Friday, 17 August 2018

Saint Hyacinth of Poland

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 17th of August is the feast day of Saint Hyacinth of Poland O.P., (Polish: Święty Jacek or Jacek Odrowąż; ca. 1185 – 15 August 1257). He is the patron saint of Lithuania, University of Santo Tomas-College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, invoked by those in danger of drowning; and the Basilica of St. Hyacinth.

The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

HYACINTH, the glorious apostle of Poland and Russia, was born of noble parents in Poland, about the year 1185. In 1218, being already Canon of Cracow, he accompanied his uncle, the bishop of that place, to Rome. There he met St. Dominic, and received the habit of the Friar Preachers from the patriarch himself, of whom be became a living copy. So wonderful was his progress in virtue that within a year Dominic sent him to preach and plant the Order in Poland, where he founded two houses. His apostolic journeys extended over numerous regions. Austria, Bohemia, Livonia, the shores of the Black Sea, Tartary, and Northern China on the east, and .Sweden and Norway to the west, were evangelized by him, and he is said to have visited Scotland. Everywhere multitudes were converted, churches and convents were built; one hundred and twenty thousand pagans and infidels were baptized by his hands. He worked numerous miracles, and at Cracow raised a dead youth to life. He had inherited from St. Dominic a most filial confidence in the Mother of God; to her he ascribed his success, and to her aid he looked for his salvation. When St. Hyacinth was at Kiev the Tartars sacked the town, but it was only as he finished Mass that the Saint heard of the danger. Without waiting to unvest, he took the ciborium in his hands, and was leaving the church. As he passed by an image of Mary a voice said: “Hyacinth, my son, why dust thou leave me behind? Take me with thee, and leave me not to mine enemies.” The statue was of heavy alabaster, but when Hyacinth took it in his arms it was light as a reed. With the Blessed Sacrament and the image he came to the river Dnieper, and walked dry-shod over the surface of the waters. On the eve of the Assumption he was warned of his coming death. In spite of a wasting fever, he celebrated Mass on the feast, and communicated as a dying man. He was anointed at the foot of the altar, and died the same day, 1257.

Reflection.—St. Hyacinth teaches us to employ every effort in the service of God, and to rely for success not on our own industry, but on the prayer of His Immaculate Mother.

Image: Apparition of The Virgin to Saint Hyacinth by Ludovico Carracci (1594)

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Saint Roch

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 16th of August is the feast day of Saint Roch (c. 1295 – 16 August 1327). He is also known as Rocco and is the patron saint of Girifalco, Italy, invoked against: cholera, epidemics, knee problems, plague, skin diseases; patron saint of bachelors, diseased cattle, dogs, falsely accused people, invalids, Istanbul, surgeons, tile-makers, gravediggers, second-hand dealers, pilgrims, and apothecaries.

Saint Roch was born in Montpellier, France, with a red cross on his chest, a visible sign from Our Lady to answer his mother’s prayers against her barrenness. His father was the city’s governor, but both his parents died when he was 20. He then gave his wealth to the poor and the government of the city to his uncle. After doing this, he set off on a pilgrimage to Italy where he came across a town struck by the plague. He stayed there for a while, curing many people with the sign of the cross. This miraculous cure occurred at every place that he passed that were struck by the plague. However, when he reached Piacenza he was also struck by the plague on his leg, and he waited for his death in a remote hut in the forest. A hunting dog belonging to a count found him and brought him food, licking his wounds. He also found a spring nearby that provided fresh water. The count, followed the dog one day and found the saint and helped him in his recovery. Saint Roch’s health was eventually restored and he turned back to return to Montpellier. He did not disclose his identity to the townspeople. This provoked suspicion among the people that he might be a spy and he was thrown into prison by his own uncle. Five years later, Saint Roch died in prison, and his identity was only discovered by the red mark on his chest. During his funeral, many miracles occurred and a church was erected.

Image: San Roque by Francisco Ribalta (c.1600-c.1610)

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Saint Tarcisius

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 15th of August is the feast day of Saint Tarcisius (d. 3rd century). He is also known as Tarsicius. He is the patron saint of altar servers and first communicants.

