Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

The Siege of Rhodes. Victory over the Turks by the Knights Hospitaller at Rhodes in 1480 through the intercession of Our Lady and Memorials of the Saints – 28 July

The Siege of Rhodes. Victory over the Turks by the Knights Hospitaller at Rhodes in 1480 through the intercession of Our Lady, final battle 27 July 1480 – commemorated on 28 July:

Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, the last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire, fell to the “Scourge of Europe,” the Sultan Mehmet II, in the year 1453. This dire news was almost impossible to believe in the rest of Christendom but, it was sadly true and Constantinople was made into the new seat of the Ottoman Empire.
A few short years later, Pierre D’Aubusson was Grand Master of the Hospitallers, the Knights of Saint John, living on the island of Rhodes. He and his Knights were untiring opponents of Islam, sworn to do everything in their power to fight against them. Having made the island of Rhodes their home, the Knights harassed Ottoman shipping lanes and assisted with attacks against the Ottoman Empire.
In the year 1479, D’Aubusson refused to pay tribute to Mehmet in exchange for peace and furthermore, had the audacity to continue harassing the sultan’s shipping lanes. The Grand Master continued to work on the massive fortifications on Rhodes as he awaited the siege of Rhodes that he knew would soon come. His walls were strong but the Grand Master had only a few hundred Knights and about 2,000 natives to defend them.
Mehmet was not intimidated by the Christian defenses on Rhodes, for he had huge cannons and basilisks which had blasted holes in the stout walls of Constantinople. He also had over 70,000 men in his army, and he was determined to wipe out “that abode of the sons of Satan,” as he referred to the Catholic Knights of Rhodes.
The Siege of Rhodes began with a tremendous bombardment on the Tower of Saint Nicholas. Grand Master Pierre D’Aubusson was not intimidated as he asked: “What is more sacred than to defend the Faith? What is happier than to fight for Christ?”
Breaches were eventually made in the walls and the Muslim’s unremittingly attempted to rush through the breaches. Many of the Turks had to be forced to attack the defenses, as their commanders lashed them forward with whips and chains. The Janissaries, however, did not have to be urged, for they were the sultan’s finest troops. They were warriors to the core and advanced over the fallen bodies of their comrades, anxious to cross swords with the Catholic Knights.
Finally, the Tower of Italy began to crumble from the terrific assault, and large breaches opened in the wall. The Bashi-Bazouks and Janissaries rushed into the breach, placing the standard of Islam above the Tower.
On witnessing this act, the Grandmaster rushed into the breach together with a few of his excellent Knights. Howling and raging like madmen, the Janissaries pressed the assault, for the Knights seemed too few to stand against their wave after wave of thousands of elite warriors. Yet, the Grandmaster stood, insensible of any wounds he received in return for the carnage he wreaked among the fanatical Muslim warriors.
Fighting with broken blades and notched axes, the Knights of Saint John continued to hold the breach, cutting down any who approached them, until a huge Janissary rose up and hurled a spear with all his might directly at the Grand Master. Propelled at incredible speed, the sharp steel tip easily pierced D’Aubusson’s breastplate, puncturing a lung. The Grand Master went down beneath a torrent of hacking blades as the Knights struggled to drag his body from the fray.

The 1480 Siege of Rhodes. Neapolitan ships in the forefront and Turkish camp in the background.

