Posted in PATRONAGE - against EPIDEMICS, PATRONAGE - BEGGARS, the POOR, against POVERTY, PATRONAGE - GOLDSMITHS, GILDERS, MINERS, JEWELLERS, CLOCK/WATCH-MAKERS, METAL CRAFTSMEN, PATRONAGE - HORSES - and sick horses, JOCKEYS, all HORSE-related workers, PATRONAGE-ENGINEERS, Electrical, Mechanical etc, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 1 December – “Good St Eligius” – St Eligius of Noyon (c 588-660)

Saint of the Day – 1 December – “Good St Eligius”- St Eligius of Noyon (c 588-660) Bishop, Goldsmith, Royal Courtier and adviser to the King, peace-maker, servant of the poor and of slaves. He founded Monasteries and donated his own property for the founding of the first female Monastery in the area. Born in c 588 at at Catelat, near Limoges, France and died on 1 December 660 at Noyon, France of high fever, Also known as – Alar, Elaere, Elar, Elard, Eler, Eloi, Eloy, Eloye, Iler, Loie, Loije, Loy, Additional Memorials – 24 June (translation of relics, and blessing of horses), 8 November as one of the Saints of the Diocese of Evry. Patronages – carpenters, cartwrights, clock/watch makers, coin collectors, craftsmen of all kinds, cutlers, gilders, goldsmiths, harness makers, horses especially sick horses, jewelers; jockeys; knife makers; labourers, locksmiths, metalworkers in general, miners, minters, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, saddlers, tool makers, Veterinarians, against boils, against epidemics, against equine diseases, against poverty, against ulcers, agricultural workers, basket makers, Eloois-Vijve, Belgium, Sint-Eloois-Winkel, Belgium,
Schinveld, Netherlands.

The Roman Martyrology states: “In Noyon in Neustria, now in France, Saint Eligius, Bishop, who, goldsmith and adviser to King Dagobert, after having contributed to the foundation of many Monasteries and built Sepulchral buildings of outstanding art and beauty in honour of the Saints, was raised to the See of Noyon and Tournai, where he zealously evangelised.”

The Legend of Saint Eligius and Saint Godeberta, by Petrus Christus.

Eligius was born around 588, originally from Chaptelat in Limousin. He belonged to a wealthy rural family who worked their own land, unlike many landowners who left the cultivation to slaves. He left the care of the family farm to one of his brothers and entered trade as a Goldsmith apprentice in a shop in which the Royal Coin was hammered, according to ancient Roman methods. He saved some of the income from his family and gave it in charity to the poor and to slaves. He was as clever in enamel as in gold chiselling. These professional qualities went hand-in-hand with a scrupulous honesty. When they asked him to make a golden throne for King Clothair II (613-629), he made a second with the extra gold he did not want to hold for himself.

This gesture, extraordinary at the time, earned him the trust of the King, who asked him to reside in Paris as the Royal Goldsmith, a Royal Court Officer and Court Counselor. Named coinmaster in Marseilles, he would redeem many of the slaves sold at the Port. When Dagobert became King in 629, he was summoned to Paris where he directed the shops of the Frankish kingdom in which coin was minted, which were in Paris on the Quai des Orfèvres at the present-day Rue de la Monnaie. Among others, he had the task of embellishing the tombs of Saint Genevieve and Saint Denis.

He made Reliquaries for Saint Germain, Saint Severinus, Saint Martin and Saint Columba and numerous Liturgical objects for the new Abbey of Saint Denis. Thanks to his honesty, his frankness and his capacity for peaceable judgement, he came so far into the King’s trust, that the latter called him to himself, and entrusted him with a peace mission to the Breton king, King Judicael.

St Eligius Consecrated Bishop of Novon

Great was the piety and prayer life of this layman, who often attended monastic offices. In 632 he founded the Solignac Monastery south of Limoges. While Eligius still lived, the Monastery had grown to count more than 150 Monks under the two rules of St Benedict and St Colomba: – the Monastery was under the protection of the King and not under the authority of the Bishop. The religious fervour and the ardour of the Monks, made it one of the most illustrious Monasteries of the time. One year after the foundation of Solignac, Eligius founded, in his Ile de la Cité home, the first Monastic house for women religious in Paris, whose direction he entrusted to Saint Aurea.

