.   We know a few details about a few of the martyrs, but most survive only as names –
• Zadok• Andrea, chaplain• James, novice master• Malachi, convent preacher
• Paul, vicar• Peter, guardian of the garden• Simone, penitentiaryfriars
• Abel, Barnabas, Bartholomew, Clemente, Elia, John, Luke, Matthew, Philip
deacons• Giuseppe, Joachim, Stefanosub-deacons• Abraham, Basil, Moses, Taddeoclerics• Aaron, Benedict, David, Dominico, Mattia, Mauro, Michele, Onofrio, Timothyprofessed students• Christopher, Donato, Feliciano, Gervasio, Gordian, John, Mark, Medardo, Valentinonovices• Daniele, Isaiah, Macario, Raffaele, Tobialay brothers• Cyril, tailor• Jeremiah, shoemaker
• Thomas, organist
They were martyred in 1260 at Sandomierz, Poland and Beatified on 18 October 1807 by Pope Pius VII (cultus confirmation).

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of “Mary Mother of the Church, Mater Ecclesiae” and the Saints – 1 June

“Mary Mother of the Church, Mater Ecclesiae” – The First Monday after Pentecost – established by Pope Francis – 1st official Memorial 2018

Vatican Decree here:

mary mater ecclesiae - mother of the church - pray for us - 21 may 2018

St Justin Martyr (c 100-165) Father of the Church (Memorial)

St Agapetus of Ruthenia
Bl Alfonso Navarrete Benito
Saint Annibale Maria di Francia (1851-1927)

Bl Arnald Arench
Bl Arnold of Geertruidenberg
St Atto of Oca
St Candida of Whitchurch
St Caprasius of Lérins
St Clarus of Aquitaine
St Claudius of Vienne
Bl Conrad of Hesse
St Conrad of Trier
St Crescentinus
St Cronan of Lismore
St Damian of Scotland
St Dionysius of Ruthenia
St Donatus of Lucania
St Felinus of Perugia
Bl Ferdinand Ayala
St Firmus
St Fortunatus of Spoleto
Bl Gaius Xeymon
St Gaudentius of Ossero
St Giuse Túc
St Gratian of Perugia
Bl Herculanus of Piegare
St Iñigo of Oña
St Ischryrion and Companions
Bl James of Strepar
St Jean-Baptiste-Ignace-Pierre Vernoy de Montjournal
Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini (1839-1905)
His Lifestory:

Bl John Pelingotto
Bl John Storey
St Juventius
Bl Leo Tanaka
St Melosa
St Pamphilus of Alexandria
St Peter of Pisa
St Porphyrius of Alexandria
St Proculus of Bologna
St Proculus the Soldier
St Ronan
St Secundus of Amelia
St Seleucus of Alexandria
St Simeon of Syracuse
St Telga of Denbighshire
St Thecla of Antioch
Bl Theobald Roggeri
St Thespesius of Cappadocia
St Wistan of Evesham
St Zosimus of Antioch

Martyrs of Alexandria – 5 saints: A group five of imperial Roman soldiers assigned to guard a group of Egyptian Christians who were imprisoned for their faith in the persecutions of Decius. During their trial, they encouraged the prisoners not to apostatize. This exposed them as Christians, were promptly arrested and executed. Martyrs. Their names are – Ammon, Ingen, Ptolomy, Theophilis and Zeno. They were beheaded in 249 at Alexandria, Egypt.

Martyrs of Caesarea – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Galerius. We know little more about them than the name – Paul, Valens and Valerius. They diedf in 309 at Caesarea, Palestine.

Martyrs of Lycopolis – 6 saints: Five foot soldiers and their commander who were martyred for their faith by order of the imperial Roman prefect Arriano during the persecutions of Decius. In Lycopolis, Egypt.

Martyrs of Rome – 6 saints: A group of spiritual students of Saint Justin Martyr who died with him and about whom we know nothing else but their names – Carito, Caritone, Evelpisto, Ierace, Liberiano and Peone. In Rome, Italy.


Quote/s of the Day – 29 May – St Pope Paul VI and Bl Rolando Maria Rivi

Quote/s of the Day – 29 May – the Memorial of St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) and Bl Rolando Maria Rivi (1931-1945) “I belong to Jesus,” Seminarian, Martyr

“Jesus Christ
You have heard Him spoken of,
indeed the greater part of you are already His –
you are Christians.
So, to you Christians I repeat His name,
to everyone I proclaim Him –
Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end,
the Alpha and the Omega.
He is the king of the new world.
He is the secret of history.
He is the key to our destiny.”

so-to-you-christians-i-repeat-his-name-st-popepaul-vi-no-2-25-nov-christ-the-king-2018and-2019-24-nov and 16 march 2020

“Here lies the test of truth,
the touchstone of evangelisation –
it is unthinkable, that a person,
should accept the Word
and give himself to the kingdom,
without becoming a person
who bears witness to it
and proclaims it in his turn.”

here lies the test of truth the touchstone of evanelisation - st pope paul VI 18 april 2020

“Do you really believe what you are proclaiming?
Do you live what you believe?
Do you really preach what you live?”

