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 - HOUSEWIVES, PATRONAGE - LOST KEYS/LOST ARTICLES, PATRONAGE-INFERTILITY & SAFE CHILDBIRTH, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 26 July – St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

Saint of the Day – 26 July – St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grandmother of Jesus. The name Anne from the Hebrew commonly believed to mean “grace” but St Augustine says (City of God) that it in fact means ,“by the grace of God.”
Patronages – against poverty, against sterility or infertility, broommakers, cabinetmakers, carpenters,of childless couples, equestrians, expectant mothers and mothers, childbirth, grandmothers, grandparents, housewives, lace makers, lost articles, miners, old-clothes dealers, the poor,, seamstresses, stablemen, turners, Canada, France, Micmaqs, 4 Diocese, 18 Cities.

St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
By Fr Francis Xavier Weninger SJ (1805-1888)

St Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Bethlehem, a City two miles distant from Jerusalem, frequently mentioned in Holy Writ. Having passed her youth in unstained purity, she was married to a man named Joachim, who was born at Nazareth in Galilee, with whom she lived in such love and harmony and, at the same time, so piously, that one could justly say of them, what St. Luke writes of Zachary and Elizabeth: “They were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame.” They divided their income into three parts, the first of which was used for the honour of God and to adorn the Temple, the second to assist the poor and the third, for their own subsistence. They employed the day in prayer, work suitable to their station in life and charitable deeds.

Their only grief was, that, although so long married, they had no issue and a barren marriage was, at that time, considered a disgrace, nay almost a sign of a Divine curse. Saddened by this sorrow, St Anne, as well as her spouse, prayed with many sighs and tears, that God would take pity on them and remove the disgrace that was weighing them down. But when, after having prayed long and earnestly, they were not heard, they determined to bear patiently the will of the Almighty. As, however, St Anne knew that God required continual prayer and ,that He had not given to men a certain time to ask for grace, she ceased not to implore eaven with great confidence, for all that she believed was for His honour and her own salvation .

Being one day in the Temple, she felt her distress so deeply, that she wept bitterly,but she remembered, at the same time, that there had been another Anne, spouse of Elcana, who had been afflicted as she was but whose prayers, God at last had answered, making her the mother of the great prophet Samuel. While thinking of this, she perceived in herself, an invincible desire to beg the Lord for a like grace. Hence, she repeated her prayer with earnest fervour, promising, at the same time, that if God would grant her a child, she would consecrate it in the Temple, to His Divine service, as the above-mentioned Anne had done.

God answered the trusting, tearful prayer of His servant,and sent her, according to the opinion of the Holy Fathers, an Angel, who announced to her that she would give birth to a child who blessed among women, would become the Mother of the long expected Saviour of the world. It is also believed, that the Angel told St Anne the name which she should give to the blessed fruit of her womb. The same revelation was made to St Joachim and the happiness of both and their gratitude to the Almighty, can be easily imagined. Their happiness was crowned when St Anne gave birth to her, who was elected by God from all eternity, to become the Mother of His Only Son.

Who can describe the joy with which Anne pressed her newborn child to her heart, or the solicitude and love with which she brought it up? The knowledge that her blessed daughter was chosen by God to so great a dignity, was incentive enough, to leave nothing undone for her welfare. The mind of the blessed child was so far beyond her years and her whole being, so angelically innocent, that her education was an easy task and St Anne deemed herself, the happiest mother in the world because God had entrusted to her, so priceless a child. The graces which, through the presence of the Blessed Virgin, she received from Heaven, cannot but have been innumerable . For if, in after times, the house of Elizabeth and Zachary was, by a visit from Mary, filled with Heavenly blessings, who can doubt, that St Anne, who was the mother of the Blessed Virgin, was gifted with extraordinary graces?

