Saint of the Day – 7 March – Saint Siméon-François Berneux MEP (1814-1866) Bishop, Martyr, Missionary of the Paris Foreign Missions Society, Professor and Spiritual Director at the Mans seminary. Born on 14 May 1814 in Château-du-Loir, Sarthe, France and died by being tortured, blinded by having quicklime thrown in his eyes and then beheaded on 7 March 1866 on a beach beside the Han River in Sae-nam-teo, Seoul, South Korea. St Siméon-François is also venerated along with the rest of the 103 Korean Martyrs on 20 September.
Siméon-François was born to a poor and pious family. He felt a call to the Priesthood at the age ten and in 1831 at the age of seventeen, he entered the Seminary in Mans, France. Due to health problems, he had to leave the Seminary for two years, during which time he worked as a tutor. Finally he was Ordained a Diocesan Priest on 20 May 1837. Initially, Father Berneux served as a Professor and Spiritual Director at the Mans seminary which specifically trained Priests for the Missions.
In 1839 Siméon joined the Paris Foreign Missions Society and left for the Asian missions on 13 January 1840. He arrived first in Manila, Philippines before being assigned to the Tonkin region of modern Vietnam on 17 January 1841.
He began his work near a small Convent outside the town of Moi-yen, learning the Annam language. But he was barely started, when he was arrested on Holy Saturday 1841 during one of the periodic anti–Christian persecutions, Siméon and a brother Priest were dragged from place to place, ordered to renounce Christianity, ordered to convince lay people to renounce the faith and when their persecutors finally realised that the 2 Priests would not co-operate, they were sentenced to death on 8 October 1842.
However, before the sentence could be officially approved, a French official learned of their imprisonment and on 7 March 1843, had them released. Father Berneux was sent to the Chinese province of Manchuria where he continued his missionary work for the next ten years, sometimes in Singapore or Macao.
On 5 August 1854 he was chosen the fourth Vicar Apostolic of Korea by Pope Pius IX and arrived there with some fellow Missionaries in early 1856. For administrative reasons, he was also appointed Titular Bishop of Capsa and was Consecrated on 27 December 1954.
He learned Korean and then, as Bishop, spent time on the road visiting rural Christians, started a Seminary in Pae-ron, founded several schools and started a printing house that published Catholic works in Korean.
Thousands were Baptised during his time as Bishop but a palace coup in 1864 and threats of Russian invasion, led to a resurgence in anti-Western, anti–Christian nationalism and official persecution of the Church.
Bishop Berneux was arrested on 23 February 1866. He was taken to the capital and from 3 to 7 March he was repeatedly beaten and interrogated under torture until the bones in his legs were shattered. As he was dragged to his death, Bishop Siméon preached to the people who had come out to witness the execution and to remind his fellow sufferers, that they died for the glory of the Kingdom of God, imitating their Redeemer.
The deaths of Berneux and other Catholic Missionaries in Korea, was followed by a French punitive expedition which only served to reinforce the Korean policy of isolationism.
The Korean Martyrs were Canonised on 6 May 1984.
St Siméon-François relics were brought to Berlin in 2001 and are held in the Institute of St Philipp Neri in Berlin, Germany.
The Third Sunday of Lent +2021 __ Our Lady of the Star, Villa Vicosa, Portugal (1050) – 7 March:
In the year 1050 there were two Benedictine Monks who lived in the convent of Monte Cassino. They decided to go on pilgrimage, teaching and catechising all those they met along the way. One night they found themselves wandering on the coast of Normandy, France, near a place called Grand Champ. Tired and sleepy, they decided to spend the night on the beach under the stars. Father Rogerio slept on the cool sand and the other Monk found himself a place to rest in a small boat nearby. As the night went on, the tide came up and the little boat was gently drawn out onto the sea. Without realising it, the Monk was going on an adventure in which he would not awaken until he was just off the coast of England. In Salisbury, England, everyone was amazed to see the Monk in the little boat, convinced that it was a miracle that he had crossed the French Sea in a small boast and lived to see the shores of England. Soon, the Monk was made Bishop and his period in office was marvellous to the people because he was a humble man of prayer, who sacrificed everything for God. The Monk who had stayed on the beach, Father Rogerio, knew nothing of what had happened to his friend. All he knew was that he and the boat had disappeared and, giving his concerns into the hands of God, he determined to continue on his journey alone. One night not long afterward, Father Rogerio went to sleep and had a dream that would change his life forever. In his dream he saw a great star fall from the sky, burning all the bushes and trees and heard a voice that said: “Our Lady wants a Church built in this place.” When he awoke, Father Rogerio looked about himself. He was not injured but this indeed was the place he had seen in his dream, for everything around him was burned. Father understood that Our Lady really did desire that he should build a Church there in her honour. He also felt in his heart, the desire to give Mary the title of “Our Lady of the Star” because of the star he had seen in his dream. Due to the poverty of those who inhabited that region, Father Rogerio was only able to build a small Altar and a tiny Chapel which would be the seed of the great Abbey of Our Lady of the Star of Monteburgo. One day an immense Chapel would be built, sheltering not only the Church but a very large convent as well. King William, who was the Duke of Normandy and he who had conquered England, learning of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Star, sent his private doctor to visit the little Chapel to find out for himself how it had all come about. Upon arriving there, the doctor discovered that he was the brother of the Monk Rogerio! He listened to his brother’s account of how he had been separated from his friend and then told about his dream. The doctor believed everything at once and to Father Rogerio’s surprise, the doctor knew the Monk who had crossed the channel in a small boat and informed his brother, that his lost friend had become the Bishop of Salisbury! The two brothers excitedly thanked Our Lady for providing this reunion. The Bishop of Salisbury, our former friend of the Monk Rogerio, asked King William to help his brother in the faith, for they were both blessed by Our Lady on their pilgrimage. William the Conqueror, with a glad heart, donated to Father Rogerio the entire region of Monteburg, along with the resources to build a great Church and an Abbey there that became a great seminary. The work was finished by the son of King William, King Henry. He, taking the throne, continued the work until its completion. The Abbey of Our Lady of the Star was, for many centuries, a centre of the Church for the whole region. Dark centuries ensued and the Church and Abbey suffered a decline until in 1842, the Vicar General of Coutances took possession of what was by that time little more than an enclosure of ruins. He turned it over to the Brothers of Mercy, a new order meant to promote Catholic education. The Abbey Church was rebuilt but as time went on, the Brothers of Mercy also left and all is now used as part of an agricultural school. As for Our Lady of the Star, it is a story almost completely forgotten, even to Catholics.
Prayer to Our Lady of the Star
“O, Our Lady of the Star, to you our gaze turns and our childlike hearts. You are the Morning Star, that announces the arrival of the day. You are the Evening Star, that shines in our night. You are the Star of the Sea, who sends us her son Jesus, the eternal Light of the world. Through the darkness and storms of life, in the hour of doubt or of temptation, in the revolt, be our clarity and our peace. Be our hope and our purity, be our sweetness and our strength, O Lady of the Star. May our gaze and our hearts forever rest on you. O Lady of the Star, Pray for us. Amen”
St Ardo of Aniane St Deifer of Bodfari St Drausinus of Soissons St Enodoch St Esterwine of Wearmouth St Eubulus of Caesarea St Gaudiosus of Brescia Bl Henry of Austria Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyr His Life and Death: https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/07/saint-of-the-day-7-march-blessed-leonid-feodorov-1879-1935-martyr/ St Paul of Prusa St Paul the Simple St Reinhard of Reinhausen Bl William of Assisi — Martyrs of Carthage – 4 saints: A catechist and three students martyred together for teaching and learning the faith. We know little more than their names – Revocatus, Saturninus, Saturus and Secundulus. Mauled by wild beasts and beheaded 7 March 203 at Carthage, North Africa
Martyrs of Korea St Siméon-François Berneux MEP (1814-1866) Bishop, Martyr St Bernard-Louis Beaulieu St Ioannes Baptista Nam Chong-Sam St Pierre-Henri Dorie St Simon-Marie-Just Ranfer de Bretenières
Martyrs of Laos Bl Luc Sy Bl Maisam Pho Inpèng Martyrs of Tyburn Bl German Gardiner Bl John Ireland Bl John Larke
St Abercius Bl Antonia of Florence St Augustus Chapdelaine St Caerealis St Caerealis of Alexandria St Cyra of Beroea Bl Daniel Brottier St Ermine St Gaius of Alexandria St Pope Hilary/Hilarius (Died 468) Pope from 461-468 St Justus the Potter St Llibio St Macarius the Potter St Maidoc St Marana of Beroea St Oswald of Worcester St Proterius of Alexandria St Pupulus of Alexandria St Romanus of Condat St Ruellinus of Treguier St Rufinus the Potter St Serapion of Alexandria St Sillan of Bangor Blessed Stanislaw Antoni Trojanowski OFM Conv. (1908-1942) Martyr and Religious His Life and Death: https://anastpaul.com/2018/02/28/saint-of-the-day-28-february-blessed-stanislaw-antoni-trojanowski-1908-1942-martyr/ St Theophilus the Potter Bl Villana de’Botti
Martyrs of Alexandria – A number of clerics and layman who died as martyrs of charity for ministering to the sick during a plague that ravaged Alexandria, Egypt in 261.
Martyrs of Unzen – 16 lay people martyred together in one of the periodic anti-Christian persecutions in imperial Japan – They were martyred on 28 February 1627 in Unzen, Japan and Beatified on 24 November 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI. • Alexius Sugi Shohachi • Damianus Ichiyata • Dionisius Saeki Zenka • Gaspar Kizaemon • Gaspar Nagai Sohan • Ioannes Araki Kanshichi • Ioannes Heisaku • Ioannes Kisaki Kyuhachi • Leo Nakajima Sokan • Ludovicus Saeki Kizo • Ludovicus Shinzaburo • Maria Mine • Paulus Nakajima • Paulus Uchibori Sakuemon • Thomas Kondo Hyoemon • Thomas Uzumi Shingoro
REFLECTION– “Regarding other ceremonies in vocal prayers and other devotions, one should not become attached to any ceremonies or modes of prayer, other than those Christ taught us. When His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray [Lk 11:1], Christ obviously, as one Who knew so well His Father’s will, would have told them, all that was necessary, in order to obtain an answer from the Eternal Father and, in fact, He only taught them those seven petitions of the Our Father, which include all our spiritual and temporal necessities and He did not teach numerous other kinds of prayers and ceremonies. At another time, rather, He told them, that in praying, they should not desire much speaking because our heavenly Father clearly knows our needs.