Evangelii Nuntiandi, 1975

St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)

do you really believe what you are proclaiming - st paul VI - 29 may 2020

“I belong to Jesus”

Bl Rolando Maria Rivi (1931-1945)
Seminarian, Martyr

i belong to jesus - bl rolando rivi 29 may 2020

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 May – Blessed Rolando Maria Rivi (1931-1945) “I belong to Jesus” Seminarian, Martyr

Saint of the Day – 29 May – Blessed Rolando Maria Rivi (1931-1945) “I belong to Jesus,” Seminarian, Martyr, – born on 7 January 1931 in San Valentin di Castellarano, Reggio Emilia, Italy and died on 13 April 1945- aged 14.
Blessed Rolando was noted for his studious and pious nature with an intense love for Jesus Christ which was evident through frequent Confession and the reception of the Holy Eucharist.   He was amiable to all and wore his cassock with great pride to the point where he affirmed that he belonged to Christ and His Church.   The Communist partisans murdered him “in odium fidei” (in hatred of the faith) towards the end of World War II in Modena, because he would become a rolando rework

Born in San Valentino, a hamlet of the town of Castellarano, he was the second of three children of Roberto and Albertina Rivi.   On the day after he was born, his parents brought him to be Baptised in the village church, after which they dedicated him to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

bl rolandos-family
Bl Rolando is on the left

Rivi grew up, educated in the faith by his mother and father and in the strong religious atmosphere, was a fixture in his Parish.   Before going to work in the fields each morning, he attended the celebration of the Mass and received the Eucharist, after he made his First Communion.   In this home filled with faith, he grew along with his older brother Guido and little sister Rosanna.   His exuberance and liveliness often proved a test to his parents but his grandmother, Anna sensed his good character and said once that “Rolando will become either a rascal or a saint!   He can not walk the middle ground.”

In 1937 he began attending the local school where his teachers cultivated his love for life and for Jesus Christ, while noting his desire to know and love Jesus.   He was admitted to receive his First Communion almost at once, because he was among the better prepared children and eager to do so.   His First Communion was made on 16 June 1938 on the Feast of Corpus Christi.   Rolando changed after that event – while remaining amiable and energetic, he became more mature and responsible, which was a profound change and which was accentuated after receiving his Confirmation on 24 June 1940 from the Bishop of rolando-rivi-4ab40f3f-6302-4940-a16e-903a16db900-resize-750

In the meantime, his Parish Priest Father Marzocchini Olinto, became his teacher and a spiritual father.   Rivi availed himself of the Sacrament of Penance each week and each morning he got up to serve Mass and receive the Eucharist.   He was almost 11 when he was no longer able to ignore the beginnings of his vocation to the Priesthood and he said to his parents and grandparents:   “I want to be a Priest to save many souls.   I will go as a Missionary to make Jesus known, far far away.”   His pious parents did not oppose the decision and after he completed his schooling, he commenced his Ecclesial studies in Marola in Carpineti on 1 October 1942.   As was the custom, he wore the cassock from the moment he entered as a Seminarian and was proud of the garment, viewing it as a sign of his belonging to Christ and to the Church.

bl rolando outside the seminary
Bl Rolando outside the Seminary

Rolando was forced to leave his studies and return home in June 1944 after the Nazi forces occupied the Italian nation but he still wore his cassock with pride, against the wishes of his parents.   His parents were worried about rising anti-religious sentiment and even violence against Ecclesial figures but he refused to desist and continued to wear it.   He said to them:  “I study to be a priest and these vestments are the sign that I belong to Jesus.”   Rivi wore his cassock during vacation periods and even during the hot summer months.   He liked music and could use a harmonium.   People in his village admired him for his holiness and even his father admired him and said once:  “My son is so good and studious.”

