Blessed Catholic Saints and Angels


~~Witnesses of Faith pray for us ! ~~

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Feast of Saint Anne and Saint Joachim the Parents of Holy Mary - the Immaculate Mother of God ( from the Liturgical Year, 1909 )






















Uniting the blood of kings with that of pontiffs, the glory of Anne's illustrious origin is far surpassed by that of her offspring, without compare among the daughters of Eve.
The noblest of all, who have ever conceived by virtue of the command to " increase and multiply," beholds the law of human generation pause before her as having arrived at its summit, at the threshold of God; for, from her fruit God himself is to come forth, the fatherless Son of the Blessed Virgin, and the grandson of Anne and Joachim.
Before being favored with the greatest blessing ever bestowed on an earthly union, the two holy grand-parents of the Word made Flesh had to pass through the purification of suffering.
Traditions which, though mingled with details of less authenticity, have come down to us from the very beginning of Christianity, tell us of these noble spouses subjected to the trial of prolonged sterility, and on that account despised by their people; of Joachim cast out of the temple and going to hide his sorrow in the desert; of Anne left alone to mourn her widowhood and humiliation.
For exquisite sentiment this narrative might be compared with the most beautiful histories in Holy Scripture.
 "It was one of the great festival days of the Lord. In spite of extreme sorrow, Anne laid aside her mourning garments, and adorned her head and clothed herself with her nuptial robes. And about the ninth hour she went down to the garden to walk; seeing a laurel she sat down in its shade, and poured forth her prayer to the Lord God, saying: God of my fathers, bless me and hear my supplication, as thou didst bless Sara and didst give her a son! And raising her eyes to heaven, she saw in the laurel a sparrow's nest, and sighing she said: Alas! of whom was I born to be thus a curse in Israel? To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me to the birds of the air; for the birds are blessed by thee, O Lord. To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me to the beasts of the earth: for they, too, are fruitful before thee. To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me to the waters; for they are not barren in thy sight, and the rivers and the oceans full of fish praise thee in their heavings and in their peaceful flowing. To whom shall I liken me? I cannot liken me even to the earth, for the earth, too, bears fruit in season, and praises thee, O Lord. And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by, and said to her: Anne, God has heard thy prayer; "thou shalt conceive and bear a child, and thy fruit shall be honoured throughout the whole inhabited earth. And in due time Anne brought forth a daughter, and said: My soul is magnified this hour. And she called the child Mary; and giving her the breast, she intoned this canticle to the Lord: I will sing the praise of the Lord my God: for He has visited me and has taken away my shame, and has given me a fruit of justice. Who shall declare to the sons of Ruben that Anne is become fruitful? Hear, hear, O ye twelve tribes: behold Anne is giving suck (Protevangelium Jacobi)!"

The feast of St. Joachim, which the Church celebrates on the Sunday within the octave of his blessed Daughter's Assumption, will give us an occasion of completing the account of these trials and joys in which he shared. Warned from heaven to leave the desert, he met his spouse at the golden gate which leads to the Temple on the east side. Not far from here, near the Probatica piscina, where the little white lambs were washed before being offered in sacrifice, now stands the restored basilica of St. Anne, originally called St. Mary of the Nativity. Here, as in a peaceful paradise, the rod of Jesse produced that blessed branch which the Prophet hailed as about to bear the flower that had blossomed from eternity in the bosom of the Father. It is true that Sephoris, Anne's native city, and Nazareth, where Mary lived, dispute with the holy City the honour which ancient and constant tradition assigns to Jerusalem. But our homage will not be misdirected if we offer it today to Blessed Anne, in whom were wrought the prodigies, the very thought of which brings new joy to heaven, rage to satan, and triumph to the world.

Saint Anne was, as it were, the starting-point of Redemption, the horizon scanned by the prophets, the first span of the heavens to be empurpled with the rising fires of aurora; the blessed soil whose produce was so pure as to make the Angels believe that Eden had been restored to us. But in the midst of the aureola of incomparable peace that surrounds her, let us hail her as the land of victory surpassing the most famous fields of battle; as the sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception, where our humiliated race took up the combat begun before the throne of God by the Angelic hosts; where the serpent's head was crushed, and Michael, now surpassed in glory, gladly handed over to his sweet Queen, at the first moment of her existence, the command of the Lord's armies.

~ Saint Anne and Saint Joachim - pray and intercede for us ~

( source Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals )

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Today is the Feast of Saint James the Greater



Among the twelve Apostles, three were chosen to be the close companions of our Blessed Lord, and of these James was one. He, with Peter and John, was admitted to the house of Jairus when his dead child was raised to life (Luke 8:40 ff.); only these three were taken up to the high mountain of Thabor and beheld the face of Jesus shining as the sun, and His garments white as snow (Mark 9:2-7). These three alone witnessed the fearful agony in Gethsemane. (Luke 22:39-45)

What was it that won James a place among the favorite three? Faith, burning, impetuous and outspoken, the straightforwardness of the true Israelite, were visible in him; but these qualities needed purifying before the “Son of Thunder” could proclaim the Gospel of peace. It was James who suggested fire from heaven to consume the inhospitable Samaritans, and who sought a place of honor beside Christ in His kingdom. Yet Our Lord, in rebuking his presumption, prophesied his faithfulness unto death. (Mark 10:38-40) He went to Spain after the death of Our Lord, and remained there for nine years, according to tradition. The famous Basilica of Saint James of Compostello, one of the most frequented pilgrimage sites of Europe, the site also of countless miracles, commemorates the memory of the nation’s beloved Apostle.