A year after the death of King Dagobert, whom he had seen in the last moments of his life, Eligius left the Court together with Saint Audenus, who had served as adviser and Chancellor under Dagobert . Like Audenus, Eligius also entered formation and was Ordained Priest. On the same day, 13 May 641, they received the Episcopate: Saint Audenus to the See of Rouen; Eligius to that of Noyon and Tournai. Eligius put all his zeal into apostolic mission.

He died in 660, on the eve of his departure for Cahors. Holy Queen Bathilde travelled to greet him but she arrived too late.

There is a wonderful legend of St Eligius – the devil appeared to him dressed as a woman and he, Eligius, quickly grabbed him by the nose with his pincers. This colourful legend is depicted in two French Cathedrals (Angers and Le Mans) and in the Milan Cathedral, with the stained glass window by Niccolò da Varallo, a gift from the Milanese Goldsmiths in the fifteenth century. Ungfortunately, I cannot find any of these artworks.

In Paris, a Church was dedicated to him in the quarter of the blacksmiths, locksmiths and cabinet-makers. The Church of Saint Eligius was rebuilt in 1967. A church destroyed in 1793 was dedicated to him in the Rue des Orfèvres near the Hôtel de la Monnaie (the mint). In Notre Dame Cathedral, in the Chapel of Saint Ann, once home to the jewellers’ and goldsmiths’ confraternity, the jewellers and goldsmiths of Paris have placed his Statue and restored his Altar.

These are the Representations of this our little-known but o so holy and worthy Saint:
• anvil
• Bishop with a Crosier in his right hand, on the open palm of his left a miniature Church of chased gold
• Bishop with a hammer, anvil and horseshoe
• Bishop with a horse
• Courtier
• Goldsmith
• hammer
• horseshoe
• man grasping a devil’s nose with pincers
• man holding a Chalice and Goldsmith’s hammer
• man holding a horse’s leg, which he detached from the horse in order to shoe it more easily
• man shoeing a horse
• man with hammer and crown near a smithy
• man with hammer, anvil and Saint Anthony
• pincers
• man with Saint Godebertha of Noyon
• man giving a ring to Saint Godebertha
• man working as a Goldsmith.
(catholicsaintsinfo.mobi).

St Eligius at the feet of the Virgin and Child by Gerard Seghers
Posted in PATRONAGE - ALTAR SERVERS and/or DEACONS, PATRONAGE - BACHELORS, PATRONAGE - BANKERS, PATRONAGE - BEGGARS, the POOR, against POVERTY, PATRONAGE - BREWERS, PATRONAGE - BRIDES and GROOMS, PATRONAGE - ENGAGED COUPLES, PATRONAGE - FISHERMEN, FISHMONGERS, PATRONAGE - GARDENERS, FARMERS, PATRONAGE - HAPPY MARRIAGES, of MARRIED COUPLES, PATRONAGE - LAWYERS / NOTARIES, PATRONAGE - ORPHANS,ABANDONED CHILDREN, PATRONAGE - PENITENTS, PATRONAGE - PHARMACISTS / CHEMISTS, PATRONAGE - PRISONERS, PATRONAGE - SAILORS, MARINERS, PATRONAGE - SCHOOLS, COLLEGES etc AND STUDENTS, PATRONAGE - SINGLE LAYWOMEN, PATRONAGE - TRAVELLERS / MOTORISTS, PATRONAGE - VINTNERS, WINE-FARMERS, PATRONAGE-INFERTILITY & SAFE CHILDBIRTH, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343) Bishop

Saint of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343) Bishop

The absence of the “hard facts” of history is not necessarily an obstacle to the popularity of saints, as the devotion to Saint Nicholas shows.   Both the Eastern and Western Churches honour him and it is claimed that after the Blessed Virgin, he is the saint most pictured by Christian artists.   And yet historically, we can pinpoint only the fact that Nicholas was the fourth-century bishop of Myra, a city in Lycia, a province of Asia Minor.st nicholas - Jaroslav_Čermák_(1831_-_1878)_-_Sv._Mikuláš.jpg

As with many of the saints, however, we are able to capture the relationship which Nicholas had with God through the admiration which Christians have had for him—an admiration expressed in the colourful stories which have been told and retold through the centuries.

