Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 April – Blessed Joachim Piccolomini of Siena OSM (1258–1305)

Saint of the Day – 16 April – Blessed Joachim Piccolomini of Siena OSM (1258–1305) Lay brother Friar of the Tertiaries of the Order of the Servants of Mary (the Servites), Apostle of charity of the sick, devotee of the Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin. Born in 1258 at Siena, Italy and died on Good Friday, 16 April 1306 at Siena, Italy of natural causes. Patronage – against epilepsy. Additional Memorial – 4 February (Servites). Also known as – Gioacchino Piccolomini, Joachim of Siena.

Blessed Joachim and the epileptic

Joachim Piccolomini was born into a ancient and noble family of Siena, Italy. A pious youth, he was especially noted for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. His greatest childhood pleasure was to pray the Ave Maria before an image of the Blessed Lady of Sorrows. He was also known from an early age to exhibit extreme sensitivity to the plight of the poor. He gave them his own clothes and spent his pocket money on almsgiving. One day when Joachim urged his father to increase his aid to the distressed, his father argued that prudence ought to moderate his liberality. Otherwise, he would reduce his whole family to poverty. Joachim is said to have replied, You have taught me that an alms is given to Jesus Christ, in the persons of the poor. Can we refuse Him anything? And what is the advantage of riches but that they be employed in purchasing treasures in heaven?” Hearing these sentiments, his father wept for joy.

Joachim joined the Servites as a lay-brother at the age of fourteen, becoming a spiritual student of Saint Philip Benizi, one of the seven Holy Founders. By all reports, he was a perfect model of virtue; it was not unusual to find him at midnight, praying, while the rest of the house slept and on Saturdays, Joachim abstained from all food in honour of the Seven Dolours of the Virgin. His fervour grew, yet instilled in him an extraordinary humility. Joachim was urged by his brothers to study and be ordained a Priest but he felt he was unworthy, and wanted nothing grander than to be an Altar Server. It would appear that his whole life was an attempt to hide himself from the eyes of others and live in obscurity. In fact, he had become so well-respected and widely known for his sanctity that he requested that he be transferred to Arezzo. The move aroused such a stir of complaints in Siena that he was ordered to return.

According to the legend Joachim reportedly died when he was unable to console an epileptic with words, so he begged God that he might take the illness upon himself. He died of epilepsy in 1305.

Blessed Joachim and the epileptic

One account of Joachim’s hagiography has the Blessed Virgin appearing to him at important times in his life, such as in his adolescence, when she urged him to join the Servites. The second time, she appeared with two crowns in her hands; one of rubies to reward him for his compassion in her sorrows and the other of pearls, in recompense for his virginity, which he had vowed in her honour.

Shortly before his death, the account continues, she once more appeared. Joachim begged her that he would die on the same day on which Jesus Christ had died. The Virgin immediately gratified him, saying, “It is well, prepare thyself; for tomorrow, Good Friday, thou shalt die suddenly as thou desirest—tomorrow thou shalt be with me in heaven.” So, during the singing of the Passion according to Saint John, at the words “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother” (John 19:25), Joachim fell into his last struggles of death and at the words “He bowed down his head and expired” (John 19:30), Joachim died. The whole Church was filled with an extraordinary light and a sweet-smelling perfume.

Blessed Joachim Piccolomini was Beatified by Pope Paul V on 21 March 1609. He is commonly depicted as a Servite holding a book and a flower and is venerated especially in Arezzo and Siena.

A little note of interest concerning the family of our saint – the Church has elected 2 Piccolomini Popes Pius II and Pius III and another relative of Siena, is also a Blessed – Ascanio Piccolomini (1628-1671).

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Nostra Signora delle Vittorie / Our Lady of Victories in the Church of St Mark, Vienna (1683) and Memorials of the Saints – 16 April

Friday of the Second Week of Easter +2021

Nostra Signora delle Vittorie / Our Lady of Victories in the Church of St Mark, Vienna (1683) – 16 April:

In the year 1683 a formidable army of well over 100,000 Turks invaded Austria and laid siege to Vienna for the second time. The City was strategically located in Europe and the Ottoman Turks had been pressing further and further into Christendom over the preceding centuries. If they could take Vienna, it would open up all of Europe to them.
Unfortunately, all of Europe was not united against the invader. The differing Protestant sects hated their Catholic neighbours more than they feared the Turk, and stood by, doing nothing as the Catholics fought alone to save Europe. In fact, the Ottoman Empire had been supporting the Protestants, and encouraged them to revolt and rebel against their lawful government, which weakened Christendom and obviously played into the hands of the Turks. It went so far that they actually promised their Protestant dupes that they would be given the “Kingdom of Vienna” if they should help defeat them.
Suffering under an intense siege, Vienna was on the point of surrendering to the enemy. The people were filled with fear and anxiety, for had this happened, the Turks would easily have invaded the rest of Europe,and filled it with blood and strife. From all parts of the Catholic world prayers were offered to the Queen of Heaven, that she intercede and avert this disaster. Our Lady, Consoler of the Afflicted, did not fail her people.
The pious and valiant Catholic King of Poland, John Sobieski, with an army seemingly inadequate to the need, bravely marched against the enemy anyway. Even though his army was tiny in comparison to the multitudes that awaited him, there was no-one else who could come to the aid of Vienna.
When John Sobieski came in sight of the Turkish camp, before beginning battle, he ordered Holy Mass to be celebrated, at which he himself served, then he begged the celebrant to bless the whole army.

