St Adrian of May St Adrian of Nicomedia Bl Alexander Blake St Appian of Comacchio St Arcadius of Cyprus St Basinus of Trier Bl Christopher Bales St Felix of Rhuys St Gaius of Nicomedia Bl Humbert III of Savoy St Leonard of Avranches St Nestor the Martyr St Owen Bl Paolo of Brescia St Peter of Pappacarbone (c 1038-1123) Bishop
Martyrs on the Appian Way – 900 Saints – Group of 900 Martyrs buried in the Catacombs of Saint Callistus on the Appian Way, Rome, Italy.c 260
Martyrs of Nicomedia – 20 Saints – A group of 20 Christians murdered together for their faith. The only details about them to survive are three of their names – Archelaus, Cyrillos and Photius. Nicomedia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey)
Martyrs of the Crimea – 7 Saints – A group of 4th century missionary Bishops who evangelised in the Crimea and southern Russia, and were Martyred for their work. We know little else beyond the names – Aetherius, Agathodorus, Basil, Elpidius, Ephrem, Eugene and Gapito.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Bl Pedro Ruiz Ortega, Bl Pere Roca Toscas
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. … Luke 16:22-23
REFLECTION – By St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173) Armenian Bishop – Jesus, Only Son of the Father, 624 f.
Like the rich man who loved a life of pleasure I, too, have loved pleasures that pass away With this animal body of mine, In the pleasures of that fool.
And from so many and such great blessings That You have so freely given me I have not paid back the tenth From Your own gifts.
But, out of everything under my roof, Gathered from earth and sky and sea, I believed Your numberless blessings To be my own possession.
Nothing of these have I given to the poor, Nor set anything aside for his needs: Neither food for the hungry Nor covering for the naked body,
Neither shelter for the homeless Nor abode for the foreign guest, Nor visit to the sick Nor even concern for the prisoner (cf. Mt 25:31 f.).
I was not saddened for the sorrow Of the one cast down by his burdens, Nor shared the joy of the joyful But burned with jealousy against him.
All of them were another Lazarus, (…) They lay outside at my gate; … Yet I, deaf to their appeal, Never gave them the crumbs from my table. …
The dogs of your Law outside Comforted them, at least with their tongues; Yet I, who listened to Your commandment, Wounded the one who bore Your likeness with my tongue (Mt 25:45). (…)
Yet only grant me repentance here below That I may make reparation for my sins, … That these tears may extinguish the blazing furnace With its burning flames. …
And, instead of acting like the merciless, Set merciful compassion within me, That, by showing mercy to the poor, I may obtain Your mercy.
PRAYER – Dear and Holy God, let us offer You all our daily struggles against sin and evil. Grant us the strength to resist all forms of idolatry, to seek only You and never to allow the material goods of this world to seduce us. Sustain us ever more with Your word and help us to find in it, the source of life. Grant that by the intercession of St Casimir we may grow in charity us during our life on earth. Grant this, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen
Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde / Our Lady of the Guard , Marseille, France (1221) – 4 March:
Late one afternoon during the thirteenth century, a solitary French fisherman was fishing off the harbour of Marseille. Before he became aware of it, a terrific storm descended upon him. His boat tossed around like a shell and filled with water faster than he could bail it out. His rudder was lost. his mast snapped. Cutting himself free from the rigging with a knife, he had saved himself temporarily from certain drowning. Still, everything looked hopeless and he felt he could never get back to the harbour. The fisherman thought of the family he would never see again and cast a despairing look at the City, the huge rock standing like a sentinel or guard on the mountain which overlooked the City and harbour. Dimly through the gloom, he suddenly saw a solitary figure of a lady, dressed in white, standing firmly on the very top of the rock. She seemed to be extending her hand as if she would help him to the shelter and safety of the harbour. At once it came to him that the Lady so calmly defying the wind and rain could only be the Blessed Mother, so he prayed to her to help him. Almost immediately his boat ceased its wild tossing, righted itself and pushed by a friendly gust of wind, raced into the calm water of the harbour until it drove onto the shore at the very foot of the mountain. Stepping onto the shore, the fisherman fell to his knees and poured out his thanks to the Blessed Virgin and then hurried home to his worried family. The story of his rescue through the assistance of Our Lady, quickly spread throughout the port. It was remembered that other sailors, on numerous occasions during severe storms, had also seen the figure of the Lady on top of the rock. Always when she had appeared, the angry seas had calmed and their crafts had ridden safely into the shelter.