Perhaps the best-known story about Nicholas concerns his charity toward a poor man who was unable to provide dowries for his three daughters of marriageable age.   Rather than see them forced into prostitution, Nicholas secretly tossed a bag of gold through the poor man’s window on three separate occasions, thus enabling the daughters to be married.   Over the centuries, this particular legend evolved into the custom of gift-giving on the saint’s feast.

ANGELICO_Fra_Story_Of_St_Nicholas_Giving_Dowry_To_Three_Poor_Girls
Fra Angelico’s St Nicholas donating the dowries

In the English-speaking countries, Saint Nicholas became, by a twist of the tongue, Santa Claus—further expanding the example of generosity portrayed by this holy bishop.saint-nicholas4st nicholas - glass

Posted in PATRONAGE - BEGGARS, the POOR, against POVERTY, PATRONAGE - SPOUSAL ABUSE / DIFFICULT MARRIAGES / VICTIMS OF ABUSE, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 13 November – St Agostina Livia Pietrantoni S.D.C. (1864-1894)

Saint of the Day – 13 November – St Agostina Livia Pietrantoni S.D.C. (1864-1894) – virgin, of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide Thouret, medical nursing sister – Born Livia Pietrantoni on 27 March 1864 at Pozzaglia Sabina, Rieti, Italy as Livia Petrantoni and died by being stabbed to death on 13 November 1894 in Rome, Italy by Giuseppe Romanelli.   Patronages – abuse victims, against impoverishment and poverty, martyrs, people ridiculed for their piety.st-agostina-pietrantoni-2-638
“Once there was and there still is but with a new face now, a village named Pozzaglia.   In the Sabina hills… and there was a blessed house, a cosy little nest filled with childrens’ voices, amongst which that of Olivia who was later called Livia and was to take the name of Agostina in the religious life.”

S.Agostina's_birthplace
Birthplace of St Agostina

The very short life of Sister Agostina, which inspired St Paul VI, the Pope who beatified her, to relate it in extraordinarily poetical terms, began and unfolded itself:  “simple, transparent, pure, loving…but ended sorrowfully and tragically… or rather symbolically.”ST_agostina_livia_pietrantoni

27th March 1864:   Livia was born and baptised in the little village of Pozzaglia Sabina, at an altitude of 800 meters in the beautiful area which is bordered geographically by Rieti, Orvinio, Tivoli.   She was the second of 11 children!   Her parents, Francesco Pietrantoni and Caterina Costantini, were farmers and worked their small plot of land along with a few added plots which they leased.   Livia’s childhood and youth were imbued with the values of an honest, hard-working and religious family, in the blessed house in which “all were careful to do good and where they often prayed”.    This period was marked especially by the wisdom of Uncle Domenico who was a real patriarch.

At the age of 4 Livia received the Sacrament of Confirmation and around 1876 she received her first Holy Communion, certainly with an extraordinary awareness, judging by the life of prayer, generosity and sacrifice which followed it.   Very early on, in the large family in which everyone seemed to be a beneficiary to her time and help, she learned from her mother Caterina the thoughtfulness and maternal gestures which she showed with such gentleness towards her many younger brothers and sisters.   She worked in the fields and looked after the animals… Therefore, she barely experienced childrens’ games… or school which she attended very irregularly but from which she drew great benefit to the point of earning the title of “teacher” from her classmates.

At the age of 7, along with other children, she began “to work”, transporting by the thousand, sacks of stones and sand for constructing the road from Orvinio to Poggio Moiano.   At the age of 12 she left with other young “seasonal workers” who were going to Tivoli during the winter months for the olive harvest.   Precociously wise, Livia took on the moral and religious responsibility for her young companions.   She supported them in this tough work far from their families and proudly and courageously stood up to the arrogant and unscrupulous “bosses.”

