Saint of the Day – 18 March – Saint Salvator of Horta OFM (1520-1567) Lay Brother

Saint of the Day – 18 March – Saint Salvator of Horta OFM (1520-1567) Lay Brother of Friars Minor, Cook, Porter and Quester of alms, Miracle-worker.Born in 1520 at Santa Columba, Gerona, Spain and died on 18 March 1567 at the Friary at Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy of natural causes, aged just 46. Also known as – Salvador, Salvatore. Additional Memorial – 17 April (Friars Minor). Canonised on 17 April 1938 by Pope Pius XI. His body is incorrupt.

In the Sixteenth Century when the Faith, especially in Germany, was so mightily shaken by the so-called reformers, when the Sign of the Cross was abolished as a superstitious practice, Almighty God permitted this very Sign of the Cross to shine with special power and radiance, in order to strengthen the Faith in another country. This was Spain and it was through the great Miracle-orker of the Sixteenth Century, St Salvator of Horta.

Salvator was born of poor parents in the year 1520. Orphaned when still quite young, he tended cattle and was later sent as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Barcelona. His devout heart, however, was constantly prompting him to consecrate himself to God; so, when he was twenty years old, he entered the Franciscan Order as a lay brother. He distinguished himself among his brethren by rigorous mortification, profound humility and extraordinary simplicity.

Almighty God, who chooses the lowly to make known the wonders of His power, manifested His power in Salvator at the very beginning of his religious life.

He was sent to assist the brother in the kitchen and one day, when the cook was ill, Salvator had to undertake the entire round of duties alone. When it was close to the noon hour, the Father Guardian went to the kitchen to see what Brother Salvator had prepared. He found the kitchen locked. After looking for Salvator for a considerable time, he finally found him kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, deeply absorbed in prayer.

Statue (after 1606) by Michelangelo Naccherino (Florence 1550-Naples 1622) – Santa Maria di Montecalvario or della Mercede Church in Naples

He had been there since early morning without being aware of it. The Superior reproved him severely and Salvator acknowledged his guilt amid many tears, begging for a severe penance. How astonished, however, were both men when they arrived at the kitchen and found all the food ready to be served – the angels had substituted for Salvator! How beautiful!

After pronouncing his vows, Salvator was sent to the Convent at Tortosa. Although he was assigned in turn to the duties of cook, porter and quester of alms, he was ,nevertheless, continually recollected and intimately united with God.

While gathering alms, Salvator often came upon sick people for whom his prayers were requested. He would make the Sign of the Cross over them and immediately they were healed. News of this fact soon spread abroad and may sick were brought to the Convent. All were restored to health through the Sign of the Cross which Brother Salvator made over them.

The concourse of sick people, however, finally became so great that it disturbed the good order in the Convent. So the Superiors sent Brother Salvator to the nearby Convent of Horta, where he spent the greater part of his religious life, hence his surname “of Horta.”

Although the transfer was made in perfect secrecy and no one had been informed of it, the sick presented themselves at the Convent at Horta already in the first days after his arrival there and their number increased daily. The deaf, the blind, the dumb, the lame, the epileptic, came; the paralytic, the dropsical, those afflicted with fevers and sufferers of every type were brought to him on beds, so that Brother Salvator might restore their health.

Usually there were as many as two thousand a week, sometimes that many in one day and once, on the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, as many as six thousand made their appearance!

One time the Grand Inquisitor, a renowned theologian, whose duty it was to guard the purity of the Faith, came in order to learn whether anything occurred there that savoured of superstition. Without giving any indication of his rank, he took his station at a corner of the Church were the sick were expecting the healing hand of Brother Salvator.

When the good religious arrived, Saint Salvator of Horta had the sick make way for him as he passed through their ranks till he reached the Grand Inquisitor. There he reverently kissed the latter’s hand and begged him to come to the upper Church, where he could watch the entire proceedings. Astonished at finding himself recognised, the Inquisitor was already assured of the power from on high which held sway there. Nevertheless, he followed the brother.

Salvator began, as usual, to admonish the sick to examine their conscience and to receive the Sacraments of Penance and of the Holy Eucharist worthily. Then he blessed them with the Sign of the Cross while he called upon the Blessed Trinity and imposed on them a few prayers in honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whose intercession he ascribed all the cures. The sufferers were then all suddenly cured, except, as Salvator had foretold, those who were not sincere in their conversion.

St Salvator and the Grand Inquisitor by Esteban Murillo

In order to test the humility of the brother and to preserve him in it, his Superiors frequently imposed heavy trials but he always remained an obedient, humble and contented religious. A prominent gentleman once warned Salvator that he should be on guard against pride and presumption. The good brother answered:

“I always think of myself as a sack full of straw; the sack is indifferent as to whether it lies in a stable or is brought into a magnificent room.”

The last two years of Sa;vator’s life were spent on the Island of Sardinia and there he died in the Convent of Cagliari on 18 March 1567. Innumerable miracles occurred also at his grave. The uninterrupted devotion to the Saint was confirmed on 29 January 1711 by Pope Clement XI. Saint Salvator of Horta was CanoniSed by Pope Pius XI in 1938.

Death of Saint Salvator of Horta
Viceregal Museum of Zinacantepec, Mexico

His remains were originally interred at the Church of St Mary of Jesus attached to the Friary where he died, in Cagliari, Sardinia. In 1606 it had been decided to open his grave to provide his heart as a Relic for the Franciscan community. When his tomb was opened, his body was found to be still intact and in perfect condition, bearing no signs at all of any corruption.

Thus, when the Church of St Mary of Jesus was demolished in 1718, his remains were interred first at another Church of the Order in the City, then finally, in 1758, they were entombed in a glass coffin under the Main Altar of the Church of St Rosalie in the City. This remains his Shrine, where his remains can be venerated.


Saint of the Day – 13 March – Blessed Agnellus of Pisa OFM (c1195-1236) Priest

Saint of the Day – 13 March – Blessed Agnellus of Pisa OFM (c1195-1236) Priest, Frair of the Order of Friars Minor, received into the Franciscans Order by Saint Francis himself., Missionary. Agnellus was the Founder of the Order in England and its First Minister Provincial. Born in c.1195 in Pisa, Italy and died on 7 May 1236 at Oxford, England of dysentery. Additional Memorials – 7 May (Franciscan) and 10 September (English Franciscans). His body was incorrupt but was destroyed during the persecutions by Henry VIII.

Agnellus was descended from an ancient noble family at Pisa. The government of the Parisian Province of the Order was entrusted to him. Later, the holy Founder sent him to England with eight companions. Here Agnellus found it possible to establish several Convents of his Order and to unite them into a Province. Due to his zeal and to his virtuous life, many young men, some from the most prominent families in England, took the Habit of the Poor Man of Assisi.

In order to provide the young clerics with a thorough education, he established a school of theology at Oxford. Meanwhile, however, he infused into them a desire for perfection and a holy fidelity to the Rule of the Order, in all of which, he led them by his own good example.

His humility was so profound that ,under no circumstances could be be prevailed upon to receive Holy Orders. Finally, however, he yielded in obedience to the General Chapter.

A great part of his time was devoted to meditation. At holy Mass and in choir, he was so overcome with interior affections that he was frequently found weeping.

Agnellus died the death of the saints in the year 1232, when he was but thirty-eight years old. His grave and the Church which he had established in Oxford in which he was buried, were destroyed during the persecution of the Catholics in the reign of Henry VIII. Pope Leo XIII solemnly confirmed the uninterrupted veneration that had been accorded to Blessed Agnellus of Pisa.

In honour of his great influence in the establishment of the University. Agnellus’ incorrupt body was preserved with great veneration at Oxford up to the dissolution of the religious houses, when the Friary and Church were destroyed. In 2014, the Conventual Franciscans re-established a Friary again in Oxford, formally dedicating and naming it the Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Friary.

Blessed Agnellus of Pisa knew that while the ambitious are always ill at ease, as to whether or not, they will be properly esteemed, or whether their dignity will be duly acknowledged, the humble live in continual peace of soul. They do not wait for approval and do not fear ill success. Their will is directed solely to the honour of God. They ehope for a reward from Him alone.

The Blessed Agnellus Frairy at Oxford today

Saturday of the Second Week in Lent, Nossa Senhora das Florestas,/ Our Lady of the Forests, Portugal (12th Century) and Memorials of the Saints – 11 March

Saturday of the Second Week in Lent – FAST

Nossa Senhora das Florestas,/ Our Lady of the Forests, Porto, Portugal (12th Century) – 11 March:

St Aengus the Culdee
St Alberta of Agen
St Amunia
St Aurea of San Millán (1043-1070) Spanish Nun and Anchorite

St Benedict Crispus of Milan (Died 725) Archbishop of Milan from c 685 until his death. A poem written about ten years after his death, De laudibus Mediolani- In Praise of Milan, praises him and remembers his veneration by the entire land and informs us that he was buried in the Basilica of Saint Ambrose.
His Life:

St Candidus the Martyr
St Constantine II
St Constantine of Carthage

St Eulogius of Córdoba (Died 857) Priest and Martyr, Writer, Poet, Theologian, Teacher.

St Firmian the Abbot
St Firmus the Martyr
St Gorgonius the Martyr
St Heraclius of Carthage

Blessed John Baptist Righi of Fabriano OFM (1469–1539) Priest, Confessor, Friar of the Friars Minor, Ascetic, Ecstatic, renowned Preacher, Peace-maker, Hermit. Blessed John was Beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1903. His body is incorrupt.
About Blessed John:

St Peter the Spaniard
St Pionius
St Piperion the Martyr
St Rosina of Wenglingen
St Sophronius of Jerusalem
St Thalus the Martyr
St Trophimus the Martyr
St Vigilius of Auxerre
St Vincent of Leon

St Vindician of Cambrai (c 632-c 712) Bishop of Arras-Cambrai, Belgium. He was a spiritual follower of Saint Eligius (588- 660) (Saint Eloi).
His Life:

St Zosimus of Carthage

Martyrs of Antioch: A group of Christians Martyred together by Emperor Maximian Galerius. Martyred in c 300 in Antioch, Syria.


Saint of the Day – 24 February – Blessed Marco De’ Marconi OSH (1480-1510) “The Glory of Mantua,

Saint of the Day – 24 February – Blessed Marco De’ Marconi OSH (1480-1510) known as “The Glory of Mantua,” Hermit Monk of the Order of the Hermits of Saint Jerome (The Hieronymites) a common name for several congregations of Hermit Monks living according to the Rule of Saint Augustine, although the principle role of their lives is the great Hermit and biblical scholar St Jerome, Father and Doctor of the Church. Marco was gifted with the charism of prophecy and of miracles. Born in 1480 in Mantua, Italy and died on 24 February 1510 in Mantua, Italy of natural causes. His Body is incorrupt. Blessed Mark was Beatified on 2 March 1906 by Pope Pius X.

Marco was the son of poor and simple parents, Hewas born in1480 at Milliarino near Mantua. From early youth he was endowed with a deep sense of piety and gave signs of extraordinary sanctity. At this time, there was in Mantua, a community of the Poor Hermits of St Jerome, who had been founded by the Tertiary Blessed Peter of Pisa. In other Cities of Italy there were similar communities of Hermits; and all of them observed the Rule of the Third Order of St Francis until the year 1568, when they adopted that of St Augustine. Marco entered the Hermitage of St Matthew at Mantua when he was still quite young.

From the very beginning of his religious life, Marco won the admiration of the other Hermits by the cheerfulness and promptness with which he carried out all the spiritual exercises, those which were ordinary, as well as the most difficult. His one desire was to become as perfect an imitator of Christ as possible. Marco possessed the gift of prophecy and of miracles. The people revered him as a saint and considered themselves fortunate if they could touch the hem of his garment.

Living continuously n the presence of God provided Marco with special light, by which he also learned to know himself better day by day. Just as, when the sun’s beams penetrate a room, we can more plainly see all the particles of dust in the air, which would otherwise be invisible and which we had not realised were there, so will the remembrance of an all-holy God Who beholds us, reveal the stains and defects in our hearts, of which we should not otherwise have been aware.

Marco was only thirty when he died on 24 February 1510. His incorrupt body is venerated in the Cathedral, and he is called “The Glory of Mantua.

His remain were initially buried at the Church of His Monastery in Mantua but when, in the mid-17th Century, this Monastery was destroyed in war, his Relics were moved to a new Monastery and Church, also in Mantua. Later, in the late 18th Century, the Church and Monastery were suppressed and the Relics were briefly hidden. Finally, his body was enshrined in the Cathedral in Mantua, where it is still venerated.

The cult of Blessed Marvo which continued through the Centuries, was finally approved by St Pope Pius X on 2 March 1906. Blessed Marco Marconi may also be counted as one of the glories of the Third Order of St Francis.

Prayer of the Church:
We beseech Thee, O Lord,
through Thy loving kindness,
ever guard Thy household
that it maybe freed from all adversities
by Thy protection and in good deeds,
maybe devoted to Thy Name.
Through Christ Our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Ghose,
God forever and ever.


Saint of the Day – 3 December – St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552) Confessor

Saint of the Day – 3 December – St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552) Confessor, Priest, Missionary, Miracle-worker, co-Founder with St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) and St Peter Faber (1506-1546) of the Society of Jesus. One of the Greatest Missionaries since St Paul. St Francis was Canonised on 12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. His body is incorrupt.

St Francis Xavier
By Fr Francis Xavier Weninger SJ (1805-1888)
Part One -(His early years, before departing for the Indies).

St Francis Xavier,–the great Apostle of the Indies, as he is called in the Bull of his Canonisation–the celebrated Thaumaturgus of the 16th Century, the irreproachable witness of the truth of our holy religion, the ornament of the Society of Jesus and of the entire Catholic Church–was of Royal lineage and was born of illustrious parents, at the Castle of Xavier, in the Kingdom of Navarre.

Having passed his childhood there, he was sent to the University of Paris, to study the liberal arts, for which he evinced an especial inclination. He applied himself so diligently and made so much progress that he was not only created. Doctor of Philosophy but also appointed to instruct others in that science. All his aim was to gain honours and to become great in the eyes of the world. His father intended to recall him home after some years but his sister, who was Prioress in the Convent of the Poor Clares at Gandia and had the reputation of being a Saint, knew, by Divine inspiration, the great work for which her brother was destined by the Almighty and persuaded her father not to insist on his return, saying, in a prophetic manner that Francis was chosen to become the apostle of many nations.

