Saint of the day 20150307

07 March


Saint Perpetua and 

Saint Felicity

Martyrs

(+ 203)

        Perpetua was 22, of a patrician family; Felicity was a slave: both were martyred in the public stadium at Carthage, in 203, during the persecution of Septimus Severus.




Saints Perpetua and Felicity (- 203)

They were martyred at Carthage in 203 during the persecution of Septimius Severus. With so many martyrs of the third and fourth centuries we have to say “they were martyred but nothing else is known about them.” That is not the case here. We have a detailed contemporary account of their arrest, trial, sufferings and martyrdom, written partly by the saints themselves and partly by an eye-witness. Devotion to them spread rapidly and they are mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia. The Wikipedia article contains links to the original account of their martyrdom.

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Saint of the day 20150304

04 March


SAINT CASIMIR 

Prince

(1458-1484)

        Casimir, the second son of Casimir III, King of Poland was born A. D. 1458. From the custody of a most virtuous mother, Elizabeth of Austria, he passed to the guardianship of a devoted master, the learned and pious John Dugloss. Thus animated from his earliest years by precept and example, his innocence and piety soon ripened into the practice of heroic virtue.

        At the age of twenty-five, sick of a lingering illness, he foretold the hour of his death, and chose to die a virgin rather than take the life and health which the doctors held out to him in the married state. In an atmosphere of luxury and magnificence the young prince had fasted, worn a hair-shirt, slept upon the bare earth, prayed by night, and watched for the opening of the church doors at dawn. He had become so tenderly devoted to the Passion of Our Lord that at Mass he seemed quite rapt out of himself, and his charity to the poor and afflicted knew no bounds. His love for our blessed Lady he expressed in a long and beautiful hymn, familiar to us in our own tongue.

        The miracles wrought by his body after death fill a volume. The blind saw, the lame walked, the sick were healed, a dead girl was raised to life. And once the Saint in glory led his countrymen to battle, and delivered them by a glorious victory from the schismatic Russian hosts.

        One hundred and twenty-two years after his death the Saint’s tomb in the cathedral of Vienna was opened, that the holy body might be transferred to the rich marble chapel where it now lies. The place was damp, and the very vault crumbled away in the hands of the workmen; yet the Saint’s body, wrapped in robes of silk, was found whole and incorrupt, and emitted a sweet fragrance, which filled the church and refreshed all who were present. Under his head was found his hymn to Our Lady, which he had had buried with him. The following night three young men saw a brilliant light issuing from the open tomb and streaming through the windows of the chapel.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]




St Casimir (1458 – 1484)

He was the second son of King Casimir IV of Poland. He assiduously cultivated the Christian virtues, especially chastity and generosity to the poor. Zealous in faith, he had a particular devotion to the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary. For several years, while his father was away in Lithuania (the Kings of Poland at this time were also Grand Dukes of Lithuania), he ruled Poland with great prudence and justice. He died of tuberculosis on 4 March 1484. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia.

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Saint of the day 20150303

03 March


SAINT CUNEGUNDES

Empress

(+1040)

        Saint Cunegundes was the daughter of Siegfried, the first Count of Luxemburg, and Hadeswige, his pious wife. They instilled into her from her cradle the most tender sentiments of piety, and married her to St. Henry, Duke of Bavaria, who, upon the death of the Emperor Otho III., was chosen king of the Romans, and crowned on the 6th of June, 1002. She was crowned at Paderborn on St. Laurence’s day. In the year 1014 she went with her husband to Rome, and received the imperial crown with him from the hands of Pope Benedict VIII. She had, by St. Henry’s consent, before her marriage made a vow of virginity. Calumniators afterwards made vile accusations against her, and the holy empress, to remove the scandal of such a slander, trusting in God to prove her innocence, walked over red-hot ploughshares without being hurt. The emperor condemned his too scrupulous fears and credulity, and from that time they lived in the strictest union of hearts, conspiring to promote in everything God’s honor and the advancement of piety.

