Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Nostra Signora di Loreto di Forno / Our Lady of Loreto of Forno, Alpi Graie, Italy (1629) and Memorials of the Saints – 30 September

Nostra Signora di Loreto di Forno / Our Lady of Loreto of Forno, Alpi Graie, Italy (1629) – 30 September:

At the beginning of the Vallone di Sea, at about 1340 metres above sea level, in the Forno di Groscavallo hamlet, stands the Sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna di Loreto, built around 1630, after the apparition occurred to Pietro Garino, a native of Forno.
In those times, the region was tormented by the wars fought by Carlo Emanuele of Savoy against the neighbouring states; by the increasingly high taxes that weighed on the poor people, by hunger and the plague.

It was customary for devotees to go annually to the Chapel of the Virgin on Rocciamelone. On that occasion, Pietro Garino found the small pictures, which are still preserved in the Church, depicting the Madonna of Loreto and San Carlo Borromeo, leaning against the facade of the Chapel. They were in bad shape. Pietro took them with him to have them restored and promised himself to bring them back to the Chapel the following year, keeping them in the meantime at his home in Forno.
Twice the pictures eluded his custody – the first time he found them right up there, at the mouth of the Vallone di Sea, where he had gone to collect leaves for the litter intended for livestock. On that occasion he had an apparition – the Virgin appeared to him between two women and promised him to stop the plague that claimed victims among the population of the plain. Brought home by Pietro, the paintings again disappeared from his home and were found in the same place as the apparition – it was a precise indication of the Virgin’s desire to see a Chapel built in that place.
A Chapel was built at the spot of the apparition, of which the remains have recently been found. The current building dates back to the second half of the 1700s; it is the work of Luigi Baretta; internally it has elements of considerable artistic and historical interest. The marvelous Altar by Prinotto, a masterpiece of eighteenth-century cabinet-making; the baroque reliquary, in which the pictures are kept; hundreds of ex-votos, including some of considerable value.
Historically, a Madonna with black features did not appear but the Sanctuary is known as such, as the faces of the Madonna and the Child she holds in her arms are ebony. The current Statue is the work of Raimondo Santifaller, from Ortisei and replaces the original one from the 18th century, stolen in 1977.

To access the Sanctuary it is necessary to climb the 440 steps that must be taken to reach the small square where the Sanctuary stands and which, pilgrims climb on their knees and in prayer.

The Sanctuary is open from July to September and Our Lady is celebrated annually on the Feast of the Assumption (16 August), the Nativity of Mary (8 September) and the Apparition of the Virgin Mary (30 September).
The video below shows this beautiful Sanctuary very clearly.

St Jerome (Memorial) (347-419) Father and Doctor
St Jerome, here:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor-of-the-church-2/
AND:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor-of-the-church/

St Amato of Nusco (c 1003-1093) Bishop, Confessor, Monk, Apostle of the poor.
Biography
:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-saint-amato-of-nusco-c-1003-1093/

St Antoninus of Piacenza
St Castus of Piacenza
St Colman of Clontibret
St Desiderius of Piacenza
St Enghenedl of Anglesey
St Eusebia of Marseilles
Bl Frederick Albert

St Gregory the Illuminator (c 257 – c 331) “Apostle to Armenia” and “Father of Armenia”- Bishop, First Patriarch of the Armenian Church, Missionary, Wonder-worker.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-saint-gregory-the-illuminator-c-257-c-331/

St Honorius of Canterbury (Died 653) Archbishop of Canterbury
St Ismidone of Die
Bl Jean-Nicolas Cordier
St Laurus
St Leopardus the Slave
Bl Ludwik Gietyngier
St Midan of Anglesey
St Simon of Crépy
St Ursus the Theban
St Victor the Theban

Martyrs of Valsery Abbey: An unknown number of Premonstratensian monks at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Valsery, Picardie, France who were martyred by Calvinists. They were martyred in 1567 at Valsery, Pircardy, France.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Birthday of St John the Baptist –

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary,
the baby leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit …
“For behold, when the sound
of your greeting came to my ears,
the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”

Luke 1:41,44

“What, then, will this child be?
For surely the hand of the Lord is with him.”

Luke 1:66

“At my birth,
I took away my mother’s barrenness
and while still an infant,
I healed my father’s dumbness,
for You gave me in childhood,
the gift of working miracles.”