Whilst Xavier was teaching at Paris, St Ignatius came to the same City to finish his studies. Knowing, by Divine inspiration, how much good Francis, who was so highly gifted by the Almighty, would be able to do for the salvation of souls, he sought the friendship of the young Professor and gradually showed him the emptiness, of all temporal greatness and drew him from his eagerness to obtain worldly honours, by repeating the earnest words of Christ: “What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul!” These words of our Saviour, coming from the lips of a St Ignatius, so deeply pierced the heart of Xavier and made so indelible an impression that he became entirely converted.

Taking St Ignatius as his guide, he followed his precepts and after having most fervently gone through the “Spiritual Exercises,” he resolved to devote himself, with Ignatius, to the greater glory of God.

On the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, in the year 1534, Ignatius, St Francis and five others, made a vow in the Church of Montmartre at Paris, to consecrate their lives to the salvation of souls. Soon after, St Francis, by the order of St Ignatius, went with some of these zealous men to Italy.

At the very beginning of this journey, which was to be performed on foot, St Francis gave a striking proof of the ardour of his spirit. Before his conversion, he had been a great lover of dancing and gymnastic exercises and, so greatly excelled in them that he had taken great pride in these accomplishments. To punish this vanity, he tied his arms and ankles so tightly with small knotted cords, that he could not make the least motion without pain. After the first day’s march, his pains became so intense that he fainted away and was forced to reveal the cause. The cords had cut so deeply into the flesh that they could hardly be seen. The surgeon who was called, declared that a painful operation was necessary to cut the cords out of the flesh.St Francis and his companions, not wishing to be delayed on their way, prayed for aid from on High and, on the following morning they found, not only the cords broken but all the wounds entirely healed. Having given due thanks to the Almighty for this miracle, they continued their journey.

At Venice, St Francis spent two months in the hospital, nursing the sick most tenderly. While there, it happened that he found, among the sick, one who was suffering from a loathsome ulcer. St Francis felt a natural repugnance to approach the poor patient, but, recollecting the maxim of St. Ignatius, “Conquer thyself,” he unhesitatingly went to the sick, embraced him kindly and putting his lips to the ulcer, cleansed it of all offensive matter. As a reward for so heroic a victory over self, God restored the sick man’s health and took from St Francis all repugnance to the most hideous forms of disease.

Two months after this, he was Ordained Priest and said his first Holy Mass, amid a flood of tears, after having prepared himself for it, by forty days of solitude, many prayers, austere fasting and other penances.

At Rome, whither he was called by St Ignatius, he preached for a time with great success. It was at this period that John III., King of Portugal, requested the Pope to send him six of the disciples of St Ignatius, for the Indies. St Ignatius, on account of the small number of his followers, gave only two, Simon Rodriguez and Nicholas Bobadilla but, as the latter fell ill just before the time appointed for setting out, St Francis Xavier., whom Heaven had selected for this mission, was sent in his stead.

No tongue can tell the joy with which the Saint received this news, which fulfilled that which had been shown him, years before, in a mysterious dream. It had appeared to him, in his sleep that he had a negro on his shoulders, whom he was obliged to carry and that he was so fatigued, as to sink to the ground under his burden. He then awoke and found himself in truth, covered with perspiration and extremely tired.

He was soon prepared for his journey from Rome to Lisbon, whence he was to sail for the Indies and having received, from St Ignatius, valuable instructions and from the Vicar of Christ, the Papal Blessing, with the powers of an Apostolic Nuncio, he set out with his companion, Rodriguez, carrying nothing with him but the Crucifix on his breast, his Breviary under his arm and his staff in his hand.

At the holy house of Loretto, where he stopped on his way, he commended his important mission to his divine Mother, and begged, with childlike trust, for her motherly assistance. Feeling in his heart that his prayer had been heard, he was greatly comforted, on leaving this blessed spot. To be continued …


Saint of the Day – 19 November – Blessed James Benefatti OP (Died 1332) “Father of the Poor

Saint of the Day – 19 November – Blessed James Benefatti OP (Died 1332) “Father of the Poor” Bishop of Mantua, Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers, Papal Legate in the service of Pope Benedict XI and of Pope John XXII, Apostle of the poor. Born in the late 13th century at Mantua, Italy and died on 19 November 1332 at Mantua, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – James Benefatti, James of Mantua, “Father of the Poor.” Beatified in 1859by Pope Pius IX. His body is incorrupt.

Janes was born in Mantua and also died there, on 19 November 1332. He was both a Doctor of Theology and a Priest. In 1290 James entered the Dominican Convent in his hometown. There he became the friend and brother Friar of Nicholas Boccasino, who later became Pope Benedict XI. Under Pope Denedict XI, James held several important offices, including Papal Legate. And, in the course of his service to the Pope, he also served as Papal Legate for Pope John XXII.

In 1303 James was Consecrated as the Bishop of Mantua (some resources say he was Consecrated in 1304). There, Bishop James was known for his devotion to the poor, earning him the name “Father of the Poor.”

As Bishop, James rebuilt the Cathedral and refurbished Churches in his Diocese. He also actively fought against the hatred and division which plagued the City at that time. After his death, James was credited with many remarkable miracles that occurred and people began to call him Blessed James in gratefulness for his intercession.

Nearly 150 years after his death, in 1480, when repairs were being made to the Church were he was buried, an accident opened his tomb and people were startled to find his body completely incorrupt. Again, in 1604, the same phenomenon occurred.

Blessed James’ cult was confirmed in 1859 by Pope Pius IX.


Eternal God,
You established Blessed James as a model for Your flock
and made him renowned for his zeal for peace
and for his mercy towards Your people.
By his prayers and example,
may we be united in the Truth of Your Word
and ever ardent in Your divine love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
You Son, Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.


Saint of the Day – 19 July – St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) “Holy Hero of Divine Charity”

Saint of the Day – 19 July – St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) Confessor. “Holy Hero of Divine Charity.”
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “St Vincent de Paul, Confessor, who slept in the Lord on 27 September, Leo XIII declared the Heavenly Patron before the Thron of God, of all Charitable Organisations throughout the Catholic world, owing in any manner, their origin to him.”
Vincent’s body was exhumed in 1712, 53 years after his death. The written account of an eyewitness states that “the eyes and nose alone showed some decay“. However, when it was exhumed again during the Canonisation in 1737, it was found to have decomposed due to an underground flood . His bones have been encased in a waxen figure which is displayed in a glass Reliquary in the Chapel of the headquarters of the Vincentian fathers in Paris,

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
Confessor, Founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) and Co-Founder of the Sisters of Charity, is an outstanding example of great love for the poor and unfortunate and the Celestial Patron of all Catholic Charitable Societies. (added by Pope Leo XIII).

By Fr Francis Xavier Weninger SJ (1805-1888)

Vincent de Paul, a Frenchman, was born at Pouy, not far from Dax, in Gascony and from his boyhood, was remarkable for his exceeding charity towards the poor. From the care of his father’s flocks, he was sent to study letters. He learned the humanities at Dax and Theology first at Toulouse, then at Saragossa. Having been Ordained Priest and having taken a Degree in Theology, he fell into the hands of the Turks and was led captive by them, into Africa. But being sold into slavery, he won his owner (an apostate) back to Christ. By the help of the Mother of God, therefore, Vincent and his owner hurried away from the shores of the barbarians. Then Vincent undertook a journey to Rome, to visit the thresholds of the Apostles.

Having returned to France, he governed, in a most saintly manner, first, the Parish of Clichy and then, that of Chatillon. He was appointed by the King as Principal Chaplain of the French galleys and showed marvellous zeal in striving for the salvation of both the drivers and the rowers. The holy Francis de Sales, appointed him Superior of the Nuns of the Visitation, whom he ruled for nearly forty years, with so great prudence that he amply justified the opinion of their most holy Founder, who confessed that he knew no worthier Priest than Vincent.

To the preaching of the Gospel unto the poor, especially to the country people, he devoted himself unweariedly, until he was disabled by old age. To this apostolic work he obligated both himself and the members of the Congregation, which he specially founded under the name of Secular Priests of the Mission, by a perpetual vow confirmed by the Holy See. And how greatly he laboured for bettering the discipline of the clergy, is attested by the Seminaries erected for senior clerics, by the frequency of sacred conferences among the Priests and by the religious exercises preparatory to the Sacrament of Holy Orders; for which purposes, as well as that of giving pious retreats for laymen, he desired that the Houses of his Institute, should be freely opened. Moreover, for the extension of faith and piety, he sent evangelical labourers, not only into the Provinces of France but also into Italy, Poland, Scotland, Ireland and even to Barbary and to the Indies.

And at the death of Louis XIII, whom he had attended and exhorted on his deathbed, Vincent himself was summoned by the Queen, Anne of Austria, mother of Louis XIV and made a member of the young King’s Council of Conscience. In this position, he most zealously urged that only the more worthy men should be placed in authority over the Churches and Monasteries; that civil discords, single combats, slowly-spreading false doctrines, which he both perceived and dreaded, should be ended; and that due obedience should be rendered by all, to the apostolic decisions.

There was no kind of misfortune which he did not, with fatherly tenderness, endeavour to relieve . The faithful groaning beneath the Turkish yoke, infants which had been abandoned, wayward youths, maidens exposed to danger, Nuns driven from their Convents, fallen women, convicts condemned to the galleys, infirm strangers, disabled workmen and even lunatics and beggars without number, all these he received and devoutly assisted with resources and in hospices, which have lasted to this day. When Lorraine, Champagne, Picardy and other Provinces were devastated by plague, famine and war, he relieved their necessities with an open hand. He founded many societies for seeking out and alleviating the lot of the wretched, among them, a celebrated association of matrons, widely spread under the name of Sisters of Charity. He likewise promoted the foundation of the Daughters of the Cross, of Providence and of St Genevieve, for the education of the weaker sex.

Amid these and other most important affairs, he was ever intent upon God, affable to everyone and always true to himself, simple, upright, lowly and ever shrank from honours, riches and luxuries. He was heard to say that in nothing was there any pleasure for him, except in Christ Jesus, Whom he desired to imitate in all things.

At length, worn out with bodily pains, labours and old age, on 27 September in the year of salvation 1660 and, in the eighty-fifth year of age, at Paris, in the House of St Lazare, which is the Motherhouse of the Congregation the Mission, he calmly fell asleep.

Since he became illustrious for virtues, merits and miracles, Clement XII placed him among the Saints, assigning 19 July as his annual feast. And Leo XIII, at the earnest request of many Bishops, claimed and appointed this notable hero of divine charity, who has deserved so exceedingly well, of every class of men, the special Patron before God, of all the Charitable Societies existing in the entire Catholic world and in any way soever, emanating from his foundation.


Saint of the Day – 14 July – Blessed Boniface of Canterbury O.Cart. (c 1207-1270)

Saint of the Day – 14 July – Blessed Boniface of Canterbury O.Cart. (c 1207-1270) Carthusian Monk and Prior, the forty sixth Archbishop of Canterbury. Reformer, Mediator. Born in c 1207 near Sainte-Hélòne-du-Luc in the Savoy region of modern France and died on 18 July 1270 at the Sainte-Hélòne des Milliere Castle in Hautecombe, Savoy, France of natural causes. Also known as – Boniface of Savoy. Beatified on 7 September 1838 by Pope Gregory XVI. His body is incorrupt.

Born to the nobility as a member of the Ducal House of Savoy. Boniface was the eleventh child of Count Thomas of Savoy and the brother of Queen Beatrix of Savoy, as well as the Uncle of Queen Eleanor of England.

Boniface became a Carthusian Monk at the Grande Chartreuse at a very young age. As a young man he was appointed as the Prior of the Carthusian Monastery in Natua, France.

In 1233, as a Sub-Deacon, he was elected Bishop of Belley in Burgundy and, in 1241, Boniface administered the Diocese of Valence, as well. In 1245, Boniface was chosen as the forty sixth Archbishop of Canterbury, England by Pope Innocent IV. In the same year, he attended the Council of Lyon.

As the Archbishop, Boniface revised the Court, eliminated unnecessary offices in the Archdiocese and worked to solve the fiscal problems of the nearly bankrupt Diocese. Boniface exerted diplomacy and mediation in order to reduce the Royal interference in the Church’s internal affairs and the control of Eccleasiastical appointments.

Boniface proceeded to implement reforms in a number of the Monasteries in his Diocese but many refused to recognise him or permit his visits. Some of the disputes actually led to violence and he was forced to excommunicate some Clerics in order to implement compliance. Others, however, welcomed his reform efforts, and were impressed with his personal piety, his charity, and his simple lifestyle.

In 1258 he was chosen the leader of a group of the King‘s Counsellors who represented the interests of the English Barons against the King. In May 1261 he called a Council at Lambeth Castle which led to declarations explaining that the Church had the right to oppose worldly forces and interventions. However, Pope Urban IV needed the support of King Henry and refused to ratify these Decrees.

Boniface went into voluntary exile in France from 1262 to 1266, administering his Archdiocese as best he could, from across the Channel and continued to oppose Henry’s unilateral appointments to Ecclesiastical offices and his taxation of Church property. But he sided with the King on other matters, especially when the Barons resorted to civil war. On the triumph of the King’s party in 1265, he returned to England, arriving there in May 1266.

Boniface even briefly served as Regent of England and accompanied the King on diplomatic expediations to France.

Boniface died while trying to settle family business and end feuds between family factions. Later English historians complained of his excessive involvement in worldly politics and his family affairs but. in France, he was far more appreciated by those who knew his true holiness and zeal for the Church of Christ.

Boniface was buried with his family in the Cistercian Abbey of Hautecombe in Savoy. In his will, he left legacies to all the houses of the Franciscans and Dominicans in the Diocese of Canterbury. His will had differing provisions for his burial depending on whether he died in England, France, or near the Alps.

After his death, Boniface’s tomb was the center of a cult, and when the tomb was opened in 1580, his body was found to be perfectly preserved

A very unclear image of St Boniface’s Tomb

Mare de Déu de Canòlich / Mother of God of Canòlich, Canòlich, Spain, (1223) and Memorials of the Saints – 14 July

Mare de Déu de Canòlich / Mother of God of Canòlich, Canòlich, Sant Julià de Lòria, Andorra, Spain (1223) – 14 July and 4th Saturda\y of May:

St Bonaventure of Bagnoregio OFM (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor of the Church, Confessor, Friar of the Friars Minor Order of St Francis, Bishop, Cardinal, Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Mystic, Preacher, Teacher. One of the eaqrly Biographers of St Francis.(Memorial)
St Bonaventure!

Blessed Angelina di Marsciano
Blessed Boniface of Canterbury O.Cart. (c 1207-1270) Carthusian Monk and Prior, Archbishop of Canterbury. Beatified on 7 September 1838 by Pope Gregory XVI. His body is incorrupt.

