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. Biography: https://anastpaul.com/?s=st+raymond+penafort
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
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,” “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.
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
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 – 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. Amen
Saint of the Day – 13 November – Saint Didacus (de Alcalá de Henares) OFM (c 1400-1463) Lay Brother of the Order of Friars Minor, Hermit, Mystic, Confessor, Born in c 1400 at Seville, Spain and died on 12 November 1463 at Alcala, Castile, Spain of natural causes. Also known as – St Didacus of St Nicholas, Diego, Diaz, Didacus de Alcalá de Henares, Didacus of Alcala. Patronages – Franciscan laity, Franciscan lay brothers, Diocese of San Diego, California.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Alcala in Spain, St Didacus, Confessor of the Order of Minorites, who was renowned for his humility. Incribed on the catalogue of the Saints by Pope Sixtus V, with a Feast Day of 13 November.“
Didacus was born about 1400 at San Nicolas in Andalusia, of poor and God-fearing parents. He entered the Third Order of St Francis when he had scarcely reached young manhood and under the direction of a devout Tertiary Priest, he served God for a long time as a Hermit. Consumed with the desire for still greater perfection, he later entered the Franciscan Convent at Arizafa in Castile and was there admitted to solemn vows as a lay brother.
His rapid progress in virtue made him a model to all his companions. His soul was continually occupied with God in prayer and meditation. From this source, he gathered such supernatural insight concerning God and the Mysteries of Faith, that learned theologians listened with astonishment to the inspiring conversations of this uneducated lay brother. Since Brother Didacus manifested great zeal for souls and willingness for sacrifice, his superiors sent him with other brethren to the Canary Islands, which at that time, were still inhabited by wild infidels. Didacus was eager for martyrdom and in this spirit, bore with dauntless patience, the many hardships that came his way. Both by word and example, he helped in converting many infidels.
In 1445, he was appointed Guardian of the chief Friary on the islands at Fortaventura. Recalled to Spain, he went to Rome in 1450 at the command of the Observant Vicar General, St John Capistrano, to attend the great Jubilee and the Canonisation ceremonies of St Bernardine of Siena. On this occasion, an epidemic broke out among the many Friars assembled in the large Convent of Aracoeli. Didacus attended the sick with great charity and trust in God. And God did not fail him. Despite the lack of supplies in the City at the time, Didacus always had ample provisions for his patients. He miraculously restored many of them to health by merely making the Sign of the Cross over them.
Leaving Rome, he returned to Spain, where, as in the former days, he was a source of great edification to the Friars of every Convent in which he lived.
When he felt that the end of his life was drawing near, he asked for an old and worn-out habit, so that he might die in it as a true son of the poor St Francis. He died on 12 November 1463, at the Franciscan Monastery in Alcalá, pressing a Crucifix to his heart and repeating the words of the Good Friday chant: “Dulce lignum, dulce ferrum, dulce pondus sustinet” – Precious the wood, precious the nails, precious the weight they bear.
Months passed before it was possible to bury Brother Didacus, so great was the number of people who came to venerate his remains. Not only did his body remain incorrupt but it diffused a pleasant odour. After it was laid to rest in the Franciscan Church at Alcalá de Henares, astounding miracles continued to occur at his tomb. Pope Sixtus V, himself a Franciscan, Canonised Brother Didacus in 1588.
The Church pays to Didacus today, the very same honours as we have seen her pay to Bernardine and John Capistrano. What is this but asserting, that before God, heroic acts of hidden virtue, are not inferior to the noble deeds that dazzle the world, if, proceeding from the same ardent love, they produce in the soul, the same increase of divine charity.
Saint of the Day – 9 November – Blessed Gabriel Ferretti OFM (1385-1456) Priest, Friar of the Order of Friars Minor,, Provincial Superior, Mystic. renowned missionary Preacher. He was zealous in the restoration and establishment of new Convents. Born in 1385 at Ancona, Italy and died on 12 November 1456 in Ancona, Piceno, Italy of natural causes. He was an ancestor to both Cardinal Gabriele Ferretti and Blessed Pope Pius IX, having been descended from a long noble lineage. Patronage – Ancona. His body is incorrupt.
Gabriel was born in 1385 and belonged to the ancient ducal family of the Ferretti. His devout parents raised him in the fear of God and in his eighteenth year he entered the Franciscan Order. His efforts at acquiring virtue won for him so great a degree of the respect and confidence of his brethren that, shortly after his Ordination to the Priesthood, when he was only twenty-five years old, he was appointed to preach missions in the March of Ancona. For fifteen years he devoted himself to this important task with blessed success.
He was then assigned to the office of Guardian of the Convent of Ancona and later he was elected Provincial of the Province of the March. In both offices he was careful to guide his subjects well. He shirked no labour and he could be very severe if it was necessary to correct an evil. He achieved the greatest results, however, by his own bright example of virtue, which induced weak and lax characters to exert themselves manfully in observing the rule.
His reputation for preaching to the masses was noted to the point, where Giacomo della Marca – who was preaching in Bosnia – asked for his help in that task. But the Ancona council in their deliberations on 22 February 1438 passed a resolution asking Pope Eugene IV to ensure the Friar remained in Ancona, due to all his good works. The Pope accepted this request, which meant that Gabriel could not go to Bosnia to aid his friend.
The following incident is proof of his great humility and piety. Once while he was journeying to Assisi, he went into the Franciscan Church at Foligno to pray. The Sacristan, who took him for a Brother, bade him serve the Mass of a Priest who had just gone to the Altar. The humble Provincial obeyed but when the guardian of the Convent recognised the venerable Superior of the Province of the March, in the server, he severely reproached the Sacristan. Father Gabriel defended the Sacristan, saying:
“To serve Mass is a great privilege. The Angels would consider themselves honoured. So do not blame the Brother for conferring that honour on me!”
Gabriel’s zeal to promote the interests of the Order was as great as his humility. At San Severino he restored a Convent that had fallen into ruin. At Osimo he built a new Convent. The Convent at Ancona he enlarged, in order to accommodate the great number of novices attracted to it by the fame of his sanctity.
Blessed Gabriel Ferretti possessed an ardent love of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary and he unwittingly gave expression to it, in all his sermons. Frequently he was favoured with visions of Our Lord and of the Blessed Virgin.
Rich in virtue and merits, Blessed Gabriel Ferretti died on 12 November 1456, in the Convent at Ancona, assisted in his last hour by the servant of God Gregory of Alba, and St James of the March. The latter delivered his funeral oration. To this day his body is incorrupt and the many miracles wrought through his intercession have increased the devotion of the faithful to him. On 19 September 1753 Pope Benedict XIV solemnly confirmed his veneration.
Saint of the Day – 5 October – Blessed Pietro of Imola (c1250-1320) Knight of the Order of St John of Jerusalem and Grand Prior , Lawyer, Jurist, Mediator, Peace-maker. Born in mid-13th century in Italy as Pietro Pattarini and died on 5 October 1320 in Campo Corbellini, Florence, Tuscany, Italy of natural causes . Also known as – Peter of Imola, Peter Pattarini, Pietro Pattarini de Imola.
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Florence, blessed Pietro da Imola, who, a Knight of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, took care of the sick with pious charity.”
Very little is known of the details of the life of Blessed Pietro of Imola whose memorial we celebrate today. He was born in the mid 1200s at Imola, in Italy, into the noble Pattarini family who had been the Lords of Linasio for over 100 years and part of the Ghibelline faction. Pietro was an excellent scholar and become a well-known lawyer and jurist. The respect held for his legal opinion is evident ,by the fact that his name is found on many important documents which are still preserved in Imola, giving his interpretation of the laws of his time. In 1289 he became a Court Magistrate and eight years later was to use all his skills and experience to negotiate a peace between the rival Guelph and Ghibelline factions in Romagna. The Guelphs were predominately from wealthy mercantile families who supported the Pope while the Ghibellines tended to come from families with wealthy agricultural estates who supported the Emperor. It was no easy task and took several years but, at last, Pietro was able to persuade the Ghibellines to leave Romagna.
After successfully mediating this conflict and crowning, what had been a successful secular career, Pietro sought a new vocation dedicated to charitable works, in helping the poor and the sick. He began working in one of the Order of St John’s hospitals in Florence and was invested as a Knight in 1310. His administrative skills were welcome and appreciated and put to good use as he assumed greater responsibilities in his work in the hospital. His talents were not unnoticed and after some years he was chosen Grand Prior of the Order in Rome. He again returned to Florence to the Commandery of St James in Campo Corbellini.
We do not know for certain if he became the Commander of St James or assumed other duties. Nevertheless, he continued performing great charitable works serving the sick who were either home-bound or in the hospital. Blessed Pietro died in Florence on 5 October 1320 and his loss was felt by everyone who knew him. He was buried in the Church of St James in Campo Corbellini which still belongs to the Order of the Knights.
One of the most remarkable stories about Blessed Pietro occurred after his death. One day in preparation for the feast of St James, the Church was being decorated by the brothers and a Priest had placed a ladder against the tomb of Blessed Pietro and was standing on it and working up high against the wall, hanging some decorations. The Priest lost his balance and the ladder began to fall. Suddenly, Bless Pietro’s tomb opened slightly and his hand reached out and steadied the ladder, no doubt saving the life of the Priest. This miracle was authenticated by several witnesses. Blessed Pietro’s relics were later translated to under the main Altar of the Church in a reliquary that Commander Fra Augustine Mego had made for it, and the miracle-working arm was kept in a separate little box. After the flooding of the Arno river in 1557, the documents and reliquary were submerged and greatly damaged. However ,the box containing his arm survived and is still venerated in the Imola Cathedral. The main relics of Blessed Pietro reside at St Lawrence’s Church in Florence on 10 June 2016 and further relics are contained in the Reliquary at the Chapel in the Grand Magistry of the Order of Malta in Rome. The skin and nails of the arm and hand remain intact, all these centuries later.
Saint of the Day – 19 September – St Maria de Cervellón OdeM (1230– 1290) Virgin, Catalan Superior of a Second Order of Mercedarians, known as “Maria of Help,” Mystic, graced with the gift of bilocation, apostle of the poor, the abandoned, the needy. She was the first woman to wear the Habit of the ‘ Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Ransom. She is considered the Founder of the Mercedary Nuns. Born in 1230 at Barcelona, Spain and died on 19 September 1290 at Barcelona, of natural causes. Patronages – Mercadarian Nuns and Sisters, Navigators, against shipwreck, Spanish sailors., of the abandoned. Also known as – Maria di Cervellon, Maria dell’Aiuto, Maria de Socos., Mary of Cerevellone. Her body is incorrupt.
