Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 13 July – Blessed James of Voragine OP (c 1226–1298) Author of the ‘Golden Legend’

Saint of the Day – 13 July – Blessed James of Voragine OP (c 1226 – 13 or 16 July 1298) Archbishop of Genoa, Author of the ‘Golden Legend’ (a collection of lives of Saints and treatises on Christian festivals, one of the most popular religious works of the Middle Ages and is still published and referred to today – completed 1265), Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers of St Dominic, Writer, Scholar of great genius, Prior and Provincial General of the Order. Born as Giacomo da Varazze in c 1226 at Varazze (modern Voragine), Diocese of Savona, Italy (near Genoa) and died on either 13 July or 16 1298 in Genoa, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – James of Varazze, James of Viraggio, James of Genoa, Giacomo, Jacob, Jacobus, Jacopo.

James of Voragine has been Beatified by the Church for the sanctity of his life. He lives in secular history for quite a different reason – he was a creative genius of his age. His Golden Legends, which has enjoyed a circulation of nearly seven centuries, is only one of several projects which in his time, as in ours, are a tribute to the versatility of the man and the zeal of a Saint.

Little is recorded of the childhood of James. He entered the Order of Preachers in Genoa and soon was known, both for his virtue and for a singularly alert and practical mind. Tradition says that James was the first to translate the Bible into Italian. Whether this is true or not, it is ample evidence that he was a true scholar.

As Prior, provincial,and later Archbishop, James gained a reputation for strict observance, heroic charity and sound good sense. He was a builder where war had wrecked, a peace maker where others sowed trouble. He must of had a contagious zeal, for the wealthy gave to him as readily as the poor begged from him and under his hand, ruined Churches and hospitals were restored, the sick and poor were cared for, and good practices and devotion reignited. He was a genius at getting things done and, fortunately, his whole heart was bent on doing good for the glory of God.

Like others of his calling and training, James was first of all a Preacher. For those many who could not read, one of the chief means of instruction was via sermons, which took their key note from the feast of the day. The Saints, the stories of their live and examples of their virtues became as much part of a Christians life as the people around him. The collection of stories – later called The Golden Legend – started as a series of sermons prepared by James for the various festival of the Saints. Since he preached in Italian, rather than in Latin, his sermons had immense popular appeal and they were rapidly copied by other Preachers into all the languages of Europe. The Golden Legend was , next to the Bible, the most popular book of the Middle Ages.

James was rigorous in his observance of the Dominican Rule, which, is of itself, enough to canonise him. He had also the good sense to make use of changing trends to further the work of God. Today he would be using the digital world, the press, the movies, and television – then ,he used what his century had to offer – sermons in the vernacular, religious drama and music. How much present day drama and music owed to him, it would be impossible to say.

There is an amusing story told of his efforts to fight fire with fire. He organised a troop of jugglers and acrobats from the student Novices of San Eustorgio, in Milan, who were to mingle entertainment with doctrine in staging ‘plays’ to teach and in an effort to combat the indecency of the secular theatre. This was one scheme which left no lasting effect but it does serve to show, that James was a man of his times, alert to the changing needs of a fast-moving world and whole-heartedly determined to win the world to the truth of the One Holy Catholic Faith by any honest means that came to hand.

Purity, poverty and charity were the outstanding virtues of this man whom the Church has seemed fit to enroll among Her blesseds. He will always be recognised in Dominican history as a man of many and peculiar gifts, who consecrated his talents to God and, in trading with them , gained heaven. Blessed James was Beatified on 11 May 1816 by Pope Pius VII.



Madonna del Soccorso / Our Lady of Soccorso, Castellammare del Golfo, Trapani, Sicily, Italy ( 1718) and Memorials of the Saints – 13 July

Madonna del Soccorso / Our Lady of Soccorso, Castellammare del Golfo, Trapani, Sicily, Italy ( 1718)- 13 July, 21 August:

In Castellammare del Golfo , in the Province of Trapani, a miraculous event occurred on 13 July 1718, when the Town was in the midst of war between Philip V and Amedeo di Savoia, for the possession of Sicily. A Spanish ship, pursued by five English ships, arrived to take refuge under the castle, from where the enemy ships were repelled.
The people, frightened, cried out for a miraculous help to their Patron – all fled the City, and despite the blows of the English artillery, no-one was killed or injured. But all of a sudden, to everyone’s amazement, the white-dressed Madonna appeared from Mount delle Scale, followed by a group of Angels, who descended towards Cala Marina. This vision terrified the British who hastened in retreat and left the port.
The name of Madonna del Soccorso derives from this extraordinary event.
Every two years, in fact, on 13 July in the Town of the Gulf the “Historical Re-enactment” of the miraculous intervention of Maria Santissima del Soccorso, in the City of Castellammare.