St Colman of Killeroran
St Cyrus of Carthage
St Deusdedit of Canterbury
St Donatus of Africa

St Francisco Solano y Jiménez OFM (1549 – 1610) Priest , Spanish Friar of the Order of Friars Minor, Missionary, Musician, Preacher, Miracle worker, Apostle of the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Virgin Mother and of Prayer, Polyglot – “The Wonder Worker of Whe New World.” Canonised on 27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII.
A wonderful Saint:

Blessed Gaspar de Bono OM (1530– 1604) Spanish Priest, Friar of the Order of Minims, Vicar Provincial of the Order. He was noted for his particular devotion to the Passion of Christ, carrying his Crucifix everywhere as a means of evangelisation and to be able to constantly immerse himself in his Saviour’s sufferings.
His Loving Life:

Bl Giorgio of Lauria
Bl Hroznata of Bohemia
Bl Humberto of Romans
St Idus of Ath Fadha
St Just
St Justus of Rome
St Liebert
St Marciano of Frigento
St Marchelm
Bl Michael Ghebre
St Optatian of Brescia
St Papias of Africa
Bl Richard Langhorne
Bl Toscana of Verona
St Ulric of Zell
St Vincent Madelgaire


Our Lady of the Taper of Cardigan (1100s) and Memorials of the Saints – 15 June

Our Lady of the Taper of Cardigan (1100s) – 15 June:

St Vitus (c 290-c 303) – Martyr, One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Died aged 12-13 years of age. Patronages – against animal attacks, against dog bites, against epilepsy; epileptics, against lightning, against over-sleeping, against rheumatic chorea or Saint Vitus Dance, against snake bites, against storms, against wild beasts, of actors, comedians, dancers, dogs, Bohemia, Czech Republic, Serbia, 17 cities.
His very short life:

St Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic:

St Abraham of Saint-Cyriacus
St Achaicus of Corinth
St Barbara Cui Lianshi
St Benildis of Córdoba

St Bernard of Montjoux/Menthon CRSA (c 1020-1081) “Apostle of the Alps” Priest, Founder of a patrol that cleared robbers from the mountains and he established hospices for travellers and pilgrims. The large dogs, trained to search for lost victims in the mountains, are named for him. Patronages – Alpinists, Alps (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923), Campiglia Cervo, Italy, mountain climbers (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923), mountaineers, skiers, travellers in the mountains (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923).

St Constantine of Beauvais
St Domitian of Lobbes
St Edburgh of Winchester
St Eigil
St Eutropia of Palmyra
St Fortunatus of Corinth

St Germaine Cousin (1579–1601) Incorrupt- French Laywoman, Penitent, Apostle of Charity, Miracle-worker. Patronages – abandoned people, abuse victims, child abuse victims, against poverty, disabled and handicapped, people, girls from rural areas, illness, impoverishment, loss of parents, shepherdesses, people disfigured by disease, physical therapists.
Her Holy Life:

St Hadelinus of Lobbes
St Hesychius of Durostorum
St Hilarion of Espalion
St Isfrid of Ratzeburg O.Praem (c 1115-1204) Bishop, Confessor
Bl Juan Rodriguez
St Julius of Durostorum
St Landelin of Crespin
St Leonides of Palmyra
St Libya of Palmyra
St Lotharius of Séez
St Melan of Viviers
St Orsisius
Bl Pedro da Teruel
Bl Peter Snow
St Pierre de Cervis

Blessed Pietro Nolasco Perra OdeM (1574-1606) Priest of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (the Mercedarian Friars), Missionary.

Bl Ralph Grimston
St Tatian of Cilicia
Bl Thomas Scryven
St Trillo of Wales
St Vaughen of Ireland

St Vouga of Lesneven

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


Sunday within the Octave of Ascension, Notre-Dame des Ardents / Our Lady of Ardents, Arras, France (1095) and Memorials of the Saints – 29 May

Sunday within the Octave of Ascension

Notre-Dame des Ardents / Our Lady of Ardents, Arras, France (1095) – 29 May:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “A wax candle is kept in the Cathedral of Arras, which is held to have been brought thither by Our Lady, in the year 1095.

Our Lady of Ardents, or Notre-Dame des Ardents d’Arras in French, is a small, charming red brick Church in the lower part of Town in Arras.. It was built in the beautiful style unique to the twelfth Century, in order to celebrate the appearance of the Blessed Virgin and to commemorate the miraculous assistance, she gave to the people then living in the region.
According to Tradition, there was a terrible epidemic that was given the name ‘the hellfire’ that ravaged the countryside in that year of 1105 and all men felt, that they were in the clutches of the specter of Death. The Evil of Ardent, the disease caused a kind of gangrene in the limbs and the strange sickness, caused terrible suffering in all parts of the body and laid low, both men and women and even their children, throughout the whole of the region.

There were, at that time, two minstrels, one named Itier, who lived in Brabant and the other, named Norman, who lived in the Chateau de Saint-Pol. They had vowed a mortal hatred, as Norman had killed Itier’s brother.
One night they both had the same dream – the Virgin Mary, dressed in white, appeared to them and told them to go to the Cathedral. Norman, who was closer, arrived first. As he entered the Cathedral he saw all the patients who had taken refuge there. He found the Bishop and told him of the apparition but Bishop Lambert thought that Norman was mocking him and sent him away. Itier arrived the following day and also spoke to the Bishop. When the Bishop told Itier that someone named Norman had come to tell him of the same vision, Itier asked where he was because he intended to kill him on the field, to avenge his brother’s death. Bishop Lambert then understood, that the Blessed Virgin had sent the two men to be reconciled. The Bishop spoke to each separately and then put them in each other’s presence and asked them to give each other, the kiss of peace and then spend the night in prayer, inside the Cathedral.

It was Pentecost Sunday, 28 May 1105, at about three o’clock in the morning, when the Virgin Mary appeared to the two minstrels in the Cathedral. Norman and Itier witnessed a sudden light as the Blessed Virgin descended from the height of the nave, carrying a lighted candle in her hands. She gave the men the candle intended for the healing of the sick and explained to them, what they must do. A few drops of the wax that fell from the candle were to be mingled with water, giving it miraculous properties the people would then drink this water.

All who believed were healed. The two minstrels, now brothers, distributed the miraculous water and the epidemic ceased. There were many prodigies of healing that went on for hundreds of years, especially with wounds, inflammations and ulcers. All of this shows how reconciliation and prayer, are pleasing to God and can precipitate great miracles, as well as ending or preventing wars. The Bishop of Arras wanted to build a Church worthy of Our Lady of Ardents and to receive the relic of the Holy Candle. The Church was consecrated in 1876 just before the definitive establishment of the Third Republic.

The Reliquary of the Holy Candle

This relic, the Holy Candle, can still be seen today. On the eve of Corpus Christi and the four following days, the Holy Candle was lit and shown to the people. It has not diminished!
The reliquary of the Holy Candle is a masterpiece of art, which preserves the relic of the Holy Candle. The content of the reliquary has been the object of veneration and every year, it is presented to pilgrims, during the time period which runs between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost.

St Maria Magdalena de’ Pazzi O.Carm (1566-1607) Carmelite Nun and Mystic, Ecstatic, she bi-located and was the intercessor of many miracles, Stigmatist. She was Beatified in 1626 by Pope Urban VIII. At her Canonisation in 1668, her body was declared miraculously incorrupt. Her Feast day was moved in 1969 to 25 May.

St Bona of Pisa
St Conon the Elder
St Conon the Younger
St Daganus
St Eleutherius of Rocca d’Arce
St Felix of Atares
St Gerald of Mâcon
Bl Gerardesca of Pisa
Bl Giles Dalmasia
St Hesychius of Antioch
St John de Atarés

St Maximinus of Trier (Died c 346) Bishop and Confessor
St Maximus of Verona
St Restitutus of Rome
Bl Richard Thirkeld
St Theodosia of Caesarea and Companions
St Votus of Atares
St William of Cellone

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

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


Saint of the Day – 25 May – St Madeleine Sophie Barat RSCJ (1779-1865) V

Saint of the Day – 25 May – St Madeleine Sophie Barat RSCJ (1779-1865) Virgin, Religious, Foundress of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a worldwide religious institute of Teachers. Born on 12 December 1779 at Joigny, France and died on Ascension Thursday, 25 May 1865, aged 85 at Paris, France of natural causes. Patronage – Teachers. Her body is incorupt.

She was a delicate little girl, spoilt, bubbling over with life and intelligence. Born during the night of 13 December 1779 in the little Burgundian town of Joigny in the glimmer from a neighbour’s burning house, she was premature and so frail that she was Baptised at dawn. She was the third child in a family of craftsmen, barrel-makers and vine-growers, who lived comfortably enough, in a small house in the rue du Puits-Chardon (today, 11 rue Davier). When she was seven, she became the pupil of her brother Louis, eleven years her senior. He was teaching in the local college until he was old enough to be able to be Ordained Priest. Under his austere direction, she made astonishing progress in all her subjects, both secular and religious, yet she regretted hardly having time to play with friends her own age, even at the time of the grape harvest and traditional holiday in the country of vineyards! Her family’s Jansenistic severity, might have crushed and destroyed her liveliness but, fortunately, she kept her spontaneous vivacity and joyful character.

During the Revolution, Sophie was a courageous adolescent. She, who so loved study had to work as a seamstress and became an excellent embroidress. She had to be the link between her father, a good workman but illiterate and her mother, more refined, sensitive and cultured. Above all, she had to sustain the courage of her family when her brother was made prisoner by the revolutionaries and only escaped the guillotine by the intervention of providence. It was then that Sophie discovered devotion to the Sacred Heart and now, she put all her trust in the love of Christ.

Still very young, she gave proof of resolve and generosity, when her brother, liberated by the fall of Robespierre, asked her to come to Paris to continue her education. Certainly it cost her dearly to tear herself away from her mother’s tenderness but she was resolved to give herself entirely to God. The Revolution had closed all the Convents and her brother’s offer ,opened to her a way of renunciation and generosity. For five years she lived in Paris, a life of prayer and study, giving herself to catechising the children of the Marais quartier.

In 1800 her brother introduced her to Fr Varin who was trying to establish a congregation of religious women, founded on the spirituality of the Heart of Christ and vowed to education. She had wanted to enter Carmel but the appeal of Fr Varin made her reflect. The exceptional culture she had acquired, the needs of a society that was gradually coming out of the revolutionary torments and which lacked guidelines, were these not signs of the Will of God for her?

On 21 November 1800, in Paris, she made her first religious commitment. A year later, a first community was established at Amiens, of which she was soon named Superior. While for political reasons, the Congregation could only take the name of Society of the Sacred Heart in 1815. II spread gradually, to Grenoble, then to Poitiers where the first noviciate was opened. She was named Superior General at the age of twenty-six. Henceforward, Madeleine Sophie’s life merged with that of the Society of the Sacred Heart, which she governed. She crossed France and Europe, going wherever she was asked to found Boarding Schools. And she insisted on opening a free school, or sometimes an orphanage, alongside each one, to which poor girls came flocking, since at that time, there were no communal schools.

This long religious life from 1800 to 1865 was filled with prayer, work and suffering but also with deep joy.

First, prayer, intense and prolonged for seven hours, day and night sometimes. Faith in the Love of God, manifested in the Heart of Jesus, was so important for her, that what counted was to respond to this Love by adoration and making it known and loved by all, throughout the world.

This prayer animated her immense work and her entire life. To bring up children and young people one must first love them, seek to understand them, respect their budding personality, instruct them in awakening their faculties, exercising their judgement, affirming their will and developing in them, the sense of responsibility. It was in that spirit that she formed the Religious of the Sacred Heart to be Teachers. Her task was varied. She had to open schools, to negotiate with religious and civil authorities, buy or rent property, construct or adapt buildings. She also had to send groups of religious to various places, at a time when these had to assume almost single-handedly, all the tasks of teaching, administration and material work.

Once she had established Convents, she had to visit them. But journeys at that time, by coach hired with much trouble, were long, difficult and sometimes dangerous. There was also, a large correspondence to maintain, so as to keep in touch, advise and encourage. She opened 122 Convents. Several disappeared, suppressed as a result of war, persecution by hostile regimes or simply because, certain foundations had not been wise.

At her death in 1865, 89 of them were flourishing. Thousands of young people were being educated there, by 3,500 religious. These houses were dispersed throughout 16 countries of Europe, Africa, North and South America. In 1818, she had sent St Philippine Duchesne to the United States, where she opened the first schools in very hard conditions and in great poverty.

These results that might make one think of a triumphant development, should not create an illusion – they were only obtained in the midst of great trials and at the price of suffering,: long and repeated illnesses, epidemics which ravaged entire regions, decimating religious and pupils alike. 1350 Religious of the Sacred Heart died before their foundress. Political troubles, revolutions and persecutions, chased the religious from Northern Italy and Switzerland. Mother Barat was also faced with contradictions and even calumnies against herself and her work, dissensions at the interior of the Congregation, as a result of misunderstandings and incomprehension. Twice, from 1809 to 1815 and from 1839 to 1843, crises put in peril the very existence of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Madeleine Sophie rose above them all with her usual weapons – silence, humility and the prayer which united her ever more closely to Jesus Christ. From Him she drew an unshakeable hope and full forgiveness for those who made her suffer.

What can one say of the joys, which, on the other hand lightened her life – her union with God, the approbation and support of the Church, to which she was so deeply attached, the esteem and affection which responded to her loving devotedness, for she had a truly exceptional gift of communion with others and friendship.. She welcomed everyone in the same way – Ecclesiastical dignitaries, Princesses, men distinguished by their culture or their power, workmen, religious, pupils and their parents. She showed so much interest, such a quality of listening and sympathy that one left her conscious of having been understood and comforted. Her preferences were for the poor and the deprived, for whom she always had time, help and delicate attention.

In her old age, the only relaxation she allowed herself, was to see the Junior School of the Rue de Varenne, brought to see her by their mistress. They came across the garden to the Mother House, Boulevard des Invalides and sat round her under a great cedar tree, whence ensued joyous exchanges. Saint Madeleine Sophie listened to them, asked them questions, answered their questions and passed round sweets. It was mutual joy; for the children knew well who loved them.

Saint Madeleine Sophie died in Paris on 25 May, 1865. Ascension Day. She was buried in the cemetery at Conflans. In 1904, when the French Sisters were expelled by the Combes laws, her body was transferred to the Sacred Heart at Jette, Brussels. Since her Beatification in 1908 by St Pius X, her well-preserved body has been exposed in a Shrine. She was Canonised n 24 May 1908 by Pope Pius XI

Since 20 May 1998, her Shrine has been at 31 rue de l’Abondance 1210 Brussels. You can go there to pray to Saint Madeleine Sophie.