Her entry in the Roman Martyrology states: “At Barcelona in Spain, blessed Maria de Cervellione, Virgin of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom. She is commonly called Maria of Help on account of the prompt assistance she renders to those who invoke her.“
María de Cervellón was born in Barcelona on 1 December 1230. At that time, the Mercedarian Friars had been redeeming captives from the power of the Saracens for several years,and in that seaport and commercial City, there was talk about the great work of charity and of the growing needs of the Friars in financing redemptions and the upkeep of the Hospital of St. Eulalia, where the ransomed were kept once they returned.
As with every young woman in her time, her family had made other plans for her future. They had tried several times to marry her off to various and prominent men so as to strategically improve their familial alliances and strengthen their position. However, Maria’s heart belonged to Another and she refused each offer her family made on her behalf. She had become the bride of Christ the Redeemer and would spend her life in service to her Spouse in the guise of the captive, the wounded, the sick and the needy. With the assistance of Fr. Bernardo de Corbera, she consecrated herself to God in the Order of Mercy on 25 May 1265, together with other young women from Barcelona.
Maria was not the first, for there is written evidence that the female branch of the Order of Mercy began earlier but she is the first one whose self-offering we know about. From then on, her life would be spent between her house and the Hospital of Saint Eulalia, on the sea, on the shore of Villanova, where it was built thanks to a donation by Raimundo de Plagamans. The Sisters were not originally formed as a contemplative family, but their life was centred on prayer. They were not founded as cloistered Nuns, but gathered in fellowship to be able to live out the Lord’s command – “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Maria took this call to heart and was able to convince others to follow the path that she had set out on. They formed a community of Sisters who were ready to share in the work of redemption, even to the end.
It is reported that Maria had the gift of bilocation. In Spanish, she was known by the surname de Socós or de Socorro (meaning helper), because she was seen coming to the aid of the ransom ships, walking in the midst of the waves of stormy and rough seas, in order to guide the sailors and their precious cargo to safety.
She died on 19 September 1290, and her remains are preserved in the Basilica of La Merced in Barcelona.
On 13 February1692, Pope Innocent XII gave a favourable judgement and confirmed her immemorial cult;and she was introduced into the Roman Martyrology as a Saint on 8 November 1729. Today, the Nuns and Sisters of the Order proclaim her as a strong woman who followed Jesus Christ, taking flesh in the realities of captivity, so as to be redeemers with Christ through prayer and various apostolates according to their respective constitutions.
Saint of the Day – 1 September – Blessed Giuliana of Collalto (1186-1262) Benedictine Nun, Abbess, Thaumaturgist, apostle of the poor. Born in 1186 in Collalto, Susegana, Treviso, Italy and died on 1 September 1262 at Venice, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Juliana. Patronages – against headaches, against migraines; of migraine sufferers. Her body is incorrupt.
The Roman Martyrology states of her today: “In Venice, Blessed Giuliana da Collalto, Abbess of the Order of Saint Benedict.”
Giuliana was born in Collalto (today a fraction of the Municipality of Susegana in the Province of Treviso, Italy) in 1186. Her parents were Count Rambaldo VI and Countess Giovanna di Sant’Angelo di Mantova.
She was educated in a Christian manner and very young, at the age of twelve, she wore the Benedictine habit in St Margherita di Salarola, on the Euganean Hills. Here she lived the first years of religious life in an exemplary way. In 1220 the Blessed Beatrice I d’Este entered the same Monastery and a deep friendship was born between the two chosen souls.
In the powerful and rich Venetian Republic, Monasteries also had their importance because young people from the most important and noble families were welcomed within their walls.
On the island of Spinalonga (now Giudecca) stood the ruined Church of St Cataldo. Giuliana, whose illustrious name in terms of wealth was by now also known for her excellent virtues, was entrusted with the foundation, next door, of a Monastery. Thus was born, in that abandoned place, a cloistered community that for centuries devoted itself to prayer. The Church was also dedicated to St Biagio. Giuliana, nominated Abbess, in addition to respecting the Rule for her own sanctification and that of her Sisters, always had particular regard for the poor. Her charity was known throughout the City and she performed many wonders while still alive. Following the laws of suppression of religious orders at the end of the eighteenth century, the building was then transformed into the Villa Albarea, being located right along the Riviera del Brenta.
During the last years of her life the blessed suffered from severe headaches, which earned her the Patronage of those who suffer from the same ailment. She died on 1 September 1262, at the age of seventy-six, of which sixty-four had been dedicated to the Lord. She was buried in the Church cemetery. Her memory remained alive and above all her fame as a thaumaturgist against migraines. Her biographers were several.
Around 1290 the body, found incorrupt, was placed in an artistic wooden sarcophagus. In 1733 the relics were placed in an Altar of the Church while exactly twenty years later (on 30 May) Pope Benedict XI confirmed the cult “ab immemorabili,” with her Memorial y on 1 September . In 1810 the body was moved to the Church of the Redentore and twelve years later to the parish of St Eufemia where it is still venerated in the Chapel of St Anna. In the Church of her birthplace there is a relic of the phalanx, a crown on which she rested her head, a pillow and part of the dress worn at the time of death. The ancient wooden sarcophagus is now kept at the Correr Museum in Venice. Her paintings are an ancient example of how Venetian painting was influenced, at that time, by the Byzantine style.
Saint of the Day – 7 August – Blessed Vincent de L’Aquila OFM (c 1435-1504) Lay Brother Friar of the Order of the Friars Minor of St Francis, gifted with the charism of prophecy, Mystic, known to levitate whilst in prayer, miracle-worker. He was sought out by nobility, future saints and ordinary people for spiritual advice and prophecy. Born in c 1435 in L’Aquilaand died on the evening of 7 August 1504 in his hut in the forest outside the convent of San Giualiano near L’Aquila, Italy of natural causes. His body is incorrupt. Patronage – L’Aquila, Italy. Also known as Vicente.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “In L’Aquila, in the Vestina region (today Abruzzo), Italy, Blessed Vincent, a religious of the Order of Friars Minor, famous for his humility and his prophetic spirit”
Vincent was born in L’Aquila, in Abruzzo, a City that at that time was part of the kingdom of Naples..
At the age of 14 he entered the Order of Friars Minor in the Convent of San Julián, founded by Blessed Antonio de Stroncone, near the City gates. After the profession of perpetual vows, he spent the first years of his conventual life retired in a hut in the forest of the Convent, which he only left to fulfill the offices assigned to him. He preferred humble jobs, he helped the brothers with their domestic chores and fixed their sandals because, to be more useful, he had learned the trade of shoemaker. Other times he would dedicate himself to the work of the fields and, in the rest periods, he would retire to the roughness of the rocky ground, about a hundred paces from the Convent, to devote himself to prayer.
Although educated at home with great care, Vincent wanted, out of humility, to remain a lay brother. One of the characteristics of his holiness was the spirit of mortification. So much was his austerity, that he did not even wear the sandals permitted but always remained barefoot. His brown habit, which can still be seen today, was the heaviest and coarsest of all; He did not take it off day or night. In addition, he wore sackcloth and inflicted frequent and prcticed floggings. His food was reduced to bread and water with some raw herbs, and if he was sometimes obliged, by obedience, to eat like the community, he nevertheless found a means of mortifying himself, taking only a part of his portion and adding dust or bitter substances to it.
His application to prayer was so great that Fray Marcos de Lisboa wrote about him: “Vicente remained abstracted and elevated in the air and his body was as deprived of the senses as if he were dead.” The superiors, seeing him as exemplary, to keep him away from excessive mortification, dedicated him to begging in which Vincent undoubtedly found many sacrificial occasions, given his fondness for solitude and the hidden life. His main concern, in the daily walks, was always the good of souls. Among the people who were inspired by his holiness we must remember the young girl Mattia Ciccarelli, who later became an Augustinian nun in L’Aquila, with the name of Blessed Sister Cristina Ciccarelli and today she is venerated on Altars with the title of Blessed.
Vincent was sent to the Penne Convent, then for 10 years, to that of Sulmona; from there here turned to San Julián del Aquila. The Prince of Capua, Queen Juana, second wife of Ferdinand I and sister of Ferdinand the Catholic, King of Spain, became acquainted with him for advice. He predicted the royal crown to the Duke of Calabria, the eldest son of Ferdinand I of Aragon.
An illness which had afflicted Vincent for a long time was getting worse and worse, until it prevented him from leaving his poor cell. He endured everything with great resignation and with the serenity of the Saints. On the afternoon of 7 August 1504, he expired serenely in the Lord, lovingly assisted by his confreres. Blessed Cristina Ciccarelli, from her window, saw the Convent of San Julián illuminate with great splendour and the soul of her spiritual director fly to heaven accompanied by a crowd of Angels.
In life, Vincent performed several miracles. In L´Aquila he returned speech to a mute. In another City, he cured a child who, due to his misshapen legs, could not walk and in Sant’Angelo three people owed him the cure of a similar disease. But the most admirable prodigy attributed to the power of his prayers was the resurrection of the Bishop of Sulmona, Bartolomé della Scala, of the Order of Preachers. This latter miracle had a great impact in Abruzzo and visits flowed to the Convent of San Nicolás de Sulmona, the residence of the miracle-worker at that time. They brought him sick to pray for them and they were cured.
He was 69 years old. He was buried in the Church of San Julián next to the Convent. His incorrupt body is preserved in in a walnut and glass chest.. Since then it began to shine with miracles attested by donations and votive inscriptions. After more than a century, in 1634, the preservation of the body was still evident. A new inscription was added: “In this tomb rests the body of Blessed Vincent de L’Aquila, who passed away on 7 August 1504.” Pope Pius VI approved his cult by Beatification on 19 September 1787.
Saint of the Day – 29 July – St William Pinchon of Saint Brieuc (1180-1234) Bishop of Saint Brieuc, Confessor Born as Guillaume Pinchon on 11 October 1180 in Saint-Alban, San-Brieuc, Brittany (in France) and died on 29 July 1234 of natural causes. William was a champion for the poor and defended the rights and privileges of the Church against secular intervention. This was a cause of his exile from his Diocese but he returned not long after his exile and set himself on the construction of a new Cathedral which was still in construction at the time of his death. Patronage – Diocese of Saint-Brieuc, France. Also known as – William Pinchon, William of San Brieuc, Guillaume Pinchon.His body is incorrupt.
William was born in 1175 in Saint-Alban to the peasants Oliver Pinchon and Jane Fortin. He was, from a young age,, by the innocence of his manners, his admirable meekness, humility, chastity, mortification, charity and devotion, an accomplished model of all virtues. He received the tonsure and some years later, the Holy Orders of Deacon and Priest, at the hands of Josselin, Bishop of Saint-Brieuc.