Through her wisdom, her respect for others, her generosity, her beauty, Livia was a young attractive woman… and several young men in the village had their eyes on her. Their admiring looks did not escape mother Caterina’s notice and she dreamed of marrying her daughter well.   Yet what did Livia think?   What was the secret of her heart?   Why did she not make a choice?   Why did she not make up her mind?   “Make daring by the voice which spoke to her inwardly, the voice of her vocation, she surrendered;  it was Christ who would be her Beloved, Christ, her Spouse.”   To these in her family or in the village who attempted to dissuade her by saying she was running away from hard work, Livia replied:  “I wish to choose a Congregation in which there is work both day and night.”   Everyone was certain that these words were genuine.   A first trip to Rome in the company of her Uncle Fra Matteo ended in bitter disillusionment; they refused to accept her.   However, a few months later, the Mother General of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne-Antide Thouret, let her know that she was expecting her at the Generalate.   Livia understood that this time she was saying farewell for ever.   With emotion she took leave of the village people, all the loved corners of her land, her favourite prayer places, the parish and the Virgin of Rifolta;  she kissed her parents goodbye, received on her knees the blessing of Uncle Domenico, “kissed the door of her house, traced the sign of the cross on it and left hurriedly…”st-agostina-facebook-846x444

23rd March 1886:   Livia was 22 when she arrived in Rome at Via S. Maria in Cosmedin.   A few months as a postulant and novice were enough to prove that the young girl had the makings of a Sister of Charity, that is of a “servant of the poor”, in the tradition of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Jeanne-Antide.   Indeed, Livia brought to the Convent a particularly solid human potential inherited from her family which guaranteed its success.   When she received the religious habit and was given the name of Sister Agostina, she had the premonition that it fell to her to become the saint bearing this name.   For Indeed she had not heard of any Saint Agostina!ST AGOSTINA

Sister Agostina was sent to the Hospital of Santo Spirito where 700 years of glorious history had led it to be called “the school of Christian charity.”   In the wake of the saints who had preceded her, amongst whom were Charles Borromeo, Joseph Casalanz, John Bosco, Camillus de Lellis, Sister Agostina made her personal contribution and in this place of suffering gave expression to charity to the point of heroism.ST AGOSTINA SNIP

The atmosphere in the hospital was hostile to religion.   The Roman question poisoned peoples’ minds.   The Capuchin fathers were driven out, the Crucifix and all other religious signs were forbidden.   The hospital even wanted to send the sisters away but was afraid of becoming unpopular.   Instead their lives were made “impossible” and they were forbidden to speak of God.

But Sister Agostina did not need her mouth in order to “cry out for God” and no gag was able to prevent her life from proclaiming the Gospel!   First in the childrens’ ward and later in the tuberculosis ward, a place of despair and death, where she caught the mortal contagion of which she was miraculously healed, she showed a total dedication and an extraordinary concern for each sick person, above all for the most difficult, violent and obscene ones like “Romanelli.”

In secret, in a small hidden corner she had found for herself to reside, in the hospital, Sister Agostina commended them all to the Virgin and promised her many more vigils and greater sacrifices in order to obtain the grace of the conversion of the most stubborn ones.   How many times she offered Giuseppe Romanelli to Our Lady!   He was the worst of them all, the most vulgar and insolent, especially towards Sister Agostina, who was more and more attentive towards him and welcomed his blind mother with great kindness when she came to visit him.   He was capable of anything and everyone had had enough of him.   When, after the umpteenth provocation at the expense of the women working in the laundry, the Director expelled him, from the hospital, he sought a target for his fury and poor Agostina was the victim he picked.   ‘I will kill you with my own hands.” “Sister Agostina, you only have a month to live!,” were the threats which he had sent to her several times in little notes.  The male patient Giuseppe Romanelli began to harass her at this point – he even sent her death threats and on the evening of 12 November 1894 her religious asked her to take time off since the sisters worried for her; she refused.   Romanelli attacked and stabbed her to death in the morning on 13 November 1894.   Pietrantoni forgave her killer moments before she died;  Romanelli stabbed her in a dark corridor with three stabs at the shoulder and left arm and the jugular before a final stab in the chest.   Her final words were, “Mother of mine, help me“.   Professor Achille Ballori (d. 1914) – who had once warned her about Romanelli – inspected her remains and observed that “Sister Agostina has allowed herself to be slaughtered like a lamb” and noted there were no contractions of either her nerves or heart.