King John Sobieski leads his army at the Battle of Vienna

Full of confidence in the help of Mary Most Holy, Our Lady of Victories, King John Sobieski manfully threw his forces into the conflict. Initiating what would be the largest cavalry charge in history, King John led his now legendary Winged Hussars into the face of the enemy like a host of avenging angels, disrupting the enemy formations and breaking their lines.
The enemy, though far more numerous, turned and fled, while the King’s army were masters of the field. The rejoicing of Christians was great at this news and from all Christendom ,fervent prayers were offered to the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Victories, in thanksgiving for her protection.

The Battle of Vienna

Pope Innocent XI, reigning at the time, placed all his trust in the Blessed Virgin Mary. He had vowed to institute a feast in her honour, if she would liberate the Church from this terrible danger. In fulfilment of this vow, he extended to the whole Catholic world, the Solemnity of the Holy Name of Mary, which had up to that time, only been observed in particular countries.
The famous image of Our Lady of Victories is the one which Emperor John Zimiarnes and John Commenus, carried in a triumphal procession after having besieged the enemy. The image is now borne in procession at Vienna to beg Our Lady’s intercession for various needs.

Bl Arcangelo Canetoli
St Benedict Joseph Labre – Known as the Beggar of Perpetual Adoration (1748-1783)
Dearest St Benedict Joseph:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/saint-of-the-day-16-april-st-benedict-joseph-labre/

St Bernadette of Lourdes – The Visionary of Lourdes (1844-1879)
St Bernadette!

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/saint-of-the-day-16-april-saint-bernadette-soubirous-1844-1879/

St Drogo (1105–1186)
His life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/16/saint-of-the-day-16-april-saint-drogo-1105-1186/

St Elias
St Fructuosus of Braga (Died 665)
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/16/saint-of-the-day-16-april-saint-fructuosus-of-braga-died-665/

St Herveus of Tours
Blessed Joachim Piccolomini of Siena OSM (1258–1305) Tertiary Servite Lay Friar
St Lambert of Saragossa
St Lambert of Saragossa
St Magnus of Orkney
St Turibius of Astorga
St Vaise
St William Gnoffi

Martyrs of Avrillé – 26 beati: – A group of lay people who were executed together for their faith during the anti-Christian persecutions of the French Revolution. They were martyred on 16 April 1794 at Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire, France.
• Blessed Anne Maugrain
• Blessed François Micheneau veuve Gillot
• Blessed François Suhard veuve Ménard
• Blessed Jean Ménard
• Blessed Jeanne Gourdon veuve Moreau
• Blessed Jeanne Leduc épouse Paquier
• Blessed Jeanne Onillon veuve Onillon
• Blessed Jeanne Thomas veuve Delaunay
• Blessed Madeleine Cady épouse Desvignes
• Blessed Madeleine Sallé épouse Havard
• Blessed Marguerite Robin
• Blessed Marie Forestier
• Blessed Marie Gingueneau veuve Coiffard
• Blessed Marie Lardeux
• Blessed Marie Piou épouse Supiot
• Blessed Marie Rechard
• Blessed Marie Roger veuve Chartier
• Blessed Marie-Genevieve Poulain de la Forestrie
• Blessed Marthe Poulain de la Forestrie
• Blessed Perrine Bourigault
• Blessed Perrine Laurent
• Blessed Perrine Pottier épouse Turpault
• Blessed Pierre Delépine
• Blessed Renée Bourgeais veuve Juret
• Blessed Renée Rigault épouse Papin
• Blessed Renée Sechet veuve Davy
16 April 1794 at Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire, France – Beatified: 19 February 1984 by Pope John Paul II at Rome, Italy

Martyrs of Corinth – 9 saints: A group of nine Christians who were tortured and martyred together in the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than three of their names – Callistus, Charisius and Leonide. They were thrown into the sea at Corinth, Greece c250.

Martyrs of Saragossa: Group of eighteen martyrs murdered in 304 in Saragossa, Spain in the persecutions of Diocletian and the prefect Dacean. We know little more than the names – Apodemus, Caecilian, Caius, Crementius, Engratia, Eventius, Felix, Fronto, Gaius, Julia, Lambert, Lupercus, Martial, Optatus, Primitivus, Publius, Quintilian, Saturnius (4 men of this name), Succesus and Urban. Their graves re-discovered in 1389 in the crypt under the church of San Encrazia in Saragossa.