St. Pretextatus, or
Prix, Archbishop of Rouen, Martyr February 24TH
HE was chosen archbishop of Rouen in
549, and in 557 assisted at the third council of Paris held
to abolish incestuous marriages, and remove other crying
abuses: also at the second council of Tours in 566. By his
zeal in reproving Fredegonda for her injustices and
cruelties, he had incurred her indignation. King Clotaire I.
in 562, had left the French monarchy divided among his four
sons. Charibert was king of Paris, Gontran of Orleans and
Burgandy, Sigebert I. of Austrasia, and Chilperic I. of
Soissons. Sigebert married Brunehault, younger daughter of
Athanagilde, king of the Visigoths in Spain, and Chilperic
her elder sister Galsvinda; but after her death he took to
wife Fredegonda, who had been his mistress, and was strongly
suspected to have contrived the death of the queen by
poison. Hence Brunehault stirred up Sigebert against her and
her husband. But Fredegonda contrived the assassination of
King Sigebert in 575, and Chilperic secured Brunehault his
wife, her three daughters, and her son Childebert. This
latter soon made his escape, and fled to Metz, where he was
received by his subjects, and crowned king of Austrasia. The
city of Paris, after the death of Charibert in 566, by the
agreement of the three surviving brothers, remained common
to them all, till Chilperic seized it. He sent Meroveus, his
son by his first wife, to reduce the country about Poitiers,
which belonged to the young prince Childebert. But Meroveus,
at Rouen, fell in love with his aunt Brunehault, then a
prisoner in that city; and Bishop Prix, in order to prevent
a grievous scandal, judging circumstances to be sufficiently
cogent to require a dispensation, married them: for which he
was accused of high treason by King Chilperic before a
council at Paris, in 577, in the church of St. Peter, since
called St. Genevieve. St. Gregory of Tours there warmly
defended his innocence, and Prix confessed the marriages,
but denied that he had been privy to the prince’s revolt;
but was afterwards prevailed upon, through the insidious
persuasion of certain emissaries of Chilperic, to plead
guilty, and confess that out of affection he had been drawn
in to favour the young prince, who was his godson. Whereupon
he was condemned by the council, and banished by the king
into a small island upon the coast of Lower Neustria, near
Coutances. His sufferings he improved to the sanctification
of his soul by penance and the exercise of all heroic
Christian virtues. The rage and clamour with which his
powerful enemies spread their slanders to beat down his
reputation, staggered many of his friends: but St. Gregory
of Tours never forsook him. Meroveus was assassinated near
Terouanne, by an order of his step-mother Fredegonda, who
was also suspected to have contrived the death of her
husband Chilperic, who was murdered at Chelles, in 584. She
had three years before procured Clovis, his younger son by a
former wife, to be assassinated, so that the crown of
Soissons devolved upon her own son Clotaire II.: but for his
and her own protection, she had recourse to Gontran, the
religious king of Orleans and Burgundy. By his order, Prix,
after a banishment of six years, was restored with honour to
his see; Ragnemond, the bishop of Paris, who had been a
principal flatterer of Chilperic, in the persecution of this
prelate, having assured this prince that the council had not
deposed him, but only enjoined him penance. St. Prix
assisted at the council of Macon, in 585, where he harangued
several times, and exerted his zeal in framing many wise
regulations for the reformation of discipline. He continued
his pastoral labours in the care of his flock, and by just
remonstrances often endeavoured to reclaim the wicked queen
Fredegonda, who frequently resided at Rouen, and filled the
kingdom with scandals, tyrannical oppressions, and murders.
This Jezabel grew daily more and more hardened in iniquity,
and by her secret order St. Prix was assassinated whilst he
assisted at matins in his church in the midst of his clergy
on Sunday the 25th of February. Happy should we be if under
all afflictions, with this holy penitent, we considered that
sin is the original fountain from whence all those waters of
bitterness flow, and by labouring effectually to cut off
this evil, convert its punishment into its remedy and a
source of benedictions. St. Prix of Rouen is honoured in the
Roman and Gallican Martyrologies. Those who with Chatelain,
&c. place his death on the 14th of April, suppose him to
have been murdered on Easter day; but the day of our Lord’s
Resurrection in this passage of our historian, means no more
than Sunday. See St. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc. l. 5. c.
10. 15. Fleury, l. 34. n. 52. Gallia Christiana Nova, t. 11.
p. 11. and 638. Mons. Levesque de la Ravaliere in his
Nouvelle Vie de S. Gregoire, Evêque de Tours, published in
the Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles
Lettres, An. 1760, t. 26. p. 609. 60. F. Daniel, Hist. de
France, t. 1. p. 242.
PRAY THAT ABORTION BE OUTLAWED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
PLEASE MENTTION YOUR REQUEST [SAY YOUR PRAYER
ST. POLY CARP, Bishop of Smyrna, was a
disciple of St. John. He wrote to the Philippians, exhorting them to mu- tual
love and to hatred of heresy. When the apostate Marcion met St. Polycarp at
Rome, he asked the aged saint if he knew him. " Yes," St. Polycarp answered, " I
know you for the firstborn of Satan." These were the words of a saint most
loving and most charitable, and specially noteed for his compassion to sinners.
He hated heresy because he loved God and man so much. In 167, persecution broke
out in Smyrna. When Polycarp heard that his pursuers were at the door, he said,
"The will of God be done;" and meeting them, he begged to be left alone for a
little time, which he spent in prayer for " the Catholic Church throughout the
world." He was brought to Smyrna early on Holy Saturday : and as he entered, a
voice was heard from heaven, " Polycarp, be strong." When the proconsul besought
him to curse Christ and go free, Polycarp answered, " Eighty-six years I have
served Him, and He never did me wrong ; how can I blaspheme my King and Saviour
?" When he threatened him with fire, Polycarp told him this fire of his lasted
but a little, while the fire prepared for the wicked lasted forever. At the
stake he thanked God aloud for letting him drink of Christ's chalice. The fire
was lighted, but it did him no hurt; so he was stabbed to the heart, and his
dead body was burnt. "Then," say the writers of the Acts, " we took up the
bones, more precious than the richest jewels or gold, and deposited them in a
fitting place, at which may God grant us to assemble with joy to celebrate the
birthday of the martyr to his life in heaven !"
REFLECTION. —If we love Jesus Christ, we shall
love the Church and hate heresy, which rends His mystical body, and destroys the
souls for which He died. Like St. Polycarp, we shall maintain our constancy in
the faith by love of Jesus Christ, who is its author and its finisher.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Saint
Polycarp, please pray for us [state your prayer request.]
ST. PETER DAMIAN.
SAINT PETER DAMIAN was born in 988, and
lost both parents at an early age. His eldest brother, in whose hands he was
left, treated him so cruelly that a younger brother, a priest, moved by his
piteous state, sent him to the university of Parma, where he acquired great
distinction. His studies were sanctified by vigils, fasts, and prayers, till at
last, thinking that all this was only serving God by halves, he resolved to
leave the world. He joined monks the of Font-Avellano, then in the greatest
repute, and by his wisdom and sanctity rose to be Superior. He was employed on
the most delicate and difficult missions, amongst others, the reform of
ecclesiastical communities, which was effected by his zeal. Seven Popes in
succession made him their constant adviser, and he was at last created Cardinal
Bishop of Ostia. He withstood Henry IV. of Germany, and labored in defence of
Alexander II. against the Antipope, whom he forced to yield and seek for pardon.
