Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of the Founders (5th Century) Constantinople and Memorials of the Saints – 31 August

Our Lady of the Founders – The Relic of the Girdle of Our Lady, Constantinople (5th Century) – 31 August:

The Abbot Giovanni Battista Orsini tells us the Empress Saint Pulcheria had this Church built, and gave to it the Girdle of Our Lady. A feast of this relic is kept at Constantinople, under the title of the Deposition of Our Lady’s Girdle. The French having taken this City, this precious treasure was carried off by Nivellon, Bishop of Soissons and placed in the celebrated Abbey of Our Lady, with a portion of the veil of that Queen of Heaven.

The Empress Saint Pulcheria lived in Constantinople in the 5th century, and she built many Churches, hospitals and public houses for the destitute. She is responsible for at least three Churches in Constantinople that were dedicated to the Blessed Virgin – the Blachemae, the Chalkoprateia and the Hodegetria.
The Church of the Virgin of Blachernae, now known as the Church of Panagia of Blachernae, is located in Istanbul. It was once the most celebrated Shrine in Constantinople and lies inside the high walls of the City, only a short distance from the Golden Horn. The Church was begun by the Empress Pulcheria, and completed by her husband, the Emperor Marcian. It was built upon the site of what was thought to be a sacred spring, the waters of which are still thought to have therapeutic value. The Emperor Leo I made several additions, including the Hagai Soros, which was actually a small Chapel next to the Church where the Holy Robe and Girdle of the Blessed Virgin Mary were kept in a silver and gold reliquary. The relics had been brought from Palestine in 458.

In the year 911 it was reported that there was a Marian apparition at this Church. The City was under siege by a large Muslim army, so the citizens of Constantinople had recourse to Mary, praying for relief at the Blachernae Church. Very early one morning the Blessed Virgin, preceded by a host of Angels, was seen to enter through the Church doors, escorted by Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Apostle. She advanced to the centre of the Church and knelt there to pray fervently with tears in her eyes. After a time she moved to the Altar and continued praying before she removed her veil and held it out over the faithful as she ascended back into Heaven. This was seen as a sign that she was taking the City under her protection and so it happened that the Christian’s won a striking victory over their enemies, who were driven off.
The City of Constantinople came under siege during the Fourth Crusade in the year 1203 and was captured in April of 1204. The Bishop Nivelon de Cherisy was one of the first men to scale the walls of mighty Constantinople when it was finally opened to the Crusaders. Despite the fact that there was a stern prohibition against plundering relics from Churches and monasteries, many holy relics were obtained and brought back to the West. Bishop Conrad of Halberstadt, Abbot Martin of Pairis, and Nivelon of Soiccons were known to have taken relics. Nivelon of Soiccons enriched his Cathedral at Soissons with several important relics. Robert of Clari later includes in a list of relics he viewed at the Church of the Blessed Virgin of the Pharos (Lighthouse) the Crown of Thorns, the Virgin’s Robe, the Head of St John the Baptist and two large pieces of the True Cross. The robe was a large portion of the sleeveless shirt worn by the Virgin Mary, as well as her Girdle.

Francesco d’Antonio – Madonna della Cintola

St Aidan of Lindisfarne (Died 651) Apostle of Northumbria, Bishop, Monk, Missionary, Abbot, Ascetic.
St Aidan’s Story:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/31/saint-of-the-day-31-august-st-aidan-of-lindisfarne-died-651-apostle-of-northumbria/

St Ammi of Caesarea
St Aristides the Philosopher
St Barbolenus of Bobbio
St Caesidius
St Cuthburgh of Wimborne
St Cwenburgh of Wimborne
St Joseph of Arimathea (Died 1st Century) “The Secret Disciple of Jesus”
St Mark of Milan
St Optatus of Auxerre

St Paulinus of Trier (Died 358) Bishop of Trier, Confessor, Missionary.
About this Saint Paulinus:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/08/31/saint-of-the-day-31-august-saint-paulinus-of-trier-died-358-or-359-bishop/

Blessed Pere (Peter) Tarrés i Claret (1905-1950) Priest, Medical Doctor, Co-Founder, with Dr Gerrado Manresa, of a clinic for the poor, dedicated to the Blessed Mother.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/08/31/saint-of-the-day-31-august-blessed-pere-peter-tarres-i-claret-1905-1950/

St Raymond Nonnatus O.deM. (1204-1240) Religious Priest, Confessor, Cardinal, Founder of the Mercedarian Order.
Biography here:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/saint-of-the-day-31-august-st-raymond-nonnatus-o-dem/