He served that Church and Diocese, under his two predecessors, Bishops Peter and Sylvester and succeeded the latter in the episcopal dignity about the year 1220.
The poor were his treasurers and not content to exhaust on them whatever he possessed, he often borrowed great stores of corn and other necessary provisions for their relief. The bare boards were usually his bed – for his domestic servants discovered that he never made use of the soft bed which they prepared for him. In 1225 he sold all his possessions in a famine to aid the poor and homeless.
The Duke Peter I forced him into a brief exile in 1228 and he spent that time living for a while in Poitiers before he returned to his Diocese in 1230 after the Duke reconciled with Pope Gregory IX. It was during his exile in Poitiers that he assisted the ill Bishop there and helped him in his ecclesial duties.
He died in 1234 and his body was deposited in his Cathedral and taken up incorrupt in 1284 . Pope Innocent IV Canonised Pinchon on 24 March 1247 a mere 13 years after his death.
Saint of the Day – 9 July – Blessed Giovanna Scopelli O.Carm (1428 – 1491) Virgin, Mystic, Italian Religious of the Carmelites and established her own Convent as its first Prioress. She was known, during her lifetime as a miracle-worker with many coming to her to ask for her assistance and prayers. Born in 1428 at Reggio d’ Emilia, Italy and died in 1491 of natural causes, aged 63. Also known as – Jane Scopelli, Joan Scopelli, Giovanna of of Reggio Her body is incorrupt.
Giovanna Scopelli was born in 1428 in Reggio Emilia to Simone and Caterina Scopelli. From her childhood she felt a strong attraction to the religious life though her parents disapproved of this vocation and forbade her to pursue it. Scopelli submitted to this and so led her austere and pious life at home until the death of her parents around 1480, when she then decided to form the Carmelite Convent of Santa Maria del Popolo while in the process of her Novitiate.
Giovanna took on the task of looking for a suitable place, when a widow offered herself, two daughters and her home. They lived together from 1480 until 1484, meanwhile Giovanna was looking for a place twhich could serve as a Monastery. Giovanna set her eyes on the Church of St Bernard, which belonged to the Humiliati Friars. With the support of the Bishop, Philip Zoboli, she obtained it from the Friars’ General on his way through Reggio. The beginnings of the new Monastery dates from 1485, with the name changed from that of St Bernard to that of St Mary of the People (afterwards called of the White Sisters). The inevitable financial difficulties at the beginning were surmounted through the help of a certain Christopher Zoboli. Under Joan’s direction more than twenty religious made up the new community, which was entrusted to the care of the Mantuan Congregation of Carmelites and, for which, in 1487, the Carmelites provided a Confessor.
She refused all endowments and gifts – and urged her fellow religious to do the same thing – unless such gifts were given as alms with no conditions attached to them. In 1487 a Priest was assigned to them as their Confessor. The nuns became known as “The White Nuns.”
God gifted Giovanna with extraordinary charisms. She herself fostered a deep Marian piety (she venerated the Blessed Virgin with a special devotion of her own, called the Tunic of Our Lady – mainly a frequent repetition of Hail Marys and was animated by an intense spirit of penance.
She died on 9 July1491;. Her cult began the following year, with the exhumation of her incorrupt body. In 1500 a public judgement was passed on her life, her virtues and her miracles. During the years 1767-70 the Diocesan process for the recognition of the cult was held, which met with the approval of Pope Clement XIV on 24 August 1771. After the suppression of the Monastery by the secular powers and of the Church of the Carmelite nuns in 1797, the body of the Blessed was transferred to the Cathedral in the year 1803.
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) +2021
Nuestra Señora del Refugio / Our Lady of Refuge, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico (1720) – 4 July:
Jesuit Missionary Father Juan José Güica brought a painting of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners from Italy to Mexico in 1720. In a dream, the Virgin told Padre Güica to ask the Franciscans of Zacatecas to use and promote the image; – they distributed over 150 copies, making this one of the most widespread Marian devotions in Mexico.
In 1793 Franciscan Friars came to the new settlement which would become Matamoros, renaming the area “Nuestra Señora del Refugio de los Esteros Hermosos” (Our Lady of the Refuge of the Lovely Marshes).
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Refuge, built in 1832, displays an 1886 painting of her. Her fiesta, celebrated in many Mexican Towns, commemorates the coronation of the original “Refugium Peccatori” in the Jesuit Church of Frascati, Italy, on 4 July 1717.
Bl Agatha Yun Jeom-Hye St Albert Quadrelli St Andrew of Crete St Anthony Daniel St Aurelian of Lyons St Bertha of Blangy St Carileffo of Anille Bl Catherine Jarrige St Cesidio Giacomantonio Bl Damiano Grassi of Rivoli St Donatus of Libya St Edward Fulthrop St Elias of Jerusalem St Finbar of Wexford St Fiorenzo of Cahors St Flavian of Antioch St Giocondiano Bl Giovanni of Vespignano St Haggai the Prophet Bl Hatto of Ottobeuren Bl Henry Abbot St Henry of Albano St Hosea the Prophet St Innocent of Sirmium Bl John Carey Blessed John Cornelius SJ (1557– 1594) Martyr, English Priest of the Society of Jesus, Missionary. Bl Jozef Kowalski St Jucundian St Laurian of Seville St Lauriano of Vistin Bl Maria Crocifissa Curcio St Namphanion the Archmartyr Bl Natalia of Toulouse St Odo the Good Bl Odolric of Lyon Bl Patrick Salmon Bl Pedro Romero Espejo
Our Lady of the Taper of Cardigan (1100s)– 15 June:
During the middle ages there was a notable pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady in Cardigan. A beautiful legend describes how a Statue of Mary was found by the side of the river Teifi, “and her sonne upon her lappe and the taper bernynge in her hande.” It was taken to the Parish Church but would not remain there, returning three or four times to “the place where now is buyIded the Church of our Lady,” the present St.Mary’s Church. A chantry Priest sang Mass daily in honour of Our Lady for pilgrims who came to pray and leave gifts. They lodged with the Knights Hospitallers of S. John, where the Angel Hotel now stands.
St Mary’s dates from 1158, built to hold the Statue. It resembles an earlier Shrine in the city of Arras, which was then in Flanders. Did Flemish merchants, who settled in Cardigan and traded in Welsh wool out of the port, bring the Statue back with them?
Devotion to Mary was once universal in Wales. Many places are called Llanfair or Capel Mair (Mary’s Church, Chapel) and dozens of flowers and plants bear her name. No girl was given the name Mair (Mary), as it was reserved for Our Lady.
We do not know how the devotion transferred to Barcelona and Cagliari. In the 1320’s and 1330’s Catalonian sailors had thronged British waters. Did they come to Cardigan, see the Shrine and copy it? In 1904 Breton Monks, in exile near Cardigan, revived the devotion, giving the title Our Lady of Cardigan to their Abbey Church and also to the little Church they opened in Town in 1912. They left in 1916 and another generation passed before the name was heard again.
In 1952 Martin Gillett, who later was to found the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, told Bishop Petit that Cardigan had once possessed a famous Shrine. The Bishop instantly decided to restore it. In 1956 a new Statue was blessed by Cardinal Griffin in Westminster Cathedral and then taken to every Parish in the Diocese of Menevia before arriving in Cardigan. On 27 May 1956, a great concourse from all parts of Britain bore it to the little Church of Our Lady of Sorrows. On 23 July 1970 Bishops Petit and Fox consecrated the new church of Our Lady of the Taper, named after the Shrine. Three days later pilgrims transferred the Statue there.
The original Statue was taken to London and destroyed at Chelsea in 1538 along with other Marian images on the orders of Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, Chief Minister of King Henry VIII. Mother Concordia, OSB, was asked to make another in bronze. Designated as a Welsh National Shrine of Our Lady, it was blessed in Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral and brought all over Wales before, on Pentecost Sunday, 18 May 1986, it was solemnly installed in the presence of 4,500 pilgrims. Its beauty catches the imagination and arouses devotion. Pope John Paul II wrote a special message for the occasion, and a taper he blessed in Rome was placed in the hand of the statue and lit.
Its symbolism is that Mary presents her Son to us, as she did to the Wise Men, to be adored. The taper testifies that He is Light of the World. Pilgrims come to pray individually and in groups. May they learn to treasure the word of God in their hearts, as Mary did, and live by the light of her Son, who is her Saviour and ours.
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). Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/15/saint-of-the-day-15-june-st-bernard-of-menthon-c-r-s-a-c-1020-1081-apostle-of-the-alps/
St Constantine of Beauvais St Domitian of Lobbes St Edburgh of Winchester St Eigil St Eutropia of Palmyra St Fortunatus of Corinth
St Hadelinus of Lobbes St Hesychius of Durostorum St Hilarion of Espalion Bl Juan Rodriguez St Julius of Durostorum St Landelin of Crespin St Leonides of Palmyra St Libya of Palmyra St Lotharius of Séez St Melan of Viviers St Orsisius Bl Pedro da Teruel Bl Peter Snow St Pierre de Cervis Blessed Pietro Nolasco Perra OdeM (1574-1606) Bl Ralph Grimston St Tatian of Cilicia Bl Thomas Scryven St Trillo of Wales St Vaughen of Ireland
St Vitus (c 290-c 303) – Martyr, One of the Seven Holy Helpers. 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: https://anastpaul.com/2017/06/15/saint-of-the-day-15-june-st-vitus/
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.
Saint of the Day – 8 June – Saint William of York (Died 1154) Archbishop of York, Monk. Also known as William FitzHerbert, William FitzHerbert of York, William of Thwayt.
Born William FitzHerbert in York, William was the son of Herbert of Winchester, Chancellor and Treasurer of King Henry I. Thus born into a powerful family in 12th-century England, William seemed destined for great things. His uncle was next in line for the English throne—though a nasty dynastic struggle complicated things. William himself faced an internal Church feud.
He was elected as the Archbishop of York in 1140. His selection was challenged by reformers, especially a group of Cistercians and William was accused of simony, sexual misconduct and being unduly influenced by his connections to the Royal Court.
The Vatican investigated and Pope Innocent cleared him of all charges,and confirmed him as Archbishop on 26 September 1143, 3 years of his election. However, the charges resurfaced a few years later under Pope Eugene III, a Cistercian; Eugene suspended William from his See and in 1147 removed him as Archbishop, replacing him with the Cistercian Henry Murdac, Abbot of Fountains’ Abbey. Some of William’s supporters took to the streets to defend him and during a riot, they attacked and burned a section of the Monastery of Fountains’ Abbey. William, however, retired to Winchester and became a Monk, noted for his austerities and active prayer life.