He was charged, as Papal Legate, with the repression of simony; again was
commissioned to settle discords amongst various bishops; and finally, in 1072,
to adjust the affairs of the Church at Ravenna. He was laid low by a fever on
his homeward journey, and died at Faenza, in a monastery of his order, on the
eighth day of his sickness, whilst the monks chanted matins around him.
REFLECTION.—The Saints studied, not in order
to be accounted learned, but to become perfect. This only is wisdom and true
greatness, to account ourselves as ignorant, and to adhere in all things to the
teachings and instincts of the Church.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT PETER DAMIAN, PLEASE PRAY FOR
US [STATE YOUR PRAYER.]
Saints Tyrannio, Bishop of Tyre, Zenobius, and Other Martyrs in
A.D. 304. 310.
EUSEBIUS, the parent of church
history, and an eye-witness of what he relates concerning these
martyrs, gives the following account of them: “Several Christians of
Egypt, whereof some had settled in Palestine, others at Tyre, gave
astonishing proofs of their patience and constancy in the faith.
After innumerable stripes and blows, which they cheerfully
underwent, they were exposed to wild beasts such as leopards, wild
bears, boars, and bulls. I myself was present, when these savage
creatures, accustomed to human blood, being let out upon them,
instead of devouring them, or tearing them to pieces, as it was
natural to expect, stood off, refusing even to touch or approach
them, at the same time that they fell foul on their keepers, and
others that came in their way.1
The soldiers of Christ were the only persons they refused, though
these martyrs, pursuant to the order given them, tossed about their
arms, which was thought a ready way to provoke the beasts, and stir
them up against them. Sometimes, indeed they were perceived to rush
towards them with their usual impetuosity, but, withheld by a divine
power, they suddenly withdrew; and this many times, to the great
admiration of all present. The first having done no execution,
others were a second and a third time let out upon them, but in
vain; the martyrs standing all the while unshaken, though many of
them very young. Among them was a youth not yet twenty, who had his
eyes lifted up to heaven, and his arms extended in the form of a
cross, not in the least daunted, nor trembling nor shifting his
place, while the bears and leopards, with their jaws wide open,
threatening immediate death, seemed just ready to tear him to
pieces; but, by a miracle, not being suffered to touch him, they
speedily withdrew. Others were exposed to a furious bull, which had
already gored and tossed into the air several infidels who had
ventured too near, and left them half dead: only the martyrs he
could not approach; he stopped, and stood scraping the dust with his
feet, and though he seemed to endeavour it with his utmost might,
butting with his horns on every side, and pawing the ground with his
feet, being also urged on by red hot iron goads, it was all to no
purpose. After repeated trials of this kind with other wild beasts,
with as little success as the former, the saints were slain by the
sword, and their bodies cast into the sea. Others who refused to
sacrifice were beaten to death, or burned, or executed divers other
ways.” This happened in the year 304, under Veturius, a Roman
general, in the reign of Dioclesian.
The church on this day
commemorates the other holy martyrs, whose crown was deferred till
310. The principal of these was St. Tyrannic, bishop of Tyre, who
had been present at the glorious triumph of the former, and
encouraged them in their conflict. He had not the comfort to follow
them till six years after; when, being conducted from Tyre to
Antioch, with St. Zenobius, a holy priest and physician of Sidon,
after many torments he was thrown into the sea, or rather into the
river Orontes, upon which Antioch stands, at twelve miles distant
from the sea. Zenobius expired on the rack, whilst his sides and
body were furrowed and laid open with iron hooks and nails. St.
Sylvanus, bishop of Emisa, in Phœnicia, was, some time after, under
Maximinus, devoured by wild beasts in the midst of his own city,
with two companions, after having governed that church forty years.
Peleus and Nilus, two other Egyptian priests, in Palestine, were
consumed by fire with some others. St. Sylvanus, bishop of Gaza, was
condemned to the copper mines of Phœnon, near Petra, in Arabia, and
afterwards beheaded there with thirty-nine others.
Tyrannio is commemorated on the 20th of February, in the Roman
Martyrology, with those who suffered under Veturius, at Tyre, in
304. St. Zenobius, the priest and physician of Sidon, who suffered
with him at Antioch, on the 29th of October: St. Sylvanus of Emisa,
to whom the Menology gives many companions, on the 6th of February:
St. Sylvanus of Gaza, on the 29th of May.
The love of Christ
triumphed in the hearts of so many glorious martyrs, upon racks, in
the midst of boiling furnaces, or flames, and in the claws or teeth
of furious wild beasts. How many inflamed with his love have
forsaken all things to follow him, despising honours, riches,
pleasures, and the endearments of worldly friends, to take up their
crosses, and walk with constancy in the narrow paths of a most
austere penitential life! We also pretend to love him: but what
effect has this love upon us? what fruit does it produce in our
lives? If we examine our own hearts, we shall be obliged to confess
that we have great reason to fear that we deceive ourselves. What
pains do we take to rescue our souls from the slavery of the world,
and the tyranny of self-love, to purge our affections of vice, or to
undertake anything for the divine honour, and the sanctification of
our souls? Let us earnestly entreat our most merciful Redeemer, by
the power of this his holy love to triumph over all his enemies,
which are our unruly passions, in our souls, and perfectly to subdue
our stubborn hearts to its empire. Let it be our resolution, from
this moment, to renounce the love of the world, and all self-love,
to seek and obey him alone.
[BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS]
Note 1. Rufinus adds,
that these beasts killed several of the keepers and
spectators. It is in this sense that some have translated
this passage with Nicephorus. See Vales, in Annot. p. 165.
But it seems improbable that the spectators, who were
separated from the arena by iron rails, and seated on stone
benches gradually ascending, ten or twenty men deep all
round, should be killed or injured by the beasts, unless
some were so rash as to venture within the rails with the
keepers; which we see several do in the combats of wild
beasts. This, therefore, we are to restrain to the keepers
and those who kept them company.
From Eusebius, Hist. l. 8. c. 7. 13. 25. St. Jerom in Chron.
Saints Tyrannio, Bishop of Tyre, Zenobius, and Other Martyrs in
Phœnicia, please pray for us today [state your prayer request.]