St Gregory the Illuminator (c 213-270)
Bishop

Homily on the holy Incarnation, 4

“John is a voice for a time
but Christ is the eternal Word,
from the beginning.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/24/quote-s-of-the-day-24-june-st-john-the-baptist/

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 23 December – “He spoke, blessing God ” – Luke 1:64

Advent Reflection – 23 December – O Emmanuel – Readings: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24, Psalms 25:4-5,8-9, 10 and 14, Luke 1:57-66

The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore Him.

“He spoke, blessing God ” – Luke 1:64

REFLECTION – [John the Baptist said:] “I am the voice, the voice crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord.” So I cannot be silent, Lord, in Your presence. “I need to be baptised by you and do you come to me?” (Mt 3:3.14).
At my birth I took away my mother’s barrenness and while still an infant, I healed my father’s dumbness, for You gave me in childhood, the gift of working miracles. But when You were born of the Virgin Mary, in the way You willed and in a manner known to You alone, You did not take away her virginity but while preserving it intact, You gave her, in addition, the name of “mother.” Her virginity did not hinder Your birth, nor did Your birth destroy her virginity. On the contrary, two opposites, motherhood and virginity, were easily united by You, because the laws of nature have their origin in You.
I am a mere man, sharing in the grace of God but You are both God and man because of Your love for humankind (cf. Wis 1:6). ” – Homily attributed to Saint Gregory the Illuminator (c 213-270) Bishop – Homily on the holy Incarnation, 4

PRAYER
O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver
Desire of the nations,
Saviour of all people,
Come and set us free,
Lord, our God!

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 30 September

St Jerome (Memorial) (347-419) Father and Doctor
St Jerome, here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor-of-the-church-2/
AND:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor-of-the-church/

St Amato of Nusco (c 1003-1093) Bishop
St Antoninus of Piacenza
St Castus of Piacenza
St Colman of Clontibret
St Desiderius of Piacenza
St Enghenedl of Anglesey
St Eusebia of Marseilles
Bl Frederick Albert
Saint Gregory the Illuminator (c 257 – c 331)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-saint-gregory-the-illuminator-c-257-c-331/

St Honoratus of Canterbury
St Ismidone of Die
Bl Jean-Nicolas Cordier
St Laurus
St Leopardus the Slave
Bl Ludwik Gietyngier
St Midan of Anglesey
St Simon of Crépy
St Ursus the Theban
St Victor the Theban

Martyrs of Valsery Abbey: An unknown number of Premonstratensian monks at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Valsery, Picardie, France who were martyred by Calvinists. They were martyred in 1567 at Valsery, Pircardy, France

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRIDE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 September – ‘In what way does the Physician of souls amputate pride’s passion?’

One Minute Reflection – 30 September – Monday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 9:46–50 and The Memorial of St Gregory the Illuminator (c 257 – c 331)

“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me and whoever receives me, receives him who sent me, for he who is least among you all, is the one who is great.” … Luke 9:48

REFLECTION – “The passion and lust of pride attacked some of the holy apostles.   The mere argument about who of them was the greatest is the mark of an ambitious person, eager to stand at the head of the rest.   Christ, who did not sleep, knows how to deliver. He saw this thought in the disciple’s mind, springing up, in the words of Scripture, like some bitter plant.   He saw the weeds, the work of the wicked sower.   Before it grew up tall, struck its root down deep, grew strong and took possession of the heart, He tears up the evil by the very root.   In what way does the Physician of souls amputate pride’s passion?   How does He deliver the beloved disciple from being the prey of the enemy and from a thing hateful to God and man?   “He took a child,” it says, “and set it by him.” He made the event a means of benefiting both the holy apostles themselves and us their successors.   This illness, as a rule, preys upon all those who are in any respect superior to other people.