Today nearly 4,000 religious try to follow her example and continue her work. All over the world, thousands of pupils, former pupils and all sorts of people, benefit, often without knowing it,, from her influence, her holiness and her love. St Madelein Sophie Barrat, pray for our children, pray for us all! Thanks be to God, amen.

Founder Statue at St Peter’s

Saint of the Day – 16 May – St John Nepomucene (c 1345–1393) Priest, Martyr – “The First Martyr of the Seal of Confession.”

Saint of the Day – 16 May – St John Nepomucene (c 1345–1393) Priest, Martyr, Confessor and the Queen of Bohemia – “The First Martyr of the Seal of Confession.” Born in c1345 in Nepomuk, Bohemia and died on 20 March 1393 (aged 47–48) at Prague . St John’s tongue is incorrupt and is kept in the Cathedral of St Vitus in Prague, Czech Republic. Patronages – Bohemia. – which includes the greater Czechoslovakia, Moravia and parts of Austria before various divisions; protection against slander, restoration of the good name of those slandered, help in confessing sins, for the protection of Priests and the Seal of Confession, San Juan, Batangas, Malibay, Pasay; Alfonso, Cavite; Moalboal, Cebu; San Remigio, Cebu; Cabiao; Spanish Navy. Also known as – John of Nepomuk, Nepomuc, Ioannes Nepomucenus, Johannes Nepomuk.

The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Prague in Bohemia, St John Nepomucene, a Canon of the Metropolitan Church, who, being tempted in vain to betray the secret of Confession, was cast into the river Moldaw and thus won the Palm of Martyrdom.”

Saint John Nepomucene, Priest and Martyr
By Fr Francis Xavier Weninger SJ (1805-1888) (Excerpt)

John, whom, in our time, God has honoured with many miracles, received his surname from Nepomuc, a small town two miles from Prague, where he was born. His parents were plain people and had lived many years without issue. After having made a vow, however, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, whose miraculous picture is kept in a Cistercian Convent not far from Nepomuc, John was born to them. At the time of his birth, several stars were seen which floated down from heaven and rested upon the house of his parents. This event was interpreted and admired, as a prophecy of his future holiness. In his infancy, he fell dangerously ill but recovered after his parents had consecrated him to God, in the above-named place of pilgrimage.

As he grew, his greatest delight was to assist the Priests at Mass and he passed the whole forenoon in that sacred occupation, in the Cistercian Church. In his studies he made such rapid progress that he became Doctor of Divinity and Canon Law. After being Ordained Priest, he retired, for one month from all intercourse with men and prepared himself, by prayers, penances and purifying his soul, for his first Holy Mass. Soon after, he was commissioned to preach at Prague in the Church of our Lady, in the suburb and he did this with such eminent success, that the Archbishop raised him to the dignity of Canon and Preacher of the Cathedral, which functions he discharged until his death.

Wencelaus, at that period King of Bohemia, attended his sermons frequently, with his whole Court and esteemed the Saint highly. He offered him the See of Leimeritz and afterwards, the rich provostship of Wissherad but John refused both, hoping to do more good by preaching. Queen Jane, the wife of Wencelaus chose him for her Confessor and Almoner. The king, neglecting the affairs of the land, became, meanwhile, more and more, a slave to debauchery and drunkenness and added to the scandal which this gave to his people, by acts of the most unheard of cruelty. Not able to alter his conduct, either by exhortations or entreaties, the pious Queen, at last became silent, and endeavoured by prayer and other virtuous exercises, to inspire her husband with better thoughts and the fear of God. She frequently received the Holy Sacraments in order to give more power to her prayers and to be strengthened in patience. The wicked King regarded her frequent Confessions with mistrusting eyes, even suspecting that the Queen might have been as faithless to him, as he had been to her.

Hence, the desire to know what the Queen confessed was awakened in him and calling John into his presence, he, after long circumlocution and giving some feigned reasons, informed him of his wish, promising him all possible favours and honours. The Saint was at first stunned at so sacrilegious a demand and then explained to the King, the greatness of the crime, which a Priest would commit, if he revealed the least thing which had been told him, under the Seal of Confession, adding, that he would much rather die than become guilty of so terrible a crime.

The King dissimulated his anger at this reply, resolving to wait for another opportunity. He had not to wait long, for when, with unprecedented cruelty he had commanded that a cook, who had sent to the Royal table, a capon badly roasted, should be himself roasted alive on a spit and no-one dared to disobey the tyrant. Sohn, however, went to him and endeavoured to dissuade him from such barbarity. But instead of listening to the Saint, he gave orders to cast him into a dark, horrible dungeon and left him there a day without any food. After this, he sent the jailer to him with a message that he could save his life only by fulfilling the king’s desire. The Saint well understood the message and replied that he remained firm in what he had already said to the King. Wencelaus then determined to have recourse to kindness. He had the Saint liberated and informed, that he repented of his harshness and begged his pardon, at the same time requesting him to appear the following day at the Royal table, as a token of complete reconciliation. The Saint complied with the behest and appeared but no sooner had the King arisen from the table, than he repeated his godless desire, pressing the holy man, at first with great promises and then with cruel menaces. Seeing that neither the one nor the other were respected by John, he commanded that he should be again dragged to the dungeon and stretched upon the rack. To add to his suffering, he was, at the same time, burned with torches. The brave Martyr raised his eyes to Heaven and only repeated frequently the sacred names of Jesus and Mary. When he had been long tortured, the King, who was present, left and John was once more set at liberty.

He informed nobody of what had happened to him but as soon as his wounds were healed, he discharged his functions as he had hitherto done. As it was, however, revealed to him in a vision, that his silence would cost him his life, he bade farewell to his hearers on the Sunday before Ascension. His text was, “A little while and you shall not see me.” In this sermon he predicted the evils which would soon fall upon Bohemia, in consequence of new heresies and exhorted all to repentance and to constancy in the Catholic faith.

On the day before the festival of the Ascension, he made a pilgrimage to Bunzel where the miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin was honoured. Arriving there, he fervently recommended his approaching death-agony to the divine Mother. At evening, he returned to Prague. The King, leaning out of the window of his palace, saw him. Having given orders to bring the Saint before him, he addressed him with these shameless words: “Listen, parson! Thou wilt have to die, if thou dost not immediately tell me what the Queen confessed to thee. I vow to God, that thou shalt drink water!” The Saint repeated fearlessly his former words: “I will rather die a thousand times.” Hardly had this passed his lips, when the King commanded the holy man to be dragged into the adjoining apartment and kept there. As soon as night had come, he was led to the bridge that unites the old and new portions of Prague, and from thence cast into the Moldaw, in the year 1383.

Heaven did not allow this crime to be concealed for one single hour. An uncommonly bright light in the form of many stars was seen, which seemed to float upon the water and accompanying the holy body, remaining with it. All the people came running towards the river but could not explain the prodigy. The King himself was called by the Queen to witness the scene and looked at it in fear and trembling. When the next day dawned, the waters of the river were divided into two parts and in the midst was seen, lying on the sand, with a sweet smile upon his face, the body of the Saint. The Canons brought it, at first into the nearest Church but soon after, transferred it with imposing solemnities to the Cathedral.

From that day, date the honours which were paid to the Saint and which God approved by numberless miracles which were wrought at his tomb.

After the expiration of more than 300 years, the holy body was exhumed and the tongue of the Saint was found fresh without a sign of corruption. When, six years later, this tongue was shown to a deputation, sent by the Pope to verify the report, it suddenly swelled up before the eyes of all present and changed from dark red to purple, as though it were still, imbued with life.

The tomb and reliquary of St John, containing the incorrupt tongue
St Vitus Cathedral

Remarkable is the fact, that everyone who approached the tomb of the Saint, irreverently was sure to be punished with some public derision. Many examples of recent date have verified this.

In conclusion, it is to be remarked, that the intercession of Saint John Nepomuceno, may be requested with great benefit by those whose good name has been tarnished, or who are in danger of a public disgrace, as also by those who feel difficulties in confessing their sins. In our times this glorious Saint has become particularly renowned, not only on account of the incorruption of his tongue and the many miracles which have taken place at his shrine but also, on account of the many graces and benefits which the Almighty has bestowed upon those, throughout the whole Christian world, who with confidence ask his intercession. Many books are filled with the relation of these facts.


Saint of the Day – 14 May – St Maria Domenica Mazzarello FMA (1837-1881)

Saint of the Day – 14 May – St Maria Domenica Mazzarello FMA (1837-1881) Virgin, Religious Sister and Founder with St John Bosco of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. They were founded to work alongside Saint John Bosco and his Salesians of Don Bosco, in his teaching projects in Turin. They continue to be a teaching Order worldwide and are now called the Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco. Born
on 9 May 1837 at Mornese, Acqui, Italy and died on 14 May 1881, aged 44, in Nizza Monferrato, Asti, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Mary Dominic Mazzarello.

Maria was born in Mornese, in what is now the Province of Alessandria, northern Italy, to a peasant family who worked in a vineyard. She was the eldest of ten children of Joseph and Maddalena Calcagno Mazzarelli. When she was fifteen she joined the Association of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, known for there charitable works and run by the Parish Priest, Father, Domenico Pestarino – this Apostolate was a precursor to the founding of the Salesian Sisters.

When she was 23 years old, a typhoid epidemic hit Mornese causing the death of many villagers. Soon, her uncle and aunt were taken ill and Maria volunteered to care for them and their many children. After a week they recovered, however, when Maria returned home, she also became ill with typhoid. Due to the illness, she received the last rites. She recovered, but the illness left her weak. The strength which had formerly sustained her, in her work in the fields, was no more. Maria was now thin and frail; a shell of her formerly robust self.

She took an apprenticeship as a seamstress in the town and worked diligently at the craft. Like St John Bosco, the skills which she learned in her youth, she was able to pass onto those who would come after her. One day, Maria was walking in her village and was suddenly astounded to see before her, a vision of a large building with a courtyard and many girls playing and laughing. A voice said to her, “I entrust them to you.

The education of girls was a particular need in the nineteenth century and Maria decided to devote herself to this work. Hosts of farm girls , or serving girls, factory workers and street vending girls, filled the streets of the city and all of them were at risk to juvenile prostitution. She wished to educate them and teach them a trade, to save them from the dangers of street life. She persuaded some of her girl friends to join her in this project. Fifteen young women now comprised the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. Fr Pestarino busied himself with training them in the spiritual life and managed to secure a place for some of them to live in community, thus was the beginning of religious life in Mornese. The Daughters took in a few young girls and housed them, schooling them in the faith and handing down to them, their knowledge of dress aking, tailoring and general sewing skills.

John Bosco was told of the Daughters by Fr Pestarino, who himself was training as a Salesian of Don Bosco, under the Saint. Considering his vision of the young girls, Bosco decided to meet with them. He went to Mornese with his boy band under the guise of raising funds for his Oratory but his true intention was to investigate the possibility of founding a female counterpart of the male Salesian religious Order,.

In 1867, after meeting with them and receiving the Daughters’ enthusiastic response to his proposal, St John drew up their first rule of life. A source of the community’s good spirit, sense of humour, optimism and charity, Maria Mazzarello was the natural choice for the first Superior. Eventually obedience won out and she was the first Mother of the young community at age thirty.

After many formation, struggles, the well-intentioned but misdirected advice of others, and difficulties with the townspeople (whose school for boys which they had raised money for and built, st John transferred to the Daughters, for their work). The day of their profession arrived. The fifteen young women, led by Maria, professed their vows as religious women in the presence of the Bishop of Acqui, their spiritual father St John and Fr Pestarino. The date was 31 July 1872, the birthday of this new religious family.

Collegio, the first community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

At age thirty-five, donned in a habit, she was now Sister Maria Mazzarello. As the feminine branch of the Salesian religious family, the Daughters sought to do for girls what the Priests and Brothers were doing in Turin for boys.

After being elected Mother General of the Salesian Sisters, Maria Mazzarello felt that it was important that she and the other Sisters, have a good understanding of how to read and write; it was a skill which many of them had never had the opportunity to acquire and which training she now organised. Her dedication to her Sisters was not limited to their intellectual development alone. In every way, she was an attentive mother, which is why to this day, she is still fondly referred to as “Mother Mazzarello” by the Salesian Family.

The first Missionary Sisters set out for Uruguay in 1877. Mother Mazzarello accompanied them to their port of call in Genoa, and then took a boat to France, so that she could visit the SIsters who had already established themselves there.

In Marseilles their ship had to be repaired and all of the passengers were forced to disembark while it was dry docked. Although the Sisters had been told that lodging had been prepared for them, there was a mix-up and they were left without stranded.. Mother Mazzarello was not one to let events such as this discourage her, so she took the sheets that they had brought with them, stuffed them with straw and made makeshift beds for all of them. After a miserable night of sleep, they all awoke but Mother Mazzarello could not get up. A fever was ravaging her body and she was in terrible pain. The next morning,, more out of a concern for her already exhausted companions, she was able to get up, see the Missionaries off and then journey with her remaining Sisters to their house and orphanage in St.Cyr.

Once in St Cyr ,she fainted and was confined to bed for forty days.. The diagnosis was pleurisy. Eventually she returned to Italy, even though the doctor told her not to travel. She said that she wanted to die in her own community. She made her return journey in stages, she was painfully aware of her delicate condition. Fortunately. on one of her stops St John was near and they were able to meet for the last time.

In early April, Maria returned to Mornese. Her native air strengthened her and since she felt stronger she insisted on keeping the community schedule and doing her usual work. Unfortunately, it was too much for her and she relapsed. Near the end of April it seemed that death was approaching. Finally, in the pre-dawn hours of 14 May 1881, Mother Mazzarello began her death agony. After receiving the last rites she turned her attention to those around her and weakly whispered, “Good-bye. I am going now. I will see you in Heaven.” Shortly after she died at the age of forty-four.

Maria was Beatified on 20 November 1938 and Canonised on 24 June 1951. Her incorrupt body is venerated in the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, in Turin, Italy, which is the Mother Basilica of the Salesians, built by St John Bosco. A Church in southeast Rome bears her name, Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello – the Statue below resides there..