THE SEVEN FOUNDERS OF THE
THE great impetus to the pursuit of holy
poverty given by St Francis of Assisi, and the Friars Minor in the early decades
of the thirteenth century, led in Italy especially, to the growth of much
asceticism, and the desire of perfection through a life of retirement and
mortification. In 1233 there were in Florence seven merchants of patrician rank,
named respectively Buon figlio de Monaldi, Giovanni di Buonaguinta, Bartolomeo
degli Amidei, Ricovera dei Lippi-Ugguccioni, Benedetto dell' Antella, Gheradino
di Sostegno and Alessio di Falconieri. They were accustomed to meet together to
sing the praises of Our Lady, and on the Feast of the Assumption, 1233, while
engaged in this pious exercise, it is said that the Blessed Virgin appeared to
them, and bade them devote themselves entirely to the spiritual life. They
formed themselves into a brotherhood, and for greater seclusion retired to Monte
Senario, a wild and lonely spur of the Apennines. The fraternity left Florence
in the order of a pro-cession, carrying the Cross and an image of Our Lady. A
small rustic oratory was erected on the Mount at once, but until the permanent
monastery was built, the little community led an austere life in the caves and
holes of the neighbouring rocks. It was near this eremitical abode that occurred
the rapid and marvellous growth of a vine planted by the brethren —a growth
which was taken to prognosticate the future and wonderful expansion of the
Order, and the dissemination of its spiritual fruits among men. It was at Monte
Senario, so it is alleged, that the vision of Our Lady was repeated,
during which they were ordered to follow the rule of St Augustine, wear a black
habit and girdle, and live under the three usual vows. Ten years later, St Peter
Martyr, Inquisitor-General of Italy, brought the new Society to the favourable
notice of the Pope, but no official approval was given by the Holy See till 13th
March, 1249. In 1251, Innocent IV made Cardinal Gugelielmo Fieschi first
Protector of the Order. The name " Servites, or Religious Servants of the Holy
Virgin " is said to have arisen from the following occurrence. Some embers of
the Order were begging their bread one day in the streets of Florence (?), when
suddenly some infants in their mothers' arms cried out to the amazement of the
bystanders " See the Servants of the Virgin or, as another version relates it "
See the Servants of Mary ! " One of the children who spoke out in this
marvellous manner was Philip Benizi, who later became General of the Order and
one of the, chief of its Saints.¹
The great trial of the Order came in
1276, when Innocent V meditated, oppressing it in accordance with the Resolution
of the Council of Lyons against the multiplication of religious orders. But the
danger passed way, and, after more than two centuries of continued progress,
Innocent VIII, by the Constitution Mare Magnum (1487), not only confirmed all
former grants and privileges, but also bestowed on the Servites the same
perogatives enjoyed by the great mendicant and preaching orders. When the last
of the " Seven Founders,” St Alexis Falconieri died, 1310, the brethren already
numbered over 10,000, chiefly in Italy and Germany. There were no houses of the
foundation in England at the time of the Great Pillage, 1536—39, but at present
there are three houses of men in this country, one in the Fulham Road, London,
S.W., Our Lady of Dolours (1867) ; the Priory at Bognor, commenced in a
temporary chapel, 1880, and transferred to the new church-residence, opened 16th
August, 1882. The third house, St Wilfred's Priory and School, is at Todmorden,
Lancashire. The number of Servite Convents in England amounts to about twelve.
The object of the Servite
Order may be described as twofold. The first and temporary one was the
pacification of Italy, torn by the factions of Guelph and Ghibelline, and the
local feuds of the great Italian families which followed the lead of either of
these parties. The second and permanent intention, after the sanctification of
its own members, was the spiritual betterment of populations and communities,
schools and universities. This is effected in the ordinary way by parochial
ministration, by missions and retreats. The principal devotion is to the Dolours
of the Blessed Virgin and the Passion of Our Lord—those dual exercises of piety
that have led so many to repentance and so many to perfection ! The Seven Holy
Founders were beatified in 1752 by Bye most learned of the Popes, Benedict XIV,
and solemnly canonized in 1888 by Leo XIII, the great Pontiff, part of whose
mission it apparently was to disseminate in a world gone astray the true
principles of Catholic philosophy.
Similar stories of prophetic voices are narrated even in
connection with pagan history, as, for instance, the famous case of the child
who cried "Triumph ! " on one occasion when the Roman populace was greatly
dejected by the early reverses of the Second Punic War. But the Romans were a "
Chosen People "—a nation raised up to mould the civil and religious destinies of
the world and the infantine prediction in question, if uttered, may well have
been the audible expression of the will of Providence.
Among the other members of the Order publicly
honoured by the Church must be reckoned St Philip Benizi (Feast, 23rd August),
St Peregrine Tatiosi (30th April), and St Juliana Falconieri(19th June) At the
other end of the scale may be mentioned the noted or notorious Fr. Pietro Sarpi,
better known from his professed name as Fra Paolo (1552-1623). Most of his life
was spent at Venice as Provincial of the Servites, which office he first
received in 1575. The "Theologian of the Republic," as Sarpi came to be styled,
strenuously defended the Government of the Doge in its quarrel with Paul V,
1606, and as in most Church and State disputes, certainly in this one, the
secular party had, in one respect, much right to maintain. This was on the
subject of criminal clerks and their amenability to the civil power. Considering
the social condition of Venice and of Italian cities generally at that time,
owing to great moral relaxation, the numbers of merely nominal ecclesiastics,
and the prevalence of duelling, assassination and other scandals, few will
disposed to deny that the contemporary privilegium fori stood in need of
considerable revision. Sarpi's History of the Council of Trent is,
however so anti-papal and anti-catholic generally, that many writers are of
opinion that the author had at heart the establishment of some kind of
Protestantism at Venice! The book has been criticized by many non-Catholic
authorities including von Ranke, who, nevertheless, considers the author as the
greatest Italian historian after Machiavelli—a judgment which, of course, may be
taken in more senses than one.
[Histoire des Sept Saints Fondateurs, Paris, 1888 ;
Historica Sketch, published by the Catholic Truth Society.]
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: THE Seven
Founders of the Servites please intercede for us today [state your
ST. ONESIMUS, DISCIPLE
OF ST. PAUL.
HE was a Phrygian by
birth, slave to Philemon, a person of note of the city of Colossi,
converted to the faith by St. Paul. Having robbed his master, and being
obliged to fly, he providentially met with St. Paul, then a prisoner for
the faith at Rome, who there converted and baptized him, and sent him
with his canonical letter of recommendation to Philemon, by whom he was
pardoned, set at liberty, and sent back to his spiritual father, whom he
afterward faithfully served. That apostle made him, with Tychicus, the
bearer of his epistle to the Colossians, and afterward, as St. Jerome
and other fathers witness, a preacher of the Gospel and a bishop. He was
crowned with martyrdom under Domitian in the year 95.
what excess of goodness does God communicate Himself to souls which open
themselves to Him ! With what caresses does He often visit them ! With
what a profusion of graces does He enrich and strengthen them. In our
trials and temptations let us then offer our hearts to God,
remembering as St. Paul says, " To them that love God all things work
together unto good."
Ask Saint Onesimus to help us follow the teachings of Holy
Scripture and to help us with our personal needs.
SAINT AGAPE, MARTYR
FEAST DAY: FEBRUARY 15TH
Agape was part of a group of
Christian women, all of whom were virgins, that was started by Saint Valentine.
She was captured by Roman authorities who put her to death for being a
Christian. She was killed around the year 273 A.D.
Ask Saint Agape to intercede to bring healing to individuals that you know are
sick and in need of healing.
ST. MARTINIANUS, HERMIT AT ATHENS.
