Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Our Lady of the Flowering Thorn and Memorials of the Saints – 24 March

Our Lady of the Flowering Thorn – 24 March:

From the infancy of the Church, images of our Blessed Lady have been in use among the faithful to enkindle and keep alive in their hearts a tender devotion to the Mother of God. When the barbarians overran the Roman Empire, the Christians, fearful of profanation, hid these paintings and Statues of the Blessed Virgin, in the most secret recesses of caves and forests. The Huns and vandals spared neither age nor sex and when the tumult of war had subsided, oftentimes, few or none remained to withdraw those images from their hiding places and they rested, until the providence of God, allowed them to be discovered and often, in a miraculous manner. “Our Lady of the Flowering Thorn” was one of these and the marvellous circumstances of the discovery, are thus related by a chronicler of the olden time:

“On the western side of the Jura, France, there once stood an old baronial residence. Its noble owner had heard the voice of St Bernard calling through the length and breadth of the land, to the rescue of Jerusalem and of the Holy Sepulchre. He had listened to the thrilling words, “Hail to thee, holy City, City of the Son of God, chosen and sanctified to be the source of salvation to man. Sovereign of nations, capital of empires, metropolis of patriarchs, mother of prophets and apostles, hail to thee.” The infidel had taken possession of her, and Christendom rose to the rescue.
Who has not heard of what the world calls the fatal ending of St Bernard’s crusade! Yet surely not fatal to those devoted souls, whom the love of God inspired to fight for the land where Jesus suffered and died for them and who fell on the battlefield, to rise and grasp the crown of glory. Among those heroes of the Cross fell the Lord of our castle on the Jura, leaving a widow to mourn her loss while she rejoiced in his gain. “Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.” Their names have been lost in the lapse of ages, he is only remembered as the crusader, she as the saint.
It was on one of those days when winter, about to leave the earth, seems to cast himself into the bosom of spring, that our saint was walking along the avenue of her castle, her mind full of pious meditation. She had reached the termination of the avenue, when her eye was attracted toward a thorny bush, and there she saw an arbutus laden with the richest blossoms of spring. She hastened towards it, doubtful whether the flakes of snow had not deceived her but no, she found it crowned with a multitude of little white stars shaded with crimson rays and she carefully broke off a branch to hang up in her oratory, over an image of the Blessed Virgin which she had venerated from childhood. She joyfully returned towards the castle, carrying her innocent offering. Whether this little tribute was really agreeable to the Mother of Jesus, or whether it was only that pleasure, which the heart feels at the slightest effusion of tenderness, towards a beloved object, the soul of the lady was that evening filled with the most ineffable sweetness. She promised herself a great deal of pleasure in going every day to gather a fresh garland to adorn the statue of her Mother Mary, and she was faithful to her resolution.
Now it happened that one day, being very busy in relieving the wants of the poor who came to her for alms and kind words, she could not go to gather her garland before the shades of evening had covered the earth and as she approached the thicket, an uneasy feeling came over her, occasioned by the increasing darkness. S he was thinking that it would be difficult to gather the flowers, when a calm clear light seemed to overspread the bushes. Startled at the sight, and fearing that robbers might be lurking there, she paused for a moment, but remembering she had never once omitted to bring her offering, she boldly ventured forward, though it was with a trembling hand she plucked the branch, that seemed as if it bent towards her.
During that night and all the next day, the lady reflected on what she had seen, without being able to account for it and her heart, being penetrated with the mystery, she went the following evening to the thicket, accompanied by a faithful servant and her old Chaplain. The soft light was seen as they approached, becoming every instant brighter and more vivid. They stopped and fell upon their knees, for it seemed to them, that this light came from heaven . Then the good old Priest arose and moved with reverential steps toward the thicket, chanting a hymn of the Church; he put aside the branches which appeared to open of their own accord, and there, a little image of the Blessed Virgin, rudely carved by unskilled though pious hands, was descried in the midst of the bushes and it was from this Statue that the light emanated.
“Hail Mary, full of grace,” said the Priest, kneeling before the image, “and at that moment a melodious murmur was heard through the surrounding woods, as if the chant had been taken up by the choirs of angels.” He then recited those admirable litanies in which faith speaks the language of the most sublime ecstasy and after repeated acts of veneration, he took the Statue in his hands to carry it to the castle, where it would rest in a sanctuary more worthy of it.
The lady and her servant followed with hands joined and bowed heads, repeating the responses of the solemn litany. It is needless to tell of the elegance and rich decorations of the niche where the holy image was placed, surrounded with blazing lights and rich perfumes, while the lady and her household knelt in prayer until morning advanced—but lo! when the beams of the orb of day arose upon the earth, the image was nowhere to be seen. Why had the heavenly Virgin deserted the widowed saint? What new dwelling had she chosen?
The blessed Mother of the lowly Jesus had preferred the modest shelter of her flowery thorns, to the splendour of a worldly dwelling; she had returned to the freshness of the woods, to taste the peace of solitude and the sweet exultations of the flowers. All the inhabitants of the castle proceeded at evening to the wood and found it more resplendent than ever. They knelt in respectful silence. “Queen of angels, Queen of all saints,” said the Chaplain, “it is here thou art pleased to dwell, be it as thou wilt.”
And soon a Chapel was raised on the spot, embellished with all the architectural beauties those ages of faith and poetic sentiment could inspire. The rich adorned it with gifts, and kings lavished it with jewels and gold. The renown of the miracles wrought there, drew large crowds of pilgrims and ere long, a convent reared its head, of which the saint became the superior. She died full of years and good works and our Lady of the Flowering Thorn received her pure soul and carried her in her maternal arms to the blissful bowers of paradise, where thornless flowers bloom forever, around the Throne of God.
Still, each spring, till Time is no more, the thorn trees bloom and white petals testify to those who will listen, to the tale that no scientist would believe, the story of Our Lady of the Flowering Thorn. If you wish to check on the details, you might go yourself to the forgotten valley, near the highest peak of the Jura and walk among the ruins there. As you kneel on the grassy stone that once formed the arch above the Chapel window, say a prayer to Our Lady for the one from whom I heard the tale, for me and for all lovers and devotees of Mary. Amen.”

