Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) +2021, Notre Dame de la Breche, Chartres, France (1568) and Memorials of the Saints – 14 March

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) +2021
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Notre Dame de la Breche, Our Lady of the Breach, Chartres, France (1568) – 14 March:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady de la Breche, at Chartres, where a procession takes place every year, in thanksgiving for Our Lady’s having delivered the City, when besieged by heretics, in the year 1568. It was during this siege that the image of Our Lady, placed upon the Drouaise gate, could not be injured by the cannon and musket balls, which the besiegers fired at it and the marks of which, are still seen at two or three inches from the image.”

“I shall place enmity between thee and the Woman. She shall crush thy head…” is indeed verified at the Shrine of la Breche.
The procession mentioned by the good Abbot was a custom that took place annually in commemoration of the miracle, until the time of the French Revolution. The Mayor, or on occasion some other important personage, who happened to be the guest of the town, at the time, traditionally lit the first candle before the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady de la Breche. Thereafter, the procession began, winding its way from the Cathedral down the steep curves of the Rue Muret towards the Porte Drouaise. Those who took part, could read the inscription engraved on the ramparts, which recorded the events of the siege in Latin, for the instruction and example of posterity.
Pursuing their way up the Rue de la Breche, the procession would next arrive at the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Breche. Inside, there was a Statue of the Blessed Virgin which stood on the keystone of the old Chapel that was erected in 1599, in memory of this even, and near the site of the famous breach.
About the Altar, are there were numerous cannon-balls of stone, which were relics of the siege. Entering the large annex on the right, the visitor would see a still more curious relic of the siege – the fourteenth or fifteenth-century Statue of Notre-Dame-de-la-Breche, whose name was graven on the keystone, mentioned above. And, if he should inquire, how that name was earned, he would be told, that this was the very Statue which had been set over the Porte Drouaise and, by a miraculous intervention, had saved the Town.

The contemporary chronicler, Duparc, informs us that for all that the men of the Huguenot army were esteemed the greatest soldiers in Europe, yet they miraculously blinded by a manifest miracle. And the miracle was in this way. The defenders of Chartres, placed the Statue above the gate of Drouaise against which, the enemy fired many cannon shots but without being able to ever hit it. And to demonstrate how many shots were fired at the gate, on which was the said image, the bridge of that gate was broken and cut in two by the cannon-balls and all round the image, up to a few inches of it, the marks of many bullets may still be seen. Through it all, the Statue remained whole and intact; in spite of the efforts of the enemy to destroy it, but it was never struck by a single shot.

The siege of Chartres

I know well, Duparc adds, that the heretics and some others, will scoff at this but Herod also mocked at Christ, when he beheld Him.
There is another, even more wonderful story told by historians. As the Huguenots approached a breach in the walls they had made, on 9 March, a “grand lady” stood before them, carrying a child in her arms. Rather than trying to avoid the woman and child, they turned their guns directly on her. Having decided to attack her with murderous intent, they became enraged to see that although they fired dozens of rounds, they seemed to be missing their target, for the woman and child remained before them, standing silently in the breach. Screaming foul threats, the Huguenots fired, reloaded, and fired again but the woman seemed to be catching their bullets and collecting them in her apron.
The Catholics recognised that it was the Mother of God herself, holding Our Lord in her arms and that they had personally taken up the defence of the City. The enemy raged and fired at them to no effect. Encouraged to see what they could never have even dared to hope for, the ecclesiastics and women began to pray anew, as the men picked up their weapons and returned to the fight, vigorously repelling the invaders.
The Huguenots were forced to retreat full of spite and confusion, for they had counted on looting the City and the Church, whose treasury was one of the richest in Christendom. The Prince of Conde had sold, in advance, much of the treasure he expected to plunder from the Cathedral, to which the Canon Souchet said he would never deliver, for the glorious Virgin defended the City, which she recognised as her own, against the hate of those heretical fanatics who showed such malice for her Son.
Mothers in particular come to invoke the Virgin of the Breach and also the Virgin of the door Drouaise, for the protection of their sons, exposed to the perils of war.
The Chapel mentioned above, was destroyed during the French Revolution. The first stone of the new Chapel was laid by M Lecomte, General Vicar, on 7 April 1843.