Martinianus was born at Caesarea, in Palestine, during
the reign of Constan-tius. At eighteen years of age he retired to a mountain
near that city, called “ The place of the Ark,” where he lived for twenty-five
years among many holy solitaries in the practice of all virtues, and was endowed
with the gift of miracles. A wicked strumpet of Caesarea, called Zoe, hearing
his sanctity much extolled, at the instigation of the devil undertook to pervert
him. She feigned herself a poor woman, wandering in the desert late at night,
and ready to perish. By this pretext she prevailed on Martinianus to let her
remain that night in his cell. Towards morning she threw aside her rags, put on
her best attire, and going in to Martinianus, told him she was a lady of the
city, possessed of a large estate and plentiful fortune, all which she came to
offer with herself. She also instanced, in the examples of the saints of the Old
Testament, who were rich and engaged in the conjugal state, to induce him to
abandon his purpose. The hermit, who should have imitated the chaste Joseph in
his flight, was permitted, in punishment perhaps of some secret presumption, to
listen to her enchanting tongue, and to consent in his heart to her proposal.
But as it was near the time that he expected certain persons to call on him to
receive his blessing and instructions, he told her he would go and meet them on
the road and dismiss them. He went out with this intent, but being touched with
remorse, he returned speedily to his cell, where, making a great fire, he thrust
his feet into it. The pain this occasioned was so great, that he could not
forbear crying out aloud. The woman, at the noise, ran in and found him lying on
the ground, bathed in tears, and his feet half burned. On seeing her, he said :
“Ah! if I cannot bear this weak fire, how can I endure that of hell P” This
example excited Zoe to sentiments of grief and repentance, and she conjured him
to put her in a way of securing her salvation He sent her to Bethlehem, to the
monastery of St. Paula, in which she lived in continual penance, and lying on
the bare floor, with no other sustenance than bread and water. Martinianus, as
soon as his legs were healed, which was not till seven months after, not being
able all that time to rise from the ground, retired to a rock surrounded with
water on every side, to be secure from the approach of danger and all occasions
of sin. He lived here exposed always to the open air, and without ever seeing
any human creature, except a boatman, who brought him twice a year biscuit and
fresh water, and twigs wherewith to make baskets. Six years after this, he saw a
vessel split and wrecked at the bottom of his rock. All on board perished,
except one girl, who, floating on a plank, cried out for succour. Martinianus
could not refuse to go down and save her life: but fearing the danger of living
on the same mountain with her till the boatman should come, as was expected in
two months, resolved to leave her there to subsist on his provisions till that
time, and she chose to end her days on this rock in imitation of his penitential
life. He, trusting himself to the waves and Providence, to shun all danger of
sin, swam to the main land, and travelled through many deserts to Athens, where
he made a happy end towards the year 400, being about fifty years old. His name,
though not mentioned in'the Roman Martyrology, occurs in the Greek Menaea, and
was in great veneration in the East, particularly at Constantinople, in the
famous church near Sancta Sophia. See his acts in the Bollandists, and in most
compilers of the lives of saints. Also Jos. Assemani in Gal. Univ. ad. 13 Feb.
t. vi. p. 145.
SAINT MARTINIANUS, PLEASE PRAY FOR ABORTION TO BE OUTLAWED THOUGHOUT
PLEASE HEAR AND ANSWER MY
REQUEST TODAY [STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST.]
ST. SCHOLASTICA, ABBESS.
FEAST DAY: FEBRUARY 10TH
Died: About the year 548.
This saint was sister to the great St.
Benedict. She consecrated herself to God from her earliest youth, as St. Gregory
testifies. Where her first monastery was situated is not mentioned ; but after
her brother removed to Mount Cassino she chose her retreat at Plombariola, in
that neighbourhood, where she founded and governed a nunnery about five miles
distant to the south from St. Benedict's monastery. St. Bertharius, who was
Abbot of Cassino three hundred years after, says that she instructed in virtue
several of her own sex. And whereas St. Gregory informs us that St. Benedict
governed nuns as well as monks, his sister must have been their abbess under his
rule and direction. She visited her holy brother once a year, and as she was not
allowed to enter his monastery, he went out with some of his monks to meet her
at a house at some small distance. They spent these visits in the praises of God
and in conferring together on spiritual matters. St. Gregory relates a
remarkable circumstance of the last of these visits. Scholastica having passed
the day as usual in singing psalms, and pious discourse, they sat down in the
evening to take their refection. After it was over, Scholastics, perhaps
foreknowing it would be their last interview in this world, or at least desirous
of some further spiritual improvement, was very urgent with her brother to
delay his return till the next day, that they might entertain themselves till
morning upon the happiness of the other life. St. Benedict, unwilling to
transgress his rule, told her he could not pass a night out of his monastery, so
desired her not to insist upon such a breach of monastic discipline. Scholastica
finding him resolved on going home, laying her hands joined upon the table, and
her head upon them, with many tears, begged of Almighty God to interpose in her
behalf. Her prayer was scarce ended, when there happened such a storm of rain,
thunder, and lightning, that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions
could set a foot out of doors. He complained to his sister, saying, "God forgive
you, sister; what have you done?" She answered, "I asked you a favour, and you
refused it me ; I asked it of Almighty God, and he has granted it me." St.
Benedict was therefore obliged to comply with her request, and they spent the
night in conferences on pious subjects, chiefly on the felicity of the blessed,
to which both most ardently aspired, and which she was shortly to enjoy. The
next morning they parted, and three days after St. Scholastics died in her
solitude. St. Benedict was then alone in contemplation on Mount Cassino, and
lifting up his eyes to heaven, he saw the soul of his sister ascending thither
in the shape of a dove. Filled with joy at her happy passage, he gave thanks for
it to God, and declared her death to his brethren, some of whom he sent to bring
her corpse to his monastery, where he caused it to be laid in the tomb which he
had prepared for himself. She must have died about the year 543. Her relics are
said to have been translated into France, together with those of St. Bennet, in
the seventh century, according to the relation given by the monk Adrevald.¹
They are said to have been deposited at Mans, and kept in the collegiate church
of St. Peter in that city, in a rich silver shrine.
(1) See Paul the deacon, Hist. Longob. and Dom. Mege, Vie de
St. Benoit, p. 48.
In 1562 this shrine was preserved from
being plundered by the Huguenots, as is related by Chatelain. Her principal
festival at Mans is kept a holyday on the 11th of July, the day of the
translation of her relics. She was honoured in some places with an office of
three lessons, in the time of St. Louis, as appears from a calendar of Longchamp,
wrote in his reign.
Louis of Granada,
treating on the perfection of the love of God, mentions the miraculous storm
obtained by St. Scholastica, to show with what excess of goodness God is always
ready to hear the petitions and desires of his servants. This pious soul must
have received strong pledges and most sensible tokens of his love, seeing she
depended on receiving so readily what she asked of him. No child could address
himself with so great confidence to his most tender parent. The love which God
bears us, and his readiness to succour and comfort us, if we humbly confess and
lay before him our wants, infinitely surpasses all that can be found in
creatures. Nor can we be surprised that he so easily heard the prayer of this
holy virgin, since at the command of Joshua he stopped the heavens, God obeying
the voice of man ! He hears the most secret desires of those that fear and love
him, and does their will : if he sometimes seems deaf to their cries, it is to
grant their main desire by doing what is most expedient for them, as St. Austin
frequently observes. The short prayer by which St. Scholastica gained this
remarkable victory over her brother, who was one of the greatest saints on
earth, was doubtless no more than a single act of her pure desires, which she
continually turned toward, and fixed on her beloved. It was enough for her to
cast her eyes interiorly upon him with whom she was closely and inseparably
united in mind and affections, to move him so suddenly to change the course of
the elements in order to satisfy her pious desire. By placing herself, as
a docile scholar, continually at the feet of the Divine Majesty, who filled all
the powers of her soul with the sweetness of his heavenly communications, she
learned that sublime science of perfection in which she became a mistress to so
many other chaste souls by this divine exercise. Her life in her retirement, to
that happy moment which closed her mortal pilgrimage, was a continued uniform
contemplation, by which all her powers were united to, and transformed into God.