On 10 April 1945, Rolando was taken by a group of Communist insurgents, who forced him to go with them into the woods.   His father, Roberto, wrote of that day as follows:

“It was the morning of 10 April 1945.   After returning from Mass with my son, I left to work in the fields.   When I returned around midday I did not find Rolando in the house.   My sister-in-law told me that he had gone to study in his usual place, a grove nearby the house.   I called him, there was no response.   Together with his mother I went to the place thinking that he might be asleep but a sad surprise awaited us.   His books were scattered on the ground and, on a piece of paper taken from one of his notebooks, these words were written:  “Do not search for him, he has come with us for a moment.  The Insurgents.”    My wife began to cry.”bl rolando rivi

On Friday, 13 April 1945, after three days of torture and humiliation, the insurgents brought him to a forest in the village of Piane di Monchio, where there was already a grave dug.   It was about 3:00 in the afternoon.   They hurled him to the ground and then forced him to kneel on the edge of the grave.   Before they killed him, Rolando asked for – and was granted – a moment to pray for his parents.   Even then, he reaffirmed his belonging to Christ.   The Communist insurgents then murdered him with two shots of the pistol.

On the evening of 14 April following the directions of some insurgents (including the very assassin!), Roberto Rivi and Father Alberto Camellini, the pastor of San Valentino, recovered Rolando’s body.   His face was black and blue, his body tormented and there were two mortal wounds – one at the left temple and the other at the heart.   The following day they brought him to the town of Monchio, where the funeral and Christian burial were held.

original gravestone bl rolando
The original Gravestone of Bl Rolando

On the Sunday after Easter, Don Camellini and Roberto Rivi exhumed the Martyr’s body, which was temporarily buried in the neighbouring cemetery.   On 25 May 25, 1945, the mortal remains were brought back to San Valentino, surrounded by a crowd of hundreds of young Catholics who had known the young saint.   On his tomb, his father had these words engraved:

“Rest in light and peace, you who were extinguished by hatred and darkness.”bl rolando rivi art small

His figure became more well known in 2001 after news broke that the English child James Blacknall (born 1998) was cured of leukemia on 4 April 2001 after a hair and blood relic of Rivi was placed under his pillow with a novena said.   Rolando Rivi’s cause for Canonisation was opened by the Archdiocese of Modena on 7 January 2006.   In May of 2012, the competent Vatican commission of theologian “censors” approved the validity of Rolando’s Martyrdom in odium fidei – in hatred of the faith.   Then, on 28 March 2013, Pope Francis authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate a decree recognizing the Martyrdom.   The ceremony of Beatification was celebrated on 5 October 2013, by Angelo Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in the city of Modena.   Almost 20 000 people attended the Beatification.

bl Rolando Rivi beatificazione a
Cardinal Amato at the Beatification with the Relics

“If we could believe in Jesus Christ with the swiftness, the spontaneity, the simplicity and the docility with which Rolando Rivi believed, our faith would become strong like his, and our Church would become strong like the Church that he had in his heart and for which he did not hesitate to die” (Bishop Negri, Bishop of Montefeltre).   We may ask, through the intercession of Blessed Rolando Rivi, for the grace to belong to Jesus totally and without compromise—then, will we enjoy true freedom and reign with Christ forever.  Amen.Blessed Rodolpho Rivi - Terry Nelson 001 MY EDIT


Memorials of the Saints – 29 May

St Bona of Pisa
St Conon the Elder
St Conon the Younger
St Daganus
St Eleutherius of Rocca d’Arce
St Felix of Atares
St Gerald of Mâcon
Bl Gerardesca of Pisa
Bl Giles Dalmasia
St Hesychius of Antioch
St John de Atarés
Blessed Joseph Gerard O.M.I. (1831-1914)

St Maximinus of Trier
St Maximus of Verona
St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) Today is his 2nd Feast since Canonisation on 6 March 2018. He reigned 1963–1978 during a period including most of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965)
His Life here: 744x448

St Restitutus of Rome
Bl Richard Thirkeld
Blessed Rolando Maria Rivi (1931-1945) Seminarian, Martyr Died aged 14
St Theodosia of Caesarea and Companions
St Ursula Ledochowska (1865-1939)
Her lifestory:
St Votus of Atares
St William of Cellone

Martyrs of Toulouse: A group of eleven Dominicans, Franciscans, Benedictines, clergy and lay brothers who worked with the Inquisition in southern France to oppose the Albigensian heresy. Basing their operations in a farmhouse outside Avignonet, France, he and his brother missioners worked against heresy. Murdered by Albigensian heretics while singing the Te Deum on the eve of Ascension. They werebeaten to death on the night of 28 to 29 May 1242 in the church of Avignonet, Toulouse, France and Beatified on 1 September 1866 by Pope Pius IX (cultus confirmation).
• Adhemar
• Bernard of Roquefort
• Bernard of Toulouse
• Fortanerio
• Garcia d’Aure
• Pietro d’Arnaud
• Raymond Carbonius
• Raymond di Cortisan
• Stephen Saint-Thibery
• William Arnaud
• the prior of Avignonet whose name unfortunately has not come down to us.
The church in which they died was placed under interdict as punishment to the locals for the offense. Shortly after the interdict was finally lifted, a large statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was found on the door step of church. Neither the sculptor nor the patron was ever discovered, nor who delivered it or how. The people took it as a sign that they were forgiven, but that they should never forget, and should renew their devotion to Our Lady. They referred to the image as “Our Lady of Miracles.”
Until recently there was a ceremony in the church on the night of the 28th to 29th of May, the anniversary of the martyrdom. Called “The Ceremony of the Vow”, parishioners would gather in the church, kneel with lit candles, and process across the church on their knees, all the while praying for the souls of the heretics who had murdered the martyrs.

