Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 15 June – Blessed Pietro Nolasco Perra OdeM (1574-1606)

Saint of the Day – 15 June – Blessed Pietro Nolasco Perra OdeM (1574-1606) Priest of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (the Mercedarian Friars), Missionary. Born in Gergei, Sardinia, Sicily in 1574 as Pietro Giovanni Perra and died in Valencia, Spain on 15 June 1606 of natural causes aged 32.

The Order of Mercedaries was founded in Spain by sSt Peter Nolasco (1180-1245), with the main purpose of the ‘redemption’ of the Christians enslaved by the Arab Moors and brought to the Muslim countries of North Africa.
After the era of Arab domination, the Order continued its apostolic work and evangelisation, spreading to all the countriess of Europe, but also to America (with Christopher Columbus there were also some MercedarianCchaplains); -by now the ‘redemption’ was intended, above all, as liberation from the sin of the misled souls.
As for Italy, the first convent was founded in Cagliari in Sardinia, at that time subject to the Aragonese dominion and it was King Alfonso IV of Aragon in 1335 who made it a gift to the Order.
Then in 1442 Naples followed and in 1463 Palermo and little by little foundations followed in other cities of Italy, including, in 1569 that of St Rufina in Rome, followed by the convent of St.Adrian. And from the ancient Convent of the Blessed Virgin Mother of Bonaria in Cagliari, the Order received the gift of a holy figure of a Mercedarian Friar, Pietro Nolasco Perra.

He was sent to Valencia to continue his studies and in this City in 1603, he was Ordained a Priest. Documents of the time attest his presence in Valencia on 6 July 1604 and in the following years, in the chapter meetings for the admission of other religious to the Order.

He was an example of the interior life, of obedience and humility in brotherly love. During the celebration of his Mass, the faithful who participated were moved by the great devotion with which he prayed. He had words of comfort and encouragement for anyone who approached him, especially during Confession.

He died in Valencia at the age of only 32, on 15 June 1606, leaving behind the fame of a saint;. One of his companions, Fra ‘Machin, an eminent scholar, narrated that Fra’ Pietro Nolasco Perra on the verge of death, asked his superiors to command him to die, so that his death would be the daughter of obedience and thus have greater merits before God. Two years after his departure, collections of documentation and testimonies of those who had known him were opened, by order of the Archbishop of Cagliari, Msgr. Francesco Desquivel.

Two years after his death, the Archbishop of Cagliari, Francisco Desquivel began to collect information in order to start the Beatification process – from these data it is clear, that even in his native country, in contact with objects that belonged to him, there were numerous and miraculous occurences. The process of Beatification was thus initiated.

In 1652 a delegation was sent to Valencia to obtain some relics of “santu Impera” (Sician dialect) – fragments of his clothes and an arm were thus brought to the island. At the same time, a Church began to be built in his hometown, so that, as soon as Pietro Nolasco Perra was declared a saint, the saint and his relics could be publicly venerated in a suitable place. However, at the beginning of the 18th century, the Beatification process ran aground due to the mysterious disappearance of the file and, for the same reason, has not resumed.

The search for that dossier is currently underway, also because the Sardinian Catholic world, led by Bishop Antioco Piseddu , is asking for the investigation to be reopened. According to some sources, Pietro is currently only a Servant of God and Venerable but he is remembered by the Mercedarian Order as Blessed and celebrates him today.


Our Lady of the Taper of Cardigan (1100s) and Memorials of the Saints – 15 June:

Our Lady of the Taper of Cardigan (1100s)– 15 June:

During the middle ages there was a notable pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady in Cardigan. A beautiful legend describes how a Statue of Mary was found by the side of the river Teifi, “and her sonne upon her lappe and the taper bernynge in her hande.” It was taken to the Parish Church but would not remain there, returning three or four times to “the place where now is buyIded the Church of our Lady,” the present St.Mary’s Church. A chantry Priest sang Mass daily in honour of Our Lady for pilgrims who came to pray and leave gifts. They lodged with the Knights Hospitallers of S. John, where the Angel Hotel now stands.

St Mary’s dates from 1158, built to hold the Statue. It resembles an earlier Shrine in the city of Arras, which was then in Flanders. Did Flemish merchants, who settled in Cardigan and traded in Welsh wool out of the port, bring the Statue back with them?

Devotion to Mary was once universal in Wales. Many places are called Llanfair or Capel Mair (Mary’s Church, Chapel) and dozens of flowers and plants bear her name. No girl was given the name Mair (Mary), as it was reserved for Our Lady.