Madonna della Consolazione / Our Lady of Consolation, or Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted (1436), Madonna di Pinè, Montagnaga, Trento, Italy / Our Lady of Pinè, Montagnaga (1729),and Memorials of the Saints – 14 May

Madonna della Consolazione / Our Lady of Consolation, or Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted (from the Latin Consolatrix Afflictorum) (1436) – This Marian Title is celebrated on many different Feast Days, depending on your country. Today, 14 May, is her Feast Day in the USA.:

Madonna di Pinè, Montagnaga, Trento, Italy / Our Lady of Pinè, Montagnaga (1729) – Commemorated 14 May:

St Ampelio (Died c 428) Hermit, Miracle-worker. His body is incorrupt and is the only image we have of him.
His Life:

St Boniface of Ferentino
St Boniface of Tarsus
St Corona the Martyr
St Costanzo of Capri
St Costanzo of Vercelli
Bl Diego of Narbonne
St Dyfan
St Engelmer
St Erembert of Toulouse
St Felice of Aquileia
St Fortunatus of Aquileia
St Gal of Clermont-Ferrand

Blessed Giles of Santarem OP (1185-1265) Friar of the Order of Preachers, Confessor, Penitent
About Bl Giles:

St Henedina of Sardinia
St Justa of Sardinia
St Justina of Sardinia
St Maria Domenica Mazzarello FMA (1837-1881) Virgin, Religious Sister and Founder with St John Bosco of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. They were founded to work alongside Saint John Bosco and his Salesians of Don Bosco in his teaching projects in Turin. They continue to be a teaching Order worldwide and are now called the Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco. Her Body is incorrupt.

St Michel Garicoïts (1797-1863) “An Apostle of the Love of God,” Priest, Founder of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Bétharram, Defender of the Faith, Confessor, Teacher, Preacher, ardent devotee pf the Holy Eucharist and the Sacred Heart.

St Pons of Pradleves
St Pontius of Cimiez
St Tuto of Regensburg
St Victor the Martyr

Martyrs of Seoul – 5 Beata: A group of lay people Nartyred together in the apostolic vicariate of Korea.
• Petrus Choe Pil-je
• Lucia Yun Un-hye
• Candida Jeong Bok-hye
• Thaddeus Jeong In-hyeok
• Carolus Jeong Cheol-sang
14 May 1801 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea


St Philip the Apostle, St James the Lesser Apostle, St Joseph the Worker, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Maria Santissima di Giubino, Siciliy / Madonna of Giubino, Sicily (1655) and Memorials of the Saints – 1 May

St James the Lesser Apostle (Feast)
St Philip the Apostle (Feast)
Sts James and Philip:

St Joseph the Worker, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
About this Memorial, which was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955:
AND here:

Maria Santissima di Giubino, Siciliy / Madonna of Giubino, Sicily (1655) – 1 May:

St Aceolus of Amiens
St Acius of Amiens
St Aldebrandus of Fossombrone
St Amator of Auxerre
St Ambrose of Ferentino
St Andeolus of Smyrna
Bl Arigius of Gap
St Arnold of Hiltensweiler
St Asaph of Llanelwy
St Augustine Schöffler

St Benedict of Szkalka OSB (Died 1012) Monk and Hermit

St Bertha of Avenay
St Bertha of Kent
St Brieuc of Brittany (c 420-c 510)Welsh Bishop Monk and Missionary to Brittany.
St Ceallach of Killala
St Cominus of Catania
Evermarus of Rousson
Bl Felim O’Hara
St Grata of Bergamo
St Isidora of Egypt
St Jeremiah the Prophet
St John-Louis Bonnard
Bl Klymentii Sheptytskyi
St Marculf
St Orentius of Auch
St Orentius of Loret
St Patientia of Loret

St Peregrine Laziosi OSM (1260-1345) The “Angel of Good Counsel,” Priest of the Servite Order (The Order of Servants of Mary), Apostle of the poor and the sick, Miracle-worker, Spiritual Advisor.  Patronages – against cancer, against breast cancer, against open sores, against skin diseases, AIDS patients, sick people, Diocese of Forli-Bertinoro, Italy, City of Forli, Italy.   St Peregrine’s body is Incorrupt.
Beautiful St Peregrine:

Bl Petronilla of Moncel

St Richard Pampuri OH (1897-1930) aged 33 – Italian Religious of the Hospitallers of St John of God, Medical Doctor, Founder of the Band of Pius X (a Youth movement) which he dedicated to the medical care of poor people, Third Order Franciscan. He was an outstanding lover of the Holy Eucharist in Adoration and an avid Marian devotee, as well as living out his short but faith-filled life in total charity to all the needy and poor.

St Romanus of Baghdad

St Sigismund of Burgundy (Died 524) King of the Burgundians and Martyr, Reforemer, Penitent, Apostle of the needy and the poor.
His Life and Death:

St Theodard of Narbonne
St Thorette
St Torquatus of Guadix
Blessed Vivald of Gimignano

Martyrs of Amiens:

Martyrs of Loret:

Martyrs of Vietnam:
Augustine Schöffler
John-Louis Bonnard


Saint of the Day – 27 April – Saint Peter Armengol OdeM (c 1238-1304) “The Martyr who Wasn’t”

Saint of the Day – 27 April – Saint Peter Armengol OdeM (c 1238-1304) “The Martyr who Wasn’t,” Spanish Priest of the Mercedarian Friars, Penitent, Mystic, Born as Pedro Armengol Rocafort in c 1238 at Tarragona, Urgell region, eastern Spanish Pyrenees and died on 27 April 1304 at Tarragona, Urgell region, eastern Spanish Pyrenees of natural causes. Patronages – Persecuted Catholics, Conversion of the youth. Also known as – “The Martyr who Wasn’t,” “The Unconquerable Martyr of Jesus Christ,” “The Gangster Saint,” Pere Ermengol, Pedro Armengaudius, Peter Ermengol, Pietro Armengaudio. Beatified on 28 March 1686, by Pope Innocent XI and Canonised on 8 April 1687, by the same Pope. His body was incorrupt until it was destroyed during the horrors of the Spanish Civil War.

The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Tarragona, the blessed Peter Armengaudius, of the Order of Blessed Mary of Merry for the Redemption of Captives, who endured many tribulations in Africa in ransoming the faithful and finally closed his career peacefully, in the Convent of St Mary of the Meadows.

From Gangster to Convert
Pedro Armengol Rocafort was born in Tarragona in c 1238 to the nobleman Arnau Armengol Rocafort, descendants of the Counts of Urgel, whose ancestors were directly linked to the Counts of Barcelona and the Monarchs of Aragon and Castile.

Despite the great care taken by his parents regarding his education, young Peter gave himself over to a life of total dissipation, vice and caprice. “Abyssus abyssum invocat” (Deep calleth on deep), say the Scriptures. Thus Peter joined a gang of criminals who, pursued by Justice, led the life of bandits in the mountains. Soon, young Armengol became the leader of that gang.

Penance for His Misdeeds
Filled with shame, the repentant youth retired to a Mercedarian Monastery in Barcelona. With an ardent desire to repair the injuries done to God, he became a Monk in that religious order founded by Saint Peter Nolasco to ransom Catholics captured by the Mohammedans. He requested the habit with such insistence and gave such conclusive proofs of his vocation, that he was received into the Mercedarian Order by the Venerable William de Bas, the French-born successor of the holy Founder.

The disorderly passions were now conquered by Peter Armengol in religious life. He understood how to subdue them with such promptitude, through penance, mortification of the senses and continual prayer, that even before he reached the end of his novitiate, he had managed to subject them to the dominion of his will and reason.

During the eight years of his profession, he was entrusted with the important task of dealing directly with the ransom of captives. He carried out this function in the Provinces of Spain, which were still in the power of the Saracens. Nonetheless, his greatest desire was to go to Africa and become a captive himself, for the ransom of Christians.

On an expedition to that continent, he arrived in Bugia in the company of Friar William Florentino. There, they ransomed 119 captives without any incident. However, before departing, Friar Armengol learned of a prison where18 children were incarcerated, who, impelled by the threats of punishments, remained in danger of denying the Faith. The religious happily offered himself as hostage for the ransom of the innocent captives.

His release was promised in exchange for a stipulated sum. But, if the payment did not arrive within the set time, he would suffer harsh punishments. Divine Providence had disposed that this man of God would thus give proof of his special confidence in the omnipotent mediation of the Blessed Virgin, to whom he was deeply devoted.

Flaming Torch of Confidence
In captivity, Friar Armengol worked prodigies of charity among the infidels, converting many by the efficacy of his preaching. The time prescribed for the delivery of the money came and passed without the payment being made. The infidels threw him in prison and even denied the food necessary for his sustenance but Our Lord, by means of His angels, miraculously provided for his survival.

Tired of tormenting him, the Moors conspired to take his life. They accused him of blaspheming Mohammed and of being a spy sent by the Christian kings, thus raising the ire of the Saracen Judge who condemned Friar Peter to death by hanging. When everything seemed lost, Friar Armengol prayed to Our Lady and confided in her.

The unjust execution was carried out and Peter’s body was left hanging from the gallows. The Moors wanted his corpse to feed birds of prey. Thus, the holy man’s body remained suspended. Six days had elapsed when Friar William arrived with the ransom money. Learning what had happened, he went with great sorrow, in the company of some captives, to see the lamentable sight. Reaching the site of the execution, he noticed that the body did not emit a bad odour but rather exhaled a heavenly fragrance. To their astonishment, Friar Armengol spoke, telling them that the Blessed Mother saved his life. Astounded by the stupendous miracle, some pagans converted to the Catholic religion on the spot.

Learning of the portentous miracle, Barcelona impatiently awaited the return of the unconquerable Martyr of Jesus Christ. In the City, they received him with great joy, escorting him from the port to his Monastery, giving thanks to Our Lord for His marvels. The religious wanted to hear from Friar Peter’s mouth what had happened but despite their earnest pleas, he would not speak. Finally, the Superior ordered him to tell all that had occurred. Obedient, the man of God spoke:

The Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our own Mother, asked her Most Holy Son, to conserve my life. Having obtained this favour, this same sovereign Queen, sustained me with her most holy hands, so that the weight of my body, would not hang upon the rope by which I was suspended!

For the rest of his life, Friar Armengol had a twisted neck and a pale complexion, authentic signs of what had taken place. He retired to the Monastery of Our Lady de los Prados, where he practised heroic virtue and spent his days in familiar conversation with the Queen of Angels, whom he loved so dearly with filial devotion.

Recalling the miracle of his hanging, he frequently told the religious of the Monastery of this marvel:

Believe me, my dear brothers, that I do not believe myself to have lived, except for those few but most happy days when, hanging from the gallows, I was held to be dead.

He rendered his soul to God on 27 April 1304. Our Lord deigned to give proofs of the glorification of His servant with seven miracles, the cures of three men and four women, even before his death. On 28 March 1686 Pope Innocent the XI approved the public cult to the Saint and formalised his Canonisation tbghhe following year at St Peter’s in Rome. On 14 October 1688, Pope Benedict XIV inscribed Saint Peter Armengol in the Roman Martyrology.

The Tomb of the Saint
Today the remains of Saint Armengol can be found in Guardia dels Prats. The small village still preserves much of its medieval character: tortuous, narrow stone-studded streets, buildings that recall old palaces or noble residences and a charming Romanesque–style Church.

The body of Saint Peter Armengol was preserved incorrupt until 1936. During the Spanish Civil War, however, communist marauders invaded and sacked the Church, carrying off his venerable body to the public square where they burned it. Some children gathered up what they could of these ashes and took the precious remains to their homes, where their mothers kept them with great care.

Later, after the communists were vanquished, the precious relics were returned to the Church, where they are kept in a reliquary over the main Altar – largely forgotten by “progressive” Catholics – in silent testimony of the sanctity of the Catholic Church. However, there remain some true faithful who, each year, pocess with a statue of this wonderful to honour his memory.

In our times of profound moral crisis, let us ask Saint Armengol to obtain for us before the throne of God, graces of unbending fidelity, unwavering hope and heroic confidence in the powerful intercession of Our Lady.

Source: Cf. Abbe Rohrbacher, Histoire Universelle de l’Eglise Catholique, vol. 20, Gaume Freres Libraires, Paris, 1845, pp. 40-43.


Spy Wednesday, Santa Maria dei Voti / Our Lady of Mantua, Italy (1640) and Memorials of the Saints – 13 April

Spy Wednesday in Holy Week +2022
According to the Calendar of Church, Spy Wednesday marks the last full day of Lent and Holy Week. The Sacred Triduum begins on the evening of the following day, Maundy Thursday.

The Office of Tenebrae begins this evening.

Santa Maria dei Voti / Our Lady of Mantua, Italy (1640) – 13 April:

St Pope Martin I (598-655) Martyr, The 74th Bishop of Rome. (Memorial)

St Agathonica of Pergamus
St Agathodorus of Pergamus
Blessed Albertinus of Fonte Avellana OSB (Died 1294) Monk

St Caradoc of Wales (Died 1124) Priest, Monk, Hermit, Miracle-worker, Musician.
About St Caradoc:

St Carpus of Pergamus
Bl Edward Catherick
Bl Francis Dickenson
St Guinoc
St Hermengild
St Ida of Boulogne
Bl Ida of Louvain
Bl Isabel Calduch Rovira
Bl James of Certaldo
Bl John Lockwood

Blessed Margaret of Castello OP (1287-1320) Italian professed member from the Third Order of the Order of Preachers of St Dominic. Margaret was disabled and became known for her deep faith and holiness. Her body is incorrupt.
About Blessed Margaret:

St Martius of Auvergne
Bl Miles Gerard
St Papylus of Pergamus
St Proculus of Terni

St Jose Sabás Reyes Salazar (1883-1927) Priest and Martyr of the Cristero War, Teacher, Catechist, Protector of children and the youth of Mexico.
His Life and Death:

Blessed Scubilion Rousseau FSC (1797-1867) the “Catechist of Slaves” – a professed Religious Brother of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools or the De La Salle Brothers, Teacher, Catechist, social Reformer, Anti-slave activist, Apostle of the poor.
His life:

St Ursus of Ravenna

Martyrs of Dorostorum – 3 Saints: A lector and two students Martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian – Dadas, Maximus and Quinctillianus. Beheaded c303 in Dorostorum, Lower Mysia (modern Sillistria, Bulgaria.


Saint of the Day – 30 March – Saint Peter Regalatus OFM (1320-1456)

Saint of the Day – 30 March – Saint Peter Regalatus OFM (1320-1456) Priest, Friar of the Friars Minor, Superior, gifted with bi-location, prophecy and miracle working. Born in 1390 at Valladolid, Spain and died on 30 March 1456 at Aguilera, Spain of natural causes. Patronage – Valladolid, Spain. Also known as – Pedro de Regalado, Pedro Regalado, Peter Regalati, Peter Regulatus. Additional Memorial – 13 May – translation of his relics. His body is incorrupt.