Martyrs of Trentino: Three missionaries to the Tyrol region of Austria, sent by Saint Ambrose of Milan and welcomed by Saint Vigilius of Trent. All were martyred – Alexander, Martyrius and Sisinius. They were born in Cappadocia and died in 397 in Austria.


One Minute Reflection -– 27 May – ‘He will be with me always …’

One Minute Reflection -– 27 May – “Mary’s Month” Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 20:28-38, Psalm 68:29-30, 33-36, John17:11-19 and the Memorial of St Augustine of Canterbury (Died c 605)

“I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. … As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.” … John 17:15,18

REFLECTION – “Well, that God who saved me then, will be with me again in this journey and if I do not abandon Him, He will be with me always and while He is with me, everything that can happen to me will always be a grace, a blessing for which I should thank Him.   If in danger, He wants to withdraw, or pretends to be asleep on the bow of the ship, like the Apostle, I will go to wake Him and let Him see my danger.   And then if He does not want to listen, I will say – Lord, command me to come to You and my soul will walk on the waters, it will go to His feet and be content forever.

I do not know what He is preparing for me in the journey I begin tomorrow.   I know one thing only, He is good and loves me immensely, everything else – calm or storm, danger or safety, life or death, are merely changeable and passing expressions of the beloved immutable, eternal Love.   Yes, my beloved brethren, we have another country, another home, a kingdom where we must all meet, where there will no longer be separations or departures, where past sorrows and danger will merely serve to increase our consolation and glory.” … Blessed Giovanni Mazzucconi P.I.M.E. (1826-1855) MartyrGiovanni Battista Mazzucconi was an Italian priest from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.   He was killed in hatred of the faith in Papua New Guinea during his work there amongst the people.   He was 29 years old.   He was beatified in 1984.   His life is here and includes this, his letter before his last journey to Papua New Guinea.john 17-15 and 18 i do not ask that you take them out of the world - well that god who saved me then -bl giovanni mazzucconi 27 may 2020 his mem 7 sept

PRAYER – Give us the grace Holy God to ever serve You and be faithful to You alone. Nothing of this world is worthy of our love and alone in You do we have life and light. May Your divine Son be our Guide and our Hope and may He always be with us as we make our way to our home country, together with His Mother and ours, the Blessed Virgin.   Listen too, we pray, to the prayers of St Augustine of Canterbury, who we ask to intercede for our needs.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.mary mother - pray for us - 15 MAY 2018

st augustine of canterbury pray for us 27 may 2020


Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 23 May

St Basileus of Braga
St Desiderius of Langres
St Epitacius of Tuy
St Euphebius of Naples
St Euphrosyne of Polotsk
St Eutychius of Valcastoria
St Florentius of Valcastoria
St Goban Gobhnena
St Guibertus of Gorze
Bl Ivo of Chartres
St Jane Antide Thouret
St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764)
About St John:

Bl Józef Kurzawa
Bl Leontius of Rostov
St Michael of Synnada (Died 826)
St Onorato of Subiaco
St Spes of Campi
St Syagrius of Nice
St William of Rochester (Died c 1201) Martyr
Bl Wincenty Matuszewski

Martyrs of Béziers: 20 Mercedarian friars murdered by Huguenots for being Catholic. Martyrs. 1562 at the Mercedarian convent at Béziers, France.

Martyrs of Cappadocia: A group of Christians tortured and martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian and Galerius. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were crushed to death in c.303 in Cappadocia (in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of Carthage: When a civil revolt erupted in Carthage in 259 during a period of persecution by Valerian, the procurator Solon blamed it on the Christians, and began a persecution of them. We know the names and a few details about 8 of these martyrs – Donatian, Flavian, Julian, Lucius, Montanus, Primolus, Rhenus and Victorius. They were beheaded in 259 at Carthage (modern Tunis, Tunisia).

