Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica / Our Lady of Lyons, France (1643) and Memorials of the Saints – 19 April

Monday of the Third Week of Easter

Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica / Our Lady of Lyons, France (1643) – 19 April:

In about the year 150 Saint Pothinus, the Apostle of Gaul and first Bishop of Lyon, is said to have enshrined a picture of Our Lady in an underground chapel which is now beneath the Church of Saint Nazaire, or Nizier, in Lyons where many Christians suffered death in the Old Forum on the Hill of Blood.
According to tradition, there was once a temple to Attis on the site, whose followers precipitated a persecution against the Christians in about the year 177. Later, in the 5th century, a Basilica was built on the site and the remains of many Christian martyrs from that persecution were buried there, as well as the Bishops of Lyon. The Church takes its name from Nicetius of Lyon, who was the 28th Bishop there in the 6th century, due to the numerous miracles that occurred there after his burial.
In 1168 the Canons of the Cathedral started building a larger Church over the Shrine. In thanksgiving for the cure of his son by this Saint, King Louis VII of France made a pilgrimage to Lyons, where he had an ex-veto tablet set up before the Shrine of Our Lady. In 1466 King Louis XI founded a daily Mass in perpetuity, to be followed always by the Salve Regina, solemnly sung.
In the year 1638, King Louis XIII consecrated France to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Already, vast pilgrimages came to seek Mary’s aid, especially in time of famine and plague.

In 1643, the bubonic plague swept across Europe. The people of Lyon dedicated their city to Our Lady and consecrated themselves to Our Lady of Fourviere, pledging to make a solemn procession on 8 September of each year in thanksgiving for the end of the epidemic. Instantly, all traces of the plague vanished and, until 1792, twenty-five Masses were said daily in thanksgiving. The annual procession continues even to this day, with the participation of the Mayor of Lyons or one of his representatives. On that day, the people make a present to the Virgin of a seven-pound candle and a gold coin.

During the years of the French Revolution the Sanctuary was profaned and the Church used as a warehouse. Sometimes pilgrims would still come to visit the Shrine at night under peril of their lives.
In 1805, Pope Pius VII himself presided at the opening or re-opening of the Shrine. Shortly before the battle of Waterloo, the Shrine was threatened with destruction when Napoleon wanted the hillside fortified. The Marshall was given the order to demolish the Shrine but he refused to do so.
Because the City was spared many vicissitudes during the revolutions of 1830 and 1848, the people of Lyons decided to show their gratitude by adding a tall Tower to the Church surmounted by a great bronze figure of Our Lady. The inauguration of the renovated Church and Tower was scheduled for 8 September 1852 but the date was moved to 8 December because of heavy flooding. Even then, the festivities and fireworks planned for the celebration had to be cancelled due to heavy rains. The citizens of Lyons, undismayed, put lanterns on their windowsills as a sign of their devotion. This episode is the origin of the street illuminations now observed on 8 December and has become part of the annual tradition. On this day, the faithful put candles or lanterns in their windows and make the pilgrimage up the hill to the Basilica by candlelight or flashlight, called the Fête des Lumieres, or the “festival of lights.”
The Virgin is also credited with saving the City from a Cholera epidemic in 1832 and from Prussian invasion in 1870. During the Franco-Prussian War, Prussian forces, having taken Paris, were progressing south toward Lyon. Their pause and inexplicable retreat were attributed by the Church to the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
After the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, a vast Basilica to Our Lady was built next to the old Shrine, which remained almost untouched. The crypt of Saint Pothinus, under the choir of the Church of St. Nazaire, was completely destroyed in 1884.