The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Aguilera in Castile in Spain, Saint Peter Regalado of Valladolid, Priest of the Order of Minors, who was distinguished for humility and rigour of penance and built two cells, in which only twelve Friars could live in solitude.

Peter was born in 1390 in Valladolid in Spain to a noble family of Jewish descent. He soon lost his father. At the age of ten years, Peter begged to be admitted into the Conventual Franciscans, which favour was granted him three years later and at the age of thirteen, his mother granting her permission to enter the Franciscan Monastery in his hometown. He had no other ambition than to lead a life of prayer and penance, considering his mother’s visits nothing more than a useless distraction.

Peter was conquered by the ideals of Peter da Villacreces, committed to re-establishing in the Iberian peninsula the original observance of the Franciscan Rule and from 1404 he followed him to he newly founded convent at Aguilera, where he found the solitude, poverty and the climate of prayer, he had so longed for. The young Lope de Salinas y Salazar also joined them. Lope was then called to hold the office of Vicar in Castile, with jurisdiction over the Convents of Burgos and founded another sixteen hermitages before his death.

In 1414 Peter da Villacreces had to participate in the Council of Constance, where he obtained the approval of the reform he had undertaken and left our saint in charge of .Aguilera, Both Peters, then in 1422, took part in the Provincial Chapter but here Peter da Villacreces died and Peter Regalatus was definitively entrusted with the guidance of the Monastery of Aguilera,

In 1426 he went to Burgos in order to recommend to his old friend Lope, not to abandon the reforming work undertaken by their common master. In the way traced by the latter, Peter had found his desire for holiness satisfied. He was in fact neither a founder nor a reformer but a simple ascetic and contemplative. He lived in conditions of penance and extreme poverty but his care for his brothers in need and his love for the sick became proverbial. With the gift of tears, his affectionate nature was manifested and likewise his burning love for God was proven. He performed several miracles on the banks of the Duero and, with irony it is said, that his work did not consist in much more.

In 1427 at Medina del Campo Peter attended the Concordia, a meeting of the followers of Peter Villacreces, the Reformer, where it was decided to remain united with the Conventual Friars. From 1442 he became Vicar of the Villacrecians and, therefore, the third successor of the Founder.. Finally, in 1456, hearing his death approaching, he decided to leave for Burgos to ask Lope, in vain, to accept the Vicariate of the Villacrecians. He died in Aguilera on 30 March 1456.

Statue at Valladolid

It was not long before numerous miracles occurred at his tomb and thirty-six years later, when he was exhumed to transfer his remains to the Church, his body was found incorrupt. He was Beatified on 11 March 1684 by Pope Innocent XI and on 29 June in 1746, Pope Benedict XIV Canonised PeterRegalatus of Valladolid by enrolling him in the register of Saints. Italian and Spanish iconography usually portrays the saint in the act of distributing bread to the poor, calling their gaze to the Crucifix.

Statue in the Church of Santa Maria del Pi.

Saint of the Day – 20 March – Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (c 634-687) “The Wonder-Worker of England”

Saint of the Day – 20 March – Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (c 634-687) “The Wonder-Worker of England,” Bishop of Lindisfarne, Monk, Hermit, Miracle-worker, Born in c 634 possibly in Northumbria, England and died on 20 March 687 at Lindisfarne, England of natural causes. Patronages – against plague and epidemics, of boatmen, mariners, sailors, shepherds, England, the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, England, Diocese of Lancaster, England, of Durham, England, Northumbria, England. Both during his life and after his death he became a popular medieval Saint of Northern England, with a cult centred on his tomb at Durham Cathedral. I am always saddened by the almost total lack of veneration at this Tomb, although there are still a few organised Catholic pilgrimages per year. The Church is now no longer ours (Anglican) and for the most part, the only visitors to the Tomb are camera-flashing tourists.

The Roman Martyrology reads today: “In England, St Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, who, from his childhood until his death, was renowned for good works and miracles.

Cuthbert was born in North Northumbria in about the year 634 – the same year in which St Aidan founded the Monastery at Lindisfarne. He came from a notable and wea\lthy English family and like most boys of that class, he was placed with foster-parents for part of his childhood and taught the arts of war. We know nothing of his foster-father but he was very fond of his foster-mother, Kenswith.

It seems, from stories about his childhood, that he was brought up as a Christian. He was credited, for instance, with having saved, by his prayers, some Monks who were being swept out to sea on a raft. There is some evidence that, in his mid-teens, he was involved in at least one battle, which would have been quite normal for a boy of his social background.

St Cuthbert discovers a piece of timber to save drowning Monks, from a 12th-century manuscript of St Bede’s ‘Life of St Cuthbert.’

His life changed when he was about 17 years old. He was looking after some neighbour’s sheep on the hills. (As he was certainly not a shepherd boy it is possible that he was mounting a military guard – a suitable occupation for a young warrior!) Gazing into the night sky he saw a light descend to earth and then return, escorting, he believed, a human soul to Heaven. The date was 31 August 651- the night that St Aidan died! Perhaps Cuthbert had already been considering a possible monastic calling but that was his moment of decision.

He went to the Monastery at Melrose, also founded by St Aidan and asked to be admitted as a Novice. For the next 13 years he was with the Melrose Monks. When Melrose was given land to found a new Monastery at Ripon, North Yorkshire, Cuthbert went with the founding party and was made Administrator. In his late 20s he returned to Melrose and found that his former teacher and friend, the Prior Boisil, was dying of the plague. Cuthbert became Prior (second to the Abbot) at Melrose.

In 664 the Synod of Whitby decided that Northumbria should cease to look to Ireland for its spiritual leadership and turn instead to the continent. The Irish Monks of Lindisfarne, with others, went back to Iona. The Abbot of Melrose subsequently became also Abbot of Lindisfarne and Cuthbert its Prior.

Cuthbert seems to have moved to Lindisfarne at about the age of 30 and lived there for the next 10 years. He ran the Monastery; – he was an active missionary; he was much in demand as a spiritual guide and he was graced with the charism of miraculous curing of the ill. He was an outgoing, cheerful, compassionate person and no doubt became popular. But when he was 40 years old he believed that he was being called to be a hermit and to do the hermit’s job of fighting the spiritual forces of evil in a life of solitude.

After a short trial period on the tiny islet adjoining Lindisfarne, he moved to the more remote and larger island known as ‘Inner Farne’ and built a hermitage where he lived for 10 years. Of course, people did not leave him alone – they went out in their little boats to consult him or ask for healing. However, on many days of the year the seas around the islands are simply too rough to make the crossing and Cuthbert was left in peace.

Cuthbert’s fame for piety, diligence, and obedience quickly grew.and at the age of about 50 he was asked by both Church and King to leave his hermitage and become a Bishop. He reluctantly agreed. For two years he was an active, travelling Bishop as St Aidan had been. He seems to have journeyed extensively. On one occasion he was visiting the Queen in Carlisle (on the other side of the country from Lindisfarne) when he knew by miraculous understanding that her husband, the King, had been slain by the Picts in battle in Scotland.

Feeling the approach of death, he retired back to the hermitage on the Inner Farne where, in the company of Lindisfarne Monks, he died on 20 March 687.

His body was brought back and buried at Lindisfarne. People immediately came to pray at the grave and many miracles occured. To the Monks of Lindisfarne this was a clear sign that Cuthbert was a Saint in Heaven and they, desired to declare to the world the great power of intercession, of their St Cuthbert.
They decided to allow 11 years for his body to become a skeleton and then ‘elevate’ his remains on the anniversary of this death (20 March 698). We believe that during these years, the beautiful manuscript known as ‘The Lindisfarne Gospels‘ was made, to be used for the first time at the great ceremony of the Translation of St Cuthbert. The declaration of Cuthbert’s sainthood was to be a day of joy and thanksgiving. It turned out to be also a day of surprise, even shock, for when they opened the coffin ,they found no skeleton but a complete and undecayed body. That was a sign of very great sainthood indeed.
So the cult of St Cuthbert began. Pilgrims began to flock to the Shrine. The ordinary life of the Monastery continued for almost another century until, on 8 June 793, the Vikings came. The Monks were totally unprepared; some were killed; some younger ones and boys were taken away to be sold as slaves; gold and silver was taken and the monastery partly burned down. After that, the Monastery lived under threat and it seems that in the 9th century there was a gradual movement of goods and buildings to the nearby mainland. The traditional date for the final abandonment of Lindisfarne is 875.

The body of St.Cuthbert, together with other relics and treasures which had survived the Viking attack, were carried by the Monks and villagers onto the mainland.
For over 100 years the community settled at the old Roman Town of Chester-le-Street. It was said that fear of further attack took them inland to Ripon but not for long and on their journey back from there they finally settled at Durham.

After the Norman Conquest (1066) a Benedictine community began to build the great Cathedral at Durham. They proposed to honour the body of St.Cuthbert with a new Shrine immediately east of the new High Altar and in 1104, all was ready for the translation. The Durham Monks opened up the coffin and found, that the St Cuthbert’s body was indeed still incorrupt. Throughout the Middle Ages the coffin was placed in a beautiful Shrine and visited by great numbers of pilgrims. But at the reformation, when the Monastery was dissolved, the Shrine was dismantled and the coffin opened – the body was still complete. It was buried in a plain grave behind the High Altar and the Sacred items buried with St Cuthbert were removed. Below is St Cuthbert’s Gospel of St John, recovered from his coffin; the original tooled red goatskin binding is the earliest surviving Western binding. 

The human remains were then re-interred in the same place and marked by a plain gravestone with the name Cuthbertus. The Site, remaibs the focus of many pilgrimages today, including myself and family who have venerated St Cuthbert, a few times, in the Cathedral built to house his Shrine – of course, this is now a protestant church.

The 8th-century historian St Bede, wrote both a verse and a prose life of St Cuthbert around 720. He has been described as the most popular Saint in England prior to the death of Thomas Becket in 1170.
In particular, Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, was inspired and encouraged in his struggle against the Danes by a vision or dream he had of St Cuthbert. Thereafter, the royal house of Wessex, who became the Kings of England, made a point of great devotion to St Cuthbert.

Why is St Cuthbert depicted holding St Oswald’s Head (c 605-642) King of Northumbia and why is it entombed with St Cuthbert?

St Bede tells us that Oswald was born around 605, the son of the King of Northumbria. After his father’s death, Oswald and his brothers were exiled to western Scotland, possibly to Iona, where they were inspired by St Columba’s Monks and were Baptised. In 634 Oswald returned to Northumbria where Cadwalla was massacring the people having killed King Edwin. After setting up a Cross as his standard and leading his men in prayer on the night before battle, Oswald defeated Cadwalla’s much larger army at Heavenfield and reclaimed the throne. The Intercession of St Columba,who died some 35 years earlier, assisted Oswald and his men, for Columba,appeared to Oswald in a vision and promised Heavenly assistance.

Oswald asked the Monks at Iona to send Missionaries to convert and guide his people. The first Monk they sent went back and reported that he could make no progress, due to the ungovernability, obstinacy and barbarous temperament of Oswald’s people, so they sent St Aidan instead. Oswald let Aidan choose where to base his Monastery and his mission. Aidan chose Lindisfarne and Oswald then worked closely with Aidan, travelling the countryside, acting as Aidan’s translator. In St Bede’s words, “while the Bishop, who was not fluent in the English language, preached the gospel, it was most delightful to see the King himself, interpreting the word of God to his ealdormen and thegns; for he, himself, had obtained perfect command of the Irish tongue during his long exile.”

Oswald was killed at Oswestry on 5 August 642, fighting the Mercians led by King Penda. His head was rescued from the battlefield and is buried in the Durham Cathedral, in St Cuthbert’s tomb, which is why you sometimes see pictures or statues of Cuthbert holding Oswald’s head. Soon miracles occurred at the place of his death, as they had at the place where he knelt to pray before battle and he was effectively canonised by the loving devotion of his people.


Saint of the Day – 11 March – Blessed John Baptist Righi of Fabriano OFM (1469–1539)

Saint of the Day – 11 March – Blessed John Baptist Righi of Fabriano OFM (1469–1539) Priest, Confessor, Friar of the Friars Minor, Ascetic, Ecstatic, renowned Preacher, Peace-maker, Hermit. Born as Giovanni Battista Righi in 1469 at Fabriano, Ancona, Italy and died on 11 March 1539 of natural causes. Also known as – Giovanni Battista da Fabriano, Giovanni da Fabriano, Giovanni Righi, Joannes de Fabriano, Johannes Baptista Righi, John Baptist of Fabriano. His body is incorrupt.

John was born in Fabriano of the Righi family. From an early age, he was very obedient to the teachings he received in his family. Reading the life of St Francis of Assisi, he decided to become a Franciscan Friar. And so, in the prime of his youth, our Blessed wore the Franciscan habit in the Convent of Forano, near Rieti. After his profession, he devoted several years to the study of philosophy and theology before being Ordained a Priest. For many years he was a very obedient and humble Friar. It is assumed that the young professed went from Forano to the solitary Convent of La Romita, a former Monastery of the Camaldolese.

Giovanni spent practically the rest of his life, about fifty years, up there in Romita, sometimes dedicated to the apostolate and more often, to silence and prayer, penance, reading the works of the Holy Fathers of the Church. In the solitude of La Romita, our blessed found what his heart desired. In the Church, there was a venerable image of Jesus Crucified, which belonged to St John of the Marches – John made it the object of frequent visits, ardent prayers, profound meditations and even,, by permission of the Lord, not rare ecstasies.

Emulating his seraphic Father, he ardently wanted to unite himself to the sufferings of Jesus, to transform himself into the Crucified Love, so little loved by much of the world. He found another object that touched his heart and fueled his filial piety: a terracotta image, which represented the Blessed Virgin contemplating the Child Jesus lying on her lap and which was flanked by the figures of the Apostle St James the Greater and St Francis of Assisi. And so, the solitary devotee spent long hours at the foot of the new and captivating image of the Mother of the Lord, exchanging affections and feelings. In the evening, after the Matins prayer, when his brothers retired to rest, he remained in the choir to continue his prayers which often ended in ecstasy. exchanging affections and feelings. In the evening, after the Matins prayer, when his brothers retired to rest, he remained in the choir to continue his prayers which often ended in ecstasy. exchanging affections and feelings.

In the dense forest that surrounded the solitary Convent, there was and still is, a small cave, like a hermitage inside the hermitage, where John went to devote himself to prayer and penance . For our blessed, Heaven on earth was in his retreat and solitude. But charity and obedience required him, from time to time, to undertake long journeys.

