Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

One Minute Reflection – 17 April – “It is I, be not afraid.”…John 6:20

One Minute Reflection – 17 April – “Saturday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 6: 1-7, Psalm: Psalms 33: 1-2, 4-5, 18-19, Gospel: John 6: 16-21 and the meorial of St Pope Anicetus I (Died 168)

“It is I, be not afraid.”…John 6:20

REFLECTION – “Enlighten me, good Jesus, with the brightness of internal light and take away all darkness from the habitation of my heart. Restrain my wandering thoughts and suppress the temptations which attack me so violently. Fight strongly for me, and vanquish these evil beasts — the alluring desires of the flesh — so that peace may come through Your power and the fullness of Your praise resound in the holy courts, which is a pure conscience. Command the winds and the tempests, say to the sea: “Be still” and to the north wind, “Do not blow” and there will be a great calm.

Send forth Your light and Your truth to shine on the earth, for I am as earth, empty and formless until You illumine me. Pour out Your grace from above. Shower my heart with heavenly dew. Open the springs of devotion to water the earth, that it may produce the best of good fruits. Lift up my heart pressed down by the weight of sins and direct all my desires to heavenly things, that having tasted the sweetness of supernal happiness, I may find no pleasure in thinking of earthly things.

Snatch me up and deliver me from all the passing comfort of creatures, for no created thing can fully quiet and satisfy my desires. Join me to Yourself in an inseparable bond of love because You alone can satisfy him who loves You and without You, all things are worthless.” – Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)The Imitation of Christ – Book 3 Ch 23

PRAYER – Let us praise You Lord, with voice and mind and deed and since life itself is Your gift, may all we have and are, be Yours! May our Mother be with us and pray for us and listen, we pray, to the prayers of St Pope Anicetus as we ask his intercession. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, in union with You, one God for all eternity, amen.

Acts 6: 1-7
1 And in those days, the number of the disciples increasing, there arose a murmuring of the Greeks against the Hebrews, for that their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve calling together the multitude of the disciples, said: It is not reason that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look out among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying was liked by all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost and Philip and Prochorus and Nicanor and Timon, and Parmenas and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch.
6 These they set before the apostles; and they praying, imposed hands upon them.
7 And the word of the Lord increased; and the number of the disciples was multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly, a great multitude also of the priests obeyed the faith.

Gospel: John 6: 16-21
16 And when evening was come, his disciples went down to the sea.
17 And when they had gone up into a ship, they went over the sea to Capharnaum; and it was now dark and Jesus was not come unto them.
18 And the sea arose, by reason of a great wind that blew.
19 When they had rowed, therefore ,about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they saw Jesus, walking upon the sea and drawing nigh to the ship and they were afraid.
20 But he saith to them: It is I; be not afraid.
21 They were willing, therefore, to take him into the ship and presently the ship was at the land to which they were going.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 April – Saint Pope Anicetus I (Died 168) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 17 April – Saint Pope Anicetus I (Died 168) the 12th Pope and Martyr Papacy 157-168. Anicetus actively opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism. (Some sources record St Anicetus as the 11th and others as the 12th Pope?). He welcomed St Polycarp of Smyrna to Rome to discuss the Easter controversy.

The Roman Martyrology states for today: “At Rome, St Anicetus, Pope and Martyr, who obtained the palm of martyrdom in the persecution of Marcus.”

St Anicetus, the twelfth Pope after St Peter, first saw the light of day in Syria, toward the end of the first century. He was carefully educated by his parents, and was gifted by God with great natural abilities, especially with a clear, penetrating mind. He made, by his untiring perseverance, such progress in all sciences that he was counted among the best scholars of his time. In addition to this, the life he led was so blameless, that he was a model of Christian perfection, to everyone.

The most shining of all his virtues, was his truly apostolic zeal in protecting and disseminating the true faith. Therefore, when Pius I. had ended his life by a glorious martyrdom, Anicetus was unanimously elected his successor amid great rejoicing. And in truth, the Church needed, at that period, a Pope as learned, zealous and holy as himself, as she was assailed and persecuted in all possible ways by divers heretics.

Valentinus and Marcion, two Heresiarchs, had already commenced to sow the poison of their corruption in Rome and even a wicked woman named Marcellina, who had adopted the teachings of Carpocrates, had already many followers. The saddest fact of all, however, was that the Catholics, themselves, became very indolent in the practice of their faith, and their conduct was not such as their religion required. This inspired the heretics with hope of being able to instill their spurious doctrines into their minds, as we know by experience that the surest road to apostasy from the true faith, is indifference and debased morals. (My note – this all sounds very familiar!)

