Blessed Catholic Saints and Angels

~~Witnesses of Faith pray for us ! ~~

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Today Double of the Second Class Feast of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin, Religious and Missionary

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who to win souls for Thyself didst conduct the Holy Virgin Frances Xavier, aflame with the fire of love from Thy most Sacred Heart, on her long and repeated journeys and through her didst raise up a new family within Thy Church: grant us, we beseech Thee, by her intercession, the grace to put on the virtues of that same Heart of Thine and to arrive safely at the Heavenly port, there to be happy forever. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end. Amen.

This pioneering educator and missionary Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, better known to all her followers as Mother Cabrini is one of our most modern saints and yet the first American citizen to be canonized a saint. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII on June 7, 1947, only 30 years after her death in Chicago, Illinois in 1917. On November 13, 1950 the Holy Father proclaimed Mother Cabrini "Patroness of Immigrants." Maria Francesca, as she was christened at baptism, was born prematurely on July 15, 1850 as the youngest of 13 children to Augustine and Stella Oldini Cabrini at Sant' Angelo Lodigiano in Italy. She had always had the inborn desire to do something special for God. Though she was on her way to becoming a school teacher, her parents both died in 1868 and she decided to become a nun. After two communities turned her down, the bishop of her diocese Msgr. Serrati asked her to take over a poorly run orphanage in Codogno, Italy which was called House of Providence. Naturally resentment arose from the original foundress Antonia Tondini and the tension-filled conflict caused the bishop of Todi to shut it down. But he realized Frances' zeal and talents and invited her to found a religious organization of nuns devoted to teaching young girls. With seven other young women, Francis remodeled an abandoned Franciscan friary which served as the mother house for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart which the bishop approved in 1880. Vocations became plentiful and soon the order had spread to Milan, Rome and other parts of Italy. Soon word reached across the sea.

Realizing the need to minister to the Italians who had immigrated to the United States, the bishop of New York Archbishop Corrigan invited Mother Cabrini to come to America to help the immigrants. She accepted and arrived at the portals of Ellis Island in 1889. For the next 27 years she would establish numerous schools, hospitals, convents and orphanages throughout the vast United States from New York to Denver despite great obstacles.

In 1907 her congregation received papal approval. Two years later she became an American citizen. America was definitely the better for it as the Church grew rapidly through the works of those inspired by this Italian saint. Mother Cabrini founded over 67 charitable organizations and houses for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. While still alive she was able to obtain countless special favors through her prayerful intercession. Many accounts of spiritual phenomena accompanied Mother Cabrini. One such account relates to her founding a house just outside of Denver in what is today Golden, Colorado. Surveying the hilly and rocky land above Denver, the owner sold it to her dirt-cheap so-to-speak because there was no water on the land and nothing would grow there. This did not daunt the staunch saint. She took her wooden staff and trekking up the hill, poked at the earth and water gushed forth where it still flows freely today. Returning to Chicago, she fell ill and died on December 22 in the same year as the Fatima apparitions of 1917. Many who come to America's shores from all over the world invoke the intercession of Mother Cabrini today as the "Patroness of Immigrants."

~ Saint Frances Cabrini , ora pro nobis ~

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle

We render to Thee, O Lord, the homage due Thee, earnestly entreating that by the prayers of Thy blessed Apostle Thomas, on whose Feast we offer these sacrifices of praise, that Thou guard Thy gifts to us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
forever and ever.Amen.

The feast of Saint Thomas was inserted in the Roman calendar in the 9th century and it was assigned to 21 December (until the 1969 when the reformist and liberal Second Vatican Council changed and assigned on July 3 ), but the true Catholics and the Remnant are celebration the Feast today ( not even a Vatican 2 invented optional memorial..)
Thomas is listed in the Synoptic gospels and in the Acts as one of the Twelve Apostles. (His name in Aramaic, Te’oma, means ‘twin’, as does Didymus in Greek) What we know of Thomas comes mostly from the New Testament, although there are many other legends about him. He is mentioned just once in each of the Synoptic gospels and always in the same context – he is listed as one of the Twelve Apostles chosen from among the disciples of Jesus. There is no other mention of him in these gospels. He is also mentioned just once in the Acts of the Apostles where he is simply listed among the Apostles who gather in the “upper room” immediately after the Ascension of Jesus.