At that time, the different lords and noble families of the region were in conflict. Society and the Church experienced the ups and downs of the progress of a rebirth in all orders. And in high society, as well as among soldiers and ordinary people, demoralisation and the decline of good manners was the norm. John was not an eloquent orator but with his simple and persuasive word he managed to touch hearts and lead them to conversion.

He embarked on long journeys with joy of spirit to pacify the belligerents or to exhort both warring parties to convert and change their lives. When he travelled, always accompanied by another friar as was obligatory, he brought with him nothing but his peaceful poverty and his firm trust in God. his word was always a warm exhortation to the fulfillment of the divine Commandments, to the frequency of the Sacraments, to love one’s neighbour, to free the world from slavery. And he spoke with such zeal and persuasion that many were converted to God, reconciled, confessed, they did penance for their sins. The fame of the simple Friar spread throughout the Marches of Ancona.

Great was the charity of John with all those who met him on his travels or with those who came to him for spiritual guidance and Confession.. But what he practiced with the Friars of his Convent was even greater. He was attentive to their wants and needs and his greatest joy was to serve the sick, giving them every care promptly and gently.

His love for Jesus Crucified, the constant object of his love and contemplation, led him to practice the austerities and penances typical of the ancient anchorites, whose writings he read with pleasure, in particular those of St John Climacus. He continually fasted on bread and water, eating only one meal a day and even less during Lent. As a true son of St Francis, he loved poverty and practiced it, contenting himself with the patched tunic and the Breviary for the liturgical praise of the Lord. His cell, later transformed into an oratory, was small and sober. Indeed, his reputation for holiness soon spread throughout the region and when our Friar travelled, sick people were brought to him even from distant regions, to bless them,and there were numerous votive offerings that were and still are displayed.

One day he was seized by a great malaise. The Friars came, gave him first aid and looked after him until it seemed to them that the danger had passed, then they withdrew . Soon after, left alone in his small cell, he fell asleep peacefully in the Lord. His body was buried in the cemetery of the Convent but, ten years later, it was unearthed, found incorrupt and placed in an urn under the Altar of the Holy Christ. And there, in the Church of San Giacomo della Romita, he is still preserved and venerated today. His cult was confirmed by Pope Leo XIII on 7 September 1903.

The Church where the Body of Blessed John Righi is enshrined

Saint of the Day – 13 February – Saint Catherine de Ricci OP (1522-1590)

Saint of the Day – 13 February – Saint Catherine de Ricci OP (1522-1590) Virgin, Tertiary of the Order of Preachers, Mystic, Stigmatist, Ecstatic, Counsellor to many in both secular and spiritual matters, a highly admired Administrator and Advisor,blessed with many mystical charism including visions of Christ, both as a Baby and Adult, bilocation and miracles. Born as Alessandra Lucrezia Romola de’ Ricci in Florence on 23 April 1522 and died on 2 February 1590 (aged 67) at Prato, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, of natural causes. Patronage – the sick. Her body is incorrupt.

The Roman Martyrology states of her today: “At Prato, in Tuscany, St Catherine de Ricci, a Florentine Virgin of the Order of St Dominic, replenished with her heavenly gifts, whom Pope Benedict XIV inscribed on tbe catalogue of holy Virgins. She died in virtues and merits, on the 2nd of this month but her festival is celebrated on this day, 13th.”

The Ricci are an ancient family, which still subsists in a flourishing condition in Tuscany today. Alessandra was born in Florence to Pier Francesco de’ Ricci, of a patrician family and his wife, Caterina Bonza, who died soon after the birth of Alessandra. At age 6 or 7, her father enrolled her in a school run by a Monastery of Benedictine Nuns in the Monticelli quarter of the City, near their home and the City gates, where her Aunt, Luisa de’ Ricci, was the Abbess.

Catherine was a devout and pious child and it was here, in the Convent of her Aunt, that she developed a lifelong devotion to the Passion of Christ. After a short time back at home and after finally persuading her father,, at the age of 14, she entered the Convent of St Vincent in Prato, Tuscany, a cloistered community of religious sisters of the Third Order of St Dominic, disciples of the noted Dominican Friar Girolamo Savonarola, who followed the strict regimen of life she desired. In May 1535 she received the religious habit from her uncle, Timoteo de’ Ricci, who was Confessor to the Convent and the religious name of Catherine, after the Dominican tertiary, St Catherine of Siena.

Her novitiate was a time of trial. She would experience ecstasies during her routine, which caused her to seem asleep during community prayer , dropping plates and food, so much so, that the community began to question her competence, if not her sanity. Eventually, the other Sisters became aware of the spiritual basis for her behaviour. By the age of 30 she had risen to the post of Prioress.

After the recovery of her health, which seemed miraculous, she studied more perfectly to die to her senses and to advance in a penitential life and spirit, in which God had begun to conduct her, by practising the greatest austerities which were compatible with the obedience she had professed; – she fasted two or three days a week on bread and water alone and sometimes passed the whole day without taking any nourishment and chastised her body with disciplines and a sharp iron chain which she wore next her skin. Her obedience, humility and meekness were still more admirable than her spirit of penance. Much of penitential practice and oblation of her sufferings, were directed to the succour of the Souls in Purgatory.

It was by profound humility and perfect interior self-denial that she learned to vanquish in her heart, the sentiments or life of the first Adam – that is, of corruption, sin and inordinate self-love. But this victory over herself,and purgation of her affections, was completed by a perfect spirit of prayer. By the union of her soul with God and the establishment of the absolute reign of His love in her heart, she was dead to and disengaged from, all earthly things. Her visions became most vivid allowing her to hold Baby Jesus dressed in swaddling clothes and to be mystically married and united with adult Jesus. Catherine’s meditations on the Passion of Christ were so deep, that she spontaneously bled, as if scourged. She also bore the Stigmata. During times of deep prayer, like Catherine of Siena, her Patron Saint, a coral ring representing her marriage to Christ, appeared on her finger.

Crowds gathered to witness her prayer and ecstasies and it began to distract from the life of the Convent. Catherine herself was embarrassed by all the attention. The community prayed that her wounds and experience would lessen in intensity so that they could go about the work of their common life together in peace and in 1554 the visions ceased.

As the Prioress, Catherine developed into an effective and greatly admired administrator. She was an advisor on various topics to Princes, Bishops and Cardinals. She corresponded with three figures who were destined to become Popes: Pope Marcellus II, Pope Clement VIII and Pope Leo XI. An expert on religion, management and administration, her advice was widely sought. She gave counsel both in person and through exchanging letters. It is reported that she was extremely effective in her work, managing her priorities with great zeal and efficiency.

One of the miracles that was documented for her Canonisation was her appearance many hundreds of miles away from where she was physically located, in a vision to St Philip Neri, a resident of Rome, with whom she had maintained a long-term correspondence. St Philip, who was otherwise very reluctant to discuss miraculous events, confirmed the event.

Catherine lived in the Convent until her death in 1590 after a prolonged illness. Her remains are visible under the Altar of the Minor Basilica of Santi Vicenzo e Caterina de’ Ricci, Prato, which is next to the Convent associated with her life..

The Minor Basilica of Santi Vicenzo e Caterina de’ Ricci, Prato, Italy

Catherine was Beatified by Pope Clement XII in 1732 and Canonised by Pope Benedict XIV in 1746 in a spectacular ceremony for which a magnificent ‘canopy’ was constructed. In celebration of the Saint’s Canonisation, Domenico Maria Sandrini wrote an authorative biography of the new Saint.


Septuagesima Sunday, Notre-Dame de Pellevoisin / Our Lady of Pellevoisin, France (1876) and Memorials of the Saints – 13 February

Septuagesima Sunday:
The word Septuagesima is Latin for “seventieth.” It is both the name of the liturgical season and the name of the Sunday. Septuagesima Sunday marks the beginning of the shortest Liturgical season. This season is seventeen (17) days long and includes the three Sundays before Ash Wednesday. The length of the season never changes but the start date is dependent on the movable date of Easter, which can fall between 22 March-25 April. Septuagesima Sunday can be as early as 18 January.
The Septuagesima season helps the faithful ease into Lent. It is a gradual preparation for the serious time of penance and sorrow; to remind the sinner of the grievousness of his errors and to exhort him to penance.
Liturgically it looks very much like Lent. The Gloria and Alleluia are omitted, the tone becomes penitential with the Priest wearing purple vestments. The main difference is that there are no fasting requirements.

Mother of Mercy, Notre-Dame de Pellevoisin / Our Lady of Pellevoisin, France (1876) – 13 February:

St Adolphus of Osnabruk
St Aimo of Meda

Blessed Archangela Girlani O Carm (1460-1494) Virgin, Carmelite Nun, Mystic with the gift of levitation.
Her Life:

Bl Beatrix of Ornacieux
St Benignus of Todi
Bl Berengar of Assisi
St Castor of Karden
St Catherine de Ricci OP (1522-1590) Virgin, Tertiary of the Order of Preachers, Mystic, Stimatist. Her body is incorrupt.

Blessed Christine of Spoleto OSA (1435-1458) Widow, mother, religious nun of the Order of Saint Augustine.
About Blessed Christine:

St Dyfnog
St Ermenilda of Ely
Bl Eustochium of Padua OSB (1444-1469) Virgin

St Fulcran of Lodève (Died 1006) Bishop of Lodève, Reformer, especially within the clergy and religious orders, builder of many Churches, Convents and Hospitals, apostle of the poor and needy, miracle-worker.
St Futeran’s Life:

St Fusca of Ravenna
St Gilbert of Meaux
St Gosbert of Osnabruck
St Pope Gregory II
St Guimérra of Carcassone
St Huno

Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237) Religious Priest, Preacher, the Second Master-General of the Order of Preachers, after St Dominic.

St Julian of Lyon
St Lucinus of Angers
St Marice
St Martinian the Hermit
St Maura of Ravenna
St Modomnoc
St Paulus Lio Hanzuo
St Peter I of Vercelli
St Phaolô Lê Van Loc
St Stephen of Lyons
St Stephen of Rieti


Saint of the Day – 9 February – Saint Raynald of Nocera (c 1150-1217)

Saint of the Day – 9 February – Saint Raynald of Nocera (c 1150-1217) Bishop of Nocera, Umbria, Italy, Hermit, Monk, Abbot. Born in c 1150 smf died on 9 February 1217 in Nocera, Umbria, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – the Diocese of Assisi-Nocera Umbria-Gualdo Tadino, Italy. and City of Norcera. Also known as Rainaldus and Rainaldo. His body is incorrupt.

The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Nocera Umbra, St. Rainaldo, Bishop, formerly a Camaldolese Monk of Fonte Avellana, who, while carrying out the Episcopal office, firmly preserved the habits of monastic life.

Raynald was a rather singular figure of a Hermit Monk and Bishop, who broke away from the mentality of his time, to radically change his life, becoming an admirable example of piety and charity, faith and obedience, in a world characterised by wealth and power, compromises and collusions between secular and spiritual powers.

He was the eldest son of one of the local Lords who dominated Nocera nd Foligno, heir to the fief of Postignano and already destined for posts of political and military importance of the first degree, Raynald received a refined education as befitted his rank.

But at the age of twenty, he abandoned all his possessions to give himself to the hermitage on the mountain of Gualdo, the Serrasanta, famous for the presence of men dedicated to prayer and penance. Here he was able to live “a perfect eremitical life.” However, he soon felt, in his heart the need to submit to a superior, who could guide him in constantly following God’s will and he then became a Monk at the Camaldolese Monastery of Fonte Avellana, where “together with his brothers, he served God perfectly and devoutly” and was also elected Abbot.

Raynald was associated in the Episcopate with Bishop Ugo,who was engaged in high juridical positions in the Roman Curia. In 1213, on the death of Ugo, the holy hermit became the Bishop of the Diocese.

The Episcopate of Raynald was distinguished by his unusual choice – to remain a Monk even as a Bishop and he did so with the typical obstinacy of Saints, always entirely dedicated to God and to his brothers, as the Minor Legend narrates: “he kept his life perfect, as when he was in the Monastery with fasts, vigils and prayers, dedicating himself to God and busy in the Bishop’s care as a celebrant of divine worship and a helper of the poorest and most needy people .”

To give a living example of Christian love, he adopted a child from Nocera, an orphan, keeping him in the Bishop’s palace and honouring him every day at the table, as if it had been Christ Himself Who was asking for help.

The presence of the holy Bishop was important at the promulgation of the Indulgence of the Portiuncula in August 1216, commissioned by St Francis of Assisi.

Raynald died on 9 February 1217 near Nocera Umbra and his body was immediately honoured. With a trial on miracles, promoted by his successor Bishop Pelagius, after a few months, he was raised on the main Altar of the Cathedral and, therefore, proclaimed a Saint according to the customs of the time.

The troubled political events soon dispersed, attributed to the intercession of the Saint. In 1248 Nocera, a Guelph City, was destroyed by the army of Frederick II who encamped in the aforementioned Cathedral. An extraordinary event was the discovery of the body of St Raynald, intact. St Raynald was then proclaimed Patron of Nocera and his tomb was transferred to the Church of Santa Maria dell’Arengo, now dedicated to St John the Baptist. The destroyed City was rebuilt and the devotion to the Saint persisted over the centuries.

When in 1448 the reconstruction of the Cathedral resumed again, the memory of St Raynald was added to the official title of the Church, which, for seven centuries had been dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption. His body was solemnly transported to the new Cathedral in 1456 and for centuries it was the centre of the cult that made St Raynald the protector of the City and of the Diocese of Nocera.

The Saint did not fail to help his faithful with protective intercession in the tragic moments of wars, destruction and calamitous events such as frequent earthquakes. Today, after the painful events of the 1997 earthquake, the Patron’s still incorrupt body was venerated in the Church of St Felicissimus.
On the anniversary of his death, St Raynald is commemorated by the Camaldolese Monastery.


Notre-Dame d’Avesniéres, Laval / Our Lady of Avesnières, Laval, France (11th Century), Nostra Signora delle Grazie / Our Lady of Grace, or Our Lady of the Bowed Head, Rome (1610) and Memorials of the Saints – 7 February

Notre-Dame d’Avesniéres, Laval / Our Lady of Avesnières, Laval, France (11th Century) – 7 February:

The Basilica of Notre-Dame Avesnières is located in Laval, in the region of Pays de la Loire. It is located in the district of Avesnières, on the right bank of the Mayenne river and south of the City centre. The Church has existed at least since the 11th Century but it got its present appearance in the 12th Century, when the Benedictines set up a Priory here. The nuns left Avesnières during the Hundred Years’ War and the Church then became a simple Parish Church. It was raised to the rank of minor Basilica in 1898, by Pope Leo XIII.