Soon everyone came to believe that the rock was the spot on which the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Guard, would appear whenever her help was desperately required. In thanksgiving to her the sailors of Marseille, in 1213-1218, erected a Chapel on top of the rock . In it they enshrined a lovely Statue of Our Lady. Around 1544, the Chapel was replaced by a large Church and the Statue transferred to it. Sometime during the French Revolution the Statue of Our Lady of Guard was destroyed but during the 1830’s a new Statue was dedicated. That Mary did not confine her help only to sailors was proved in the year 1832, when a severe epidemic of cholera struck Marseille, the people decided to appeal to Mary. Forming a procession, they climbed the mountain, removed the Statue from the Chapel, brought it down and solemnly carried it through the streets of the City. Almost immediately the epidemic waned and in a few days vanished. So they called Mary, Our Lady of Help – the sailors called her Our Lady of Mariners. Some years later, as the fame of the shrine on top of the mountain spread, more and more people made pilgrimages to venerate the Blessed Virgin. The shrine acquired still another name, a name more reflective of who Our Lady truly is for all who call upon her – Notre Dame de la Guarde – Our Lady of Guard, or Guardian.
In Marseilles today, the hill of Notre Dame de la Garde is topped by a beautiful Basilica, built in 1864, at an altitude of 550 feet. This commanding site, however, has been occupied by a Chapel since the year 1214. The interior has a multitude of sailors’ votive offerings and model ships are hung in all parts of it, as signs of thanksgiving for all the mariners who have been assisted by their heavenly mothe, the beautiful Stella Maris.. A golden statue of the Virgin and Child suitably dominates the City from its place on top of the western tower spire.
— St Adrian of May St Adrian of Nicomedia Bl Alexander Blake St Appian of Comacchio St Arcadius of Cyprus St Basinus of Trier Bl Christopher Bales St Felix of Rhuys St Gaius of Nicomedia Bl Humbert III of Savoy St Leonard of Avranches St Nestor the Martyr St Owen Bl Paolo of Brescia St Peter of Pappacarbone Blessed Placida Viel SSC (1815—1877) Virgin, Religious Sister Bl Rupert of Ottobeuren — Martyrs on the Appian Way – 900 saints – Group of 900 martyrs buried in the catacombs of Saint Callistus on the Appian Way, Rome, Italy.c260
Martyrs of Nicomedia – 20 saints – A group of 20 Christians murdered together for their faith. The only details about them to survive are three of their names – Archelaus, Cyrillos and Photius. Nicomedia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey)
Martyrs of the Crimea – 7 saints – A group of 4th century missionary bishops who evangelized in the Crimea and southern Russia, and we martyred for their work. We know little else beyond the names – Aetherius, Agathodorus, Basil, Elpidius, Ephrem, Eugene and Gapito.
Martyred by Communists: Bl Giovanni Fausti, Bl Gjelosh Lulashi, Bl Kolë Shllaku, Bl Zoltán Lajos Meszlényi
Martyred by Elizabeth I: Bl Alexander Blake, Bl Christopher Bales, Bl Nicholas Horner
The calendar of the saints is studded with young saints: Agnes, Aloysius, Doiminic Savio, Maria Goretti……many more and today’s saint, Casimir. They chose to be different, independent and very bold during the times they lived. They chose to stand out from the crowd (almost the complete opposite of the desire of most of the young) and because of this choice, they had to walk a very singular path to sanctity. Casimir and Aloysius, both were princes but chose devotion to God above all, at a very early age. Youth too, needs its. saints and God sends them to us!
““(St Casimir’s) life of purity and prayer
beckons you to practice your faith
with courage and zeal,
to reject the deceptive attractions
of modern permissive society
and to live your convictions
with fearless confidence and joy.”
St John Paul in 1984, to Lithuanian pilgrims, on the 500th anniversary of St Casimir’s death
Over all these virtues put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect…………..Col 33:14
REFLECTION – “By the power of the Holy Spirit, Casimir burned with a sincere and unpretentious love for almighty God that was almost unbelievable in its strength. So rich was his love and so abundantly did it fill his heart, that it flowed out from his inner spirit toward his fellow men. As a result nothing was more pleasant, nothing more desirable for him, than to share his belongings and even to dedicate and give his entire self to Christ’s poor, to strangers, to the sick, to those in captivity and all who suffer. To widows, orphans and the afflicted, he was not only a guardian and patron but a father, son and brother.” (From the Biography of Saint Casimir, written by a contemporary)
PRAYER – Loving Father, pour out Your divine love into my heart and soul. Let me co-operate with that love and in this way strive for perfection in all virtues. St Casimir, you are a shining example to us all of how love should look, of how love should behave, please pray that we may too become beacons and hearts burning with love for all! Amen.