He only charged us with great insistence to persevere in prayer – that is, in the Our Father – teaching, in another place, that one should pray and never cease. [Lk.18:1] He did not teach us a quantity of petitions but that these seven be repeated often and with fervour and care. For in these, as I say, are embodied everything that is God’s will and all that is fitting for us. Accordingly, when His Majesty had recourse three times to the Eternal Father, all three times He prayed with the same petition of the Our Father, as the evangelists recount: “Father, if it cannot be but that I drink this chalice, may your will be done.” [Mt. 26:42]
And He taught us only two ceremonies for use in our prayers. Our prayer should be made either in the concealment of our secret chamber [Mt 6:6] where without noise and without telling anyone we can pray with a more perfect and pure heart … Or, if not in one’s chamber, in the solitary wilderness and at the best and most quiet time of night, as He did..” [Lk. 6:12] – St John of the Cross (1542-1591) – Carmelite, Doctor of the Church – The Ascent of Mount Carmel Bk.III, ch.44
PRAYER – Our Father Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those who trespass against us And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen
Our Lady of the Rock, Pena de Francia, near Salamanca, Spain (1434) – 23 February: The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of Roches, near Salamanca, in Spain; an image is there venerated, which was found miraculously, in the year 434, by Simon Vela, who caused a Church to be built there.”
The Simon mentioned above by the Abbot Orsini, was actually born in the year 1401 in Paris, France. The incident that he states had occurred in the year 434 actually occurred in 1434 but that is getting ahead of our story. Simon was born on4 September 1401, in the City of Paris, France, to pious and wealthy parents. Growing up a good Catholic, Simon despised money and luxury, so that when he grew up and inherited his parents’ money and property, he recognised it for the threat to his eternal welfare that it was and gave all that he owned to the Church and to relieve the poor. Once the money was gone, he went to a Franciscan Monastery and took a position as a chamber boy. Simon naturally spent a great deal of time in prayer and was especially devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Sometimes when he prayed he asked the Mother of God if there was anything he might do, that would be especially pleasing to her. On one of these occasions, he fell asleep while praying. He was suddenly awakened when he heard a voice speak to him from the empty Church: “Simon, wake up; be on the watch…From now on, your name will be Simon Vela. Go to Pena de Francia, for there you will find the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Simon travelled for five years over fields and mountains, searching through lonely valleys and gloomy caves, in his quest for this place called Pena de Francia but he could not even find anyone who had ever heard of the place. On the verge of giving up in frustration, he had already begun working his way back home from Spain, when the voice spoke to him from the darkness once again: “Simon, do not give up the search, do not give up what you have begun. Persevere and your labours will be recompensed.” Feeling that it was still the will of God, Simon was determined to continue the search. Simon was passing through the market square in Salamanca on his way to the Church of Santiago, when he observed two men who began shouting in a serious disagreement. Weapons flashed and one of the pair fell wounded at Simon’s feet. The other was restrained from finishing the man, by the crowd, who held him back. Unable to reach his adversary, he shouted: “Had I killed my enemy, I would have escaped to Pena de Francia where no-one, not even the king, could find me!” Simon’s heart leapt for joy when he heard this, for it was the first time he had heard the place spoken of, and now he was certain that his search would not be in vain.
It was a short time later when Simon received a second bit of good news. He was on his way to the Church of Saint Martin when he happened upon a travelling merchant. Simon asked the man where he had come from and he answered, Pena de Francia. Thrilled to hear the name, he felt his search was nearly over but when he asked the man to take him there, he refused. He did not want to go back the way he had come, no matter how much Simon begged him. All he would do was point out the general direction. Simon went down the road from which he had seen the merchant approach, hoping he was not too far from his destination. The road led him to a villa named San Martin de Castanar, which he reached on 14 May 1434. He found a Church there and after Mass, he asked if anyone knew of a place called Pena de Francis. One man knew of it and when Simon kindly asked him to show him where it was, the man walked with him a good distance from the Church and then pointed out a hill in the far distance. That, he said, was Pena de Francia. Simon was elated, thanking God and the man for revealing to him the place that meant the end of his quest.
The place was far off but Simon went off at once, thinking the years he had spent in seeking, were nearly at an end. He gave no thought to his provisions and as the journey was long and arduous, he was far from any help when he realised how weakened his fast had made him. Suffering intense pangs of hunger, Simon did not despair, for he felt certain that God would not forsake him. He continued on his way and soon came across an abandoned pack that contained a loaf of bread and a piece of meat. Refreshed, he turned his attention to finding shelter as the night approached. Finding a suitable cave, he went inside and prayed for guidance until he dropped off into welcome slumber. Waking early in the morning, Simon began to search the area for the Shrine and quickly found that there were caves all over the hill where he had slept. He naturally became discouraged when it became apparent that it could take him weeks or even months to find what he sought and so, feeling that it was almost as if his quest had started all over again, he fell to his knees and prayed for the grace of perseverance. His prayer was quickly answered, as the now familiar voice said: “Simon, be awake: do not sleep.” Simon got up at once and continued his search, awakening with renewed enthusiasm the following morning. As he prepared to leave his cave a brilliant light struck his eyes, the source of which was a spot some distance away on a rocky hill. Trembling with joy, Simon approached the source of that light and found the Blessed Virgin Mary sitting on a golden throne with the Child Jesus in her arms. His heart overflowing with inexpressible joy, he knelt and said: “Oh, Lady, dream of my soul and inspiration of men and women! My labours are now ended. Many years have I travelled far and wide to seek you and to drink in the beauty of your eyes! Do not forsake me but be my protection.”
Our Lady answered sympathetically: “Simon, rejoice! Your constancy will be rewarded. Your dream will be realised. Your labours are now ended. Take heed and keep in your heart what I wish you to do. Dig in this spot and take what you can see and place it on the summit of this rocky hill. Build on this hill a beautiful Shrine. You are to begin it and others will come to finish it. This must come to pass as it has been the wish of my Child.” When the vision ended, Simon remained alone for some time, filled with wonder and awe. On the spot where the apparition of the Holy Virgin had appeared, Simon began the work of excavating. He had barely begun digging when he heard the same voice once again saying: “Simon, do not attempt to undertake this large of a task alone. Undertake it in the presence and with the help of two, three, or more persons.” Evidently this demand was made to ward off any suspicion about the veracity of the coming miracle, as well as Simon’s credibility. So Simon went back to San Martin de Castanar and asked five men to help him, and all of them agreed. Even though Simon told them the truth, these men believed that they were digging for hidden treasure. Simon repeated that they were after an objective worthier than merely worldly goods and that it was something their hearts would forever cherish. They dug for some time, until finally, on 19 May 1434, they removing a huge stone that was barring their way. They found beneath it, sheltered among several smaller rocks, the most coveted image of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Divine Child in her arms, now known as Our Lady of Rocks.
St Alexander Akimetes St Boswell St Dositheus of Egypt St Felix of Brescia St Florentius of Seville St Giovanni Theristi (1049–1129) Monk Bl Giovannina Franchi Bl John of Hungary St Josephine Vannini (1859-1911) Bl Juan Lucas Manzanares Bl Ludwik Mzyk St Martha of Astorga St Medrald St Milburga Bl Nicolas Tabouillot St Ordonius St Polycarp of Rome Bl Rafaela Ybarra de Villalongo St Romana St Serenus the Gardener (Died 307) Martyr His story: https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/23/saint-of-the-day-23-february-st-serenus-the-gardener-died-307-martyr/ Bl Stefan Wincenty Frelichowski St Willigis of Mainz (c 940-1011) Bishop St Zebinus of Syria — Martyrs of Syrmium – 73 Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know no details about them, and only six of their names – Antigonus, Libius, Rogatianus, Rutilus, Senerotas and Syncrotas.
Saint of the Day – 22 February – Blessed Diego Carvalho SJ (1578-1624) Jesuit Priest and Martyr, Missionary to Japan. Born in 1578 in Coimbra, Portugal and died by exposure on 22 February 1624 at Sendai, Miyagi, Japan. Patronage Japanese miners.
Diego was born in Coimbra, Portugal, in 1578. After entering the Society of Jesus in his hometown in 1594, late in 1600 he arrived, after a long voyage with sixteen other Jesuits, in Goa, India.
The following year, 1608, he set out for Macau, where he was Ordained as Priest. In 1609, he arrived in Japan, where, after learning Japanese, he was a Missionary in the Amakusa Islands, before relocating to Kyōto around 1612. After the edict of proscription of 1614, in November that year, with seventy-two other Jesuits on three Chinese junks, he was deported to Macau.
Diogo’s heart remained in Japan, however and he secretly returned in 1616. Later he relocated in the north to serve refugees fleeing persecution in the south.
Carvalho’s ministry centred on the silver miners in the districts of Oshu and Dewa. Living conditions were difficult but conversions were abundant. In December 1623 he was working in Miwake when the local prince began to persecute the Christians and ordered soldiers to kill all who refused to apostatise. When the governor of Sendai learned of Father Carvalho, he went searching for him but the Jesuit and about 60 Christians fled into a deep valley seeking to escape. Unfortunately, their tracks in the snow led the soldiers to them and Carvalho gave himself up, in an attempt to allow his people to get away. He was able to save all but 12 of his companions. Then the Christians had to march for seven days through the cold to Sendai. Two who could not keep up, were killed on the spot and the rest were barely given enough food to eat to survive their month-long imprisonment once they reached the City.
