Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 24 January – St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) – Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Saint of the Day – 24 January – St Francis de Sales  CO, OM, OFM (Cap) (1567-1622) – Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity), Bishop of Geneva, Doctor of Law and Theology, Writer, Theologian, Mystic, Teacher, Preacher, Founder along with St Jane Frances de Chantal, founded the women’s Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (Visitandines).  Born 21 August 1567 at Château de Thorens, Savoy (part of modern France) – 28 December 1622 at Lyon, France of natural causes.   St Francis is known as:  the Gentle Christ of Geneva and the Gentleman Saint.   Patronages –  against deafness, authors, writers (proclaimed on 26 April 1923 by Pope Pius XI), Catholic press, confessors, deaf people, journalists (proclaimed on 26 April 1923 by Pope Pius XI), teachers, educators, Champdepraz, Aosta, Italy, 8 dioceses.  His motto ‘Non-excidet’ – (No failure) .   St Francis became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation.  He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God.francis-de-sales-670x892header - st francis de salescoa_francis_de_sales-svgSOD-0124-SaintFrancisdeSales-790x480

Francis, the eldest of 13 children, was born into a family of nobility in France in 1567.   His father sent him to study at the University of Paris.   After six years, Francis was intellectually competent in many areas.   Francis was also a skilled swordsman who enjoyed fencing, an expert horseman and a superb dancer.  Then Francis studied at the University of Padua and received a doctorate in civil and canon law.   His father wanted him to marry but Francis desired to be a priest.    His father strongly opposed Francis in this and only after much patient persuasiveness on the part of the gentle Francis did his father finally consent.   Francis was ordained and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva, then a centre for the Calvinists.   Francis set out to convert them, especially in the district of Chablais.   By preaching and distributing the little pamphlets he wrote to explain true Catholic doctrine, he had remarkable success, the majority of the Chablais inhabitants accepted the Catholic faith.st francis de sales - young - no 2

At 35, he became bishop of Geneva.  While administering his diocese he continued to preach, hear confessions and catechise the children.  His gentle character was a great asset in winning souls  . He practised his own axiom, “A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrelful of vinegar.”

Besides his two well-known books, the Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, he wrote other marvellous spiritual aid as well as many pamphlets and carried on a vast correspondence  . For his writings, he has been named patron of the Catholic Press.   His writings, filled with his characteristic gentle spirit, are addressed to lay people.   He wants to make them understand that they too are called to be saints.   As he wrote in The Introduction to the Devout Life: “It is an error, or rather a heresy, to say devotion is incompatible with the life of a soldier, a tradesman, a prince, or a married woman…. It has happened that many have lost perfection in the desert who had preserved it in the world. ”

In spite of his busy and comparatively short life, he had time to collaborate with another saint, Jane Frances de Chantal, in the work of establishing the Sisters of the Visitation. These women were to practice the virtues exemplified in Mary’s visit to Elizabeth: humility, piety, and mutual charity.   They at first engaged to a limited degree in works of mercy for the poor and the sick.   Today, while some communities conduct schools, others live a strictly contemplative life.124-st-francis-de-sales-eglise-d-hannevillestfrancois4 T

St Francis is buried at the basilica of the Visitation, Annecy, France -below.   His heart was preserved as a relic at Lyon but during the French Revolution his heart was was moved to Venice, Italy.   The Altar below is the High Altar of St Francis at the Cathedral in St Louis, USA.

St. François de Sales. La Basilique de La Visitation. Annecy, FranThe High Altar at Saint Francis de Sale, St Louis

 

 

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

24 January – Feast of Our Lady of Tears and Memorials of the Saints – 24 January

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) (Memorial) – Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Our Lady of Tears: Also known as the Weeping Madonna of Syracuse, this plaster hanging wall plaque depicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the style of the 1950’s. Like many others just like it, it was mass-produced in a factory in Tuscany and shipped to various locations throughout the world.   This particular plaque of Our Lady of Tears was purchased for a wedding gift for a couple who wed on 21 March 1953. The couple, Angelo and Antonian Iannuso, would later admit that they were not devout, but they liked the plaque and placed it on the wall over their bed. Antonian soon became pregnant but the happy couple soon learned that the pregnancy caused Antonian to suffer from toxemia that caused frequent convulsions and even temporary blindness.
On the morning of 29 August, 1953, Antonian awoke to find that her sight had been restored.
“I opened my eyes and stared at the image of the Madonna above the bedhead. To my great amazement I saw that the effigy was weeping.   I called my sister-in-law Grazie and my aunt, Antonian Sgarlata, who came to my side, showing them the tears. At first they thought it was an hallucination due to my illness but when I insisted, they went close up to the plaque and could well see that tears were really falling from the eyes of the Madonna, and that some tears ran down her cheeks onto the bedhead.   Taken by fright they took it out the front door, calling the neighbours, and they too confirmed the phenomenon…”