The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

Martyr. The only positive information concerning this Roman martyr is found in the poem composed in his honour by Pope Damasus (“Damasi epigrammata”, ed. Ihm, 14). In these lines Damasus compares Tarsicius to the protomartyr Stephen: just as the latter was stoned by the people of Judea so Tarsicius, carrying the Blessed Sacrament, was attacked by a heathen rabble, and he suffered death rather “than surrender the Sacred Body [of Christ] to the raging dogs”. This tradition so positively asserted by Damasus is undoubtedly historical. Nothing definite is known concerning the personality of this martyr of the Eucharist. He may have been a deacon, as Damasus compares him to Stephen. An addition to the sixth-century legend of the martyrdom of Pope St. Stephen makes Tarsicius, for some unknown reason, an acolyte; this addition, however, is based on the poem of Damasus. It is evident that the death of this martyr occurred in one of the persecutions that took place between the middle of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. He was buried in the Catacomb of St. Callistus, and the inscription by Damasus was placed later on his tomb. In the seventh century his remains rested in the same grave as those of Pope Zephyrinus; according to Willpert they lay in the burial vault above ground (cella trichora) which was situated towards the west over the Catacomb of St. Callistus. The feast of the saint is observed on 15 August.

J.P. KIRSCH


Image: Tarcisius, martyr children 1868, musée d’Orsay (1898)

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

Admin 07:30 0 Comments
Image: Assumption of Mary by Titian (1516-1518)

The 15th of August is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.

The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

IN this festival the Church commemorates the happy departure from life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her translation into the kingdom of her Son, in which she received from Him a crown of immortal glory, and a throne above all the other Saints and heavenly spirits. After Christ, as the triumphant Conqueror of death and hell, ascended into heaven, His blessed Mother remained at Jerusalem, persevering in prayer with the disciples, till, with them, she had received the Holy Ghost. She lived to a very advanced age, but finally paid the common debt of nature, none among the children of Adam being exempt from that rigorous law. But the death of the Saints is rather to be called a sweet sleep than death; much more that of the Queen of Saints, who had been exempt from all sin. It is a traditionary pious belief, that the body of the Blessed Virgin was raised by God soon after her death, and taken up to glory, by a singular privilege, before the general resurrection of the dead. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the greatest of all the festivals which the Church celebrates in her honor. It is the consummation of all the other great mysteries by which her life was rendered most wonderful; it is the birthday of her true greatness and glory, and the crowning of all the virtues of her whole life, which we admire single in her other festivals.

Reflection.—Whilst we contemplate, in profound sentiments of veneration, astonishment, and praise, the glory to which Mary is raised by her triumph on this day, we ought, for our own advantage, to consider by what means she arrived at this sublime degree of honor and happiness, that we may walk in her steps. No other way is open to us. The same path which conducted her to glory will also lead us thither; we shall be partners in her reward if we copy her virtues.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Saint Maximilian Kolbe

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 14th of August is the feast day of Saint Maximilian Kolbe (Polish: Maksymilian Maria Kolbe; 8 January 1894 – 14 August 1941). He is the patron saint of families, imprisoned people, journalists, political prisoners, prisoners, pro-life movement, amateur radio, Esperantists, and Militia Immaculatae.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe was born in Poland, his family were devout Christians. When he was a young boy, he had a vision of Our Lady. She showed him two crowns, one white representing virginity, the other red for martyrdom. She asked him which he would accept, he replied that he would accept both. He joined the Franciscans and while studying for the priesthood in Rome, he founded a group of friars called the Militia of the Immaculata. The group started in 1917 and was to crusade for the consecration to the Immaculate Heart and oppose Freemasonry. From the group came the Knights of the Immaculate magazine and a radio show. He also founded a monastery of 800 friars, which was at the time, the largest in the world. In 1930 he founded another monastery in Nagasaki, Japan. In 1936 he returned to Poland. During World War II, Saint Maximillian Kolbe housed 3000 over Polish refugees in his monastery. He was, however, imprisoned because of his work and in 1941 was sent to Auschwitz. Saint Maximillian offered to replace the position of a father, condemned to death by starvation. This was accepted and he and a group of 9 other men were kept in a cell without food or water. He led the men in prayer to Our Lady. After 2 weeks only Saint Maximillian remained alive. He was then given a dose of lethal injection on 14th of August 1941. His remains were cremated the next day on the 15th of August, the feast day of the Assumption of Our Lady.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Saint Cassian of Imola

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 13th of August is the feast day of Saint Cassian of Imola (d. August 13, 363). He is also known as Cassius and is the patron saint of Imola, Mexico City, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Las Galletas (Tenerife), schoolteachers, shorthand-writers, and parish clerks.

Saint Cassian of Imola was the Bishop of Brescia, near Milan Italy in the 4th Century. When the Roman Emperor persecuted Christians, Saint Cassian fled to Imola where he worked as a schoolmaster teaching children how to read and write. He taught them Christianity as well as a form of shorthand that helped them to write as fast as they can speak. A city official found out he was a Christian and reported him to the government authorities. Saint Cassian was arrested and ordered to offer sacrifices to the pagan gods which he refused. As punishment, he was stripped, and tied to the stake where he was given to his pagan students to be tortured to death. The students numbered about 200 and used their iron styli, their writing instrument, to carve into his skin and stab him to death.