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St Agno of Zaragoza
St Alexander of Pydna
St Aphrodisius of Africa
Bl Arnold of Padua
St Boniface Curitan
St Diaconus
St Eutychius of Mesopotamia
Blessed Eva of Liège (c 1205-1265) Recluse
Blessed Giacomo Cusmano (1834-1888)
His life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/14/saint-of-the-day-14-march-blessed-giacomo-cusmano-1834- 1888/
St Lazarus of Milan
St Leo of the Agro Verano
St Leobinus of Chartres (Died c 558)
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/14/saint-of-the-day-14-march-saint-leobinus-of-chartres-died-c-558/
St Matilda of Saxony (c 894-968)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/saint-of-the-day-14-march-st-matilda-of-saxony/

St Maximilian
Bl Pauline of Thuringia
St Peter of Africa
St Philip of Turin
St Talmach
Bl Thomas Vives

47 Martyrs of Rome – Forty-seven people who were baptised into the faith in Rome, Italy by Saint
Peter the Apostle, and were later martyred together during the persecutions of Nero. Martyred c.67
in Rome, Italy

Martyrs of Valeria – Two monks martyred by Lombards in Valeria, Italy who were never identified.
After the monks were dead, their killers could still hear them singing psalms. They were hanged on a
tree in Valeria, Italy.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 14 March

St Agno of Zaragoza
St Alexander of Pydna
St Aphrodisius of Africa
Bl Arnold of Padua
St Boniface Curitan
St Diaconus
St Eutychius of Mesopotamia
Bl Eve of Liege
Bl Giacomo Cusmano (1834-1888)
His life:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/14/saint-of-the-day-14-march-blessed-giacomo-cusmano-1834- 1888/
St Lazarus of Milan
St Leo of the Agro Verano
St Leobinus of Chartres (Died c 558)
St Matilda of Saxony (c 894-968)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/saint-of-the-day-14-march-st-matilda-of-saxony/

St Maximilian
Bl Pauline of Thuringia
St Peter of Africa
St Philip of Turin
St Talmach
Bl Thomas Vives

47 Martyrs of Rome – Forty-seven people who were baptised into the faith in Rome, Italy by Saint
Peter the Apostle, and were later martyred together during the persecutions of Nero. Martyred c.67
in Rome, Italy

Martyrs of Valeria – Two monks martyred by Lombards in Valeria, Italy who were never identified.
After the monks were dead, their killers could still hear them singing psalms. They were hanged on a
tree in Valeria, Italy.

Posted in PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 14 March – God’s Works

Thought for the Day – 14 March – the Memorial of Blessed Giacomo Cusmano (1834-1888)

St Pope John Paul on the Beatification of Blessed Giacomo, 30 October 1983

“To heal the wounds of poverty and misery which were afflicting such a large part of the population because of recurring famines and epidemics but also because of social inequality, (Blessed Giacomo Cusmano) chose the way of charity – love for God which was translated into effective love for his brethren and into the gift of himself to the most needy and suffering in a service pushed to the point of heroic sacrifice.

After opening a first “House for the Poor”, he began a broader work of social promotion by instituting the “Morsel for the Poor” Association, which was like the mustard seed from which a very vigorous plant sprung up.   Making himself poor with the poor, he did not disdain begging in the streets of Palermo, soliciting everyone’s charity and collecting food which he then distributed to the innumerable poor who gathered around him.

His work, like all of God’s works, encountered difficulties which severely tested his will but with immense confidence in God and with his indomitable will power, he overcame every obstacle, giving origin to the Institute of the “Sisters Servants of the Poor” and to the “Congregation of Missionary Servants of the Poor”.

He led his spiritual sons and daughters to the practice of charity in fidelity to the evangelical counsels and in striving for holiness.   His rules and spiritual letters are documents of an ascetic wisdom in which strength and gentleness are merged.   The central idea was this – “To live in the presence of God and in union with God, to receive everything from God’s hands, to do everything out of pure love and the glory of God.”

Blessed GIACOMO CUSMANO, PRAY for US!bl giacomo cusmano pray for us 14 march 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 March – Blessed Giacomo Cusmano (1834-1888)

Saint of the Day – 14 March – Blessed Giacomo Cusmano (1834-1888) – Priest, Founder, Physician, Surgeon, Apostle of the Poor.   Bl Giacomo was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and the founder of the “Congregation of Missionary Servants of the Poor” which is also known as the Morsel of the Poor.   Cusmano also established the Sisters Servants of the Poor.   He was beatified by St Pope John Paul II on 30 October 1983.   His older sister was Vincenzina Cusmano (1826-1894), who joined his female religious order was declared Venerable in May 2017, putting her on the path to beatification.cusmano

This Italian Blessed was born on 15 March 1834, in Palermo on the island of Sicily.   He received his first schooling in his parents’ house from a priest-tutor.   This perhaps laid the foundation for his piety, which was then deepened at the Collegio Massimo of the Jesuits in Palermo.   Hence, the young medical student was armed against the threats to religion and morals during his studies at the University in Palermo.