The Church was founded by Guy, Lord of Laval, who, falling into the river wanting to cross it, was miraculously saved from drowning, by the Blessed Virgin and transported safely to the river bank.
The spot was chosen, in remembrance of this miraculous rescue, to host a Sanctuary dedicated to the Notre-Dame.
In 1871, Monsignor Casimir Wicart, first Bishop of Laval, in the face of the anxiety provoked by the advance of the Prussian troops, decided to organise a large prayer vigil in Avesnières. At this ceremony, the faithful assembled and took an oath to rebuild the Church if the Blessed Mother saved the City from foreign occupation. The next day, the Prussians were stopped in their tracks in Saint-Melaine, at the gates of Laval, when the Virgin appeared before them. Where is our faith today?!

Nostra Signora delle Grazie, o Nostra Signora del Capo chino / Our Lady of Grace, or Our Lady of the Bowed Head, Rome (1610) – 7 February:

St Romuald (c 951-1027) Monk, Abbot, Ascetic, Founder of the Camaldolese Order and a major figure in the Eleventh-Century “Renaissance of eremitical asceticism.”
His Feast Day is today and was thus from 1595. It was changed to 19 June in 1969.
St Romuald’s Life:

Bl Adalbert Nierychlewski

Blessed Alfredo Cremonesi PIME (1902-1953) Priest and Martyr, Missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), Writer, Poet.
His Life and Death:

St Adaucus of Phrygia
St Amulwinus of Lobbes
St Anatolius of Cahors
Bl Anna Maria Adorni Botti
Bl Anselmo Polanco
Bl Anthony of Stroncone
St Augulus
St Chrysolius of Armenia
St Fidelis of Merida
Bl Felipe Ripoll Morata

St Giles Mary of Saint Joseph OFM (1729-1812) known as the “Consoler of Naples” and the “Saint of the Little Way.” Although his desire was to become a priest, his lack of education meant that he was unable to fulfil this desire and served instead as a professed religious Friar in the Order of Friars Minor in Naples.
St Giles Life:

Bl Jacques Sales
St John of Triora
St Juliana of Bologna
Bl Klara Szczesna
St Lorenzo Maiorano
St Luke the Younger

Blessed Mary of Providence/Eugénie Smet HHS (1825-1871) Nun and Founder of the Society of the Helpers of the Holy Souls. Her apostolate has spread throughout the world – now in 24 countries and continues to minister to the Souls in the Body of Christ — both those on earth and those who have departed this world.

St Maximus of Nola
St Meldon of Péronne
St Moses the Hermit
St Parthenius of Lampsacus
Bl Peter Verhun

Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) Bishop of Rome from 16 June 1846 to the day of his death. He is the longest-reigning Pope in the history of the Church, serving for over 31 years. During his Pontificate, Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council (1869–70), which decreed Papal Infallibility and promulgated the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Pius IX named three new Doctors of the Church:  
St Hilary of Poitiers (1851), 
St Alphonsus Liguori (1871)
St Francis de Sales (19 July 1877).   
His body is incorrupt.
All about Blessed Pope Pius IX:

St Richard the King Pilgrim (Died c 722) Layman
Bl Rizziero of Muccia
Bl Rosalie Rendu (1786-1856)
St Theodore Stratelates

Bl essed Thomas Sherwood (1551–1578) Layman, Martyr of the English Persecution under Elizabeth I (c. 1552–1579).
His Life and Death:

St Tressan of Mareuil
Bl William Saultemouche


Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary, approved by Pope Paul III (1546) and Memorials of the Saints – 23 January

The Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary, approved by Pope Paul III (1546) – 23 January:

St Raymond of Peñafort OP (1175-1275) “Father of Canon Law” Dominican Priest, Doctor of Canon Law, the Third Master of the Order of Preachers, Founder of the Mercedarian friars, Writer, Teacher, Miracle-Worker.
St Raymond of Peñafort’s Feast day was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in 1671 for celebration on 23 January. In 1969 it was moved to 7 January, the day after that of his death. He is the Patron Saint of canon lawyers, specifically and lawyers, in general.

St Marianne Cope TOSF (1838-1918) Virgin, Third Order of the Friars Minor, Missionary to lepers.

St Abel the Patriarch
St Agathangelus
St Amasius of Teano
St Andreas Chong Hwa-Gyong
St Aquila the Martyr
St Asclas of Antinoe

Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964) Laywoman.
Her Life:

St Clement of Ancyra
St Colman of Lismore
St Dositheus of Gaza
St Emerentiana (Died c 301) Virgin, Martyr
St Eusebius of Mount Coryphe

Blessed Henry Suso OP (1295-1366) German Dominican Priest and Friar, Poet, Mystic and the most popular vernacular writer of the fourteenth century. His body is incorrupt.
Blessed Henry’s Life:

St Ildephonsus (506-667) Archbishop of Toledo. Theologian, Scholar, Marian devotee, Writer, Evangeliser. Abbot Dom Guéranger calls him the Doctor of the Virginity of Mary. Saint Ildephonsus established the feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is still kept in some places on 18 December.

Bl Joan Font Taulat

St John the Almoner (Died c 620) Bishop of Alexandria, Widower, Confessor, Apostle of the poor, Reformer – both within the Church and within the civic structures.
About St John:

Bl Juan Infante
St Jurmin
St Lufthild
St Maimbod
Bl Margaret of Ravenna
Martyrius of Valeria
St Messalina of Foligno
St Ormond of Mairé
St Parmenas the Deacon
St Severian the Martyr


Virgen de la Altagracia / Our Lady of Altagracia, Dominican Republic (c 1502) and Memorials of the Saints – 21 January

Virgen de la Altagracia / Our Lady of Altagracia, Dominican Republic (c 1502) – 21 January:

St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr (Memorial)
Detailed biography of St Agnes:
AND St Ambrose Reflection:

St Agnes of Aislinger
St Alban Bartholomew Roe
St Anastasius of Constantinople
St Aquila of Trebizond
St Brigid of Kilbride
St Candidus of Trebizond
Bl Edward Stransham
St Epiphanius of Pavia (c 439–496) Bishop
St Eugenius of Trebizond
Bl Franciscus Bang
St Gunthildis of Biblisheim

Blessed Josefa María Inés de Benigánim OAD (1625–1696) Nun of the Discalced Augustinian Nuns with the religious name of “Josefa María of Saint Agnes,” Virgin, Mystic, gifted with the charism of prophecy and counsel. She became known for her profound spiritual and theological insight as well as for her severe austerities she practised during her life. Her body is incorrupt.

St John Yi Yun-on
St Lawdog
St Maccallin of Waulsort

St Meinrad of Einsiedeln OSB (c 797–861) “Martyr of Hospitality,” Martyr, Priest, Monk, Hermit.
About St Meinrad:

St Nicholas Woodfen
St Patroclus of Troyes
St Publius of Malta
Bl Thomas Reynolds
St Valerian of Trebizond
St Vimin of Holywood
St Zacharias the Angelic

Blessed Martyrs of Laval – 19 Beati: Fifteen men and four women who were martyred in Laval, France by anti-Catholic French Revolutionaries.
• Blessed André Duliou
• Blessed Augustin-Emmanuel Philippot
• Blessed François Duchesne
• Blessed François Migoret-Lamberdière
• Blessed Françoise Mézière
• Blessed Françoise Tréhet
• Blessed Jacques André
• Blessed Jacques Burin
• Blessed Jean-Baptiste Triquerie
• Blessed Jean-Marie Gallot
• Blessed Jeanne Veron
• Blessed John Baptist Turpin du Cormier
• Blessed Joseph Pellé
• Blessed Julien Moulé
• Blessed Julien-François Morin
• Blessed Louis Gastineau
• Blessed Marie Lhuilier
• Blessed Pierre Thomas
• Blessed René-Louis Ambroise
The were born in France and they were martyred on several dates in 1794 in Laval, Mayenne, France. They were Beatified on 19 June 1955 by Pope Pius XII at Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Rome – 30 Saints: Thirty Christian soldiers executed together in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were martyred in 304 in Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Tarragona: Augurius, Eulogius, Fructuosus.


Saint of the Day – 11 December – Blessed Jerome Ranuzzi OSM (c 1410-c 1468) “The Angel of Good Counsel,”

Saint of the Day – 11 December – Blessed Jerome Ranuzzi OSM (c 1410-c 1468) “The Angel of Good Counsel,” “The Blessed Bachelor,” Priest and Friar of the Order of the Servants of Mary, the Servites, Theologian, Adviser both spiritual and secular, renowned for his learning and scholarship, Penitent and Hermit with a great love of solitude and silence. Born as Girolamo Ranuzzi in c 1410 at Sant’Angelo, Vado, Pesaro-Urbino, Italy and died in c 1468 of natural causes. Also known as – Jerome Ranucci, Girolamo and “The Angel of Good Counsel,” “The Blessed Bachelor.” Additional Memorials, 10 and 12 December on local calendars. Patronage – Sant’Angelo, Vado. His body is incorrupt and is still available for veneration in St Mary of the Servites.

The Roman Martyrology states: “In Sant’Angelo in Vado always in the Marches, Blessed Girolamo, Priest of the Order of the Servants of Mary, who in solitude and silence reached the wisdom of holiness.

“Becoming holy is the vocation of every man and woman who comes into this world. The Servants of Mary lived this noble toil within the Church of Christ. The results of this journey are as colourful as ever, precisely because the Holy Spirit renews everything without ever repeating Himself. The saints are alike but none are the same.” (The journey of the Servants of Mary, Servitium editrice, 2001).

Jerome, who was born around 1410 in Sant’Angelo in Vado, of the wealthy Ranuzzi family (or Ranucci, according to the spelling of contemporary documents). The family
became regarded as part of nobles. In 1404, his father Antonio, became the municipal guardian for the Parish of St Eusebius, two kilometers away from his home.

Jerome, while still a teenager, entered the Convent of the Servants of Mary of St Angelo in Vado, from where he went to Bologna to study. There he applied himself to philosophy and theology, obtaining the degree of bachelor and after being Ordained a Priest, returned to his hometown Convent.

The first documented report of Jerome’s presence in St Angelo among the Servants of Mary, dates to 1449. Jerome was at this time, the Vicar of the Provincial Superior Michael Ambrosi, who called a General Chapter at his Convent in St Angelo. Another document certifying his presence in the said Convent is his signing of a contract dated 20 November 1454.

Jerome was undoubtedly a man of doctrine, in fact, several of his famous contemporaries mention him in their historical works as the “bachelor,” from the title obtained for his studies in the ecclesiastical universities of the time.

The famous Duke Federick of Montefeltro of Urbino, used his advice for the most important affairs and then always venerated his memory, when, as shown by subsequent documents of 1471 and 1478, the Duke Federick visited Jerome’s Convent to pay homage at the Tomb of the Blessed.

His contemporaries and fellow Friars, narrated his fame as an ascetic, a rigorous penitent, a persuasive adviser, who was very much alive in St Angelo in Vado. A local tradition indicates a cave where our Blessed Jerome lived his periods of solitude located along the road that leads to Montata, right where the Shrine of the Virgin called “Madonnina di Pagnignò” stands.

In 1462 the “Blessed Bachelor” began the foundation of the female Monastery of St Mary of Gracenear, nearby the male Monastery.

The date of his death is around 1468 and from then on, a crowd of people went to his Tomb to recommend themselves to his intercession. Shortly after his death, when the fame of miracles grew, Friar Jerome was acclaimed a saint by the voice of the people. His incorrupt body is preserved under the main Altar of the Church of St Mary of the Servites, where it is still venerated by the faithful today.

After a long process, his cult was confirmed on 1 April 1775 by Pope Pius VI with the title of Blesse.. The Roman Martyrology celebrates his feast today, the 11th December.

The Seven Holy Founders of the Servites

Memorials of the Saints – 11 December

St Pope Damasus I (c 305-384) (Optional Memorial) Priest and Bishop of Rome. During his Pontificate, Christianity was declared the official religion of the Roman state, and Latin became the principal liturgical language as part of the Pope’s reforms. 

St Aithalas of Arbela
St Apseus of Arbela
Bl Arthur Bell
Barsabas of Persia
St Cian

St Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople (c 409–493) Priest, Hermit, Monk, Abbot, miracle-worker.
His Life:

Bl David of Himmerod
Bl Dominic Yanez
St Eutychius the Martyr
St Fidweten

Blessed Francesco Lippi O.Carm (1211-1291) Carmelite Friar, Hermit, Mystic, Penitent, graced with the gift of prophesy.

Bl Hugolinus Magalotti
Bl Jean Laurens
Blessed Jerome Ranuzzi OSM (c 1410-c 1468) “The Angel of Good Counsel,” “The Blessed Bachelor,” Priest and Friar of the Order of the Servants of Mary, the Servites
Bl Kazimierz Tomasz Sykulski

St María Maravillas de Jesús OCD (1891-1974) Discalced Carmelite Prioress, founder of several houses for her order.
St Maria’s Story:

Bl Martín Lumbreras Peralta
Bl Martino de Melgar
Bl Melchor Sánchez PérezPens
Bl Pilar Villalonga Villalba
Bl Severin Ott
Martyrs of Saint Aux-Bois – (3 saints): Two Christian missionaries and one of their local defenders who faith in the persecutions of governor Rictiovarus – Fuscian, Gentian and Victoricus. They were beheaded in 287 in Saint Aux-Bois, Gaul (in modern France).

Martyrs of Rome – (3 saints): Three Christians murdered in the persecutions of Diocletian for giving aid to Christian prisoners – Pontian, Practextatus and Trason. They were imperial Roman citizens. They were martyred in c 303 in Rome, Italy.


Our Morning Offering – 3 December – I Love Thee, God, I Love TheeBy St Francis Xavier

Our Morning Offering – 3 December – Friday of the First week of Advent and The Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)

I Love Thee, God, I Love Thee
By St Francis Xavier (1506-1552)

Translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)

I love Thee, God, I love Thee—
Not out of hope for heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
in the everlasting burning.
Thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach Thine arms out dying,
For my sake suffered nails and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
Sorrows passing number,
Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death and this for me,
And Thou could see me sinning.
Then I, why should not I love Thee,
Jesu so much in love with me?
Not for heaven’s sake, not to be
Out of hell by loving Thee,
Not for any gains I see,
But just the way that Thou didst me
I do love and will love Thee.
What must I love Thee, Lord, for then?
For being my King and God.