St Alphege of Winchester (c 953–1012) ArchBishop and Martyr

About St Alphege:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-alphege/
St Apollonius the Priest
St Aristonicus of Melitene
Blessed Conrad of Ascoli OFM (1234-1289) Friar Missionary
St Crescentius of Florence
St Expeditus (Died 303)
His Story:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-expeditus-died-303-martyr/
St Gaius of Melitene
St Galata of Melitene
St George of Antioch
St Gerold of Saxony
Blessed James Duckett (Died 1602) Layman Martyr
His Life and Death:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-blessed-james-duckett-died-1602-layman-martyr/
Bl Jaume Llach-Candell
St Pope Leo IX (1002-1054)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-pope-leo-ix-1002-1954/

St Martha of Persia
Bl Ramon Llach-Candell
St Rufus of Melitene
St Vincent of Collioure

Martyrs of Carthage – 17 saints: A group of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than the names – Aristo, Basso, Credula, Donato, Ereda, Eremio, Fermo, Fortunata, Fortunio, Frutto, Julia, Mappalicus, Martial, Paul, Venusto, Victorinus and Victor. Died in the year 250 in prison in Carthage, North Africa (modern Tunis, Tunisia).

Monday of the Third Week of Easter

Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica / Our Lady of Lyons, France (1643) – 19 April:

In about the year 150 AD, Saint Pothinus, the Apostle of Gaul and first bishop of Lyon, is said to have enshrined a picture of Our Lady in an underground chapel which is now beneath the church of Saint Nazaire, or Nizier, in Lyons where many Christians suffered death in the Old Forum on the Hill of Blood.
According to tradition, there was once a temple to Attis on the site, whose followers precipitated a persecution against the Christians in about the year 177 AD. Later, in the 5th century, a basilica was built on the site, and the remains of many Christian martyrs from that persecution were buried there, as well as the bishops of Lyon. The church takes its name from Nicetius of Lyon, who was the 28th bishop there in the 6th century, due to the numerous miracles that occurred there after his burial.
In 1168 the Canons of the Cathedral started building a larger church over the shrine. In thanksgiving for the cure of his son by this Saint, King Louis VII of France made a pilgrimage to Lyons, where he had an ex-veto tablet set up before the shrine of Our Lady. In 1466 King Louis XI founded a daily Mass in perpetuity, to be followed always by the Salve Regina, solemnly sung.
In the year 1638, King Louis XIII consecrated France to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Already, vast pilgrimages came to seek Mary’s aid, especially in time of famine and plague.
In 1643, the bubonic plague swept across Europe. The people of Lyon dedicated their city to Our Lady and consecrated themselves to Our Lady of Fourviere, pledging to make a solemn procession on September 8th of each year in thanksgiving for the end of the epidemic. Instantly, all traces of the plague vanished and, until 1792, twenty-five Masses were said daily in thanksgiving. The annual procession continues even to this day, with the participation of the mayor of Lyons or one of his representatives. On that day, the people make a present to the Virgin of a seven-pound candle and a gold coin.
During the years of the French Revolution the sanctuary was profaned and the church used as a warehouse. Sometimes pilgrims would still come to visit the shrine at night under peril of their lives.
In 1805, Pope Pius VII himself presided at the opening or re-opening of the shrine. Shortly before the battle of Waterloo, the shrine was threatened with destruction when Napoleon wanted the hillside fortified. The Marshall was given the order to demolish the shrine, but he refused to do so.
Because the city was spared many vicissitudes during the revolutions of 1830 and 1848, the people of Lyons decided to show their gratitude by adding a tall tower to the church surmounted by a great bronze figure of Our Lady. The inauguration of the renovated church and tower was scheduled for September 8, 1852, but the date was moved to December 8th because of heavy flooding. Even then, the festivities and fireworks planned for the celebration had to be cancelled due to heavy rains. The citizens of Lyons, undismayed, put lanterns on their windowsills as a sign of their devotion. This episode is the origin of the street illuminations now observed on December 8th, and has become part of the annual tradition. On this day, the faithful put candles or lanterns in their windows and make the pilgrimage up the hill to the basilica by candlelight or flashlight, called the Fête des Lumieres, or the “festival of lights.”
The Virgin is also credited with saving the city from a Cholera epidemic in 1832 and from Prussian invasion in 1870. During the Franco-Prussian War, Prussian forces, having taken Paris, were progressing south toward Lyon. Their pause and inexplicable retreat were attributed by the Church to the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
After the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, a vast basilica to Our Lady was built next to the old shrine, which remained almost untouched. The crypt of Saint Pothinus, under the choir of the church of St. Nazaire, was completely destroyed in 1884.