The 29th “Day of Missionary Martyrs” + 2021 “In Love and Alive”
A day of prayer and fasting in memory of the missionary Martyrs of the Faith.

St Agapitus of Synnada
St Aldemar the Wise
St Bernulf of Mondovi
Bl Bertha de’Alberti of Cavriglia
Bl Bertrada of Laon
Bl Brian O’Carolan
St Caimin of Lough Derg
St Cairlon of Cashel
St Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/24/saint-of-the-day-24-march-st-catherine-of-sweden-1331-1381/
Blessed Diego José of Cádiz/Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz OFM Cap (1743–1801)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/24/saints-of-the-day-24-march-blessed-didacus-joseph-of-cadiz-ofm-cap-1743-1801/

St Domangard of Maghera
St Epicharis of Rome
St Epigmenius of Rome
St Hildelith of Barking
Blessed John dal Bastone OSB Silv. (c 1200-1290) Priest
St Latinus of Brescia
St Macartan of Clogher
Bl Maria Serafina of the Sacred Heart
St Mark of Rome
Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980)
Before he was a Saint (Canonised on 14 Oct 2018): https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/24/saint-of-the-day-24-march-blessed-oscar-arnulfo-romero-y-galdamez-1917-1980-martyr/

St Pigmenius of Rome
St Romulus of North Africa
St Secundus of North Africa
St Seleucus of Syria
St Severo of Catania
St Timothy of Rome

Martyrs of Africa – 9 saints: A group of Christians murdered for their faith in Africa, date unknown. The only details about their that survive are the names – Aprilis, Autus, Catula, Coliondola, Joseph, Rogatus, Salitor, Saturninus and Victorinus. .