We do not know how the devotion transferred to Barcelona and Cagliari. In the 1320’s and 1330’s Catalonian sailors had thronged British waters. Did they come to Cardigan, see the Shrine and copy it? In 1904 Breton Monks, in exile near Cardigan, revived the devotion, giving the title Our Lady of Cardigan to their Abbey Church and also to the little Church they opened in Town in 1912. They left in 1916 and another generation passed before the name was heard again.

In 1952 Martin Gillett, who later was to found the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, told Bishop Petit that Cardigan had once possessed a famous Shrine. The Bishop instantly decided to restore it. In 1956 a new Statue was blessed by Cardinal Griffin in Westminster Cathedral and then taken to every Parish in the Diocese of Menevia before arriving in Cardigan. On 27 May 1956, a great concourse from all parts of Britain bore it to the little Church of Our Lady of Sorrows. On 23 July 1970 Bishops Petit and Fox consecrated the new church of Our Lady of the Taper, named after the Shrine. Three days later pilgrims transferred the Statue there.

The original Statue was taken to London and destroyed at Chelsea in 1538 along with other Marian images on the orders of Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, Chief Minister of King Henry VIII. Mother Concordia, OSB, was asked to make another in bronze. Designated as a Welsh National Shrine of Our Lady, it was blessed in Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral and brought all over Wales before, on Pentecost Sunday, 18 May 1986, it was solemnly installed in the presence of 4,500 pilgrims. Its beauty catches the imagination and arouses devotion. Pope John Paul II wrote a special message for the occasion, and a taper he blessed in Rome was placed in the hand of the statue and lit.

Its symbolism is that Mary presents her Son to us, as she did to the Wise Men, to be adored. The taper testifies that He is Light of the World. Pilgrims come to pray individually and in groups. May they learn to treasure the word of God in their hearts, as Mary did, and live by the light of her Son, who is her Saviour and ours.

St Abraham of Saint-Cyriacus
St Achaicus of Corinth
St Barbara Cui Lianshi
St Benildis of Córdoba

St Bernard of Montjoux/Menthon CRSA (c 1020-1081) “Apostle of the Alps” Priest, Founder of a patrol that cleared robbers from the mountains and he established hospices for travellers and pilgrims. The large dogs, trained to search for lost victims in the mountains, are named for him. Patronages – Alpinists, Alps (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923), Campiglia Cervo, Italy, mountain climbers (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923), mountaineers, skiers, travellers in the mountains (proclaimed by Pope Pius XI on 20 August 1923).

St Constantine of Beauvais
St Domitian of Lobbes
St Edburgh of Winchester
St Eigil
St Eutropia of Palmyra
St Fortunatus of Corinth

St Germaine Cousin (1579–1601) Incorrupt- Laywoman, Penitent, Apostle of Charity, miracle-worker. Patronages – abandoned people, abuse victims, child abuse victims, against poverty, disabled and handicapped, people, girls from rural areas, illness, impoverishment, loss of parents, shepherdesses, people disfigured by disease, physical therapists.
Her Holy Life:

St Hadelinus of Lobbes
St Hesychius of Durostorum
St Hilarion of Espalion
Bl Juan Rodriguez
St Julius of Durostorum
St Landelin of Crespin
St Leonides of Palmyra
St Libya of Palmyra
St Lotharius of Séez
St Melan of Viviers
St Orsisius
Bl Pedro da Teruel
Bl Peter Snow
St Pierre de Cervis
Blessed Pietro Nolasco Perra OdeM (1574-1606)
Bl Ralph Grimston
St Tatian of Cilicia
Bl Thomas Scryven
St Trillo of Wales
St Vaughen of Ireland

St Vitus (c 290-c 303) – Martyr, One of the Seven Holy Helpers. Died aged 12-13 years of age. Patronages – against animal attacks, against dog bites, against epilepsy; epileptics, against lightning, against over-sleeping, against rheumatic chorea or Saint Vitus Dance, against snake bites, against storms, against wild beasts, of actors, comedians, dancers, dogs, Bohemia, Czech Republic, Serbia, 17 cities.
His very short life:

St Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic:

St Vouga of Lesneven

Martyr of Lucania – 11 saints: Eleven Christians martyred together. We known nothing else about them but the names – Anteon, Candidus, Cantianilla, Cantianus, Chrysogonus, Jocundus, Nivitus, Protus, Quintianus, Silvius, Theodolus in Lucania (modern Basilicata), Italy, date unknown.