By his courageous stand D’Aubusson had proven he was at least the equal of any Grand Master in history, but now, he was wounded unto death and could do no more. The siege of Rhodes appeared to be lost as D’Aubusson’s Knights struggled to haul him to safety. Thousands of Jannisaries were rushing into the breach with no-one to stop them and at this point the Knights knew, it would take a miracle to keep Rhodes from being overrun.
A miracle is exactly what they got. Suddenly there appeared in the sky “a refulgent cross of gold, by the side of which stood a beautiful woman clothed in garments of dazzling white, a lance in her hand and a shield on her arm, accompanied by a man dressed in goatskins and followed by a band of heavenly warriors armed with flaming swords.” It was the glorious figures of Saint John the Baptist, the Patron Saint of the Order of Saint John, Saint Michael the Archangel brandishing his unsheathed sword and the Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary herself, dressed in battle array!
The Turks turned at the sight and ran in panic-stricken flight. Thousands fell as they fled, cut down and pursued through the breaches by the Knights of Rhodes and their heavenly allies. Chased all the way back to their camp, it was now the defeated Muslims who suffered the insult of having their sultan’s own standard captured.

The siege of Rhodes had ended, and Grandmaster D’Aubusson later recovered of his wounds. He had lost 231 of his Knights but that was nothing compared to the thousands upon thousands of Muslim warriors who lay dead upon his shores.
It was in the year of Our Lord 1480 that the Knights of Rhodes had gained this signal victory over the Turks, by the help of the Blessed Virgin, whom the Knights regarded ever after as Our Lady of Victory. They renewed their dedication to her who had appeared on the walls during the siege of Rhodes holding a lance in her hand to defend them, bringing with her Saint Michael the Archangel and a heavenly army. She, the Patroness of the Sovereign and Military Order of Hospitallers, had turned the formerly obstinate enemy, who retired in disorder, to lose the greater part of their army. Thanks BE to Our Lady of Victory, the all-conquering sword of Mehmet II had shattered upon the walls of Rhodes!

St Acacius of Miletus

St Alphonsa of the Immaculae Conception/India FCC (1910-1946) Franciscan Nun. She is the first Canonised Saint of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church of the Saint Thomas Christian community.
About St Alphonsa:

https://anastpaul.com/2017/07/28/saint-of-the-day-28-july-st-alphonsa-of-the-immaculate-conception/

St Arduinus of Trepino
St Botwid of Sudermannland
St Camelian of Troyes
St Celsus of Rome
Bl Christodoulos
Bl Davíd Carlos-Marañon
St Eustathius of Galatia
St Pope Innocent I (Died 417)
St Irene of Cappadocia
Bl John Soreth
St José Caselles-Moncho
Bl José Melchór García-Sampedro Suárez
Bl Josep Castell-Camps
St Longinus of Satala
St Lucidius of Aquara
St Lyutius
Bl Manuel Segura-López
St Nazarius of Rome

St Pedro Poveda Castroverde (1874-1936) Priest and Martyr, Founder of the Teresian Association.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/07/28/saint-of-the-day-28-july-saint-pedro-poveda-castroverde-1874-1936-martyr/

St Peregrinus
St Samson of York

Blessed Stanley Francis Rother (1935-1981) Priest, Martyr, Missionary. He is the first US-born Priest and Martyr to be Beatified (on 23 September 2017) and the second person to be Beatified on US soil following the 2014 Beatification of New Jersey-born nun, Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich S.C. (1901-1927).
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/28/saint-of-the-day-28-july-blessed-stanley-francis-rother-1935-1981-martyr/

St Pope Victor I (Died c 199) The 14th Bishop of Rome, Martyr.
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/28/saint-of-the-day-28-july-saint-pope-victor-i-died-199/

Martyrs of Laodicea – 8 saints

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War – Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
Martyrs of Fernán Caballero – 14 beati: Fourteen Claretian clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. – 28 July 1936 in Fernán Caballero, Ciudad Real, Spain.
Bl Antolín Astorga Díez
Bl Enrique Serra Chorro
Bl Gregorio Charlez Ribera
Bl Joan Ayats Plantalech
Bl Joan Bover Teixidor
Bl Joan Costa Canal
Bl José Aurelio Calleja de Hierro
Bl José Gutiérrez Arranz
Bl Josep Camí y Camí
Bl Josep Martí Coll
Bl Lluis Casanovas Vila
Bl Lorenzo Arribas Palacio
Bl Manuel Collellmir Sentíes
Bl Miguel Léibar Garay
Bl Narcís Felíu Costa
Bl Pedro Alonso Fernández
Bl Pelagi Ayats Vergés
Bl Pere Vilar Espona
Bl Primitivo Sandín Miñambres
Bl Ramon Gros Ballbé
Bl Vicente Toledano Valenciano