In the year 44 Saint James, who was at that time in Jerusalem, was brought before King Herod Agrippa. The Apostle had been preaching fearlessly there, curing the sick and the blind, and delivering possessed persons. Two magicians were sent by the authorities to stop his doings by their charms, but both were converted. His enemies were not defeated by that, however, and paid two Roman captains to incite a sedition during the Apostle’s preaching, then seize him as its author. A certain Josias, a scribe among the Pharisees, put a cord around his neck and took him before the third Herod, grandson of the first, murderer of the Innocents, and nephew of the second, who had the Baptist decapitated. This new sycophant of the Roman Emperors, desiring to conciliate the Jews and make them forget his non-Jewish origins, decided to do so by persecuting the Christians. Without delay he condemned Saint James to die by the sword. The Apostle’s fearless confession of Jesus crucified so moved the scribe Josias, that he too confessed Christ and begged pardon of the Saint. He was taken with the Apostle to the place of execution, where Saint James and his convert died together.

The Apostle won the three crowns of heroism: he is a Doctor par excellence of the Faith, he was the first Apostle to be martyred, and according to Saint Epiphanus and other historians, he always conserved his virginity. He is the patron of Spain. A Spanish author by the name of Tamayo reports fifteen different apparitions of Saint James to the kings and princes of Spain, followed each time by some specific assistance for the benefit of the land.

Reflection: We must all desire a place in the kingdom of our Father; but can we drink the chalice which He holds out to each one of us? Possumus, we must say with Saint James — “We can!” — but only in the strength of Him who drank it first for us.

( thanks to the awesome source Magnificat )

Blessed Feast of Saint James the Greater

Friday, July 20, 2012

Today Double Feast of Saint Jerome Emilliani, Confessor ~~ Missa "Eff├║sum est" - white vestments


In the Sixteenth Century God raised up a number of saints who by prayer, teaching and good works combated the influence of the pagan Renaissance. Among these was St. Jerome Emiliani, who spent himself in the care of orphans and the poor. He instituted homes for orphan children, and founded the Congregation whose object was to educate orphans. They are called the Somaschl, from Somascha, the little Italian town in which they were first established. He died on February 8, 1531, from the plague which he contracted while burying the dead. It was related that St. Charles Borromeo when going several years afterwards to make a pastoral visit at Somascha, became aware of the presence of the relics of a saint through the sweet perfume which emanated from his tomb. Asking for a thurible, St. Charles offered incense on the sepulchre, being thus the first to render public veneration to the saint.
There is a commemoration today of the holy virgin martyr St. Margaret, who was called by the Greeks, Marina. She was martyred at Antioch in Pisidia under Emperor Diocletian at the end of the Third Century. Devotion to her became very popular in Rome during the Middle Ages, and many chapels and churches were dedicated to her. She is invoked, especially, by those who are about to become mothers
Resources: Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for providing the Propers for the faithful. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945 ( Daily Catholic - Proper of the Mass )
Oremus/Let us pray
With Vincent de Paul and Camillus of Lellis, thou, O Jerome Emilian, completest the triumvirate of charity. Thus does the Holy Ghost mark His reign with traces of the Blessed Trinity; moreover, He would show that the love of God, which He kindles on earth, can never be without the love of our neighbour.
At the very time when He gave thee to the world as a demonstration of this truth, the spirit of evil made it evident that true love of our neighbour cannot exist without love of God, and that this latter soon disappears in its turn when faith is extinct. Thus, between the ruins of the pretended reform and the ever-new fecundity of the Spirit of holiness, mankind was free to choose. The choice made was, alas! far from being always conformable to man's interest, either temporal or eternal. With what good reason may we repeat the prayer thou didst teach thy little orphans: "Lord Jesus Christ, our loving Father, we beseech Thee, by Thine infinite goodness, raise up Christendom once more, and bring it back to that upright holiness which flourished in the Apostolic age."
Thou didst labour strenuously at this great work of restoration.The Mother of Divine Grace, when she broke thy prison chains, set thy soul free from a more cruel captivity, to continue the flight begun at baptism and in thy early years. Thy youth was renewed as the eagle's; and the valour which won thee thy spurs in earthly battles, being now strengthened tenfold in the service of the all-powerful Prince, carried the day over death and hell. Who could count thy victories in this new militia? Jesus, the King of the warfare of salvation, inspired thee with his own predilection for little children: countless numbers, saved by thee from perishing, and brought in their innocence to His Divine caresses, owe to thee their crown in heaven. From thy throne, where thou art surrounded by this lovely company, multiply thy sons; uphold those who continue thy work on earth; may thy spirit spread more and more in these days, when satan's jealousy strives more than ever to snatch the little ones from our Lord. Happy shall they be in their last hour who have accomplished the work of mercy pre-eminent in our days: saved the faith of children, and preserved their baptismal innocence! Should they have formerly merited God's anger, they may with all confidence repeat the words thou didst love so well:

"O sweetest Jesus, be not unto me a Judge, but a Saviour!"

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