        Going once to make a retreat in Hesse, she fell dangerously ill, and made a vow to found a monastery, if she recovered, at Kaffungen, near Cassel, in the diocese of Paderborn, which she executed in a stately manner, and gave it to nuns of the Order of St. Benedict. Before it was finished St. Henry died, in 1024. She earnestly recommended his soul to the prayers of others, especially to her blear nuns, and expressed her longing desire of joining them. She had already exhausted her treasures in founding bishoprics and monasteries, and in relieving the poor, and she had therefore little left now to give. But still thirsting to embrace perfect evangelical poverty, and to renounce all to serve God without obstacle, she assembled a great number of prelates to the dedication of her church of Kaffungen on the anniversary day of her husband’s death, 1025; and after the gospel was sung at Mass she offered on the altar a piece of the true cross, and then, putting off her imperial robes, clothed herself with a poor habit; her hair was cut off, and the bishop put on her a veil, and a ring as a pledge of her fidelity to her heavenly Spouse.

        After she was consecrated to God in religion, she seemed entirely to forget that she had been empress, and behaved as the last in the house, being persuaded that she was 30 before God. She prayed and read much, worked with her hands, and took a singular pleasure in visiting and comforting the sick.

        Thus she passed the last fifteen years of her life. Her mortifications at length reduced her to a very weak condition, and brought on her last sickness. Perceiving that they were preparing a cloth fringed with gold to cover her corpse after her death, she changed color and ordered it to be taken away; nor could she be at rest till she was promised she should be buried as a poor religious in her habit. She died on the 3d of March, 1040. Her body was carried to Bamberg and buried near that of her husband. She was solemnly canonized by Innocent III. in 1200.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]




Other saints: St Katharine Drexel (1858 – 1955)

She was born in Philadelphia to a rich banking family. In 1889, at the age of 33, she founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, dedicated to mission work among Indians and black people. (A survey of the situation in the United States at this time described “250,000 Indians neglected, if not practically abandoned, and over nine million of negroes still struggling through the aftermath of slavery”). She spent her entire life and her entire fortune to this work, opening schools, founding a university, and funding many chapels, convents and monasteries. She died on 3 March 1955, by which time there were more than 500 Sisters teaching in 63 schools throughout the United States. See the article in Wikipedia. The Catholic Encyclopaedia has articles on her father and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

Other saints: St Vignal (c.460 – 532)

Vignal is a patois corruption of the Latin Guingualeus, itself a translation of the French Guénolé or Guignole, from the Anglo-Saxon Winwaloe / Winwallus / Winwalloc. There are some fifty variants of his name, which survives in the dedication of some churches in Brittany, Cornwall and Monmouthshire.
  St Vignal was born about the year 460, possibly in Plouguin, to Fracan, a prince of Dumnonia [Brittany] and his wife Gwen Teirbron [“Gwen the Triple-Breasted”]. He became the first Abbot founder of the Abbey of Landévennec, just south of Brest, and died there on 3 March 532.
  He is supposed to have assisted St Sampson and St Magloire in evangelising the Bailiwick of Guernsey, which includes Alderney, in the 6th century. Some relics were preserved at Montreuil-sur-Mer and in St Peter’s, Ghent, and until the 19th century his tomb was visible in the church at Landévennec.
Portsmouth Ordo

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Saint of the day 20150202

02 February

SAINT CATHERINE OF RICCI
(1520-1589)

Alexandrina of Ricci was the daughter of a noble Florentine. At the age of thirteen she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic in the monastery of Prato, taking in religion the name of Catherine, after her patron and namesake of Siena.

Her special attraction was to the Passion of Christ, in which she was permitted miraculously to participate. In the Lent of 1541, being then twenty-one years of age, she had a vision of the crucifixion so heart-rending that she was confined to bed for three weeks, and was only restored, on Holy Saturday, by an apparition of St. Mary Magdalene and Jesus risen. During twelve years she passed every Friday in ecstasy, She received the sacred stigmata, the wound in the left side, and the crown of thorns.

All these favors gave her continual and intense suffering, and inspired her with a loving sympathy for the yet more bitter tortures of the Holy Souls. In their behalf she offered all her prayers and penances; and her charity toward them became so famous throughout Tuscany that after every death the friends of the deceased hastened to Catherine to secure her prayers.