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 28 July

St Acacius of Miletus
St Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception/India FCC (1910-1946)
About St Alphonsa:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/07/28/saint-of-the-day-28-july-st-alphonsa-of-the-immaculate-conception/
St Arduinus of Trepino
St Botwid of Sudermannland
St Camelian of Troyes
St Celsus of Rome
Bl Christodoulos
Bl Davíd Carlos-Marañon
St Eustathius of Galatia
St Irene of Cappadocia
Bl John Soreth
St José Caselles-Moncho
Bl José Melchór García-Sampedro Suárez
Bl Josep Castell-Camps
St Longinus of Satala
St Lucidius of Aquara
St Lyutius
Bl Manuel Segura-López
St Nazarius of Rome
St Pedro Poveda Castroverde (1874-1936) Priest and Martyr
His Life and Martyrdom:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/07/28/saint-of-the-day-28-july-saint-pedro-poveda-castroverde-1874-1936-martyr/

St Peregrinus
St Samson of York
Blessed Stanley Francis Rother (1935-1981) Martyr
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/28/saint-of-the-day-28-july-blessed-stanley-francis-rother-1935-1981-martyr/

He is the first US-born Priest and Martyr to be Beatified (on 23 September 2017) and the second person to be Beatified on US soil following the 2014 Beatification of New Jersey-born nun, Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich S.C. (1901-1927).
His First Feast Day today, 28 July 2018

St Pope Victor I (Died 199) Martyr


Martyrs of Laodicea – 8 saints

Martyrs of Thebaid: A large but unspecified number of Christians who were imprisoned, tortured and murdered together in the persecutions of Decius and Valerian. 3rd century Thebes, Egypt.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War – Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
Martyrs of Fernán Caballero – 14 beati: Fourteen Claretian clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. – 28 July 1936 in Fernán Caballero, Ciudad Real, Spain. They were Beatified on 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis.

Bl Antolín Astorga Díez
Bl Enrique Serra Chorro
Bl Gregorio Charlez Ribera
Bl Joan Ayats Plantalech
Bl Joan Bover Teixidor
Bl Joan Costa Canal
Bl José Aurelio Calleja de Hierro
Bl José Gutiérrez Arranz
Bl Josep Camí y Camí
Bl Josep Martí Coll
Bl Lluis Casanovas Vila
Bl Lorenzo Arribas Palacio
Bl Manuel Collellmir Sentíes
Bl Miguel Léibar Garay
Bl Narcís Felíu Costa
Bl Pedro Alonso Fernández
Bl Pelagi Ayats Vergés
Bl Pere Vilar Espona
Bl Primitivo Sandín Miñambres
Bl Ramon Gros Ballbé
Bl Vicente Toledano Valenciano

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 28 July

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C *2019

St Acacius of Miletus
St Alphonsa of the Immaculae Conception/India FCC (1910-1946)
About St Alphonsa:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/07/28/saint-of-the-day-28-july-st-alphonsa-of-the-immaculate-conception/
St Arduinus of Trepino
St Botwid of Sudermannland
St Camelian of Troyes
St Celsus of Rome
Bl Christodoulos
Bl Davíd Carlos-Marañon
St Eustathius of Galatia
St Irene of Cappadocia
Bl John Soreth
St José Caselles-Moncho
Bl José Melchór García-Sampedro Suárez
Bl Josep Castell-Camps
St Longinus of Satala
St Lucidius of Aquara
St Lyutius
Bl Manuel Segura-López
St Nazarius of Rome
St Pedro Poveda Castroverde (1874-1936) Priest and Martyr

St Peregrinus
St Samson of York
Bl Stanley Francis Rother (1935-1981) Martyr
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/28/saint-of-the-day-28-july-blessed-stanley-francis-rother-1935-1981-martyr/

He is the first US-born Priest and Martyr to be Beatified (on 23 September 2017) and the second person to be Beatified on US soil following the 2014 Beatification of New Jersey-born nun, Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich S.C. (1901-1927).