When Romanelli caught her unawares and struck her before she could escape, that 13th November 1894, her lips uttered nothing but invocations to the Virgin Mary and words of forgiveness.ST AGOSTINA SNIP 2

The late nun’s funeral blocked the streets of Rome (thousands lined the streets and knelt before the casket as it passed them) and a “Messaggero” report on 16 November stated that “never a more impressive spectacle was seen in Rome”.   Her remains were moved to the generalate on 3 February 1941 and then to her hometown on 14 November 2004.

The beatification process opened under Pope Pius XII on 14 December 1945 and Pietrantoni was titled as a Servant of God.   The confirmation of her life of heroic virtue on 19 September 1968 allowed for St Pope Paul VI to title her as Venerable that same pope presided over her Beatification on 12 November 1972 in Saint Peter’s Square upon the confirmation of two miracles attributed to her intercession.

The final miracle required for sainthood was investigated and then received validation from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 19 March 1996.   St Pope John Paul II approved this miracle on 6 April 1998 and later Canonised Pietrantoni as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church on 18 April 1999.

Pietrantoni was named as the patron saint for nurses on 20 May 2003 after the Italian Episcopal Conference named her as such.

1024px-Saint_Agostina's_tomb
St Agostina’s Shrine and Tomb

ST AGOSTINA CARD

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PATRONAGE - ALTAR SERVERS and/or DEACONS, PATRONAGE - BACHELORS, PATRONAGE - BANKERS, PATRONAGE - BEGGARS, the POOR, against POVERTY, PATRONAGE - BREWERS, PATRONAGE - BRIDES and GROOMS, PATRONAGE - CHEFS and/or BAKERS, CONFECTIONERS, PATRONAGE - EARTHQUAKES, FIRES, DROUGHT / NATURAL DISASTERS, PATRONAGE - FISHERMEN, FISHMONGERS, PATRONAGE - GARDENERS, FARMERS, PATRONAGE - HAPPY MARRIAGES, of MARRIED COUPLES, PATRONAGE - LAWYERS / NOTARIES, PATRONAGE - ORPHANS,ABANDONED CHILDREN, PATRONAGE - PENITENTS, PATRONAGE - PHARMACISTS / CHEMISTS, PATRONAGE - PRISONERS, PATRONAGE - SAILORS, MARINERS, PATRONAGE - SCHOOLS, COLLEGES etc AND STUDENTS, PATRONAGE - SINGLE LAYWOMEN, PATRONAGE - TRAVELLERS / MOTORISTS, PATRONAGE - VINTNERS, WINE-FARMERS, PATRONAGE-INFERTILITY & SAFE CHILDBIRTH, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343)

Saint of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343)  Confessor, Bishop, Miracle-Worker, Apostle of Charity.   Also known as – • Nicholas of Bari• Nicholas of Lpnenskij • Nicholas of Lipno • Nicholas of Sarajskij • Nicholas the Miracle Worker • Klaus, Mikulas, Nikolai, Nicolaas, Nicolas, Niklaas, Niklas. Nikolaus, Santa Claus.   st nicholas header

Patronages -• against fire • against imprisonment • against robberies • against robbers • against storms at sea • against sterility • against thefts • altar servers • archers • boys • brides • captives • children • choir boys • happy marriages • lawsuits lost unjustly • lovers • maidens • penitent murderers • newlyweds • paupers • pilgrims • poor people • prisoners • scholars • schoolchildren, students • penitent thieves • travellers • unmarried girls • apothecaries • bakers • bankers • barrel makers • boatmen • boot blacks • brewers • butchers • button makers • candle makers • chair makers • cloth shearers • coopers • dock workers • educators • farm workers, farmers • firefighters • fish mongers • fishermen • grain merchants • grocers • grooms • hoteliers • innkeepers • judges • lace merchants • lawyers • linen merchants • longshoremen • mariners • merchants • millers • notaries • parish clerks • pawnbrokers • perfumeries • perfumers • poets • ribbon weavers • sailors • ship owners • shoe shiners • soldiers • spice merchants • spinners • stone masons • tape weavers  • toy makers • vintners • watermen • weavers • Greek Catholic Church in America • Greek Catholic Union • Varangian Guard • Germany • Greece • Russia • 3 Diocese • 78 Cities.

