Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Maria Santissima Scala del Paradiso / Holy Mary, Ladder to Paradise, Noto, Siracusa, Sicily, Italy (1498) and Memorials of the Saints

Finding of the Body of St Stephen, Protomartyr

Maria Santissima Scala del Paradiso / Holy Mary, Ladder to Paradise, Noto, Siracusa, Sicily, Italy (1498) – 3 August:

Local tradition holds that Angels frescoed the image of the Madonna, Ladder to Paradise, on a rock wall in the countryside before St. Corrado di Fuori’s arrival in 1340 and, that it was discovered there on 3 August 1498. However, the Diocese of Noto, of which the Madonna della Scala is the Patron, suggests that an unknown artist created the fresco in the late 1500s or early 1600s, a period more in keeping with its style.

In any case, by the time of the earthquake that destroyed the City of Noto on 11 January 1693, popular devotion had grown around the image, surrounding it with votive lamps, ex votos left in thanksgiving for answered prayers, and eventually, an Oratory. The earthquake demolished the Chapel but the image remained intact.

In 1708, a group of Carmelite Hermits took over the site and undertook the building of another Church, which was blessed the following year. In 1712, Ven. Girolamo Terzo, recently appointed the group’s Superior, hired an expert to detach the fresco from its rock and arranged its spectacular transfer to the church, pulled by a team of untamed oxen. Ven. Girolamo promoted devotion to the Madonna of the Ladder by distributing copies of the image on evangelical visits throughout the region.

With a reputation for cures and other miracles, the Hermitage became a place of pilgrimage, particularly on the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, 8 September.
The Sanctuary suffered damage during World War I. Afterwards it was restored and in 1919 the Catholic Church gave the Madonna, Ladder to Paradise, her own liturgical feast day, 3 August. An annual festa on this date draws the people of Noto to the Shrine seven miles distant, where after Mass in the Carmelite Chapel a statuary version of the image goes in procession through all the neighbouring districts.

The image of the “Ladder to Paradise” echoes the story of Jacob (Genesis 28:12) and St John Climacus’s Ladder of Ascent, a guide to the spiritual life written in Greek in the 600s, which became popular among Western religious after its translation into Latin in the 1500s (Scala Paradisi). Here, the Virgin is identified with the way to heaven because of her role in bringing Christ to humanity and her ongoing help to all who follow Him.

St Abibas
St Aspren (1st Century) Bishop of Naples

Blessed Augustine Gazotich OP (1262-1323) Bishop of Lucera, Croatia, Of the Order of Preachers. He was also noted for being the guide for Dante Alighieri as the poet travelled through Croatia. His reputation for personal holiness remained noted long after his death; this resulted in Pope Innocent XII confirming the late Bishop’s beatification in 1700.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/03/saint-of-the-day-3-august-blessed-augustine-gazotich-o-p-1262-1323/

St Dalmatius
St Euphronius of Autun
St Gamaliel
St Gaudentia
Bl Godfrey of Le Mans
Bl Gregory of Nonantula
St Hermellus
St Nicodemus
St Senach of Clonard (Died 6th Century) One of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland
St Trea of Ardtree

St Waltheof of Melrose O.Cist. (c 1095-1159) Monk, Abbot, Apostle of charity, Mystic.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/08/03/saint-of-the-day-3-august-saint-waltheof-of-melrose-o-cist-c-1095-1159/

Martyrs of Vercelli – 4 saints (below)-

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Biandrés Avelino Gutiérrez Moral
Bl Antonio Isidoro Arrué Peiró
Bl Eleuterio Mancho López
Bl Geronimo Limón Márquez
Bl Patricio Beobide Cendoya
The Story of these around 10000 Martyrs of Spain:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/08/03/saints-of-the-day-3-august-the-martyrs-of-the-spanish-civil-war-1931-1939/

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 3 August – Saint Waltheof of Melrose O.Cist. (c 1095-1159)