His First Feast Day today, 28 July 2018

St Pope Victor I

Martyrs of Laodicea – 8 saints

Martyrs of Thebaid: A large but unspecified number of Christians who were imprisoned, tortured and murdered together in the persecutions of Decius and Valerian. 3rd century Thebes, Egypt.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War – Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
Martyrs of Fernán Caballero – 14 beati: Fourteen Claretian clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. – 28 July 1936 in Fernán Caballero, Ciudad Real, Spain. They were Beatified on 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis.

Bl Antolín Astorga Díez
Bl Enrique Serra Chorro
Bl Gregorio Charlez Ribera
Bl Joan Ayats Plantalech
Bl Joan Bover Teixidor
Bl Joan Costa Canal
Bl José Aurelio Calleja de Hierro
Bl José Gutiérrez Arranz
Bl Josep Camí y Camí
Bl Josep Martí Coll
Bl Lluis Casanovas Vila
Bl Lorenzo Arribas Palacio
Bl Manuel Collellmir Sentíes
Bl Miguel Léibar Garay
Bl Narcís Felíu Costa
Bl Pedro Alonso Fernández
Bl Pelagi Ayats Vergés
Bl Pere Vilar Espona
Bl Primitivo Sandín Miñambres
Bl Ramon Gros Ballbé
Bl Vicente Toledano Valenciano

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the day – 28 July – the Memorial of St Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception

Thought for the day – 28 July

“From early in her life, Sister Alphonsa experienced great suffering.   With the passing of the years, the heavenly Father gave her an ever fuller share in the Passion of His beloved Son.   We recall how she experienced not only physical pain of great intensity but also the spiritual suffering of being misunderstood and misjudged by others.   But she constantly accepted all her sufferings with serenity and trust in God, being firmly convinced that they would purify her motives, help her to overcome all selfishness and unite her more closely with her beloved divine Spouse.   She wrote to her spiritual director:  “Dear Father, as my good Lord Jesus loves me so very much, I sincerely desire to remain on this sick bed and suffer not only this but anything else besides, even to the end of the world.   I feel now that God has intended my life to be an oblation, a sacrifice of suffering” (20 November 1944).   She came to love suffering because she loved the suffering Christ.   She learned to love the Cross through her love of the crucified Lord.

…Every one who has been baptised into Christ has discovered a pearl of “great value” and a “treasure” worth all that one has in life .   For all the baptised share in the very life of the Blessed Trinity and are called to be “light” and “salt” for the world .”…St Pope John Paul at the Beatification of St Alphonsa, 8 February 1986.

Let us be that “light” and that “salt”!

St Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception, pray for us!

st alphonsa pray for us 2

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 28 July

Quote/s of the Day – 28 July

“Jesus Christ is very little known by those
who claim to be His friends.
We observe them seeking in Him,
not His sorrows but their own consolation.”

QUOTE ST JOHN OF THE CROSS 21 JAN

“The road is narrow.
He who wishes to travel it more easily,
must cast off all things and use the cross as his cane.
In other words, he must be truly resolved.
to suffer willingly
for the love of God in all things.”