Attributes – • anchor • bishop calming a storm • bishop holding three bags of gold • bishop holding three balls • bishop with three children • bishop with three children in a tub at his feet • purse • ship • three bags of gold • three balls • three golden balls on a book • boy in a boat.   Saint Nicholas’ reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus through Sinterklaas.   St Nicholas was generous to the poor and special protector of the innocent and wronged.   Many stories grew up around him prior to his becoming associated with Santa Claus.

Some examples of the Miracles of St Nicholas and the reasons for various Patronages:

• Upon hearing that a local man had fallen on such hard times that he was planning to sell his daughters into prostitution, Nicholas went by night to the house and threw three bags of gold in through the window, saving the girls from an evil life.   These three bags, gold generously given in time of trouble, became the three golden balls that indicate a pawn broker’s shop.

• He raised to life three young boys who had been murdered and pickled in a barrel of brine to hide the crime.   These stories led to his patronage of children in general and of barrel-makers besides.

• Induced some thieves to return their plunder.   This explains his protection against theft and robbery and his patronage of them – he’s not helping them steal but to repent and change.   In the past, thieves have been known as Saint Nicholas’ clerks or Knights of Saint Nicholas.

• During a voyage to the Holy Lands, a fierce storm blew up, threatening the ship.   He prayed about it and the storm calmed – hence the patronage of sailors and those like dockworkers who work on the sea.

St Nicholas died in 346 at Myra, Lycia (in modern Turkey) of natural causes and his  relics are believed to be at Bari, Italy.bari-shrine3-detail

Here is the story of St Nicholas by Prosper Dom Gueranger:

Nicholas was born in the celebrated city of Patara, in the province of Lycia.   His birth was the fruit of his parents’ prayers.  Evidences of his great future holiness were given from his very cradle.   For when he was an infant, he would only take his food once on Wednesdays and Fridays and then not till evening but on all other days he frequently took the breast:  he kept up this custom of fasting during the rest of his life.

Having lost his parents when he was a boy, he gave all his goods to the poor.   Of his Christian kindheartedness there is the following noble example.   One of his fellow-citizens had three daughters but being too poor to obtain them an honourable marriage, he was minded to abandon them to a life of prostitution.   Nicholas having learned of the case, went to the house during the night and threw in by the window a sum of money sufficient for the dower of one of the daughters;  he did the same a second and a third time and thus the three were married to respectable men.

Having given himself wholly to the service of God, he set out for Palestine, that he might visit and venerate the holy places.   During this pilgrimage, which he made by sea, he foretold to the mariners, on embarking, though the heavens were then serene and the sea tranquil, that they would be overtaken by a frightful storm.   In a very short time, the storm arose.   All were in the most imminent danger, when he quelled it by his prayers.

His pilgrimage ended, he returned home, giving to all men example of the greatest sanctity.   He went, by an inspiration from God, to Myra, the Metropolis of Lycia,which had just lost its Bishop by death and the Bishops of the province had come together for the purpose of electing a successor.   Whilst they were holding council for the election, they were told by a revelation from heaven, that they should choose him who, on the morrow, should be the first to enter the church, his name being Nicholas.   Accordingly, the requisite observations were made, when they found Nicholas to be waiting at the church door:  they took him and, to the incredible delight of all, made him the Bishop of Myra.

