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 INCORRUPTIBLES, PATRONAGE - CHARITABLE SOCIETIES, PATRONAGE - HOSPITALS, NURSES, NURSING ASSOCIATIONS, PATRONAGE - LOST KEYS/LOST ARTICLES, PATRONAGE - PRISONERS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 27 September – St Vincent de Paul CM (1581-1660) Confessor

Saint of the Day – 27 September – St Vincent de Paul CM (1581-1660) Confessor, known as the  “Great Apostle of Trumpets” – Priest, Founder, Apostle of Charity, Doctor of Canon Law, Reformer of Society and Priests, founder of Hospital and Orphanages.   Born on 24 April 1581 near Ranquine, Gascony near Dax, southwest France – the Town is now known as Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Landes, France  and died on  27 September 1660 at Paris, France of natural causes.   His body was found incorrupt when exhumed in 1712 and the incorrupt heart is displayed in a reliquary in the Chapel of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity in Paris.  St Vincent was Beatified on 13 August 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII and Canonised on 16 June 1737 by Pope Clement XII.   Patronages – lepers; against leprosy, all charitable societies (given on 12 May 1885 by Pope Leo XIII),  charitable workers; volunteers, horses, hospital workers, hospitals, lost articles, prisoners, for spiritual help, Madagascar, Brothers of Charity, Richmond, Virginia, diocese of, Saint Vincent de Paul Societies, Sisters of Charity, Vincentian Service Corps.   Attributes – 16th century cleric performing some act of charity, cleric carrying an infant, priest surrounded by the Sisters of Charity, cannon ball and sword (referring to prisoners of war he ransomed).

st-vincent-de-paul.info

4-vincent-de-paul

St Vincent was born of poor parents in the village of Pouy in Gascony, France, about 1580.  He enjoyed his first schooling under the Franciscan Fathers at Acqs.   Such had been his progress in four years that a gentleman chose him as subpreceptor to his children and he was thus enabled to continue his studies without being a burden to his parents.
In 1596, he went to the University of Toulouse for theological studies, and there he was ordained priest in 1600.

In 1605, on a voyage by sea from Marseilles to Narbonne, he fell into the hands of African pirates and was carried as a slave to Tunis.   His captivity lasted about two years, until Divine Providence enabled him to effect his escape.

After a brief visit to Rome he returned to France, where he became preceptor in the family of Emmanuel de Gondy, Count of Goigny, and General of the galleys of France.   In 1617, he began to preach missions, and in 1625, he lay the foundations of a congregation which afterward became the Congregation of the Mission or Lazarists, so named on account of the Priory of St. Lazarus, which the Fathers began to occupy in 1633.vincent-Moutiersst vincent de paul 3.vincents_heart

The deathbed confession of a dying servant opened Vincent de Paul’s eyes to the crying spiritual needs of the peasantry of France.   This seems to have been a crucial moment in the life of the man from a small farm in Gascony, France, who had become a priest with little more ambition than to have a comfortable life.

The Countess de Gondi–whose servant he had helped–persuaded her husband to endow and support a group of able and zealous missionaries who would work among poor tenant farmers and country people in general.   Vincent was too humble to accept leadership at first but after working for some time in Paris among imprisoned galley slaves, he returned to be the leader of what is now known as the Congregation of the Mission, or the Vincentians.   These priests, with vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability, were to devote themselves entirely to the people in smaller towns and villages.

It would be impossible to enumerate all the works of this servant of God.   Charity was his predominant virtue.   It extended to all classes of persons, from forsaken childhood to old age.   The Sisters of Charity also owe the foundation of their congregation to St. Vincent.   In the midst of the most distracting occupations his soul was always intimately united with God.   Though honoured by the great ones of the world, he remained deeply rooted in humility.   The Apostle of Charity, the immortal Vincent de Paul, breathed his last in Paris at the age of eighty in 1660.

SOD-0927-SaintVincentdePaul-790x480

St Vincent De Paul is among the Incorruptibles.  The Incorruptibles are Catholic Saints who’s bodies show no decay after their death.   The Incorruptibles are a consoling sign of Christ’s victory over death, a confirmation of the dogma of the Resurrection of the Body, a sign that the Saints are still with us in the Mystical Body of Christ, as well as a proof of the truth of the Catholic Faith – for only in the Catholic Church do we find this phenomenon.Vincent-de-Paul_body

reliquary with the incorrupt heart
Reliquary containing St Vincent’s incorrupt heart

Posted in INCORRUPTIBLES, PATRONAGE - HOUSEWIVES, PATRONAGE - LOST KEYS/LOST ARTICLES

Saint of the Day – 27 April – St Zita of Lucca

Saint of the Day – 27 April – St Zita of Lucca (1212-1272) Virgin, Apostle of the needy and poor. Also know as Cita, Sita, Citha, Sitha. P atronages – housewives, butlers, housemaid, domestic servants (proclaimed by Pope Pius XII), housemaid, lost keys, maids, manservants, people ridiculed for their piety,rape victims, servants, servers, single laywomen, waiters, Lucca, Italy. Her body is incorrupt.

Saint Zita was born in Tuscany in the village of Monsagrati, not far from Lucca where, at the age of 12 she became a servant in the Fatinelli household.    For a long time, she was unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled and often beaten by her employers and fellow servants for her hard work and obvious goodness.    The incessant ill-usage, however, was powerless to deprive her of her inward peace, her love of those who wronged her, and her respect for her employers.    By this meek and humble self-restraint, Zita at last succeeded in overcoming the malice of her fellow-servants and her employers, so much so that she was placed in charge of all the affairs of the house.    Her faith had enabled her to persevere against their abuse and her constant piety gradually moved the family to a religious awakening.

Zita often said to others that devotion is false if slothful.    She considered her work as an employment assigned to her by God and as part of her penance and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God.    She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to sleep.    She took care to hear Mass every morning with great devotion before she was called upon by the duties of her station, in which she employed the whole day, with such diligence and fidelity that she seemed to be carried to them on wings and studied when possible to anticipate them.

One anecdote relates a story of Zita giving her own food or that of her master to the poor. On one morning, Zita left her chore of baking bread to tend to someone in need.    Some of the other servants ensured the Fatinelli family was aware of what happened; when they went to investigate, they claimed to have found angels in the Fatinelli kitchen, baking the bread for her.
St. Benita Zita died peacefully in the Fatinelli house on April 27, 1272.    It is said that a star appeared above the attic where she slept at the moment of her death.    She was 60 years old and had served and edified the family for 48 years.   By her death, she was practically venerated by the family.    After one hundred and fifty miracles wrought in the behalf of such as had recourse to her intercession were juridically proven, she was canonised in 1696.

Her body was exhumed in 1580, discovered to be incorrupt   St Zita’s body is currently on display for public veneration in the Basilica di San Frediano in Lucca.

To this day, families bake a loaf of bread in celebration of St. Zita’s feast day.    Soon after Zita’s death a popular cult grew up around her, centring on the church of St Frigidian in Lucca.    This was also joined by prominent members of the city.    Pope Leo X sanctioned a liturgical cult within the church in the early 16th century, and was confirmed upon her canonisation.    In 1748, Pope Benedict XIV added her name to the Roman Martyrology.

During the late medieval era, her popular cult had grown throughout Europe.    In England she was known under the name Sitha and was popularly invoked by maidservants and housewives, particularly in event of having lost one’s keys, or when crossing rivers or bridges.    Images of St. Zita may be seen in churches across the south of England.    The church of St Benet Sherehog in London had a chapel dedicated to her,and was locally known as St. Sithes.