St Raymond Nonnatus Robustian of Milan
St Raymond Nonnatus Rufina of Caesarea
St Raymond Nonnatus Theodotus of Caesarea

Martyrs of Prague – 64 beati

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Martyrs of Pozo de la Lagarta – 18 beati:
• Blessed Bernardo Cembranos Nistal
• Blessed Dionisio Ullivarri Barajuán
• Blessed Enrique Vidaurreta Palma
• Blessed Félix Paco Escartín
• Blessed Germán Martín y Martín
• Blessed Isidro Ordóñez Díez
• Blessed José María Palacio Montes
• Blessed Justo Zariquiegui Mendoza
• Blessed Marciano Herrero Martínez
• Blessed Miguel Menéndez García
• Blessed Tomás Alonso Sanjuán
• Blessed Ventureta Sauleda Paulís

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 31 August

St Aidan of Lindisfarne (Died 651) Apostle of Northumbria
St Aidan’s Story:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/31/saint-of-the-day-31-august-st-aidan-of-lindisfarne-died-651-apostle-of-northumbria/
St Ammi of Caesarea
St Aristides the Philosopher
St Barbolenus of Bobbio
St Caesidius
St Cuthburgh of Wimborne
St Cwenburgh of Wimborne
St Mark of Milan
St Optatus of Auxerre
St Paulinus of Trier (Died 358) Bishop
Blessed Pere (Peter) Tarrés i Claret (1905-1950)
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/08/31/saint-of-the-day-31-august-blessed-pere-peter-tarres-i-claret-1905-1950/
St Raymond Nonnatus O.deM. (1204-1240)
Biography here:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/saint-of-the-day-31-august-st-raymond-nonnatus-o-dem/

St Raymond Nonnatus Robustian of Milan
St Raymond Nonnatus Rufina of Caesarea
St Raymond Nonnatus Theodotus of Caesarea

Martyrs of Prague – 64 beati

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Martyrs of Pozo de la Lagarta – 18 beati:
• Blessed Bernardo Cembranos Nistal
• Blessed Dionisio Ullivarri Barajuán
• Blessed Enrique Vidaurreta Palma
• Blessed Félix Paco Escartín
• Blessed Germán Martín y Martín
• Blessed Isidro Ordóñez Díez
• Blessed José María Palacio Montes
• Blessed Justo Zariquiegui Mendoza
• Blessed Marciano Herrero Martínez
• Blessed Miguel Menéndez García
• Blessed Tomás Alonso Sanjuán
• Blessed Ventureta Sauleda Paulís

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 31 August

St Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651) Apostle of Northumbria
St Aidan’s Story:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/31/saint-of-the-day-31-august-st-aidan-of-lindisfarne-died-651-apostle-of-northumbria/
St Ammi of Caesarea
St Aristides the Philosopher
St Barbolenus of Bobbio
St Caesidius
St Cuthburgh of Wimborne
St Cwenburgh of Wimborne
St Mark of Milan
St Optatus of Auxerre
St Paulinus of Trier
Bl Pere (Peter) Tarrés i Claret (1905-1950)
St Raymond Nonnatus O.deM. (1204-1240)
Biography here:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/saint-of-the-day-31-august-st-raymond-nonnatus-o-dem/

St Raymond Nonnatus Robustian of Milan
St Raymond Nonnatus Rufina of Caesarea
St Raymond Nonnatus Theodotus of Caesarea

Martyrs of Prague – 64 beati

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Martyrs of Pozo de la Lagarta – 18 beati:
• Blessed Bernardo Cembranos Nistal
• Blessed Dionisio Ullivarri Barajuán
• Blessed Enrique Vidaurreta Palma
• Blessed Félix Paco Escartín
• Blessed Germán Martín y Martín
• Blessed Isidro Ordóñez Díez
• Blessed José María Palacio Montes
• Blessed Justo Zariquiegui Mendoza
• Blessed Marciano Herrero Martínez
• Blessed Miguel Menéndez García
• Blessed Tomás Alonso Sanjuán
• Blessed Ventureta Sauleda Paulís

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 31 August – The Memorial of St Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651)

Thought for the Day – 31 August – The Memorial of St Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651)

Aidan was gentle.   Aidan was personal.   Aidan was humble.   Aidan was compassionate. Aidan listened well.   Aidan prayed constantly.   Aidan cared for people’s lives, body, mind and spirit.   Aidan set people free from slavery.   He revealed a deep, quiet, almost easily overlooked way of evangelism and missionary life.   There is not much fanfare or miraculous flashy stuff in Aidan’s way of life and faith.   But where Aidan’s predecessor, Corman failed to reach into the hard hearts of the Anglo-Saxon people of Northumbria due to his harshness and austerity, the people loved Aidan and were deeply transformed by his brief 17 years among them, mainly because they were met face to face, heart to heart by a prayerful, gentle, holy man who brought the light of Christ through his actions and way of living.   The name Aidan means “fire, aflame”.   Aidan was aflame with Christ’s love.