THE RD IS NARROW-ST JOHN OF THE CROSS

St John of the Cross

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 July – St Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception

Saint of the Day – 28 July – St Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception – Religious Franciscan Nun – born as Anna Muttathupadathu (19 August 1910 at Kudamalloor, Kerala, India –  28 July 1946 at Bharananganam, India, of natural causes).   Her remains are  buried in the chapel connected with the cemetery of Saint Mary’s church, Bharananganam, India, which has become an important place of pilgrimage.   She was Canonised on Sunday 12 October 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI.   She is the first canonised saint of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church of the Saint Thomas Christian community.   Patronages –  against bodily ills, against the death of parents of sick people.

st-alphonsa

Blessed ALPHONSA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION was born in Kudamalur, the Arpookara region, in the diocese of Changanacherry, India, on the 19th of August 1910, of the ancient and noble family of Muttathupadathu.

From her birth, the life of the Blessed was marked by the cross, which would be progressively revealed to her as the royal way to conform herself to Christ.   Her mother, Maria Puthukari, gave birth to her prematurely, in her eight month of pregnancy, as a result of a fright she received when, during the sleep, a snake wrapped itself around her waist.   Eight days later, the 28 of August, the child was baptised according to the Syro-Malabar rite by the Fr Joseph Chackalayil and she received the name Annakutty, a diminutive of Anne.   She was the last of five children.   Her mother died three months later.   Annakutty passed her early infancy in the home of her grandparents in Elumparambil.   There she lived a particularly happy time because of her human and Christian formation, during which the first seeds of a vocation flowered.   Her grand-mother, a pious and charitable woman, communicated the joy of the faith, love for prayer and a surge of charity towards the poor to her.   At five years of age the child already knew how to lead, with a totally childish enthusiasm, the evening prayer of the family gathered, in accordance with the Syro-Malabar custom, in the “prayer room”.

Annakutty received the Eucharistic bread for the first time on the 11 of November 1917. She used to say to her friends:  “Do you know why I am so particularly happy today? It is because I have Jesus in my heart!“.   In a letter to her spiritual father, on the 30 of November 1943, she confided the following:  “Already from the age of seven I was no longer mine.   I was totally dedicated to my divine Spouse.   Your reverence knows it well“.

In the same year of 1917 she began to attend the elementary school of Thonnankuzhy, where she also established a sincere friendship with the Hindu children.   When the first school cycle ended in 1920, the time had come to transfer to Muttuchira, to the house of her aunt Anna Murickal, to whom her mother, before she died, had entrusted her as her adoptive mother.   Her aunt was a severe and demanding woman, at times despotic and violent in demanding obedience from Annakutty in her every minimal disposition or desire.   Assiduous in her religious practice, she accompanied her niece but did not share the young girl’s friendship with the Carmelites of the close-by Monastery or her long periods of prayer at the foot of the altar.   She was, in fact, determined to procure an advantageous marriage for Annakutty, obstructing the clear signs of her religious vocation.

The virtue of the Blessed was manifested in accepting this severe and rigid education as a path of humility and patience for the love of Christ and tenaciously resisted the reiterated attempts at engagement to which the aunt tried to oblige her.   Annakutty, in order to get out from under a commitment to marriage, reached the point of voluntarily causing herself a grave burn by putting her foot into a heap of burning embers.  My marriage was arranged when I was thirteen years old.   What had I to do to avoid it?   I prayed all that night… then an idea came tome.   If my body were a little disfigured no one would want me! … O, how I suffered!   I offered all for my great intention.

The proposal to defile her singular beauty did not fully succeed in freeing her from the attentions of suitors.   During the following years the Blessed had to defend her vocation, even during the year of probation when an attempt to give her in marriage, with the complicity of the Mistress of Formation herself, was made.  “O, the vocation which I received!   A gift of my good God!…. God saw the pain of my soul in those days.   God distanced the difficulties and established me in this religious state.st-alphonsa-of-bharanangan1

It was Fr James Muricken, her confessor, who directed her towards Franciscan spirituality and put her in contact with the Congregation of the Franciscan Clarists. Annakutty entered their college in Bharananganam in the diocese of Palai, to attend seventh class, as an intern student, on the 24th of May 1927.   The following year, on the 2nd of August 1928, Annakutty began her postulancy, taking the name of Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception in honour of St. Alphonsus Liguori, whose feast it was that day. She was clothed in the religious habit on the 19th of May 1930, during the first pastoral visit made to Bharananganam by the Bishop, Msgr. James Kalacherry.