Image: Martyrdom of Saint Cassian of Imola (San Cassiano) by Innocenzo di Pietro Francucci da Imola (c.1500)

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 12th of August is the feast day of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal (28 January 1572 – 13 December 1641). She is also known as Jeanne-Françoise Frémiot or Jeanne de Chantal. She is the patron saint of forgotten people; in-law problems; loss of parents; parents separated from children; and widows.

The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

AT the age of sixteen, Jane Frances de Frémyot, already a motherless child, was placed under the care of a worldly-minded governess. In this crisis she offered herself to the Mother of God, and secured Mary’s protection for life. When a Protestant sought her hand, she steadily refused to marry “an enemy of God and His Church,” and shortly afterwards, as the loving and beloved wife of the Baron de Chantal, made her house the pattern of a Christian home. But God had marked her for something higher than domestic sanctity. Two children and a dearly beloved sister died, and, in the full tide of prosperity, her husband’s life was taken by the innocent hand of a friend. For seven years the sorrows of her widowhood were increased by ill-usage from servants and inferiors, and the cruel importunities of friends, who urged her to marry again. Harassed almost to despair by their entreaties, she branded on her heart the name of Jesus, and in the end left her beloved home and children to live for God alone. It was on the 19th of March, 1609, that Madame de Chantal bade farewell to her family and relations. Pale, and with tears in her eyes, she passed round the large room, sweetly and humbly taking leave of each. Her son, a boy of fifteen, used every entreaty, every endearment, to induce his mother not to leave them, and at last passionately flung himself across the door of the room. In an agony of distress, she passed on over the body of her son to the embrace of her aged and disconsolate father. The anguish of that parting reached its height when, kneeling at the feet of the venerable old man, she sought and obtained his last blessing, promising to repay in her new home his sacrifice by her prayers. Well might St. Francis call her “the valiant woman.” She was to found with St. Francis de Sales a great Order. Sickness, opposition, want, beset her, and the death of children, friends, and of St. Francis himself followed, while eighty-seven houses of the Visitation rose under her hand. Nine long years of interior desolation completed the work of God’s grace; and in her seventieth year St. Vincent of Paul saw, at the moment of her death, her soul ascend, as a ball of fire, to heaven.

Reflection.—Profit by the successive trials of life to gain the strength and courage of St. Jane Frances, and they will become stepping-stones from earth to heaven.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Saint Clare of Assisi

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 11th of August is the feast day of Saint Clare of Assisi (July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253). She is also known as Chiara Offreduccio, Clair, or Claire. She is the patron saint of eye disease, goldsmiths, laundry, television, embroiderers, gilders, good weather, needleworkers, Santa Clara Pueblo, and Obando.

The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

ON Palm Sunday, March 17, 1212, the Bishop of Assisi left the altar to present a palm to a noble maiden, eighteen years of age, whom bashfulness had detained in her place. This maiden was St. Clare. Already she had learnt from St. Francis to hate the world, and was secretly resolved to live for God alone. The same night she escaped, with one companion, to the Church of the Portiuncula, where she was met by St. Francis and his brethren. At the altar of Our Lady, St. Francis cut off her hair, clothed her in his habit of penance, a piece of sack-cloth, with his cord as a girdle. Thus she was espoused to Christ. In a miserable house outside Assisi she founded her Order, and was joined by her sister, fourteen years of age, and afterwards by her mother and other noble ladies. They went barefoot, observed perpetual abstinence, constant silence, and perfect poverty. While the Saracen army of Frederick II. was ravaging the valley of Spoleto, a body of infidels advanced to assault St. Clare’s convent, which stood outside Assisi. The Saint caused the Blessed Sacrament to be placed in a monstrance, above the gate of the monastery facing the enemy, and kneeling before it, prayed, “Deliver not to beasts, O Lord, the souls of those who confess to Thee.” A voice from the Host replied, “My protection will never fail you.” A sudden panic seized the infidel host, which took to flight, and the Saint’s convent was spared. During her illness of twenty-eight years the Holy Eucharist was her only support and spinning linen for the altar the one work of her hands. She died in 1253, as the Passion was being read, and Our Lady and the angels conducted her to glory.

Reflection.—In a luxurious and effeminate age, the daughters of St. Clare still bear the noble title of poor, and preach by their daily lives the poverty of Jesus Christ.