In 1154, in the reign of Pope Anastasius IV, William was called from his seclusion and again became the Archbishop of York. When he entered the City that Spring after years of exile, he received an enthusiastic welcome. Within two months, however, he was dead, probably from poisoning believed to be in the sacramental wine. One of William’s Clerks accused Osbert de Bayeux, an Archdeacon of York and Osbert was summoned before the King to be tried at the Royal Court. But the King died before the trial could take place ad it seems to have never occurred.
William was buried at York Cathedral. A few months of his death, miracles were attributed to his intervention and a sweet smell came from his tomb when it was damaged during a fire. Nor was the body decayed or burnt in the fire. Pope Honorius III then ordered an investigation into the miracles. In 1226, he was Canonised in Rome by Pope Honorius III on 18 March 1226, just 73 years after his death.
Virgen María Sembradora / Virgin Mary the Planter, Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina – 4 June :
She is a great sower in the world of the best Seed, that of her Son. She was chosen to be the door of that great Seed that has changed the colour and flavour of all things and peoples of this world, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. A planter of the Gospel as a woman in her home, in that family of Nazareth where Jesus grew in wisdom and truth. She sowed silence around her Son, a silence of listening, of following, of accepting God’s will. But she also sowed commitment to the need of Elizabeth her relative and at that wedding in Cana. She again put seeds of the Kingdom at the foot of the Cross, welcoming that disconsolate disciple, becoming a Mother to him and to us all. Her seeds of unity, affection and advice in the midst of the community bore fruit … Today she continues to plant all this in our hearts to love her Son Jesus and God our Father who chose her as His Masterpiece.
The image of Virgen Maria Sembradora / Virgin Mary the Planter is housed in the Parish “San Carlos Borromeo” in Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Virgin carries in her right hand the Seed of the Word, planting it in the hearts of the faithful.
A Novena is begun on 25 May and on 4 June every year, the Statue is carried out in procession.
St Aldegrin of Baume St Alexander of Verona St Alonio Bl Antoni Zawistowski St Aretius of Rome Bl Boniface of Villers St Breaca of Cornwall St Buriana of Cornwall St Christa of Sicily St Clateus of Brescia St Cornelius McConchailleach St Croidan St Cyrinus of Aquileia St Dacian of Rome St Degan St Edfrith of Lindisfarne St Elsiar of Lavedan St Ernin of Cluain
St Francis Caracciolo CRM (1563-1608) Priest, Co-Founder of the Congregation of the Clerics Regular Minor with Venerable John Augustine (1551-1587) the “Adorno Fathers,” Confessor, Apostle of the Eucharistic Adoration. His body was given enough preparation for a long journey to Naples. Truly, God has left His own sign on him. When the body was lanced, the blood spouted a red and scented fluid and his vital organs were uncorrupted. Around his heart were printed the words of the Psalm: “The zeal of your house consumes me” (Ps 69:10). Wow!: https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/04/saint-of-the-day-4-june-saint-francis-caracciolo-crm-1563-1608/
Bl Francis Ronci Bl Margaret of Vau-le-Duc St Medan Bl Menda Isategui St Metrophanes of Byzantium St Nennoc St Nicolo of Sardinia St Optatus of Milevis Blessed Pacificus of Cerano OFM (c 1424-1482) Priest of the Order of the Friars Minor of St Francis St Petroc of Cornwall St Quirinus of Croatia St Quirinus of Tivoli St Rutilus of Sabaria Saturnina of Arras Bl Stanislaw Kostka Starowieyski St Trano of Sardinia St St Walter of Fontenelle Walter of Serviliano — Martyrs of Cilicia – 13 saints: A group of 13 Christians who were martyred together. The only details about them that have survived are their names – • Cama• Christa• Crescentia• Eiagonus• Expergentus• Fortunus• Italius • Jucundian• Julia• Momna• Philip• Rustulus• Saturnin They were martyred in in Cilicia, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey), date unknown
Martyrs of Nyon – 41 saints: A group of 41 Christians martyred together for refusing to sacrifice to imperial Roman idols. We know the names of some but no other details. • Amatus• Attalus• Camasus• Cirinus• Dinocus• Ebustus• Euticus• Eutychius • Fortunius• Galdunus• Julia• Quirinus• Rusticus• Saturnina• Saturninus • Silvius• Uinnita• Zoticus Martyred by being beheaded in Noviodunum (modern Nyon, Switzerland).
Saint of the Day – 22 May – Saint Humility of Faenza (c 1226–1310) Wife, Mother, Nun – a founder of Vallumbrosan convents and is considered the Founder of the Vallumbrosan Nuns, Wife, Mother Widow, Recluse, spiritual adviser, spiritual writer. Born in 1226 at Faenza, Italy as Rosanna Negusanti and died on 22 May 1310 at Florence, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Rosanna, Humilitas, Umiltà. Patronage- Faenza. Her body is incorrupt.
The Roman Martyrolog states pf her todzy: “In Florence, blessed Umiltà (Rosanna), who, with her husband’s consent, lived for twelve years as a recluse. Aat the request of the Bishop, she then built a Monastery of which she became Abbess and which she associated with the Order of Vallombrosa.”
Her ‘Life’ was written by the contemporary Monk Biagio in c 1330, is contained in the cod. 271 of the Riccardiana Library of Florence; also there is a second ‘Life’ in the cod. 1563 of the same Library. But many other texts of the following centuries, up to the Acts of the Congregation of Rites of 1720, report news concerning her, both as a person, for the writings, for the apostolic processes and for the foundations of ,onasteries connected to her.
Rosanna Negusanti, daughter of the nobles Elimonte and Richelda, was born in Faenza in 1226, the year of the death of the Seraphic Francis of Assisi, 1226.
In 1241 at the age of 15, she lost her father and the following year at 16 she married the nobleman named Ugoletto dei Caccianemici (died 1256). They had two children, but their happiness was very brief for both children died as soon as they were Baptise. At this time too, her mother, Richelda also died.
But the young woman, she was 24, without becoming discouraged and giving in to despair or distracting herself with the joys of the world, together with her husband Ugoletto decided to retire to religious life, both entering the cloisters of the rectory of St Perpetua. ; Iit was not uncommon in the Middle Ages to witness choices of this kind between two Christian spouses. And on this occasion Rosanna Negusanti changes her name to Humility; after having miraculously recovered from a serious illness.
Here she lived for twelve years, purifying and elevating her spirit with prayers and fasting, alternating them with advice that she gave to those who turned to her for help. Her example attracted some young women from Faenza who asked to build cells near hers and to live under her guidance.
And so in 1266 on the advice of Bishop Petrella, Humility agreed to become the spiritual guide of the new nuns, gathered in the old Monastery of Malta in Vallombrosa, which from then on would be called St Maria Novella. Humility was now 40 years old, she returned to being a mother full of goodness, wisdom and energy, becoming the guide for the new daughters, directing them on the path of holiness.
Fifteen years passed, putting into practice all the virtues of the Rule of St Benedict and the Vallombrosan Constitutions of St John Gualberto. When she was 55, in 1281, Mother Humilitybegan to build a new spiritual home for the young Florentine girls, whose life was shaken by the struggles between Whites and Blacks, the warring factions in the region. A Cchurch was erected in Florence, in honour of St John the Apostle Evangelist, had as Architect Giovanni Pisano and as Decorator the famous Buffalmacco. It was Consecrated in 1297 by the Bishop Francesco Monaldeschi.
Despite being very sick and elderly, Sister Humilty kept personal contacts with Faenza and Rome to give continuity to the two Monasteries, until after six months of suffering, at the age of 84, she ceased to live in Florence and on 22 May 1310 she entered life.
After a year on 6 June 1311, her body was exhumed and although it was buried in the bare earth, under the floor of the Church, it was incorrupt. She was dressed in precious clothes and from then on, she had an uninterrupted cult. Her body was later transferred to the Monasteries of St Caterina, of St Antonio (1529), of San Salvi (1534), in the 19th century to that of the Spirito Santo of Varlungo near Florence. Finally, in 1972, in the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Bagno a Ripoli, near Florence, where it is still preserved as perfect as it was in 1310.
The spirituality of St Humility can be seen from the few writings that have come down to us, they are a living expression of profound humility and fervent love for God and neighbour. Her cult is very ancient, perhaps it even dates back to the solemn ‘elevation’ of the relics in 1311, in which a Mass of its own was granted. In 1317, the Bishops gathered in Avignon, granted particular indulgences to her cult.
On 27 January 1720, the Congregation of Rites with Pope Benedict XIII confirmed the ancient cult, having their own Mass celebrated on 22 May and she was formally Canonised on 27 January 1720 by Pope Clement XI. She was declared Co-Patroness of Faenza in 1942. Altars were dedicated to her in the two Monasteries she founded of the Vallombrosana Congregation .
Saint of the Day – 14 May – Saint Ampelio (Died c 428) Hermit, miracle-worker. Born in the 4th century in Upper Egypt and died on 5 October c 428 in Bordighera, Italy of natural causes. His Feast day refers to the translation of his body to the Church of Saint Stephen in Genoa, Italy on 14 May 1258. Patronages – blacksmiths, Bordighera, Italy. His body is incorrupt and is the only image we have of him.
Nothing is known about the early life of Saint Ampelio. We know that he was a blacksmith who left his work to become a Recluse in Egypt. His faith was tested in the form of a woman (devil) but Ampelio heated an iron bar until it glowed and chased the demon away.
Ampelio emigrated to Italy, where he planted the first date palms, having brought the seeds from Egypt, lived in a cave, was known as a miracle worker and served as a model for prayer for the Christian life.
He died on 5 October 428 in Bordighera, Italy of natural causes. His body was moved to the Convent of Saint Stephen in Genoa, Italy on 14 May 1258. On 16 August 1047, his body was brought back to Bordighera. He was taken in procession through the crowd to the Church of Magdalene, where he now lies. The Patron celebrations take place on 14th May, in memory of the transfer of the body from Sanremo to Genoa in 1258.
There is a little Church dedicated to St Ampelio in Bordighera in Liguria, Italy. The crypt, with two apses and small, inclined loop-holes, holds a squared-off block of stone from La Turbie (the rock which dominates the Principality of Monaco). This stone was the poor and very uncomfortable “bed of the saint,” where Ampelio died the 5th October 428.