However, he is mentioned four times in John’s gospel where something of his character appears. He comes across as somewhat aggressive and argumentative. In chapter 11, we are told that Jesus has just received word that his friend Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, is seriously ill. But Jesus waits for two days before deciding to go to Bethany. The disciples are somewhat alarmed because there are people who are threatening the life of Jesus and try to dissuade him from going. But, when it is clear that Jesus has made up his mind, Thomas says to his companions, “Come, let us also go to die with him.”

Later, during the Last Supper, while Jesus speaks of leaving his disciples but that he will come back to take them to himself, he says: “Where I am going, you know the way.” It is then that Thomas indignantly blurts out, “Master, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” And we can be thankful to Thomas for eliciting one of Jesus’ most beautiful and meaningful statements: “I AM the Way, the Truth and Life.”

We next meet Thomas in chapter 20 of John. Jesus is risen. He has appeared to his disciples on Easter Sunday but Thomas is not there and, when told of the meeting, refuses to believe. “Unless I see the marks of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” On the following Sunday, Jesus appears again and tells Thomas to examine his hands and put his hands in Jesus’ side. “Do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Again, the impulsive Thomas goes to the other extreme. He falls to his knees and exclaims: “My Lord and my God!” He is the only person in the Gospel to address Jesus as ‘God’. It was an expression of deep faith.

In the Gospel for today the response of Jesus to the doubt which Thomas had expressed concerning His resurrection is related, with the answer of Thomas, "My Lord and my God." St. Thomas is said to have planted the standard of the cross among the Medes, Persians, and neighboring nations. He is called the Apostle of India. He is said to have been slain for the faith at Calamina in India; and there is a legend to the effect that he was executed by the sword or by a lance.

Oremus. Adésto nobis, miséricors Deus: et intercedénte pro nobis beáto Thoma Apóstolo, tua circa nos propitiátus dona custódi. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum. Qui vivis et regnas in cum Deo Patri in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, unum Deum , per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Let us pray. O merciful God, do Thou abide with us, and, with the blessed apostle Thomas interceding for us, mercifully watch over Thy gifts made for our welfare. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God ,for ever and ever. Amen.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feast of Saint Lucy , Virgin och Martyr

We present ourselves before thee, O virgin Martyr, beseeching thee to obtain for us that we may recognize in His lowliness that same Jesus Whom thou now seest in His glory.
Take us under thy powerful patronage. Thy name signifies Light; guide us through the dark night of this life.
O fair Light of virginity! enlighten us; evil concupiscence has wounded our eyes: pray for us that our blindness be healed, and that rising above created things, we may be able to see that true light, which shineth in darkness, but which darkness cannot comprehend.
Pray for us, that our eye may be purified, and may see, in the Child who is to be born at Bethlehem, the new Man, the second Adam, the model on Which the life of our regeneration must be formed.
Pray too, O holy virgin, for the Church of Rome and for all those which adopt her form of the Holy Sacrifice; for they daily pronounce at the altar of God thy sweet name; and the Lamb, Who is present, loves to hear it.
Heap thy choicest blessings on the fair Isle, which was thy native land, and where grew the palm of thy Martyrdom. May thy intercession secure to her inhabitants firmness of faith, purity of morals, and temporal prosperity, and deliver them from the disorders which threaten her with destruction. Amen

( Taken From The Liturgical Year, Dom Guéranger OSB, Book I )
 There comes to us, today, the fourth of our wise virgins, the valiant Martyr, Lucy.
Her glorious name shines on the sacred diptych of the Canon of the Mass, together with those of Agatha, Agnes, and Cecily [Cecilia]; and as often as we hear it pronounced during these days of Advent, Saint Lucy's name reminds us and signifies Light) that He who consoles the Church, by enlightening her children, is soon to be with us. Lucy is one of the three glories of the Church of Sicily; as Catania is immortalized by Agatha, and Palermo by Rosalia, so is Syracuse by Lucy. Therefore, let us devoutly keep her Feast: she will aid us by her prayers during this holy season, and will repay our love by obtaining for us a warmer love of that Jesus, Whose grace enabled her to conquer the world. Once more let us consider, why our Lord has not only given us Apostles, Martyrs, and bishops as guides to us on our road to Bethlehem, but has willed also that we should be accompanied thither by such virgins as Lucy. The children of the Church are forcibly reminded by this, that, in approaching the crib of their sovereign Lord and God, they must bring with them, besides their faith, that purity of mind and body without which no one can come near to God. Let us now read the glorious acts of the virgin Lucy.

