Posted in MARTYRS, PATRONAGE - A HOLY DEATH & AGAINST A SUDDEN DEATH, PATRONAGE - DOCTORS,MIDWIVES, PATRONAGE - EPILEPSY, PATRONAGE - EYES, PATRONAGE - HEADACHES, PATRONAGE - THE SICK, THE INFIRM, ALL ILLNESS, PATRONAGE-INFERTILITY & SAFE CHILDBIRTH, PATRONAGE-STOMACH PAIN, SAINT of the DAY

Saint/s of the Day – 8 August – The Fourteen Holy Helpers.

Saint/s of the Day – 8 August – The Fourteen Holy Helpers.
A group of Saints invoked with special confidence because they have proven themselves efficacious helpers in adversity and difficulties, are known and venerated under the name Fourteen Holy Helpers.

The Notable Martyrs Saints within the Group are:
Acacius, Barbara, Blaise, Christopher, Cyriacus, Catherine of Alexandria, Denis, Erasmus of Formia, Eustace, George, Giles, Margaret of Antioch, Pantaleon and Vitus.

Devotion to these fourteen ,as a group, spread in response to the Black Plague which devastated Europe from 1346 to 1349. Among its symptoms were the tongue turning black, a parched throat, violent headache, fever, and boils on the abdomen. It attacked without warning, robbed its victims of reason and killed within a few hour. Many died without the last Sacraments.

Brigands roamed the streets, people suspected of contagion were attacked, animals died, people starved, whole villages vanished into the grave, social order and family ties broke down and the disease appeared incurable. The pious turned to Heaven, begging the intervention of the Saints, praying to be spared or cured. This group devotion began in Germany–the Diocese of Wurzburg having been renowned for its observance.

Pope Nicholas V attached Indulgences to devotion of the Fourteen Holy Helpers in the 16th century.

Saint Christopher and Saint Giles are nvoked against the plague itself.
Saint Denis is prayed to for relief from headache, Saint Blaise for ills of the throat,
Saint Elmo for abdominal maladies,
Saint Barbara for fever and Saint Vitus against epilepsy.
Saint Pantaleon is the Patron of physicians,
Saint Cyriacus invoked against temptation on the deathbed and Saints Christopher, Barbara and Catherine, for protection against a sudden and unprovided death.
Saint Giles is prayed to for a good Confession and Saint Eustace as healer of family troubles.
Domestic animals were also attacked by the plague and so, Saints George, Elmo, Pantaleon and Vitus are invoked for the protection of these animals.
Saint Margaret of Antioch is the Patron of safe childbirth.

The legends of the Fourteen Holy Helpers are replete with the most glorious examples of heroic firmness and invincible courage in the profession of the Faith, which ought to incite us to imitate their fidelity in the performance of the Christian and social duties. If they, with the aid of God’s grace, achieved such victories, why should not we, by the same aid, be able to accomplish the very little which is desired of us? God rewarded His victorious champions with eternal bliss – the same crown is prepared for us, if we but render ourselves worthy of it. God placed the seal of miracles on the intrepid confession of His Servants and a mind imbued with the spirit of faith, sees nothing extraordinary therein because our Divine Saviour, Himself said, “Amen, amen I say to you, he that believes in Me, the works that I do, he also shall do and greater than these shall he do” (John 14:12). In all the miraculous events wrought in and by the Saints, there appears only the victorious omnipotent Power of Jesus Christ and the living faith, in which His Servants operated in virtue of this power.

The histories of the Saints are called Legends.
This word is derived from the Latin,and signifies something that is to be read, a passage the reading of which is prescribed.
Therefore, the Legends of the Saints are the lives of the holy Martyrs and Confessors of the Faith.
Some of them occur in the Roman Breviary which the Catholic Clergy is obliged to read everyday.

(The corruption of this word has occurred in modern times, giving it a meaning of either “unprovable story or celebrity.”)

A little more about the 14 Holy Helpers and a prayer to them by St Alphonsus Liguori here:  https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/25/thought-for-the-day-25-july-the-memorial-of-st-christopher-died-c-251-one-of-the-fourteen-holy-helpers/

Posted in PATRONAGE - A HOLY DEATH & AGAINST A SUDDEN DEATH, PATRONAGE - EPILEPSY, PATRONAGE - GARDENERS, FARMERS, PATRONAGE - TRAVELLERS / MOTORISTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 25 July – Saint Christopher (Died c 251) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 25 July – Saint Christopher (Died c 251) Martyr and “Christ-Bearer” – Born at Canaan as Offero and Martyred in the reign of the 3rd-century Roman Emperor Decius (reigned 249–251) – Additional Memorials – 9 March (Greek calendar), 9 May (some Eastern calendars), 16 November (Cuba), 10 July (some areas of Spain).   Also known as Christobal, Christoval, Cristobal, Kester, Kitt, Kitts, Offero Patronages – against bad dreams, epileptics; against epilepsy, against floods, against hailstorms, against lightning, against pestilence, against storms, against sudden death, against toothache, Air Forces, archers, motorists, bachelors,bookbinders, bus drivers, taxi drivers, civil aeronautics, fruit dealers, fullers, gardener, of a holy death, truck drivers, mariners, sailors, market carriers, mountain climbers, porters, relief from pestilence, transportation, transportation workers, travellers, travellers in the mountains, Saint Christopher’s Island, Saint Kitts, 13 cities.Borgianni-Orazio-St-Christopher-carrying-the-infant-Christ-c1598-1602-oil-on-canvas-Museo-del-Prado-Madrid.jpg