Martyrs of Mesopotamia: A group of Christians martyred in Mesopotamia in persecutions by imperial Roman authorities. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were suffocated over a slow fire in Mesopotamia.

Martyrs of North Africa: A group of 19 Christians martyred together in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal King Hunneric for refusing to deny the Trinity. We know little more than a few of their names – Dionysius, Julian, Lucius, Paul and Quintian. c 430.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 22 May

St Rita of Cascia (1386-1457) (Optional Memorial)
About St Rita:

St Aigulf of Bourges
St Atto of Pistoia
St Aureliano of Pavia
St Ausonius of Angoulême
St Baoithin of Ennisboyne
St Basiliscus of Pontus
St Beuvon (Died 986)
St Boethian of Pierrepont
St Castus the Martyr
St Conall of Inniscoel
Bl Diego de Baja
Bl Dionisio Senmartin
St Emilius the Martyr
St Faustinus the Martyr
St Francisco Salinas Sánchez
St Fulgencio of Otricoli
Bl Fulk of Castrofurli
Bl Giacomo Soler
Bl Giusto Samper
St Helen of Auxerre
St Humility of Faenza
Bl John Baptist Machado
Bl John Forest OFM (1471-1538) Martyr of Oxford University
St John of Parma
St José Quintas Durán
St Julia (5th century) Martyr
Her Life and Death:

St Lupo of Limoges
St Marcian of Ravenna
St Margaret of Hulme
Bl Pedro of the Assumption
St Quiteria
St Romanus of Subiaco
St Timothy the Martyr
St Venustus the Martyr

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Francisco Salinas Sánchez
• Blessed José Quintas Durán


Quote/s of the Day – 21 May – Blessed Franz Jägerstätter (1907-1943) Layman Martyr “A Saint for our Times!”

Quote/s of the Day – 21 May – Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter and the Memorial of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter OFS (1907-1943) Layman Martyr “The Man Who Would Not Bow His Head to Hitler.”

“If the Church stays silent
in the face of what is happening,
what difference would it make,
if no church were ever opened again?”

if the church stays silent - bl franz jagerstatter 21 may 2020

His sacrifice was uniformly regarded as foolish by his neighbours and his story almost forgotten but for a book written by an American, Gordon Zahn, who heard of Jagerstatter when researching the subject of German Catholics’ response to Hitler.
This book, In Solitary Witness, influenced Daniel Ellsberg’s decision to stand against the Vietnam War by bringing the Pentagon Papers to public attention.   The following quote, taken from one of Jagerstatter’s last letters while in prison.

“Just as the man who thinks only of this world, does everything possible to make life here easier and better, so must we, too, who believe in the eternal Kingdom, risk everything in order to receive a great reward there.
Just as those who believe in National Socialism tell themselves that their struggle is for survival, so must we, too, convince ourselves that our struggle is for the eternal Kingdom.
But with this difference – we need no rifles or pistols for our battle but instead, spiritual weapons – and the foremost among these is prayer…. Through prayer, we continually implore new grace from God, since without God’s help and grace it would be impossible for us to preserve the Faith and be true to His commandments….”

we need no rifles or pistols for our battle - bl franz jagerstatter 21 may 2020

“Let us love our enemies,
bless those who curse us,
pray for Those who persecute us.
For love will conquer
and will endure for all eternity.
And happy are they who live
and die in God’s love.”

let us love our enemies - bl franz jagerstatter 21 may 2020

“I can say from my own experience
how painful life often is,
when one lives as a halfway Christian-
it is more like vegetating than living.”

halfway christian more like vegetatin gthan living bl franz jagerstatter 21 may 2020

“We are not dealing with a small matter
but the great (apocalyptic)
life and death struggle has already begun.
Yet in the midst of it, there are many,
who still go on living their lives
as though nothing had changed … “

we are not dealing with a small matter - bl franz jagerstatter 21 may 2020

“I am convinced that it is still best
that I speak the truth,
even though it costs me my life.
For you will not find it written
in any of the commandments of God
or of the Church,
that a man is obliged under pain of sin,
to take an oath committing him to obey
whatever might be commanded him by his secular ruler. “

i am convinced that it is still best that I speak the truth - bl franz jagerstattr 21 may 2020

“Since the death of Christ,
almost every century has seen the persecution of Christians,
there have always been heroes
and martyrs who gave their lives –
often in horrible ways –
for Christ and their faith.
If we hope to reach our goal some day,
then we, too, must become heroes of the faith.”

if we hope to reach our goal some day then we too must become heroes of the faith - bl franz jagerstatter 21 may 2020

“I cannot believe that,
just because one has a wife and children,
a man is free to offend God.”

i cannot believe that juse because - bl franz jagerstatter 21 may 2020

“I believe it is better to sacrifice one’s life right away,
than to place oneself in the grave danger
of committing sin and then dying.”