Knowing, however, that Mary was not only a precious treasure lent her by Heaven but also, had consecrated herself to the service of the Almighty, St Anne did not fail to return to God, what she had received from Him and to offer willingly, what she had so willingly promised. Hardly had Mary reached the age of three years, when Anne and Joachim went with her to the temple at Jerusalem and presenting her to the Priest, consecrated her through him to the Almighty. Nothing could have been more painful to the pious parents than to separate from so perfect a child but, as they were more zealous for the glory of God, than for their own joy, even though it was so pious, they made this sacrifice without complaining. Thus Mary was received among the number of those who, under the direction of the priests, served God in the Temple and were led in the path of virtue.

After they had piously offered this agreeable sacrifice, the parents of the Blessed Virgin returned home and spent the remainder of their days in good works, which were continued by St Anne, when she became a widow by the death of her holy spouse. As she had been an example to the virgins, before her marriage, as well as a perfect model of a wife, so also was she, in her widowhood, a shining light, for all those qualities which St Paul,afterwards required of a Christian widow, in his first Epistle to Timothy. She went frequently to Jerusalem to see her holy daughter and died, according to several authors, in the 79th year of her age. Mary, who at that time still lived in the temple, closed her eyes.

As one cannot give to the Blessed Virgin a higher title than to call her, Mother of God, thus St Anne, cannot be more exalted, than when she is called the mother of her, who bore the Son of God. And for the very reason, that she was chosen to be her mother, we must believe, that the Almighty favoured her here upon earth, with grace above all the Saints and raised her to high glory in Heaven. Hence we may rightly suppose, that her intercession with God, is most powerful and this is also testified by many examples.

Posted in PATRONAGE-INFERTILITY & SAFE CHILDBIRTH, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PRIESTS, the PRIESTHOOD and CONSECRATED LIFE, QUOTES/PRAYERS on THE FAMILY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 6 June – St Norbert and a Prayer for his Intercession for a Safe Childbirth

Quote/s of the Day – 6 June – Pentecost Monday and the Memorial of St Norbert (c 1080-1134) Bishop, Confessor, Founder of the Premonstratensian or the Norbertine Canons and Sisters, “Defender of the Eucharist” and “Apostle of the Eucharist,” Exorcist, Reformer, Preacher

On the day of his ordination, St Norbert said:

O Priest! You are not of yourself because you are of God.
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ.
You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.
You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you?
Nothing and everything.
O Priest!
Take care, lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you:
‘He saved others, himself he cannot save!

You will never enjoy
the sweetness of a quiet prayer,
unless you shut your mind,
to all worldly desires and temporal affairs.

St Norbert (c 1080-1134)

Why is St Norbert Patron of Expectant Mothers & Infertile Married Couples?

A pious woman once approached St Norbert asking whether she and her husband ought to separate and enter Monasteries because they lived in an infertile marriage.
St Norbert prophesied that they would be blessed with children, the first of whom would be dedicated to God. This child, Nicholas, did indeed become a Norbertine at Prémontré.
St Norbert is traditionally invoked for a safe childbirth too.
The Norbertine Canonesses at Doksany (Czech Republic) in modern times, promote this devotion to St Norbert as ‘Patron of Infertile Couples and Endangered Pregnancies’ and report hundreds of families now blessed with children, the Sisters, having well over 3,000 spiritual children as of 2012. It would be wonderful to find an updated figure 10 hears later.

A Prayer to St Norbert
for a Safe Childbirth

St Norbert, great and faithful servant of God!
You venerated the holy
and miraculous birth of our Saviour,
Whom, His Mother,
the purest Virgin Mary,
conceived without the loss of her virginity
and gave birth, ever remaining a virgin.
You connected the origin
of the Premonstratensian Order
with the day of the Birth of Jesus Christ.
I humbly pray to you, St Norbert,
as a great protector,
so that God will give me the grace,
through your intercession,
to give birth to this conceived child.
And so, that He will give me also,
the grace that this child
will join the Church of Christ
through the Sacrament of Baptism
and that he/she will serve
Almighty God
the whole of his/her life
so that in the end
we both will reach eternal salvation.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God forever.
Amen.

(Translated from The Little Hours, 1749, by one of our Norbertine Sisters at Doksany)