Nuestra Señora del / Our Lady of Quito, Ecuador (1534) – 28 April:
This miraculous image of Our Lady of Quito currently in the Capital City of Ecuador ,is said to date from the first Spanish settlement there in the year 1534. At the very least, it has certainly been venerated there for a long time and is popularly called ,by the people of Quito, Our Lady of the Earthquake. The painting represents the Sorrowful Mother and in the early years of the twentieth century, devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Quito was introduced into England ,by the Servite Friars in London. Saint Pius X accorded them an indulgence for those who should pray before her picture, and the devotion was greatly promoted in England by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus, Mother Cornelia Connelly’s congregation. The original image at Quito was solemnly crowned in 1918. On 20 April 1906, thirty-six boys attending the boarding school of the Jesuit Fathers at Quito, Ecuador, together with Father Andrew Roesch, witnessed a miracle of this famous picture of Our Lady. While in the refectory they all saw the Blessed Mother slowly open and shut her eyes. The same miracle occurred no less than seven times after that, in favour of the boys at the school but this time, in the Chapel to which the picture had been taken.
Ecclesiastical authorities soon investigated these incidents and finally concluded by ordering the picture to be transferred, in procession from the college to the Church of the Jesuit Fathers. Once at the Church, the miracle was repeated several times before large crowds and many, many conversions took place because of these miracles. At one time, the wonder continued for three consecutive days. At Riobamba, before a faithful reproduction of Our Lady of Quito, the same wonder was seen by more than 20 persons, including the president of the City. In Quito this picture is known as the Dolorosa del Colegio.
A Conceptionist Sister, named Mother Mariana de Jesús Torres received Marian apparitions under this title from 2 February 1594 to 2 February 1634. In 1611, the local Bishop gave his approval to the apparitions.
Our Lady appeared to Mother Mariana and predicted many things about our own times. This following, is part of what she told her. We can see for ourselves how it relates directly to our own time. “…. I make it known to you, that from the end of the 19th century and shortly after the middle of the 20th century…. the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of customs (morals)…. “They will focus principally on the children, in order to sustain this general corruption. Woe to the children of these times! It will be difficult to receive the Sacrament of Baptism and also, that of Confirmation… “As for the Sacrament of Matrimony… it will be attacked and deeply profaned… The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of the Faith will gradually be extinguished… Added to this, will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations. “The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed and despised… The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labour with cruel and subtle astuteness, to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalise the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church ,fall upon all priests… “Further, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury, which will ensnare the rest ,into sin and conquer innumerable frivolous souls, who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women. In this supreme moment of need of the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.” In a subsequent apparition, Our Lady told Mother Mariana that these apparitions were not to become generally known until the twentieth century.
On 8 December 1634, the apparition predicted that Papal Infallibility “will be declared a Dogma of the Faith by the same Pope chosen to proclaim the Dogma of the Mystery of My Immaculate Conception.” In 1854, Blessed Pope Pius IX defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception and in 1870, he declared the Dogma of Papal Infallibility as defined by the First Vatican Council.
Mother Mariana died on 16 January 1635, shortly after the last apparition. When her tomb was reopened in 1906, her body was found to be perfectly incorrupt, after nearly 300 years in an ordinary, unprotected, wooden coffin. The Archdiocese of Quito opened her cause for Canonisation in 1986 and finished the Diocesan stage of the process ,in 1997.
Saint of the Day – 27 April – Blessed Osanna of Cattaro OP (1493-1565) Virgin, Mystic, Anchoress., Tertiary of the Order of St Dominic, spiritual guide. Born on 25 November 1493 at Kumano, Montenegro as Catherine Cosie and died on 27 April 1565 in Kotor, Montenegro of natural causes, aged 71. Patronage – Kotor, Montenegro. Also known as – Catherine Cosie, Catherine Kosic, Catherine of Montenegro, Hosanna of Kotor, Ossana of Cattaro, Ozana Kotorska, “Teacher of Mysticism,” “Angel of Peace,” “Virgin Reconciler”and “Trumpet of the Holy Spirit.” Her Body is incorrupt.
Over the course of her life, the people of Kotor came to call her “the trumpet of the Holy Spirit” and the “teacher of mysticism.” People from all walks of life came to her for advice and she interceded particularly ,for peace in the town and among feuding families. Therefore, she was also called “the Virgin Reconciler” and the “Angel of Peace.”
The life of this Blessed has a very special charm. Born in 1493 to very humble Orthodox parents in Kebeza, during the heart of the Greek schism, she was given the name of Catherine at her baptism.
This little shepherdess, enraptured by the beauty of the magnificent views of her Montenegro, she fell in love with the Creator of so many wonders and, with unusual ardour, sheasked Him to show Himself to her. And there, in the solitude of the mountains, Jesus appeared to her first, a tender child and then Crucified, imprinting an indelible seal on her virgin heart.
When she was a little older, she was placed in Kotor as a servant in the family of a Senator, an excellent Catholic. Here, she was able to educate herself in the true faith and to receive the Sacraments. Having known the Dominicans, at the age of twenty-two, she made a heroic decision: -to become a recluse forever, taking up the habit and the Rule of the Third Order of St Dominic.
And so, walled up in a cell next to the Church of St Paolo, run by the Dominicans, she lived in the contemplation of the pains of Jesus and in the complete immolation of herself. She was also a teacher of holiness to countless souls but above all she was the guardian angel of Kotor. Although she lived alone, there was nothing selfish about Osanna’s spirituality. A group of her Dominican sisters, who considered her their leader, consulted her frequently and sought her prayers. A convent of sisters founded at Cattaro, regarded her as their foundress,because of her spiritual guidance and prayers, although she never saw the place. When the City was attacked by the Turks, the people ran to her for help and they credited their deliverance to her prayers. Another time, her prayers saved them from the plague.
She died on 27 April 1565. Her body rests in the Church of Santa Maria in Kotor.
The incorrupt body of Osanna was kept in the Church of St Paul until 1807, when the French Army converted the church into a warehouse. Her body was then brought to the Church of St Mary. The people of Kotor venerated her as a saint. In 1905, the process for her Beatification began in Kotor and was successfully completed in Rome. On 21 December 1927, Pope Pius XI approved her cultus, invoking its intercession for Christian unity and in 1934, he formally Beatified her.
Saint of the Day – 13 April – Saint Caradoc of Wales (Died 1124) Priest, Monk, Hermit , miracle-worker, Harpist. Born in the 11th century in Brycheiniog, Wales and died on 13 April 1124, which was Low Sunday that year, at Saint Isells, Wales of natural causes. His body is incorrupt. Also known as Caradog, Caractacus, Caradocus, Caradoco.
Caradoc was a Welsh nobleman, native of Brecknockshire, who after he had received a liberal education, enjoyed the confidence of Rees, or Resus, Prince of South-Wales and held an honourable place in his Court, as a harp player.
The Prince one day, on account of two greyhounds ,which were lost, fell into such a fury against Caradoc as to threaten his life. Caradoc, from this disgrace learned the inconstancy and uncertainty, of worldly honours and the best founded hopes and resolved to dedicate himself altogether to the service of the King of kings, whose promises can never fail and whose rewards are eternal.
Upon the spot he broke the tip of his spear to turn it into a walking stick and he made the sacrifice of himself to God, by a vow of perpetual chastity and of embracing a religious life. Repairing to Landaff to become a Monk, he received from the Bishop the clerical tonsure and for some time served God in the Church of St Theliau.
Being desirous of finding a closer union with God in solitude, he spent some years in a little hut, which he built himself, near the abandoned Church of St Kined.
The reputation of his sanctity filled the whole country and the Archbishop of Menevia, or St David’s, calling him to that town, promoted him to the Priestly orders. The saint hence retired, with certain devout companions, to the isle of Ary.
Certain pirates from Norway, who often infested these coasts, carried them off as prisoners,but, fearing the judgements of God, safely set them on shore again the next day. However, the Archbishop of Menevia assigned the saint another habitation in the Monastery of St Hismael, commonly called Ysam, in the country of Ross, or Pembroke-shire.
Henry I., King of England, having subdued the southern Welsh, sent a colony of Flemings into the country of Ross, who drove the old Britons out of their possessions. The saint and his Monastery suffered much from the oppressions of these new inhabitants, especially of Richard Tankard, a powerful Englishman among them. This nobleman was, after some time, struck by God with a dangerous illness and having recourse to St Caradoc, was, by his prayers, restored to his health. From this time the saint and his Monastery found a benefactor and protector.
St Caradoc died on Low-Sunday, the 13th of April, in the year 1124 and was buried with great honour in the Church of St David. We are assured that his tomb was illustrated by miracles and his body was found whole and incorrupt several years after, when it was translated with great solemnity. The historian, William of Malmesbury, tried to cut off a finger to take as a relic but St Caradoc’s hand jerked away!
A letter from Pope Innocent III ordering an enquiry into his life and miracles still survives. The Church at Lawrenny in Wales, is dedicated to him.
Saint of the Day – 5 April – Saint Catherine of Palma OSA (1533–1574) Nun of the Order of the Canonesses of St Augustine, Mystic, gifted with the charism of prophecy, visions and ecstasy. Born on 1 May 1533 at Valldemossa, Mallorca, Spain and died on 5 April 1574 at Saint Mary Magdalen convent, Palma, Mallorca, Spain of natural causes, at the aged of 41. She is also known as Catalina Thomás, Caterina Tomàs i Gallard, and Catherine or Catalina Thomas or Tomas. Patronage – Mallorca. Her Body is incorrupt.
Catherine was born 1 May 1533 at Valldemossa, Mallorca, Spain, in a peasant family. Catherine was the youngest of 7 children. Her parents died when she was 7, leaving her without an inheritance or a dowry. She spent her remaining formative years in the home of her paternal uncle. Even though she was very young, she was made to do the worst tasks. The servants were even encouraged to overwork and ignore her. Even so, she remained ever sweet and patient.
At age 15, she began having visions of St Anthony and St Catherine, her patroness. It was then that she began to feel a calling to the Religious life. She confided these desires to a holy hermit Priest, Father Antony Castagneda. Believing that Catherine needed time to discern if this was really her vocation, he told her that she would receive a reply in time, if she continued to pray about it, as he would also do. She agreed without question or argument.
She had to wait a long time. The wait was made even more frustrating by the treatment she endured at the hands of her relations, who increased their mistreatment of her, because they feared losing her services. Father Antony hadn’t forgotten her though. He was finding it very hard to find a Convent that could afford to take a girl with no dowry. As a preliminary step to entering a Convent, he sent Catherine to serve a family in Palma, where nothing could stand in the way of her spiritual life. One of the daughters in the household taught her reading and writing. This girl soon became Catherine’s disciple in religious matters, since Catherine had already come very far on the road to holiness.