Blessed Franz Jägerstätter (1907-1943)

“Called-up to a Higher Order”
Martyr of Conscientious Objection

i believe it is better to sacrifice one's life - rather than commit sin - bl franz jagerstatter 21 may 2020


One Minute Reflection – 21 May – “A little while and you will see me no longer” John 16:16

One Minute Reflection – 21 May – “Mary’s Month” – Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 18: 1-8, Psalms 98: 1, 2-3, 3-4, John 16: 16-20 and the Memorial of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter OFS (1907-1943) Layman Martyr “The Man Who Would Not Bow His Head to Hitler.”

“A little while and you will see me no longer” … John 16:16

REFLECTION – “The Ascension of Christ into heaven is in accord with reason – firstly, because heaven was due to Christ by His very nature.   It is natural for someone to return to the place from whence they take their origin.   The beginning of Christ is from God, who is above all things.   Jesus says to the Apostles (Jn 16:28):  “I came from the Father and have come into the world and now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” … The just ascend into heaven but not in the manner that Christ ascended, namely by His own power, for they are taken up by Christ – “Draw me, we will run after thee.” (Sg 1:3)  Or indeed, we can say that no-one but Christ has ascended into heaven, because the just do not ascend, except, insofar as they are members of Christ who is the head of the Church. …   Secondly, heaven is due to Christ because of His victory.   For He was sent into the world to combat the devil and he did overcome Him.   Therefore, Christ deserved to be exalted above all things – “I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne” (Rv 3:21)

Finally, the Ascension was owing to Christ because of His humility.   There never was humility so great as that of Christ who, although He was God yet wished to become man and although He was the Lord, yet He wished to take the form of a servant and, as Saint Paul says:  “He was obedient even unto death” (Phil 2:7) and descended even into hell. Therefore, He deserved to be exalted even to heaven, to God’s throne, for humility leads to exaltation.   “For whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk 14:11) and, “the one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens” (Eph 4:10).” … St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus/Doctor Communis – Commentary on the Apostle’s Creedjohn 16 16 a little while and you will see me no longer - the just ascend into heaven - st thomas aquinas 21 may 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, You bestowed the Holy Spirit on Your Apostles while they were at prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Fill us too with the gift of Your grace in the Holy Spirit, that we may live our lives both in prayer and action and grant, that by Mary’s prayer, and the prayer of Your loving Martyr, Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, we may give You faithful service and spread abroad the glory of Your name, by word and example and thus ascend to You, to live forever in Your Light. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Your divine Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, amen.holy-mother-mary-at-prayer-pray-for-us-21-may-2018 and 21 may 2020

bl franz jagerstatter pray for us 21 may 2020

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources, YouTube VIDEOS

Saint of the Day – 21 May – Blessed Franz Jägerstätter OFS (1907-1943) Layman Martyr – Franz Jägerstätter, who would not bow his head to Hitler

Saint of the Day – 21 May – Blessed Franz Jägerstätter OFS (1907-1943) Married Layman Martyr, Father of 3 daughters, Conscientious Objector, Farmer, Third Order Franciscan – born as Franz Huber on 20 May 1907 in Sankt Radegund, Oberösterreich, Austria and died by being beheaded on 9 August 1943 in Brandenburg an der Havel, Brandenburg, Germany.    Patronage – Conscientious franz jagerstatter artwork as farmer

Franz Jägerstätter was born on 20 May 1907 in St Radegund, Upper Austria, to his unmarried mother, Rosalia Huber and to Franz Bachmeier, who was killed during World War I.   After the death of his natural father, Rosalia married Heinrich Jägerstätter, who adopted Franz and gave the boy his surname of Jägerstätter in 1917.

Franz received a basic education in his village’s one-room schoolhouse.   His step-grandfather helped with his education and the boy became an avid reader.

It seems Franz was unruly in his younger years;  he was, in fact, the first in his village to own a motorcycle.   However, he is better known as an ordinary and humble Catholic who did not draw attention to himself.

1024px-bl franz - Sankt_Radegund_Jaegerstaetterhaus
Jägerstätter farmstead in St Radegund

After his marriage to Franziska in 1936 and their honeymoon in Rome, Franz grew in his faith but was not extreme in his franz wedding pic

Besides his farm work, Franz became the local sexton in 1936 and began receiving the Eucharist daily.   He was known to refuse the customary offering for his services at funerals, preferring the spiritual and corporal works of mercy over any remuneration.