Martyrdom came for Carvalho and his companions through the cold. The Hirose River flowed near the fortress where they had been imprisoned; on its bank the soldiers dug a hole and filled it with icy water from the river. The prisoners were forced first to sit naked in the freezing water and then stand up to let the wind hit them. Their captors promised to end the torture if they would renounce Christianity. None did and the cold slowly took away their life. Carvalho was the last to die, enduring the torture long into the night before he also finally perished. The names of his companions are sadly unknown, so they could not be Beatified with him but with God they are Blessed in His Heavenly Kingdom.
The decree of Martyrdom and Beatificztion, was confirmed on 7 May 1867 by Pope Blessed Pius IX.
Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, Rennes, France (1357) – 22 February:
Our Lady of Rennes, in Britanny. The English, having made a mine to blow up the town, it is said that the candles in theCchapel were found miraculously lighted; the bells rung of themselves and the image of the Blessed Virgin was seen to stretch out its arms towards the middle of the Church, where the mine was, which, by that means was discovered. The people rushed to the spot and so, the plot was discovered and the entire town saved through the intervention of Our Lady of Rennes. Great was the rejoicing and deep the gratitude of the people. Known today as the Basilica of Saint Sauveur in Rennes, it is located in the heart of historic Rennes, which was once the capital of Brittany. It is situated at the termination of Saint-Sauveur Street on which its façade faces. As the original Gothic Church partially collapsed in the year 1682, the Classical style Church that can currently be seen, was constructed beginning in 1703 and consecrated in August of 1719. In the year 1793, during the French Revolution, the Church was made into a Temple of Reason and the miraculous statue of Our Lady was destroyed. It was not until 1802, after the end of the Terror, that the Church was opened again to worship. The Church was made into a minor Basilica in 1916 by Pope Benedict XV.
According to popular tradition there was a famous miracle attributed to Our Lady at Rennes during the War of Succession at Brittany. As Rennes was being besieged by the invading English army under the Duke of Lancaster, the people of the city expected the English forces to mine their way under the walls into the City. On the night of 8 February 1357, the Church bells began to ring of their own accord and the candles were spontaneously lit. The Statue of Our Lady, known as Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, pointed out a particular slab in the Church. The inhabitants of the city thus were alerted to the mine and the point of the English attack, and were able to repulse the invasion. The miracle was a popular subject for ballads, especially the troubadour Cavalier. In 1634 the miracle was officially recognised by the Bishop of Rennes, Pierre Cornulier. There are many miracles attributed to Our Lady, including the miraculous healing of Magdalene Morice in the year 1761. She had gangrene in her right foot which was instantly healed on Easter Sunday. The Statue of Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues currently displayed at the Basilica was placed there in February of 1876. In 1684 a boy of eleven left home for the City of Rennes, in hopes of enrolling at the Jesuit College of Thomas a Becket. The young Louis-Marie was an intelligent boy who was taken under the guidance of the Jesuit Priests and it was at Rennes that he began to consider a possible vocation to the Priesthood. It was here, at the Shrine of Our Lady at Rennes, that Saint Louis de Montfort made the final decision to become a Priest. Amen! We thank our Lady for giving us St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort!
St Maximian of Ravenna St Miguel Facerías Garcés St Mohammed Abdalla St Papias of Heirapolis St Paschasius of Vienne St Raynerius of Beaulieu St Thalassius — Martyrs of Arabia – A memorial for all the unnamed Christians martyred in the desert and mountainous areas south of the Dead Sea during the persecutions of Emperor Valerius Maximianus Galerius.
Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – First Sunday of Lent, Readings: Genesis 9:8-15, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7,8-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15 and the Memorial of St Peter Damian OSB (1007-1072) Doctor of the Church and St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Priest and Martyr
“We … are under an obligation to be the light of the world by the modesty of our behaviour, the fervour of our charity, the innocence of our lives and the example of our virtues. Thus shall we be able to raise the lowered prestige of the Catholic Church and, to build up again, the ruins that others by their vices have caused. Others, by their wickedness, have branded the Catholic Faith with a mark of shame, we must strive, with all our strength, to cleanse it from its ignominy and to restore it to its pristine glory!”
St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Priest and Martyr
Our Lady of Bon Port/Good Haven, Paimpol, France (1838) – 21 February:
In 1838, the crew of a vessel which had just arrived at Paimpol, in France, forty-eight in number, accomplished a vow they had made in a most perilous voyage from Newfoundland. A terrific tempest had arisen, their sails were tor, and for three days they were in continual danger of finding a watery grave. The ship began to fill with water and all hope of safety seemed lost, when the crew, by common consent, turned their eyes to Mary, Star of the Sea and asked for good haven. They promised if she saved them, they would visit in the most supplicant manner, the Church at Paimpol, where there is an image of Our Lady much venerated by the people. They had scarcely ended their prayer, when the weather became more calm and the waves began to subside. Profiting by this providential change, they repaired their sails and had a favourable wind, until they reached the coasts of Brittany. They landed in safety at Knod, toward the decline of day and their first act was to prostrate themselves on the ground and give God thanks for their safe return. They then intoned the Litany of the Blessed Virgin and advanced barefooted and bare-headed along the banks and through the streets of Paimpol, to the Church of the Good Haven. The people attracted in crowds by the novelty of the sight, followed them. There were parents who went to give thanks to Our Lady of Good Haven for the return of their sons and wives, to thank Mary for restoring their husbands to them. Tears streamed down from every eye, and the immense multitude knelt down before the Altar of that powerful Virgin, who had received from her Son, the power to command wind and wave. The torches shed a dim light on the recessed of the sanctuary, where stood the image of the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Good Haven, whose inclined head and exteneded arms seemed to say to all, “Come to me, I am your Mother.” These pious mariners with the most touching expression of sentiment, chanted the hymn, “Ave Maria Stella” in which they were joined in gratitude by the people.
“Bright Mother of our Maker, hail! Thou Virgin ever blest, The ocean’s star, by which we sail, And gain the port of rest.”
St Avitus II of Clermont Blessed Caterina Dominici/Maria Enrichetta SSA (1829–1894) Nun Bl Claudio di Portaceli St Daniel of Persia Bl Eleanora St Ercongotha St Eustathius of Antioch St Felix of Metz St George of Amastris St Germanus of Granfield St Gundebert of Sens Blessed Noel Pinot (1747-1794) Priest and Martyr His Life and Death: https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/21/saint-of-the-day-21-february-blessed-noel-pinot-1747-1794-priest-and-martyr/ St Paterius of Brescia (Died 606) Bishop St Pepin of Landen St Peter Mavimenus St Randoald of Granfield
St Severian of Scythopolis St Severus of Syrmium Bl Thomas Pormort St Valerius of San Pedro de Montes St Verda of Persia — Martyrs of Sicily – 79 saints – Seventy-nine Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were martyred in c 303 on Sicily.
Martyrs of Hadrumetum – A group of 26 Christians martyred together by Vandals. We know little more than eight of their names – Alexander, Felix, Fortunatus, Saturninus, Secundinus, Servulus, Siricius and Verulus. c 434 at Hadrumetum (modern Sousse, Tunisia)
Martyrs Uchibori – Three Japanese laymen, all brothers, all sons of Paulus Uchibori Sakuemon, one a teenager, one only five years old and all martyred for their faith in the persecutions in Japan. 21 February 1627 in Shimabara, Nagasaki, Japan. Beatified 24 November 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI. Antonius Balthasar Ignatius
One Minute Reflection – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings Isaiah 58: 9-14, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Luke 5:27-32 and the Memorial of St Elutherius of Tournai (c 456-532) Bishop and Martyr and Saints Francisco (1908-1919) and Jacinta (1910-1920)
“Those who are well, have no need of a physician but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32
REFLECTION – “The Apostle Paul said: “Take off the old self with its practices and put on the new self” (Col 3,9-10)… This was the work Christ accomplished when He called Levi; He refashioned him into a new man. Similarly, it is as a new person, that the former publican prepares a banquet for Christ since Christ takes pleasure in him and he himself, merits to have a share in happiness with Christ… He followed him now, happy, light-hearted and overflowing with joy.
“I have the aspect of a publican no more,” he said, “I don’t carry around the old Levi any longer; I put off Levi when I put on Christ. I flee from my earlier life; my Lord Jesus, you alone, who heal my wounds, I desire to follow. Who shall separate me from the love of God … ? tribulation? anguish? hunger? (Cf Rom 8,35). I am bound to You by faith as by nails, I am held fast by the worthy bonds of love. All Your commandments will be like a cautery that I will apply firmly to my wound; the remedy stings but it takes away the ulcerous infection. Lord Jesus, with Your powerful sword, cut away the corruption of my sins: come quickly, lance my hidden and varied passions. Purge away all infection in the new bath.
“Listen to me, you people who are fixed to the earth, you whose thoughts are intoxicated by your sins. I, Levi, was also wounded by similar passions. But I found a doctor who dwells in heaven and pours out His remedies on earth. He alone can cure my wounds since He Himself has none. He alone can remove the heart’s pain and the soul’s lethargy, for He knows everything that lies hidden.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Saint Luke’s Gospel, 5, 23.27
PRAYER – Come my all-powerful, ever-living God, look with compassion on our frailty and for our protection, stretch out to us Your strong right hand. Grant that by the prayers of Mary, our Mother and all your angels and saints we may change our ways, leave everything behind, proclaim the glory of Your kingdom and come safely home to You. St Eleutherius and Sts Jacinta and Francisco, pray for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Saint of the Day – 20 February – Saint Eleutherius of Tournai (c 456-532) the first Bishop of Tournai, Martyr. Confessor. Born in c 456 at Tournai, western Belgium and died by being murdered by Arian heretics in 532 while leaving his Church in Tournai. Additional Memorial – 25 August (translation of relics). He was a lifelong friend of St. Medard (c 456-545) and the two saints had been courtiers before becoming Bishops. (St Medard’s life here: https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/08/saint-of-the-day-8-june-saint-medard-c-456-545-bishop/).