Soon, several Convents offered to take her. She decided to enter the Canonesses of St Augustine, at their Convent of St Mary Magdalen in Palma, Mallorca. She was 20 years old at that time. From the moment she was admitted, she was admired by the other sisters, because of her sanctity and loved because of her humility and her willingness to serve others.
The life of Catherine, in the Convent, was ordinary at first and there was nothing to distinguish her. Then, strange things began to happen to her. Every year, between 13 and 15 days before the Feast of St Catherine of Alexandria, she would lie in a profound trance. Also, after communion, she would always remain in ecstasy, which would last most of the day, or sometimes a whole week. There were times when she appeared to be in a coma, with no signs of life, for days but at other times, she would move around the Convent with her feet together and her eyes closed, sometimes conversing with Angels and other heavenly beings and oblivious to everything and everyone around her.
At other times she would intelligently answer questions, while in one of these “Comas.” She also had the gift of prophesy. In between these events, she would be severely attacked and tempted by demons. she not only suffered evil suggestions and hallucinations, and physical manifestations of demons but, she also suffered physical assaults at their hands. When this happened, frightening screams and sounds could be heard coming from Catherine’s cell. The other nuns could never see what was attacking her but they could see what the attacks left in their wake and they would try to relieve her suffering. She tried very hard not to let these experiences get in the way of the timely discharge of her work. She foretold her own death, and died at age 41 on 5 April 1574.
Saint of the Day – 1 April – Saint Mary of Egypt (c 344-c 421) Desert Mother, Penitent, Recluse, Born in c 344 in Egypt am died in c 421 in the desert near the River Jordan of natural causes. Also known as Maria Aegyptica, Maria Egiziaca. Patronages – Penitents, Chastity (warfare against the flesh; deliverance from carnal passions), demons (deliverance from), fever, skin diseases, reformed fallen women.
The primary source of information on Saint Mary of Egypt is the Vita written of her, around 100 years after her death, by St Sophronius, the Bishop of Jerusalem (634–638). Most of the information in this section is taken from this source. The complete Vita is available to read here (from an Orthodox Church source): https://stmaryofegypt.org/files/library/life.htm
Saint Mary, was born somewhere in the Province of Egypt. At the age of twelve she ran away from her parents to the City of Alexandria. Here she lived an extremely dissolute life. In her Vita, it states that she often refused the money offered for her sexual favours, as she was driven “by an insatiable and an irrepressible passion” and that she mainly lived by begging, supplemented by spinning flax.
After seventeen years of this lifestyle, she travelled to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. She undertook the journey as a sort of “anti-pilgrimage,” stating, that she hoped to find, in the pilgrim crowds at Jerusalem, even more partners in her lust. She paid for her passage by offering sexual favours to other pilgrims and she continued her habitual lifestyle for a short time in Jerusalem.
Her Vita relates that when she tried to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the celebration, she was barred from doing so by an unseen force. Realising that this was because of her impurity, she was struck with remorse and upon seeing an icon of the Mother of God Blessed Virgin. outside the Church, she prayed for forgiveness and promised to give up the world. Then, she attempted again to enter the Church and this time, was permitted in.
After venerating the relic of the True Cross, she returned to the Icon to give thanks and heard a voice telling her, “If you cross the Jordan, you will find glorious rest.” She immediately went to the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist on the bank of the River Jordan, where she received absolution and afterwards, Holy Communion. The next morning, she crossed the Jordan and retired to the desert to live the rest of her life as a hermit in penitence. She took with her only three loaves of bread and once they were gone, lived only on what she could find in the wilderness.
Approximately one year before her death, she recounted her life to Saint Zosimas of Palestine (c 460-c 560), who encountered her in the desert. When he unexpectedly met her in the desert, she was completely naked and almost unrecognisable as human. She asked St Zosimas to give her his mantle to cover her nakedness and then she narrated her life’s story to him.
She then asked him to meet her at the banks of the Jordan, on Holy Thursday of the following year and bring her Holy Communion. When he fulfilled her wish, she crossed the river to get to him by walking on the surface of the water and received Holy Communion, asking him to meet her again in the desert the following Lent.
The next year, St Zosimas travelled to the same spot where he first met her, some twenty days’ journey from his Monastery and found her lying there dead. According to an inscription written in the sand next to her head, she had died on the very night he had given her the Blessed Sacrament and had been somehow miraculously transported to the place he found her. Her body was preserved incorrupt.
He buried her body with the assistance of a passing lion. On returning to the Monastery, he related her life story to the brethren and it was preserved among them, as oral tradition, until it was written down by St Sophronius.
There is disagreement among various sources regarding the dates of Saint Mary’s life. The dates given above correspond to those in the Catholic Encyclopedia. The Bollandists place her death in 421, or 530. The only clue given in her Vita, is the fact that the day of her repose was 1 April which was stated to be Holy Thursday, meaning ,that Easter fell on 4 April that year, 421.
St Mary’s relics lie in various Cathlic Churhes, the Italian Churches are named below- Rome, Naples, and Cremona in Italy and in Antwerp, Belgium. In Italy, Mary became associated with the Patronage of fallen women much like Mary Magdalene, to whom similar traits were associated. There are a number of Churches or Chapels dedicated to Saint Mary of Egypt, among which are:
Temple of Portunus (Santa Maria Egiziaca, Rome) Church of Santa Maria Egiziaca a Forcella, Naples Church of Santa Maria Egiziaca a Pizzofalcone, Naples Chapel in Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, commemorating the site of her conversion
Many literary works commemorate her within various formats, both fictional, stage and music.
Saint of the Day – 28 March – Blessed Antonio Patrizi OSA (c 1280-1311) Priest, Friar of the Order of St Augustine, Prior, Hermit. Born in c 1280 in Siena, Italy and died in c 1311 in Monticiano, Italy. His body is incorrupt.
Anthonio Patrizi was born in Siena sometime in the thirteenth century, although the exact date and year are not known. He was the son of Pietro and Ginerva Patrizi of the prominent house of Patrizi with its origins from Rome.
In 1287 he was entrusted to the Order of Preachers for his studies. On one particular Christmas Eve night, in the Basilica di San Domenico, he was inspired to visit the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala on Christmas day, where he met Pietro de’ Piccolomini who suggested that the two both go to enroll in the Order of Saint Augustine at Leccet. They accordingly proceeded to Leccet, leaving the following day, 26 December and were immediately admitted into the novitiate.
Antonio joined the Order of St Augustine in Lecceto and lived as a Hermit in the Monastery of Lecceto, renowned for its emphasis on contemplative life and the holiness of many of its members. It was here that other well known Friars such as Clement of Osimo, Agostino Novello and William Flete also lived at various times. He was appointed at one point as the Prior of his Lecceto Convent.
Anonio died sometime just after midnight on 23 April 1311 at the Convent of Monticiano, where he was spending the night, while on a visit to his Florentine friend Pietro da Collegonzi.
In the book A Brief Life of Some Hermit Friars by the Anonymous Florentine, the story of Anthonio’s death is recounted. It tells of how, on the night on which he died, assistants of an elderly and gravely ill couple who lived nearby, were looking out a window of the sick couple’s house, which faced the Monastery. They saw coming from the Monastery a brilliant light that appeared to touch the sky. At first they thought that the Monastery was burning but as they watched, they saw that it was not a fire but that there must be, in the Monastery, someone whose holiness touched the heavens. The sick couple also came to the window, saw the light and began to pray, asking that this unknown holy person would heal them of their illness. Immediately they were restored to health. They went to the Monastery, told the Friars what had happened and asked to see the holy man. The Friars went to the room of their guest and discovered that Anthonio had died.
Antonio’s remains were interred in a grave where it was said to have caused lilies to grow during the wintertime. His incorrupt remains were later transferred to the local church of Santi Pietro e Paolo – later renamed in his honour – and were transferred on two more occasions in 1616 and 1700.
Antonio received formal Beatification from Pope Pius VII on 1 March 1804 after the latter ratified the Antonio’s local ‘cultus’ – or popular devotion – that had endured from his death.
Saint of the Day – 25 February – Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio OFM (1502-1600) “The Angel of Mexico,” Franciscan Lay brother, Confessor, Ascetic, apostle of the poor, builder of roads and bridges in Mexico and thus is honoured as the founder of the transport and road system in Mexico. Born as Sebastiano de Aparicio y del Pardo on 20 January 1502 in La Gudiña, Orense, Spain and died on 25 February 1600 of natural causes, aged 98. Sebastian was a Spanish colonist in Mexico shortly after its conquest by Spain, who after a lifetime as a rancher and road builder, entered the Order of Friars Minor as a lay brother. He spent the next 26 years of his long life, as a beggar for the Order and died with a great reputation for holiness. Patronages – drivers, travellers, road builders and the Transport industry in Mexico. His body is incorrupt.
Sebastian was born in Spain into a peasant family in 1502,. He was a good looking young man with a reserved personality that attracted the interest of quite a few women. He was deeply religious and changed employment several times, before the age of 30, to avoid the temptations opened to him. He worked as a household servant and as a hired field hand.
Despite his illiteracy, he had absorbed the discourse on how to lead a pious and holy life that he could emulate models in hagiographic texts. According to his own account, his life was saved in a miraculous way during an outbreak of the bubonic plague in his town in 1514. Forced to isolate him from the community, his parents built a hidden shelter for him in the woods, where they left him. While lying there helpless, due to his illness, a she-wolf found the hiding spot and, poking her head into his hiding spot, sniffed and then bit and licked an infected site on his body, before running off. He began to heal from that moment.
At the age of 31, Sebastian left Spain for Mexico. He settled in the town of Puebla de los Angeles where he took employment as a field hand. However, he soon noticed a business opportunity for Puebla was an important crossroads and he noted, that the goods transported, were carried on the backs of pack animals or on the backs of the native people.
At first, Sebastian made and sold wheeled carts for the transport of goods. He then expanded into the improvement and building of roads and bridges to improve transport for goods and people. He was responsible for the building of a 460 mile road from Mexico City to Zacatecas, which took 10 years to build and was of enormous benefit to the local economy.
By the age of 50, Sebastian was a wealthy man. He lived very simply and gave his earnings to others, he bought food for the poor, made loans that he never reclaimed to poor farmers too proud to accept charity, he paid the dowries for poor brides and gave free training to Indians in skills that would assist them in earning a living. In addition, people brought him their problems and he had a reputation for his wisdom.
Sebastian became known as “The Angel of Mexico.” He retired at the age of 50 to a hacienda to raise cattle. He married at age 60 at the request of his bride’s parents. His bride was a poor girl and he agreed to the match, on condition that the couple lived as brother and sister, which they did. His wife died and he married again on the same condition. When he was 70, Sebastian’s second wife died and he himself contracted a serious illness.