In the mid to late 1930s, while much of Austria was beginning to follow the tide of Nazism, Franz became ever more rooted in his Catholic faith and placed his complete trust in God.

While carrying out his duties as husband and bread-winner for his wife and three daughters, as a farmer, this ordinary man began thinking deeply about obedience to legitimate authority and obedience to God, about mortal life and eternal life and about Jesus’ suffering and Passion.

Franz was neither a revolutionary nor part of any resistance movement but in 1938 he was the only local citizen to vote against the “Anschluss” (annexation of Austria by Germany), because his conscience prevailed over the path of least resistance.

Franz Jägerstätter was called up for military service and sworn in on 17 June 1940. Shortly thereafter, thanks to the intervention of his mayor, he was allowed to return to the farm.   Later, he was in active service from October 1940 to April 1941, until the mayor’s further intervention permitted his return franz in uniform smaller

He became convinced that participation in the war was a serious sin and decided that any future call-up had to be met with his refusal to fight.

“It is very sad”, he wrote, “to hear again and again from Catholics that this war waged by Germany is perhaps not so unjust because it will wipe out Bolshevism…. But now a question:  what are they fighting in this Country – Bolshevism or the Russian People?

“When our Catholic missionaries went to a pagan country to make them Christians, did they advance with machine guns and bombs in order to convert and improve them?…   If adversaries wage war on another nation, they have usually invaded the country, not to improve people, or even perhaps to give them something but usually, to get something for themselves….   If we were merely fighting Bolshevism, these other things – minerals, oil wells or good farmland – would not be a factor.”bl franz young farmer

Jägerstätter was at peace with himself despite the alarm he experienced witnessing the masses’ capitulation to Hitler.   Mesmerised by the National Socialist propaganda machine, many people knelt when Hitler made his entrance into Vienna.   Catholic Churches were forced to fly the swastika flag and subjected to other abusive franz-jagerstatter art smaller

In February 1943 Franz was called up again for military service.   He presented himself at the induction centre on 1 March 1943 and announced his refusal to fight, offering to carry out non-violent services – this was denied him.

He was held in custody at Linz in March and April, transferred to Berlin-Tegel in May and subject to trial on 6 July 1943 when he was condemned to death for sedition.   The prison chaplain was struck by the man’s tranquil character.   On being offered the protestant New Testament, he replied:  “I am completely bound in inner union with the Lord and any reading would only interrupt my communication with my God.”bl Franz_Jägerstätter

On 9 August, before being executed, Franz wrote:  “If I must write… with my hands in chains, I find that much better than if my will were in chains.   Neither prison nor chains nor sentence of death can rob a man of the Faith and his free will.   God gives so much strength that it is possible to bear any suffering….   People worry about the obligations of conscience, less than their concern for my wife and children.

But, I cannot believe that, just because one has a wife and children, a man is free to offend God.”

Franz Jägerstätter, who would not bow his head to Hitler, bowed his head to God and the guillotine took care of the rest.   He was obviously called up to serve a higher order. …

Franz Jägerstätter was 36 years old on the day that he returned to God.

576px-bl franz Plakat_Jaegerstaetter

In June 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic exhortation declaring Jägerstätter a Martyr.   On 26 October 2007, he was Beatified in a ceremony held by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins at the New Cathedral in Linz.   His feast day, today 21 May, is the day of his Baptism.

479px-bl Gedenktafel_Franz_Jaegerstaetter
Memorial plaque at the former Reichskriegsgericht in Berlin
50th-Memorial-Anniversary-of-bl Franz-Jägerstätter-1907-43 stamp
A National Stamp issued in his honour

bl franz jagerstatter art sml

Franz was beheaded and cremated the following day.   In 1946, his ashes were reburied in St Radegund near a memorial inscribed with his name and the names of almost 60 village men who died during their military service.

Memorial for Franz Jägerstätter in St Radegund

The documentary, Franz Jaegerstaetter – A Man of Conscience, was released in 2011.   A film about Jägerstätter, A Hidden Life, written and directed by Terrence Malick, premiered in May 2019 at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival and was given a general release in the US on 13 December 13, 2019.   The film is inspired by the book titled Franz Jägerstätter – Letters and Writings from Prison.

bl franz film369px-bl franz window glass Wien_-_Votivkirche_-_Jägerstätter-Fenster

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 21 May

St Eugene de Mazenod OMI (1782-1861)

Martyrs of the Mexican Revolution (Optional Memorial):   The 1917 Mexican constitution was pointedly anti-clerical and anti-Church, and its adoption instituted years of violent religious persecution including expulsion of foreign priests, closing of parochial schools and the murders of several priests and lay leaders who work to minister to the faithful and support religious freedom.   25 of them who died at different times and places but all as a result of this persecution were celebrated together.   They each have separate memorials but are also remembered as a group.