During his episcopate, he never flagged in the virtues looked for in a bishop;  chastity, which indeed he had always preserved, gravity, assiduity in prayer, watchings, abstinence, generosity and hospitality, meekness in exhortation, severity in reproving. He befriended widows and orphans by money, by advice and by every service in his power.   So zealous a defender was he of all who suffered oppression, that, on one occasion, three Tribunes having been condemned by the Emperor Constantine, who had been deceived by calumny and having heard of the miracles wrought by Nicholas, they recommended themselves to his prayers, though he was living at a very great distance from that place:   the saint appeared to Constantine and angrily looking upon him, obtained from the terrified Emperor their deliverance.

Having, contrary to the edict of Dioclesian and Maximian, preached in Myra the truth of the Christian faith, he was taken up by the servants of the two Emperors.  He was taken off to a great distance and thrown into prison, where he remained until Constantine, having become Emperor, ordered his rescue and the Saint returned to Myra.   Shortly afterwards, he repaired to the Council which was being held at Nicaea:  there he took part with the three hundred and eighteen Fathers in condemning the Arian heresy (Tradition has it that he became so angry with the heretic Arius during the Council that he struck him in the face).St Nicholas of Myra slapping Arius at the Council of Nicaea.

Scarcely had he returned to his See than he was taken with the sickness of which he soon died.   Looking up to heaven and seeing Angels coming to meet him, he began the Psalm, In thee, O Lord, have I hoped and having come to those words, Into your hands I commend my spirit, his soul took its flight to the heavenly country.   His body, having been translated to Bari in Apulia, is the object of universal veneration.

st nicholas beautifulst nicholas.2

For St Nicholas traditional biscuits see here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/st-nicholas-6-december/

Posted in PATRONAGE - BEGGARS, the POOR, against POVERTY, PATRONAGE - CHARITABLE SOCIETIES, PATRONAGE - CHEFS and/or BAKERS, CONFECTIONERS, PATRONAGE - HOSPITALS, NURSES, NURSING ASSOCIATIONS, PATRONAGE - WIDOWS, QUOTES on CHARITY, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 November – St Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)

Saint of the Day – 17 November – St Elizabeth of Hungary TOSF (1207-1231) Princess, Widow member of the Third Order of the Franciscans, Mother, Apostle of the poor, the sick, the needy..  Also known as St Elizabeth of Thuringia.   Born in 1207 at Presburg, Hungary – 1231 at Marburg, Germany of natural causes.   Her relics, including her skull wearing a gold crown she had worn in life, are preserved at the convent of Saint Elizabeth in Vienna, Austria.   Patronages – hospitals, nurses, bakers, brides, countesses, dying children, exiles, homeless people, lace-makers, widows. all Catholic charities and the Third Order of Saint Francis.   She was Canonised on 27 May 1235 by Pope Gregory IX at Perugia, Italy. HEADER - Marcos da Cruz - st elizabeth

Elizabeth was born in 1207.   Her father was Alexander II, the King of Hungary.   Her marriage was arranged when she was just a child and at age four, she was sent to Thuringia for education and eventual marriage.   When she was 14, she married Louis of Thuringia.   They loved each other deeply.elizabeth-of-hungary-spinning-for-poor-marianne-stokes_1895

Elizabeth went out with loaves of bread to feed those who were poor.   Her husband saw her and took hold of her cape to see what she was carrying. What he saw was roses rather than bread!   Because of this, she is also known as the patroness of bakers.   Louis supported her in all she did to relieve the sufferings of those who were poor or sick.   But Louis’s mother, Sophia, his brother and other members of court resented Elizabeth’s generosity.   She was taunted and mocked by the royal family but deeply loved by the common people.   Louis loved her and defended her.   They had three children.

In 1227, after six years of marriage, Louis went to fight in the Crusades.   He died on the way.   Elizabeth was grief stricken.   Her in-laws accused her of mismanaging the finances of the kingdom, forcing her and her children out of the palace.   For a while, they found refuge only in barns.   Finally, they were taken in by her uncle, the bishop of Bamberg.   When her husband’s friends returned from the Crusades, they helped restore her to her rightful place in the palace.   Elizabeth increased her service to others.   She was 24 when she died.