After Giacomo Cusmano had brilliantly completed a doctorate in medicine and surgery, he practised the medical profession from 1855 to 1859 with intelligence, skill and zeal, caring particularly for those poor sick people who could not afford a doctor.   Soon he noted that many of his patients from the poorer sections of the city of Palermo were in much greater need of a priestly physician of souls.   He began to study theology as well, and on 22 December 1860, he was ordained a priest.

Now both doctor and priest, he felt compelled to start an institution for his poor patients that he called Boccone del Povero (Food of the Poor).   He began by gathering medicines, foodstuffs and other material relief for the poor and by distributing these donations to them in their lodgings.   Out of this developed a society, which was authorised in 1867 by Archbishop Naselli of Palermo and was finally approved and blessed by Pope Pius IX.bl giacomo cusmano

The physician-priest Father Cusmano wanted to provide his institution with a band of auxilliaries, women and men who would help serve the poor.  After twelve years of labour pains, such an association of lay brothers and sisters came into being.   On 13 May 1880, the Blessed was able to present the habit to the first Sisters, on 14 October 1884, after a long preparation, he conferred the habit upon the first lay Brothers of the Servants of the Poor.   On 21 November 1887, Blessed Giacomo erected also the Congregation of Missionary Fathers, who were commissioned to proclaim the Good News to the poor and furthermore to direct and minister to the Servants of the Poor.   Then Dr Cusmano founded additional hostels, hospitals and orphanages for the poor people in Palermo and in other Sicilian localities.   His work soon extended to other regions of Italy, as well as to Africa and to both North and South America.

The ideal that personally motivated this Blessed and that he wanted the members of his societies to put into action was “unlimited charity”.   One of his first collaborators, later the Archbishop of Palermo, Cardinal Giuseppe Guarino, wrote about Giacomo Cusmano: “God has placed deep within the bosom of this physician and priest the heart of Saint Vincent de Paul.   The fervour of his love for the poor was unsurpassed, the integrity of his blameless conduct was truly angelic, the kindness beaming from his face recalled Saint Francis de Sales.   I have followed him very attentively through all the stages of his virtuous life and I must acknowledge, I have never met a priest who was so zealous for the salvation of souls, so amiable and so holy as he.”beato-gic3a1como-cusmano-4

On 9 February 1888, Giacomo Cusmano said at the inaugural meeting of the committee of the Ladies of Charity – presumably with a view to his approaching death – “My mission is now finished.”   In fact, he died a few weeks later, on 14 March 1888, at 04:30am in Palermo, Italy of natural causes following a severe bout of pleurisy, in his fifty-fourth year just a day before his birthday and in the odour of sanctity, lamented and mourned by countless people.  The orations that were given at his funeral were very moving, they spoke quite clearly of a saint who had gone home, of an Italian Vincent de Paul.1280px-CorpodelCusmano

Giacomo_Cusmano_Monument,_Palermo
A Shrine to Blessed Giacomo in Palermo

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints -14 March

St Agno of Zaragoza
St Alexander of Pydna
St Aphrodisius of Africa
Bl Arnold of Padua
St Boniface Curitan
St Diaconus
St Eutychius of Mesopotamia
Bl Eve of Liege
Bl Giacomo Cusmano (1834-1888)
St Lazarus of Milan
St Leo of the Agro Verano
St Leobinus of Chartres
St Matilda of Saxony (c 894-968)
Biography: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/saint-of-the-day-14-march-st-matilda-of-saxony/

St Maximilian
Bl Pauline of Thuringia
St Peter of Africa
St Philip of Turin
St Talmach
Bl Thomas Vives

47 Martyrs of Rome – Forty-seven people who were baptised into the faith in Rome, Italy by Saint Peter the Apostle, and were later martyred together during the persecutions of Nero. Martyred c.67 in Rome, Italy

Martyrs of Valeria – Two monks martyred by Lombards in Valeria, Italy who were never identified. After the monks were dead, their killers could still hear them singing psalms. They were hanged on a tree in Valeria, Italy in the 5th