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Saints of the Month: July


Saints of the Month: July

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Saints of the Month: July Copyright © by E. Phang. All Rights Reserved.


Contents Introduction ................................................................................. X Saint JunĂ­pero Serra ........................................................... 11 Saint Bernardino Realino ................................................... 15 Saint Thomas the Apostle ................................................... 17 Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati ............................................. 19 Saint Zoe of Rome .............................................................. 21 Saint Maria Goretti ............................................................. 23 Blessed Pope Benedict XI ................................................... 25 Saint Kilian ......................................................................... 29 Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions .................... 30 Saint Amalberga of Temse .................................................. 32 Saint Benedict of Nursia ..................................................... 34 Saint Veronica .................................................................... 37 Saint Henry II ..................................................................... 41 Saint Kateri Tekakwitha ..................................................... 44 Saint Bonaventure .............................................................. 46 Our Lady of Mount Carmel ................................................. 49 Saint Marie-Madeleine Postel ............................................ 52 Saint Alexius of Rome ......................................................... 53 Saint Camillus de Lellis ...................................................... 56 Saint Macrina the Younger ................................................. 59 Saint Margaret of Antioch .................................................. 62 Saint Victor of Marseilles ................................................... 65 Saint Mary Magdalene ....................................................... 69 Saint Bridget of Sweden ..................................................... 72 Saint Christina the Astonishing .......................................... 74


Saint Christopher ............................................................... 76 Saints Anne and Joachim .................................................... 81 Saint Pope Celestine I ........................................................ 86 Saints Nazarius and Celsus ................................................ 88 Saint Martha ....................................................................... 90 Saint Peter Chrysologus ..................................................... 93 Saint Ignatius of Loyola ...................................................... 96 Appendix .................................................................................... 98


Introduction The month of July is the is the Month of the Precious Blood, where the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ is honoured. The Blood of Christ is precious because it was Christ’s own ransom paid for mankind’s redemption.

Image: Christ crowned with thorns by Lucas van Leyden (after 1573)

Please see Go to Mary for more information.

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Saint Junípero Serra

Oil painting of Father Junípero Serra. He was painted about 1700’s.

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he 1st of July is the feast day of Saint Junipero

Serra (November 24, 1713 – August 28, 1784). He is also known as Junípero Serra y Ferrer, O.F.M. He is the patron saint of vocations, Hispanic Americans and California. The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

Born at Petra, Island of Majorca, 24 November, 1713; died at Monterey, California, 28 August, 1784.

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On 14 September, 1730, he entered the Franciscan Order. For his proficiency in studies he was appointed lector of philosophy before his ordination to the priesthood. Later he received the degree of Doctor of Theology from the Lullian University at Palma, where he also occupied the Duns Scotus chair of philosophy until he joined the missionary college of San Fernando, Mexico (1749). While traveling on foot from Vera Cruz to the capital, he injured his leg in such a way that he suffered from it throughout his life, though he continued to make his journeys on foot whenever possible. At his own request he was assigned to the Sierra Gorda Indian Missions some thirty leagues north of Queretaro. He served there for nine years, part of the time as superior, learned the language of the Pame Indians, and translated the catechism into their language. Recalled to Mexico, he became famous as a most fervent and effective preacher of missions. His zeal frequently led him to employ extraordinary means in order to move the people to penance. He would pound his breast with a stone while in the pulpit, scourge himself, or apply a lighted torch to his bare chest. In 1767 he was appointed superior of a band of fifteen Franciscans for the Indian Missions of Lower California. Early in 1769 he accompanied Portolá’s land expedition to Upper California. On the way (14 May) he established the Mission San Fernando de Velicatá, Lower California. He arrived at San Diego on 1 July, and on 16 July founded the first of the twenty-one California missions which accomplished the conversions of all the natives on the 12


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coast as far as Sonoma in the north. Those established by Father Serra or during his administration were San Carlos (3 June, 1770); San Antonio (14 July, 1771); San Gabriel (8 September, 1771); San Luis Obispo (1 September, 1772); San Francisco de Asis (8 October, 1776); San Juan Capistrano (1 Nov. 1776); Santa Clara (12 January, 1777); San Buenaventura (31 March, 1782). He was also present at the founding of the presidio of Santa Barbara (21 April, 1782), and was prevented from locating the mission there at the time only through the animosity of Governor Philipe de Neve. Difficulties with Pedro Fages, the military commander, compelled Father Serra in 1773 to lay the case before Viceroy Bucareli. At the capital of Mexico, by order of the viceroy, he drew up his “Representación” in thirty-two articles. Everything save two minor points was decided in his favour; he then returned to California, late in 1774. In 1778 he received the faculty to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. After he had exercised his privilege for a year, Governor Neve directed him to suspend administering the sacrament until he could present the papal Brief. For nearly two years Father Serra refrained, and then Viceroy Majorga gave instructions to the effect that Father Serra was within his rights. During the remaining three years of his life he once more visited the missions from San Diego to San Francisco, six hundred miles, in order to confirm all who had been baptized. He suffered intensely from his crippled leg and from his chest, yet he would use no remedies. He confirmed 5309 persons, who, with but few exceptions, 13


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were Indians converted during the fourteen years from 1770. Besides extraordinary fortitude, his most conspicuous virtues were insatiable zeal, love of mortification, self-denial, and absolute confidence in God. His executive abilities has been especially noted by nonCatholic writers. The esteem in which his memory is held by all classes in California may be gathered from the fact that Mrs. Stanford, not a Catholic, had a granite monument erected to him at Monterey. A bronze statute of heroic size represents him as the apostolic preacher in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. In 1884 the Legislature of California passed a concurrent resolution making 29 August of that year, the centennial of Father Serra’s burial, a legal holiday. Of his writings many letters and other documentation are extant. The principal ones are his “Diario” of the journey from Loreto to San Diego, which was published in “Out West” (March to June, 1902), and the “Representación” before mentioned. PALOU, Noticias de la Nueva California (San Francisco, 1774); IDEM, Relacion historica de la vida y apostolicas tarcas del Ven. P. Fr. Junípero Serra (Mexico City, 1787); Santa Barbara Mission Archives; San Carlos Mission Records; ENGELHARDT, Missions and Missionaries of California, I (San Francisco, 1886); GLEESON, Catholic Church in California, II (San Francisco, 1871); HITTELL, History of California, I (San Francisco, 1885); JAMES, In and Out of the Missions (New York, 1905).

Zephyrin Engelhardt.

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Saint Bernardino Realino

Tomb of Saint Bernardino Realino in Lecce.

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he 2nd of July is the feast day of Saint Bernadino Realino (1

December 1530 – 2 July 1616). He is the patron saint of Lecce. Saint Bernadino Realino was born to a noble family in Italy. He studied law and medicine and was successful attorney and judge, serving as mayor of three cities. When he was 34 years old he attended an eight-day retreat run by Jesuit priests and discerned a call to the religious life. He became a Jesuit priest in 1567 and preached, taught and visited the sick and poor in Naples and Lecce. He was known to perform miracles and was much loved for it. He was thought to be a living saint by the people. He even 15


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calmed public scandal and civil strife. When he was on his deathbed, the city leaders of Lecce approached him to become the official patron saint of the city when he died and entered heaven. After his death, vials were kept for veneration, which is known to miraculously liquefy.

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Saint Thomas the Apostle

Image: Saint Thomas Diego Velázquez (between 1619 and 1620)

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he 3rd of July is the feast day of Saint Thomas the Apostle. He

was also known as Didymus which means “the twin.” He is the patron saint of India, Saint Thomas Christians, Sri Lanka, and Pula in Croatia. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

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ST. THOMAS was one of the fishermen on the Lake of A Galilee whom Our Lord called to be His apostles. By nature slow to believe, too apt to see difficulties, and to look at the dark side of things, he had withal a most sympathetic, loving, and courageous heart. Once when Jesus spoke of the mansions in His Father’s house, St. Thomas, in his simplicity, asked: “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way?” When Jesus turned to go toward Bethany to the grave of Lazarus, the desponding apostle at once feared the worst for his beloved Lord, yet cried out bravely to the rest: “Let us also go and die with Him” After the Resurrection, incredulity again prevailed, and whilst the wounds of the crucifixion were imprinted vividly on his affectionate mind, he would not credit the report that Christ had indeed risen. But at the actual sight of the pierced hands and side, and the gentle rebuke of his Saviour, unbelief was gone forever; and his faith and ours has ever triumphed in the joyous utterance into which he broke: “My Lord and my God!” Reflection.—Cast away all disquieting doubts, and learn to triumph over old weaknesses as St. Thomas did, who “by his ignorance hath instructed the ignorant, and by, his incredulity hath served for the faith of all ages.”