[From St. Gregory the Great, Dial. lib. ii. c. 38 and 34.]
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Ask Saint Scholastica to pray for
your personal needs today.
ST. APOLLONIA AND THE MARTYRS OF ALEXANDRIA.
FEAST DAY: FEBRUARY 9TH
AT Alexandria, in 249, the mob rose in savage fury against the Christians.
Metras, an old man, perished first. His eyes were pierced with reeds, and he was
stoned to death. A woman named Quinta was the next victim. She was led to a
heathen temple and bidden worship. She replied by cursing the false god again
and again, and she too was stoned to death. After this the houses of the
Christians were sacked and plundered. They took the spoiling of their goods with
St. Apollonia, an aged virgin, was the most famous
among the martyrs. Her teeth were beaten out; she was led outside the city; a
huge fire was kindled, and she was told she must deny Christ, or else be burned
alive. She was silent for a while, and then, moved by a special inspiration of
the Holy Ghost, she leapt into the fire and died in its flames. The same courage
showed itself the next year, when Decius became Emperor, and the persecution
grew till it seemed as if the very elect must fall away. The story of Dioscorus
illustrates the courage of the Alexandrian Christians, and the esteem they had
for martyrdom. He was a boy of fifteen. To the arguments of the judge he
returned wise answers: he was proof against torture. His older companions were
executed, but Dioscorus was spared on account of his tender years; yet the
Christians could not bear to think that he had been deprived of the martyr's
crown, except to receive it afterward more gloriously. " Dioscorus," writes
Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria at this time, "remains with us, reserved for
some longer and greater combat." There were indeed many Christians who came,
pale and trembling, to offer the heathen sacrifices. But the judges themselves
were struck with horror at the multitudes who rushed to martyrdom. Women
triumphed over torture, till at last the judges were glad to execute them at
once, and put an end to the ignominy of their own defeat.
Saints, who were not martyrs, have longed to shed their blood for Christ. We,
too, may pray for some portion of their spirit; and the least suffering for the
Faith, borne with humility and courage, is the proof that Christ has heard our
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT
APOLLONIA AND FELLOW MARTYRS, WE ASK THAT ABORTION BE OUTLAWED THROUGHOUT THE
WORLD. [PLEASE STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST.]
SAINT JEROME EMILIANI
FEAST DAY: FEBRUARY 8TH
Jerome Emiliani was born in Venice. In
his early career he had been part of the military in Italy. While he was
governor of a new castle in Tarviso, he was captured and loaded with chains and
thrown into a dungeon. He was delivered from prison by the Virgin Mary and
returned to Tarviso where he began a life of prayer and penance. He
returned to Venice. During a famine, he came to the rescue of orphans and
poor families. He was ordained in 1518 and he was the founder of the order
called the Clerks Regular of Somascha. He and his order established
hospitals and orphanages for the poor and sick in northern Italy. He died
of an disease he caught while helping the sick in 1537. Pope Clement XIII
canonized Jerome in 1767. In 1928, Pope Pius XI named him patron saint of
orphanages and abandoned children.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Ask
Saint Jerome to intercede for the spiritual and material welfare of
THE VERY OWN PRAYER
OF ST. JEROME EMILIANI which he
left to us, his children, to be
our guide in following the Lord
and for loving the Holy Mother
Lord Jesus, sweet Father of us
all, in your infinite goodness,
restore the whole Church into
the holiness of life
that was witnessed during the
time of the Apostles. [* cf. note below]
Hear us O Lord, because You
are kind and merciful;
and in the greatness of your
compassion look upon us.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the
living God, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the
living God, have mercy on us.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the
living God, have mercy on us.
The Might of God the Father,
The Wisdom of the Son,
and the Grace of the Holy
guide us into the road to
peace, love and prosperity.
The glorious Virgin Mary also
be our guide.
The angel Raphael, who was
wherever we stay and travel be
always at our side.
O Blessed Jesus,
O Blessed Jesus,
O Blessed Jesus,
Our Love and our God, we put
our trust in You,
We shall never regret it.
Let us have confidence in our
Lord, who is very merciful
and have true hope in Him
Because those who hope in Him
shall never be disenchanted.
On the contrary they shall be
upon a solid rock.
In order to obtain such a
let us invoke the Mother of
Grace by saying: Hail Mary...
SAINT THEODORE STRATELATES, MARTYR
FEAST DAY: FEBRUARY 7TH
Theodore was a Roman General, who was thought to have served in the
army of Emperor Licinius Licinianus (reigned: 308-324). The
emperor ordered that Christians be stopped from worshipping and ordered their
capture and execution. Theodore was arrested for being a Christian
and by order of the emperor was tortured and then put to death.
Theodore is venerated by the Orthodox Greek Church.
Ask Saint Theodore to assist you with your needs today and to give
Christians the courage to follow Jesus.
Queen of Heaven and earth,
most Holy Virgin,
we venerate thee.
Thou art the beloved daughter
of the Most High God,
the chosen mother of the Incarnate Word,
the immaculate spouse of the Holy Spirit,
the sacred vessel of the Most Holy Trinity.
O Mother of the Divine Redeemer,
who under the title of
Our Lady of Good Remedy
comes to the aid of all
who call upon thee,
extend thy maternal protection to us.
We depend on thee,
as helpless and needy children
depend on a tender and caring mother.
Pray the Hail Mary...
O Lady of Good Remedy,
source of unfailing help,
grant that we may draw
from thy treasury of graces
in our time of need.
Touch the hearts of sinners,
that they may seek
reconciliation and forgiveness.
Bring comfort to
the afflicted and the lonely;
help the poor and the hopeless;
aid the sick and the suffering.
May they be healed in body
and strengthened in spirit
to endure their sufferings
with patient resignation
and Christian fortitude.
Pray the Hail Mary...
Dear Lady of Good Remedy,
source of unfailing help,
thy compassionate heart knows a remedy
for every affliction and misery
we encounter in life.
Help me with thy prayers and intercession
to find a remedy for my problems and needs,
especially for... (Mention your personal intention) On my part,
O loving Mother,
I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle,
to a more careful observance of the laws of God,
to be more conscientious
in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life,
and to strive to be a source of healing
in this broken world of ours.
Dear Lady of Good Remedy,
be ever present to me,
and through thy intercession,
may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind,
and grow stronger in the faith
and in the love of thy Son, Jesus.
Pray the Hail Mary...V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy,R. That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son, and make the world alive with His Spirit.
Book of Sirach
kind mouth multiplies friends and appeases enemies, and gracious
lips prompt friendly greetings. Let your acquaintances be
many, but one in a thousand your confidant. When you gain a
friend, first test him, and be not too ready to trust him
For one sort of friend is a friend when it suits him, but he
will not be with you in time of distress. Another is a
friend who becomes an enemy, and tells of the quarrel to your
shame. Another is a friend, a boon companion, who will not
be with you when sorrow comes. When things go well, he is
your other self, and lords it over your servants; But if you
are brought low, he turns against you and avoids meeting you.
