Virgen de los Remedios / Virgin of the Remedies, Rubite, Granada, Spain (12th Century) – 15 October:
The Virgin of Los Remedios is the title of the Virgin Mary which was promoted by the Trinitarian Order, founded in the late 12th century. The devotion became tied to the re-conquest of Spain, then still at its height. In the following century it spread to other parts of Europe. When Spain began the exploration and conquest of the Americas, it was a favourite devotion of the Spanish conquistadores. It remains a popular devotion in Spain. Patronages – Diocese of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the island of Tenerife, and the city of Cali, Colombia.
St Antiochus of Lyon St Aurelia of Strasbourg (Died 1027) Virgin Recluse, Princess St Callistus of Huesca St Cannatus of Marseilles Bl Cipriano Alguacil Torredenaida St Euthymius the Younger Bl Josefa Martínez Pérez St Leonard of Vandoeuvre Bl Narcis Basté y Basté Bl Pere Verdaguer Saurina Bl Ramón Esteban Bou Pascual St Sabinus of Catania St Severus of Trier
St Willa of Nonnberg — Martyrs of Cologne: A group of 360 Christian soldiers martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian. They were martyred in 303 outside the city walls of Cologne, Germany.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Cipriano Alguacil Torredenaida • Blessed Josefa Martínez Pérez • Blessed Narcis Basté y Basté • Blessed Pere Verdaguer Saurina • Blessed Ramón Esteban Bou Pascual
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
Saint of the Day – 23 September – St Thecla (1st century) Virgin and Martyr, Disciple of St Paul. Patronage – of Tarragona in Catalonia (Spain), where the cathedral has a chapel dedicated to her. Her feast day remains the town’s major local holiday.
The Acts of Paul and Thecla is a 2nd-century text (circa180) which forms part of the Acts of Paul but also circulated separately. According to the text, Thecla was a young noble virgin from Iconium who listened to Paul’s “discourse on virginity”, espoused the teachings and became estranged to both her fiancé and her mother. She sat by her window for three days, listening to St Paul and his teachings. When they witnessed this, they became concerned that Thecla would follow Paul’s demand “one must fear only one God and live in chastity” and turned to the authorities to punish both Paul and Thecla.
Thecla was miraculously saved from burning at the stake by the onset of a storm and travelled with Paul to Antioch of Pisidia. There, a nobleman named Alexander desired Thecla and attempted to rape her. Thecla fought him off, tearing his cloak and knocking his coronet off his head in the process. She was put on trial for assault. She was sentenced to be eaten by wild beasts but was again saved by a series of miracles, when the female beasts (lionesses in particular) protected her against her male aggressors. While in the arena, she baptised herself by throwing herself into a nearby lake full of aggressive seals.
She rejoined the Holy Apostle Paul in Myra, travelled to preach the word of God and became an icon encouraging women to imitate her by living a life of chastity and following the word of the Lord. She went to live in Seleucia Cilicia. According to some versions of the Acts, she lived in a cave there for 72 years. As she became a healer, the Hellenistic physicians in the city lost their livelihood and solicited young men to attempt to spoil her virginity at the age of 90. She called out to God and a new passage was opened in the cave and the stones closed behind her. She was able to go to Rome and lie down beside Paul’s tomb.
The Church Fathers recount a number of traditions about Thecla. St Gregory of Nyssa writes in the 4th century (Homily 14 in Cant) that she undertook the sacrifice of herself, by giving death to the flesh [Gal 5:24], practising great austerities, extinguishing in herself all earthly affections, so that nothing seemed to remain living in her but reason and spirit – the whole world seemed dead to her as she was to the world [Gal 6:14]. Macarius Magnes shortly after AD 300 wrote how the message of Christianity was “the Sword, [Matt 10:34] which cuts relations from each other [Matt:10:35], as it cut Thecla from Theocleia.” [Apocriticus ii.7]. Around AD 280, Thecla features as one of the characters in Methodius of Olympus’ Symposium, in which we learn that she was well versed in philosophy and various branches of literature, of eloquent yet modest discourse. He says that she received her instruction in divine and evangelical knowledge from Paul and was eminent for her skill in sacred science (“Logos 8”).
The martyrdom of Thecla is frequently referred to in the earliest Acts of the Martyrs. Eugenius, a martyr of Trebizond under Diocletian (284–305), couples Thecla with David and Daniel in his prayers. The exordium of the Acts of Polyeuctes [d. 259] refers to Thecla and Perpetua and there were certainly many virgin martyrs who drew their first inspiration from the same source. Eugenia of Rome in the reign of Commodus (180–192) is reported in the Acts of her martyrdom to have taken Thecla as her model.
In June 2010, on a wall of the Catacomba di Santa Tecla in Rome, Vatican archaeologists of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, using laser technology to remove layers of clay and lime rind, discovered a frescoed portrait of St Paul the Apostle, “recognisable by his thin face and dark pointed beard…with small eyes and furrowed brow,” which they believe is the oldest image in existence of Paul, dating from the late 4th century.
__ 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