Martyrs of Caesarea – 6 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little else but six of their names – Agapius, Alexander, Dionysius, Pausis, Romulus and Timolaus. They were martyred by beheading in 303 at Caesarea, Palestine.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

The 28th Day of Missionary Martyrs + 2020 “In Love and Alive” and Memorials of the Saints – 24 March

The 28th Day of Missionary Martyrs + 2020 “In Love and Alive”
A day of prayer and fasting in memory of the missionary Martyrs of the Faith.blood spattered icon of christ jesus martyrs

The day in which Msgr Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador was assassinated in 1980, was chosen 28 years ago by the then Missionary Youth Movement of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Italy, to celebrate annually the “Day of Prayer and Fasting in memory of the Missionary Martyrs.”
The Archbishop, assassinated while celebrating Mass, was Beatified on 23 May 2015 and Canonised by Pope Francis on 14 October 2018, together with St Paul VI and 5 others.“Holiness wears many faces” oct 14 canonisations st paul vi st oscar romero st francesco spinelli st nunzio sulprizio st theresa maria st vincenzo romano
The Bishops’ Conference of El Salvador, on the occasion of the 40 years since his Martyrdom, had announced a “Jubilee Year of the Martyrs,” to celebrate the National Martyrs – Fr Rutilio Grande, Msgr. Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Fr Cosme Spessotto.
However, this year, the coronavirus emergency has forced the Bishops to suspend all celebrations and gatherings, so this Day in 2020 will not see public initiatives.
The slogan of the 2020 Day is “In Love and Alive” informs Giovanni Rocca, national secretary of Missio Giovani.   “A message that holds two meanings within itself.   The first, in the qualifying meaning, fully describes those who ardent of love for God the Father and His creatures invested all their time to take care of them.   The second is a real imperative, the legacy that the Martyrs received from our Lord by transmitting it to us today.   Only those who fall in love are willing to abandon the superfluous, in order to grasp the essence of life.   This promise is not only hope for the future but above all a guarantee for the present.”   Then an invitation:  “Convinced that each of us is a worker in the vineyard of the Lord, on 24 March we join in prayer and fasting in memory of the sisters and brothers who by giving their lives continue to be ‘In love and alive.'”
Various aids are available on the Missio Italia website that were prepared to deepen the theme of the day and proposals for concrete initiatives of prayer and solidarity. Following the directives of the Italian government, Missio Giovani has suspended the scheduled events and offers through its social channels – Facebook and Instagram – contents and moments of confrontation to live this time together. (SL) (The Vatican Missionary Agency – Agenzia Fides, 23/3/2020)

St Agapitus of Synnada
St Aldemar the Wise
St Bernulf of Mondovi
Bl Bertha de’Alberti of Cavriglia
Bl Bertrada of Laon
Bl Brian O’Carolan
St Caimin of Lough Derg
St Cairlon of Cashel
St Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/24/saint-of-the-day-24-march-st-catherine-of-sweden-1331-1381/
Blessed Diego José of Cádiz/Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz OFM Cap (1743–1801)

St Domangard of Maghera
St Epicharis of Rome
St Epigmenius of Rome
St Hildelith of Barking
Bl John del Bastone
St Latinus of Brescia
St Macartan of Clogher
Bl Maria Serafina of the Sacred Heart
St Mark of Rome
Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980)
Before he was a Saint (Canonised on 14 Oct 2018): https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/24/saint-of-the-day-24-march-blessed-oscar-arnulfo-romero-y-galdamez-1917-1980-martyr/

St Pigmenius of Rome
St Romulus of North Africa
St Secundus of North Africa
St Seleucus of Syria
St Severo of Catania
St Timothy of Rome

Martyrs of Africa – 9 saints: A group of Christians murdered for their faith in Africa, date unknown. The only details about their that survive are the names – Aprilis, Autus, Catula, Coliondola, Joseph, Rogatus, Salitor, Saturninus and Victorinus. .

Martyrs of Caesarea – 6 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little else but six of their names – Agapius, Alexander, Dionysius, Pausis, Romulus and Timolaus. They were martyred by beheading in 303 at Caesarea, Palestine.

Posted in PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 24 March – St Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381)

Saint of the Day – 24 March – St Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381) – Widow, Religious of the Brigittine Order also called the Order of St Saviour, Abbess – born in 1331 in Sweden and died of natural causes on 24 March 1381 (aged 50). Her cultus was confirmed by Pope Innocent VIII in 1484.   Patronage – unborn children, mothers who suffer miscarriage, expectant mothers and those praying to conceive.web3-catherine-of-sweden-saint

St Catherine was the fourth child of Saint Bridget of Sweden.   At the time of her death St Catherine was head of the convent of Wadstena, founded by her mother hence the name, Catherine Vastanensis, by which she is occasionally called.