St. Catherine offered many prayers, fasts, and penances for a certain great man, and thus obtained his salvation. It was revealed to her that he was in purgatory; and such was her love of Jesus crucified that she offered to suffer all the pains about to be inflicted on that soul. Her prayer was granted. The soul entered heaven, and for forty days Catherine suffered indescribable agonies. Her body was covered with blisters, emitting heat so great that her cell seemed on fire. Her flesh appeared as if roasted, and her tongue like red-hot iron. Amid all she was calm and joyful, saying, “I long to suffer all imaginable pains, that souls may quickly see and praise their Redeemer.” She knew by revelation the arrival of a soul in. purgatory, and the hour of its release.

She held intercourse with the Saints in glory, and frequently conversed with St. Philip Neri at Rome without ever leaving her convent at Prato.

She died, amid angels’ songs, in 1589.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

Saints of the day 20150114

14 January

SAINT SAVA
Abbot and Patron of Serbia
(+ 1255)

Sava was the son of Stephen I, founder of the Nemanydes dynasty, and also known as Sabas. He became a monk on Mount Athos in Greece when he was seventeen. With his father, who abdicated in 1196, he founded Khilandrai Monastery on Mount Athos for Serbian monks and became Abbot.

He returned home in 1207 when his brothers, Stephen II and Vulkan, began to quarrel, and civil war broke out. Sava brought many of his monks with him, and from the headquarters he established at Studenitsa Monastery, he founded several monasteries and began the reformation and education of the country, where religion and education had fallen to a low estate.

He was named metropolitan of a new Serbian hierarchy by Emperor Theodore II Laskaris at Nicaea; was consecrated, though for political reasons unwillingly, by Patriarch Manuel I in 1219; returned home bringing more monks from Mount Athos; and in 1222 crowned his brother Stephen II King of Serbia.

Through his efforts, he finished the uniting of his people that had been begun by his father, translated religious works into Serbian, and gave his people a native clergy and hierarchy.

He made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, was later sent on a second visit there on an ecclesiastical mission, and died on the way back at Tirnovo, Bulgaria, on January 14.

He is the patron of Serbia.

http://www.catholic.org/

Saint of the day 20150104

04 January

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph’s
(1774-1821)

Yes, Venerable Brothers and beloved sons and daughters! Elizabeth Ann Seton is a Saint! We rejoice and we are deeply moved that our apostolic ministry authorizes us to make this solemn declaration before all of you here present, before the holy Catholic Church, before our other Christian brethren in the world, before the entire American people, and before all humanity.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is a Saint! She is the first daughter of the United States of America to be glorified with this incomparable attribute! But what do we mean when we say: «She is a Saint»? We all have some idea of the meaning of this highest title; but it is still difficult for us to make an exact analysis of it. Being a Saint means being perfect, with a perfection that attains the highest level that a human being can reach. A Saint is a human creature fully conformed to the will of God. A Saint is a person in whom all sin-the principle of death-is cancelled out and replaced by the living splendor of divine grace. The analysis of the concept of sanctity brings us to recognize in a soul the mingling of two elements that are entirely different but which come together to produce a single effect: sanctity. One of these elements is the human and moral element, raised to the degree of heroism: heroic virtues are always required by the Church for the recognition of a person’s sanctity. The second element is the mystical element, which express the measure and form of divine action in the person chosen by God to realize in herself-always in an original way-the image of Christ (Cfr. Rom. 8, 29).

The science of sanctity is therefore the most interesting, the most varied, the most surprising and the most fascinating of all the studies of that ever mysterious being which is man. The Church has made this study of the life, that is, the interior and exterior history, of Elizabeth Ann Seton. And the Church has exulted with admiration and joy, and has today heard her own charism of truth poured out in the exclamation that we send up to God and announce to the world: She is a Saint! (…). This will be one of the most valuable fruits of the Canonization of the new Saint: to know her, in order to admire in her an outstanding human figure; in order to praise God who is wonderful in his saints; to imitate her example which this ceremony places in a light that will give perennial edification; to invoke her protection, now that we have the certitude of her participation in the exchange of heavenly life in the Mystical Body of Christ, which we call the Communion of Saints and in which we also share, although still belonging to life on earth. (…)