Keep away from your enemies; be on your guard with your
friends. A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds
one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no
sum can balance his worth. A faithful friend is a
life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds; For he
who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like
are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes. In your
statutes I will delight; I will not forget your words.
Open my eyes, that I may consider the wonders of your
law. Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I
will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with
all my heart. Lead me in the path of your commands, for
in it I delight.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ
according to Saint Mark 10:1-12.
came into the district of Judea and across the Jordan. Again
crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom, he again
taught them. The Pharisees approached and asked, "Is it
lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing
him. He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?"
They replied, "Moses permitted him to write a bill of
divorce and dismiss her." But Jesus told them, "Because of
the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and
female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and
mother (and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become
one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must
separate." In the house the disciples again questioned him
about this. He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and
marries another commits adultery against her; and if she
divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
Commentary of the day Saint Jacob of Sarug (c.449-521), Syrian monk and Bishop Hexameron; Homily for the sixth day
“The two shall
become as one”
God said, “Let
us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen 1:26) A
simple commandment had brought forth the other beings in
creation: “Let there be light!” or “Let there be a dome!” This
time, God did not say: “Let there be human beings”, but he said
rather: “Let us make man.” For he considered it to be proper
that this image of himself, which is superior to all the other
creatures, be formed by his own hands. This work was
particularly close to him; he loved it with a great love… Adam
is the image of God because he bears the effigy of the Only Son…
In a certain sense, Adam was created simple and at the same
time double. Eve was hidden in him. Even before they existed,
humanity was destined for marriage, which would gather them, man
and woman, together again in one single body, like in the
beginning. No quarrel, no discord was to arise between them.
They would be of one mind, would have one single will… The Lord
formed Adam out of dust and water; he drew forth Eve from the
flesh, the bones and the blood of Adam. The first man’s deep
sleep anticipated the mysteries of the crucifixion. The opening
of his side was the lance’s blow given to the Only Son; his
sleep: death on the cross; the blood and water: the fruitfulness
of baptism (Jn 19:34)… But the water and blood that flowed from
the Savior’s side are at the origin of the world of the Spirit…
Adam did not suffer because of something being removed
from his flesh; what had been taken from him was returned to him
transfigured through beauty. The blowing of the wind, the
murmuring of the trees, the singing of the birds called to those
who were betrothed: “Arise, you have slept enough! You are
expected at the wedding feast!”… Adam saw Eve at his side, she
who was of his flesh and his bones, his daughter, his sister,
his spouse. Covered in a garment of light, they arose into the
smiling day. They were in Paradise.
CONTAINING COUNSELS CONCERNING THE
PRACTICE OF VIRTUE.
We must attend to the Business of Life carefully, but without Eagerness
THE care and diligence due to our
ordinary business are very different from solicitude, anxiety and
restlessness. The Angels care for our salvation and seek it diligently,
but they are wholly free from anxiety and solicitude, for, whereas care
and diligence naturally appertain to their love, anxiety would be wholly
inconsistent with their happiness; for although care and diligence can
go hand in hand with calmness and peace, those angelic properties could
not unite with solicitude or anxiety, much less with over-eagerness.
Therefore, my daughter, be careful and diligent in all your affairs;
God, Who commits them to you, wills you to give them your best
attention; but strive not to be anxious and solicitous, that is to say,
do not set about your work with restlessness and excitement, and do not
give way to bustle and eagerness in what you do;--every form of
excitement affects both judgment and reason, and hinders a right
performance of the very thing which excites us. Our Lord, rebuking
Martha, said, "Thou art careful and troubled about many things." 1 If
she had been simply careful, she would not have been troubled, but
giving way to disquiet and anxiety, she grew eager and troubled, and for
that our Lord reproved her. The rivers which flow gently through our
plains bear barges of rich merchandise, and the gracious rains which
fall softly on the land fertilise it to bear the fruits of the
earth;--but when the rivers swell into torrents, they hinder commerce
and devastate the country, and violent storms and tempests do the like.
No work done with impetuosity and excitement was ever well done, and the
old proverb, "Make haste slowly," is a good one, 2 Solomon says, "There
is one that laboureth and taketh pains, and maketh haste, and is so much
the more behind;" 3 we are always soon enough when we do well. The
bumble bee makes far more noise and is more bustling than the honey bee,
but it makes nought save wax--no honey; just so those who are restless
and eager, or full of noisy solicitude, never do much or well. Flies
harass us less by what they do than by reason of their multitude, and so
great matters give us less disturbance than a multitude of small
affairs. Accept the duties which come
upon you quietly, and
try to fulfil them methodically, one after another.
1 S. Luke x. 41. 2 "Festina lente."
"Il faut depescher tout bellement." 3 Ecclus. xi. 11.
If you attempt to do everything at
once, or with confusion, you will only cumber yourself with your own
exertions, and by dint of perplexing your mind you will probably be
overwhelmed and accomplish nothing. In all your affairs lean solely on
God's Providence, by means of which alone your plans can succeed.
Meanwhile, on your part work on in quiet co-operation with Him, and then
rest satisfied that if you have trusted entirely to Him you will always
obtain such a measure of success as is most profitable for you, whether
it seems so or not to your own individual judgment. Imitate a little
child, whom one sees holding tight with one hand to its father, while
with the other it gathers strawberries or blackberries from the wayside
hedge. Even so, while you gather and use this world's goods with one
hand, always let the other be fast in your Heavenly Father's Hand, and
look round from time to time to make sure that He is satisfied with what
you are doing, at home or abroad. Beware of letting go, under the idea
of making or receiving more--if He forsakes you, you will fall to the
ground at the first step. When your ordinary work or business is not
specially engrossing, let your heart be fixed more on God than on it;
and if the work be such as to require your undivided attention, then
pause from time to time and look to God, even as navigators who make for
the haven they would attain, by looking up at the heavens rather than
down upon the deeps on which they sail. So doing, God will work with
you, in you, and for you, and your work will be blessed.