She was canonised only four years later.   Elizabeth is symbolized by a triple crown—for roles as a member of royalty, as a mother, and as a saint, crowned in heaven. Canonization of St Elisabeth of Hungary in 1235

Elisabeth-Kirche Marburg
Elisabeth-Kirche Marburg

Posted in PATRONAGE - against ALCOHOLISM, of ALCOHOLICS, PATRONAGE - BEGGARS, the POOR, against POVERTY, PATRONAGE - VINTNERS, WINE-FARMERS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 11 November – St Martin of Tours (c 316-397)

Saint of the Day – 11 November – St Martin of Tours (c 316-397) Bishop, Confessor, Miracle-Worker, Apostle of Charity (c 316 at Upper Pannonia (in modern Hungary) – 8 November 397 at Candes, Tours, France of natural causes).   By his request, he was buried in the Cemetery of the Poor on 11 November 397.  Patronages – • against alcoholism• against impoverishment• against poverty• beggars• cavalry• equestrians• geese• horse men• horses• hotel-keepers• Pontifical Swiss Guards• quartermasters• s• • soldiers• tailors• vintners• wine growers• wine makers• France• 5 Diocese• 31 Cities.    His relics rested in the basilica of Tours, a scene of pilgrimages and miracles, until 1562 when the cathedral and relics were destroyed by militant Protestants.   Some small fragments on his tomb were found during construction excavation in 1860.    His shrine in France became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.   He has become one of the most familiar and recognisable Christian saints, sometimes venerated as a military saint.   As he was born in what is now Szombathely, Hungary, spent much of his childhood in Pavia, Italy, and lived most of his adult life in France, he is considered a spiritual bridge across Europe.
His life was recorded by a contemporary, the hagiographer Sulpicius Severus.   He is best known for the account of his using his military sword to cut his cloak in two, to give half to a beggar clad only in rags in the depth of winter.  Conscripted as a soldier into the Roman army, he found the duty incompatible with the Christian faith he had adopted and became an early conscientious objector.

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A conscientious objector who wanted to be a monk;  a monk who was manoeuvred into being a bishop;  a bishop who fought paganism as well as pleaded for mercy to heretics—such was Martin of Tours, one of the most popular of saints and one of the first not to be a martyr.st martin of tours info

Born of pagan parents in what is now Hungary and raised in Italy, this son of a veteran was forced at the age of 15 to serve in the army.   Martin became a Christian catechumen and was baptised when he was 18.   It was said that he lived more like a monk than a soldier.   At 23, he refused a war bonus and told his commander:  “I have served you as a soldier;  now let me serve Christ. Give the bounty to those who are going to fight. But I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight.”   After great difficulties, he was discharged and went to be a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers.

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St Martin receives his discharge from the army – Simone Martini

He was ordained an exorcist and worked with great zeal against the Arians.   Martin became a monk, living first at Milan and later on a small island.   When Hilary was restored to his see following his exile, Martin returned to France and established what may have been the first French monastery near Poitiers.   He lived there for 10 years, forming his disciples and preaching throughout the countryside.

The people of Tours demanded that he become their bishop.   Martin was drawn to that city by a ruse—the need of a sick person—and was brought to the church, where he reluctantly allowed himself to be consecrated bishop.   Some of the consecrating bishops thought his rumpled appearance and unkempt hair indicated that he was not dignified enough for the office.

One of the most famous stories about Martin of Tours occurred when he was still a soldier.   One day, it is said, he met a beggar wearing rags.   He took his sword and cut his military cloak in half and gave half to the poor man for his warmth.   That night, Martin dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half of a cloak he had given away.   During the Middle Ages, Martin’s cloak (cappa) became a relic that French kings would take into battle.   The person whose job it was to care for the cloak was often a priest and he was called a cappellani.   It is from this that the word “chaplain” evolved.

As death approached, Martin’s followers begged him not to leave them.  He prayed, “Lord, if your people still need me, I do not refuse the work. Your will be done.”06martinsan-martino-di-toursstmartinStMartinToursstmartin of tourssaint-martin-of-tours-00

Interior of the Basilica of Saint-Martin, Tours, France
Basilica of St Martin, Tours, France