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was born, brought up and educated in New York in the Episcopalian Communion. To this Church goes the merit of having awakened and fostered the religious sense and Christian sentiment which in the young Elizabeth were naturally predisposed to the most spontaneous and lively manifestations. We willingly recognize this merit, and, knowing well how much it cost Elizabeth to pass over to the Catholic Church, we admire her courage for adhering to the religious truth and divine reality which were manifested to her therein. And we are likewise pleased to see that from this same adherence to the Catholic Church she experienced great peace and security, and found it natural to preserve all the good things which her membership in the fervent Episcopalian community had taught her, in so many beautiful expressions, especially of religious piety, and that she was always faithful in her esteem and affection for those from whom her Catholic profession had sadly separated her. (…)

And then we must note that Elizabeth Seton was the mother of a family and at the same time the foundress of the first Religious Congregation of women in the United States. (…)The Church renders the greatest honor possible to Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton and extols her personal and extraordinary contribution as a woman a wife, a mother, a widow, and a religious.

May the dynamism and authenticity of her life be an example in our day-and for generations to come-of what women can and must accomplish, in the fulfillment of their role, for the good of humanity. And finally we must recall that the most notable characteristic of our Saint is the fact that she was, as we said, the foundress of the first Religious Congregation of women in the United States. It was an offspring of the religious family of Saint Vincent de Paul, which later divided into various autonomous branches-five principal ones-now spread throughout the world. And yet all of them recognize their origin in the first group, that of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph’s, personally established by Saint Elizabeth Seton at Emmitsburg in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The apostolate of helping the poor and the running of parochial schools in America had this humble, poor, courageous and glorious beginning. (…)

Yes, brethren, and sons and daughters: the Lord is indeed wonderful in his saints. Blessed be God for ever!

[ Canonization of Elisabeth Ann Seton: Homily of Pope Paul VI – September 14, 1975]

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Other saints: St Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774 – 1821)
She was born in New York into an Episcopalian family, who ostracized her and left her penniless when she became a Catholic in 1805. She had to leave New York and in 1808-9 she founded a religious community and a school for poor children at Emmitsburg, near Baltimore in Maryland. Mother Seton died in 1821 but the Sisters of Charity continue her work to this day. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
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Saint of the day 20150103

03 January

SAINT GENEVIEVE
Virgin
(c. 422-512)

Genevieve was born at Nanterre, near Paris. St. Germanus, when passing through, specially noticed a little shepherdess, and predicted her future sanctity. At seven years of age she made a vow of perpetual chastity.

After the death of her parents, Paris became her abode; but she often travelled on works of mercy, which, by the gifts of prophecy and miracles, she unfailingly performed. At one time she was cruelly persecuted: her enemies, jealous of her power, called her a hypocrite and tried to drown her; but St. Germanus having sent her some blessed bread as a token of esteem, the outcry ceased, and ever afterwards she was honored as a Saint.

During the siege of Paris by Childeric, king of the Franks, Genevieve went out with a few followers and procured corn for the starving citizens. Nevertheless Childeric, though a pagan, respected her, and at her request spared the lives of many prisoners. By her exhortations again, when Attila and his Huns were approaching the city, the inhabitants, instead of taking flight, gave themselves to prayer and penance, and averted, as she had foretold, the impending scourge. Clovis, when converted from paganism by his holy wife, St. Clotilda, made Genevieve his constant adviser, and, in spite of his violent character, made a generous and Christian king. She died within a few weeks of that monarch, in 512, aged eighty-nine.

A pestilence broke out at Paris in 1129, which in a short time swept off fourteen thousand persons, and, in spite of all human efforts, daily added to its victims. At length, on November 26th, the shrine of St. Genevieve was carried in solemn procession through the city. That same day but three persons died, the rest recovered, and no others were taken ill. This was but the first of a series of miraculous favors which the city of Paris has obtained through the relics of its patron Saint.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

Other saints: Saint Munchin
He was a 7th-century saint and the first bishop of Limerick. See the article in Wikipedia.
You will see these texts in a more readable format and with a better layout (especially for verse) if you use the free Catholic Calendar app from Universalis.

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The official Grail translation of the Psalms.
The readings at Mass are in both the Jerusalem Bible/Grail and the NAB translations.
The “Mass Today” page contains the exact liturgy for today all in one place, both the Order of Mass and the prayers, antiphons and readings.
A perpetual liturgical calendar covering all years.
Local liturgical calendars for over 20 countries and dioceses.
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