Devotion to the Madonna del Soccorso is particularly felt in the Magolà hamlet, in Lamezia Terme but also, in the whole area. The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Soccorso is located on a green hill overlooking the City of Lamezia Terme and overlooking the plain of Sant’Eufemia, in the most panoramic point . The presence of this Church then gave its name to the whole area. According to a historical research by Don Pietro Bonacci ( 1915 – 2007 ), devotion to the Madonna del Soccorso is very ancient and was initially practiced in the Church of the Reformed Fathers of St Frances (currently the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore) in very remote times. This devotion was also in use in the Church of Santa Lucia , which until the eighteenth century, had the title of Parish of St Maria del Soccorso, then passed to the Church of Magolà. It is said that the Reformed Fathers decorated with great piety and love, a miraculous image of the Madonna painted by St Luke and brought from Jerusalem by a Franciscan Friar who landed in Sant’Eufemia, fell ill and died with the Reformed Fathers. This image was of great veneration for its continuous graces but no trace has been found, it has disappeared.

The current Church was built shortly after the construction of the votive Shrine. In fact, a document reports that it was completed in 1740. . At the beginning of the nineteenth century cholera broke out and a small hospital was built to treat the sick. In the twentieth century everything returned to normal and the celebrations in honour of the Madonna began, which were established on the third Sunday of July, preceded by the Novena. On Saturdays it was customary to celebrate The Rosary and other Marian devotions, in which one spent a whole day with the Madonna and sang traditional hymns. On the day of the festival, after several Masses, the procession with the Statue of the Madonna begins,and looks out from the hill to bless the City. There was also a great fair. Today the festival is held the same way.

St Henry (972-1024) Holy Roman Emperor (Optional Memorial) Henry was well known for his missionary spirit and for his protection of the Pope in times of trouble. Henry ruled with a spirit of great humility and always sought to give the glory to God. He used his position to promote the work of the Church and the peace and happiness of the people.

Bl Anne-Andrée Minutte
St Arno of Würzburg
Bl Barthélemy Jarrige de la Morelie de Biars
Bl Berthold of Scheide

Blessed Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodríguez Santiago (1918–1963) Layperson, Catechist. He is the first Puerto Rican, the first Caribbean-born layperson in history to be Beatified.

St Clelia Barbieri (1847-1870) Foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Mother of Sorrows, Mystic.
St Clelia’s Story:

St Dogfan
Bl Élisabeth Verchière
St Emanuele Lê Van Phung
St Esdras the Prophet
St Eugene of Carthage
Bl Ferdinand Mary Baccilleri
St Iosephus Wang Kuiju
Blessed James of Voragine OP (c 1226 – 3 or 16 July 1298) Bishop, Author of the ‘Golden Legend.’
Bl Jean of France
St Joel the Prophet
Bl Louis-Armand-Joseph Adam

Blessed Mariano de Jesus Euse Hoyos (1845-1926) Priest, Defender of the Poor, children, the sick and the rural communities.
His Life:

Bl Marie-Anastasie de Roquard
Bl Marie-Anne Depeyre
Bl Marie-Anne Lambert
St Mildred of Thanet
St Muritta of Carthage
St Myrope
St Paulus Liu Jinde
St Salutaris of Carthage
St Sarra of Egypt
St Serapion of Alexandria
Serapion of Macedonia
Bl Thérèse-Henriette Faurie
Bl Thomas Tunstal
St Turiaf

Martyrs of Cyprus – 300 saints: 300 Christians who retired to Cyprus to live as cave hermits, devoting themselves to prayer and an ascetic life devoted to God. Tortured and martyred for their faith and their bodies dumped in the various caves in which they had lived. We know the names of five of them but no other details even about them – Ammon, Choulélaios, Epaphroditus, Eusthénios and Héliophotos. They were beheaded in the 12th century on Cyprus and their bodies dumped in the cave where they had lived and only rediscovered long afterwards.

Martyrs of Philomelio – 31 saints: 31 soldiers martyred for their faith in the persecutions of prefect Magno, date unknown. The only name that has come down to us is Alexander. In Philomelio, Phrygia (in modern Turkey).