The plaque of Our Lady of Tears was publically displayed, convincing even the skeptics of the prodigy as many of the sick were miraculously healed of their ailments.   Some of the tears were collected for scientific examination and the findings were as follows:
“…the liquid examined is shown to be made up of a watery solution of sodium chloride in which traces of protein and nuclei of a silver composition of excretiary substances of the quanternary type the same as found in the human secretions used as a comparison during the analysis.   The appearance, the alkalinity and the composition induce one to consider the liquid examined analogous to human tears.”

The tears stopped four days later at 11:40 am.
On October 17, 1954, Pope Pius XII stated the following during a radio broadcast:
“…we acknowledge the unanimous declaration of the Episcopal Conference held in Sicily on the reality of that event.   Will men understand the mysterious language of those tears?”

OurLadyofTears


St Anicet Hryciuk
St Artemius of Clermont
St Bartlomiej Osypiuk
Bertrand of Saint Quentin
St Daniel Karmasz
St Exuperantius of Cingoli
St Felician of Foligno
St Filip Geryluk
Bl Francesc de Paula Colomer Prísas
St Guasacht
St Ignacy Franczuk
Bl John Grove
St Julian Sabas the Elder
St Luigj Prendushi
St Macedonius Kritophagos
Bl Marcolino of Forli
Bl Marie Poussepin
Bl Paula Gambara Costa
St Projectus
St Sabinian of Troyes
St Suranus of Sora
St Thyrsus
Bl William Ireland

Martyrs of Asia Minor – 4 saints: A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. The only details to survive are four of their names – Eugene, Mardonius, Metellus and Musonius. They were burned at the stake in Asia Minor.

Martyrs of Podlasie – 13 beati: Podlasie is an area in modern eastern Poland that, in the 18th-century, was governed by the Russian Empire. Russian sovereigns sought to bring all Eastern-rite Catholics into the Orthodox Church. Catherine II suppressed the Greek Catholic church in Ukraine in 1784. Nicholas I did the same in Belarus and Lithuania in 1839. Alexander II did the same in the Byzantine-rite Eparchy of Chelm in 1874, and officially suppressed the Eparchy in 1875. The bishop and the priests who refused to join the Orthodox Church were deported to Siberia or imprisoned. The laity, left on their own, had to defend their Church, their liturgy, and their union with Rome.
On 24 January 1874 soldiers entered the village of Pratulin to transfer the parish to Orthodox control. Many of the faithful gathered to defend their parish and church. The soldiers tried to disperse the people, but failed. Their commander tried to bribe the parishioners to abandon Rome, but failed. He threaten them with assorted punishments, but this failed to move them. Deciding that a show of force was needed, the commander ordered his troops to fire on the unarmed, hymn-singing laymen. Thirteen of the faithful died, most married men with families, ordinary men with great faith.
We know almost nothing about their lives outside of this incident. Their families were not allowed to honour them or participate in the funerals, and the authorities hoped they would be forgotten. They were:
• Anicet Hryciuk
• Bartlomiej Osypiuk
• Daniel Karmasz
• Filip Geryluk
• Ignacy Franczuk
• Jan Andrzejuk
• Konstanty Bojko
• Konstanty Lukaszuk
• Lukasz Bojko
• Maksym Hawryluk
• Michal Wawryszuk
• Onufry Wasyluk
• Wincenty Lewoniuk
Martyrdom:
• shot on 14 January 1874 by Russian soldiers in Podlasie, Poland
• buried nearby without rites by those soldiers
Beatified
6 October 1996 by Pope John Paul II

Martyrs of Antioch:
Babylas
Epolonius
Prilidian
Urban