One Minute Reflection – 23 September – “The Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Cross” and the Mermorial of St Pope Linus (c 10 – c 76) Successor to St Peter – Osee 14:2-10, Luke 7:36-50
“She began to bathe His feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed is feet and anointed them with ointment.” – Luke 7:38
REFLECTION – “With her hands of good works, she holds the feet of those who preach His Kingdom. She washes them with tears of charity, kisses them with praising lips and pours out the whole ointment of mercy, until He will turn her. This means that He will come back to her and say to Simon, to the Pharisees, to those who deny, to the nation of the Jews, “I came into your house. You gave me no water for my feet.”
When will He speak these words? He will speak them when He will come in the Majesty of His Father and separate the righteous from the unrighteous, like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. He will say, “I was hungry and you did not give me to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger and you did not take me in.” This is equivalent to saying, “But this woman, while she was bathing my feet, anointing them and kissing them, did to the servants, what you did not do for the Master.” She did for the feet, what you refused to the Head. She expended upon the lowliest members, what you refused to your Creator. Then He will say to the Church, “Your sins, many as they are, are forgiven you because you have loved much.”– St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and “Doctor of Homilies” (Sermon 95).
PRAYER – Look forgivingly on Thy flock, Eternal Shepherd, and keep it in Thy constant protection, by the intercession of blessed Linus Thy Sovereign Pontiff, whom Thou didst constitute Shepherd of the whole Church. Through the same Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
St Cissa of Northumbria St Constantius of Ancona Bl Francisco de Paula Victor Bl Guy of Durnes Bl Helen Duglioli St Peter Acontanto St Polyxena St Sosius (275-305) Confessor, Deacon and Martyr Bl William Way St Xantippa
Martyrs of Syracuse – (4 Saints): Group of Christians deported from Syracuse, Sicily by invading Saracens and sent to North Africa where they were tortured and executed for their faith. Martyrs. The names that have survived are Andrew, Antony, John and Peter. c900
Nuestra Senora de Valvanera / Our Lady of Valvanera, La Rioja, Spain (9th Century) – 23 September:
This image is a replica of the original which appears to have dated from the ninth century and is preserved in the Royal Abbey Shrine of Our Lady of Valvanera, or Valvanere, in Rioja, jealously guarded by Benedictine Monks. The oldest documents preserved, dates from the thirteenth century and tells how, according to tradition, the original image was found by a thief who later converted and became a hermit.
There was a thief named Nuno Onez, who was a hardened criminal and a “man of licentious life and dedicated to looting.” One day, however, upon hearing the prayer of a man who was to be his next victim, he was touched by Divine grace and repented of his many crimes, turning to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help him change his life. One day while he was praying, an Angel appeared to him to tell him to go to Valvanera and search for an oak that stood out from the rest, with a fountain that gushed at its feet and surrounded by swarms of bees. There, in the branches of a strong and noble oak, in the presence of a fountain of pure and clear water, the trunk of which was overflowing with the sweetness of honey, he found an image of the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Nuno went to the place with a Priest on the following Sunday and found the image, just as the Angel had said. The Statue had probably been hidden there when the Moslems invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century. In that place, in the last third of the ninth century, he began to build a place of worship that became known as the Chapel of Santo Cristo. Soon there was a small group of hermits who met to pray around this image, men who eventually adopted a regular life inspired by the Rule of Saint Benedict. Thus, this small Shrine is believed to have given rise to the Monastery of Valvanera, where the Virgin is currently venerated. Valvanera Monastery is surrounded by a forest near the Town of Anguiano in the valley of the Sierra Demand La Rioja. Its name derives from the Latin “Vallis Venaria,” which literally means: “Valley water veins.” The first Abbot was a man named Don Sancho in the year 990. Our Lady apparently has a preference for oak trees, since this is one of several Statues found in or on an oak tree. On that very spot today is seen the magnificent Church which Alphonsus IV, King of Castile, built in honour of the Mother of God in 1073 and which houses the image.
She, the valiant woman of Scripture, desired her children, her clients and her devotees to share in a spiritual manner, in the strength and the power of this mighty tree, which is certainly a symbol of her.