Saint of the Day – 3 August – Saint Waltheof of Melrose O.Cist. (c 1095-1159) Monk, Abbot, apostle of charity, mystic – born in c 1095 in England and died on 3 August 1160 of natural causes.   Also known as Waldef or Waldeve.   Noted for his severe, self-imposed austerities, endless kindness to the poor and a gentle hand with the brothers under his supervision.   He received visions of Christ during the feasts of Christmas, Passiontide, and Easter and had visions of heaven and hell.   St Waltheof was a Miracle worker who is reported to have multiplied food and miraculously healed the sick, especially the blind. Patronages – Melrose Abbey and Northamptonshire.st waltheof statue.jpg

St Waltheof was of noble birth, (he was the son of Earl Simon of Northampton and Matilda, the great niece of William the Conqueror).   He was born in England but grew up in the Scottish court, due to his mother’s second marriage after his father’s death.  He could have become a court cleric but chose the monastic life, becoming an Austin canon at Nostell in Yorkshire.   In 1134, he became prior of Kirkham.   In 1140 he was a favourite to become Archbishop of York but King Stephen prevented this because he felt he would be too sympathetic to Scotland.st waltheof

In his Life of Waltheof, Jocelin of Furness writes:   “Waltheof’s face was the faithful interpreter of the inner man and gave convincing evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit inhabiting his heart.   It was thin but fair except where ruddy colour infused his cheeks, soft as doves.   His handsome white hair was in keeping with his reverend and religious character.   His appearance showed grace infusing his spirit with happiness and exultation, it expressed the fact, that the lord treasured him and induced all who saw and spoke to him to hold him in affectionate reverence.”

St Waltheof wanted to bring the Cistercians at Rievaulx and the Austins at Kirkham together but the canons objected strongly.   In 1149 he became abbot of Melrose, taking over from someone who had a notorious temper.   St Waltheof developed a reputation for great kindness, gentleness and humility.   He went on to found monasteries at Cultram and Kinross.   In 1159 he was asked to be bishop of St Andrews but he refused as he knew death was near.

Jocelin also recalls that Abbot Waltheof was prone to take a nap whilst riding his horse, ‘Brother Grizzel’.   On such occasions the horse would pick his steps carefully and slowly, lest he should trip but once the abbot was awake he would gallop swiftly, overtaking other steeds.   Following Waltheof’s death, the horse was distraught and simply wasted away through sadness.

It has been said that he strove so greatly for perfection, that his confessors often found him irksome.

St Waltheof was never formally canonised but a popular cult grew around him until the Reformation.   He is buried at the Cistercian chapter house at Melrose Abbey.

It is recorded in the Chronicle of Melrose that:

“The tomb of our pious father, sir Waltheof, the second abbot of Melrose, was opened by Enguerrand, of good memory, the bishop of Glasgow and by four abbots called in for this purpose and his body was found entire and his vestments intact, in the twelfth year from his death, on the eleventh day before the Kalends of June [22 May].   And after the holy celebration of mass, the same bishop and the abbots whose number we have mentioned above, placed over the remains of his most holy body a new stone of polished marble. And there was great gladness, those who were present exclaiming together and saying that truly this was a man of God …”

Melrose_Abbey_from_the_burial_ground_-_geograph.org.uk_-_781601.jpg
Ruins of Melrose Abbey

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 3 August

St Abibas
St Anthony the Roman
St Aspren of Naples
Bl Augustine Gazotich OP (1262-1323)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/03/saint-of-the-day-3-august-blessed-augustine-gazotich-o-p-1262-1323/
Bl Benno of Metz
St Dalmatius
St Euphronius of Autun
St Gamaliel
St Gaudentia
Bl Godfrey of Le Mans
Bl Gregory of Nonantula
St Hermellus
St Nicodemus
St Senach of Clonard
St Trea of Ardtree
St Waltheof of Melrose O.Cist. (c 1095-1159)

Martyrs of Vercelli – 4 saints (below)-
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
BlAndrés Avelino Gutiérrez Moral
Bl Antonio Isidoro Arrué Peiró
Bl Eleuterio Mancho López
Bl Geronimo Limón Márquez
Bl Patricio Beobide Cendoya
The Story of these around 10000 Martyrs:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/08/03/saints-of-the-day-3-august-the-martyrs-of-the-spanish-civil-war-1931-1939/