• Saint Agustin Caloca Cortes
• Saint Atilano Cruz Alvarado
• Saint Cristobal Magallanes Jara
• Saint David Galván-Bermúdez
• Saint David Roldán-Lara
• Saint David Uribe-Velasco
• Saint Jenaro Sánchez DelGadillo
• Saint Jesús Méndez-Montoya
• Saint Jose Isabel Flores Varela

• Saint “Joselito” José Luis Sánchez del Río (1913-1928) Aged 14
Memorial 10 February
Dear Joselito!

• Saint José María Robles Hurtado
• Saint Julio álvarez Mendoza
• Saint Justino Orona Madrigal
• Saint Luis Batiz Sainz
• Saint Manuel Moralez
• Saint Margarito Flores-García
• Saint Mateo Correa-Magallanes
• Saint Miguel de la Mora
• Saint Pedro de Jesús Maldonado-Lucero

• Saint Pedro Esqueda Ramírez
About St Pedro:

• Saint Rodrigo Aguilar Alemán

• Saint Roman Adame Rosales

• Saint Sabas Reyes Salazar
His Life and Martyrdom:

• Saint Salvador Lara Puente
• Saint Toribio Romo González
• Saint Tranquilino Ubiarco Robles

Canonised:  21 May 2000 by Pope John Paul II

St Adalric of Bèze
Bl Adilio Daronch
St Ageranus of Bèze
St Ansuinus of Bèze
St Antiochus of Caesarea Philippi
St Arcangelo Tadini (1846–1912)

St Bairfhion of Killbarron
St Berard of Bèze
St Collen of Denbighshire

St Constantine the Great
St Donatus of Caesarea
St Eutychius of Mauretania

Blessed Franz Jägerstätter OFS (1907-1943) Layman Martyr

The first video is from the author of a biography of Blessed Franz.   His life of “Conscientious Objection” is very appropriate for the times we find ourselves in right now!
The second video contains an interview and details of the Film made about Blessed Franz “A Hidden Life.”

St Genesius of Bèze
St Godric of Finchale
Bl Hemming of Åbo
St Hospitius of Cap-Saint-Hospice
Bl Hyacinth-Marie Cormier
St Isberga of Aire
Bl Jean Mopinot
Bl Lucio del Rio
St Mancio of Évora
Bl Manuel Gómez González
St Nicostratus of Caesarea Philippi
Bl Pietro Parenzo
St Polieuctus of Caesarea
St Polius of Mauretania
St Restituta of Corsica
St Rodron of Bèze
St Secundinus of Cordova
St Secundus of Alexandria
St Serapion the Sindonite
St Sifrard of Bèze
Bl Silao
St Synesius
St Theobald of Vienne
St Theopompus
St Timothy of Mauretania
St Valens of Auxerre
St Vales
St Victorius of Caesarea

Martyrs of Egypt:  Large number of bishops, priests, deacons and lay people banished when the Arian heretics seized the diocese of Alexandria, Egypt in 357 and drove out Saint Athanasius and other orthodox Christians.   Many were old, many infirm and many, many died of abuse and privations while on the road and in the wilderness.   Very few survived to return to their homes in 361 when Julian the Apostate recalled all Christians and then many of those later died in the persecutions of Julian.

Martyrs of Pentecost in Alexandria:  An unspecified number of Christian clerics and lay people who, on Pentecost in 338, were rounded up by order of the Arian bishop and emperor Constantius and were either killed, or exiled, for refusing to accept Arian teachings. 339 in Alexandria, Egypt.


Memorials of the Saints – 20 May

St Bernadine of Siena OFM (1380-1444) (Optional Memorial)

St Abercius
Bl Albert of Bologna
St Alexander of Edessa
St Althryda
St Anastasius of Brescia
St Aquila of Egypt
Bl Arnaldo Serra and Companions
St Asterius of Edessa
St Austregisilus of Bourges
St Basilla of Rome
St Baudelius of Nîmes
St Codrato
Bl Columba of Rieti
St Ethelbert of East Anglia (Died 794) Martyr
His Life:
Bl Guy de Gherardesca
St Helena
St Hilary of Toulouse
St José Pérez Fernández
St Lucifer of Caglieri
St Marcello
Blessed Maria Crescencia / Angelica Perez FMH (1897-1932)
St Plautilla of Rome
St Protasius Chong Kuk-bo
St Rafaél García Torres
St Talaleo of Egea
St Thalalaeus of Edessa
St Theodore of Pavia
St Tomás Valera González