Lucy, a virgin of Syracuse, illustrious by birth and by the Christian faith, which she had professed from her infancy, went to Catania, with her mother Eutychia, who was suffering from a flux of blood, there to venerate the body of the blessed Agatha. Having prayed fervently at the tomb, she obtained her mother's cure, by the intercession of St. Agatha. Lucy then asked her mother that she would permit her to bestow upon the poor of Christ the fortune which she intended to leave her. No sooner, therefore, had she returned to Syracuse, than she sold all that was given to her and distributed the money amongst the poor.
When he, to whom her parents had against her will promised her in marriage, came to know what Lucy had done, he went before the prefect Paschasius and accused her of being a Christian. Paschasius entreated and threatened, but could not induce her to worship the idols; nay, the more he strove to shake her faith, the more inflamed were the praises which she uttered in professing its excellence. He said, therefore, to her: We shall have no more of thy words, when thou feelest the blows of my executioners. To this the virgin replied: Words can never be wanting to God's servants, for Christ our Lord has said to them:
When you shall be brought before kings and governors, take no thought how or what to speak; for it shall be given to you in that hour what to speak; for it is not you that speak, but the holy Spirit that speaketh in you. Paschasius then asked her:
Is the Holy Ghost in thee? She answered: They who live chastely and piously, are the temple of the holy Spirit. He said: I will order thee to be taken to a brothel, that this Holy Ghost may leave thee. The virgin said to him: The violence wherewith thou threatenest me would obtain for me a double crown of chastity. Whereupon Paschasius being exceedingly angry, ordered Lucy to be dragged to a place where her treasure might be violated; but, by the power of God, so firmly was she fixed to the place where she stood, that it was impossible to move her. Wherefore the prefect ordered her to be covered over with pitch, resin, and boiling oil, and a fire to be kindled round her. But seeing that the flame was not permitted to hurt her, they tormented her in many cruel ways, and at length ran a sword through her neck. Thus wounded, Lucy foretold the peace of the Church, which would come after the death of Diocletian and Maximian, and then died. It was the Ides of December (Dec. 13). Her body was buried at Syracuse, but was translated thence first to Constantinople, and afterwards to Venice.

~ Saint Lucy , ora pro nobis  ~

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Today is the Feast of Saint Peter Chrysologus , Doctor of the Church and the archbishop of Ravenna

Saint Peter Chrysologus is the Doctor of Homilies. His words helped to defeat the attack on Christ's humanity. No doctor said so much in his homilies in fewer words. To hear his sermons after nearly 1500 years is a blessing, each and every time.
He was the archbishop of Ravenna, Italy as a young priest and he expended his energies neutralizing the last forces of paganism of his day.
Chrysologus is a hard name to pronounce, let alone to remember. The name means "The Golden-Worded". His prayer when he spoke is taken from Sermon 96 and it states:
May our God deign to give me the grace of speaking and you the desire of hearing.
To really benefit fruitfully from any conversation or homily, one's heart and mind must be open to receive the communication. Peter was filled with all the gifts and fruits of the Spirit but even his best efforts to impart his wisdom and knowledge would not benefit anyone unless his listeners were truly docile to grace through their hearts and attentive with their eyes and minds, both exteriorly and interiorly. Our souls have eyes and powerful perceptions that are drawn to God's message when we are good, sincere and desire to learn.
St Peter's heart went out to all of his members and to those who he addressed through his homilies. He told us:  

The devil does not wish to possess a man, but to destroy him. Why? Because he does not wish, he does not dare, he does not allow the man to arrive at the Heaven from which the devil fell. Jealousy, envy, pride and anger, to name only a few capital sins, rage in lucifer, the prince of devils.

St Peter Chrysologus has been declared a Doctor of the Church after nearly 1500 years. Unfortunately, many have nearly forgotten him. But the church in her wisdom through Benedict XIII in 1729 has entered his name into the august class of doctors.

Saint Peter Chrysologus , pray for us and save the Church