He was a man of many names, Offero being one of them.   Born in the third century in Asia Minor, son of a king, he would grow to be a restless young man of considerable size. The early years of his life were spent in search of riches, of purpose, of a cause worthy of his allegiance.saint-christopher-carrying-the-christ-child-mateo-cerezo.jpg

As the story goes, a young Offero, looking for the strongest and boldest ruler to follow, briefly courted Satan.   When his new master cowered in fear at a holy cross on the side of a road, Offero abandoned Satan, choosing light over darkness.   During this period of transition, a holy hermit awakened the restless wanderer to Christianity, schooling and baptising him.   From then on, Offero pledged his life to Christ and vowed to serve God’s people along the banks of an untamed river.   So he built a hut and set up camp with a new purpose—to be a boatman to the world.st christopher 5.jpg

His popularity was solidified when a small child once approached him, wanting safe passage across the water.   He hoisted the boy on his shoulders and, with his trusty staff, began the journey.   As the river deepened, the child began to grow heavier.   Waters quickly rising, the precious cargo continued to weigh the giant down.   As he reached the banks of the river, Offero said, “Child, thou hast put me in great peril, thou weighest almost as if I had all the world upon me – I might bear no greater burden.”

“Christopher,” the little boy responded, “thou hast not only borne all the world upon thee but thou hast borne Him that created and made all the world, upon thy shoulders.”

The child instructed Christopher (meaning “Christbearer”) to cross the river again and plant his staff in the ground, telling the ferryman that life would spring forth.   To Christopher’s astonishment, by morning his staff had taken root—bright flowers and fruit grew from it.st christopher.jpg

The rest of Christopher’s life is even sketchier in detail.   One legend states that many in the immediate area converted to Christianity based on his encounter, which drew unwanted attention.   In Lycia—present-day Turkey—under Emperor Decius, he was imprisoned, shot with arrows, burned and then beheaded around 251.

st christopher and st peter
St Christopher and St Peter

Though the life of this mighty martyr was later questioned by historians, Saint Christopher’s story and his worldwide appeal have proven invulnerable.   Amen and alleluia, glory be to God!st christopher lg

Posted in PATRONAGE - A HOLY DEATH & AGAINST A SUDDEN DEATH, PATRONAGE-STOMACH PAIN, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 9 April – St Liborius of Le Mans (early 4th century – 397)

Saint of the Day – 9 April – St Liborius of Le Mans (early 4th Century – 397) Bishop, Confessor, Reformer, Evangeliser and Shepherd of souls, Builder of Churches and Monasteries.   Patronages – abdominal pains, against calculi, gravel, kidney stones or gall stones, against colic, against fever, of a Holy death, archdiocese of Paderborn, Germany, City of Paderborn, Germany, Paderborn Cathedral.   Attributes – Bishop with pebbles on a book; Bishop with a peacock; episcopal attire.

st liborius - v large

St Liborius was born of an illustrious family of Gaul (a region in the Roman Empire which extended to the area on the west bank of the Rhine river of the present day Germany) and became Bishop of Le Mans, France.   He was a trusty companion and great friend to St Marinus (Martin of Tours).   They were both bishops, neighbours in office.  St Liborius was bishop for about 49 years and ordained 217 priests, 186 deacons and 93 sub deacons and other churchmen.

st liborius

Much of the ministerial life of Bishop Liborius covered the second half of the 4th century. By this time, the Roman Empire ended its persecution of Christianity with Emperor Constantine the Great’s Edict of Milan in the year 313.   Freed from persecution, the Christian faith was now free to grow.   However, during this time, foreign tribes roamed the land.   There was chaos and misery.   Bishop Liborius’ Episcopal area had been Christian for some time but heathen Druids were still active and through their mysterious pagan rites were able to influence the people.   So, Bishop Liborius built many churches and celebrated the Eucharist with piety and dignity.   The well-trained priests in his diocese finally triumphed over the Druids.   Nowadays, we would call the works of Bishop Liborius and his clergy at the time as primary evangelisation.

st liborius of le mans

In the year, 836 A.D., (9th century), the relics of Saint Liborius were brought from Le Mans, France, to Paderborn, Germany.   At this time, relics of the saints were well guarded and venerated in churches and dioceses which had them.   The willingness of the diocese of Le Mans to handover the relics of St Liborius to the diocese of Paderborn was a true act of charity.   The event forged a long lasting friendship between the sister cities of Le Mans and Paderborn;  it has existed for over 1,000 years to this day.

Since St Liborius died in the arms of his friend St Martin of Tours, he is looked to as a patron of a good death.   Since the century he is prayed to for assistance against that gallstones that are caused by the water of the limestone area; the first account of a healing of this kind concerns the cure of Archbishop Werner von Eppstein, who came on pilgrimage to the saint’s shrine in 1267.   This is the origin of the saint’s attribute of three stones placed on a copy of the Bible.   In the same period he became the patron of the cathedral and the archdiocese, rather than the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Kilian, who were previously in first place.   And he is often cited as a patron of peace and understanding among peoples.   He is invoked against colic, fever, and gallstones.

As well as being shown as a bishop carrying small stones on a book, Saint Liborious is also shown with the attribute of a peacock because of a legend that, when his body was brought to Paderborn, a peacock guided the bearers.

The popularity of the saint in Paderborn is shown in the week-long yearly festival known as “Libori”, that begins on the Saturday after his local 23 July feast day but his universal memorial is today, 9 April.   Today, many parishes across the world are named after this great man and Saint, as their patron.