Upon recovering, he decided to give everything he had to the poor and became a lay Franciscan brother. He undertook many responsibilities, including cook, sacristan, gardener and porter. He was then assigned to the large community of friars in the city of Puebla, at that time consisting of about 100 friars, most of whom, were doing their studies or were retired or recovering from illness. He was appointed to be the quaestor of the community, the one assigned to travel throughout the local community, seeking food and alms for the upkeep of the friars and those who came to them for help. The builder of Mexico’s highway system had become a beggar on it. Despite his advanced age, he felt the vigour needed for the task. This formerly rich man, loved his job and was loved by his fellow Franciscans, the townspeople and the poor that the Brothers helped. He also loved–and was loved–by animals, even the most stubborn mules and oxen would obey the Blessed, much like Saint Francis.
Though he had long suffered from a hernia, Aparicio marked his 98th birthday on the road, apparently in good health. On the following 20 February, he developed what was to be his final illness, as the hernia became entangled. He began to feel pain and nausea and, upon arrival at the friary, was immediately sent to the infirmary. It was the first time he had slept in a bed in 25 years. As his condition worsened, he became unable to swallow. His only regret was that, due to this, he was unable to receive Holy Communion. As he lay dying, he was consoled by the friars’ fulfilling his request that they bring the Blessed Sacrament to his cell.
On the evening of 25 February, Aparicio asked to be laid on the ground to meet his death, in imitation of St. Francis. He soon died in the arms of a fellow Galician, Friar Juan de San Buenaventura, with his last word being “Jesus.” When his body lay in state, the crowds that gathered were large and the miracles wrought were so numerous, that he could not be buried for several days. His habit had to be replaced repeatedly, as mourners would snip a piece of it off to keep as the relic of a saint.
The Blessed’s remains were never buried but at the request of the local people, exposed in a prominent place for veneration. His body, although darkened, has remained incorrupt and can be viewed in the Church of Saint Francis in Puebla.
Nearly 1,000 miracles were reported at his intercession, even before his death and such claims continue to this day. Pope Pius VI Beatified him on 17 May 1789.
Our Lady of Great Power, Quebec, Canada, (1673) – 25 February:
Our Lady of Great Power is little known in America, unless among the pupils of the Ursulines in Quebec. Generations of these, however, have dwelt within the walls of the Old Monastery during two centuries and more, since the arrival of the statue in the last years of the 17th century. In the annals of the Ursulines of the Sacred Heart at Perigueux, France, where the statue was solemnly crowned, we find the origin of the devotion. The devotion to Our Lady of Great Power began in the monastery of Issoudun. There a holy Ursuline nun, Mother Saint Peter, was inspired during her prayer to invoke Our Lady under this title. She spoke of her inspiration to her Sisters and her Superiors. The devotion was adopted with enthusiasm and very soon it was decided, that a statue be sculptured and a Chapel built, dedicated to Our Lady of Great Power; she would henceforth be chosen, as first and principal Superior of the Monastery. The feast of the dedication took place 25 February 1673 and was celebrated with great pomp, as the chronicle testifies:
“After High Mass two ecclesiastics carried the statue to the entry of the monastery where the nuns, in solemn procession, received it. It was placed on a richly decorated litter and, to the chanting of hymns, psalms and canticles, it was brought to the prepared Chapel. When the same statue was raised on its pedestal, the Superior laid the keys of the monastery, the seals and constitutions at Our Lady’s feet, begging her, in the name of the community, to accept the gift of all hearts and of the entire monastery and to allow them, to look on her as their Superior forever. Each rendered homage while hymns and canticles of thanksgiving were sung in Mary’s honour.”
Ever after, when a Superior was elected, the ceremony was renewed and is still renewed in each Ursuline community every year on a principal feast of the Blessed Virgin; though homage is rendered only every three years, after the election or nomination of Superiors. The statue of Our Lady of Great Power was carried off and profaned during the dark days of the French Revolution. It was found and returned to the monastery at Perigueux and the devotion continued fervently until 1892, when the Bishop of Perigueux, in the name of the Soverign Pontiff, placed a richly jewelled crown on the head of the Mother and the Child and ratified the numberless and signal favours obtained through Our Lady of Great Power. Through the Ursulines in Quebec, the devotion soon spread through the New World. Before the Altar in Quebec hangs the famous votive light promised to be kept burning as a token of thanks for favours granted to Mother Saint Agatha (Madeleine de Repentigny). Relatives and descendants of this holy nun have kept the lamp burning. One relative, Miss Anthon, had a new lamp made, an artistic gem, the work of the celebrated ecclesiastical goldsmith Calliat of Lyon, France.
St Adelelmo of Engelberg St Aldetrudis St Ananias of Phoenicia Bl Avertano of Lucca St Caesarius of Nanzianzen St Callistus Caravario Bl Ciriaco Maria Sancha Hervas Bl Didacus Yuki Ryosetsu St Domenico Lentini St Donatus the Martyr Saint Felix III, Pope St Gerland the Bishop St Gothard the Hermit St Herena the Martyr St Justus the Martyr St Laurentius Bai Xiaoman St Luigi Versiglia Blessed Maria Adeodata Pisani (1806-1855) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2018/02/25/saint-of-the-day-25-february-blessed-maria-adeodata-pisani-osb-1806-1855/ St Nestor of Side St Riginos Bl Robert of Arbrissel Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio OFM (1502-1600) Franciscan Lay Brother St Tharasius St Toribio Romo González St Victor of Saint Gall St Walburga — Martyrs of Egypt – A group of Christian men who were exiled to Egypt for their faith and were eventually martyred for their faith in the persecutions of Numerian. We know little more than their names: Claudianus Dioscurus Nicephorus Papias Serapion Victor Victorinus
Saint of the Day – 16 February – Blessed Philippa Mareri OSC (c 1195-1236) Religious Nun of the Poor Clares, foundress of the monastery of Franciscan Sisters of Saint Philippa Mareri of the Poor Clares, Penitent and disciple of the teachings of St Francis of Assisi. Born in c 1195 in Mareri, Rieti, Italy and died on 16 February 1236 in Borgo San Pietro, Rieti, Italy of natural causes aged 41. Also known as Filippa Mareria. Patronage – Sulmona, Italy. Her heart is incorrupt.
Blessed Philippa Mareri, who belonged to the illustrious family of the Mareri, saw the light of day at the castle of her parents near Rieti in Italy, toward the close of the twelfth century. At a very early age she was the favourite of all who knew her, not only because of her natural gifts but principally because of her steady advancement in perfection. As a young woman she lived quietly at home, devoted to prayer and the cultivation of her high mental endowments. She took particular pleasure in reading the Holy Scriptures and studying the Latin language, in which she became very proficient.
About this time, St Francis often visited the valley of Rieti, where he established several convents and sometimes called at the home of the devout Mareri. His forceful admonitions, filled with holy simplicity and unction and his severe life of penance, made a deep impression on Philippa.
It was not long before Blessed Philippa Mareri resolved to imitate our holy Father, foregoing wealth and consecrating herself entirely to God. She rejected a proposal to marry with the words:
“I already have a spouse, the noblest and the greatest, Our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Neither the remonstrances of her parents, nor the ridicule of her brother Thomas, had any effect in changing her mind. She cut off her hair, donned a very coarse garmen, and with several companions withdrew to a cave in the rocks of a nearby mountain.
Her austere life of penance and intimate union with God changed the resentment and mockery of her family into admiration. Thomas visited the mountain recess to ask Philippa’s forgiveness and placed at her disposal, the Church of St Peter and an adjacent convent once occupied by the Benedictines, over which he was the patron. Full of joy, the young community took up its abode there, accepting the place as a gift from heaven. They lived according to the rule of St Clare under the direction of Blessed Roger of Todi, to whom St Francis had entrusted the care of their souls.
The new foundation flourished remarkably and many of the noblest young women joined their ranks. Philippa’s excellent example and loving manner were particularly instrumental in bringing about these results. Although she filled the capacity of Superior, she was the humblest member of the community. She had no equal in zeal for prayer and mortification, and, like St Francis and Blessed Roger, she held poverty in the highest esteem. Blessed Philippa Mareri exhorted her sisters to have no care for the morrow and more than once, in times of need, her trust in God was signally rewarded with miraculous assistance.
Blessed Philippa Mareri had lived and laboured and made sacrifices for God for many a year, when it was revealed to her that the time of her death was at hand. She was seized with a fatal illness. Gathering her sisters around her deathbed, she bade them farewell and exhorted them to persevere in their efforts toward perfection and to remain united in sisterly love. Having received the last sacraments at the hands of Blessed Roger, she addressed to her sisters the words of the Apostle:
“The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
She then expired quietly and went home, on 16 February 1236.
Striking miracles occurred on the very day of her burial and many more have occurred since then throughout the years. Shortly after her death Pope Innocent IV approved the veneration paid to her and on 30 April 1806 by Pope Pius VII (cultus confirmation; decree of heroic virtues) -renewed the approbation. Blessed Philippa’s incorrupt heart is preserved today in a silver reliquary, while her other remains are preserved in the Monastery of Borgo San Pietro in the Valle del Salto. Today, nearly eight centuries after her death, the devotion to the Saint and the Pilgrimage Site has kept on growing, not only in her homeland but also in many other countries and other continents.
The Grotta di Santa Philippa is the place where the noble woman, belonging to the important Mareri family, took refuge, when she abandoned luxury and comfort to follow her faith. Located near Petrella Salto, it is immersed in the green nature of the Valley. Here Philippa Mareri took refuge in the thirteenth century with some companions, to escape the pressures of family members who opposed her choice of religious life. Today the cave has been transformed into a graceful and simple rock church, the destination of many faithful and reachable via the pilgrim’s path. Inside there is a statue of the saint and a marble altar covered by a wooden canopy.
Saint of the Day – 4 February – Saint Andrew Corsini O.Carm (1302-1373) Bishop of Fiesole from 1349 until his death, known as the “Apostle of Florence,” Carmelite Friar, Penitent, apostle of the poor, peacemaker, Papal Legate. Born as Andrea Corsini on 30 November 1302 in Florence, (Republic of Florence) current Italy and died on 6 January 1373 (aged 70) in Fiesole, Italy. Additional Memorial – 9 February (Carmelites). Patronages – Florence,Fiesole,Diplomats, against civil disorder, against riots. His body is incorrupt.