The period 1930-1935 was characterised by grave illness and moral suffering.   She could teach the children in the school at Vakakkad only during the scholastic year 1932.   Then, because of her weakness, she carried out the duties of assistant-teacher and catechist in the parish.   She was engaged also as secretary, especially to write official letters because of her beautiful script.

The canonical novitiate was introduced into the Congregation of the Franciscan Clarists in 1934.   Though wishing to enter immediately, the Blessed was only admitted on the 12th of August 1935 because of her ill health.   About one week after the beginning of her novitiate, she had a haemorrhage from the nose and eyes and a profound organic wasting and purulent wounds on her legs.   The illness deteriorated, to such a point that the worst was feared.

Heaven came to the rescue of the holy novice.   During a novena to The Servant of God Fr Kuriakose Elia Chavara – a Carmelite who today is a Blessed—she was miraculously and instantaneously cured.

Having restarted her novitiate, she wrote the following proposals in her spiritual diary:  “I do not wish to act or speak according to my inclinations.   Every time I fail, I will do penance… I want to be careful never to reject anyone.   I will only speak sweet words to others.   I want to control my eyes with rigour.   I will ask pardon of the Lord for every little failure and I will atone for it through penance.   No matter what my sufferings may be, I will never complain and if I have to undergo any humiliation, I will seek refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The 12th of August 1936, the feast of St Clare, the day of her perpetual profession, was a day of inexpressible spiritual joy.   She had realised her desire, guarded for a long time in her heart and confided to her sister Elizabeth when she was only 12 years old:  “Jesus is my only Spouse and none other.

Jesus, however, wished to lead His spouse to perfection through a life of suffering.   “I made my perpetual profession on the 12th of August 1936 and came here to Bharanganam on the following 14th.   From that time, it seems, I was entrusted with a part of the cross of Christ.   There are abundant occasions of suffering…  I have a great desire to suffer with joy.   It seems that my Spouse wishes to fulfil this desire.

Painful illnesses followed each other:  typhoid fever, double pneumonia, and, the most serious of all, a dramatic nervous shock, the result of a fright on seeing a thief during the night of the 18th of October 1940.   Her state of psychic incapacity lasted for about a year, during which she was unable to read or write.

In every situation, Sister Alphonsa always maintained a great reservation and charitable attitude towards the Sisters, silently undergoing her sufferings.   In 1945 she had a violent outbreak of illness.   A tumour, which had spread throughout her organs, transformed her final year of life into a continuous agony.   Gastroenteritis and liver problems caused violent convulsions and vomiting up to forty times a day:  I feel that the Lord has destined me to be an oblation, a sacrifice of suffering… I consider a day in which I have not suffered as a day lost to me.

With this attitude of a victim for the love of the Lord, happy until the final moment and with a smile of innocence always on her lips, Sister Alphonsa quietly and joyfully brought her earthly journey to a close in the convent of the Franciscan Clarists at Bharananganam at 12.30 on the 28th July 1946, leaving behind the memory of a Sister full of love and a saint.

Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception Muttathupadathu was proclaimed Blessed by Pope John Paul II in Kottayam, India on 8 February 1986.

“With today’s Canonisation, the Church in India presents its first Saint to the veneration of the faithful of the whole world.   Faithful from every part of the world have come together in a single act of thanksgiving to God in her name and in a sign of the great oriental and western traditions, Roman and Malabar, which Sr Alphonsa lived and harmonised in her saintly life. ”  (At the Canonisation Ceremony – Pope Benedict XVI-12 October 2008).

st alphonsa coinSt.-Alphonsa-Muttathupadathust alphonsa stamp