St Anicetus, although he perceived all this with great pain, did not become disheartened. Calling on God for aid, he began earnestly to work. By daily sermons, by teaching and exhortation, he endeavoured to move the Catholics to more fervency in their religion, as well as to a reformation of their lives. The example of his own holy life gave the greatest force to his words. He lived like a Saint, and all his thoughts were directed to lead his flock to salvation. He was an enemy to even the most innocent amusement and found his only pleasure in prayer and in working for the honour of God and the salvation of souls. He employed the greater part of the night in devotional exercises and during the day, he was only found in Church, in the dwellings of the sick, or poor, or at home, occupied in study or prayer. He chastised his body by fasting and other penances. To his enemies he was kind and charitable; to the poor, liberal; while in danger and persecution he was fearless and strong.

This beautiful example of their Shepherd, was soon followed by the Catholics residing in Rome with such zeal, that, according to the testimony of Hegesippus, the historian, the whole City became a habitation of sanctity. This change in the morals of the people was the most efficacious means of preserving them in the true faith, as the best safeguard of faith is a pious and blameless life. As far as the heretics were concerned, who endeavoured to implant in the hearts of the Romans, the seeds of their false doctrines, the Holy Father had the greatest compassion on them on account of their lost souls. He left nothing untried to bring them to the knowledge of their error but he thought it prudent ,to banish those who remained inflexible from the City. st Polycarp, a disciple of St John, came to Rome at the time of Anicetus, to discuss several points with him, which were to be settled for the welfare of the faithful. All was happily concluded and Polycarp paid the greatest honours to the holy Pope, everywhere praising his saintly conduct.

For eight years had Anicetus governed the Church with wonderful wisdom and power, when during the persecution of Marcus Aurelius he was seized, and being inflexible in the confession of his faith, he was decapitated.

The Martyrdom of St Anicetus

During his time as Pope, St Anicetus had to combat, in particular, the dangerous errors of gnosticism, Christ’s ancient enemy, already rampant in the days when Saint John the Apostle wrote his letters to the Churches of Asia. Saint Anicetus was visited in Rome by Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who desired to consult with him and, whom he in turn asked ,to celebrate the feast of Easter in the Church of Rome, as Saint Ireneus, Polycarp’s disciple, relates. They had not been able to find a solution to the question of a difference in the date of Easter in the Orient and the Occident, which Pope Saint Victor would later settle but remained close friends. Saint Anicetus’ vigilance protected his flock from the wiles of the false preachers Valentine and Marcion, who were attempting to corrupt the faith in the capital of the empire. – By Fr Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876.

The Liber Pontificalis states that St Anicetus was buried in the cemetery of Callistus.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Nossa Senhora da Arrábida / Our Lady of Arrábida, Portugal (16th Century) and Memorials of the Saints – 17 April

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter +2021

Nossa Senhora da Arrábida / Our Lady of Arrábida, Portugal (16th Century) – 17 April:

The Shrine of Our Lady of Arrábida is popular with sailors and with all those who travel by water. It owes its beginnings to a miraculous occurrence during the 16th century.
At some time during this century, an English merchant named Hildebrand, was standing off the entrance to the Tague River when a great storm caught his ship and immediately plunged him into the dangerous waters at the mouth of the river. The ship was in great danger and the merchant, being a pious Catholic, knelt before a picture of Our Lady which he always kept on board his ship.
Soon after, he began praying a bright light was seen shining through the darkness and the ship came to rest in calm waters. When daylight came, it could be seen, that the vessel was safely anchored at the foot of a very steep wooded mountain.
Hildebrand went back below decks to kneel before the illustration of Our Lady in thanksgiving, when he found that the picture was no longer there. Since it had been from that direction of the mountain that he had seen the light, the night before, Hildebrand went on land and climbed the steep trail to the top.
There, on the very top of the mountain, amid the dense woods, was his picture of Our Lady, before which he had prayed in his hour of need. Greatly moved, Hildebrand finished his business as soon as possible, in England and returned to Portugal. He gave away his goods to the poor and settled down in a small hermitage at the top of the mountain, where the picture had indicated that Our Lady wished a Shrine to be.
The Shrine is there today and still popular with the local peoples and all sailors, fisherman and those who travel by water. Numerous votive tablets surround the picture, testifying to miracles worked by Our Lady of Arrábida for those who come to her in need. Sailors going on a long voyage usually go for a farewell visit on departure and return to give thanks when they come home.