At the age of seven she was sent to the abbess of the convent of Riseberg to be educated and soon showed, like her mother, a desire for a life of self-mortification and devotion to spiritual things.

At the command of her father, when about thirteen or fourteen years old, she married a noble of German descent, Eggart von Kürnen.   She at once persuaded her husband, who was a very religious man, to join her in a vow of chastity.   Both lived in a state of virginity and devoted themselves to the exercise of Christian perfection and active charity.   In spite of her deep love for her husband, Catherine accompanied her mother to Rome, where St Bridget went in 1349.Santa_Caterina_di_Svezia_B

Soon after her arrival in that city Catherine received news of the death of her husband in Sweden.   She now lived constantly with her mother, took an active part in St Bridget’s fruitful labours and zealously imitated her mother’s ascetic life.

Although the distinguished and beautiful young widow was surrounded by suitors, she steadily refused all offers of marriage.

In 1372 St Catherine and her brother, Birger, accompanied their mother on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.   After their return to Rome St Catherine was with her mother in the latter’s last illness and death.   In 1374, in obedience to St Bridget’s wish, Catherine brought back her mother’s body to Sweden for burial at Wadstena, of which foundation she now became the head.   It was the motherhouse of the Brigittine Order, also called the Order of St Saviour.   Catherine managed the convent with great skill and made the life there one in harmony with the principles laid down by its founder.

After some years, she returned to Rome to work for her mother’s canonisation.   She stayed there five years and formed a close friendship with St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380).

Catherine died on 24 March 1381, mourned like her mother by the whole of Sweden.   In 1484 Innocent VIII gave permission for her veneration as a saint.
Catherine wrote a devotional work entitled “Consolation of the Soul” (Sielinna Troest), largely composed of citations from the Scriptures and from early religious books but no copy is known to exist.   Generally she is represented with a hind at her side, which is said to have come to her aid when unchaste youths sought to ensnare her.stcatherinesweeden

Although she never experienced the pain of miscarriage herself, Catherine counselled women who had suffered a miscarriage or were experiencing complications in their pregnancy.

A traditional prayer to St Catherine reads:

Prayer to St Catherine for Consolation after a Miscarriage

Dear St Catherine,
patron of those who have suffered a miscarriage,
you know the dangers that await unborn infants.
Please intercede for me
that I may receive consolation from the loss I have suffered.
My soul has been deprived of peace
and I have forgotten what true happiness is.
As I mourn the loss of my child,
I place myself in the hands of God
and ask for strength to accept His will in all things,
for consolation in my grief
and for peace in my sorrow.
Glorious St Catherine,
hear my prayers and ask that God,
in good time,
grant me a healthy baby
who will become a true child of God.
Amenprayer to st catherine for consolation after a miscarriage 24 march 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C and Memorials of the Saints – 24 March

Third Sunday of Lent, Year C (2019)

St Agapitus of Synnada
St Aldemar the Wise
St Bernulf of Mondovi
Bl Bertha de’Alberti of Cavriglia
Bl Bertrada of Laon
Bl Brian O’Carolan
St Caimin of Lough Derg
St Cairlon of Cashel
St Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381)
Bl Diego José of Cádiz
St Domangard of Maghera
St Epicharis of Rome
St Epigmenius of Rome
St Hildelith of Barking
Bl John del Bastone
St Latinus of Brescia
St Macartan of Clogher
Bl Maria Serafina of the Sacred Heart
St Mark of Rome
Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980)
Before he was a Saint (Canonised on 14 Oct 2018): https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/24/saint-of-the-day-24-march-blessed-oscar-arnulfo-romero-y-galdamez-1917-1980-martyr/

St Pigmenius of Rome
St Romulus of North Africa
St Secundus of North Africa
St Seleucus of Syria
St Severo of Catania
St Timothy of Rome

Martyrs of Africa – 9 saints: A group of Christians murdered for their faith in Africa, date unknown. The only details about their that survive are the names – Aprilis, Autus, Catula, Coliondola, Joseph, Rogatus, Salitor, Saturninus and Victorinus. .

Martyrs of Caesarea – 6 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little else but six of their names – Agapius, Alexander, Dionysius, Pausis, Romulus and Timolaus. They were martyred by beheading in 303 at Caesarea, Palestine.