Eleutherius is venerated as a Martyr although this legend is considered an invention of the Canon Priest Henri of Tournai, who wrote a Vita of Eleutherius in 1141. At the end of the 11th century the Church of Tournai had been trying to become independent from the Diocese of Noyon and Henri had been motivated by the need to prove the antiquity of the Church of Tournai.
Henri’s account states that Eleutherius was a native of Tournai who was born during the reign of Childeric I. Eleutherius’ parents were Christians and were named Terenus and Blanda; Terenus was a descendant in the family of Irenaeus of Lyons. Persecutions of Christians forced the family to flee to a village named Blandain but after the conversion of Clovis to Christianity, the family built a Church at Blandain.
Eleutherius eventually became Bishop of Tournai and was consulted by Pope Hormisdas on the matter of eradicating Arianism. Eleutherius convened a Church Council and argued effectively against the Arians, who were angered by this.
One day, as he was going to his Cathedral Church, he was beaten by a group of Arians and left for dead. He subsequently died from the wounds he received, on his death-bed confiding, his flock to St Medard. There exists a testimony recording the recovery of his relics during the episcopate of Bishop Hedilo of Tournai, in 897 or 898. Bishop Baudoin translated Eleutherius’ relics in 1064 or 1065. Eleutherius’ relics were translated again in 1247, when the great reliquary shrine was commissioned by Bishop Walter de Marvis. In its gable end. St Eleutherius appears, holding his crozier in one hand and in the other a model of the Cathedral with its five spires.
The Monastery of St. Martin at Tours and the Cathedral of Bruges, also claimed some of the saint’s relics.
Our Lady of Bolougn-sur-Mer, France (633) – 20 February:
In the year 636, a small group of people standing on the seashore witnessed a ship without oars or sails came into the harbour of Boulogne. It finally came to rest in the estuary, seemingly of its own accord. One of the witnesses boarded the boat and confirmed that there was no-one aboard and that the vessel had no rudder, oars or sails. The ship, however, bore a luminous statue of Our Lady. Taking hold of it to bring it to land, a voice was heard saying, “I choose your City as a place of grace.” The citizens welcomed Mary to their city by erecting a Shrine to her, which reached its height of glory in the 12th Century.
King Henry VIII is reported to have stolen the Statue of Our Lady of Boulogne and taken it to England. After many negotiations, the French managed to get it back. The image had been stolen and hidden many other times but always saved and returned. World War II almost completely destroyed the Statue. In modern times, four exact replicas of Our Lady of Boulogne toured France for more than seven years, as a symbol of French devotion to Mary. One of these was taken to Walsingham, England in 1948 and carried in procession by the “Cross-bearing pilgrimate” when many other Statues and images of the Virgin visited England. Bologne was one of the most important Lady shrines of medieval France; among its noted pilgrims have been: Henry III, Edward II, the Black Prince, John of Gaunt. Marian Feast Day, 10 July: The dedication of a new Church built in honour of Our Lady of Boulogne was consecrated in the year 1469 by Bishop Chartier of Paris. The confraternity of Our Lady of Boulogne was so celebrated, that six French kings have chosen to belong to it.
At the French Revolution, the Statue was burnt to ashes and the Church pulled down. A new Shrine and Statue was made in 1803 and pilgrimages began again. The image represents the Mother with the Child in her arms, standing in a boat, with an angel on either side. At the Marian Congress in Bolougne in 1938, a custom began to take replicas of this Statue “in turn” in France and abroad. A branch of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Compassion at Bolougne has been established for the reconciliation of the Church of England. The Sanctuary Church at Bolougne was badly damaged during World War II and Mary’s image smashed but the return, the “Great Return” of one of the copies of the Statue which had been sheltered at Lourdes, took place in 1943 and the occasion will long be remembered by lovers of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Most remarkable about the Grand Return was the unprecedented avalanche of graces, especially of conversions and penance. Thousands upon thousands of atheists, communists, freemasons and fallen-away Catholics converted on the spot when they saw Our Lady enter their village. One bishop described the effect on the faithful:
“The passing of Our Lady in my Diocese is the most extraordinary contemporary religious event of our times and the most significant. Crowds of people rose up, motivated and enthusiastic. In fact, the confessionals and communion rails were besieged during the holy vigils, while the recitation of the mysteries of the Rosary kept the faithful praying in the Churches. In some Parishes, there were tremendous conversions like never seen before on the missions.”
Our Lady of Laon, Rheims, France (500), founded by St Remigius – 18 February:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “The Shrine or Chapel of Our Lady of Laon was erected into a Cathedral and founded by Saint Remigius, Archbishop of Rheims, about the year 500, where he consecrated as his first Bishop Saint Geneband, his nephew. Miracles were wrought there and, among others, we read that in the year 1395, there was seen on the steeple, the picture of a Crucifix, the wounds of which bled.” The present Cathedral located in Laon, Picardy, France, the Laon Cathedral, or Notre-Dame de Laon, was begun in about 1155 and completed in 1235. It was built on the foundation of an earlier Cathedral that was consecrated in the year 800 but burned to the ground in the year 1111 during an uprising, and was, therefore, not the same Cathedral founded by Saint Remigius. The people of Laon took pride in their Cathedral and tried to make it rival the great shrine of Chartres. They did not succeed but the result is the sum of an emotion, clear and strong as love and much stronger than logic and clearer; the charm of the Laon cathedral lies in its unstable balance; which without doubt Our Lady accepted in love as it was meant by her devoted children. It was one of the first Cathedrals constructed in the new Gothic style.
One other unusual aspect of the Cathedral, is that there are sixteen carved bullocks carved in stone like gargoyles. There is a tradition that once when some of the stone was being hauled up the slope for use in the construction of the Church, at one point, the animals hauling the wagon could go no further under the strain of the load. A huge ox appeared at that moment and assisted them in moving the load up into position but then disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.
Much of the stained-glass is original and, as at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, there is a beautiful rose window dating from the 13th century. It depicts the Blessed Virgin seated on a throne with her Divine Child between Saint John the Baptist and the prophet Isaiah. The interior of the Cathedral was finished with white stone, it is considerably brighter than Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
St Gertrude Caterina Comensoli St Helladius of Toledo St Ioannes Chen Xianheng St Ioannes Zhang Tianshen St Jean-François-Régis Clet St Jean-Pierre Néel Bl Jerzy Kaszyra Bl John Pibush – one of the Martyrs of Douai St Leo of Patera St Martinus Wu Xuesheng Bl Matthew Malaventino St Paregorius of Patara St Sadoth of Seleucia St Simeon St Tarasius of Constantinople St Theotonius (1082-1162) Priest Bl William Harrington — Martyrs of North Africa – 7 saints: Group of Christians who were martyred together, date unknown. We know nothing else but seven of their names – Classicus, Fructulus, Lucius, Maximus, Rutulus, Secundinus and Silvanus. They were born and martyred in North Africa.
Martyrs of Rome – 5 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know nothing else but their names – Alexander, Claudius, Cutias, Maximus and Praepedigna. They were martyred in 295 in Rome, Italy.
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time +2021 Quinquagesima Sunday (Traditional Calendar) +2021 – From Latin quinquagesimus meaning “fiftieth,” therefore, this is the period of fifty days before Easter. It begins with the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, called Dominica in Quinquagesima or Esto Mihi from the beginning of the Introit of the Mass; it is a Sunday of the second class and the colour the Mass and Office is violet. __ Our Lady of Bourbourg, Flanders (1383) – 14 February:
Jean Froissart, born in the 1330s, was a man devoted to literature. His famous Chronicles was aimed at a knightly and aristocratic audience and was devoted to “the honourable enterprises, noble adventures and deeds of arms, performed in the wars between England and France…to the end that brave men taking example from them may be encouraged in their well-doing.” His history is one of the most important sources for the first half of the Hundred Years’ War, and certain events of the era, such as the battles of Crecy and Poitiers and the English Peasant Revolt of 1381. He was also an eyewitness to the miracles of Our Lady of Bourbourg that occurred in the year 1383. “When the king of France came before Bourbourg there were never seen such fine men at arms nor such numbers as he had with him. The lords and their men were all drawn up, and eager for the attack. Those who had reconnoitred the place, said it could not hold out long. The Bretons, Burgundians, Normans, Germans and others, who knew there was much wealth in the place, which, if taken by storm, would probably fall to their share, began to skirmish with the infantry at the barriers, without waiting for orders from the constable or marshals of the army. This skirmish increased so much that the French set fire to the town by means of fire-arrows and cannons, so that such a flame and smoke came from the houses of Bourbourg as might have been seen forty leagues off. Many gallant deeds were done and the assailants leaped cheerfully into the mud of the ditches above the knees when they engaged with the English at the palisade and barriers. The garrison defended themselves handsomely, indeed, they had need of their exertions, for they knew not on which side to turn themselves. They were attacked on all part and the houses of the town were blazing with fire, which more confounded the English than anything else. This, however, did not throw them off their guard, nor cause them to quit their posts. Sir Matthew Redman and Sir Nicholas Drayton, with their men, in the centre of the town, endeavoured to check the progress of the fire but it was such a dry season, that the smallest spark set the houses in flames. It is certain, that if the attack had begun earlier, or had not the night come on soon, the town must have been taken by storm but the approach of night put an end to it. On the attack ceasing, the French retired to their quarters, to attend the sick and bury the dead. They said that on the morrow they would renew the attac, and it should be irresistible. The English were employed in repairing the palisades which had been broken, in putting all things in a good state and in extinguishing the fires in the town. They were in a most perilous situation, being surrounded on all sides, without means of escaping by flight. The Duke of Brittany, who was on the opposite side of the town to the King, entered into negotiations with the English, aware of the peril they were in. He advised them to surrender the town, on their lives and fortunes being spared. This they were very willing to do and they entreated the Duke, through love of God and in honour of his gentility, to undertake the business. The King of France replied, that, in God’s name, he would willingly agree to a treaty. The English had been much renowned for gallantry and deeds of arms and it was settled that the English should depart from Bourbourg and Gravelines and carry away with them as much of their wealth as they could. Several of the Bretons, French, Normans and Burgundians were much vexed at this treaty, for they thought of partaking of the spoils but the King and his council had ordered it otherwise. The whole of Tuesday they employed in shoeing their horses and in packing up all their wealth, of which they had much and in making preparations for their departure. On the Wednesday morning they loaded their baggage-horses and began their march, passing through the army with passports from the King. The Bretons were much exasperated when they saw them so loaded, waiting at Calais for a favourable wind to return to England. The King of France and all the lords of his army, with their attendants, entered Bourbourg on Thursday morning. The Bretons began to plunder it, without exception, even the Church of St John. In that Church a pillager stood upon an Altar with the intent of forcing out a precious stone that was in the crown of an image of Our Lady. As he reached to steal the stone, the image suddenly turned about and the pillager in his fright, fell from the Altar and was instantly struck dead. This is a certain truth, for many persons were witnesses of it. Shortly afterwards, another pillager came with a similar intent of robbing the image but all the bells began a peal without anyone touching them, for no-one could have rung them, the bell-ropes being drawn up and fastened. On account of these miracles, the Church was visited by large crowds. The King made a handsome present to the Church, as did all the lords, so that the amount of their gifts was upwards of three thousand francs.” __
Martyrs of Terni: Three Christians who gave proper burial to Saint Valentine of Terni. Martyred in the persecutions of Aurelius. 273 in Terni, Italy – Apollonius, Ephebus, Proculus.