The Chapel and Shrine of Our Lady of Arrábida
The Convent of Our Lady of Arrábida

The Ancient Statue of Nossa Senhora da Arrábida is in the Chapel of the Convent.

The original ancient Statue of Our Lady of Arrábida

It is a replica that is taken in procession and like the original, has a natural head of hair and a silver crown, a blue mantle over an embroidered dress bedecked with silver sequins. In one hand the Blessed Virgin carries the Baby Jesus who wears a similar crown to that of His Mother. In the other hand, Our Lady holds a silver scepter. Only half a meter tall, she has a profound physical and spiritual presence. The procession winds through several City streets, accompanied by a band, banners, and flags. A great crowd processes each year to pay homage to Senhora da Arrábida, or in thanksgiving for answered prayers and many climb the mountain barefoot.

There are fishermen who are going to fulfil vows made in moments when they feared that their vessels were sinking and women, accompanied by their children, who go in thanksgiving for their husbands and fathers, who came back safely through heavy storms. Still others speak of cures from serious illnesses or severe accidents and several miracles which are attributed to Our Lady of Arabida. Ave Maria!

Bl essed Andrés Hibernón Real OFM (1534-1602)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/saint-of-the-day-17-april-blessed-andres-hibernon-real-o-f-m-1534-1602/

St Agia of Hainault
St Pope Anicetus (Died 168) 12th Bishop of Rome and Martyr Papacy 157-168
St Anthia of Illyria
St Athanasia of Aegina
St Bitheus
St Calocerus of Brescia
St Cogitosus
St Corebus
St Donan of Eigg (Died 617) Priest and Martyr
His Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/17/saint-of-the-day-17-april-saint-donan-of-eigg-died-617-priest-and-martyr/
St Eleuterius of Illyria
St Elpidius of Melitene
St Eusebius of Fano
St Galdinus of Milan
St Gebuinus of Lyons
St Genocus
St Hermogenes of Melitene
Bl Idesbald of Dunes
Bl James Oldo
Bl Joseph Moreau
St Laserian of Leighlin
Bl Louis Leroy
Bl Luca Passi
St Perfecto of Córdoba
St Pusicio
St Robert de Turlande/Chaise-Dieu OSB (c 1000-1067)
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/17/saint-of-the-day-17-april-st-robert-de-chaise-dieu-osb-c-1000-1067/
Bl Roman Archutowski
Bl Savina Petrilli
St Stephen Harding O.Cist. (1050-1104) Co-Founder of the Cistercian Order
About St Stephen:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/saint-of-the-day-17-april-st-stephen-harding/
St Ursmar of Lobbes
St Wigbert of Augsburg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 20 April

St Agnes of Montepulciano OP (1268-1317)
About St Agnes:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/saint-of-the-day-20-april-st-agnes-of-montepulciano/
St Pope Anicetus (Died c 168)
His Life:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/20/saint-of-the-day-20-april-st-pope-anicetus-died-c-20-april-168/

Bl Antony Page
St Caedwalla of Wessex
Bl Catwallon
Blessed Chiara Bosatta DSMP (1858-1887)
St Domninus of Digne
Bl Francis Page
Bl Gerald of Salles
Bl Harduin
Bl Hildegun of Schönau
St Hugh of Anzy-le-Duc
Bl James Bell
Bl John Finch
Bl John of Grace-Dieu
St Marcellinus – Bishop of Embrun (born in North Africa- died 374)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/20/saint-of-the-day-20-april-st-marcellinus-of-embrun-born-in-north-africa-died-374/
St Marcian of Auxerre
St Margaret of Amelia
Bl Maurice MacKenraghty
St Michel Coquelet
Bl Oda of Rivreulle
Bl Richard Sergeant
St Sara of Antioch
St Secundinus of Córdoba
St Servilian
Bl Simon Rinalducci
St Sulpicius
St Theodore Trichinas
St Theotimus of Tomi
St Vincent of Digne
St Wiho of Osnabrück
Bl William Thomson

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 20 April – St Pope Anicetus (died c 20 April 168)

Saint of the Day – 20 April – St Pope Anicetus (died c 20 April 168) was the Bishop of Rome from c 157 to his death in 168.  st anicetus-3.jpgAccording to the Annuario Pontificio, the start of his papacy may have been 153.   Anicetus actively opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism.   He welcomed Polycarp of Smyrna (69-155) to Rome, to discuss the controversy over the date for the celebration of Easter.