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Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

c

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he 4th of July is the feast day of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

He is the patron saint of students, Young Catholics, Mountaineers, Youth groups, Catholic Action, Dominican tertiaries, and World Youth Day. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati lived between 1901 to 1925 and was born in Turin, Italy and his family was wealthy and prominent. He was known to be athletic, joyful and adventurous and he loved to 19


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climb mountains, watch theatre, opera and read literature. He had a deep spiritual life and a strong devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the Virgin Mary. He led his friends in spiritual exercises like the daily Mass and the Rosary. In 1918 he joined the St Vincent de Paul Society and in 1922 he became a Lay Dominican. He had a political interest and resisted fascism and communism, he also took part in public demonstrations and joined religious political organisations (Catholic Students Federation and Catholic Action). He spent time caring for the sick and poor though his parents would punish him when they caught him donating his money and possessions. At the age of 24, he contracted polio and died six days later. At his funeral, his parents were shocked to find thousands of the city’s poor arriving to pay respect. Pope St John Paul II called him a man of the beatitudes during his beatification in 1990.

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Saint Zoe of Rome

Saint Zoe

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he 5th of July is the feast day of Saint Zoe of Rome (d. ca. 286

AD). Saint Zoe of Rome was a noblewoman who was married to a Roman court official. She lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. She had a condition that left her unable to speak for six years, however, when she met St Sebastian she fell at his feet begging him to heal her. Saint Sebastian made a sign of the cross over her head and she was miraculously cured. She had a vision during that moment, of an angel holding a book inside of which 21


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was inscribed all the preachings of Saint Sebastian. Her first words were those of thanking and praising God. Many witnesses of this miracle brought faith in Christ. Saint Polycarp became to believe in Christ through Saint Sebastian’s miracles. She had a great devotion to Saint Peter the Apostle and while she was praying at his tomb, was arrested. They hung her by her hair on a tree and placed a fire under her feet. She died and her body was thrown into the Tiber River. She then appeared in a vision to Saint Sebastian, who was in prison awaiting his execution, to inform him of her martyrdom.

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Saint Maria Goretti

Painting of Maria Goretti. 1929

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he 6th of July is the feast day of Saint Maria Goretti (October

16, 1890 – July 6, 1902). She is the patron saint of victims of rape, crime victims, teenage girls, modern youth, and the Children of Mary. Saint Maria Goretti was born in Italy to a farming family. At the age of 9, her father died from malaria. Her mother and siblings worked in the fields and Maria managed the household and caring for her young siblings. A 19-year-old boy named Alessandro attempted to rape her while her family was in the 23


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fields. She fought back and told him that it was a sin and that he would go to Hell if he did this. He stabbed her fourteen times. The doctors tried to save her life even though she couldn’t go on anaesthetic. She lingered for two days after the attack. She verbally forgave Alessandro and offered her suffering to God. Alessendro went to jail unrepented. One day Maria appeared to him in a dream, encouraging him to repent. Alessendro woke converted and sought reconciliation with Maria’s mother after he left prison. Alessendro called Maria “his little saint.” praying to her daily. He attended her canonisation in 1950. Alessendro joined the Franciscans as a lay brother and died in 1970.

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Blessed Pope Benedict XI

Blessed Pope Benedict XI

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he 7th of July is the feast day of Blessed Pope Benedict XI

(1240 – 7 July 1304). He was born Nicola Boccasini, (Niccolò of Treviso) and was Pope from 22 October 1303 till 7 July, 1304 when he died. He was the member of the Order of Preachers and the patron saint of Treviso. The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

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(Nicholas Boccasini) Born at Treviso, Italy, 1240; died at Perugia, 7 July, 1304. He entered the Dominican Order at the age of fourteen. After fourteen years of study, he became lector of theology, which office he filled for several years. In 1296 he was elected Master General of the Order. As at this time hostility to Boniface VIII was becoming more pronounced, the new general issued an ordinance forbidding his subjects to favour in any way the opponents of the reigning pontiff; he also enjoined on them to defend in their sermons, when opportune, the legitimacy of the election of Boniface. This loyalty of Boccasini, which remained unshaken to the end, was recognized by Boniface, who showed him many marks of favour and confidence. Thus with the two cardinal-legates, the Dominican General formed the important embassy, the purpose of which was the concluding of an armistice between Edward I of England and Philip IV of France, then at war with each other. In the year 1298 Boccasini was elevated to the cardinalate; he was afterwards appointed Bishop of Ostia and Dean of the Sacred College. As at that time Hungary was rent by civil war, the cardinal-bishop was sent thither by the Holy See as legate a latere to labour for the restoration of peace. At the time of the return of the legate to Rome, the famous contest of Boniface VIII with Philip the Fair had reached its height. When, in 1303, the enemies of the pope had made themselves masters of the sacred palace, of all the 26


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cardinals and prelates only the two Cardinal-Bishops of Ostia and Sabina remained at the side of the venerable Pontiff to defend him from the violence of William of Nogaret and Sciarra Colonna. A month after this scene of violence, Boniface having died, Boccasini was unanimously elected Pope, 22 October, taking the name of Benedict XI. The principal event of his pontificate was the restoration of peace with the French court. Immediately after his election Philip sent three ambassadors to the pope bearing the royal letter of congratulation. The king, while professing his obedience and devotion, recommended to the benevolence of the pope the Kingdom and Church of France. Benedict, judging a policy of indulgence to be necessary for the restoration of peace with the French court, absolved Philip and his subjects from the censures they had incurred and restored the king and kingdom to the rights and privileges of which they had been deprived by Boniface. The Colonna cardinals were also absolved from their censures, but not reinstated in their former dignities. This policy of leniency Benedict carried out without compromising the dignity of the Holy See or the memory of Boniface VIII. Nogaret and Sciarra Colonna and those implicated in the outrage of Anagni were declared excommunicated and summoned to appear before the pontifical tribunal. After a brief pontificate of eight months, Benedict died suddenly at Perugia. It was suspected, not altogether without reason, that his sudden 27


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death was caused by poisoning through the agency of William of Nogaret. Benedict XI was beatified in the year 1773. His feast is celebrated at Rome and throughout the Dominican Order on the 7th of July. He is the author of a volume of sermons and commentaries on a part of the Gospel of St. Matthew, on the Psalms, the Book of Job, and the Apocalypse. Ptol. Luc., Hist. Eccl. III, 672; Bernardus Guidonis, Vit. pont. rom., IX, 1010; Script. Ord. Præd., I, 444; Grandjean, Les registres de Benoît XI (Paris, 1883); Funke, Papst Benedikt XI (Münster, 1891);Artaud de Montor, History of the Popes (New York, 1867), I, 481-484; Année Dominicaine, vii, 125-54; 874-77; and the monograph of Ferreton (Treviso, 1904).

M. A. Waldron.

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Saint Kilian

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he 8th of July is the feast day of Saint Kilian (640 – 8, July

689). He is also known as Killian Irish: Cillian or in Latin: Kilianus. He is the patron saint of sufferers of rheumatism. He was born in Ireland to a noble family. His piety and love of study since childhood led him to the priesthood. He became a bishop and in 686 he left Ireland with eleven other people and travelled throughout Gaul which is present-day France and parts of Germany, preaching the Gospel. He went to Rome to get official sanction from the Pope to become a missionary. He then returned north and settled in Wurzburg with two of his original companions. He became known as the Apostle of Franconia as he evangelised the pagans in Franconia and Thuringia which is north and central Germany. The Duke of Wurzburg was converted thanks to his efforts and he convinced the Duke to end his unlawful marriage. This, however, angered the Duke’s wife who did not convert. While the Duke was away she had Saint Kilian and two of his companions beheaded as they were preaching. A cathedral now stands where the martyrdom took place. During his feast, his relics and his companions are paraded through the streets and are put on display in the cathedral.

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Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

The icon of the Holy Orthodox Martyrs of China (1900)

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he 9th of July is the feast day of Saint Augustine Zhao Rong

and Companions, also known as the Martyr Saints of China, or Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions (1648–1930). Saint Augustine Zhoa Rong died in 1815 and was a soldier in China who was sent to bring the Catholic bishop, John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse to Beijing to be beheaded. However, he 30


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converted to Christianity due to the bishop’s faith and he then asked to be baptised. He took up the name of Augustine and entered the seminary to be ordained as a priest. Augustine was arrested, then tortured and martyred for his faith in 1815 and is recognised with a group of 120 martyrs who died for their faith in China in between 1648 and 1930. They were canonised by Pope Saint John Paul II n 2000. 87 of them were Chinese natives and 33 were Western missionaries.

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Saint Amalberga of Temse

Image: From the book Caractâeristiques des saints dans l’art populaire (1867)

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he 10th of July is the feast day of Saint Amalberga of Temse

(741 – 10 July 772). She is also known as Saint Amelia and is the patron saint of farmers, fishermen, sufferers of arm and shoulder pain. Saint Amalberga was born to noble and pious Christians in 32


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Ardennes which is the land bordering today’s Belgium and Luxembourg. She committed her virginity to Christ when she was young and was beautiful and virtuous. She was pursued her hand in marriage by young Charles, later known as Charlemagne, who broke her arm while trying to hold her hand. Her arm was miraculously healed afterwards. She entered the Benedictine abbey of Mßnster-Bilzen in Belgium and built a church dedicated to Our Lady in Temsche, Belgium. She is known to perform many miracles, one of which was that she stood on the back of a giant sturgeon fish. She also cured Charles who was stricken with illness because of the rude way he had treated Saint Amalberga.

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Saint Benedict of Nursia

Image: Saint Benedict by Pietro Peruginao (1495-1498)

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he 11th of June is the feast day of Saint Benedict of Nursia (c.

2 March 480 – 543 or 547 AD). He is the patron saint of; against poison; against witchcraft; agricultural workers; cavers; civil engineers; coppersmiths; dying people; erysipelas; Europe; farmers; fever; gall stones; Heerdt (Germany); Heraldry and Officers of arms; the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest; inflammatory diseases; Italian architects; kidney disease; monks; nettle rash; Norcia, (Italy); people in religious orders; schoolchildren and students; servants who have broken their 34


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master’s belongings; Speleologists; Spelunkers and temptations. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

ST. BENEDICT, blessed by grace and in name, was born of a noble Italian family about 480. When a boy he was sent to Rome, and there placed in the public schools. Scared by the licentiousness of the Roman youth, he fled to the desert mountains of Subiaco, and was directed by the Holy Spirit into a cave, deep, craggy, and almost inaccessible. He lived there for three years, unknown to any one save the holy monk Romanus, who clothed him with the monastic habit and brought him food. But the fame of his sanctity soon gathered disciples round him. The rigor of his rule, however, drew on him the hatred of some of the monks, and one of them mixed poison with the abbot’s drink; but when the Saint made the sign of the cross on the poisoned bowl, it broke and fell in pieces to the ground. After he had built twelve monasteries at Subiaco, he removed to Monte Casino, where he founded an abbey in which he wrote his rule and lived until death. By prayer he did all things: wrought miracles, saw visions, and prophesied. A peasant, whose boy had just died, ran in anguish to St. Benedict, crying out, “Give me back my son!” The monks joined the poor man in his entreaties; but the Saint replied, “Such miracles are not for us to work, but for the blessed apostles. Why will you lay upon me a burden which my weakness cannot bear? ” Moved at length by compassion he knelt down and, prostrating 35


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himself upon the body of the child, prayed earnestly. Then rising, he cried out, “Behold not, O Lord, my sins, but the faith of this man, who desireth the life of his son, and restore to the body that soul which Thou hast taken away.” Hardly had he spoken when the child’s body began to tremble, and taking it by the hand he restored it alive to its father. Six days before his death he ordered his grave to be opened, and fell ill of a fever. On the sixth day he requested to be borne into the chapel, and, having received the body and blood of Christ, with hands uplifted, and leaning on one of his disciples, he calmly expired in prayer on the 21st of March, 543. Reflection.—The Saints never feared to undertake any work, however arduous, for God, because, distrusting self, they relied for assistance and support wholly upon prayer.

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Saint Veronica

Image: Saint Veronica, by Hans Memling, c. 1470.

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he 12th of July is the feast day of Saint Veronica. She is the

patron saint of images; laundry workers, pictures, photos, photographers,; Santa Veronica, San Pablo City, and Laguna. The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

In several regions of Christendom there is honored under this name a pious matron of Jerusalem who, during the Passion of Christ, as one of the holy women who 37


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accompanied Him to Calvary, offered Him a towel on which he left the imprint of His face. She went to Rome, bringing with her this image of Christ, which was long exposed to public veneration. To her likewise are traced other relics of the Blessed Virgin venerated in several churches of the West. The belief in the existence of authentic images of Christ is connected with the old legend of Abgar of Edessa and the apocryphal writing known as the “Mors Pilati”. To distinguish at Rome the oldest and best known of these images it was called vera icon (true image), which ordinary language soon made veronica. It is thus designated in several medieval texts mentioned by the Bollandists (e.g. an old Missal of Augsburg has a Mass “De S. Veronica seu Vultus Domini”), and Matthew of Westminster speaks of the imprint of the image of the Savior which is called Veronica: “Effigies Domenici vultus quae Veronica nuncupatur”. By degrees, popular imagination mistook this word for the name of a person and attached thereto several legends which vary according to the country. In Italy Veronica comes to Rome at the summons of the Emperor Tiberius, whom she cures by making him touch the sacred image. She thenceforth remains in the capitol of the empire, living there at the same time as Sts. Peter and Paul, and at her death bequeaths the precious image to Pope Clement and his successors.

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In France she is given in marriage to Zacheus, the convert of the Gospel, accompanies him to Rome, and then to Quiercy, where her husband becomes a hermit, under the name of Amadour, in the region now called Rocamadour. Meanwhile Veronica joins Martial, whom she assists in his apostolic preaching. In the region of Bordeaux Veronica, shortly after the Ascension of Christ, lands at Soulac at the mouth of the Gironde, bringing relics of the Blessed Virgin; there she preaches, dies, and is buried in the tomb which was long venerated either at Soulac or in the Church of St. Seurin at Bordeaux. Sometimes she has even been confounded with a pious woman who, according to Gregory of Tours, brought to the neighboring town of Bazas some drops of the blood of John the Baptist, at whose beheading she was present. In many places she is identified with the Haemorrhissa who was cured in the Gospel. These pious traditions cannot be documented, but there is no reason why the belief that such an act of compassion did occur should not find expression in the veneration paid to one called Veronica, even though the name has found no place in the Hieronymian Martyrology or the oldest historical Martyrologies, and St. Charles Borromeo excluded the Office of St. Veronica from the Milan Missal 39


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where it had been introduced. The Roman Martyrology also records at Milan St. Veronica de Binasco, the Order of St. Augustine, on 13 January, and St. Veronica Giuliani on 9 July. Acta SS. Bolland., Feb. I (Paris, 1863); Maury, Lettres sur l’etymologie du nom de Veronique, apotre de l’Aquitaine (Toulouse, 1877); Bourrieres, Saint Amadour et Sainte Veronique (Cahors, 1894); Palme, Die deutchen Veronicalegenden des XII Jahrh. (Prague, 1892)

Antoine Degert.

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Saint Henry II

Image: Sacramentary of King Henry II

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he 13th of July is the feast day of Saint Henry II (6 May 973 –

13 July 1024). He was Holy Emperor from 1014 till his death in 1024 and was the last of the Ottonian dynasty of Emperors as he was childless. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

HENRY, Duke of Bavaria, saw in a vision his guardian, St. Wolfgang, pointing to the words “after six.” This moved 41


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him to prepare for death, and for six years he continued to watch and pray, when, at the end of the sixth year, he found the warning verified in his election as emperor. Thus trained in the fear of God, he ascended the throne with but one thought—to reign for His greater glory. The pagan Slavs were then despoiling the empire. Henry attacked them with a small force; but angels and Saints were seen leading his troops, and the heathen fled in despair. Poland and Bohemia, Moravia and Burgundy, were in turn annexed to his kingdom, Pannonia and Hungary won to the Church. With the Faith secured in Germany, Henry passed into Italy, drove out the Antipope Gregory, brought Benedict VIII. back to Rome, and was crowned in St. Peter’s by that Pontiff, in 1014. It was Henry’s custom, on arriving in any town, to spend his first night in watching in some church dedicated to our blessed Lady. As he was thus praying in St. Mary Major’s, the first night of his arrival in Rome, he “saw the Sovereign and Eternal Priest Christ Jesus” enter to say Mass. Sts. Laurence and Vincent assisted as deacon and sub-deacon. Saints innumerable filled the church, and angels sang in the choir. After the Gospel, an angel was sent by Our Lady to give Henry the book to kiss. Touching him lightly on the thigh, as the angel did to Jacob, he said, “Accept this sign of God’s love for your chastity and justice;” and from that time the emperor always was lame. Like holy David, Henry employed the fruits of his conquests in the service of the temple. The forests and mines of the empire, the best that his treasury could produce, were consecrated to 42


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the sanctuary. Stately cathedrals, noble monasteries, churches innumerable, enlightened and sanctified the once heathen lands. In 1022 Henry lay on his bed of death. He gave back to her parents his wife, St. Cunegunda, “a virgin still, as a virgin he had received her from Christ,” and surrendered his own pure soul to God. Reflection.—St. Henry deprived himself of many things to enrich the house of God. We clothe ourselves in purple and fine linen, and leave Jesus in poverty and neglect.

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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Image: Kateri Tekakwitha – Oil Painting by Father Claude Chauchetière S.J. (1690)

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he 14th of July is the feast day of Saint Kateri

Tekakwitha (1656 – April 17, 1680). She is also known as Lily of the Mohawks and was baptised with the Christian name of Catherine. She is the patron saint of patronage ecologists, ecology, environment, environmentalism, environmentalists, loss of parents, people in exile, people ridiculed for their piety, Native Americans, Igorots, Cordilleras, Thomasites, Northern Luzon, Diocese of Bangued, Vicariate of Tabuk, Vicariate of Bontoc44


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Lagawe, Diocese of Baguio, and Philippines. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha was born in what is today’s, New York. Her father was a Mohawk chief, and her mother was converted to the Christian faith by Jesuit missionaries. A smallpox epidemic killed her entire family and at the age of four, she contracted the disease which left her partially blind, disfigured and crippled. Her uncle, who was against Christianity, raised her. Kateri was drawn to the Christian faith which the missionaries were evangelising near her village. She was baptised at the age of 20 and took the Christian name Catherine after Saint Catherine of Siena. Her uncle was opposed to her conversion and she was ostracised by her people. Since her life was in danger due to her conversion, a priest helped her to escape to Montreal, Canada to a French Jesuit mission. The journey was over 200 miles which she did on foot. She spent her life in prayer and penance and rejected marriage. She was known as a miracle worker and she died at the age of 24. In 1980 she was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II and was the first Native American saint when she was canonised in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.

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Saint Bonaventure

Image: The Prayer of St. Bonaventura about the Selection of the New Pope by Francisco de Zurbarán (1628 – 1629)

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he 15th of July is the feast day of Saint Bonaventure (1221 –

15 July 1274). He was born Giovanni di Fidanza. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

SANCTITY and learning raised Bonaventure to the Church’s highest honors, and from a child he was the companion of Saints. Yet at heart he was ever the poor 46


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Franciscan friar, and practised and taught humility and mortification. St. Francis gave him his name; for, having miraculously cured him of a mortal sickness, he prophetically exclaimed of the child, “O bona ventura!”—good luck. He is known also as the “Seraphic Doctor,” from the fervor of divine love which breathes in his writings. He was the friend of St. Thomas Aquinas, who asked him one day whence he drew his great learning. He replied by pointing to his crucifix. At another time St. Thomas found him in ecstasy while writing the life of St. Francis, and exclaimed, “Let us leave a Saint to write of a Saint.” They received the Doctor’s cap together. He was the guest and adviser of St. Louis, and the director of St. Isabella, the king’s sister. At the age of thirty-five he was made general of his Order; and only escaped another dignity, the Archbishopric of York, by dint of tears and entreaties. Gregory X. appointed him Cardinal Bishop of Albano. When the Saint heard of the Pope’s resolve to create him a Cardinal, he quietly made his escape from Italy. But Gregory sent him a summons to return to Rome. On his way, he stopped to rest himself at a convent of his Order near Florence; and there two Papal messengers, sent to meet him with the Cardinal’s hat, found him washing the dishes. The Saint desired them to hang the hat on a bush that was near, and take a walk in the garden until he had finished what he was about. Then taking up the hat with unfeigned sorrow, he joined the messengers, and paid them the respect due to their character. He sat at the Pontiff’s right hand, and spoke 47


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first at the Council of Lyons. His piety and eloquence won over the Greeks to Catholic union, and then his strength failed. He died while the Council was sitting, and was buried by the assembled bishops, A. D. 1274. Reflection.—”The fear of God,” says St. Bonaventure, “forbids a man to give his heart to transitory things, which are the true seeds of sin.”

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Image: Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saints (Simon Stock, Angelus of Jerusalem, Mary Magdalene de’Pazzi, Teresa of Avila) by Pietro Novelli (1641)

T

he 16th of July is the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 49


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and 1386 under the title “Commemoratio B. Marif Virg. duplex” to celebrate the victory of their order over its enemies on obtaining the approbation of its name and constitution from Honorius III on 30 Jan., 1226 (see Colvenerius, “Kal. Mar.”, 30 Jan. “Summa Aurea”, III, 737). The feast was assigned to 16 July, because on that date in 1251, according to Carmelite traditions, the scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin to St. Simon Stock; it was first approved by Sixtus V in 1587. After Cardinal Bellarmine had examined the Carmelite traditions in 1609, it was declared the patronal feast of the order, and is now celebrated in the Carmelite calendar as a major double of the first class with a vigil and a privileged octave (like the octave of Epiphany, admitting only a double of the first class) under the title “Commemoratio solemnis B.V.M. de Monte Carmelo”. By a privilege given by Clement X in 1672, some Carmelite monasteries keep the feast on the Sunday after 16 July, or on some other Sunday in July. In the seventeenth century the feast was adopted by several dioceses in the south of Italy, although its celebration, outside of Carmelite churches, was prohibited in 1628 by a decree contra abusus. On 21 Nov., 1674, however, it was first granted by Clement X to Spain and its colonies, in 1675 to Austria, in 1679 to Portugal and its colonies, and in 1725 to the Papal States of the Church, on 24 Sept., 1726, it was extended to the entire Latin Church by Benedict XIII. The lessons contain the legend of the scapular; the promise of the Sabbatine privilege was inserted into the lessons by 50


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Paul V about 1614. The Greeks of southern Italy and the Catholic Chaldeans have adopted this feast of the “Vestment of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. The object of the feast is the special predilection of Mary for those who profess themselves her servants by wearing her scapular (see CARMELITES). FREDERICK G. HOLWECK

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Saint Marie-Madeleine Postel

T

he 16th of July is the feast day of Saint Marie-Madeleine

Postel (28 November 1756 – 16 July 1846). She was born as Julie Françoise-Catherine Postel and is the patron saint of Sisters of Christian Schools. Saint Marie Magdelen Postel was born in Normandy to a family of seven other children. She was well known for her generosity as a child, she would give her food and belongings to those in need and was often rebuked for her actions. Educated by Benedictine nuns, she decided to devote her life to God and made a vow of chastity. When she was 18 she started a school for girls which ran for five years until it was shut down due to the French Revolution. She would house fugitive priests in the school and encouraged the faithful during the persecution. She was also granted special permission to keep the Blessed Sacrament in order to give it those who were in danger of death. After the unrest, she founded “The Poor Daughters of Mercy” which lived under the rule of the Third Order of Saint Francis. The community was renamed “Sisters of the Christian Schools of Mercy” and took the rule of Saint John Baptist de la Salle. She died at the age of 90.

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Saint Alexius of Rome

Image: Saint Alexius

T

he 17th of July is the feast day of Saint Alexius of Rome (4th

Century – 5th Century). He is also known as Alexis of Edessa and is the patron saint of Alexians; beggars; belt makers; nurses; pilgrims; and travellers. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

ST. ALEXIUS was the only son of parents pre-eminent among the Roman nobles for virtue, birth, and wealth. On 53


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his wedding-night, by God’s special inspiration, he secretly quitted Rome, and journeying to Edessa, in the far East, gave away all that he had brought with him, content thenceforth to live on alms at the gate of Our Lady’s church in that city. It came to pass that the servants of St. Alexius, whom his father sent in search of him, arrived at Edessa, and seeing him among the poor at the gate of Our Lady’s church, gave him an alms, not recognizing him. Whereupon the man of God, rejoicing, said, “I thank thee, O Lord, Who hast called me and granted that I should receive for Thy name’s sake an alms from my own slaves. Deign to fulfil in me the work Thou hast begun.” After seventeen years, when his sanctity was miraculously manifested by the Blessed Virgin’s image, he once more sought obscurity by flight. On his way to Tarsus contrary winds drove his ship to Rome. There no one recognized in the wan and tattered mendicant the heir of Rome’s noblest house; not even his sorrowing parents, who had vainly sent throughout the world in search of him. From his father’s charity he begged a mean corner of his palace as a shelter, and the leavings of his table as food. Thus he spent seventeen years, bearing patiently the mockery and ill-usage of his own slaves, and witnessing daily the inconsolable grief of his spouse and parents. At last, when death had ended this cruel martyrdom, they learned too late, from a writing in his own hand, who it was that they had unknowingly sheltered. God bore testimony to His servant’s sanctity by many miracles. He died early in the fifth century. 54


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Reflection.—We must always be ready to sacrifice our dearest and best natural affections in obedience to the call of our heavenly Father. “Call none your father upon earth, for one is your Father in heaven” (Matt. xxiii. 9) . Our Lord has taught us this not by words only, but by His own example and by that of His Saints.

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Saint Camillus de Lellis

Image: Saint Camillus de Lellis

T

he 18th of July is the feast day of Saint Camillus de Lellis (25

May 1550 – 14 July 1614). He is the patron saint of sick; hospitals; nurses; and physicians. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

THE early years of Camillus gave no sign of sanctity. At the age of nineteen he took service with his father, an Italian noble, against the Turks, and after four years’ hard 56


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campaigning found himself, through his violent temper, reckless habits, and inveterate passion for gambling, a discharged soldier, and in such straitened circumstances that he was obliged to work as a laborer on a Capuchin convent which was then building. A few words from a Capuchin friar brought about his conversion, and he resolved to become a religious. Thrice he entered the Capuchin novitiate, but each time an obstinate wound in his leg forced him to leave. He repaired to Rome for medical treatment, and there took St. Philip as his confessor, and entered the hospital of St. Giacomo, of which he became in time the superintendent. The carelessness of the paid chaplains and nurses towards the suffering patients now inspired him with the thought of founding a congregation to minister to their wants. With this end he was ordained priest, and in 1586 his community of the Servants of the Sick was confirmed by the Pope. Its usefulness was soon felt, not only in hospitals, but in private houses. Summoned at every hour of the day and night, the devotion of Camillus never grew cold. With a woman’s tenderness he attended to the needs of his patients. He wept with them, consoled them, and prayed with them. He knew miraculously the state of their souls; and St. Philip saw angels whispering to two Servants of the Sick who were consoling a dying person. One day a sick man said to the Saint, “Father, may I beg you to make up my bed? it is very hard.” Camillus replied, “God forgive you, brother! You beg me! Don’t you know yet that you are to command me, for I am your servant 57


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and slave.” “Would to God,” he would cry, “that in the hour of my death one sigh or one blessing of these poor creatures might fall upon me!” His prayer was heard. He was granted the same consolations in his last hour which he had so often procured for others. In the year 1614 he died with the full use of his faculties, after two weeks’ saintly preparation, as the priest was reciting the words of the ritual, “May Jesus Christ appear to thee with a mild and joyful countenance!” Reflection.—St. Camillus venerated the sick as living images of Christ, and by ministering to them in this spirit did penance for the sins of his youth, led a life precious in merit, and from a violent and quarrelsome soldier became a gentle and tender Saint.

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Saint Macrina the Younger

Image: St. Macrina the Younger (fresco in Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev)

T

he 19th of July is the feast day of Saint Macrina the

Younger (c. 330– 19 July 379). The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

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St. Macrina the Younger, b. about 330; d. 379. She was the eldest child of Basil and the Elder Emmelia, the granddaughter of St. Macrina the Elder, and the sister of the Cappadocian Fathers, Sts. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa. The last-mentioned has left us a biography of his sister in the form of a panegyric (“Vita Macrinæ Junioris” in P. G., XLVI, 960 sq.). She received an excellent intellectual training, though one based more on the study of Holy Writ than on that of profane literature. When she was but twelve years old, her father had already arranged a marriage for her with a young advocate of excellent family. Soon afterwards, however, her affianced husband died suddenly, and Macrina resolved to devote herself to a life of perpetual virginity and the pursuit of Christian perfection. She exercised great influence over the religious training of her younger brothers, especially St. Peter, afterwards Bishop of Sebaste, and through her St. Gregory received the greatest intellectual stimulation. On the death of their father, Basil took her, with their mother, to a family estate on the River Iris, in Pontus. Here, with their servants and other companions, they led a life of retirement, consecrating themselves to God. Strict asceticism, zealous meditation on the truths of Christianity, and prayer were the chief concerns of this community. Not only the brothers of St. Macrina, but also St. Gregory of Nazianzus and Eustathius of Sebaste were associated with this pious circle and were there stimulated to make still further advances towards Christian perfection. After the death of her mother 60


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Emmelia, Macrina became the head of this community, in which the truth of the earnest Christian life matured so gloriously. On his return from a synod at Antioch, towards the end of 379, Gregory of Nyasa visited his deeply venerated sister, and found her grievously ill. In pious discourse, the brother and sister spoke of the life beyond and of the meeting in heaven. Soon afterwards Macrina passed blissfully to her reward. Gregory composed a “Dialogue on the Soul and Resurrection” (περὶ ψυχῆς καὶ ἀναστάσεως), treating of his pious discourse with his dying sister. In this, Macrina appears as teacher, and treats of the soul, death, the resurrection, and the restoration of all things. Hence, the title of the work, τὰ Μακρίνια (P.G., XLVI, 12 sq.). Her feast be celebrated 19 July. Acta SS., Jan I, 952 sq; July. IV, 589 sq.; Allard, StBasile (Paris, 1899); Bouty, Sainte Macrine in Revus Augustinienne (July, 1902), 265-88. J. P. Kirsch.

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Saint Margaret of Antioch

Image: Saint Margaret of Antioch by Peter Candid (second half of the 16th century)

T

he 20th of July is the feast of Saint Margaret of

Antioch (289-304). She is also known as Saint Marina the Great Martyr and Margaret the Virgin. She is the patron saint of childbirth, pregnant women, dying people, kidney disease, peasants, exiles, falsely accused people; Lowestoft, England; Queens’ College, Cambridge; nurses; and Sannat and Bormla, 62


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Malta. The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

Virgin and martyr; also called M ARINA ; belonged to Pisidian Antioch in Asia Minor, where her father was a pagan priest. Her mother dying soon after her birth, Margaret was nursed by a pious woman five or six leagues from Antioch. Having embraced Christianity and consecrated her virginity to God, she was disowned by her father and adopted by her nurse. While she was one day engaged in watching the flocks of her mistress, a lustful Roman prefect named Olybrius caught sight of her, and attracted by her great beauty sought to make her his concubine or wife. When neither cajolery nor threats of punishment could succeed in moving her to yield to his desires, he had her brought before him in public trial at Antioch. Threatened with death unless she renounced the Christian faith, the holy virgin refused to adore the gods of the empire and an attempt was made to burn her, but the flames, we are told in her Acts, left her unhurt. She was then bound hand and foot and thrown into a cauldron of boiling water, but at her prayer her bonds were broken and she stood up uninjured. Finally the prefect ordered her to be beheaded. The Greek Church honors her under the name Marine on 13 July; the Latin, as Margaret on 20 July. Her Acts place

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her death in the persecution of Diocletian (A.D. 303-5), but in fact even the century to which she belonged is uncertain. St. Margaret is represented in art sometimes as a shepherdess, or as leading a chained dragon, again carrying a little cross or a girdle in her hand, or standing by a large vessel which recalls the cauldron into which she was plunged. Relics said to belong to the saint are venerated in very many parts of Europe; at Rome, Montefiascone, Brusels, Bruges, Paris, Froidmont, Troyes, and various other places. Curiously enough this virgin has been widely venerated for many centuries as a special patron of women who are pregnant. Acta Sanctorum, XXIX, 24-44, Les Petits Bollandistes, VIII, p.509-16; ASSEMANI, Kalend. Eccles. Univ., VI, pp.483-5; TILLEMONT, Hist. Eccles., V, 797-798; BUTLER, Lives of the Saints, 20 July.

J. MACRORY

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Saint Victor of Marseilles

Image: Saint Victor of Marseilles

T

he 21st of July is the feast of Saint Victor of Marseilles (died

c. 290). He is the patron saint of cabinetmakers, millers, torture victims, sick children; and invoked against lightning. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

THE Emperor Maximian, reeking with the blood of the 65


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ThebĂŚan legion and many other martyrs, arrived at Marseilles, where the Church then flourished. The tyrant breathed here nothing but slaughter and fury, and his coming filled the Christians with fear and alarm. In this general consternation, Victor, a Christian officer in the troops, went about in the night-time from house to house, visiting the faithful and inspiring them with contempt of a temporal death and the love of eternal life. He was surprised in this, and brought before the prefects Asterius and Eutychius, who exhorted him not to lose the fruit of all his services and the favor of his prince for the worship of a dead man, as they called Jesus Christ. He answered that he renounced those recompenses if he could not enjoy them without being unfaithful to Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, Who vouchsafed to become man for our salvation, but Who raised Himself from the dead, and reigns with the Father, being God equally with Him. The whole court heard him with shouts of rage. Victor was bound hand and foot and dragged through the streets of the city, exposed to the blows and insults of the populace. He was brought back bruised and bloody to the tribunal of the prefects, who, thinking his resolution must have been weakened by his sufferings, pressed him again to adore their gods. But the martyr, filled with the Holy Ghost, expressed his respect for the emperor and his contempt for their gods. He was then hoisted on the rack and tortured a long time, until, the tormentors being at last weary, the prefect ordered him to be taken down and thrown into a dark dungeon. At midnight, God visited him 66


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by His angels; the prison was filled with a light brighter than that of the sun, and the martyr sung with the angels the praises of God. Three soldiers who guarded the prison,seeing this light, cast themselves at the martyr’s feet, asked his pardon, and desired Baptism. Victor instructed them as well as time would permit, sent for priests the same night, and, going with them to the seaside, had them baptized, and returned with them again to his prison. The next morning Maximian was informed of the conversion of the guards, and in a transport of rage sent officers to bring them all four before him. The three soldiers persevered in the confession of Jesus Christ, and by the emperor’s orders were forthwith beheaded. Victor, after having been exposed to the insults of the whole city and beaten with clubs and scourged with leather thongs, was carried back to prison, where he continued three days, recommending to God his martyrdom with many tears. After that term the emperor called him again before his tribunal, and commanded the martyr to offer incense to a statue of Jupiter. Victor went up to the profane altar, and by a kick of his foot threw it down. The emperor ordered the foot to be forthwith chopped off, which the Saint suffered with great joy, offering to God these firstfruits of his body. A few moments after, the emperor condemned him to be put under the grindstone of a handmill and crushed to death. The executioners turned the wheel, and when part of his body was bruised and crushed the mill broke down. The Saint still breathed a little, but his head was immediately ordered to be cut off. His and 67


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the other three bodies were thrown into the sea, but, being cast ashore, were buried by the Christians in a grotto hewn out of a rock.

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Saint Mary Magdalene

Image: Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena (1835) by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov.

T

he 22nd of July is the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene. She

is the patron saint of Apothecaries; Kawit, Cavite; Atrani, Italy; Casamicciola Terme, Ischia; contemplative life; converts; glove makers; hairdressers; penitent sinners; people ridiculed for their piety; perfumeries; pharmacists; sexual temptation; tanners; and women. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

Or the earlier life of Mary Magdalen we know only that she was “a woman who was a sinner.” From the depth of 69


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her degradation she raised her eyes to Jesus with sorrow, hope, and love. All covered with shame, she came In where Jesus was at meat, and knelt behind him. She said not a word, but bathed His feet with her tears, wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed them in humility, and at their touch her sins and her stain were gone. Then she poured on them the costly unguent prepared for far other uses; and His own divine lips rolled away her reproach, spoke her absolution, and bade her go in peace. Thenceforward she ministered to Jesus, sat at His feet, and heard His words. She was one of the family “whom Jesus so loved” that He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead. Once again, on the eve of His Passion, she brought the precious ointment, and, now purified and beloved, poured it on His head, and the whole house of God is still filled with the fragrance of her anointing. She stood with Our Lady and St. John at the foot of the cross, the representative of the many who have had much forgiven. To her first, after His blessed Mother, and through her to His apostles, Our Lord gave the certainty of His resurrection; and to her first He made Himself known, calling her by her name, because she was His. When the faithful were scattered by persecution the family of Bethany found refuge in Provence. The cave in which St. Mary lived for thirty years is still seen, and the chapel on the mountaintop, in which she was caught up daily, like St. Paul, to “visions and revelations of the Lord.” When her end drew near she was borne to a spot still marked by a “sacred pillar,” where the holy Bishop 70


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Maximin awaited her; and when she had received her Lord, she peacefully fell asleep in death. Reflection.—”Compunction of heart,” says St. Bernard, “is a treasure infinitely to be desired, and an unspeakable gladness to the heart. It is healing to the soul; it is remission of sins; it brings back again the Holy Spirit into the humble and loving heart.”

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Saint Bridget of Sweden

Images: Birgitta of Sweden on an altarpiece in Salem church, Södermanland, Sweden

T

he 23rd of July is the feast day of Saint Bridget of

Sweden (1303 – 23 July 1373). She was born Birgitta Birgersdotter, and also known as Birgitta of Vadstena, or Saint Birgitta. She is the patron saint of Europe, Sweden, and widows. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

ST. BRIDGET was born of the Swedish royal family, in 72


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1304. In obedience to her father, she was married to Prince Ulpho of Sweden, and became the mother of eight children, one of whom, Catherine, is honored as a Saint. After some years she and her husband separated by mutual consent. He entered the Cistercian Order, and Bridget founded the Order of St. Saviour, in the Abbey of Wastein, in Sweden. In 1344 she became a widow, and thenceforth received a series of the most sublime revelations, all of which she scrupulously submitted to the judgment of her confessor. By the command of Our Lord, Bridget went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and amidst the very scenes of the Passion was further instructed in the sacred mysteries. She died in 1373. Reflection.—”Is confession a matter of much time or expense?” asks St. John Chrysostom. “Is it a difficult and painful remedy? Without cost or hurt, the medicine is ever ready to restore you to perfect health.”

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Saint Christina the Astonishing

Image: Saint Christina the Astonishing

T

he 24th of July is the feast day of Saint Christina the

Astonishing

(c.1150 – 24 July 1224). She is also known

as Christina Mirabilis and is the patron saint of Millers, people with mental disorders, and mental health workers. She lived between 1150 till 1224. Her family were Belgium peasants and both her parents died while she was a child and she was raised by her two older sisters. She suffered a severe seizure at the age of 21 and thought dead. However, during her funeral, she revived and levitated before the congregation. She later explained that this was because she couldn’t bear the smell of the sinful people there. She also said that during her coma, she went to heaven, hell and purgatory and that purgatory was a very 74


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gloomy place, filled with souls whose torments endured could not be described. She was then offered a choice to remain in heaven or return to earth to suffer penances for the souls in purgatory. Christina chose to return to earth and from then on lived in extreme poverty, wearing rags, sleeping on rocks and begging for food. She was jailed twice, first because they suspected her of being possessed. She would throw herself into burning furnaces and stayed there for extended times, uttering frightful cries, but when came out, had no signs of burns on her. In winter she plunged into the frozen Meuse River for hours, days and weeks at a time, praying to God and imploring God’s mercy. She sometimes would be carried by the currents down the river to a mill where the wheel would whirl her round, but she didn’t suffer any dislocations or broken bones. She died of natural causes at the age of 74.

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Saint Christopher

Image: St. Christopher Carrying the Christ Child, by Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1485)

T

he 25th of July is the feast day of Saint Christopher (d. c.

251). He is the patron saint of bachelors, transportation (drivers, sailors, etc.), traveling (especially for long journeys), surfing, storms, Brunswick, Saint Christopher’s Island (Saint Kitts), Island Rab, Vilnius, epilepsy, gardeners, holy death, and toothache. The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

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(Gr. χριστός, Christ, φέρειν, to bear. Lat. Christophorus, i.e. Christbearer). A martyr, probably of the third century. Although St. Christopher is one of the most popular saints in the East and in the West, almost nothing certain is known about his life or death. The legend says: A heathen king (in Canaan or Arabia), through the prayers of his wife to the Blessed Virgin, had a son, whom he called Offerus (Offro, Adokimus, or Reprebus) and dedicated to the gods Machmet and Apollo. Acquiring in time extraordinary size and strength, Offerus resolved to serve only the strongest and the bravest. He bound himself successively to a mighty king and to Satan, but he found both lacking in courage, the former dreading even the name of the devil, and the latter frightened by the sight of a cross at the roadside. For a time his search for a new master was in vain, but at last he found a hermit (Babylas?) who told him to offer his allegiance to Christ, instructed him in the Faith, and baptized him. Christopher, as he was now called, would not promise to do any fasting or praying, but willingly accepted the task of carrying people, for God’s sake, across a raging stream. One day he was carrying a child who continually grew heavier, so that it seemed to him as if he had the whole world on his shoulders. The child, on inquiry, made himself known as the Creator and Redeemer of the world. To prove his statement the child ordered Christopher to fix his staff in the ground. The next morning it had grown into a palm-tree bearing fruit. 77


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The miracle converted many. This excited the rage of the king (prefect) of that region (Dagnus of Samos in Lycia?). Christopher was put into prison and, after many cruel torments, beheaded. The Greek legend may belong to the sixth century; about the middle of the ninth, we find it spread through France. Originally, St. Christopher was only a martyr, and as such is recorded in the old martyrologies. The simple form of the Greek and Latin passio soon gave way to more elaborate legends. We have the Latin edition in prose and verse of 983 by the subdeacon Walter of Speyer, “Thesaurus anecdotorum novissimus” (Augsburg, 1721-23), II, 27-142, and Harster, “Walter von Speyer” (1878). An edition of the eleventh century is found in the Acta SS., and another in the “Golden Legend” of Jacob de Voragine. The idea conveyed in the name, at first understood in the spiritual sense of bearing Christ in the heart, was in the twelfth or thirteenth century taken in the realistic meaning and became the characteristic of the saint. The fact that he was frequently called a great martyr may have given rise to the story of his enormous size. The stream and the weight of the child may have been intended to denote the trials and struggles of a soul taking upon itself the yoke of Christ in this world. The existence of a martyr St. Christopher cannot be denied, as was sufficiently shown by the Jesuit Nicholas Serarius, in his treatise on litanies, “Litaneutici” (Cologne, 1609), and by Molanus in his history of sacred pictures, 78


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“De picturis et imaginibus sacris” (Louvain, 1570). In a small church dedicated to the martyr St. Christopher, the body of St. Remigius of Reims was buried, 532 (Acta SS., 1 Oct., 161). St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) speaks of a monastery of St. Christopher (Epp., x., 33). The Mozarabic Breviary and Missal, ascribed to St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636), contains a special office in his honour. In 1386 a brotherhood was founded under the patronage of St. Christopher in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, to guide travellers over the Arlberg. In 1517, a St. Christopher temperance society existed in Carinthia, Styria, in Saxony, and at Munich. Great veneration was shown to the saint in Venice, along the shores of the Danube, the Rhine, and other rivers where floods or ice-jams caused frequent damage. The oldest picture of the saint, in the monastery on the Mount Sinai dates from the time of Justinian (527-65). Coins with his image were cast at Würzburg, in Würtermberg, and in Bohemia. His statues were placed at the entrances of churches and dwellings, and frequently at bridges; these statues and his pictures often bore the inscription: “Whoever shall behold the image of St. Christopher shall not faint or fall on that day.” The saint, who is one of the fourteen holy helpers, has been chosen as patron by Baden, by Brunswick, and by Mecklenburg, and several other cities, as well as by bookbinders, gardeners, mariners, etc. He is invoked against lightning, storms, epilepsy, pestilence, etc. His feast is kept on 25 July; among the Greeks, on 9 March; and his emblems are the tree, the Christ Child, and a staff. St. Christopher’s 79


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Island (commonly called St. Kitts), lies 46 miles west of Antigua in the Lesser Antilles. FRANCIS MERSHMAN

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Saints Anne and Joachim

Image: Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Virgin Mary

T

he 26th of July is the feast day of Saints Anne (c. 50 BC – 12

AD) and Joachim (c. 50 B.C. – 15 AD). Saint Anne is the patron saint of Brittany, Canada, Detroit, Fasnia (Tenerife); Mainar; carpenters; child care providers; childless people; children; equestrians; grandparents; homemakers/housewives; lace makers; lost articles; miners; mothers; moving house; old-clothes dealers; poverty; pregnancy; seamstresses; stablemen; sterility; and teachers. Saint Joachim is the patron saint of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, Dolores, Eastern Samar, fathers, grandparents, and 81


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Fasnia (Tenerife). The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

ST. ANNE was the spouse of St. Joachim, and was chosen by God to be the mother of Mary, His own blessed Mother on earth. They were both of the royal house of David, and their lives were wholly occupied in prayer and good works. One thing only was wanting to their union.—they were childless, and this was held as a bitter misfortune among the Jews. At length, when Anne was an aged woman, Mary was born, the fruit rather of grace than of nature, and the child more of God than of man. With the birth of Mary the aged Anne began a new life: she watched her every movement with reverent tenderness, and felt herself hourly sanctified by the presence of her immaculate child. But she had vowed her daughter to God, to God Mary had consecrated herself again, and to Him Anne gave her back. Mary was three years old when Anne and Joachim led her up the Temple steps, saw her pass by herself into the inner sanctuary, and then saw her no more. Thus was Anne left childless in her lone old age, and deprived of her purest earthly joy just when she needed it most. She humbly adored the Divine Will, and began again to watch and pray, till God called her to unending rest with the Father and the Spouse of Mary in the home of Mary’s Child. Reflection.—St. Anne is glorious among the Saints, not 82


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only as the mother of Mary, but because she gave Mary to God. Learn from her to reverence a divine vocation as the highest privilege, and to sacrifice every natural tie, however holy, at the call of God. The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

Joachim (whose name means Yahweh prepares), was the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. If we were to obey the warning of St. Peter Damian, we should consider it a blameable and needless curiosity to inquire about those things that the Evangelists did not deem it advisable to relate, and, in particular, about the parents of the Blessed Virgin (Serm. iii de Nativ. B.M.V.). Tradition nevertheless, grounded on very old testimonies, very early hailed Saints Joachim and Anne as the father and mother of the Mother of God. True, this tradition seems to rest ultimately on the so-called “Gospel of James”, the “Gospel of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary”, and the Pseudo-Matthew, or “Book of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Childhood of the Saviour”; and this origin is likely to rouse well-founded suspicions. It should be borne in mind, however, that the apocryphal character of these writings, that is to say, their rejection from the canon, and their ungenuineness do not imply that no heed whatever should be taken of some of their assertions; side by side, indeed, with unwarranted and legendary facts, they contain some historical data 83


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borrowed from reliable traditions or documents; and difficult though it is to distinguish in them the wheat from the tares, it would be unwise and uncritical indiscriminately to reject the whole. Some commentators, who believe that the genealogy given by St. Luke is that of the Blessed Virgin, find the mention of Joachim in Heli (Luke, iii, 23; Eliachim, i.e. Jeho-achim), and explain that Joseph had, in the eyes of the law, become by his marriage the son of Joachim. That such is the purpose and the meaning of the Evangelist is very doubtful, and so is the identification proposed between the two names Heli and Joachim. Neither can it be asserted with certainty, in spite of the authority of the Bollandists, that Joachim was Heli’s son and Joseph’s brother; nor, as is sometimes affirmed, from sources of very doubtful value, that he had large possessions in herds and flocks. Much more interesting are the beautiful lines in which the “Gospel of James” describes how, in their old age, Joachim and Anne received the reward of their prayers to obtain issue. Tradition has it that the parents of the Blessed Virgin, who, apparently, first lived in Galilee, came later on to settle in Jerusalem; there the Blessed Virgin was born and reared; there also they died and were buried. A church, known at various epochs as St. Mary, St. Mary ubi nata est, St. Mary in Probatica, Holy Probatica, St. Anne, was built during the fourth century, possibly by St. Helena, on the site of the house of St. Joachim and St. Anne, and their tombs were there honoured until the close of the ninth century, when the church was converted into 84


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a Moslem school. The crypt which formerly contained the holy tombs was rediscovered on 18 March, 1889. St. Joachim was honoured very early by the Greeks, who celebrate his feast on the day following the Blessed Virgin’s birthday; the Latins were slow to admit it to their calendar, where it found place sometimes on 16 Sept. and sometimes on 9 Dec. Assigned by Julius II to 20 March, the solemnity was suppressed some fifty years later, restored by Gregory XV (1622), fixed by Clement XII (1738) on the Sunday after the Assumption, and finally raised to the rank of double of the second class by Leo XIII (1 Aug., 1879). CHARLES L. SOUVAY

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Saint Pope Celestine I

Image: Saint Pope Celestine I

T

he 27th of July is the feast day of Saint Pope Celestine I (d. 1

August 432). The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

ST. CELESTINE was a native of Rome, and upon the demise of Pope Boniface he was chosen to succeed him, in September 422, by the wonderful consent of the whole city. His first official act was to confirm the condemnation of an African bishop who had been convicted of grave crimes. He wrote also to the bishops of the provinces of Vienne and Narbonne in Gaul, to correct several abuses, 86


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and ordered, among other things, that absolution or reconciliation should never be refused to any dying sinner who sincerely asked it; for repentance depends not so much on time as on the heart. He assembled a synod at Rome in 430, in which the writings of Nestorius were examined, and his blasphemies in maintaining in Christ a divine and a human person were condemned. The Pope pronounced sentence of excommunication against Nestorius, and deposed him. Being informed that Agricola, the son of a British bishop called Saverianus, who had been married before he was raised to the priesthood, had spread the seeds of the Pelagian heresy in Britain, St. Celestine sent thither St. Germanus of Auxerre, whose zeal and conduct happily prevented the threatening danger. He also sent St. Palladius, a Roman, to preach the Faith to the Scots, both in North Britain and in Ireland, and many authors of the life of St. Patrick say that apostle likewise received his commission to preach to the Irish from St. Celestine, in 431. This holy Pope died on the 1st of August, in 432, having reigned almost ten years. Reflection.—Vigilance is truly needful to those to whom the care of souls has been confided. “Blessed are the servants whom the Lord at His coming shall find watching.�

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Saints Nazarius and Celsus

Image: Saints Nazarius and Celsus

T

he 28th of July is the feast day of Saints Nazarius and Celsus.

The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

T. NAZARIUS’s father was a heathen, and held a considerable post in the Roman army. His mother, Perpetua, was a zealous Christian, and was instructed by St. Peter, or his disciples, in the most perfect maxims of our holy faith. Nazarius embraced it with so much ardor that he copied in his life all the great virtues he saw in his teachers; and out of zeal for the salvation of others, he left 88


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Rome, his native city, and preached the Faith in many places with a fervor and disinterestedness becoming a disciple of the apostles. Arriving at Milan, he was there beheaded for the Faith, together with Celsus, a youth whom he carried with him to assist him in his travels. These martyrs suffered soon after Nero had raised the first persecution. Their bodies were buried separately in a garden without the city, where they were discovered and taken up by St. Ambrose, in 395. In the tomb of St. Nazarius, a vial of the Saint’s blood was found as fresh and red as if it had been spilt that day. The faithful stained handkerchiefs with some drops, and also formed a certain paste with it, a portion of which St. Ambrose sent to St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia. St. Ambrose conveyed the bodies of the two martyrs into the new church .of the apostles, which he had just built. A woman was delivered of an evil spirit in their presence. St. Ambrose sent some of these relics to St. Paulinus of Nola, who received them with great respect, as a most valuable present, as he testifies. Reflection.—The martyrs died as the outcasts of the world, but are crowned by God with immortal honor. The glory of the world is false and transitory, and an empty bubble or shadow, but that of virtue is true, solid, and permanent, even in the eyes of men.

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Saint Martha

Image: Jesus at the house of Mary and Martha

T

he 29th of July is the feast day of Saint Martha (Aramaic:

‫ מַרְתָּא‬Martâ). She is also known as Martha of Bethany. She is the patron saint of butlers; cooks; dietitians; domestic servants; homemakers;

hotel-keepers;

housemaids;

housewives;

innkeepers; laundry workers; maids; manservants; servants; servers; single laywomen; travellers; Villajoyosa, Spain, Pateros, and Metro Manila, Philippines. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints: 90


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ST. JOHN tells us that “Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus,” and yet but few glimpses are vouchsafed us of them. First, the sisters are set before us with a word. Martha received Jesus into her house, and was busy in outward, loving, lavish service, while Mary sat in silence at the feet she had bathed with her tears. Then, their brother is ill, and they send to Jesus, “Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick.” And in His own time the Lord came, and they go out to meet Him; and then follows that scene of unutterable tenderness and of sublimity unsurpassed: the silent waiting of Mary; Martha strong in faith, but realizing so vividly, with her practical turn of mind, the fact of death, and hesitating: “Canst Thou show Thy wonders in the grave?” And then once again, on the eve of His Passion, we see Jesus at Bethany. Martha, true to her character, is serving; Mary, as at first, pours the precious ointment, in adoration and love, on His divine head. And then we find the tomb of St. Martha, at Tarascon, in Provence. When the storm of persecution came, the family of Bethany, with a few companions, were put into a boat, without oars or sail, and borne to the coast of France. St. Mary’s tomb is at St. Baume; St. Lazarus is venerated as the founder of the Church of Marseilles; and the memory of the virtues and labors of St. Martha is still fragrant at Avignon and Tarascon. Reflection.—When Martha received Jesus into her house, she was naturally busy in preparations for such a Guest. Mary sat at His feet, intent alone on listening to His 91


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gracious words. Her sister thought that the time required other service than this, and asked our Lord to bid Mary help in serving. Once again Jesus spoke in defence of Mary. “Martha, Martha,” He said, “thou art lovingly anxious about many things; be not over-eager; do thy chosen work with recollectedness. Judge not Mary. Hers is the good part, the one only thing really necessary. Thine will be taken away, that something better be given thee.” The life of action ceases when the body is laid down; but the life of contemplation endures and is perfected in heaven.

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Saint Peter Chrysologus

Image: Saint Peter Chrysologus, Diocesan Museum, Imola

T

he 30th of July is the feast day of Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.

380 – c. 450). He is also known as Doctor of the Homilies and in Greek, his name is Ἅγιος Πέτρος ὁ Χρυσολόγος, Petros Chrysologos meaning Peter the “golden-worded.” The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:

Born at Imola, 406; died there, 450. His biography, first written by Agnellus (Liber pontificalis ecclesi=E6 93


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Ravennatis) in the ninth century, gives but scanty information about him. He was baptised, educated, and ordained deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola, and was elevated to the Bishopric of Ravenna in 433. There are indications that Ravenna held the rank of metropolitan before this time. His piety and zeal won for him universal admiration, and his oratory merited for him the name Chrysologus. He shared the confidence of Leo the Great and enjoyed the patronage of the Empress Galla Placidia. After his condemnation by the Synod of Constantinople (448), the Monophysite Eutyches endeavoured to win the support of Peter, but without success. A collection of his homilies, numbering 176, was made by Felix, Bishop of Ravenna (707-17). Some are interpolations, and several other homilies known to be written by the saint are included in other collections under different names. They are in a great measure explanatory of Biblical texts and are brief and concise. He has explained beautifully the mystery of the Incarnation, the heresies of Arius and Eutyches, the Apostles’ Creed, and he dedicated a series of homilies to the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Baptist. His works were first edited by Agapitus Vicentinus (Bologna, 1534), and later by D. Mita (Bolonga, 1634), and S. Pauli (Venice, 1775)-the later collection having been reprinted in P.L., LII. Fr. Liverani (“Spicilegium Liberianum”), Florence, 1863, 125 seq.) edited nine new homilies and published from manuscripts in Italian libraries different readings of several other 94


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sermons. Several homilies were translated into German by M. Held (Kempten, 1874). BARDENHEWER, Patrology, tr. SHAHAN, 526 sqq.; DAPPER, Der hl. Petrus von Ravenna Chrysologus (Posen, 1871); LOOSHORN, Der hl. Petrus Chrysologus und seine Schriflen in Zeitschrift f. kathol. Theol., III (1879), 238 seq.; WAYMAN, Zu Petrus Chrysologus in Philologus, LV (1896), 464 seq.

Ignatius Smith.

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Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Image: St. Ignatius of Loyola by Peter Paul Rubens (1600s)

T

he 31st of July is the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola ( c. 

23 October 1491 – 31 July 1556). He is the patron saint of Dioceses of San Sebastián and Bilbao, Biscay and Gipuzkoa; Basque Country; Military Ordinariate of the Philippines; Society of Jesus; Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil; Junín, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Antwerp, Belgium. The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

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ST. IGNATIUS was born at Loyola in Spain, in the year 1491. He served his king as a courtier and a soldier till his thirtieth year. At that age, being laid low by a wound, he received the call of divine grace to leave the world. He embraced poverty and humiliation, that he might become more like to Christ, and won others to join him in the service of God. Prompted by their love for Jesus Christ, Ignatius and his companions made a vow to go to the Holy Land, but war broke out, and prevented the execution of their project. Then they turned to the Vicar of Jesus Christ, and placed themselves under his obedience. This was the beginning of the Society of Jesus. Our Lord promised St. Ignatius that the precious heritage of His Passion should never fail his Society, a heritage of contradictions and persecutions. St. Ignatius was cast into prison at Salamanca, on a suspicion of heresy. To a friend who expressed sympathy with him on account of his imprisonment, he replied, “It is a sign that you have but little love of Christ in your heart, or you would not deem it so hard a fate to be in chains for His sake. I declare to you that all Salamanca does not contain as many fetters, manacles, and chains as I long to wear for the love of Jesus Christ.” St. Ignatius went to his crown on the 31st July, 1556. Reflection.—Ask St. Ignatius to obtain for you the grace to desire ardently the greater glory of God, even though it may cost you much suffering and humiliation.

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Appendix For more information see Go to Mary.

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Saints of the month: July  

Saints of the day for the month of July. See www.gotomary.com for more information.

Saints of the month: July  

Saints of the day for the month of July. See www.gotomary.com for more information.

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