Martyrs of Alexandria: A group of Christians murdered in various ways for their faith in Alexandria, Egypt. We know the names and a few details about 16 of them – Agatho, Agatone, Ammonio, Ammonius, Antonius, Bassiano, Bassianus, Cirione, Cyrio, Dionysius, Dionysius, Lucio, Moses, Moses, Proto and Tonione.
Madonna del Pilerio – 12 February: is the patron of the city of Cosenza and of the Archdiocese of Cosenza-Bisignano, Italy. The Madonna del Pilerio is depicted in an icon dating back to the twelfth century that is found since 1607 in the Chapel built specifically within the Cathedral of Cosenza , commissioned by Msgr Giovani Battista Costanzo ( 1591 – 1617 ). On 10 May 1981, the Cathedral of Cosenza was raised to the Shrine of Our Lady of Pilerio by the Archbishop Msgr Dino Trabalzini. The patronal feast of Cosenza is not celebrated on 8 September, the Feast of Our Lady of Pilerio and date to which the Nativity of the Virgin is recognised but 12 February, to remember the devastating earthquake that hit Calabria on that date, in 1854.
Official Prayer to the Madonna del Pilerio
Virgin of Pilerio, Mother of the Church, You are for us Support, Help and Hope. We thank you and bless you but above all we love you. You are our tender Mother, given to us by Christ on the Cross. Listen to your children’s prayer. Do not let us ever turn away from you. Strengthen our faith in us, sustain hope, revive charity. May you praise the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen O Madonna del Pilerio, our glorious Patron, pray for us.
St Modestus of Alexandria St Modestus of Carthage St Modestus the Deacon Bl Nicholas of Hungary St Sedulius Bl Thomas of Foligno — Martyrs of Albitina – 46 saints: During the persecutions of Diocletian, troops were sent to the churches of Abitina, North Africa on a Sunday morning; they rounded up everyone who had arrived for Mass and took them all to Carthage for interrogation by pro-consul Anulinus. The 46 who proclaimed their Christianity were executed. We know some of their names and stories. They were tortured to death in 304 in prison at Albitina, North Africa.
Martyred in England: Bl George Haydock Bl James Fenn Bl John Nutter Bl John Munden Bl Thomas Hemeford
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Josep Gassol Montseny
Our Lady of the Doves (Bologna, Italy) – 10 February:
While the Pilgrim Virgin statue was touring Europe, three snow-white doves came unexpectedly as the procession passed through a tiny village. No-one could be identified as their owner and they did not seem to be lost. They settled at the feet of the Madonna – soft, white doves, at home with Mary. Day by day, as the pilgrimage drew near its destination of Bologna, Italy, the doves stayed on. They left the statue only for short flights and never all at once. No minute passed that at least one of them was not at Our Lady’s feet. When the procession neared the Cathedral where the statue was to be enthroned, conjecture was made about the possible action of the doves. Eager eyes watched them as strong arms carried the Madonna to her pedestal in the sanctuary. Softly, the doves hovered over, undisturbed by the noisy devotion of the crowd of Latin enthusiasts for Our Lady. When the statue was finally set firmly and left free to them once more, the doves returned to their resting place, as before, at the feet of Mary. High Mass began at once. Through all the singing and incensing and preaching, the birds remained, watchful but not alarmed. Only as the Mass reached its climax at the Consecration did they stir. Then, as if by instinct, they left the statue and flew to the altar. Upon the high Crucifix they perched for the rest of the Mass. Then, at the “Ite Missa est,” with one accord they flew from the Church and vanished. The doves of Mary had escorted her, Our Lady of the Doves, to the palace of the King. Earthly royalty selects eagles for insignia. Mary, Queen of Peace and Mother of the Prince of Peace, selects doves. This type of incident has occurred several times, at a variety of different locations, in recent history.
Bl Louise Bessay de la Voûte Bl Louise Poirier épouse Barré Bl Marie-Anne Hacher du Bois Bl Marie-Louise du Verdier de la Sorinière Bl Mikel Beltoja Bl Paganus Bl Paul of Wallachia Bl Pierre Frémond St Porfirio St Prothadius of Besançon St Salvius of Albelda St Silvanus of Terracina St Soteris the Martyr St Troiano of Saintes St Trumwin of Whitby St William the Hermit (Died 1157) About St William: https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/10/saint-of-the-day-10-february-saint-william-the-hermit-died-1157/
Martyred Soldiers in Rome: A group of ten Christian soldiers who were martyred together for their faith. We know little more about them but four of their names – Amantius, Hyacinth, Irenaeus and Zoticus. • 120 at Rome, Italy. They were buried on the Via Lavicana outside RomeAmantius, Hyacinth, Irenaeus, Zoticus.
Our Lady of the Bells, Cathedral of Saintes, France – 9 February:
“Saintes” is the English translation for the French word meaning female saints. There is a great deal of history to the Poitou-Charentes region of western France where the town of Saintes is located. The town of Saintes was originally a thriving settlement in ancient Gaul located along the Charente River. The town became known as Mediolanum Santonum once conquered by the Romans under Julius Caesar, and the remains of the triumphal arch of Germanicus and a large amphitheatre can still be seen there today. The town takes its name, Saintes, due to a fascinating legend that many still piously believe. According to this tradition, Mary Salome and Mary Jacob, accompanied by other disciples of Jesus Christ, were forced to flee the Holy Land about the year 45. They left, taking a boat with no sail and were miraculously transported across the Mediterranean Sea, making land near the place which became known as Saintes Maries de la Mer. Long before the arrival of the saints, indeed, since prehistoric times, Saintes Maries de la Mer (Saint Mary’s of the Sea) had been considered a holy place. This tradition was carried on by the Celts and then the Romans. It is recorded that St Eutropius was a Bishop there in the 3rd century and, that the first Cathedral was reconstructed by no less a personage than Charlemagne.
Norman invaders twice burned the town during the 9th century. Richard the Lionheart took refuge there against his father and King Saint Louis IX defeated the English on the plains before the town. The Cathedral of Saint Peter, built in the 12th century, was severely damaged by the Huguenots in the year 1568. Its bishopric was ended in 1790 due to the oppression of the French Revolution. The Church is now reduced to being only an historical monument. It is recorded, though, that one year long ago, on the octave day of the Purification, the bells in the Cathedral of Saintes, France, rang out most sweetly of themselves. The sacristans, having run to the Church, saw what appeared to be several unknown men holding lighted tapers and melodiously chanting hymns in honour of the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of the Bells, who was venerated in a Chapel of this Cathedral. Approaching softly, they – the men who had run to the church – begged the last of these men carrying lighted candles, to give them one in proof of the miracle they had witnessed. The light-bearers graciously complied. This taper, or candle, in remembrance of Our Lady of the Bells, is said to be preserved in that Cathedral up to this day.
St Nebridius of Egara St Nicephorus of Antioch St Poëmus of Membressa St Primus the Deacon St Raynald of Nocera St Romanus the Wonder Worker St Ronan of Lismore St Sabino of Abellinum St Sabinus of Canosa (c 461–566) Bishop St Teilo of Llandaff — Martyrs of Alexandria: An unknown number of Christians who were massacred in church in 4th century Alexandria, Egypt by Arian heretics for adhering to the orthodox faith.
Martyrs of Membressa: A group of 44 Christians martyred together. We know little else about them some names – • Ammon • Didymus • Emilian • Lassa • Poemus They were martyred in Membressa in Africa.
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time +2021 Sexagesima Sunday (Traditional Calendar) +2021
Sexagesima Sunday is the second Sunday before the start of Lent, which makes it the eighth Sunday before Easter. Traditionally, it was the second of the three Sundays (Septuagesima is the first and Quinquagesima is the third) of preparation for Lent. Sexagesima literally means “sixtieth,” though it falls only 56 days before Easter.