St Alphege of Winchester (c 953–1012) ArchBishop and Martyr

About St Alphege:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-alphege/
St Apollonius the Priest
St Aristonicus of Melitene
Blessed Conrad Miliani of Ascoli OFM Conv (1234-1289) Friar Missionary
St Crescentius of Florence
St Expeditus (Died 303)
His Story:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-expeditus-died-303-martyr/
St Gaius of Melitene
St Galata of Melitene
St George of Antioch
St Gerold of Saxony
Blessed James Duckett (Died 1602) Layman Martyr
His Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-blessed-james-duckett-died-1602-layman-martyr/
Bl Jaume Llach-Candell
St Pope Leo IX (1002-1054)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-pope-leo-ix-1002-1954/

St Martha of Persia
Bl Ramon Llach-Candell
St Rufus of Melitene
St Vincent of Collioure

Martyrs of Carthage – 17 saints: A group of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than the names – Aristo, Basso, Credula, Donato, Ereda, Eremio, Fermo, Fortunata, Fortunio, Frutto, Julia, Mappalicus, Martial, Paul, Venusto, Victorinus and Victor. Died in the year 250 in prison in Carthage, North Africa (modern Tunis, Tunisia).

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, EASTER, SAINT of the DAY

Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter, the 20th Divine Mercy Sunday and Memorials of the Saints – 19 April

Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and the Twentieth Divine Mercy Sunday

St Alphege of Winchester (c 953–1012) ArchBishop and Martyr

About St Alphege:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-alphege/

St Apollonius the Priest
St Aristonicus of Melitene
St Crescentius of Florence
St Expeditus (Died 303)
His Story:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-expeditus-died-303-martyr/
St Gaius of Melitene
St Galata of Melitene
St George of Antioch
St Gerold of Saxony
Blessed James Duckett (Died 1602) Layman Martyr
Bl Jaume Llach-Candell
St Pope Leo IX (1002-1054)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-pope-leo-ix-1002-1954/

St Martha of Persia
Bl Ramon Llach-Candell
St Rufus of Melitene
St Vincent of Collioure

Martyrs of Carthage – 17 saints: A group of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than the names – Aristo, Basso, Credula, Donato, Ereda, Eremio, Fermo, Fortunata, Fortunio, Frutto, Julia, Mappalicus, Martial, Paul, Venusto, Victorinus and Victor. Died in the year 250 in prison in Carthage, North Africa (modern Tunis, Tunisia).

Posted in HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, SAINT of the DAY

Friday of the Passion of the Lord and Memorials of the Saints – 19 April

Friday of the Passion of the Lord *2019

St Alphege of Winchester (c 953–1012) ArchBishop and Martyr

About St Alphege:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-alphege/

St Apollonius the Priest
St Aristonicus of Melitene
St Crescentius of Florence
St Expeditus (Died 303) 
St Gaius of Melitene
St Galata of Melitene
St George of Antioch
St Gerold of Saxony
St James Duckett
Bl Jaume Llach-Candell
St Pope Leo IX (1002-1054)
Biography: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/saint-of-the-day-19-april-st-pope-leo-ix-1002-1954/

St Martha of Persia
Bl Ramon Llach-Candell
St Rufus of Melitene
St Vincent of Collioure

Martyrs of Carthage – 17 saints: A group of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than the names – Aristo, Basso, Credula, Donato, Ereda, Eremio, Fermo, Fortunata, Fortunio, Frutto, Julia, Mappalicus, Martial, Paul, Venusto, Victorinus and Victor. Died in the year 250 in prison in Carthage, North Africa (modern Tunis, Tunisia).

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 19 April

Thought for the Day – 19 April

In the middle years of the eleventh century, some prayers for a variety of purposes were added to a splendid Psalter which had been made at Canterbury c.1012-23, which is now British Library, Arundel 155.    These prayers, some 44 of them, are in Latin with an interlinear Old English gloss.   They’ve been published in two batches, the first group by Ferdinand Holthausen in ‘Altenglische Interlinearversionen lateinischer Gebete und Beichten’, Anglia 65 (1941), 230-54, and the rest by Jackson J. Campbell in ‘Prayers from Ms. Arundel 155’ Anglia 81 (1963), 82-177.   Among these prayers are two addressed to Canterbury’s chief saints, Dunstan and Alphege.