LOVE alone leads to perfection,
but the three chief means for acquiring it are obedience, chastity, and
poverty. Obedience is a consecration of the heart, chastity of the body,
and poverty of all worldly goods to the Love and Service of God. These
are the three members of the Spiritual Cross, and all three must be
raised upon the fourth, which is humility. I am not going here to speak
of these three virtues as solemn vows, which only concern religious, nor
even as ordinary vows, although when sought under the shelter of a vow
all virtues receive an enhanced grace and merit; but it is not necessary
for perfection that they should be undertaken as vows, so long as they
are practised diligently. The three vows solemnly taken put a man into
the state of perfection, whereas a diligent observance thereof brings
him to perfection. For, observe, there is a great difference between the
state of perfection and perfection itself, inasmuch as all prelates and
religious are in the former, although unfortunately it is too obvious
that by no means all attain to the latter. Let us then endeavour to
practise these three virtues, according to our several vocations, for
although we are not thereby called to a state of perfection, we may
attain through them to perfection itself, and of a truth we are all
bound to practise them, although not all after the same manner. There
are two kinds of obedience, one necessary, the other voluntary. The
first includes a humble obedience to your ecclesiastical superiors,
whether Pope, Bishop, Curate, or those commissioned by them. You are
likewise bound to obey your civil superiors, king and magistrates; as
also your domestic superiors, father, mother, master or mistress. Such
obedience is called necessary, because no one can free himself from the
duty of obeying these superiors, God having appointed them severally to
bear rule over us. Therefore do you obey their commands as of right, but
if you would be perfect, follow their counsels, and even their wishes as
far as charity and prudence will allow: obey as to things acceptable; as
when they bid you eat, or take recreation, for although there may be no
great virtue in obedience in such a case, there is great harm in
disobedience. Obey in things indifferent, as concerning questions of
dress, coming and going, singing or keeping silence, for herein is a
very laudable obedience. Obey in things hard, disagreeable and
inconvenient, and therein lies a very perfect obedience. Moreover, obey
quietly, without answering again, promptly, without delay, cheerfully,
without reluctance; and, above all, render a loving obedience for His
Sake Who became obedient even to the death of the Cross for our sake;
Who, as Saint Bernard says, chose rather to resign His Life than His
Obedience. If you would acquire a ready obedience to superiors, accustom
yourself to yield to your equals, giving way to their opinions where
nothing wrong is involved, without arguing or peevishness; and adapt
yourself easily to the wishes of your inferiors as far as you reasonably
can, and forbear the exercise of stern authority so long as they do
well. It is a mistake for those who find it hard to pay a willing
obedience to their natural superiors to suppose that if they were
professed religious they would find it easy to obey.
obedience is such as we undertake by our own choice, and which is not
imposed by others. Persons do not choose their own King or Bishop, or
parents--often not even their husband; but most people choose their
confessor or director. And whether a person takes a vow of obedience to
him (as Saint Theresa, beyond her formal vow to the Superior of her
Order, bound herself by a simple vow to obey Father Gratian), or without
any vow they resolve to obey their chosen spiritual guide, all such
obedience is voluntary, because it depends upon our own will. Obedience
to lawful superiors is regulated by their official claims. Thus, in all
public and legal matters, we are bound to obey our King; in
ecclesiastical matters, our Bishop; in domestic matters, our father,
master or husband; and in personal matters which concern the soul, our
confessor or spiritual guide. Seek to be directed in your religious
exercises by your spiritual father, because thereby they will have
double grace and virtue;--that which is inherent in that they are
devout, and that which comes by reason of the spirit of obedience in
which they are performed. Blessed indeed are the obedient, for God will
never permit them to go astray.
To show us the mission granted to
the Virgin Mary by Her Son, an artist Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner
painted Mary Undoer of Knots with great grace. Since 1700, his painting
has been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Augsburg,
Germany. It was originally inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus
(Bishop of Lyon and martyred in 202) based on the parallel made by Saint
Paul between Adam and Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in turn, made a comparison
between Eve and Mary, saying:“Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of
disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it”.
what are these knots? There are the problems
and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution … knots of
discord in your family, lack of understanding between parents and
children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband
and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. There are also the knots
of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the
family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated
from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion,
depression, unemployment, fear, solitude…Ah, the knots of our life! How
they suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and
separate us from God.
Day after day, more and more
Christians kneel to pray to Her as soon as they meet the Mother of the
Fair Love. Many families have become reconciled! Many diseases
have been healed! Many spouses have returned to the Church! Many jobs
have been given! Many conversions have taken place! Many Catholics have
been on their knees praying and giving thanks for graces received from
our sweet Mother. For that reason, Mary Who undoes the knots, Who was
chosen by God to crush the evil with Her feet, comes to us to reveal
Herself. She comes to provide jobs, good health, to reconcile families,
because She wants to undo the knots of our sins which dominate our
lives, so that – as sons of the King – we can receive the promises
reserved for us from eternity. She comes with promises of victory,
peace, blessings and reconciliation.
Then, free from our knots – filled
with happiness, we can be a testimony of the Divine Power in this world,
like pieces of God’s heart or small bottles of perfume exhaling mercy
and love to our neighbor. Like ambassador of Jesus Christ and the Virgin
of the fair love, we can rescue those who cry without any consolation,
those who are lonely, tied with knots, who have no God, no Father nor
Mother of the Rising Sun,
Immaculate, our Advocate, Helper in moments of affliction, Mother of God
and made by Him our Mother, this is how Mary, Undoer of Knots is
presented. Above all, She comes as the Queen of Mercy, the one who knows
all about us, who has compassion for us and hurries to rescue us,
praying for each one of us to Her beloved Jesus.
Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots
Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who
never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose
hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are
moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your
heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of
knots that exist in my life. You know very well how desperate I am,
my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God
entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I
entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the
Evil One himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your
hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by
your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator,
Jesus, take into your hands today this knot.
[Mention your request here]
I beg you to undo it for the glory of God,
once for all. You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the only
consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength,
the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from
my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe
Ben Carson was asked this
week about Obama’s support of Planned Parenthood. “You wonder if
he actually knows the history of Planned Parenthood and Margaret
Sanger, who was trying to eliminate black people,” Carson
replied. “That was
the whole purpose of it.” That is obviously political hyperbole.
But founder Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist, who
constantly talked about
the need to keep “inferior” types from breeding, even if she did
not specify the nature of their inferiority. “[We should] apply
a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to
that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose
inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted
to offspring.” “The most merciful thing that the large family
does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
SEE: BLACK GENOCIDE SITE:
"Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of
their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the
population, but 35% of the abortions in America."
Pray hard for him. If you have time now
please say one Hail Mary and One Glory Be for him now.Donald Trump said he would nominate
a justice like Supreme Court Justice Scalia who recently passed.
Justice Scalia always voted against abortion and gay marriage.
Trump said he wanted Roe vs. Wade to be reversed and the
decision on abortion would go back to each individual state.
THE FIFTEEN PROMISES OF MARY TO CHRISTIANS WHO RECITE THE ROSARY
These promises were given by the
Blessed Mother to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan.
Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall
receive signal graces.
2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those
who shall recite the rosary.
3. The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy
vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for
souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from
the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire
of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the
rosary, shall not perish.
6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the
consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by
misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not
perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the
grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die
without the sacraments of the Church.
8. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their
life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His
graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of
the saints in paradise.
9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the
10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of
glory in heaven.
11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
12. All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in
13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the
rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during
their life and at the hour of death.
14. All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only Son
15. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at
death. (revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the great).
Padre Pio, the stigmatic
priest, said, the world could exist more easily without the sun than
without the Mass.
The Cure'd' Ars, St. Jean
Vianney said, if we knew the value of the Mass we would die of joy.
A great doctor of the
Church, St. Anselm, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself
during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same
intention after death. St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this
statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable
than many after it.
"The Holy Mass would be
of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather
than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death."
(Pope Benedict XV).
Once, St. Teresa was
overwhelmed with God's Goodness and asked Our Lord, "How can I thank
you?" Our Lord replied, "ATTEND ONE MASS".
Louis De Montfort stresses that people should give there hearts and
wills to Jesus through Mary and that by doing this a soul will be able
to soar toward God. See Saint Louis's book
True Devotion To Mary.Saint Louis
warns of the devil's great ability to deceive souls, including souls of
"Because the devils, who
are skillful thieves, wish to surprise us unawares, and to strip us.