Our Lady of Grace, or Our Lady of the Bowed Head, Rome (1610) – 7 February:
Among the many miraculous images of the Mother of God through which she deigns to grant her favours, there is one in the Monastery Church of the Carmelites in Vienna, entitled the Mother of Grace, or Our Lady of Grace, also known also as Our Lady of the Bowed Head. In 1610 a Carmelite, Dominic of Jesus-Mary, found, among the votaries of an old altar, in the Monastery Church of Maria della Scala in Rome an oil painting of the Mother of God, dust-covered and somewhat torn, which grieved him. Taking it into his hands, he shook the dust off it and kneeling down venerated it with great devotion. He had the picture renovated and placed it on the shelf in his cell, where he made it the object of his love and supplications, in favour of those, who came to him in their necessities and afflictions. One night while he was praying fervently before the picture, he noticed that some dust had settled on it. Having nothing but his course woollen handkerchief, he dusted it with that and apologised, “O pure and holiest Virgin, nothing in the whole world is worthy of touching your holy face but since I have nothing but this coarse handkerchief, deign to accept my goodwill.” To his great surprise, the face of the Mother of God appeared to take on life and smiling sweetly at him, she bowed her head, which, thereafter, remained inclined. Fearing he was under an illusion, Dominic became troubled but Mary assured him that his requests would be heard – he could ask of her with full confidence any favour he might desire. He fell upon his knees and offered himself entirely to the service of Jesus and Mary and asked for the deliverance of one of is benefactor’s souls in purgatory. Mary told him to offer several Masses and other good works – a short time after, when he was again praying before the image, Mary appeared to him bearing the soul of his benefactor to Heaven. Dominic begged that all who venerated Mary in this image of Our Lady of Grace might obtain all they requested. In reply the Virgin gave him this assurance:
“All those who devoutly venerate me in this picture and take refuge to me will have their request granted and I will obtain for them, many graces but especially, will I hear their prayers for the relief and deliverance of the Souls in Purgatory.” Dominic soon after placed the image into the church of Maria Della Scala so that more devotees of Mary could venerate it. Many wonderful favours were and are obtained by those who honoured and invoked Mary here. Reproductions were made of Our Lady of Grace and sent to different parts of the world. After the death of Dominic the original painting was lent to Prince Maximilian of Bavaria. He gave it to the discalced Carmelites in Munich in 1631; they gave it to Emperor Ferdinand II of Austria and his wife Eleanore. After Ferdinand’s death, Eleanore entered the Carmelite convent in Vienna and took the picture with her. During the succeeding years the image was transferred to various places. Today, it is in the Monastery Church of Vienna. On 27 September 1931, it was solemnly crowned by Pope Pius XI – the 300th anniversary of arrival in Vienna.
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “This Virgin, in high veneration in that country, began to work miracles in the year 1444.” Saint Peter’s Church, or Sint-Pieterskerk, is the oldest Church in Leuven, Belgium, having been founded in about 986. The first Church burned to the ground but the present Gothic style Church was begun in 1425. The Church suffered severe damage during both world wars, as in 1914 the roof and nave were burned and in 1944 the north aisle suffered bomb damage. The Church of Saint Peter, is the home of Our Lady of Louvain, or the Virgin of Louvain, a statue of the Blessed Virgin and her Divine Son also called the Sedes Sapientiae, or Seat of Wisdom. The Virgin of Louvain is a wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary carved by Nicolaas De Bruyne in 1442. It was a larger facsimile of an earlier statue dating from the 13th century. That statue was completely destroyed during the Second World War and not by the Fascists or Nazis but instead, by allied bombs. It is a replica of Bruyne’s famous statue that is currently on display in the church.
Sedes Sapientiae is a specific title for the statue of Our Lady of Louvain but it is also a type of Christian iconography of the Blessed Mother, which depicts the Blessed Virgin seated upon a throne with the Christ Child in her lap. This type of representation of the Blessed Mother became, especially popular, early in the 13th century and, the throne she sits upon, usually has some depiction of lions and the Blessed Virgin’s feet are usually shown resting upon a stool and for good reason. The “Seat of Wisdom” is a title of Mary that many Catholics will recognise from the Litany of Loreto. It was no less a luminary than Saint Peter Damian, who in the 11th century said of the Blessed Virgin Mary that she “is herself that wondrous throne referred to in the Book of Kings.” In this, he was alluding to Solomon’s throne, the throne of the King renowned throughout history, for his wisdom. His throne was of ivory overlaid with the finest gold. “It had six steps and the top of the throne was round behind and there were two hands on either side, holding the seat and two lions stood, one at each hand. And twelve little lions stood upon the six steps on the one side and on the other: there was no such work made in any kingdom.” (Third Book of Kings, Chapter 10: 18-20). She is descended from the noble lineage of David. As the Mother of God, the “Seat of Wisdom,” the vessel of the Incarnation, who carried and gave birth to the second person of the Blessed Trinity, she, herself is, in a certain sense, the throne upon which the Son of God reigns. This symbol, the Sedes Sapientiae, has become the seal for the Catholic University of Leuven. It bears the motto: “Universitas Catholica Lovaniensis. Sedes Sapientiae,” which is Latin for Catholic University of Leuven. Seat of Wisdom.”
St Gerald of Ostia St Gonsalo Garcia OFM St Guarinus St Guethenoc St Hildegund St Ina of Wessex St Jacut St Liminius of Auvergne Bl Mary Teresa Bonzel St Mateo Correa-Magallanes St Maximus of Aurvergne St Mel of Ardagh St Melchu of Armagh St Mun of Lough Ree St Relindis of Eyck St Revocata St Saturninus St Tanco of Werden St Theophilus St Theophilus the Lawyer St Vaast of Arras St Victorinus of Auvergne — Martyrs of Emesa: St Luke the Deacon St Mucius the Lector St Silvanus of Emesa
Quote/s of the Day – 5 February – The Memorial of St Agatha (c 231- c 251) Virgin Martyr
“My fellow Christians, our annual celebration of a Martyr’s feast, has brought us together. Agatha achieved renown in the early Church for her noble victory. … For her, Christ’s death was recent, His blood was still moist. Her robe is the mark of her faithful witness to Christ. Agatha, the name of our saint, means “good.” She was truly good, for she lived as a child of God. Agatha, her goodness coincides with her name and her way of life. She won a good name by her noble deeds and by her name, she points to the nobility of those deeds. Agatha, her mere name wins all men over to her company. She teaches them by her example, to hasten with her to the true Good, God alone.”
“The woman who invites us to this banquet is both a wife and virgin. To use the analogy of Paul, she is the bride who has been betrothed to one husband, Christ. A true virgin, she wore the glow of pure conscience and the crimson of the Lamb’s blood for her cosmetics.”
St Methodius of Sicily (c 788-c 847) From a homily on Saint Agatha
“He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother.” … Mark 6:28
REFLECTION – “In what way, then, was this just man harmed by this demise, this violent death, these chains, this imprisonment? Who are those he did not set back on their feet — provided they had a penitent disposition — because of what he spoke, because of what he suffered, because of what he still proclaims in our own day — the same message he preached while he was living. Therefore, do not say: “Why was John allowed to die?” For what occurred was not a death but a crown, not an end but the beginning of a greater life.
Learn to think and live like a Christian. You will not only remain unharmed by these events but will reap the greatest benefits.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor – On the Providence of God, 22.
PRAYER – Increase in us, O Lord, the gift of faith, so that we may arise and offer our praise to You and by Your grace, yield fruit from heaven, for the glory of Your Kingdom. Lord God, let St Agatha, who became precious in Your sight through her pure life and valiant martyrdom, plead for our forgiveness. For, with joy and rejoicing, as though to a feast, St Agatha, went to prison and offered her sufferings to You, with many prayers. Through Jesus Christ, Your divine Son, in unity with the Spirit, one God forever. St Agatha, pray for us, amen.
Dedication of the first Church of Our Lady, by St Peter, Tortosa – 5 February:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Dedication of the first Church of Our Lady, by Saint Peter, Tortosa, Italy” The first church dedicated to Our Lady by Saint Peter the Apostle was not actually in Italy, as the good Abbot stated but in the city of Tartus, Syria. The city of Tartus was known as Tortosa to the Crusaders, who lived in the region during the time of the Crusades. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Tortosa, built in the year 1123 by these Crusaders, still stands on the site of the original sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin that was dedicated by Saint Peter. It is remembered, that the Emperor Constantine looked favourably upon the City because of his love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and the devotion to her by the faithful at Tortosa. By all appearances, the Church of Our Lady was as much of a fortress as it was a Church, and indeed, there were once towers surrounding the structure, two of which have survived the centuries. The façade of the Church, which appears almost Romanesque in style, has five arched window openings that are well above ground level and, there is a centrally located doorway. Once inside, however, the structure looks more like a Church, as there are graceful arches, columns and a vaulted ceiling. It is thought by many historians, to be the best-preserved structure of a religious nature dating from the time of the Crusades. Since the Church doubled as a fortification, the Crusaders were able to hold it, even after Tortosa was taken by Saladin in the year 1188. Saladin, who was able to unify the warring Muslim factions, made them into a robust army and won an important battle at Hattin over the Crusaders, capturing nearly all of their holdings, save for those near the coasts. The Knights Templar continued to use the Church as a kind of headquarters until the year 1291, when it was also taken. Once captured by the Mameluke’s, the Church was turned into a mosque. Later, under the Ottoman Empire, the Church was used as a place of storage. The Church was recently renovated, although now it is used only as a Museum.
St Agatha Hildegard of Carinthia St Agricola of Tongres St Albinus of Brixen St Anthony of Athens St Avitus of Vienne (c 450-c 518) Bishop St Bertulph St Buo of Ireland St Calamanda of Calaf St Dominica of Shapwick St Fingen of Metz Bl Françoise Mézière St Gabriel de Duisco St Genuinus of Sabion St Indract St Isidore of Alexandria St Jesús Méndez-Montoya Bl John Morosini St Kichi Franciscus St Luca di Demenna St Modestus of Carinthia St Philip of Jesus (1572-1597) Martyr His Life and Death: https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/05/saint-of-the-day-5-february-st-philip-of-jesus-1572-1597/ Bl Primo Andrés Lanas St Saba the Younger St Vodoaldus of Soissons — Martyrs of Pontus: An unknown number of Christians who were tortured and martyred in assorted painful ways in the region of Pontus (in modern Turkey) during the persecutions of Maximian.