I pray also through you, holy father Alphege,
to all the blessed host of saintly martyrs,
who by their steadfast faith and shedding of their blood
have achieved heavenly rewards,
that supported by the protection of so many saints
in this present life. I may leave and shun all things
which are harmful to the body and the soul
and love Christ entirely with a pure mind
and steadfastly endure in the Lord’s commands.
And, thus enduring, intercede for me, holy father Alphege,
that Christ the Lord may grant that I may deserve
to come to eternal bliss, where health, life and joy endure
for all those beloved of God, through all ages of ages. Amen (Excerpt)

By way of comparison, this is the prayer to St Alphege with which the biographer, Osbern concludes his Life of the saint.

Alphege, great soldier of a great King,
who washed your robe in the blood of Almighty God,
accept the prayers of the sons who cry to you
and by your gracious intercession raise up those
whom you have honoured by your holy Passion.
Made strong by divine assistance,
you overcame the prince of death;
father, strengthen us against him
and help us to vanquish him.
You had mercy on those who stoned you;
have mercy on those who pray to you,
that the fury of those who rave.
may not gain more than the devotion of those who love.
Do not let your servants know the gates of death and hell
but bring them to the gates of Paradise
through the power given to you by the Saviour,
who lives and reigns together with the eternal Father
and co-eternal Spirit, the one, only, true God,
through endless ages of ages. Amen.

And the Thought is – let us run to the Saints who are waiting to intercede for us all.

St Alphege, pray for us!

ST ALPHEGE PRAY FOR US

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 19 April – St Alphege

Saint of the Day – 19 April – St Alphege (c953-1012) also known as St Alphege of Winchester/Canterbury/Bath – MARTYR and Bishop, Monk, Hermit, Abbot, educator, apostle of charity – his body is incorrupt.    Patron of  Greenwich, England,  kidnap victims,  Solihull, England.   Attributes –  bishop holding an axe,  bishop with an axe in his head,  carrying stones in his chasuble.

alphege
Alphege on the Chichele tomb in Canterbury Cathedral
st-alphege-greenwich-the-parish-church_a-g-6835023-14258389
299602_st.-alphege-church-solihull-print

Alphege was born in 953 and became a monk at the Deerhurst Monastery of Gloucester, England. After a few years, he asked to become a hermit, received permission and retired to a small hut near Somerset, England. In 984, Alphege moved to Bath and became abbot at abbey founded by St. Dunstan. Many of Alpege’s companions from Somerset joined him at Bath. In that same year, Alphege was appointed bishop of Winchester and served there for two decades.

He was famed for his care of the poor and for his own austere life. King Aethelred the Unready used his abilities in 994, sending him to mediate with invading Danes.  The Danish chieftain Anlaf converted to Christianity as a result of his meetings with Alphege, although he and the other chief, Swein, demanded tribute from the Anglo-Saxons of the region. Anlaf vowed never to lead his troops against Britain again.   In 1005 Alphege became the successor to Aleric as the archbishop of Canterbury, receiving the pallium in Rome from Pope John XVIII.   He returned to England in time to be captured by the Danes pillaging the southern regions. The Danes besieged Canterbury and took Alphege captive.   The ransom for his release was about three thousand pounds and went unpaid. Alphege refused to give the Danes that much, an act which infuriated them.   He was hit with an ax and then beaten to death.  

MARTYRDOM OF ST ALPHEGE

Revered as a martyr, Alphege’s remains were placed in St. Paul’s Church in London.   The body, moved to Canterbury in 1023, was discovered to be incorrupt in 1105. Relics of St. Alphege are also in Bath, Glastonbury, Ramsey, Reading, Durham, Yorkminster and in Westminster Abbey.   He was canonised by St Pope Gregory VII in 1078.

St Thomas a Becket himself endorsed a parallel between himself and the Anglo-Saxon martyr, when he spoke about Alphege in the sermon he preached on Christmas Day 1170, four days before his own martyrdom:  “You already have a martyr here,” he said, “Alphege, beloved of God, a true saint. The Divine Mercy will provide another for you; it will not delay.”