The life of St Aidan of Lindisfarne, reminds us of the living Word of God in our lives.   St Aidan, following the teachings of Christ, was literally ready to expend every second of his life for Christ and his neighbour, with love, much as Christ did.   Today, how might we bring the Word of God to life—in our lives and in the lives of those we encounter?   It is this one word, “love”.

St Aidan of Lindisfarne, pray for us!st aidan of lindisfarne pray for us 31 aug 2018-no 2

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 August – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:1–13

One Minute Reflection – 31 August – Friday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:1–13 and the memorial of St Aidan of Lindisfarne

But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ … Matthew 25:6

REFLECTION – “The souls’ husband is the Holy Spirit, by His grace.   When His interior inspiration calls the soul to repentance, then every enticement of vice is in vain.  The pride that wants command, the greed and lust that consumes everything:  this was the master that used to control and ravage the soul.   Their very names have been removed from the repentant sinner’s mouth…   When grace is poured into the soul and gives it light, God makes a covenant with sinners.   He is reconciled with them…   Then is celebrated the wedding of the bridegroom with His bride in the peace of a pure conscience.”…St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Churchbehold the bridegroom - matthew 25 6 - the souls' husband - st anthony of padua 31 aug 2018

“You have been created for the glory of God and your own eternal salvation…..This is your goal!   This is the centre of your life;  this is the treasure of your heart.   If you reach your goal you will find happiness.   If you fail to reach it, you will find misery.”……St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Churchyou-have-been-created-for-the-glory-of-god-st-robert-bellarmine-31 aug 2017

PRAYER – My Lord and my God, help me eternal Father, to stay awake! Teach me to be constantly on guard against my own weakness, to constantly keep watch for temptation and to live constantly in prayer, that Your Son will lead me to safety.   Grant that by the prayers of your holy servant, St Aidan of Lindisfarne, who always remained prayerful and awake, waiting for the Lord, we may be ready to meet the bridegroom.    Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever,amen.st aidan of lindisfarne pray for us 31 aug 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 August -St Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651) Apostle of Northumbria

Saint of the Day – 31 August -St Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651) Apostle of Northumbria – Bishop, Monk, Missionary, Abbot, Ascetic, Apostle of Charity  – born as (Irish: Naomh Aodhán) in Ireland and died on  31 August 651 at Bamburg, England of natural causes.   Patronages – Northumbria and firefighters.   St Aidan was an Irish monk and missionary credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria.   He founded a monastic cathedral on the island of Lindisfarne, known as Lindisfarne Priory, served as its first bishop and travelled ceaselessly throughout the countryside, spreading the gospel to both the Anglo-Saxon nobility and to the socially disenfranchised (including children and slaves).DSC04111 Aidan

St Bede’s (673-735 Father & Doctor of the Church) meticulous and detailed account of Aidan’s life provides the basis for most biographical sketches (both classical and modern).   One notable lacuna, which (somewhat paradoxically) reinforces the notion of Bede’s reliability, is that virtually nothing is known of the monk’s early life, save that he was a monk at the ancient monastery on the island of Iona from a relatively young age and that he was of Irish descent.

In the years prior to Aidan’s mission, Christianity, which had been propagated throughout Britain but not Ireland by the Roman Empire, was being largely displaced by Anglo-Saxon paganism.   In the monastery of Iona (founded by Columba of the Irish Church), the religion soon found one of its principal exponents in Oswald of Northumbria, a noble youth who had been raised there as a king in exile since 616. Baptised as a Christian, the young king vowed to bring Christianity back to his people—an opportunity that presented itself in 634, when he gained the crown of Northumbria.