Our Lady of Fire, Forli, Italy (1428) – 4 February:
The best-known print in early times was certainly the miraculous woodcut of Forli in north-eastern Italy, which became famous as Our Lady of Fire, or Our Lady of the Fire. It is the subject of the earliest monograph on a printed picture, which also fixes the earliest date that can be attached to a surviving Italian print. This book is Giuliano Bezzi’s “Il Fuoco Trionfante,” printed in 1637 at Forli, between Florence and Ravenna and he speaks of the miracle remembered as Our Lady of Fire. “Around the year of our Lord 1420, in a pleasant house by the Cathedral at Forli, the devout and learned Lombardino Brussi of Ripetrosa imitated Christ among the disciples at Emmaus by breaking the bread of the fear of the Lord and of humane letters with school boys. Their household devotion turned to the Virgin. They ever began and ended their literary exercises by praising and praying to this great sovereign of the universe. They said their prayers before an image of Our Lady rudely printed from a woodblock on a paper about a foot square. Printing was then new and who knows if this may not have been the first print by the first printmaker? The simplicity of the image certainly matched the well-mannered scholar’s simplicity of heart. It showed and still shows, the most Blessed Virgin holding her Holy Infant and surrounded by saints like King Solomon by his guard. Above to the right and left shine the sun and the moon, luminously forecasting that the Virgin was to consecrate this paper with a power like the moon’s over water and the sun’s over fair weather.
The devotion to the Virgin had advanced these happy boys from easy letters to graver studies when, on 4 February 1428, fire broke out in the downstairs classroom. Whether it started by accident or by design, is not known but certain it is, that the outcome so glorified God and His Blessed Mother that fires nowadays cause joy where they burn! When this fire had feasted on the benches and cupboards of the school, it followed its nature to ascend and sprang at the sacred paper. In awe at the sight of the most holy image, the flames stopped and – wonder of wonders – like the blameless fingers of a loving hand, they detached it from the wall to which it was tacked. The fire thought the wall too base a support for so sublime a portrait and longed to uphold the heaven of that likeness, like the other heaven, on a blazing sphere. Above the flames raging in the closed room the unscorched image floated as on a throne. When the fire had consumed the ceiling beams it wafted out the revered leaf, not to burn but to exalt it. With this leaf on its back it flew to the second floor, to the third, to the roof, then through the roof and behold, the Virgin’s image burst above the wondrous pyre like a phoenix, triumphant and unconsumed! The miracle drew the eyes of all the populace and came to the ears of Monsignor Domenico Capranica, the Papal Legate, who carried the paper in a procession, accompanied by all the people, to the Cathedral of Santa Croce, where it was placed in a holy but simple chapel.”
The building burned to the ground but the image of Our Lady of Fire was not forgotten. Copies were made of the image and they could be found in every Christian home in the region. The original print itself, was the focus and centre of religious life in the town of Forli, which had been blessed to witness such a great miracle.
Martyrs of Perga – 4 saints: A group of shepherds martyred in the persecutions of Decius. The only details we have about them are the names – Claudian, Conon, Diodorus and Papias. They were martyred in c 250 in Perga, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).
Saint of the Day – 3 February – Blessed John Nelson SJ (1535-1578) Priest Martyr, English Jesuit Martyr who was executed during the reign of Elizabeth I. Born in 1534 at Skelton, Yorkshire, England and died by being hung, drawn and quartered on 3 February 1578 at Tyburn, London England. Additional Memorial 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai.
John Nelson was born in Yorkshire in 1535 and was the son of Sir Nicholas Nelson. He was known for his intense practice of the faith and never feared to practice Catholicism openly although Queen Elizabeth’s government was unfavourable to Catholics and spies abounded. John was convinced that it was only by the shedding of blood that England could again be restored to the faith and driven by this firm conviction, at the age of 40, he left for Flanders and studied at the English college at Douai. He was delighted when his younger brothers, Martin and Thomas, followed him to Douai in 1574 and 1575 respectively. John was Ordained a Priest in 1576 at Bynche and 5 months later, he and 4 other newly Ordained Priests, left the continent for their native land England.
Fr Nelson spent only 1 year in his Priestly ministry and was forced to celebrate Mass secretly in Catholic households. On 1 December 1577, as he was reading his Breviary in the evening at his London residence, Priest-hunters surprised him and arrested him on suspicion of him being a Catholic Priest. He was brought to London’s Newgate Prison. A week after he was arrested, he was taken before the Queen’s High Commissioners but he adamantly refused to recognise the Queen’s authority over the Church. When asked who then was the Head of the Church, he unequivocally answered, that it was the Pope. He also boldly declared, when asked of the Queen’s position, that she was a schismatic, a heretic and that the religion practiced in England was of her own making. At his trial, he repeated the same remarks and because he refused to take the oath acknowledging the Queen’s supremacy in religious matters, he was found guilty of High Treason and condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor.
Fr Nelson spent the last two days of his life in a dark, damp, vermin-infested dungeon where he spent his time fasting, praying and preparing for death. On his execution day, 3 February 1578, he refused to see several Protestant ministers, after meeting with family members. When asked to beg pardon of the Queen, he responded, “I will ask no pardon of her, for I have never offended her.” He was then dragged to Tyburn for execution. Just before he was hanged, Fr Nelson asked the Catholics present to pray with him and aloud he recited the Creed, the Our Father and the Hail Mary, all in Latin. He then encouraged the bystanders to remain steadfast in their faith, asked forgiveness of all whom he might have offended and beseeched God to forgive his enemies and executioners. Just as he was finishing these words he was hanged. He was cut down while still alive to make him further suffer disembowelment. His severed head was then displayed on London’s Bridge and portions of his body exhibited at each of the city’s four gates.
Fr Nelson had been an admirer of the Jesuits since he had met them in France and as there was no Jesuit mission in England until 1580, 2 years after his death, he had written to the French Jesuits during his imprisonment for permission to be admitted to the Society. The Jesuits were happy to accept him, especially one about to be Martyred for Christ.
Fr John Nelson was Beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 9 December 1886, togetherWITH other Jesuit martyrs of England and Wales.
Saint of the Day – 2 February – Blessed Peter Cambiano OP (1320-1365) Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) and Martyr, Confessor, renowned Preacher calling many to conversion by his holy zeal and the power of his words. Born in 1320 in Chieri, Piedmont, Italy and died by being stabbed to death with daggers on 2 February 1365 by Waldensian heretics outside the Franciscan friary of Susa, Italy. He is also known as – Pietro de Ruffi, Peter of Ruffia, Peter Cambiani, Pietro Cambiano av Ruffi. Additional Memorial – 7 November (Dominicans).
Peter Cambiano was born in Chieri, in Piedmont, in 1320. Peter’s father was a City Councillor, his mother was from a noble family and the boy was raised in a pious household. He received a good education and was drawn early to religious life, with a personal devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary and was thus attracted to the Dominican Order.
He joined the Dominicans in Piedmont, Italy at age 16. He continued his studies and was ordained at age 25 and was a noted preacher throughout northern Italy. Among his talents, it is said, that he had a loud clear voice, which was very useful at that time when he had to preach in the open air. He received an appropriate formation that allowed him to be prepared for controversy with the Waldensians, a heretic sect spread in northern Italy.
The inquisition had been set up to deal with those people in Lombardy before the death of St Peter Martyr, a century before. So well did young Peter carry out the work of preaching among them, that the Order sent him to Rome to obtain a higher degree. The Pope, impressed by his talents and his family name, appointed him Inquisitor General in Piedmont.
In January 1365, Peter and two Dominican brothers went on a preaching mission through the mountains between Italy and Switzerland, working from the Franciscan Friary at Susa, Italy.
Peter’s preaching brought many back to the faith, which earned him the anger of the Waldensians. Three of the heretics came to the Friary, asked to see Peter and then murdered him at the gate.
He was buried at the Franciscan Friary, as it was considered unsafe to transport his body through the hostile heretical territory. His relics were translated to the Dominican house in Turin, Italy in 1517, after the Franciscan Friary was destroyed by an invading army.
Peter was Beatified on 4 December 1856 by Pope Pius IX (cultus confirmation).
Loving God, in Your mercy You bestowed the crown of Martyrdom on Blessed Peter for his defence of the true faith. Help us by his prayers to please You by a faith that is manifested through charity. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen (General Calendar of the Order of Preachers)
Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the Presentation of the Lord – also known as Candlemas – 2 February: The feast commemorates the purifying of the Blessed Virgin according to the Mosaic Law, 40 days after the birth of Christ and the presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple. The feast was introduced into the Eastern Empire by Emperor Justinian I and is mentioned in the Western Church in the Gelasian Sacramentary of the 7th century. Candles are blessed on that day in commemoration of the words of Holy Simeon concerning Christ “a light to the revelation of the Gentiles” (Luke 2) and a procession with lighted candles is held in the church to represent the entry of Christ, the Light of the World, into the Temple of Jerusalem. “Candlemas” is still the name in Scotland for a legal term-day on which interest and rents are payable (2 February). Patronages – Jaro, Philippines, Western Visayas, Philippines.
Our Lady of the Candles – (formally known as Nuestra Señora de la Purificación y la Candelaria) is a Marian title and image venerated by Filipino Catholics. The image, which is enshrined on the balcony of Jaro Cathedral, is known as the patroness of Jaro District of Iloilo City and the whole of the Western Visayas. The feast day of Our Lady of the Candles is on Candlemas (2 February) and is celebrated in Iloilo City with a Solemn Pontifical Mass presided by the Archbishop of Jaro.
St Adalbald of Ostrevant St Adeloga of Kitzingen St Agathodoros of Tyana St Andrea Carlo Ferrari St Apronian the Executioner St Bruno of Ebsdorf St Burchard of Wurzburg St St Candidus the Martyr St Columbanus of Ghent St Cornelius the Centurion St Felician the Martyr St Feock St Firmus of Rome St Flosculus of Orléans St Fortunatus the Martyr St Hilarus the Martyr St Jeanne de Lestonnac St Lawrence of Canterbury Bl Louis Alexander Alphonse Brisson Blessed Maria Domenica Mantovani (1862-1934) Her Life: https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/02/saint-of-the-day-2-february-blessed-maria-domenica-mantovani-1862-1934/ St Marquard of Hildesheim St Mun Blessed Peter Cambiano OP (1320-1365) Priest and Martyr St Rogatus the Martyr St Saturninus the Martyr St Sicharia of Orleans St Simon of Cassia Fidati Bl Stephen Bellesini St Theodoric of Ninden St Victoria the Martyr — Martyrs of Ebsdorf: Members of the army of King Louis III of France under the leadership of Duke Saint Bruno of Ebsdorf. The martyrs died fighting invading pagan Norsemen, and defending the local Christian population. Four bishops, including Saint Marquard of Hildesheim and Saint Theodoric of Ninden, eleven nobles, and countless unnamed foot soldiers died repelling the invaders. They were martyred in the winter of 880 in battle at Luneberg Heath and Ebsdorf, Saxony (modern Germany).