Image: Detail depicting Saint Clare from a fresco (1312–20) by Simone Martini in the Lower basilica of San Francesco, Assisi

Friday, 10 August 2018

Saint Lawrence

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 10th of August is the feast day of Saint Lawrence (Latin: Laurentius, lit. “laurelled”; 31 December AD 225 – 10 August 258). He is also known as Laurence and is the patron saint of Rome, Rotterdam (Netherlands), Huesca (Spain), San Lawrenz, Gozo and Birgu (Malta), Barangay San Lorenzo San Pablo (Philippines), Canada, Sri Lanka, comedians, librarians, students, miners, tanners, chefs, roasters, the poor, and firefighters.

The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

ST. LAURENCE was the chief among the seven deacons of the Roman Church. In the year 258 Pope Sixtus was led out to die, and St. Laurence stood by, weeping that he could not share his fate. “I was your minister,” he said, “when you consecrated the blood of Our Lord; why do you leave me behind now that you are about to shed your own?” The holy Pope comforted him with the words, “Do not weep, my son; in three days you will follow me.” This prophecy came true. The prefect of the city knew the rich offerings which the Christians put into the hands of the clergy, and he demanded the treasures of the Roman Church from Laurence, their guardian. The Saint promised, at the end of three days, to show him riches exceeding all the wealth of the empire, and set about collecting the poor, the infirm, and the religious who lived by the alms of the faithful. He then bade the prefect “see the treasures of the Church” Christ, whom Laurence had served in his poor, gave him strength in the conflict which ensued. Roasted over a slow fire, he made sport of his pains. “I am done enough,” he said, “eat, if you will.” At length Christ, the Father of the poor, received him into eternal habitations. God showed by the glory which shone around St. Laurence the value He set upon his love for the poor. Prayers innumerable were granted at his tomb; and he continued from his throne in heaven his charity to those in need, granting them, as St. Augustine says, “the smaller graces which they sought, and leading them to the desire of better gifts”

Reflection.—Our Lord appears before us in the persons of the poor. Charity to them is a great sign of predestination. It is almost impossible, the holy Fathers assure us, for any one who is charitable to the poor for Christ’s sake to perish.

Image: St. Lawrence Distributing the Treasures of the Church by Bernardo Strozzi (c.1625)

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Admin 07:30 0 Comments

The 9th of August is the feast day of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (12 October 1891 – 9 August 1942). She is also known as Teresa Benedicta a Cruce OCD, and her previous name was Edith Stein. She is the patron saint of Europe; loss of parents; converted Jews; martyrs; and World Youth Day.

Edith Stein lived between 1891 to 1942 and was born in Prussia, the youngest of eleven children of Jewish parents. Edith was an atheist and gained a doctorate in philosophy. However, she was greatly affected by several friends who were Catholic. One day at her friend’s home, she read the book on the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Avila. After finishing the book she exclaimed that “This is the Truth,” and was baptised in Cologne, Germany in 1922. She taught at a Dominican school and studied Saint Thomas Aquinas as well as other Catholic philosophers. Edith wrote a letter to Pope Pius XI asking him to denounce the Nazis when anti-Semitism rose and she had to leave her teaching post. She became a Carmelite nun in Cologne in 1934 and took the name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Her convent moved to the Netherlands in order to escape the Nazi threat that was growing in Germany. She then desired to offer her life for the salvation of souls and when the Nazis came, she and another sister, Rose, who was also a convert, was sent to the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. Both sisters were killed in the gas chamber.

Stein in 1938 or 1939

Our Lady of Medjugorje

August 02, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, with a motherly love I am calling you to open hearts to peace; to open hearts to my Son, so that in your hearts love for my Son may sing, because only out of that love peace comes in the soul. My children, I know that you have goodness, I know that you have love - a merciful love, but many of my children still have a closed heart. They think that they can do it without directing their thoughts towards the Heavenly Father who illuminates-towards my Son who is always with you anew in the Eucharist and who desires to listen to you. My children, why do you not speak to Him? The life of each of you is important and precious, because it is a gift from the Heavenly Father for eternity. Therefore, do not ever forget to keep on thanking Him: speak to Him. I know, my children, that what is to come afterwards is unknown to you, but when your hereafter comes you will receive all the answers. My motherly love desires that you be ready. My children, by your life keep putting good feelings in the hearts of the people whom you meet, feelings of peace, goodness, love and forgiveness. Through prayer, hearken to what My Son is saying and act accordingly. Anew, I am calling you to prayer for your shepherds, for those whom my Son has called. Remember that they need prayers and love. Thank you.

Links