They watch day and night for the favorable moment. For that
end they go round about us incessantly to devour us and to snatch
from us in one moment, all the graces and merits we have gained for
many years. Their malice, their experience, their
stratagems and their number ought to make us fear this misfortune
immensely, especially when we see how many persons fuller of grace
than we are, richer in virtues, better founded in experience and far
higher exalted in sanctity, have been surprised, robbed and
unhappily pillaged. Ah! How many cedars of Lebanon, how
many stars of the firmament, have we not seen fall miserably, and in
the twinkling of an eye lose all their height and their brightness!
Whence comes that sad and curious change? It was not for want
of grace, which is wanting to no man; but it was for want of
humility. They thought themselves capable of guarding their
own treasures. They trusted in themselves, relied upon
themselves. They thought their house secure enough, and their
coffers strong enough, to keep the precious treasure of grace.
It is because of that scarcely perceptible reliance upon themselves,
though all the while it seemed to them that they were relying only
on the grace of God, that the most just Lord permitted them to be
robbed by leaving them to themselves. Alas! If they had
but known the admirable devotion which I will unfold presently, they
would have confided their treasure to a Virgin powerful and
faithful, who would have kept it for them as if it had been her own
possession; nay, who would have even taken it as an obligation of
justice on herself to preserve it for them".
Mary, my Queen and sovereign Lady, I give you myself, trusting in your
fidelity and your protection. I surrender myself entirely to your
motherly tenderness, my body, my soul, all that I am, all that I
possess, for the whole of this day, my life, and especially
at the hour of my death. I entrust to you once more all my hopes, all my
consolations, all my anxieties, all my troubles, my life, my dying
breath, so that by your prayers and merits, I may have, in all I do, one
only goal, your good pleasure and the holy will of your Son. Amen!
One day, Saint Michael the
Archangel appeared to Antonia d'Astonac, a most devout Servant of God
and told her that he wished to be honoured by nine salutations
corresponding to the nine Choirs of Angels, which should consist of one
Our Father and three Hail Marys in honour of each of the Angelic Choirs.
Promises of St. Michael
"Whoever would practice this
devotion in his honour would have, when approaching the Holy Table, an
escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition,
for the daily recital of these nine salutations, he promised his
continual assistance and that all the holy angels during life, and after
death deliverance from Purgatory for themselves and all their
The Chaplet of St. Michael
O God, come to my assistance. O
Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.
[Say one Our Father and three Hail
Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine
Choirs of Angels]
[STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST]
1. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy
to burn with the fire of perfect charity.
2. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the
grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian
3. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our
hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility.
4. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us
grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions.
5. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from
evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
6. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls
against the snares and temptations of the devil.
7. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls
with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
8. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us
perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain
the glory of Heaven.
9. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be
protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come
Say one Our Father in honor of each
of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael
and our Guardian Angel.
O glorious prince St. Michael,
chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher
of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our
admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue
deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us
by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every
Pray for us, O glorious St.
Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made
worthy of His promises.
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who,
by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all
men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of
Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our
enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that
we may be conducted by him into Your Presence.This we ask through the
merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Welcome to this Catholic Spiritual Direction Web
Site. It is the intention of this site to lead people to a
closer relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the
Holy Spirit through the promotion of prayer and Christian teaching which
will enable Christians to adhere to the straight and narrow path Jesus
speaks of in the Gospels. Included in these web pages are the
Douay-Rheims Bible and the works of Saint John of the Cross, Thomas à
Kempis and Saint Louis de Montfort, and the works of other saints of the
Catholic faith, all of whose teachings on spiritual direction have been
followed by priests, ministers, clergymen, Popes and Saints. These
teachings adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This site is
dedicated to Blessed Anne Catherine
Mystic, Stigmatist, Prophet, and Great
Visionary, a saintly Augustinian nun from Flamske, Germany. Her highly
descriptive visions of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ,The Sorrowful Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ,are presented here. In time more works from the
Saints of the Catholic Church will be added to these pages.
When difficulties come to us at work or at home it
important to pray your way through these difficulties. At work, it
could be trouble with a supervisor or a co-worker, with the result that
misery is brought into our lives. Or at home a wife or a husband, or a
child or a relative may be causing you trouble. It is important to pray
your way through these difficulties. The different forms of prayers
listed above, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Saint Michael, the Divine Mercy
Chaplet and the Holy Mass, can move God to assist us with the things the
bother us the most during our lives. Try these prayers, they work.
And sometimes, it takes the prayers of others to help change the
current situations that are going on in our lives. On the following
web page, there are several prayer groups that will pray for yours
needs; this a great tool against our daily problems and against the
assaults of demons. Sometimes it takes the prayers of many people to
From the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila , Chapter 31. 1562 A.D.
"From long experience I have learned that there is
nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from
coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy
water must have great virtue. For my own part, whenever I take it, my
soul feels a particular and most notable consolation. In fact, it is
quite usual for me to be conscious of a refreshment which I cannot
possibly describe, resembling an inward joy which comforts my whole
soul. This is not fancy, or something which has happened to me only once
it has happened again and again and I have observed it most attentively.
It is let us say, as if someone very hot and thirsty were to drink from
a jug of cold water: he would feel the refreshment throughout his body.
I often reflect on the great importance of everything ordained by the
Church and it makes me very happy to find that those words of the Church
are so powerful that they impart their power to the water and make it so
very different from water which has not been blessed."
The Catholic Church around the world
uses Holy Water in every church to make the church a fortress against
the demons which assault men and women. The Holy Water is usually
situated near every entrance to the church for people to use to anoint
themselves with the Sign of the Cross. When an individual puts on
Holy Water any demons present will flee. Catholics should put Holy
Water in containers and place them in their homes and their offices; by
doing so they make their homes and offices fortresses against the demons
which are always lurking about. Catholics should also consider
carrying the Holy Water in small containers in their pockets to ward off
demonic attacks during each day.
Saint John XXIII, you spent
deeply immersed in the truths of the
Catholic Faith. You led us by your great
example of sacrifice and love as you
successively led millions to love Our
Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.
We now ask for your
those who are troubled and in need:
Saint John XXIII, please pray for the
Holy Catholic Church and for the
following prayer request: [state your prayer request.]
Trinity, we thank you
for having graced the Church with
Saint John Paul II and for allowing
the tenderness of your fatherly care,
the glory of the Cross of Christ
and the splendor of the Spirit of love
to shine through him.
fully in your infinite mercy
and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of
Jesus the Good Shepherd.
He has shown us that holiness
is the necessary measure of ordinary
Christian life and is the way of
achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession,
and according to your will,
the graces we implore,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRECIOUS BLOOD, ocean of divine mercy: Flow upon us! Precious Blood, most pure
Procure us every grace!
Precious Blood, hope and refuge of sinners: Atone for us! Precious Blood, delight of
sick or do you know someone who is ill. Say the
prayer above for them everyday. Also, there is greater
power of prayer when many people are praying for the sick.
Ask many fellow Catholics to join in prayer with you for the
sick. You can send prayer requests to Catholic Groups that
will join you in prayer at: