Sunday, July 27, 2014

SAINT CUTHMAN OF STEYNING

St. Cuthman of Steyning
Feast day: February 8

Death: 8th/9th Century


A saint of southern England, a holy Shepard near Steyning in Sussex. He cared for his aging mother and, aided by his neighbors, built a church in Steyning. Cuthman, who was known for his miracles, was honored in the church that he built. His relics were later transferred to FeCamp, in France.


 9th century. Among the ancient Anglo-Saxon saints was Cuthman, a native of Devon or Cornwall judging by his name; some ancient documents seem to indicate that he was possibly born at Chidham near Bosham 681, who spent his youth as a shepherd on the moors. A grey and weather-beaten stone high among the heather is said to mark the spot where he used to sit, and around which he drew a wide circle in the gorse, outside which his sheep were not allowed to wander. When his father died and his mother was left poor, Cuthman proved himself a good son and worked hard for their joint livelihood, but when she fell sick he was unable to leave her and they became destitute.

 Cuthman, at his wit's end, made a wooden two-wheeled barrow in which he laid his mother, and with its two handles supported by a rope round his neck, begged from door to door. But the dream of his life was to build a church, and though he had no idea how this could be done, he resolved to leave Cornwall with its bleak and windswept moors and travel eastward.

 Putting his mother in the barrow along with their few belongings, he pushed it day after day across the breadth of England until he came to Steyning in West Sussex. There the rope which held the barrow broke, and this he took for a sign that it was here where he must settle. He prayed by the roadside: "O Almighty Father, who has brought my journey to an end, You know how poor I am, and a laborer from my youth, and of myself I can do nothing unless You succor me."

 Here by the River Adur, in a lonely and quiet spot among the Downs, he built a hut to shelter his mother, and then measured out the ground on which to build his church. The local people were kind to him; they watched him dig the foundations single-handedly, cut the timber and build the walls, and they provided two oxen to help him. One day, however the oxen strayed and were carried off by two youths who refused to return them, whereupon Cuthman was angry. "I need them not," he said, "to do my own work but to labor for God." and he yoked the two youths themselves to his cart to draw it. "It must be moved," he said, "and you must move it."

 So Cuthman built a church and preached and stirred up the people. And there where he worked, he died, and was buried beside the river, and they called the place Saint Cuthman's Port, for the river in those days was navigable.

 Cuthman's name occurs in several early medieval calendars and in the old Missal that was used by the English Saxons before the Norman conquest kept in the monastery of Jumieges, in which a proper mass is assigned for his feast, a German martyrology clearly indicates a pre-Conquest cultus, and the church at Steyning seems to have been dedicated to him in the past. Saint Edward the Confessor gave the Steyning church to F├ęcamp, which monastery built a cell of monks on the site of his old wooden church and built a new one dedicated to his memory, although Cuthman's relics were translated to Fecamp. The information on Cuthman preserved there may contain some genuine material.

 In art, Saint Cuthman is always shown among sheep because he was a shepherd of Steyning . He feast is kept at most Benedictine monasteries in Normandy

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SAINT JEROME EMILIANI

St. Jerome Emiliani
Feast day: February 8
Birth: 1481Venice
Died 8 February 1537 Somasca

Beatified1747 by Pope Benedict XIV
Canonized 1767 by Pope Clement XIII

Gerolamo Emiliani / Gerolamo Emiliani also Jerome Aemilian,  was an Italian humanitarian, founder of the Somaschi Fathers, and saint. He was canonized in 1767 and is the patron saint of orphans.Son of a distinguished Venetian family, at age 15 Jerome Emiliani ran away from home and his mother Eleanor Mauroceni after the death of his father Angelo. He became a soldier in the army of the Republic and commander of the League of Cambrai forces at the fortress of Castelnuovo in the Italian mountains near Treviso. The Venetians took the fortress and chained Jerome in a dungeon. Until that time, Jerome had led a careless, irreligious life. Now he sanctified his sufferings by prayer and conversion to God. In circumstances that appear miraculous, he escaped after praying to our Lady, carrying his chains with him, and--thanking God for this in a church at Treviso--hung his chains on the church wall in happiness.


Jerome Emiliani lay chained in the dark dirty dungeon. Only a short time before he had been a military commander for Venice in charge of a fortress. He didn't care much about God because he didn't need him  he had his own strength and the strength of his soldiers and weapons. When Venice's enemies, the League of Cambrai, captured the fortress, he was dragged off and imprisoned. There in the dungeon, Jerome decided to get rid of the chains that bound him. He let go of his worldly attachments and embraced God.

When he finally was able to escape, he hung his metal chains in the nearby church of Treviso  in gratitude not only for being freed from physical prison but from his spiritual dungeon as well.

After a short time as mayor of Treviso he returned his home in Venice where he studied for the priesthood. The war may have been over but it was followed by the famine and plague war's devastation often brought. Thousands suffered in his beloved city. Jerome devoted himself to service again  this time, not to the military but the poor and suffering around him. He felt a special call to help the orphans who had no one to care for them. All the loved ones who would have protected them and comforted them had been taken by sickness or starvation. He would become their parent, their family.

Using his own money, he rented a house for the orphans, fed them, clothed them, and educated them. Part of his education was to give them the first known catechetical teaching by question and answer. But his constant devotion to the suffering put him in danger too and he fell ill from the plague himself. When he recovered, he had the ideal excuse to back away, but instead his illness seemed to take the last links of the chain from his soul. Once again he interpreted his suffering to be a sign of how little the ambitions of the world mattered.

He committed his whole life and all he owned to helping others. He founded orphanages in other cities, a hospital, and a shelter for prostitutes. This grew into a congregation of priests and brothers that was named after the place where they had a house, the Clerks Regular of Somascha. Although they spent time educating other young people, their primary work was always Jerome's first love helping orphans.

His final chains fell away when he again fell ill while taking care of the sick. He died in 1537 at the age of 56.

He is the patron saint of abandoned children and orphans.

BLESSED ANTONY OF STRONCONE OFM


Blessed Antony of Stroncone, OFM
Feast day: February 7
 Died 1461.
 cults confirmed 1687.
Antony dei Vici became a Franciscan lay-brother at age 12. Regardless of his humble status, he was chosen to assist Blessed Thomas of Florence in an important mission on behalf of the Holy See. Afterwards he retired to the friary of the Carceri, near Assisi, where he lived for forty years, combating the heresy of the Fraticelli and practicing rigorous penance .

BLESSED GILES MARY OF SAINT JOSEPH,OFM



Blessed Giles Mary of Saint Joseph, OFM
Feast day: February 7
 Born in Taranto, southern Italy.
Died 1812.
 Beautified 1888.
 A rope-maker by trade, he joined the Alcantarine Franciscans at Naples when he was 25. Thereafter served as porter for the friary.

BLESSED JAMES SALES & WILLIAM SAULTE MOUCHE


Blessed James Sales & William Saulte-mouche,
Bl. James Sales
Born : Mar 21,1556
 Died : Feb 7, 1593
 Beatified : June 6, 1926

Bl. William Saultemouche

Born: 1557
 Died: Feb 7,1593
Beatified: June 6, 1926
Feast day: February 7

James Sals was born in 1556, the son of a manservant, and joined the Jesuits. In 1592, in the company of William Saulte-mouche, a temporal coadjutor, he was sent to preach the Advent course at Aubenas in the Cevennes. His sermons, in which he attacked the teaching of the Protestants, were a great success, and the town being then without a parish priest, Blessed James was begged to remain until Easter. Early in February
1593, a band of Huguenot raiders dragged the Jesuits before an improvised court of Calvinist ministers. After a heated theological discussion, Sales was dragged from the hall and shot, while Saulte-mouche, who refused to make his escape, was stabbed to death .


              James Sales was born at Lezoux in the Auvergne , France. He studied at the Jesuit school at Billom from 1568 to 1572 and was especially devoted to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament from his early teens. Although he felt God was calling him to be a Jesuit priest in his last year at Billom, he knew he was needed at home as he was the only son. His desire to become a priest increased when he moved to study at Clermont College in Paris and he would often kneel before the Blessed Sacrament asking our Lord to remove the obstacles keeping him from entering the Society. The following year in 1573 his father granted him permission and he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Verdun the same year.

James pursued his philosophical and theological studies at the University of Pont-a-Mousson but his theology course was interrupted and thus postponing his ordination when his superior asked him to teach philosophy at the university which lasted for three years. He was finally ordained in 1585 at the age of twenty-nine and continued to teach theology at the university.

Fr Sales wrote to Fr General Claudio Acquaviva in 1587 expressing his interest and willingness to go to any mission in America, China, or Japan but was told that there was mission work to be done at home in France. Fr Sales was initially disappointed, but later understood the meaning of the general’s letter – France itself was mission territory as it was torn apart by the Wars of Religions as the Huguenots, or French Calvinists had since 1562 forced their heterodox views on Catholics. Fr Sales thus resolved to make France his mission field to confirm the Catholics in their faith and to expose the errors of the Calvinists.

Fr Sales was able to put his theology to excellent use when he preached to the faithful at the missions he preached and despite the disturbance and heckling caused by the Huguenots to break up the meetings, the Catholics were strengthened in their faith. When Fr Sales was appointed chairman of “controversial” theology at Tournon, he was tasked to draw up a program of studies with the key objectives of showing the truth of the Catholic teaching and to respond to the objections of the Protestants. He also wrote several short booklets on the Catholic faith, one of which was on the Eucharist. As his booklets were well written, his superior suggested he have them printed for the benefit of others but before anything could be done, Fr Sales was sent to Aubenas in the Cevennes on his final mission.

In 1587 the Catholics of Aubenas had overthrown the Huguenots who had control of the city for several years. The governor of Aubenas had annually requested a Jesuit to give the Advent and the Lentern series of sermons. In 1592, the governor made a similar request; this time one who could in addition to confirming the Catholics in their faith, one who could also refute the Calvinist ministers, whose boldness was fast increasing in Aubenas. Fr Sales was well suited for the job and he was elated when told he was chosen and in thanksgiving he kissed the relic of the martyred Edmund Campion he was wearing for obtaining this great favour for him. He was assigned Br. William Saultemouche as his companion to the Aubenas mission.

Br. Saultemouche was born at Saint-Germain-l’Herm. He joined the Society as a Br.ther in 1579 at Verdun at the age of twenty-two. He served as a porter at Pont-a-Mousson and was known for his simplicity, gentleness of character, and obedience. People referred to him as “an angel come down from heaven in human form.” He was transferred to Paris, then to Lyons and then in 1592, to Tournon, just in time to join Fr Sales on the Aubanus mission.

When Fr Sales left Tournon he knew he would not return. He told a fellow-Jesuit : “Adieu, pray for us. We are going to our death.” Fr Sales gave a clear exposition of Catholic teaching together with its proof; he never engaged in insults or recriminations against Protestants. However with the increased tension between Catholics and Huguenots in Aubenus, Fr Sales and Br. Saultemoutche returned there but when offered shelter from the inevitable Huguenot attack, Fr Sales said : “As for death, I have been thinking of martyrdom for the past fifteen years, and I desire to sacrifice my life for God. If struck down in hatred of the Catholic faith, then blessed is the hand that gives that deathblow.”

On the evening of Feb 5, 1593 while Fr Sales was instructing a Calvinist family, he heard strange uproar outside. He rushed out to the church as his first thought was to save the Blessed Sacrament from Huguenot profanation and found Br. Saultemoutche there. Together they offered their lives to God before going home and spent the night in prayer.

Early the next morning, cries of “Death! Death! Were heard in the streets and shortly after three soldiers forced their way into the Jesuit residence where they found them at prayer.

Fr Sales and Br. Saultemoutche were taken to Huguenot headquarters and were interrogated by Calvinist ministers, led by Labat on a discussion of various Catholic practices ranging from fasting, free will and ending with the sacraments, emphasing on the Eucharist. In all these, Fr Sales defended Christ’s real presence, which the Huguenots rejected as idolatory. The Huguenots abused the two Jesuits and heaped insults upon them thinking that this could get them to deny their faith. Br. Saultemoutche was not subject to guestioning but witnessed to the abuses suffered by Fr Sales and prayed for him in silence.

The interrogation continued for almost two days and the two Jesuits were without food and spent the night in a damp cell but Fr Sales held on under Labat’s relentless examination. When Labat learned that Fr Sales had not succumbed to the rigours of the interrogation but instead spoke eloquently enough to sway those listening, he wanted the Jesuit dead. Br. Saultemoutche insisted on going with Fr Sales as he wanted to receive the same crown saying: “ I will die with you for the truth of your arguments.’

Just before Fr Sales was executed, Labat once more asked him to abjure his belief in Christ’s real presence in the Blessed Sacrament, but when he refused he was shot in his back. As Fr Sales fell to the ground, saying;”Jesus, Mary!”, a soldier drove a sword into his breast. As Br. Saultemoutche bent down and threw his arms around his martyred companion, someone thrust a sword into his side and stabbed him until he too laid dead at the feet of his murderers. The Calvinists in their hatred for the Jesuits had the bodies dragged through the streets of Aubenus and their bodies were thrown in a dumping place for debris after six days.

Fr Sales was thirty-seven and Br. Saultemoutche thirty-six when they were martyred in France for defending Christ’s real presence in the Holy Eucharist.


SAINT RONAN OF KILMARONEN



Ronan of Kilmaronen

 also known as Ruadan, Ruadhan
Feast day: February 7
 Saint Ronan, a Scottish bishop of Kilmaronen, has erroneously bee identified as the Irish monk mentioned by the Venerable Bede as the defender of the Roman calculation for the date of Easter at the Synod of Whitby. St. Ronan's Well at Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, was popularized by one of Sir Walter Scott's novels. According to tradition, Ronan came into the valley and drove out the devil. This event is remembered annually at the end of "Saint Ronan's Games" in July when a schoolboy, given a pastoral staff, is chosen to
represent the saint as he "cleeks the devil" .


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BLESSED THOMAS SHERWOOD

Blessed Thomas Sherwood

Feast day: February 7

Born in London in 1551.
Died at Tyburn in 1578.
He was beatified  by Pope Leo XIII,  29 December 1886.

Thomas was preparing to go to Douai to study for the priesthood when he was denounced as a Catholic, arrested in London, and imprisoned in the Tower. He was racked in an effort to force him to disclose the place where he had heard Mass. He was finally hanged, drawn, and quartered on the charge of denying the queen's ecclesiastical supremacy.

                        The days of Elizabeth I were difficult days for the Catholics of England. This was the day of the martyrs, Catholics following in the footsteps of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, who died for their faith. Most of the martyrs of this era were priests, educated and ordained abroad, sent back to England to minister to the Catholics there, declared outlaws and criminals by the government.

Thomas Sherwood was not a priest and he was not a religious. He had planned to study for the priesthood but had not yet carried out his plan when he was arrested.

He was by profession a wool draper and was associated with other Catholic families, in particular the family of Lady Tregonwell. The son of Lady Tregonwell turned him in to the authorities, who sent him to the Tower of London. There he was tortured in order to discover where he heard Mass, who the priest was who celebrated the Mass, and the names of other Catholics with whom he was associated.

St. Thomas More's son-in-law, William Roper, tried to send him money for medicine and food, but the officer at the Tower would not permit money to be spent on anything but clean straw for him to sleep on. Blessed Thomas Sherwood was twenty-seven years old at the time of his arrest, and his brother wrote an account of his sufferings and martyrdom. We also possess the directions given to the lieutenant of the Tower from the privy council, ordering him to obtain information from Thomas Sherwood on the rack. After his execution, his mother was arrested and put in prison, where she died fourteen years later.

During his terrible sufferings, all that he said was: "Lord Jesus, I am not worthy to suffer for thee, much less to receive those rewards which thou hast promised to those who confess thee." Three weeks after his death, his death was recorded in the daybook of Douay College, where he had been expected: "On the first of March, Mr. Lowe returned to us from England bringing news that a youth, by name Thomas Sherwood, had suffered for his confession of the Catholic Faith, not only by imprisonment, but by death itself."

BLESSED NIVARD OF VAUCELLES

Blessed Nivard of Vaucelles
Feast day: February 7
 Born . 1000.
 Died after 1150.
Nivard is from the very holy family of Saint Bernard. He was the founder's youngest brother, who followed Bernard to Clairvaux and eventually was appointed novice-master at Vaucelles.

SAINT LUKE THAUMATURGUS

St. Luke the Younger
 also known as Luke Thaumaturgus or the Wonder-worker
Feast day: February 7

Death: 946

Hermit and wonder-worker whose solitary hermitage in Thessaly, Greece, became known as the Soterion, the place of healing. Luke tried to become a religious but was arrested as an escaped slave and imprisoned for a time. He finally became a hermit on Mount Joannitsa. near Corinth. There he was revered for his holiness and miracles, which earned him the surname Thaumaturgus .


 Saint Luke is known to the Greek Church as Luke the  Wonder worker. His parents were farmers or peasant proprietors on the island of Aegina, but were forced off their land by attacking Saracens. They settled in Thessaly, Greece. Luke was the third of the seven children of Stephen and Euphrosyne. Although Luke was a pious and obedient boy generally, he often made them angry because of his charity to those poorer than himself. In childhood he often gave his meal away to the hungry, or would strip off his clothes

for a beggar. When sowing seed, for instance, Luke the Wonder worker spread at least half of it over the fields of the poor instead of over his parents' fields. Later it was said that one of wonders God worked on Luke's behalf was to make his parents' crops yield more than anyone else's, even though he had given away half the seeds. But at the time his mother and father were extremely angry.  After Stephen's death, Luke left the fields and gave himself for a time to contemplation. When he told his family that he wanted to enter a monastery, they tried to stop him. But Luke ran away. Unfortunately, some soldiers caught him and for a time put him in prison, thinking he was a runaway slave. When he said that he was a servant of Christ and had undertaken the journey out of devotion, they refused to believe him. He was shut up in prison and cruelly treated until his identity was discovered. He was allowed to return home where he was scolded for running away.  In the end, however, Luke got his way. Euphrosyne provided hospitality to two monks on their way between Rome and the Holy Land. They managed to persuade his mother to let him accompany them as far as Athens. There Luke was admitted as a novice in a monastery, but he didn't stay long. One day the superior sent for him and told the young saint that Luke's mother had appeared to him in a vision and that, as she needed him, he must return home to help her. Luke went home once again and was received with joy and surprise. After four months Euphrosyne herself became convinced of her son's calling and no longer opposed his entering religious life.
     So, age the age of 18, he built himself a hermitage on Mount Joannitsa near Corinth and lived there happily for the rest of his life. Luke is one of the earliest saints to be seen levitating in prayer. He worked so many miracles there that the site was turned into an oratory after his death and became known as Soterion or Sterion (place of healing) and he himself as the Thaumaturgus.

BLESSED FELIPE RIPOLL MORATA

Bl. Felipe Ripoll Morata

Feastday: February 7

Birth: 1878

Death: 1939

Beatified By: 1 October 1995 by Pope John Paul II



Felipe Ripoll Morata was born to a poor but highly religious family. He was a priest, Professor and spiritual director at the diocesan seminary, and later served as rector. When the Republican Army overran Teruel in 1938, Father Felipe stayed with his people, kept faith with his bishop, and refused to cooperate with anything he saw as being against Church interests. Imprisoned for thirteen months. Used as human shield by soldiers. Martyred in the persecutions of the Spanish Civil War.

SAINT MOSES

St. Moses

Feast day: February 7

Death: 372
Saint Moses was an Arab who retired in the desert  around Mount Sinai.


   Arab hermit and bishop who is called “the Apostle of the Saracens.” He lived in the desert regions of Syria and Egypt, caring for the local nomadic tribes. When the Romans imposed peace upon the Saracens, Queen Mavia, the Saracen ruler, demanded that Moses be consecrated a bishop. He accepted against his will and maintained the peace between the Saracens and Rome. The Saracens were a nomadic people of the Syro-Egyptian desert so designated by the Romans.

BLESSED RIZZERIO

Bl. Rizzerio

Blessed Rizzerio, OFM
also known as Richerius

Feast day: February 7

Death: 1236




 Born in Muccia, Marches, Italy; died March 26, 1236; cultus confirmed 1836.

Early member of the Franciscans and one of the favorite followers of St. Francis of Assisi. Originally from a wealthy family, he was born at Muccia, in the Italian Marches. While studying at the university of Bologna, Italy, in 1222, he had occasion to hear a sermon delivered by Francis and was so moved that he soon joined the Franciscans. Subsequently ordained, he became a leading advisor and close associate of Francis, served as provincial of the Marches, received from the saint a miracle by which his seemingly insuperable despair of God’s forgiveness was overcome, and was present at Francis’ deathbed. He is mentioned in the famed work of the Fioretti, The Little Flowers of St. Francis, under the name Rinieri. He died on March 26.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

SAINT LAWRENCE OF SIPONTO


St. Lawrence of Siponto
Laurence of Siponto

Feast day: February 7

Death: 546

 Laurence Majoranus was bishop of Siponto ,Italy, from 492 until his death more than 50 years later. He is said to have built the sanctuary of Saint Michael on Mount Gargano, Italy. He was surnamed Majoranus.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

SAINT FIDELIS

St. Fidelis

Fidelis of Merida
Feast day: February 7

 Died . 570.
Bishop of Merida, Spain, trained by his predecessor, St. Paul. He was originally from the East. , Saint Fidelis travelled to Spain with some merchants and settled in Merida, where he was trained by Saint Paul, bishop of the city, whom he succeeded in that office.

Monday, July 7, 2014

SAINT TRESSAN

St. Tressan

Tressan of Mareuil
 also known as Tresain
Feast day: February 7

Death: 550

Irish missionary, also called Tresian. He left his native country to assist the spread of the faith in Gaul modern France, receiving ordination from the hands of St. Remigius.

 Saint Tressan is said to be one of five or six brothers, including Saint Gibrian, and three sisters, who travelled from Ireland to France to evangelize for the glory of God in the diocese of Rheims, France. The names of the others are given as Helan, Germanus, Abran who may be Gibrian, Petran, Franca, Promptia, and Possenna (variations on these names are used). Tressan worked there as a swineherd, but he was ordained to the priesthood by Saint Remigius, who provided the siblings with suitable retreats from which they could spread the faith. Tressan became curate of Mareuil-sur-Marne, and the patron saint of Avenay in Champagne. His cultus is strong and has been continuous in the area of Rheims. More than 1,000 years after his death, Pope Clement VIII and Archbishop Philip of Rheims authorized the publishing of an Office for his feast 

BLESSED WILLIAM RICHARDSON

Bl. William Richardson


Feast day: February 7

Death: 1603

Martyr of England. Born in Sheffield, he studied for the priesthood at Valladolid and Seville, Spain, receiving ordination in 1594. William was sent back to England, where he used the name Anderson. He was soon arrested and executed at Tyburn by being hanged, drawn, and quartered. He was the last martyr in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I  .

SAINT ANATOLIUS

St. Anatolius
Anatolius of Cahors
Feast day: February 7

Death: unknown


Bishop of Cahors, France. His life is not recorded, but his relics were venerated at the Saint-Mihiel Abbey in Verdun, France.

SAINT ADAUCUS

St. Adaucus

also known as Adauctus
Feast day: February 7

Death: 304

Saint Adaucus was an Italian finance minister at the imperial court of Diocletian in Phrygia. The emperor had him killed when he discovered that Adaucus was a Christian. Many Phrygian Christians were martyred with him as their town, Antandro, was burned over their heads .

Saint Adaucus was a martyr for the faith, this nobleman of Italian birth reached the rank of quaestor in the government in Phrygia modern Turkey. Emperor Diocletian ( 284-305) conducted persecutions against Christians during Adaucus' life. In 303 the emperor commanded that Adaucus' town in Phrygia be burned to the ground by Roman soldiers. Adaucus and all the other Christians in the region perished as a result. They were martyred in Astandro, Phrygia.