Andrew Corsini was born in Florence on 30 November 1302 into the noble and illustrious Corsini family, one of twelve children born to Nicholas Corsini and Peregrina degli Stracciabende. He was named in honour of Saint Andrew whose Feastday it was. Before his birth, his parents dedicated him to God, under the protection of the Blessed Virgin.
He was wild in his youth, extravagance and vice were normal to him and it pained his devout mother. His parents severely rebuked him for his behaviour and he resolved to amend his ways and try to live up to their expectations. He went to the Carmelite Monastery at the Santa Maria del Carmine Church to consider what course to take and despite the entreaties of his dissolute friends, decided to become a Carmelite friar.
He joined the Carmelites in Florence in 1318 for his novitiate and began a life of great mortification. He was Ordained to the Priesthood in 1328 and said his first Mass in a hermitage so as to avoid the customary family celebrations. Corsini began preaching in Florence and was then sent for his studies to the University of Paris and later to Avignon, where he resided with his cousin, Cardinal Pietro Corsini. He returned to Florence in 1332 and was chosen as Prior of his convent. He became known as the “Apostle of Florence.” In 1348 he was appointed as the order’s Tuscan Provincial during the General Chapter meeting in Metz.
On 13 October 1349, Pope Clement VI appointed him Bishop of Fiesole. Upon learning of this appointment, the reluctant Corsini went into hiding. An inscription on his tomb states that “he was snatched from the Carmel to the Church and the mitre of Fiesole.” A child discovered him at the charterhouse at Enna and he later accepted the nomination as Bishop as the result of a vision.
He redoubled his austerities as Bishop, wearing a hair shirt and sleeping on a bed of vine-branches. At Fiesole, just northeast of Florence, he gained a reputation as a peacemaker between rival political factions and for his care of the poor. Pope Urban V sent him to Bologna as a Papal Legate to heal the breach between the nobles and the people. “His family connections made him acceptable to the nobility and his life of poverty, endeared him to the poor and he did succeed in bringing peace.”
Corsini appointed two vicars to aid him in governing his Diocese and enforced discipline amongst the Diocesan Priests. A number of miraculous cures were attributed to his prayers.
It was reported that in 1372 or 1373, as he celebrated Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, that the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he would leave this world on the Three Kings’ feast. It came to pass, that he fell ill on Christmas night and died as foretold, on 6 January 1373 or 1374 (the discrepancy in the dates is due to a different date in the Florentine calendar). His remains were moved to Florence in the evening of 2 February 1374 and were later found to be incorrupt upon exhumation in 1385. The location of his burial was damaged in 1771 but his remains were left undisturbed.
Miracles so multiplied at his death, that Pope Eugene IV permitted a public devotion to him, although it was not confirmed until later. Pope Eugene IV Beatified Andrew Corsini on 21 April 1440. Among the miracles attributed to Corsini’s intervention was the Florentine victory over the Milanese at the Battle of Anghiari on 29 June 1440. Petitions were lodged in 1465 and 1466 to Pope Paul II, requesting his Canonisation and the pope appointed a commission to investigate the matter. Pope Urban VIII Canonised St Andrew Corsini, on 22 April 1629.
In 1675 after his Canonisation, the members of the Corsini family had the Corsini Chapel built in the Carmelite church of Santa Maria del Carmine as a more suitable resting place for his remains. Pope Clement XII – born Lorenzo Corsini – erected in the Roman Basilica of Saint John Lateran a magnificent Chapel dedicated to his kinsman.
In 1702 or 1703 a Statue in his honour was commissioned and placed along the colonnade in Saint Peter’s Square.
Prayer God our Father, You reveal that those who work for peace will be called Your children. Through the prayers of St Andrew Corsini, who excelled as a peacemaker, help us to work without ceasing for that justice, which brings truth and lasting peace. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen
Saint of the Day – 24 January – Blessed Antonio Migliorati OSA (1355-1450) Priest and Friar of the Order of St Augustine, missionary Preacher, Confessor, Mystc, Sacristan of the Augustinian Church in Tolentino, Italy, the Church that housed the tomb of Saint Nicholas, noted for his zeal for the faith, his devotion to the poor. Also known as Antonio of Amandola. Born on 17 January 1355 in Amandola, Ascoli Piceno, Italy and died on 25 January 1450 in the Saint Augustine Monastery of Amandola, Ascoli Piceno, Italy of natural causes, aged 95. Additional Memorial – 29 January (Augustinians). Patronage – Amandola. His body is incorrupt.
Antonio was born on 17 January, 1355 the son of Simpliciano and Giovanna Migliorati, a farmer, whose family had little wealth but great faith. Antonia was Baptised on the day of birth. The various biographers are in agreement, in describing the first influence of the parents on the child. The names of Jesus and Mary were the first placed on the lips and heart of the child and he cultivated them with tender devotion throughout his life. The learning of the first prayers and the love of prayer, the acceptance of sacrifice and the hardness of life, the devotion to the Passion of Jesus and the sufferings of his Mother, the appreciation of the values of the spirit, were things that the little Antonio began to learn very early.
Antonio soon began to frequent the nearby Church of Sts Vincenzo and Anastasio and to spend time there in prayer. He had discovered contact with God and this was one of the determining factors of his life. He attended school at the Benedictine Monastery in his town, where he became a favoured and much-loved student. In fact, he had been adopted by the entire town, he was everyone’s son, everyone’s assistant, everyone’s favourite child, eveyone’s comfort.
Inspired by the life and work of St Nicola of Tolentino (1254-1305), Antonio, wishing to imitate St Nicholas’ virtues, joined the Augustinians of his native town, where he was Ordained a Priest. He lived about twelve years in the convent of Tolentino, after which he was for some time in Bari.
In 1400 he returned to his hometown of Amandola. His return was meant to be humble and hidden but, as he approached, a festive and spontaneous ringing from the various towers enveloped the city. He had left about fifteen years earlier, the joy and affection with which he was received home was well imaginable. He didn’t get upset. He was already accustomed to supporting the enthusiasm of his admirers with modesty and humility. Antonio once again became everyone’s comfort and defence. He spent many hours in the confessional, which was increasingly in demand, as his fame spread from land to land; real conversions came out, real comfort, real joy. There is no doubt that many also went there, for more practical and more material reasons but many too went with the hope that Antonio would cure their ills. Antonio blessed, prayed and cured but he knew how to take advantage of everything, to lift hearts to a more spiritual level.
Antonio rushed from the confessional to the homes of the needy and from these, with a hurried step, to the Convent, when the bell called the Monks to prayer and other community commitments. Wherever he was, in fact, when he heard the bell, he rushed to the call of that life he had chosen and sincerely loved. This love for the community was a constant feature, even after his death. In fact, it is said that several times the Friars heard his voice in the choir when the body was now buried under the door of the sacristy and that, if the person in charge forgot or delayed to ring the choir bell, it rang by itself, almost touched by the hands of Antonio.
He also worked to rebuild the old Augustinian Monastery and to build a new Church which was originally named for Saint Augustine of Hippo, but after his death was renamed in honour of Blessed Antonio himself, who led it, for many of his remaining 50 years there.
The death of Blessed Antonio has been handed down to us with an abundance of details. There is no mention of disease. He went out like a candle, of mere old age. He was 95 years old and had just begun the year 1450. Three years earlier he had had the great joy of the Canonisation of his dear St Nicholas, which had aroused so much joy in the world. He had received from the Celestial Mother, the revelation that his death was approaching and he communicated this to his confreres to help him with prayer.
A few days passed thus. When he felt that the end was imminent, he called all the Friars to his cell and, with humility and sincerity, asked that, if he had given some bad example or some sorrow, for the love of God and His Most Holy Mother, they would grant him their pardon. Then he confessed and received Communion with supreme devotion as Viaticum for eternity and Extreme Unction.
Finally, with full clarity of mind, always surrounded by his confreres, he turned to Fr Prior, who was Fr Giambattista Stazzi and asked to express his last wish. The Prior agreed, pledging to satisfy him whatever he asked. Then the dying man asked that his body be buried in the bare earth in front of the choir door; the religious, going to pray, would have passed over it and would have always remember him to the mercy of the Lord.
It was 25 January 1450.
The veneration that he had aroused in life, through humility, a spirit of obedience and mortification and a singular apostolic zeal, did not diminish with death. Already during his life, Antonio was considered a saint but the cult exploded immediately after his death and expanded in the lands near Amandola and throughout the Piceno area and then, through his Augustinian brothers, throughout the world. Antonio was invoked in every need. More and more frequent and numerous groups began to flock to his tomb. Among them there were often the miraculous ones who came to give thanks.
And so a very interesting custom began immediately – a book was created that was called the “Book of Miracles,” in which the most notable miracles were gradually recorded by dictation of the miraculous ones and written most often by the public notary. The book goes back to 1756 and records sudden healings of the crippled, paralysed, blind, epileptic, plagued, deliveries from grave misfortunes and even resurrections of the dead. The manuscript book was kept under the urn. It is from this book above all, that the 155 miracles examined for the Beatification of Anthony were deduced.
In 1453 his body, was discovered to be incorrupt when it was removed from the common sepulcher of the friars, was placed in a wooden ark on an Altar which was named after him, while the wonders (even the resurrection of the dead) multiplied. By 1460, his memorial was a civic holiday in Amandola, Italy
In 1641 it was placed in a wooden sarcophagus, worked by Domenico Malpiedi, which in 1897 was replaced by the marble one, which can now be seen in the recently built Chapel. In 1798 the revolutionary soldiers extracted from the sarcophagus and vilified the body of Antonio. A gold crown was placed on his head in 1899. His incorrupt body is still on display in the same church.
Since his death, the people of Amandola have venerated him and celebrated his “dies natalis.” On 11 July 1759 Pope Clement XIII ascribed Antonio in the number of blessed, recognising his cult “ab immemorabili,” and on 20 April 1890 Pope Leo XIII granted a plenary indulgence to visitors to his sanctuary.
PRAYER TO BLESSED ANTONIO (composed by Archbishop Norberto Perini of Fermo)
We come to You, O Lord, full of gratitude and filial confidence because You are rich in graces and ready to forgive. In the name of Blessed Anthony, Your faithful servant and our protector, we ask You to bless our country; to make families prosper by preserving prayer, peace, mutual love; to make young people docile, job-loving, honest; to give bread to the poor who suffer so much; to instill serenity and patience in the sick so that their pain becomes a means of purification for all; to comfort our elders; to assist the dying with Your grace so that, having overcome the last trials, they come to enjoy You in Your paradise. O Blessed Anthony, we all honour you and invoke your intercession with the Lord, so that He may allow us to always live your faith and to imitate your example made up of few words and many good works. Amen