What kind of type and representation did He make the child He had taken?   He made the child a representation of an innocent and humble life.   The mind of a child is empty of fraud and his heart is sincere.   His thoughts are simple.   He does not covet rank and does not know what is meant by one man being higher than another is.   Christ brought forward the child as a pattern of simplicity and innocence and set him by Him.   He showed him as in an object lesson, that He accepts and loves those who are like the child. He thinks they are worthy of standing at His side, as being like-minded with Him and anxious to walk in His steps.” … St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Luke, Homily 54luke 9 48 whoever receivs this child - what type of representation did he make of the child st cyril of alex 30 sept 2019

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 honour of this world to seduce us.   Sustain us ever more with Your word and help us to find in it, the source of life.   May the Prayers of St Gregory the Illuminator, help us on the path of holiness.   We ask this through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st gregory the illuminator pray for us 30 sept 2019

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS for SEASONS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Saint of the Day – 30 September – Saint Gregory the Illuminator (c 257 – c 331)

Saint of the Day – 30 September – Saint Gregory the Illuminator (c 257 – c 331) – “Apostle to Armenia” and “Father of Armenia”- Bishop, First Patriarch of the Armenian Church, Missionary, Wonder-worker – born Grigor Lusavorich in c 257 and died in c 331 of natural causes.   Also known as Gregory the Enlightener.   Patronage – Armenia.Gregory the Illuminator.jpg

The life of Saint Gregory was first recounted in a biography dating to c 460 and the more or less contemporary History of the Armenians by Agathangelos.   The saint’s was born in and around Parthia between 239 to 257.   He was the son of Anak Partev the Parthian, who, being in the pay of the rival Sasanian Empire in Persia (224-651), infamously murdered the Armenian king Khosrov of Kadj.   The Lusavorich family was both wealthy and influential but they were all wiped out by the revenging relatives of Khosrov.   Fortunately for Gregory, he, the sole survivor of the purge, was whisked away by his nanny to the safety of Cappadoccia.

Gregory was raised as a Christian and attended a Greek Christian school.   On returning to Armenia, Gregory gained a position as a palace functionary at the court of the Armenian king.   There he protested the pagan religion of the period and refused to participate in its rites.   The reigning monarch was Tiridates IV (Trdat III or IV), or Tiridates the Great as he would become known and he had the troublesome Gregory imprisoned, tortured and thrown into the terrible Khor Virap prison at Artashat.   Known as the “pit of oblivion,” nobody ever returned from Khor Virap.

When out hunting, Tiridates often behaved like a beast, hence the legend that he was transformed into a boar.   A King, who was loved by his people and especially his sister, Khosrovidought, tried in vain to return him to his senses.   Khosrovidought had a dream, seeing Gregory coming out of the dungeon and healing her brother!   This was especially ironic, as the illness had only manifested itself following the king’s orders to murder a group of Christian nuns who had fled persecution in Rome.  Khosrovidought told the people at the Court of her dream and revealed that Gregory was living and was the only man in the world who could cure the King.   As Tiridat’s condition worsened his courtiers went to the pit and to their great surprise heard a feeble “yes” to the question:  “Gregory, are you still alive?” For St Gregory had been in the pit for 13 years!    They lowered the rope and out came a man with a long beard and soiled clothes.   But his darkened face was wrapped in an aura of light.   After dressing him properly,they took him to the presence of Tiridat.   Moved by a powerful force which he could not control, Tiridat knelt down before his prisoner.   Gregory, putting his hands on the King’s head, prayed for him. There,upon Tiridat was cured and became a new man.   He said to Gregory: “Your God is my Go, your religion is my religion.”   Gregory lifted him up and embraced him.   From that moment, until their death, they remained faithful friends and worked together, each in his own way for the establishment of the Kingdom of God in Armenia, beginning in the year 301.gregory illuminator framed.jpg

Gregory first converted the people in the capital city and in its neighbourhood.   There were no bishops or clergymen left in the country, because of the severe persecutions by Tiridat.   Thus, Gregory could not find people in holy orders to baptise the neophytes. Gregory himself was still a layman.   Therefore, the Royal Council decided to send Gregory back to Cæsarea to be ordained as a Priest and then Bishop of Armenia.

Armenia did became a Christian state and it was a momentous moment in the country’s history as the historian RG Hovannisian here explains:

“The conversion of Armenia to Christianity was probably the most crucial step in its history.   It turned Armenia sharply away from its Iranian past and stamped it for centuries with an intrinsic character, as clear to the native population, as to those outside its borders, who identified Armenia almost at once as the first state to adopt Christianity.”

Armenia thus became the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion.