Born in Emesa, Syria at the end of the first century, he came along at a time when most of the Apostles had already died.   Anicetus was of the generation of leaders who had never met any of the original leaders of the fledgling Church.

It is said that Anicetus came to Rome with St Justin Martyr (100-165), one of the first Christian apologists.   On the martyrdom of Pius I, Anicetus was elected to the bishopric of Rome.   He had quite a bit to face.Papa_Aniceto_cropped.jpg

First, the Gnostic heretics, Valentinian and Marcion, were still in Rome, still trying to sell their concepts of the two Gods, the tyrant of the Old Testament and the kind, loving God of the New.   Valentinian, who, Tertullian says, planned to become the Bishop of Rome but never got the chance, was eventually excommunicated.   There is no documentation as to who finally did the excommunication but it seems that St Polycarp of Smyrna may have done that.   At any rate, he moved back to Asia Minor soon after Anicetus became bishop.   His followers continued to raise havoc in Rome.   Marcion was excommunicated by his own father, the bishop of Sinope.   Because the Roman civilians listened so long to the teachings of these heretics, they tended to fall away from the intense teachings of Peter and Paul.   Anicetus worked very hard at re-educating his see.   He did make a rule to help distinguish the orthodox presbyters from the long-haired Gnostics, they had to keep their hair short.   As the early historian, Hegesippus, wrote, the whole city developed a zeal of sanctity.

Polycarp, the elderly bishop of Smyrna, had sat at the knee of St John the Evangelist and had conversed with others.   Many in the East revered him and clung to his every word. In the middle of the second century, the Eastern Church celebrated Easter Biblically, that is, the 14th day of Nisan, as defined as Passover, no matter what day of the week it fell on.   The Western Church had already been directed to celebrate Easter on the Sunday.  At this time, it was already becoming a straining point between the two segments of the Church.   In 160, the old, revered Polycarp came to Rome to discuss this with Anicetus. Eventually, neither would budge and they had to agreed to disagree.   Anicetus was not going to put the Church at risk by antagonising Polycarp and thus let it alone.   But many years later, this became one of the dividing arguments that split the Church.St anicetus-2.jpg

Soon after Marcus Aurelius became emperor, he must have noted the lack of worship of the standard Roman gods.   A brilliant man in his own right, Aurelius must have known the cause of this behaviour.   He quickly went to the source, Pope Anicetus and took him into custody.  As inflexible as ever in supporting the orthodoxy of the Church and making known the Good News of Jesus Christ, Anicetus did not alter his beliefs.   Most believed he was thereafter martyred for his faith but there are no historical grounds for this account.   17 or 20 April are two dates which have been cited as the date of his death and his memorial was originally on 17 April.   The Liber Pontificalis states he was buried in the cemetery of Callistus.

St Anicetus, pray for us.pope-saint-anicetus.jpg

Posted in HOLY WEEK, SAINT of the DAY

Easter Vigil in the Holy Night and Memorials of the Saints – 20 April

St Agnes of Montepulciano OP (1268-1317)
About St Agnes:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/saint-of-the-day-20-april-st-agnes-of-montepulciano/
St Pope Anicetus (Died c 168)

Bl Antony Page
St Caedwalla of Wessex
Bl Catwallon
Bl Chiara Bosatta
St Domninus of Digne
Bl Francis Page
Bl Gerald of Salles
Bl Harduin
Bl Hildegun of Schönau
St Hugh of Anzy-le-Duc
Bl James Bell
Bl John Finch
Bl John of Grace-Dieu
St Marcellinus – Bishop of Embrun (born in North Africa- died 374)
Biography:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/20/saint-of-the-day-20-april-st-marcellinus-of-embrun-born-in-north-africa-died-374/
St Marcian of Auxerre
St Margaret of Amelia
Bl Maurice MacKenraghty
St Michel Coquelet
Bl Oda of Rivreulle
Bl Richard Sergeant
St Sara of Antioch
St Secundinus of Córdoba
St Servilian
Bl Simon Rinalducci
St Sulpicius
St Theodore Trichinas
St Theotimus of Tomi
St Vincent of Digne
St Wiho of Osnabrück
Bl William Thomson