Baptism of St Louis de Montfort /Eve of the Purification of Our Lady, Paris: 1 February Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was born on 31 January 1673. He was a Missionary Priest but it was his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his ‘Total Consecration’ for which he is now most famous. Baptism is recalled as part of the vow of consecration: “I…renew in all sincerity the promises I solemnly made at the time of my holy Baptism.”
The saints see things very differently than most men. In his Consecration to Mary, St Louis states, “You are truly blessed if the world persecutes you, opposing your plans though they are good, thinking evil of your intentions, calumniating your conduct and taking away unjustly your reputation or your possessions.” “My son, beware of complaining to others, rather than to Me, of the bad treatment you receive, and do not seek ways of justifying yourself, particularly when you are the only one to suffer from it. On the contrary, pray for those who procure for you the blessings of persecution. Thank Me for treating you as I Myself was treated on earth, a sign of contradiction. Never be discouraged in your plans because you meet with opposition, it is a pledge of future victory. A good work which is not opposed, which is not marked by the sign of the cross, has no great value before Me and will soon be destroyed. Regard as your best friends those who persecute you because they procure for you, great merit on earth and great glory in heaven. Regard as unfortunate those who live in luxury, who feast sumptuously, who frequent the world of fashion, who make their way in the world, who succeed in business and who spend their lives in pleasures and amusements. Never do anything, either good or evil, out of human respect to avoid any blame, insult, mockery, or praise. When through your own fault some loss or disgrace befalls you, do not be disturbed by it but rather humble yourself before God and accept it from His hands as punishment for your fault.” Saint Louis de Montfort had a difficult life in which he was often unjustly persecuted and where he faced unexpected challenges in his desire to promote love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In some ways and by worldly standards, he often appeared a failure and his motives were misunderstood. Nothing was wasted, for all his work was truly for the glory of God and for the honour of the Mother of God and his devotion to her has borne great fruit! Amen!
St Brigid of Fiesole St Brigid of Ireland/Kildare (c 453-523) St Brigid’ Story: https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/01/saint-of-the-day-st-brigid-of-ireland-kildare-c-453-523/ St Cecilius of Granada St Cinnia of Ulster St Clarus of Seligenstadt Bl Conor O’Devany St Crewenna St Darlaugdach of Kildare St Henry Morse St Ioannes Yi Mun-u St Jarlath Bl John of the Grating St Kinnia Blessed Luigi Variara SDB (1875-1923) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/01/saint-of-the-day-blessed-blessed-luigi-variara-sdb-1875-1923/ Bl Patrick O’Lougham St Paul of Trois-Châteaux St Paulus Hong Yong-ju St Raymond of Fitero St Sabinus St Severus of Avranches St Severus of Ravenna St Sigebert III of Austrasia St Tryphon of Lampsacus St Ursus of Aosta St Veridiana — Martyrs of Avrillé – 47 beati: Forty-seven Christians executed together for their faith in the anti-Catholic persecution of the French Revolution. • Anne-François de Villeneuve• Anne Hamard• Catherine Cottenceau• Charlotte Davy• François Bellanger• François Bonneau• François Michau• François Pagis epouse Railleau• Gabrielle Androuin• Jacquine Monnier• Jeanne Bourigault • Jeanne Fouchard épouse Chalonneau• Jeanne Gruget veuve Doly• Jeanne-Marie Sailland d’Epinatz• Louise-Aimée Dean de Luigné• Louise-Olympe Rallier de la Tertinière veuve Déan de Luigné• Madeleine Blond• Madeleine Perrotin veuve Rousseau• Madeleine Sailland d’Epinatz• Marguerite Rivière epouse Huau• Marie Anne Pichery épouse Delahaye• Marie-Anne Vaillot• Marie Cassin épouse Moreau• Marie Fausseuse épouse Banchereau• Marie Gallard épouse Quesson• Marie Gasnier épouse Mercier• Marie Grillard• Marie-Jeanne Chauvigné épouse Rorteau• Marie Lenée épouse Lepage de Varancé• Marie Leroy• Marie Leroy épouse Brevet• Marie Roualt épouse Bouju• Odilia Baumgarten• Perrine Androuin• Perrine Besson• Perrine-Charlotte Phelippeaux épouse Sailland d’Epinatz• Perrine Grille• Perrine Ledoyen• Perrine Sailland d’Epinatz• Renée Cailleau épouse Girault• Renée Grillard• Renée Martin épouse Martin• Renée Valin• Rose Quenion• Simone Chauvigné veuve Charbonneau • Suzanne Androuin• Victoire Bauduceau epouse Réveillère. They were martyred on 1 February 1794 in Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire, France and Beatified on 19 February 1984 by St Pope John Paul II at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Korea: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions in Korea. Today we celebrate and honour: • Saint Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i • Saint Ioannes Yi Mun-u • Saint Paulus Hong Yong-ju
History shows, that the rose is the favourite flower of Our Lady herself, the Madonna of the Rose. In her apparition at Guadeloupe, she made use of roses as a sign of her presence and even arranged them, with her own beautiful hands, in the tilma of Juan Diego. At La Salette she wore a profusion of roses in three garlands and had tiny roses around the rim of her slippers. She brought beautiful roses with her at Lourdes, Pontmain, Pellevoisin, Beauraing and Banneaux. To Sister Josefa Menendez she showed her immaculate heart encircled with little white roses. Truly, she could be called the Madonna of the Rose. In the city of Damascus, very familiar to Mary, hundreds of men and women earn their living by working with roses, from which they distil rosewater and extract attar and syrup of rose. These people carry the scent of roses with them, wherever they go. This is a lesson for us – let us become so saturated with the virtues of Mary, the Madonna of the Rose, that we carry their fragrance and attract other souls to our Divine Lord, through His Mother, the Mystical Rose, the Madonna of the Rose. Among the many feasts of Our Lady we find mentioned in an old Latin chronicle: “30 January, Our Lady of the Rose, at Lucca in Italy. Three roses were found in January in the arms of the statue of Our Lady there.” Cardinal Newman says “Mary is the most beautiful flower ever seen in the spiritual world. It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory and Mary is the Queen of them all. She is the Queen of spiritual flowers and, therefore, is called the Rose, for the rose is called, of all flower, the most beautiful. But, moreover, she is the Mystical or Hidden Rose, for mystical means hidden.” In the stately college of King’s Chapel, in Cambridge, England, one of the most renowned universities, built by Henry VIII in memory of his father, there can be discerned, hidden in one of the Tudor rose-bosses on the walls, a small head of Our Lady which somehow escaped observation, at the despoliation of images at the Protestant Deformation. Brother John, a clever carver, was hired to carve all of the roses; knowing of the King’s quarrel with the Pope, he secretly carved a tiny head of Mary, half-hidden within the rose petals in the upper tier of decorations, saying, “There you remain, Our Lady of the Rose, even if wicked men try to drive you and your Son from this Church.” His words came true, when the place was stripped of every trace of Faith, the diminutive head of the Mother of God still remained. But a rose has thorns and so had the Mystical Rose – the sharpest for herself alone; so she could have compassion on our infirmities. Never did the breathE of evil spoil the splendour of this Mystical Rose; never did God’s lovely flower, the Madonna of the Rose, cease to give forth the sweet perfume of love and praise. “Mystical Rose, thou hast been hailed to shed they fragrance sweet, to flood our desert with thy perfume rare. We beg thee, daily kneeling at thy feet, let fall thy petals for our repose, shower upon us thy aroma, O thou Mystical Rose.”
Our Lady of Chatillion-sur- Seine, France (1130) – 29 January:
St Bernard is said, to have had a great devotion to Our Lady of Chatillion-sur-Seine because of a miracle which was wrought by the Blessed Virgin Mary in his favour. Bernard, the third of a family of seven children, was educated with particular care as while yet unborn, a devout man had foretold his great destiny. At the age of nine he was sent to a famous school in France at Chatillion-sur-Seine, kept by the secular priests of Saint Vorles. He was an intelligent student, greatly devoted to the Blessed Virgin. He later wrote several books about the Holy Mother of God and, it is thought by many, that no-one speaks as sublimely of the Queen of Heaven, as he does. Mary appeared to Bernard as he wrote and inspired him with heavenly words and wisdom. The most hardened sinners, heretics and agnostics, Mary brought to him and she proved a bulwark to his efforts to lead men to her and to Christ, her Divine Son.
Early in his adult life Saint Bernard became very ill, so ill, that he was preparing himself for death. Feeling useless and barren, his infirmity and the attendant pains he experienced, increased to such a degree, that Bernard asked two of his brethren to go to the church and beg for heavenly relief from God. The Blessed Virgin Mary herself soon appeared to St Bernard, entering his cell attended by St Lawrence and St Benedict. All three approached Saint Bernard and touched the parts of his body where the pain was the most severe, bringing immediate relief. St Bernard had also been troubled with an intense flow of saliva, which would not cease and that trouble was also immediately ended.
The saint was not completely cured, however and, although he did not die, it was yet some time before his health was completely restored to him. St Bernard used the time well, producing his first treatise on humility and pride and “his light began to shine as the morning sun.” The former Abbey of Notre-Dame de Châtillon (Sancta Maria de Castellione) was an Abbey located in Châtillon-sur-Seine, in the north of Burgundy, in the Côte-d’or department. This Abbey of regular canons of Saint Augustine, was founded in 1136 under the inspiration of Bernard of Clairvaux. The Abbey survived until the year 1793 (yes, once again a victim of the enlightenment of the French Revolution). Now, only the conventual buildings and the Abbey Church remain.