St Alfonso Burgos St Adamnan of Iona/Eunan of Iona (c 628-704) Monk, Abbot Bl Antonio of Tlaxcala Bl Bernardina Maria Jablonska St Cissa of Northumbria St Constantius of Ancona Bl Cristobal of Tlaxcala Bl Emilie Tavernier Gamelin Bl Francisco de Paula Victor Bl Guy of Durnes Bl Helen Duglioli Bl Juan of Tlaxcala
Bl William Way St Xantippa — Martyrs of Syracuse – (4 saints): Group of Christians deported from Syracuse, Sicily by invading Saracens and sent to North Africa where they were tortured and executed for their faith. Martyrs. The names that have survived are Andrew, Antony, John and Peter. c900
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Crispulo Moyano Linares • Blessed María Josefa del Río Messa • Blessed Norberto Cembranos de la Verdura • Blessed Purificación Ximénez y Ximénez • Blessed Sofía Ximénez y Ximénez del Río • Blessed Vicente Ballester Far
__ Our Lady of Valvenecra:
The title was established at Anguiano in the province and autonomous community of La Rioja in north-central Spain, located near Nájera, where it is celebrated on 23 September. The title originated with the discovery of an image of the Blessed Mother in the Byzantine style from the ninth century in an oak. The sanctuary of Santa Maria de Valvanera was built in the Gothic style in the 10th century. The name comes from the Latin expression, Vallis Venaria (valley of the veins of water) because it lies in a valley of springs, waterfalls and streams. The church of today dates from the 15th century while preserving a tower from a Romanesque church of the 12th century. The statue of the Virgen de Valvanera stands in a niche on the high altar. The title is also known as Virgen de Valvanera and, mistakenly, as Our Lady of Valvanere; Our Lady of Vulvancre; and Our Lady of Valvencre.
This image is a replica of the original which appears to have dated from the tenth century and is preserved in the Royal Abbey shrine of Our Lady of Valvanera, or Valvanere, in Rioja, jealously guarded by Benedictine monks. The oldest documents preserved date from the thirteenth century, and tell how, according to tradition, the original image was found by a thief who later converted and became a hermit.
St Peter Acontanto
St Polyxena St Thecla (1st century)
Bl William Way
Martyrs of Syracuse – (4 saints): Group of Christians deported from Syracuse, Sicily by invading Saracens and sent to North Africa where they were tortured and executed for their faith. Martyrs. The names that have survived are Andrew, Antony, John and Peter. c900
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Crispulo Moyano Linares
• Blessed María Josefa del Río Messa
• Blessed Norberto Cembranos de la Verdura
• Blessed Purificación Ximénez y Ximénez
• Blessed Sofía Ximénez y Ximénez del Río
• Blessed Vicente Ballester Far
Saint of the Day – 23 September – St Pope Linus (c 10 – c 76) Successor to St Peter – born c 10 in Volterra, Tuscany, Italy, Roman Empire and died c 76 in Rome, Italy, Roman Empire – his papacy lasted from c 67 to his death. Among those to have held the position of pope, Peter, Linus and Clement are specifically mentioned in the New Testament. Linus is mentioned in the closing greeting of the Second Epistle to Timothy as being with Paul in Rome near the end of Paul’s life.
The earliest witness to Linus’s status as bishop was Irenaeus (c 130-202), who in about the year 180 wrote, “The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate.” Linus is presented by St Jerome (343-420) as “the first after Peter to be in charge of the Roman Church” and by Eusebius as “the first to receive the episcopate of the church at Rome, after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter”. St John Chrysostom wrote, “This Linus, was second Bishop of the Church of Rome after Peter”, while the Liberian Catalogue presents Peter as the first Bishop of Rome and Linus as his successor in the same office.
The Liber Pontificalis (Latin for ‘pontifical book’ or Book of the Popes is a book of biographies of popes from Saint Peter until the 15th century), also presents a list that makes Linus the second in the line of bishops of Rome, after Peter, while also stating that Peter consecrated two bishops, Linus and Anacletus, for the priestly service of the community, devoting himself instead to prayer and preaching and that it was to Clement that he entrusted the Church as a whole, appointing him as his successor. Tertullian too wrote of Clement as the successor of Peter. Jerome classified Clement as “the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter” (i.e., fourth in a series that included Peter), adding that, “most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle.”
The Apostolic Constitutions denote that Linus, who was consecrated by Paul, was the first bishop of Rome and was succeeded by Clement, who was ordained and consecrated by Peter. Cletus is considered Linus’s successor by Irenaeus and the others cited above, who present Linus either as the first bishop of Rome after Peter.
According to Liber Pontificalis, Linus issued a decree that women should cover their heads in church, created the first fifteen bishops and that he died a martyr and was buried on the Vatican Hill next to Peter. It gives the date of his death as 23 September, the date on which his feast is still celebrated. His name is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass.
With respect to Linus’s supposed decree requiring women to cover their heads, J.P. Kirsch commented in the Catholic Encyclopedia: “Without doubt this decree is apocryphal and copied by the author of the Liber Pontificalis from the first Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians (11:5) and arbitrarily attributed to the first successor of the Apostle in Rome. The statement made in the same source, that Linus suffered martyrdom, cannot be proved and is improbable. For between Nero and Domitian there is no mention of any persecution of the Roman Church and Irenaeus (1. c., III, iv, 3) from among the early Roman bishops designates only “Telesphorus as a glorious martyr.”
The Roman Martyrology does not list Linus as a martyr. The entry about him is as follows: “At Rome, commemoration of Saint Linus, Pope, who, according to Irenaeus, was the person to whom the blessed Apostles entrusted the episcopal care of the Church founded in the City and whom blessed Paul the Apostle mentions as associated with him.”