Owing to his historical connection to Iona’s monastic community, King Oswald requested that missionaries be sent from that monastery instead of the Roman-sponsored monasteries of Southern England.   At first, they sent him a bishop named Cormán, but he alienated many people by his harshness and returned in failure to Iona reporting that the Northumbrians were too stubborn to be converted.   Aidan criticised Cormán’s methods and was soon sent as his replacement.   He became bishop in 635.st aidan icon

Allying himself with the pious king, Aidan chose the island of Lindisfarne, which was close to the royal castle at Bamburgh, as the seat of his diocese.   An inspired missionary, Aidan would walk from one village to another, politely conversing with the people he saw and slowly interesting them in Christianity –  in this, he followed the early apostolic model of conversion, by offering “them first the milk of gentle doctrine, to bring them by degrees, while nourishing them with the Divine Word, to the true understanding and practice of the more advanced precepts.”   By patiently talking to the people on their own level (and by taking an active interest in their lives and communities), Aidan and his monks slowly restored Christianity to the Northumbrian countryside.   King Oswald, who after his years of exile had a perfect command of Irish, often had to translate for Aidan and his monks, who did not speak English at first.Enniscorthy_St._Aidan's_Cathedral_East_Aisle_Fifth_Window_Saint_Aidan_Detail_2009_09_28

In his years of evangelism, Aidan was responsible for the construction of churches, monasteries and schools throughout Northumbria.   At the same time, he earned a tremendous reputation for his pious charity and dedication to the less fortunate—such as his tendency to provide room, board and education to orphans and his use of contributions to pay for the freedom of slaves.

“He was one to traverse both town and country on foot, never on horseback, unless compelled by some urgent necessity and wherever in his way, he saw any, either rich or poor, he invited them, if infidels, to embrace the mystery of the faith or if they were believers, to strengthen them in the faith, and to stir them up by words and actions to alms and good works. … This [the reading of scriptures and psalms and meditation upon holy truths] was the daily employment of himself and all that were with him, wheresoever they went and if it happened, which was but seldom, that he was invited to eat with the king, he went with one or two clerks, and having taken a small repast, made haste to be gone with them, either to read or write.

At that time, many religious men and women, stirred up by his example, adopted the custom of fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, till the ninth hour, throughout the year, except during the fifty days after Easter.

He never gave money to the powerful men of the world but only meat, if he happened to entertain them and, on the contrary, whatsoever gifts of money he received from the rich, he either distributed them, as has been said, to the use of the poor, or bestowed them in ransoming such as had been wrong fully sold for slaves.   Moreover, he afterwards made many of those he had ransomed his disciples, and after having taught and instructed them, advanced them to the order of priesthood.” (St Bede)

The monastery he founded grew and helped found churches and other religious institutions throughout the area.   It also served as centre of learning and a storehouse of scholarly knowledge, training many of Aidan’s young charges for a career in the priesthood.   Though Aidan was a member of the Irish branch of Christianity (instead of the Roman branch), his character and energy in missionary work won him the respect of Pope Honorius I and Felix of Dunwich.Saint_Aidan-glass lg

When Oswald died in 642, Aidan received continued support from King Oswine of Deira and the two became close friends.  As such, the monk’s ministry continued relatively unchanged until the rise of pagan hostilities in 651.   At that time, a pagan army attacked Bamburgh and attempted to set its walls ablaze.   According to legend, Aidan saw the black smoke from his cell at Lindisfarne Abbey, immediately recognised its cause and knelt in prayer for the fate of the city.   Miraculously, the winds abruptly reversed their course, blowing the conflagration towards the enemy, which convinced them that the capital city was defended by potent spiritual forces.   Around this time, Oswine was betrayed and murdered.   Two weeks later Aidan died, on 31 August 651.   He had become ill while on one of his incessant missionary tours and died leaning against the wall of the local church.   As Baring-Gould poetically summarises: “It was a death which became a soldier of the faith upon his own fit field of battle.”

After his death, Aidan’s body was buried at Lindisfarne, beneath the abbey that he had helped found.   Though his popularity waned in the coming years, “in the 11th century Glastonbury monks obtained some supposed relics of Aidan through their influence Aidan’s feast appears in the early Wessex calendars, which provide the main evidence for his cult after the age of Bede.”st aidan of lindisfarne - header

His feast is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, 31 August.   Reflecting his Irish origins, his Scottish monasticism and his ministry to the English, Aidan has been proposed as a possible patron saint of the United Kingdom.

Today, Aidan’s significance is still recognised in the following saying by Joseph Lightfoot, Bishop of Durham:

“Augustine was the Apostle of Kent but Aidan was the Apostle of the English.”
… Bishop Lightfoot
St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham was named after Aidan of Lindisfarne.   Below is the Statue of St Aidan on Holy Island of Lindisfarne carrying the Flame of the Gospel of Christ.st aidan statuest aidan carrying the flame