As soon as Gregory returned to Armenis as the first Bishop (Katholikos) he set about formally establishing the Christian Church.   Tiridates gave Saint Gregory up to 15 provinces of territory to establish the Armenian Church.   The old pagan temples were torn down and the sites were converted to Christian ones and the whole nation was obliged to embrace the new faith.   Churches and monasteries sprang up everywhere, including at the Khor Virap, Gregory’s home for so long, which was eventually converted into a monastery.   The Armenian aristocracy quickly followed the royal family’s example and many noble families converted to Christianity.gregory-the-illuminator-goodpic2

Later in life, Gregory retired to the seclusion of the cave of Mane in northwestern Armenia where he lived as an ascetic.   Gregory died there of old age around 331. The former bishop’s remains were buried at Tordan on the Euphrates River in the western province of Daranaghik, although later his bones would become prized relics in various churches across the country.

St Gregory governed the  Armenian Church for about 25 years.   He diligently worked for the internal organisation of the Church.   His descendants carried on his work, notably his younger son Aristakes, who, known for his asceticism, was the next bishop and who attended the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 as St Gregory was too old.

Many Churches were built in his honour but perhaps the most celebrated was the cathedral at Ani built by the great architect Trdat for King Gagik (1001-1010).

800px-Cathedrale-erevan003.jpg
Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yerevan, (finished in 2001) contains the remains of St Gregory

He is commemorated as a Canonised Saint by all the ancient churches of the East and of the West, including the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches. The Armenian Church has set aside three holy days in honour of St Gregory, commemorating three of the main events of his life – firstly,  his sufferings and entrance into the dungeon, secondly, His release from the dungeon and the conversion of Armenia to Christianity, thirdly, the discovery of his relics.

323px-The_Right_Hand_of_St_Gregory_the_Illuminator
The Right Hand of Gregory the Illuminator in the museum of the Holy See of Cilicia at Antelias, Lebanon

On St Pope John Paul II’s historic trip in 2001 to Armenia to mark the 1700th of the conversion of the Armenian nation to Christianity, he became inspired by a visit to Khor-Virab where Saint Gregory was confined.   As a result, a statue of Saint Gregory the Illuminator now stands (unveiled on 19 January 2005) in the Vatican’s last remaining niche along the walls of Saints leading to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.   Almost 2,5 metres tall, it is situate at the site where visitors wait to climb the cupola.   Thousands of visitors now wait under the gentle gaze of St Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia.   See the Statue below.

Gregory_the_Illuminator_Statue_in_Vatican_City_(2010).jpg

On 26 June 2016, Pope Francis visited Armenia and made a special pilgrimage to the Church and Monastery, where St Gregory’s pit was located.   It is here, in one of the Armenian Church’s most sacred places, that Francis concluded his trip.   After being welcomed by the Monastery’s superior, the he and the Pope made their way down the small stairs to the room where St Gregory had been held in captivity for 13 years.   There, they lit a candle in veneration.   They then entered the adjacent chapel in procession and prayed in Armenian and in Italian.   Finally, the Pope and Abbot Karekin went out onto the terrace overlooking Ararat and released two doves, in the direction of the Biblical mountain, which is now beyond the border in Turkey.

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 30 September

St Jerome (Memorial) (347-419) Father and Doctor
St Jerome, here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor-of-the-church-2/
AND:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/saint-of-the-day-30-september-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor-of-the-church/

St Amatus of Nusco
St Antoninus of Piacenza
St Castus of Piacenza
St Colman of Clontibret
Bl Conrad of Urach
St Desiderius of Piacenza
St Enghenedl of Anglesey
St Eusebia of Marseilles
Saint Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572) – Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/10/10/saint-of-the-day-10-october-st-francis-borgia-s-j-1510-1572/
(This post made on 10 October 2017, is on the incorrect date.   His feast day was moved to today in 1969.  Today, 30 September is the day of his death.)

Bl Frederick Albert
Saint Gregory the Illuminator (c 257 – c 331)

St Honoratus of Canterbury
St Ismidone of Die
Bl Jean-Nicolas Cordier
St Laurus
St Leopardus the Slave
Bl Ludwik Gietyngier
St Midan of Anglesey
St Simon of Crépy
St Ursus the Theban
St Victor the Theban

Martyrs of Valsery Abbey: An unknown number of Premonstratensian monks at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Valsery, Picardie, France who were martyred by Calvinists. They were martyred in 1567 at Valsery, Pircardy, France